Trump’s Art of the Deal: Selling Wars and Terrorism

The  Man 0f Shalom = Peace for JEWS

By Finian Cunningham

May 25, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – It would be funny if it were not so sickening. US President Donald Trump’s whirlwind tour through the Middle East was a “triumph” of make-believe rhetoric over reality. Donald “the peace-maker” is sowing decades of further violence in the war-torn region.

The horrific repercussions of American foreign policy are all around us, from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories to the ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, to the latest terror attack in Britain where 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester.

With a typical inane understanding of the web of international terrorism that American foreign policy has generated over many years, Trump glibly condemned the bombing atrocity in Manchester as the work of “losers.”

Trump – on his first overseas tour as president – regaled Middle East leaders with florid words about peace and prosperity and a faux pretense of historical appreciation, referring to the region as thecradle of civilization,” a sacred land and rich heritage.”

There were minimal details in how Trump would achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, or defeat terrorism in the Middle East. It was all the just feel-good rhetoric that papered over the systemic causes of conflict and terrorism.

The one tangible takeaway was the American president’s mammoth arms deal signed with Saudi Arabia – $350 billion-worth over ten years. It was hailed as the biggest ever weapons contract, with an initial payment of $110 billion. Put in perspective, Trump is selling the Saudi rulers a total three times what Obama managed to achieve over his two administrations – some $115 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, which itself was a record high.

The proposed weapons supply is truly staggering, not least because of their destination to a regime up to its eyes in terror sponsorship.

During his next stop to Israel, Trump’s entourage visited the Wailing Wall abutting East Jerusalem, thus giving Washington’s imprimatur to the creeping annexation of the entire city by the state of Israel. Moves are underway to shift the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in what would sound the death knell for Palestinian aspirations to claim East Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the capital of a future independent state.

That would also signal the abandonment of long-standing US policy avowedly advocating a two-state solution. Something which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing Likud government are lobbying for. Everything about Trump’s kowtowing indicates he is a willing patron to Israeli expansionism.

From Jerusalem, Trump drove to the Israeli-occupied West Bank where he met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. Families protesting the incarceration of hundreds of hunger-striking Palestinians by Israel were kept at bay, while Trump delivered the ultimatum: “Peace can never take root where violence is tolerated.

Trump would never have the integrity or understanding to deliver the same ultimatum to Saudi and Israeli leaders. Even though the admonishment of “not tolerating violence” there is manifold more pertinent and meaningful.

During the past fifty years since the Six Day War, America has condoned the relentless illegal annexation of land by Israel. The last round of futile “peace talks” ended in failure in 2014, when then US Secretary of State John Kerry adopted the usual policy of turning a blind eye to Israeli settlements and military occupation. The Trump administration is prepared to capitulate even further.

The Saudi and other Arab rulers are also jettisoning any pretense at pursuing a just peace accord for Palestinians.

They utter not a word of protest over Israel’s land grabs and moves to kill off Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem – the site of Islam’s third holy

Trump’s visit to the Middle East – ahead of his trip to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis and then NATO leaders in Brussels – is yet another sign of a geopolitical realignment. It seems an antiquated notion that Saudi Arabia and allied Arab regimes are somehow in opposition to Israel. As if the former are defenders of Arab and Muslim rights.

What’s going down is a tawdry tie-up in the region between American-backed client regimes. This has nothing to do with forging peace and all about consolidating Washington’s hegemony over the oil-rich region. That hegemony is primarily underpinned by Washington’s militarization and saturated selling of weaponry.

Significantly, the $350 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia caused no concern for Netanyahu’s government.

How can it hurt?” Amos Gilad, a former Israel defense official, told the Times of Israel. For now, there’s an alliance between the US and the Arab world against Iran, said Gilad.

The Times also quoted Yaakov Amidror, the former national security adviser to Netanyahu, as saying, Israel has no reason to worry about the massive Saudi-US arms deals.” He added that the latest Saudi arms deal could help pave the way for Israeli-Arab cooperation in the future.

Besides, Washington’s strategic doctrine is that Israel will always be given US priority to retain a so-called qualitative military edge over all other states in the region. That means US arms transfers to its Arab allies will be met with ever-more military aid to Israel, which currently clocks about $3.8 billion a year.

In other words, Trump’s arms dealing are a win-win for the US, more than ever. Mammoth sales to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab monarchies will drive up American weapons business with Israel. But a virtuous circle for Washington is a vicious cycle for the region whereby an already militarized conflict zone is being deluged with American firepower.

Given that the US-backed regimes are in various ways indelibly connected to territorial strife, sectarian conflict and in particular the sponsorship of Wahhabi terror groups it is almost certain that Trump’s reckless weapons trading will fuel more violence. It is well documented that Saudi Arabia serves as a conduit for American weaponry to Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror networks in Syria and elsewhere.

Still more ominous is how Trump’s military racket is pushing the region into a war with Iran. This fatuous president is giving full vent to Israeli and Saudi propaganda accusing Iran of “fueling the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” in the region, citing Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. This is a breath-taking inversion of reality, given the nefarious role of Saudi Arabia in those same countries.

In the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Trump called on assembled Arab regimes to stamp out terror by targeting Iran for regime change.

While in Jerusalem, Trump said:

There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have a common enemy with you in the threat posed by Iran.

Israel premier Netanyahu also remarked that

old enemies [sic] have become allies against a common enemy.

We can be sure that the “common enemy” spoken of is not terrorism, but rather Iran.

Donald Trump, the business tycoon-turned-president, never stops boasting about his prowess on boosting the “bottom line.” He may well boost the profits of American weapons manufacturers by flooding the Middle East with ever-more military arms. But the bottom line for the region and beyond is more wars, destruction, and bloodshed.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

This article was first published by RT

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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Trump Visits Bethlehem Bearing Gifts to Child Killers

Finian Cunningham

May 20, 2017

US President Donald Trump makes his first overseas visit this weekend, beginning in the Middle East and continuing to Europe. His tour to the “holy land” is being presented with feel-good, messianic spin.

Trump touches down first in Saudi Arabia, then will go Israel and from there make a pilgrimage to Bethlehem in the Palestinian territories. After his stop at the reputed birthplace of Jesus, the American president will then fly to the Vatican, where he will be greeted by Roman Catholic Pope Francis. He will later meet NATO military leaders in Brussels.

resenting the president’s Middle East itinerary like a momentous religious event, Trump’s senior national security adviser General HR McMaster said:

“This trip is truly historic. No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all on the same trip. And what President Trump is seeking is to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity.”

The White House, reported the Washington Post, described it as “an effort to unite three of the world’s leading religious faiths in the common cause of fighting terrorism, reining in Iran and unifying the world against intolerance.”

Hold it. Screech the brakes on this Hollywood-type script of Saint Donald saving the world. What utter claptrap.

The main purpose of his sojourn is to cut a record arms deal with Saudi Arabia and the other closely aligned Gulf Arab monarchies. While in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, addressing regional leaders about “world peace,” Trump is set to sign off weapons deals worth $350 billion. That’s more than double what his predecessor Barack Obama flogged to the Saudi rulers during his presidency.

According to Bloomberg, topping the list of US arms transfers are warships, helicopter gunships, anti-missile systems and tanks.

The THAAD anti-missile system, recently debuted in South Korea, is said to be among the inventory for the Saudis and other Gulf states to the tune of $10 billion. The crisis in Korea provides a convenient sales pitch to the Saudis. Maybe that’s partly why the Trump administration has dangerously provoked the tensions in Asia, precisely to push through their THAAD sales in the Middle East.

In addition to the weapons purchases, the Saudi rulers are also promising to invest $40 billion from their oil-rich sovereign wealth funds in American companies.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and personal adviser, has been instrumental in lining up the mega sales, in conjunction with the Saudi deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The 30-year-old son of King Salman, who is also the defense minister, has been courting the Trump presidency ever since the election last November.

The Saudi prince, known as MBS by the Trump inner circle, is the chief strategist behind the Saudi war on Yemen since March 2015. That war is a blatant aggression on Yemen carried out by Saudi forces supplied by the US and Britain. Thousands of children have been killed in Saudi air strikes, using internationally banned cluster bombs in indiscriminate attacks on civilian centers.

Just days before Trump’s departure to the Middle East, Saudi air strikes reportedly killed 23 civilians, including six children, near the southern Yemeni city of Taiz.

Millions of other Yemeni children are dying from starvation and preventable diseases like cholera because of a naval blockade imposed on the country by Saudi and American forces. No doubt the new warships that Trump is lining up for Saudi Arabia will add to the “efficacy” of the genocide that is underway in Yemen.

With staggering cynicism, the Trump administration is “justifying” this ramped-up military support for Saudi Arabia as an effort to “fight terrorism” and to “counter Iranian meddling” in the region.

It is alleged that Iran is sponsoring militia in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and this is posing a threat to regional stability. Such claims are an insult to common intelligence, when we know that it is the American CIA and their Saudi client regime who have bankrolled and directed terrorism across the entire Middle East over many years in order to serve hegemonic interests of regime change.

But what is disturbing is just how braindead the Trump administration is. Trump is recklessly promoting the ridiculous fantasy that Saudi Arabia and its despotic terror-sponsoring clients are somehow the custodians of law and order. He is also pumping up the surreal Saudi narrative that Iran is largely responsible for the Middle East’s conflicts.

When the American president addresses Saudi and other Muslim leaders in Riyadh this weekend supposedly on the challenges of finding regional peace, two nations are banned from the gathering – Iran and Syria.

Saudi rulers have recently threatened Iran with fomenting a Syria-style proxy war inside Iran. The record arsenal of weapons that Trump is bringing to Saudi Arabia will only embolden its House of Saud tinpot dictators to pursue even more confrontation with Iran. Much of the small-arms weaponry that the Americans supply to Saudi Arabia already ends up in the hands of terror groups like Jabhat al Nusra and Daesh (so-called Islamic State).

There are perplexing signs that the US under Trump is ratcheting up military aggression toward Iran and its ally Syria. This week, US warplanes reportedly attacked Syrian armed forces and Iranian allies Hezbollah in southern Syria. It was the second such direct assault on Syria after Trump ordered Tomahawk missile strikes on the Shayrat airbase in April.

Syrian sources claim that the latest US air strike was carried out to protect militants being trained by American special forces inside Syrian territory. Those militants, known as Maghaweer al Thawra, are part of the Al Qaeda terror network, according to independent journalist Vanessa Beeley in email correspondence with this author.

Seems more than coincidence that the latest US operation was timed with Trump’s departure for Saudi Arabia. This is the kind of military action that the Saudis were constantly pushing the Obama administration to carry out. The strike on Iranian interests too will no doubt endear the new US commander-in-chief even more to his Saudi clients.

Trump’s messianic zeal to visit the Middle East – his first foreign destination being the dubious human rights “haven” Saudi Arabia – is all about flogging ever more deadly weapons to the already explosively-charged region. So desperate is Trump to pimp billions of dollars that he is willing to fuel war with Iran and perhaps Syria’s other ally, Russia, in the pursuit of lucre.

And to add further insult to injury, the whole tour of the “holy land” is being sold by the American government and media as some kind of benevolent religious duty to mankind and world peace.

The only “gifts” that Trump is bringing to Bethlehem and the region are ever more monstrous ways to murder children.

If Pope Francis had any integrity, or even news savvy, he should cancel Trump’s call at the Vatican, and explain exactly that child-killing regimes are not welcome.

Source: Sputnik

The Real WMD in Syria – West’s Weapon of Mass Disorientation

The Real WMD in Syria – West’s Weapon of Mass Disorientation

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 30.04.2017 | OPINION

The Real WMD in Syria – West’s Weapon of Mass Disorientation

A senior Rand analyst, inadvertently, gave the game away in a recent article inculpating Syrian President Bashar al Assad over the alleged toxic massacre of civilians on April 4. The Rand Corporation, a longtime conduit for CIA propaganda, wrote: «The use of chemical weapons today provokes international condemnation… Those who order their deployment risk being charged with war crimes».

The Western objective, as tacitly admitted above, is therefore to brand the Syrian leader and his government as depraved war criminals, deserving pariah status and excommunication by the «international community».

The alleged use of chemical weapons, a particularly odious weapon of mass destruction (WMD), serves as an effective prop to channel Western public outrage against Assad. Allegedly killing civilians with bullets and bombs just doesn’t have the same psychological power to incite public disgust. Poisoning little children with lethal chemicals is a more effective label with which to demonize the alleged perpetrator.

But the more pertinent WMD issue here is Weapon of Mass Disorientation. And in particular how Western governments, their servile corporate-controlled media, like theRand Corp, New York Times, CNN, BBC, Guardian and France 24, and so on, and local proxy mercenaries inside Syria are covertly deploying deadly chemicals in a series of propaganda stunts. Not only deploying deadly chemicals against civilians in a most cynical and callous way, but getting away with their crimes of murder through an audacious distortion of reality. All made possible because of the West’s media weapon of mass disorientation.

By massive manipulation of facts and images, the Western public are disorientated to condone the wider criminal agenda that their governments are pushing – that of regime change. Part of that disorientation involves the Western public suspending critical thinking over what are otherwise highly dubious circumstances and claims; it also involves an abject manipulation of perception and emotions, whereby some victims of violence are the focus for Western public trauma, while many other victims in Syria and elsewhere are unseen or overlooked with callous indifference. Those anomalies surely speak of a phenomenal disorientation of Western public intelligence, emotion and morals.

Immediately following the incident in the militant-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, in northern Idlib Province, on April 4, Western governments and the corporate news media began accusing the Syrian leader of responsibility for a «chemical weapon attack». The US ambassador the UN Nikki Haley made a dramatic presentation at the Security Council on April 5, holding aloft enlarged photos purportedly of children dying from toxic exposure. Two days later, on April 7, US President Donald Trump ordered a full-scale barrage of cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase out of «revenge» for the murder of «beautiful babies».

Trump’s decision to attack Syria was reportedly prompted by his disgust at watching videos of the alleged victims, and by the emotional angst that his daughter and special advisor Ivanka Trump felt on also watching the same footage. The video and images were, by the way, released to the Western news media solely by militant-aligned sources, the so-called White Helmets, operating at the location of the alleged chemical weapon attack.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer later said that any one «who gases a baby» can expect more US military retribution. Spicer also made the crass claim that Syrian President Assad was «worse than Hitler» because of his alleged uniquely barbaric use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Meanwhile, US and British warplanes operating in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are slaughtering at the very same time hundreds of civilians. In Yemen, thousands of children are dying from starvation due to a US-backed blockade on that country by Saudi Arabia in its war for regime change there. Why aren’t Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his spokesman Sean Spicer traumatized by these deaths? Why is the Western public also not outraged, traumatized?

In Syria, on Easter Saturday, April 15, busloads of civilians were murdered by terrorist suicide bombers, whom the Western governments and media refer to as «rebels». Over 120 civilians were massacred including 68 children. Where was the Western outrage at the images of charred children’s bodies hanging out of mangled buses? Indeed, the Western media coverage of that carnage was minimal and was downplayed with insidious words that the victims were «pro-regime supporters».

But the victims of the bus attacks were more numerous than those allegedly killed during the chemical weapons incident two weeks before at Khan Sheikhoun.

President Trump has condemned Syria’s Assad as an «animal» due to the alleged use of chemical weapons. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also called Assad a «monster». Clearly, the image-projection here is aimed at demonizing and dehumanizing the Syrian leader. Once that image-making is «successful» – and the saturation pejorative Western media coverage is crucial to that success – then a moral, legalistic mandate is created which allows Washington and its allies to escalate their aggression against Syria. Either through diplomatic sanctions at the United Nations or by military means with direct military force, as seen with Trump’s cruise missile barrage on April 7, or with increased support to proxy militant groups inside Syria.

All the while that Western governments and media have been demonizing Syria over alleged chemical weapons, the political-media campaign has also been directed at smearing Russia for alleged complicity because of its alliance with Syria.

Britain’s Johnson said earlier this month that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had «toxified» Russia’s international reputation by its alliance with Syria. The British diplomat’s choice of words betrayed an overly contrived attempt to push the propaganda theme.

In what should be seen as a transparently crude effort, the Western governments tried to splice Russia’s support for Syria by hyping up the «horror» of chemical weapons. The Western political momentum has since dissipated somewhat, but there was an obvious bid by the West in the days following the incident at Khan Sheikhoun to force an ultimatum on Moscow to abandon the Assad government, and to in effect cede to Western demands for regime change in Damascus.

Russia seems to have succeeded in rebuffing this tawdry tactic by holding firm to principles of international law and objective facts.

Last week, the UN-affiliated Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) issued a statement claiming that there was «incontrovertible evidence» that the lethal chemical weapon sarin was used in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.

The OPCW did not say who used the alleged sarin. But the inference pushed by Western media was that it was the Syrian government.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov deprecated the OPCW as «discrediting» itself. The supposedly neutral, scientific organization was basing its conclusions on samples supplied by illegally armed groups, in a dubious chain of «evidence» that is neither impartial nor verifiable.

The «sarin conclusion» announced by the OPCW is in accordance with the assertions made by the US, Britain, France and Turkey. They are not disinterested parties. They are protagonists for regime change and sponsors of a covert war against the Syrian government since March 2011. Yet, audaciously, their partisan claims are afforded credibility by Western media.

Russia’s call last week for an impartial, on-site investigation into what actually happened at Sheikhoun was rejected by the Western governments. Russia’s demand for an independent probe was also supported by Iran and the Syrian government.

As Sergey Lavrov noted: «The spreading of false information on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is being used to move away from implementing UN resolutions on finding a peaceful settlement and instead to switch to the long-cherished objective of regime change».

There is abundant evidence that sarin was not the toxic agent used at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. American MIT professor Theodore Postol, a highly accredited weapons expert, as well as neuroscientist Dr Denis O’Brien, are just two of many sources who have concluded from the observing the symptoms and circumstances that sarin could not have possibly been used.

There is abundant evidence too that the Western-backed regime-change militants in Syria have been involved in fabricating supposed «chemical weapons» incidents, creating media-ready videos which the Western news outlets have avidly disseminated and which Western governments have cited as «evidence» against Assad. That was the conclusion of the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, among other reputable sources.

Considering that the only «evidence» for the latest chemical weapon incident on April 4 comes in the form of unverifiable videos supplied by terrorist-affiliated groups, it is highly plausible that the narrative put out by these groups, the Western governments and media is false. That narrative is that Syrian warplanes dropped chemical weapons on Khan Sheikhoun, killing over 80 civilians.

By contrast, it is plausible that the entire incident is an orchestrated fabrication. That is, that there was no chemical «weapon of mass destruction» used at Khan Sheikhoun. If a weapon of that sort were used, as alleged, then one would expect the death toll to be in the hundreds, if not thousands, as happened at Halabja in 1988 when up to 5,000 Kurdish civilians were massacred by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Instead, what likely happened in Syria was simply the murder by intoxication of civilians by militants using lethal chemicals, such as cyanide or chlorine. Why were the supposed aid responders of the White Helmets not also poisoned if highly toxic sarin had been used? Why do the «responders» seem too preoccupied with making videos instead of actually treating victims with due medical care? Why have no sarin antidotes or decontaminants been requested or sent to Khan Sheikhoun in the days and weeks following the alleged attack?

Thus the militants and their media-savvy agents in the White Helmets (who are funded by Western military intelligence) could very well have staged the poisoning of unwitting civilians. The despicable, cynical act of homicide may not have even happened on the alleged date of April 4, or even in the alleged location of Khan Sheikhoun.

Bear in mind that it has been reported in the past that US and other Western military forces have «trained» the so-called Syrian «rebels» (terrorists) on the handling of lethal chemicals. Those Western media reports mendaciously spun the notion that the «rebels» were being trained in the event of Assad’s «chemical weapons arsenal being unleashed».

The Syrian government has repeatedly and categorically denied that its forces used chemical weapons at Khan Sheikhoun earlier this month or in any other incident. It says that all its chemical weapons were destroyed back in 2014 under a Russian-brokered deal, a result that was confirmed at the time by the OPCW.

Tenuously, the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis claimed last week that the Syrian government cheated the OPCW and secretly kept a portion of chemical weapons in reserve.

The Western narrative of chemical weapons (sarin) used by the Syrian government is riven with anomalies if interrogated with critical thinking. Indeed, when looked at with due skepticism, it is apparent that the Western narrative is not merely a misinformed, erroneous perspective. The whole affair is a deliberate, carefully constructed and delivered Western psychological operation, a false-flag propaganda stunt, to demonize and dehumanize the Syrian government in order to propel the Western agenda of regime change. The American CIA and British MI6 have been trying to implement regime change in Syria since 1949 in on-off clandestine projects. The chemical weapon of mass destruction allegation is but the latest ploy in a long-running project.

Western governments, their military intelligence agencies and the propaganda service of the corporate media have been working on this particular psychological operation for several years in Syria, going back to the first major «chemical weapon» incident in East Ghouta, near Damascus, in August 2013. That stunt failed to effectively demonize the Assad government then. But the Western operation has continued and evolved over time until its latest episode at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. The «chemical weapon» nomenclature is spurious from the nature of the injuries inflicted. It is more likely an incident of mass poisoning by militants carried out on hapless victims, which is conveniently broadcast around the world by Western governments and media as a «chemical weapon of mass destruction» used by the «Assad regime».

What is overlooked, however, is the WMD weapon of mass disorientation being used against Western public. The disorientation of critical thinking, emotions and moral standards is deployed in order to more easily manipulate public consent for the Western governments’ criminal enterprise of regime change in Syria.

There is an abominable charade taking place before our very eyes. A charade in which supposedly «moral», «law-abiding», «democratic» Western governments are colluding with the most vile terror groups using the most vile means of deception and murder. Why this simple glaring truth is not recognized more widely by the Western public is because their own governments have deployed weapons of mass disorientation through dutiful mass media purporting to act as «news services».

Poodle Trump Runs With Dogs of War

US President-elect Donald Trump

April 9, 2017

Finian Cunningham

So the brash, big-mouth tycoon in the White House with an outsized ego has finally unleashed the dogs of war in Syria.

Invoking God and the suffering of “little babies”, the supposed US Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump ordered the bombing of Syria with cruise missiles launched from warships in the Mediterranean.

A Syrian airbase was destroyed, along with several casualties, and civilians reportedly among the dead.

This was while Trump was digesting a dinner of steak and carrots in his Florida beach resort on Thursday night.

Trump has styled himself as a hard-nosed and “unpredictable” American president.

The bitter irony here is that everything Trump is doing in his latest act of illegal war is actually so predictable.

The US political establishment – driven as it always is by the imperative need of waging wars to shore up its crumby capitalist economy – has been baying for all-out deployment in Syria for the past six years.

Since Washington instigated its criminal regime-change operation against the sovereign government of Syria in March 2011, the hawkish establishment was never quite satisfied with the strategy of using proxy terror groups to do the dirty work. Direct military intervention to topple the Syrian state has always been on the cards as the preferred method.

The Deep State establishment – or the War Party comprising both Republicans and Democrats in hock to the military-intelligence apparatus – thought they would get their way with the election of warmonger Hillary Clinton last November. Alas, the surprise election of Trump to the presidency temporarily upset their militarist agenda.

But the advent of Trump to the White House was only a hitch for the powers-that-be. The relentless Deep State-driven media witch-hunt against Trump over ridiculous allegations of being a Russian puppet has evidently prevailed.

Trump, the self-declared “outsider” has been forced to prove that he is an “insider”, an obedient poodle to the American war Rottweiler – if he wants to stay in office and see out the next four years without being impeached.

In order to survive the pressure over “Russian stooge” allegations, Trump is throwing some meat to the US War Party by giving them their long-sought-after direct military intervention in Syria.

Trump’s order to blast Syria with 59 cruise missiles is a brazen act of war that makes a mockery of international law. Russia and some other independent nations have denounced the US “act of aggression against a sovereign state”.

The fact that Russian forces were stationed at the targeted airbase at Shayrat – but were reportedly unscathed – is a shocking sign of how reckless the latest American military action is. If Russian personnel had been killed, then that would potentially be cause for a full-scale war between two nuclear powers.

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a US-based law scholar at University of Notre Dame, Indiana, was quoted by the Guardian saying there was “zero legal basis” for Trump’s missile attack. She said it was an unfounded act of aggression.

Even some members of the US Congress have questioned Trump’s unilateral action as being unconstitutional since he did not receive authorization from Congress, as required by American law.

But these are piffling, academic concerns when it comes to how the US always behaves. International law is only a selective rhetorical device for a rogue state that considers itself above the law.

As Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov remarked, the US has been waging wars regardless of international law for decades based on concocted pretexts, as in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), and now Syria.

Trump has finally bought into the US war agenda in Syria – despite mouthing off against such an intervention as far back as 2013 – in order to keep his seat in the Oval Office. The intense media pressure from the witch-hunt over Russia has seen to that, in part.

The next prop in the whole despicable drama was Trump’s gullibility over the latest false flag involving chemical weapons in Syria earlier this week.

Anyone with a bit of wit can see that the CIA-trained and Turkish, Saudi-supplied terrorist proxies carried out the massacre of civilians from their own toxic arsenal. The CIA-trained bandits tried the same deadly stunt back in August 2013 when they gassed hundreds of children near Damascus and videoed the horror for Western media dissemination.

The same profane ploy was used again this week in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria’s northern Idlib province.

The truth is simple: the Syrian army does not have chemical weapons, after they were destroyed as part of a Russian-brokered decommissioning deal back in 2013. The only party to have access to such weapons are the Western, Turkish and Saudi-backed terror groups.

Like the propaganda service they are, the Western mainstream media then dutifully blasted the “news” that the Syrian air force dropped chemical weapons on Khan Sheikhoun – willingly and unquestioningly using the images and video supplied by “activists” affiliated with the jihadist terror groups.

When US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stood up in front of the Security Council holding photographs of dying children – purportedly from poisonous gas – she was role-playing for the false flag.

As with the general Western media response, Haley’s display had the unmistakable air of choreography. It was 2003 all over again, when then Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to the Security Council about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, while brandishing dud vials of “lethal chemicals”.

It is not clear whether Trump or his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley are merely gullible or something more sinister, such as willing accomplices in a charade.

But the upshot is this: Trump is acting like an obedient poodle going along with the Machiavellian American power system. Invoking God and suffering babies is just a shallow moral cover for his complicity in another US criminal act – in a countless list of such crimes down through history.

There is something fitting about Trump’s background as a real estate billionaire. That business is all about shafting people, cheating to stay ahead, or selling overinflated assets.

Trump himself is one such overinflated “asset”. All his past talk about “America first”, “forgotten workers”, “draining the swamp” and lashing out against his predecessor Barack Obama over “reckless wars in the Middle East” – is all just cheap hokum.

To save his political skin and no doubt lucrative future business opportunities for his dynasty, Trump has donned the cap of Commander-in-Chief and is groveling before the American war machine.

He is handing over an “official” license for war in Syria that the American Deep State has been craving for years.

It is a measure of how crazed and obscene the American political system is. The message is: no matter which way the electorate votes, the warmongers in the Pentagon and their corporate masters get the result they want. Which is war. Even if that risks a world war with Russia.

That’s how American capitalism works. And Trump is nothing but a poodle willing to jump through the hoops, roll over and lick the boots of the criminal masters.

Source: Sputnik

Only a Fool Would Trust Rogue State USA

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 18, 2017 in Beijing, China

Only a Fool Would Trust Rogue State USA

By Finian Cunningham

Sputnik” – The United States suffers from a chronic trust deficit, to put it mildly. Anything that its leaders say must be weighed against years of deception and relentless criminal conduct by US governments.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Chinese President Xi Jinping at the weekend, vowing greater cooperation to reduce tensions boiling up on the Korean Peninsula. Only a day before, however, Tillerson was threatening that the US would use pre-emptive military strikes against China’s ally North Korea if “we believe” it presented a threat “to us”.

So what’s it to be then? Cooperation or pre-emptive war?

At the same time that Tillerson was seemingly conveying a cordial tone to Beijing, President Trump was mouthing off at home that “North Korea was behaving badly” and that China had not done enough to contain it.

Trump’s comments angered China, with the latter responding it had in fact gone to great lengths over recent years to calm tensions on the Korean Peninsula between North Korea and the American ally in the South, by continually calling for dialogue, which the US has continually rebuffed, preferring to play hardball instead.

The weekend exchange is but one brief insight into why Washington cannot be trusted. The president and his top diplomat can’t even articulate a consistent policy for even a few hours. How could one possibly take them seriously?

But Trump and Tillerson’s mixed signals are a mere trifling matter. Why the US cannot be trusted has got much more to with decades of systematic misbehavior by Washington. North Korea “behaving badly,” says Trump. Typical American arrogance and ignorance do not admit the reality of the US behaving atrociously.

The whole specter of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula was created in the first place by the United States. Its decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was motivated by the Soviet Union’s imminent entry into the Pacific War. Washington did not want to see the Soviet Union taking Japanese or Korean territory.

Korean communist rebels were about to over-run the peninsula in 1945 and reclaim it from imperialist Japanese control. By dropping the atomic bombs on Japan, the Americans thwarted the advance of communists in Asia-Pacific. Korea was de facto divided between a communist northern state and a US-installed southern state, which also saw the reinstatement of quislings who had collaborated with Japanese fascism.

The subsequent Korean War (1950-53) was a US-led orchestration to defeat the communist North. Over three million Koreans were killed in a war which brought the peninsula to the brink of nuclear conflagration, if American generals had their way at the time. Still, more conventional bombs and napalm were dropped on North Korea by the US than on the whole of Japan during the Pacific War, according to international war crimes lawyer Christopher Black.

Pyongyang, the northern capital, was obliterated by US carpet bombings. American troops committed countless massacres against civilians, such as in Sinchon when hundreds of women and children were incinerated in ditches and air raid shelters.

Koreans were forced to live in caves to escape the brutal American bombing of their country. One special terror technique was the flying of nuclear-capable bombers over the northern territory. The people below did not know if a fate like that of Hiroshima was about to descend on them.

When the bombs stopped in 1953, the US never declared a full armistice or signed a non-aggression treaty, as is normal following conflicts. From the North Korean standpoint, the Americans still retain the “right” to attack their country.

When the US today conducts annual war maneuvers with its South Korean ally, we can perhaps understand why North Korea is alarmed by what it sees as a rehearsal for resumed hostilities.

Over the weekend, US Secretary of State Tillerson said that his nation does not want conflict with North Korea. But Washington ruled out the reasonable proposal from China for the US to cancel its war maneuvers in exchange for North Korea curbing its weapons program.

The US is moving ahead with installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. That move defies warnings from both China and Russia that it is destabilizing the entire region and provoking a new arms race.

Washington’s words of “not wanting war” are accompanied by the ultimatum that North Korea unilaterally disarm its nuclear weapons program and testing of ballistic missiles.

 

But history has shown that any country which is not sufficiently defended is liable to be destroyed by Washington. We saw this with regard to former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Somalia. Anywhere where the Americans can make easy prey, they will do so with the utmost barbarity, and then add insult to injury by calling it “nation building”.

Despite Western media demonization of North Korea as some kind of crazy rogue state, the people there are not fools. They know from family histories the atrocious cost of American war. And they know that any nation perceived as weak by Washington will be bombed back to the Stone Age.

Nevertheless, there is ample opportunity for a positive way forward. The Korean people, North and South, have always been willing to engage in dialogue for the peaceful reunification of their country, which was only artificially partitioned by American hegemonic meddling.

This spirit of dialogue and cooperation is also shared by the majority of citizens in the wider region. Chinese and Japanese people quite reasonably want a general demilitarization of the region. That primarily means Washington removing up to 100,000 of its troops from Japan and South Korea, along with its bases and all the other trappings of war.

The biggest hindrance to democratic, peaceful self-determination in Korea and the region is Washington’s insistence on remaining there to “protect” its allies. Washington forced its way into the region by using nuclear terrorism, and it remains there through the same ploy of nuclear menace — under the guise of blaming North Korea.

Ironically, the US State Department described Tillerson’s tour of the Asia-Pacific this weekend as a “listening tour”.

Well if Tillerson and his government were truly listening, they would hear the following: stop destabilizing whole countries and inciting wars; leave ordinary citizens in neighboring nations to get on with their lives and mutual relations; and American militarism should pack up and go home to redirect its monstrous resources to improve the lives of millions of impoverished American families.

There is a direct analogy here with how Washington and its NATO agenda of hostility towards Russia are destabilizing Europe against the wishes and interests of most European citizens.

No wonder so few trust American power. It is the most destructive force in the world since the Second World War. American criminal wars and subterfuges have destroyed dozens of countries.

So when an American envoy talks about wanting peace, while at the same time threatening pre-emptive attacks and demanding that others unilaterally disarm — the only appropriate response is contempt.

Only a fool would trust Washington because it is the biggest warmongering rogue state on Earth.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England,

For Allies & Foes Alike, All Roads Lead to Moscow

By Finian Cunningham

March 13, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “RT” – In the same week that the United States sent thousands of additional troops to Kuwait for deployment in Iraq and Syria, Russia was busy pursuing a heavy-duty diplomatic deployment.

The contrast speaks of a paradigm-shift in geopolitics. Russia has become the main player in the future of the vital Middle East region, where the US and its European allies formerly claimed to be the lynchpin powers.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow.

The next day, it was Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s turn to be greeted in the Kremlin. The meeting in Moscow confirms the restored relations since the fatal Turkish shoot-down of a Russian fighter jet over Syria in November 2015.

Full Re-engagement: Syrian crisis and megaprojects to dominate Erdogan, Putin meeting https://on.rt.com/85ao 

Photo published for Syria debacle & megaprojects dominate Erdogan’s Russia visit — RT News

Syria debacle & megaprojects dominate Erdogan’s Russia visit — RT News

The presidents of Russia and Turkey have held a meeting in Moscow on Friday, putting behind a 16-month-old crisis in bilateral relations. High-profile infrastructure projects and the Syrian crisis…

rt.com

Russia can rightly claim to have gained the respect of virtually all the countries in the Middle East, ranging from allies and foes alike. Syria and Iran, longtime allies, have expressed gratitude for Moscow’s military intervention in Syria to salvage that country from a nearly six-year war, while, at the same time, states normally thought of as US clients, such as Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, have also paid their respects to Russia over its principled use of military force to stabilize the restive region.

The latter countries are particularly significant, given that they have backed proxy forces in Syria that have been fighting against Russia’s ally, the Syrian government of President Assad. Israel and Saudi Arabia are also implacably opposed to Iran, another key Russian ally.

But here is a measure of Russia’s kudos in the region. When Israel’s Netanyahu came to Moscow this week – his third visit in 16 months – he was reportedly put in his place by Putin over a remark he had made comparing Iran to ancient Persia, claiming it was trying to “destroy Jews.” Putin wagged his finger and told the Israeli leader to “stop dwelling in the past” and instead deal with a “changed world”. The bumptious Netanyahu was suitably quietened by the admonishment.

It’s hard to imagine any other international leader commanding that kind of deference.

Putin to Netanyahu: Don’t judge Iran by 5th century BC, we live in a different world https://on.rt.com/8599 

Other countries in the Middle East that have recently sought renewed contact with Russia include Egypt, Libya, Qatar, and Bahrain.

The remarkable thing is how Russia has been able to garner the respect of such a diverse range of states with such divergent political and religious outlooks, some vehemently opposed to each other. Yet, in Russia, they all find a reliable gravitational center.

American political commentator Randy Martin says that the leadership displayed by Russia stems from a fundamental difference in how the US operates. He says that Moscow genuinely wants to build peace and development in the region, whereas Washington has always been motivated by selfish reasons of hegemonic dominance.

Says Martin: “Russia under Putin is trying to build relationships, regional development, multilateralism and peace-making. Russia understands that the only viable future for itself and others is to create a stable, multi-polar international order. And Russia is showing true leadership by demonstrating a principled tolerance of others.”

The commentator added: “It is instructive to contrast Russian military intervention and subsequent diplomacy with that of the US. Everywhere the US has been involved in has imploded in relentless violence and failure. That’s because Washington is only interested in exploiting the oil-rich region ultimately for its own strategic ends. By contrast, Russia has a real stake in the region’s future as a neighbor and partner.”

After witnessing a series of destructive US-led wars across the region, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya, it seems the Russian government has made a strategic resolution that the apocalyptic dynamic had to stop, not just for its own sake, but for the world at large. Syria was the line in the sand.

BREAKING: Assad: No one invited US to Manbij, all foreign troops in Syria without permission are ‘invaders’ https://on.rt.com/85eo 

‘What are they [foreign troops] going to do? To fight ISIS? The Americans lost nearly every war’ – Assad http://on.rt.com/85eo pic.twitter.com/arClIighfl

View image on Twitter

 

 

Through the principled use of military power, Russia’s intervention in Syria has put out the flames of a conflict that was threatening to engulf the entire region. While Washington and its clients who backed regime-change have cause to be displeased with Russia’s intervention, nevertheless, there can at least be a tacit acknowledgement that it was Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, who brought the madness to an end.

That newfound respect for Russian power has materialized in the sponsorship of peace talks on Syria by Russia and Turkey. Both countries brokered a ceasefire in December, which has largely held, to facilitate two rounds of negotiations between the Assad government and the Syrian opposition. Those talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, have now paved the way for rebooted peace negotiations in Geneva next week under the auspices of the United Nations.

In his meeting with Erdogan in Moscow this week, Putin noted that the talks in Astana were the “first time ever that the conflicting parties in Syria came to the negotiating table.” He added that “this tangible result” was grounds for “cautious optimism for a full-fledged political settlement.”

Of greater significance, Putin referred to Russia’s bigger strategic picture. He said that the political talks marked the “start of the process of rebuilding Syria and others countries in the region.”

The bedrock principle laid down by the Russian leader is respect for sovereignty. That applies to Russia’s allies as well as their foes. Moscow is saying that if the conflict-torn region is to have any future then, at a minimum, each and every player must have a modicum of respect for sovereignty. The dark days of zero-sum, regime-change intrigues against others must end.

Through its commendable stand in the Mideast, Russia has shown that it is a power that can be trusted, whereas the US and its European allies have been fatally compromised through their own unscrupulous, treacherous scheming. Not even supposed allies have confidence that Western powers can be trusted in the long-run.

The case of Turkey and Israel – both ardent allies of Washington – coming to Moscow this week to pay homage to Putin shows that they realize that Russia, despite their political differences, has become the indispensable player in the region. Washington, London, and Paris are like yesterday’s men.

Randy Martin, the political commentator, says that the consummate difference between Russia and the US is due to the former’s profound understanding of war and peace.

Russia knows the cost of war, and so appreciates the price of peace,” says Martin. “Given the vast destruction and pain that Russia endured through war over the past century, perhaps no other country on the planet has a better understanding of the importance of making peace. By contrast, the US has never experienced the suffering of war the way Russia has. The US only knows how to incite war and inflict suffering.”

This fundamental distinction appears to be why Russia has emerged as a reliable leader in the war-torn Middle East and beyond. It is a power that others can respect.

It’s those that don’t respect Russia – Washington and its surrogates in Europe – who accuse Putin of being an aggressor, who are showing their true colors. Their accusations are projections of their own aggressor-status. Russia is putting an end to their warmongering through genuine world leadership – and that is why they jealously slander Putin as an aggressor.

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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Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 23.02.2017 | OPINION

Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

Just as polls show Marine Le Pen of the Front National taking a decisive lead over her two main rivals, Francois Fillon of the Republicans, and Emmanuel Macron of the newly formed En Marche, the latter gets a high-profile reception in Downing Street with British prime minister Theresa May.

Fillon has no plans to make a similar visit to Britain, while Downing Street officially announced that it would not be receiving Le Pen, reported the Independent.

With only weeks to go to the first round of the French presidential elections in April, the British government’s hosting of Macron this week can be seen as an extraordinary endorsement of his candidacy.

One could express it even more strongly and say that Britain is evidently interfering in the French democratic process by elevating one candidate over another.

A spokesman for premier May said that Macron had requested the meeting at Downing Street and «we were able to accommodate».

A smiling Macron photographed on the doorsteps of Number 10 clearly showed him relishing the singular honor bestowed by the British prime minister.

One can imagine the media hullabaloo if Marine Le Pen were greeted in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin to then pointedly announce that her rival Macron would not be receiving a similar invitation. There would be howls of «Russian interference» in the French election.

Indeed, Russia is being accused of doing just that already on the basis of scant allegations. Emmanuel Macron has recently claimed that his campaign is being targeted by Russian hackers and «fake news». Macron’s campaign team is alleging – without providing any evidence – that its computers are being attacked by «Russian hackers».

The liberal pro-EU candidate is also claiming that «Kremlin-run news media» are mounting a fake news «influence campaign» to damage his credibility.

This follows the publication of a news article by the Sputnik outlet earlier this month which quoted French political rivals accusing Macron of being supported by global banking interests and a wealthy gay rights lobby.

Russian government-owned Sputnik has denied that it is trying to damage Macron’s candidacy, and that it was merely giving coverage to criticisms aired by French political rivals.

Based on such flimsy, partisan claims of political interference, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault earlier this week issued a warning to Russia to «stop meddling in the French presidential election».

Thus, a one-sided overblown claim by one of the presidential candidates is raised to a state level as if it is an established fact of Russian subversion of French sovereignty.

This narrative of Russian interference in foreign elections has evidently become contagious. Ever since American intelligence agencies, amplified by US media, began accusing Russia of hacking into the presidential elections to favor Donald Trump, the narrative has become a staple in other Western states.

Last week, German news outlet Deutsche Welle published this headline: «Is Moscow meddling in everything?» The article goes on to ask with insinuating tone: «Does Putin decide who wins elections in the West? Many believe that he cost Clinton the US presidency; now Macron is next France, and then Merkel will be in the line of fire».

The Russian government is legitimately entitled, as are other governments, to hold views on the outcome of foreign elections. After all, many European governments, including those of Germany and France, were adamantly opposed to Trump winning the US election, instead preferring his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. But they weren’t subjected to criticism that they were interfering in the American election.

Regarding France, Russian state interests might be best served by Marine Le Pen taking the presidency. She has expressed a desire to restore friendlier relations with Moscow and to jettison the NATO agenda of hostility towards Russia. Her anti-EU views would also help to undermine the Washington-led atlanticist axis which has driven enmity between Europe and Russia.

The Kremlin has been careful to not make any public statements on the outcome of the French election, nor of any other foreign election, maintaining that it does not interfere. Nevertheless, Moscow is entitled to have its own private assessment on what would serve its own national interests. There’s nothing untoward about that. It seems almost bizarre to have to explain that.

But such is the fever-pitch and hysteria about alleged Russian malfeasance that the slightest sign, such as a random news article airing critical comments as in the Macron example, is taken as «proof» of Kremlin interference.

This is in spite of the fact that no evidence is presented. German state intelligence, for instance, recently concluded that there was no evidence to support allegations that Russia was running a Trump-like influence campaign against Chancellor Merkel ahead of her country’s elections being held in September.

Perhaps the most egregious expression to date of the Russian interference narrative were claims made this week by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that the Kremlin had sponsored a coup attempt against the government of Montenegro last October.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov lambasted the evidence-free claims as «absurd». Lavrov said it «is just another one in a series of groundless assertions blaming our country for carrying out cyberattacks against the entire West, interfering in election campaigns in the bulk of Western countries as well as allegations pointing to the Trump administration’s ties with Russian secret services, among other things».

The height of absurdity is Britain this week hosting Emmanuel Macron at the Downing Street residence of Prime Minister Theresa May.

May’s intervention is a full-on endorsement of this one candidate at a crucial time in the French election which sees his main rival Marine Le Pen taking a decisive lead in the polls.

But where are the headlines denouncing «British interference» in French democracy?

Western media are too preoccupied digging up far-fetched stories claiming Russian interference based on the flimsiest speculation.

That double standard is clear evidence of the irrational Russophobia that is gripping Western governments and news media. Russophobia that has become a psychosis.

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