Emmanuel Clinton vs Marine LeTrump

April 25, 2017

by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times

Here’s the body count in the latest geopolitical earthquake afflicting the West: The Socialist Party in France is dead. The traditional Right is comatose. What used to be the Extreme Left is alive, and still kicking.

Yet what’s supposed to be the shock of the new is not exactly a shock. The more things veer towards change (we can believe in), the more they stay the same. Enter the new normal: the recycled “system” – as in Emmanuel Macron — versus “the people” — as in the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, battling for the French presidency on May 7.

Although that was the expected outcome, it’s still significant. Le Pen, re-christened “Marine”, reached the second round of voting despite a mediocre campaign.

She essentially reassembled — but did not expand — her voting base. I have argued on Asia Times that Macron is nothing but an artificial product, a meticulously packaged hologram designed to sell an illusion.

Only the terminally naïve may believe Macron incarnates change when he’s the candidate of the EU, NATO, the financial markets, the Clinton-Obama machine, the French establishment, assorted business oligarchs and the top six French media groups.

As for the stupidity of the Blairite Left, it’s now in a class by itself.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the domesticated hard-left of Insubordinate France, managed to equal the Catholic Right François Fillon in the final stretch. Yet the vapid PS candidate, Benoit Hamon, stole Mélenchon’s shot at hitting the second round.

As for Marine, she lost almost four points in the final tally. With one extra week of campaigning Fillon, despite Penelopegate, could have been equal with Marine.

Marine has only one extremely long shot on May 7. She will be frantically touring “deep France” to turn the second round into a debate on French identity and a clash of nationalists, patriots and sovereignists against pro-EU globalists and urban “liquid modernity” practitioners.

So what do they want?

Frontists are ready to rip Emmanuel Clinton’s neoliberal program to pieces, which will play very well in rural France and may even yield a few disgruntled Mélenchon votes.

Unlike Fillon and Hamon, he has not gone public calling his supporters to vote Macron. Disgruntled Fillon voters may also be inclined to switch to Marine — considering Fillon was viscerally opposed to someone he described as “Emmanuel Hollande.”

A quick look at the promises is in order. In a nutshell; Marine proffers a social model that “favors the French people;” Macron offers vague, “profound reforms.”

Macron’s plan to save 60 billion euros of public funds implies firing 120,000 functionaries; that is a certified recipe to a “see you in the barricades” scenario.

Marine only says she wants to reduce the public deficit — aiming at reducing state medical aid, the French contribution to the EU, and fiscal fraud.

Neither wants to raise the minimum wage and VAT. Both want to reduce the tax burden on companies and both want to fight the “Uberization” of work, favoring French companies (Marine) and European companies (Macron).

Marine’s absolute priority is to reduce social aid to foreigners and restitute “buying power” especially to pensioners and low-income workers. She’s vague about unemployment.

Macron’s “profound reforms” are centered on unemployment insurance and pensions. He’s keen on a universal unemployment protection managed by the state. Everyone would be covered, including in the case of being fired. Marine and Macron coincide on one point; better reimbursement of costly health benefits.

Europe is at the heart of the Marine vs Macron fight; that’s Frexit against a “new European project.”

Everyone in Brussels “voted” Macron  as he proposes a budget for the eurozone, a dedicated Parliament, and a dedicated Minister of Finance. In short; Brussels on steroids.

Marine’s Frexit should be decided via a referendum — a direct consequence of the frontist obsession with immigration. Marine wants to reduce legal admission of immigrants to 10,000 people a year (it’s currently 200,000), tax employment of foreign workers, and suppress social aid. In contrast, pro-immigration Macron aims at what he calls an open France, “faithful to its values.”

On foreign policy, it’s all about Russia. Marine wants a “strategic realignment” with Moscow especially to fight Salafi-jihadi terror.

Macron — reflecting a French establishment as Russophobic as in the US — is against it, although he concedes that Europe must come to terms with Russia even as he defends the current sanctions.

About that Wall of Cash

If the coming, epic clash could be defined by just one issue that would be the unlimited power of the Wall of Cash.

Macron subscribes to the view that public debt and expenses on public service are the only factors responsible for French debt, so one must have “political courage” to promote reforms.

Sociologist Benjamin Lemoine is one of the few who’s publicly debating what’s really behind it — the interest of financiers to preserve the value of the debt they hold and their aversion to any negotiation.

Because they control the narrative, they are able to equate “political risk” —  be it Marine or Mélenchon — with the risk to their own privileged positions.

The real issue at stake in France — and across most of the West — revolves around the conflicting interests of financial masters and citizens attached to public service and social justice.

The coming clash between Emmanuel Clinton and Marine LeTrump won’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Le Pen &Trump aren’t even close – are we stuck with Emmanuel Macr-Obama?

April 24, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

It’s not that the National Front has changed since the 1980s – it’s that the other parties have changed so much for the worse.

C’est ça – that’s the point, as the French say, and which translates into English rather ineffectively.

Nobody should be happy about having to vote for Marine Le Pen, but please tell me what economic policies has Emmanuel Macron espoused which will end the systemic anti-Muslim, anti-Colored racism in France?

Got nuthin’? Of course you don’t.

And that’s why it is intolerable to hear French people say that a vote against Le Pen is a vote against racism: Racism is not just pretty words but concrete actions – it is the government installing a Black family next to yours to promote equality.

Don’t fancy that: congratulations, you are not a leftist!

But Emmanuel Macron is the epitome of today’s “fake leftism” – leftism which has a “non-racist” and “minority-friendly” face, but which is neutered of any economic or social policy that would actually improve the lives of any minority.

What good is having gay marriage in France if you can’t afford the marriage certificate because you are both unemployed?

Gay marriage typifies the misplaced priorities of the West’s fake leftists – the show over substance –which must make the Ho Chi Minh’s of the world roll their eyes and mutter, “This is the Left I sacrificed for?”

While preparing to cover the first round of France’s election I was reviewing five years of news reports I made while covering the Francois Hollande era for Press TV. I was reminded that November 7, 2012, is a day which must not be forgotten.

On that date Hollande announced he was breaking the essence of his electoral campaign: He cut taxes for the wealthy and on corporations, with financing to come from cuts to social services and a hike to the VAT (sales) tax, which is a regressive tax on the average person.

Here were the two lead paragraphs from that report:

“France has announced another round of austerity measures, in an unpredicted change-of-heart. Many expected a recent report calling for tax breaks for businesses to be ignored, but the Hollande administration will implement its neoliberal measures almost completely.”

“This plan corresponds with President Hollande’s promises,” said Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Prime Minister. “They are leftist because our objective is to create more jobs and to correct injustice,”

Also on November 7, 2012: Hollande, Ayrault and the Socialist Party unveiled the bill for gay marriage in Parliament.

The politics of distraction….

It’s disgusting for fake leftists like Francois Hollande, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to manipulate civil rights in order to push right-wing economics, but it works.

Today, not enough French voters saw the through the masquerade of Macron, I’m sorry to report.

Even fewer remember the lessons from 5 years ago, it seems. How many journalists even helped people to remember?

However, all of France does remember perhaps the biggest-ever anti-government demonstrations which followed November 7, 2012: between 300,000 to 1 million people marched – not against austerity, but against gay marriage.

The politics of distraction causing misplaced priorities….

Then in January 2013 Hollande launched a war in Mali.

The politics of distraction, this time with dead Colored bodies….

Blame Hollande for a lot, including Macron

Hollande is the one who foisted Macron on us. He plucked him from the obscurity of the chorus, schooled him as his deputy secretary-general of Élysée Palace, appointed Minister of the Economy out of nowhere, and dubbed Macron to carry on his legacy.

Hollande admitted as much – he wants to see what he “built” continue. Many thought he was the only one who felt that way, and that’s why Hollande couldn’t even run for re-election.

So France elects a younger version of Hollande instead?

Once again I write these words: This ends the myth that the French are more sophisticated or intellectually cultivated than everyone else.

They couldn’t even see through Macron!

Anyone think Macron will be promoting peace? Or even “first do no harm” isolationism?

Le Pen might…if the military-industrial-financial-media-cultural complex doesn’t hound her with accusations of being a Russian spy like they did with Trump. Maybe she won’t even bomb Syria to get some breathing room from the fake leftist hordes in pussy hats.

Or maybe not, but Le Pen is, like Trump, the hope candidate in the French election because a vote for Macron is a vote for your own unemployment. Or your wife’s. Or your children’s.

One thing is sure: If they elect Macron the whole country will be crying in 6 months, just as France was with Hollande.

It’s simply staggering that he’s expected to win at a huge 65%-35% margin. Austerity has never worked anywhere, ever – even the IMF now admits that, only after decades of ruined lives – and yet the French are going to elect a guy who will enact 20% more austerity measures that Francois Hollande.

Trump and Le Pen are totally different

Let’s admit it – Trump is hilarious…by presidential standards.

His tweets, his self-importance, his shilling for Trump merchandise while meeting with the president of China – he’s what we’d all like to be if we had no conscience or sense of responsibility.

In France we call this person: Gerard Depardieu. Seriously! The French talk about how they secretly would love to be this fat, vineyard-owning glutton who shoots his mouth off however he wants – the guy got a Russian passport from Putin, after all!

But it’s simply not accurate to say that Trump and Le Pen are the same just because they both represent the White Trash Revolution sweeping the West.

Trump is hilarious and entertaining (and thousands of kilometers from where I live), yes, but hate for him is new: Le Pen and her family have been hated for decades.

The Le Pens have spent decades insulting Muslims, Roma, minorities – French people – and that simply cannot be erased.

French people repeatedly tell me: “Ramin, you are new here – you’ve only been here 8 years – you don’t understand the National Front.”

It’s possible, but I respond: Everybody I meet views the National Front in some sort of time warp. Only the cynics claim politics never changes: look closely and you see that the situation is different from 1980, or 2002, or 2007, etc. And they cannot see that five years of austerity will do far more collective damage than taking a risk on Le Pen.

Worse, they can’t understand that nearly all French parties are racist: Fillon wrote a book titled “Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism”; Melenchon is rabidly secular; the Socialists cracked down on the Roma worse than Sarkozy. Only the Communists got the brotherly love in France: Our 2 candidates only got 1.8% combined, and that is your fault and not ours.

Understand this well: Very few people are “happy” about Macron tonight. Think about it: 4 candidates all won nearly 20% of the vote – that’s unheard of! Macron eked out a miniscule victory – this is no sweeping mandate whatsoever.

And listen to me now and believe me later: This is not a “seismic shift” in French politics. Yes, the Gaullists didn’t advance for the first time ever, and the other mainstream party is absent too, but Macron has no party: he will necessarily staff his cabinet with the same old Socialists and Républicains; his neophyte party will necessarily make a coalition government with them in Parliament.

Macron is simply an Obama-style brand shift by the Empire. Like Obama he will be a smooth-faced handmaiden for Clintonian globalization. Nothing will change if Macron is elected.

However, I can report to you that this current of National Front fear/resentment/myopia is too strong for me to think that Le Pen will win: I have met so many people from across all boundaries who simply cannot, will not, ever vote for any Le Pen. Their dead ancestors practically forbid it.

Nobody can say the same about Trump.

So I am not hopeful that Le Pen will go the way of Brexit and Trump.

I write this while waiting to do interviews #9 and #10 on Round 1 Election Day for Press TV – maybe I’m not thinking clearly?

The worst has been seeing my grinning colleagues on France’s major media stations – they are thrilled to pieces. Of course, they’re on the wrong side of most of the issues. I’ll give them some credit: The #1 channel in France – TF1 – interviewed me as part of a piece about the view of foreign journalists and had the sense to make the lead quote, LOL. I coulda done it in French – they didn’t ask!

I have been repeatedly proven wrong about Macron

I was hoping the fawning, brain-dead, hugely pro-Macron French media would be wrong about “the Roths-churian candidate”, but it seems I was.

I never took him seriously because he’s such a seriously flawed candidate: 39 years old, Rothschild banker, Macron Law author who sparked 4-months of strikes and protests in 2016, 64-year old wife, heir to Hollande-ism, 7 step-grandkids, selling off industrial jewel Alstom to the Americans which only profited shareholders and not citizens, etc. and etc.

The guy is like Teflon! Nothing stuck! And why? He said nothing! He didn’t unveil his 60 billion in euros in austerity cuts (10 billion more than Hollande) until early March!

Robbers never tell you they are stealing, after all. But, beyond just the economy, Macron was as vague as possible – and it worked!

Well, now it’s up to Le Pen to attack him mercilessly for the great sins of…his record. Everybody should.

But instead it is Le Pen who will be attacked mercilessly and by everybody under the French sun. And let’s be honest – she is no saint, and her sins are not just bad TV and gaudy real estate.

In fact, she’s a terrible candidate, period. She’s useful to spark debate, but she’s no winner. Who really wants her to win? This all makes her a loser on May 7, most likely – that’s what Trump would say, and he can say that: he won.

The National Front is fighting decades of correctly-earned ill-will. There is undoubtedly tremendous – just tremendous – dissatisfaction in France, but how is Le Pen going turn the battleship around to take office?

I think I can fairly write that nobody is happy tonight, but Macron will provide an uplift when he likely wins. He will: it’s human nature – he has youth on his side. I suppose he’s an Adonis when you stand him next to hated hobbits like Hollande.

People will look at Macron and say: “it’s a fresh start”. They’ll lie to themselves – human nature.

The fools – they’ll be crying in 6 months again. And I hate to write that – I’m a fool too. But I’ll be a fool for the 3% chance that Le Pen could turn out to be a real statesman instead of just a blonde Mussolini. I repeat: austerity has never worked anywhere – just ask the IMF.

Hell, I’m a fool for democracy! Give the people a chance to simply VOTE on a Frexit! How can the EU be “democratic” if we are scared of democracy?

Waitaminut – I’m really losing my head here, eh? I’m forgetting the damned facts, the damned platforms, no matter how much Macron tried to hide his!

A referendum on Frexit, leaving NATO, possibly dropping the euro, finally ending austerity…what on earth is Macron offering that is even close to that?!?!?!?!?!

Macron is economically as far-right as Marine Le Pen is on the far-right on the cultural spectrum! Do you have to be a Communist like me to even THINK about an economic spectrum actually existing anymore?!

Dammit, it’s not over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! Heck no! We have 2 weeks of serious debate to make! We can quit when it’s over, not before!

I just talked myself into having faith in Le Pen again!!!!!!!!!!

Sure it was borne out of desperation, but it’s founded on facts.

Now we just have to let France know that.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV 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.

الأسد يتّهم الأردن بتسهيل الغزو الأميركي في الجنوب … وعقود النفط والغاز مع روسيا في «خطواتها الأخيرة»

الأسد يتّهم الأردن بتسهيل الغزو الأميركي في الجنوب … وعقود النفط والغاز مع روسيا في «خطواتها الأخيرة»

أطفال من بلدتَي كفريا والفوعة وصلوا أمس إلى مدينة حلب (أ ف ب)

قد تشير التصريحات الحادة اللهجة، الصادرة من دمشق تجاه الأردن، إلى أن الجنوب السوري سيشهد تصعيداً واسعاً، من الممكن أن تنخرط فيه عمّان بدفع أميركي باتجاه موقع مشابه للأتراك في الشمال، بحجة حماية الحدود من «الإرهاب». الهجوم السوري تجاه الجارة الجنوبية جاء على لسان الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، الذي أكد أن الدور الأردني لم يخرج عن الأجندة الأميركية من بداية الحرب

ي ضوء التصعيد المتواصل لهجمات المجموعات المسلحة في مدينة درعا، بالتوازي مع المعلومات التي تحدثت عن مشاريع أميركية ــ أردنية مشتركة على طول الحدود السورية الجنوبية، أكد الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد علم دمشق بتلك المعلومات من مصادر مختلفة، مهاجماً الدور الأردني خلال الحرب السورية، الذي كان «جزءاً من المخطط الأميركي منذ بداية الحرب».

التأكيد الرسمي من دمشق قد يشير إلى أن الجنوب السوري سيكون بدوره كما الشمال مسرحاً لعمليات عسكرية مدعومة أميركياً، سوف تحاول ضمنه واشنطن بمشاركة حلفائها الإقليميين، وعلى رأسهم الأردن وإسرائيل، إضعاف نفوذ دمشق وحلفائها، وإبعاد «خطرهم» عن إسرائيل. وهو ما انعكس في تصريحات وزير الدفاع الأميركي جايمس ماتيس، من إسرائيل، التي قال فيها إن «تحالفنا مع إسرائيل هو الحجر الأساس لتعاون أمني أوسع يشمل التعاون مع مصر والأردن والسعودية وشركائنا في دول الخليج». وأكد أن سوريا «لا تزال تحتفظ ببعض أسلحتها الكيميائية»، محذراً الرئيس الأسد من استخدامها.

واعتبر الرئيس الأسد في مقابلة مع وكالتي «ريا نوفوستي» و«سبوتنيك» الروسيتين، أن «الأردن ليس بلداً مستقلاً، وكل ما يريده الأميركيون سوف يحدث، فإذا أرادوا استخدام الجزء الشمالي من الأردن ضد سوريا، فإنهم سيستخدمونه». وفي المقابل، استفز كلام الرئيس السوري الحكومة الأردنية. فبعد ساعات على نشر المقابلة، أعرب المتحدث باسم الحكومة محمد المومني، عن «أسفه لحديث الأسد عن موقف الأردن وهو لا يسيطر على غالبية أراضي سوريا». ورأى أن «حديث الأسد منسلخ تماماً عن الواقع».

هجوم الأسد ضد الدور الأردني لم يأتِ وحيداً، إذ أكد أنه «عندما تتحدث عن الغزو التركي، وعندما نتحدث عن القوات الأميركية التي نعتبرها غزواً، وعندما تتحدث عن الإرهابيين على الأرض، فكلهم كيان واحد… وعندما تهزم الإرهابيين، عندها تستطيع أن تذهب وتحارب الآخرين الذين يحتلون الأرض»، معتبراً أن «الأميركيين كالأتراك، كأي محتل آخر عليهم الخروج بإرادتهم أو بالقوة».
وأشار إلى أن التصدي للهجمات الصاروخية الأميركية «بحاجة إلى نظام مكثف يغطي كل زاوية كي يتمكن من إسقاط الصواريخ»، مشيراً إلى أن «الإرهابيين لجأوا منذ بداية الهجمات إلى تدمير الدفاعات الجوية التي لا علاقة لها بما كانوا يسمونه حينذاك المظاهرات السلمية». ولفت إلى أن القوات السورية «فقدت أكثر من خمسين في المئة» من قوات دفاعها الجوي خلال سنوات الحرب، مضيفاً أن «الروس من خلال دعمهم عوّضوا جزءاً من تلك الخسارة بأسلحة وأنظمة دفاع جوي نوعية».

وجدد التأكيد على أن حادث خان شيخون «مفبرك»، وعلى أن الغرب والولايات المتحدة منعوا أي وفد من القدوم للتحقيق لأنه لو أتى «سيجد أن كل رواياتهم كانت فبركة وكذباً». وحول التفجير الذي استهدف الحافلات في منطقة الراشدين السبت الماضي، قال الأسد: «نحن نتحدث عن فصائل مختلفة وجميعها مرتبط بالقاعدة أو (جبهة النصرة)، قام أحد تلك الفصائل بمهاجمة الحافلات التي كانت مخصصة لنقل نفس المدنيين».

وعن تحرك القوات السورية باتجاه الرقة، أشار إلى أنه «قبل شهر فقط كان جيشنا يتقدم من حلب نحو الشرق، باتجاه الرقة، ولم يكن بعيداً عن الوصول إلى هناك، عندها شن الإرهابيون هجومهم على وسط سوريا… وتم إبطاء تقدمنا لأننا غيّرنا أولويتنا».

في سياق آخر، رأى الأسد أن «معظم الفصائل التي انضمت ظاهرياً إلى المفاوضات في أستانا وبعض تلك التي شاركت في جنيف، لا تقبل بدولة علمانية. إنهم يريدون دولة دينية إسلامية، وهو الجزء الأكثر أهمية في الخلاف المتعلق بالدستور».

على صعيد آخر، أعلن الرئيس السوري أن «السوق المحلي مفتوح الآن للشركات الروسية كي تأتي وتنضم إلينا وتلعب دوراً مهماً في إعادة بناء سوريا والاستثمار فيها»، مضيفاً أنّ «الجزء الأكثر أهمية بالنسبة إلينا، وأعتقد بالنسبة إليهم أيضاً، هو مجال النفط والغاز، وقد انضمت أخيراً بعض الشركات الروسية إلى القطاع خلال الأشهر القليلة الماضية، وتجرى الآن الخطوات الأخيرة في عملية توقيع العقود».
وبالتوازي مع التصعيد الدبلوماسي الأخير، استهدفت القوات الإسرائيلية أمس مواقع للجيش السوري في القنيطرة. وأوضح مصدر عسكري أن «طيران العدو الإسرائيلي عمد الى إطلاق صاروخين من داخل الأراضي المحتلة على أحد مواقعنا العسكرية في محيط بلدة خان أرنبة، ما أدى إلى وقوع خسائر مادية».

وفي موازاة الاتهامات الأميركية لدمشق، رأى وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، أن رفض الدول الغربية مقترح إجراء تحقيق حول خان شيخون «أمر غير مقبول». وقال إن «المعلومات الكاذبة حول استخدام السلاح الكيميائي تستغل للتراجع عن القرار الدولي (2254) الذي ينص على تسوية سياسية، والعودة إلى فكرة تغيير النظام، ويجب ألا نسمح بحدوث ذلك». ولفت إلى أنه يجب التركيز على عملية أستانا لضمان الوصول إلى وقف لإطلاق النار، مشيراً إلى أنه يجري العمل على «توسيع عدد المشاركين في هذا الاتفاق».

وبالتوازي، قالت وزارة الخارجية الروسية إن لافروف، ونظيره الأميركي ريكس تيلرسون، اتفقا في اتصال هاتفي أمس، على ضرورة البحث في إمكانية تشكيل لجنة تحقيق تحت رعاية «منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية». وأضافت في بيان أن لافروف أعرب «عن أسفه لمعارضة واشنطن مبادرة روسيا» في «منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية»، لافتة إلى أنه جرى الاتفاق على «إطلاق نشاط مجموعة العمل الروسية ــ الأميركية المشتركة، على مستوى نواب وزيري الخارجية للبلدين».
(الأخبار)

 

Trump – From Coward to Hero – MOAB, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer

April 23, 2017

by Peter Koenig

Trump, within a span of a week, has made a U-turn; from a coward to hero. So the MSM; his aggressive violence, his murderous killing spree in Syria, Yemen and threatening North Korea with a nuclear ‘take-out’ – turns Trump from a pussie to a macho. Overnight, so to speak, Trump has become the darling of the presstitute Zionist-MSM. That tells you who is controlling the ‘brainstream’ of the masses. Just look at the 24 April 2017 edition of the US Inquirer – “Trump Declaring War on Dictators”, depicting photographs of Presidents Putin, Assad, and Kim Jong Un, with the caption “Dead Men Walking”. What this paper says – if the term ‘paper’ even applies to this piece of junk – is the opinion of a large segment of the US population – and the west in general, led by the puppets of Europe.

After attacking Syria for a false flag Sarin gas attack on mainly women and children, instigated by CIA and carried out by Erdogan’s forces, helped by the Saudis; pretending sending the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the shores of North Korea – and taking over from the Saudis, the most vicious war against helpless Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, women and children, soon exceeding Obama’s murders – and plunging this poverty struck country into further misery and famine – Trump has finally ascended to the level corporate Zion-America and their corrupt media requires a US president to command the world. Bravo!

Actually, with all the hoopla of the new warrior Trump, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding his turn-around politics in Syria, and especially with the aircraft flotilla sailing towards North Korea. According to the NYT, the Navy released photographs of the Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia to take part in a joint Navy exercise with Australia, thousands of miles away from the Korean peninsula. Trump then corrected himself saying the vessel would arrive in North Korea by this weekend, whereas the Pentagon speculated it would reach its destination more likely towards the end of April. And a few days ago, the White House reported sending two more carriers and flotillas to North Korean waters? – What is actually going on in the waters off the Korean peninsula?

Not least as Trump’s heroic bravura, he inaugurated the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) – the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb, by dropping it – an 11,000-ton bomb equivalent of TNT – on Afghanistan’s villages – killing dozens of innocent people. Even within his first 100 days in office, Trump has joined the club of murderers, assassins and war criminals of his predecessors. Just to see whether MOAB behaves as expected, busting bunkers and other underground structures, causing earthquake like explosions up to 200 m below the surface, capable of destroying bunkers and nuclear reactors. Its reported to be the most devastating bomb, other than a nuclear bomb. The most vicious and devastating test since the nuclear Hiroshima blast.

The MOAB is mainly thought for nuclear reactors. Afghanistan, already a wasteland, complements of the horrid west, was not chosen by accident for the test. Afghanistan, in addition to the transit still planned of the infamous and highly disputed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, also possesses uncountable riches of rare earths and minerals – worth billions and especially needed for the ever-growing war industrial complex – which already today uses up more than half of the extractive industry’s output, worldwide.

Imagine – first devastation of mother earth by plundering her unrenewable resources; then doubling up with destruction and merciless killing and maiming of countries, cities, cultures and entire populations. All for dominance, power and – greed. And Trump goes along with all of that – at least for now, as he needs the support of Zion-Neocons to survive.

Yes, Trump, after just 100 days in office has proven that he is up to the task that his masters have carved out for him. He had a choice of sticking to his campaign promises of seeking peace not war, of not interfering in other countries’ businesses – and risking being impeached or even killed – there are precedents of neutralizing inconvenient politicians, including in the history of the United States, as we know – by the deep establishment. Well, The Donald chose to live and bask in the sun of his success. Who wants to blame him?  But turning from an eccentric billionaire macho bully to an outright mass murderer, makes him a first-degree mass murderer. If there was an independent Nuremberg style court on this globe, their fate would be sealed.

Justice in our western world is nothing but a pipedream. And unless, We, the People, stop believing in the fakeness of the UN System, of international institutions, including the International Court of Justice – once designed as balancing organisms, as peace and justice seeking institutions – we are actually contributing to the fraud played out in front of our eyes.

Now let’s face it. Would Washington and its masters be stupid enough to risk a nuclear war over North Korea, or Syria for that matter? – I doubt it. Not even Trump would be stupid enough to risk destroying the world as we know it, with no known outcomes, other than probable and likely total or close to total destruction. That’s not good business. That’s not good for profits. On the other hand, keeping wars and conflicts as vicious and chaotic as possible and as long as possible, that’s good business, bringing high profits for the war industry and its sub-contractor, the extractive industry.

Mr. Trump, you are businessman. Your sable-rattling scares people. Scared people do not invest. But you know such things. Do you? – So, you can’t really believe that you will scare Presidents Putin and Jinping onto their knees? – They are much stronger than you, intellectually, spiritually and your war-mongering armada displayed around the globe. And you and your masters know it. But hope more deception-propaganda may help postpone your faltering empire’s demise.

Talking to Americans of all walks, talks and believes – the Inquirer, mentioned above, may at least partially reflect the opinion of a large a segment of people. Though, one thing is crystal clear and unites pretty much all US citizens I talked to – whether they voted for The Donald or not – none of them wants war. They are all scared of another war; they want peace, work and a livelihood that allows them to feed their families.

President Trump take note. They elected you. Most of them are sick and tired seeing their tax dollars being spent on wars and endless conflicts around the globe – while at home they are suffering unemployment at rates way above the official labor statistics – around 22% – a rate similar to those of Spain and Greece. They all may like the MSM hammered and brainwashed slogan of “America First” and “Making America Great Again” – but they do not see the connection to wars. None of those that I talked to think that the Inquirer’s ‘dictators’ – Messrs. Assad, Kim Jong Un and Putin are a threat to US national security.

President Trump wake up! Your co-citizens are waking up. They want an America of Peace, not of bombs and blood. They want the America your promised them – of friendly relations with other nations, including Russia, of non-interference in foreign lands, of a reduction of the more than 1,000 US military bases around the globe – and they want you to bring back outsourced jobs to their Homeland. The want a strong America, as in a solid economy, not one based on wars and destruction.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

President Trump’s Disappearance

The World Worries That Washington Has Nuclear Weapons.

By Paul Craig Roberts

April 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  In my long experience in Washington, vice presidents did not make major foreign policy announcements or threaten other countries with war. Not even Dick Cheney stole this role from the weak president George W. Bush.

But yesterday the world witnessed VP Pence threaten North Korea with war. “The sword stands ready,” said Pence as if he is the commander in chief.

Perhaps he is.

Where is Trump? As far as I can tell from the numerous emails I receive from him, he is at work marketing his presidency. Once Trump won the election, I began receiving endless offers to purchase Trump baseball caps, T-shirts, cuff-links, coffee mugs, and to donate $3 to be entered into a raffle to win some memorabilia. latest offer is a chance to win one of “personally signed five incredible photographs of our historic and massive inauguration.”

For Trump, the presidency is a fund-raising device. If his VP, National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, whoever, want to start wars wherever, that’s just more memorabilia to raffle off for a $3 donation.

As a result of Trump’s failure to govern his own government, we have VP Pence telling Russia and China that there could be a nuclear exchange on their borders between the US and North Korea. Although Pence is not smart enough to know, this is not something Russia and China will accept.

Washington worries about North Korea having nuclear weapons, but the entire world worries that Washington has nuclear weapons. And so many of them. World polls have shown that the majority of the world’s population are far more concerned about the threat to peace posed by Washington and Israel than by Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.

Pence prefaced his “the sword stands ready” remark with “the United States of America will always seek peace,” which after Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria is as false a statement as it is possible to make. From Washington’s perspective it is always Washington’s victims that are “reckless and provocative,” never Washington.

The US stands for war. If the world is driven to Armegeddon, it will be Washington, not North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China, that brings life on earth to an end.

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

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

The Israel First Swamp

Robert Kennedy Jr: “Syria Is Another Proxy Oil War”

RSFP

by 

Robert Kennedy Jr. has bravely exposed how the Syrian invasion by the Trump administration is yet another proxy oil war. 

According to an astonishing essay written 6 weeks before the gas attack on Syrian citizens, Kennedy explains how the US funds and manages ISIS in order to destabilize the region with the aim of ultimately taking control over the oil supply in the region.

Ecowatch.com reports:

The fossil fuel industry’s business model is to externalize its costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions—causing grave environmental costs, including toxic pollution and global warming. Among the other unassessed prices of the world’s addiction to oil are social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis overseas, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home.

As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores.

America’s unsavory record of violent interventions in Syria—obscure to the American people yet well known to Syrians—sowed fertile ground for the violent Islamic Jihadism that now complicates any effective response by our government to address the challenge of ISIS. So long as the American public and policymakers are unaware of this past, further interventions are likely to only compound the crisis. Moreover, our enemies delight in our ignorance.

As the New York Times reported in a Dec. 8, 2015 front page story, ISIS political leaders and strategic planners are working to provoke an American military intervention which, they know from experience, will flood their ranks with volunteer fighters, drown the voices of moderation and unify the Islamic world against America.

To understand this dynamic, we need to look at history from the Syrians’ perspective and particularly the seeds of the current conflict. Long before our 2003 occupation of Iraq triggered the Sunni uprising that has now morphed into the Islamic State, the CIA had nurtured violent Jihadism as a Cold War weapon and freighted U.S./Syrian relationships with toxic baggage.

During the 1950’s, President Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers rebuffed Soviet treaty proposals to leave the Middle East a cold war neutral zone and let Arabs rule Arabia. Instead, they mounted a clandestine war against Arab Nationalism—which CIA Director Allan Dulles equated with communism—particularly when Arab self-rule threatened oil concessions. They pumped secret American military aid to tyrants in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon favoring puppets with conservative Jihadist ideologies which they regarded as a reliable antidote to Soviet Marxism. At a White House meeting between the CIA’s Director of Plans, Frank Wisner, and Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, in September of 1957, Eisenhower advised the agency, “We should do everything possible to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect.”

The CIA began its active meddling in Syria in 1949—barely a year after the agency’s creation. Syrian patriots had declared war on the Nazis, expelled their Vichy French colonial rulers and crafted a fragile secularist democracy based on the American model. But in March of 1949, Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Kuwatili, hesitated to approve the Trans Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. In his book, Legacy of Ashes, CIA historian Tim Weiner recounts that in retaliation, the CIA engineered a coup, replacing al-Kuwaiti with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, 14 weeks into his regime.

Following several counter coups in the newly destabilized country, the Syrian people again tried democracy in 1955, re-electing al-Kuwatili and his Ba’ath Party. Al-Kuwaiti was still a Cold War neutralist but, stung by American involvement in his ouster, he now leaned toward the Soviet camp. That posture caused Dulles to declare that “Syria is ripe for a coup” and send his two coup wizards, Kim Roosevelt and Rocky Stone to Damascus.

Two years earlier, Roosevelt and Stone had orchestrated a coup in Iran against the democratically elected President Mohammed Mosaddegh after Mosaddegh tried to renegotiate the terms of Iran’s lopsided contracts with the oil giant, BP. Mosaddegh was the first elected leader in Iran’s 4,000 year history, and a popular champion for democracy across the developing world. Mosaddegh expelled all British diplomats after uncovering a coup attempt by UK intelligence officers working in cahoots with BP.

Mosaddegh, however, made the fatal mistake of resisting his advisors’ pleas to also expel the CIA, which they correctly suspected, and was complicit in the British plot. Mosaddegh idealized the U.S. as a role model for Iran’s new democracy and incapable of such perfidies. Despite Dulles’ needling, President Truman had forbidden the CIA from actively joining the British caper to topple Mosaddegh.

When Eisenhower took office in January 1953, he immediately unleashed Dulles. After ousting Mosaddegh in “Operation Ajax,” Stone and Roosevelt installed Shah Reza Pahlavi, who favored U.S. oil companies, but whose two decades of CIA sponsored savagery toward his own people from the Peacock throne would finally ignite the 1979 Islamic revolution that has bedeviled our foreign policy for 35 years.

Flush from his Operation Ajax “success” in Iran, Stone arrived in Damascus in April 1956 with $3 million in Syrian pounds to arm and incite Islamic militants and to bribe Syrian military officers and politicians to overthrow al-Kuwatili’s democratically elected secularist regime. Working with the Muslim Brotherhood, Stone schemed to assassinate Syria’s Chief of Intelligence, its Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Communist Party and to engineer “national conspiracies and various strong arm” provocations in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan that could be blamed on the Syrian Ba’athists.

The CIA’s plan was to destabilize the Syrian government, and create a pretext for an invasion by Iraq and Jordan, whose governments were already under CIA control. Roosevelt forecasted that the CIA’s newly installed puppet government would “rely first upon repressive measures and arbitrary exercise of power.”

But all that CIA money failed to corrupt the Syrian military officers. The soldiers reported the CIA’s bribery attempts to the Ba’athist regime. In response, the Syrian army invaded the American Embassy taking Stone prisoner. Following harsh interrogation, Stone made a televised confession to his roles in the Iranian coup and the CIA’s aborted attempt to overthrow Syria’s legitimate government.

The Syrian’s ejected Stone and two U.S. Embassy staffers—the first time any American State Department diplomat was barred from an Arab country. The Eisenhower White House hollowly dismissed Stone’s confession as “fabrications and slanders,” a denial swallowed whole by the American press, led by the New York Times and believed by the American people, who shared Mosaddegh’s idealistic view of their government.

Syria purged all politicians sympathetic to the U.S. and executed them for treason. In retaliation, the U.S. moved the Sixth Fleet to the Mediterranean, threatened war and goaded Turkey to invade Syria. The Turks assembled 50,000 troops on Syria’s borders and only backed down in the face of unified opposition from the Arab League whose leaders were furious at the U.S. intervention.

Even after its expulsion, the CIA continued its secret efforts to topple Syria’s democratically elected Ba’athist government. The CIA plotted with Britain’s MI6 to form a “Free Syria Committee” and armed the Muslim Brotherhood to assassinate three Syrian government officials, who had helped expose “the American plot.” (Matthew Jones in The ‘Preferred Plan’: The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Action in Syria, 1957). The CIA’s mischief pushed Syria even further away from the U.S. and into prolonged alliances with Russia and Egypt.

Following the second Syrian coup attempt, anti-American riots rocked the Mid-East from Lebanon to Algeria. Among the reverberations was the July 14, 1958 coup, led by the new wave of anti-American Army officers who overthrew Iraq’s pro-American monarch, Nuri al-Said. The coup leaders published secret government documents, exposing Nuri al-Said as a highly paid CIA puppet. In response to American treachery, the new Iraqi government invited Soviet diplomats and economic advisers to Iraq and turned its back on the West.

Having alienated Iraq and Syria, Kim Roosevelt fled the Mid-East to work as an executive for the oil industry that he had served so well during his public service career. Roosevelt’s replacement, as CIA Station Chief, James Critchfield attempted a failed assassination plot against the new Iraqi president using a toxic handkerchief. Five years later the CIA finally succeeded in deposing the Iraqi president and installing the Ba’ath Party to power in Iraq.

A charismatic young murderer named Saddam Hussein was one of the distinguished leaders of the CIA’s Ba’athists team. The Ba’ath Party’s Interior Minister, Said Aburish, who took office alongside Saddam Hussein, would later say, “We came to power on a CIA train.” Aburish recounted that the CIA supplied Saddam and his cronies a “murder list” of people who “had to be eliminated immediately in order to ensure success.”

Critchfield later acknowledged that the CIA had, in essence, “created Saddam Hussein.” During the Reagan years, the CIA supplied Hussein with billions of dollars in training, Special Forces support, and weapons and battlefield intelligence knowing that he was using poisonous mustard and nerve gas and biological weapons—including anthrax obtained from the U.S. government—in his war against Iran.

Reagan and his CIA Director, Bill Casey, regarded Saddam as a potential friend to the U.S. oil industry and a sturdy barrier against the spread of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Their emissary, Donald Rumsfeld, presented Saddam with a pair of pearl-handled revolvers and a menu of chemical/biological and conventional weapons on a 1983 trip to Bagdad. At the same time, the CIA was illegally supplying Saddam’s enemy—Iran—with thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to fight Iraq, a crime made famous during the Iran Contra scandal. Jihadists from both sides later turned many of those CIA supplied weapons against the American people.

Even as America contemplates yet another violent Mid-East intervention, most Americans are unaware of the many ways that “blowback” from previous CIA blunders has helped craft the current crisis. The reverberations from decades of CIA shenanigans continue to echo across the Mid-East today in national capitals and from mosques to madras schools over the wrecked landscape of democracy and moderate Islam that the CIA helped obliterate.

In July 1956, less than two months after the CIA’s failed Syrian Coup, my uncle, Senator John F. Kennedy, infuriated the Eisenhower White House, the leaders of both political parties and our European allies with a milestone speech endorsing the right of self-governance in the Arab world and an end to America’s imperialist meddling in Arab countries. Throughout my lifetime, and particularly during my frequent travels to the Mid-East, countless Arabs have fondly recalled that speech to me as the clearest statement of the idealism they expected from the U.S.

Kennedy’s speech was a call for recommitting America to the high values our country had championed in the Atlantic Charter, the formal pledge that all the former European colonies would have the right to self-determination following World War II. FDR had strong-armed Churchill and the other allied leaders to sign the Atlantic Charter in 1941 as a precondition for U.S. support in the European war against fascism.

Thanks in large part to Allan Dulles and the CIA, whose foreign policy intrigues were often directly at odds with the stated policies of our nation, the idealistic path outlined in the Atlantic Charter was the road not taken. In 1957, my grandfather, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, sat on a secret committee charged with investigating CIA’s clandestine mischief in the Mid-East. The so called “Bruce Lovett Report,” to which he was a signatory, described CIA coup plots in Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt, all common knowledge on the Arab street, but virtually unknown to the American people who believed, at face value, their government’s denials.

The report blamed the CIA for the rampant anti-Americanism that was then mysteriously taking root “in the many countries in the world today.” The Bruce Lovett Report pointed out that such interventions were antithetical to American values and had compromised America’s international leadership and moral authority without the knowledge of the American people. The report points out that the CIA never considered how we would treat such interventions if some foreign government engineered them in our country. This is the bloody history that modern interventionists like George W. Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio miss when they recite their narcissistic trope that Mid-East nationalists “hate us for our freedoms.”

The Syrian and Iranian coups soiled America’s reputation across the Mid-East and ploughed the fields of Islamic Jihadism which we have, ironically, purposefully nurtured. A parade of Iranian and Syrian dictators, including Bashar al-Assad and his father, have invoked the history of the CIA’s bloody coups as a pretext for their authoritarian rule, repressive tactics and their need for a strong Russian alliance. These stories are therefore well known to the people of Syria and Iran who naturally interpret talk of U.S. intervention in the context of that history.

While the compliant American press parrots the narrative that our military support for the Syrian insurgency is purely humanitarian, many Syrians see the present crisis as just another proxy war over pipelines and geopolitics. Before rushing deeper into the conflagration, it would be wise for us to consider the abundant facts supporting that perspective.

In their view, our war against Bashar Assad did not begin with the peaceful civil protests of the Arab Spring in 2011. Instead it began in 2000 when Qatar proposed to construct a $10 billion, 1,500km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

Note the purple line which traces the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline and note that all of the countries highlighted in red are part of a new coalition hastily put together after Turkey finally (in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence on Erdogan’s politically-motivated war with the PKK) agreed to allow the US to fly combat missions against ISIS targets from Incirlik. Now note which country along the purple line is not highlighted in red. That’s because Bashar al-Assad didn’t support the pipeline and now we’re seeing what happens when you’re a Mid-East strongman and you decide not to support something the US and Saudi Arabia want to get done. (Map: ZeroHedge.com via MintPress News)

Qatar shares with Iran, the South Pars/North Dome gas field, the world’s richest natural gas repository. The international trade embargo, until recently, prohibited Iran from selling gas abroad and ensured that Qatar’s gas could only reach European markets if it is liquefied and shipped by sea, a route that restricts volume and dramatically raises costs.

The proposed pipeline would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey which would pocket rich transit fees. The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would have given the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. Qatar hosts two massive American military bases and the U.S. Central Command’s Mid-East headquarters.

The EU, which gets 30 percent of its gas from Russia, was equally hungry for the pipeline which would have given its members cheap energy and relief from Vladimir Putin’s stifling economic and political leverage. Turkey, Russia’s second largest gas customer, was particularly anxious to end its reliance on its ancient rival and to position itself as the lucrative transect hub for Asian fuels to EU markets. The Qatari pipeline would have benefited Saudi Arabia’s conservative Sunni Monarchy by giving them a foothold in Shia dominated Syria.

The Saudi’s geopolitical goal is to contain the economic and political power of the Kingdom’s principal rival, Iran, a Shiite state, and close ally of Bashar Assad. The Saudi monarchy viewed the U.S. sponsored Shia takeover in Iraq as a demotion to its regional power and was already engaged in a proxy war against Tehran in Yemen, highlighted by the Saudi genocide against the Iranian backed Houthi tribe.

Of course, the Russians, who sell 70 percent of their gas exports to Europe, viewed the Qatar/Turkey pipeline as an existential threat. In Putin’s view, the Qatar pipeline is a NATO plot to change the status quo, deprive Russia of its only foothold in the Middle East, strangle the Russian economy and end Russian leverage in the European energy market. In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally.”

Assad further enraged the Gulf’s Sunni monarchs by endorsing a Russian approved “Islamic pipeline” running from Iran’s side of the gas field through Syria and to the ports of Lebanon. The Islamic pipeline would make Shia Iran instead of Sunni Qatar, the principal supplier to the European energy market and dramatically increase Tehran’s influence in the Mid-East and the world. Israel also was understandably determined to derail the Islamic pipeline which would enrich Iran and Syria and presumably strengthen their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.

Bashar Assad’s family is Alawite, a Muslim sect widely perceived as aligned with the Shia camp. “Bashar Assad was never supposed to be president,” says journalist Sy Hersh. “His father brought him back from medical school in London when his elder brother, the heir apparent, was killed in a car crash.”

Before the war started, according to Hersh, Assad was moving to liberalize the country—“They had internet and newspapers and ATM machines and Assad wanted to move toward the west. After 9/11, he gave thousands of invaluable files to the CIA on Jihadist radicals, who he considered a mutual enemy.”

Assad’s regime was deliberately secular and Syria was impressively diverse. The Syrian government and military, for example, were 80 percent Sunni. Assad maintained peace among his diverse peoples by a strong disciplined army loyal to the Assad family, an allegiance secured by a nationally esteemed and highly paid officer corps, a coldly efficient intelligence apparatus and a penchant for brutality which, prior to the war, was rather moderate compared to other Mideast leaders, including our current allies.

According to Hersh, “He certainly wasn’t beheading people every Wednesday like the Saudis do in Mecca.” Another veteran journalist, Bob Parry, echoes that assessment. “No one in the region has clean hands but in the realms of torture, mass killings, civil liberties and supporting terrorism, Assad is much better than the Saudis.”

No one believed that the regime was vulnerable to the anarchy that had riven Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia. By the spring of 2011, there were small, peaceful demonstrations in Damascus against repression by Assad’s regime. These were mainly the effluvia of the Arab Spring which spread virally across the Arab League states the previous summer. However, Huffington Post UK reported that in Syria the protests were, at least in part, orchestrated by the CIA. WikiLeaks cables indicate that the CIA was already on the ground in Syria.

But the Sunni Kingdoms wanted a much deeper involvement from America. On Sept. 4, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional hearing that the Sunni kingdoms had offered to foot the bill for a US. invasion of Syria to oust Bashar al-Assad. “In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing, the way we’ve done it previously in other places [Iraq], they’ll carry the cost,” he stated. Kerry reiterated the offer to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27): “With respect to Arab countries offering to bear the costs of [an American invasion] to topple Assad, the answer is profoundly Yes, they have. The offer is on the table.”

Despite pressure from Republicans, Barrack Obama balked at hiring out young Americans to die as mercenaries for a pipeline conglomerate. Obama wisely ignored Republican clamoring to put ground troops in Syria or to funnel more funding to “moderate insurgents.” But by late 2011, Republican pressure and our Sunni allies had pushed the American government into the fray.

In 2011, the U.S. joined France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and England to form the “Friends of Syria Coalition,” which formally demanded the removal of Assad. The CIA provided $6 million to Barada, a British T.V. channel, to produce pieces entreating Assad’s ouster. Saudi intelligence documents, published by WikiLeaks, show that by 2012, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were arming, training and funding radical Jihadist Sunni fighters from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to overthrow the Assad’s Shia allied regime. Qatar, which had the most to gain, invested $3 billion in building the insurgency and invited the Pentagon to train insurgents at U.S. bases in Qatar. U.S. personnel also provided logistical support and intelligence to the rebels on the ground. The Times of London reported on Sept. 14, 2012, that the CIA also armed Jihadists with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons from Libyan armories that the agency smuggled by ratlines to Syria via Turkey. According to an April 2014 article by Seymour Hersh, the CIA weapons ratlines were financed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The idea of fomenting a Sunni-Shia civil war to weaken the Syrian and Iranian regimes so as to maintain control of the region’s petro-chemical supplies was not a novel notion in the Pentagon’s lexicon. A damning 2008 Pentagon funded Rand report proposed a precise blueprint for what was about to happen. That report observes that control of the Persian Gulf oil and gas deposits will remain, for the U.S., “a strategic priority” that “will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

Rand recommends using “covert action, information operations, unconventional warfare” to enforce a “divide and rule” strategy. “The United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch a proxy campaign” and “U.S. leaders could also choose to capitalize on the sustained Shia-Sunni conflict trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world … possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran.”

WikiLeaks cables from as early as 2006 show the U.S. State Department, at the urging of the Israeli government, proposing to partner with Turkey, Qatar and Egypt to foment Sunni civil war in Syria to weaken Iran. The stated purpose, according to the secret cable, was to incite Assad into a brutal crackdown of Syria’s Sunni population.

As predicted, Assad’s overreaction to the foreign made crisis—dropping barrel bombs onto Sunni strongholds and killing civilians—polarized Syria’s Shia/Sunni divide and allowed U.S. policymakers to sell Americans the idea that the pipeline struggle was a humanitarian war. When Sunni soldiers of the Syrian Army began defecting in 2013, the Western Coalition armed the “Free Syrian Army” to further destabilize Syria. The press portrait of the Free Syria Army as cohesive battalions of Syrian moderates was delusional. The dissolved units regrouped in hundreds of independent militias most of whom were commanded by or allied with Jihadi militants who were the most committed and effective fighters. By then, the Sunni armies of Al Qaeda Iraq (AQI) were crossing the border from Iraq into Syria and joining forces with the battalions of deserters from the Free Syria Army, many of them trained and armed by the U.S.

Despite the prevailing media portrait of a moderate Arab uprising against the tyrant Assad, U.S. Intelligence planners knew from the outset that their pipeline proxies were radical jihadists who would probably carve themselves a brand new Islamic caliphate from the Sunni regions of Syria and Iraq. Two years before ISIS throat cutters stepped on the world stage, a seven-page Aug. 12, 2012 study by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), obtained by the right wing group Judicial Watch, warned that thanks to the ongoing support by U.S./Sunni Coalition for radical Sunni Jihadists, “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (now ISIS), are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

Using U.S. and Gulf State funding, these groups had turned the peaceful protests against Bashar Assad toward “a clear sectarian (Shiite vs Sunni) direction.” The paper notes that the conflict had become a sectarian civil war supported by Sunni “religious and political powers.” The report paints the Syrian conflict as a global war for control of the region’s resources with “the west, Gulf countries and Turkey supporting [Assad’s] opposition, while Russia, China and Iran support the regime.”

The Pentagon authors of the seven-page report appear to endorse the predicted advent of the ISIS caliphate:

“If the situation continues unravelling, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” The Pentagon report warns that this new principality could move across the Iraqi border to Mosul and Ramadi and “declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

Of course, this is precisely what has happened. Not coincidentally, the regions of Syria occupied by ISIS exactly encompass the proposed route of the Qatari pipeline.

But then in 2014, our Sunni proxies horrified the American people by severing heads and driving a million refugees toward Europe. “Strategies based upon the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend can be kind of blinding,” says Tim Clemente, who chaired the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force between 2004 and 2008 and served as liaison in Iraq between the FBI, the Iraqi National Police and the U.S. Military. “We made the same mistake when we trained the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The moment the Russians left, our supposed friends started smashing antiquities, enslaving women, severing body parts and shooting at us.”

When ISIS’ “Jihadi John” began murdering prisoners on TV, the White House pivoted, talking less about deposing Assad and more about regional stability. The Obama Administration began putting daylight between itself and the insurgency we had funded. The White House pointed accusing fingers at our allies. On Oct. 3, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden told students at the John F. Kennedy, Jr. forum at the Institute of Politics at Harvard that “Our allies in the region are our biggest problem in Syria.” He explained that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad” that they had launched a “proxy Sunni-Shia war” funneling “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons to Jihadists of the al-Nusra front and al-Qaeda”—the two groups that merged in 2014 to form ISIS.

Biden seemed angered that our trusted “friends” could not be trusted to follow the American agenda. “ISI[S] is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” declared Obama, disassociating himself from the Sunni rebellion, “which is an example of unintended consequences which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.” As if to demonstrate their contempt for America’s new found restraint, our putative allies, the Turks responded to the U.S. rebukes by shooting down a plane belonging to our other putative ally, the Russians—probably to spoil a potential deal between Russia and the U.S. that would leave Assad in power.

Across the Mid-East, Arab leaders routinely accuse the U.S. of having created ISIS. To most Americans immersed in U.S. media perspective, such accusations seem insane. However, to many Arabs, the evidence of U.S. involvement is so abundant that they conclude that our role in fostering ISIS must have been deliberate. On Sept. 22, 2014, according to the New York Times, Iraqi leader, Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, told Baghdad demonstrators that “the CIA created ISIS.” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bahaa Al-Araji, echoed al-Sadr’s accusation. “We know who made Daesh,” Iraq’s Treasury Secretary, Haidar al-Assadi, told the Digital News Aggregate, “The Islamic State is a clear creation of the United States, and the United States is trying to intervene again using the excuse of the Islamic State.”

In fact, many of the ISIS fighters and their commanders are ideological and organizational successors to the Jihadists that the CIA has been nurturing for 30 years. The CIA began arming and training the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in 1979 to fight the Soviets. Following the Soviet withdrawal, the CIA’s Afghan Mujahedeen became the Taliban while its foreign fighters, including Osama bin Laden, formed Al-Qaeda. In 2004, then British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that Al-Qaeda took its name—meaning “database” in Arabic—from the voluminous CIA database of Jihadists—Mujahedeen foreign fighters and arms smugglers trained and equipped by the CIA during the Afghan conflict.

Prior to the American invasion, there was no Al-Qaeda in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Bush destroyed Saddam’s secularist government and his viceroy, Paul Bremer, in a monumental act of mismanagement, effectively created the Sunni Army, now named ISIS. Bremer elevated the Shiites to power and banned Saddam’s ruling Ba’ath Party laying off some 700,000, mostly Sunni, government and party officials from ministers to school teachers. He then disbanded the 380,000 man army, which was 80 percent Sunni.

Bremer’s actions stripped a million of Iraq’s Sunnis of rank, property, wealth and power; leaving a desperate underclass of angry, educated, capable, trained and heavily armed Sunnis with little left to lose. General Petraeus’ decision to import dirty war tactics, including torture and death squads, from the CIA’s El Salvador conflict in order to shock and awe the Sunni resistance, instead ignited a shockingly bloody spiral of sectarian violence that devolved quickly into escalating atrocities topped finally by the Sunni Army signature head cutting. The Sunni insurgency named itself Al-Qaeda Iraq (AQI).

Beginning in 2011, our allies funded the invasion by AQI fighters into Syria. In June 2014 having entered Syria, AQI changed its name to ISIS. According to the New Yorker, “ISIS is run by a council of former Iraqi Generals … many are members of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’ath Party, who converted to radical Islam in American prisons.” The $500 million in U.S. military aid that Obama did send to Syria almost certainly ended up benefiting these militant Jihadists. On Sept. 16, 2015, incredulous senators from the Armed Services Committee listened to U.S. General Lloyd Austin, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, explain that the Pentagon had spent $500 million to train and arm “moderate” insurgents in Syria and had only “four or five reliable moderate fighters” to show instead of the promised 5,000. The remainder apparently deserted or defected to ISIS.

Tim Clemente told me that the incomprehensible difference between the Iraq and Syria conflicts are the millions of military aged men who are fleeing the battlefield for Europe rather than staying to fight for their communities. “You have this formidable fighting force and they are all running away. I don’t understand how you can have millions of military aged men running away from the battlefield. In Iraq, the bravery was heartbreaking—I had friends who refused to leave the country even though they knew they would die. They’d just tell you it’s my country, I need to stay and fight,” Clemente said.

The obvious explanation is that the nation’s moderates are fleeing a war that is not their war. They simply want to escape being crushed between the anvil of Assad’s Russian backed tyranny and the vicious Jihadi Sunni hammer that we had a hand in wielding in a global battle over competing pipelines. You can’t blame the Syrian people for not widely embracing a blueprint for their nation minted in either Washington or Moscow. The super powers have left no options for an idealistic future that moderate Syrians might consider fighting for. And no one wants to die for a pipeline.

What is the answer? If our objective is long-term peace in the Mid-East, self-government by the Arab nations and national security at home, we must undertake any new intervention in the region with an eye on history and an intense desire to learn its lessons. Only when we Americans understand the historical and political context of this conflict will we apply appropriate scrutiny to the decisions of our leaders.

Using the same imagery and language that supported our 2003 war against Saddam Hussein, our political leaders led Americans to believe that our Syrian intervention is an idealistic war against tyranny, terrorism and religious fanaticism. We tend to dismiss, as mere cynicism, the views of those Arabs who see the current crisis as a rerun of the same old plots about pipelines and geopolitics. But, if we are to have an effective foreign policy, we must recognize the Syrian conflict is a war over control of resources indistinguishable from the myriad clandestine and undeclared oil wars we have been fighting in the Mid-East for 65 years. And only when we see this conflict as a proxy war over a pipeline do events become comprehensible.

It’s the only paradigm that explains why the GOP on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration are still fixated on regime change rather than regional stability, why the Obama administration can find no Syrian moderates to fight the war, why ISIS blew up a Russian passenger plane, why the Saudi’s just executed a powerful Shia cleric only to have their embassy burned in Tehran, why Russia is bombing non-ISIS fighters and why Turkey went out of its way to down a Russian jet. The million refugees now flooding into Europe are refugees of a pipeline war and CIA blundering.

Clemente compares ISIS to Colombia’s FARC—a drug cartel with a revolutionary ideology to inspire its foot soldiers. “You have to think of ISIS as an oil cartel,” Clemente said. “In the end, money is the governing rationale. The religious ideology is a tool that inspires its soldiers to give their lives for an oil cartel.”

Once we strip this conflict of its humanitarian patina and recognize the Syrian conflict as an oil war, our foreign policy strategy becomes clear. Instead, our first priority should be the one no one ever mentions—we need to kick our Mid-East oil jones, an increasingly feasible objective, as the U.S. becomes more energy independent. Next, we need to dramatically reduce our military profile in the Middle East and let the Arabs run Arabia. Other than humanitarian assistance and guaranteeing the security of Israel’s borders, the U.S. has no legitimate role in this conflict. While the facts prove that we played a role in creating the crisis, history shows that we have little power to resolve it.

As we contemplate history, it’s breathtaking to consider the astonishing consistency with which virtually every violent intervention in the Middle East since World War II by our country has resulted in miserable failure. The long list of CIA and military adventures has each cost us dearly in national treasure, in liberty at home, in our moral authority abroad and in our national security. Without any memorable exception, every violent intervention has resulted in a catastrophic blowback far more costly to our country than any problems the authors meddling intended to solve. Our mischief has neither improved life in the Middle East nor has it made America safer.

A 1997 U.S. Department of Defense report found that “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Let’s face it, what we call the “war on terror” is really just another oil war. We’ve squandered $6 trillion on three wars abroad and on constructing a national security warfare state at home since oilman Cheney declared the “Long War” in 2001. The only winners have been the military contractors and oil companies who have pocketed historic profits. We have compromised our values, butchered our own youth, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, subverted our idealism and squandered our national treasures in fruitless and costly adventures abroad. In the process, we have turned America, once the world’s beacon of freedom, into a national security surveillance state and an international moral pariah.

America’s founding fathers warned Americans against standing armies, foreign entanglements and, in John Adams’ words, “going abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Those wise men understood that imperialism abroad is incompatible with democracy and civil rights at home. They wanted America to be a “city on a hill”—a model of democracy for the rest of the world.

The Atlantic Charter echoed their seminal American ideal that each nation should have the right to self-determination. Over the past seven decades, the Dulles brothers, the Cheney Gang, the neocons and their ilk have hijacked that fundamental principle of American idealism and deployed our military and intelligence apparatus to serve the mercantile interests of large corporations and particularly, the petroleum companies and military contractors who have literally made a killing from these conflicts. It’s time for Americans to turn America away from this new imperialism and back to the path of idealism and democracy. We should let the Arabs govern Arabia and turn our energies to the great endeavor of nation building at home. We need to begin this process, not by invading Syria, but by ending our ruinous addiction to oil.


SOURCES:
by 
Submitted by 'The Old Sniper' 
Edited by SyrianPatriots
WarPress.info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/kennedy-on-oil-plot/
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