‘Assadist list’ nothing more than McCarthyism paired with ‘hoodwink’ science

George Galloway
George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years.
He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT).
He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.
‘Assadist list’ nothing more than McCarthyism paired with ‘hoodwink’ science

 

To paraphrase those Hollywood actors when dragged before the arc-lights of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC): “I am not now nor have I ever been an Assadist.”

In the long stand-off between Syria and Iraq, with all its ruinous consequences, I was with Iraq. Between 1980 and 2002 – 22 years – I never set foot in Syria and wouldn’t have been welcome if I had. I have a house named after the Beirut Palestinian refugee camp Tel al-Zaatar which was razed to the ground by the Syrians [Phalange party/Lebanons Forces/Arafat] with many residents massacred. My first ever solidarity mission – more than 40 years ago – was to collect bagpipes for the orphans’ band from Tel al-Zaatar.

Side Bar

  • In his biographical profile of Yasser Arafat, The broken revolutionary, Robert Fisk writes: “When he needed martyrs in 1976, he called for a truce around the besieged refugee camp of Tel el-Zaatar, then ordered his commanders in the camp to fire at their right-wing Lebanese Christian enemies. When, as a result, the Phalangists and “Tigers” militia slaughtered their way into Tel el-Zaatar, Arafat opened a “martyrs’ village” for camp widows in the sacked Christian village of Damour. On his first visit, the widows pelted him with stones and rotten fruit. Journalists were ordered away at gunpoint.”
  •  The Real Story of Tel al-Zaatar

I met the late president Hafez Assad only once – at a World Peace Conference in Damascus where I shared the stage with him, Yasser Arafat and others. I was 26 years old.

I have met the now-president Bashar Assad only twice – both times in formal meetings.

I have zero relations with the government in Syria and never have had. In fact I denounced sections of the regime under examination by Michael Mansfield QC in an inquest not that long ago.

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©

It’s true that in the existential battle for the Syrian Arab Republic between the Assad government and its motley array of enemies I have stood foursquare with the Republic. It’s true that in a fight between the Assad forces and the head-chopping, heart-eating Islamist fanatics of Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and the alphabet soup of extremism they have spawned, I stand with the former rather than the latter. But then what sentient being without an ulterior agenda wouldn’t?

It’s true I have said that Assad is being targeted by imperialism, not for the bad things about his political system, but for the opposite reasons.

The West is not against authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, to the contrary – all of its best friends are such. The West is not against one-party – even one-family – rule in the Middle East, to the contrary – we have preferred them, armed them and had the closest possible relations with such states in the Middle East for a 100 years. The West is not against rigged elections in the Middle East, to the contrary. We have facilitated them ever since such farcical elections began.

Syria as been targeted by imperialism and its local satrapies for other reasons. Because of its historic relationship with Russia, it has been the victim of a proxy war, in effect a war against Russia by other means.

Because it refuses to make a surrender peace with Israel, giving up in the process its sovereign territory on the illegally annexed Golan Heights.

Because it refuses to break relations with the Lebanese resistance, and with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Because it refused to allow its territory to be used as a back-door entry into Iraq to facilitate the Anglo-American illegal invasion and occupation of its neighbor.

For all these reasons I repeat what I have said many times: the Syrian Arab Republic is the last castle of Arab dignity.

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© Omar Sanadiki

But none of that makes me an Assadist. It just makes me an enemy of his enemies.

Yet I have made the Assadist List, compiled by a student scribbler, a Kester Ratcliff, whose name needn’t detain us for long. He is his masters’ voice and his masters are whom we should focus on.

Mind you I am in good company on the list. My friend, Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn PC MP, Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for one. The multiply-commended award-winning, regularly British Foreign Correspondent of the year Patrick Cockburn is another. The Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP is another. As is Mother Agnes Mariam De La Croix, the Mother Superior of the Monastery of St James the Mutilated in Syria. The veteran Trotskyite leader Tariq Ali, who led my first ever demonstration against the war in Vietnam in 1968 when I was 14 years old, is another.

The redoubtable American author and journalist Max Blumenthal is apparently an Assadist, as is the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, as is Noam Chomsky! Baroness Cox of the British House of Lords makes the list as does Ireland’s finest MP Clare Daly. The American comedian Jimmy Dore is an Assadist, don’t you know!

Britain’s best known foreign correspondent Robert Fisk makes the cut as does future US presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard. The world’s most famous journalist Seymour Hersh is there –  an Assadist, who’d a thunk it?

The quintessential English Christian gentleman newspaperman Peter Hitchens is too, as is the doyen of English journalism Simon Jenkins or, Sir Simon Jenkins FSA FRSL, to give him his Sunday name. An Assadist (if only the Queen had known when she tapped his shoulder with her sword at Buckingham Palace).

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FILE PHOTO: Members of the Civil Defence, also known as the 'White Helmets'. © Alaa al-Faqir

Boris Johnson, the erstwhile British Foreign Secretary – he’s an Assadist! (although possibly only because of his “foolishness”)

Owen Jones, the liberal milksop from the Guardian newspaper, who witch-hunted Mother Agnes from public platforms in England on the grounds SHE was an Assadist, well, you’ve guessed it, he’s an Assadist too (though a “milder” Assadist).

The British Shadow Foreign Secretary – a well known “Friend of Israel” – Emily Thornberry is an Assadist. As is the former Associate Editor of the Guardian, Seumas Milne.

I could go on, believe me, there are 151 of us – but you have probably already got the picture. This list of Assadists is a farrago of foolishness, a soupcon of silliness, a pile of what the Pope called at the weekend – “the material of the toilet bowl.”

As such it could be laughed off as the teenage student scribbling that it is.

But just like the McCarthyite witch-hunts in 1950s America, this kind of malignant list-making can have consequences for those listed. Many of those never worked or were able to travel again. For some on this list the potential consequences could be graver still. Some on the Assadist list should be subject to criminal sanctions, according to the author.

It is fitting perhaps that the list comes complete with a diagram which looks like the unhinged green-ink scrawling of a madman in a hospital for the criminally insane. It purports to map all of those listed as somehow connected even though many of us hate each other’s guts. I could make a diagram of the connections between the gun-runners, the financiers and the propagandists for the Jihadists and the crucifying Islamist Pol Pots doing their dirty work. Whilst it would make a more convincing case, ennui I’m afraid precludes it.

In any case the great Western effort to overthrow Assad and destroy the Syrian Arab Republic has failed. All their money, all their weapons, all the blood they shed have been to no avail – except for the hundreds of thousands of lives they destroyed. Come to think of it, a hospital for the criminally insane is perhaps the best place for the author and his patrons.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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WHO IS EVA BARTLETT? A PARTIAL BIO BY A NON-WIKIPEDIA SITE AND WITHOUT #PHILIPCROSS EDITS (THANK YOU!)

eva-bartlett__37065_100x100

Good (far better than Wikipedia, of Philip Cross mal-edits) entry on me here. I’ll add a few corrections/clarifications, in [brackets].

*

“Eva Bartlett (born 14 June 1977) is an independent Canadian-American​ writer​, journalist​ and human rights activist​ from Ontario​ who covers the Middle East​ region, particularly Palestine​ and Syria​.​ She has a weblog​ called InGaza and has made numerous visits to Syria and Palestine since 2008, including to the Gaza Strip

[ADDITION: I lived a cumulative 3 years in Gaza, from Nov 2008 to March 2013, and 8 months in the west bank as an activist with the ISM. More on that here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/about-me/]​.

Since 2014, Bartlett has also written about the Gaza Strip​.

[Since 2008]

Early life and education

Bartlett has dual nationality, being born in Michigan​ but raised in Canada

[Dawson Creek, Winnipeg, Fergus].

Between 1991 and 1996 Bartlett studied a the Centre Wellington District High School​ in Fergus, Ontario ​and was awarded an Honours grade 13 (OAC), Ontario Scholar

[I was also a bench warmer on the basketball team :p  Good shot, lousy at dribbling].

Between 1997 and 2002 she attended Mount Allison University​, New Brunswick​, Canada earning a 1st Class Honours with Distinction with Honours in Music​ and a Minor in French.

[Classical piano, Rachmaninov, Brahms, Beethoven and Bach among my favourites].

Between 1999 and 2000 Bartlett spent a year as an exchange student at the Université Marc Bloch​ in  Strasbourg​, France​ and was awarded a French language immersion diploma​.

[Excellent opportunity for travel in Europe. Also landed me an unpaid summer job in Tunisia in 2011, for my then French speaking skills: a “house manager” for my archaeology prof, which entailed driving teams to dig site, walking to markets and doing the food shopping, helping w meal prep. Dream job.]

Career

[I really wouldn’t call what I do a “career”. It’s a compulsion, “career” be damned. That said, scary accuracy. Yep, I worked many jobs during Uni, also took student loans and had a music scholarship. Still graduated with a 20K+ debt, which I paid off when teaching English in South Korea.]

Between September 1998 and May 2001 Bartlett worked as a student librarian​ in the music library of Mount Allison University providing customer service​, information assistance and resource maintenance. She also worked during this period as a caterer at the home of the University president​, planning & cooking​ for social functions.

[Best job ever. Many leftovers to take home.]

Between May and July 2001 she worked as a French interpreter​ and House Manager for Professor Van der Leest in his archaeology​ department in Carthage​, Tunisia​. She also worked as a research aide to Professor Edwards in the French Department transcribing French texts.

[How I taught myself to type 🙂 ]

Between October and December 2002 she worked at Finer English in Kassel​, Germany​ as an English Language instructor, tutoring advanced adult businessmen and women. [Great job, really enjoyed it but felt I’d failed at first attempt before this in South Korea, so I went back to challenge my culture shock, and loved it there.]

From June 2003 until January 2004 Bartlett worked at Daewoo​ Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd on Geoje Island​ in South Korea​, teaching English to adult employees where she created her own material to accompany a textbook. From September 2004 until June 2005 Bartlett worked at TBM-SISA, English Language ​and TOEIC preparation academy in Busan​, South Korea as an English Language Instructor, teaching grammar​ and conversational English to various ages of students.

[Walked to work and saved the gas allowance each teacher was given to instead explore Korea’s south on weekends, driving and hiking.]

[*Some photos, most are not digital and archived in albums. https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969/album/AF1QipOKdp4I3Nn2mLprgG3P6LDaDY5hwlMnfXX5F9CN]

[*Some of my other travels, such a wonder: https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969?source=pwa]

Volunteer Activities

Between August and December 1996 Bartlett worked and travelled independently in Ireland​, including the Aran Islands​, volunteering on organic farms​ around the country.

[First independent travel foray.]

Between February 2004 and April 2004 Bartlettt worked as a Willing Worker on Organic Farms (WWOOF) during her travels in northern Thailand​, tending plants and vegetables, as well as painting and building adobe​ constructions. [Some photos: https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969/album/AF1QipPx8DqLQ9kd3Tapf5W06qxMtc0SOPwesLW6IcQo]

She joined a Buddhist commune, helping to construct a mud-brick school in central Thailand.

[No, I didn’t “join”, I spent enjoyable some time there volunteering.]

From July until December 2005 she was an independent, volunteer English teacher during travels in India​. From May 2007 she has been a volunteer editor of the Zahel Youth Exchange Program in the Public Relations Departmetn of An-Najah National University​ in Nablus​, Palestine​. [Yes, I was an editor for a period, doing whatever I could to help out. Bless those people in Nablus, and all of occupied Palestine.]

[What should be included in the Volunteer section is 8 months in the occupied West Bank volunteering with the ISM, documenting some of the daily horrors and crimes Israeli soldiers and colonists inflict on Palestinians:

https://opt2007.wordpress.com/category/my-entries-from-occupied-palestine-apr-dec-2007/

*Just some photos:

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969/album/AF1QipNQ1f961-oxOtc43xLvyvtgOzMLZH_WTG0pSXmz

And also my years volunteering with the ISM in Gaza, documenting Israeli war crimes, the brutal Israeli siege on Gaza, Israeli soldiers maiming Palestinian farmers and fishers, and more:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/category/farming-under-fire/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/category/fishing-under-fire/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/category/zionists-wars-on-gaza/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/category/water-and-sanitation/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/category/manufactured-poverty-gaza/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2008/11/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2008/12/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/03/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/04/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/05/

…More in drop-down archives on right hand side of blog.

Journalism

Bartlett documented the 2008-2009 and 2012 Israeli attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances​ and reporting from hospitals​.

[See:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/widespread-attacks-on-gaza-leave-at-least-227-dead-hundreds-seriously-injured/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/shifa-icu-a-glimpse-of-hospital-critical-injuries/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2008/12/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/day-6-israeli-war-on-gaza-endless-drones-endless-bombings/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/why-we-are-staying/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/03/what-the-medics-see-do-and-are-subjected-to-uncensored/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/they-know-no-limits-now-a-new-nakba/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/panicked-residents-unable-to-flee/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/medic-murdered-by-targeted-israeli-shelling/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/israeli-army-kills-palestinian-medic-with-dart-bomb/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/gaza-walks-shells-of-buildings-rubble-filled-streets/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/death-fills-the-air-the-streets-in-gaza-updates-from-gazas-north/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/bombing-the-news-building-i-was-in/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/no-room-for-the-dead-no-room-for-the-living/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/they-will-not-finish-until-the-martyrs-reach-1000-gaza-nurse/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/injured-denied-access-israeli-soldiers-shoot-woman-in-stomach-and-keep-elderly-hostages/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/israeli-sniper-targets-uniformed-medics-what-i-witnessed-in-gaza/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/day-18-of-israeli-war-on-gaza-surreality/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/immense-grief-updates-from-runs-with-medics/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/7-minutes-before-the-2nd-bombing/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/another-funeral-bombed/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/documenting-israels-use-of-white-phosphorous-and-widespread-destruction/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/long-burning-fires-white-phosphorous-on-sheikh-rajleen/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/white-phosphorous-mutilated-and-murdered-family-members/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/burning-al-quds-one-of-gazas-remaining-functional-hospitals-destroyed-in-israels-war-on-gaza/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/a-few-short-updates-continued-israeli-shelling-f-16s-and-drones-after-the-ceasefire/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/its-a-ceasefirejust-not-on-the-beach-not-in-your-home/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/all-weve-got-left-of-him/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/next-time-it-will-hurt-more-israeli-threat-against-surviving-family-members-of-white-phosphorous-attack/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/ezbet-abed-rabbo-they-make-like-art-here/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/while-eating-chips-and-chocolate-israeli-soldiers-murder-2-and-7-year-old/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/they-killed-me-three-times/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2012/11/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2012/12/%5D

Since April 2014, Bartlett has visited, made videos​ and taken interviews in various areas of Syria​ following their liberation, including Aleppo​, Homs​, Madaya, and Damascus​.

[See:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/liberated-homs-residents-challenge-notion-of-revolution/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/devastation-and-inspiration-recalling-liberated-maloula/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/overcoming-savagery-and-treachery-maaloulas-heroic-defenders-fight-for-the-future/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mintpress-meets-father-iconic-aleppo-boy-says-media-lied-son/228722/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/syria-war-diary-what-life-is-like-under-moderate-rebel-rule/231201/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/order-returns-to-western-syria-civilians-recount-horrors-rebel-rule/232380/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/syria-war-diary-order-returns-to-western-cities-civilians-recount-horrors-of-rebel-rule/

-men from Madaya speak on terrorists hoarding food, starving civilians

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Ktf7UkHx8

-Madaya Bomb Factory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xl54mHshbs

-Madaya prison and torture room

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXW2Dkk_1Bg

-Wounded Buqayn employee, Madaya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikgV0O9i36g

…More here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCDWiSkeu-CK2oklDt7YgyA

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/]

Bartlett has also given talks on topics of Imperialism​ and North Korea​.

[Imperialism on Trial videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR5hjJzyN1Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpMK7FK1yCM&list=PLqtiZC-4QZC2fxRv0-Vo2mxmTrvVRwp2H&index=1]

[North Korea, DPRK videos and article:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/north-korea-neither-trump-nor-western-media-wants-world-see/233355/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/north-korea-neither-trump-nor-western-media-wants-world-see/233355/]

She has been interviewed widely by George Galloway​, RT News, 21st Century Wire​, etc.

[https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/report-back-on-douma-and-other-eastern-ghouta-areas-also-on-aleppo-and-daraa-interview-on-21st-century-wire/

https://21stcenturywire.com/2016/09/04/episode-151-sunday-wire-war-by-ngo-with-guests-dady-chery-eva-bartlett-vanessa-beeley/

https://21stcenturywire.com/2016/07/24/episode-145-sunday-wire-live-from-glastonbury-with-guests-eva-bartlett-chris-pothecary-basil-valentine/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/talking-syria-media-lies-on-sputnik-orbiting-the-world/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/my-interviews-on-syria/

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/interviews-and-talks-on-palestine/]

On 9 December 2016, Bartlett gave a press conference as part of the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations.

[Correction: I asked to hold a press conference as the US Peace Council had done in summer 2016. See: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/a-personal-reply-to-the-fact-challenged-smears-of-terrorist-whitewashing-channel-4-snopes-and-la-presse/]

A clip of the video went viral and was viewed over 3,000,000 times.

[Correction: One of the first clips, Scoop Whoop, has over 13 million views.

https://www.facebook.com/ScoopWhoopUnscripted/videos/580686822128516/?hc_ref=ARRe1CBSXTTCoKcrBaSjQVSc-DPo0BeVbXxWw6esxMsUTm5bRLjbS7J3Y5sGCzOZf_8]

In March 2017, Mexico City​, Bartlett was granted the “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” by the Mexican Press Club​. Co-recipients included John Pilger​ and political analyst Thierry Meyssan​, among others.

[https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1495044577172198.1073741901.100000000104830&type=1&l=7a57272b5f]

Bartlett has been the victim of a smear campaign​ by various supporters of the White Helmets, which she thoroughly exposed and debunked​ in a YouTube​ interview.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ah_tDPV1yc]

[https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/recent-interview-eva-bartlett-on-syria-smear-campaign/]

[Also written rebuttals:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/a-personal-reply-to-the-fact-challenged-smears-of-terrorist-whitewashing-channel-4-snopes-and-la-presse/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-mainstream-media-whitewashed-al-qaeda-and-the-white-helmets-in-syria/5624930]

Interests and achievments

Bartlett maintainted a four year music scholarship and Dean’s List at Mount Allison University. She is a certified scuba diver​, First Dan Black Belt in Tae kwan do​ and certified Grade 10 in classical piano​ by the Royal Conservatory of Music​. She has made years of independent travel around the world including many European, North African​ and Asian countries.

[More photos (but most non-digital and in photo albums) here:

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969/album/AF1QipOKdp4I3Nn2mLprgG3P6LDaDY5hwlMnfXX5F9CN]

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/106862188263818711969?source=pwa]

A Decalogue: The Ten Theses of American Empire-Building: A Dialogue

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, August 11, 2018

 

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire’s carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders’ proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, ‘legislatures’ under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger, billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes ‘meddled’ on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia’s revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israeli’s have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

In the US the buyers and brokers are called ‘lobbyists’ – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a ‘political purge’ even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The “mass cover” is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

Thesis 10

The empire is like a three-legged stool it promotes genocide, to secure magnicide and to rule by homicide. Invasions kills millions, capture and kill rulers and then rule by homicide – police assassinating dissenting citizens.

The cases are readily available: Iraq and Libya come to mind. The US and its allies invaded, bombed and killed over a million Iraqis, captured and assassinated its leaders and installed a police state.

A similar pattern occurred in Libya: the US and EU bombed, killed and uprooted several million people, assassinated Ghadaffy and fomented a lawless terrorist war of clans, tribes and western puppets.

“Western values” reveal the inhumanity of empires built to murder “a la carte” – stripping the victim nations of their defenders, leaders and citizens.

Conclusion

The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism – its continuities and novelties.

The mass media systematically write and speak lies to power: their message is to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons to continue to plunder the world.

*

Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

‘Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

August 03, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog‘Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

Trotsky was and, in as much as he lives in his writings, remains the foremost strategist of world socialist revolution. Hence the indissoluble association of his name with the theory and strategy of Permanent Revolution—an association familiar even to those like Mazaheri….”

That is a quote from the World Socialist Web Site’s 3-part series designed to rebut my work popularising the concept of “Iranian Islamic Socialism”, and by extension to also rebut “Islamic Socialism”, “Christian Socialism”, “Hindu Socialism”, etc.

Well, a supremely important association which I think is not at all familiar even to those like the World Socialist Web Site is that, for Shia, Imam Ali “remains the foremost strategist of world cultural revolution”. Nor are they likely at all familiar that the conscious martyrdom of his son, Imam Hossain (spelled Husayn or Hussein or Hussain in Arabic), makes him “the foremost strategist of world permanent revolution”.

This article will show that there is room for all of them in socialism, and in the fight against capitalism and imperialism.

The reason for this is because Prophet Mohammad, unlike Jesus son of Mary, undoubtedly led the greatest, most immediate and most sweeping religious and political revolution ever. This undeniable fact of humankind’s history can certainly continue to be ignored, but it will remain a historical fact.

This should be quite relevant to the WSWS in 2018 because the messages of Imam Ali and Imam Hossain have been combined, over many decades, with socialism to arrive at the unique culture proclaimed in the 1980s and which I refer to as “Iranian Islamic Socialism”.

That is a on an undeniable socio-political-cultural level. On an intellectual level it is just as crystal-clear: 20th/21st century Iranians re-examined Islam through the intellectual lenses provided by Marxism, Trotskyism, Maoism and all the other socialist schools of thought, and this led to the intellectual concept known as Revolutionary Shi’ism.

All of these facts can certainly continue to not be discussed outside of Iran, but Iran will keep adding layer upon layer of solder upon these two ideas from two different historical eras – the early Islamic era and the modern era of socialism – and certainly all without me clarifying it or commenting upon it.

It is unfortunate – because it shows their lack of crucial & objective historical knowledge – that just as Western leftists do not appreciate the political-economic-social revolutionary aspects of Prophet Mohammad, even fewer appreciate the similar qualities of Imam Ali. That will be the basis of this part, while Part 9 will discuss the related political qualities of Imam Hossain. These are not two figures I have plucked from obscurity – they are the two key leaders of the Shia religion, as well as successful revolutionary political beacons in two eras separated by 1300 years.

For the WSWS, Western leftists, and many Western rightists, religion is not and should not be political. People keep telling this to Iranians as if we have not heard it before…and quite obviously totally ignored it!

“It is surprising! For what purpose then, was the Prophet fighting? For what purpose was Imam Ali fighting? Is it not the question of politics? Is it not the fact that criminals are ruling over the people?”

In these two articles on Ali and Hossain I will often quote from Revolutionary Shi’ism proponent Ali Shariati and his Martyrdom and Martyrdom, a collection of his lectures on this issue.

Westerners may believe that religion and politics must be separated in a government: to use their sacred, inviolable and individualistic phrase, they “have that right” in their own countries. What they cannot believe – unless they willingly wish to remain in error – is that politics and religion are somehow two fundamentally unrelated socio-intellectual domains: both endeavour to tell us how to live, after all. It is notable that the Western view also lacks the democratic majority in a global sense – perhaps one finds that significant.

What is certain is that if one side does not give up…we will just go around in circles endlessly: Westerners with their dogmatic secularism and rabid laïcité (both of which latently support Christianity), and on the other side people like Shariati, myself and countless billions of others with: It is surprising! For what purpose then….

How imperialism dies: Learning from socialism’s mistakes and unlearning capitalist propaganda

The WSWS seems to think that I have invented something new:

“He again insists that socialism in Iran can galvanize the masses only if fused with Shia Islam. This argument is far easier to make if one ignores, as Mazaheri does, any consideration of the pivotal role of the Stalinist Tudeh Party in the development of the Iranian workers’ movement.”

I am not insisting anything about the galvanising power of Shia Islam in Iran – this is what has already happened. Truly, I am a journalist just reporting the facts. These are facts which are, unfortunately, not reported by many others.

However, this article will provide some new scholarship on Iran: I will show how there is a clear parallel between the aims of Imam Ali and Mao, both of whom attempted Cultural Revolutions after they perceived their initial political revolutions to be failing.

This is of vital interest, precedent and perspective to all political revolutionaries, and not just Shia and Chinese ones.

Now, I don’t want much credit here because I will use Shariati’s own scholarship to show that he essentially proved this…but he did not know it. The likely reason is that people like Shariati (died 1977) did not have the chance to unlearn the anti-socialist propaganda about China’s Cultural Revolution, which I helped debunk here. Furthermore, Shariati was so powerful because he was incredibly and uniquely adept at employing Marxist perspectives on Islam, but he was also anti-Marxist in the sense that he did not want formal communists to come to power in Iran – he was not inclined to openly laud Chinese communists, perhaps. Indeed, much of Shariati’s writing on communism is negative and filled with now-outdated ideas that communism is inescapably totalitarian, whereas modern socialist countries are not the USSR in 1942.

While there is much writing on Marxism and socialism on the Farsi-language internet, there is apparently no claim like the one I am making. Nor is there much on the claims of the next part in this series – the link between Imam Hossain and the need for “Permanent Revolution”, but it is not the desert of the Imam Ali-Cultural Revolution claim. However, I feel certain these links are easily proven, and that they likely were made in the revolutionary heyday of the 1970s…back when Revolutionary Shi’ism was disseminated via cassette tapes of Shariati and Khomenei lectures and flimsy mimeographs. I’m glad the internet makes the registration of such ideas seemingly permanent.

The continued moral failures of capitalism and imperialism mean that socialism – from an economic and democratic perspective – is the only way forward. Iran, and others, will never give up religion, so that is a non-issue, but understanding historical parallels shows the universality of the human economic-political experience. The ability to appreciate Prophet Mohammad, Ali, Hossain, Jesus, Moses, Mao, Trotsky and others as common socio-political liberators draws us all closer together, and closer to the goal of peace and shared prosperity.

This what’s makes the above claim by the WSWS rather pernicious, and it marks a turning point in their tract: it’s when the WSWS tries to appropriate the credit for the 1979 Iranian Revolution away from Revolutionary Shi’ism in order to give it to the Iranian Communist Party. And to give it lock, stock and barrel, furthermore. This is why the bulk of their series discusses the history of the Tudeh Party. Both ideologies existed, but one obviously prevailed; both ideologies existed, and to completely ignore one of them is obviously bad history. This appears like the rather common modern practice of rewriting Iranian history by Westerners, which is misleading, dangerous and self-serving. Of course, Iran is not alone in being victimised like this.

Certainly, it was not communism which ultimately galvanised the masses: by the late 1970s communism had already been present for decades, just as it was in every other nation in the world. Indeed, as Iran was never subject to colonial domination, it is a fact that communism had far more latitude and influence than in many colonised nations. But the truly-atheist Tudeh party members (which were truly few in Iran, where polls show less than 5% are atheists today) faced the same problem the WSWS does today: you may educate the Iranian masses all you want on Trotskyism, but that doesn’t mean they will also renounce viewing Imam Ali as a religious and political model.

While their series was informative on the topic they preferred – although it was clearly exaggerated – WSWS readers would have learned much more about Iran if they had instead talked about the enduring political influence of Imam Ali.

Indeed, the refusal to even consider the possibility that Ali, Islam or religion can have a positive and enduring political influence is what dooms Western leftism to political marginalisation in Iran, and elsewhere. It is also creates obvious enmity, discord, sanction & murder.

Imam Ali’s failed Cultural Revolution: the ideological schism between Shia and Sunnis

It is impossible to understand Iran without at least passing familiarity with Ali and with his son Hossain.

In short: Imam Ali, the very first male Muslim, Mohammad’s son-in-law, the 4th Caliph to Sunnis and the 1st to Shia –in the historical context of a perceived slackening in Islam’s revolutionary, political and moral integrity – cemented the ideological Sunni-Shia schism by trying to implement a Cultural Revolution after the initial political Revolution of Islam.

(The schism was officially created decades before: Mohammad repeatedly & openly declared Ali to be his successor at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but this decision was surprisingly reversed on the very day of the Prophet’s death at the Saqifah. This decision installed tribal dominance instead of the will and house of Mohammad, and Ali was not able to resist this decision. Ghadir Khumm is why Shia consider Ali to be the first Caliph, and is truly the root of the split, but Ali’s future actions – described here – would considerably exacerbate it.)

Perhaps all peoples of all times have reinterpreted religion to better understand and to improve the times in which they have lived?

It’s certain that many reinterpret religion to make their times more reactionary: drive through the United States and you will hear on radio station after radio station the combination of Christian fundamentalism and anti-government / pro-capitalist ideology. This is no exaggeration – for them the “beast” of the Bible is actually a symbol for the government, which is inherently evil. It obviously fits perfectly with the neoliberal view. There is also plenty of airspace reserved for “prosperity gospel”, where faith in God is only needed to make you rich. These are obviously not distortions of a failed Christian creed, but of a failed capitalist-imperialist one.

Instead of delusionally reinterpreting Jesus as a way to make money, the application and promotion of leftist perspectives on Ali and Hossain provided more inspiration for the common masses than the Tudeh Party ever did or possibly ever could.

Leftists fail to see that Prophet Mohammad was a political revolutionary

Don’t worry: This section will not be long, nor will it involve quoting the Koran.

I could do that, but many leftists have closed ears, and “God confounds whom He will” (couldn’t resist that one short, oft-repeated quote!).

What this section will recap is the political humanitarian revolution which Prophet Mohammad created. These basic historical, sociological and political aspects of Islam are facts which cannot be denied, and should be of intellectual interest to atheists at the very least.

As I have said often before: Shariati was just one of many, many similar Iranian political thinkers who was / are intensely Muslim and also politically leftist. His work is marked by superb political insights combined with an intensely urgent and open concern for morality.

For an example of his political insights, Shariati noted that the social origins of Jesus and Mohammad – the two Abrahamic prophets of whom we have definitive historical proof – were not the aristocratic ones of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Aristotle, Plato, etc. Indeed, all the founders of schools of pre-Enlightenment thought in Europe, China, Iran and India fundamentally supported their aristocratic, elitist, hyper-conservative political establishments. However, the primary Abrahamic messengers (including Moses, who was born to an enslaved people and then orphaned) were drawn from the People and openly opposed the existing power structure.

This helps explain why the main Abrahamic prophets were explicitly sent to free people not just spiritually and morally but politically as well. Unlike Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism or Taoism, “Abrahamism” has always been decidedly political and decidedly against the establishment: Abraham against the ruling polytheists and his father the idol-maker; Moses against Pharaoh; Jesus son of Mary against a slave-owning, imperial Rome which lacked political compassion; Mohammad against the oppression inherently imposed by polytheism (the humorous and sad delusion that God or gods are actually working against you), the meagre cynicism of materialism (scientific, not material), aristocratic privileges, social castes and tribal divisions.

Indeed the Western-created “Sunni-Shia divide” could only be created by non-Muslims because Mohammad ENDED tribalism, sectarianism and nationalism ,and every Muslim is aware of this. This is easily proven: Watch any gathering of Muslims and you see people of all hues and ethnicities – it is beautiful, politically, and the direct result of the humanitarian revolution espoused by Islam. This is absent among the insular “chosen” Jews, and far less present among Christians; indeed, the presence of multiple races in Christianity is largely due to their legacy of forced conversion, a practice barred in Islam.

All of this helps show why Islam is the undoubted political updating of Abrahamic thought. Mohammad had a mission of unification because he repeatedly confirmed the previous Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity (the Torah (Old Testament) and New Testament), and because he also created a unification of time and space by pointedly declaring Islam to NOT be a “new” religion – it is simply a continuation of the one true religion of monotheism.

This idea (tawhidis the indispensable base of Islam: it is the oneness of God, which implies the oneness of all things (from atoms to people to galaxies, as everything is under the direction of a limitless, all-knowing, all-seeing God). This is a fundamentally unitarian concept, accommodates both Western and Eastern concepts, and is also fully in accordance with the last great confirmed scientific theory, the Theory of Relativity.

A fun scientific sidebar!

The Theory of Relatively is far from being just the equation E = mc2 – that’s just the part to say to appear smart. Its theoretical importance is this: when observing the universe no one place is any better or different than another – the laws of nature are universal no matter where or by whom they are described, i.e. there is this egalitarian tawhid on a galactic level.

When scientists inevitably find a “theory of everything”, that too will logically confirm tawhid.

There is one scientific and cosmological debate left which, I must concede, still threatens the victory of tawhid and which could prove the polytheists correct: What is the true nature of the universe’s continual expansion?

If expansion never stops, that implies an eventual thinning out of matter, and thus cooling, and thus death – in theological terms, the Day of Judgement. But what if there is never a day when the universe stops expanding but – instead of thinning out – a day when it actually contracts upon itself? And if that occurs, does it then expand again?

The latter is posited by Hinduism, which believes that the universe has an infinite number of deaths and rebirths; Big Bang, contraction and reversal, then back to the same Big Bang; have all been here before, and we will all be here again. Does time run backwards during a contraction?

This is all scientifically plausible because it has not yet been disproven.

The key appears to lay in solving the mysteries of black holes, if that possible.

Another key lays in the possibility of being able to discover the nature of matter by finding the truly “smallest particle” – we may just keep subdividing forever: molecules into atoms into quarks into…. If we subdivide forever, that seems to support tawhid, because God is limitless. If we reach an end, that seems to support Hindu cosmology.

So for all the opprobrium Muslims and monotheists heap on Hinduism for their idolatry (known as shirk), we still cannot scientifically reject their cosmology. For now, the answer is a question of faith.

I think religious honesty requires us to be open and honest about the limitations of our scientific knowledge – the Koran repeatedly states that one who makes up lies about God is among the most reprehensible of sinners. Indeed, a mind that demands total certainty and cannot tolerate doubt is a fanatical one. I also think every religious person agrees that atheists are far more fanatical in their alleged cosmological certainties than either monotheists or polytheists.

We may never find out, but I have faith in the galactic applicability of tawhid. Fortunately, the Koran forbids forcing a Hindu into accepting tawhid. Nor can you force a Muslim to become a Hindu because Hinduism – it is often said – is not a religion but a culture: there is no process to “convert” to Hinduism – one can only live it. So…Muslims have no problem allowing Hindus to remain peacefully confounded in whatever hundred billion-year cycle they are currently in, and the same goes for Hindus regarding Muslims who refuse to practice Hindusim.

I do not seek to upset the peace of the Hindus, because solving the most difficult astronomical and cosmological questions are far beyond the ken of a daily hack journalist like myself. And maybe there is tawhid in Hinduism which I am perhaps missing?

What this sidebar makes clear is: capitalist-imperialist Western societies have been totally unable to incorporate 20th-century scientific advances into their cultural philosophies. Their People are encouraged in identity politics (where one viewpoint is superior to another, depending on the situation), supporting foreign wars and in exacerbating economic inequalities, all of which contradict the social corollaries of modern science.

They remain quite stuck in their unmodern bourgeois conceptions of humanity, society & science, and this should be expected: they have rejected socialism, which was directly inspired by such modern scientific advances, and which has always sought to reflect it.

Back to something far easier to explain: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

This inviolable unity of all things proclaimed by Mohammad necessary implies a call for socio-political-economic-cultural unity. To say that it does not is to take us back to, “It is surprising! For what purpose then….”

Shariati’s genius was to take Islamic concepts like tawhid and make correlates with them in Marxist socio-economic thought. He did this over and over, and this is why he was so wildly popular and why Iran was so successfully inspired to create a truly modern revolution in 1979. This is also why all of the politics and structures I have described in this 11-part series do not have historical parallels; are decidedly not capitalist; nor are they a return to the 7th century – what has been created in Iran since 1979 is entirely unique (revolutionary).

And I’d say he was right: Tawhid clearly is more politically revolutionary than the insufficient “chosen people” unity of the Jews. Even China’s I Ching explicitly warns of this, in Chapter 13 “Seeking Harmony” – “Seeking harmony within a clan, it is selfish and stingy”.

It is also more progressively uniting than the Holy Trinity of Christianity, which Islam explicitly rejects: God is not three – He is one, and one is all.

In the Abrahamic religion Islam is obviously the most concerned with this idea of egalitarian unity. Indeed, Prophet Mohammad “cornered the market on unity” for all-time and for every time: In Islam (as I alluded to earlier by saying that Islam unified time and space), anyone who has ever believed or will ever believe in monotheism is essentially a Muslim. This insistence also makes it an undeniable reality that there can never be another monotheistic religion in the Abrahamic line – Islam has effectively co-opted all monotheism.

Therefore, the next Abrahamic prophet can only appear on the Day of Judgment… because what else could possibly be offered more than an Islam which offers everything there always has, is, and will be offered regarding monotheistic belief? This is why the Koran begins with praise after praise for monotheistic Jews & Christians as well as plea after plea for Jews & Christians to join this intellectual, social and cultural updating of Abrahamism provided by its latest prophet.

Because another monotheistic prophet is thus a logical impossibility, Muslims believe a “Hidden Imam” (or Mahdi) walks the earth until the Day of Judgment, when he will walk hand-in-hand with Jesus to defeat the false messiah (or Antichrist to Christians) and establish peace and justice on earth This doctrine is not essential in Sunni, but popular, while for Shia it is an essential doctrine.

Many have falsely claimed to be the Mahdi over the centuries, including the fore-runner of the Bahai – that claim was obviously false, because peace and justice clearly do not reign globally. That is why the Bahai are not tolerated in Iran (and this fact predates 1979, of course): there is a rather enormous, Islam-jeopardizing claim which is being made and not fulfilled.

But the galactic nature of tawhid and the realisation that Islam owns all monotheism aside, what needs to be appreciated by non-Muslims is how Mohammad overturned the political order and broke with aristocratic and sectarian values. Just as bus drivers became bosses in 1979 Iran, so in the time of Mohammad slaves with noble natures became higher than aristocrats. From Shariati:

“This is why the Prophet of Islam marked the turning point for slaves who, throughout history, were certain that their fate was slavery…they believed that they existed solely to experience suffering, to carry heavy loads, and to go hungry so that others might receive pleasure. They were born and created for this.

This deprived class, who were convinced that the gods or God were their enemy…. The Prophet of Islam had been appointed in order to complete the movement which had existed throughout history against deception, falsehood, polytheism, creation of discord, hypocrisy, aristocracy and class differences which were all made an object of the spiritual struggle; and by announcing that all of humanity is of one race, one source, one nature and one God, to declare equality for all, with philosophical explanation, and by fighting an economically powerful regime to maintain social equity.”

Clearly, the lenses, ideas and language of Marxism, socialism, class struggle, democratic equality and economic equality are present and have been combined with Islam in 20th century Revolutionary Shi’ism. Combine this by many volumes and you have only Shariati’s output on an issue which captivated Iranian society. “Iranian Islamic Socialism” is not new – it just an apt journalistic catchphrase.

Certainly, the political impact of Jesus son of Mary was only felt after his death, while Prophet Mohammad created political revolutions in land after land, tribe after tribe, ethnicity after ethnicity, and race after race with his creed of total social equality.

Many Christians openly hold Mohammad’s political conquests against him from a moral point of view: this because they clearly fail to realise the revolutionary socio-political demands of Islam, due to their often total ignorance of Islam’s doctrines. Priests in Islam simply are fighters for God and social justice. Islamic preachers are not monks, nor celibate, nor divorced from society, nor unconcerned with society in order to worship God all alone, nor encouraged to live in isolation, nor obsessed with performing rites and rituals, nor plying magic to make it rain (or to do whatever polytheistic / folk shamans do), etc. They are ordered to create social justice.

However, to Shariati and to Shia, this very real socio-political revolutionary aspect of Islam was diminished due to the failure of 2nd and 3rd-generation Islamic revolutionaries to heed Imam Ali’s message.

Imam Ali and his call for Cultural Revolution to preserve the leftist political gains

Because Islam was a political revolution of still unparalleled global consequence, there is much for everyone to study on a historical-political level in the period immediately after Mohammad, who passed in 632. We can view this era from an areligious historical perspective, and it is politically quite enlightening.

This is not the exact same thing as what Shariati and others did – they applied a modern political lens on Islam itself as well as its history. What I am saying here is: Non-Muslims can apply a modern historical lens on the early Islamic era, and we will find the results are almost identical.

We must realise that in 656, when Imam Ali became the 4th Caliph, it was a dire situation for the now-aged first generation of political revolutionaries of Islam.

After all, how many political revolutions haven’t lasted more than a few years before reverting back to the previous & reactionary status quo?

From a purely political perspective, and as Shariati recounts: In 656 it was nearing the end for that first generation of revolutionaries. Ali, the only person ever born in the Kabaa, was 55 years old and had fought in nearly every major battle. He had also retired from politics to work as a farmer – he still mended his own shoes. He had to be pushed into becoming Caliph, and only did so because the revolution was starting to eat its children: His predecessor had been assassinated, factions had appeared, once-liberated areas were rebelling due to poor political governance, while some new converts may have converted for political gain and were thus possible opportunists with questionable grounding in Islam.

It is as if Raul Castro was seeing the growth of parties who want Guantanamo Bay to be legally part of the USA, that the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were no longer holding meetings, and that state-ownership of the mother industries of the economy were being sold off to Floridians.

Imam Ali assumed the Caliphate and did what he thought was needed – he restored the political revolution of equality initiated by Mohammad.

Ali waged a war against financial corruption and unfair privileges – he was a politically-enlightened (as well as religiously enlightened) revolutionary, after all. He gave the same wages for politicians as he did to slaves, levelled taxes and opposed the reigning nepotism in favor of seniority. There is no doubt that such leftist ideas rarely reign supreme now, either, and that they were just as opposed by the same unenlightened forces back in the 7th century.

Ali’s message of political piety was obviously not appreciated by everyone, least of in largely-Christian Damascus. The governor there was Muawiyah I, the eventual founder of the Umayyad dynasty. After a political marriage to a powerful Christian tribe and many military successes, Muawiyah was powerful enough to not recognise Ali as the 4th Caliph.

The Christian makeup of Damascus was not the problem: the problem was that the anti-reactionary blaze of the Revolution of Islam had so very much to burn. From Shariati, in that typically overstuffed-yet-somehow-not-unnecessary style of Persian carpets and minatures:

“The traditions, rules, etiquette of society, economic and aristocratic systems, thoughts, ideas, tastes, literature, poetry, music, dance, amusements, social relations, ethics and manners of ‘civilized’ Rome and Iran, the social class system and aristocratic regime, the political system of the Caesars and Kings, the type and form of monastic and clerical traditions, the properties which are hierarchical and bureaucratic, the official and classical system of rule, and finally, the progressive (meaning less austere) Iranian and Roman civilizations certainly had an influence upon the simple Islamic communities.

The wealth, power, position and countless ‘spoils’ which had been earned in the Muslim victories make people grow fat and it is because of this that they are no longer listening to Ali’s advice, his goal and his sufferings. The majority of the people are quite happy with the situation. They are no longer fond of such problems. They show no sensitivity whatsoever to them. These people have now changed into being the servants of wealth and power.”

Shariati has clearly recounted a lessening of political fervour which can be seen in seemingly all political revolutions.

Also for Shariati, Ali is so vital in large part because the power centre in Damascus began to manipulate Islam for its own political conquests, fostering a quietism among the religious authorities.

Comparisons of the post-Mohammad-era political culture with the USSR after Stalin and China in the 1960s show obvious parallels…as they must, because all three were the supremely-modern political revolutions of their respective eras.

After the first generation of revolutionaries passed with Stalin, Khrushchev pursued revisionist policies in the name of individualistic anti-Stalinism; then, when the USSR had pulled itself up to the level of the dominant Western imperialists, they preferred the calm Brezhnev era, which was totally stagnant from a revolutionary perspective; finally, Gorbachev’s era had become so estranged from Russian socialist ideals that he foolishly embraced massive tolerance of counterrevolutionary thought (glasnost), which played a major role in subverting the Russian Revolution. Revolutionaries became “the servants of wealth and power,” instead of the deprived classes.

Following 1949’s victory, after many years of similar revolutionary stagnation and at least seven failed official anti-corruption campaigns, Mao and his fellow first-generation revolutionaries listened to the demands of their youth in the 1960s and empowered them to institute the Cultural Revolution in order to restore revolutionary integrity. Thus when Mao died in 1976 the younger generations had personally witnessed the regeneration of revolutionary ideals, and ones extremely similar to those which Imam Ali was espousing 1,300 years earlier. In 2018, when China is close to returning a socialist nation to the same economic status as the dominant Western imperialists, books such as China is Communist, Dammit by Jeff J. Brown are necessary reading not just in the West but inside China itself – rust never sleeps, after all.

Iran instituted the world’s only other official Cultural Revolution immediately after the 1979 Revolution. Even though it expressly rejected anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist thought, as in China, it came at a very different revolutionary period of revolutionary history. This is a vital nuance, but one which does not overshadow the kinship between the world’s only two official Cultural Revolutions. There was talk of a second one in 2005 with the election of Ahmadinejad, the first Basiji president.

In my 8-part series on China I showed how constant Western pressures (blockade, Vietnam War, Indonesian communist genocide) were key additional reasons for China’s Cultural Revolution – it would thus not be historically surprising if the constant Western pressure on Iran does eventually produce a 2nd Cultural Revolution more exactly similar to the first one in China.

The appetite for and unprecedented success in Cultural Revolution is one of the many, many cultural and political similarities between modern Iran and modern China, as I discussed in part 4 of this series.

Perhaps it is not surprising that the non-Semitic Iranians have been so insistent in their accusation that the Arab early Sunnis turned Islam into an imperialist war machine instead of being content to morally improve their own backyards. But it seems historically verifiable: Instead of the values being determined by the Koran and Islam, the values were being decided by Damascus…unless Ali’s ideas prevailed. Did they?

To Shia: The counter-revolution in Islam in generations after Mohammad

No they did not. Ali’s Cultural Revolution created major opposition from the Byzantine elites in Damascus. Governor Muawiyah openly rebelled, demanding autonomy, refusing diplomacy, and thus sparking the First Fitna (Muslim Civil War).

Muawiyah’s army had become accustomed to war, with regular battles against the Byzantines (or Romans, as they called themselves – North European historians apparently insist on this false distinction). The militarily-innovative Muawiyah had just established Arab naval supremacy over the Byzantine / Eastern Roman Empire in the Battle of the Masts of 654, two years prior to Ali’s assumption of the Caliphate. The death of the Zoroastrian Yazdgerd III, Sassanid Iran’s last ruler, occurred in 651 and thus both East and West presented plenty of war booty for thousands of kilometers.

So, in 656, for Imam Ali to come in with his revolutionary piety instead of worldly gain at a historical time when all roads to conquest were wide open….

War between the partisans of Ali (the word “Shia” means “partisans of Ali”) and Muawiyah ensued and, about to be defeated, Muawiyah famously instructed his soldiers to put Korans on the tip of their lances. Inspiration or blasphemy? The soldiers themselves did not know, either, and the confusion stopped the fighting and saved Muawiyah. Diplomacy resumed, arbitration was unsatisfactory and confusion reigned for several years…which was the obvious goal of Muawiyah.

It was his goal because during this break in the First Fitna the powerful new elites in all directions certainly did not grow to appreciate pious Ali’s views. It’s as if Muawiyah was betting on the continued decreasing of revolutionary fervour and increasing of capitalist-imperialist desires. Ali’s soldiers began to be poached and bought off by Damascus. Infighting and discord increases among Ali’s own partisans. Eventually, Ali could not consolidate his position in Iraq, where Muawiyah’s army began invading.

In 661 Imam Ali is assassinated in in Kufa, Iraq – stabbed in the back while prostrated in prayer.

Ali’s legacy is summed up by Shariati thusly:

“The Prophet is the manifestation of Islamic victory on the foreign front – over outright atheism and polytheism – whereas Ali is the manifestation of Islamic defeat within the ranks, at the hands of hypocrisy.”

Thus we have a major cause of the root of the Iranian obsession with hypocrisy, which is essentially the same thing as “corruption” to the Chinese or “opportunism” to Cubans. Of course, capitalists cannot be called “hypocrites” because capitalism is synonymous with hypocrisy, corruption & opportunism in every sense of the words and their practices & applications.

Equal to Iranian hatred of hypocrisy is “arrogance”, which is used synonymously with “imperialism” in everyday Iranian political discourse: imperialists arrogantly believe that they know better than the conquered locals, after all.

In the same way but with none of the same logic, Americans use “imperialism” and “capitalism” interchangeably, even though they are two very separate (but related) practices. Falsely using these two as synonyms explains why Western media essentially instructs (“read: capitalism”) in the rare case they actually even print the word “imperialism”.

“The political, social and international make-up of Ali was the representative par excellence of a new struggle, a struggle between the leaders and the loyalists of the new set of values, of the new faith, who rose up with new and true slogans of Islam and found themselves confronting the greed and worst elements of the revival of the rule of ignorance…. Ali is the manifestation of an age in which an internecine struggle took place between a loyal faithful and anti-movement elements who donned the masks of faith.”

Ali did not represent “only Iranians” or “only Iraqis” or “only Mohammad’s Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe” – he represented the idea of moral improvement: that is what true socio-political revolutions must be based on, while forgetting it means the revolution is nearing its end.

This is why Iranian Islamic Socialism has been proven to be not just some petty nationalist, sectarian or racist creed but a true, progressive revolution. The message of Imam Ali is open to all peoples; his political message is open to non-Muslims, if they would only look….which is rather the point of this article.

“Confronting the ‘neo-ignorance’ and ‘neo-aristocracy’, which comes to life within the context of Islam under the cover of truth and the very heart of the justice-seeking Revolution of Islam, Ali is the base of resistance.”

It is not surprising that a “resistance base” – has been chose as the term for the smallest unit of Iran’s Basij – there are 60-80,000 such small bases nationwide, comprising 10-25 million Basiji.

We also see here how Shia view Ali’s opponents as a “neo-aristocracy” which mistakenly installed an era of “neo-ignorance” (“neo” because it is post-Mohammad, but “ignorance” because they opposed the social revolutionary Ali).

Ali resisted the unjust, and this resistance is most certainly the cause of his still-galvanising legacy in 2018. The Tudeh Party, for all their decades of progressive activity, never approached the impact of Ali in Iran- not in politics, nor in culture, nor in morality, nor in anything. Iranian socialists succeeded because they subverted themselves to Ali, and thus won over the masses.

The effects of Ali’s failed ‘Cultural Revolution’ – revolution devolves to empire

Upon Ali’s assassination his son, Hassan, becomes the next caliph, but he is obviously dominated by Muawiyah. Muawiyah is declared Caliph with the promise that upon his death the Caliphate will return to Hassan or, if Hassan has passed, his brother Hossain.

But infamously, upon his death in 680 Muawiyah reneges on this promise and appoints his son Yazid for his successor as Caliph. The Umayyad dynasty is declared.

Thus, not only is Mohammad’s will disregarded, but the house of the Prophet has been deeply marginalized, and the democratic, consultative government of Islam has ended with the re-establishment of monarchy.

Some say that Muawiyah told his son to be gentle with Hossain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, but it should be clear that this will not be the case.

The Umayyad dynasty, while it was religiously tolerant – indeed, it was officially secular and Christians held top posts – it was ethnically intolerant, as it was pro-Arab. It was also an imperialist war machine which conquered from Spain to Afghanistan. Its legacy is almost universally considered to be negative among all Islamic historians (except by Syrian nationalists). How could it be otherwise? Given its imperialist nature, it was obviously not revolutionary nor sufficiently Islamic.

(Like Alexander, the Umayyads mistakenly thought they could do anything remotely significant to the continent and perpetual superpower of India – claims of victories there by Greeks or Muslims are woefully & shamefully exaggerated, and serve only to amuse Indians. Unfortunately, the belief of such false claims undermine the amazing achievements of India, and thus have produced a huge Western and Muslim under-appreciation for their singular importance and dominance throughout human history.)

While the actual Sunni-Shia schism undoubtedly started on the day Mohammad died, with the refusal to honor Mohammad’s appointment of Ali as the first Caliph, it might have been averted if Ali’s Cultural Revolution had been implemented.

So…we can say this intellectual schism was a cultural conflict between the Byzantine and Persian cultures in early Islamic society – that would seem to rest upon the belief in some sort of native Persian austerity which lays in opposition to a native Mediterranean belligerence. Or we can say that the Umayyads created a wholly new Islamic culture which preferred tolerance and imperialism (how very modern European) to the socio-political revolutionary Islam of Mohammad. Or we can take a political-ideological view – the Umayyad Dynasty only was able to take power because the Revolution of Islam had weakened in its fervour and integrity.

This weakening was not just by the new Islamic elite like Muawiyah, but with the People themselves – to believe otherwise seems to accept a view that history is controlled by the 1%: why did the 99% not rise up with Ali? Clearly, many preferred Muawiyah’s promises, his larger army, his richer allies, his less pious worldview. Islam was a political revolution and people do tire of revolution, after all – not everyone is a seemingly tireless Lenin or “Mr. Dyanmo” Mehdi Ben Barka of Morocco (assassinated in France in 1965, likely with aid from the Moroccan monarchy).

Of course, while under the reign of the Umayyads many would regret this decision – and these are called “Shia” today.

While they would initially headquarter in Iraq and become culturally rooted in the “Shia crescent” (Lebanon east to Iran), Shia are significantly present in nearly every Asian country from Turkey eastward until Bangladesh & China. Thus, Shi’ism is not just a small regional affair as portrayed in the West; this vast presence helps explain why there never any sort of ideological-fuelled war with Sunnis like beween Protestants and Catholics…until Zionism gained the upper hand, that is.

If the Umayyad reign had been more politically enlightened, then they would have likely superseded Ali, correct? Instead, as time went on, Imam Ali obviously became appreciated for the true & just revolutionary he was. Despite nearly 70 years of rather appalling ritual cursing of Ali – the first male Muslim – in public prayers, as ordered by the Umayyad Islamic authorities, Ali’s message grew and now his picture is all over Iran and elsewhere.

I rather doubt Mao knew the story of Ali, but as he was also an undoubtedly poetic soul I’m sure he would have appreciated it…assuming he had dispensed with the blinding anti-religious hatred of early socialists.

Conclusion:

I hope this historical recounting clearly shows how, for Shia, Ali represents a Cultural Revolution within Islam after the original Revolution of Islam. As I said, my terms and historical parallels may be new, but the ideas were present before I was even born. This will become even more clear in the next part of this series, on Imam Hossain. 20th/21st century revolutionary Shi’ism is largely based around the combination of Prophet Mohammad, Imam Ali & Imam Hossain and the political ideas of modern socialism.

The split between Iran and the rest of the Muslim world is not based on religious doctrine, but on political-economic doctrine. Iran was always fortunate to escape the capitalist-imperialist domination nearly all other Muslim nations have been and are still subjected to.

It is unfortunate that it must be tirelessly repeated to combat the dominant propaganda: The “Sunni-Shia divide” is a concoction of Washington and Tel Aviv designed to further their imperialist capitalism. That is very clear from Netanyahu’s 2016 interview with the US television news program 60 minutes: Simply look at the chilling way he responds to the journalist’s question, “Israel and Saudi Arabia: Are you actually developing an anti-Iran alliance in the Middle East?” It’s clear that he has put plenty of time into thinking about this from the way he tries to persuasively respond: “It doesn’t have to be developed – it’s there anyway.” (here at the 4:30 mark) To me it is clear that he is talking about “developing” the Sunni-Shia split, in defiance of nearly all of its 1400+ years of history.

These two articles should illustrate that the so-called “divide” is nothing compared to the Western European Catholic-Protestant divide but much closer to the Theravada-Mahayana discussion in Buddhism, where things were heated temporarily after the split, but then calmed down into peaceful mutual coexistence. Of course, if the Americans had defeated socialism in Vietnam I’m sure they would have exacerbated this difference and would have manipulated the Vietnamese into waging war on the minority Theravada nations of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand….

Yet Ali does represent a different school of Islamic thought in politics, culture and economics – many would say “the original school”.

Ali poses the question: What is to be done in the face of decreased revolutionary commitment and political counter-revolution? His son Hossain provided the answer: constant self-sacrifice for the benefit of a political-social-moral-cultural-religious goal.

Islam, like communism and Confucianism, views humans as perfectible via correct efforts and beliefs. Thus the martyrdom of Hossain inspires a Permanent Revolution in all Muslims, but especially Shia, and one which is simultaneously personal-moral & social-political.

In my experience, open-minded & religiously-searching Sunnis know, appreciate and are inspired by Hossain and Ali, but more than a few Sunnis seem to have no idea. Of course, how many Christians can truly parse the differences between the apostles of Jesus? Let’s not be harsh – we’re all united here under God (and the concept of tawhid).

However, “martyrdom” is not only about suicide – to believe this obviously extreme idea is to assume so many, many things incorrectly about the Muslim concept of “martyrdom”, and most of which reduce Iranians and Muslims to non-humans.

Clarifying the martyrdom of Hossain, the Western and Muslim views of martrydom, the cultural effects of the promotion of selflessness, and the Iranian governmental policies which have been inspired by this culture, are the subject of the next part in this series.

***********************************

This is the 8th article in an 11-part series which explains the economics, history, religion and culture of Iran’s Revolutionary Shi’ism, which produced modern Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

The WSWS, Irans economy, the Basij & Revolutionary Shiism: an 11-part series

How Iran Got Economically Socialist, and then Islamic Socialist

What privatisation in Iran? or Definitely not THAT privatisation

Parallels between Irans Basij and the Chinese Communist Party

Irans Basij: The reason why land or civil war inside Iran is impossible

A leftist analysis of Irans Basij – likely the first ever in the West

Irans Basij: Restructuring society and/or class warfare

Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

‘Martyrdom and Martyrdom’ & martyrdom, and the Basij

‘The Death of Yazdgerd’: The greatest political movie ever explains Iran’s revolution (available with English subtitles for free on Youtube here)

Iran détente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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Erratic Empire Downfalling

July 29, 2018

By Sergio Weigel for the Saker blogErratic Empire Downfalling

Everybody understands the importance of the dollar system as the Achilles heel for the US empire yet oddly, when analysing imperial action of Warshington of the last decades, the focus is usually on ideologies like Zionism or American exceptionalism, or on at most partial aspects such as fossil fuels and pipelines. Another focus, favored mainly among Americans, is that America once was great but now has lost track somehow. I still think that the means of production, or in case of the US selling dollar annotated debt masked as investment, is far more paramount for US decision-making than ideology or oil, and that America hadn’t lost track but instead desperately tries to hold on to its track.

First, a few words about America’s track. The imperialists of the US regime desperately cling to their empire, that’s a classic, that’s what imperialists do. The Nazis clung to their short-lived empire until Germany was in ruins, the Romans clung to theirs until defeated, and the British struggle during WW2 was far more about preserving theirs than it was about defeating Nazi Germany. Empires usually don’t dismantle themselves. But it’s also the American people, serfs to the empire, who are desperately clinging. That’s what I found so appalling about the Occupy movement. These millennial brats had no political agenda but to demand their cheap flat screens back from the banksters. They didn’t want change, they wanted continuity. The same is true for the so-called “alt-right” movement who have zero political agenda for a better future. They lament the present while dreaming of a past 1950s/1960s America that has never even really existed. When they say America has lost its track, they might have Middle Eastern wars in mind, but that’s rubbish because there is nothing new or different in these wars than in any wars Warshington had fought before against the Natives, their own Southern brethren, Mexico, Spain, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, you name it, and the meddling on Maidan is in no way different to what they’ve been doing in Latin American countries since the mid 19th century. Psychologically, I think, what they mourn is that the mask has fallen off and that they cannot go back to that cozy, simple, and ignorant lifestyle they had been able to enjoy up until 9/11.

To me the US empire is an historic aberration of humanity. With its genesis, its unparalleled level of violence, the categorically insolidary and segregated society and surreal consumer culture it has created, and the delusional ideology and mythology with which it justifies itself based on a borderline psychotic Messiah complex (Manifest Destiny), it represents an exceptional oddity among nations. But beyond its mental problems there is a cold, hard fact – at least within the realm of capitalism – that explains the actions and reactions of US imperialism throughout the years, especially in recent decades. It is both fuel and failure of the empire: the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, or rather the system behind it which consists of masquerading and selling debt as investment.

Many people consider the US to be a proper republic with a valid constitution, separation of powers, rule of law and all that jazz. I think that is baloney. In truth the US government is a front for a criminal enterprise and it has been like that ever since the US Constitution has been created and passed by whom Gore Vidal rightfully dubbed as “frightened men of property”. While the American Revolution in itself was a truly unique and valuable moment in human history, the system that resulted from it was and still is designed by men of wealth for men of wealth to obtain as much wealth as possible at the expense of everybody else without the tedious social responsibilities the French republicans came up with. In fact, this lack of social responsibility is what they mean when they say freedom. The American nation never had a chance to develop to its potential, because it was hijacked early on by networks/cartels of the rich. What is commonly referred to as the American dream should therefore rather be named the American deception. In my view, the Pursuit of Happiness is the largest middle-finger ever erected in human history. America has never lost its track, I think it has always been on the same track, yet it is about to derail hard.

While Europe has managed (more or less) to develop, kill and struggle itself into a bunch of societies in which solidarity, social justice and rule of law remain core cultural and social concepts – to a certain extent even for the rich (Napoleonic Code) -, America has developed into a rat race society based on property, materialism and a general save-your-own-ass mentality. A smart guy from New York once described his own country to me as money talks, bullshit walks. The fish rots or rather trickles down from the head. America is run by a bunch of mafia cartels no better than street gangs – Wall St, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Media, Military-Industrial-Complex etc. – with the Federal Reserve as their giant money laundering corporation, a bureaucracy of ridiculous proportions as both the mafia’s hitmen (CIA, Pentagon) and legal front (Congress), and the US president as the constantly changing promotion mascot. There is very often no love lost between these cartels or their players, but there are two things that unite them. First, the US dollar system, the single largest Ponzi scheme in human history and, second, an extremely elitist self-concept inherited from English aristocracy asserting that it is them, and only them, who shall rule the world. Take the infinite callousness and arrogance of the English upper class, offer them a vast country and endless influx of human material for exploitation and what you get is the United States of America and its WASP regime. The US has been an imperialist project right from the start, because it was founded out of (British) imperialism.

From their elitist perspective the American or any other people serve as human cattle to be duped, exploited and used. It is the ultimate Fordist nightmare, which Aldous Huxley could only vaguely anticipate in his novel A Brave New World. The people are made to live under conditions comparable to that of farm cattle with TV screens flickering in their stables. To the regime they are nothing but salary and consume cattle, cynically dubbed as human resourcesin the business world, a euphemism for slaves if you ask me. Lives, thoughts and views, food, medicine and drug use, culture, or the fairy tale people are supposed to believe as history are determined and conditioned by a gigantic propaganda industry that makes Joseph Goebbels drool in his coffin. Hollywood is the manifestation of what he could only dream of.

Europeans suffer from pretty much the same state of shallow and philistine slave existence, but it’s mostly a post-WW2 imported American thing for us. We still have a choice and we have all the necessary cultural, nutritional and intellectual roots to free ourselves from it. I might be dead wrong in my observations, but I don’t see how Americans with what I consider as their still prevalent settler mentality could really do that. I hope they will find a way and if only after the collapse of the empire. Regardless, you cannot properly understand US imperialism, let alone the so-called “West” in general, unless you fully appreciate the manufactured fake that it really is. Therefore let’s start with the only real thing about it – at least in a capitalist sense – the dollar system.

Empire of Snakes and Weasels

Through their dubious actions and policies of supporting all sides before and during WW2 the US cartels managed to weasel their host country’s way from the world’s number one debtor before the war to the world’s number one creditor after the war. With this leverage at their disposal the US entered the Bretton Woods negotiations in 1944. The Bretton Woods conference was in essence the result of Anglo-American establishments contemplating on how to rule and dominate the world after WW2. British imperialists, the other oddballs of human history and well worth an article of their own, and America’s ruling cartels had already united their criminal enterprises, although from different perspectives. While the British were mostly interested in using American muscle to preserve their empire which had been struggling especially against Germany’s rising economic power since the late 19th century, the American cartels were eager to establish themselves on a global and especially European stage, an endeavor for which Britain served well as springboard.

It is therefore no surprise that the English speaking imperialists on both sides of the Pond had different views on how to run future currency-based world domination. England was represented by British economist John Maynard Keynes – himself one of the initiators of the Bretton Woods conference – who put forward the idea of an international bank called International Clearing Union which would issue its own currency – the bancor – as an account currency between nations. The idea was to have trade surplus or creditor nations invest in the economies of trade deficit or debtor nations and so to even out global economic imbalances. Lord Keynes was one of the few if not the only competent of capitalist economists.

Keynes proposed that any country racking up a large trade deficit (equating to more than half of its bancor overdraft allowance) would be charged interest on its account. It would also be obliged to reduce the value of its currency and to prevent the export of capital. But – and this was the key to his system – he insisted that the nations with a trade surplus would be subject to similar pressures. Any country with a bancor credit balance that was more than half the size of its overdraft facility would be charged interest, at a rate of 10%. It would also be obliged to increase the value of its currency and to permit the export of capital. If, by the end of the year, its credit balance exceeded the total value of its permitted overdraft, the surplus would be confiscated. The nations with a surplus would have a powerful incentive to get rid of it. In doing so, they would automatically clear other nations’ deficits. (source)

This is – within the realm of capitalism – a pretty neat idea, one that would have, for example, prevented the flaws of the euro system, in which the common currency is undervalued for Germany (great for exports, pretty shit for the domestic market) but overvalued for pretty much everyone else with the result of German industry and its retailers Lidl and Aldi literally eating up the rest of Europe. Had the euro been designed as a common account currency with a proper multilateral treaty based on Keynes’s ideas while preserving national currencies, we wouldn’t have had to experience the euro crisis with all its terrible humanitarian consequences, and Germany would not have had the chance to abuse its imperialist power within Europe the way it did. I don’t think that the crappy euro design was a mistake but rather one deliberately made by German bankers and industrialists who prevailed over French and others when drafting the euro – but that’s something others have already written extensively and are more skilled about. The same flaws we can see in the euro system persist in the dollar system on a global scale since Bretton Woods, when one country can dominate the rest using the leverage of currency.

In the beginning of the conference everyone was with the ideas of Lord Keynes for they were as reasonable as it can get within a capitalist frame. But it was the American imperialists, represented by Harry Dexter White, who had quite different ideas for their currency-based world domination. They wanted to seize the opportunity by establishing an International Stabilization Fund which would put the whole burden of economic imbalance on the debtor nations. Instead of a global account currency like the bancor they wanted to establish their own US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It is not documented how many arms the US cartels had to twist in how many directions at Bretton Woods, but eventually they prevailed and the notorious Bretton Woods system with the US dollar as sole reserve currency was implemented with the infamous IMF at its core, an institution that evidently turns everything it touches into deep shit as it keeps working along utmost economic illiteracy – even for capitalists – designed only to withdraw further capital from already troubled nations.

Having one country’s currency as the world’s sole reserve currency was and is so far unique in history. It is often and commonly believed that the US dollar had just replaced the British pound as the world’s reserve currency, but this is not quite accurate. British pound, German mark, French franc or Portuguese escudo had at their respective times always been reserve currencies alongside each other. Some were more regionally focused, like the French franc in Africa, with the British pound playing the major but not singular role globally. Bretton Woods, however, introduced the US dollar as the world’s or rather capitalist world’s sole reserve currency with all other currencies having fixed exchange rates to it. The US cartels gained tremendous political and economic clout by that, especially since it later allowed them to run a much larger and longer state and trade deficit than they could have, had the dollar been just been one garden variety currency among others. But how did it go and what does it mean today, when the world appears to be returning to a “normal” state of affairs again with the rise of euro and yuan?

A Roller Coaster That Only Goes Downhill

Many of America’s grumpy nostalgics who thought that a billionaire with a terrible hairdo would help them out of their misery by building a wall consider America to have been great in the past. Of course, it was never great at all. Those were times of heinous crimes against humanity by the US regime against the world and its own people, earlier even inspiring other villains. On principle it was just like today and how it has always been. The USAF was carpet bombing Asian countries and everybody was scared of Russians. Still, the times felt great, because the country was surfing the big post-war Kondratieff wave and enjoyed a Brave New World of Fordist pleasure based on hard work and hedonistic obedience to advertisement. Milkshakes tasted sweet, Rock’n’Roll pounded loud, and Cadillacs rolled big. Universities were negro-free and retards were sterilized. America was great and Jesus in love with you. The share of household consumption to GDP was already around 60%, but that wasn’t a problem because most of what Americans consumed was also made in America by Americans. But then the wave turned into swash and started lapping against the shore of reality. The markets were saturated. Everyone had a fridge and one or two cars and TVs by then. No new major technological innovation for further consumer goods lurked around the corner to drive the economy. The Kondratieff wave backwashed. Capitalism had once again reached its regular growth limits and the usual meltdown was looming. Voracious for more profits corporations started the big outsourcing frenzy in the 1970s to get their fix by having to share less with their workers in exchange for cheaper products from cheaper countries. Now, outsourcing as such is not a problem if the CEOs know what they’re doing and have a long-term strategy such as using profits generated from saving to invest in research for new innovation, for example. The problem is that the US is for the most part a shareholder economy and CEOs and their corporations are legally obliged to provide profits for them. I am talking about short-term quarterly or yearly profits, not profits for long-term visions. Even if the odd business school graduate working as CEO has a long-term vision, the American cartel model of economy won’t allow him or her to implement it without providing for shareholder profits first. Keep that in mind when you wonder where US industry went compared to German industry, apparently a core part of Trumpish penis envy triggering infantile feelings of unfair.

Over the course of the 1970s to the 1990s American workers increasingly turned into burger flippers, janitors and cashiers, while Mexicans, Filipinos and Chinese started to increasingly sweat in their shops. The purchasing powerof American consumers declined and that threatened the colossal GDP. Reaganomics didn’t trickle down at all, but it made sure that lumberjack shirts presented something non-existent, and banks and corporations got another decade-long profit fix. By the late 1990s, it became obvious that to keep the machine running Americans had to have their credit cards loaded and their stock markets bloated. Therefore, Bill “Never-Inhaled-and-Didn’t Have-Sex” Clinton deregulated the banks so that they could provide Americans with cheap mortgage credits for their consumerist pleasure. Advertisement went on hyperdrive to make Americans buy junk and sprawl suburbanly. Another profit fix for banks and corporations for yet another decade had been conjured up. GDP and plebeian excitement were saved for the day. The result of this policy was the much feared massive trade deficit, because economies in Europe, Asia and Latin America managed to replace American manufacturing globally either with their own products or simply by producing American ones.

In reality it is all a bit more complex, of course, but I’m deliberately keeping it simple to highlight America’s economic failure by design. It’s the sparkler among empires, having burnt so bright for three decades between 1945 and 1975 yet violently fizzling out ever since. What is important to understand at this point is that without Bretton Woods the US cartels would have never been able to run it this far, almost half a century on debt and delusions by now, because even when Nixon ditched the gold standard to free the empire from its shackles to run mile-high deficits, the US dollar remained the world’s reserve currency, first, in lack of another major currency to challenge it, and, second, as a result of a dirty deal made with the Saudi Barbarians: you sell your oil only in US dollars and make the rest of OPEC follow suit and we build up your stone or rather sand aged country American style. Goats as the common garbage disposal system in Riyadh had been replaced by white trucks, skyscrapers built, American weapons bought, and US debt sold to European and Asian oil junkies. John Perkins described this dirty deal perfectly well in his Confessions of An Economic Hitman. With the petrodollar established this way the US cartels could continue their criminal enterprise and it is the only reason why the Saudis have come as close to US imperialism as airplanes into tall buildings.

The US cartels are dependent on the dollar as the world’s sole reserve currency to be able to run the deficits necessary to fuel their criminal enterprise of world domination. In order to do that they need other countries to hoard dollars in the form of US debt, which they will only do if they believe the US was a thriving economy. But since the 1980s the US cartels can hold up the illusion of presiding over an economic powerhouse pretty much only with plebeian consumption running on debt. Currently about 70% of the GDP is private household consumption which is nominally not much more than during America’s self-felt greatness, but it has now turned into the last, almost lost engine rattling to keep if not America’s success at least its success story going. Virtually none of the consumed products are made in America anymore. Industry, engineering, and manufacturing went down the toilet and despite their constant attention whoring neither the narcissists in Hollywood nor Silicon Valley could make up for it. The only industry still pumping hard to inflate the GDP is the bogus financial sector and so the American economy hovers from one bubble to the next, each one inflated with the illusion of a working economy based on a bloated GDP. The question is: why is it so important for the US cartels to keep up a colossal GDP even at the cost of its own economic foundation and what does it have to do with US aggression all around the world, at least in the past two decades?

Welcome to the Dark Side

As the ever so astute American philosopher Homer Simpson once said“People can come up with statistics to prove anything […]. Forfty percent of all people know that.”, so I will toss some stats at you. Please bear with me. I chose to compare military spending, trade deficit, household consumption, household debt, government debt, and GDP – all numbers are in billion dollars.

Chart

Numbers are from the World Bank and United Nations and from this site.

The curves aren’t what is striking, they’re obvious, what strikes are the correlations between different data:

Correlation of: Military Spending Trade Balance Household Consumption Household Debt Government Debt GDP
Military Spending 1.00 0.22 0.83 0.89 0.78 0.82
Trade Balance 0.22 1.00 0.11 0.39 -0.12 0.12
Household Consumption 0.83 0.11 1.00 0.91 0.97 0.99
Household Debt 0.89 0.39 0.91 1.00 0.79 0.91
Government Debt 0.78 -0.12 0.97 0.79 1.00 0.96
GDP 0.82 0.12 0.99 0.91 0.96 1.00

I’ll just arrogantly assume that you know what correlation is. The important thing to note is that it’s about whether two data sets are related or not. The first thing that strikes the eye is that US trade deficit is hardly related to any other indicators, except perhaps for the relation to household debt. Therefore, the question arises if the Trump administration really is about trade deficit at all, as Mr Orange likes to claim, since it is mainly debt that cripples the country and shareholder values dependent on a high GDP that drive it. I don’t see Trump battling debt at all, but I modestly assume that there are at least one or maybe even two staffers in Warshington who read and analyse economic data.

The strongest correlation exists between household consumption, household debt, government debt and GDP. They are all above the 0.9 mark, even reaching almost full correlation between GDP and household consumption. In other words, the massive GDP of the US goes hand in hand with household consumption, which goes hand in hand with both private and public debt. The US appears to produce its GDP colossus mostly by investors buying dollar annotated debt. The irony – and eventually system failure – arises from the fact that the US cartels need to fake high economic productivity and reliability by financing high consumption of mostly imported goods on credit to show off a colossal GDP necessary to attract financial investors, both domestic and foreign, whose investments are then again used to finance aforementioned credits. This is what I call a vicious circle and kind of what I imagine to feel like hugging a pork half.

When we put military spending into the mix, the actions of US imperialism become even clearer. It correlates strongly or even very strongly to the other four indicators, yet military spending is hardly the cause of high public debt or GDP. After all, military spending amounts only to about 3.5% of GDP (not counting the totality of national security spending, let alone money made by CIA drug trafficking). Apparently, and in some magical way, US military action, or at least military spending, guarantees high consumption and thus a high GDP.

Bombing for Debt

It is a rather mundane insight, that what one wants and what one can do to get it are two different things. What the US cartels want is clear: Full World Domination (FWD), which even if they got it, would still be a system designed to fail as it cannot survive without a foe. Regardless, Brzezinski formulated it in 1997 in his pamphlet The Grand Chessboard, an American version of Uncle Adolf’s Mein Kampf. Like Mein Kampf was in many parts bootlegging Henry Ford’s The International Jew, Brzezinski hadn’t had one original thought either. His ideas were almost identical to those that British geostrategist Halford Mackinder formulated as Geographical Pivot of History in 1904. This idée fixe, never to let any land power take control in Eurasia or let any kind of Eurasian integration happen, seems to be engraved on the crazed minds of Anglo-American elites since the 19th century and is guideline to their politics ever since then. Germany and Russia had been and still are the main adversaries and targets, but also Iran and China. The whole history of the 20th century can only be understood under this premise. This, however, is not part of the official fairy tale that is bourgeois history. No wonder I didn’t learn about it at school. Anyway, it is also related to the preservation of the dollar system.

When the ever so humble Anglo-American crazies were convinced they had defeated the Soviet Union they started acting right away. The goal was to destroy any possible Silk Road and/or cooperation between the land powers of Germany, France, Russia, China, and Iran. Let me first briefly summarize the pre-millennial actions:

  • They nationally endowed democracy and Russophobia in what today has become the Idiot Belt (Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, Scandinavia) to shape a cordon sanitaire between Germany and Russia.
  • They literally ate up Russia economically during the 1990s and meddled with the aim to once and for all get rid of it as a power to reckon with.
  • They gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait in order to have a pretext to set foot in the Middle East – the first step against Iran after Saddam had screwed up the 1980s Gulf War.
  • They broke apart Yugoslavia, the last standing and just too large socialist country in Europe – this time with the help of Germany which had and still has its own imperial ambitions in Europe.
  • They bombed Serbia and sliced out Kosovo in order to establish a military base at the historical end of the Silk Road from China – first step in preventing Eurasian integration (and to control heroin trafficking to Europe as a sweet cherry on top).

So far, so good. But as I already mentioned, by the end of the millennium the dying horse of US economy had turned into a leaky horse-shaped balloon that needed to be constantly inflated with loans and foreign dollar investments, so that they now had to fight two fronts: inflate the balloon and conquer the world. At the same time the EU was about to establish the euro, the first currency able to challenge the dollar as the world’s sole reserve currency. They must have realized that time is running out. I assume this had let them to make an extremely filthy deal with the Zionists and Saudi Barbarians to demolish the World Trade Center in a staged terrorist attack to have political carte blanche for the next couple of years. The attack on Afghanistan was surely still part of the masterplan to encircle Iran, Russia, and China, and to set foot in Central Asia, and thus to block the historical Silk Road at the Chinese end. It was crafted two months before 9/11 after all. However, the following actions became increasingly erratic and, I believe, they were in part deviating from the original plan. The aggressions against Iraq, Iran and Libya, be it bombs or sanctions, all had a monetary background as well. Hussein announced already in 2000 that he wanted to price oil in euro, Iran announced in 2006 to open an oil bourse trading in euro, yuan, rial and rubel, and Libya wanted to introduce a gold backed currency, the dinar, as a joined currency for the African Union (which also heavily undermined French colonial interests in Africa). This can’t be a coincidence. These aggressions, while still more or less in accordance with the original plan yet conducted hastily and often without much of a detailed plan at all, had the primary aim to save the petrodollar by preventing any alternative from emerging. Without the primal petrodollar they wouldn’t be able to run the massive deficit needed to struggle for Full World Domination (FWD). The dollar must remain the world’s primary reserve currency or the house of cards masquerading as empire masquerading as democracy will crumble. It was and still is a rat race against their own demise.

All this bombing, chaos and destruction launched upon the world since 2001 had less PNAC, let alone “Israel”, in mind, but increasingly the assurance of further dollar investments in their debt, the most precious “natural resource” to keep the colossus colossal. Imagine a big fat drug-addicted bully who pummels weaker school children to prove that he is theoretically solvent because he could theoretically take anyone’s lunch money, so that, therefore, other junkie kids borrow him money which he then uses to buy more dope to be fit enough to pummel more kids. This is how the global economy has been working in the early 21st century before Russia and China started to collude effectively to ensure Eurasian integration and a multipolar, post-dollar world.

The difference between the US regime’s pre- and post-millennial actions have been that the former had been carried out carefully, quite successfully and according to plan, while the latter had been executed extremely sloppily and, except for the case of Libya, essentially failed (if the mess is on Europe it is a success to US cartels). Russia “snatched” Crimea, EU and Iran now want to trade oil in euro, Germany is increasingly free-trading with China, Iraq is colluding with Iran, which is selling its oil in yuan to China, and Saudi Barbaria is about to follow suit. The mercenary war against Syria, last hope for the imperialists, has failed because Russia, which has resurrected under pesky Putin, has ruined it for them. If you ask me, ever since the millennium the US regime acts under increasing panic of losing not only their precious PNAC, but also their imperial lifeline: the dollar. The fact alone that the empire is now increasingly relying on mercenaries, be it Academi or ISIS, shows the desperation. The Anglo-American establishments have for about five centuries followed Machiavellian principles and the use of mercenaries is not one of them. When (not if) the dollar crumbles, the empire will never resurrect from the rubble that will be left. This was pretty much the exact situation under which the Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump Punch and Judy show was performed.

Realpolitik in a World of Delusions

I must admit, I still can’t quite figure out Trump, but I am convinced that the cartels’ original plan was to install Hillary in order to blind liberals with her pink hat the same way they had before blinded them with O’Bomber’s dark complexion. To liberals women and minorities are fluffy teddy bears unable to do evil stuff and if they go to war then it will be nothing but a humanitarian pillow fight. Rednecks and conservatives, however, have never caused much trouble for the cartels since they had always been patriotically following their leaders and happily joined any mayhem as the cartels’ cannon fodder. However, the latter now were so discontent with their dire social and economic situation, a domestic consequence that is inevitable for any empire, that after generations of patriotic cheering for war they had become a reliability as well. From the cartels’ view Trump turned out to be the better choice. The liberals are now too focused on his chauvinist personality and imagined Russian collusion to notice his disastrous policies, while the grumpy nostalgics still at large view him as their big Orange Hero. While the plebs are in this way tamed and focused, he surely seems to be compliant enough on issues like Syria, Iran, Korea or Zionist apartheid not to be assassinated. But he also keeps antagonizing the US cartels’ core allies in Europe, even the UK now, and that seems rather weird, doesn’t it? I consider it to be a massive sign of the deep perplexity the cartels are in.

If the US regime was a proper republic instead of a criminal enterprise and its deep state as pragmatic as, say, the German deep state, they would surely do the only right thing there is to do in their very host country: dismantle the US military empire and invest heavily in infrastructure at home. The economy would get a boost from such mundane tasks as repairing bridges and highways, but there is plenty of more room to invest. The US doesn’t even have high speed trains, it has a 3rd world power grid, and its family homes still mostly consist of heat wasting carpet boxes. There are also vast possibilities for renewable energies in sunny and windy U.S.A. which, regardless of whether you choose to believe Exxonmobil or science, offer great economic value. Imagine the number of proper jobs that could be created by just bringing the domestic US into the 21st century. That would be realpolitiks. And hopefully will be the future of the United States.

The military highway has been bloating GDP with a certain success for the cartels for years, but it’s a dead end now. Even if they had installed cattish, insane Hillary in Warshington, the US would still not be able to attack Iran – the Europeans would still not have followed, and it would still turn out a ruinous endeavor. The US empire has simply ran out of attackable enemies to pretend to be powerful. Even Venezuela would be too hard for them to attack as they’d entangle themselves in an endless guerrilla war in the jungle, something they’re not exactly brilliant at. Besides, the times when the American people still “cattled” behind every given war are over, and I don’t see any significant European nation to follow. So, what’s left to do? If they went down the road of realpolitiks, the cartels’ would lose their more than two centuries old absolute power over the US. For example, if the US brought their energy regime more closely to the 21st century, the big oil and big nuke cartels would lose out a lot to the more decentralized renewables which then belonged to farmers or local communities (a struggle that is still far from over here in Germany). Large central investments are as key in corporate capitalism round table style as they were in state capitalism Soviet style. The empire cannot be saved, but everything that could save the domestic US from its demise and collapse would in the end mean the end of the iron grip of power of Wall St, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Military-Industrial-Complex, etc. The criminal enterprise that we have known as the U.S.A. is about to come to an end either way – involuntarily and violently destroying the country or voluntarily and peacefully preserving the country. If you haven’t seen the film Der Untergang yet, I assume you should do now by all means.

The cartels don’t give a rat’s arse over the country. That’s why, instead of focusing on domestic issues, they are now going for desperate measures to try to “discipline” Europeans, Chinese, and even Rwanda with silly tariffs in order to somehow keep the global dollar regime by asserting an illusion of power – and with Europeans they’ll always find pleasurable surrender monkeys. But the dollar regime is ending. The greenback will surely remain an important currency (unless it fully collapses), but only next to others like the euro and yuan. I think, they’re still trying to figure out what to do next, not realizing that there is nothing to do next but to deviate from imperialism. The one thing they can count on, however, appears to be the infinite asininity of the American public who now seem to be less divided over Democrat vs Republican groupthink, over empire vs domestic, but more between the Great Russia Panic and the Great Jew Panic. This is painfully facepalming to watch from over here, I can tell you that with all my benevolent heart.

Collapse, civil war, disintegration seem to be ahead for the US. The world in the 2030s might even be a world without the U.S.A., entirely. Instead there might be several new countries on the North American map. And why not? Texas, California and Florida could surely do alone economically, and Hawai’i and their “howdies” don’t even belong to the US one single bit. The smartest grassroot movements in America would call for segregation of their respective state or states such as the Pacific ones. I hate to say it but my money is on a violent collapse and disintegration of the US hopefully not tearing Canada down with them. The erratic empire is downfalling, and while that’s a great thing for humanity in the long run, including for Americans who I believe will eventually benefit from such catharsis, it will at first turn out to be extremely ugly.

Sergio’s Bio:  Born to a Portuguese mother and a German father Sergio was raised in Northern Germany, just two kilometers away from a British-German NATO air base. The daily sonic boom and thunder of low altitude Tornados was the sound of his childhood. They years when NATO wanted to station Pershing-2 missiles with nuclear warheads at the air base, were formative for him and he can still vividly remember the Cold War, Reagan, Thatcher, Chernobyl, the claustrophobic atmosphere, and the relief when the Berlin Wall finally fell. He makes his living as a web-programmer and IT consultant but still avidly studies studies history, geopolitics, economic theories, monetary theory, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx and music.

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U.S., U.K., FRANCE CONDUCT MASSIVE MISSILE STRIKE ON SYRIA: DETAILS

South Front

On April 14, the US, the UK and France launched a joint massive strike on Syria justifying their actions with the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma on April 7.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down 71 of 103 missiles launched by the US-led bloc.

  • Four missiles were launched at the area of the Damascus International Airport. All missiles were intercepted.
  • 12 missiles were launched at the Al-Dumayr Military Airport. All missiles were intercepted.
  • 18 missiles were launched at the Baly Military Airport. All missiles were intercepted.
  • 12 missiles were launched at the Shayarat Military Airport. All missiles were intercepted.
  • 9 missiles were launched at the Mezzeh Military Airport. Five missiles were intercepted.
  • 16 missiles were launched at the Homs Military Airport. 13 missiles were intercepted.
  • 30 missiles were launched at targets in the areas of Barzah and Jaramani. Seven missiles were intercepted.

The Pentagon rejected reports that Syrian forces had intercepted something saying that the US and its allies “successfully hit every target”.

According to this version, the US launched 105 missiles at the alleged “chemical weapons” facilities of the Assad government.

  • 76 missiles – “Barzah Research and Development Center”
  • 22 missiles – “Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site”
  • 7 missiles – “Him Shinshar CW Bunker”

The situation is developing.

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1986 CIA Document Analyzes Possibilities Of ‘Regime Change’ in Syria

1986 CIA Document Analyzes Possibilities Of 'Regime Change' in Syria

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 03.04.2018

1986 CIA Document Analyzes Possibilities Of ‘Regime Change’ in Syria

Brandon TURBEVILLE

While the connections between the plans to destroy Syria and the Obama administration are generally known, what is even less well-known is the fact that there existed a plan to destroy Syria as far back as not only the Bush administration but also the Reagan Administration in 1983.

Documents contained in the U.S. National Archives and drawn up by the CIA reveal a plan to destroy the Syrian government going back decades. One such document entitled, “Bringing Real Muscle To Bear In Syria,” written by CIA officer Graham Fuller, is particularly illuminating. In this document, Fuller wrote,

Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.

Even as far back as 1983, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, was viewed as a gadfly to the plans of Western imperialists seeking to weaken both the Iraqis and the Iranians and extend hegemony over the Middle East and Persia. The document shows that Assad and hence Syria represented a resistance to Western imperialism, a threat to Israel, and that Assad himself was well aware of the game the United States, Israel, and other members of the Western imperialist coalition were trying to play against him.

I encourage the reader to access my article, “1983 CIA Document Reveals Plan To Destroy Syria, Foreshadows Current Crisis,” to read more about this document.

The question of the Assad thorn in the side of the West continued on for the United States as was evidenced by yet another CIA document from 1986 entitled “Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change.” Although not an open advocation of destabilization and/or war, the paper does examine the possibilities of destabilization and “regime change” in Syria, most notably in the scenario of mass unrest, Muslim Brotherhood manipulation and violence, defections, and a coup.

After giving a summation of “The Present Scene” and “Major Players” that include Hafez Assad’s inner circle, the military, Sunnis, and Muslim Brotherhood, the paper goes into a description of possible ways Assad’s government could be brought down and replaced with one more friendly to Western interests. The ways in which this takedown could be accomplished ranged from a military coup, a military defeat, and/or mass public unrest and destabilization. It should also be noted that the report attempts to paint Sunnis and the Muslim Brotherhood as one in the same. However, the MB does not and never has represented the majority of Sunnis in Syria. Thus, when the CIA document mentions “Sunnis” it is referring to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood factions of society.

In a subsection entitled, “Communal Violence Escalates Into Civil War,” the document reads,

Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain – keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence. For example, disgruntlement over price hikes, altercations between Sunni citizens and police forces, or anger at privileges accorded to Alawis at the expense of Sunnis could foster small-scale protests. Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups.

Sunni merchants and artisans probably would launch protests similar to those staged in previous years, for example by closing down businesses and the bazaars in Hamah or Aleppo and possibly Damascus. Sunni students would stage campus demonstrations, and Sunni professional associations would organize stoppages. Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community leaders as well as on those engaged in the protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protesters inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis.

A general campaign of Alawi violence against Sunnis might push even moderate Sunnis to join the opposition. Remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood – some returning from exile in Iraq – could provide a core of leadership for the movement. Although the regime has the resources to crush such a venture, we believe brutal attacks on Sunni civilians might prompt large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or to stage mutinies in support of dissidents, and Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war.

Indicators Of A Developing Scenario

  • Strikes and demonstrations demanding government action to end discrimination against Sunnis become frequent.
  • Security personnel force businesses to reopen and confiscate the inventories of many.
  • The government conducts the indiscriminate roundups of Sunni leaders.
  • Syrian leaders accuse Iraq and the Muslim Brotherhood of fomenting unrest.
  • Violent indicators including bombings of Sunni social gatherings take place; Sunnis retaliate with similar violence against Alawis.
  • Government attacks on suspected Sunnis dissidents increase; sometimes razing whole blocks in Sunni residential areas
  • Sunni troops refuse to fire on demonstrators; some units mutiny and join growing Sunni opposition movements.

Thus, while observing potential flareups for social violence, one major aspect of the destabilization of 2011, the CIA viewed the Sunni population, more specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, as the one that would be the most volatile element of society and also that it might be funded from the outside. The CIA predicted “defections” and a “civil war” drawn along religious lines. This “potential” situation was attempted by the CIA in 2011 but was forced to rely on outside Sunni fighters since the fiercely secular Syrian people were not able to be coaxed into a religious civil war as easily as the CIA imagined.

The CIA document also addressed the “Soviet Angle,” opining about ways in which the strong ties between the Russia/Soviet Union and Syria could be broken and the situations which might bring that separation about. The document comes to the conclusion that a military defeat, most likely against Israel, would prove Soviet weapons and military training inferior, forcing Syria to rely more heavily on the West for training and equipment and thus become more pliable to the Western agenda.

In the section entitled, “Implications For The United States,” the document states that the most ideal situation for the US would be to see the Assad government overthrown and replaced by a “Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates.” This essentially refers to a Muslim Brotherhood coup against the Syrian government which would of course follow with a regime that is much more favorable and cooperative with the Western agenda than that of Assad’s Syria. The document also hints at the desire to see the new “Sunni business-oriented moderate” government’s interest in the “private sector,” which historically has come to mean major Western corporations that take over public services and natural resources and turn them into commodities.

While this document did not provide a strategy by which to achieve the desired outcomes it lists (at least not in the sanitized declassified version), it still follows the same train of thought as the CIA document released three years prior in that it hopes for the collapse of deposition of the Assad government and the replacement of that government with one that is more friendly to Western aims. The US government went ahead with the implementation of this plan in 2011 that has resulted in over 400,000 deaths in Syria over the course of seven years of warfare.

activistpost.com

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