First Amendment

May 28, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Eve Mykytyn

Partially in response to the polarizing presidency of Mr. Trump, and also, I think, in response to a desire to reach the “right” results, there has been an increasing tendency in the United States to try and limit free speech.  In earlier generations, the left was more in favour of free speech and the right was more willing to suppress it (eg, the flag burning and pornography cases).

Now this seems to be a tactic favoured by many without regard to political affiliation, although of course, the speech they would choose to suppress may be quite different. Two recent examples come to mind, the treatment of demonstrators at Trump rallies and the treatment of Charles Murray at Middlebury College. Why listen and engage when you can simply attribute words to the other side and then oppose them?

The edges of free speech have always been difficult, that is, commercial speech limitations (for instance commercial false advertising or ‘news’ articles that are really advertisements) or free speech that includes or directly incites prohibited actions (throwing a bottle at a policeman conveys speech, but is still prohibited).  But the opposition to free expression I’m trying to get at here is not a within such difficult categories.

My brilliant young friend, who has a PhD in physics, challenged me, “I am outcome driven,” she said. “I don’t want people to preach against vaccines when the outcome may be that children die.” I tend to agree with her about vaccines, but I would not attempt to silence those who disagree.

First. I would have no idea what would be a reasonable way to prohibit speech I don’t like. Should the police track down these people and arrest them? Do our jails need more prisoners who have committed a nonviolent crime? Should we hold internet sites responsible for all speech? This seems to lead inevitably into a discussion of anonymity and government intrusion.

Second.  Who should determine what is ok speech?  The government? Trump? Obama? The FBI? The NSA? Scientists? Or only scientists who opposed using their gifts to create nuclear weapons?

Third. The outliers are sometimes right. Dr Kevorkian forced this country to consider assisted suicide. He earned the name ‘Dr Death’ from his campaign to use death row prisoners as voluntary experiments for various medical procedures. By any standard he was an odd and unappealing character. But he managed to force us to confront a difficult issue and think about how we wanted to handle it.

The anti vaccine people funded scientific research  into vaccines and potential causes of autism and those studies disproved the link. Just because autism manifests itself around the time children are vaccinated does not mean vaccines cause autism, but it was not an unreasonable hypothesis. And the autism studies partially so-provoked found a surprising link to paternal and maternal age that proved more promising. So even if you disagree with them, they ultimately may have helped push us to forward.

Fourth. No reasonable person likes the idea of name calling or so-called hate speech.The problem is that hate speech is difficult to define, even if we knew how to enforce prohibitions. Can a pink person claim to hate all pink people? In a private conversation? In an e mail? On a sign at a demonstration? On the pink people’s website? On his own website? What if the pink person is criticizing other pink people in an attempt to improve them?  Do the same rules apply when a purple person criticizes pink people? Does it matter whether purple or pink people constitute the dominant culture?

This is not purely theoretical. The US government and New York State (among others) have, at various times, tried to prohibit speech against Israel as anti Semitic. (They did this by prohibiting state funding or business with any group thatadvocated boycotting Israel saying that such advocacy was “abusing Jewish students.”) Like many, but perhaps not most Americans, I do not see the two as the same. Israel is a foreign country and Jews are an ethnic group in the United States and elsewhere. In this case, by trying to prohibit constitutionally protected hate speech, New York is clearly denouncing political speech as well. And it does prompt the question, do we now attempt to stop ‘hate’ speech against all groups?  Why this group?

In the Netherlands, a country that attempts to limit ‘hate’ speech, Siegfried Verbeke was convicted for simply publishing Robert Faurisson’s 1978 work questioning the authenticity of the Diary of Anne Frank. The court stated that, “By raising doubts as to the authenticity of the diary within the context of REVISIONISM …the brochure far exceeds the limits of what is acceptable within the framework of freedom of expression.” The court did not dispute the truth of the research, the legal problem was the context of hate.

And how can it be otherwise? Speech occurs within a context, and often that context includes advocating a political position. This is different than a clerk who insists she is exercising her freedom by refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay people or election officials who try to make it difficult for Blacks to vote. The clerk and the election officials are free to say what they want (so long as what they say does not impede the ability of others trying to exercise their rights), but they are obliged to obey the laws whether they like them or not, as we all are.

I would hope that ‘the marketplace of ideas’ would ultimately serve to help us discard ideas that are dangerous or wrong. If not, to the extent that we are a democracy, we have agreed to live with the decisions of the majority BUT with the most important of protections, the bill of rights. It is worth reminding ourselves that the bill of rights was specifically designed to protect minorities from the will of majorities. There is a reason freedom of speech appears in the first amendment. There are limits to the extent we are allowed to police each other.

Americans are blessed that we have a first amendment. Although it has been imperfectly and sporadically protected, it is there at least as an aspiration.

“But at least let us have no more nonsense about defending liberty against Fascism. If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”  George Orwell, in his brilliant proposed preface to Animal Farm. Sadly, usually omitted from the book.

http://orwell.ru/library/novels/Animal_Farm/english/efp_go

Syria’s Assad Just Explained How America Really Works

By Brandon Turbeville

While Americans endlessly battle each other over seemingly important choices like Clinton and Trump or Democrats and Republicans, it is clear that the majority of the population has little understanding of how the U.S. government operates. Yet, for those who pay the price for the apathy and confusion of the general population of the West, it often becomes stunningly obvious that neither presidents nor political parties in America represent any discernible difference in the ongoing agenda of the Deep State and the rest of the oligarchical apparatus. Indeed, that agenda always marches forward regardless of who is president or which political party is in control.

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has thus had the unique position of not only being on the receiving end of American imperialism by virtue of not only being a citizen of a target country but also by being the head of the country, steeped in politics in his own right and thus understanding how certain factors come into play at the national level.

With that in mind, it is worth pointing out a recent statement made by Assad during the course of an interview regarding the opinion of the Syrian government on Donald Trump. Assad stated,

The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime. That’s why it is unrealistic and a complete waste of time to make an assessment of the American President’s foreign policy, for he might say something; but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.

Assad also addressed the Western media’s portrayal of him as a “devil” who kills and oppresses his own people. He stated,

Yes, from a Western perspective, you are now sitting with the devil. This is how they market it in the West. But this is always the case when a state, a government, or an individual do not subjugate themselves to their interests, and do not work for their interests against the interests of their people. These have been the Western colonial demands throughout history. They say that this evil person is killing the good people. Okay, if he is killing the good people, who have been supporting him for the past six years? Neither Russia, nor Iran, nor any friendly state can support an individual at the expense of the people. This is impossible. If he is killing the people, how come the people support him? This is the contradictory Western narrative; and that’s why we shouldn’t waste our time on Western narratives because they have been full of lies throughout history, and not something new.

When asked about the allegations made by the United States that the Syrian government has retained some stocks of chemical weapons, Assad responded by saying,

You and I remember well what happened in 2003, when Colin Powell showed the world in the United Nations what he claimed to be the evidence which proves that President Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, nuclear, and other weapons. However, when the American forces invaded Iraq, it was proven that all he said was a lie. Powell himself admitted that the American intelligence agencies deceived him with that false evidence. That wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time. This means that if you want to be a politician in the United States, you have to be a genuine liar. This is what characterizes American politicians: they lie on a daily basis, and say something and do something different. That’s why we shouldn’t believe what the Pentagon, or any other American institution says, because they say things which serve their policies, not things which reflect reality and the facts on the ground.

One can scarcely argue with Assad’s portrayal of the U.S. government and the position of the presidency in 2017. After all, Donald Trump campaigned on keeping America out of foreign wars and the affairs of other countries as well as the WW3 policy of Hillary Clinton. However, not even four months into his presidency, Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria and the United States struck a Syrian military convoy en route to liberate the southeast of the country from terrorists only days ago.

The Trump administration has repeatedly pushed the envelope even further in Syria and provoked fears that the U.S. aggression in the region and in Asia could result in a confrontation with a nuclear power much in the same way that Hillary Clinton advocated for during the campaign.

While Americans remain more divided than ever and as they ceaselessly argue over which party and political figurehead is better, the war machine marches onward not only in Syria but also in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. If Americans are not capable of understanding that there is more to the system in which they live than two pathetic political parties and clownish presidential personalities, that war machine will march itself clear across the globe until it comes back home.

The transcript of the interview with Bashar al-Assad is included below in this article. Assad addresses the United States involvement in the Syrian crisis, the Israeli role, and the attempt to destabilize Venezuela.

teleSUR (TS): Mr. President, thank you for receiving us.

President Bashar al-Assad (BA): I welcome you and teleSUR TV in Syria. You are welcome.

TS: Let’s start directly with the latest developments. Russia has warned that there might be other alleged chemical attacks. What are the precautionary measures that Syria has taken in order to prevent that?

BA: First of all, terrorists have used chemical materials more than once in the past several years and in more than one region throughout Syria. We have asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send specialized missions to investigate what happened. And every time, the United States obstructed these investigations or prevented sending such missions in order to carry out such investigations. This is what happened last week when we called for investigations over the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The United States and its allies prevented OPCW from taking that decision. As far as we are concerned, we still insist on an investigation, and we and our Russian and Iranian allies are trying to persuade OPCW to send a team to investigate what happened, because if it doesn’t, the United States might repeat the same charade by fabricating the use of false chemical weapons in another place in Syria in order to justify military intervention in support of the terrorists. On the other hand, we continue to fight the terrorists, because we know that the objective of all these American and Western allegations concerning chemical weapons is to support terrorists in Syria. That’s why we will continue to fight these terrorists.

TS: But the Pentagon says that Syria has chemical weapons. Is it true that Syria has kept one percent of the weapons it has committed itself to hand over and destroy four years ago?

BA: You and I remember well what happened in 2003, when Colin Powell showed the world in the United Nations what he claimed to be the evidence which proves that President Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, nuclear, and other weapons. However, when the American forces invaded Iraq, it was proven that all he said was a lie. Powell himself admitted that the American intelligence agencies deceived him with that false evidence. That wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time. This means that if you want to be a politician in the United States, you have to be a genuine liar. This is what characterizes American politicians: they lie on a daily basis, and say something and do something different. That’s why we shouldn’t believe what the Pentagon, or any other American institution says, because they say things which serve their policies, not things which reflect reality and the facts on the ground.

TS: What is the objective behind Syria’s desire to acquire the latest generation of anti-missile systems from Russia?

BA: We are already in a state of war with Israel; and Israel has been committing aggressions on the Arab states surrounding it since its creation in 1948. So, it’s natural that we should have such systems. However, the terrorists, acting on Israeli, American, Turkish, Qatari, and Saudi instructions have destroyed some of these systems. And it is natural for us to negotiate with the Russians now with a view to strengthening these systems, whether to face any Israeli threats from the air or the threats of American missiles. That has become a real possibility after the recent American aggression on al-Shairat airbase in Syria.

TS: What is the role that Israel, in particular, has played in this war against Syria? We know that Israeli attacks against the positions of the Syrian Arab Army have continued in recent weeks.

BA: It is playing this role in different forms; first, by direct aggression, particularly by using warplanes, artillery, or missiles against Syrian Army positions. Second, it is supporting terrorists in two ways: first by providing direct support in the form of weapons, and second by providing logistic support, i.e. allowing them to conduct military exercises in the areas it controls. It also provides them with medical assistance in its hospitals. These are not mere claims or assumptions. They are facts, verified and published on the internet which you can easily access as proven evidence of the Israeli role in support of the terrorists in Syria.

TS: How do you assess the current policy of Donald Trump in the world, and in Syria in particular?

BA: The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime. That’s why it is unrealistic and a complete waste of time to make an assessment of the American President’s foreign policy, for he might say something; but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.

TS: The American administration has opened a new front now with North Korea. Is it possible that this will affect the current American approach towards Syria?

BA: No, the United States always seeks to control all the states of the world without exception. It does not accept allies, regardless of whether they are developed states as those in the Western bloc, or other states of the world. Every state should be an American satellite. That is why what is happening to Syria, to Korea, to Iran, to Russia, and maybe to Venezuela now, aims at re-imposing American hegemony on the world, because they believe that this hegemony is under threat now, which consequently threatens the interests of American economic and political elites.

TS: Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict is very clear; but what is the role of China, this other great global power?

BA: There is great cooperation with Russia and China in terms of political action or political positions. Viewpoints are similar, and there is cooperation in the Security Council. As you know, the United States and its allies have tried several times to use the Security Council in order to legitimize the role of the terrorists in Syria and to legitimize their role in the illegitimate and aggressive intervention in Syria. That’s why Russia and China stood together, and China’s role, with the Russian role, was essential in this regard.

Moreover, some of the terrorists are Chinese nationals who came to Syria through Turkey. They pose a threat to us in Syria, but they pose an equal threat to China. China is aware of the fact that terrorism in any place in the world moves to any other place; and consequently, whether these terrorists are of Chinese or any other nationality, they might return to China and strike there as they have done in Europe, in Russia, and in Syria. We are now cooperating with China on security issues.

TS: Western and American media talk now about moderate terrorists and extremist terrorists. In reality, is there a difference between the two groups?

BA: For them, a moderate terrorist is that who carries out acts of beheading and slaughter but without carrying al-Qaeda flag, or without saying “Allah Akbar,” while an extremist terrorist is that who carries the flag and says Allah Akbar when carrying out acts of beheading and slaughter. This is the only difference. For the United States, all those who serve its political agenda against other states are classified as moderate opposition and not as extremist and terrorist, even if they commit the worst acts of terrorism. They are freedom fighters and not fighters in the cause of destruction and sabotage.

TS: There have been six years of war in Syria. What is Syria’s position now, particularly in the absence of statistics about human losses?

BA: The most painful loss in any war is human loss, the suffering which is inflicted any family when it loses one of its members; for the whole family is scarred for life. This is the natural feeling in a region like ours, where family ties are very strong. Nothing compensates that loss, and nothing exceeds the pain it causes. There are of course huge economic and infrastructure losses, but this infrastructure has been built for a little over 50 years by Syrian hands, not foreign hands. And we have the capacity to rebuild this infrastructure. The same goes for the economy, for the Syrian economy is based on Syrian capabilities first and foremost; and our economic ties with the West have always been limited. When the war is over, it will all be rebuilt. We do not have a problem with that. It is true that it takes time, but it is not impossible. So, the greatest and most painful loss for Syria is the human loss.

TS: Of the 86 states constituting the alliance waging war on Syria, are there any that would take part in the process of reconstruction?

BA: No, of course not. First of all, they do not want to rebuild Syria, but some companies in those countries, if they see that the wheel of the economy and rebuilding has started to turn, and since they are opportunists, they are certainly prepared to come and have a share of rebuilding Syria in order to make money. The Syrian people will certainly not accept this. All the states which stood against the Syrian people and took part in the destruction and sabotage will never take part in rebuilding Syria. That is final.

TS: But how was life during these past six years in this besieged country?

BA: Life has certainly been tough to every Syrian citizen. The terrorists have destroyed the infrastructure. In certain areas, electricity is on for one or two hours, and there are areas in which there’s no electricity at all. There are areas in which electricity has been cut off for more than two or three years. People don’t know television, children do not go to school, there are no medical clinics or hospitals, and nobody treats the ill. They live a prehistoric existence thanks to the terrorists. There are areas which did not have water for years, like what happened in Aleppo, which did not have water for many long years. Sometimes, they use polluted water for drinking, washing up, and other purposes. Life has been very tough.

TS: One of the main targets during these years has been the person of Bashar al-Assad. Have you ever felt fear during these years?

BA: When you are in the middle of the war, you do not feel fear. I believe this is something common to all people. But you have a general concern for the homeland; for what is the value of being safe, as an individual, as a citizen, while the country is under threat? You cannot feel safe. I believe that the feeling we have in Syria in general is concern for the future of Syria rather than personal fear. The evidence is that mortar shells fall anywhere, on any house; nevertheless, you see that life continues in Syria. The will to life is much stronger than personal fear. As a President, I take strength from the feelings of the general public, not from my personal feelings. I do not live in isolation from the others.

TS: Western media have been waging a media campaign against you. Am I sitting now with this devil portrayed by the media?

BA: Yes, from a Western perspective, you are now sitting with the devil. This is how they market it in the West. But this is always the case when a state, a government, or an individual do not subjugate themselves to their interests, and do not work for their interests against the interests of their people. These have been the Western colonial demands throughout history. They say that this evil person is killing the good people. Okay, if he is killing the good people, who have been supporting him for the past six years? Neither Russia, nor Iran, nor any friendly state can support an individual at the expense of the people. This is impossible. If he is killing the people, how come the people support him? This is the contradictory Western narrative; and that’s why we shouldn’t waste our time on Western narratives because they have been full of lies throughout history, and not something new.

TS: What can Syria, too, do in order to put an end to this war ahead of the sixth round of Geneva talks?

BA: We said that there are two axes: the first is fighting the terrorists; and this is not subject to any discussion, and we don’t have any other choice in dealing with the terrorists except fighting them. The other axis, the political one, includes two points: first, dialogue with the different political forces over the future of Syria; and second: local reconciliations, in the sense that we negotiate with the terrorists in a certain village or city, depending on each case separately. The objective of this reconciliation is for them to lay down their weapons and receive an amnesty from the state, and consequently return to their normal life. This approach has been implemented during the past three or four years, has succeeded, and is ongoing now. These are the axes which we can work on in order to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.

TS: From the perspective of a country in a state of war, how do you see the situation in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela, where a number of acts very similar to those which caused the conflict in Syria have emerged?

BA: Of course, they should be similar, because the party planning and implementing these acts is the same. It is the United States as a maestro and the Western states constituting the choir. Latin America in general, and Venezuela in particular, used to be the backyard of the United States for decades. Through that backyard, Western states, particularly North America, or the United States, used to secure their economic interests through the influence of the big companies in your countries. Military or political coups in Latin America during the 1960s and the 1970s aimed at perpetuating American hegemony over the interests of your people. But Latin America freed itself during the past twenty years and gained its independent decision-making. Governments started defending the interests of their peoples, which is unacceptable to the United States. That’s why they are exploiting what’s happening in the world, starting with the orange revolution in Ukraine up to the recent coup there a few years ago, and what is taking place in the Arab countries, in Libya, Syria, Yemen and others, in order to implement it in Latin America. They started in Venezuela with the objective of overthrowing the national government, and it will spread over to other Latin American countries.

TS: Some people, particularly ordinary citizens in Latin America, think that a scenario similar to what’s happening in Syria could be repeated in Latin America. What do you think?

BA: This is true. That’s why I say since the party planning and implementing is the same, it’s natural that the scenario is not only similar, but identical. Some local elements might be different. In Syria, they said in the beginning that there were peaceful demonstrations, but in fact, when these peaceful demonstrations did not spread wide enough, they implanted individuals who fired on both sides, on the police and the demonstrations, and there were casualties. They started to say that the state is killing the people, and this scenario is being repeated everywhere. The same scenario will be repeated in Venezuela. That’s why the Venezuelan people have to be very careful. There is a difference between opposing the government and being against the homeland, a huge difference. On the other hand, no foreign state can be more concerned about Venezuela’s interests than the Venezuelan people themselves. Do not believe the West, for it’s not concerned either about human rights or about the interests of states. It is only concerned about the interests of part of the governing elites in its countries. And these governing elites are not necessarily politicians, they are economic companies too.

TS: I’m talking about Latin America, Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution which was your strong ally. How do you remember the late Hugo Chavez?

BA: President Chavez was a world-class distinguished personality. When we talk about Latin America, we immediately remember the late President Chavez and the late leader Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution. They are distinguished personalities who changed the face of Latin America. But of course the leader I knew personally and whom I met more than once and had a personal relationship with was President Chavez, when he visited us in Syria and I visited him in Venezuela. He visited us twice. When you meet him, you can tell that he is the son of the people. You do not feel that you are meeting a president or a politician, but a person who lived the suffering of his people. Everything he said, and every minute of his time, was about the details related to the people of his country. And when he talked with a head of another state, or an official from another state, he always thought of how to create common interests which reflect positively on his people. He was a real and strongly charismatic leader. And he was an extremely genuine person.

TS: They demonized Chavez before; and it is clear that it is Nicolas Maduro’s turn now.

BA: Of course, as long as President Maduro is walking the same patriotic line, the line of Venezuela’s independence, and acting in the best interest of his country’s people, it is natural that he should be the first target of the United States. This is self-evident.

TS: How does Bashar al-Assad envision the end of the war?

BA: Today, foreign intervention in Syria aside, the problem is not complicated, for the majority of the Syrians are tired of the war and want a solution. They want to return to safety and stability. There is a dialogue between us as Syrians, there are meetings, and people live with each other, i.e. there is no real barrier. The problem now is that with every step we make towards a solution and regaining stability, the terrorist gangs receive more money and weapons in order to blow the situation up. That’s why I can say that the solution should be stopping outside support to the terrorists. As far as we are concerned in Syria, reconciliation among all Syrians, and forgetting and forgiving all that happened in the past throughout this war, is the way to restore safety to Syria. Rest assured that Syria will be then much stronger than it was before the war.

TS: Are you prepared to have reconciliation with those who carried arms against the Syrian people?

BA: Of course, and this has actually happened in many and different places, and some of them have fought side by side with the Syrian Army, some fell martyrs, and some returned to their cities and live in the part under government control. We don’t have a problem. Tolerance is essential to end any war. And we are proceeding on that track.

TS: Mr. President, what is your message to Latin America and the world?

BA: Keep your independence. We, in the Arab region, are celebrating independence in more than one country. But this independence used to mean, in a number of countries in the region, the mere evacuation of occupying forces. But real independence happens when you are in possession of your national decision-making. For us, Latin America was a model of independence, in the sense that occupiers were evacuated, in case there were foreign forces, but at the same time there was national decision-making, openness, and democracy. You provided the world with an important model. So, keep it, because if the countries of the third and developing world wanted to develop, they should follow the model implemented in Latin America.

TS: Mr. President, thank you for giving teleSUR this interview, and thank you for your precious time and all the information that you have provided.

BA: Thank you for coming, and once again I welcome you in Damascus.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome

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. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST atUCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

Truth Has Become Un-American

By Paul Craig Roberts

May 25, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Those of us who have exited The Matrix are concerned that there are no checks on Washington’s use of nuclear weapons in the interest of US hegemony over the world.

Washington and Israel are the threats to peace. Washington demands world hegemony, and Israel demands hegemony in the Middle East.

There are two countries that stand in the way of Washington’s world hegemony—Russia and China. Consequently, Washington has plans for preemptive nuclear strikes against both countries. It is difficult to imagine a more serious threat to mankind, and there is no awareness or acknowledgment of this threat among the Congress, the presstitute media, and the general public in the United States and Washington’s European vassal populations.

Two countries and a part of a third stand in the way of Greater Israel. Israel wants the water resources of southern Lebanon, but cannot get them, despite twice sending in the Israeli Army, because of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which is supplied by Syria and Iran. This is why Syria and Iran are on Washington’s hit list. Washington serves the military/security complex, Wall Street and the over-sized US banks, and Israel.

It is unclear if the Russians and Chinese understand that Washington’s hostility toward them is not just some sort of misunderstanding that diplomacy can work out.

Clearly, Russia hasn’t interfered in the US presidential election or invaded Ukraine, and does not intend to invade Poland or the Baltics. Russia let go the Soviet empire and is glad to see it gone, as the empire was expensive and of little benefit. The Soviet Eastern European empire comprised Stalin’s buffer against another Western invasion. The Warsaw Pact had no offensive meaning. It was not the beginning, as misrepresented in Washington, of Soviet world domination.

I see a lack of clarity about the threat that Russia faces in Russian media reports and articles posted on Russian English language websites. I see a lack of clarity in Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s continued efforts to work out an accommodation with Washington. How can Lavrov work out an accommodation with Washington when Washington intends to dominate or isolate Russia?

Lavrov and Russian media organizations do not always show awareness that it is not Washington’s intention to accommodate other national interests.

It cannot be otherwise for these three reasons:

  1. The budget for the US military/security complex is the largest in the world. It is larger than the Gross Domestic Product of many countries. It includes not only the Pentagon’s budget but also the budgets of 16 US intelligence agencies and the Department of Energy, which is the location of the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant and 16 other national laboratories. When all the elements are added together, the military/security complex has annually the power and profit from $1,000 billion. An empire of this sort just doesn’t give up and go away because some president or some part of the electorate want peace. The “Russian Threat” is essential to the power and profit of the military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned Americans 56 years ago. Just imagine how entrenched this power is now.
  2. The neoconservatives, who control both US foreign policy and the Western media’s explanation of it, are mainly Jews of Zionist persuasion. Some are dual Israeli-US citizens. The neoconservatives believe that the collapse of Soviet communism means that History has chosen the United States as the socio-politico-economic system, and that the US government has the responsibility to assert the hegemony of America over the earth. Just read the neocon documents. They assert this over and over. This is what it means that America is the exceptional and indispensable nation. If you are the indispensable nation, every other nation is dispensable. If you are exceptional, everyone else is unexceptional. The claim that the neoconservatives make for the US is similar to the claim that Hitler made for Germany.
  3. As Israel controls US Middle East policy, Israel uses its control to have Washington eliminate obstacles to Israel’s expansion. So far Israel has achieved the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government and chaos in Iraq, Washington’s war on Syria, and Washington’s demonization of Iran in the hope that sufficient demonization will justify war.

For the Russian Foreign Minister to believe that it is possible to reach an accommodation with Washington, other than a Russian surrender, is nonsense. Perhaps this is Lavrov’s use of diplomacy to delay the US attack while Russia prepares. Or perhaps Lavrov is just a diplomat who sticks to his last, despite the facts.

Much of the Russian media, both in Russian and foreign language broadcasts and websites, thinks that the Western misrepresentation of Russia is just a mistake and that that facts, once they are established, can rectify the mistake. These Russian journalists don’t understand that Washington could not care less about facts. Washington desperately needs an enemy, and Russia is the enemy of choice.

The Chinese government seems to think that Wall Street and US corporations are too dependent on the cheap Chinese manufacturing labor, which keeps the US system fueled with profits, to jeopardize these profits by going to war.

By underplaying the risk of war, Russia and China fail to mobilize world opposition to Washington’s recklessness and, thereby, enable Washington’s move toward war.

The presstitutes serving the National Security State continue to drive toward conflict. Consider Newsweek’s May 26, 2017, cover story with Putin on the cover and the caption: “The Plot Against America: Inside Putin’s Campaign to Destroy Democracy in the U.S.”

It is difficult to imagine such ignorant nonsense from a mainstream news magazine. Democracy in America has been destroyed by special interest groups, by a US Supreme Court decision that gave the reins of power to special interest groups, and by a hoax war on terror that has destroyed the US Constitution. And here we have the presstitutes saying that Putin is destroying American democracy. Clearly, there is no extant intelligence anywhere in the Western media. The Western presstitutes are either corrupt beyond belief or ignorant beyond belief. Nothing else can be said for them.

Consider Time magazine’s cover. It depicts Trump turning the White House into the foundation for the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, which rise above the White House, symbolizing America’s subservience to Russia under President Trump. This extraordinary propaganda seems to be readily accepted by the bulk of the Western populations, peoples who will die as a result of their insouciance.

Even writers critical of Washington, such as Paul Street’s recent article on CounterPunch and the English language Russian website, Strategic Culture Foundation, cannot bring themselves to state the truth that the US military/security complex needs a major enemy, has elected Russia for that role, and intends to defend this orchestration to the end of humanity on earth.

Street writes about “How Russia Became ‘Our Adversary’ Again.” According to Street, Russia became the enemy of choice because Russia protected part of the world’s population and resources from being exploited by global capital. Russia became the number one enemy of the US also because Putin stopped the American exploitation of Russia economically. Putin is in the way of Washington’s exploitation of the world.

Much of what Street says is correct, but he is hesitant to state it in a straightforward manner. He has to dilute his message by repeating the obligatory propaganda. Street calls Trump, who originally wanted normal relations with Russia, an “orange-haired brute . . . [who admires] Putin’s authoritarian manliness.”

Trump’s problems originated in his goal of normalizing relations with Russia. Hillary is the brute who intended to worsen the relations.

Putin is a democrat, not an authoritarian. The authoritarians are in Washington. Surely Paul Street and CounterPunch know this. But Street has to protect himself from speaking some politically incorrect truths about the US and Russia by throwing in some anti-Putin propaganda and denigrating President Trump.

That peace with Russia and China would undermine the justification of the $1,000 billion military/security budget, and that the military/security complex is the American government, is too much truth for most writers to state.

Truth is the most rare element in the Western world, and we will not be permitted to have much of it much longer. Increasingly, truth is difficult to find. Soak it up while it is still available.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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The British Establishment is Putting Our Lives at Risk

By Mark Curtis

Our State’s Key Ally Is a Major Public Threat

May 25, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  The country is in shock after the worst terrorist attack in 12 years. The deranged extremist who detonated the bomb bears sole responsibility for the outrage and is not a soldier – for Islam or whoever – but a murderer. The Manchester suicide bombing is an act of barbarism inflicted on entirely innocent people.

This wave of terrorism driven by Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, derives from a complex infrastructure of forces, working over time. But it springs ultimately from the ideology promoted by the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, who were at least until recently funding and backing IS: they have done so to support their goal of overthrowing Assad in Syria and championing Sunni Islam in the face of rivalry with Iran. These are Britain’s allies. Whitehall has a deep, long-standing special relationship with the extremist Saudis: it is arming them, backing them, apologising for them, and supporting their regional policies. At the same time, the Saudis have been helping to create the monster that now threatens the British public. So, too, have the policies of the British government.

This is terrible, in the true sense of the term: the British establishment is putting our lives at risk in its obsessive obsequiousness in backing the Saudi state. We have to recognise that we are caught between two extremisms – that of IS and that of our own state’s priorities.

The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism. In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires IS terrorists. He said:

“This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.”

He noted that UK/US bombing of IS would not “stop the support of people in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for this kind of activity” because:

“It’s not addressing the fundamental problem of Wahhabi Salafism as a culture and a creed, which has got out of control and is still the ideological basis of Isil – and which will continue to exist even if we stop their advance in Iraq.”

Shaw added:

“My systemic worry is that we’re repeating the mistakes that we made in Afghanistan and Iraq: putting the military far too up front and centre in our response to the threat without addressing the fundamental political question and the causes. The danger is that yet again we’re taking a symptomatic treatment not a causal one.”[1]

Last December Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in off-the-cuff remarks, accused Saudi Arabia of ‘puppeteering and playing proxy wars’ in the Middle East by ‘abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives’.[2]  Johnson was correct and it was a rare public admission of British awareness of the Saudi role, in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, which, as he and other officials must know full well, has had terrible consequences.

Saudi support for extremism

The Saudi role in exporting Wahhabism is surely well-known by now. In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent billions spreading its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide, funding mosques and free madrassas – religious schools – supplying them with imams and textbooks. In 2013, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a private speech (leaked in 2016) that “the Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years.”[3]

This Saudi funding has included support for terrorism. EU intelligence experts estimate that 15 to 20 per cent of Saudi funding for its Wahhabist causes has been diverted to al-Qaeda and other violent jihadists.[4]A June 2013 report by the European Parliament deemed Wahhabism the main source of global terrorism. A classified 2009 cable signed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (also released by WikiLeaks) acknowledged: “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”[5] A State Department cable of 2009 released under Clinton’s name in December 2009 states that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan].”[6]

The Saudis have been funding terrorism for decades while Whitehall (and Washington) has been supporting them. In May 1974, for example, the US State Department warned Britain not to go ahead with its reported offer to sell Blowpipe surface-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia, for fear of “seepage of this type of weapon into the hands of terrorists”.[7] The US ambassador to Saudi Arabia told his British equivalent that the US had refused to sell similar equipment, the Redeye, for fear of their ending up in the hands of terrorists and being “used against civil aircraft or similar targets”.[8]

Islamic State

IS, which is believed to have been formed in 2006, has grown out of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq and the terrorist infrastructure built up with Saudi money and Western covert action seeking to oust Assad of Syria. IS is certainly not a creation of the UK, US and its allies, but the latters’ policies have contributed to its growth.

Donors in the Gulf, including Saudis, have funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to rebel groups in Syria in recent years, including to IS.[9] A secret memo written by Hillary Clinton in August 2014 (which appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2016) noted that the Saudi and Qatari governments “are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [IS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region”.[10]Following IS’s capture of Mosul in northern Iraq in June 2014, former Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told US secretary of state John Kerry that “Daesh is our [Sunni] response to your support for the Da’wa,” the Shia Islamist party the US installed in power in Iraq.[11]

Saudi Arabia’s neighbour Qatar, the world’s only other predominantly Wahhabi state with whom Theresa May’s government has recently signed large commercial deals, may have been the biggest funder of the Syrian rebels, with some estimates suggesting the amount may be as much as $3bn.[12] In 2012, the New York Times reported, based on military sources, that “most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups… are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster”.[13]

This was of course all well-known to officials in London and Washington as they pretended to their publics to be supporting only ‘moderate’ rebel groups. In October 2014, Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden harshly criticised Saudi Arabia and Turkey in a talk at Harvard University. He noted that “they were so determined to take down” Assad that they:

“poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaida, and the extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world.”

He added, “We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”[14]

As Nafeez Ahmed has argued, Western governments have deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Assad. A 2012 Defence Intelligence Agency document notes that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” and that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition”. The document stated that al-Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to IS, “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.” But the document also forecast the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces”. Further the document noted that:

“there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

As Ahmed comments, the document provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting IS had previously welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran.[15]

US journalist Rania Khalek has written[16] that it was not until 2014, when IS started beheading westerners on video, that the group became a major concern for the West. Prior to that, Western covert operations in Syria were so focused on weakening Assad, they acquiesced as Saudi Arabia and Qatar funded and armed IS, following which IS brutally swept across swathes of Syria and Iraq.[17] The US then put heavy pressure on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop their support to IS and other radical groups in Syria, which is believed to have happened. However, Saudi Arabia still supports anti-Assad groups in Syria, which has been reported as including the Islamist Jaysh al-Islam.[18] Now, the Saudi regime is pledging support, including military operations, for the fight against IS in Syria. But the point is: the genie has long been out of the bottle.[19]

Britain’s covert role in Syria has served to prolong the war and, in alliance with the US and Saudi Arabia, de facto helped strengthen the hard-line groups who are now our enemies. There is some evidence that Britain had planned covert action in Syria to oust Assad as early as 2009, even before the uprising began in 2011.[20] But Britain is reported to have begun training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012.[21] Although focussed on ‘moderate’ rebels, the ever-changing nature of the opposition forces and inter-operability between them has blurred any useful distinctions between ‘moderate’ and ‘hardline’. In 2015, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament that “the vast majority of [Syrian] opposition groups are Islamist”.[22] Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said in 2017 that the situation among the opposition groups in Syria “can indeed be fluid” and that “there can be splintering of those groups and some which appeared in the past to be moderate then change their view and join up with those with whom this country will have no truck”.[23] There is some evidence that some Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels receiving elite training from British and French forces went straight into IS, with one IS commander quoted as saying: “Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.”[24]

Support for Saudi Arabia

All the while the Saudis have been exporting Wahhabism and backing Islamist groups and terrorists, they have enjoyed a special relationship with London and Washington. The history is so long and deep it is hard to summarise: basically the relationship is characterised by extreme sycophancy, total military support, constant apologias and carefully-controlled media lines that serve to keep the public in the dark about the true extent of relations and the nature of the Saudi regime. It is hard to pinpoint whether Saudi Arabia is a client of the UK or the other way round: probably both, since both set of elites have been happily joined at the hip.

The terrible bombing of Yemen by Saudi aircraft supplied by Britain, armed by Britain and conducted by British-trained pilots is but the latest episode in extreme UK support for Saudi foreign policy. The blood covers the hands of the entire British establishment. As Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has pointed out, the Royal Family, successive governments, parliamentarians, a good number of institutions and people with clout collectively suck up to the Saudi ruling clan.[25]

The result of all this is catastrophic. The ‘war on terror’ is a joke when your leading ally is the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. Independent journalist Patrick Cockburn has written that in the 20 years between 1996 and 2016, the CIA and British security and foreign policy agencies have consistently given priority to maintaining their partnership with powerful Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan over the elimination of terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Isis and the Taliban.[26]

That is completely correct, and this is not just turning a blind eye. As I try to show in my book, Secret Affairs[27], the backing of Saudi Arabia is part of a broader story: that British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades not only with the arch-sponsor of radical Islamism in Riyadh but sometimes with radical groups themselves, including terrorist organisations. They have connived with them, and often trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain’s imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world.

Theresa May’s government, as previous governments, have endangered the British public by the relationship they choose to have with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In recent months, May has signed up Britain to a new generation of special relationships with these states, based on selling more arms and providing more training of their militaries and security forces to keep the ruling families in power. All this has been done on the quiet, with scant government or media reporting. We are set for another generation of domestic tyranny in Gulf and foreign Islamist adventures, all now helped by raising the enemy of ‘Iran’ – a foreign policy agenda being set by Riyadh and recently helped by President Trump’s preposterous invocation of Iran as the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.

We are in serious trouble unless this all changes. Our leaders’ policies are endangering us, and are among our major threats. The terrorism that we, ordinary people, face, derives from an ideology and infrastructure to which our leaders, claiming to protect us, have contributed. We desperately need another foreign policy entirely, one based on support for those promoting democracy and human rights – rather on than those with contempt for them.

 Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, Paris and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Auswartige Politik, Bonn. http://markcurtis.info

REFERENCES

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11140860/Qatar-and-Saudi-Arabia-have-ignited-time-bomb-by-funding-global-spread-of-radical-Islam.html

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/07/boris-johnson-accuses-saudi-arabia-of-twisting-and-abusing-islam

[3] http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/hacked-clinton-said-saudis-responsible-for-exporting-extreme-ideology/article/2604049

[4] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/isis-having-spent-billions-the-wahhabists-of-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-find-they-have-created-a-monster-30533853.html

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

[6] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/hillary-clinton-wikileaks-email-isis-saudi-arabia-qatar-us-allies-funding-barack-obama-knew-all-a7362071.html

[7] US State Department to US embassy, Jedda, 4 May 1974, National Archives, FCO8/2344

[8] A.Rothnie to Ministry of Defence, undated [March 1974], National Archives, FCO8/2343

[9] http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/saudi-funding-of-isis

[10] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/hillary-clinton-emails-leak-wikileaks-saudi-arabia-qatar-isis-podesta-latest-a7355466.html

[11] https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/us-support-syrian-rebels-drove-refugee-crisis

[12] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/isis-having-spent-billions-the-wahhabists-of-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-find-they-have-created-a-monster-30533853.html

[13] http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/

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

[15] https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092

[16] https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/us-support-syrian-rebels-drove-refugee-crisis

[17] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/isis-having-spent-billions-the-wahhabists-of-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-find-they-have-created-a-monster-30533853.html

[18] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/21/saudi-arabia-isis-riyadh-terror-threat

[19] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/isis-having-spent-billions-the-wahhabists-of-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-find-they-have-created-a-monster-30533853.html

[20] http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/

[21] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/08/west-training-syrian-rebels-jordan

[22] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-19/12468/

[23] https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2017-03-20/debates/7B7DBFFE-DEC4-471E-BD2A-5709AB4B7289/Syria

[24] http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/

[25] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/the-evil-empire-of-saudi-arabia-is-the-west-s-real-enemy-a6669531.html

[26] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/confused-about-the-us-response-to-isis-in-syria-look-to-the-cias-relationship-with-saudi-arabia-a7087791.html

[27] http://markcurtis.info/2010/07/20/secret-affairs-britains-collusion-with-radical-islam/

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also –

Theresa May Knew of Manchester Bomber’s Terrorist Family: Col. Gadaffi had expelled the Manchester bomber’s father from Libya!

‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi; Fighters say government operated ‘open door’ policy allowing them to join rebels, as authorities investigate background of Manchester bomber

‘Forgive me’: Manchester bomber final words to his nuclear scientist mother: Tabbal told interrogators her son left Libya for England only four days before the bombing and called her on the same day of the attack.

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“The Coup d’état Has Begun Which Will Divide America” [X22Report]

Source

There is a special investigator to investigate the Russian collusion fantasy. ~/~ Trump responds and says he has nothing to hide. ~/~ On May 3rd, Comey admits that there was no obstruction of justice and nobody asked him to stop the investigation. ~/~ 60% of the positions in government have been filled by Obama. ~/~ The deep state is dividing the US and they are pushing their agenda to remove Trump. ~/~ Venezuela crisis is worsening and the deep state wants to interfere via the UN. ~/~ Trump and South Korea agree that they would talk to Kim Jong Un. ~/~ Trump advisers want 50,000 troops in Afghanistan. ~/~ US coalition forces violate the de-escalation zone and fire upon the Syrian Army. ~/~ There is another piece of malware that is worse than wannacry.

All source links to the report can be found on the x22report.com site

A Progressive’s Argument that Trump Is Less Evil than Obama

A Progressive’s Argument that Trump Is Less Evil than Obama

ERIC ZUESSE | 19.05.2017 | WORLD

A Progressive’s Argument that Trump Is Less Evil than Obama

To a progressive, the most important thing is to avoid a war between the U.S. and Russia — a war which has become likely after U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine bordering Russia and NATO’s then massing troops and weapons to several parts of and near Russia’s border. Any U.S.-Russia war would escalate beyond the use of non-nuclear arms at the moment when one of the two sides is losing that conventional war and has no possibility of avoiding being conquered by the other side except to unleash its already-deployed nuclear warheads (or «nuclear bombs»), which are 1,765 on Russia’s side, and 1,411 on America’s. (Such a nuclear conflict would be completed within less than 30 minutes; it would be the shortest war ever.)

The first side to launch nuclear forces would suffer less damage than the second to do so would (because some of the other side’s nukes would be destroyed in that attack), and therefore would ‘win’ that U.S.-Russia war in the standard military sense, though the planet itself would become uninhabitable afterwards (and so any such ‘win’ would be Pyrrhic). For either side to be conquered would be viewed by it as enslavement, and the leaders of the losing side would be killed by their own people if not by the conquerors; plus, there might be an escalation to nuclear even if none of the leaders want it; so, being the first to launch nuclear forces might be chosen as the less-catastrophic of the two available options in the event of a Russia-U.S. war; it is not an unlikely outcome, regardless of which side would be losing the conventional conflict.

To a progressive, the second-most important thing is to avoid global burning — out-of-control, runaway, escalation in atmospheric temperature, which would starve to death all humans but much slower than a U.S.-Russia war would. If the majority of climatologists are correct, then probably global burnout will happen even if concerted international action to prevent it is started now — probably we’re already too late to be able to avoid that outcome. The conservatives likely held off action against ‘global warming’ long enough to doom the planet.

Therefore, for two reasons, U.S.-Russia war is the world’s number-one concern: (1) U.S.-Russia war would produce hell-on-Earth much faster than global burning would: and, (2) It can be avoided (if the U.S. leadership backs off from its post-1990 goal of conquering Russia, which is possible for America’s leaders to do).

Since a progressive’s main focus is on getting the U.S. leadership to eliminate their overriding goal since 1990 of conquering Russia, Trump will here be compared with Obama, and with Obama’s chosen successor Hillary Clinton, on that particular issue:

Obama’s chosen successor was an ardent proponent of a «no-fly zone» being imposed by the U.S. in Syria — a sovereign nation that has been invaded by the U.S. (along with America’s jihadist boots-on-the-ground proxies that are financed by the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia and by the Thanis who own Qatar). Russia is defending the legitimate government of Syria, which the U.S. team are trying to overthrow and replace by jihadists. A U.S.-imposed no-fly zone there would require the U.S. to shoot down Syrian and Russian planes over Syrian territory. It would constitute a conventional war against Russia, using Syria as the battlefield. Hillary Clinton was clearly as evil as any politician has ever been. Not only did ‘the new Cold War’ (actually the hot proxy-war against Russia that the Obama regime started by overthrowing the democratically elected and Russia-friendly leader of Ukraine in 2014) start being planned by Hillary Clinton’s State Department in 2011, but she was also willing to go hot against Russia over the battlefield of Syria.

So: if Clinton were now the U.S. President, then there would probably already be a conventional war between the U.S. and Russia in Syria. Furthermore, Obama had tried to set up his successor — whomever it would turn out to be — with a broken Syrian peace-negotiation process, as hard as possible to resolve the Syrian situation peaceably with Russia. Although Obama didn’t want to be the person who would pull the trigger against Russia, he wanted his successor to do so.

By contrast: Trump has been bluster against Russia (because of the U.S. aristocracy’s campaign to portray him as being Putin’s stooge or worse), and also against the government of Syria, but behind the scenes has been pursuing a negotiated settlement that is acceptable both to the Russian government and to the Syrian government.

Unlike Clinton-Obama, Trump is not aiming to conquer Russia.

On global burning, Trump is far worse even than Clinton would have been. But probably a miserable end will come much slower from his Presidency than it would be coming from a Presidency by Hillary Clinton.

In any case, only deeply misinformed people consider the United States to be, in any real sense, still a democracy. The issue instead is how bad the U.S. regime is. And, apparently, when considering the two options that the U.S. system gave us, we lucked out with Trump’s having won.

As regards the progressive issues that Bernie Sanders — Hillary’s opponent in the Democratic primaries — was promoting and had been fighting for throughout his political career, the U.S. aristocracy decided not to allow him to win the Presidency, though among the U.S. general electorate he was overwhelmingly the most-preferred (or least-opposed) Presidential candidate in any party. If he had won the Democratic nomination, then he would almost certainly have trounced Trump, and probably Congress and state houses also would be dominated by Democrats — and that would be a somewhat different (less fascist) Democratic Party from the one that now exists. But it just wasn’t possible, given the political realities in the U.S. That type of government doesn’t exist in America. America’s government is more conservative than America’s public are, and this is generally the case, because the aristocracy usually control a government, and they’re always more conservative than the public are. In that regard, America is a normal country. A Sanders win would have required, as a prerequisite, a certain type of abnormal country: one whose government is as progressive as its people are. This isn’t to say that the public are generally progressive, just that they’re always more progressive than the nation’s aristocracy is.

 

10 Reasons Trump Should Not Strengthen U.S.-Saudi Ties

Human rights abuses and funding terrorism, for starters.

By Medea Benjamin

May 17, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  Donald Trump has selected Saudi Arabia as the destination for his first trip abroad, strengthening U.S. ties to a regime that is fueling the very extremism, intolerance and violence that the US government purports to eradicate. Here’s 10 reasons why the United States should not be closely allied with the Saudi kingdom.

    1. The Saudis export an extremist interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, around the globe. Over the past three decades, Saudi Arabia has spent about $4 billion per year on mosques, madrassas, preachers, students, and textbooks to spread Wahhabism and anti-Western sentiment. Let’s not forget that 15 of the 19 fanatical hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudis, as was Osama bin Laden himself.
    2. The Saudis fund terrorism worldwide. A Wikileaks-revealed 2009 cable quotes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide … More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar e-Tayyiba and other terrorist groups.” In Syria the Saudis are supporting the most extreme sectarian forces. And while the Saudi government condemns ISIS, many experts, including 9/11 Commission Report lead author Senator Bob Graham, believe that ISIS is a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money and Saudi organizational support.
    3. The government represses religious minorities. Trump says he is promoting tolerance, but this theocratic Sunni regime is based on repressing the Shia minority and non-Muslims. It is the only country in the world to ban all churches, and atheism is a capital offense. Year after year, the U.S. government’s own Commission on International Religious Freedom says Saudi Arabia commits “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
    4. Free speech and free association are forbidden in the kingdom. Criticizing the Saudi regime can lead to flogging, long jail sentences or even beheading. Tragic examples are Raif Badawi, languishing in prison for blogging; attorney Waleed Abulkhair, serving a 15-year sentence for defending human rights; and Ali al-Nimr, arrested as a minor and now on death row for nonviolent dissent.The regime is the most misogynist, gender-segregated country in the world. Women are not even allowed to drive and must live under a guardianship system that gives men authority over the most important decisions in their lives.
    5. There is no political freedom in Saudi Arabia. While most of the world’s monarchies have evolved to lessen the role of royalty, Saudi Arabia remains one of the world’s last absolute monarchies.TheSaud family picks the king, who then has ultimate authority in virtually every aspect of government. There are no national elections and political parties are banned, as are unions and most civic organizations.
    6. They have engaged in a catastrophic war in Yemen. In March 2015, the Saudis launched a bombing campaign in Yemen that has targeted schools, hospitals, markets, weddings and funerals. The war has resulted in acute malnutrition and disease, leaving a Yemeni child dying every 10 minutes. Instead of supporting the bombing, the US government should be pushing a ceasefire and negotiations.
    7. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. Scores of people are killed each year after being convicted of various nonviolent charges that range from adultery, apostasy, drug use and sorcery. The executions are usually carried out by public beheading.
    8. The Kingdom primarily functions on the backs of mistreated foreign laborers. Of the nation’s 30 million people, some 10 million are foreigners. Workers from poor nations seek economic gains within Saudi Arabia, but are often lured under false pretenses and then not allowed to leave the country without permission from their employer. Female migrant workers, treated like indentured servants, often face physical and sexual abuse.
    9. Saudi Arabia helps maintain the world’s destructive dependence on oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world. With its vast potential for solar energy, Saudi Arabia could lead the world in renewable energy. Instead, the economy remains almost entirely dependent on oil and on the international level, Saudi Arabia works with the United States to oppose global climate agreements that would affect oil profits.

If the Trump administration truly wants to find a way out of the wars in the Middle East and make the United States safer from terrorists, it would do well to stop arming, aiding and abetting the ruthless Saudi regime.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the peace group CodePink. Her latest book is Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection (OR Books, September 2016).

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia: When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran.

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