Yemen Conflict: 70+ Martyred by Saudi Warplanes Strikes

16-12-2017 | 11:13

More than 70 Yemeni people had been martyred in airstrikes by Saudi warplanes on the impoverished country of Yemen, reports said Friday.

Saudi fighterjet

Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said the Saudi warplanes bombed a market in the Mawza district in the west of Taiz province on Friday. According to a preliminary count, the airstrike left eight people dead and 15 others injured.

At least 15 people also lost their lives in Saudi air raids on the northern province of Saada. According to al-Masirah, 12 of the victims were martyred in two airstrikes that hit a market and a car in the Munabbih district. The three other victims, including two women, were martyred in earlier air raids on the districts of al-Dhaher and Shada. The aerial attacks also left five people injured in the Northern Province.

Medics and security sources also reported on Friday that Saudi air raids claimed the lives of 28 people around Yemen’s west coast.

Another 20 people, mostly women and children, had been martyred by Saudi airstrikes in al-Hudaydah Province, in Yemen’s northwest.

The airstrikes were carried out against residential areas on Friday. Another 10 people were injured.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen in an attempt to crush the popular Ansarullah movement and reinstate the former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime.

More than 12,000 people have been martyred since the onset of the campaign. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war. The Saudi-led war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across Yemen.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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America’s Permanent War Agenda Threatens World Peace

America’s Permanent War Agenda Threatens World Peace

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Today is the most perilous time in world history. What’s going on should terrify everyone.

Endless US wars of aggression against sovereign independent states threaten world peace, stability and security.

Its megalomaniacal quest for world dominance risks eventual nuclear war against one or more countries – North Korea and Iran the most likely targets, Russia and perhaps China later on.

Madness defines America’s agenda, undemocratic Dems as bloodthirsty as Republicans. Humanity is at risk of annihilation like never before.

Full-blown tyranny is a hair’s breath away to quash homeland dissent and harden control, the nation on a fast track toward becoming Nazi Germany with nukes, ICBMs and other super-weapons, ready to use them against invented enemies.

No real ones exist so they have to be invented. Trump and ultra-hawkish generals in charge of geopolitical policy want wars and lots of them – ongoing in multiple theaters, new ones planned, ready to be launched at their discretion.

Will North Korea be struck next, followed by Iran? Will Washington use nuclear weapons for the first time since gratuitously against defeated Japan?

Will the Trump administration goad North Korea into a military response by cross-border provocations – the strategy used by Harry Truman to launch the 1950s war – US aggression, not North Korea’s, as falsely claimed to this day.

America uses the Security Council as a platform for its agenda, fortunately restrained by Sino/Russian veto power, Britain and France going along with US policies, virtual appendages of its imperial madness.

On Friday, Rex Tillerson represented Washington in a ministerial session on North Korea. Days earlier, he floated the idea of talks without preconditions.

Rejected by Trump through his press secretary, his position changed, saying “North Korea must earn its way back to the table.”

US provocations and pressure will continue until “denuclearization is achieved” – an unattainable goal.

Why would the DPRK abandon its most important deterrent, genuinely fearing US aggression could come any time, a strong defense essential for its security?

It would be irresponsible for its leadership to leave the country defenseless. Advancing its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities is the most important way to give Washington pause about attacking the country – knowing it can strike back hard.

At Friday’s Security Council session, Tillerson called for toughening positions against North Korea, bellowing:

“The United States will use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression.”

Fact: The DPRK never preemptively attacked another country throughout its post-WW II history, defending itself in the 1950s against Truman’s war.

Fact: Its leadership and military threaten no countries now. America threatens everyone, the most belligerent nation in world history – at war at home and/or abroad throughout its history, responsible for countless tens of millions of deaths, numbers way exceeding any other imperial state.

Tillerson sounded like political prostitute Nikki Haley, saying “(t)he United States will not allow (the DPRK) to hold the world hostage.”

“We will continue to hold North Korea accountable for its reckless and threatening behavior today and in the future.”

“We ask every nation here to join us in exerting sovereignty to protect all of our people. We ask all to join a unified effort to achieve a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

As long as America threatens DPRK security, its leadership and military won’t ever abandon their most effective defense.

East Asia and everywhere else is threatened by Washington’s rage for global dominance.

North Korea threatens no one!

A Final Comment

At Friday’s SC ministerial meeting, North Korean UN ambassador Ja Song-nam said the following:

“Our possession of nuclear weapons was an individual self-defensive means of defending our sovereignty and rights of resistance and development from the US nuclear threat and if anyone is to be blamed for it, the US must be held accountable.”

“There are several nuclear power states all over the world now, but there is no country like the US who is continuing to openly threaten and blackmail other countries with its nuclear weapons.”

His remarks were accurate. Washington is responsible for Korean peninsula brinkmanship, not Pyongyang!

israel Pursuing War against Iran Obliquely through Al-Qaeda and Directly via Airstrikes

Israel Pursuing War against Iran Obliquely through Al-Qaeda and Directly via Airstrikes

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (Analysis) — On Saturday, December 2, 2017, Israeli missiles struck a Syrian Army arms depot (allegedly belonging to Iran), which in turn prompted Syria to activate its air defenses, resulting in the destruction of two Israeli missiles.

The facility targeted in the December strike was well-known to the Israeli authorities for some time and, as the Jerusalem Post notes, “raises questions as to the timing of the attack and what it was meant to achieve.” The strike allegedly killed 12 Iranian personnel.

Israel has admitted to attacking Syria’s sovereignty at least one hundred times since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, with little reporting on Israeli aggression by the media. Most media headlines are cluttered with coverage of an expansionist Iran and demonization of its allies Syria, Russia, and Hezbollah.<img src=”http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/themes/core/images/ads/ad-mp-squigl.jpg” class=”no-thickbox”/>

The narrative of the war in Syria and how it began has been rewritten and flipped by the media and politicians who benefit from the war to suit an agenda that works in Israel’s interest. Before the conflict began, Israel was one of the primary actors in calling for the destabilization of Syria along sectarian lines.  Since 2011, however, absent from the media’s coverage of the war in Syria has been Israel’s covert role in supporting al-Qaeda affiliates.

But, as the Trump administration’s support for Syrian rebels wanes — after Syria, Russia and Iran declared victory in defeating Western- and Gulf-backed proxies — Israel’s covert support for these terrorists is becoming more public. Even Israeli military commanders and politicians are speaking more openly about their alliance with these terror groups.

As an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) brigadier told Politico’s Bryan Bender:

If I can be frank, the radical axis headed by Iran is more risky than the global jihad one. It is much more knowledgeable, stronger, with a bigger arsenal.”

Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stated that if he had to choose between ISIS and Iran, he would always “choose the Islamic State.”



Israel has even allegedly provided medical treatment to at least 3,000 Syrian rebels — mostly from the al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front — in a four-year period. Israel’s desire to help wounded fighters, out of so-called humanitarian concerns, makes little sense to those following Israel’s constant bombing campaigns in Gaza that target women, children, and even the disabled.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Israel has been covertly providing aid to Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights throughout the conflict, with the goal of maintaining a buffer zone to keep forces aligned with Iran at bay. The report notes that the aid has been substantial and direct — with the inclusion of cash, food, fuel and medical supplies — even suggesting that some of these groups have been completely reliant on Israeli aid.

Fighters openly admitted that they use Israeli cash to buy weapons and ammunition. Syrian rebels even returned to Israel an eagle that was found in ISIS territory. This signals a very cozy and disturbing relationship between the jihadists inside Syria and the Israeli military.

 

Putting the Stike in Context

A group of men, not specified which group of Syrian rebels, drive into an abandoned UN post at Syria's Quneitra border with Israel, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP/Ariel Schalit)<img class=”size-full wp-image-235659″ src=”http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA.jpg” alt=”A group of men, not specified which group of Syrian rebels, drive into an abandoned UN post at Syria’s Quneitra border with Israel, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP/Ariel Schalit)” width=”2202″ height=”1468″ srcset=”http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA.jpg 2202w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA-300×200.jpg 300w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA-768×512.jpg 768w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA-800×533.jpg 800w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA-1145×763.jpg 1145w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kJGxPNqTRnFCebxARJzQA-316×211.jpg 316w” sizes=”(max-width: 2202px) 100vw, 2202px” />

A group of men, not specified which group of Syrian rebels, drive into an abandoned UN post at Syria’s Quneitra border with Israel, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israel’s support for jihadist groups is rooted in a desire to quell Iranian presence in Syria, as detailed in an email published by WikiLeaks from the archives of the former head of the State Department, Hillary Clinton, which states:

The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad…For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about — but cannot talk about — is losing their nuclear monopoly.

An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would not only end that nuclear monopoly but could also prompt other adversaries, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to go nuclear as well. The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.”

And how was this to be achieved? The email further states:

Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, U.S. diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition. It will take time. But the rebellion is going to go on for a long time, with or without U.S. involvement.”

The email exposed the planning and execution of U.S. and Gulf Arab collaboration in financing and arming right-wing rebel groups, like the Free Syrian Army, in an attempt to violently overthrow the Assad government in Syria, Iran’s only major Middle Eastern ally, for the sake of Israel. The U.S. worked very closely with Arab dictatorships and monarchies like Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to train Syrian rebels in an effort to destabilize Syria along sectarian lines, creating one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time.

A 2014 report by PBS detailed how the CIA was teaching these rebels battlefield tactics, including some that could amount to war crimes, in a training camp in Qatar:

They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

The leaked email makes it abundantly clear that Washington’s obsession with Assad’s removal was never about humanitarianism or saving the Syrian people from a tyrannical regime, but was instead aimed at containing Iranian influence for the benefit of the Israeli government.

After taking a more quiet and covert role in supporting al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria — an approach that is on the verge of failure — Israel doesn’t seem to be giving up and is willing to confront Iran on a more aggressive scale through the use of airstrikes.

 

Where we are headed, connecting the dots

Israeli tourists watch smoke rising near the Syrian-Israeli border as the fighting Syrian army fights to regain control of the Quneitra border crossing from rebel groups. (Atef Safadi/EPA)<img class=”size-full wp-image-231536″ src=”http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827.jpg” alt=”Israeli tourists watch smoke rising near the Syrian-Israeli border as the fighting Syrian army fights to regain control of the Quneitra border crossing from rebel groups. (Atef Safadi/EPA)” width=”1200″ height=”555″ srcset=”http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827.jpg 1200w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827-300×139.jpg 300w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827-768×355.jpg 768w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827-800×370.jpg 800w, http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/la-fg-syria-israel-golan-heights-border-crossing-rebels-20140827-1145×530.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px” />

Israeli tourists watch smoke rising near the Syrian-Israeli border as the fighting Syrian army fights to regain control of the Quneitra border crossing from rebel groups, thought to be covertly supported by the Israeli government. (Atef Safadi/EPA)

In the days following the December strike, Israel launched a large-scale surprise military drill along the country’s northern border with Lebanon, one of the many countries that has taken a strong stand against Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The drill was aptly summarized by Newsweek:

The Israeli military reportedly mobilized its Galilee division, including hundreds of logistics corps soldiers and dozens of vehicles, without prior notice, in an effort to test its rapid-response capabilities in the event of a conflict breaking out in the tense northern region, near foes Lebanon and Syria.”

Both Arab nations have recognized Jerusalem solely as the capital of an independent Palestinian state, and have been hit by Israeli airstrikes targeting Iran-backed forces, such as Lebanon’s Shia  Hezbollah movement, which has focused on battling Syrian rebels and jihadis in recent years, after having clashed with Israeli forces for decades.

In September, Israel quietly held another military drill, its largest in 20 years, which was designed to simulate a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israeli soldiers playing the part of “the enemy”  even wore Hezbollah’s signature yellow and green flag and guerilla-style uniforms.

Israel is allegedly increasing its defense budget by more than $1 billion in the coming five years. This budget isn’t being prepared for nothing.

An Israeli military general tasked with drafting Israel’s defense policy publicly admitted that Israel was preparing for a war with Iran, but that it could not hope to take on Iran directly without America’s help.

According to Defense News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at least six times in a 17-month period to press his Russian counterpart for an Iran-free zone of influence. Israel is concerned that Iran’s military buildup inside Syria will extend beyond the deployment of its proxy forces and will instead take the form of “air bases, seaports and other critical infrastructure in Syrian territory.”

Hence Israel’s December strike, aimed at a Syrian facility which they allege was being used to provide arms to Iran’s proxies in the country, and even in the Palestinian territories. It is important to note that this was not a one-off strike. Within the space of about a week, Israel had allegedly struck Syrian territory at least four times, signaling a shift in attitude toward deeper involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Israel cannot hope to take on Iran directly unless the United States conducts the conflict on Israel’s behalf. In light of this, it has only one real option to confront Iran by lesser means, continued attempts to weaken Assad in Syria and to directly confront Hezbollah in Lebanon. If Israel does decide on another direct confrontation with Hezbollah, it likely will not play out in the same manner as it did in 2006, when Israel was repelled after attacking Lebanon in a bid to weaken Hezbollah. As The Hill explains:

The new cadre of fighters Hezbollah is bringing in is also professionalizing what was previously an explicitly guerrilla-oriented organization. The fight for Syria against the nominally Sunni ‘Takfiri’ (apostate) ISIS, has been a gift to the Shia Hezbollah, spurring recruitment efforts. Put simply, Hezbollah is not just getting better at fighting, its army is also getting bigger.”

In essence, Israel would have to intervene militarily in both Lebanon and Syria if it hopes to take on Hezbollah, and this would lead to a direct confrontation with Iran — whether or not Israel is prepared for it.  According to Israeli military analyst Alex Fishman, Iran is working on building a military airfield near Damascus where the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) will be free to operate. It is only a matter of time before Israel attacks enough IRGC members that Iran decides it can no longer remain idle and watch Israel’s unchallenged aggression on neighboring sovereign allies.

According to the Times of Israel, the December strike allegedly killed 12 Iranian military personnel.  In 2015, Israel assassinated a top Iranian general with little to no outrage from the international community.

Further, Israel has already more or less accepted responsibility for the assassination of a number of Iranian scientists, something one would expect to bring outrage to the international community. Under the guise of defending itself from a repeatedly proven non-existent Iranian nuclear threat, Israel is prepared to do almost anything – even if it means a direct contravention of international law. This includes openly colluding with Saudi Arabia to interfere in domestic Lebanese politics in order to achieve its goal of countering Iranian influence.

The reality is that Israel is already in the business of killing Iranians with little mention from the media, a fact worth noting should a war ever eventuate between the two rival powers — given that the adversarial nature of the respective nations is consistently painted as being solely attributable to Iranian aggression.

Top photo | Two men, not specified which group of rebels, ride a motorcycle towards an abandoned UN base at Syria’s Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Darius Shahtahmasebi has completed a Double Degree in Law and Japanese from the University of Otago, with an interest in human rights, international law, and journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @TVsLeaking.

Daesh Possession of Anti-Tank Missile Exposes CIA Plan to Arm Jihadists

Daesh Possession of Anti-Tank Missile Exposes CIA Deliberate Plan to Arm Jihadists

The acquisition of an anti-tank weapon by Daesh exposes the fact the CIA knowingly took great risks to arm extremists in a desperate bid to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, analysts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An anti-tank guided weapon made in Europe and sold to the United States, ended up in the hands of Daesh in Iraq within just two months, the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group said in a newly-published report.

CIA DELIBERATE PROGRAM

The anti-tank missiles in question were apparently purchased under a secret program run by the Central Intelligence Agency and allegedly destined for Syrian opposition groups, according to BuzzFeed, although skepticism abounds on the nature of their ties to Daesh.

“The United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Gulf sheikdoms and Turkey have been illegally arming, equipping, supplying, financing and supporting all the terrorist jihadi groups in Syria including the Islamic State (Daesh) from the very get-go for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government,” University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle told Sputnik on Friday.

These reports confirmed the consistent and deliberate policies of the US government in fanning the flames of the Syrian civil war that raged for six years and cost more than 600,000 lives, Boyle said.However, the US policy of building up Daesh and other jihadists groups to topple the legitimate Syrian government had been thwarted by the support Russia and Iran had provided to Damascus, Boyle pointed out.

“They [US policymakers] would have accomplished this objective if not for the military intervention by Russia and then Iran at the request of the Syrian government pursuant to the right of collective self-defense recognized by United Nations Charter article 51,” he said.

Claiming the threat of Daesh as its justification, the United States had established thousands of its own troops within the territory of Syria in contravention of international law and against the clear will of the official government in Damascus, Boyle noted.Boyle warned that Washington intended to maintain its illegal military presence in Syria indefinitely and planned to use its bases there as a springboard to attack Iran.

DEMOCRATIC FACADE

Retired US Army Colonel and military tactician Douglas Macgregor told Sputnik that the weapons sent to allegedly strengthen democratic forces in Syria had flowed to the extreme Islamist groups instead.

“Yes. These weapons went to the alleged “Sunni Arab Rebels” fighting for a democratic Syria. In reality, they and their cohorts were Islamists in coalition with al-Nusrah [Nusrah Front] and al-Qaeda affiliated groups,” Macgreor said.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump ended an enormous program of pro supporting and providing weapons to those groups, recognizing that they advanced Islamist goals, not secular democratic ones, Macgregor observed.

“This is why President Trump halted the arms flow to them,” he said.

Macgregor commanded in the Battle of 73 Easting, a decisive tank fight during the 1991 Gulf War.

The CAR report, titled “Weapons of the Islamic State (Daesh),” is the result of a three year study conducted between July 2014 and November 2017. The report represents the most comprehensive and verified study to date on Daesh terror group’s weapons, CAR said.Most of the weapons Daesh obtained trough unauthorized retransfer were supplied to the Syrian opposition by the United States and Saudi Arabia, the report found. The diverted materiel was made up of Warsaw Pact-caliber weapons and ammunition that the US and Saudi Arabia purchased from states in Eastern Europe, the report said.

How Russia expedited Syria’s victory

How Russia expedited Syria’s victory

Vladimir Putin addressing troops at the Hmeimim airbase, Syria, Dec 11 2017
Vladimir Putin addressing troops at the Hmeimim airbase, Syria, Dec 11 2017

On Monday, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly interrupted his journey to Egypt, stopping off at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria and announcing the windup of Russia’s most successful military campaign abroad. Thousands of combat sorties have been flown, tens of thousands of terrorists and their infrastructure have been destroyed, and hundreds of Syrian cities and towns have been liberated. We have previously published accounts of how Russian pilots, special ops, marines, doctors, and diplomats spent two years helping the lawful president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, hold his country together and rid it of terrorists.

Russia enters the conflict

By the fall of 2015, the war in Syria had already dragged on for four long years. The mass anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011 had quickly escalated into skirmishes with the military. And terrorist factions immediately “hijacked” these popular protests. Soon, the leading role in the battle against the ruling regime was being played by extremists from the Islamic State, Jabhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and many factions within what has been called the “moderate opposition” – mainly in the Free Syrian Army that has been so championed by the West.

From the very beginning, Russia provided diplomatic support to Syria. Back in the spring of 2011, Vitaly Churkin, the late Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, vetoed the draft Security Council resolutions being proposed by some Western and Arab countries that were anti-Syrian in nature.

In addition, Russia backed the government of Bashar al-Assad by supplying arms, military equipment, and ammunition, in addition to training officers and providing military advisers.

Syrian Army got from Russia
Syrian Army got from Russia

But as the terrorist organizations and forces of the “moderate opposition” continued to make territorial gains, it became clear that this support was not enough. The Syrian Arab Army was running out of steam. Huge losses, shortages of the most essential materials, plus low morale forced those soldiers loyal to Assad to cede more and more territory, retreating as far as the coastal province of Latakia and the city of Damascus. By September 2015, it looked like Syria’s leader had only a few weeks left in power.

Areas of control in Syria in September 2015
Areas of control in Syria in September 2015

So that month, at the request of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s Federation Council approved Vladimir Putin’s decision to move Russian troops into Syria. On Sept. 30, a Russian military operation began in that country.

The composition of the Russian air fleet

The composition of the air fleet often changed in accordance with the tasks assigned to it. Based on the data at hand, at various times it included:

  • Up to ten multi-role Su-35S fighter jets
  • Up to four Su-27SMs
  • From 12-16 two-seater Su-30SM fighter jets
  • Up to 12 Su-34 fighter-bombers
  • Up to 30 Su-24M front-line bombers
  • Up to 12 Su-25SM close-support aircraft
  • Up to 15 multipurpose Mi-8 helicopters in various modifications
  • Up to 15 Mi-24 and Mi-35 attack helicopters
  • Up to five Ka-52 attack helicopters

Strikes were even launched against the terrorists’ base camps from inside the Russian Federation.

  • Six supersonic Tu-160 missile carriers
  • Five Tu-95MS strategic bombers
  • From 12-14 Tu-22M3 long-range bombers-missile carriers

The A-50 early warning and control aircraft, the Tu-214R, and the Il-20M1 radio reconnaissance plane coordinated air operations, carried out reconnaissance missions, and pinpointed targets for the strike formations.

Russian forces in Syria

Air and naval activities

Russian aviation really ran the show in Syria. Militant training camps, command posts, weapons and ammunition depots, oil fields, and convoys of gasoline tankers found themselves decimated by massive attacks launched from the Hmeymim airbase, the staging bases for air strikes, and the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. Bombers, close-support aircraft, and fighter planes, taking advantage of their total mastery of the air, managed to destroy more than 100,000 different terrorist facilities. The first wave of the massive air strikes against IS came at the end of 2015. That was when Russian planes pulverized a buried IS command post, underground bunkers, and warehouses in the province of Hama.

During their high-profile mission to “seek and destroy” gasoline tankers, Su-34 fighter-bombers managed to sniff out approximately 500 tanker trucks carrying petroleum products, plus dozens of oil refineries, grinding them into the sand. That was a punch to the gut of the IS war chest, as its main source of income was the illegal sale of black gold.

In late 2015, the Syrian desert was rattled by the most powerful blow yet – strategic Tu-160 bombers, Tu-95MSs, and long-range Tu-22M3s dropped more than three dozen missiles and a multitude of bombs, destroying the command posts of IS detachments in the Idlib and Aleppo provinces, as well as training camps for suicide bombers. In the summer of 2016, long-range Tu-22M3 bombers took off from Hamadan Airbase in Iran and blew out their bomb bays over militant targets in Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, and Idlib. Regular air sorties supported the Syrian operation from beginning to end.

In addition to aircraft, Russia also put its combat ships, submarines, and coastal missile systems to effective use in Syria. Some types of weapons got their first test under battle conditions. In November 2016, to be exact, the Russian military employed its Bastion coastal-defense missile systems to spectacularly obliterate a large warehouse belonging to the militants with the help of its Onyx anti-ship missiles.

In October 2015, the Russian Navy was responsible for a widely reported cruise-missile attack from the Caspian Sea that annihilated militant positions with an unprecedented show of strength. The Dagestan, a missile-armed frigate, and the Grad Sviyazhsk and Veliky Ustyug small missile patrol ships released an enormous swarm of Kalibr cruise missiles that flew over several countries to blow up more than a dozen targets in militant-controlled territory. In June 2017, the Russian Navy’s Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich frigates, as well as its Krasnodar submarine, used Kalibr cruise missiles to inflict a powerful blow from the Mediterranean Sea against terrorist command posts and ammunition depots in Hama province.

The capture of Aleppo marked the final turning point for the government forces in Syria, after which it was possible to withdraw about half of the air formations from the Hmeymim airbase in May 2017 and send them home.

The makings of victory

Russian aircraft were able to administer continuous, nonstop strikes against targets belonging to terrorist groups in Syria. From the onset of the military operation until September 2017, over 30,000 sorties were flown and about 92,000 attacks on terrorists were carried out.

Russian planes bashed terrorists with the active support of the most elite force in the Russian military, the soldiers from the Special Operations Forces, who conducted reconnaissance missions, corrected the moves of aircraft and artillery, trained Syrian soldiers and officers, conducted raids deep into enemy territory, set up countless ambushes along the routes of terrorist convoys, and neutralized the leaders of outlaw gangs. The ships and airplanes of the Syrian Express had an important role to play, supplying weapons, armored vehicles, and ammunition to the embattled country. Russian doctors were responsible for true acts of heroism, treating the civilians and servicemen who had suffered injuries in the war.

And a huge role in the resolution of the Syrian crisis was played by the Russian diplomats who set in motion the negotiations in Astana. Those made it possible to establish the de-escalation zones in Syria that are still operating effectively today.

Syrian peace talks in Astana
Syrian peace talks in Astana

But of course it was the Syrian people who won the real victory – the Russian military just helped to remind them that the enemy can be defeated even if it enjoys the unconditional support of the West.

What comes next

It was revealed in late November that the Russian forces currently stationed at the Hmeymim airbase near Latakia and the naval base in Tartus would remain there. Their presence will clear the path for Russia to fend off any threat in the Eastern Mediterranean and to thus ensure the strategic parity that guarantees long-term peace in this volatile region. While the Syrian peace process is under its way the situation in the country and around is very fragile. The key game players and war profiteers are still on the ground and they are not to leave the Syrian territory. So the primary goal is to prevent anybody from the “defeated party” to undermine the talks and to secure desperately needed reconstruction programs, renovation and stabilization of normal social, economic and political life in Syria.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.

From ‘Russia-Gate’ to ‘israel-Gate’, As one fake scandal fades, a real one emerges

From ‘Russia-Gate’ to ‘Israel-Gate’

As one fake scandal fades, a real one emerges

Life is full of surprises. Like that time you were counting on a new bike for Christmas, and were totally certain your parents were going to come through, and then – lo and behold! – on Christmas morning there it was: a spanking brand-new Segway! The final evidence that, despite your best efforts, you’d always be a nerdy little dork. (And yes, a pocket calculator turned up in your stocking,)

That’s just what happened to #TheResistance this holiday season. For months they’ve been salivating heavily in anticipation of the turning of Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor now charged with lying to the FBI. Flynn has admitted doing so on at least two occasions, both involving his answers to questions about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak. During the transition – after Trump’s election but before he took office – Flynn was talking to the Russians about two subjects: the possible blowback from the Obama administration’s decision to impose more sanctions and close the Russian compound in Maryland, and the Russian position on the controversial UN resolution condemning Israel for building yet more “settlements” on Palestinian land.

The incoming Trump team was “intensely focused on improving relations with Moscow and was willing to intervene to pursue that goal,” as the New York Times phrased it, even as the war cries in the Democratic party got louder and demagogues like Adam Schiff waved the bloody shirt of Russia-gate. That took balls: and here’s another instance where the alleged non-interventionists ensconced in the world of thinktanks and academia fail to give the Trump people the credit that is their due.

Think about it, folks: both the US and the Russians possess enough nuclear firepower to destroy all life on earth several times over. This sword of Damocles is hanging over us by a thread, just as it loomed large during the last cold war with Moscow. It’s a  machinery of annihilation that is set on hair-trigger alert, and any number of events could unleash it: a miscalculation, a foolish bluff, a misunderstanding, a technical glitch, a showdown similar to the Cuban missile crisis. All that stands between us and utter extinction is the hope that this apparatus of death can be restrained by mutual agreement. Bravo to the Trump administration for making peace a priority. If this is now a crime, and even “treason,” as the mouth-breathers of #TheResistance would have it, well then let the Washington Inquisition make the most of it.

I feel obligated to repeat my admonition of the various Beltway careerists who light up the small firmament of anti-interventionism: why no defense of the White House on this vitally important issue?

Given the scope of a special counsel’s powers, and the wide berth he is given to pursue possible violations to the law far removed from his original mandate, perhaps we should have expected that some other foreign connection would come to light. Flynn was instructed by none other than Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, to approach “every member of the Security Council” to block the resolution condemning the seizure of Palestinian property. The Russians were directly contacted by Flynn, who asked them to veto the resolution in the Security Council.

Flynn’s unsuccessful efforts on behalf of the Israelis were the fruit of an Israeli appeal to the incoming Trump administration. The day after Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador on this subject an anonymous Israeli official told CNN “that Israel – and reportedly the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself – had contacted Trump to seek his assistance in killing the resolution.”

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe continues, the full extent of the covert Israeli effort to undermine what was then US policy will come to light, and this may prove to be the most revealing aspect of the whole affair.

What’s interesting is that an Israeli official would come right out and brazenly boast of having turned to the Trump team to stop the resolution:

“The official – in comments that may come back to haunt the White House – said that Israel had ‘implored the [Obama] White House not to go ahead and told them that if they did, we would have no choice but to reach out to President-elect Trump.

“‘We did reach out to the president-elect,’ the official added, ‘and are deeply appreciative that he weighed in, which was not a simple thing to do.’”

By inserting that information into the public record, the legal case against both Flynn and possibly other figures in the Trump administration is considerably strengthened. Which makes one wonder: did the Israelis deliberately burn Trump?

Yes, I’m indulging in pure speculation, and yet why would an Israeli official openly discuss such a delicate matter? Even as the outgoing Obama-bots were setting the trap for Flynn – an effort Tel Aviv may well have been privy to – the Israelis were letting the world know that they had the Americans in their pocket.

This is more grist for Mueller’s mill: aside from that, Kushner has financial and political links to Israel, and these are now likely coming under the special counsel’s scrutiny. One can now see what direction this investigation may be taking us: Instead of revealing collusion between the Trump team and the Russians, the Flynn indictment exposed Kushner’s collusion with Israel.

Has Russia-gate morphed into Israel-gate?

If this is, indeed, the direction Mueller is taking, then this development is certain to end the fondest hopes of #TheResistance. Because it’s highly unlikely any public official, no matter how compromised, is going to be prosecuted for collusion with the Israelis and/or their American lobby. The last time US law enforcement tried that was back in 2009, in the Larry Franklin spy scandal, in which two employees of AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby, were prosecuted for procuring vital secrets from National Security Council analyst Larry Franklin. That case was dropped because pursuing it would have revealed yet more secrets.

That was a case of outright espionage: “collusion” is a far different – and much vaguer – matter. In any event, the fact is that after what seems like years of accusations, not a single iota of actual evidence has corroborated the charge that the Trump campaign plotted with Putin to deprive Hillary Clinton of her divine right of succession to the Oval Office. The foundational myth upon which the Mueller investigation rests – the idea that Russia was behind the WikiLeaks email dump – was never real to begin with: the Mueller probe, therefore, once launched, branched out into a more general look at foreign influence on the incoming administration. Which could and should mean that half of Washington will soon be lawyering up.

Rise and Decline of the Welfare State in America

Global Research, December 11, 2017

 The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973.  Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state.

Between the mid 1970’s to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing have been gutted.  ‘Workfare’  (under President ‘Bill’ Clinton) ended welfare for the poor and displaced workers.  Meanwhile the shift to regressive taxation and the steadily declining real wages have increased corporate profits to an astronomical degree.

What started as incremental reversals during the 1990’s under Clinton has snowballed over the last two decades decimating welfare legislation and institutions.

 The earlier welfare ‘reforms’ and the current anti-welfare legislation and austerity practices have been accompanied by a series of endless imperial wars, especially in the Middle East.

In the 1940’s through the 1960’s, world and regional wars (Korea and Indo-China) were combined with significant welfare program – a form of ‘social imperialism’, which ‘buy off’ the working class while expanding the empire.  However, recent decades are characterized by multiple regional wars and the reduction or elimination of welfare programs – and a massive growth in poverty, domestic insecurity and poor health.

New Deals and Big Wars

The 1930’s witnessed the advent of social legislation and action, which laid the foundations of what is called the ‘modern welfare state’.

Labor unions were organized as working class strikes and progressive legislation facilitated trade union organization, elections, collective bargaining rights and a steady increase in union membership.  Improved work conditions, rising wages, pension plans and benefits, employer or union-provided health care and protective legislation improved the standard of living for the working class and provided for 2 generations of upward mobility.

Author Prof. James Petras (right)

Social Security legislation was approved along with workers’ compensation and the forty-hour workweek.  Jobs were created through federal programs (WPA, CCC, etc.).  Protectionist legislation facilitated the growth of domestic markets for US manufacturers.  Workplace shop steward councils organized ‘on the spot’ job action to protect safe working conditions.

World War II led to full employment and increases in union membership, as well as legislation restricting workers’ collective bargaining rights and enforcing wage freezes.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans found jobs in the war economy but a huge number were also killed or wounded in the war.

The post-war period witnessed a contradictory process:  wages and salaries increased while legislation curtailed union rights via the Taft Hartley Act and the McCarthyist purge of leftwing trade union activists.  So-called ‘right to work’ laws effectively outlawed unionization mostly in southern states, which drove industries to relocate to the anti-union states.

Welfare reforms, in the form of the GI bill, provided educational opportunities for working class and rural veterans, while federal-subsidized low interest mortgages encourage home-ownership, especially for veterans.

The New Deal created concrete improvements but did not consolidate labor influence at any level.  Capitalists and management still retained control over capital, the workplace and plant location of production.

Trade union officials signed pacts with capital:  higher pay for the workers and greater control of the workplace for the bosses.  Trade union officials joined management in repressing rank and file movements seeking to control technological changes by reducing hours (“thirty hours work for forty hours pay”).  Dissident local unions were seized and gutted by the trade union bosses – sometimes through violence.

Trade union activists, community organizers for rent control and other grassroots movements lost both the capacity and the will to advance toward large-scale structural changes of US capitalism.  Living standards improved for a few decades but the capitalist class consolidated strategic control over labor relations.  While unionized workers’ incomes, increased, inequalities, especially in the non-union sectors began to grow.  With the end of the GI bill, veterans’ access to high-quality subsidized education declined.

 While a new wave of social welfare legislation and programs began in the 1960’s and early 1970’s it was no longer a result of a mass trade union or workers’ “class struggle”.  Moreover, trade union collaboration with the capitalist regional war policies led to the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of workers in two wars – the Korean and Vietnamese wars.

Much of social legislation resulted from the civil and welfare rights movements.  While specific programs were helpful, none of them addressed structural racism and poverty.

The Last Wave of Social Welfarism

The 1960’a witnessed the greatest racial war in modern US history:  Mass movements in the South and North rocked state and federal governments, while advancing the cause of civil, social and political rights.  Millions of black citizens, joined by white activists and, in many cases, led by African American Viet Nam War veterans, confronted the state.  At the same time, millions of students and young workers, threatened by military conscription, challenged the military and social order.

Energized by mass movements, a new wave of social welfare legislation was launched by the federal government to pacify mass opposition among blacks, students, community organizers and middle class Americans.  Despite this mass popular movement, the union bosses at the AFL-CIO openly supported the war, police repression and the military, or at best, were passive impotent spectators of the drama unfolding in the nation’s streets.  Dissident union members and activists were the exception, as many had multiple identities to represent: African American, Hispanic, draft resisters, etc.

Under Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, the EPA and multiple poverty programs were implemented.  A national health program, expanding Medicare for all Americans, was introduced by President Nixon and sabotaged by the Kennedy Democrats and the AFL-CIO.   Overall, social and economic inequalities diminished during this period.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the American militarist empire.  This coincided with the beginning of the end of social welfare as we knew it – as the bill for militarism placed even greater demands on the public treasury.

With the election of President Carter, social welfare in the US began its long decline.  The next series of regional wars were accompanied by even greater attacks on welfare via the “Volker Plan” – freezing workers’ wages as a means to combat inflation.

Guns without butter’ became the legislative policy of the Carter and Reagan Administrations.  The welfare programs were based on politically fragile foundations.

The Debacle of Welfarism

Private sector trade union membership declined from a post-world war peak of 30% falling to 12% in the 1990’s.   Today it has sunk to 7%.  Capitalists embarked on a massive program of closing thousands of factories in the unionized North which were then relocated to the non-unionized low wage southern states and then overseas to Mexico and Asia.  Millions of stable jobs disappeared.

Following the election of ‘Jimmy Carter’, neither Democratic nor Republican Presidents felt any need to support labor organizations.   On the contrary, they facilitated contracts dictated by management, which reduced wages, job security, benefits and social welfare.

 The anti-labor offensive from the ‘Oval Office’ intensified under President Reagan with his direct intervention firing tens of thousands of striking air controllers and arresting union leaders.  Under Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Clinton cost of living adjustments failed to keep up with prices of vital goods and services.  Health care inflation was astronomical.  Financial deregulation led to the subordination of American industry to finance and the Wall Street banks.  De-industrialization, capital flight and massive tax evasion reduced labor’s share of national income.

The capitalist class followed a trajectory of decline, recovery and ascendance.  Moreover, during the earlier world depression, at the height of labor mobilization and organization, the capitalist class never faced any significant political threat over its control of the commanding heights of the economy.

The ‘New Deal’ was, at best, a de facto ‘historical compromise’ between the capitalist class and the labor unions, mediated by the Democratic Party elite.  It was a temporary pact in which the unions secured legal recognition while the capitalists retained their executive prerogatives.

The Second World War secured the economic recovery for capital and subordinated labor through a federally mandated no strike production agreement. There were a few notable exceptions:  The coal miners’ union organized strikes in strategic sectors and some leftist leaders and organizers encouraged slow-downs, work to rule and other in-plant actions when employers ran roughshod with special brutality over the workers.  The recovery of capital was the prelude to a post-war offensive against independent labor-based political organizations.  The quality of labor organization declined even as the quantity of trade union membership increased.

Labor union officials consolidated internal control in collaboration with the capitalist elite.  Capitalist class-labor official collaboration was extended overseas with strategic consequences.

The post-war corporate alliance between the state and capital led to a global offensive – the replacement of European-Japanese colonial control and exploitation by US business and bankers.  Imperialism was later ‘re-branded’ as ‘globalization’.  It pried open markets, secured cheap docile labor and pillaged resources for US manufacturers and importers.

US labor unions played a major role by sabotaging militant unions abroad in cooperation with the US security apparatus:  They worked to coopt and bribe nationalist and leftist labor leaders and supported police-state regime repression and assassination of recalcitrant militants.

Hand in bloody glove’ with the US Empire, the American trade unions planted the seeds of their own destruction at home.  The local capitalists in newly emerging independent nations established industries and supply chains in cooperation with US manufacturers.  Attracted to these sources of low-wage, violently repressed workers, US capitalists subsequently relocated their factories overseas and turned their backs on labor at home.

Labor union officials had laid the groundwork for the demise of stable jobs and social benefits for American workers.  Their collaboration increased the rate of capitalist profit and overall power in the political system.  Their complicity in the brutal purges of militants, activists and leftist union members and leaders at home and abroad put an end to labor’s capacity to sustain and expand the welfare state.

 Trade unions in the US did not use their collaboration with empire in its bloody regional wars to win social benefits for the rank and file workers.  The time of social-imperialism, where workers within the empire benefited from imperialism’s pillage, was over.  Gains in social welfare henceforth could result only from mass struggles led by the urban poor, especially Afro-Americans, community-based working poor and militant youth organizers.

 The last significant social welfare reforms were implemented in the early 1970’s – coinciding with the end of the Vietnam War (and victory for the Vietnamese people) and ended with the absorption of the urban and anti-war movements into the Democratic Party.

Henceforward the US corporate state advanced through the overseas expansion of the multi-national corporations and via large-scale, non-unionized production at home.

The technological changes of this period did not benefit labor.   The belief, common in the 1950’s, that science and technology would increase leisure, decrease work and improve living standards for the working class, was shattered.  Instead technological changes displaced well-paid industrial labor while increasing the number of mind-numbing, poorly paid, and politically impotent jobs in the so-called ‘service sector’ – a rapidly growing section of unorganized and vulnerable workers – especially including women and minorities.

Labor union membership declined precipitously.  The demise of the USSR and China’s turn to capitalism had a dual effect:  It eliminated collectivist (socialist) pressure for social welfare and opened their labor markets with cheap, disciplined workers for foreign manufacturers. Labor as a political force disappeared on every count.  The US Federal Reserve and President ‘Bill’ Clinton deregulated financial capital leading to a frenzy of speculation.  Congress wrote laws, which permitted overseas tax evasion – especially in Caribbean tax havens.  Regional free-trade agreements, like NAFTA, spurred the relocation of jobs abroad.  De-industrialization accompanied the decline of wages, living standards and social benefits for millions of American workers.

The New Abolitionists:  Trillionaires

The New Deal, the Great Society, trade unions, and the anti-war and urban movements were in retreat and primed for abolition.

 Wars without welfare (or guns without butter) replaced earlier ‘social imperialism’ with a huge growth of poverty and homelessness.  Domestic labor was now exploited to finance overseas wars not vice versa.  The fruits of imperial plunder were not shared.

As the working and middle classes drifted downward, they were used up, abandoned and deceived on all sides – especially by the Democratic Party.  They elected militarists and demagogues as their new presidents.

President ‘Bill’ Clinton ravaged Russia, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Somalia and liberated Wall Street.   His regime gave birth to the prototype billionaire swindlers: Michael Milken and Bernard ‘Bernie’ Madoff.

Clinton converted welfare into cheap labor ‘workfare’, exploiting the poorest and most vulnerable and condemning the next generations to grinding poverty.  Under Clinton the prison population of mostly African Americans expanded and the breakup of families ravaged the urban communities.

Provoked by an act of terrorism (9/11) President G.W. Bush Jr. launched the ‘endless’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and deepened the police state (Patriot Act).   Wages for American workers and profits for American capitalist moved in opposite directions.

The Great Financial Crash of 2008-2011 shook the paper economy to its roots and led to the greatest shakedown of any national treasury in history directed by the First Black American President.  Trillions of public wealth were funneled into the criminal banks on Wall Street – which were ‘just too big to fail.’  Millions of American workers and homeowners, however, were ‘just too small to matter’.

The Age of Demagogues

President Obama transferred 2 trillion dollars to the ten biggest bankers and swindlers on Wall Street, and another trillion to the Pentagon to pursue the Democrats version of foreign policy: from Bush’s two overseas wars to Obama’s seven.

Obama’s electoral ‘donor-owners’ stashed away two trillion dollars in overseas tax havens and looked forward to global free trade pacts – pushed by the eloquent African American President.

Obama was elected to two terms.   His liberal Democratic Party supporters swooned over his peace and justice rhetoric while swallowing his militarist escalation into seven overseas wars as well as the foreclosure of two million American householders.  Obama completely failed to honor his campaign promise to reduce wage inequality between black and white wage earners while he continued to moralize to black families about ‘values’.

Obama’s war against Libya led to the killing and displacement of millions of black Libyans and workers from Sub-Saharan Africa. The smiling Nobel Peace Prize President created more desperate refugees than any previous US head of state – including millions of Africans flooding Europe.

Obamacare’, his imitation of an earlier Republican governor’s health plan, was formulated by the private corporate health industry (private insurance, Big Pharma and the for-profit hospitals), to mandate enrollment and ensure triple digit profits with double digit increases in premiums.  By the 2016 Presidential elections, ‘Obama-care’ was opposed by a  45%-43% margin of the American people.   Obama’s propagandists could not show any improvement of life expectancy or decrease in infant and maternal mortality as a result of his ‘health care reform’.    Indeed the opposite occurred among the marginalized working class in the old ‘rust belt’ and in the rural areas.  This failure to show any significant health improvement for the masses of Americans is in stark contrast to LBJ’s Medicare program of the 1960’s, which continues to receive massive popular support.

Forty-years of anti welfare legislation and pro-business regimes paved the golden road for the election of Donald Trump

 Trump and the Republicans are focusing on the tattered remnants of the social welfare system:  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.   The remains of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society— are on the chopping block.

The moribund (but well-paid) labor leadership has been notable by its absence in the ensuing collapse of the social welfare state.  The liberal left Democrats embraced the platitudinous Obama/Clinton team as the ‘Great Society’s’ gravediggers, while wailing at Trump’s allies for shoving the corpse of welfare state into its grave.

Conclusion

Over the past forty years the working class and the rump of what was once referred to as the ‘labor movement’ has contributed to the dismantling of the social welfare state, voting for ‘strike-breaker’Reagan, ‘workfare’ Clinton, ‘Wall Street crash’Bush, ‘Wall Street savior’ Obama and ‘Trickle-down’Trump.

Gone are the days when social welfare and profitable wars raised US living standards and transformed American trade unions into an appendage of the Democratic Party and a handmaiden of Empire.  The Democratic Party rescued capitalism from its collapse in the Great Depression, incorporated labor into the war economy and the post- colonial global empire, and resurrected Wall Street from the ‘Great Financial Meltdown’ of the 21st century.

The war economy no longer fuels social welfare.  The military-industrial complex has found new partners on Wall Street and among the globalized multi-national corporations.  Profits rise while wages fall.  Low paying compulsive labor (workfare) lopped off state transfers to the poor.  Technology – IT, robotics, artificial intelligence and electronic gadgets – has created the most class polarized social system in history.  The first trillionaire and multi-billionaire tax evaders rose on the backs of a miserable standing army of tens of millions of low-wage workers, stripped of rights and representation.  State subsidies eliminate virtually all risk to capital.   The end of social welfare coerced labor (including young mother with children) to seek insecure low-income employment while slashing education and health – cementing the feet of generations into poverty.  Regional wars abroad have depleted the Treasury and robbed the country of productive investment.  Economic imperialism exports profits, reversing the historic relation of the past.

 Labor is left without compass or direction; it flails in all directions and falls deeper in the web of deception and demagogy.  To escape from Reagan and the strike breakers, labor embraced the cheap-labor predator Clinton; black and white workers united to elect Obama who expelled millions of immigrant workers, pursued 7 wars, abandoned black workers and enriched the already filthy rich.  Deception and demagogy of the labor-liberals bred the ugly and unlikely plutocrat-populist demagogue:  labor voted for Trump.

 The demise of welfare and the rise of the opioid epidemic killing close to one million (mostly working class) Americans occurred mostly under Democratic regimes. The collaboration of liberals and unions in promoting endless wars opened the door to Trump’s mirage of a stateless, tax-less, ruling class.

 Who will the Democrats choose as their next demagogue champion to challenge the ‘Donald’ – one who will speak to the ‘deplorables’ and work for the trillionaires?

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