من محمد مرسي إلى إيمانويل ماكرون فأنجلينا جولي

من محمد مرسي إلى إيمانويل ماكرون فأنجلينا جولي

ناصر قنديل

-صمّمت المخابرات الأميركية خططها للسيطرة على العالم على قاعدة إدراك أهمية وجود أنظمة حكم تابعة في البلدان ذات الأهمية الكبرى في الجغرافيا السياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية. وقد اتسمت هذه الخطط في مرحلة الحرب الباردة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي بالاستناد إلى الانقلابات العسكرية والحكومات العسكرية الديكتاتورية، كما كان حال معظم أنظمة شرق آسيا وأميركا اللاتينية وأفريقيا التي حظيت بالدعم الأميركي والتي شكّل سقوط نظام الشاه أول مؤشرات أفول نجمها، وشكل انهيار تركيا تحت قبضة العسكر الضربة القاضية لها، وجاء لجوء واشنطن إلى تغيير آخر الحكام الموالين لها من نتاج هذه الحقبة في بلدان الشرق الأوسط عبر ما سمّي بالربيع العربي.

-يعترف كبار مهندسي السياسات في المخابرات الأميركية بالتضادّ الأخلاقي والقيمي بين النموذج الذي تستطيع واشنطن حمايته والدفاع عنه، وبين الأنظمة الموالية لها. كما يعترفون بأنّ قضايا الاستقلال الوطني تشكّل نقطة الضعف التي تصيب الأنظمة التابعة بمقتل. وقد اشتغل مفكرو ومهندسو السياسات على ابتكار صيغ لتفادي هذا التضادّ من جهة، وذلك المقتل من جهة أخرى، آخذين بعين الاعتبار ما قدّمته تجارب الثورات المناهضة لهم أو حالات النهوض المواجهة لسياساتهم. ويقع النموذجان الإيراني والكوبي على الضفة الأولى والنموذجان الصيني والروسي على الضفة الثانية.

-يسلّم المهندسون بأنّ تلافي التضادّ وتجاوز العقدة شبه مستحيلين، لأنهما من شروط الاستراتيجية. فلا مناص من أن تكون هذه الأنظمة مخادعة لشعوبها وأن تكون تابعة لواشنطن، ولذلك توجّهوا للاشتغال على مراحل تشتري الوقت والحقب والأجيال، بدلاً من الوقوع ضحية بحث عقيم عن حلّ سحري لمعضلة بنيوية لا حلّ لها. وهذا التوجّه يستند إلى مفهوم نظري عنوانه استبدال القيم الثابتة التي تقاس عليها علاقة أنظمة الحكم بشعوبها بتسويق قيم جديدة وجعلها معياراً يترسّخ تدريجياً في عقول الشعوب وقلوبها ووجدانها، وتحرير المشهد المحيط بها من المعيقات التي تعيد تظهير المعايير المتجذرة تقليدياً، ليتمّ القياس على القيم الجديدة وتفوز الأنظمة التي جرى تصنيعها وفقاً لمقاساتها ومعاييرها.

-تحتلّ البلاد العربية موقع المركز في الاهتمامات الأميركية لكلّ الأسباب الجيوسياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، وقد توقفت أمامها كلّ الدوائر المعنية في واشنطن من تقرير الطاقة الصادر عن الكونغرس في العام 2000، إلى تقرير لجنة العراق عام 2006 وكلّ منهما حاز شراكة وقبول نخب الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي، وأغلب من تولّوا بالتتابع مناصب هامة في الدبلوماسية والمخابرات طوال نصف قرن.

-المرحلة الأولى التي وضعتها الدوائر الأميركية في حسابها كانت مرحلة الإخوان المسلمImage result for ‫الرئيس مرسى واردوغان‬‎ين، والعثمانية الجديدة، كتعبير عن محاكاة وجدان جمعي ثقافي عقائدي وسياسي، تمثل تركيا حزب العدالة والتنمية مركز قيادته. وكانت سورية الحلقة المركزية لقياس نجاح وفشل هذه المرحلة، بعدما مثل وصول محمد مرسي لرئاسة مصر ذروة النجاح في هذا المشروع. وظهر من التجربة أنّ القوى التي استنهضها هذا المشروع لقتاله في سورية ترتبط بصورة رئيسية بمصدر قيمي شديد القوة ينبع من وهج القضية الفلسطينية، والذي يبقى رغم العصبيات الطائفية والمذهبية مصدر تأثير كبير في صناعة الاصطفافات والتوازنات. ومن دون إيجاد أمل بحلّ هذه القضية لن يسحب فتيل الاصطفاف والتفجير الناتج عنه حولها، ولن يكون متاحاً إضعاف مصادر قوة الجبهة المناوئة وتجريدها من تفوّقها القيمي، وخوض الصراع حول منظومة قيم مستحدثة.

فلولا فلسطين لتحوّل حزب الله وإيران بنظر السوريين إلى مكوّن طائفي مجرد، ولولا فلسطين لأمكن الرهان على منافسة الرئيس السوري انتخابياً بمرشحين ليبراليين يحظون بدعم الغرب، ولولا الصراع المفتوح مع «إسرائيل» لأمكن حصار حزب الله وسلاحه في لبنان، ولولا الصراع حول فلسطين لصار الحلف الخليجي «الإسرائيلي» مقبولاً ومطلوباً لدى شرائح عربية واسعة، وفقاً لحصيلة التقييم الأميركي.

-سقوط نسخة الإخوان المسلمين التي كان مقدّراً لها شراء ربع قرن من السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط لم يدفع مهندسي المشاريع في واشنطن لإلقاء أسلحتهم، بل لتصميم وبرمجة صيغة جديدة، قوامها التركيز على حلّ للصراع العربي «الإسرائيلي» يوفر أمن «إسرائيل»، ويمكن توفير تغطية عربية وفلسطينية لتسويقه، ثم تسويق نماذج للحكم تستوحي الليبرالية وقيمها، يكون عنوانها شباناً في مقتبل العمر، يتمتعون بوجوه يافعة وملامح جادّة ويحملون قصة نجاح شخصية وصعود سريع إلى الواجهة وسيرة مغامرة، ويجيدون المخاطبةأنجلينا جولي في يونيو 2014 عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، وتقنياته الأشدّ عصرنة وحداثة ويشكل الرئيس الفرنسي الجديد إيمانويل ماكرون النسخة الأولى من هذا الجيل، الذي يسعى محمد بن سلمان للتدرّب على مقتضياته ومعه جملة من جيل القادة الذين يقعون في دائرة الرهانات الأميركية في لبنان والبلاد العربية.

وتشكل الحقبة التي تليه أو تجاوره حسب المقتضى، حقبة المرأة الشابة الجميلة الساحرة القوية المثقفة، الإنسانية والمهتمّة بقضايا الفقراء والمشرّدين والضحايا، نموذج تتقدّمه أنجلينا جولي، وأخريات يجري تدريبهنّ على خوض غمار هذه التجارب من العرب وغير العرب.

-مََن يتفرّس وجوه نجوم صاعدة بسرعة ويطرح صعودها الكثير من الأسئلة، يستطيع أن يكتشف الكثير من الأجوبة.

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‘The US is the strongest military power on the planet by a very long way. It has a special responsibility to use its power with care and to support international efforts to resolve conflicts collectively and peacefully,’ Mr Corbyn said

Donald Trump risks making the world a more dangerous place, Jeremy Corbyn has said, as he cited the US President’s increasingly hard-line rhetoric in relation to North Korea.

Posted May 15, 2017

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. ”

Full Transcript

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

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The history of the Neocon takeover of the USA (a 4 part analysis)

 

Foreword by the Saker: the four articles below, combined into one, are an exception to the normal rule which is that this blog doe not republish articles already published in the past.  In this case, at the request of Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, I decided to make an exception due to the importance and interest of the topic: the origins of the Neocon movement.  I am particularly grateful to Paul and Elizabeth who have agreed to my request to remove the original copyright restrictions on this material for publication on the Saker blog.  The analysis they wrote offers a very valuable insight into the roots and history of the Neocon phenomenon.

The history of the Neocon takeover of the USA (a 4 part analysis)

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

Part 1 – American Imperialism Leads the World into Dante’s Vision of Hell

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/Inferno_Canto_3_line_9.jpg/307px-Inferno_Canto_3_line_9.jpg

“The Gate of Hell” by Gustave Doré for Dante’s “Inferno.” (Wikimedia)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inferno_Canto_3_line_9.jpg

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate. (Abandon all hope ye who enter here.)”
—Dante, “The Divine Comedy,” Inferno (Part 1), Canto 3, Line 9

Before the Tomahawk Missiles start flying between Moscow and New York, Americans had better educate themselves fast about the forces and the people who claim that Russia covered up a Syrian government gas attack on its own people. Proof no longer seems to matter in the rush to further transform the world into Dante’s vision of Hell. Accusations made by anonymous sources, spurious sources and outright frauds have become enough. Washington’s paranoia and confusion bear an uncanny resemblance to the final days of the Third Reich, when the leadership in Berlin became completely unglued. Tensions have been building since fall with accusations that Russian media interfered with our presidential election and is a growing threat to America’s national security. The latest WikiLeaks release strongly suggested that it was the CIA’s own contract hackers behind Hillary Clinton’s email leaks and not Russians. The U.S. has a long reputation of accusing others of things they didn’t do and planting fake news stories to back it up in order to provide a cause for war. The work of secret counter intelligence services is to misinform the public in order to shape opinion and that’s what this is. The current U.S. government campaign to slander Russia over anything and everything it does bears all the earmarks of a classic disinformation campaign but this time even crazier. Considering that Washington has put Russia, China and Iran on its anti-globalist hit-list from which no one is allowed to escape, drummed up charges against them shouldn’t come as a surprise. But accusing the Russians of undermining American democracy and interfering in an election is tantamount to an act of war and that simply is not going to wash. This time the United States is not demonizing an ideological enemy (USSR) or a religious one (al Qaeda, ISIS, Daesh etc.). It’s making this latest venture into the blackest of propaganda a race war, the way the Nazis made their invasion of Russia a race war in 1941 and that is not a war the United States can justify or win.

The level and shrillness of the latest disinformation campaign has been growing for some time. But the American public has lived in a culture of fake news (formerly known as propaganda) for so long many have grown to accept fake news as real news. George Orwell saw this coming and here it is. As a big supporter of U.S. military intervention in Cuba and avowed practitioner of “yellow journalism”, in 1897 William Randolph Hearst admonished the illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found no war to illustrate; “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst eventually got his war and America’s experiment in imperialism was off and running.

Americans should know by now that their country’s wars are fertile ground for biased, one-sided, xenophobic, fake news and the United States has been in a permanent state of war since 1941. Although the targets have shifted over the years, the purpose of the propaganda hasn’t. Most cultures are coerced, cajoled or simply threatened into accepting known falsehoods demonizing their enemies during wartime but no matter how frequently repeated or cleverly told—no lie can hold if the war never ends. The legendary Cold Warrior, Time and Life Magazine’s Henry Luce considered his personal fight against Communism to be “a declaration of private war.” He’d even asked one of his executives whether or not the idea was probably “unlawful and probably mad?” Nonetheless, despite his doubts about his own sanity, Luce allowed the CIA to use his Time/Life as a cover for the agency’s operationsand to provide credentials to CIA personnel.

Luce was not alone in his service to the CIA’s propaganda wars. Recently declassified documentsreveal the CIA’s propaganda extended to all the mainstream media outlets. Dozens of the most respected journalists and opinion makers during the Cold War considered it a privilege to keep American public opinion from straying away from CIA control.

Now that the new Cold War has turned hot, we are led to believe that the Russians have breached this wall of not-so-truthful journalists and rattled the foundation of everything we are supposed to hold dear about the purity of the U.S. election process and “freedom of the press” in America.

Black propaganda is all about lying. Authoritarian governments lie regularly. Totalitarian governments do it so often nobody believes them. A government based on democratic principles like the United States is supposed to speak the truth, but when the U.S. government’s own documents reveal it has been lying over and over again for decades, the jig is up.

Empires have been down this road before and it doesn’t end well. Americans are now being told they should consider all Russian opinion as fake and ignore any information that challenges the mainstream media and U.S. government on what is truth and what is the lie. But for the first time in memory Americans have become aware that the people Secretary of State Colin Powell once called “the crazies”, have taken the country over the cliff.

The neoconservative hitmen and hit-ladies of Washington have a long list of targets that pass from generation to generation. Their influence on American government has been catastrophic yet it never seems to end. Senator J. William Fulbright identified their irrational system for making endless war in Vietnam 45 years ago in a New Yorker article titled Reflections in Thrall to Fear.

“The truly remarkable thing about this Cold War psychology is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of proof from those who make charges to those who question them… The Cold Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of the public discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not. If the skeptics could not then the war must go on—to end it would be recklessly risking the national security.”

Fulbright realized that Washington’s resident crazies had turned the world inside out by concluding, “We come to the ultimate illogic: war is the course of prudence and sobriety until the case for peace is proved under impossible rules of evidence [or never]–or until the enemy surrenders. Rational men cannot deal with each other on this basis.” But these were not rational men and their need to further their irrational quest only increased with the loss of the Vietnam War.

Having long forgotten the lessons of Vietnam and after a tragic repeat in Iraq that the highly respected General William Odom considered “equivalent to the Germans at Stalingrad,” the crazies are at it again. With no one to stop them, they have kicked off an updated version of the Cold War against Russia as if nothing had changed since the last one ended in 1992. The original Cold War was immensely expensive to the United States and was conducted at the height of America’s military and financial power. The United States is no longer that country. Since it was supposedly about the ideological “threat” of Communism, Americans need to ask before it’s too late exactly what kind of threat does a Capitalist/Christian Russia pose to the leader of the “Free World” this time?

Muddying the waters in a way not seen since Senator Joe McCarthy and the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” signed into law without fanfare by Obama in December 2016 officially authorizes a government censorship bureaucracy comparable only to George Orwell’s fictional Ministry of Truth in his novel 1984. Referred to as “The Global Engagement Center,” the official purpose of the new bureaucracy will be to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” But the real purpose of this totally Orwellian Center will be to manage, eliminate or censor any dissenting views that challenge Washington’s newly manufactured version of the truth and to intimidate, harass or jail anyone who tries. Criminalizing dissent is nothing new in time of war, but after 16 years of ceaseless warfare in Afghanistan, a Stalingrad–like defeat in Iraq and with Henry Kissinger advising President Trump on foreign policy, the Global Engagement Center has already assumed the characteristics of a dangerous farce.

The brilliant American satirical songwriter of the 1950s and 60s Tom Lehrer once attributed his early retirement to Henry Kissinger, saying “Political satire became obsolete [in 1973] when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Kissinger’s duplicitous attempts at securing an “honorable peace” in America’s war in Vietnam deserved at least ridicule. His long, drawn out negotiations extended the war for four years at the cost of 22,000 American lives and countless Vietnamese. According to University of California researcher Larry Berman, author of 2001’s No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam, the Paris peace accords negotiated by Kissinger were never even expected to work, but were only to serve as a justification for a brutal and permanent air war once they were violated. Berman writes, “Nixon recognized that winning the peace, like the war would be impossible to achieve, but he planned for indefinite stalemate by using the B 52s to prop up the government of South Vietnam until the end of his presidency… but Watergate derailed the plan.”

The Vietnam War had broken the eastern establishment’s hold over foreign policy long before Nixon and Kissinger’s entry onto the scene. Détente with the Soviet Union had come about during the Johnson administration in an effort to bring some order out of the chaos and Kissinger had carried it through Nixon and Ford. But while dampening one crisis, détente created an even worse one by breaking open the longstanding internal-deep-state-struggle for control of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. Vietnam represented more than just a strategic defeat; it represented a conceptual failure in the half-century battle to contain Soviet-style Communism. The Pentagon Papers revealed the extent of the U.S. government’s deceit and incompetence but rather than concede that defeat and chart a new course, its proponents fought back with a Machiavellian ideological campaign known as the experiment in competitive analysis or for short; Team B.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times in August 2004 in an article titled It’s Time to Bench “Team B”, Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1985 came forward on what he knew to be the real tragedy represented by 9/11. “The reports of the Sept. 11 commission and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence missed the real problem facing the intelligence community, which is not organization or culture but something known as the “Team B” concept. And the real villains are the hard-liners who created the concept out of an unwillingness to accept the unbiased and balanced judgments of intelligence professionals.”

Part 2 – How Neocons Push for War by Cooking the Books

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/PulitzerHearstWarYellowKids.jpg/320px-PulitzerHearstWarYellowKids.jpg

An 1898 cartoon features newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst dressed as a cartoon character of the day, a satire of their papers’ role in drumming up U.S. public opinion for war by Leon Barritt (Wikimedia))https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PulitzerHearstWarYellowKids.jpg

Most Americans outside of Washington policy circles don’t know about Team B, where it came from or what it did, nor are they aware of its roots in the Fourth International, the Trotskyist branch of the Communist International. Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1985 attributed the intelligence failure represented by 9/11 to Team B and had this to say about it in a 2004 article for the Los Angeles Times.

“The roots of the problem go back to May 6, 1976, when the director of Central Intelligence, George H.W. Bush, created the first Team B… The concept of a “competitive analysis” of the data done by an alternative team had been opposed by William Colby, Bush’s predecessor as CIA director and a career professional… Although the Team B report contained little factual data it was enthusiastically received by conservative groups such as the Committee on the Present Danger. But the report turned out to be grossly inaccurate… Team B was right about one thing. The CIA estimate was indeed flawed. But it was flawed in the other direction.”

Korb went on to explain that a 1978 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review concluded; “that the selection of Team B members had yielded a flawed composition of political views and biases. And a 1989 review concluded that the Soviet threat had been ‘substantially overestimated’ in the CIA’s annual intelligence estimates… Still, the failure of Team B in 1976 did not deter the hard-liners from challenging the CIA’s judgments for the next three decades.”

Now long forgotten, the origins of the Team B “problem” actually stretched back to the radical political views and biases of James Burnham, his association with the Communist Revolutionary Leon Trotsky and the creation of powerful eastern establishment ad hoc groups; the Committee on the Present Danger and the American Security Council. From the outset of the Cold War in the late 1940s an odd coalition of ex-Trotskyist radicals and right wing business associations had lobbied heavily for big military budgets, advanced weapons systems and aggressive action to confront Soviet Communism. Vietnam was intended to prove the brilliance of their theories, but as described by author Fred Kaplan, “Vietnam brought out the dark side of nearly everyone inside America’s national security machine. And it exposed something seamy and disturbing about the very enterprise of the defense intellectuals. It revealed that the concept of force underlying all their formulations and scenarios was an abstraction, practically useless as a guide to action.” (Wizards of Armageddon page. 336) Kaplan ends by writing “The disillusionment for some became nearly total.” Vietnam represented more than just a strategic defeat for America’s defense intellectuals; it represented a conceptual failure in the half-century battle to contain Soviet-style Communism but for Team B, that disillusionment represented the opportunity of a lifetime.

Trotskyist Intellectuals become The New York Intellectuals become Defense Intellectuals

Populated by an inbred class of former Trotskyist intellectuals, the Team B approach represented a radical transformation of America’s national security bureaucracy into a new kind of elitist cult. In the 1960s Robert McNamara’s numbers and statistics justified bad policy decisions, now personal agendas and ethnic grudges would turn American foreign policy into an ideological crusade. Today those in control of that crusade fight desperately to maintain their grip, but only by de-encrypting the evolution of this secret “double government” can anyone understand America’s unrelenting post-Vietnam drift into despotism over the last 40 years.

Rooted in what can only be described as cult thinking, the Team B experiment tore down what was left of the CIA’s pre-Vietnam professional objectivity by subjecting it to politicization. Earlier in the decade, the CIA’s Office of Strategic Research (OSR) had been pressured by Nixon and Kissinger to corrupt their analysis to justify increased defense spending but the Team B’s ideological focus and partisan makeup so exaggerated the threat, the process could never return to normal.

The campaign was driven by the Russophobic neoconservative cabal which included Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pipes, Richard Perle and a handful of old anti-Soviet hardliners like Paul Nitze and General Danny Graham. It began with a 1974 article in the Wall Street Journal by the famed nuclear strategist and former Trotskyist Albert Wohlstetter decrying America’s supposed nuclear vulnerability. It ended 2 years later with a ritualistic bloodletting at the CIA, signaling that ideology and not fact-based analysis had gained an exclusive hold on America’s bureaucracy.

The ideology referred to as Neoconservatism can claim many godfathers if not godmothers. Roberta Wohlstetter’s reputation as one of RAND’s preeminent Cold Warriors was equal to her husband’s. The couple’s infamous parties at their Santa Monica home acted as a kind of initiation rite for the rising class of “defense intellectual”. But the title of founding-father might best be applied to James Burnham. A convert from Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky’s inner circle, Burnham’s 1941, The Managerial Revolution and 1943’s The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom championed the anti-democratic takeover then occurring in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy while in1945’s Lenin’s Heir he switched his admiration, if only tongue in cheek, from Trotsky to Stalin.

George Orwell criticized Burnham’s cynical elitist vision in his 1946 essay Second Thoughts on James Burnham, writing “What Burnham is mainly concerned to show [in The Machiavellians] is that a democratic society has never existed and, so far as we can see, never will exist. Society is of its nature oligarchical, and the power of the oligarchy always rests upon force and fraud… Power can sometimes be won and maintained without violence, but never without fraud.”

Orwell is said to have modelled his novel 1984 on Burnham’s vision of the coming totalitarian state which he described as “a new kind of society, neither capitalist nor Socialist, and probably based upon slavery.”

As a Princeton and Oxford educated English scholar (one of his professor’s at Balliol College was J.R.R Tolkien) Burnham landed a position as a writer and an instructor in the philosophy department at New York University just in time for the 1929 Wall Street crash. Although initially uninterested in politics and hostile to Marxism, by 1931Burnham had become radicalized by the Great Depression and alongside fellow NYU philosophy instructor Sidney Hook, drawn to Marxism.

Burnham found Trotsky’s use of “dialectical materialism” to explain the interplay between the human and the historical forces in his History of the Russian Revolution to be brilliant. His subsequent review of Trotsky’s book would bring the two men together and begin for Burnham a six year odyssey through America’s Communist left that would in this strange saga, ultimately transform him into the agent of its destruction.

As founder of the Red Army and a firebrand Marxist, Trotsky had dedicated his life to the spread of a worldwide Communist revolution. Stalin opposed Trotsky’s views as too ambitious and the power struggle that followed Lenin’s death splintered the party. By their very nature the Trotskyists were expert at infighting, infiltration and disruption. Burnham reveled in his role as a Trotskyist intellectual and the endless debates over the fundamental principle of Communism (dialectical materialism) behind Trotsky’s crusade. The Communist Manifesto approved the tactic of subverting larger and more populist political parties (entrism) and following Trotsky’s expulsion from the Communist party in November 1927, his followers exploited it. The most well-known example of entrism was the so called “French Turn” when in 1934 the French Trotskyists entered the much larger French Socialist Party the SFIO with the intention of winning over the more militant elements to their side.

That same year the American followers of Trotsky in the Communist League of America, the CLA did a French turn on the American Workers Party, the AWP in a move that elevated the AWP’s James Burnham into the role of a Trotsky lieutenant and chief advisor.

Burnham liked the toughness of the Bolsheviks and despised the weakness of the liberals. According to his biographer Daniel Kelly, “He took great pride in what he saw as its hard-headed view of the world in contrast to philosophies rooted in ‘dreams and illusions.’” He also delighted in the tactics of infiltrating and subverting other leftist parties and in 1935 “fought tirelessly for the French turn” of another and far larger Socialist Party the SP some twenty thousand strong. The Trotskyists intended “to capture its left wing and its youth division, the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL),” Kelly writes “and take the converts with them when they left.”

Burnham remained a “Trotskyist Intellectual” from 1934 until 1940. But although he labored six years for the party, it was said of him that he was never of the party and as the new decade began he renounced both Trotsky and “the ‘philosophy of Marxism’ dialectical materialism” altogether. He summed up his feelings in a letter of resignation on May 21, 1940. “Of the most important beliefs, which have been associated with the Marxist Movement, whether in its reformist, Leninist, Stalinist or Trotskyist variants, there is virtually none which I accept in its traditional form. I regard these beliefs as either false or obsolete or meaningless; or in a few cases, as at best true only in a form so restricted and modified as no longer properly to be called Marxist.”

In 1976 Burnham wrote to a legendary secret agent whom biographer Kelly referred to as “the British political analyst Brian Crozier” that he had never swallowed dialectical materialism or the ideology of Marxism but was merely being pragmatic given the rise of Hitler and the Depression.

But given the influential role Burnham would come to play in creating the new revolutionary class of neoconservatives, and their central role in using Trotsky’s tactics to lobby against any relationship with the Soviet Union, it’s hard to believe Burnham’s involvement with Trotsky’s Fourth International was only an intellectual exercise in pragmatism

Part 3 – How the CIA Created a Fake Western Reality for ‘Unconventional Warfare’

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Puck112188c.jpg

“The Evil Spirits of the Modern Day Press”. Puck US magazine 1888 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Puck112188c.jpg ) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The odd, psychologically conflicted and politically divisive ideology referred to as Neoconservatism can claim many godfathers. Irving Kristol, father of William Kristol, Albert Wohlstetter, Daniel Bell, Norman Podhoretz and Sidney Hook come to mind and there are many others. But in both theory and its practice the title of founding-father of the neoconservative agenda of endless warfare that rules the thinking of America’s defense and foreign policies today might best be applied to James Burnham.

His writings in the 1930s provided a refined Oxford intellectual’s gloss to the Socialist Workers party and as a close advisor to Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his Fourth International he learned the tactics and strategies of infiltration and political subversion first hand. Burnham reveled in his role as a “Trotskyist intellectual” pulling dirty tricks on his political foes in competing Marxist movements by turning their loyalties and looting their best talent.

Burnham renounced his allegiance to Trotsky and Marxism in all its forms in1940 but he would take their tactics and strategies for infiltration and subversion with him and would turn their method of dialectical materialism against them. His 1941book The Managerial Revolution would bring him fame and fortune and establish him as an astute, if not exactly accurate political prophet chronicling the rise of a new class of technocratic elite. His next book The Machiavellians would confirm his movement away from Marxist idealism to a very cynical and often cruel realism with his belief in the inevitable failure of democracy and the rise of the oligarch. In 1943 he would put it all to use in a memo for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services the OSS in which his Trotskyist anti-Stalinism would find its way into the agency’s thinking. And in his 1947 book The Struggle for the World, Burnham would expand his confrontational/adversarial dialectic toward the Soviet Union into a permanent, apocalyptic policy of endless war. By 1947 James Burnham’s transformation from Communist radical to New World Order American conservative was complete. His Struggle for the World had done a French Turn on Trotsky’s permanent Communist revolution and turned it into a permanent battle plan for a global American empire. All that was needed to complete Burnham’s dialectic was a permanent enemy and that would require a sophisticated psychological campaign to keep the hatred of Russia alive for generations.

The rise of the Machiavellians

In 1939 Sidney Hook, Burnham’s colleague at NYU and fellow Marxist philosopher had helped to found an anti-Stalinist Committee for Cultural Freedom as part of a campaign against Moscow. During the war Hook too had abandoned Marxism and like Burnham somehow found himself in the warm embrace of the right-wing of America’s intelligence community during and after World War II. Hook was viewed by the Communist Party as a traitor and “counter-revolutionary reptile” for his activities and by 1942 was informing on his fellow comrades to the FBI.

Selling impoverished and dispossessed European elites on the virtues of American culture was essential to building America’s empire after the war and Burnham’s early writings proved the inspiration from which a new counter-culture of “Freedom” would be built. As veterans of internecine Trotskyist warfare both Burnham and Hook were practiced at the arts of infiltration and subversion and with Burnham’s The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom as their blueprint they set out to color anything the Soviets did or said with dark intent.

As Burnham articulated clearly in his Machiavellians, his version of Freedom meant anything but intellectual freedom or those freedoms defined by America’s Constitution. What it really meant was conformity and submission. Burnham’s Freedom only applied to those intellectuals (the Machiavellians) willing to tell people the hard truth about the unpopular political realities they faced. These were the realities that would usher in a brave new world of the managerial class who would set about denying Americans the very democracy they thought they already owned. As Orwell observed about Burnham’s Machiavellian beliefs in his 1946 Second Thoughts, “Power can sometimes be won or maintained without violence, but never without fraud, because it is necessary to use the masses…”

By 1949 the CIA was actively in the business of defrauding the masses by secretly supporting the so called non-Communist left and behaving as if it was just a spontaneous outgrowth of a free society. By turning the left to the service of its expanding empire the CIA was applying a French Turn of its own by picking the best and the brightest and the creation of the National Security State in 1947 institutionalized it. Assisted by Britain’s Information Research Department the IRD, the CIA recruited key former Soviet disinformation agents trained before the war who had managed non-Communist front groups for Moscow and put them to work. As Frances Stoner Saunders writes in her book, The Cultural Cold War, “these former propagandists for the Soviets were recycled, bleached of the stain of Communism, embraced by government strategists who saw in their conversion an irresistible opportunity to sabotage the Soviet propaganda machine which they had once oiled.”

By its own admission the CIA’s strategy of promoting the non-Communist left would become the theoretical foundation of the Agency’s political operations against Communism for over the next two decades. But the no holds barred cultural war against Soviet Communism began in earnest in March 1949 when a group of 800 prominent literary and artistic figures gathered at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel for a Soviet sponsored “Cultural and Scientific” conference that would sue for peace. Both Sydney Hook and James Burnham were already actively involved in enlisting recruits to counter Moscow’s Communist Information Bureau’s (Cominform) efforts to influence Western Opinion. But the Waldorf conference gave them an opportunity for dirty tricks they could only have prayed for.

Demonstrators organized by a right-wing coalition of Catholic groups and the American legion heckled the guests as they arrived. Catholic nuns knelt in prayer for the souls of the Communist atheists in attendance. Gathered upstairs in a tenth floor bridal suite a gang of ex-Trotskyists and Communists led by Hook intercepted the conference’s mail, doctored official press releases and published pamphlets challenging speakers to admit their Communist past.

In the end the entire conference became a twisted theatre of the absurd and Hook and Burnham would use it to sell Frank Wisner at the CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination on taking the show on the road.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom: By Hook or by Crook

Drawing on the untapped power of the Fourth International, the coming out party came on June 26, 1950 at the Titania Palace in occupied Berlin. Named for Hook’s 1939 concept for a cultural committee, The Congress for Cultural Freedom’s fourteen-point “Freedom Manifesto” was to identify the West with freedom. And since everything about the West was said to be free, free, free then it went without saying everything about the Soviet Union wasn’t.

Organized by Burnham and Hook, the American delegation represented a who’s who of America’s post war intellectuals. Tickets to Berlin were paid for by Wisner’s Office of Policy Coordination through front organizations as well as the Department of State which helped arrange travel, expenses and publicity. According to CIA Historian Michael Warner the conference’s sponsor’s considered it money well spent with one Defense Department representative calling it “unconventional warfare at its best.”

Burnham functioned as a critical connection between Wisner’s office and the intelligentsia moving from the extreme left to the extreme right with ease. Burnham found the Congress to be a place to inveigh not just against Communism but against the non-communist left as well and left many wondering whether his views weren’t as dangerous to liberal democracy as Communism. According to Frances Stoner Saunders, members of the British delegation found the rhetoric coming out of the Congress to be a deeply troubling sign of things to come. “Hugh Trevor-Roper was appalled by the provocative tone… ‘There was a speech by Franz Borkenau which was very violent and indeed almost hysterical. He spoke in German and I regret to say that as I listened and I heard the baying voices of approval from the huge audiences, I felt, well, these are the same people who seven years ago were probably baying in the same way to similar German denunciations of Communism coming from Dr. Goebbels in the Sports Palast. And I felt, well, what sort of people are we identifying with? That was the greatest shock to me. There was a moment during the Congress when I felt that we were being invited to summon up Beelzebub in order to defeat Stalin.’”

The Congress for Cultural Freedom didn’t need Beelzebub, it already had him in the form of Burnham, Hook and Wisner and by 1952 the party was just getting started. Burnham worked overtime for Wisner legitimizing the Congress as a platform for the Machiavellians alongside ex-Communists and even Nazis, including SS General Reinhard Gehlen and his German Army intelligence unit which had been brought into the CIA after the war, intact. E. Howard Hunt, Watergate “plumber” famous as a CIA dirty trickster remembered Burnham in his memoirs, “Burnham was a consultant to OPC on virtually every subject of interest to our organization… He had extensive contacts in Europe and, by virtue of his Trotskyite background, was something of an authority on domestic and foreign Communist parties and front organizations.”

In 1953 Burnham was called upon again by Wisner to reach beyond Communism to help overthrow the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in Teheran apparently because Wisner thought the plan needed “a touch of Machiavelli.” But Burnham’s greatest contribution as a Machiavellian was yet to come. His book The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom would become the CIA’s manual for displacing Western culture with an alternative doctrine for endless conflict in a world of oligarchs and in the end open the gates to an Inferno from which there would be no return.

Part 4 – The Final Stage of the Machiavellian Elites’ Takeover of America

From Trotsky to Burnham, from Burnham to Machiavelli and Machiavelli to neoconservatism, the circle of British imperialism closes

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Cover of the 1550 edition of Machiavelli’s Il Principe and La Vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca.

public domain wiki commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Machiavelli_Principe_Cover_Page.jpg

The recent assertion by the Trump White House that Damascus and Moscow released “false narratives” to mislead the world about the April 4 Sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria is a dangerous next step in the “fake news” propaganda war launched in the final days of the Obama administration. It is a step whose deep roots in Communist Trotsky’s Fourth International must be understood before deciding whether American democracy can be reclaimed.

Muddying the waters of accountability in a way not seen since Senator Joe McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” signed into law without fanfare by Obama in December 2016 officially authorized a government censorship bureaucracy comparable only to George Orwell’s fictional Ministry of Truth in his novel 1984. Referred to as “The Global Engagement Center,” the official purpose of this new bureaucracy is to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” The real purpose of this Orwellian nightmare is to cook the books on anything that challenges Washington’s neoconservative pro war narrative and to intimidate, harass or jail anyone who tries. As has already been demonstrated by President Trump’s firing of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airbase, it is a recipe for a world war and like it or not, that war has already begun.

This latest attack on Russia’s supposed false narrative takes us right back to 1953 and the beginnings of the cultural war between East and West. Its roots are tied to the Congress for Cultural Freedom, to James Burnham’s pivot from Trotsky’s Fourth International to right-wing conservatism and to the rise of the neoconservative Machiavellians as a political force. As James Burnham’s The Struggle for the World stressed, the Third World War had already begun with the 1944 Communist-led Greek sailors’ revolt. In Burnham’s Manichean thinking the West was under siege. George Kennan’s Cold War policy of containment was no different than Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement. Détente with the Soviet Union amounted to surrender. Peace was only a disguise for war and that war would be fought with politics, subversion, terrorism and psychological warfare. Soviet influence had to be rolled back wherever possible. That meant subverting the Soviet Union and its proxies and when necessary, subverting Western democracies as well.

The true irony of today’s late stage efforts by Washington to monopolize “truth” and attack alternate narratives isn’t just in its blatant contempt for genuine free speech. The real irony is that the entire “Freedom Manifesto” employed by the United States and Britain since World War II was never free at all; but a concoction of the CIA’s Psychological Strategy Board’s (PSB) comprehensive psychological warfare program waged on friend and foe alike.

The CIA would come to view the entire program beginning with the 1950 Berlin conference to be a landmark in the Cold War not just for solidifying the CIA’s control over the non-Communist left and the West’s “free” intellectuals, but for enabling the CIA to secretly disenfranchise Europeans and Americans from their own political culture in such a way they would never really know it.

As historian Christopher Lasch wrote in 1969 of the CIA’s cooptation of the American left, “The modern state… is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful, demands the cooperation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists or state-censored time-servers but as ‘free’ intellectuals capable of policing their own jurisdictions and of enforcing acceptable standards of responsibility within the various intellectual professions.”

Key to turning these “free” intellectuals against their own interests was the CIA’s doctrinal program for Western cultural transformation contained in the document PSB D-33/2. PSB D-33/2 foretells of a “long-term intellectual movement, to: break down world-wide doctrinaire thought patterns” while “creating confusion, doubt and loss of confidence” in order to “weaken objectively the intellectual appeal of neutralism and to predispose its adherents towards the spirit of the West;” to “predispose local elites to the philosophy held by the planners,” while employing local elites “would help to disguise the American origin of the effort so that it appears to be a native development.”

While declaring itself as an antidote to Communist totalitarianism, one internal critic of the Program, PSB officer Charles Burton Marshall, viewed PSB D-33/2 itself as frighteningly totalitarian, interposing “a wide doctrinal system” that “accepts uniformity as a substitute for diversity,” embracing “all fields of human thought – all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology;” concluding, “That is just about as totalitarian as one can get.”

Burnham’s Machiavellian elitism lurks in every shadow of the document. As recounted in Frances Stoner Saunder’s The Cultural Cold War, “Marshall also took issue with the PSB’s reliance on ‘non-rational social theories’ which emphasized the role of an elite ‘in the manner reminiscent of Pareto, Sorel, Mussolini and so on.’ Weren’t these the models used by James Burnham in his book the Machiavellians? Perhaps there was a copy usefully to hand when PSB D-33/2 was being drafted. More likely, James Burnham himself was usefully to hand.”

Burnham was more than just at hand when it came to secretly implanting a fascist philosophy of extreme elitism into America’s Cold War orthodoxy. With The Machiavellians, Burnham had composed the manual that forged the old Trotskyist left together with a right-wing Anglo/American elite. The political offspring of that volatile union would be called neoconservatism whose overt mission would be to roll back Russian/Soviet influence everywhere. Its covert mission would be to reassert a British cultural dominance over the emerging Anglo/American Empire and maintain it through propaganda.

Hard at work on that task since 1946 was the secret Information Research Department of the British and Commonwealth Foreign Office known as the IRD.

Rarely spoken of in the context of CIA-funded secret operations, the IRD served as a covert anti-Communist propaganda unit from 1946 until 1977. According to Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, authors of Britain’s Secret Propaganda War, “the vast IRD enterprise had one sole aim: To spread its ceaseless propaganda output (i.e. a mixture of outright lies and distorted facts) among top-ranking journalists who worked for major agencies and magazines, including Reuters and the BBC, as well as every other available channel. It worked abroad to discredit communist parties in Western Europe which might gain a share of power by entirely democratic means, and at home to discredit the British Left”.

IRD was to become a self-fulfilling disinformation machine for the far-right-wing of the international intelligence elite, at once offering fabricated and distorted information to “independent” news outlets and then using the laundered story as “proof” of the false story’s validity. One such front enterprise established with CIA money was Forum World Features, operated at one time by Burnham acolyte Brian Rossiter Crozier. Described by Burnham’s biographer Daniel Kelly as a “British political analyst” in reality the legendary Brian Crozier functioned for over fifty years as one of Britain’s top propagandists and secret agents.

If anyone today is shocked by the biased, one-sided, xenophobic rush to judgement alleging Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election, they need look no further than to Brian Crozier’s closet for the blueprints. As we were told outright by an American military officer during the first war in Afghanistan in 1982, the U.S. didn’t need “proof the Soviets used poison gas” and they don’t need proof against Russia now. Crozier might best be described as a daydream believer, a dangerous imperialist who acts out his dreams with open eyes. From the beginning of the Cold War until his death in 2012 Crozier and his protégé Robert Moss propagandized on behalf of military dictators Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet, organized private intelligence organizations to destabilize governments in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa and worked to delegitimize politicians in Europe and Britain viewed as insufficiently anti-Communist. The mandate of his Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) set up in 1970 was to expose the supposed KGB campaign of worldwide subversion and put out stories smearing anyone who questioned it as a dupe, a traitor or Communist spy. Crozier regarded The Machiavellians as a major formative influence in his own intellectual development, and wrote in 1976 “indeed it was this book above all others that first taught me how [emphasis Crozier] to think about politics”. The key to Crozier’s thinking was Burnham’s distinction between the “formal” meaning of political speech and the “real”, a concept which was of course grasped only by elites. In a 1976 article Crozier marveled at how Burnham’s understanding of politics had spanned 600 years and how the use of “the formal” to conceal “the real” was no different today than when used by Dante Alighieri’s “presumably enlightened Medieval mind.” “The point is as valid now as it was in ancient times and in the Florentine Middle Ages, or in 1943. Overwhelmingly, political writers and speakers still use Dante’s method. Depending on the degree of obfuscation required (either by circumstances or the person’s character), the divorce between formal and real meaning is more of less absolute.”

But Crozier was more than just a strategic thinker. Crozier was a high level covert political agent who put Burnham’s talent for obfuscation and his Fourth International experience to use to undermine détente and set the stage for rolling back the Soviet Union.

In a secret meeting at a City of London bank in February 1977 he even patented a private sector operational intelligence organization known at the 6th International (6I) to pick up where Burnham left off; politicizing and of course privatizing many of the dirty tricks the CIA and other intelligence services could no longer be caught doing. As he explained in his memoir Free Agent, the name 6I was chosen “Because the Fourth International split. The Fourth International was the Trotskyist one, and when it split, this meant that, on paper there were five Internationals. In the numbers game, we would constitute the Sixth International, or ‘6I’”.

Croziers cooperation with numerous “able and diligent Congressional staffers” as well as “the remarkable General Vernon (‘Dick’) Walters, recently retired as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence,..” cemented the rise of the neoconservatives. When Carter caved in to the Team B and his neoconservative National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s plot to lure the Soviets and into their own Vietnam in Afghanistan it fulfilled Burnham’s mission and delivered the world to the Machiavellians without anyone being the wiser. As George Orwell wrote in his Second Thoughts on James Burnham, “What Burnham is mainly concerned to show [in The Machiavellians] is that a democratic society has never existed and, so far as we can see, never will exist. Society is of its nature oligarchical, and the power of the oligarchy always rests upon force and fraud… Power can sometimes be won and maintained without violence, but never without fraud.”

Today Burnham’s use of Dante’s political Treatise, De Monarchia to explain his Medieval understanding of politics might best be swapped for Dante’s Divine Comedy, a paranoid comedy of errors in which the door to hell swings open to one and all, including the elites regardless of their status. Or as they say in Hell, Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice. Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk

sources:

Part 1: American Imperialism Leads the World Into Dante’s Vision of Hell
Part 2: How Neocons Push for War by Cooking the Books
Part 3: How the CIA Created a Fake Western Reality for ‘Unconventional Warfare’
Part 4 – The Final Stage of the Machiavellian Elites’ Takeover of America

Did Trump Shoot Himself in the Foot?

The sound of Tomahawk missiles slamming into a Syrian airbase shattered whatever optimism there was over the possibility of a rapprochement between Moscow and Washington, while causing a widespread spike in tensions on the global stage.

Caricature: Trump shooting himself in the foot

Just a few days earlier, the blast of another bombshell echoed through international newsrooms; the White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was removed from the US National Security Council [NSC].

Bannon’s removal was hardly surprising. As a matter of fact, it was inevitable in the context of the ongoing struggle between the Trump administration and the American political establishment.

It was equally predictable that Bannon’s departure would coincide with other dramatic events. But few could have forecast that it would be followed by a massive missile strike on Syria, in what marks the most heated episode of the new Cold War.

Meanwhile, Trump was eager to tell the world that last week’s strike was the product of his own decision-making process, which led him to ‘change his mind on Syria’ in 48 hours.

The US president’s change of heart during those 48 hours ran parallel with Bannon’s removal from the NSC.

Trump Betrays His Base

The depth of the Washington D.C. “swamp” that Trump promised to drain was on full display following an assault on a sovereign country and a blatant violation of international law.

The corporate media and western politicians, regardless of their party affiliations, were falling all over themselves to shower praise on Trump for his unilateral attack on Syria.

One of the more poetic examples was NBC’s Brian Williams, who called the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles, which killed a number of Syrian children, “beautiful”.

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two US Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.'”

“They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to this airfield,” he added. Then he asked his guest, “What did they hit?”

Hillary Clinton, who told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, just hours before the attack that the US “should take out [Assad’s] airfields”, was not the only Trump critic to change her tune.

The former frontrunner in the race for the White House declared that the strike was an appropriate response to a purported chemical weapons attack in Idlib.

Republican Senator John McCain, who doesn’t make much of an effort to hide his relationship with terrorist groups in Syria, applauded Trump, saying he deserved the support of the American people.

He then used the opportunity to accuse Russia of war crimes.

“The United States should first tell Russia that this kind of a war crime is unacceptable in the world today,” McCain told a press conference in Belgrade on April 10.

But the argument that this rhetoric somehow translates into Trump becoming more appealing to the public, the media and his political rivals in the long run is inaccurate.

Instead, Trump’s decision to sign off on the strikes can best be described as a pyrrhic victory.

Praise from the global neoliberal and neoconservative establishment will be short-lived. These circles of power will hate Trump for the entirety of his presidential tenure. However, his U-turn on Syria has cost him the backing of his diehard supporters, including those sympathetic to Steve Bannon.

According to Russian geopolitical expert Alexander Dugin, Trump has managed to betray those who elected him by capitulating to neoconservative foreign policy interests.

Muscle Flexing

From a military standpoint, the strikes on the Shayrat air base were almost completely pointless. Only six out-of-service aircraft were reportedly destroyed, and the base was operational again within 24 hours.

A Russian defense ministry statement, read on state television shortly after the strikes, said the US attack had been “ineffective”.

On the diplomatic front, a renewed effort to push the Kremlin into a corner was equally impotent.

A G7 meeting in the Italian city of Lucca, which was preceded by a flurry of anti-Russian and anti-Syrian propaganda, failed to reach an agreement on a proposal by Britain for additional sanctions against Moscow.

Staying true to traditional values and honoring one’s host, Beijing waited for the Chinese President Xi Jinping to leave the US and return home, before offering their explanation of the strike on Syria.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua called it an act of a weakened politician, who needed to flex his muscles and overcome accusations that he was “pro-Russia”.

The PR nature of the attack is further highlighted by the fact that the Russians were notified about the strike in advance, giving them and the Syrians ample time to evacuate the base.

Russia’s Response

Those who detest American imperialism and support the emerging bloc of countries led by Vladimir Putin immediately asked why Moscow didn’t do more to prevent this attack, and why advanced Russian missile-defense systems in Syria remained unused.

Aside from condemnations and warnings that such provocations must not be repeated, little else came out of the Kremlin. This has been interpreted by many in the west as a sign of weakness. The thinking is that the Americans are once again marching to their own tune and Moscow does not know how to respond.

Here, it is important to point out that out of the 59 missiles fired only 23 ended up reaching their target.

Unless the American military industrial complex has truly hit rock bottom, it is unlikely that more than 30 Tomahawks simply malfunctioned.

The more believable explanation involves Russia’s Krasuha-4 mobile electronic warfare system, which was first cited as being in use in Syria in late 2015.

The Krasuha-4 can affect the function of spy satellites, ground-based radars and airborne systems.

But its main function is to jam radar frequencies and other radio-emitting sources – vital for Tomahawk missile launches.

It is also important to note that the Russians had an agreement with the Americans over operations in Syria, which Moscow decided to honor. The agreement as well as the prior warning of the attack could explain Russia’s relatively low-key response.

Theories suggesting that the Kremlin does not know how to react also run counter to Putin’s recent maneuvers on the international stage, including his response to the shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey.

Managing to avoid a direct military confrontation, which would have played into the hands of the ‘globalists’, Putin successfully broke through NATO’s southern rim, as the anti-Kremlin agenda in Ankara collapsed.

Over the last couple of years, Putin’s actions have been highly unpredictable. From Moscow’s response to the crisis in Ukraine and the seizure of Crimea, to Russia’s intervention in Syria, Putin has managed to leave the top echelons of western intelligence agencies lost for words.

Trump’s future actions are equally unpredictable, but for different reasons.

Reason and pragmatism have abandoned Washington’s halls of power many years ago, requiring a psychiatric evaluation of the policy-making process rather than a political one.

One conclusion that can be drawn from the recent escalation is that Trump, much like Erdogan over a year ago, is shooting himself in the foot. Those who hated Trump since the beginning will continue to hate him and those who supported him will begin to abandon him.

Source: Al-Ahed News

15-04-2017 | 09:31

What the US Senators didn’t hear on the Hill yesterday

What the US Senators didn’t hear on the Hill yesterday

What the Senators didn’t hear on the Hill yesterday from Clinton Watts and co — from retired Canadian Army officer/diplomat Patrick Armstrong

by The Kulak

March 31, 2017

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/russia-prepares-for-a-big-war-the-significance-of-a-tank-army.html

The CFE Treaty showed us all this: the Russians were obliged to give us a list of elements showing their precise location and relationship to other structures with the number of soldiers and major weapons; we could go there and check this out at any moment. Thanks to the Treaty we always knew what they had, where they had it and how it was organised. Our inspectors found no discrepancies. But the NATO member countries never ratified the Treaty, continually adding conditions to it and, after years, Russia, which had ratified it, gave up and denounced it. And so we all lost (because it was reciprocal) a transparent confidence building mechanism based on full disclosure with the right to verify.

All this time the Russians told us that that NATO’s relentless expansion, ever closer, was a danger (опасность) although they stopped short of calling it, as they did terrorism, a threat (угроза); “dangers” you watch; “threats” you must respond to. NATO of course didn’t listen, arrogantly assuming NATO expansion was doing Russia a favour and was an entitlement of the “exceptional nation” and its allies.

It is important to keep in mind with the everlasting charges that Russia is “weaponising” this and thatthreatening everyone and everything, behaving in an “19th century fashion“, invadingbrutalising, and on and on, that its army structure and deployments do not support the accusations. A few independent brigades, mostly in the south, are not the way to threaten neighbours in the west. Where are the rings of bases, the foreign fleet deployments, the exercises at the borders? And, especially, where are the strike forces? Since the end of the USSR they have not existed: as they have told us, so have they acted.

They planned for small wars, but NATO kept expanding; they argued, but NATO kept expanding; they protested, but NATO kept expanding. They took no action for years.

Well, they have now: the 1st Guards Tank Army is being re-created.

This army, or corps in Western terminology, will likely have two or three tank divisions, plus a motorised rifle division or two, plus enormous artillery and engineering support, plus helicopters and all else.

The 1st Guards Tank Army will be stationed in the Western Military District to defend Russia against NATO. It is very likely that it will be the first to receive the new Armata family of AFVs and be staffed with professional soldiers and all the very latest and best of Russia’s formidable defence industry. It will not be a paper headquarters; it will be the real thing: commanded, manned, staffed, integrated, exercised and ready to go.

It should be remembered that the Soviet Armed Forces conducted what are probably the largest operations in the history of warfare. Take, for example, Operation Bagration which started shortly after the D Day invasion. Using Western terms, it involved eleven armies, in support or attacking; recall that the Western allies entered Germany with eight armies – five American, one each British, Canadian and French. Tank corps (armies in Soviet/Russian) are the hammers – either they deliver the decisive counter-attack after the defence has absorbed the attack (Stalingrad or Kursk) or they deliver the offensive strike. The decision to create a tank army (armoured corps in Western terminology) is an indication that Russia really does fear attack from the west and is preparing to defend itself against it.

In short, Russia has finally come to the conclusion that

NATO’s aggression means it has to prepare for a big war.

As a historical note, Dominic Lieven’s book shows the preparations Emperor Alexander made when he realised that, sooner or later, Napoleon was going to come for Russia. And everyone knows how that ended. As Field Marshal Montgomery, who had more experience of big war than anyone in the Pentagon or White House today, said: “Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: ‘Do not march on Moscow’.”

This is what the light-hearted decision to expand NATO, “colour revolutions”, regime changes, cookies on the Maidan and incessant anti-Russian propaganda has brought us to.

And it won’t be a war that NATO will win.

https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/02/17/nato-would-probably-lose-a-war-against-russia/

NATO commanders will be in for a shattering shock when their aircraft start falling in quantity and the casualties swiftly mount into the thousands and thousands. After all, we are told that the Kiev forces lost two thirds of their military equipment against fighters with a fraction of Russia’s assets, but with the same fighting style.

But, getting back to the scenarios of the Cold War. Defending NATO forces would be hit by an unimaginably savage artillery attack, with, through the dust, a huge force of attackers pushing on. The NATO units that repelled their attackers would find a momentary peace on their part of the battlefield while the ones pushed back would immediately be attacked by fresh forces three times the size of the first ones and even heavier bombardments. The situation would become desperate very quickly.

No wonder they always won and no wonder the NATO officer playing Red, following the simple instructions of push ahead resolutely, reinforce success, use all your artillery all the time, would win the day.

I don’t wish to be thought to be saying that the Soviets would have “got to the the English Channel in 48 hours” as the naysayers were fond of warning. In fact, the Soviets had a significant Achilles Heel. In the rear of all this would have been an unimaginably large traffic jam. Follow-up echelons running their engines while commanders tried to figure out where they should be sent, thousands of trucks carrying fuel and ammunition waiting to cross bridges, giant artillery parks, concentrations of engineering equipment never quite in the right place at the right time. And more arriving every moment. A ground-attack pilot’s dream. The NATO Air-Land Battle doctrine being developed would have gone some distance to even things up again. But it would have been a tremendously destructive war, even forgetting the nuclear weapons (which would also be somewhere in the traffic jam).

As for the Soviets on the defence, (something we didn’t game because NATO, in those days, was a defensive alliance) the Battle of Kursk is probably the model still taught today: hold the attack with layer after layer of defences, then, at the right moment, the overwhelming attack at the weak spot. The classic attack model is probably Autumn Storm.

All of this rugged and battle proven doctrine and methodology is somewhere in the Russian Army today. We didn’t see it in the first Chechen War – only overconfidence and incompetence. Some of it in the Second Chechen War. More of it in the Ossetia War. They’re getting it back. And they are exercising it all the time.

Light-hearted people in NATO or elsewhere should never forget that it’s a war-fighting doctrine that does not require absolute air superiority to succeed and knows that there are no cheap victories. It’s also a very, very successful one with many victories to its credit. (Yes, they lost in Afghanistan but the West didn’t do any better.)

I seriously doubt that NATO has anything to compare: quick air campaigns against third-rate enemies yes. This sort of thing, not so much.

Even if, somehow, the nukes are kept in the box.

To quote Field Marshal Montgomery “Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: ‘Do not march on Moscow’. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule.”

(His second rule, by the way, was: “Do not go fighting with your land armies in China.” As Washington’s policy drives Moscow and Beijing closer together…. But that is another subject).

An American Century of Carnage

Global Research, March 31, 2017
TomDispatch.com 28 March 2017

[This essay is adapted from “Measuring Violence,” the first chapter of John Dower’s new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two.]

On February 17, 1941, almost 10 months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Life magazine carried a lengthy essay by its publisher, Henry Luce, entitled “The American Century.” The son of Presbyterian missionaries, born in China in 1898 and raised there until the age of 15, Luce essentially transposed the certainty of religious dogma into the certainty of a nationalistic mission couched in the name of internationalism.

Luce acknowledged that the United States could not police the whole world or attempt to impose democratic institutions on all of mankind. Nonetheless, “the world of the 20th Century,” he wrote,

“if it is to come to life in any nobility of health and vigor, must be to a significant degree an American Century.” The essay called on all Americans “to accept wholeheartedly our duty and our opportunity as the most powerful and vital nation in the world and in consequence to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such measures as we see fit.”

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States wholeheartedly onto the international stage Luce believed it was destined to dominate, and the ringing title of his cri de coeur became a staple of patriotic Cold War and post-Cold War rhetoric. Central to this appeal was the affirmation of a virtuous calling. Luce’s essay singled out almost every professed ideal that would become a staple of wartime and Cold War propaganda: freedom, democracy, equality of opportunity, self-reliance and independence, cooperation, justice, charity — all coupled with a vision of economic abundance inspired by “our magnificent industrial products, our technical skills.” In present-day patriotic incantations, this is referred to as “American exceptionalism.”

The other, harder side of America’s manifest destiny was, of course, muscularity. Power. Possessing absolute and never-ending superiority in developing and deploying the world’s most advanced and destructive arsenal of war. Luce did not dwell on this dimension of “internationalism” in his famous essay, but once the world war had been entered and won, he became its fervent apostle — an outspoken advocate of “liberating” China from its new communist rulers, taking over from the beleaguered French colonial military in Vietnam, turning both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts from “limited wars” into opportunities for a wider virtuous war against and in China, and pursuing the rollback of the Iron Curtain with “tactical atomic weapons.” As Luce’s incisive biographer Alan Brinkley documents, at one point Luce even mulled the possibility of “plastering Russia with 500 (or 1,000) A bombs” — a terrifying scenario, but one that the keepers of the U.S. nuclear arsenal actually mapped out in expansive and appalling detail in the 1950s and 1960s, before Luce’s death in 1967.

The “American Century” catchphrase is hyperbole, the slogan never more than a myth, a fantasy, a delusion. Military victory in any traditional sense was largely a chimera after World War II. The so-called Pax Americana itself was riddled with conflict and oppression and egregious betrayals of the professed catechism of American values. At the same time, postwar U.S. hegemony obviously never extended to more than a portion of the globe. Much that took place in the world, including disorder and mayhem, was beyond America’s control.

Yet, not unreasonably, Luce’s catchphrase persists. The twenty-first-century world may be chaotic, with violence erupting from innumerable sources and causes, but the United States does remain the planet’s “sole superpower.” The myth of exceptionalism still holds most Americans in its thrall. U.S. hegemony, however frayed at the edges, continues to be taken for granted in ruling circles, and not only in Washington. And Pentagon planners still emphatically define their mission as “full-spectrum dominance” globally.

Washington’s commitment to modernizing its nuclear arsenal rather than focusing on achieving the thoroughgoing abolition of nuclear weapons has proven unshakable. So has the country’s almost religious devotion to leading the way in developing and deploying ever more “smart” and sophisticated conventional weapons of mass destruction.

Welcome to Henry Luce’s — and America’s — violent century, even if thus far it’s lasted only 75 years. The question is just what to make of it these days.

Counting the Dead

We live in times of bewildering violence. In 2013, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate committee that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” Statisticians, however, tell a different story: that war and lethal conflict have declined steadily, significantly, even precipitously since World War II.

Much mainstream scholarship now endorses the declinists. In his influential 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker adopted the labels “the Long Peace” for the four-plus decades of the Cold War (1945-1991), and “the New Peace” for the post-Cold War years to the present. In that book, as well as in post-publication articles, postings, and interviews, he has taken the doomsayers to task. The statistics suggest, he declares, that “today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’s existence.”

Clearly, the number and deadliness of global conflicts have indeed declined since World War II. This so-called postwar peace was, and still is, however, saturated in blood and wracked with suffering.

It is reasonable to argue that total war-related fatalities during the Cold War decades were lower than in the six years of World War II (1939–1945) and certainly far less than the toll for the twentieth century’s two world wars combined. It is also undeniable that overall death tolls have declined further since then. The five most devastating intrastate or interstate conflicts of the postwar decades — in China, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and between Iran and Iraq — took place during the Cold War. So did a majority of the most deadly politicides, or political mass killings, and genocides: in the Soviet Union, China (again), Yugoslavia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, and Cambodia, among other countries. The end of the Cold War certainly did not signal the end of such atrocities (as witness Rwanda, the Congo, and the implosion of Syria). As with major wars, however, the trajectory has been downward.

Unsurprisingly, the declinist argument celebrates the Cold War as less violent than the global conflicts that preceded it, and the decades that followed as statistically less violent than the Cold War. But what motivates the sanitizing of these years, now amounting to three-quarters of a century, with the label “peace”? The answer lies largely in a fixation on major powers. The great Cold War antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union, bristling with their nuclear arsenals, never came to blows. Indeed, wars between major powers or developed states have become (in Pinker’s words) “all but obsolete.” There has been no World War III, nor is there likely to be.

Such upbeat quantification invites complacent forms of self-congratulation. (How comparatively virtuous we mortals have become!) In the United States, where we-won-the-Cold-War sentiment still runs strong, the relative decline in global violence after 1945 is commonly attributed to the wisdom, virtue, and firepower of U.S. “peacekeeping.” In hawkish circles, nuclear deterrence — the Cold War’s MAD (mutually assured destruction) doctrine that was described early on as a “delicate balance of terror” — is still canonized as an enlightened policy that prevented catastrophic global conflict.

What Doesn’t Get Counted

Branding the long postwar era as an epoch of relative peace is disingenuous, and not just because it deflects attention from the significant death and agony that actually did occur and still does. It also obscures the degree to which the United States bears responsibility for contributing to, rather than impeding, militarization and mayhem after 1945. Ceaseless U.S.-led transformations of the instruments of mass destruction — and the provocative global impact of this technological obsession — are by and large ignored.

Continuities in American-style “warfighting” (a popular Pentagon word) such as heavy reliance on airpower and other forms of brute force are downplayed. So is U.S. support for repressive foreign regimes, as well as the destabilizing impact of many of the nation’s overt and covert overseas interventions. The more subtle and insidious dimension of postwar U.S. militarization — namely, the violence done to civil society by funneling resources into a gargantuan, intrusive, and ever-expanding national security state — goes largely unaddressed in arguments fixated on numerical declines in violence since World War II.

Beyond this, trying to quantify war, conflict, and devastation poses daunting methodological challenges. Data advanced in support of the decline-of-violence argument is dense and often compelling, and derives from a range of respectable sources. Still, it must be kept in mind that the precise quantification of death and violence is almost always impossible. When a source offers fairly exact estimates of something like “war-related excess deaths,” you usually are dealing with investigators deficient in humility and imagination.

Take, for example, World War II, about which countless tens of thousands of studies have been written. Estimates of total “war-related” deaths from that global conflict range from roughly 50 million to more than 80 million. One explanation for such variation is the sheer chaos of armed violence. Another is what the counters choose to count and how they count it. Battle deaths of uniformed combatants are easiest to determine, especially on the winning side. Military bureaucrats can be relied upon to keep careful records of their own killed-in-action — but not, of course, of the enemy they kill. War-related civilian fatalities are even more difficult to assess, although — as in World War II — they commonly are far greater than deaths in combat.

Does the data source go beyond so-called battle-related collateral damage to include deaths caused by war-related famine and disease? Does it take into account deaths that may have occurred long after the conflict itself was over (as from radiation poisoning after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or from the U.S. use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War)? The difficulty of assessing the toll of civil, tribal, ethnic, and religious conflicts with any exactitude is obvious.

Concentrating on fatalities and their averred downward trajectory also draws attention away from broader humanitarian catastrophes. In mid-2015, for instance, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of individuals “forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations” had surpassed 60 million and was the highest level recorded since World War II and its immediate aftermath. Roughly two-thirds of these men, women, and children were displaced inside their own countries. The remainder were refugees, and over half of these refugees were children.

Here, then, is a trend line intimately connected to global violence that is not heading downward. In 1996, the U.N.’s estimate was that there were 37.3 million forcibly displaced individuals on the planet. Twenty years later, as 2015 ended, this had risen to 65.3 million — a 75% increase over the last two post-Cold War decades that the declinist literature refers to as the “new peace.”

Other disasters inflicted on civilians are less visible than uprooted populations. Harsh conflict-related economic sanctions, which often cripple hygiene and health-care systems and may precipitate a sharp spike in infant mortality, usually do not find a place in itemizations of military violence. U.S.-led U.N. sanctions imposed against Iraq for 13 years beginning in 1990 in conjunction with the first Gulf War are a stark example of this. An account published in the New York Times Magazine in July 2003 accepted the fact that “at least several hundred thousand children who could reasonably have been expected to live died before their fifth birthday.” And after all-out wars, who counts the maimed, or the orphans and widows, or those the Japanese in the wake of World War II referred to as the “elderly orphaned” — parents bereft of their children?

Figures and tables, moreover, can only hint at the psychological and social violence suffered by combatants and noncombatants alike. It has been suggested, for instance, that one in six people in areas afflicted by war may suffer from mental disorder (as opposed to one in ten in normal times). Even where American military personnel are concerned, trauma did not become a serious focus of concern until 1980, seven years after the U.S. retreat from Vietnam, when post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially recognized as a mental-health issue.

In 2008, a massive sampling study of 1.64 million U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between October 2001 and October 2007 estimated “that approximately 300,000 individuals currently suffer from PTSD or major depression and that 320,000 individuals experienced a probable TBI [traumatic brain injury] during deployment.” As these wars dragged on, the numbers naturally increased. To extend the ramifications of such data to wider circles of family and community — or, indeed, to populations traumatized by violence worldwide — defies statistical enumeration.

Terror Counts and Terror Fears

Largely unmeasurable, too, is violence in a different register: the damage that war, conflict, militarization, and plain existential fear inflict upon civil society and democratic practice. This is true everywhere but has been especially conspicuous in the United States since Washington launched its “global war on terror” in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here, numbers are perversely provocative, for the lives claimed in twenty-first-century terrorist incidents can be interpreted as confirming the decline-in-violence argument. From 2000 through 2014, according to the widely cited Global Terrorism Index, “more than 61,000 incidents of terrorism claiming over 140,000 lives have been recorded.” Including September 11th, countries in the West experienced less than 5% of these incidents and 3% of the deaths. The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, another minutely documented tabulation based on combing global media reports in many languages, puts the number of suicide bombings from 2000 through 2015 at 4,787 attacks in more than 40 countries, resulting in 47,274 deaths.

These atrocities are incontestably horrendous and alarming. Grim as they are, however, the numbers themselves are comparatively low when set against earlier conflicts. For specialists in World War II, the “140,000 lives” estimate carries an almost eerie resonance, since this is the rough figure usually accepted for the death toll from a single act of terror bombing, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The tally is also low compared to contemporary deaths from other causes. Globally, for example, more than 400,000 people are murdered annually. In the United States, the danger of being killed by falling objects or lightning is at least as great as the threat from Islamist militants.

This leaves us with a perplexing question: If the overall incidence of violence, including twenty-first-century terrorism, is relatively low compared to earlier global threats and conflicts, why has the United States responded by becoming an increasingly militarized, secretive, unaccountable, and intrusive “national security state”? Is it really possible that a patchwork of non-state adversaries that do not possess massive firepower or follow traditional rules of engagement has, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared in 2013, made the world more threatening than ever?

For those who do not believe this to be the case, possible explanations for the accelerating militarization of the United States come from many directions. Paranoia may be part of the American DNA — or, indeed, hardwired into the human species. Or perhaps the anticommunist hysteria of the Cold War simply metastasized into a post-9/11 pathological fear of terrorism. Machiavellian fear-mongering certainly enters the picture, led by conservative and neoconservative civilian and military officials of the national security state, along with opportunistic politicians and war profiteers of the usual sort. Cultural critics predictably point an accusing finger as well at the mass media’s addiction to sensationalism and catastrophe, now intensified by the proliferation of digital social media.

To all this must be added the peculiar psychological burden of being a “superpower” and, from the 1990s on, the planet’s “sole superpower” — a situation in which “credibility” is measured mainly in terms of massive cutting-edge military might. It might be argued that this mindset helped “contain Communism” during the Cold War and provides a sense of security to U.S. allies. What it has not done is ensure victory in actual war, although not for want of trying. With some exceptions (Grenada, Panama, the brief 1991 Gulf War, and the Balkans), the U.S. military has not tasted victory since World War II — Korea, Vietnam, and recent and current conflicts in the Greater Middle East being boldface examples of this failure. This, however, has had no impact on the hubris attached to superpower status. Brute force remains the ultimate measure of credibility.

The traditional American way of war has tended to emphasize the “three Ds” (defeat, destroy, devastate). Since 1996, the Pentagon’s proclaimed mission is to maintain “full-spectrum dominance” in every domain (land, sea, air, space, and information) and, in practice, in every accessible part of the world. The Air Force Global Strike Command, activated in 2009 and responsible for managing two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, typically publicizes its readiness for “Global Strike… Any Target, Any Time.”

In 2015, the Department of Defense acknowledged maintaining 4,855 physical “sites” — meaning bases ranging in size from huge contained communities to tiny installations — of which 587 were located overseas in 42 foreign countries. An unofficial investigation that includes small and sometimes impermanent facilities puts the number at around 800 in 80 countries. Over the course of 2015, to cite yet another example of the overwhelming nature of America’s global presence, elite U.S. special operations forces were deployed to around 150 countries, and Washington provided assistance in arming and training security forces in an even larger number of nations.

America’s overseas bases reflect, in part, an enduring inheritance from World War II and the Korean War. The majority of these sites are located in Germany (181), Japan (122), and South Korea (83) and were retained after their original mission of containing communism disappeared with the end of the Cold War. Deployment of elite special operations forces is also a Cold War legacy (exemplified most famously by the Army’s “Green Berets” in Vietnam) that expanded after the demise of the Soviet Union. Dispatching covert missions to three-quarters of the world’s nations, however, is largely a product of the war on terror.

Many of these present-day undertakings require maintaining overseas “lily pad” facilities that are small, temporary, and unpublicized. And many, moreover, are integrated with covert CIA “black operations.” Combating terror involves practicing terror — including, since 2002, an expanding campaign of targeted assassinations by unmanned drones. For the moment, this latest mode of killing remains dominated by the CIA and the U.S. military (with the United Kingdom and Israel following some distance behind).

Counting Nukes

The “delicate balance of terror” that characterized nuclear strategy during the Cold War has not disappeared. Rather, it has been reconfigured. The U.S. and Soviet arsenals that reached a peak of insanity in the 1980s have been reduced by about two-thirds — a praiseworthy accomplishment but one that still leaves the world with around 15,400 nuclear weapons as of January 2016, 93% of them in U.S. and Russian hands. Close to two thousand of the latter on each side are still actively deployed on missiles or at bases with operational forces.

This downsizing, in other words, has not removed the wherewithal to destroy the Earth as we know it many times over. Such destruction could come about indirectly as well as directly, with even a relatively “modest” nuclear exchange between, say, India and Pakistan triggering a cataclysmic climate shift — a “nuclear winter” — that could result in massive global starvation and death. Nor does the fact that seven additional nations now possess nuclear weapons (and more than 40 others are deemed “nuclear weapons capable”) mean that “deterrence” has been enhanced. The future use of nuclear weapons, whether by deliberate decision or by accident, remains an ominous possibility. That threat is intensified by the possibility that nonstate terrorists may somehow obtain and use nuclear devices.

What is striking at this moment in history is that paranoia couched as strategic realism continues to guide U.S. nuclear policy and, following America’s lead, that of the other nuclear powers. As announced by the Obama administration in 2014, the potential for nuclear violence is to be “modernized.” In concrete terms, this translates as a 30-year project that will cost the United States an estimated $1 trillion (not including the usual future cost overruns for producing such weapons), perfect a new arsenal of “smart” and smaller nuclear weapons, and extensively refurbish the existing delivery “triad” of long-range manned bombers, nuclear-armed submarines, and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Nuclear modernization, of course, is but a small portion of the full spectrum of American might — a military machine so massive that it inspired President Obama to speak with unusual emphasis in his State of the Union address in January 2016.

“The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth,” he declared. “Period. Period. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.”

Official budgetary expenditures and projections provide a snapshot of this enormous military machine, but here again numbers can be misleading. Thus, the “base budget” for defense announced in early 2016 for fiscal year 2017 amounts to roughly $600 billion, but this falls far short of what the actual outlay will be. When all other discretionary military- and defense-related costs are taken into account — nuclear maintenance and modernization, the “war budget” that pays for so-called overseas contingency operations like military engagements in the Greater Middle East, “black budgets” that fund intelligence operations by agencies including the CIA and the National Security Agency, appropriations for secret high-tech military activities, “veterans affairs” costs (including disability payments), military aid to other countries, huge interest costs on the military-related part of the national debt, and so on — the actual total annual expenditure is close to $1 trillion.

Such stratospheric numbers defy easy comprehension, but one does not need training in statistics to bring them closer to home. Simple arithmetic suffices. The projected bill for just the 30-year nuclear modernization agenda comes to over $90 million a day, or almost $4 million an hour. The $1 trillion price tag for maintaining the nation’s status as “the most powerful nation on Earth” for a single year amounts to roughly $2.74 billion a day, over $114 million an hour.

Creating a capacity for violence greater than the world has ever seen is costly — and remunerative.
So an era of a “new peace”? Think again. We’re only three quarters of the way through America’s violent century and there’s more to come.

John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning War Without Mercy and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat. His new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two (Dispatch Books), has just been published. This essay is adapted from chapter one of that densely annotated book. (Sources for the information above appear in the footnotes in that book.)

Belarus March 2017 SITREP

March 26, 2017

Belarus March 2017 SITREP

I haven’t written much about Belarus, and many reliable analysts also have been careful not to say anything, because everyone understood that Belarus would be next to be hit by the deep state operatives in their attempt to initiate a reality game of a “War in Belorussia,” that could be blamed on Russia.

The globalists succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in Ukraine, but they failed in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. As I covered prior in my article “Give the falling CIA APUSH,” the CIA, being an operational arm of the deep state, in order to destroy Russia has planned to instill the chaos and wars into all the former Soviet Republics.

In 2014 we were told by one of the CIA “color revolution” specialists, Steve Pieczenik, that Belorussia will be next after Ukraine.

Following the CIA plan, over the past three years, Belarus, a member of the Union State with Russia, and one of Russia’s closest political, economic and military partner, has been rocked by a series of protests. You can find a boiled down backdrop of the current political situations given by the foreign affairs commentator Mikhail Demurin.

March of 2017 has been chosen by the globalists as the “Hour Zero” point for the beginning of an anti-government operation. Keep in mind that last couple of years everyone watching the situation has been aghast at the “liberal” behavior and unreasonable exuberant tolerance of Lukashenka and the countries law enforcement structures. Anti-government, Russophobic, pro-Hitler extremist blogs and online publications flourished. Young people were posting their selfies in front of a banned white, red, white flag with a Germanic looking horseman, or a Chaise as it’s known in heraldry.

This flag reflects the tragic historical fact that a part of the White Russia was under the occupation and kept in slavery by the papists known as The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy Lithuania. At the time the Russian people living in White Russia (Belorussiya) and Small Russia (Malorossiya) were transferred under an authority of the  Uniate Church, a true monstrosity only papists could come up for the colonized Orthodox Christian people.

The horror of the Russian people’s existence under the combined Polish – Lithuanian rule caused nonstop protests and liberation movements by the Cossacks. The most devastating for this chimera state as was the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth became Bogdan Khmelnytsky Uprising, a Cossack rebellion within the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth in 1648–1657 and it ended the Polish Catholic Szlachta′s domination over the Orthodox Christian population of Eastern Europe.

Despite this being removed from us through time, it’s still important to have awareness of those events because the idea of re-creation of this chimera state is being awoken and brought back by those who are working now to engineer new nations.  Back then, the government of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth used foreign mercenaries, armed thugs from other parts of Europe and from Turkey, as the punitive armed formations to keep the population under submission. To position themselves as the “good cops,” the papist authorities used Jews as estate managers and local authorities, tax collectors, and judges.

Jews were unrestricted in their capacity to inflict pain on the population, including the use of the punitive formations against the Orthodox Christians in villages; they were known to close schools and churches, kill the Orthodox priests and monks, to burn icons and Orthodox prayers books, and to impose unbearable tax burdens on the Russian populations living under their control.

It is understandable that when the wrath of people reached its boiling point, the Jews tuned to be those who bore the brunt of the people’s anger the most. It’s not that hard to see that the same patterns were re-activated and now being used on the territory of Ukraine, and attempted to be used on the territory of Belarus.

I want to brag a little that my ancestral coat of arms includes the image of a chaise, which was granted to them by Peter I for their role in returning these historical Russian lands back to Russia.

The European nations’ mode in dealing with Russia has always been a state of war, hot or cold, as an enterprise between the Zionists, papists and Lutherans. The war against Russia and Orthodox Christianity is the only thing that unites all of them for centuries.

Their conjoined efforts to destroy and take apart Russia demonstrated itself during the Bolshevik revolt against the Russian government, church and state, with simultaneous invasion of the Antanta forces known as the Allied Antanta armies invasion of Russia in 1918 when over 3,000,000 invaders attacked Russia from the West, South, North and East, including the British and French forces, the Canadian, Australian and the British Indian Colonial forces, German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Czechoslovakia, along with the troops from Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Serbia, the Japanese occupational forces and the American Expeditionary corpus  in Siberia and the Far East. For more details read here. in Russian

or using the Yandex transition.

It’s has been a common practice of deception to call this multinational invasion of Russian in 1918 to 1921, a “Russian Civil war, when in fact it was a typical “color revolution” staged by the same scenario that was used in the USSR in 1991, in Ukraine in 2014, and in Syria and in Libya, and in many other countries. It’s truly tragic for us that it took us hundred years to start recognizing this scenario of invasion by the Western powers .

—-

For Belarus, March of 2017 has been chosen as a start of a color revolution.

Predictably, it’s designed to be anti-government, anti-Russia, pro-free market, pro-European Union, and the US. The moving force of this has been a Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian nationalists who call themselves “Belarusian nationalists,” fascists and anarchy-extremists, Zionists, and jihadists.

March Madness in Belorussian politics has come to a boiling point during the March 19 visit of the IMF representatives with the plan to loan Belarus’ government some money in exchange for “social and economic reforms.”

The European Union and the globalists have become very enthusiastic about this newly found nation to be “liberated” from trade ties with Russian markets, from the cultural and political ties to the Russian people, and also from its national wealth, lands, and its sanity.

The following article published by the European Council on Foreign relations listed all the talking point of the subject of Russia and Belarus relations: “Belarus’s game of truancy by the European Council on Foreign Relations.”

It would take me a hundred pages just to disprove each of the ECFR points. For now, just take this as a CIA-developed propaganda manifesto, that completely inverts the reality.

We know that the altered and simulated reality is the basic principle for the game of the liberalization and democratization with the goal of taken out the national sovereign governments and replacing them with the rule of supra-national corporations and entities while suppressing the country’s population by punitive forces of the international mercenary armies.

If this anti-government revolt succeeds, and if NATO invades Belarus, the US nuclear missiles launchers will be right in the middle of the European part of Russia, and China will have to say goodbye to the new Silk Road to Europe currently going through the territory of Belarus.

There is no doubt that Belarus will lose its status and income as a gas transit country from Russia to Europe, just like Ukraine did. Poland will stand to lose its status as a transit country, inevitably. Poland, on the Russian sanctions list, will also lose its routes to sell its apples and other products that they currently push via Belarus to Russia by re-labeling  products.

Russia is overlooking this situation for now, since it gives to Belarus some kind of cash flow. There are little doubts that if Lukashenka is toppled by the pro American and pro EU revolt, Russia will close its market to Belarus completely, and  the country will collapse into chaos and the war of NATO on its population, not unlike Ukraine.

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How the Western plan of a “color revolution” in Belarus is being dismantled:

Will the US and EU and the deep state be able to cut Belarus from the Union State with Russia? Will NATO be able to invade Belarus, like they have done with Ukraine?

Unlike Ukraine, the law enforcement and intelligence officers of Belarus are getting educated in Russia and share objectives, methods, and inspirations when it comes to the global challenges.

We have to understand one simple fact about “color revolutions”: they only succeed when some people inside the national governments commit willful treason. They do it for money, more personal power, and US citizenship. They don’t care of their nations’ inevitably decent into chaos, poverty, misery and war.

Unless this condition is met, any anti-government actions would fail.

The plan to destroy the sovereign countries is simple: peaceful protests of students mixed with disenfranchised and marginalized youths, like LGBT community members, and the professional provocateurs from the Western paid NGOs These protests are almost immediately being radicalized by armed provocateurs, snipers, and militants who are there to kill the protestants and the police to create so called  “sacrificial victims,” and more chaos.

First, everything was going according to this plan.  An unprecedented anti-Russia and anti-government media campaign, accompanied by multiple micro-provocations by the journalists and bloggers.

The demonstrations in protests of laws and regulations. The more prominent role given to the nationalists, Nazis and other extremists. Everything was repeating the pre-Maidan Ukraine.

 

March 4th became a day of the reckoning for this plan.

Minsk held a parade for the 100th year anniversary of the Belarus Police.

 As a part of this parade, the Minsk authorities showed its crowd control units.

A monument to a Russian Empire police officer with a Scottish terrier was unveiled in the center Minsk.

Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Igor Shunevich has always demonstrated his affinity for the Soviet Union and Russia. On the featured image he is dressed in a blue uniform of NKVD for the Victory Day parade in 2016.

After the March 4 parade, the Police suddenly from a passive observer turned into a very active law enforcer arresting opposition leaders and people who demonstrated their extremism online and in real life.

On March 6, the central TV channel broadcasted a real shocker of a special report called “A phone call to a friend.”

The report showed the fight between two opposition leaders for their influence over their herd of demonstrators and  with their Western handlers. The biggest shock was that every move that opposition was making was known to the government.

 At 1:32 the documentary shows the symbol of the “fist” used by the opposition and called it “the sign of doom,” because this symbol has been so wildly used in countries destroyed by the color revolutions.  It first appeared in Yugoslavia , and the young people who walk with this symbol in Minsk won’t be able to find this country on a map. It doesn’t exist. It was destroyed

An initiator of the current opposition activities in Minks is the Belarus National Congress, a fake structure that calls to place Nikolai Stankevish as a ruler, and another fake anti-government structure called the European Belarus.

In the following days, the Belarusian KGB has detained 26 people, who had been preparing mass riots. They belong to the White Legion and the Young Front groups.

Among them there are professional fighters, they had weapons and the Azov battalion symbols. According to special services, they planned to use weapons during street protests on March 25th. The Militants arriving from Ukraine were also involved.

One of the detainees revealed that they had to oppose pro-Russian forces which could allegedly attack a column of protesters. It means that some others were supposed to act as “pro-Russian” fighters to attack the demonstrators. The plan was for these two groups to pretend fighting with each other, in the process killing the demonstrators and the police.

The arrests of the militants that are currently going on in Belarus and the weapons that were seized indicates that they were getting ready to participate in the shooting  of the demonstration and the Police.

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Those of you who are familiar with the Ukrainian extremist armed punitive formation called “The Right Sector” would understand the nature of  “The White Legion,” an extremist terrorist organization located in Belarus.

They became known in the 90s for attacks on law enforcement. For over a decade they were laying low, most likely by the order of their Western handlers, now their sleeper cells have been activated.

The law enforcement in Belarus reported arrests of several members of the White Legion. The Police found three M4 carbines, a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, ammunition, bulletproofed vests,  and also printed in Ukraine materials for militants of the “volunteer armed formations.”

In mid March, the news came that Belarus detained gunmen plotting to stage an armed provocation and that Lukashenko has broken up a Maidan putsch cell backed by Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians with dozens arrested.

The following is a video of the arrest of Danilov, a prominent member  of the extremist fascist organization “the White Legion.” In his apartment the law enforcement officers discovered drawings of the militant in face masks in front of the government building in Minsk with blood splatters, and the Bandera followers black and red flag. In addition, at [4:06] the video shows an arsenal of weapons that Danilov claimed to be his personal collection including hand grenades, amunition, automatic weapons including one AK.

 At the same time, the Police raided a paramilitary camp near Bobruisk called “Patriot.” More on this matter see an article Belarus arrests “armed provocateurs,” Lukashenko points finger at Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland

 “We’ve already arrested several dozen…who were trained in camps with weapons. In fact, one of the camps was in the Bobruisk and Ospivoichi areas. The rest of the camps are in Ukraine. In my opinion, also in Lithuania and Poland. I won’t claim anything, but somewhere there,” President Lukashenko is quoted as saying by Sputnik Belarus.

“Thank you that there are true Belorussian men and women who, living abroad – in the EU – warned us. A woman came to an embassy and warned, officially wrote a letter about a provocation being prepared. And we started looking into it. And, indeed, we discovered some interesting things,” Lukashenko said.

The camp near Bobruisk that was used as a militants training base had been legally registered as the children’s art center “Patriot.”  Those arrested were “teachers,” all are retired military and former Police officers. Several of them are known members of the “White Legion.” Arrested Miroslav Lozovsky was prior arrested in 2008 for his connection to the terror act in Minsk that injured many people.

Arrests started on March 15th when a demonstration against economic problems turned into a violent rally of extremists nationalists who call themselves anarchists. 

Somehow every demonstration in Belarus inevitably turns pro-nationalist and against an “Eastern enemy.

Opposition, also, demands for the president and the government to step down, and to stand against the “Russian occupants.”

Victoria Nuland’ heritage is alive and well.

 This video of the beginning of the March of Anarchists, a.k.a. “angry Belarusians” in Minsk. They carry a black banner with white slogan “Parasites of all nations unites!”  

 An incredibly reasonable and knowledgeable  young blogger from Belarus CT-1 urges us to pay some attention to the British ambassador to Belarus Fiona Gibbs.

She was visited by the leaders of the extremists movement “White legion” right before their arrests.  Her SV includes many interesting “coincidences.”

She worked as a Vice Consul in Berlin from 1992 to 1995. This period was important because of withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Germany, and the eastern Germany getting a Western puppet government ruled by the US and UK. After Germany she moved to Ukraine and worked for three years 1995 – 1998 doing a mysterious job titled a “Team Leader.” 1995 was the last year Ukraine held a Victory Day parade. In 1996 Ukraine cuts broadcasting of the Russia’s TV stations. In 1997 Ukraine conducted privatization of the government assets when most of the current Ukrainian fortunes were made.  Oligarchs were buying up everything and transferring everything under the ownership of the West. In 1998 Ukraine had a near default.

In 2003 – 2005, Ms. Gibbs served as a team leader for the Counter Proliferation Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth office. You would be very wrong to assume that the western produced weapons were included into the British “Counter Proliferation”  schemes.

From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Gibbs served as a head of section for the Counter Terrorism Department.

From 2008  to  2009 she worked in Basra as a UK’s Deputy Consul-General. In 2009 the Britain has formally handed to the US control of Basra, where thousands of its troops have been based since the invasion of Iraq six years prior. It was the end of so called six year British rule in Iraq.

Next, Ms, Gibbs was transferred to Yemen. And this periods between 2010 to 2012  was very interesting, because in 2011 the “Arab spring” color revolution took place there with the same exact scenario as everywhere else. Current humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is also of Ms. Gibbs’ doing.

It’s started with a small demonstration, when the demonstrators started walking towards the center square in Sana they got under snipers’ fire. More than 40 people were killed, and more than 200 injured. After that the leader of the opposition  declared the cooperation with the government “impossible.” He also said that Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh needs to step down.

Snipers sitting on the roofs of buildings around the central square shooting at the group of protesters. The scenario had been very similar to what took place in other countries, including Tunis and Maidan in Kiev. Everyone understands that it’s the most ineffective way for any government to stop the demonstration, since the mob becomes unruly.

In 2012 she had been transferred to Somali, right after so called “Kenyn invasion”  in 2011. Ms. Gibbs participated in the creation of the temporally constitution that “legalized” the division of Somali into two parts, and the current humanitarian catastrophe in Somali is of Ms. Gibbs doing.

In  2012, she heads a newly formed Task Force, one of its biggest project was the plan of taking over Ukraine, the misery of the population there notwithstanding.

And, finally in 2016  Ms. Gibbs has been appointed as an Ambassador to the republic of Belarus.

It’s expected that the demonstration of the Independence day of March 25th would follow the same scenario as in Yemen, that worked so well for the UK and for Ms. Gibbs.

Another woman of war from the UK that we should pay attention is Fiona Hill

This month, a few days before her NSC staff appointment was announced, Hill gave an interview to a New York periodical  in which she declared war on Russia. “I think we are in a hot war with Russia, not a cold war.  But we have to be careful about the analogy. It’s a more complex world. There is no set-piece confrontation. This is no holds barred. The Cold War was a more disciplined competition, aside from the near blowups in Berlin and Cuba, where we walked back from the brink. The Kremlin now is willing to jump over the abyss. They want to play for the asymmetry. They see themselves in a period of hot kinetic war. Also, this is not just two-way superpower. There is China, the rising powers. I almost see it as like the great power competition from the time before the Second World War.

Hill’s work in stoking Kremlin regime change schemes during the Obama Administration and at Brookings with Strobe Talbott, Clifford Gaddy, and Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland), was  reported here –  click to open.

 

In essence, it is the same snake nest of neocons, known and recognizable. To destroy this nest, the national security services have to take them out one by one. But they have to start with their network of local affiliates to bring down with them both bearers of human disaster and misery, those including Fiona Gibbs and Fiona Hill.

 

March 25th or The Freedom Day demonstration

The EU and US  paid anti-government opposition declared “widespread protests” on March 25th, or the Freedom day. They claimed that the protests would be held against the social “parasites” law, also formally known as the Presidential Decree “On prevention of social dependency.” Initially the law was intended against people who didn’t have jobs, but had income, people who are paid  by the West via multiple NGOs.

One important nuance of this story that has been ignored by the Western propaganda is that this decree has been canceled, and that there wasn’t any actual reasons to demonstrate against the law that wasn’t even in place.

Another detail ignored by the Western media is that the meeting wasn’t authorized by the authorities. The opposition leaders were explicitly told that they couldn’t have a demonstration in the center city because that would create a disruption of the life of the capital and costs too much for the city.

Now, imagine unauthorized demonstrations in the city of London, Paris or New York, and the police brutality that has been used against those demonstrators.

Against the same scenario is used against Lukashenka, that was applied to Yanukovich, the Western powers insisting that that the sovereign government is not allowed to use force to preserve stability in its country while it’s being threatened by extremists.  

Everyone was waiting for the March 25 demonstration that wasn’t authorized by the Minsk authorities. It was heralded by the western media as the start of Maidan. At the end of the day there were more journalists than demonstrators, and everything was done after the Police arrested two dozens of activists.

 A video made by the European Union financed anti-government channel taking the view of the demonstration from a drone

  News in brief

 

  • 20 minutes long video made by an opposition channel tut.by showing a handful of “demonstrators” on March 25th gatherings against the law that has already been canceled

 More videos and images of the Freedom Day demonstration here

the EU immediately condemned Belarus for “violation of democracy”

 

 Bibliography

If you are new here and you feel like you don’t understand what’s going on, I refer you to our articles that explain methods of Russia’s security services called an “aquarium” and a “mousetrap.”

A beautiful situation in Syria or how to build a mousetrap, by Cat Motya

 

Scott Humor

Director of Research and Development

author of The enemy of the State

Follow me on twitter

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