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War is Racket

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The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics  are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.

Ambrose Bierce

"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

Tacitus, Agricola

"When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die."

Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord

During the Vietnam War, one of the peace movement’s more sardonic slogans was: “War is good business. Invest your son" (Iraq War and Venture Capitalism by Norman Solomon )

ZNet

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During the Vietnam War, one of the peace movement’s more sardonic slogans was: “War is good business. Invest your son.”

In recent years, some eminent pundits and top government officials have become brazen about praising war as a good investment.

Thomas Friedman’s 1999 book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” summed up a key function of the USA’s high-tech arsenal. “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist,” he wrote. “McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

On Sept. 12, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke this way as he defended the U.S. military occupation of Iraq: “Since the United States and its coalition partners have invested a great deal of political capital, as well as financial resources, as well as the lives of our young men and women -- and we have a large force there now -- we can’t be expected to suddenly just step aside.” He was voicing the terminology and logic of a major capitalist investor.

And so, it was fitting when the New York Times reported days ago that Powell will soon be (in the words of the headline) “Taking a Role in Venture Capitalism.” The article explained that Powell is becoming a partner in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a renowned Silicon Valley venture firm: “Mr. Powell acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that he has had any number of tempting job offers since leaving the State Department in January, but that the chance to work as a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins seemed too enticing to turn down.”

Writ large, the balance-sheet outlook of venture capitalism is being widely applied to the current war in Iraq -- even while defenders of the war are apt to indignantly reject any claim that it’s driven by zeal for massive profits. But let’s take the corporate firms at their own words.

Last year, I went through the latest annual reports from some American firms with Pentagon contracts. Those reports acknowledged, as a matter of fact, the basic corporate reliance on the warfare state.

Orbit International Corp., a small business making high-tech products for use by the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines, had increased its net sales by nearly $2.4 million during the previous two years, to about $17.1 million -- and the war future was bright. “Looking ahead,” CEO Dennis Sunshine reported, “Orbit’s Electronics and Power Unit Segments expect to continue to benefit from the expanding military/defense and homeland security marketplace.” In its yearly report to federal regulators, Orbit International acknowledged: “We are heavily dependent upon military spending as a source of revenues and income. Accordingly, any substantial future reductions in overall military spending by the U.S. government could have a material adverse effect on our sales and earnings.”

A much larger corporation, Engineered Support Systems, Inc., had quadrupled its net revenues between 1999 and 2003, when they reached $572.7 million. For the report covering 2003, the firm’s top officers signed a statement that declared: “As we have always said, rapid deployment of our armed forces drives our business.” The company’s president, Jerry Potthoff, assured investors: “Our nation’s military is deployed in over 130 countries, so our products and personnel are deployed, as well. As long as America remains the world’s policeman, our products and services will help them complete their missions.”

The gigantic Northrop Grumman firm, while noting that its revenues totaled $26.2 billion in 2003, boasted: “In terms of the portfolio, Northrop Grumman is situated in the ‘sweet spot’ of U.S. defense and national security spending.”

War. How sweet it can be.

This article is adapted from Norman Solomon’s new book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” For information, go to:


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[Oct 25, 2020] The Ukrainians fired severl Tochka-M misshles into cities in Donbass. Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong

How Donbass conflict started in 2014 ...
Dec 30, 2014 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong. Posted on December 30, 2014 by marknesop Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars stand between us and the gods and block our view of them does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of a god, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.

Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars
stand between us and the gods
and block our view of them
does not mean that the bright halo
that surrounds each liar
is not the outer edges of a god, waiting
for us to find our way around the lie."

The Kyiv Post has always been pretty nationalistic, and never had too much time for Russia. It has an inconsistent record on the Ukrainian oligarchy, showing occasional flashes of frankness in which it castigates the idle rich, and depressing runs of puff pieces in which it canonizes Petro Poroshenko and gnashes its teeth with righteous anger at his detractors. Several of its regular writers are activists, and their material shows it. Overall, it is the newspaper of record for Kiev's apologists, and draws a reliable audience of Russophobic Maidanites hoarsely crying "Yurrup!!!", as if it were some sort of magic answer to all their problems. But if the paper's material is often delusional, the comments section takes rollie-eyed psychosis to a whole new level. This is where you get to interact with the low-information voter, likely from a Ukrainian diaspora in North America, who buys the western propaganda line wholly and eagerly. Making any remark which appears defensive of Russia is like a red rag to a bull.

Here, every once in awhile, you run across a different kind of commenter – not just the usual "Shut your mouth, you Putin troll asswipe!!" who assumes the right to proselytize his own opinions to his heart's contentment, but will entertain no notion of a dissenting opinion without shouting that it must have been paid for by Putin and anyone who expresses such opinions is an employee of the FSB. Get it? Everyone who argues for a free and undivided Ukraine delivered whole and breathing to Yurrup and its austerity agenda is a patriot who sounds off because it's the right thing to do; everyone else is paid to lie. Occasionally, you run across a true apologist; one who is apparently not ignorant, but one who applies his/her intellect to running interference for the Kiev junta and doing battle on its behalf through insults, fabrications and assumption of a certain mantle of authority, while devising excuses for those actions by Kiev that he/she cannot explain away.

I recently did run across just such a person. Attracted to the article " Ukraine Overturns its Non-Bloc Status. What Next With NATO? " by the sheer zaniness of the Ukrainian leadership – which keeps bulling ahead with trying to referendum itself into NATO despite its ongoing border disputes so that it can immediately pull NATO into an Article 5 war with Russia – I read it, and then perused the comments.

I was moved to get involved in the discussion by a comment from Michael Caine – not the British actor, I'm pretty sure; this individual is not particularly literate but compensates with stubbornness – who seemed sincere enough, but is fixated on the idea that Russia (personified, of course, by Putin, as it is whenever it does anything the western world does not like) has broken international law by acceding to Crimea's request to join the Russian Federation. This process is invariably described in the Anglospheric press as "annexation", and we can hardly blame Michael, because high-profile chowderheads all the way up to and including President Obama have expressed the same opinion, which is completely unsubstantiated. As we have often discussed, the lifeblood of law is precedent, and a precedent was established on unilateral declarations of independence with the acceptance of that premise for the independence of Kosovo. Poland's opinion just happened to be the first I came across, written by then-Foreign-Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, and it announced smugly that a unilateral declaration of independence is outside international law and therefore unregulated by that authority. A state-in-being, saith Radek, is a matter of reality rather than law, and if you have a population which is distinct by virtue of its language, customs and cultural attributes, which has its own government, civil institutions and financial institutions, you are – or you can be – a state by way of a unilateral declaration of independence.

The Polish opinion was pivotal to the broad recognition of Kosovo, because Poland was the first East European and the first Slavic nation to recognize it. However – and this is important – not one other world opinion which supported the recognition of Kosovo challenged Poland's contention that a unilateral declaration of independence is not an instrument regulated by international law. Even The Economist , no friend of Russia and Putin, declared in advance of the vote that if Crimea chose to detach itself from Ukraine's rule, no court would be likely to challenge it, while RFE/RL – still less a friend of Russia and Putin – opined that the Budapest Memorandum (the document in which all the thunderers that Putin has broken international law vest their hopes) is a diplomatic document rather than a treaty, and while it is international law, is not enforceable . Even, if you can imagine, The Hague weighed in, expressing the legal opinion ,

"Therefore, is the Crimean Parliament vote to join the Russian Federation illegal? The answer here is no, albeit with the above clarifications and observations. Can the Crimean population legally exercise its right to external self-determination? The author is of the opinion that − on the basis of existing international case law − this question can neither be answered affirmatively or negatively."

All this went about four feet above Mr. Caine's head, because my polite request that he elaborate on specifically which international law Mr. Putin (who apparently managed the "annexation" of Crimea singlehandedly) broke received the response that Putin had violated the law that says Thou Shalt Not Steal, not to mention that other bad one, Thou Shalt Not Kill.

These are ummm not international laws. Although they apply to all observers of the Christian faith, these are Commandments, and I have yet to see a lawyer hold forth in an international court on a case in which the Book Of Authorities and Precedents is a stone tablet, although I should not speak too soon. You never know.

At about this point, The Apologist entered the fray. Under the banner of Swift69, and plainly one of the protagonists for The Budapest Memorandum, he announced that there was no unilateral declaration of independence because it was all engineered in Moscow, which allegedly is a fact that everyone admits.

In point of fact, the Crimean Parliament and City Council of Sevastopol did declare Crimea's independence, in writing ( here's the English translation ), and specifically citing the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo as precedent. That was actually in advance of the referendum, which asked respondents if they did or did not favour Crimea applying to join the Russian Federation. So far as I am aware nobody has admitted or otherwise affirmed in any way that Crimea's declaration of independence originated in Moscow. Russia admitted in April 2014 that it had conducted advance polling in Crimea to determine the level of support for independence, an issue which had been raised on and off since the 90's. Kind of hard to interpret that as unacceptable interference in a reality that seems to see nothing wrong with political-activist NGO's operated in Moscow and paid by American think tanks attempting to amass support for overthrowing and replacing the Russian government, what?

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Up to this point it was just an amusing academic tussle – Clash Of The References, if you will, although Swift69 actually didn't supply any. But it turned ugly from there.

I wrote, " Meanwhile Ukraine has no room at all to be preaching about international law, nor do any of its defenders. Indiscriminate attack such as firing short-range ballistic missiles into civilian population centers is a war crime. "

Swift69 replied, " Ballistic Missies"( sic ) – the word "ballistic" simply means that it is "on a ballistic trajectory." Every bullet ever fired and every grad ever launched is a "ballistic missile." While you're clearly trying to use the term to elicit sympathy based on people's association of the word n the phrase "intercontinental ballistic missile" or somesuch, it's nonsense. Use of ballistic weapons is no more a "war crime" than use of gravity is "into civilian centers." what nonsense. "Many of the shocking cases, particularly those published by the Russian media are greatly exaggerated There's no convincing evidence of mass killings or graves." – Amnesty International report."

Let's just ponder that for a moment. Swift69 is implying an equivalency between a bullet which might kill two or three people if it ricochets and hits more than its intended target, and a fucking ballistic missile which has a warhead that weighs more than half a ton (1,058 pounds). CNN reported live that U.S. officials had confirmed Ukrainian forces fired "several" Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) missiles "into areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists". The same source reported it could kill "dozens". The Tochka-U has a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 160 meters. That means even in the unlikely event that you were aiming it at a cluster of 20 armed combatants – from as much as 70 km away – you could only count on the weapon landing somewhere within 160 meters of them. The Ukrainians fired them into cities in Donbass. And this shitbag is saying I merely tacked on the word "ballistic" to make it sound scary, and to win sympathy for those it was fired at which they did not really deserve. Take a look at the crater – that look like a bullet hole to you?

So, let's review. In fact, Indiscriminate Attack is a war crime, in accordance with Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rule 12. Indiscriminate Attack is defined as attack which is (a) not directed at a specific military objective, (b) employs a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective, or (c) employs a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

Explain to me, if you can, how you can fire a ballistic missile with a circular error probability of 160 meters (524 feet) into a city which contains both civilians and paramilitaries, and be reasonably confident you will not kill or injure any civilians, or even that you know from as far away as 70 km from the city that is your target, what you are shooting at? How are you going to limit the effects of your attack with a 1000 lb+ warhead so that it only kills military combatants?

https://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.html REPORT THIS AD REPORT THIS AD

Even the bullet Captain Sarcastic implied was also a "ballistic missile" could get you in front of a war crimes tribunal, if you just loosed off some of them into a crowd which was a composite of civilians and combatants without attempting to differentiate between the two. The weapon is not the concern – aimed shots in a scenario in which you are attempting to confine your fire to military targets is. Love of God, how hard is that to grasp?

Swift69 goes on to accuse me of sensationalizing further with the implication that the Ukrainian army is firing into civilian population centers, and proceeds to conflate that with an Amnesty International report which accused Russia of propagandizing mass graves, saying there was no credible evidence of that. The two issues have nothing to do with one another. I said the Ukrainian army is firing heavy weapons into Donbass cities at a range beyond which it can discriminate between civilian and military targets, and that considerable loss of life and tremendous damage has resulted. That is absolutely an accurate portrayal of the state of affairs .

For a grand finale, Swift69 proceeds to attack the source of an article which reports that Ukrainian forces or agents of the Ukrainian government have cut off the civilian populations of cities in eastern Ukraine from water and food and medicines in an attempt to force their surrender, and that this is also a war crime. That's a good tactic, and I use it sometimes myself – if you're not comfortable that you can refute what was said, imply the person who reported it is a lunatic. In this instance, I think there is plenty of corroborating evidence that forces acting on Kiev's direction did just what I accuse them of doing .

Kiev is committing war crimes against Ukrainian citizens with the vociferous approval of the Kyiv Post , the tacit approval of the leadership of NATO countries and the slobbering whitewash of Kiev's loony-fringe supporters. Shamelessly, right under your nose, and in the clear presence of condemnatory evidence that should have the lot of them swinging from the gibbet.

[Oct 25, 2020] The Trillion-Dollar F-35 Fighter Program Does Not Make Americans Safer

Notable quotes:
"... Overspending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program does not make America any safer. The president's military spending increase is based on the false premise that more spending equals more security. More spending may even make America less safe by spending us into bankruptcy. ..."
"... One big problem with this massive spending on one defense program is that it gives interventionist politicians the tools of war that they desire. ..."
"... While some support this flawed program no matter how much it costs and actually advocate spending more taxpayer cash on it, Americans want that $1.7 trillion spent at home and not on a transnational defense spending program to defend other nations. ..."
"... The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is not worthy of a massive investment by the taxpayer when it does not make America safer while also being a poorly negotiated government contract that has stuck the taxpayer with a massive bill. ..."
Oct 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Norm Singleton via The Mises Institute,

Overspending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program does not make America any safer. The president's military spending increase is based on the false premise that more spending equals more security. More spending may even make America less safe by spending us into bankruptcy.

The F-35 program is expected to cost well over $1 trillion when it is fully operational and deployed. That massive investment will serve to enrich government contractors while giving interventionist politicians an offensive weapon of war. This program was created as a "too big to fail" scheme where once the government starts the process of making these fighter jets, they will have spent so much money that they can't back away. The F-35 program is a bad deal for the taxpayer while promoting a policy that will make these same taxpayers less safe.

It appears that the massive amount put into the program has purchased a lemon of a jet. The program has been troubled from day one and is currently experiencing some padding of the contract. On September 11, 2020, Bloomberg reported, "the Pentagon's five-year budget plan for the F-35 falls short by as much as $10 billion, the military's independent cost analysis unit has concluded, a new indication that the complex fighter jet may be too costly to operate and maintain." The plan for the F-35 for the next five years was an estimated "$78 billion for research and development, jet procurement, operations and maintenance and military construction dedicated to the F-35 built by Lockheed Martin Corp." This $10 billion mistake is going to fall on the shoulders of an already overtaxed taxpayer.

One big problem with this massive spending on one defense program is that it gives interventionist politicians the tools of war that they desire. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program contains a number of versions of a stealth fighter jet that can engage other aircraft and conduct military strikes. The goal is to use these aircraft as the primary fighter jets for the air force, navy, and marines. These can be used as offensive weapons in the hands of politicians who desire to engage in the endless war policies that have left the United States vulnerable to attack. This is a very expensive program that will not provide $1 trillion in security for American citizens.

Typical with government defense contracting, there have been numerous problems that have shifted significant increased cost onto the Pentagon. Defense News reported recently that the contractor was trying to stick the taxpayer with the cost of spare parts for the F-35. According to Bloomberg , the taxpayer received more bad news: "the F-35's total 'life cycle' cost is estimated at $1.727 trillion in current dollars." That is an insane amount of taxpayer cash and "$1.266 trillion is for operations and support of the advanced plane that's a flying supercomputer." When pressed by Bloomberg , a Pentagon spokesman bragged that a Pentagon "cost analysis office projects that the average procurement cost for an F-35, including its engines, is dropping from a planned $109 million to $101.3 million in 2012 dollars." Only in Washington would a bureaucrat brag about ripping off American citizens by just under $8 million less as a deal for the taxpayer.

While some support this flawed program no matter how much it costs and actually advocate spending more taxpayer cash on it, Americans want that $1.7 trillion spent at home and not on a transnational defense spending program to defend other nations.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is not worthy of a massive investment by the taxpayer when it does not make America safer while also being a poorly negotiated government contract that has stuck the taxpayer with a massive bill.

[Oct 23, 2020] Hating Russia is a full time and well paid job

Neocons do not want to fight Russia, they just want to profit from Russophobia while getting nice money from the US MIC.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Mister Delicious , 7 hours ago

  1. Introduction
  2. The euphemisms
  3. Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
  4. The media
  5. A de facto violation of free speech
  6. Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
  7. The best alt-media journalists are neutered
  8. Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
  9. A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
  10. Malice towards none
  11. The problem extends to all areas of public life
  12. We need serious scholarship and analysis
  13. Low expectations from the existing alt-media
  14. A call for articles and support
  15. https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/
ebear , 6 hours ago

Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1k

John Hansen , 7 hours ago

I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.

theallseeinggod , 7 hours ago

They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.

Normal , 5 hours ago

Now the West has rules only for poor people.

Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago

Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha ha

Nayel , 5 hours ago

If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...

Arising 2.0 , 1 hour ago

Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.

ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago

Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:

Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.

Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.

(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)

foxenburg , 3 hours ago

This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6990/russia-failure-syria

Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago

We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.

Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf

[Oct 23, 2020] Russia has been a fixture of the US military-industrial complex for a reason: they need more money and threat inflation is possible only with a suitable bogeyman

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

rotorhead1871 , 5 hours ago

..they have always been the reason for the industrial-military complex....but now, who needs them.....we got china to point the finger at. so having 2 useful idiot countries...will keep the weapons boys going for quite some time....

Snaffew , 7 hours ago

...he boogeyman has never been Russia, it resides right here in the US under the guise of government, military, mainstream media, propaganda and sanctions, sanctions, sanctions against anyone that rightfully takes our slice of entitled pie because they built a far better and far cheaper mousetrap.

Oh the horrors of claiming to be a democracy and a capitalist nation when you just can't seem to play by the rules. **** America---we have let the elites take us down the road to ruins. We are as much at fault as they are for believing their nonsensical bs the whole while all the evidence was smoking right in front of our face. Who's more stupid...them or us? I'd tell everyone to take a good long look in the mirror if you are looking for an answer to that question---

[Oct 21, 2020] Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attach to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and Donbass reconciliation

Such a diplomat.
Oct 21, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 20, 2020 at 11:16 pm

Did you not see this little gem from the US Embassy in Kiev last week?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-13&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316258685916573697&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F09%2F18%2Fthe-near-global-collapse-of-critical-thinking%2F&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The woman speaking above is a certain Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Yet another American woman doing a man's job! The Russian Ministry of Defence was none too pleased with Colonel Stewart's little performance:

16.10.2020 (14:30)
Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence

On October 16, the Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was invited to the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation.

The US Department of Defence representative was informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence with regards to a recent statement made by the Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Air Force Col. Brittany Stewart, on the joint efforts of the US and Ukrainian Armed Forces in countering so-called "Russian aggression".

The American side was briefed on the false claims of the statement and its provocative nature, which compels the Ukrainian side to a military resolution of the internal conflict in the Donbass.

The above mentioned statement is contradictory to previous declarations made by Pentagon officials on a settlement of the situation in the Ukraine by peaceful means only.

[Edited by Moscow Exile because of grammatical and punctuation errors in the above-linked Russian -English statement, although the Russian Ministry of Defence did spell "defence" correctly! :-)]

"We congratulate the defenders of the Ukraine. Thank them for their self-sacrifice and for taking risks every day", she says in an East Slav dialect, noting that during their visit to the Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had visited memorials to fallen soldiers, "because it was these soldiers who had sacrificed themselves to help protect the democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine".

"The USA is and will be your indestructible partner", emphasized the Colonel Stewart.


Have a nice day, suckers!

[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

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When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Oct 19, 2020] Banking has an odd and opaque history of global control of money/finance and inciting wars

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

chu teh , Oct 17 2020 22:10 utc | 65

This in reply to your #131 yesterday re JP Morgan, oligarch power and method used to create Federal Reserve:

There is more. Banking has an odd and opaque history of global control of money/finance. It was clear by ca. 1900 that the global keystone was control of USA banking...but how?, because any USA legislation had to be signed-off by a President...the ONLY exception being overriding a pres. veto. It could not be done in USA by pres. decree.

So the riddle is how could this rip-off be done in a freak nation that was an open society of free public discourse full of very active politician? Even if Congress could be bribed and otherwise cajoled to pass such legislation, how could any President be "arranged" to sign it?

CLUE -- W. Wilson -- headmaster of Princeton University suddenly rose to Governor of New Jersey , then suddenly ran for Pres of US. A most weird election resulted in WW becoming Pres and in his first year signed the Fed Res Act. Boom! Done!

CLUE -- How did the bankers, Warburg et al, manage to put WW under their control? How did they select WW and get hooks so deeply into headmaster WW and get him elected Pres.? What was their secret?...and that could be kept secret? and never in writing.

The ANSWER might well be known only to surviving members of families of those involved in WW's mysterious medical maladies. Though WW's doctors never disclosed publicly all his medical data, related family members of consulted medical experts would likely have it as a family secret...that WW had an "unspeakable" malady whose diagnosis was quietly handed down to successive generations.

And IMO it is so.

[Oct 19, 2020] New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76

New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks
Esper's speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor.

First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to "an era of great power competition." CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing.

They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.

It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)

[Oct 18, 2020] Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations- -

Oct 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations? by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/18/2020 - 15:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Andrea Widburg via AmericanThinker.com,

The moment the New York Post reported on some of the sleazy, corrupt details contained on Hunter Biden's hard drive, Twitter and Facebook, the social media giants most closely connected to the way Americans exchange political information, went into overdrive to suppress the information and protect Joe Biden. In the case of Facebook, though, perhaps one of those protectors was, in fact, protecting herself.

The person currently in charge of Facebook's election integrity program is Anna Makanju . That name probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but it should mean a lot – and in a comforting way -- to Joe Biden.

Before ending up at Facebook, Makanju was a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is an ostensibly non-partisan think tank that deals with international affairs. In fact, it's a decidedly partisan organization.

In 2009, James L. Jones, the Atlantic Council's chairman left the organization to be President Obama's National Security Advisor. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Shinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Chuck Hagel, and Brent Scowcroft also were all affiliated with the Atlantic Council before they ended up in the Obama administration.

The Atlantic Council has received massive amounts of foreign funding over the years. Here's one that should interest everyone: Burisma Holdings donated $300,000 dollars to the Atlantic Council, over the course of three consecutive years, beginning in 2016. The information below may explain why it began paying that money to the Council.

Not only was the Atlantic Council sending people into the Obama-Biden administration, but it was also serving as an outside advisor. And that gets us back to Anna Makanju, the person heading Facebook's misleadingly titled "election integrity program."

Makanju also worked at the Atlantic Council. The following is the relevant part of Makanju's professional bio from her page at the Atlantic Council (emphasis mine):

Anna Makanju is a nonresident senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative. She is a public policy and legal expert working at Facebook, where she leads efforts to ensure election integrity on the platform. Previously, she was the special policy adviser for Europe and Eurasia to former US Vice President Joe Biden , senior policy adviser to Ambassador Samantha Power at the United States Mission to the United Nations, director for Russia at the National Security Council, and the chief of staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and worked as a consultant to a leading company focused on space technologies.

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Makanju was a player in the faux Ukraine impeachment. Early in December 2019, when the Democrats were gearing up for the impeachment, Glenn Kessler mentioned her in an article assuring Washington Post readers that, contrary to the Trump administration's claims, there was nothing corrupt about Biden's dealings with Ukraine. He made the point then that Biden now raises as a defense: Biden didn't pressure Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect Burisma; he did it because Shokin wasn't doing his job when it came to investigating corruption.

Kessler writes that, on the same day in February 2016 that then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that Shokin had offered his resignation, Biden spoke to both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The White House version is that Biden gave both men pep talks about reforming the government and fighting corruption. And that's where Makanju comes in:

Anna Makanju, Biden's senior policy adviser for Ukraine at the time, also listened to the calls and said release of the transcripts would only strengthen Biden's case that he acted properly. She helped Biden prepare for the conversations and said they operated at a high level, with Biden using language such as Poroshenko's government being "nation builders for a transformation of Ukraine."

A reference to a private company such as Burisma would be "too fine a level of granularity" for a call between Biden and the president of another country, Makanju told The Fact Checker. Instead, she said, the conversation focused on reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund, methods to tackle corruption and military assistance. An investigation of "Burisma was just not significant enough" to mention, she said.

Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that Burisma started paying the Atlantic Council a lot of money in 2016, right when Makanju was advising Biden regarding getting rid of Shokin.

In other words, there's a really good chance that Sundance was correct when he wrote at The Conservative Treehouse :

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That's right folks, the Facebook executive currently blocking all of the negative evidence of Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt activity in Ukraine is the same person who was coordinating the corrupt activity between the Biden family payoffs and Ukraine.

You just cannot make this stuff up folks.

The incestuous networking between Democrats in the White House, Congress, the Deep State, the media, and Big Tech never ends. That's why the American people wanted and still want Trump, the true outsider, to head the government. They know that Democrats have turned American politics into one giant Augean Stable and that Trump is the Hercules who (we hope) can clean it out.

[Oct 16, 2020] Jacques Chirac President of France told Jr Bush if the United States finds WMDs in Iraq you put them there.

Oct 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com


WilliamRD
12 hours ago

Jacques Chirac President of France told Jr Bush if the United States finds WMDs in Iraq you put them there. The CIA and MI6 knew Iraq had no WMDs because Tariq Aziz Saddam's long time number 2 was a CIA asset. Back in the 1980s Aziz was a regular on the Washington cocktail party circuit and a frequent guest on CNNs Crossfire with Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak vs Tom Braden and Michael Kinsley. Finally Dick Armey Republican and House Majority leader was going to vote against authorizing the war in the fall of 2002. Cheney goes up to Capitol Hill pulls Armey into the Vice Presidents office in the Capitol and tells him that Iraq is close to having suitcase nukes and has very close ties to Osama bin Laden. Both lies of course.

On one occasion when Jr Bush was talking to Chirac he told him that the war on terror is Biblical prophecy. Needless to say Chirac was stunned. Yes the Republican establishment lied the country into one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in our history. Almost as bad as Woodrow Wilson taking us into World war 1 which led to the rise Bolshevik revolution and Nazi Germany

ekaneti WilliamRD 2 hours ago • edited

Vietnam was a bigger lie and worse than Iraq

WilliamRD ekaneti an hour ago

Vietnam was bad for sure and had a much larger death count, but the region or the domino theory never materialized. The Middle East has been in chaos ever since our invasion and occupation of Iraq

[Oct 16, 2020] WilliamRD WilliamRD

Oct 16, 2020 | disqus.com

12 hours ago

Jacques Chirac President of France told Jr Bush if the United States finds WMDs in Iraq you put them there. The CIA and MI6 knew Iraq had no WMDs because Tariq Aziz Saddam's long time number 2 was a CIA asset. Back in the 1980s Aziz was a regular on the Washington cocktail party circuit and a frequent guest on CNNs Crossfire with Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak vs Tom Braden and Michael Kinsley. Finally Dick Armey Republican and House Majority leader was going to vote against authorizing the war in the fall of 2002. Cheney goes up to Capitol Hill pulls Armey into the Vice Presidents office in the Capitol and tells him that Iraq is close to having suitcase nukes and has very close ties to Osama bin Laden. Both lies of course.

On one occasion when Jr Bush was talking to Chirac he told him that the war on terror is Biblical prophecy. Needless to say Chirac was stunned. Yes the Republican establishment lied the country into one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in our history. Almost as bad as Woodrow Wilson taking us into World war 1 which led to the rise Bolshevik revolution and Nazi Germany

[Oct 16, 2020] Why the West Fuels Conflict in Armenia -

Oct 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fazal Majid 15 hours ago • edited

Britain created Saudi Arabia? They supported the westernized Hashemites rivals of the Saud to the hilt. Just one of the many factual errors in a muddle-headed article that seems to draw its inspiration from the reflexive anti-Americanism of the European loony left.

The Caucasus, like the former Yugoslavia, or India before partition, is made up of many populations coexisting. When ethno- or religious nationalism rears its ugly head, violence and ethnic cleansing inevitably ensue. The Armenians prevailed militarily due to Azerbaijani incompetence, not because of any intrinsic moral righteousness, but the thing about military gains is they can be reversed when the other side gets its act together, specially if it enjoys an overwhelming advantage in population and resources.

Foreign powers like Russia, Turkey, Iran, France or Israel are pouring oil on the fires of revanchism for political or mercantile reasons, instead of pushing both sides to meaningful negotiations (let's not forget the Armenians are perfectly happy with the status quo and have not exactly been eager to negotiate it away). The last thing the US should be doing is taking sides, and since this is Russia's backyard there is not much we can do other than pressuring Turkey to stop making things worse, but we all know how little real sway we have with Erdögan.

S A Chaplin Fazal Majid 12 hours ago

@Majid - Very insightful comment, thank you. (And better written than the article.) You also taught me a new word: revanchism.

Blood Alcohol Fazal Majid 8 hours ago • edited

The article seems to me to be disjointed and I have feeling the damage was done during editing. There's no egregious mistake is saying the Brits created "Saudi" Arabia. That is a historical fact and which family/tribe they supported is irrelevant in historical terms. Your charge of "reflexive anti-Americanism of the European loony left." because of a few inaccuracies in the article is way off the wall. The article is badly written but it is informative.

Regarding your claim, "Foreign powers like Russia, Turkey, Iran, France or Israel are pouring oil on the fires...", I agree with you with the exception of Iran's role in this mess. The very first official announcement by the IRI, which I posted to another article on the site, warned Turkey is pouring fuel to the file. There's no disagreement there. Iran has no military personnel nor funding going to either country. Azerbaijan has about 700 Kilometers of common border with Iran, and Armenia shares about 32 Kilometers of borders with Iran. Iran has a substantial, vibrant and patriotic Azari population. Many are in top IRI leadership including Khamenei. Iran also has a very substantial and vibrant Armenian population. Iran does recognize the Turk's genocide of its Armenian population. Iran is connected to Armenia via oil and gas pipelines, as well as power grids. Iran is the most important of energy supplier for Armenia.

A bit of recent history will shed some light on Iran's behavior and attitude towards each country. While Armenia remained one of Iran's stalwart neighbors, Azerbaijan took the path of endearing itself to the US and Israel axis of war mongering and destabilizing policies. This put Azerbaijan on Iran's list of "unfriendly" governments, I'm not talking about Azerbaijan's Shia population in this context. There's nothing for Iran in this war. Therefore Iran's latest announcement is to end the war as soon as possible through diplomatic means. The shells and missiles have started landing on Iranian soil but no casualties fortunately.

Fazal Majid Blood Alcohol 7 hours ago • edited

The British had literally nothing to do with the creation of Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz Ibn Saud took back his family fief of Riyadh in 1901 from the rival al-Rashid of Ha'il, then waged war over the other tribes of Arabia, enlisting a fanatical proto-ISIS like militia called the Ikhwan to conquer in 1924 the British-supported Hejaz ruled by Sharif Hussein of the Hashemite dynasty. He did not extend his conquests to Yemen, Oman, Kuwait or Transjordan and Syria because that would have meant waging direct war on the British and French empires, and in fact had to quell a rebellion of the Ikhwan who wanted to do exactly that.

The Saudis draw great pride in being the one nation in the Middle East that was not colonized by Western powers (mostly because it was worthless until the discovery of oil). Just because William Shakespear or Gertrude Bell toured the region does not make the al-Saud British puppets like the Hashemites were, whatever their many faults. While Abdulaziz bided his time and tactically made treaties with the British like temporarily accepting a protectorate status or agreeing to fight the al-Rashid (like he would do otherwise, they being his family's hereditary enemies....), they never provided him with any significant assistance, and in fact tried ineffectually to contain his rise.

Blood Alcohol Fazal Majid 4 hours ago • edited

I think if we remove "Saudi" from the discussion and just talk about "Arabia" our difference of opinion will evaporate. The country is mistakenly, in my opinion, was named "Saudi Arabia" for the Western colonizers' special interest. The rest of your argument about who did what to whom in Arabia is inside baseball to me.

By the way, stay tuned. We many start hearing about the al-Rashid as soon as the "king" passes and mBS tries be big cheese of Arabia.

redfish Blood Alcohol 5 hours ago

Of course Iran would just like the conflict to go away; its leaving them with only bad choices, whether that to be appearing to support Azerbaijan and alienating Armenia, with whom they have an important relationship, or appearing to support Armenia and alienating much of its local Azeri population. I think Iran publicly is walking a fine line and trying to stress diplomacy to solve the conflict as much as possible, though its still hard for them to extricate themselves from the politics of the situation.

Though, in that regard, its a bit wrong to compare the Azeri population in Iran to the Armenian population; its completely different in scale and importance. Iran has some concern that the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, if handled wrongly, would become regional or spill over into their borders, and they're less concerned about Armenia in that part.

Also wrong to not point out that Israel formed ties with Azerbaijan and Iran formed ties with Armenia around the same time; these were complementary moves, and its just as possible to explain Israel's ties with Azerbaijan as being as a result of Iran's ties with Armenia, rather than just the reverse. Just as well, Israel at the time had friendly relations with Turkey, which have since deteriorated. Its also true that the relationships are based on reasons independent of those kind of geopolitical moves, and are largely based on self-interest on both sides. Azerbaijan is also Israel's top oil supplier. Simply blaming all this on the US and Israel, and making Iran's stance towards Azerbaijan as a result of them being the victim of these types of deals, is a bit much.

Blood Alcohol redfish 2 hours ago

I doesn't seem Iran can or even thinks about extricate herself from "the situation". Iran is situated right there and whether things spill over to Iran or not will play a big role in Iran's perception of the regional security.

No sure where I inferred any comparison between the Azari and the Armenian population of Iran. They are BOTH Iranians. After the breakup of the USSR, the Azerbaijani dictator Heydar Aliyev established relation with Israel and later the US, while refusing to join any of the several post-Soviet economic arrangements. That was accompanied by Azerbaijan making noises about "unification" of Azerbaijan. That pushed Iran to throw all its support behind Armenia then. The situation has changed and IRI and Azerbaijan have normal relations.

Iran cannot simple afford to consider the Armenian Iranians less "important" than her Azeri Iranians, if that's where you are going.

Kindi 14 hours ago

The author may have been a banker, but he clearly was neither an historian or diplomat. He knows neither the details of what he writes, nor does he have a framework.

The decision to assign Karabakh to Azerbaijan was taken in 1921, not 1923 and was taken by the Bolshevik Caucasus Bureau, not by Stalin. General clashes between Azerbaijanis and Armenians took place in 1905, and the fighting for Karabakh proper erupted in 1918 with the formation of independent Armenian and Azerbaijan republics. Both well before the Bolsheviks or Stalin could do anything about Karabakh (although the Bolsheviks did join with the Armenian Dashnaks in March 1918 to seize Baku and butcher Azerbaijanis in the process. Yes, Azerbaijanis retaliated in September, but the Armenians did start it and got their hands plenty bloody, outside Baku as well).

The author's contempt for Azerbaijanis comes through in his comment that the Azerbaijanis have lost every time against the Armenians. He never reflects that the possible reason might be that the Armenians have been both better organized and more aggressive than the Azerbaijanis. He deliberately leaves out that Armenian expelled 800,000 Azerbaijanis from the territories surrounding Karabakh. He is stunning in his disingenuousness and ignorance. As for his framework, he has none. Where does he get the idea that Kosovo and Karabakh are interlinked and that they can be resolved through tradeoffs? Does he imagine that Muslims are one people and constitute a single union? Apparently.

An Arab world moving toward Pan-Arabism and socialism in 1924?!

As to the "Armenian settlement area" – the author might reflect on the Kurds' claims to 90% of that same area, and the bloody history of Kurdish-Armenian relations. If turning over old borders what do you do about Abkhazia, Circassia, and multiple places in the Balkans from where Muslims were expelled. Bring Greeks back into Turkey, too, while we are it? This article was not analysis, but uninformed blathering laced with ethnic invective. The Armenians have suffered enough to deserve such shoddy argumentation. AmCon should be ashamed to have run this.

BluStateConservative 12 hours ago • edited

Turkey regularly threatens Europe with opening the gates with their "refugees" as leverage in negotiations. Erdogan travels to the heart of Europe to encourage the Turkish diaspora to perpetuate their grudges on European soil and encourage them to flex their political muscle to further an Islamist agenda. They slaughtered Armenians, Greeks, and Syriac Christians- never acknowledging the crime or showing remorse. Now they seek to finish what they started with the Armenian Genocide- and the world sits on its hands claiming that both sides are equally responsible.

This is outrageous! Turkey has proved time and time again that it is the aggressor, using threats to get what it wants, and does not behave as an ally. Turkey has single-handily destabilized entire countries in its dream of Neo-Ottoman domination over the region. Time to heavily militarize the Greek- Turkish frontier, kick Turkey out of NATO, and put it on notice that it's adventurism in Libya, Syria, and Armenia will be met overwhelming force. Feeble responses made by the West will only encourage the mad-dog Erdogan.

M Orban BluStateConservative 11 hours ago

I don't think our (US) interest is threatened in those parts. Russia can handle it,it is their back yard.

BluStateConservative M Orban 3 hours ago

It calling for military action by any means, but we can apply pressure on Turkey.

former-vet 10 hours ago • edited

Explains well why Biden spent the other day criticizing the President for not taking a more active role in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Warmongers gonna warmonger. I assume that's one of the main attractions for Biden's supporters - more dead women and children in Asia. They spent eight years driving around with "Support America's Foreign Invasions" yellow ribbon stickers on their SUVs under the last administration Biden was part of.

With not a new war for nearly four years, I can understand why the establishment and Democrat voters are pissed. At least the fake "neoconservatives" are back in the party they belong in.

Blood Alcohol former-vet 9 hours ago • edited

War mongering is like Herpes. You can suppress it, but it's virus never goes away. Biden has had it for years. He supported W's war of choice in Iraq, which led to the carnage of thousands of American 20-somethings, thousands of mental illness sufferers and MILLIONS of dead Iraqi people of ALL ages. He is an unrepentant old neo-con war criminal.

[Oct 11, 2020] Islamist-Marxist MEK's history, including spying on Iran on behalf of Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, destroying its western cities. After murdering Americans - but the Lobby always gets what it wants, so MEK is now off the terrorist list and instead being funded by the U.S., and housed in a training camp in Albania.

Oct 11, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

>

mick a month ago

MOSSAD UNIT 8200 at work, the tail that shakes the dog. Trying to get the US to start another war for their further domination of the Middle East.

Carpenter E a month ago

Islamist-Marxist MEK's history, including spying on Iran on behalf of Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, destroying its western cities. After murdering Americans - but the Lobby always gets what it wants, so MEK is now off the terrorist list and instead being funded by the U.S., and housed in a training camp in Albania.

The MEK was founded in 1965 by three Islamic leftists with the goal of toppling the U.S.-supported regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In the 1970s it undertook a campaign of assassinating U.S. advisers and bombing U.S. corporations in Iran. It supported the 1979 Revolution in Iran, but in 1981 it turned its guns against the Tehran government and began a campaign of assassinations and terrorist operations that resulted in the death of thousands of Iranians, including the executions of its own supporters by government officials, soldiers, police officers, and ordinary people.

It then moved its headquarters to Iraq, made a pact with the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was fighting a ferocious war with Iran. The MEK spied on Iranian troops for Iraq, attacked Iran at the end of Iran-Iraq war with Hussein's support, and helped Hussein put down the uprisings by the Iraqi Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.

The MEK is despised by the vast majority of Iranians for what they consider to be treason committed against their homeland.

kouroi a month ago

So funny. I remember reading Gore Vidal's novel "Creation", which deals with the Persian Empire, Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Socratic philosophy and morals.

The historical details in the book are relatively well researched, albeit one does get some literary licence for building up characters and story lines, etc. Now the Persian Imperial court is presented in the novel as being choke full of Greek Dissidents clamoring to the King of Kings to attack and subdue Greece/Athens, or what not. Marathon, Salamina, Thermopylae, Plateia follow... The Iranian "dissidents" should learn from their past...

The Athenian "wooden wall" (their ships) is Iran's missile force...

reaganite88 21 days ago

IF TRUE... a big if... this would be somewhat disturbing. One would hope that news outlets in their never-ending search for "content" would vet the authors just a tad.

But still... the rationale for going to war (with Iran or anyone else) rises or falls on its own merits. The arguments raised by these authors are of far more importance than whether the authors are real or fake. Think of how often we have seen academic credentials or military service exaggerated by AMERICAN academics and authors to goose their relevance. They may fall to the wayside as proponents of one thing or another when exposed but their arguments may still be true or false. Same goes for people who do NOT exaggerate their credentials.

I would think it would be far more dangerous if Twitter and other outlets were allowing our ADVERSARIES to create fake personalities promoting PEACE when in fact we need to take action against them.

[Oct 10, 2020] Tell me again how Trump "doesn't want to start a new war": If Trump thinks that he can win re-election by panding to Zionist lonny, he might be mistaken

It time to make him accountable at the election box. Not that it matter much as Biden is yet another neocon and Zionist, but stil...
American people are tied of sliding standard of living, permanent wars and jingoism. Trump might share Hillary fate in 2020, because any illusion that he is for common fold, who voted for him in 2016 now disappeared. So he is not better then neocon Biden and Biden is new bastard. So why vote for the old bastard if we have new, who might be slightly better in the long run
This is a very expensive foreign policy, that doesn't benefit the USA. It has potential to raise the price of oil significantly.
Notable quotes:
"... Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. ..."
"... I can also see this green lighting Israeli or joint American-Israeli strikes on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons development sites and other military and petro-state assets. ..."
"... It's disgusting to watch the people of the US/UK/EU go along with this. Western elites are fat, lazy, vicious, and cruel. ..."
"... Paul wrote: "Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration." Yes at least as much or more zionist. Nothing about Harris or Biden (or the DNC) says they won't be. ..."
"... I nominate president Eisenhower as slightly less zionist on one occasion: during the Anglo,French, Zionist Suez invasion of 1956 Eisenhower remarked after numerous UN resolutions condemning the bandit state's aggression ' Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal?' ..."
"... "The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself. " ..."
"... Donald Trump talked up his Iran policy in a profanity-laden tirade on Friday, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that Tehran knows the consequences of undermining the United States. ..."
"... "Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice: if you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before." ..."
Oct 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
" Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies | Main | The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold " October 09, 2020 Europe And The New Sanctions On Iran

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Iran which will make ANY trade with the country very difficult:

[T]he Trump administration has decided to impose yet further sanctions on the country , this time targeting the entirety of the Iranian financial sector. These new measures carry biting secondary sanctions effects that cut off third parties' access to the U.S. financial sector if they engage with Iran's financial sector. Since the idea was first floated publicly , many have argued that sanctioning Iran's financial sector would eviscerate what humanitarian trade has survived the heavy hand of existing U.S. sanctions.

Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran:

This idea appears to have first been introduced into public discourse in an Aug. 25, 2020, Wall Street Journal article by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg urging the Trump administration to "[b]uild an Iranian [s]anctions [w]all" to prevent any future Biden administration from returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear accord between Iran and the world's major powers on which President Donald Trump reneged in May 2018.

The new sanctions will stop all trade between the 'western' countries and Iran.

The Foreign Minister of Iran responded with defiance:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 17:30 UTC · Oct 8, 2020

Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine.

Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.

But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers -- who block our money -- WILL face justice.

In response Iran will continue its turn to the east. Russia, China and probably India will keep payment channels with Iran open or will make barter deals.

The Europeans, who so far have not dared to counter U.S. sanctions on Iran, are likely to be again shown as the feckless U.S. ass kissers they have always been. They will thereby lose out in a market with 85 million people that has the resources to pay for their high value products. If they stop trade of humanitarian goods with Iran they will also show that their much vaunted 'values' mean nothing.

The European Union claims that it wants to be an independent actor on the world stage. If that is to be taken seriously this would be the moment to demonstrate it.

Posted by b on October 9, 2020 at 16:37 UTC | Permalink


Thomas Minnehan , Oct 9 2020 17:11 utc | 3
Unconscionable but what is new with pompass and his ghouls; treasury dept responsible for cranking up the sanctions program was formerly headed by a dual citizen woman who resigned suddenly after being exposed as an Israeli citizen-not hard to understand that sentiment in that dept has not changed.

The other aspect here is the FDD as key supporter of these severe sanctions; very virulent anti-Iranian vipers nest of ziocons with money bags from zionist oligarch funders.

karlof1 , Oct 9 2020 17:14 utc | 4
Ho-hum. As I wrote earlier, just the daily breaking of laws meaning business as usual. As noted, Russia has really upped the diplomatic heat on EU and France/Germany in particular, and that heat will be further merited if the response is as b predicts from their past, deplorable, behavior.

Much talk/writing recently about our current crisis being similar in many ways to those that led to WW1, but with the Outlaw US Empire taking Britain's role. I expect Iran's Iraqi proxies to escalate their attacks aimed at driving out the occupiers. IMO, we ought to contemplate the message within this Strategic Culture editorial when it comes to the hegemonic relationship between the Outlaw US Empire and the EU/NATO and the aims of both. The EU decided not to continue fighting against the completion of Nord Stream, but that IMO will be its last friendly act until it severs its relations with the Outlaw US Empire. With the Wall moved to Russia's Western borders, the Cold War will resume. That will also affect Iran.

james , Oct 9 2020 18:33 utc | 13
thanks b... it is interesting what a pivotal role israel plays in all of this... and why would there be concern that biden would be any different then trump in revoking the jcpoa? to my way of thinking, it is just pouring more cement and sealing the fate of the usa either way, as an empire in real decline and resorting to more of the same financial sanctions as a possible precursor to war.. frankly i can't see a war with iran, as the usa would have to contend with russia and china at this point... russia and china must surely know the game plan is exactly the same for them here as well.. as for europe, canada, australia and the other poodles - they are all hopeless on this front as i see it... lets all bow down to the great zionist plan, lol...
Daniel , Oct 9 2020 18:48 utc | 14
Yeah but at least Trump didn't start any new wars. /s

The Eurotools in Brussels are absolutely disgusting. A weaker bunch of feckless, milquetoast satraps is difficult to imagine. The EU perfectly embodies the 21st century liberal ethic: spout virtue signaling nonsense about peace, freedom, human rights and the "rules based international order" while licking the boots of Uncle Scam and the Ziofascists and going along with their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Russia and China need to step up their game and boldly circumvent the collective punishment sanctions that are choking the life out of Iran, Syria and Venezuela. They still let the rogue states of the west get away with far too much.

augusto , Oct 9 2020 18:52 utc | 15
The Teheran men will not surrender to the yankee herds and hordes. And less so the telavivian.
It s easy to see that in the medium run this cruelly extended crime plays in chinese, russian and shia hands.
And they must start immediately a backlash handing hundreds of special forces and weapons opver to the Houthi hands.
Paco , Oct 9 2020 18:54 utc | 17
the Cold War will resume

The Cold War never ended.

Stonebird , Oct 9 2020 19:20 utc | 20
Of course there is a war on, and it has been gathering force for some time.

Iran is but one more skirmish or battle. However, Xi and Putin are using what I call the "Papou yes". You must always say "yes" as this way you avoid direct conflict, but then you go and do exactly what you were going to do in the first place . The person who does the demanding - having had his/her demands "met" has nothing further to add and will go away. (I have seen this effective technique in action).

At the moment it appears that the aim of the subversive (military/CIA/NGO) wings of the Empire are to start as many conflicts as possible. To isolate and overextend Russia, leading to it's collapse. (As they claim to have done before.)

The "Alternative axis" is just carrying on with it's own plan to overextend and eventually let the US dissolve into its own morasss. The opposition are trying to follow their own plan without giving an opening for the US/NATO to use its numerical military advantage, by not taking the bait.

The ultimate battle is for financial control of the worlds currency, or in the case of the US, to halt the loss of it's financial power. To avoid that The next step could be the introduction of a Fed. owned controlled and issued "digi-dollar", When all outstanding "dollar assets" are re-denominated into virtual misty-money which is created exclusively by the Fed. Banks become unnecessary as the Fed becomes the only "lender" available, Congress redundant, debts no longer matter and so on. Who cares about the reserves held by China and overseas "investors" if their use or even existence can be dictated by the Fed?
They have already published a "trial balloon" about introducing a digi-dollar.

Iran? the US is throwing ALL its cards into what looks like it's final battle to preserve the dollars supremacy. Why cut ALL the Iranian financial system out of their sphere of influence? Because it (thinks) it can and by doing so cower the wavering into obeying.

AtaBrit , Oct 9 2020 19:28 utc | 21
Thanks 'b', very well timed. I was actually heading to the open thread with this article until I saw your piece. This Asia Times article focuses on three key points:

- Iran has replaced the dollar with the Yuan as its main foreign currency
"This may become the east wind for the renminbi (yuan) and provide a new oil currency option for traders in oil-producing countries, including Iran," an editorial on qq.com said. "

- Several large banks in Iran are developing a gold encrypted digital currency called PayMon and had issued more than 1,000 crypto-currency mining licenses, which could promote the development of crude oil. Domestic traders use cryptocurrency to import goods and bypass American banks.

- The Iranian-Swiss Joint Chamber of Commerce
"Switzerland had received a special exemption from US supervisory authorities to allow the SHTA operations."

It remains to be seen how effective the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Agreement actually is. Some say it is nothing but a US propaganda stunt. Hopefully, that is not the case.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 9 2020 20:37 utc | 31
Sure. Tell me again how Trump "doesn't want to start a new war." Morons.
William Gruff , Oct 9 2020 20:50 utc | 32
What does Iran need that they cannot get from China and Russia? The USA has cheap corn, and the EU has... what, cheese? Other than that I don't see why Iran needs to trade with the empire and its more servile vassals anyway.
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Oct 9 2020 20:55 utc | 33
Strange, that ther is a jewish or Israeki ´ animosity agains Iran (or agains tthe Medtans -- as thy are all named in all Greek records(H, that theer is a jewish animosity against, that ther is a jewish anikisit agains Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reported to have liberatet the Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! Iran (or the Medtans -- as thy are old ptt in all Greek Strenge(Hellemistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babilon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 1´2917! ellenistic) tales, Cyrur+s the Great is reorted to have liberatet te´he Jews of Babylon end sent them back to Jerusalem . So, "PRIMO SON VENETANO, SECUNDO SON CHRISTANO" -- STILL A COMMONLY ACCEPTED SAYING INVENEZIA WHEB I VISITED ABD AKED IT IN THE THE YEAR OF 2017
Paco , Oct 9 2020 21:05 utc | 34
Quite impressed with all the theories about Europe and its behavior. The answer is very simple, Europe is occupied by a foreign power, it is a colony. And all the qualifiers are quaint.
davenitup , Oct 9 2020 21:09 utc | 35
It's the world's loss that great cultures like the Persians have been suppressed for so long. The madness needs to end.
Passer by , Oct 9 2020 21:11 utc | 36
Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9 2020 20:06 utc | 23

I disagree. What did the EU did on Iran, compared to Russia and China? It stopped most trade with Iran, including the purchase of iranian oil, and it stopped all investment projects. INSTEX is a joke. Meanwhile Germany recently banned Hezbollah.

Yes, they did vote for the JCPOA in the UN. I look at actions rather than words though, and EU has imposed de facto sanctions on Iran.

Moreover, German FM Maas told Israel recently that efforts are underway to keep the Iran arms embargo. (He is also a big "Russia fan" - sarc off)

In other words, we "support" the JCPOA, but in practice with arms and trade embargoes on Iran continuing.

Yeah right.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 9 2020 20:15 utc | 24

No, its not so simple, unless you claim that european russophobia started with the US and did not exist before it. Guy Mettan has a good book on it. It is a thousand years old issue, involving Catholicism, France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, and others.

Yes, the US wants to divide the EU and Russia. But the EU itself is rotten from within.

Politics are more important than the economy, German Chancellor Merkel said in relation to Russia.

"Drang nach Osten" - "Drive to the East".

Germany dreams of capturing Eastern Europe and using is as some sort of colonised labor pool similar to what Latin America is for the US.

And this is why the EU, without any prodding, eagerly took the lead in the attempt of colour revolution in Belarus, where it played far bigger role than the US.

m , Oct 9 2020 21:24 utc | 37
I have to disagree with your assessment.

Signing and adhearing to the JCPOA turned Europe and Iran from opponents into partners. This is a great diplomatic achievement. However, no part of the JCPOA made the two allies or obliged the European side to wage an economic war with the USA on behalf of Iran. On the contrary, the Iranians would be the first to say they are no friends of Europa. They have been complaining about "Western meddling" in their region for years. (Note that they don`t differentiate but always speak collectively of "the West").

So that`s their chance to show the world how much of a sovereign nation they are and that they can handle their problems without the "meddling" of the "despicable" Europeans. There is no obligation - neither legal nor moral - for Europe to take the side of Iran in the US-Iran conflict.

And actually it is both sides - both Iran and the USA - who are unhappy with the current European neutrality.

_K_C_ , Oct 9 2020 21:31 utc | 38
Thanks to MoA for being one of the only honest brokers of news on Iran in the English language. As an American citizen living abroad (in EU) I have a more jaded and at the same time worried feeling about this.

Along with all the other stuff, including the current threat to close the U.S. embassy in the Iraqi "Green Zone" and the accompanying military maneuvers, which would spark war in the region, I see this hardening and expansion of sanctions as yet the next clue that the U.S. and Donald Trump's regime are looking toward re-election and a hot war with/on Iran. Rattling the cage ever more and backing Iran into the corner with brutal, all-encompassing sanctions is already an act of war, usually the first prior to bombs falling. I can also see this green lighting Israeli or joint American-Israeli strikes on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons development sites and other military and petro-state assets.

I hope I'm wrong but we've all seen this before and it never ends well. If the EU shows a spine, or more likely Russia and/or China step in directly, perhaps the long desired neocon/neolib/Zionist hot war against Iran can be avoided.

Perimetr , Oct 9 2020 21:32 utc | 39
I think it is very important for the US to kill another 500,000 children via sanctions, in order to demonstrate the importance of freedom and democracy and observing international law.
AriusArmenian , Oct 9 2020 21:48 utc | 40
While reading this post I was thinking what MoA wrote in the last two paragraphs. And also that Iran will just continue to turn to China, Russia, and others in the East.

It's disgusting to watch the people of the US/UK/EU go along with this. Western elites are fat, lazy, vicious, and cruel.

claudio , Oct 9 2020 22:17 utc | 41
@17 passer by
(and others)
"Europeans can not be helped. Ironically, it is their own rejection of their WW2 past that causes them to reject the multipolar world and sovereignty as "primitive things from the past"

plus, as you point out elsewhere, there are longer histories at play: the Crusades against the Slavs, the Moors and the Turks (and the Arabs, in fact), the invention of "western civilization" in the 19th century (Arians vs Semites, Europe vs Asia, ecc) ...

plus, there is the persisting aspiration for world domination, partly frustrated by WW1 and the upheavals of the XXth century, which transformed the UK and the whole of Europe (with Japan, Australia, etc) in a junior partner of the new US Empire

(that's the other lesson learned from WW2: no single european power could dominate the continent and the world, but they could dominate as junior partners under the new young leader of the wolf pack, the US)

plus, there are is a class war that can be better fought, by national oligarchies, within globalist rethoric and rules

plus, there are the US deep state instruments of domination over european national states

but Europeans (and Usaians) do understand the language of force, and they have - at the moment - encountered a wall in their attempts at expansion, in Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, ecc; an alternative multipolar alliance is taking shape

so they might attempt to win a nuclear war by 20 million deaths to 2 (or 200 to 20, who cares), but they might also decide to tune down their ambitions and return to reality; maybe

wj2 , Oct 9 2020 23:28 utc | 45
@m (#35)
EU promised to uphold JCPOA. They can't because of the US and they are doing next to nothing to change that. EU isn't neutral. They are stooges. Iran is right to complain about it, the US isn't.
Boss Tweet , Oct 9 2020 23:54 utc | 48
Trump is a man of peace, he hasn't started any new wars - whatever that means, lol.

As far as I know economic blocade is tantamount to war. If he wins reelection expect renewed kinetic attacks on venezuela and Iran. He's already lined up his zionist coalition with arabic satraps to launch his Iran quagmire. Trump is a deal maker, he understands the economy and will bring back manufacturing jobs to Murikkka, lol. I'm sure Boeing execs in deep trouble would love to sell plane to the Iranians but Mr. MIGA just made that impossible. Nothing to worry about, there's always the next socialist bailout for Boeing funded by taxpayers - suckers as Trump would call them. So much for winning, can't fix deplorable and stupid...

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/iran-deal-fallout-boeing-may-lose-20-billion-in-aircraft-deals.html

Btw b, Trump's opposition to the Iran deal has nothing to do with money or the zionist lobby. Stable genius opposed JCPOA in 2015 even before announcing his run for the presidency. It's not about the mula but all about the mollah's, lol: The Donald in his own words at a tea party event in 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIDNonMDSo8

kooshy , Oct 10 2020 0:00 utc | 49
Ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979 multiple US regimes in DC have been totally successful in making majority Iranian people everywhere in the world, understand that the US is their chronic strategic enemy for decades to come. At same time, these US regimes have equally been as successful in making American people believe Iran is their enemy.
The difference between this two side's belief is, that, Iranian people by experiencing US regime' conducts have come to their belief, but the American people' belief was made by their own regime' propaganda machinery. For this reason, just like the people to people relation between the US and Russian people, Before and after the fall of USSR the relation between US and Iran in next few generations will not come to or even develop to anything substantial or meaningful. One can see this same trajectory in US Chinese relations, or US Cuban. Noticeably all these countries relation with US become terminally irreparable after their revolutions, regardless of the maturity or termination of the revolution. As much as US loves color revolutions, US hates real revolutions. The animosity no longer is just strategic it has become people to people, and the reason and blame goes to Americans since they never were ready to accept the revolutions that made nations self-servient to their interests. The bottom line truth is the US / and her poodles in europe know, ever since the revolution Iran no longer will be subservient to US interests.
Hermius , Oct 10 2020 0:23 utc | 51
This is leverage to bargain away the oil pipeline to germany. That is what is behind it. You scratch my back, the US is saying to the EU, in particular, Germany....
karlof1 , Oct 10 2020 0:25 utc | 52
It's an Economy based on Plunder! , so that's why sanctions here, there and everywhere!! But the real problem is we aren't participating in the Plunder!! Sometimes you gotta use extreme sarcasm to explain the truth of a situation, and that's what Max and Stacey do in their show at the link. 13 minutes of honest reporting about the fraudulent world in which we live. As for Jerome Powell, current Fed Chair, he's complicit in the ongoing criminal activity just as much as the high ranking politicos. Bastiat laid it out 180 years ago, but we're living what he described now. And that's all part of what I wrote @40 above. The moral breakdown occurred long ago but took time to perfect.
joey_n , Oct 10 2020 0:34 utc | 54
Patrick Armstrong did a Sitrep article last month
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/09/24/russian-federation-sitrep-24-september-2020/
where he cited an article on Sputnik titled "Macron: Europe 'Will Not Compromise' With Washington on Iran Sanctions"
https://sputniknews.com/world/202009221080541258-macron-europe-will-not-compromise-with-washington-on-iran-sanctions/
Make of it what you will.
Xingu , Oct 10 2020 0:46 utc | 55
I think it is crazy that EU allows US to manage SWIFT to the point they invent new entities to sidestep SWIFT and US sanctions (which are weak and ineffective, but that is the trajectory of their weak attempts at independence). Force SWIFT to equally service all legal transactions according to EU law, and let US cut itself off from all international financial transfers if it doesn't like using EU's SWIFT. US corps won't allow that to happen, it's just that EU refuses to call US bluff. Of course they are now praying for Biden presidency, but if they can't assert themselves it is all ultimately the same thing.
dh , Oct 10 2020 1:17 utc | 58
These 'foreign policy experts' think the trade war with China has been a mistake. But they think Trump is too soft on Russia and he hasn't been tough enough on NK, Iran and Venezuela.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/foreign-policy-experts-rebuke-trump-administration-for-policies-that-emboldened-rivals-alienated-allies-135205214.html

Paul , Oct 10 2020 1:34 utc | 59
It has become a standard trick for outgoing US administrations to saddle the incoming administration with set in stone policies and judicial appointments.

"Behind the move was pressure from the Zionist lobby. President Trump is in need of campaign funds and the lobby provides those. The move is also designed to preempt any attempts by a potentially new administration to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran."

Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration.

The danger for the world is the Trump administration may go even further than additional sanctions. So I refer to the previous post, US policy remains the same whatever bunch are the frontmen.

Theodore Herzl even tried to drag Kaiser Wilhelm11 into the Zionist spider web: https://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2008/07/theodor-herzl-first-photoshopper.html

When that attempt failed they worked on convincing the Sultan of Turkey to give them someone else's homeland. The Zionist Zealot Mr Kalvariski became the administrator of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association with the aim of establishing a jewish suprematist ghetto. Following that flop the Zionists turned to the hapless British and were rewarded by Balfour with his notorious British government double cross of the Arabs. Now it's the turn of the US and assorted captive nations to uphold and support tyranny and Talmudic violence.

Crush Limbraw , Oct 10 2020 1:59 utc | 60

I am SLOWLY coming to the conclusion that DaTrumpster understands DaDeepState better than any of us armchair pundits. His patient - and yes, perhaps faulty strategy - he's still standing after ALL DaCrap that's been thrown at him.
All the 'EXPURTS' - including MoA - can only see part of DaPicture at best.

I've been as hard on DaTrumpster as anyone on DaConservative side - but I am SLOWLY coming to understand WTF just might be going on.

Point - don't be too sure of your immediate inclinations - we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!

Don Bacon , Oct 10 2020 2:27 utc | 61
SWIFT is only a messaging system – SWIFT does not hold any funds or securities, nor does it manage client accounts. Behind most international money and security transfers is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system. SWIFT is a vast messaging network used by banks and other financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.
Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 10 2020 2:29 utc | 62
Paul wrote: "Perhaps a Biden administration would be just as much a Zionist captive as the Trump administration." Yes at least as much or more zionist. Nothing about Harris or Biden (or the DNC) says they won't be.

And hasn't it always been that way from one president to the the next? Was there ever one that was less zionist than the predecessor? (Maybe they're all so close this is an impossible question to answer, that too could be the case).

The sitting executive branch gives the favors right now and anyone incoming gives the favors after they win and thus each election becomes a double windfall for the lobby group?

A zionist double dip . Maybe most US voters could grasp it like that.

I can't back this up (much like my previous comment in this thread) but it's my impression. It would probably take a lot of work to make sure it's right; one would have to scrutinize so much over so many decades.

Paul , Oct 10 2020 3:29 utc | 63
@Sunny Runny Burger 60

I nominate president Eisenhower as slightly less zionist on one occasion: during the Anglo,French, Zionist Suez invasion of 1956 Eisenhower remarked after numerous UN resolutions condemning the bandit state's aggression ' Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal?'

This could be a useful quote for todays world.

Later, in 1964, Eisenhower approved his hand picked emissary's US $150 million so called Johnston Plan to steal the waters of the Jordan River and further marginalize the Palestine Arabs and surrounding Arab states.

ARI , Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 64
Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon. Without the JCPOA and inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities it will be impossible to prove or deny the allegations. Thus giving either the US or Israel justification it wants to conduct military strikes against Iran. The only things stopping this from happening is if the EU stays in the JCPOA...
_K_C_ , Oct 10 2020 3:53 utc | 65
Fully agree with ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62

Exactly the aim. I said so in an earlier post. This is all part of the program to create a false justification to conduct military strikes inside Iran. At this point, I'm really surprised that the U.S. even tries to construct these narratives after Obama's Syria and Libya operations didn't even really bother, save for a few probably fake "chemical weapons" attack they alleged Assad committed. Libya I don't remember hearing anything. The embassy maybe? After the Soleimani strike and the shootdown of the U.S. drone, not to mention the alleged Iranian attacks on ARAMCO's oil facilities, I'm really quite surprised something more serious (not to minimize the awful acts of war which the sanctions definitely are) hasn't already happened. It will soon, especially if Trump gets re-elected. Wonder what all of his "no new wars" supporters will say then?

Everybody reading knows what SWIFT is. That's a nice attempt to circumscribe the overall sanctions regime and paint it as "no big deal."

Crush Limpbro - Checked out your site. You've got a long way to go before you can criticize MoA. Hope that comment draws a few clicks to keep you going, but I would caution other barflies to use a proxy; could be a honey trap to collect IP addresses.

El Cid , Oct 10 2020 4:10 utc | 66
This United States imposed and Zionist inspired siege on Iran and its people will only further strengthen the political and economic bonds with Russia and China. Meanwhile, the US collapses from its internal social limitations and its abandonment of public healthcare responses to the Corvid 19 pandemic. Europe it close behind the US in this respect.
ARIES , Oct 10 2020 4:17 utc | 67
IRGC Commander-In-Chief: U.S. Is Incapable Of Waging War Against Iran, Its Weapons Are Outdated:

https://toranja-mecanica.blogspot.com/2020/10/irgc-commander-in-chief-us-is-incapable.html

Paul , Oct 10 2020 4:20 utc | 68
ARI @62

What exactly is this 'Justification'.. . 'to conduct military strikes against Iran' that you refer to hasbara boy? Failure to obey foreign imposed zionist diktats?

Would this 'justification' apply to the bandit state if it refused to abide by the NNPT for example?
No double standards pass the test here.

kiwiklown , Oct 10 2020 4:42 utc | 69
Yet another proof that "Western values" and their "rules based international order" mean exactly nothing.

In the past, the West at least kept up some pretense that it was wrong to target unarmed civilians (still, they flattened Driesden; Hiroshima; North Korea, Vietnam, Laos). Today, they do not care to be seen openly, cruelly, brutally, sadistically killing civvies. These American bastards say, "... it is not killing if the victims drop dead later, like, not right now. " Or, "... it became necessary to destroy Iran in order to save Iran."

Iran is perfectly correct to call this a crime against humanity for the West to starve a population of food and medicine. This will boomerang just as the opium-pushing in China will boomerang on the West.

Meanwhile, just as those drug-pushing English bastards earned themselves lordships and knighthoods; just as presidential bastards retire to their Martha Vineyard mansions; so the current crop of bastards in American leadership will retire to yet more mansions, leaving the next couple generations to meet Persian wrath. The American way is to "win" until they are tired of winning, no?

But in truth, in objective reality, only those who have lost their human-ness are capable of crimes against humanity.

michaelj72 , Oct 10 2020 4:50 utc | 71
The US is cruising for a bruising in the middle east fucking with Iran like this. Not that the US hasn't deserved a good knockout punch the past 19 years since invading and destroying Afghanistan and Iraq, etc, etc. Regardless of their rhetoric, how the European rogues and rascals (France, Germany and the UK) can sleep at night is beyond me.
snake , Oct 10 2020 7:00 utc | 75
Yes Psychochistorian @ 1, At the nation state level, EU support for blockade terror and sanction torture (BT&ST), against reluctant nation states and non compliant individuals within those nation states, logically suggests EU nation states are not independent sovereign countries <=EU nation states exist in name only? Maybe its just like in the USA, these private monopoly powered Oligarcks (PMPO), own everything (privately owned copyrights, patents, and property) made possible by rules nation states turn into law. The citizens of those privately owned EU nation states are victims <=in condition=exploitable. Maybe PMPOs use nation states <=as profit support weapons, to be directed against <=any and all <=competition, whereever and however <=competition appears.

The hidden suspects <=capital market linked crowds through out the world..

Media is 92% owned by six private individuals, of the seven typical nation state layers of authority and power: 5 are private and two are public. Additionally, few in the international organizations have allegiance to historic cultures of the nation state governed masses. It is as if, the named nation states are <=threatened by knee breaking thugs, but maybe its not threat, its actual PMPO ownership.

If one accepts PMPO <=to be in control of all of USA and all of allied nation state, one can explain <=current BT&ST events. But private Oligarch scenarios <=raise obvious questions, why have not the PMPO challenged East eliminated <=Israel, MSM propaganda repeatedly blames or points to Israel <=to excuse the USA leaders for their BT&ST policies. Seems the PMPO are <=using the nation states, they own <=to eliminate non complying competition.

What is holding the East back? Russia and China each have sufficient oil, gas and technology to keep things functional, so why has not the competition in the East taken Israel out, if Israel is directing the USA to apply BT&ST against its competitors? Why is the white House so sure, its BT&ST policies will not end up destroying Israel? Maybe because Israel has no real interest <=in the BT&ST policy <=Israel is deceptions:fall guy? The world needs to pin the tail on the party driving USA application of BT&ST because no visible net gain to Governed Americans seems possible from BT&ST policies?

I think Passer @ 17 has hit the nail on its head. "The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself. "

Norwegian , Oct 10 2020 7:11 utc | 76
@ARI | Oct 10 2020 3:36 utc | 62
Sanctions aren't the story. Once all the players have left the JCPOA, either Israel or the US can claim Iranians are at the point of producing a nuclear weapon.

So you put that forward as a justification for attacking Iran militarily, but that means according to your logic you also have justification for attacking Israel or the US militarily. The rules are the same for all, right?

robin , Oct 10 2020 8:12 utc | 77
Economic warfare is certainly effective. However, time is running out for these weapons as America's lock on the world economy grows weaker. With a rapidly approaching expiry date, the word out may be to use em or lose em.

In a zero-sum great game, it makes sense to deploy such weapons now insofar as an opponent's loss is always a gain for oneself.

jscott , Oct 10 2020 9:26 utc | 79
Donald Trump talked up his Iran policy in a profanity-laden tirade on Friday, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that Tehran knows the consequences of undermining the United States.

"Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice: if you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before."

Uncle Samuel is setting up a provocation for war.

uncle tungsten , Oct 10 2020 9:45 utc | 81
psychohistorian #1
What a shit show we are seeing. What is the next phase of this civilization war that is not a war because there are not enough dead bodies for some I guess?...but it sure looks like war to me.

Well for the first time in history Iran's symbolic "Red Flag" is still flying above the popular Jamkaran Mosque Holy dome. Perhaps the USA and its running dogs body count has risen in Iraq and Afghanistan? How would we know. These things are disguised from the fearless press in those countries ;)

Perhaps the dead and mangled are many but we do know that the US chief killer in Afghanistan was reduced to ashes immediately following General Shahid Qassem Suleimanis murder by the USA whilst on a diplomatic mission in Iraq.

In respect of b's observation above, the illegal occupier of Palestine is more likely tipping millions into the Harris Presidency as well as the possible Trump Presidency. I doubt either Harris or the biden bait and switch stooge would restore the JCPOA. Besides they would not be invited to sit at the table any time soon IMO. They would likely refuse to any conditions of reversing the sanctions and then carry on about all that 'unreasonable demands by a terrorist state' stuff etc etc.

No, Iran will be getting on with its future in a multilateral world where the United Nations has been reduced to pile of chicken dung by the USA while most other nations go along with global lunacy.


Circe , Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87
You know what's telling about the bootlickers who hem and haw about U.S. policy with the T Administration, but never mention Trump as the real source of it even when profuse Zionist shit spills from his mouth on Limbaugh's show proving he's a Ziofascist pig?

What's telling is that these usual suspects jumped all over ARI @64 for zeroing in on Trump's precise intentions with Iran but they gave a pass to the real HASBARIST in the room, Crush Limbraw @60, exposing himself, putting his HARD-ON FOR TRUMP on full display.

@60 we ALL see through DaGlass DARKLY!
Speak for yourself- you Zionist MORON!

Ahhhhhh, you can always count on the DUPLICITY of MOA'S weathervane james and friends. Me, I ain't here to win a popularity contest like weathervane; I'm here to kick ass when I witness duplicity in action. My friend here is the truth that I'll defend to the grave.

********

Noooo, dum-dums Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs and Russian squatters whom he pays homage to from time to time when he visits Ziolandia thanking them for choosing the stolen West Bank over Russia.

Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice. That's Trump blowhard driving the drumbeat.

Just rescue me from my self-destructive self for 4 more years, oh kings of Zion and Wall Street, and I'll give you WAR!!! all in CAPS with three exclamation points. The GREATEST war you've ever seen.

Linda Amick , Oct 10 2020 13:07 utc | 88
When I read the Great Reset article on the World Economic Forum website it seems to me that the western Globalists, in concert align the US and EU. That accounts for the basic vassal arrangements that predominate but allow for some nonalignments on certain issues.
Paco , Oct 10 2020 13:24 utc | 89
Posted by: vk | Oct 10 2020 0:58 utc | 56

That is precisely what the Belarusian authorities announced when Tikhanovskaya left Minsk, that she was helped in her way out, but we know how the MSM acts, they stick to their own script, just like a Hollywood movie.

The Belarusians must be watching with great attention what is happening in Kirguizia, riots and complete chaos, and thinking how lucky they were to avoid the color rev that was in the menu for them, which the same methods, discredit the oncoming election, claim fraud after it, use similar symbols like the clenched fist and the heart, new flag, start transliterating family and geographical names to a mythical and spoken by a very small minority language and then nobody knows if to spell Tikhanovskaya, Tsikhanouskaya or like the politically incorrect but street wise Luka called her, Guaidikha. And that is Kirguizia, how about a shooting war in Armenia and Azerbaijan, all those conflicts were unimaginable when the USSR existed, but the empire even on his way down is insatiable.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:25 utc | 90
@88 Linda Amick

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDPIAXG_QcQNU&feature=share&playnext=1

Paco , Oct 10 2020 13:35 utc | 91
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 12:56 utc | 87

There is over a million jews of Russian origin living in Israel, 20% of the population, with deep roots in Russia, language, culture and relatives. Do not let partisanship for the Dems blind you, a true successful leader is someone that defends his country's interests while at the same time tries to have good relations with everybody else, obviously that balance is not easy to achieve in a world full of conflicting interests, but so far Putin seems to be balancing his act while not loosing sight of the main thing, Russia.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92
Paco, strange name for a Russiabot, oh well...

Nice way of putting: Putin belongs to the Zionist Club.

FYI, I'm not blind. I'm one of those special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.

Jackrabbit , Oct 10 2020 13:56 utc | 93
Circe @Oct10 12:56 #87
Putin will not come to Iran's rescue when he's warm in bed with his Zionist Oligarchs

If Putin is so close to Zionists, then why does Russia block the Zionist regime-change in Syria? Why has Russia denied Israel and USA entreaties to allow them to bomb Iran?

Russia Warns U.S. and Israel That Iran Is Its 'Ally' and Was Right About Drone Shoot Down

!!

Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:03 utc | 94
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 13:52 utc | 92

Not as strange as a mythological demigoddess that turned sailors into swain and that now enjoys to plunge into the mud with her creatures. A bot, what an easy label, it has lost any meaning.

Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:12 utc | 95
special beings who was born with two extra eyes...in the back of my head.

Alaska yellow fin sole, not bad, from Bristol Bay, but the Melva -a tunafish species with more oil in its meat- I cooked for lunch, just caught, has a lot more fish oil with its rich contents of vitamin D, add sunny Mediterranean weather and that is my pill for today, trying to keep the bug at bay.

expat , Oct 10 2020 14:39 utc | 96
Circe, why don't you do what your namesake would have done and whip yourself up some meds to calm down? You're starting to lapse into excessive use of upper case, italics, exclamation points, bolding, profanity, and of course, insults.

This may help. It looks like the orange man is in fact going down, so you will soon have Joe and Kamal empowered to dismantle the evil Putin-Netanyahu-Trump axis, and put the US back on the path to truth and justice.

Circe , Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97
@93 Jackrabbit

It's called... lip service.

@94,95 Fransisco

A bot by any other name will smell as fishy. 🤭
Just messing with you!

ptb , Oct 10 2020 14:44 utc | 98
The unilateral and illegal-under-JCPOA sanctions mean it's time for EU to either confront the extraterritorial US policy it has clearly rejected in principle, or (more likely) acknowlege that it remains in practice just a collection of 'client states'. A sad moment for me, but useful for clarity.
Paco , Oct 10 2020 14:48 utc | 99
Posted by: Circe | Oct 10 2020 14:41 utc | 97

Hard to understand but you guys are incapable of spelling the name of a once great US city, San Francisco. I heard it has changed a lot, got to see long time ago, before the digital craze.

juliania , Oct 10 2020 15:51 utc | 100
This is a brief but subtle post by b, with quiet but telling headline. Perhaps, just guessing, a new take on the post he was having difficulty with earlier? The question of the EU is an interesting one - not to be considered as virulent as the former Soviet Union, but somehow as tugged at by the components thereof...

Sanctions on Iran? We do know what Iran is capable of; surely we have not forgotten? Indeed, by pressing these sanctions at this late date, the Trump administration surely has not forgotten either the effect sanctions had on Russia. They were postive to that country's independent survival, though the immediate effect was demonstrably harsh. So now, sanctions on Iran? One doesn't have to be a world leader to suppose similar cause, similar effect.

Ah, Paco has a wonderful meal of a beneficial fish called the Melva! Bravo, Paco; all is not lost! But you have hooked the sea-serpent as well -- take care! That one - carefully remove the hook and set it free ;)

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" Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies | Main | The Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh Is Unlikely To Hold "

[Oct 10, 2020] psychohistorian

Oct 10, 2020 | www.lettinggobreath.com

1

next page " Nice posting b

Yes, it is time for EU countries to show their true colors which will be ass kissers for empire, most likely.

Folks are saying Nord Stream II is being finished but will it ever go into use?

And of course this is not war because Trump hasn't started any wars, right?

What a shit show we are seeing. What is the next phase of this civilization war that is not a war because there are not enough dead bodies for some I guess?...but it sure looks like war to me.

bevin , Oct 9 2020 17:07 utc | 2
The next phase would appear to be Kyrgyzstan: from Belarus east to Sinkiang and Hong Kong the subversion and the attempts at regime change are constant.

While Eurasia seeks to unite for peace and prosperity, the United States and its sleazy satrapy is constantly trying to divide and weaken, to undermine and to intimidate. In doing so it relies heavily on abusing the tattered lineaments of democracy- electioneering and propagandising, the relics of a western culture which has become nothing more than a hollow shell containing an increasingly totalitarian plutocracy.

Joseph Dillard , Oct 9 2020 17:32 utc | 5
All this simply moves Iran into closer confederation with Russia and China and strengthens its resolve to send US middle eastern troops packing. Soon there will be a strong Russia-China-Iran axis that is immune to all Western sanctions. Those countries who are part of the BRI will get privileged economic treatment. The advantages will become increasingly apparent and the economic disadvantages of staying allied with the US will become increasingly apparent as well, particularly in light of the approaching collapse of the dollar. As long as we manage to avoid a hot war the civilizational die is cast; the US has chosen its destiny, in the dustbin of history, at least as a neoliberal oligarchy. When and how it will reinvent itself is an open question, but it is not unreasonable to think it will take decades. While Europe will eventually align with Eurasia, it will take another generation of politicians before that happens.
Loftwork , Oct 9 2020 17:36 utc | 6
If Iran isn't self-sufficient now, it will be by the time the US is finished with it. That isn't a comfortable place to be but with key sector support from the Eastern bloc it's at least as manageable as Cuba. The question is whether and how fast the Eastern bloc can consolidate its resources by e.g. petrodollar replacement and better shared infrastructure. The Eastern bloc isn't ideal, but when the West is apparently encouraging something like a holocaust of suffering humanity, it's the only other game in town.
Nathan Mulcahy , Oct 9 2020 17:39 utc | 7
No, this is not the moment. This is the last chance. Oh, these vassals with zero integrity and character!
Hoyeru , Oct 9 2020 17:40 utc | 8
High time for both Russia and China and Iran/Cuba/Venezuela to really get together and start speaking with one voice and show the despicable USA/West/NATO that they will stand together and defend each other. Otherwise it's all over.

Specific steps to implement:
1. create and begin using an alternative to the SWIFT and invite anyone who is being sanctioned by USA/West to join them
2. openly and officially declare that their currencies are backed by gold
3. openly and officially begin to speak against USA's actions around the world at the UN and invite anyone who is being sanctioned by USA/West to join them
4. get together and openly declare to the world they stand as one and to invite
anyone else who is being harassed by USA/West/NATO to join them
5. immediately begin clean up of all the terrorists/CIA Operatives in in Central Asia otherwise they will be in deep trouble

what are Putin and Xi doing?? Come on guys, wake up!

MichaelW , Oct 9 2020 17:46 utc | 9
EU and US. Just playing classical
And Trump don't make Amerika "Too big to fail" alone. But double down
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-a510221c9228a7d1b9f383b3428db349
When you owe 5000€, you're afraid of your crédit or but when You owe 5000 T$, Who is afraid ?

Financial House of Card let them no choice but to S***MyD***, and wait

David G , Oct 9 2020 18:14 utc | 10
In March, Germany announced that the first transaction had been completed using Europe's INSTEX system to skirt sanctions -- more than a year after the scheme had supposedly been put in place.

I haven't seen anything further about it. Has it enabled any significant level of trade?

One Too Many , Oct 9 2020 18:20 utc | 11
Now I understand why Javad Zarif is in China for a two-day meeting:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-10/08/c_139426303.htm

I guess it wasn't for the National Holiday?

Don Bacon , Oct 9 2020 18:28 utc | 12
Why would anyone need anything not Made in China? Plus China is the EU's second highest trade partner (after US) so Iran could have access to some of that if for some reason they needed an EU product. . . .Meanwhile Iran will be even more self-sufficient, as Russia has become with EU sanctions. . . .The US has been trying self-imposed "sanctions" (China uncoupling) to become more self-sufficient but it's not working.
Caliman , Oct 9 2020 18:53 utc | 16
EU continues its self-imposed slide into irrelevance. I suppose a servant's life is an easier life: you don't have to think for yourself and just need to please master. But it can hardly be a satisfactory experience, can it? Especially when the collar is held by such as Trump and Pompass.

The winds of change are coming and they will be interesting. China's economy is already greater than the US and that will expand many fold over the next few decades. The $ economy will not survive this, especially not as the US has shown it will use its power corruptly. The EU batter consider this; do they want to be part of the past or the future?

Passer by , Oct 9 2020 19:09 utc | 19
There is something much more significant happening with Europe, that is more than the Iran issue.

The EU is trying to prop up the US Empire in response to its decline, instead of trying to free itself.

The EU has chosen the side of the US against the multipolar world. It will be trying to prop up the Empire.

It is becoming increasingly hostile to any country that isn't a puppet to the US, like itself, and is lashing out at those countries. Like a zombie, it wants to infect others with its infection, and turn every other country into US puppets too. It thinks that this is normal and it wants to spread that "normality" to the rest of the world too.

Many analysts are already mentioning that the EU is becoming increasingly hostile to Russia.

Recently, serious statements came from Russian officials:

"Russia will not follow EU and US rules".

"There will be no more business as usual between Russia and France and Germany".

"France and Germany are now leading the anti-russian block within Europe".

"Russia will no longer be dependent on the EU".

"Europeans have delusions of grandeur".

These are all statements by Lavrov and Zacharova.

Recently, we have seen Germany and France banning Huawei, Europe together with US blocking the OPCW investigation at the UN, and Germany leading the charge at the UN stage against China. EU also took the lead in the colour revolution in Belarus.

There are two recent statesments by the french foreign minister and by the EU commision chief:

"Europe needs to unite against Russia and Turkey".

Surveys also show rising levels of anti-chinese hatred in Europe, and not only in the US.

What has happened is far more serious than the europeans being "feckless U.S. ass kissers". It is worse than that.

The EU chose the side of the US against the multipolar world. It does not want to free itself from the US. Actually it thinks that it is normal to be a puppet, that others should be US puppets too, and that a joint EU-US Empire should be supported, so that some kind of world wide liberal utopia can be build by it.

Europeans are psychologically damaged by WW2 and this is affecting their geopolitical behavior, turning them into forever puppets of the US.

They can not free themselves because when they were free once, they "did very bad things". Therefore they should always follow their "better" and "Big Daddy" US, who "freed them from themselves" and "put them in the right way".

Europeans can not be helped. Ironically, it is their own rejection of their WW2 past that causes them to reject the multipolar world and sovereignty as "primitive things from the past", and thus support a transnational globalist western empire that is here "to bring Utopia on Earth". For them Russia, China, Iran, India, Turkey etc. are just a bunch of primitives that are tryng to turn back the clock.

And thus it will increasingly start to lash out at any country that isn't a US puppet as those countries prevent the coming of Utopia.

[Oct 06, 2020] What's at stake in the Armenia-Azerbaijan chessboard by Pepe Escobar

Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Yevardian , says: October 2, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT

And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They'll be model liberators. And they'll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return."

I never read such rubbish in my life.

AJ , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@Yevardian

Agreed, this is rubbish. "Mr. C" – assuming someone like this even exists, is either terribly misinformed or an outright liar. Basically, if we follow Escobar's logic, Armenian's are making a mistake by not agreeing to surrender their lives to the peace loving and rather humanistic dictatorship of Azerbaijan. While he touches on some relevant points, overall, Escobar has not done his homework and has come up with quite a bit of drivel.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: Website October 2, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

Pepe, you didn't mention the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

Why not? Would the Azeris, all Turks, be different? You say the Azeris if they won, Turks, would treat the Armenian population nicely. Huh?

I remember from Runciman's book on the First Crusade that the Turks had already taken over much of Anatolia but he seems to mention Armenians at every turn (from memory -- don't have the book handy).

My impression is that before the Genocide the Armenians were all over Anatolia. There was a narrow coastal strip at the western end that was historically part of Greece, and many different peoples of Asia Minor are mentioned in the NT, but they arguably were all Armenians, making the Armenians the indigenous people of Anatolia.

How is it that Turkey was allowed to keep part of Europe after WWI when they were losers? And did they keep faith? Is the current St Sophia turmoil the norm of Turkish good faith?

Time for all the Turks to get out of Anatolia, give it back to Armenia, and head for Azerbigan.

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good article. What a web of " frenemies"

Anon [166] Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Yevardian having been disciplined for some years now is, once again, at the throat of the west. Europe spent millions of lives and huge resources throwing the Moors out last time. If they don't take a stand and support Armenia they may very well have to do it again. As far as the mythical Mr C is concerned he comes across, to me, as yet another apologist for the Religion of Peace. Obviously cucked NATO will not help Armenia, they have neither the intestinal fortitude nor the will, so it will be left to Russia and the Visigrad nations, in the mean time Turkey is attempting to take Greek territory, Syrian territory, Libyan territory and anything else that it can get it's mitts on and the West does absolutely nothing. This will not end well.
true.enough , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

I found this piece difficult to read: lots of data and suppositions scattered about.

Ankara, oh Ankara! Erdogan is overstretched, that's a fact.

Wielgus , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:26 am GMT
@Yevardian

I think few Armenian civilians will take the chance but I very much doubt Azerbaijanis will be "model liberators". The new Azerbaijani state was born from the Sumgait and Baku pogroms. I also don't think they will delay in moving Azeris into areas formerly inhabited by Armenians – their role model Erdoğan has been trying to change facts on the ground by moving ethnic Turks into Kurdish areas in his own country.

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 10:15 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse endeavor, even if they were the majority, though most accounts say they were 40%.

I would strongly urge the Armenians to get off their nationalist high horse and solve the problem diplomatically and learn to live with their neighbors. Super nationalism is a dangerous and fake mantra that usually leads to disaster. My understanding was that the Azeris and Armenians always got along before this debacle. They should try to work out things and get back to a their original multi-cultural paradigm, that is living side by side instead of fighting and dying over territory and national flags. Live is short and when we pass to the other side you dont carry your flag with you.

Rahan , says: October 2, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT

The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991: but that was not recognized by the "international community"

Just to throw in quickly that if Kosovo is "recognized", then bleeding Karabakh should also long since have been recognized. Especially since the Armenians have an actual holocaust in their 20th century past.

reezy , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that it was Winston Churchill who said that the Turk was either at your feet or at your throat

Actually he said that about the Germans. Though it sounds like one of those patronizing aphorisms that can easily apply to anyone.

Lin , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm GMT

Sabre dance–A famous piece of Armenian music composed by Khachaturian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aH2Gpdr-WrA?feature=oembed

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Rahan

So, seems like the way to get sympathy to rob territory is to make full use of any "genocide" one had suffered as excuse . worked very well ( in fact, spectacularly well) so faR with the Chosen ones .

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

Well i admittedly dont know enough about the situation to try to critique this piece as some of the other comments on here But i am skeptical about Armenia and their stated intent. If it is reallly about protecting an ethnic group – then why not offer them citizenship to move into your territory??? That would lead me to believe it is more about land and resources

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
@true.enough

Yeah i dont know the nitty gritty in this conflict – but i do agree Edrogan seems to be biting off more than he can chew He has too many pots on the fire it seems. Kurds – Qatar/Saudis – Libya – Syria – Greece – Cyprus – and now this..?

Derer , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm GMT

Aside from refusing to participate against their Muslim cousins (Afghanistan, Libya), Turkey is using NATO doctrine quite effectively. It is a useful bullet prove vest for Erdogan. The Brussels morons will be sorry for not expelling Turkey from their military club long time ago.

SZ , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse driven to the Syrian desert AFTER some of them had aligned with the Russians who were about to invade eastern Anatolia in 1915. Similarly, most of Crimean Tatars were expelled from Crimea AFTER some of them had aligned with the invading Germans in 1941. As another comparison, American-Japanese living at the Pacific coast were banished to camps in the interior AFTER the Japanese army had attacked Pearl Harbor and not before.
When a group of people kill or drive out another group it's usually not for the fun of it but rather due to necessities of survival, whatever evil that might require at that particular time depending on the particular circumstances.
Surprised , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

It would be interesting to read a scholarly exposition on what the USSR and governments in Eastern Europe proper did or did not do to educate people away from their ancient hatreds, and why whatever they did do appears not to have been particularly successful. Or was it mostly successful and the hatreds were much more intense before 1917?

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm GMT
@SZ

The ethnic cleansing of the Armenians was pretty bloody and barbaric and was meant as a public spectacle for reasons that are argued about till today.

It was well recorded by the inhabitants of Syria.

Uprising against your rulers does not give the rulers right to carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing in any case.

Anonymous [334] Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 2:52 am GMT

The entire Jewish American lobby and Israel are on Azerbaijan's side and anti-Armenian, just as when they were working with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide.

Israel has also sold billions of dollars of weapons to Azerbaijan which the latter is using against Armenians. Israel gets oil from Azerbaijan

Of course, Azerbaijan and Turkey have imported jihadists from Syria and Libya to fight Christian Armenians now.

Apparently, Pepe, you and the Jewish lobby, Israel, Turkey, and the jihadists are on the same side.

Congratulations.

P.S. It would take a hundred pages to list all the factual errors you made. For example, Armenians were still the clear majority in Artsakh/Karabagh in 1988 and 1991. Armenians there had been grossly mistreated by Azerbaijan for decades.

The fighting occurred in the late 1980s only because Azerbaijan, backed by the Russian military, killed and harrassed Armenians. The Azeris also committed massacres of Armenians who were living in Baku and Sumgait in the late 1980s.

Stalin also placed Nakhichevan, an Armenian territory, inside Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan kicked out every Armenian from Nakhichevan. Azerbaijan was doing that to Artsakh/Karabagh too.

No wonder Artsakh voted to be independent from Azerbaijan, something you don't want to understand.
Better luck next time trying to fool readers, Pepe.

Felix Keverich , says: October 3, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble – as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey.

Russia isn't going to shut off gas to Turkey. Russia never does that (shutting off gas). It's a Western canard.

Russia could, however, impose a no-fly-zone over Georgia, effectively blocking resupply and reinforcements to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is almost completely surrounded by Russian allies and bases. They rely on Georgia for military transit.

Druid , says: October 3, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

Ignorant post. Armenian nationalist were active in Russia prior to ww1, then supported Russian entrance into Turkish territory because they shared a religion. They stabbed the ottomans , of which they were a big part, in the back. The young Turks , who were actually donmeh jews, had them marched off to Syria and lebanon, etc, causing many deaths! The Armenian is still causing trouble for the Turks. They sided with the mongols in their battles against the Muslims, along wit the Georgians, repeatedly. More to a small story

anon [154] Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm GMT

What's going to happen to USA? The poverty and racial intolerance ,both seem to be undermining the stability and the ideological integrity of the country . I see many states emerging from the body of America.But the problems will not be resolved . It might just like like Caucasian territory or Balkan .

Anonymous [231] Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2020 at 3:25 am GMT
@Yevardian

Pepe appears to be on the side of Azerbaijan, and thus also on the side of Turkey, Israel, the Jewish lobby, and jihadists.

Nice company.

vot tak , says: October 4, 2020 at 11:58 pm GMT

Reading this, my suspicion is this "mr. c" is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

Semiogogue , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:47 am GMT

1. BTC is described as 'bypassing Iran'. One could easily argue it also bypasses *Russia* . Perhaps that's what made it necessary for Soros & others to peel Georgia off from Russian control back in the day? Look how Russia responded by recapturing the Georgian Military Highway (South Ossetia).

2. Look in general at how Russia is willing to give up huge areas of territory so long as she keeps key strategic points of control: South Ossetia, Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia and Armenia. Smell the coffee.

3. 2. 'Mr. C' is quick to mention Baku/Ankara joint exercises in August, but fails to mention Kavkas 2020 exercises led by Russia. Uh duh.

4. 'Mr. C' seems to ignore the fact that Armenia couldn't have taken that territory in first place, or kept it, w/out Russian assistance. And idea 'Russia can do nothing' is absurd. As is the idea that Russia can't supply Armenia because there's no land connection. Did the allies have any problem keeping West Berlin supplied by air? Of course not. All nonsense.

5. The idea that there is a 'Russia/Turkey' strategic partnership is also silly. Where is this partnership? Turkey buying S-400s? So what? Are they in partnership in Syria? In Libya? No. So why would they be in N-K?

6. Weird. No mention of China and it's growing relationship with Turkey. This probably tells you all you need to know about the author. Unless of course the author is just a fool, which is also possible.

Jivinski , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:04 am GMT

"Yet even before the collapse the Azerbaijani Army and Armenian independentists were already at war (1988-1994), which yielded a grim balance of 30,000 dead and roughly a million wounded."

This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of thirty-three to one. Doesn't make sense.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT

Were Russia to be as devious and underhanded as the puppet regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, they would arrange for an overthrow of the present NATO/EU/U$ regime in Yerevan. With those bastards out of the way and Armenia no longer playing double jeopardy, it might be possible for a new Orthodox oriented Armenian government to come to some sort of arrangement with Baku.

At the same time, perhaps Syrian spetsnaz units could practice some infiltration tactics into Turkish semi-occupied "greater" Idlib and Ghurka style, behead a few Turkish officers running the show there.

"Sultan" Erdogan is playing loose and wild with his shattering economy and massive military. It is high time he was given a black-eye–one that would cause him to lose face among his own countrymen.

Mactoul , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:08 am GMT
@SZ

How many of the Japanese-American deportees died as consequence of deportation vs how many Armenians that died as consequence of their deportation.

It is not deportation that is alleged to be the Turkish crime but genocide. Please keep it mind.

Yukon Jack , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT

This is my educated guess, the Anglo-Zionists led by Rothschild and Netanayahu destablize the oil in the Middle East to keep their prices of oil in USD above 100 $/barrel

They have also blown up oil derricks in the North Sea, shut down Iranian and Iraq and Syria oil production. The game is clear, low oil prices are being met with wiping out the competition.

And causing hell in Iran and Venezueala. Back in 1954 Operation Ajax took out Mossadeq and installed the Shah – puppet of big oil. Before it was BP it was the Persian Gulf Oil Co. BP is owned mostly by the crown.

Trump's secretary of state was Rex Tillerson CEO Exxon just like GW Bush picked Condoleeza Rice CEO Chevron to be his national security advisor.

The Israel angle is to get Iran and to goad Russia into war with the USA, the eventually goal is that USA-Russia-China are reduced while Jews rule the world from Jerusalem.

How much you wanna bet Bibi Satanyahu has a hand in this war? And Evangelical Christians will support Israel even if this war kills lots of Armenian Christians just like in Syria.

Since this war in on Russia's doorstep Putin an Lavrov will try negotiations first then what will they do next. Putin has vowed the war will never come to Russia which means Russia will enter the theater on the anti-Zionist side.

Have you noticed every state within a few hundred miles of Israel is being torched and the natives driven out?

Ghali , says: October 5, 2020 at 6:17 am GMT

Back again to Pepe Escobar's distortions of reality. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory. In fact, no country in the world recognises it as an "Independent" as Escobar likes to mislead us. Armenia should do the right thing and withdraw its forces, including foreign militants from there. Like Israel, Armenia is playing the role of a victim of a "holocaust".

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

Considering that the 2nd largest US/NWO Embassy in the World is in Armenia – a country of 2.9 million people, and that the new President was put in power by the West – the end game is to continue to surround Russia, screw up the New Silk Road, and be at Iran's back door too. As said before , the domestic USA can totally look like the USSR in the 90s, but the NWO Foreign policy money is 100% – guaranteed. What do all those thousands of workers in that huge Embassy compound do ?

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Tommy Thompson

Actually, once the Armenians were genocided , the Jewish bankers were the big shots left in Turkey. H Morgenthau, our Turkish ambassador along with being jewish himself, wrote about it in his reports. The Game hasn't changed much – it stays the same. Thanks.

J , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:44 am GMT

About a third of Iran's population is Azeri. Should they develop interest in the conflict, Iran may become involved. That would align Turkey and Iran vs Russia. That would be something.

ARemo , says: October 5, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
@Yevardian

Damn right. We already have experience what happens when Turks get control of Christian Armenians – systematic gang rapes and death marches are the rule of the day. Turks are animals and letting them control any portion of Armenia is basically turning that place into a concentration camp.

Ming Shih-tsung , says: October 5, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Yevardian

"Mr. C" probably stands for Cemal, given how biased he is.

anon [229] Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Yukon Jack Pahlavi ruled post 1953.

Fact: 1979 was the year that "big oil" LEGAL contracts were to expire and the "puppet" Shah had threatened as early as 1973 (when he was instrumental in making OPEC a powerful entity) that in 1979 Iran "would sell Iranian Oil to any buyer, at market prices".

Fact: Iran, in 1978 produced 6 million barrels per day. It has never been permitted to reach those levels again.

Fact: Chinese, Indian, Syrian, Venezuelan, and God knows who else, all projects of the Global Cabal have been getting Iranian Oil (under their engineered boxing of Iranian nation) at levels that very likely are equal if not LOWER than the terms the Qajar idiots gave the insatiablely greedy and slimey English.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

And you did not mention that the only quarters of Smyrna/Izmir that were not torched in a fire in 1922 were the Jewish and Turkish quarters – what a surprise! An antecedent to 9/11. Here is the Jewpedia hiding the real story – as usual.

The Armenian and Greek quarters were destroyed and the Jews got a monopoly on the commerce. Done deal!

Great fire of Smyrna

Wielgus , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@GMC

If the "colour revolution" assumptions were in force, there would be a host of denunciations of Azerbaijan and Turkey (the latter perhaps the real prime mover in this) by the USA and EU etc. There aren't. The USA and EU may even tacitly support the Azerbaijanis, perhaps they hope the Russians and Iranians will become entangled in this affair and so forth.

Ugetit , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT
@vot tak

my suspicion is this "mr. c" is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

While I know nothing about the situation, after reading the article and the mostly excellent comments, I suspect your suspicion is correct.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT

I have a suggestion.

How about swapping Nagorno-Karabakh for North Cyprus. I am sure the Greeks would be very happy to live with the Armenians. But the Sultan's dreams of owning the Eastern Mediterranean would come to naught.

anon [137] Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm GMT
@Lin

I've always associated that piece with the circus not knowing the title or its origin.

Stebbing Heuer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Stalin did nasty things like that to keep the republics feuding with each other rather than pushing back against Moscow. The mixed-up borders of the 'stans, further east, are testament to this. Fergana Valley?

Divide and rule. Still costing lives in pointless wars almost 100 years later.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT

At stake is the very existence of the Armenian people. Turkey is trying to finish what remains of them after the genocide last century. Both Erdoghan and Aliev have stated, that they want a "final solution" to the "Armenian problem".

It's an existential battle for the Armenians.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Yevardian

We all know what they did to the Armenians in 1915.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Alfred

Exactly. The history of Turkey since 1880-s is full of ethnic cleansings and genocides of the non-muslim people such as Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

MLK , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT

My thanks to Escobar for taking on a subject rather obviously not susceptible to 2,700 word essays, along with attention worthy links.

His biases are not my own but he's thoughtful and certainly doesn't hide them.

In this and so many other incidents we can see how thoroughly Trump has moved the American ship of state despite the relentless efforts of foreign and domestic resistance to neutralize America First and destroy him.

It's really quite something the way Obama's presidency in all its disastrous fullness has been memory-holed. The defense of it being that it merely extended Bush's world-historical incompetence and malefactions.

Could you have turned US unipolarity following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact into a "moment" if you tried? I couldn't.

You will be way ahead of most everyone if you get your mind around that and the geopolitical sad story that is CCP China winning the post-Cold War quarter-century hands down.

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia – according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There's the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The "threat" to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow's attention towards the Caucasus . . .

I confess that I get no end of enjoyment over bellyaching on behalf of those powers the Obama administration was turning the world over to. Nord Stream II was merely the down payment on Russia's assistance/acquiescence in throwing the electron to Hillary, with the sky the limit for China, Russia and Iran once Democrats and their foreign allies had neutralized free and fair elections.

Now all of these powers must deal with a real POTUS who asks "What have you done for the US lately?"

The USG and Russia have cooperated where geopolitical interests align. More will follow once Trump takes the oath again. As I've explained previously, despite its high-risk position in the Resistance matrix, Russia/Putin have (unsurprisingly, to me) acted skillfully and with circumspection.

The same cannot be said for Iran. Nor China, particularly since the end of last year.

Ashino Wolf Sushanti , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

https://www.putin-today.ru/archives/109463
https://vz.ru
Михаил Мошкин

Why Russia needs Azerbaijan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised a number of questions. In particular, why Moscow is in no hurry to stand up for Armenia and why it does not sharply criticize
Azerbaijan. The answer is that Moscow and Baku have very close relations, and not only economic relations. So what is the value and irreplaceability of Azerbaijan for Russia?

[MORE]
Z-man , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm GMT

Border and population changes are in order. A quarter of N-K goes back to Azerbaijan and the rest closer to Armenia proper plus the capital city goes to Armenia with a 50 mile wide band connecting it with the rest of Armenia. The Azeris get the rest of their lands now occupied by the Armenians. Will it happen? Probably not, just look at Kosovo..

God's Fool , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm GMT

There is a province between Ngorno Karabakh and Armenia proper of roughly of the same size belonging to Azerbaijan, so why not just exchange it with each other to avoid further conflict and bloodshed?

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
@God's Fool

There is no guarantee that Turkey will not try to then eliminate whatever remains of Armenia.

Remember, Turkey genocided Armenians and wiped out close to 80% of them in 1915 through 1922. Armenian populated areas stretched from what is now Armenia until the shores of Eastern Mediterranean. The only thing that is left of it is Kessab in modern day Syria.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm GMT
@Ghali nial borders are fake, false and fraudulent, whether in Asia or Africa. Over time, justice will prevail and borders will reflect the ethno-national composition of its long-term inhabitants.

That said, the current regime in Yerevan needs to be overthrown, as it was established in conjunction with the interests of the Cabal/Nato and their various puppet regimes. Armenia is the oldest Orthodox Christian nation in the world and was severely genocided by the Donmeh covert Jewish Masons who called themselves the "Young Turks" who were led by Enver Pasha.

By the way, who are you, Ghali? Do you have a dog in the fight? Are you connected with an intel agency?

anaccount , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT

Excellent article, normally I pass over Pepe for the naughty articles on Unz but I might have to take another look.

My only critique is that the article feels pro-Azeri but that's balanced with an informative description how this started in July, including an accurate appraisal of Turkish behavior.

I'm not Azeri or Armenian so I didn't have a dog in this fight until I noticed Israel's support for Azerbaijan. It's nothing personal, I have only one hate.

Shaman911 , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT

Jewish Bankers shifting profits to other Jewish bankers. Funding all sides and profiting from the mass graves again. 5000 years and nothing has changed.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Wielgus

The Turks are the US Army in this – with their proxy armies sent to help the Azerbaijanis, just like the US Army /Israelis and their proxies Isis, al Nusra, al Qaeda etc. in Syria. The US and their 6000 employees at the Embassy, don't have to say anything – they back both sides – just like the Zionists do – in the US political parties. Things don't change , Tactics don't change. Thanks.

A.R. , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Majority of One

You are asking him if he has a dog in this fight? What about yourself? You very clearly have a dog in this fight yourself, haven`t you?
Try to cut down on the hypocrasy, why don`t you, and at the same time maybe moderate your "holier than thou" attitude.

[Oct 05, 2020] What's at stake in the Armenia-Azerbaijan chessboard

Notable quotes:
"... "the EU and Russia find common cause to limit Azerbaijani gains (in large part because Erdogan is no one's favorite guy, not just because of this but because of the Eastern Med, Syria, Libya)." ..."
"... "Iran favors Armenia, which is counter-intuitive at first sight. So the Iranians may help the Russians out (funneling supplies), but on the other hand they have a good relationship with Turkey, especially in the oil and gas smuggling business. And if they get too overt in their support, Trump has a casus belli to get involved and the Europeans may not like to end up on the same side as the Russians and the Iranians. It just looks bad. And the Europeans hate to look bad." ..."
Oct 05, 2020 | unz.com

It's important to remember that there was no "Azerbaijan" nation-state until the early 1920s. Historically, Azerbaijan is a territory in northern Iran. Azeris are very well integrated within the Islamic Republic. So the Republic of Azerbaijan actually borrowed its name from their Iranian neighbors. In ancient history, the territory of the new 20 th century republic was known as Atropatene, and Aturpakatan before the advent of Islam.

How the equation changed

Baku's main argument is that Armenia is blocking a contiguous Azerbaijani nation, as a look in the map shows us that southwest Azerbaijan is de facto split all the way to the Iranian border.

And that plunges us necessarily into deep background. To clarify matters, there could not be a more reliable guide than a top Caucasus think tank expert who shared his analysis with me by email, but is insistent on "no attribution". Let's call him Mr. C.

Mr. C notes that, "for decades, the equation remained the same and the variables in the equation remained the same, more or less. This was the case notwithstanding the fact that Armenia is an unstable democracy in transition and Azerbaijan had much more continuity at the top."

We should all be aware that "Azerbaijan lost territory right at the beginning of the restoration of its statehood, when it was basically a failed state run by armchair nationalist amateurs [before Heydar Aliyev, Ilham's father, came to power]. And Armenia was a mess, too but less so when you take into consideration that it had strong Russian support and Azerbaijan had no one. Back in the day, Turkey was still a secular state with a military that looked West and took its NATO membership seriously. Since then, Azerbaijan has built up its economy and increased its population. So it kept getting stronger. But its military was still underperforming."

That slowly started to change in 2020: "Basically, in the past few months you've seen incremental increases in the intensity of near daily ceasefire violations (the near-daily violations are nothing new: they've been going on for years). So this blew up in July and there was a shooting war for a few days. Then everyone calmed down again."

All this time, something important was developing in the background: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who came to power in May 2018, and Aliyev started to talk: "The Azerbaijani side thought this indicated Armenia was ready for compromise (this all started when Armenia had a sort of revolution, with the new PM coming in with a popular mandate to clean house domestically). For whatever reason, it ended up not happening."

What happened in fact was the July shooting war.

Don't forget Pipelineistan

Armenian PM Pashinyan could be described as a liberal globalist. The majority of his political team is pro-NATO. Pashinyan went all guns blazing against former Armenian President (1998- 2008) Robert Kocharian, who before that happened to be, crucially, the de facto President of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kocharian, who spent years in Russia and is close to President Putin, was charged with a nebulous attempt at "overthrowing the constitutional order". Pashinyan tried to land him in jail. But even more crucial is the fact that Pashinyan refused to follow a plan elaborated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to finally settle the Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh mess.

In the current fog of war, things are even messier. Mr. C stresses two points: "First, Armenia asked for CSTO protection and got bitch slapped, hard and in public; second, Armenia threatened to bomb the oil and gas pipelines in Azerbaijan (there are several, they all run parallel, and they supply not just Georgia and Turkey but now the Balkans and Italy). With regards to the latter, Azerbaijan basically said: if you do that, we'll bomb your nuclear reactor."

The Pipelineistan angle is indeed crucial: for years I have followed on Asia Times these myriad, interlocking oil and gas soap operas, especially the BTC (Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan), conceived by Zbigniew Brzezinski to bypass Iran. I was even "arrested" by a BP 4X4 when I was tracking the pipeline on a parallel side road out of the massive Sangachal terminal: that proved British Petroleum was in practice the real boss, not the Azerbaijani government.

In sum, now we have reached the point where, according to Mr. C,

"Armenia's saber rattling got more aggressive." Reasons, on the Armenian side, seem to be mostly domestic: terrible handling of Covid-19 (in contrast to Azerbaijan), and the dire state of the economy. So, says Mr. C, we came to a toxic concourse of circumstances: Armenia deflected from its problems by being tough on Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan just had had enough.

It's always about Turkey

Anyway one looks at the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama, the key destabilizing factor is now Turkey.

Mr. C notes how, "throughout the summer, the quality of the Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises increased (both prior to July events and subsequently). The Azerbaijani military got a lot better. Also, since the fourth quarter of 2019 the President of Azerbaijan has been getting rid of the (perceived) pro-Russian elements in positions of power." See, for instance, here .

There's no way to confirm it either with Moscow or Ankara, but Mr. C advances what President Erdogan may have told the Russians: "We'll go into Armenia directly if a) Azerbaijan starts to lose, b) Russia goes in or accepts CSTO to be invoked or something along those lines, or c) Armenia goes after the pipelines. All are reasonable red lines for the Turks, especially when you factor in the fact that they don't like the Armenians very much and that they consider the Azerbaijanis brothers."

It's crucial to remember that in August, Baku and Ankara held two weeks of joint air and land military exercises. Baku has bought advanced drones from both Turkey and Israel. There's no smokin' gun, at least not yet, but Ankara may have hired up to 4,000 Salafi-jihadis in Syria to fight -- wait for it -- in favor of Shi'ite-majority Azerbaijan, proving once again that "jihadism" is all about making a quick buck.

The United Armenian Information Center, as well as the Kurdish Afrin Post, have stated that Ankara opened two recruitment centers -- in Afrin schools -- for mercenaries. Apparently this has been a quite popular move because Ankara slashed salaries for Syrian mercenaries shipped to Libya.

There's an extra angle that is deeply worrying not only for Russia but also for Central Asia. According to the former Foreign Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, Ambassador Extraordinary Arman Melikyan, mercenaries using Azeri IDs issued in Baku may be able to infiltrate Dagestan and Chechnya and, via the Caspian, reach Atyrau in Kazakhstan, from where they can easily reach Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

That's the ultimate nightmare of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- shared by Russia, China and the Central Asian "stans": a jihadi land -- and (Caspian) sea -- bridge from the Caucasus all the way to Central Asia, and even Xinjiang.

What's the point of this war?

So what happens next? A nearly insurmountable impasse, as Mr. C outlines it:

1. "The peace talks are going nowhere because Armenia is refusing to budge (to withdraw from occupying Nagorno-Karabakh plus 7 surrounding regions in phases or all at once, with the usual guarantees for civilians, even settlers -- note that when they went in in the early 1990s they cleansed those lands of literally all Azerbaijanis, something like between 700,000 and 1 million people)."

2. Aliyev was under the impression that Pashinyan "was willing to compromise and began preparing his people and then looked like someone with egg on his face when it didn't happen."

3. "Turkey has made it crystal clear it will support Azerbaijan unconditionally, and has matched those words with deeds."

4. "In such circumstances, Russia got outplayed -- in the sense that they had been able to play off Armenia against Azerbaijan and vice versa, quite successfully, helping to mediate talks that went nowhere, preserving the status quo that effectively favored Armenia."

And that brings us to the crucial question. What's the point of this war?

Mr. C: "It is either to conquer as much as possible before the "international community" [in this case, the UNSC] calls for / demands a ceasefire or to do so as an impetus for re-starting talks that actually lead to progress. In either scenario, Azerbaijan will end up with gains and Armenia with losses. How much and under what circumstances (the status and question of Nagorno-Karabakh is distinct from the status and question of the Armenian occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh) is unknown: i.e. on the field of battle or the negotiating table or a combo of both. However this turns out, at a minimum Azerbaijan will get to keep what it liberated in battle. This will be the new starting point. And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They'll be model liberators. And they'll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return."

So what can Moscow do under these circumstances? Not much,

"except to go into Azerbaijan proper, which they won't do (there's no land border between Russia and Armenia; so although Russia has a military base in Armenia with one or more thousand troops, they can't just supply Armenia with guns and troops at will, given the geography)."

Crucially, Moscow privileges the strategic partnership with Armenia -- which is a member of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) -- while meticulously monitoring each and every NATO-member Turkey's movement: after all, they are already in opposing sides in both Libya and Syria.

So, to put it mildly, Moscow is walking on a geopolitical razor's edge. Russia needs to exercise restraint and invest in a carefully calibrated balancing act between Armenia and Azerbaijan; must preserve the Russia-Turkey strategic partnership; and must be alert to all, possible US Divide and Rule tactics.

Inside Erdogan's war

So in the end this would be yet another Erdogan war?

The inescapable Follow the Money analysis would tells us, yes. The Turkish economy is an absolute mess, with high inflation and a depreciating currency. Baku has a wealth of oil-gas funds that could become readily available -- adding to Ankara's dream of turning Turkey also into an energy supplier.

Mr. C adds that anchoring Turkey in Azerbaijan would lead to "the creation of full-fledged Turkish military bases and the inclusion of Azerbaijan in the Turkish orbit of influence (the "two countries -- one nation" thesis, in which Turkey assumes supremacy) within the framework of neo-Ottomanism and Turkey's leadership in the Turkic-speaking world."

Add to it the all-important NATO angle. Mr. C essentially sees it as Erdogan, enabled by Washington, about to make a NATO push to the east while establishing that immensely dangerous jihadi channel into Russia: "This is no local adventure by Erdogan. I understand that Azerbaijan is largely Shi'ite Islam and that will complicate things but not render his adventure impossible."

This totally ties in with a notorious RAND report that explicitly details how "the United States could try to induce Armenia to break with Russia" and "encourage Armenia to move fully into the NATO orbit."

It's beyond obvious that Moscow is observing all these variables with extreme care. That is reflected, for instance, in how irrepressible Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, earlier this week, has packaged a very serious diplomatic warning: "The downing of an Armenian SU-25 by a Turkish F-16, as claimed by the Ministry of Defense in Armenia, seems to complicate the situation, as Moscow, based on the Tashkent treaty, is obligated to offer military assistance to Armenia".

It's no wonder both Baku and Yerevan got the message and are firmly denying anything happened.

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble -- as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey. Moscow, meanwhile, will keep helping Yerevan with intel and hardware -- flown in from Iran. Diplomacy rules -- and the ultimate target is yet another ceasefire.

Pulling Russia back in

Mr. C advances the strong possibility -- and I have heard echoes from Brussels -- that

"the EU and Russia find common cause to limit Azerbaijani gains (in large part because Erdogan is no one's favorite guy, not just because of this but because of the Eastern Med, Syria, Libya)."

That brings to the forefront the renewed importance of the UNSC in imposing a ceasefire. Washington's role at the moment is quite intriguing. Of course, Trump has more important things to do at the moment. Moreover, the Armenian diaspora in the US swings drastically pro-Democrat.

Then, to round it all up, there's the all-important Iran-Armenia relationship. Here is a forceful attempt to put it in perspective.

As Mr. C stresses, "Iran favors Armenia, which is counter-intuitive at first sight. So the Iranians may help the Russians out (funneling supplies), but on the other hand they have a good relationship with Turkey, especially in the oil and gas smuggling business. And if they get too overt in their support, Trump has a casus belli to get involved and the Europeans may not like to end up on the same side as the Russians and the Iranians. It just looks bad. And the Europeans hate to look bad."

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia -- according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There's the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The "threat" to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow's attention towards the Caucasus so there's more Turkish freedom of action in other theaters -- in the Eastern Mediterranean versus Greece, in Syria, in Libya. Ankara -- foolishly -- is engaged in simultaneous wars on several fronts, and with virtually no allies.

What this means is that even more than NATO, monopolizing Russia's attention in the Caucasus most of all may be profitable for Erdogan himself. As Mr. C stresses, "in this situation, the Nagorno-Karabakh leverage/'trump card' in the hands of Turkey would be useful for negotiations with Russia."

No question: the neo-Ottoman sultan never sleeps.


Yevardian , says: October 2, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT

And I suspect that Azerbaijan will do no harm to the Armenian civilians that stay. They’ll be model liberators. And they’ll take time to bring back Azerbaijani civilians (refugees/IDPs) to their homes, especially in areas that would become mixed as a result of return.”

I never read such rubbish in my life.

AJ , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@Yevardian

Agreed, this is rubbish. “Mr. C” – assuming someone like this even exists, is either terribly misinformed or an outright liar. Basically, if we follow Escobar’s logic, Armenian’s are making a mistake by not agreeing to surrender their lives to the peace loving and rather humanistic dictatorship of Azerbaijan. While he touches on some relevant points, overall, Escobar has not done his homework and has come up with quite a bit of drivel.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: • Website October 2, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

Pepe, you didn’t mention the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, all perpetrated by Turkey.

Why not? Would the Azeris, all Turks, be different? You say the Azeris if they won, Turks, would treat the Armenian population nicely. Huh?

I remember from Runciman’s book on the First Crusade that the Turks had already taken over much of Anatolia but he seems to mention Armenians at every turn (from memory—don’t have the book handy).

My impression is that before the Genocide the Armenians were all over Anatolia. There was a narrow coastal strip at the western end that was historically part of Greece, and many different peoples of Asia Minor are mentioned in the NT, but they arguably were all Armenians, making the Armenians the indigenous people of Anatolia.

How is it that Turkey was allowed to keep part of Europe after WWI when they were losers? And did they keep faith? Is the current St Sophia turmoil the norm of Turkish good faith?

Time for all the Turks to get out of Anatolia, give it back to Armenia, and head for Azerbigan.

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good article. What a web of “ frenemies”…

Anon [166] • Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Yevardian having been disciplined for some years now is, once again, at the throat of the west. Europe spent millions of lives and huge resources throwing the Moors out last time. If they don’t take a stand and support Armenia they may very well have to do it again. As far as the mythical Mr C is concerned he comes across, to me, as yet another apologist for the Religion of Peace. Obviously cucked NATO will not help Armenia, they have neither the intestinal fortitude nor the will, so it will be left to Russia and the Visigrad nations, in the mean time Turkey is attempting to take Greek territory, Syrian territory, Libyan territory and anything else that it can get it’s mitts on and the West does absolutely nothing. This will not end well.
true.enough , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

I found this piece difficult to read: lots of data and suppositions scattered about.

Ankara, oh Ankara! Erdogan is overstretched, that’s a fact.

Wielgus , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:26 am GMT
@Yevardian

I think few Armenian civilians will take the chance but I very much doubt Azerbaijanis will be “model liberators”. The new Azerbaijani state was born from the Sumgait and Baku pogroms. I also don’t think they will delay in moving Azeris into areas formerly inhabited by Armenians – their role model Erdoğan has been trying to change facts on the ground by moving ethnic Turks into Kurdish areas in his own country.

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 10:15 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse deavor, even if they were the majority, though most accounts say they were 40%.

I would strongly urge the Armenians to get off their nationalist high horse and solve the problem diplomatically and learn to live with their neighbors. Super nationalism is a dangerous and fake mantra that usually leads to disaster. My understanding was that the Azeris and Armenians always got along before this debacle. They should try to work out things and get back to a their original multi-cultural paradigm, that is living side by side instead of fighting and dying over territory and national flags. Live is short and when we pass to the other side you dont carry your flag with you.

Rahan , says: October 2, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT

The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991: but that was not recognized by the “international community”

Just to throw in quickly that if Kosovo is “recognized”, then bleeding Karabakh should also long since have been recognized. Especially since the Armenians have an actual holocaust in their 20th century past.

reezy , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that it was Winston Churchill who said that the Turk was either at your feet or at your throat

Actually he said that about the Germans. Though it sounds like one of those patronizing aphorisms that can easily apply to anyone.

Lin , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm GMT

Sabre dance–A famous piece of Armenian music composed by Khachaturian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aH2Gpdr-WrA?feature=oembed

Aking , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Rahan

So, seems like the way to get sympathy to rob territory is to make full use of any “genocide” one had suffered as excuse…. worked very well ( in fact, spectacularly well) so faR with the Chosen ones….

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

Well i admittedly dont know enough about the situation to try to critique this piece as some of the other comments on here… But i am skeptical about Armenia and their stated intent. If it is reallly about protecting an ethnic group – then why not offer them citizenship to move into your territory??? That would lead me to believe it is more about land and resources…

Showmethereal , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
@true.enough

Yeah i dont know the nitty gritty in this conflict – but i do agree Edrogan seems to be biting off more than he can chew… He has too many pots on the fire it seems. Kurds – Qatar/Saudis – Libya – Syria – Greece – Cyprus – and now this..?

Derer , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm GMT

Aside from refusing to participate against their Muslim cousins (Afghanistan, Libya), Turkey is using NATO doctrine quite effectively. It is a useful bullet prove vest for Erdogan. The Brussels morons will be sorry for not expelling Turkey from their military club long time ago.

SZ , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse iven to the Syrian desert AFTER some of them had aligned with the Russians who were about to invade eastern Anatolia in 1915. Similarly, most of Crimean Tatars were expelled from Crimea AFTER some of them had aligned with the invading Germans in 1941. As another comparison, American-Japanese living at the Pacific coast were banished to camps in the interior AFTER the Japanese army had attacked Pearl Harbor and not before.
When a group of people kill or drive out another group it’s usually not for the fun of it but rather due to necessities of survival, whatever evil that might require at that particular time depending on the particular circumstances.
Surprised , says: October 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

It would be interesting to read a scholarly exposition on what the USSR and governments in Eastern Europe proper did or did not do to educate people away from their ancient hatreds, and why whatever they did do appears not to have been particularly successful. Or was it mostly successful and the hatreds were much more intense before 1917?

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm GMT
@SZ

The ethnic cleansing of the Armenians was pretty bloody and barbaric and was meant as a public spectacle for reasons that are argued about till today.

It was well recorded by the inhabitants of Syria.

Uprising against your rulers does not give the rulers right to carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing in any case.

Anonymous [334] • Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 2:52 am GMT

The entire Jewish American lobby and Israel are on Azerbaijan’s side and anti-Armenian, just as when they were working with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide.

Israel has also sold billions of dollars of weapons to Azerbaijan which the latter is using against Armenians. Israel gets oil from Azerbaijan

Of course, Azerbaijan and Turkey have imported jihadists from Syria and Libya to fight Christian Armenians now.

Apparently, Pepe, you and the Jewish lobby, Israel, Turkey, and the jihadists are on the same side.

Congratulations.

P.S. It would take a hundred pages to list all the factual errors you made. For example, Armenians were still the clear majority in Artsakh/Karabagh in 1988 and 1991. Armenians there had been grossly mistreated by Azerbaijan for decades.

The fighting occurred in the late 1980s only because Azerbaijan, backed by the Russian military, killed and harrassed Armenians. The Azeris also committed massacres of Armenians who were living in Baku and Sumgait in the late 1980s.

Stalin also placed Nakhichevan, an Armenian territory, inside Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan kicked out every Armenian from Nakhichevan. Azerbaijan was doing that to Artsakh/Karabagh too.

No wonder Artsakh voted to be independent from Azerbaijan, something you don’t want to understand.
Better luck next time trying to fool readers, Pepe.

Felix Keverich , says: October 3, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

The key fact remains that as long as Armenia proper is not attacked by Azerbaijan, Russia will not apply the CSTO treaty and step in. Erdogan knows this is his red line. Moscow has all it takes to put him in serious trouble – as in shutting off gas supplies to Turkey.

Russia isn’t going to shut off gas to Turkey. Russia never does that (shutting off gas). It’s a Western canard.

Russia could, however, impose a no-fly-zone over Georgia, effectively blocking resupply and reinforcements to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is almost completely surrounded by Russian allies and bases. They rely on Georgia for military transit.

Druid , says: October 3, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

Ignorant post. Armenian nationalist were active in Russia prior to ww1, then supported Russian entrance into Turkish territory because they shared a religion. They stabbed the ottomans , of which they were a big part, in the back. The young Turks , who were actually donmeh jews, had them marched off to Syria and lebanon, etc, causing many deaths! The Armenian is still causing trouble for the Turks. They sided with the mongols in their battles against the Muslims, along wit the Georgians, repeatedly. More to a small story

anon [154] • Disclaimer , says: October 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm GMT

What’s going to happen to USA? The poverty and racial intolerance ,both seem to be undermining the stability and the ideological integrity of the country . I see many states emerging from the body of America.But the problems will not be resolved . It might just like like Caucasian territory or Balkan .

Anonymous [231] • Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2020 at 3:25 am GMT
@Yevardian

Pepe appears to be on the side of Azerbaijan, and thus also on the side of Turkey, Israel, the Jewish lobby, and jihadists.

Nice company.

vot tak , says: October 4, 2020 at 11:58 pm GMT

Reading this, my suspicion is this “mr. c” is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

Semiogogue , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:47 am GMT

1. BTC is described as ‘bypassing Iran’. One could easily argue it also bypasses *Russia* . Perhaps that’s what made it necessary for Soros & others to peel Georgia off from Russian control back in the day? Look how Russia responded by recapturing the Georgian Military Highway (South Ossetia).

2. Look in general at how Russia is willing to give up huge areas of territory so long as she keeps key strategic points of control: South Ossetia, Crimea, Transnistria, Abkhazia and… Armenia. Smell the coffee.

3. 2. ‘Mr. C’ is quick to mention Baku/Ankara joint exercises in August, but fails to mention Kavkas 2020 exercises led by Russia. Uh duh.

4. ‘Mr. C’ seems to ignore the fact that Armenia couldn’t have taken that territory in first place, or kept it, w/out Russian assistance. And idea ‘Russia can do nothing’ is absurd. As is the idea that Russia can’t supply Armenia because there’s no land connection. Did the allies have any problem keeping West Berlin supplied by air? Of course not. All nonsense.

5. The idea that there is a ‘Russia/Turkey’ strategic partnership is also silly. Where is this partnership? Turkey buying S-400s? So what? Are they in partnership in Syria? In Libya? No. So why would they be in N-K?

6. Weird. No mention of China and it’s growing relationship with Turkey. This probably tells you all you need to know about the author. Unless of course the author is just a fool, which is also possible.

Jivinski , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:04 am GMT

“Yet even before the collapse the Azerbaijani Army and Armenian independentists were already at war (1988-1994), which yielded a grim balance of 30,000 dead and roughly a million wounded.”

This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of thirty-three to one. Doesn’t make sense.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT

Were Russia to be as devious and underhanded as the puppet regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, they would arrange for an overthrow of the present NATO/EU/U$ regime in Yerevan. With those bastards out of the way and Armenia no longer playing double jeopardy, it might be possible for a new Orthodox oriented Armenian government to come to some sort of arrangement with Baku.

At the same time, perhaps Syrian spetsnaz units could practice some infiltration tactics into Turkish semi-occupied “greater” Idlib and Ghurka style, behead a few Turkish officers running the show there.

“Sultan” Erdogan is playing loose and wild with his shattering economy and massive military. It is high time he was given a black-eye–one that would cause him to lose face among his own countrymen.

Mactoul , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:08 am GMT
@SZ

How many of the Japanese-American deportees died as consequence of deportation vs how many Armenians that died as consequence of their deportation.

It is not deportation that is alleged to be the Turkish crime but genocide. Please keep it mind.

Yukon Jack , says: October 5, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT

This is my educated guess, the Anglo-Zionists led by Rothschild and Netanayahu destablize the oil in the Middle East to keep their prices of oil in USD above 100 $/barrel

They have also blown up oil derricks in the North Sea, shut down Iranian and Iraq and Syria oil production. The game is clear, low oil prices are being met with wiping out the competition.

And causing hell in Iran and Venezueala. Back in 1954 Operation Ajax took out Mossadeq and installed the Shah – puppet of big oil. Before it was BP it was the Persian Gulf Oil Co. BP is owned mostly by the crown.

Trump’s secretary of state was Rex Tillerson CEO Exxon just like GW Bush picked Condoleeza Rice CEO Chevron to be his national security advisor.

The Israel angle is to get Iran and to goad Russia into war with the USA, the eventually goal is that USA-Russia-China are reduced while Jews rule the world from Jerusalem.

How much you wanna bet Bibi Satanyahu has a hand in this war? And Evangelical Christians will support Israel even if this war kills lots of Armenian Christians just like in Syria.

Since this war in on Russia’s doorstep Putin an Lavrov will try negotiations first then what will they do next. Putin has vowed the war will never come to Russia which means Russia will enter the theater on the anti-Zionist side.

Have you noticed every state within a few hundred miles of Israel is being torched and the natives driven out?

Ghali , says: October 5, 2020 at 6:17 am GMT

Back again to Pepe Escobar’s distortions of reality. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory. In fact, no country in the world recognises it as an “Independent” as Escobar likes to mislead us. Armenia should do the right thing and withdraw its forces, including foreign militants from there. Like Israel, Armenia is playing the role of a victim of a “holocaust”.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:20 am GMT

Considering that the 2nd largest US/NWO Embassy in the World is in Armenia – a country of 2.9 million people, and that the new President was put in power by the West – the end game is to continue to surround Russia, screw up the New Silk Road, and be at Iran’s back door too. As said before , the domestic USA can totally look like the USSR in the 90s, but the NWO Foreign policy money is 100% – guaranteed. What do all those thousands of workers in that huge Embassy compound do ?

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Tommy Thompson

Actually, once the Armenians were genocided , the Jewish bankers were the big shots left in Turkey. H Morgenthau, our Turkish ambassador along with being jewish himself, wrote about it in his reports. The Game hasn’t changed much – it stays the same. Thanks.

J , says: October 5, 2020 at 7:44 am GMT

About a third of Iran’s population is Azeri. Should they develop interest in the conflict, Iran may become involved. That would align Turkey and Iran vs Russia. That would be something.

ARemo , says: October 5, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
@Yevardian

Damn right. We already have experience what happens when Turks get control of Christian Armenians – systematic gang rapes and death marches are the rule of the day. Turks are animals and letting them control any portion of Armenia is basically turning that place into a concentration camp.

Ming Shih-tsung , says: October 5, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Yevardian

“Mr. C” probably stands for Cemal, given how biased he is.

anon [229] • Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Yukon Jack p>

Fact: 1979 was the year that “big oil” LEGAL contracts were to expire and the “puppet” Shah had threatened as early as 1973 (when he was instrumental in making OPEC a powerful entity) that in 1979 Iran “would sell Iranian Oil to any buyer, at market prices”.

Fact: Iran, in 1978 produced 6 million barrels per day. It has never been permitted to reach those levels again.

Fact: Chinese, Indian, Syrian, Venezuelan, and God knows who else, all projects of the Global Cabal have been getting Iranian Oil (under their engineered boxing of Iranian nation) at levels that very likely are equal if not LOWER than the terms the Qajar idiots gave the insatiablely greedy and slimey English.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse perpetrated by Turkey.

And you did not mention that the only quarters of Smyrna/Izmir that were not torched in a fire in 1922 were the Jewish and Turkish quarters – what a surprise! An antecedent to 9/11. Here is the Jewpedia hiding the real story – as usual.

The Armenian and Greek quarters were destroyed and the Jews got a monopoly on the commerce. Done deal!

Great fire of Smyrna

Wielgus , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@GMC

If the “colour revolution” assumptions were in force, there would be a host of denunciations of Azerbaijan and Turkey (the latter perhaps the real prime mover in this) by the USA and EU etc. There aren’t. The USA and EU may even tacitly support the Azerbaijanis, perhaps they hope the Russians and Iranians will become entangled in this affair and so forth.

Ugetit , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT
@vot tak

…my suspicion is this “mr. c” is part of the western disinformation machine, probably operating for the israelis.

While I know nothing about the situation, after reading the article and the mostly excellent comments, I suspect your suspicion is correct.

Alfred , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT

I have a suggestion.

How about swapping Nagorno-Karabakh for North Cyprus. I am sure the Greeks would be very happy to live with the Armenians. But the Sultan’s dreams of owning the Eastern Mediterranean would come to naught.

anon [137] • Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm GMT
@Lin

I’ve always associated that piece with the circus not knowing the title or its origin.

Stebbing Heuer , says: October 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Stalin did nasty things like that to keep the republics feuding with each other rather than pushing back against Moscow. The mixed-up borders of the ‘stans, further east, are testament to this. Fergana Valley?

Divide and rule. Still costing lives in pointless wars almost 100 years later.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT

At stake is the very existence of the Armenian people. Turkey is trying to finish what remains of them after the genocide last century. Both Erdoghan and Aliev have stated, that they want a “final solution” to the “Armenian problem”.

It’s an existential battle for the Armenians.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Yevardian

We all know what they did to the Armenians in 1915.

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Alfred

Exactly. The history of Turkey since 1880-s is full of ethnic cleansings and genocides of the non-muslim people such as Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

MLK , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT

My thanks to Escobar for taking on a subject rather obviously not susceptible to 2,700 word essays, along with attention worthy links.

His biases are not my own but he’s thoughtful and certainly doesn’t hide them.

In this and so many other incidents we can see how thoroughly Trump has moved the American ship of state despite the relentless efforts of foreign and domestic resistance to neutralize America First and destroy him.

It’s really quite something the way Obama’s presidency in all its disastrous fullness has been memory-holed. The defense of it being that it merely extended Bush’s world-historical incompetence and malefactions.

Could you have turned US unipolarity following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact into a “moment” if you tried? I couldn’t.

You will be way ahead of most everyone if you get your mind around that and the geopolitical sad story that is CCP China winning the post-Cold War quarter-century hands down.

We inevitably come back to the point that the whole drama can be interpreted from the perspective of a NATO geopolitical hit against Russia – according to quite a few analyses circulating at the Duma.

Ukraine is an absolute black hole. There’s the Belarus impasse. Covid-19. The Navalny circus. The “threat” to Nord Stream-2.

To pull Russia back into the Armenia-Azerbaijan drama means turning Moscow’s attention towards the Caucasus . . .

I confess that I get no end of enjoyment over bellyaching on behalf of those powers the Obama administration was turning the world over to. Nord Stream II was merely the down payment on Russia’s assistance/acquiescence in throwing the electron to Hillary, with the sky the limit for China, Russia and Iran once Democrats and their foreign allies had neutralized free and fair elections.

Now all of these powers must deal with a real POTUS who asks “What have you done for the US lately?”

The USG and Russia have cooperated where geopolitical interests align. More will follow once Trump takes the oath again. As I’ve explained previously, despite its high-risk position in the Resistance matrix, Russia/Putin have (unsurprisingly, to me) acted skillfully and with circumspection.

The same cannot be said for Iran. Nor China, particularly since the end of last year.

Ashino Wolf Sushanti , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

https://www.putin-today.ru/archives/109463
https://vz.ru
Михаил Мошкин

Why Russia needs Azerbaijan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised a number of questions. In particular, why Moscow is in no hurry to stand up for Armenia and why it does not sharply criticize
Azerbaijan. The answer is that Moscow and Baku have very close relations, and not only economic relations. So what is the value and irreplaceability of Azerbaijan for Russia?

[MORE]
Z-man , says: October 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm GMT

Border and population changes are in order. A quarter of N-K goes back to Azerbaijan and the rest closer to Armenia proper plus the capital city goes to Armenia with a 50 mile wide band connecting it with the rest of Armenia. The Azeris get the rest of their lands now occupied by the Armenians. Will it happen? Probably not, just look at Kosovo..

God's Fool , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm GMT

There is a province between Ngorno Karabakh and Armenia proper of roughly of the same size belonging to Azerbaijan, so why not just exchange it with each other to avoid further conflict and bloodshed?

Дима Трамп , says: October 5, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
@God's Fool

There is no guarantee that Turkey will not try to then eliminate whatever remains of Armenia.

Remember, Turkey genocided Armenians and wiped out close to 80% of them in 1915 through 1922. Armenian populated areas stretched from what is now Armenia until the shores of Eastern Mediterranean. The only thing that is left of it is Kessab in modern day Syria.

Majority of One , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm GMT
@Ghali e fake, false and fraudulent, whether in Asia or Africa. Over time, justice will prevail and borders will reflect the ethno-national composition of its long-term inhabitants.

That said, the current regime in Yerevan needs to be overthrown, as it was established in conjunction with the interests of the Cabal/Nato and their various puppet regimes. Armenia is the oldest Orthodox Christian nation in the world and was severely genocided by the Donmeh covert Jewish Masons who called themselves the “Young Turks” who were led by Enver Pasha.

By the way, who are you, Ghali? Do you have a dog in the fight? Are you connected with an intel agency?

anaccount , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT

Excellent article, normally I pass over Pepe for the naughty articles on Unz but I might have to take another look.

My only critique is that the article feels pro-Azeri but that’s balanced with an informative description how this started in July, including an accurate appraisal of Turkish behavior.

I’m not Azeri or Armenian so I didn’t have a dog in this fight until I noticed Israel’s support for Azerbaijan. It’s nothing personal, I have only one hate.

Shaman911 , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT

Jewish Bankers shifting profits to other Jewish bankers. Funding all sides and profiting from the mass graves again. 5000 years and nothing has changed.

GMC , says: October 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Wielgus

The Turks are the US Army in this – with their proxy armies sent to help the Azerbaijanis, just like the US Army /Israelis and their proxies Isis, al Nusra, al Qaeda etc. in Syria. The US and their 6000 employees at the Embassy, don’t have to say anything – they back both sides – just like the Zionists do – in the US political parties. Things don’t change , Tactics don’t change. Thanks.

A.R. , says: October 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@Majority of One

You are asking him if he has a dog in this fight? What about yourself? You very clearly have a dog in this fight yourself, haven`t you?
Try to cut down on the hypocrasy, why don`t you, and at the same time maybe moderate your “holier than thou” attitude.

[Oct 04, 2020] Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate-

Oct 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Moon of Alabama Brecht quote " U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu' | Main October 03, 2020 Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?

Seven days after Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh territory it has not made any territorial progress.

Overview map

Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories.
bigger

Detail map

bigger

The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian. The light blue districts were originally Azeri but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s.

Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan by supplying it with Turkish drones and with 'moderate Syrian rebel' mercenaries from Syrian and Libya . All are flown in through Georgian air space. Other mercenaries seem to come from Afghanistan . Additional hardware comes by road also through Georgia. Another supporter of the attacker is Israel. During the last week Azerbaijani military transport aircraft have flown at least six times to Israel to then return with additional Israeli suicide drones on board. These Harop drones have been widely used in attacks on Armenian positions. An Israeli made LORA short range ballistic missile was used by Azerbaijan to attack a bridge that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Allegedly there are also Turkish flown F-16 fighter planes in Azerbaijan.

Turkey seems to direct the drones and fighter planes in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh through AWACS type air control planes that fly circles at the Turkish-Armenian border.

The attack plan Azerbaijan had in mind when it launched the war foresaw to take several miles deep zones per day. It has not survived the first day of battle. Azerbaijan started the attack without significant artillery preparation. The ground attack was only supported by drone strikes on Armenian tanks, artillery and air defense positions. But the defensive lines held by Armenian infantry were not damaged by the drones. The dug in Armenian infantry could use its anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons to full extend. Azerbaijani tanks and infantry were slaughtered when they tried to break into the lines. Both sides had significant casualties but overall the frontlines did not move.

The war seems already to be at a stalemate. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan can afford to use air power and ballistic missiles purchased from Russia without Russian consent.

The drone attacks were for a while quite successful. A number of old air defense systems were destroyed before the Armenians became wiser with camouflaging them. The Azerbaijani's than used a trick to unveil hidden air defense positions. Radio controlled Antonov AN-2 airplanes, propeller driven relicts from the late 1940s, were sent over Armenian positions. When the air defense then launched a missile against them a loitering suicide drone was immediately dropped onto the firing position .

That seems to have worked for a day or two but by now such drone attacks have been become rare. Dozens of drones were shut down before they could hit a target and Azerbaijan seems to be running out of them. A bizarre music video the Azerbaijanis posted showed four trucks each carrying nine drones. It may have had several hundreds of those drones but likely less than one thousand. Israel is currently under a strict pandemic lockdown. Resupply of drones will be an issue. Azerbaijan has since brought up more heavy artillery but it seems to primarily use it to hit towns and cities, not the front lines where it would be more useful.

It is not clear who is commanding the Azerbaijani troops. There days ago the Chief of the General Staff of Azerbaijan was fired after he complained about too much Turkish influence on the war. That has not helped. Two larger ground attacks launched by Azerbaijan earlier today were also unsuccessful. The Armenians are currently counter attacking.

In our last piece on the war we pointed to U.S. plans to 'overextend Russia' by creating trouble in the Caucasus just as it is now happening. Fort Russ notes :

The current director of the CIA, Gina Haspel , was doing field assignments in Turkey in the early stages of her career, she reportedly speaks Turkish, and she has history of serving as a station chief in Baku, Azerbaijan , in the late 1990s. It is, therefore, presumable that she still has connections with the local government and business elites.

The current Chief of the MI6, Richard Moore , also has history of working in Turkey -- he was performing tasks for the British intelligence there in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Moore is fluent in Turkish and he also served as the British Ambassador to Turkey from 2014 to 2017.

The intelligence chiefs of the two most powerful countries in the Anglosphere are turkologists with connections in Turkey and Azerbaijan. It would be reasonable to assume that a regional conflict of such magnitude happening now, on their watch, is far from being a mere coincidence.

Before President Trump stopped the program the CIA had used the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines in more than 350 flights to bring weapons from Bulgaria to Turkey to then hand them to 'Syrian rebels'. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is not only a CIA station but also a Mossad center for waging its silent war against Iran.

The former Indian ambassador to Turkey M.K. Bhadrakumar has written two interesting pieces on the current conflict. In the first one he reminds us on the 2018 color revolution in Armenia which he had thought meant trouble for Moscow .

I have never perceived it that way. While Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tried to get into business with 'western' powers and NATO there was no way he could fundamentally change Armenia's foreign policy. A hundred years ago Turkey, with the second biggest NATO army, had genocided Armenians. They have never forgotten that. The relation to Azerbaijan were also certain to continue to be hostile. That will only change if the two countries again come under some larger empire. Armenia depends on Russian arms support just as much as Azerbaijan does. (Azerbaijan has more money and pays more for its Russian weapons which allows Russia to subsidize the ones it sells to Armenia.)

After Nikol Pashinyan was installed and tried to turn 'west' Russia did the same as it did in Belarus when President Lukashenko started to make deals with the 'west'. It set back and waited until the 'west' betrayed its new partners. That has happened in Belarus a few weeks ago. The U.S. launched a color revolution against Lukashenko and he had nowhere to turn to but to Russia . Now Armenia is under attack by NATO supported forces and can not hope for help from anywhere but Russia.

Iran likewise did not fear the new government in Yerevan. It was concerned over Pashinyan's recent diplomatic exchanges with Israel which were at the initiative of the White House. But that concern has now been lifted. To protest against Israel's recent sale of weapon to Azerbaijan Armenia has called back its ambassador from Israel just two weeks after it opened its embassy there.

Pashinyan will have to apologize in Moscow before Russia will come to his help. As Maxim Suchkov relays :

This is interesting: Evgeniy "Putin's chef" Prigozhin gives short interview to state his "personal opinion" on Nagorno-Karabakh. Some takeaways:

- Karabakh is Azerbaijan's territory
- Russia has no legal grounds to conduct military activity in Karabakh
- there are more American NGOs in Armenia than national military units
- PM Pashinyan is to blame
- until 2018 Russia was able to ensure ARM & AZ discuss conflict at the negotiation table, then US brought Pashinyan to power in Yerevan and he feels he's a king & can't talk to Aliyev

I wonder if Prigozhin's remarks suggest he'd be reluctant to deploy his Wagner guys to Armenia, if needed or if he is asked to do so, or he's just indeed stating his own views or it's a way to delicately allude to Pashinyan that Moscow not happy with him ... ?

Russia's (and Iran's) interest is to refreeze the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. But that requires compliant people on both sides. It therefore does not mind that Azerbaijan currently creates some pressure on Pashinyan. But it can not allow Azerbaijan to make a significant victory. One of its main concern will be to get Turkey out of the game and that will require support for Armenia. Iran has a quite similar strategy. The U.S. will probably try to escalate the situation and to make it more complicate for Russia. It is likely silently telling Turkey to increase its involvement in the war.

Russia will likely only intervene if either side makes some significant territorial gains. Unless that happens it will likely allow the war to continue in the hope that it will burn out :

The upcoming winter conditions, coupled with the harsh terrain, will limit large-scale military operations. Also, the crippled economies of both Azerbaijan and Armenia will not allow them to maintain a prolonged conventional military confrontation.

Posted by b on October 3, 2020 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink


james , Oct 3 2020 17:42 utc | 1

thanks b....informative... another proxy war is how this looks to me with all the usual suspects involved... they couldn't get what they wanted in syria, so now onto this...
dh , Oct 3 2020 18:04 utc | 2
Trump hasn't said much about this conflict yet. He probably has his eye on Armenian/American voters.
Kali , Oct 3 2020 18:05 utc | 3
The war started the day after negotiations between Russia and Turkey over Syria and maybe Libya also failed. Now the Azeri military complains about too much Turkish involvement which can only mean one thing--complaining about taking orders from Turks. So this looks like a Turkish aggression against Moscow? Meant to make a point about Syria? Libya?
Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4
In fact, most of your links are propaganda from both sides. We really have no idea what is going on on the ground.

In fact, most of your links are propaganda from both sides. We really have no idea what is going on on the ground.

Azerbaijan's position is justified, given that Armenia illegally occupies Azeri territory. The failure here is on the OSCE group for not being able or willing to resolve the conflict. Azerbaijan has a right to regain its territory by force, if necessary.

Russia may very well allow Azerbaijan to retake its territory, if it can, but draw a red line as to entering Armenia proper. The Current Armenian government is hardly a friend of Russia.

A good summary of the situation is Pepe Escobar's https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/explosive-stakes-on-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/


Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 18:21 utc | 5
Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4

Saker's link doesn't require a login
https://thesaker.is/whats-at-stake-in-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/

Josh , Oct 3 2020 18:27 utc | 6
Thanks B.
james , Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7
@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4... do you feel the same way about crimea and ukraine taking it back? curious... you live in turkey if i am not mistaken.. are you turkish??
Bemildred , Oct 3 2020 18:31 utc | 8
Mountains are not good places to fight wars. Tends to be bloody, expensive, and useless.

I wonder what Haspel thinks she is doing too?

Maybe they could federate Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, form a union state, call it Caucasia, we can send all our white supremacists there.

Gary , Oct 3 2020 18:32 utc | 9
First Israeli attack on Armenia in 2017

In a rare move, the Defense Ministry suspended the export license of an Israeli drone manufacturer to Azerbaijan in light of claims that the company attempted to bomb the Armenian military on the Azeris behalf during a demonstration of one of its "suicide" unmanned aerial vehicles last month.
The two Israelis operating the two Orbiter 1K drones during the test refused to carry out the attack, Two higher ranking members of the Aeronautics Defense Systems delegation in Baku then attempted to carry out the Azerbaijani request , but, lacking the necessary experience, ended up missing their targets.
Last year, Azerbaijan used another Israeli suicide drone, an Israeli Aerospace Industries Harop-model, in an attack on a bus that killed seven Armenians.
Last year, the country's president, Ilham Aliyev, revealed Azerbaijan had purchased some $5 billion worth of weapons and defense systems from Israel.

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 18:44 utc | 10
Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7

My citizenship is the same as yours. No one recognizes Nagorno Karabagh independence, not even Armenia.

Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.

Apparently, no one liked the idea despite its fairness. I assume the Azeris in NK would have to be exchanged with the Armenians in the corridor in a population exchange for this to be realized.

arata , Oct 3 2020 18:55 utc | 11
@2 Kali
"The war started the day after negotiations between Russia and Turkey over Syria and maybe Libya also failed"

More than a week before start of the war, everyone involved in the region politics knew the war is imminent. Two days before the start of war Zarif rushed to Moscow.
Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 18:57 utc | 12
Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 3 2020 18:31 utc | 8

You mean the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
https://wiki2.org/en/Transcaucasian_Democratic_Federative_Republic

Didn't last long.

Iñigo , Oct 3 2020 19:02 utc | 13
This bastard of Prigozhin goes where the money flows.
And the money flows from Baku.
Do not give much credit to this thug.
Or perhaps Crimea belongs to Ukraine?
R Rose , Oct 3 2020 19:03 utc | 14
@ Blue Dotterel

"Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.

Apparently, no one liked the idea despite its fairness. I assume the Azeris in NK would have to be exchanged with the Armenians in the corridor in a population exchange for this to be realized."

That reads like a reasonable solution. Too bad it wasn't embraced.


b "The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian."? Nagorno Kharbakh is internationally recognized Azerbaijan territory

Pashinyan's placement in Armenia was meant to give an advantage to those that 'brung him' Your claims to the otherwise are some kind of pretzel logic.
Georgia absolutely flat out denied any passage of 'rebels' through their territory. That claim is utter unsubstantiated rubbish.

"have never perceived it that way. While Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tried to get into business with 'western' powers and NATO there was no way he could fundamentally change Armenia's foreign policy"

Why because you say he couldn't? The one constant is change.


AtaBrit , Oct 3 2020 19:04 utc | 15
While it is not a solution as such, I fully agree with b's last point about Russia and Iran preferring to 'refreeze' the game and remove Turkey from the board.

Since the kick off I have wondered to what extent this is an Azerbaijani initiative and to what extent a Turkish one.

Either way, as I posted on the open thread, Lavrov and Cavusoglu agreed a couple of days ago that a ceasefire was necessary and Russia reiterated its strong stance against the presence of foreign militias in the conflict. Let's hope sober heads prevail. As Rouhani stated very clearly, the region can not withstand another war.

ARIES , Oct 3 2020 19:10 utc | 16
The "invisible hand" of International Zionism is driving the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh:

https://toranja-mecanica.blogspot.com/2020/10/a-mao-invisivel-do-sionismo.html

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 19:11 utc | 17
Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7

Sorry, didn't really answer your question. Kosovo, N. Cyprus, Crimea (annexation) and NK independence are all regarded as illegal accoding to international law, as far as, I know. None have had a proper UN sponsored referendum.
Although Turkish N. Cyprus did vote to reunite with Greek S. Cyrprus in a UN referendum, but the Greek Cypriots nixed it, and were immediately admitted to the EU as a prize for their pigheadedness.

Is it any wonder that Turks don't trust the Christian West or East? Neither the Grek Cypriots or the Armenians have any incentive nor desire to negotiate in good faith because the US, Europe and Russia are unwilling to compel them to, but reward them instead with territorial freezes that benefit them.

The ethnic Muslim Turks in both cases get screwed because of the racist propaganda directed at them through the ages.

Pat , Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 18
Wow, Blue Dotterel, the hatred for Armenians runs deep in you. Nakhichevan was handed over to Azerbaijan by the Soviets even before Karabakh/Artsakh was. Then the ethnic cleansing of its majority Armenian population and destruction of ancient Armenian monuments began so there would be little trace of its pedigree. Armenia has been chipped away at and betrayed by their so-called betters generation upon generation. They are not budging nor should they.
Galust , Oct 3 2020 19:30 utc | 19
You can buy as many weapons as you want, if your soldiers don't know how to fight it's not going to help. Whether you get 4000 Syrian rebels or 40,000 to Azerbaijan it still won't help them. If Azerbaijan could take those lands they wound have done it without asking Russia's permission. Even with advanced weapons they stand no chance. Armenians are using mostly antiquated and cheap air defense tech to shoot down the most advanced and expensive drones in the world. Thousands of their troops got slaughtered And hundreds of tanks destroyed so they could get one village that no one needs ? Wow great results. If they continue with these results for 2 more weeks they are going to need a brand new army. One thing Azeris have difficulty understanding is that in real life Might makes Right. Armenians learned this lesson back in 1914 when they got slaughtered and no one cared, not even the Christian west or orthodox Russia. Azeris just need to learn to leave with defeat and shame. And Azeris don't understand how bizarre and funny their army music videos look outside Azerbaijan. Same thing with Armenian videos. Not sure why both sides think there is a need to glorify war which creates grief and misery.
circumspect , Oct 3 2020 19:32 utc | 20
As always and interesting piece of work with some interesting comments and links for one to learn some angles on this situation.
Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 19:33 utc | 21
Posted by: Pat | Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 18

What makes you think I hate Armenians? I grew up with many Armenian friends and acquaintences in my home country. Even in Turkey, I have worked with Armenians (Turkish citizens, of course) and even had and Armenian (from Armenia) cleaning women for my flat.

I certainly do think Armenians have had poor to incompetent, even racist leaders. Sort of like the US recently. Indeed, both countries have even had a similar Covid19 mismanagement.

No, I have no problem with Armenians, any more than I do with USAians or any other peoples.

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 19:55 utc | 22
Posted by: Pat | Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 18

You state "the ethnic cleansing of its majority Armenian population" with out any context, but you do realise that Armenians are quite capable of and certainly committted ethnic cleansing themselves. From the Pepe Escobar article:
https://thesaker.is/whats-at-stake-in-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/

"The peace talks are going nowhere because Armenia is refusing to budge (to withdraw from occupying Nagorno-Karabakh plus 7 surrounding regions in phases or all at once, with the usual guarantees for civilians, even settlers – note that when they went in in the early 1990s they cleansed those lands of literally all Azerbaijanis, something like between 700,000 and 1 million people)."

So, fact, the Armenians ethnically cleansed some 700,000 to 1 million Azeris from the Azeri lands they now occupy including NK.

Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, is commonplace in war time, and even in peace time.

Kooshy , Oct 3 2020 19:56 utc | 23
To make countries eligible to become part of the NATO the west first they would need to be cleansed going through a western inspired and planed color revolution. Russian resistance formula to prevent these countries joining NATO is to make these countries an economic, political and military basket case by making parts of these countries' territory contested, and out of control of western recognized seating governments. Once countries territorial integrity becomes challenged and out of control of western inspired governments, it becomes a challenge to be absorbed by any for any alliances. Such a country is a failed country dependent on western economic, political and military freebies. Likes of Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan etc. We shall see when, US/west feel, this will not work and will go nowhere, and tries to climb down the unipolar peak. Both of these countries are dependent on Iran and Russia.
Jen , Oct 3 2020 20:30 utc | 24
Blue Dotterel @ 17:

Self-determination is considered a major principle of international law. This principle is included in the UN's Charter (Chapter 1). Even if a group of people goes ahead with declaring its independence and breaking away from a country it dislikes being part of, as in the case of Crimea, without consulting with the UN in any way, the UN cannot object to this act. What Crimea did, did not violate international law.

Had the Crimeans consulted with the UN, they very likely would have been advised to remain part of Ukraine.

Self-determination does not require any support or sponsorship from the UN.


AriusArmenian , Oct 3 2020 20:33 utc | 25
Good analysis by MOA, and I also hope the war burns out going nowhere.

As to those that say NK is Azeri territory: after the Armenians were genocided on the street of Baku in the 1990's and Azeri's destroyed 5,000 Armenian monumemts would you just 'walk away' and not protect the people of NK? And after getting out followed by the Azeri's butchering the Armenians of NG it will be ignored!

Why did the Turks bring all those jihadis to Azerbaijan to fight: they will run the massacres in NK.

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 20:47 utc | 26
Posted by: Jen | Oct 3 2020 20:30 utc | 24

I am not disagreeing with the Crimean's decision, and indeed sympathize with it, but still question whether it shouldn't be considered illegal. I mean, really, how does it differ from Kosovo separating from Serbia, or the Turkish Cypriots from the Greeks. The UN does not consider the Turkish Cypriots independent. Perhaps they need to be absorbed by Albania and Turkey respectively to be considered "legal", just as Russia absorbed Crimea, although it is not considered legal, either. So why hasn't Armenia annexed NK? Why hasn't the UN recognized NK as a separate state?

Anyway, we are not discussing our preferences here. The Greek Cypriots rejected uniting their country with the Turks under a UN referendum, but the Turks voted for a united country. Why are the Turkish Cypriots not recognized as a country by the UN or anyone, but Turkey. Why have they not been rewarded with EU membership as the Greeks were? Is it any surprise that the Greeks won't negotiate in good faith with the Turks? Why should they? They get the benefits. the Turks not.

Jackrabbit , Oct 3 2020 20:50 utc | 27
As I noted in the last thread on this topic: the war serves to make the Azeris more dependent on the West. 'Winning' the war is perhaps not the goal of those behind the conflict.

!!

Flo , Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 28
Amusing typo in "... but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s."
Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 20:54 utc | 29
Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 3 2020 20:33 utc | 25

So far the jihadis are hearsay, not fact nay more than the PKK are fact fighting with the Armenians. It would not be surprizing in either case, but neither has been confirmed as fact, but merely propaganda.

Again, it is not surprising that some people in the "Christian world attribute all the massacres and destructions on the Muslims but ignor the massacres and ethnic cleansing committed by the "Christian" side. This is is a tacit, perhaps subconscious racism that has existed for hundreds of years. It is so difficult to be objective when you have been brought up to dislike, perhaps even hate the other, isn't it?

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 20:56 utc | 30
Posted by: Flo | Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 28

Yeah, someone's got to learn to proof read.

james , Oct 3 2020 21:03 utc | 31
@ Blue Dotterel ... thanks for your comments... you never said, but i take it you are of turkish descent.. either way, i like the comments you make, even if i don't know enough to agree or disagree with them.. there are usually 2 sides to every story, but we often don't hear both sides stories..
Хау јес ноу , Oct 3 2020 21:13 utc | 32
"The Greek Cypriots rejected uniting their country"
As I understand it the war in Cyprus started when Greek Cypriots abolished the rules stipulated by British colonizers meant to subjugate majority Greek population. Those rules gave Turk Cypriots larger portion of the power then the Greek.
Voting for unification expecting to come back to the same discriminatory laws against Greek Cypriots is non-option for the Greek Cypriots.
The other thing regarding proposition to Armenians to trade its own historical land for the other part of its own land and call if fair is very biased by my opinion. It is almost the same as proposition to Serbia to trade part of its land with current Serbian majority in the Nato occupied part of the country (Kosovo and Metohia) for the other part of the Serbia proper where some of the land has Albanian majority.
Proposal to trade a corridor to the Azerbaijans Nakhchivan for the corridor to Armenians Nagorno Karabagh would be a fair proposal.
So in both cases/proposals (Cyprus and Armenia) on the surface seem fair but if someone scratch the surface the situation appear to be far from the fair.
And in the both cases the presentation is biased for the Turkish side ... by accident.
Et Tu , Oct 3 2020 21:16 utc | 33
MoA Rocks
sad canuck , Oct 3 2020 21:20 utc | 34
Stupid people fighting stupid wars for stupid reasons. The peoples of the Caucasus need to learn to live in peace with each other or the region will continue to be a backwater exploited for great power geopolitical games.

Russia and Iran are correct to stay out of this and let the idiots kill each other. If there was any significant security threat from the mob of unruly idiots running Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia; the Russian and Iranians would roll over them all in 48 hours and there is not a damn thing anyone outside the Caucasus could do about it.

Et Tu , Oct 3 2020 21:21 utc | 35
Posted by: Flo | Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 28

Yeah, someone's got to learn to proof read.

Agreed, sorry Mr B, no malice intended, but your blog's credibility with unfamiliar audiences could potentially be undermined with some occasionally 'liberal' use of the English language.

Respect for using your foreign language skills of course, but perhaps a friendly proof reader with native English skills could also be an idea..

Blue Dotterel , Oct 3 2020 21:23 utc | 36
Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 21:03 utc | 31

No, I am of mixed European descent, both east and west. And yes, that is the problem; we seldom do seek out both sides. When one looks at the Assange case, one sees the the problem of our age (and many others) where the prosecution is allowed to present its case with all prejudice, but the defense is repeatedly hampered by the supposedly impartial judge. And the media, well what to the people get - propaganda, often through ommision in this case.

Similarly, peoples are judged by through the propaganda of a culture or society, usually to benefit those with power. So people are taught to demonize or denigrate the other assuming their own to have upstanding moral character or, if defeated in some way, victims needing redress.

After the bombing of the Turkish consulate in Ottawa in the early 80s by an Armenian terrorist group, ASALA, I made a point of educating myself on the so called genocide issue, but had a hard time finding the Turkish point of view in Canada. As fortune would have it, I found employment in Turkey, and eventually discovered what was difficult to find in Canada: an alternative point of view concerning the issue and many others. Examining the writers' treatment of facts and their academic backgrounds was certainly educational in many cases.

Suffice it to say that on being able to actually see the "defense", I came to different judgements from those I would be able to come to in my home country.

james , Oct 3 2020 21:33 utc | 37
i recommend a piano duel between an Azerbaijan and Armenian to work it out... forget the guns and killing people part...

one example of armenian musician (on youtube) Tigran Hamasyan

one example of azerbaijan musician (on youtube) Leila Figarova

james , Oct 3 2020 21:36 utc | 38
@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 21:23 utc | 36.. thank you for this as well.. i hear what you are saying.. it is an ongoing battle to get all the information and nuances.. we probably don't ever get all the information necessary which is why i resort to believing war is not the answer.. easy for me to say this here on the westcoast of canada...
Clueless Joe , Oct 3 2020 21:49 utc | 39
Ah yes, the "other side's" point of view about Armenian genocide. Did you look for the Nazis' point of view about the Shoah, too?
Point is, Turkey has been genociding (directly or by proxies) non-Muslim people since the late 19th century, and keeps trying to do it everywhere it can. In a way, Kurds are lucky to be Muslim, they're just occupied and suppressed instead of being mass-murdered by the millions - unlike Cypriots, Greeks, Armenians, Yazidis, Assyrians and others.
S , Oct 3 2020 21:50 utc | 40
The seven surrounding regions should be returned to Azerbaijan, so that 600,000 refugees can return to their homes. NKAO should be allowed to join Armenia to avoid creating new refugees.

I understand that legally NKAO is part of Azerbaijan, but Armenians have been living in Artsakh for thousands of years, and it is unrealistic to expect them to give up and leave. On the other hand, it is morally wrong to preserve the status quo and thus accept the ethnic cleansing of the 90s. That's why a compromise is needed.

hopehely , Oct 3 2020 21:53 utc | 41
Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 19:55 utc | 22
Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, is commonplace in war time, and even in peace time.

Yeah, when was that when Bulgarians expelled Turks from Bulgaria, 1989? It was tragic, hard to watch.
Nationalism is evil. I blame French for that disease.

Somewhat unrelated question: so Karabakh is written in Turkish Karabağ, which is quite similar (to me) to Montenegro, Karadağ. Is the similarity accidental, or both words have related meaning / connotation?

foolisholdman , Oct 3 2020 21:54 utc | 42
Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 20:54 utc | 29
So far the jihadis are hearsay, not fact nay more than the PKK are fact fighting with the Armenians. It would not be surprizing in either case, but neither has been confirmed as fact, but merely propaganda.

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/syrian-recruit-describes-role-foreign-173138233.html

David G , Oct 3 2020 22:16 utc | 43
Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:44 utc | 10:
Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.
I would not be one who so assumes. Armenia would be nuts to give up their border with the one neighbor supportive of them while creating contiguity between Turkey and Azerbaijan's main territory.
james , Oct 3 2020 22:20 utc | 44
i recommend the 2 articles b linked to up above by M.K. Bhadrakumar for greater historical context of what is at play here...
Josh , Oct 3 2020 22:25 utc | 45
An article with an interesting perspective from almayadeen.net
https://m.almayadeen.net/analysis/1426965/%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%88-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D9%84----%D9%87%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D8%B0%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86
Dr Wellington Yueh , Oct 3 2020 22:30 utc | 46
@james #37 re: piano duel

One of my all-time favorite recordings is Love, Devotion, Surrender (Santana, McLaughlin). The very first piece on the album, a cover of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," has the two guitarists engage in a master-acolyte argument that frantically escalates, culminating in a crescendo of...agreement?

David G , Oct 3 2020 22:33 utc | 47
foolisholdman | Oct 3 2020 21:54 utc | 42:

Yeah, those Syrian "rebels" that Turkey shipped to Azerbaijan are more than hearsay and rumor. My heart really bleeds for them that when they got there they found they were facing a well-equipped and trained army, rather than having their pick of defenseless Christian villages where they could bring to bear their skills in robbing, raping, enslaving, and beheading.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 3 2020 22:42 utc | 48
Posted by: sad canuck | Oct 3 2020 21:20 utc | 34

Correct. This is what you get when chimpanzees are allowed to form "states" to further their primate competition with each other.

ptb , Oct 3 2020 23:00 utc | 49
@b Thanks for the detailed analysis!

Even without conquering anything, with a large supply of drones and cheap yet robust comms (I feel the need to think of point to point IR, but I don't know enough about modern radio), the attacker can do a lot of damage without losing anything that expensive, i.e. potentially cheap spotter and relay drones, plus the munitions themselves. Air defense technology made to counter turn-of-the-century jets/helis/cruise-missiles, is not really appropriate. Handing out manpads in quantity creates other problems.

Patroklos , Oct 3 2020 23:32 utc | 50
This is what I come to MoA for. And it's nice to see b disclose his authorship with his trademark idiomatic slips ("full extend" for "to their full extent", 'unveil' for 'reveal' and 'relicts' for 'relics', etc).
arby , Oct 3 2020 23:48 utc | 51
right on Patroklas.
David G , Oct 3 2020 23:59 utc | 52
Patroklos | Oct 3 2020 23:32 utc | 50:

"Full extend" was a slight error, but "unveil" seems perfectly fine to me, and "relicts" was a better choice than "relics" in that context. (Though really the Antonov An-2 isn't either a relic or relict "from the late 1940s": they were produced in vast numbers for decades.)

Chevrus , Oct 4 2020 0:16 utc | 53
@ Dr Wellington 46: Also 'Visions of the Emerald Beyond' by The Mahavishnu Orchestra is a fantastic album that I think captures the Fusion era with a sense of refinement and less of the "slop".
Bemildred , Oct 4 2020 0:18 utc | 54
Posted by: David G | Oct 3 2020 23:59 utc | 52

Extend should be extent, I like discover better there than reveal or unveil, and relic has religious connotations, relict implies "remnant" which might work, derelict suggests inoperable, hmmm.

Maybe "remnant" or "survivor" would work.

But to be honest B's usage didn't bother me reading over it, the Internets is nothing if not slovenly about grammar and usage.

Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 4 2020 1:28 utc | 55
Some people here speak of yet more "exchanges" of territory as if it wouldn't involve 100% replacement of the people living there. and almost certainly by murder. They seem to think ethnic cleansing can be undone by more ethnic cleansing or at the very least loudly support one more round of it as a "final solution". They make it easy to understand why Erdogan references Hitler in positive terms.

The suggestion that Armenia and Artsakh losing their borders to Iran is fair is silly and anything but fair. It is an invitation to more war and genocide after such a "peace deal". The "peace plan" is nothing but siege warfare, it is a barely disguised war plan targeting Armenia and Artsakh.

North Cyprus being presented as some kind of Turkish benevolence belies the fact of the current ethnic Turkic dominance of the demographics of North Cyprus which did not happen by natural means, ie. it was/is over forty years of steadfast ethnic cleansing. Almost none of them were Cypriot when the Turkish invasion happened no matter how much they lie and pretend they were.

Hoyeru , Oct 4 2020 2:00 utc | 56
@hopehely how conveniently you forget that Bulgaria was under the Ottoman rule for 500 years and plenty of Bulgarian got murdered by the Turks during that time. WHEN the Bulgarians rebelled against the Turks in 1875–78, the Europeans didn't wept for ALL the Bulgarian women, children and men that were savagely slaughtered by the Turks, but instead sent one guy who claimed he never saw any atrociousness.
YEah, most of modern peoples' memory goes as far back as WII, everything else is forgotten. FUCK YOU, the Turks have always been savages.
Piotr Berman , Oct 4 2020 2:11 utc | 57
Before President Trump stopped the program the CIA had used the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines in more than 350 flights to bring weapons from Bulgaria to Turkey to then hand them to 'Syrian rebels'. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is not only a CIA station but also a Mossad center for waging its silent war against Iran.

This is dubious. Why use an Azeri airline to ferry weapons over the border that separates Bulgaria from Turkey, with a choice of three highways, an electrified railroad, or even by a ship (164 nautical miles between the main ports of the two countries).

Biswapriya Purkayast , Oct 4 2020 2:18 utc | 58
If Blitzkrieg failed the Azeris will use the attrition war tactic and that is absolutely certain to succeed. Murad Gazdiev tweeted selfies posted by Jihadi imports in Azeri uniforms in Azerbaijan here: https://mobile.twitter.com/MuradGazdiev/status/1312372865937932289
Jihadis will therefore be used as canon fodder by Azerbaijan while the Ottomans take over the air combat, directly or indirectly. Unless Azerbaijan is stupid enough to attack Armenia directly there is nothing Russia will ever do about it.

At some point approaching rapidly Armenian frontline positions will collapse and then there will be a panicked refugee flood into Armenia from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding occupied Azeri areas. At that point Nagorno Karabakh will become impossible to defend. Whether Azerbaijan permits Erdogan to seed the area with jihadis is an open question, but at the least Erdo will place Ottoman troops there to "guard against Armenia".

Without Nagorno Karabakh Armenia is actually worth very little to Russia. Even if it could be "taught a lesson" by Putinist restraint it would be strategically useless and a resource hole. A NATO Armenia, with or without a NATO Azerbaijan, would be a strategic disaster but that's the way things seem headed.

circumspect , Oct 4 2020 2:39 utc | 59
Watching the latest South Front videos it is easy to see how drone technology makes it difficult to move vehicles and set up fixed positions. It looks like a very high technology affair to counter drones.

Very expensive very costly training would equate to excellent results in second and third world areas for combat drones. Again the war party wins. It would be cheaper to build stable societies. What a toxic mess. It must be some weird parallel groups of death cults pushing this continued chaos.

Maybe is is just plain old human nature with high tech advantages over bronze and iron weapons. Even the bronze age brought a long period of peace and prosperity for a time.

Counter-Drone equipment


uncle tungsten , Oct 4 2020 2:44 utc | 60
Turkey resupplies weapons to Azerbaijan through the fake independent Georgia
Dr Wellington Yueh , Oct 4 2020 2:48 utc | 61
@circumspect #59 re: human nature (stoopid monkeys with guns)

Pride, stubbornness and stupidity - toxic, and tragic. A movie that quite well illustrates this is Lolly-Madonna XXX . It's such a brutally sad movie.

Piotr Berman , Oct 4 2020 3:58 utc | 62
If Blitzkrieg failed the Azeris will use the attrition war tactic and that is absolutely certain to succeed. Murad Gazdiev tweeted selfies posted by Jihadi imports in Azeri uniforms ...
Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 4 2020 2:18 utc | 58

I beg to differ. This is not Libya, both sides have relatively large armies, Armenians have weapons, high ground, prepared positions and people who believe that the choice is between standing the ground and exile (or worse). They will not be demoralized by few hundred casualties. Azerbaijan has low ground, attack uphill is not easy, and the motivation of soldiers is not as good. After bringing few hundred or even few thousands of second rate jihadists the equation will not change (inequality if you will).

Of course, if the war is protracted, both sides will need supplies. Except for Turkey, no one declared the will to supply either side, but unofficial traffic is bound to happen. Russia and Iran will surely neutralize any supplies from Turkey and Israel, they need to maintain the regional balance that so far is in their favor.

Then there is no potential for tipping the balance by direct intervention: it will trigger direct Russian response. Concerning the coming winter, one should read Wikipedia "Battle of Sarikamish". On New Year Eve of 1915, Turkish army advised by Germans attacked Russian positions after crossing high mountains. Because of even bloodier fighting in France, Russia was attacking in East Prussia to relieve the French and Caucasus Army was at half of full strength. The result was that 1/3 of Russian troops were lost, a lot of them to frostbite, and about the Turks there are debates: did 1/10 of them survive, a bit less, or a bit more.

p> " U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu' , Main

" U.S. President Trump Has Caught 'The Flu' | Main

[Oct 03, 2020] Top US general rushes to defend Pentagon after Trump accuses it of colluding with weapon manufacturers to fight endless wars

Oct 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

foxenburg 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 01:48 AM

An interviewer should test this man's integrity with a simple question, such as.. "When you retire, will promise to live off your generous pension....like Eisenhower in his rocking chair....and not go to work for an arms manufacturer or think tank or any other paid position?"
Rocky_Fjord 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 05:18 AM
John boy McCain just went into apoplexy in hell.

[Oct 02, 2020] Army Chief of Staff General James McConville disingenious defence of MIC

Notable quotes:
"... As soon as many generals retire, they become the high-paid consultants and lobbyists for the major weapons manufacturers. There was a time when the Boston Globe and papers wrote about it. I wonder how many will now. It is time to recognize the problem and face up to the destructive influence it is having on our nation and our families in both our foreign and domestic policies. ..."
"... This is another consequence of allowing the people who own the media to own other things. Allowing the people who make bullets and bombs to own media is a sure recipe for perpetual war. ..."
"... It is quite normal for a top General to protect his cabal of corruption. He still has his slush fund money to protect. These military "Heroes" are in the habit of sending men to their deaths, just to advance themselves into top jobs with the Military Industrial Complex. ..."
"... They retire into prime Lobbying positions as well. This corruption has produced more broken Veterans than Covid-19 has produced deaths. ..."
"... “ I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort, ” As invading Syria, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Grenada, Cambodia, Laos.... and many other countries was a last resort to secure the US national security. ..."
"... Trump says those things, and at the same time increases the Pentagon's budget & spending to over $1 Trillion (more than the next 15 Countries combined, and 13 of them are your allies).. ..."
"... Trump is picking up some that vote that supported Tulsi Gabbard, or so I speculate. Though he speaks with a bit of forked tongue -- stealing oil in Syria, won't pull out of Iraq when told by Iraqi government; still in Afghanistan long after the Pentagon lost the war there again another war lost against a fourth world country. ..."
"... An interviewer should test this man's integrity with a simple question, such as.. "When you retire, will promise to live off your generous pension....like Eisenhower in his rocking chair....and not go to work for an arms manufacturer or think tank or any other paid position?" ..."
"... Trump should spin the rest of the beans. Directly and indirectly, the Violence Industry is the biggest employer in the US. It's a gigantic social program. ..."
"... I think Trump is posturing for re election purposes . He is clearly in the hands of the deep state. ..."
"... Trump promised to end America’s “endless wars” . Just look at the people he appointed. They all love war. and trying to expand them. Russia showed the world, convoys of stolen Syrian oil. Than Russia bombed them. Now the US is stealing even more Syrian oil and nobody is bombing it. ..."
"... Biden was thinking about rebuilding contracts for his family and friends before the first bombs ever fell General.. ..."
Oct 02, 2020 | www.rt.com

Army Chief of Staff General James McConville has vehemently rejected Donald Trump's comments alleging that the military's top commanders wish to entangle the US in as many wars as possible in order to enrich weapon manufacturers.

" I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort, " McConville, a Trump appointee, said during an online conference on Tuesday. " We take this very, very seriously in how we make our recommendations. "

The general added that many of the US commanders have sons and daughters that currently serve in the military and some of them " may be in combat right now. " The general declined to more directly respond to Trump's allegations, saying the military should remain out of politics.

Will someone tell him? Morning Joe brings up EISENHOWER to counter Trump's critique of Pentagon & military industrial complex

The Chief of Staff was referring to the highly publicized comments Trump made on Monday. The president said that " the top people in the Pentagon " might not be " in love " with him " because they want to do nothing but fight wars " to provide business for the US military-industrial complex.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump promised to end America's " endless wars " as he often calls them. However, the long-time military bureaucrats he appointed to command publicly opposed Trump's propositions to reduce US military presence in Afghanistan and Syria.


T. Agee Kaye 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:41 PM

Please. Who is he kidding. Rather than recognize the problem like an Al-Anon, he discredits himself and his institution even by suggesting there isn't one. As soon as many generals retire, they become the high-paid consultants and lobbyists for the major weapons manufacturers. There was a time when the Boston Globe and papers wrote about it. I wonder how many will now. It is time to recognize the problem and face up to the destructive influence it is having on our nation and our families in both our foreign and domestic policies.
whitey Interests T. Agee Kaye 10 September, 2020 10 Sep, 2020 02:09 PM
This is another consequence of allowing the people who own the media to own other things. Allowing the people who make bullets and bombs to own media is a sure recipe for perpetual war.

The media needs to be splintered into a thousand pieces with the new owners not allowed to own anything else. The Sherman anti trust act used to spell this out in law.

LonDubh 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:04 PM
It is quite normal for a top General to protect his cabal of corruption. He still has his slush fund money to protect. These military "Heroes" are in the habit of sending men to their deaths, just to advance themselves into top jobs with the Military Industrial Complex.

They retire into prime Lobbying positions as well. This corruption has produced more broken Veterans than Covid-19 has produced deaths. VFW (Victims of Futile Wars) have seen their ranks increase and their support mechanism decreased. Another generation of American youth destined for the scrapheap of "Heros"

IgyBundy LonDubh 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 04:25 AM
Have you noticed what great liars these so called honorable military brass have become? Better than most politicians..
Frank Cannon LonDubh 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:09 PM
1/3 less troops in germany, no new wars , troops in Syria brought home . all indicates that he is making progress. & is fighting against endless wars
Northern Light 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:52 PM
“ I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort, ” As invading Syria, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Grenada, Cambodia, Laos.... and many other countries was a last resort to secure the US national security.
Kwok Shsee Northern Light 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 09:49 AM
You forgot Iraq, Libya, Korea, and Yugoslavia~
changyao 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
Everyone knows that there is collusion between some serving and ex top guns with the MIC. Resulting in endless wars everywhere and many countries are forced by security tension to buy more expensive weapons which they can ill afford
Juan_More changyao 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:41 PM
It is not the generals but the politicians that started the endless wars. The politicians get campaign donations to their Super PACs or to an offshore numbered bank account.
Jewel Gyn 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:07 PM
What national security threat and last resort when all wars conducted are in foreign soils. Even if there are threats on the hundreds of military bases deployed around the world, the question is still 'what the *f are US troops there in the first place'.
Mark La Brooy 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:59 PM
Is it any surprise that the US spends $700 billion on defense. Next comes China with only $90 billion or thereabouts. Yes, Trump is right. It is all about the US military industry complex and continuous war.
JingsGeordie 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:23 PM
Apparently it's been the last resort continually since 1775.
Sinalco 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:05 PM
Trump says those things, and at the same time increases the Pentagon's budget & spending to over $1 Trillion (more than the next 15 Countries combined, and 13 of them are your allies).. As they say, action speaks louder than words - those are just cheap empty words to rally his base for the coming election.
whitey Interests Sinalco 10 September, 2020 10 Sep, 2020 02:13 PM
Unfortunately Trumps base likes war.
GottaBeMe Sinalco 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:28 PM
If you remember, it’s congress that approves of spending. And both the Dems and repubs authorize more and more money to the military.
PublicEnemy_1 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 08:32 PM
Trump not as much of a war monger as the establishment would like. Most Americans oppose war but that has never slowed the establishment. Probably the biggest reason the establishment is so opposed to Trump, among the other obvious reasons.
Kwok Shsee PublicEnemy_1 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 09:57 AM
Are you a kindergartener or just plainly naive?!!! Trump knows Americans love to hear this, so he is giving you the LIP SERVICE FCOL !!! He will pamper the MIC just as he has been doing in the last 4 years once the election in November is over! Exactly because americans are so incredibly foolish that Trump or Biden will be your next president, LOL!
donkeyoatee 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 01:52 AM
How was Vietnam or Iraq anything to do with US "national security" or the wars in Yemen or anywhere in the middle east and around the globe. The US isn't doing "National security" it's doing interference and domination.
Ekaterina 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 08:00 PM
I would laugh if this whole situation wasn’t so pitiful and sad. Eisenhower was right.
Shelbouy 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 10:34 AM
So many people say that Trump has not started any wars, which makes him ok. He didn't have to, there were enough already going on. What he did not do is stop any!
Juan_More 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 07:39 PM
When the Generals and Colonels end up with very cushy jobs in the MIC after they retire. It certainly does look like something is up. After all who authorised the F35, Ford class aircraft carriers and my favourite winner of the silly name for a boat the USS Zumwalt
NonDucorDuco 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 08:12 PM
The MIC stooges at the Pentagon don't need to say anything, as Trump's remark reflects what everybody already knows for decades.
Enki14 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 06:42 PM
LOL The facts speak for themselves and if one considers the endless war(s) since 911 were based on LIES...the towers were brought down by controlled demolition...in charge that day was dick cheney.
whitey Interests Enki14 10 September, 2020 10 Sep, 2020 02:25 PM
Wall St did 911.
Rocky_Fjord 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:39 PM
Trump is picking up some that vote that supported Tulsi Gabbard, or so I speculate. Though he speaks with a bit of forked tongue -- stealing oil in Syria, won't pull out of Iraq when told by Iraqi government; still in Afghanistan long after the Pentagon lost the war there again another war lost against a fourth world country. And he's flirted with an invasion of Venezuela, perhaps to keep the hawks and neolibs like Bolton and Bill Krystal on the edge of their seats. Sort of like Merkel getting exercised over Navalny to counter all the blather of war hawks and those who want to scuttle Nordstream 2. Throwing the ideological dog a bone. It's satisfying to finally hear a US president pick up the theme Eisenhower warned of. Now let him tell the truth of the filthy soul of the CIA, to take up where JFK left off. Trump could do far worse than to thank Pence for his... See more
Jim Christian Rocky_Fjord 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:43 PM
Nah, Gabbi is a Democrat. But she's a good kid. She, unlike 99% of them, got a taste of ugly military service and spoke out, only to be crushed. All you need to know of military/political corruption is to study THAT.
Karl194 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 07:51 AM
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." Dwight Eisenhower (former USA President)
pykich Karl194 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:14 AM
says the man who signed the "Grenada Treaty"...
Jim Christian 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:37 PM
How many times has the 'good' general recycled himself between defense contractor jobs and board positions and then right back into the White House, sometimes to a University posting, then back to the Pentagon, rinsing and repeating several times after retirement? How do these Generals and Admirals become multi-millionaires otherwise? And there are hundreds of them. And they bring us the WORST, most corrupt procurement such as the Ford Class Carriers and the F-35, to name just TWO examples, albeit big ones Please. It's crooked as a 3-dollar bill. Look at the Pentagon opposition to Trump's every single overture toward peace in the Middle East (except Iran, which is a big mistake, our issues were resolved until they weren't under Trump). Any contest to the premise that the U.S. military is corrupt beyond repair is patently absurd. And this "General" is just the wrong representative to refute the truth. He is after all, part of the corruption.
Rocky_Fjord Jim Christian 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:46 PM
Two classes of US submarines were made with inferior steel from Australia. The steel was known by the contractor to be inferior, but the Pentagon did not run its own tests. So tens of billions wasted for subs that are unsafe at depths and of course in actual combat conditions. The generals and politicians float above it all like scu*m on a fe*tid pond.
shadowlady 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:24 PM
The Pentagon has to justify its enormous budget, they provoke conflict at every turn.
a325 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 09:06 PM
“I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort" yada yada , of course you are going to say that. Admitting the truth would be instant career suicide
Raider Ssmc 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:47 PM
wasn't it Trump and many other presidents who were dishing out money left right and centre to the american war machine to build bigger and so called better weapons. Goes to show no matter what when push comes to shove the american government will always blame anyone else but themselves.
foxenburg 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 01:48 AM
An interviewer should test this man's integrity with a simple question, such as.. "When you retire, will promise to live off your generous pension....like Eisenhower in his rocking chair....and not go to work for an arms manufacturer or think tank or any other paid position?"
Dallas Snell Sr. 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:00 AM
Ever since Obama was elected we hear way to much out of these so called Generals. Jumping on a bandwagon is something active Generals should never do.
lectrodectus 10 September, 2020 10 Sep, 2020 02:06 AM
Frankiln Delanor Roosevelt: (During The Depression Created The WPA Works Progress Administration) "Instead Of Spending As Some Nations Do Half Their National Income In Piling Up Armaments And More Armaments For The Purposes Of War, We in America Are Wiser In Using Our Wealth On Projects Like This Which Will Us More Wealth And Greater Happiness For Our Children" (Fireside Chats) Similar To Dwight D Eisenhower.
RealWorld1 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 12:26 PM
Trump should spin the rest of the beans. Directly and indirectly, the Violence Industry is the biggest employer in the US. It's a gigantic social program.
Cabonnet 57 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 08:23 PM
I think Trump is posturing for re election purposes . He is clearly in the hands of the deep state.
Fred Dozer 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 12:17 AM
Trump promised to end America’s “endless wars” . Just look at the people he appointed. They all love war. and trying to expand them. Russia showed the world, convoys of stolen Syrian oil. Than Russia bombed them. Now the US is stealing even more Syrian oil and nobody is bombing it.
venze chern 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:18 PM
Is Trump really anti-war? Or he is just trying to exert his power over those hawkish generals in Pentagon to tell the world who is in charge of US? If he is truly against all kinds of war, that must be the only acceptable thing he has done so far.
pykich venze chern 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:13 AM
it would look like that he only engages in the conflicts that his son in law asks him to do, just a small subset of the larger set...
Anastasia Deko 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 03:42 PM
The war industry, the prison industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and many others, they all have their lobbyists and their plans for making more money. And manufacturing more wars, more prisoners, and more diseases is not beyond them. Freedom and democracy and high cholesterol are money making cons, and sometimes it takes a con like Trump to recognize it.
PurplePaw 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 02:59 PM
IF TRUMP WANTS TO END WARS ( KILLING) AND RIGHTLY SO THESE SO CALLED GENERALS NEED TO BE OUSTED FAST. THE MILITARY SHOULD BE IN MY VIEW INCLUDED IN POLITICS AND EXPOSED AS IN ANCIENT TIMES. A WARRIOR SHOULD BE ABLE TO BECOME CHIEF AS IN THE PAST. A PERSON LIKE ALEXANDER, JULIUS, BUT THEY MUST ALSO BE THE MOST GALLANT WITH HUMILITY AS IN ARTHUR'S DAYS. NONE OF THE HIGH MILITARY MEN HIDING BEHIND THE CLOAK IN THE DARK TO DECEIVE WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT. TO MUCH OF THAT WHERE THEY ARE. TRUMP IS RIGHT ON HERE, STOP ABORTION.
pykich 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:10 AM
They should ask him what his plans after retiring are...
Ph7 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 06:06 AM
If he's so worried about national security "his" troops should be on the streets of US not in the bushes of Afghanistan and Iraq .
Orwellmatters 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 10:44 PM
off topic, but very important, Sen. Ben Sasse's op-ed regarding repeal of the 17th amendment. Haven't seen mention of it at RT. Whether you are red or blue, this is massive in returning power to the people.
DavidG992 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 06:08 PM
He could stage this 'ati-war' show only becasue democrats have ceded opposition to the military-industrial war machine to a belligerent fraud.
Anastasia Deko DavidG992 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 09:50 PM
The Dem big shots are pro-war, so they didn't cede anything. They just hope that the public doesn't realize what Biden is really about.
Dallas Snell Sr. 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:06 AM
Absolute truth really bothers these folks a lot. And Trump is not afraid to speak it.
Frank Cannon 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 08:58 PM
They leave the military for high paying indusrty jobs as a form of Briberty / reward for keeping the endless wrs going & business good..
Mark90168 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 04:24 AM
Every candidate before election become wise due to seeing sword over his heads but after winning the election they again become hate mongers and wars lovers. The US election candidates should never be trusted. It reminds me "The game of thrones."
Taoist Student 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:44 PM
This is easy. Trump has always done exactly as the pentagon wants. this is a stunt for Qanon votes that's all. Trump is smart he reads. He knows what Qanon thinks and wants to give them a bone.
Rocky_Fjord Taoist Student 8 September, 2020 8 Sep, 2020 11:47 PM
So the man can think and act -- well that's a start.
flakebuster 15 September, 2020 15 Sep, 2020 06:26 PM
General James McConville , even if you tell us that tomorrow the Sun will rise from the East we will not believe you, until we see it ourselves, general McCorrupt.
Karl194 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 07:55 AM
The DEEP STATE is build by the bosses in the FBI, CIA and the PENTAGON.
Winter7Mute 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 04:41 AM
Violence as a way of gaining power... is being camouflaged under the guise of tradition, national honor [and] national security. For almost 100yrs now.
Mark90168 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 05:04 AM
Every candidate before election become wise due to seeing sword over his heads but after winning the election they again become hate mongers and wars lovers. The US election candidates should never be trusted. It reminds me the game of thrones.
Dallas Snell Sr. 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 08:11 AM
Biden was thinking about rebuilding contracts for his family and friends before the first bombs ever fell General..
IgyBundy 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 04:22 AM
Army Chief of Staff General James McConville a man without honor a coward and a liar.. As most of the US military seems to be..
Arti Doane 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 12:11 PM
After Obama's purge of the military all that's left are the money making war mongers.
far_cough 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 04:08 AM
this 'national security' lie is getting really tired. but these general think american people are stupid enough to buy it.

[Oct 01, 2020] Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations cost him -- but he never gave up by Lev Golinkin

Highly recommended!
I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake." -- and I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake."
He was a real giant in comparison with intellectual scum like Fiona Hill, Michael McFaul and other neocons.
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was. ..."
"... There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto. ..."
"... Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient. ..."
"... After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world. ..."
"... It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition. ..."
"... I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting. ..."
"... It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers. ..."
"... In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. ..."
"... Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy. ..."
"... Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly. ..."
"... His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand. ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com

I first reached out to Stephen Cohen because I was losing my mind.

In the spring of 2014, a war broke out in my homeland of Ukraine. It was a horrific war in a bitterly divided nation, which turned eastern Ukraine into a bombed-out wasteland. But that's not how it was portrayed in America. Because millions of eastern Ukrainians were against the US-backed government, their opinions were inconvenient for the West. Washington needed a clean story about Ukraine fighting the Kremlin; as a result, US media avoided reporting about the "wrong" half of the country. Twenty-plus million people were written out of the narrative, as if they never existed.

I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was.

And so I e-mailed him, asking for guidance as I began my own writing career. Of course, there were many who clamored for Steve's time, but I had an advantage over others. Steve and I were both night owls, real night owls, the kind who have afternoon tea at three am. It was then, when the east coast was sleeping, that he became my mentor and friend.

There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto.

But one thing Steve taught me is to stick to my strengths, and truth be told, there are others who can describe his life better than I. I'll stick to what I learned during our conversations at three in the morning, which is that, above all else, Stephen F. Cohen was a man of faith.

Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient.

After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world.

The DC apparatchiks couldn't discredit Steve's credentials or track record -- he'd predicted events in Ukraine and elsewhere years before they occurred. They couldn't intimidate him -- he'd faced far worse threats, like the KGB. Instead, they set out to turn him into an America-hating, Putin-loving pariah.

This went beyond an ad hominem campaign. It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition.

I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting.

It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers.

Steve liked movies and would often end a lecture with a movie reference to drive home the thesis. When I think of him, I think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption , the line about Andy Dufresne crawling through filth and coming out clean on the other side. Steve didn't live in a movie; I can't claim he emerged unscathed. What he did was come through without bitterness or cynicism. He refused to turn away from the ugliness, but he didn't allow it to blind him to beauty. He walked with grace. And he lost neither his convictions nor his faith.

Lev Golinkin Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon's Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time (online), among other venues; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.


Pierre Guerlain says: October 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm

In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. He was a Mensch. History will bear him the historian out.

Valera Bochkarev says to Lance Haley: October 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

Hmm, who's the apologist here ?

If the Ukraine is SO sovereign how is it I did not see any outrage in your diatribe against 'Toria, Pyatt and the rest orchestrating the Maidan putsch or the $5Billion US spent on softening up the ukraine for the regime change ?

I believe in numbers, as in the number of military bases any given country has surrounding the ones it wants to subvert, in the amount of money allocated to vilify and eventually bring down the "unwanted" regimes and the quantity and 'quality' of sanctions imposed against those regimes; and the sum of all of the above perpetrated against humanity in the past 75 or so years.

Your vapid drivel, Mr Haley, evaporates almost without a trace once seen with those parameters in mind.

Numbers don't lie.

Michael Batinski says: September 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Let me add from the perspective of an American historian who taught for forty years in a midwestern university. From the start I depended on William Appleman Williams to keep perspective and to counter prevailing interpretive trends.

Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy.

I will always be thankful.

Michael Batinski

Tim Ashby says: September 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm

The smothering agitprop in America trumps even Goebbels and co. with its beautifully dressed overton window and first-amendment-free-press bullshit.

Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly.

Let's face it, we were lucky to win the editorial fight to even give him space in the Nation.

His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand.

[Oct 01, 2020] Getting Rid of the Myth of 'Isolationism' -

Notable quotes:
"... The Tragedy of American Diplomacy ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Getting Rid Of The Myth Of 'Isolationism'

'Isolationism' is not real, and never has been. It is an insult thrown at realists by the architects of senseless wars. (By Mike Focus/Shutterstock)

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

|

12:01 AM

DANIEL LARISON

No one claims to be an isolationist, but foreign policy analysts keep imagining and fearing a "resurgence" of isolationism around every corner. This fear was on display in a recent Atlantic article by Charles Kupchan, who tries to rehabilitate the label in order to oppose the substance of a policy of nonintervention and non-entanglement. Kupchan allows that a policy of avoiding entangling alliances and staying out of European wars was important for the growth and prosperity of the United States, but then rehearses the same old and misleading story about the terrible "isolationist" interwar years that we have heard countless times before. This misrepresents the history of that period and compromises our ability to rethink our foreign policy today.

Kupchan's article is not just an exercise in beating a dead horse, since he fears that the same thing that happened between the world wars is happening again: "If the 19th century was isolationism's finest hour, the interwar era was surely its darkest and most deluded. The conditions that led to this misguided run for cover are making a comeback." Kupchan wants to borrow a little from the people he calls "isolationists" so that the U.S. will remain thoroughly ensnared in most of its global commitments.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

At the same time that he warns that "U.S. statecraft has become divorced from popular will," he seems to want to keep it this way by rejecting what he calls the "isolationist temptation." If "a majority of the country favors either America First or global disengagement," as he says, the goal seems to be to ignore what the majority wants in favor of making a few tweaks to the same old strategy of U.S. primacy. Those tweaks aren't going to lessen popular support for a reduced U.S. role in the world, and they will likely make the public even more disillusioned with the remaining costs and demands of U.S. "leadership."

The key thing to remember in all this is that the U.S. has never been isolationist in its foreign relations. The thing that Kupchan calls America's "default setting" is not real. Isolationism is the pejorative term that expansionists and interventionists have used over the last century to ridicule and dismiss opposition to unnecessary wars. Isolationism as U.S. policy in the 1920s and 1930s is a myth , and the myth is deployed whenever there has been a serious challenge to the status quo in post-1945 U.S. foreign policy. Bear Braumoeller summed it up very well in his article , "The Myth of American Isolationism," this way: "the characterization of America as isolationist in the interwar period is simply wrong." We can't learn from the past if we insist on distorting it. As William Appleman Williams put it in The Tragedy of American Diplomacy , "It not only deforms the history of the decade from 1919 to 1930, but it also twists the story of American entry into World War II and warps the record of the cold war." Williams also remarked in a note that the use of the term isolationist "has thus crippled American thought about foreign policy for 50 years." Today we can say that it has done so for a century.

Our government eschewed permanent alliances for most of its history, and it refrained from taking sides in the European Great Power conflicts of the nineteenth century, but it never sought to cut itself from the world and could not have done that even if it had wished to do so. The U.S. was a commercial republic from the start, and it cultivated economic and diplomatic ties with as many states as possible. You can call the steady expansion of the U.S. across North America and into the Pacific and Caribbean "isolationism," but that just shows how misleading and inaccurate the label has always been.

Post-WWI America was a rising power and increasingly involved in the affairs of the world. Its economic and diplomatic engagement with the world increased during these years. If it wasn't involved in the way that later internationalists would have liked, that didn't make the U.S. isolationist. Braumoeller makes this point explicitly: "America was not isolationist in affairs relating to international security in Europe for the bulk of the period: in fact, it was perhaps more internationalist than it had ever been." The U.S. was behaving as a great power, but one that strove to maintain its neutrality. That was neither deluded nor disastrous, and we need to stop pretending that it was if we are ever going to be able to make the needed changes to our foreign policy today.

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Kupchan acknowledges that there has to be an "adjustment" after the last several decades of overreach, but he casts this as a way of preventing more significant retrenchment: "The paramount question is whether that adjustment takes the form of a judicious pullback or a more dangerous retreat." No one objects to the desire for a responsible reduction in U.S. commitments, but one person's "judicious pullback" will often be denounced as a "dangerous retreat" by others. Just consider how many times we have been warned about a U.S. "retreat" from the Middle East over the last 11 years. Even now, the U.S. is still taking part in multiple wars across the region, and the "retreat" we have been told has happened several times never seems to take place. Warning about the perils of an "isolationist comeback" hardly makes it more likely that these withdrawals will ever happen.

He recommends that "judicious retrenchment should entail shedding U.S. entanglements in the periphery, not in the strategic heartlands of Europe and Asia." Certainly, any reduction in unnecessary U.S. commitments is welcome, but a thorough rethinking of U.S. foreign policy has to include every region. Kupchan is right to criticize slapdash, incompetent withdrawals, but one gets the impression that he thinks there shouldn't be any withdrawals except from the Middle East. He cites "Russian and Chinese threats" as the main reasons not to pull back at all in Europe or Asia, but this seems like an uncritical endorsement of the status quo.

It is in East Asia where the U.S. might be fighting a war against a major, nuclear-armed power in the future, and it is also there where the U.S. has some of the wealthiest and most capable allies. If the U.S. can't reduce its exposure to the risk of a major war where that risk is the greatest and its allies are strongest, when will it ever be able to do that? Reducing the U.S. military presence in East Asia will make it easier to manage U.S.-Chinese tensions, and it will give allies an additional incentive to assume more responsibility for their own security.

The U.S. has far more security commitments than it can afford and far more than can possibly be justified by our own security interests. That includes, but is not limited to, our overcommitment to the Middle East. Our foreign entanglements have been allowed to grow and spread to such an extent over the last seventy-five years that modest pruning won't be good enough to put U.S. foreign policy on a sound footing that will have reliable public support. There needs to be a much more comprehensive review of all U.S. commitments to determine which ones are truly necessary for our security and which ones are not. Ruling out the bulk of those commitments as untouchable in advance is a mistake.

There is broad public support for constructive international engagement, but there is remarkably little backing for preserving U.S. hegemony in its current form. In order to have a more sustainable foreign policy, the U.S. needs to scale back its ambitions in most parts of the world, and it needs to shift more of the security burdens for different regions to the countries that have the most at stake. That should be done deliberately and carefully, but it does need to happen if we are to realign our foreign policy with protecting the vital interests of the United States. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .



Gaius Gracchus
19 hours ago

Richard Hofsteder is largely responsible for this falsehood, like he is for making "populist" a by-word, as Thomas Frank points out in his new book.

I prefer the term "non-interventionist" or Washingtonian, myself. I continue to be stuck by the amazing wisdom of Washington's Farewell Address (largely written by Hamilton). It really should be our guide to this day.

Room_237 13 hours ago

The US had an active and fairly successful foreign policy in the 1920s. What hurt our foreign policy activities was the Great Depression.

bournite Room_237 11 hours ago

Try a seance and tell this Augusto Cesar Sandino. Two American brothers who owned a gold mine in his country had another brother at the State Department. That's how FP was "successful." https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Disqus10021 bournite 9 hours ago

Europe would have been better off if the US had stayed out of WWI and let major belligerents fight it out until they reached a cease fire on their own. The US entry into the war, tipped the scales in favor of Britain and France and resulted in a very harsh peace treaty being imposed on Germany in 1919. Four years later, Germany's currency collapsed, wiping out the savings of millions of average Germans. The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 made economic conditions for people in central Europe very bad and conrtibuted to the rising popularity of the Nazi party in Germany.

RAF 12 hours ago • edited

The world is so much smaller today than it was when this country was formed and organized by the Founding Fathers. (Mothers were not allowed)

The idea of international associations and cooperation is required with today's world. When some country like China sneezes, the whole world needs a face mask!

The Age of Daniel Boone is dead. America must be fully engaged in world matters. That does not mean going into every country with our military. America needs to continue to give some leadership in world affairs. It would be suicidal to close the windows to the rest of the world.

rayray RAF 4 hours ago

I agree. The world is interconnected, engagement is a necessity. The problem with the US FP at this point is to see every issue as an opportunity to throw around our military weight and call it "engagement". Being fully engaged in the world is a state department issue - smart and educated diplomats working the lines of communication and cooperation with every nation to build a reputation for US leadership, to foment peace, and to build prosperity. Obviously, under Trump and Pompeo this is a waste of breath.

Worth noting, a friend of mine, ex-CIA, has made an absolute fortune off of our military preoccupations. And even he said (perhaps exaggerating) that you could get rid of 90% of the traditional military with little or no loss in actual national security. Most of it is, as he said, corporate welfare and window dressing.

(Of course he then said you should spend what you've saved entirely on cyber-security)

bournite 12 hours ago

Using the 'I' Word for War and Profit
Column by Tim Hartnett, posted on April 03, 2013
in War and Peace
Column by Tim Hartnett.

Exclusive to STR

For about a century now, Humpty-Dumpty has been the go-to man for fans of elaborate American foreign adventures. Unwelcome inquiries are put down with a one word incantation that blesses and immunizes government-funded schemes that are always cash cows for somebody. "Isolationist" means exactly what its users mean it to mean--no more and no less. Every entry on the first page of my online search for the word "isolationism" provided the same definition: "The national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries." Nobody on the furthest fringes of the political spectrum who gets ink or air time comes close calling for a plan fitting that description.

The word remains in healthy circulation despite the total absence of public figures advocating anything of the kind. Its real linguistic purpose is to obstruct examination of extra-territorial programs that don't work and often do considerable harm.

Most of us first learned of the dreaded I-beast in grade school study of WWI. Back in that good old day, the authorities had sense enough to put these naysayers in prisons after allowing hostile crowds to have at 'em for an hour or so. If the folks at The Weekly Standard, the Heritage Foundation, AEI, Fox News et al get their way, hoosegow entrepreneurs will be back in that market before too long. How could anyone oppose US entry into The Great War, anyway? It's what catapulted us to the top of the economic heap. We are probably only one good war away from reclaiming that title.

The first people to stoke lynch mobs with the "I" word claimed we were fighting a war "to make the world safe for democracy." The Irish, Indians, Algerians, Pacific Islanders, Russian peasants, Filipinos, the Congolese and millions of other Africans were not educated well enough to accept this as readily as freedom-loving Americans did. Without guys like J.P. Morgan, J.D. Rockefeller, Charles Schwab and others who hired PR men to keep the country thinking right thoughts, foreigners are often easily misled. Isolationists are as rare on Wall Street as atheists are in foxholes.

To understand the perfidious way that isolationism works, try and visualize a typical slice of American policy from say 1968. Some experts and officers in a room at the Pentagon decide a spot on the map could use a good bombing, and the order is relayed via satellite to South Vietnam. At five they leave work to fight rush hour traffic and get home in time for a smoke with Walter Cronkite. Some Navy fliers get dispatched, and once the napalm is fixed to the jets, they're airborne. Thirty-five minutes later, the right patch below them, it's bombs away and a U-turn. An undernourished five year old girl foolishly lives nearby and an eight ounce blob of gel burning at 1,800 degrees lands on her back. She is immediately screaming and burns for six minutes until an adult manages to put the incinerating child out.

Meanwhile, the flyboys are on terra firma again with beers, joints, Steppenwolf on the turntable and much lamenting of St. Louis' undeserved defeat at the hands of Detroit. The little girl's screaming still pierces the tropical air. The engineers and the chemists who designed the people-melting device are on the other side of the world asleep in their suburban beds. And the tiny thing can't stop screaming. The next day at Harvard, William Kristol is expounding on communism, the domino theory, social responsibility, moral courage and careful reading. And the 32 lb. waif is still going through an endless agony that no man of oxen strength should ever have to endure in a lifetime. Isolating on these kinds of details misses the "big picture," I've been told. Only communists, terrorists and other abominable -ists focus on this kind of inhumane minutiae.

Forty years later, John McCain was wittily singing the lyrics "bomb Iran" while doubtless a child was on fire somewhere that US ordnance had exploded. The one certain outcome of such events is a profit for weapons manufacturers. Isolationists are oddly skeptical of the many benefits anti-isolationists find in all-purpose bombing campaigns. What's always clear is that people who speak publicly about their love for humanitarian bombing expect to be paid for it.

There are a lot of things that "isolationists" just don't know, and it must be for this ignorance they are so despised by both mainstream media and Wall Street's favorite politicians. They don't know why we have 50,000 soldiers in Germany or another 30,000 in Japan. Why we paid to keep an incorrigible thug like Mubarak in business for 30 years. Why we need missiles in Eastern Europe. Why we helped every bloodthirsty, misanthropic power monger in Central America. Why we needed to help Turkey get Ocalan. Why South Ossetia's nationalistic prerogatives are our business. Why foreign governments should be pressured by our diplomats on Wall Street's behalf. Why our government takes some kind of stand in every foreign war, election, national event or internal matter of almost any kind. How we can indict one country for human rights violations while buddying up to worse offenders like Saudi Arabia regularly. Why our foreign initiatives proceed based on fantastic ideologies in contempt of facts. These are just a few of the quandaries that afflict the minds of people who aren't buying the divine right of American altruist aristocracy to fine tune the rest of the world. They aren't exactly keen on the hyper-interventionist tendencies that keep so many beltway bandits in the chips, either.

What they also don't know is why the elite media, the experts and elected officials, if they truly understand these things, can't be called upon to explain any of them to the rest of us satisfactorily. On March 20, Dana Milbank called Rand Paul an "isolationist" in his column without any explanation. In the future, he might want to right click on Microsoft Word and choose the Look up option before deploying the term.

After American involvement in Vietnam ended, many proponents of the action claimed the death toll there would have been even worse without our presence. Others go so far as to maintain that fighting in such conflicts protects US citizens' privileges, like freedom of speech, here at home. They expect us all to believe that "Isolationists," by any definition, wouldn't get away with spouting their un-American propaganda in public places, or on television if any were allowed there, but for a policy that napalms little girls.

While people smeared with the I-word persistently point out that they are merely against policies that are misguided, immoral and often murderous, their detractors insist that what they really oppose is America. In the "big picture" mindset of the interventionist, you can't have one without the other.

kouroi 9 hours ago

Beat them over the head with a stick, that might do it.

As for the entanglements in east Asia, none of the countries under direct US vassalage have major disputes with China and do not need US protection. And it is likely that without the US Korea would be on a path to reunification. The US is trying to beat everyone in line to show who's the boss... So it seems, this K guy, like all his ilk are presenting things in a very Manichean way: either primacy or "isolationism". There is so much in between these two...

[Sep 29, 2020] How much safer has the world become for Armenia since the collapse of the USSR

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 27, 2020 at 2:17 am

Russian blogger:

Sep. 27th, 2020 | 02:57 pm

Ан-124 ВКС России прилетел в Армению.
Логистический ад, конечно.
Насколько для Армении мир стал безопаснее с развалом СССР, не правда ли?

An An-124 of the Russian Aerospace Forces has arrived in Armenia.

A logistical hell, of course.

How much safer has the world become for Armenia since the collapse of the USSR, isn't that so?

source

[Sep 29, 2020] Rostec announced the results of the Russian Be-200ES firefighting operations in Turkey

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 22, 2020 at 7:21 am

Russian Avaiation: Rostec announced the results of the Russian Be-200ES firefighting operations in Turkey
https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2020/9/21/15439/

Over the past three months, the Russian Be-200ES amphibious aircraft flew more than 200 times for suppressing wildland fires in Turkey. Aircraft with Russian crews onboard have been participating in the firefighting missions at difficult and strategically important places and locations since June 16. Total flight time exceeded 400 hours .
####

I don't know how I missed this.

So while Russia has been putting out fires in fancy parts of Turkey (Izmir), Turkey has been continuing its fires in Syria!

[Sep 29, 2020] Armenia claims Azerbaijani artillery attacks are intensifying as Nagorno-Karabakh officials allege they've downed Azeri warplane -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Sep 29, 2020 | www.rt.com

Fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh intensified, on Monday, with heavy civilian and military casualties reported amid disputed claims of an Azeri warplane being shot down.

Azerbaijani troops and forces from Nagorno-Karabakh have been trading artillery and rocket fire, with the population of much of Karabakh told to seek shelter. Meanwhile, Armenia has declared a general mobilization and barred men between the ages of 18 and 55 from leaving the country, except with the approval of military authorities.

The most intense attacks took place in the Aras river valley, near the border with Iran, and the Matagis-Talish front in the northeast of the region, according to Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan. He claimed that the Azeri side has lost 22 tanks and a dozen other vehicles, along with 370 dead and many wounded.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310588852793421824&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Frussia%2F501974-karabakh-fighting-intensifies-plane-downed%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Artur Sargsyan, deputy commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh military, said their own losses so far have amounted to 84 dead and more than 200 wounded. Both figures should be understood in the context of an ongoing information war run by the belligerents.

Vagram Pogosyan, spokesman for the president of the self-declared Artsakh Republic – the ethnic Armenian de-facto government in the capital Stepanakert – said their forces shot down an Azeri An-2 airplane outside the town of Martuni on Monday. This is in addition to some three dozen drones, including ones provided by Turkey, that the Armenian forces claim to have shot down over the past 48 hours.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310642793065459712&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Frussia%2F501974-karabakh-fighting-intensifies-plane-downed%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Baku has denied the reports, saying only that two civilians were killed on Monday, in addition to five on Sunday, and 30 were injured. There was no official information on military casualties. Reports concerning the downed airplane were rejected as "not corresponding to reality."

Azeri forces have taken several strategically important locations near the village of Talish in Nagorno-Karabakh, Colonel Anar Eyvazov, spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Baku, said in a statement. He was also quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Lernik Vardanyan, an Armenian airborne commander, was killed near Talish. Armenia has denied this and labelled it "disinformation."

ALSO ON RT.COM Armenia braced for LONG WAR in Nagorno-Karabakh, PM Pashinyan's adviser warns saying Turkey behaves like 'regional terminator'

In a video conference on Monday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev told UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres that the question of Nagorno-Karabakh should be resolved in line with UN Security Council resolutions guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and called for the urgent withdrawal of Armenian troops from "occupied territories."

The current Azeri offensive is backed by Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Armenia "the biggest threat" to peace in the region and called for it to end the "occupation" of Azeri land.

"Recent developments have given all influential regional countries an opportunity to put in place realistic and fair solutions," he said in Istanbul on Monday.

ALSO ON RT.COM Time to end 'occupation' of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish leader Erdogan tells Armenia as border clashes with Azerbaijan continue

Unconfirmed reports that Turkish-backed militants from northern Syria have been transported to Azerbaijan to fight the Armenians have been denied by Baku as "complete nonsense." They amount to "another provocation from the Armenian side," Khikmet Gadzhiev, an aide to President Aliyev, told Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan vowed his people "won't retreat a single millimeter from defending our people and our Artsakh." All Armenians "must unite to defend our history, our homeland, identity, our future and our present, " Pashinyan tweeted on Sunday from Yerevan.

Nagorno-Karabakh is one of several border disputes left over from the collapse of the Soviet Union. An enclave predominantly populated by Armenians, it seceded from Azerbaijan in 1988 and declared itself the Republic of Artsakh following a bitter war in 1992-94.

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[Sep 29, 2020] Elena Evdokimova on Twitter -- War correspondent Alexander Kharchenko also believes that Turkey operates drones that attack Nagorny Kharabah

Sep 29, 2020 | twitter.com

by Alexander Kharchenko

yesterday at 8:42 pm

In Karabakh Turkish drones #Bayraktar started systematic destruction of enemy armored vehicles. Of course they are ruled by the Turks. Azerbaijani operators simply could not learn how to manage them in such a short time. The Armenian side opposes them with the outdated Osa-AKM complexes. They cannot cope with this task.

Most likely, the Coral electronic warfire system operate in conjusction with the drones. They create interference, operators are distracted by false targets, while drones enter the target and destroy it. If in the near future the Armenian side will not be able to quickly clear the airspace, then the Azerbaijanis will show many more shots with the destruction of armored vehicles.

What can be opposed to #Bayraktar ? Do not think that they are invulnerable. "BUKs" and "Pantsir" systems cope well with them. But we cannot say yet whether they are in the area of hostilities.

By their actions, the Ottomans make it clear that strike drones will be deployed anywhere in the world where there are Turkish interests. That's their brand. Similar to the Syrian mercenaries. Accordingly, their opponents first of all need to think about building an effective air defense system.

If you have a territorial dispute with Turkey, then it is better not to run to the UN with another note of protest. And he will directly turn to Russia with a request to urgently sell several "BUKs". Trust that there will be much more benefit from it. Indeed, while the world community calls on the parties to sit down at the negotiating table, dozens of your soldiers are dying on the battlefields. And "BUK" in seconds can prove to a presumptuous guest that he was not expected in this sky. And neither he nor his brothers should appear here.

[Sep 29, 2020] Azerbaijani Army And Syrian Jihadis Launch Attack On Armenian Lines

Sep 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paco , Sep 28 2020 10:09 utc | 34

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 28 2020 3:16 utc | 26

Interesting link Evdokimova, 79% Armenians and 84% Azerbaijanis want the USSR back, that goes to confirm the castotrophe of the USSR dissolution, of course there would be no wars in that inmense area, in exchange for McDonalds advertised by Gorby we have now conflicts galore, Moldavia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kirguizia, Abjazia, Osetia.... and who needs to eat that crap?


Jen , Sep 28 2020 11:06 utc | 35

An opportunity to hit several skittles with one ball was too much to leave alone for the Turks, especially if the skittles could be hit down in someone else's backyard and particularly if that someone else happens to be a client state of Turkey's.

It surely also suits the United States in some way, if that opportunity leads to Russia and Iran becoming bogged down fighting in the Caucasus, and they are forced to take their attention (and money, arms and fighters) away from Idlib province in NW Syria.

So presumably if the Azeris could beat the Armenians with imported "Syrian rebels", that then would encourage home-grown rebel wannabes in Daghestan, Chechnya and other Muslim areas in the northern Caucasus to "rise up" against Russian rule. At the same time, Azeris in NW Iran would be inspired (in the wildest dreams of both the American and Turkish governments) to rise up against Tehran and declare their part of Iran independent.

Unfortunately the Armenians, despite their government's pro-American tendencies, recovered from what must have been surprise attacks and were able to retaliate quickly and hard. Now Russia has taken the high road and offered itself as a mediator.

Let's see if the US and the EU can persuade the Armenians with their offers of loans worth billions (presumably contingent on Armenians deferring to Israel as to whose Holocaust deserves to be called a "Holocaust" and not a mere genocide - even though Winston Churchill about 100 years ago or so used the term to describe the Ottoman massacres of Armenians and other Christian groups in their empire) away from Russian mediation and negotiation. If the money fails to lure Armenia into the IMF / World Bank debt trap, there goes the opportunity to scatter all the skittles.

Chevrus , Sep 28 2020 18:20 utc | 46

I'm trying to get a better contextual setup to this conflict. I recall the USA directed coup attempt dubber "Electric Yerevan" when a company from said nation bought the power company, ran it into the ground and used it as a basis for sparking protests. Next I am hearing that the current president is a "Random Guido" who answer to the USA. If so how does this effect Armenias strategic partnership with Russia? From what little I know about the Armenian spirit they are fiercely devoted to their culture. Many Americans of Armenian would fly back to the old country in order to take up arms. It seems as though this conflict is going to escalate if only because the damage done so far. Armenia is fully mobilizing.
In regard to the Donbass situation, I gathered that the Ukrops army was heavily laden with conscripts many of whom fled to Russia. They succumbed to the cauldron tactic due in part to be order by "results driven" leaders in the rear. That and they stuck to the roads and were easily flanked by smaller NAF units operating "in the green" What I found interesting (and disturbing) about this conflict is that it resembles what could very well happen in the USA, minus the armor although....

Chevrus , Sep 28 2020 18:20 utc | 46

I'm trying to get a better contextual setup to this conflict. I recall the USA directed coup attempt dubber "Electric Yerevan" when a company from said nation bought the power company, ran it into the ground and used it as a basis for sparking protests. Next I am hearing that the current president is a "Random Guido" who answer to the USA. If so how does this effect Armenias strategic partnership with Russia? From what little I know about the Armenian spirit they are fiercely devoted to their culture. Many Americans of Armenian would fly back to the old country in order to take up arms. It seems as though this conflict is going to escalate if only because the damage done so far. Armenia is fully mobilizing.
In regard to the Donbass situation, I gathered that the Ukrops army was heavily laden with conscripts many of whom fled to Russia. They succumbed to the cauldron tactic due in part to be order by "results driven" leaders in the rear. That and they stuck to the roads and were easily flanked by smaller NAF units operating "in the green" What I found interesting (and disturbing) about this conflict is that it resembles what could very well happen in the USA, minus the armor although....

H.Schmatz , Sep 28 2020 20:13 utc | 47

Although it is, clearly I suppose, not my field, from known and new mostly military analysis sources recently found, I will try form a somehow readable post...( forgive thus if I do not write the weapons denomination correctly...I make the effort to keep you informed...and alos take into account, I am figuring out the events without thoroughly studying the maps, I have passed the day working/making food shopping/taking a nap... )

On the doubts about whether Russia would intervene on behalf of Armenia, that wouldv happen if Armenia request assistance under CIS agreements, but Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh ( currently Republic of Arsakh, the name of ancient Great Armenia, to eliminate the azeri denomination Karabakh.. ) is not Armenia, it is a region which apealed self-determination but not recognized by any nation so far...not even by Armenia, due the ceasfire signed in 1994 ( what implies that the war never ended, but was frozen for a while, to be reignited from time to time...) Thread ( you translate the Twitts on your own this time...otherwise would get too long post..)

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1310634361042145282

It is on the grounds of CIS agreements, I guess, that today some Russian MiG-29 overflow Yerevan...

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310604450424328192

Both countries are very mountainous terrain, this is Caucasus, what makes advancement quite difficult, thus, eventhough at first moments success was falling on the side of Azerbaijan ( which counts with the unestimable help of Turkish swarms of drones and intelligence from Turkish AWACSm it seems that Armenia, which has its borders mined, has inflicted heavy loses in armor to Azerbaijan today, destroyed and captured....( warning disturbing content of people flying in the air space..), also list of fallen in the Armenian side, most milennials...This is when most fallen could have originated...in Martakhert, in the North...

https://twitter.com/14Milimetros/status/1310173020082843655

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310635885738819584

#LATEST HOUR #URGENT #Azerbaiyan army claims to have destroyed #Armenia's air defense in Martakhert (north), with 12 OSA systems destroyed. The #Martakhert garrison would be surrounded and offered the option to surrender.

https://twitter.com/301_AD/status/1310574779733340160

#LATEST HOUR First list of fallen in combat by #Armenia. Note that most are kids born in 2000. The Armenian Defense Ministry also claims that during a successful counterattack they have captured 11 armor including an advanced BMP-3.

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310356974010339330

It seems that modern warfare through drones is rendering heavy armor a bit obsolete, well, like seating ducks slowly advancing in mountainous terrain of Caucasus..

https://twitter.com/SubBrief/status/1310359802615300097

The miniature air campaign being carried out by the #Azerbaijan drones against #Armenia seems to be very successful. Its main protagonist is being the MAM-L micromissiles from #Turkey.

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310604904042500105

#Azerbaiyan has already deployed the TOS-1 Buratino thermobaric rocket launchers. The #Azerbaiyan drone air campaign continues to wreak havoc on the Armenian ranks.

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310549583735459841

BTW, @flighradar24, where some people use to follow flights path is under attack...guys are saying this is Turkey/ Azrbaijan so that their drones can not be followed..

https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1310662606261284869

Some additional points in this thread by another guy who works for @descifraguerra, with what is described by him as #cutremapa ( an outline made in the run without much precision so as to clarify his points.. ):

There are skirmishes throughout practically the entire front but the "serious" fighting is concentrated in the areas marked A (Murov Peak), B (Agdara - Heyvali axis) and C (Fuzuli region). Especially in the latter, I refer to the video.

The ultimate goal of the Azeris appears to be a south-north pincer on the capital of Artsakh, Stepanakert, with all the difficulties that this entails. Taking this into account, it seems that there are two previous objectives.

The first of these objectives is to cut the M11, the main logistics artery of Artsakh, for which they have two options: A) Take the peak of Murov and block the road taking advantage of the heights. But storming up the mountain is always tricky.
B) Take the Heyvali junction. To do so, they must first cross several towns, such as Aghdara, and it is in this area where it seems that more artillery fire is concentrating in the last hours.

The second ideal objective would be to cut the M12, the second most important road in the area and therefore the second most important supply route, but considering its position this is something very difficult to carry out in most of its tracing.

So it seems that they are opting for a second objective, a priori simpler: to capture the Fuzali region (remember, zone C on the map) and cut the M12 at the entrance to Stepanakert itself (just 1.37 km south From the capital).

For now, it seems that the Armenians are holding up well to the south, although it is the front in which the most intense fighting has taken place so far this day, but they have less and less anti-aircraft and that allows the Azeri drones to act.

On the growing military drone industry being built by Turkey ( guess where the command and control of those swarms of drones attacking one day after another Khmeimin and Syrian positions and warehousesd is placed ), in the hands of his son-in-law, it seems that Syrian oil smuggling resulted most profitting...

Turkey is laying the foundations of its geopolitics in the massive use of drones in places of conflict where it has great interests.

To achieve his goals, Erdogan managed to establish his own drone industry. He is currently in the hands of one of his sons-in-law.

https://twitter.com/14Milimetros/status/1310345958564204546

Some historical curiosities about the two "main" contenders...

Did you know...

-Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion (301 AD)

-Azerbaijan was the first Muslim country in the world to adopt the secular parliamentary republic as a model state (1918).

https://twitter.com/14Milimetros/status/1310247759363088400


[Sep 29, 2020] Erdogan fancies Turkey to be Russia's equal on the world stage

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN September 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm

But Erdogan is so blatant in his challenges that it is plain he fancies Turkey to be Russia's equal on the world stage, and dares to poke it even as he takes actions that result in greater power and influence for Turkey. He needs a hard kick in the ass to remind him where his provocative actions are taking him. The west is unhappy with Turkey's cozying-up to Russsia, but is doubtless delighted when he behaves like this.

JAMES LAKE September 29, 2020 at 11:04 am

Karl,

Maybe Armenia could call it's new friends in NATO and in the EU

Please read the following it is a quote from an article over a Moon of Alabama.

" .. . Although a long-standing Russian partner, Armenia has also developed ties with the West: It provides troops to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and is a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace, and it also recently agreed to strengthen its political ties with the EU. The United States might try to encourage Armenia to move fully into the NATO orbit. If the United States were to succeed in this policy, then Russia might be forced to withdraw from its army base at Gyumri and an army and air base near Yerevan (currently leased until 2044), and divert even more resources to its Southern Military District. "

Armenia after its colour revolution started to act in an anti -Russian way

Yet Russia is supposed to feel obliged to help Armenia?

What for? they have shown that they are going in another direction

And I think both Azerbaijan and Turkey looked at Armenia's behaviour to Russia and are taking full advantage of a weakened alliance.

KARL1HAUSHOFER September 29, 2020 at 1:10 pm

You make some good points. If Armenia has politically distanced itself from Russia and approached the West and the NATO then it makes no sense for Russia to offer help without strings attached. But Russia cannot let Turkey/Azerbaijan overrun Armenia either, or let Azerbaijan grab Nagarno-Karabakh, because it would strengthen Turkish position too much in the Caucasus region.

MARK CHAPMAN September 29, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Yes, you are plainly having the time of your life and yukking it up again like you do whenever something difficult happens to put Russia in a bad position – plainly, you are a real friend of Russia, and only motivated by concern. Keep on laughing and making jokes. Perhaps Russia should drop a bunker-buster on your house – would that be a martial enough reaction for you?

MARK CHAPMAN September 29, 2020 at 3:36 pm

They should – they should smack down a Turkish aircraft without warning and at the first available opportunity. Russia is trying to stabilize the situation and calm things down, while Turkey is openly backing Azerbaijan's military operation. A hard slap now could break the cycle, but it seems plain Erdogan will get away with whatever he is allowed to.

ET AL September 29, 2020 at 12:48 pm

It almost doesn't matter whether Turkey shot down the Armenian Su-25, rather that Armenia has publicly stated it. This is about crossing the Rubicon. For all the chest-beating and rah rah rah from In'Sultin' Erd O'Grand & Aliyev, both states have denied it happened. Here we clearly see the gulf between broadcast to self-and actual potential consequences of such an action.

Add to that Armenia has been open (not necessarily transparent) about its losses. Theres been nothing from Azerbaidjan except American Vietnam war style 'body counts' of Armenians.

It looks to me that Armenia are upping the ante to the max. and Azerbaidjan is left wanting by its response which makes no sense if its claims of victories/whatever are anywhere near true.

What I really want to know is what if any assistance, apart from words, the US is providing and comparatively Russia. One or them is clearly in a much better position than the other. There's really not much to go on as we know Russia does not broadcast and it certainly would not be in the current 'pro-EU' Armenian administrations interest either. Yet again, we are only left to ask what hasn't been said & done.

As far as I can see, Armenia is keeping most of its powder dry. The threat of 'other measures' is currently more useful (and doesn't entail the same risks) than actually enacting them. Maybe Putin will invite €µ to cover Aliyev's humilition as Sarkozy was for Sakaashiti's? Now that would be funny, but we must not get ahead of ourselves..

Strategically, each time In'Sultin' Erd O'Grand backs stunts like these, he exposes himself further to trouble at home. For Russia, not being fully NATO onside is evidently quite useful however distasteful his behavior is, but he may well be undoing himself and putting Turkey squarely back in to the western camp overall but retaining its nationalist Big Boy streak.

ET AL September 29, 2020 at 1:24 pm

BMPD: Директор Центра анализа стратегий и технологий о ситуации в Нагорном Карабахе
https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4151211.html

Осеннее военное обострение в Нагорном Карабахе для многих стало совершенной неожиданностью. Но специалисты, которые следят за военно-политической обстановкой в Закавказье, подобное развитие событий давно предсказывали. В частности, эксперты Центра анализа стратегий и технологий (ЦАСТ) еще два года назад спрогнозировали обострение ситуации в Карабахе. В их книге "В ожидании бури: Южный Кавказ" даны оценки, которые, судя по всему, подтверждаются сегодня, пишет Сергей Вальченко в материале для сайта MK.ru
####

More at the link.

This looks like a reasonable analysis. If you are lazy like I am, use and online translator.

I don't see how Armenia can accept the loss of critical territory even if the Azeri operations are 'limited.' According to the interview, Azerbiajan is repeating the tactics of 2018 which is a big NO NO according to Tsun Tzu. I would be surprises is Armenia hasn't already planned for this. The big fly in this ointment is Yerevan which may delay or limit a response and listen to its 'western partners.' That would cement Azeri successes and damage the 'Pro-EU' government. One reasonable strategy would be to actually encourage Azeri 'successes' as tehy would be tempted to go further than their limited goals and draw the forces in to a pre-prepared 'cauldron', aka kiling zone as occured previously in the Donbass and wrap up the Azeri army and gain ground. There's the risk that it wouldn't work either, yet again Tsun Tzu do not fight the next war as you fough the last

[Sep 29, 2020] Strategic Aims Behind The War On Armenia

Sep 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Strategic Aims Behind The War On Armenia

On Sunday Ilham Aliyev, the longtime dictator of Azerbaijan, launched a war on the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh area. That he dared to do this now, 27 years after a ceasefire ended a war over the area, is a sign that the larger strategic picture has changed.

When the Soviet Union fell apart the Nagorno-Karabakh area had a mixed population of Azerbaijani (also called Azeri) Shia Muslims and Armenian Christians. As in other former Soviet republics ethnic diversity became problematic when the new states evolved. The mixed areas were fought over and Armenia won the Nagorno-Karabakh area. There have since been several border skirmishes and small wars between the two opponents but the intensity of the fighting is now much higher than before.


Source: Joshua Kushera - bigger

In 2006 Yasha Levine wrote about his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh for The Exile. He described the uneven opponents:

In 1994 the Armenians won and forced Azerbaijan to a ceasefire. In the meantime Nagorno-Karabakh organized itself into a sovereign country [called Artsakh] with its own army, elected officials and parliament. But it still hasn't been recognized by any country other than Armenia and is still classified as one of the "frozen conflicts" in the region, along with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

But this "frozen conflict" may soon heat up, if you believe what Azerbaijan's playboy/gambling addict/president, Ilham Aliyev, says. Not that Azerbaijanis should get too excited about another war: If Armenians are still the fighters they were ten years ago, then statistically, it's the Azeris who'll do most of the dying. While matched evenly in soldiers, the Azeris had double the amount of heavy artillery, armored vehicles, and tanks than the Armenians; but when it was over, the Azeri body count was three times higher then that of the Armenians. Azeri casualties stood at 17,000. The Armenians only lost 6,000. And that's not even counting the remaining Azeri civilians the Armenians ethnically cleansed.

Since the strategically-important Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline opened up, pumping Caspian Sea oil to the West via Turkey, the Azeri president has been making open threats about reclaiming Nagorno-Karabakh by force. The $10 billion in oil revenues he expects to earn per year once the pipeline is fully operational is going to his head. $10 billion might not seem that much -- but for Azerbaijan it constitutes a 30% spike in GDP. In every single interview, Aliyev can't even mention the pipeline project without veering onto the subject of "resolving" the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Aliyev started spending the oil cash even before the oil started flowing and announced an immediate doubling of military spending. A little later he announced the doubling of all military salaries. Aliyev's generals aren't squeamish about bragging that by next year their military budget will be $1.2 billion, or about Armenia's entire federal budget.

Over the next 14 years the war that Yasha Levine foresaw in 2006 did not happen. That it was launched now points to an important change. In July another border skirmish broke out for still unknown reasons. Then Turkey stepped in :

Following the July conflict Turkey's involvement became much deeper than it had previously been, with unprecedentedly bellicose rhetoric coming from Ankara and repeated high-level visits between the two sides. Ankara appeared to see the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict as yet another arena in which to exercise its growing foreign policy ambitions, while appealing to a nationalist, anti-Armenian bloc in Turkey's domestic politics.

Turkey's tighter embrace, in turn, gave Baku the confidence to take a tougher line against Russia, Armenia's closest ally in the conflict but which maintains close ties with both countries. Azerbaijan heavily publicized (still unconfirmed) reports about large Russian weapons shipments to Armenia just following the fighting, and President Ilham Aliyev personally complained to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Turkey's President Erdogan intervened with more than rhetoric :

In August, Turkey and Azerbaijan completed two weeks of joint air and land military exercises, including in the Azerbaijani enclave of Naxcivan. Some observers have questioned whether Turkey left behind military equipment or even a contingent of troops.

The potential for robust Turkish involvement in the conflict is being watched closely by Russia, which is already on opposing sides with the NATO member in conflicts in Libya and Syria.

Russia sells weapons to both Azerbaijan and Armenia, but has a military base in Armenia and favors that strategic partnership.

Azerbaijan has bought drones from Turkey and Israel and there are rumors that they are flown by Turkish and Israeli personal. Turkey also hired 2,000 to 4,000 Sunni Jihadis from Syria to fight for the Shia Azerbaijan. A dozen of them were already killed on the first day of the war. One wonders how long they will be willing to be used as cannon fodder by the otherwise hated Shia.

There were additional rumors that there are Turkish fighter jets in Azerbaijan while Turkish spy planes look at the air-space over Armenia from its western border.


Source: IWN News - bigger

The immediate Azerbaijani war aim is to take the two districts Fizuli and Jabrayil in south-eastern corner of the Armenian held land:

While the core of the conflict between the two sides is the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Fuzuli and Jabrayil are two of the seven districts surrounding Karabakh that Armenian forces occupy as well. Those districts, which were almost entirely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis before the war, were home to the large majority of the more than 600,000 Azerbaijanis displaced in the conflict.

While there has been some modest settlement by Armenians into some of the occupied territories, Fuzuli and Jabrayil remain nearly entirely unpopulated.

The two districts have good farm land and Armenia, already poor, will want to keep them. It certainly is putting up a strong fight over them.

The war has not progressed well for Azerbaijan. It has already lost dozens of tanks (vid) and hundreds of soldiers. Internet access in the country has been completely blocked to hide the losses.

The losses do not hinder Erdogan's scribes to already write of victory :

Defending Azerbaijan is defending the homeland. This is our political identity and conscious. Our geopolitical mind and defense strategies are no different. Always remember, "homeland" is a very broad concept for us!

We are not making a simple exaggeration when we say "History has been reset." We are expecting a victory from the Caucasus as well!

Well ...

An hour ago the Armenian government said that Turkey shot down one of its planes:

Armenia says one of its fighter jets was shot down by a Turkish jet, in a major escalation in the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Armenian foreign ministry said the pilot of the Soviet-made SU-25 died after being hit by the Turkish F-16 in Armenian air space .

Turkey, which is backing Azerbaijan in the conflict, has denied the claim.
...
Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that its air force does not have F-16 fighter jets. However, Turkey does.

A Turkish attack within Armenian borders would trigger the Collective Security Treaty which obligates Russia and others to defend Armenia.

A Russian entry into the war would give Erdogan a serious headache.

But that might not even be his worst problem. The Turkish economy is shrinking, the Central Bank has only little hard currency left, inflation is hight and the Turkish Lira continues to fall. Today it hit a new record low .


Source: Xe - bigger

Azerbaijan has quite a bit of oil money and may be able to help Erdogan. Money may indeed be a part of Erdogan's motivation to take part in this war.

Russia will certainly not jump head first into the conflict. It will be very careful to not over-extend itself and to thereby fall into a U.S. laid trap.

Last year the Pentagon financed RAND Corporation released a report that laid out plans against Russia :

Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia's economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them -- ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options).

As one option the report discussed to over-extend Russia (pdf) in the Caucasus:

The United States could extend Russia in the Caucasus in two ways. First, the United States could push for a closer NATO relation-ship with Georgia and Azerbaijan, likely leading Russia to strengthen its military presence in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, and southern Russia.

Alternatively, the United States could try to induce Armenia to break with Russia. Although a long-standing Russian partner, Armenia has also developed ties with the West: It provides troops to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and is a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace, and it also recently agreed to strengthen its political ties with the EU. The United States might try to encourage Armenia to move fully into the NATO orbit. If the United States were to succeed in this policy, then Russia might be forced to withdraw from its army base at Gyumri and an army and air base near Yerevan (currently leased until 2044), and divert even more resources to its Southern Military District.

The RAND report gives those options only a poor chance to succeed. But that does not not mean that the U.S. would not try to create some additional problems in Russia's southern near abroad. It may have given its NATO ally Turkey a signal that it would not mind if Erdogan gives Aliyev a helping hand and jumps into anther war against Russia.

Unless Armenian core land is seriously attacked Russia will likely stay aside. It will help Armenia with intelligence and equipment flown in through Iran. It will continue to talk with both sides and will try to arrange a ceasefire.

Pressing Azerbaijan into one will first require some significant Armenian successes against the invading forces. Thirty years agon the Armenians proved to be far better soldiers than the Azeris. From what one can gain from social media material that seems to still be the case. It will be the decisive element for the outcome of this conflict.

Posted by b on September 29, 2020 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink


div> As much as I appreciate b's conflict sitreps, I sure hope this one does not become a recurring one..

Posted by: Lozion , Sep 29 2020 18:29 utc | 1

As much as I appreciate b's conflict sitreps, I sure hope this one does not become a recurring one..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 29 2020 18:29 utc | 1

c , Sep 29 2020 18:32 utc | 2
Thanks. The best explanación I have seen so far of this complicated situación
Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 29 2020 18:32 utc | 3
Love the report b.
This is how you use to have it on Syria. Keep it up.
GeorgeSmiley , Sep 29 2020 18:37 utc | 4
Best article in quite some time B, bravo!
karlof1 , Sep 29 2020 18:53 utc | 5
As I reported last week, the Armenians were one of the international participants in recent military exercises held in the Caucus region, and they frequently train with Russian troops as CSTO members. Neither the Azeris or Armenians can really afford a conflict, although the former have the better economic basis and have done a better job dealing with COVID. Because of their history, Armenians are better and more tenacious in combat. Until Nagorno-Karabakh is resolved, it will be exploited by the Outlaw US Empire.
Jackrabbit , Sep 29 2020 18:53 utc | 6
The war will draw Azerbaijan closer to NATO/Turkey just as Trump is turning the screws on Iran via extended UN sanctions.

Much of the Russian-Iranian trade would likely be conducted via Volga River and Caspian Sea.

What are the chances that we see mysterious attacks on shipping in the Caspian Sea?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

PS Erdogan's adventurism (aka Ottoman fantasies) seem like a smokescreen for Imperial operations.

!!

ptb , Sep 29 2020 18:57 utc | 7
Agreed very much with @1.

The trouble with this kind of intimate geography, is that it is very tempting to operate longer-range weapons or drones from the 'uncontested' portion of each country's territory, since each home territory is theoretically out of bounds of the conflict.

The main meaningful response to a long-range or unmanned attack, targeting the source, could then be used to blame the other side for any escalation. It seems Azerbaijan is more comfortable with this at the moment. Assuming they end up occupying more of the contested territory, they will end up on the receiving end of the same pattern, but either way the result would be the same.

Besides the muddled geopolitics and heartbreaking history, it makes for a relevant study in the state of modern drone and anti-drone systems, which will only increase in significance going forward, as guidance systems, software integration, networked/relay-based-communications and hard-to-detect point-to-point radio or IR comms are all more accessible now. (for example, what would you do if you had the capacity to make ~10 million of the things a year)

Altai , Sep 29 2020 19:02 utc | 8
Meanwhile, the radical blue ticks need some way to seem like they are superior to plebs who might be inclined to take Armenia's side. It's all very complicated, both sides are just as wrong you see!

https://twitter.com/Tom_deWaal/status/1310559223441485826

"1 No side has a monopoly of justice. Both sides have historical claims to Karabakh. It was the site of a medieval Armenian kingdom in the 12th century and an Azerbaijani (Persian Turkic Shia) khanate in the 18th c. Both peoples have lived together here, mostly peacefully."

But the people never changed, they were Armenian before and after the very brief period of being a part of that Khanate (75 years, he left this out) against their will. It's all the more surreal since the guy making the argument that 75 years of being under somebody's rule 300 years ago makes you theirs forever.

It's all the more surreal given the writers own father is from Amsterdam given.

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

1556–1714

I don't see anyone suggesting Spain has legitimate claims on Flanders and the Netherlands.

It must be hard for bluechecks because their vaunted 'rules-based international order' such it might ever have been said to exist with constant violation without consequence by powerful countries is the source of the problem. Azerbaijan is only still after this territory based on the thin logic that despite being 85-90% Armenian at it's lowest point in the last 250 years and 100% Armenian today and being totally separated from Azerbaijan politically, the UN still considers it's de jure Azerbaijan. The map says it's Azerbaijan!

Yul , Sep 29 2020 19:29 utc | 9
It is surprising seeing Erdogan who is a Muslim Brotherhood fanatic supporting a mostly Shia Muslim country of Azerbaijan.
May be Persia should get involved to get back the land it lost during the Persian-Russo wars !
R.A. , Sep 29 2020 19:33 utc | 10
B, it is good to see you reporting on matters that are within your area of expertise. Your reporting on conflicts of this kind is invaluable, and I always follow your reports with great interest.

I wish I could say the same for your recent post about Covid19, but there are aspects of that post that are unfortunate. It is clear, for example, that you have not been following the latest work on cross-reactive immunity--that is, the evidence that people who have not yet been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 nevertheless have some immunity to it, due to exposure to other corona-viruses. Nor is your overall analysis of the actual lethality of the disease convincing--you seem to be unaware of the vast difference between young people and children, who almost never die of Covid19, versus the elderly, who are much at risk. This has great implications for what policies are best in dealing with the disease.

I recommend the following source, which allows investigation of the lethality of Covid19 more thoroughly: https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

ptb , Sep 29 2020 19:43 utc | 11
@Altai 8

Yes NK was historically Arm going back forever. Nevertheless, the geography made defending it impossible without occupying adjacent areas which as far as I know, were Azeri in modern times. There are few happy answers to be found here.

As far as biases are concerned, deWaal is giving the interview to Al Jazeera, and the network is (not surprisingly) somewhat more sympathetic to Turkish and therefore Azeri statements on the matter, though they typically do a better job keeping a professional facade than domestic (US) media at least. But that gives a hint.

AtaBrit , Sep 29 2020 19:45 utc | 12
Excellent couple of articles, 'b'. You are really on form. Thanks.

Think you are spot on regarding money and deflection. What we've seen recently from Erdogan is vast expenditure in construction - unnecessary pandemic hospitals with extortionate rental agreements to be met by the local authorities - and in technology - the latest TechnoFest headed by his other 'damat' advertised significant projects to be funded by the state, and of course oil and military: In these sectors nepotism and cronyism rule. it is those companies close to Erdogan that reap very significant benefits. So, any earnings that can be gleaned from Aliyev are very welcome I am sure.

The other aspect is deflection from a series of foreign policy failures, and several serious domestic failures, one being the management of Covid currently and its obvious manipulations and the abject failure of the online education system in which it is estimated between 35 and 50 percent of pupils are NOT participating. The others being the economy as 'b' alluded to and the failed Greek, Libyan and Syrian situations. Other than that, the political ground does not favour Erdogan at all and he is terrified of losing his 2023 deadline and therefore desperate to win back more of the electorate.

Turks talks about Turkey and Azerbaijan as One People, Two states - the Azeris do not say the same. But it is a sign of just how important this is to Turks. As 'b' has mentioned, the Turkish media is already in faitytale / victory mode - the last dreamt up report I saw claimed that PKK were moving from Syria to Iraq and into Armenia to fight against Azeris - and people are buying it, as they always do. Nationalism is very big in Turkey. There's a reason why criticising a military campaign is considered a crime!

I was tempted to think that this 'conflict' would go the way of every other contrived foreign policy foray this year, but Aliyev and Erdogan may be out to save each other's political lives here in which case we need to consider what they're fighting to defend - very wealthy authoritarian 'mafia states'. I do not think that Turkey would decide to push Russia too far unless it had NATO or US backing because Turkey's economy and regional influence are very dependent on Russia. So, I think this will be a limited show-piece that may score some territory. What is certain is that in both Turkey and Azerbaijan, victory is already guaranteed by the media! Does that imply a short 'conflict'?

Another aspect to remember is Iran. it has very good and important relations with both Azerbaijan and Armenia and would no doubt fully back any Russian intervention be it diplomatic or otherwise. It has also offered to mediate between the two. The Nagorno-Karabakh area is very important to Iran.

gottlieb , Sep 29 2020 19:47 utc | 13
So many fuses, so little time with desperate madmen on the march. As the good professor said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." WWIII ain't your grandfather's World War.
Orage , Sep 29 2020 20:05 utc | 14
R.A.
The swprs has been a constant source of Covid-19 scepticism from the outset. It is not balanced and is full of cherry picking about its sources and analysis. It is a very serious error to focus entirely on mortality in Covid 19 and its major effect on older people. It does mean premature death for many. But even more seriously Covid-19 causes serious morbidity and together with a high infectious rate leads to very sharp swamping of health systems, major loss of front line workers because of illness and serious health and economic effects independent of the mortality. Focussing on mortality of elderly only is a narrow view and ignores why Covid 19 is such a serious pandemic.
Et Tu , Sep 29 2020 20:08 utc | 15
Was lacking some of the details and depth of B's report but it was clear Erdogan is running point on another Nato led shit sandwich on Russia's doorstep and a blatant 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' trap laid out for Putin.

What's the bet if Russia supports Armenia the media will paint this as 'Russian aggression' on poor Azerbaijan and an invasion of their sovereign territory? The region is technically still part of Azerbaijan. Yet when all the first videos showed Azeri drones striking Armenian tanks in defensive dugouts, while Armenian footage showed ATGM's striking Azeri armour maneuvering in open fields, it doesn't take a genius to work out who the aggressor was... but facts should never get in the way of a good narrative when it comes to Nato..

Another frozen conflict would be just the ticket to drain more resources from Russia, not to mention, the potential for instability and refugees right on Iran's doorstep would be too much for the US not to want to invest in. Combine that with Erdogan's megalomania, and he'll be happy to add 15% on all munitions charged to Azerbaijan to help plug some of his budget holes, no doubt.

Luckily I'm no military strategist, but when i hear things like this i can't help wonder if some good old 'domestic terrorism' or missiles flying into Baku, Washington or Istanbul are just what is needed for these psychopaths to be brought to the negotiating table nice and early and avoid a lot of human misery... It is just crazy to think we have leaders who actually start wars in order to poke Russia in the eye... one wonders, since they know exactly who is doing what and why, what sort of payback that may bring one day.

Debsisdead , Sep 29 2020 20:16 utc | 16
There is no doubt that Nagorno-Karabakh is traditionally part of Azerbaijan and only got claimed by Armenia after a surfeit of Armenians invaded the territory since the end of WW1. All in all a very similar situation to that which developed in Serbia vis a vis the invasion of Kosovo by Albanians.
MOA has consistently stood against the internationally illegal Kosovo enclave, so why the contradiction with Nagorno-Karabakh?

Surely it cannot be because of ideological reasons i.e. Armenia is 'good guys' & Azerbaijan are bad guys? That is precisely the type of logical inconsistency which causes wars.
Azerbaijan is in a tough enough situation with Armenia block the creation of a contiguous nation with Armenia's takeover of the south of Azerbaijan up to the Iranian border. If you look at the first map provided you will see an unlabelled black blob up against the Iranian border a part of Azerbaijan which has been deliberately isolated by Armenia from the rest of Azerbaijan.

This report sounds like something out of the NYT or Guardian next you'll be claiming with zero evidence that there are Turkey funded terrorists brought in from Idlib just as the guardian has been claiming.

Jen , Sep 29 2020 20:28 utc | 17
Another motivation for Ottoman Sultan wannabe Erdogan may be the possibility of extending Turkish influence (and by implication his and his family's) through Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea into Central Asia all the way to and into ... Xinjiang in NW China, with the potential for Uyghur terrorists, nurtured by Turkish propaganda, money and arms, to get a free ride through Central Asia and straight into any future conflict zones Turkey might want to open up in Iranian Azerbaijan and all Iran's northern and eastern border areas with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

Of course this will have US, UK, EU (possibly) and Israeli blessing if it means Turkey will have to do most of the heavy lifting of money transactions.

james , Sep 29 2020 20:33 utc | 18
thanks b.... seeing erdogan involved here makes sense.. at some point, someone is going to take him out to bring peace back to the area.... until then he is a useful tool..

@ debs....thanks for your comments.. perhaps b will respond to them?? i agree with et tu, the narrative the msm will spin here will tell us a lot..

AtaBrit , Sep 29 2020 20:38 utc | 19
@Jen
If I remember rightly, and I'll try to find the reports, it was claimed back in July that Erdogan had offered to send Syrian militias to help defend Azerbaijan.
What makes you think the claim is unfounded?
The jihadists left in N.Syria are a serious problem for Turkey, so it would nake perfect sense to try to 'liquidate' them in contrived 'conflicts'.
albagen , Sep 29 2020 20:38 utc | 20
@ Debsisdead 16

When did that "invasion of Kosovo by Albanians" did happen? You seem so pretty sure of it that it makes me wonder if you are the creator of history itself, so you just invented it, and believe it.

waiting...

Altai , Sep 29 2020 20:38 utc | 21
@ptb

The solution would be to give back the adjacent territories that border Azerbaijan to Azerbaijan and maybe pay some kind of nominal compensation to the displaced in return for normalisation. They are to my knowledge much like parts of the buffer zone in Cyprus, full of abandoned towns and villages. (Some of which you can see tanks using for cover in the videos)

But the Caucuses are the Caucuses are grudges are grudges. Can't turn back the clock so it's all or nothing, one side loses and one side wins.

Then you have all the exclaves and enclaves to deal with, which ironically, haven't become an issue yet at all, probably because it would involve attacks on Armenia proper. Though there has already been one strike in Armenia proper of a bus that was set to carry Armenian solders.

alaff , Sep 29 2020 20:46 utc | 22
1. It is obvious that the current aggravation was not accidental, but prepared in advance.

2. Possible goals for Turkey:

> Anchoring Turkey in Azerbaijan - the creation of full-fledged turkish military bases.

> Inclusion of Azerbaijan in the Turkish orbit of influence (thesis "two countries - one nation", in which Turkey assumes supremacy) within the framework of the concept of neo-Ottomanism and (pseudo-)leadership of Turkey in the Turkic world.

> Economic goals and energy projects (Azerbaijani oil, gas) as part of the Turkish plan to turn the country into an energy supplier.

> Given the circumstances (Ukrainian black hole, Belarusian problem, coronavirus, spectacle with Navalny, threat to Nord Stream-2 etc), involve Russia in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, thereby tying Russia's hands in the Caucasus direction in order to act more freely and boldly in other theaters (the Mediterranean conflict with Greece, Syria, Libya...), given the problematic position of Turkey (simultaneous war on several fronts and the almost complete absence of assistants/allies). In this situation, the Nagorno-Karabakh leverage/'trump card' in the hands of Turkey would be useful for negotiations with Russia.

The latter assumption is probably the main one.

@Debsisdead, #16


There is no doubt that Nagorno-Karabakh is traditionally part of Azerbaijan

Funny.
Actually, this territory - Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan - have been the territory (or "property", if you will) of Russia for the last 200-250 years.
Richard Steven Hack , Sep 29 2020 21:12 utc | 23
Haven't bothered to follow this conflict at all so far. Thanks to b for providing his usual excellent context overview.
Tom , Sep 29 2020 21:21 utc | 24
Interesting historic fact. As long as the centre (USSR) held, the facts on the ground held, much like the other areas of conflicts in Georgia, Ukraine and Transnistria. With the end of the USSR, everything changed. This is what Putin meant when he called the breakup of the USSR as disaster. And NATO will continue to poke a stick at these vulnerabilities. Are the people of Armenia really that stupid that they see anything positive from joining NATO? Like that will protect them against Turkey. They can see how Greece is treated. Hopefully this conflict will put to bed any thought of Armenia being pried away from Russia.

Stalin's Legacy: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Nagorno-Karabakh is a highly contested, landlocked region in the South Caucasus of the former Soviet Union. The present-day conflict has its roots in the decisions made by Joseph Stalin when he was the acting Commissar of Nationalities for the Soviet Union during the early 1920s. In April 1920, Azerbaijan was taken over by the Bolsheviks; Armenia and Georgia were taken over in 1921. To garner public support, the Bolsheviks promised Karabakh to Armenia. At the same time, in order to placate Turkey, the Soviet Union agreed to a division under which Karabakh would be under the control of Azerbaijan. With the Soviet Union firmly in control of the region, the conflict over the region died down for several decades.

https://adst.org/2013/08/stalins-legacy-the-nagorno-karabakh-conflict/

Vladimir , Sep 29 2020 21:27 utc | 25
As #12 seems to be implying as well, b is ignoring this region is the backyard of another regional powerhouse: Iran.

Any involvement from the US in Iran's backguard will be gladly countertargeted so that automatically means Turkey has very big ambitions to join this battle. This could very well end up in straight war if the diplomatic channels of mainly Russia are not effective enough..

Mackie , Sep 29 2020 22:15 utc | 26
@albagen

Kosovo Liberation Army ethnically cleansed the Serbs and others from Kosovo (with NATO help) and took over that territory. They are Albanians, no?

I see nothing wrong with what Debisdead's statement.

Jimmy , Sep 29 2020 22:56 utc | 27
Excellent insights on what is happening. Hang up the NWO scamdemic stuff.
conspiracy-theorist , Sep 29 2020 22:59 utc | 28
Posted by: Yul | Sep 29 2020 19:29 utc | 9

I've read somewhere that only English wankers call Iran "Persia". Iran lost those territories when the Turkic Qajar incompetents were ruling Iran (in a fashion).

It is informative to look into Qajar Iran. They somehow managed to take a Safavid (also Turkic) Iran from a fairly respectable state to the lowest state that Iran has likely been in its entire 3000+ year history. It is amazing what the Pahlavis managed to do to resurrect Iran in the short 50 turbulent years a Persian dynasty finally got to run Iran after centuries.

As to Sultan of Turkey making noises about Azar (Fire) PaadGaan (Guardians) being the homeland of the 'multi-faceted' spawn of the displaced Mongols of Turkistan, he can go and suck the Tsar of All Russians and Minions prick, again.

--

Interesting that "B" claims (without any proof whatsoever) that Russia intends to use Iran as a channel to transport arms to Armenia. Iran's media already has come out and has denied reports by "foreign media" to say such things. I guess that includes you, Moon Of Alabama.

--

Also interesting that the apparently very capable Turkish drone being used is not discussed here at Moon of Alabama. When did this place turn into the New York Times? What's next, B, a Pulitzer?

Since the bar keep is not sharing links to vidoes released by Azerbaijan's military showing multiple distinct drone hits on Armenian armour, then I won't either. But it is just a few clicks away.

--

Finally, this situation is a touchy one for Iran, aka as "Persia" amongst the wankers and related sorts. Will the "Muslim" revolutionaries, the children of Ayatollah cum Imam of "Persians" (lol) yet again choose infidels as waali, if they think this will permit them to warm the throne of Jamshid and the Hidden Imam and wisely rule and chart the destiny of "Persians"? The answer to that is answered by noting that no one has ever accused the Mullahs of "Persia" to be impractical men. Unholy, sure, some. But impractical, estaghforallah!

bevin , Sep 30 2020 0:17 utc | 29
"..Actually, this territory - Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan - have been the territory (or "property", if you will) of Russia for the last 200-250 years." alaff@22

A very good point. These countries have never been independent states. In 1918, under western influence, and led by mensheviks Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan formed the Trans-Caucasian Republic. My guess is that by the end of the Soviet era secularism dominated all three societies and religious disputes were largely forgotten.
One historical grudge very much alive is that of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks, a century ago.

Debsisdead , Sep 30 2020 1:14 utc | 30
Sorry grump one, I just got back from my wednesday morning doctor's run where I pick up some locals from around the area & run them to the Drs in town.

I hope that this conflict won't get characterised as a religious conflict, because that isn't really what it is about.
Armenians fled east during WW1 in direct response to the genocidal attacks on Armenians by Turks, so that should be easy eh? Blame the Turks, but it isn't that easy because of the French & Englanders machinations when sequestering all the assets of the Ottoman empire.

Right the way through WW1 which was at heart a war over assets for empires, even the spark that lit the fuse was caused by the Austro-Hungarian Empire's lust for grabbing Serbia & including it in their repressive empire, all the politicians & bureaucrats to empire of the 'big' nations, spent a lot more time and energy divvying up their hoped for imperial gains, than they ever spent on concern about the generation of young men being forced through the meat grinders.

There were 3 big nations on the winning side France, England & Russia, yet Sykes Picot is a secret agreement between only two of the triumvirate. Many suppose this is because Russia pulled out of WW1 after the October revolution, that is not correct as this secret agreement was signed in May 1916, 18 months before the Bolshevik soviet uprising. England & France were doing the dirty on Russia even while the Tsar was the bossfella.

Perfidious Albion seems to be the one most responsible as it has always claimed that a similarly secret deal England made with Russia, unbeknownst to France had been completed. A deal whereby England would grab the oil rich Mesopotamia & all the rest of Arabian peninsular in return for Russia getting Constantinople and most of Anatolia.

That seems unlikely since England and France had already spilt the blood of 213,980 French, English Australian, New Zealand & Canadian troops on the Dardanelles in pursuit of an invasion and eventual takeover of Constantinople which england had begun planning since back in 1905! Long before WW1. Winston Churchill in particular had been advocating this for more than a decade because he wanted to deny Russia easy access to the mediterranean.
A lie was told to the fatally foolish Tsar - it was that the anglo-french invasion of southern Turkey was to be a distraction that would require Turkey & Germany/Austria to divert troops from the eastern front thereby relieving pressure on Imperial Russia's armies.

So what? How does that effect Nagorno-Karabakh? Well it does, because after england screwed up at the Dardanelles, they then encouraged Armenians to take up arms against the Ottomans, all the while knowing that despite promises to the contrary, if the Armenians came unstuck against the 'easybeat' Turks, there would be no way of helping the Armenians out.

That is what happened of course. Kemal Attaturk the bloke who had overseen Gallipoli & england's send off was sent to oversee the fight against Armenian guerillas and the Armenians got monstered, so fled eastwards some as far as into the mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The situation is even more complicated by the fact that after WW1 ended and elites all over europe were crazed with anxiety about a 'red' takeover of Europe, 'the west' kicked up even more trouble. By financing a mob oops sorry, army, of so-called white russians to resist the USSR in the South Western Caucasus, it meant that the USSR was unable to exert full control of the region for nearly 5 years. This is why as Tom says at #24 it wasn't until 1921 that the Soviet Union could credibly promise Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, a blatant bribe to encourage the warring parties to talk not shoot, but really it was more like 1923 when the USSR got total control of the region.

I point out the mess that previous interference has caused because it is vital that history not repeat itself in that regard. If it does, then all that will result will be a conflict held in abeyance for a time until it flares up again.

There are two issues people & geography, maybe the boss of Azerbaijan is an arsehole who is trying to get back onside with Azerbaijanis by cranking up a conflict that is close to the hearts of most citizens because every time they look at a map they are confronted by the injustice of their nation cleaved in two. His alleged arseholery does not diminish the genuine injustice Azerbaijanis feel in their bones.

That is one group of people, the other group are the relatively small number of Armenians squatting illegally on Azerbaijani land.
The easiest way to fix the geography & people issue is for those Armenians to be relocated into decent accommodation within Armenia and return Nagorno-Karabakh plus a land corridor that rejoins Azerbaijan once again.
It will be complex to resolve as there will also be an issue with Armenians who have occupied the space between the two parts of Azerbaijan, but however much it costs, that is bound to be less than the cost of airplanes, rockets & artillery shells that will be expended keeping the conflict bubbling away.

[Sep 29, 2020] Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com : Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-idlib-tensions-turkey-russia-talks-failed

Turkish officials are preparing for the worst case scenario as talks in Ankara made clear that Moscow doesn't want a new deal
####

This is a Turkey sympathetic piece but may be one reason for current events between Armenia and Azerbaidjan. As for Syria, Turkey has been claiming to keep the north/Idlib under control which is has until the last few weeks at it has used the previous time to reinforce its military presence ('observation posts') – vis Vinyard the Saker – and now claims it is not reponsible and its not fair that Russia reacts to attacks by its re-dressed (literally) jihadists. Turkey's preference is of course to do nothing despite the all the attacks, and that in itself explains a lot. Turkey is now publicly putting out its argument in advance that it is 'Russia wot broke the agreement' and thus 'we are not responsible for any of the consequences.' Erd O'Grand is due another significant spanking. Would he call NATO to his defense as he did before? Certainly. Will it happen? No. Not to mention his current intreagues around Cyprus and pissing of the French, Greeks and others. Trouble t'mill.

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:48 am

But here's a much better article again via Antiwar.com

AL Monitor: Turkey's military deterrence breaks down in Syria's last rebel stronghold
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-syria-russia-idlib-escalation-inevitable-m4-highway.html

Despite Turkey's efforts to maintain the status quo in Idlib, a Russian-backed Syrian assault seems increasingly likely.
####

In short, Turkey has not kept up its side of the deal of bringing the rebels under control and the supposed opening and joint patrols of the M4 & M5 highways has been suspended by Russia because of the attacks by rebadged jihadis. Turkey has clearly used the agreement to simply buy time for another 'cunning plan' and as no interest in fulfiling the agreement with Russia. The latter's patience is almost gone.

[Sep 29, 2020] This nasty neocon Rachel MadCow

Notable quotes:
"... The DemoRats have never been a party dedicated to peace; the only ones thinking that are the walking bong-holes who assuage their cognitive dissonance by telling themselves that. Both the demorats and their willing accomplices 'across the aisle' have led us into constant war for nearly eight decades. Lilliputian Big enders and Little enders all. ..."
"... Screw the war mongers and the MIC. ..."
"... If you read the article, it's obvious that [neo]liberals/whores are the apogee of hypocrisy. ..."
"... Perpetual war is about $$$. It knows no party. Never has and never will. ..."
"... Yup. It's always about the money. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
True Blue , 1 hour ago link

Feral, yes; rabid, absolutely; smart... not so much. Why is anyone surprised?

The DemoRats have never been a party dedicated to peace; the only ones thinking that are the walking bong-holes who assuage their cognitive dissonance by telling themselves that. Both the demorats and their willing accomplices 'across the aisle' have led us into constant war for nearly eight decades. Lilliputian Big enders and Little enders all.

AI Agent , 1 hour ago link

She's a good lying propagandist... but she's not brilliant. Smart? maybe. Brilliant? Cow flop has more shine than Madcow.

desertboy , 36 minutes ago link

Maybe he meant "brilliant manipulator" -- sometimes they have meant the same thing.

Throat-warbler Mangrove , 1 hour ago link

Get.Us (a). Out.Now

Screw the war mongers and the MIC.

BlackChicken , 1 hour ago link

If you read the article, it's obvious that [neo]liberals/whores are the apogee of hypocrisy.

richardsimmonsoftrout , 1 hour ago link

"they're likely to emerge from 2020 with not only smeared consciences, but four more years in the opposition."

"Smeared consciences"... that's rich, pretty sure the psychopaths don't have a conscience.

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Perpetual war is about $$$. It knows no party. Never has and never will.

holdbuysell , 1 hour ago link

Yup. It's always about the money. As Fitts would say, that screeching you hear is the cash flow drying up for the rentiers. The murdering of women and children be damned. Hillary's demonic cackle is but the grotesque cherry on top: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

[Sep 29, 2020] This is a threat? Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER September 28, 2020 at 4:33 am

This is a threat?

https://www.rt.com/usa/501883-iraq-embassy-baghdad-closure-attacks/

Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq, nine months after the US killing of an Iranian general on Iraqi soil led to protests over what Baghdad called a "violation" of its sovereignty, according to reports.

Multiple media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Sky News, reported on Sunday that US officials told their Iraqi counterparts that Washington will shut down its operations unless there is an end to rocket attacks on the embassy, which is located in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

Sounds more like a possible victory for Iraq and its people. I suspect that there is much more to the story and the US is pre-emptively seeking a face-saving exit excuse if it were to come to that.

However, it would be extremely unlikely for the US to abandon the embassy given that it serves as the headquarters for numerous nefarious operations in Iraq and Iran

ET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:11 am

The claim that I have read is that this is in response to the USA's assassination of General Solemani in Lebanon. More precisely the i-Ranian strategy is not per se to cause American casualties but carry out sustained attacks via proxies on American interest in i-Rack, i.e. psychological pressure, cost etc. the ultimate goal being the USA leaving i-Rack as a suitable price for the assassination.I

I've also read (Vinyard the Saker?)that the USA has so far closed some of its smaller and less defensible outposts but concentrated what remains in fewer better defended bases. The USA does not want to leave i-Rack militarily and will hang on until it is out of options. The US embassy leaving i-Rack will not be good enough for i-Ran, but maybe this is the beginning of some kind of behind the scenes bargaining, though this is hard to believe considering the US is still pushing for a gulf coalition (WAR!) against i-Ran as well as polically neutralizing any potential spoiler countries. Also the embassay was built at quite a significant cost $750 billion.* So, you are right PO, this is bluff by the big puff Plumpeo.

i-Rack has also being trying to get rid of American military presence even though they have bought F-16IQs from Washington but the latter is using the same figleaf excuse as in Syria that they are 'fighting terrorists.'

* https://www.businessinsider.com/750-million-united-states-embassy-iraq-baghdad-2013-3

ET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:18 am

$750 million. Duh!

JRKRIDEAU September 28, 2020 at 6:47 am

$750 million. Duh
Given standard US contracting over-runs I was willg to believe "billions". The surprising thing is that it got built.

MARK CHAPMAN September 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm

The USA will never abandon its crown jewel in Iraq, and it would make little practical difference anyway, as it lies entirely within the American 'Green Zone', and they will surely not abandon that.

"But the location of the compound is well known in Baghdad anyway, where for several years it has been marked by large construction cranes and all-night work lights easily visible from the embattled neighborhoods across the river. It is reasonable to assume that insurgents will soon sit in the privacy of rooms overlooking the site, and use cell phones or radios to adjust the rocket and mortar fire of their companions. Meanwhile, however, they seem to have held off, lobbing most of their ordnance elsewhere into the Green Zone, as if reluctant to slow the completion of such an enticing target."

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/11/langewiesche200711

The Baghdad Embassy is the USA's most-expensive embassy in the world, and it costs far more to run it each year than the cost of building it, in excess of a Billion dollars a year. What America might do, and what Iraq does fear, is send its diplomats home for awhile, and use it as an excuse to open a military operation in Iraq against what it terms Iran-aligned militias.

[Sep 28, 2020] I wonder if anybody here have considered a possibility that the neoliberal cabal now in power in the US wants to destroy the standard of living of common people and eliminate all social protections of the New Deal, living in place for the police state and oversized the military

Recruiting for military is much easier if there is no jobs.
Notable quotes:
"... They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | peterturchin.com

Shaun Bartone February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military.

They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers , and I think there's a high degree of cooperation for the agenda. The revolution is the cabal run by Trump/Bannon who are more extreme and ideological than any previous faction, who have no tolerance for compromise. They have an apocalyptic vision of grinding it all down to a bare minimum police state.

[Sep 27, 2020] Azerbaijani Army And Syrian Jihadis Launch Attack On Armenian Lines

Sep 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Moon of Alabama Brecht quote " In Which We Debunk A Covidiot Pamphlet | Main | The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-77 " September 27, 2020 Azerbaijani Army And Syrian Jihadis Launch Attack On Armenian Lines

During the last weeks there was news that Turkey was hiring some 2,000 'Syrian rebels' to fight in Azerbaijan against Armenian forces which since 1993 occupy Nagorno- Karabakh . Earlier today the Azerbaijan forces and the mercenaries launched their attack on Armenian lines. It was a massacre. Two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down. Some 10 tanks and armored troop transporters went up in flames . Azerbaijani artillery hit some civilian structures in Stepankert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkish(?) drones hit Armenia front positions .


bigger

The Azerbaijani tactic seems to be to bunch up a lot of their tanks in the open field and to wait for the Armenian artillery to destroy them. Russian troops are stationed in Armenia and additional heavy support from Russia was flown in today . But Russia is friendly with both countries and is already urging for an armistice. Armenia has mobilized its forces and reinforcements are moving towards the front.

This is now, after Syrian and Libya, the third country in which the wannabe Sultan of Turkey is trying to fight Russian supported forces. It ain't gonna work. But Erdogan has to keep on doing that as a domestic diversion because the Turkish economy has screeched to a halt. The recent central bank rate hike is unlikely to stop the loss of the Lira but will deepen the recession.

The situation might well escalated from here on. There will be a lot of disinformation coming from both sides.

Posted by b on September 27, 2020 at 12:55 UTC | Permalink


Josh , Sep 27 2020 13:19 utc | 1

Thanks B.
Biswapriya Purkayast , Sep 27 2020 14:03 utc | 2
Azerbaijan can't lift a finger without Ottoman backing. Armenia is traditionally a Russian ally, and even though the current regime is wooing Amerikastan, it can't survive without Russian protection. In any regular war Armenia will smash Azerbaijan flat but the Ottomans are guaranteed to get involved. Now Russia and the Ottomans are on different sides in Libya of course, Russia would back Greece in any conflict with Ankara, and increasingly Russia is getting fed up with Ottoman attempts to annex North Syria. I can only surmise that this is an Ottoman warning to Russia.
steven t johnson , Sep 27 2020 14:24 utc | 3
The claim the Azeri tanks were just sitting in a field waiting to be smashed by Russian artillery etc. actually sounds like the Russians attacking first. The aggressor usually has the initiative and thus usually has operational success in the opening round. It's theoretically possible that a Russian artillery offensive was on high alert, waiting to launch after a suitable "incident" which could be represented as an Azeri assault. Whatever the value of mercenaries from a losing war, a few weeks is very unlikely to permit meaningful incorporation into an actual fighting force. Therefore it is highly unlikely that their reinforcement was the enabling cause of an Azeri assault.

It is a strange and marvelous world, where wonders delightful and horrible abound. So it is barely possible the Azeris are terminally stupid, the underlying theory of the post. I would still say that it's *not* because non-Christians are stupid. More likely it's because the Azeris are getting their military advice from their friends the Russians.

R Rose , Sep 27 2020 14:30 utc | 4
@ # 2

"Armenia is traditionally a Russian ally"

Not so much anymore. It was the National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros Foundation that brought Armenia's most recent leader to power.


b "This is now, after Syrian and Libya, the third country in which the wannabe Sultan of Turkey is trying to fight Russian supported forces."

rubbish

H.Schmatz , Sep 27 2020 14:33 utc | 5
Thread on the reignitied conflict, IMO too coincidental with soon coming outcome of US elections..

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1310123197111689218

IMO this reigniting of an old conflict comes as response to recent Kavkas 2020 maneuvers organized by Russia which are taking place right now, with the participation of Armenia, and also as response of last meeting between Zarif and Lavrov, in whose presser Lavrov was quite explicit, at least more than before...

This comes, in the first place, as a new hot front ( apart from Belarus ) in the post-Soviet space to implicate Russia and make her choose amongst two neighbors she gets along with quite well, and at the same time, the transport of Syrian jihadi mercenary forces in a charter flight by Turkey imply that a new abcess the size and type of Idlib is planned to be inserted in the viccinity of both Russia and Iran, which will act as destablization force for future incursions after US elections...

As we talk Azerbaijan is announcing advances in the Southern front and the take over of some localities along Iranian border ...Why? What that has to do with Armenia? To implant there the jihadis for the coming "proxy war" on Iran, the same way they were implanted in Syria/Turkey northern East and West border and Syria/Lebanon Southern border...
Turkey here acting as US proxy PMC to position US managed and funded jihadi forces, as it has done in Syria and Lybia...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1310165201073954816

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1310187962135609344

Also the conflict comes to shoot two, or three, birds with the same shot by starting another military conflict or destabilization process in the Silk & Road path...

This is the US MIC reasuring their rate of profit for the coming US presidency by extending the perpetual war...

Although may well be that they will not even wait for the elections results...

Is Steven Bannon Still Advising Trump? U.S. President Leads the Country Into Dangerous Waters With Latest Iran Move

H.Schmatz , Sep 27 2020 14:56 utc | 6
On the importance of this new conflict and its obvious connection with Iran...See map in thread linked above...Some more sources...Probable objective of past "color revolution" in Armenia...on the grounds of "alleged" US chaotic state...chaos in the US acts as veil for its own population ( so as thvey can not think of continuously started wars while they cop with the immeidate miserable oticome of the pandemic...) and for opponents... who may think of relaxing...Fortunately, Gerasimov, and IRGC, are always attentive...
THE SECOND WAR OF THE NAGORNO-KARABAJ HAS BREAKED In red the disputed region, in the center of which is Stefankert, the capital. In blue the areas supposedly conquered by #Azerbaiyan.

Everything indicates that the Azeri offensive began by surprise in the early hours of today, and has maintained a reasonable pace of advance

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1310189589521403908

On the visible hand of Turkey in this reginition...no way Turkey is moving without NATO consent...and even support...recall "international coalition of the willing to fight ISIS in Syria"...which then turned into ISIS proxy war onto Syrian state and population...

I have been checking and Azerbaijan announced in June that they were interested in buying TB2 from Turkey. In no way have they been able to buy, receive and put the drones into operation in such a short time. It starts to get cloudy.

Twitter turco está diciendo abiertamente que son sus drones. Mientras Clash Report, que ya se ha comentado muchas veces que podría estar ligada a la inteligencia truca (por el acceso que tienen a cierto material informativo) habla de que los drones son Bayraktar TB2.

https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1310186956475830272

Shooting is common in Upper Karabakh...but not in Down Karabakh...this conflict as part of war on Russian gas supply to Europe...

Although shooting is common in Upper Karabakh, a disputed area between Armenia and Azerbaijan, this is the fastest escalation in recent times. Just hours after the last incident, Armenia has declared martial law and total mobilization.

Let's not think that this is simply a local conflict between two countries: Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey, while Armenia is backed by Russia. And to this we can add the natural gas that comes to Europe from the Caspian.

https://twitter.com/elOrdenMundial/status/1310140310815731712

In case someone wants to follow, Youtube channel of Armenian TV which sometimes biradcast in Englisgh language...

In case anyone is interested in following him from the origin, YouTube channel with a live signal from an Armenian television (at times they speak in English)

https://twitter.com/carola1292/status/1310150136236998657


H.Schmatz , Sep 27 2020 15:07 utc | 7
@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 27 2020 14:56 utc | 6

Well, sorry, posting too fast, as I must go now, and without time to check two times...
It seems that tweets by #DragonLadyU2 got middle trnaslated...Repost correctly and with blockquote, as it is not, as it could seem by the size of letter, info of mine, but of this account who is following the issue of Azerbaijani drones purchase...

I was introducing it as:

On the visible hand of Turkey in this reginition...no way Turkey is moving without NATO consent...and even support...recall "international coalition of the willing to fight ISIS in Syria"...which then turned into ISIS proxy war onto Syrian state and population...

I have been checking and Azerbaijan announced in June that they were interested in buying TB2 from Turkey. In no way have they been able to buy, receive and put the drones into operation in such a short time. It starts to get cloudy.

Turkish Twitter is openly saying that it is their drones. While Clash Report, which has already been commented many times that it could be linked to Turkish intelligence (due to the access they have to certain informative material), talks about the drones being Bayraktar TB2.

https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1310186956475830272

H.Schmatz , Sep 27 2020 15:32 utc | 8
On preparations for this conflict, and who provoked whom...also reflected some intends of transforming this inot religious conflict...which then would reginite the whole Caucasus and Caspian region, and thus would end implying Iran and Russia...and probably palcing them in different sides...which could be one of the objectives, to put a breach into very good Russian/Iranian relations...Beware...
I'm reminded Israeli bizjet associated w secret flights was in Baku, Azerbaijan 3 days ago. Landed back in Israel along w Azeri ministry of defense cargo

https://twitter.com/avischarf/status/1310212966177009665

Now is when certain things start to make sense, airlift of Turkish military cargo planes bound for Azerbaijan on the 24th.

https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1310201238403907584


Interesting thread on the preparations for the shipping of jihadis...on preparations time ago..( no idea baout this source I cathed over there...)

https://twitter.com/Elizrael/status/1310164366097027072

I have not been able to verify the arrival of Syrian fighters from the Turkish-backed factions (SNA) in Azerbaijan as of now. I can confirm that dozens of fighters from NW Syria (outside of regime control) left Syria via Turkey in an unknown direction about a week ago.

Families lost touch with these men since their departure. Rumored destinations include Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkey and Libya. I am in touch with families & friends of men who left and will report once they manage to get in touch with their loved-ones.

About a month ago, rumors spread on WhatsApp among SNA fighters that they can register to go to Azerbaijan. Many registered over WhatsApp, others apparently thru offices in the Turkish-controlled areas.
The fighters registered due to the enticing rumored salaries of $2K-$2.5K

The SNA mercenaries who've gone to fight in Libya against Haftar were recruited with direct involvement by Turkish officers who met with commanders of the SNA factions to pressure them to send fighters. With the alleged Azerbaijan recruitment, there haven't been such meetings.

It seems likely that the recruitment is being carried out by a Turkish private security company that is also involved in shipping Syrians to fight in Libya. There is no need to apply pressure on Syrians to leave anymore. The number of men wanting to go far exceeds demand.

With time, the idea of being deployed oversees as a mercenary is becoming more socially acceptable in Syria, in both communities residing outside of regime control (men in Idlib have registered to go to Azerbaijan too) and in regime areas (where men are going to fight for Haftar)

Syrian lives are regarded as expendable, with Syria serving as an arena to settle geostrategic scores at Syrians' expense. Syrians resisted & still resist this logic, but the collapse of the economy is prompting many Syrians to be willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder.


div> I think that Jihadists have no nationality, therefore it is wrong to label them as "Syrian"!

Posted by: padre , Sep 27 2020 15:47 utc | 9

I think that Jihadists have no nationality, therefore it is wrong to label them as "Syrian"!

Posted by: padre | Sep 27 2020 15:47 utc | 9

H.Schmatz , Sep 27 2020 16:22 utc | 10
@Posted by: padre | Sep 27 2020 15:47 utc | 9

Indeed, that is a multinational proxy force, sometimes recruited in Gulf monarchies jails...

Attention also to the restarting of jihadi attacks in the land of Petit Napoleon...second from some days ago...

ptb , Sep 27 2020 16:40 utc | 11
some confused comments

(1) re: tanks bunched up - the linked Armenian MOD twitter-video with the cheesy music and 2 tank hits ( this one ) suggests it is not artillery? Recently dug cover beind them, but tanks mostly facing toward camera. Bulldozer still there. Direct hits. You can see from the reaction of the tanks what they think is the direction from which they were attacked. After the first hit, the next tank to be hit attempted (unsuccessfully) to hide behind the remains of the tank already destroyed. The others which were not already facing that way, turn their turrets toward the camera, which is the direction from which they think they were attacked. They start making smokescreen as the clip ends.

(2) We really don't need to see a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

(3) I don't really get the geopolitics of this. For Turkish strategic motivations, the relevant oil/gas pipeline does not pass thru the contested territory although is quite close. Not sure what to make of that. Map here , with Nagorno-Karabakh colored in under Azerbaijan. Turkey is in danger of being bypassed by Greece-Cyprus-Israel pipeline, how does this this help them in any way?

(4) For US-Iran conflict, just seems like general chaos. Perhaps there is a land route from Russia-Georgia-Iran, but it can't be as good as the caspian sea route.

(5) for Greece-Cyprus pipeline, there may be a commercial benefit, if the reliability of the Azerbaijan-Turkey route comes into question due to war or instability.

vk , Sep 27 2020 17:00 utc | 12
@ Posted by: ptb | Sep 27 2020 16:40 utc | 11

Looks like Turkey has gone rogue. Since the 2016 assassination attempt, Erdogan doesn't trust NATO anymore.

As for (3), it's very straightforward: Turkey probably wants some symmetrical leverage against Russia against the FUBARed situation in Idlib (which is draining Turkish coffers and soldiers). They are probably very desperate, and are looking for something on these lines: "look, Russia, you give us Idlib and we let Nagorno-Karabakh alone the next day. Deal?".

steven t johnson , Sep 27 2020 17:28 utc | 13
The Azeris making advances is to be expected if they had the aggressor's initiative. The post implies the Armenians are winning handily, which is not to be expected when a prepared Azeri offensive kicks off.
Ken Garoo , Sep 27 2020 17:30 utc | 14
Armenia has long been on the US Regime Change hitlist - June/July 2015, July 2017, April 2018 when the Random Guy Pashinyan was imposed as leader. He has the tricky task of balancing the demands of his owners versus the reality of Armenian interests.
p>

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[Sep 27, 2020] Neoliberalisn means war: two neoliberal state clash in disputed Nagono-Karabakh: Armenia Orders 'Full Troop Mobilization' Against Azerbaijan As Tanks Clash, Martial Law Declared

So a NATO member -- Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan while Russia supports Armenia. Yet another proxy war?
Sep 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Sunday saw huge clashes erupt between the armies of Armenia and Azerbaijan along the already militarized and disputed Nagorno-Karabakh border region. An official state of war in the region has been declared by Yerevan.

"Early in the morning, around 7 a.m. the Azerbaijani forces launched a large-scale aggression, including missile attacks..." Armenia's Defense Ministry stated Sunday. Armenia has since reportedly declared martial law and a "total military mobilization" in what looks to be the most serious escalation between the two countries in years.

Tank warfare unfolding Sunday. Armenian Defense Ministry produced footage (still frame) of attack on Azeri positions.

Air and artillery attacks from both sides ramped up, with each side blaming the other for the start of hostilities, while international powers urge calm. Crucially, civilians have already been killed on either side by indiscriminate shelling . At least a dozen soldiers on either side have also been reported killed.

Armenia's high command has ordered all troops throughout the country to muster and report to their bases : "I invite the soldiers appointed in the forces to appear before their military commissions in the regions," a statement said.

Armenia's military has released footage of significant tank warfare in progress. The below is said to be Armenian army forces destroying Azerbaijani tanks:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-mJffVrtPLk

And here's more from Sunday's fighting:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/D2jd1bw0AXQ?start=9

The recent conflict hearkens back to 2016, but before that to post-Soviet times. Christian Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan fought a war at that time in which at least 200 people were killed over Armenian ethnic breakaway Nagorno Karabakh, which declared independence in 1991, despite being internationally recognized as within Azerbaijan territory .

me title=

The first war for the territory finished in 1994, but the region has been militarized since, amid sporadic shelling.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310227591031332864&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Dozens of civilians have already been injured Sunday in the major flare-up of fighting, as CNN reports :

While Armenia said it was responding to missile attacks launched by its neighbor Sunday, Azerbaijan blamed Armenia for the clashes.

In response to the alleged firing of projectiles by Azerbaijan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted that his country had "shot down 2 helicopters & 3 UAVs, destroyed 3 tanks."

Multiple dramatic battlefield videos are circulating on social media confirming the large-scale deployment of tanks, artillery units, and airpower . Multiple Azerbaijani soldiers have been reported killed, but it's as yet unclear what casualty numbers could be.

Turkey's role in new fighting is attracting scrutiny. Its foreign ministry blamed Armenia and called for it to halt military operations, however, it hardly appears to be a mere outside or 'neutral' observer, given new widespread reports Turkey has transferred 'Syrian rebel' units to join the fighting on Azerbaijan's side .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310192700184985600&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

These reports of Turkish supplied Syrian mercenaries began days ago, in what regional analysts predicted would be a huge escalation in hostilities in the Caucuses.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan late in the day slammed Turkey's meddling in the conflict . Ankara had called Armenia "an obstacle" to peace after the fresh hostilities broke out. Yerevan has now formally confirmed Turkey is supplying fighters .

Via BBC

Given the number of vital oil and gas infrastructure facilities and pipelines in the region , impact on global markets could be seen as early as Monday.

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"At least 16 military and several civilians were killed on Sunday in the heaviest clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 2016, reigniting concern about stability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets," Reuters reports.

Azerbaijan has also declared an official state of martial law while clashes between the armies are unfolding.

Meanwhile footage has emerged showing Armenia's nationwide mustering of its national and reserve forces :

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Unverified footage of frontline fighting into the night:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310273042929590274&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

"Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh," Reuters reports. "Armenia also warned about security risks in the South Caucasus in July after Azerbaijan threatened to attack Armenia's nuclear power plant as possible retaliation ."

The fighting is expected to grow fiercer along front lines in the disputed region into the night as the prospect of a full 'state of war' is looming between the historic rivals.


[Sep 26, 2020] From Conflict to Crisis - The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

A brilliant book !
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The rich understand that capitalism is a game of musical chairs. It's systemic class warfare conducted on a grand scale to discourage solidarity across lines that might otherwise threaten the system, and with each market re-set arranged by the Federal Reserve, more of the country's resources fall into wealthy hands.

Examining what happens when a society favors old money over new and breaks all the rules to make the world safe for finance, author Jeanne Haskin predicts increasing volatility and violence in the United States if we do not significantly change course.

For a preview of what lies ahead for the U.S., the author takes us for a quick exemplary trip through Central America.

A society that is reared on competition will face unsettling challenges to authority if it doesn't set certain functions outside the arena of battle, via systematic enrichment of the affluent minority that has always had the power to topple and ruin the system.

Today's preoccupation with America's revolutionary history is not just a piece of theater. At the heart of America's outrage is an inability to lash out and demand redemption from the source of its distress because the pain is inflicted, not by hatred, but by the fundamental lack of stability built into our way of life.

Now that a fifth of the population is suffering job loss, foreclosures, or exclusion from employment due to prejudice, poor credit, a lack of skills or education, a glut of competition and insufficient opportunity, the failure to provide for the helpless majority means the system is at an impasse. Because the system can't or won't perform, the Tea Party's rise was preemptive with all its implied violence and 'real' American theater as the means to channel our anger into voting out Obama so reform can proceed unimpeded...with all its inherent dangers.

After reviewing some foreign examples that erupted in the environments of colonialism and post-colonialism, neoliberalism, militarism and oligarchies, the author filters through the head-spinning social and political noise that stands in for responsible debate in America today. Ms. Haskin's richly documented essay sees a bonfire prepared as social tensions are increased and inter-group pressures are encouraged to mount. So much for "One nation..."

Title Pagev
Table of Contentsxi
Introduction1
Chapter One- Unearthing the Bones7
Chapter Two- Instilling the Illusion of Choice19
Chapter Three- Political Strategizing23
Chapter Four- Behavioral Economics27
Chapter Five- Favoring Old Money over New33
Chapter Six- Making the World Safe for Finance39
Chapter Seven- The Colonial History of Belize51
Chapter Eight- Belize -- Party Politics and Debt65
Chapter Nine- Belize -- Recommendations of the IMF83
Chapter Ten- Nicaragua 1522–193991
Chapter Eleven- Nicaragua -- The Somoza Dynasty107
Chapter Twelve- Nicaragua -- Opposition to the Sandinistas119
Chapter Thirteen- Nicaragua -- Implementing Neoliberalism133
Chapter Fourteen- El Salvador -- The Military and the Oligarchy151
Chapter Fifteen- El Salvador -- The War and Its Aftermath165
Chapter Sixteen- Honduras -- Land of Instability179
Chapter Seventeen- Honduras -- The Impact of the Contras191
Chapter Eighteen- Fast-Forward to a Volatile USA205
Bibliography227
Index25

[Sep 26, 2020] What is predatory capitalism

Highly recommended!
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Extracted from: From Conflict to Crisis- The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience. Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it. Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways. Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie? Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)

Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.

At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.

At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.

The Predatory Debt Link

In many cases, post-colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.

As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.

Predatory capitalists demand export-orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.

Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization.

[Sep 23, 2020] Never Forget- Smoking Gun Intel Memo From 1990s Warned Of Frankenstein The CIA Created

Notable quotes:
"... knew and bluntly acknowledged ..."
"... War on The Rocks ..."
"... The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com
SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

As Americans pause to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001 which saw almost 3,000 innocents killed in the worst terror attack in United States history, it might also be worth contemplating the horrific wars and foreign quagmires unleashed during the subsequent 'war on terror'.

Bush's so-called Global War on Terror targeted 'rogue states' like Saddam's Iraq, but also consistently had a focus on uprooting and destroying al-Qaeda and other armed Islamist terror organizations (this led to the falsehood that Baathist Saddam and AQ were in cahoots). But the idea that Washington from the start saw al-Qaeda and its affiliates as some kind of eternal enemy is largely a myth.

Recall that the US covertly supported the Afghan mujahideen and other international jihadists throughout the 1980's Afghan-Soviet War, the very campaign in which hardened al-Qaeda terrorists got their start. In 1999 The Guardian in a rare moment of honest mainstream journalism warned of the Frankenstein the CIA created -- among their ranks a terror mastermind named Osama bin Laden .

But it was all the way back in 1993 that a then classified intelligence memo warned that the very fighters the CIA previously trained would soon turn their weapons on the US and its allies. The 'secret' document was declassified in 2009, but has remained largely obscure in mainstream media reporting, despite being the first to contain a bombshell admission.

A terrorism analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research named Gina Bennett wrote in the 1993 memo "The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous," that --

"support network that funneled money, supplies, and manpower to supplement the Afghan mujahidin" in the war against the Soviets, "is now contributing experienced fighters to militant Islamic groups worldwide."

The concluding section contains the most revelatory statements, again remembering these words were written nearly a decade before the 9/11 attacks :

US support of the mujahidin during the Afghan war will not necessarily protect US interests from attack.

...Americans will become the targets of radical Muslims' wrath. Afghan war veterans, scattered throughout the world, could surprise the US with violence in unexpected locales.

There it is in black and white print: the United States government knew and bluntly acknowledged that the very militants it armed and trained to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars would eventually turn that very training and those very weapons back on the American people .

And this was not at all a "small" or insignificant group, instead as The Guardian wrote a mere two years before 9/11 :

American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up .

But don't think for a moment that there was ever a "lesson learned" by Washington.

Instead the CIA and other US agencies repeated the 1980s policy of arming jihadists to overthrow US enemy regimes in places like Libya and Syria even long after the "lesson" of 9/11. As War on The Rocks recounted :

Despite the passage of time, the issues Ms. Bennett raised in her 1993 work continue to be relevant today. This fact is a sign of the persistence of the problem of Sunni jihadism and the "wandering mujahidin." Today, of course, the problem isn't Afghanistan but Syria. While the war there is far from over, there is already widespread nervousness, particularly in Europe, about what will happen when the foreign fighters return from that conflict.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1304385396692914177&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blacklistednews.com%2Farticle%2F77999%2Fnever-forget-smoking-gun-intel-memo-from-1990s-warned-of-frankenstein-the-cia.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

On 9/11 we should never forget the innocent lives lost, but we should also never forget the Frankenstein of jihad the CIA created .

* * *

The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV

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[Sep 22, 2020] Americans had talent in diplomacy but they've lost it, Russian FM Lavrov says, as US triggers 'null and void' Iran sanctions -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

US diplomacy is turning into the not-so-subtle art of making demands and ultimatums, Sergey Lavrov has lamented, as the Americans go it alone in restoring anti-Iran sanctions under a 2015 deal that no longer legally applies.

Washington's reasoning behind bringing back the UN sanctions against Iran looks "funny," as the majority of UN Security Council members – 13 out of 15 – do not support activating the 'snapback' mechanism, the Russian Foreign Minister said, in an exclusive interview with the Al Arabiya news channel.

The council "clearly stated that there is no legal position or moral reasons for anything close to the snapback and all the statements to the contrary are null and void," he reminded his audience. The 'snapback' issue leaves Washington at loggerheads with even its closest allies.

ALSO ON RT.COM US faces 'more' isolation after 'null & void' move to unilaterally reimpose UN sanctions, Tehran warns

Earlier on Sunday, the three European signatories to the Iran deal – Germany, France and the UK – stated the return of the sanctions will have no legal effect whatsoever.

However, the Trump administration continues to insist Washington now has the authority to target any country breaching the "re-imposed" sanctions. For Lavrov, this is telling, in terms of understanding the quality of US diplomacy.

The Americans lost any talent in diplomacy, unfortunately; they used to have excellent experts, [but] now what they're doing in foreign policy is to put a demand on the table, whether they're discussing Iran or anything else.

If their counterpart disagrees and refuses to toe the line, "they put an ultimatum, they give a deadline and then they impose sanctions, then they make the sanctions extra-territorial." Regrettably, the European Union also "is engaging in the same tricks more and more," Lavrov noted.

On Saturday, Washington moved to bring back sweeping UN sanctions against Tehran, insisting it was acting within its own right to do so as an original party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 pact Iran sealed with major world powers. The US left the deal in 2018 following a decision by President Donald Trump.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'We've been through this in the Skripal case': West's Navalny poisoning claims driven by 'sanctions itch', Sergey Lavrov says

"I can only remind them that they should respect the hierarchy of the American administration, because their boss, President Trump, has personally signed an official decree withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA," Lavrov added sarcastically.

Sanctions aside, Washington is also busy trying to prevent the lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran, set to expire on October 18. This endeavor doesn't make much sense either, the Russian minister commented. "There is no such thing as an arms embargo against Iran," he clarified. The UN Security Council reiterated the embargo will end on that date, and "there would be no limitations whatsoever after the expiration of this timeframe."

[Sep 21, 2020] Pompous Pompeo continues his antics: Pompeo mocked for saying 'no other state' can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

Sanctions will cost money not only to Iran, but to the USA too.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

"If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions," Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.

The humiliating defeat , which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.

... ... ...

"Of course other states can block America's ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can't force others to do it," Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.

"That's what 'multilateral' means. Is our SecState really this dumb?" Grossman asked.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word 'multilateral'.

Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it "one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time."

"I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?" Murphy wrote.

John Twomey, 16 August, 2020

Explanation. What Pompeo understands and what many others can't grasp is that the US decides if their sanctions are "multilateral" because the USA speaks for all other countries whether they like it or not.

My Opinion, 17 August, 2020

Reminiscing of his shady past as a new CIA recruit he said. "We lied, we cheated and we stole". Apparently, Mikey didn't do all too well in his literature classes, either and that's why the most suitable candidate from zionists perspective.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
"... In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqQbK_6meM8?feature=oembed

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."

"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/owbMRxC382A?feature=oembed

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

medium.com

lay_arrow

novictim , 55 minutes ago

People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.

PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago

Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.

awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago

Sad to hear this.

What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.

Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago

Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.

thunderchief , 41 minutes ago

One of the very few level headed people on Russia.

All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.

Send in the clowns.

Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.

Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago

cooperate with Russia

Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?

fucking truth , 3 minutes ago

That is the crux. All or nothing.

Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago

Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.

Normal , 1 hour ago

The bankers created the new CCP cold war.

evoila , 19 minutes ago

Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.

RIP Stephen.

Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers

thebigunit , 17 minutes ago

I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.

He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.

He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.

He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.

Boogity , 9 minutes ago

Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.

[Sep 19, 2020] The Russian Embassy has demanded clarification from the United States about an NBC report

Sep 19, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 9:46 pm

18 сентября 2020 07:55
Посольство РФ потребовало от США разъяснений по поводу репортажа NBC

18 September 2020 07:55
The Russian Embassy has demanded clarification from the United States about an NBC report

The Russian Embassy in Washington has demanded an explanation from the US authorities about an NBC TV report, which mentions US support for "Ukrainian units" in the Crimea.

This has been reported in social networks on the official page of the diplomatic mission.

In American journalists' material, it was said that the United States was arming certain groups that were acting against Russian forces in the Crimea.

The point that the embassy is emphasizing is that Washington is supporting the activities of terrorists in Russia. Diplomats admit that the channel may be wrong, but demand that the United States clarify whether they are involved in organizing terrorist attacks against the residents of Crimea.

Ukrainian units fighting Russian occupying forces in the Crimea?

For the liberation of Crimeans living under the yoke of post-Soviet Russian imperialism?

Where?

When?

ET AL September 18, 2020 at 12:12 am

Liberation and subsequent return as a khanate where it can pick up where it left off, carrying out slave raids in to Russia for profit.* Good times!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Khanate#Slave_trade

[Sep 18, 2020] September 14, 2001- The Day America Became Israel - Antiwar.com Original

Notable quotes:
"... Apocalypse Now- ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... War on the Rocks ..."
"... An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation ..."
"... a defense industry with a country ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020

This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :

I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter

However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control

Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.

Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"

In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.

Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"

Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.

No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.

Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.

My 9/11s

There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.

Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.

I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."

Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)

Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.

So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.

Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.

Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.

The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.

Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons

Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.

From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.

See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.

Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.

Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."

Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:

Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.

In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.

In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."

After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."

It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.

Emergencies as Existences

In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).

Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."

Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.

Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.

In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.

Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.

Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.

In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.

Military Mirrors

Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.

Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.

None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.

In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."

The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.

America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.

US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.

Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:

The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.

At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."

Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."

Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent [2006] experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.

Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?

In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."

Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.

"Armies With Countries"

It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.

There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.

As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.

Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.

This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Sep 18, 2020] Middle East Peace and Trump's New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish? ..."
"... And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? ..."
"... My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. ..."
"... Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank. ..."
"... If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots. ..."
"... The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades. ..."
"... Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan. ..."
"... The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it. ..."
"... There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones. ..."
"... I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. ..."
"... Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy. ..."
"... When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause. ..."
"... But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice. ..."
"... the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables ..."
"... The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

All

It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.

He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?

And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?

I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.

He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.

He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM

What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM

@ turcopolier:

Excellent questions.

My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.

Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.

If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.

I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

"I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."

Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.

The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792?s=21

Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.

I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM

I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...

Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?

The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.

There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.

I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.

Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.

It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.

Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.

It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.

Think about it.

Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:

1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.

2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.

I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?

What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

*The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.

Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.

This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?

John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.

One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.

The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

A.I.S.,

When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.

If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.

But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.

Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)

The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.

As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

Matthew:

For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.

It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm
and
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-the-iron-wall-quot

In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

"we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."

Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
https://www.amazon.com/International-Terrorism-Challenge-Benjamin-Netanyahu/dp/0878558942

Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Babak

To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

james

"there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

Col. Lang:

Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?

None has ever existed.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.

[Sep 18, 2020] Exposing war crimes should always be legal. Committing and hiding them should not by Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz ...Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.

"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies ? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1028347374765318144&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F501031-caitlin-johnstone-exposing-war-crimes%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.

In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.

In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.

In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Reality007 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:07 AM

Unfortunately, no criminals that have committed or covered up war crimes, decades ago to present, will ever be indicted. They are all above the law while all innocents that revealed the truths must pay highly. We can only pray and hope for the best for Julian Assange.
Fred Dozer Reality007 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:16 PM
I see nothing wrong with robbing banks in criminal controlled countries. These governments, murder, cheat, lie, & steal.
T. Agee Kaye 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 11:10 AM
The right of a people to know what their government is doing, and the potential consequences of those actions on the people, nation, and society, is inalienable. The exposure of war crimes and any corruption is not illegal and cannot be made illegal. The trial of Assange is not about the legality of Assange's actions. It is a display of the influence that criminal interests have over the government and judiciary. It is an attempt to create legitimacy by creating precedent. Murder has plenty of precedent. It will never be legitimate.
Jewel Gyn 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:21 AM
Agreed but having said that, we are not living in a perfect world. Bully with big fists exist and the lesser countries just stood by frustrated and sucking their thumbs, silent lest they be targeted for voicing out. And you can see clearly why US is walking away from any form of organised voice eg UN.
Odinsson 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:51 AM
What we need in the case of Julian Assange is factual reporting. While the motivation to prosecute Assange is most likely political, there would be no ability to prosecute him were it not for his active support of PFC Manning's hacking of a DOD information system. It is not unlawful to publish classified information which was provided to you, so long as you are not involved in the criminal acts leading to the exfiltration of the data. Had Assange not aided PFC Manning by looking up hash codes in spreadsheets of known password to hash code translations then the grand jury would not have indicted him. FWIW, it is my opinion that the statute of limitations expired long ago and this should be grounds for dismissal of all charges against him.
jholf 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:04 PM
These world leaders, claim to be Christians, ... their God 'commands', "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, for more than 6 decades, that is exactly what each of these Christian Commanders in Chief, have done for no reason, other than to fill the pockets of the elite. A man is known by his deeds, Assange gave us truth, while these world leaders gave us war and destructi

[Sep 18, 2020] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's on Minsk agreements in his September 17, 2020 interview

Notable quotes:
"... This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces' control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that "rebelled" against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against them, ..."
"... On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, "You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next." There's not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People's Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | thesaker.is

Question: Here I am listening to you and wondering how many people care about this? Why is it that no one understands this? Is this politics that is too far away from ordinary people who are nevertheless behind it? Take Georgia or Ukraine. People are worse off now than before, and despite this, this policy continues.

Will the Minsk agreements ever be implemented? Will the situation in southeastern Ukraine ever be settled?

Returning to what we talked about. How independent is Ukraine in its foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don't think that under the current Ukrainian government, just like under the previous president, we will see any progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if only because President Zelensky himself is saying so publicly, as does Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov who is in charge of the Ukrainian settlement in the Contact Group. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kuleba is also saying this. They say there's a need for the Minsk agreements and they cannot be broken, because these agreements (and accusing Russia of non-compliance) are the foundation of the EU and the US policy in seeking to maintain the sanctions on Russia. Nevertheless, such a distorted interpretation of the essence of the Minsk agreements, or rather an attempt to blame everything on Russia, although Russia is never mentioned there, has stuck in the minds of our European colleagues, including France and Germany, who, being co-sponsors of the Minsk agreements along with us, the Ukrainians and Donbass, cannot but realise that the Ukrainians are simply distorting their responsibilities, trying to distance themselves from them and impose a different interpretation of the Minsk agreements. But even in this scenario, the above individuals and former Ukrainian President Kravchuk, who now heads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group as part of the Minsk process, claim that the Minsk agreements in their present form are impracticable and must be revised, turned upside down. Also, Donbass must submit to the Ukrainian government and army before even thinking about conducting reforms in this part of Ukraine.

This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces' control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that "rebelled" against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against them, which they later renamed a Joint Forces Operation (but this does not change the idea behind it), and whom they still consider terrorists. Although everyone remembers perfectly well that in 2014 no one from Donbass or other parts of Ukraine that rejected the anti-constitutional coup attacked the putschists and the areas that immediately fell under the control of the politicians behind the coup. On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, "You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next." There's not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People's Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this.

Question: So, we are looking at a dead end?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, we still have an undeniable argument which is the text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

Question: But they tried to revise it?

Sergey Lavrov: No, they are just making statements to that effect. When they gather for a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, they do their best to look constructive. The most recent meeting ran into the Ukrainian delegation's attempts to pretend that nothing had happened. They recently passed a law on local elections which will be held in a couple of months. It says that elections in what are now called the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics will be held only after the Ukrainian army takes control of the entire border and those who "committed criminal offenses" are arrested and brought to justice even though the Minsk agreements provide for amnesty without exemptions.

Question: When I'm asked about Crimea I recall the referendum. I was there at a closed meeting in Davos that was attended by fairly well respected analysts from the US. They claimed with absolute confidence that Crimea was being occupied. I reminded them about the referendum. I was under the impression that these people either didn't want to see or didn't know how people lived there, that they have made their choice. Returning to the previous question, I think that nobody is interested in the opinion of the people.

Sergey Lavrov: No, honest politicians still exist. Many politicians, including European ones, were in Crimea during the referendum. They were there not under the umbrella of some international organisation but on their own because the OSCE and other international agencies were controlled by our Western colleagues. Even if we had addressed them, the procedure for coordinating the monitoring would have never ended.

[Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ...

It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.

The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.

No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax

The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.

Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.

" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.

" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."

The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.

There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.

Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.

The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.

But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.

But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.

Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.

On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."

After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

See also:

Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present

Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public


Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AM

Whichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.
Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AM
The answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.
Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PM
Bob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.
DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PM
That is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.
NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PM
But he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.
lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AM
Another first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.
Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PM
Just because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM
"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!
fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
It's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.
NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PM
Trump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.
T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PM
Good op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.
E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PM
True, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.
PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PM
Something's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.
erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AM
What was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.
allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PM
Continuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!
E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM
"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.
Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
Both parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?
custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AM
Is there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.
E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PM
My observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incident
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
The is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!
NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PM
So everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?
Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PM
The left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.
CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PM
Trump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.
NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PM
He's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.
Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PM
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.

[Sep 17, 2020] Why the Blob Needs an Enemy by ARTA MOEINI

Highly recommended!
Crisis of neoliberal undermines the USA supremacy and the US elite hangs by the stras to the Full Specturm Domionanc edoctrine, whih it now can't enforce and which is financially unsustainable for the USA.
Collapse of neoliberalism means the end of the USA supremacy and the whole political existence on the USA was banked on this single card.
Notable quotes:
"... In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily. ..."
"... In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well. ..."
"... There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism. ..."
"... Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.

Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."

In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.

On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.

In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.

Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.

There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.

What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.

Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.

And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?

There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.

There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.

Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.

Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.

Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.

Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.

It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.

Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.

Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.

In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.

Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.

This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.

Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.

The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .

[Sep 17, 2020] Another illustration of the economy of scale effect

Sep 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Sep 15 2020 18:50 utc | 42

While I agree with the statement, I can, with a degree of certainty, say nothing was intercepted, and this is all face saving. As this article elucidates, no such iron dome, exists, or cannot be overcome.
All empire's bases remain exposed in the region. This is why the empire is high tailing it out of SW Asia. Zarif said so, himself.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

Dr Rubin, the founder and first director of the Israel Missile Defence Organization, which developed the state's first national missile defence shield, wrote in the wake of the 14 September attack on Abqaiq, (the Saudi Armco oil facility) that it was: "A brilliant feat of arms. It was precise, carefully-calibrated, devastating yet bloodless -- a model of a surgical operation the incoming threats [were not] detected by the U.S. air control systems deployed in the area, nor by U.S. satellites

This had nothing to do with flaws in the air and missile defence systems; but with the fact that they were not designed to deal with ground-hugging threats. Simply put, the Iranians outfoxed the defense systems".

William Gruff , Sep 15 2020 19:50 utc | 47
William Gruff , Sep 15 2020 18:50 utc | 42
Katyusha rockets are normally fired in salvos of dozens. Two of them being launched against the American fortress in Baghdad is just gentle prodding.

Another interesting point is that Katyusha rockets (BM-21 Grad) are dirt cheap. Whatever was used to intercept them was several orders of magnitude more expensive. I'm sure the Iraqi militias can keep lobbing Katyushas at the Green Zone for much longer than America can afford to try to shoot them down.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 19:08 utc | 44
Another interesting point is that Katyusha rockets (BM-21 Grad) are dirt cheap. Whatever was used to intercept them was several orders of magnitude more expensive. I'm sure the Iraqi militias can keep lobbing Katyushas at the Green Zone for much longer than America can afford to try to shoot them down.

[Sep 16, 2020] Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

Notable quotes:
"... But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative." ..."
"... In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will. ..."
"... It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession. ..."
"... While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution. ..."
"... Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted? ..."
"... Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's. ..."
"... Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it. ..."
"... Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket. ..."
"... Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft. ..."
"... Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government. ..."
"... What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train. ..."
"... In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much. ..."
"... I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.

The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.

Two week later the story was shown to have no basis :

[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead .
...
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.

Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members , the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim :

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.

News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season.

U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was "receiving the necessary attention" and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was "interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country."

However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the "matter has been taken seriously as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.

There was "no evidence or indicator", the source said, so the plot was "not likely to be real". The "associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place".

The source suggested this was an instance of the "tail wagging the dog", of the Trump administration wielding a "weapon of mass distraction" to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump's re-election bid on November 3.

The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called "hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda".

In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.

There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.

As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks :

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country .

Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack . U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.

These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.

The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020

According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.

Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.

It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

Posted by b on September 15, 2020 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink


jo6pac , Sep 15 2020 12:01 utc | 1

Amerikas propaganda machine never sleeps and sadly to many people believe the BS
Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 15 2020 12:27 utc | 2
US and European journalists are also lying constantly, that's why. Even when they make embarrassing attempts at "being unbiased" or "factual". Do they understand it? Many might not, but some do, perhaps fewer than anyone would think reasonable.

Btw a lot of these "journalists" in Europe in particular openly self-identify to "the left" or even as socialists and communists or "greens". So much for ideology as some kind of solution: entirely worthless and superficial.

Christian J. Chuba , Sep 15 2020 12:44 utc | 3
But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative."

Just for laughs, I looked at the reviews of Gordon Chang's book, 'The Coming Economic Collapse of China' to see if I could figure out the reasoning and one of the reviewers said that China weakens because they lack a free press to hold their govt accountable. I had a good laugh at that one.

vk , Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
There's an objective explanation for that.

In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will.

Friedrich von Hayek - a colleague of Popper and father of British neoliberalism (the man behind Thatcher) - then developed on the issue, by proposing the institutionalization of public opinion. He proposed a system of three or four tiers of intellectuals which a capitalist society should have. The first tier is the capitalist class itself, who would govern the entire world anonymously, through secret meetings. These meetings would produce secret reports, whose ideas would be spread to the second tier. The second tier is the academia and the more prominent politicians and other political leaderships. The third tier is the basic education teachers, who would indoctrinate the children. The fourth tier is the MSM, whose job is to transform the ideas and opinions of the first tier into "common sense" ("public opinion").

Therefore, it's not a case where the Western journalists are being fooled. Their job was never to inform the public. When they publish a lie about, say, Iran trying to kill an American ambassador in South Africa, they are not telling a lie in their eyes: they are telling an underlying truth through one thousand lies. The objective here is to convince ("teach") the American masses it is good for the USA if Iran was invaded and destroyed (which is a truth). They are like the modern Christian God, who teach its subjects the Truth through "mysterious ways".

Nathan Mulcahy , Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5
It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession.

Unfortunately they have been amazingly successful in brainwashing people. One current example, from numerous ones that could be cited, is the public's opinion on Julian Assange. .

While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution.

What I am saying is nothing new to the bar flies here. But I am extremely distressed when I see how poorly informed (propagandized, brainwashed) the vast majority of the people I know are. Let's say a decade ago, ideological polarization was the main reason why it was so difficult to have an open discussion on important issues the US. Today it has become even more difficult because, thanks to the success of the presstitutes, people also have different sets of "facts". And most alarmingly, after successfully creating a readership who believe in alternative "facts", the mainstream presstitutes are moving on to creating a logic-free narrative. Examples include Assad supposedly gassing his people when he was winning (even though that was guaranteed to produce western intervention against him). A more recent example is the Navalny affair. Sadly, very sadly, way too many people are affected.

Gerhard , Sep 15 2020 13:07 utc | 6
Hi, thanks, and sorry, but: why does nobody look behind the curtain?

Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted?

Are these random developments of history? Are laws of history behind that?
NO!! Surely not!

Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's.

If something is going against the common sense, then there should be a reason behind. This reason I recommend You, with due respect, to find - and to uncover the plan.

Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it.

The actual demand is to understand and to show the forces playing deep underwater.
And to preview where these forces are determined to strike against.

Kind regards, Gerhard

DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7
They are all Judith Miller now.
morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8
Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"
ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9
Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now... It's really a shame.
Richard Steven Hack , Sep 15 2020 14:37 utc | 10
Gareth Porter's latest on "Russian hacking"...

Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative

A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016.

The problem with these sorts of accusations about "state-sponsored" hacking is they assume that because a target has some connection to a state or some political activity that it means the hackers are "nation-state". In reality, personal identification information (PII) is a commodity on the black market, along with intellectual property - and *any* hacker will target *any* such source of PII. So the mere fact that it is an election year, and that voting organizations are loaded with PII, makes them an obvious target for any and every hacker.

"Oregon's chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks 'upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day."'

This is the usual ridiculous claim from almost every organization. They treat every Internet packet that hits their firewall as being an "attempt to access" the network (or worse, a "breach" - which it is not.) Which is technically true, but would only be relevant if they had *no* firewall - a setup which no organization runs these days. By definition, 99.99999% of those attempts are random mass scans of a block of IP addresses by either a hacker or some malware on someone else's machine - or even a computer security researcher attempting to find out how many sites are vulnerable.

Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 15 2020 14:52 utc | 11
"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Barflies should write Gen Frank McKenzie inside the back cover of their diaries, and count the days until we hear of/from him again. I've a feeling he's crossed a line and knows precisely what he's doing and why. Imo, the Swamp has just been put on notice.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".

vk, I can't find anything regarding this coinage. Could you please provide a link.
Wiki is specially devoid of it and it goes back to 16 century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion The term public opinion was derived from the French opinion publique which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne in the second edition of his Essays

juliania , Sep 15 2020 15:12 utc | 13
Thank you, b. In this world of illusion that mainstream press provides it is forgivable that we cannot even convince members of our own families that are dear to us of the underlying truths behind what these masters of deception continue to print. Surely they only do so because livelihoods are threatened, and the public perceptions are reaching a critical point where belief in what they write, read by the diminishing numbers of faithful few, reaches a pinnacle of perception and spills chaotically down into a watershed of realization.

I remember when we were told what happens on the top floor of the New York Times. It opened my eyes. And perhaps here also, b is providing a chink through which we may glimpse what is happening in military circles in fields of operation where facts collide with fiction:

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.
vk , Sep 15 2020 15:13 utc | 14
@ Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12

On Hayek's "tiering", google "IHS model" ("pyramid of social change") and his book "The Intellectuals and Socialism".

On Popper's conception of "public opinion", see "The Open Society and Its Enemies" (1945). Yes, the term itself is not Popper's invention - he never claimed to have done so. But he gave it a "twist", and we can say nowadays every Western journalist's conception of "public opinion" is essentially Popper's.

Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 15:36 utc | 18
Why do swallow their bullshit?

because on matters related to Iran, China and Russia, they are not independent, there is no real difference between the two camps in US, Biden' foreign policy which is endorsed and supported by NYT and WP is not that different than Trump's, if not more radical. There is no free press in US, as matter of fact, as long as this United Oligarchy of America exist there will be no free press.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 15:50 utc | 20
OK, I admit it. I read this rag, just because Paul Pillar posts there. And yes, there is an "Iran derangement" syndrome in US, where people go to sleep and dream Iran. They wake up from wet dream of bloody Iranian babies, asking, have we sanctioned Iran today? https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/09/14/when-it-comes-to-iran-how-many-failures-is-enough-for-pompeo/
jayc , Sep 15 2020 16:01 utc | 22
As well, this fake news propaganda barrage continues in the context of determined censorship of alternative media and social media - a campaign which has been largely promoted by the liberal intelligentsia in the US, in the name of reducing "fake news." Having to live within an ever-widening swamp of utter BS is wearying and mind-numbing - also to the point, one may assume.
Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 16:19 utc | 23
Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5

Yes, I agree, IMO/observation, the US Government, the political parties and their supportive media are rapidly ideologically polarizing their constituencies to two hard entrenched ideological camps (which as you say has become hard shelled impenetrable). Except on one common ideological point, which almost all the population has been and is being brain washed as young as first grade, this common used term, which shield you from needing to investigate or form any other opinion is: US has always been, is and will be a "force for good" by its constitution, no matter what she has done or will do. This sentence when fully believed and carved in one' mind from childhood is very difficult to erase and crack. These two ideologically opposing camps about 70% of the population will not want to hear any fact or not, other than what they are told and believed all their life.

Noirette , Sep 15 2020 16:59 utc | 31
Re. K. Popper and topic above:

"Unlike utopian engineering, piecemeal social engineering must be "small scale," Popper said, meaning that social reform should focus on changing one institution at a time. Also, whereas utopian engineering aims for lofty and abstract goals (for example, perfect justice, true equality, a higher kind of happiness), piecemeal social engineering seeks to address concrete social problems (for example, poverty, violence, unemployment, environmental degradation, income inequality). It does so through the creation of new social institutions or the redesign of existing ones. These new or reconfigured institutions are then tested through implementation and altered accordingly and continually in light of their effects. Institutions thus may undergo gradual improvement overtime and social ills gradually reduced. Popper compared piecemeal social engineering to physical engineering. Just as physical engineers refine machines through a series of small adjustments to existing models, social engineers gradually improve social institutions through "piecemeal tinkering." In this way, "[t]he piecemeal method permits repeated experiments and continuous readjustments" (Open Society Vol 1., 163).

Only such social experiments, Popper said, can yield reliable feedback for social planners. In contrast, as discussed above, social reform that is wide ranging, highly complex and involves multiple institutions will produce social experiments in which it is too difficult to untangle causes..."

from: https://iep.utm.edu/popp-pol/

So Top-Down with a vengeance, but softly, softly, hunting for 'good results', for what and how these are defined is left out entirely, and who exactly runs the process...? (Btw China sorta follows this approach with 'social experiments' gathering data that is analysed etc. to improve governance.)

Biswapriya Purkayast , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 33
Don't forget that the only time the Amerikastani Empire's warmongering imperialist media called Trump "presidential" was when he launched missiles at Syria on false pretences in support of al Qaeda.
David G , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 34
The statement by praetor McKenzie probably won't do much to remove the "Russian bounties" tale from the received Beltway belief structure, where it lodged immediately upon publication, any more than earlier refutations, or its inherent implausibility, did. I see the bounties regularly referred to by Dems and Dem-adjacent media as established fact.

In the same light, it's worthwhile to read the Politico article on the alleged Iranian designs on the purse princess and try to spot other fictions included as supposedly factual background, some qualified as being American assertions, but others presented as undisputed fact, such as:

This new one about the plot to get the ambassador in Pretoria may be too trivial to get sustained attention, but it will show up as background in some future Politico article or the like, joining the rest in the Beltway's version of reality, which at this point is made almost entirely of these falsehoods encrusting on each other, decade after decade, creating the phony geopolitical mindscape these people live in.

Mere factual refutation – even from otherwise establishment-approved sources – won't remove these barnacles. For instance, in February the NY Times itself published a debunking of the initial account that it was an Iran-backed Shia militia, as opposed to Salafist I.S.-affiliated forces, that killed that U.S. contractor last December. But the good (if delayed) reporting is forgotten; the lie persists. The same fate awaits McKenzie's dismissal of the Russian bounties nonsense.

conspiracy-theorist , Sep 15 2020 18:04 utc | 37
The thoughtful reader would at this point stop and ponder. "Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread". I agree with this statement. But not just U.S. Journalism. Minimally U.K. Journalism is on-board, if not tutoring the Yanks in the art of Journalism. And then there is Europe herself, she too has armies of Journalists and many Journals. They too mostly fake around in general.

Now then, that leave Journalism in "Iran, Russia, China". It is fine trait to root for underdogs but Journalism in these states is also subject to a highly controlled and managed environment. It is disingenuous to ignore these facts.

Given this congregation of "fakers", worldwide, it is very reasonable to question the very "fight" that these "fakers" keep telling us is on between the "adversaries".

vinnieoh , Sep 15 2020 18:24 utc | 40
Good to see so many being able to name the operation of the official narrative. It serves also another purpose, witnessed by one of the most consequential actions of all, the wanton abandonment of international law and accountability - the GWOT and the launching of same in Afghanistan and Iraq. That other purpose is to create cover for those, elected in our name, to avoid responsibility.

"Who knew?" asked the soulless Rumsfeld. And the refrain returned from the hollowed out halls of the Greatest Democracy On Earth (tm) - "We were misled!", "Look it says so right there in the official narrative, REMEMBER?" But the misleaders are never rounded up and never face any consequences, cause truth be told all that voted for the AUMF belong in the pokey. And the congressional class of '02-'03 would do the same thing all over again, 'cause the narrative's got their back.

karlof1 , Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41
Despite the future grimness predicted by 1984 , the ability and effectiveness of Media Structures to openly lie and thus herd the public to embrace the preferred Narrative hasn't turned out quite the way Orwell thought it might. Former authoritarian blocs learned the hard way that it's better to tell their citizens the truth and actively engage them in governance, while the Anglo-Imperial powers have gone in the opposite direction, thus the question why? IMO, the longstanding Narrative related to the mythical Dream has greatly eroded in the face of Reality, while at the same time the Rentier Class and the Duopoly it controls needs to try and obfuscate what it's doing. And thus we've seen the rise of BigLie Media to be used for the purpose of Divide and Rule. There're numerous works detailing how and why; two of the more important are Manufacturing of Consent and J is for Junk Economics . Part of the overall process of dumbing-down populations is the deliberate destruction of the educational process, particularly in the areas of philosophy and political-economy/history, which are essentially connected as one when considering the History of Ideas or a sub-area like the Philosophy of Science.

Such a dumbing-down of a nation's populous can be measured, the USSR and its Warsaw Bloc being the most evident, but also The Inquisition and its affect on the advancement of science within the regions it ruled, and the inward turning of China during the Ming Dynasty which allowed for its subjugation by Western forces beginning in the 16th Century. Most recently, this is evident in China's passing the Outlaw US Empire in terms of geoeconomics and thus overall geopolitical power. An explanation for India's inability to match China's development can be found in its refusal to do away with its semi-feudal caste system and not educate its masses so they can become a similar collective dynamo as in China. At the beginning of his brief tenure, JFK noted the Knowledge Gap that existed between a USSR that was nearing its intellectual heights (although that wasn't known then) and the USA whose educational system effectively excluded @60% of students from having the opportunity to advance. There would never have been a Dot.Com economy without JFK's initiative to improve educational outcomes. There seems to be a notion within the Outlaw US Empire's elite that an well educated populace presents a danger to their rule and they can get by using AI and Robotics to further their future plans. Here I'd refer such thinkers to the lessons provided by the failure of Asimov's Galactic Empire in his Foundation series of books--particular their reliance on AI, robotics, dumbing-down the populace to the point where no one recalls how atomics functioned. The sort of balance sheet being constructed by the Fed cannot repair or replace crumbling infrastructure or train the engineers needed to perform the work.

So, what continual BigLie Media lies tell us is the continued downward spiral of the West's intellectual abilities will continue while an East that values the Truth and Discovery moves on to eclipse it, mainly because the West has stopped trying, thinking it's found a better way based on the continual amassing of Debt, which is seen as wealth on their balance sheets. Ultimately, the West thinks the one person holding all the assets as the winner of its Zero-