Media Yells “Cut!” When Trump Forgets His Lines and Says Something Anti-War

Trump Media Feature photo

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When it comes to substantive issues thatthe elite all agree on (such as foreign policy), there is little to no pushback against the president, excepting when he utters statements that are read as critical of war and militarism.

Trump has greatly expanded the U.S. role in the Middle East, announcing his intention to supply Saudi Arabia with over $100 billion in new arms and reversing previous decisions stopping the sale of laser-guided bombs that have reduced Yemen to rubble. He also vetoed a bipartisan resolution aimed at ending the U.S. role in a near genocide that threatens to kill nearly 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations. Trump also made the decision to drop the MOAB — the Mother of All Bombs, the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used — on Afghanistan in 2017 (to applause from the media).

He also continuously threatens enemy states with nuclear annihilation (in gross violation of the UN charter). In 2017 he told North Korea that he would “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury” while earlier this year he promised Iran that he would bring about “the official end” if it crossed America’s path.

Trump has also conducted a worldwide campaign of economic war against the U.S.’ official enemies, increasing devastating sanctions against the people of Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Nicaragua. And Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela have killed at least 40,000 people since 2017, according to a report from the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy Research. The United Nations notes that the sanctions are designed to hit the poor and most vulnerable, with an (American) Special Rapporteur who visited the country likening them to a medieval siege and describing them as a “crime against humanity”.

While many portrayed Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, as the real architect of the violence, the president revealed that Bolton was actually a moderating voice on Cuba and Venezuela, while he [Trump] favored even more direct action.

 

An anti-war war hawk?

That is why Trump’s recent statements on the Middle East were all the more surprising. Defending his surprise decision to withdraw from fighting in Syria, he argued that the U.S. “should never have been in the Middle East in the first place,” claiming “The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”

But the president went even further, offering a serious analysis of the costs of America’s overseas operations. “The United States has spent eight trillion dollars” on war in the region, he declared on Twitter; “Going into the Middle East is the worst decision ever made in the history of our country. We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none!”

What was most shocking of all in this uncharacteristic bout of honesty was that Trump discussed the human cost of war, something rarely mentioned in corporate media. “Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side,” he added.

His comments elicited a storm of outrage on social media from the professional liberal “resistance,” apparently more angry that he said the quiet part loud than about the millions of dead people. Political satirist Jeremy Newberger claimed he had been brainwashed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and asked him “did you consider putting a big bow on Syria when you decided to gift it to Putin?” Meanwhile, former British Member of Parliament turned professional #Resistance grafter Louise Mensch slammed the president: “TRAITOR! The women of the YPG are DYING at your hands as YOU let ISIS take Raqqa! You SURRENDERED TO RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM!” she responded, in an eclectic mix of capitalized and non-capitalized words.

Liberal-skewing media was barely any slower in lining up shoulder to shoulder with traditional conservatives in opposing Trump’s anti-war intimations, giving pro-war criticisms of Trump from prominent Republicans like Lindsay Graham, Nikki Haley and Liz Cheney full coverage.

NPR, CNN and the New York Times all dedicated significant resources to reporting the condemnations of Trump’s tweets, the latter’s editorial board asking “Does Donald Trump [even] know what his Syria policy is?” The Washington Post claimed that Pentagon officials were “struggling” to explain Trump’s “abandonment of the Kurds and kowtowing to Turkey,” claiming national security aides were mobilizing to “repair the damage” Trump caused. An MSNBC segment headlined “Donald Trump betrays American allies” insinuated that Trump’s decision to pull away from Syria was due to his business deals in Turkey, reminding viewers of Trump Tower in Istanbul. Esquire Magazine claimed that his actions were something “only a twisted, compromised mind could concoct.”

NYTIMES Trump Syria

The New York Times dedicated significant resources to condemnations of Trump’s tweets

But it was The Hill that most accurately summed up the tone of the media. Pulling out of the Middle East is “impulsive, strategically vapid and morally obtuse” according to opinion contributor Will Marshall. On the topic of “endless wars” he said:

 It’s time to retire this mindless trope. U.S. forces aren’t engaged in the Middle East because Americans are addicted to war or the trappings of superpower status. They are fighting mainly to contain the very real threat of Islamist terrorism.”

Marshall continued to explain that it has been nearly 75 years since Japan surrendered, and the U.S. still has tens of thousands of troops occupying the country. This, for him, was a good thing, because they were there “to preempt threats to our homeland, deter aggression and protect America’s far-flung interests. Their mission is counterterrorism.” Thus, it seems that the liberal resistance to Trump is strongest when he begins to shift, however minutely, to a more anti-war position.

 

Our underfunded Military Industrial Complex

It was a similar story last year, when in December Trump took to Twitter to declare the $716 billion military budget he had previously approved “crazy,” fueling speculation that he might attempt to reduce the already enormous amount the U.S. spends on war — damn near as much as all other countries combined.

Then, as now, corporate media almost uniformly condemned the idea. The Washington Post described a reduction in military spending as “suicide,” claiming the U.S. is in the middle of a “full-blown national security crisis.” The crisis, according to its source, was that it could no longer be sure of victory in a war against Russia in the Baltic or against China in the South China Sea. Why it is crucial that the U.S. should be able to destroy other nuclear-armed countries on the other side of the world was not explained.

Other outlets followed suit. Forbes Magazine began its article with the words, “The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades.” Bloomberg recommended a consistent increase in military spending of three to five percent above inflation for five to ten years. The Wall Street Journal was even more blunt: “Don’t Cut Military Spending Mr. President,” its headline read.

The media’s deepest fears did not come to pass, however, as Trump committed to a massive increase to the military budget, up to $750 billion for this year, assuaging the media’s fears.

 

Liberals applauding war

In contrast, whenever Trump is at his most bellicose, media laud his bravery and leadership. Despite warning before his election that Trump was a dangerous fascist too erratic be allowed to control a nuclear arsenal, media overwhelmingly supported the president’s decision to bomb Syria, escalating a conflict that could have turned into a hot war with Russia. CNN host Fareed Zakaria was delighted by his decision: “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States last night,” he said on air.

Likewise, “resistance” media have given Trump considerable support in his attempt to force a coup in Venezuela, backing his puppet Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president. The New York Times claimed that Guaidó was “cheered on by thousands of supporters in the streets and a growing number of governments.” CNN (falsely) reported that there was a vast, popular movement behind him, as “Venezuelans took to the streets in nationwide protests.” CNBC did the same, noting there were “hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans” out on the streets, chanting together and waving national flags, demanding an end to Maduro’s “socialist government.” And all while downplaying or simply ignoring the catastrophic role U.S. sanctions are playing in the country.

For all the talk of an adversarial media standing up to an authoritarian like Trump, the reality is that the media have been selective about what to oppose him on. While they continue to mock him for his crude remarks or his mannerisms, when it comes to substantive issues that the elite all agree on (such as foreign policy), there is little to no pushback against the president, excepting when he utters statements that are read as critical of war and militarism. At that point media begin condemning him in unison, accidentally revealing their true agenda. To those who believe in an anti-interventionist foreign policy, the media’s resistance is useless.

Feature photo | President Donald Trump walks toward members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Andrew Harnik | AP

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress contributor as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

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السعودية تُطأطئ رأسها أمام اليمنيين.. هل الحرب في نهايتها؟

د. حسن مرهج

أكتوبر 16, 2019
كثيرة هي المؤشرات التي تصبّ بمُجملها في بوتقة الانتصار اليمني، خاصة أنّ مروحة الانتصارات اليمنية في اتساع مضطرد. هذه الانتصارات ستُلقي بظلالها على كافة المسارات السياسية والعسكرية، في ما يتعلق بتفاصيل الحرب على اليمن، ومنظومة العدوان السعودي.

التحوّلات المفصلية في سياق الحرب على اليمن، فرضت نمطاً من التعاطي السياسي ومثله العسكري في تهيئة المناخات الإيجابية، والتي ستؤدّي حُكماً للتوصل إلى حلّ سياسي في اليمن، ولكن على قاعدة حفظ ماء وجه كلّ الأطراف الفاعلة في الحرب على اليمن.

باكورة الإنجازات الاستراتيجية تمثلت في الهجمات على أرامكو، حيث بات واضحاً أنه ما قبل الهجمات على «أرامكو» ليس كما بعدها. هذا الاستهداف قد حرك مياه المفاوضات السياسية الراكدة لإيجاد حلّ للأزمة اليمنية، وقد تعيد إدارة عجلة المفاوضات لإنهاء الحرب بما يحفظ للسعودية هيبتها التي استنزفت بعد الضربات العسكرية الموجعة التي تلقتها مؤخراً، ويحقق لحركة «أنصار الله»، في الوقت ذاته، ما تريده في السياسة.

السعودية أدركت أنّ التصعيد الكبير من قبل أنصار الله يأتي في إطار التجاهل السعودي لدعوات الحوار والتفاوض، بُغية إيجاد مخارج مُشرّفة للجميع، وبما يحقن دماء أبناء اليمن. فالسعودية وطوال سنوات الحرب على اليمن، قد تجاهلت تماماً أيّ دعوات للحوار، إلى أن جاءت التحوّلات الاستراتيجية التي صنعها «أنصار الله»، وأجبرت السعودية على الرضوخ، خشية تفاقم الأوضاع والوصول إلى العمق السعودي، وسط عجز تامّ عن التصدّي لهجمات أنصار الله وطائراتهم المُسيّرة.

ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان قال في وقت سابق إنه سيستمرّ بالخيار العسكري حتى تنفيذ ما أسماه أهداف التحالف في اليمن، أما اليوم فبات يُطالب بإيجاد حلّ يُحقق السلام في اليمن. بين الخيارين يبدو أنّ ابن سلمان في مأزق حقيقي، وبصرف النظر عن رغباته بالبحث عن مخارج سياسية تُحقق السلام، فمن الواضح أنّ بنية التحالف السعودي قد أصابها الشرخ السياسي والعسكري، جراء ما أفرزته معادلة الردع التي حققها «أنصار الله»، فهذه الإمارات بدأت بتغيير مواقفها وإظهار نواياها بسحب قواتها من اليمن، وما تبع ذلك من مؤشرات حول عدم رضى السعوديين على فتح أيّ حوار مع إيران، إلا بالتنسيق معهم.

كلّ هذه المعُطيات، دفعت ابن سلمان إلى إحداث تغييرات جذرية في خطابه تجاه اليمن، ومن هنا باتت المؤشرات كثيرة على رغبته في إنهاء الحرب، خاصة بعدما تردّد أنّ بعض أفراد العائلة المالكة ونخبة رجال الأعمال في السعودية عبّروا عن إحباطهم منه، في أعقاب أكبر هجوم على «أرامكو».

في هذا الإطار، نقلت وكالة «رويترز»، عن دبلوماسي أجنبي رفيع المستوى وخمسة مصادر تربطها علاقات مع العائلة المالكة ونخبة رجال الأعمال، قولهم إنّ ما جرى أثار قلقاً وسط عدد من الفروع البارزة لعائلة آل سعود، بشأن قدرة ولي العهد على الدفاع عن البلاد.

وقال أحد المصادر «ثمة حالة استياء شديد من قيادة ولي العهد. كيف لم يتمكّنوا من رصد الهجوم؟»

وبالتالي فقد تسارعت المشاورات بين أطراف النزاع في اليمن، ولعلّ الدعوة التي حملها المبعوث الأممي إلى اليمن مارتن غريفيث، إلى زعيم «أنصار الله» السيد عبد الملك الحوثي، والتي تتضمّن دعوة إلى التهدئة مع السعودية، تُعدّ ترجمة واضحة لرغبات ابن سلمان بإيقاف الحرب والبحث عن حلول سياسية توافقية. «أنصار الله» قابلوا هذه الدعوة بإيجابية، شريطة أن تلتزم الرياض بما أبدته لجهة إيقاف الحرب. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك جاء الحراك الدولي الداعم لمبادرة صنعاء ليتزامن مع تغيير في اللهجة السعودية، ما يوحى بأنّ هناك جدية أكبر هذه المرة في التعامل مع الملف من كلّ الأطراف المعنية.

في المحصّلة، الواضح مما سبق انّ واشنطن ترغب أيضاً بإنهاء الحرب في اليمن، وفصل الملف اليمني عن الموضوع الإيراني. هذه الرؤية ربما دفعت واشنطن للضغط على ابن سلمان بُغية التفرّغ الكامل لإيران في المنطقة، وفي جانب آخر، يتمّ تبريد الملف اليمني وبالتالي يتمّ استثماره سياسياً من قبل ترامب في الانتخابات المقبلة.

وعليه، فإنّ حاجة واشنطن والرياض معاً، لتهدئة الملف اليمني وإيجاد مخارج من المستنقع اليمني، يُعدّ ورقة رابحة لواشنطن والرياض، لكن الحقيقة الواضحة، أنّ «أنصار الله» قد فرضوا معادلات سياسية وعسكرية لا يمكن كسرها، فالرياض أُرهقت عسكرياً وبشرياً، خاصة انّ عملية «نصر من الله» أحدثت فارقاً استراتيجياً في الكثير من المسارات، وأماطت اللثام عن تهاوي قدرة الجيش السعودي وتحالفه العربي. وكذلك ترامب الباحث عن أيّ ورقة سياسية رابحة في ظلّ فقدانه الأوراق تباعاً في الملف السوري. من هنا ستكون الأيام المقبلة مليئة بالتطورات السياسية والتي لن تخلوَ من عبث عسكري سعودي محدود، بُغية البقاء في مشهد الحلول اليمنية الآتية…

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Al-Houthi Calls on US to Learn from Vietnam as US Announces Deployment in Saudi Arabia

2019-10-12 16:51:31

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Head of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee has called on the US to “learn from Vietnam” after Washington announced plans to deploy about 2,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia.

An “increase in numbers does not mean victory,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi warned in a series of tweets, adding the US should also learn from its “useless wars” in countries such as Yemen and Iraq.

The official vowed that the Yemeni nation would continue its resistance against Saudi Arabia and other countries which are supported by the US in their war on the impoverished nation.

“Your previous forces, weapons and military commanders, which proved that the US is killing the Yemeni people, did not frighten us,” he said.

“An increase in your numbers will surely not be a concern for us,” al-Houthi added.

The remarks came a few hours after Washington announced the deployment of 1,800 additional troops, two fighter squadrons, two Patriot batteries, and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in the oil-rich kingdom.

Source: Press TV

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Russia’s kidnapping problem

Russia’s kidnapping problem

The Saker

October 09, 2019

[this article was written for the Unz Review]

No, this will not be an article about Russians kidnapped in Chechnia (that was a very long time ago) or somewhere in a combat zone.  I will be talking about the USA and Iran.  First, here are a few links for context:

Quick update: the Iranians have declared that the detention of Iuzik was not an espionage case, but a visa violation which will be resolved very soon.

Next, I would like to clarify a few things before discussing what I think is “Russia’s kidnapping problem“.

In the case of Iuzik, I do not think that she was a spy for anybody, including the Israelis.  Why?  For one thing, I read that she entered Iran with a passport stamped with an Israeli visa.  That is not very smart, especially for a putative ‘spy’ and, besides, even the Israelis are not that arrogant (or incompetent).  Furthermore, if the Iranians (who have truly world class security services!) had really suspected Iuzik they had many other options including:

  1. Setting up a sting operation and film her doing something illegal
  2. Feed Iuzik all sorts of bad info to confuse her bosses and smoke out any spies in Iran
  3. Contact the FSB and warn the Russians about her real professional profile

These are just the three most obvious ones.  There are many more.

Finally, spies are not arrested immediately upon arrival, this really makes no sense whatsoever (what would be the point?).

[Sidebar: some have noted that Iuzik is closely linked to all sorts of toxic Russian “informal” or “non-system” opposition groups.  That is absolutely true and I am sure that Iuzik has no more love for Putin than she has for Iran.  And maybe she truly loves Israel.  But that does *not* make her a usable spy while this could have made her a “victim of Putin’s regime and hatred for real journalists“, at least if the Russian Foreign Ministry had not acted immediately and firmly.  The truth is that these Kodorkovskii-type of “journalists” are no threat to Putin or his “regime”.  That is precisely what makes them so angry and why they have to invent “persecutions” ex nihilo]

So what happened here?

My guess is (and I hope and ask my Iranian friends to correct me if I am wrong!) that this is not about Iuzik herself.  I see two possibilities:

  1. The Israeli visa really infuriated somebody at the IRGC and that person acted impulsively
  2. This is the result of internal infighting in Iran

The first one is obvious, so let me explain the second one.

A lot of Iranians harbor plenty of reservations about Russia, some are even outright hostile or suspicious.  They are not alone, there is also plenty of Russians who do not trust the Iranians.  In the first case, the history of wars and Russian interventions (not to mention the Soviet support for Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran!) is the cause.  In the Russian case, the Iranian attitude towards Afghanistan, Chechnia and, especially, Bosnia created a bad image of Iran (and, to a lesser degree, Islam) in some circles in Russia.  There is nothing new here, other countries have had the same problem (France and Germany, Russia and China, etc.).  My guess is that somebody somewhere in the Iranian power structure saw this as a way to create problems between Russia and Iran. The telltale sign for me is that Iuzina was arrested, according to various reports, by a IRGC special forces team (that is what is done with real spies to prevent them from killing themselves or destroying evidence).  Thus a REAL anti-spy method was used on somebody who was self-evidently NOT a spy.  If so, that plan failed, since the Russians immediately summoned the Iranian ambassador who immediately promised to solve this issue.

The case of Iumasheva is much more primitive.  This is simply the latest attempt of the US deep state to try to make the Russians do something in retaliation which could then be used to prove how evil and devious the Russians are.  As for offering her to grab a coffee on the way out, it is simply a lack of education of the FBI agents involved.  Maybe they wanted to hit on her, or brag to their pals about taking her out, or maybe they simply wanted to show some kindness and did not realize how this kind of clumsy “kindness” would be seen in Russia (where women have a very different status than the poor women of the United States).

So these two cases are completely unrelated and do not form a pattern.

Except they do, alas, and this is the real Russian kidnapping problem.

Where whining will get you in Russia

In the public opinion (both in Russia and outside Russia) Russia simply looks weak and easy to bully.  Now, of course, inside Russia these kinds of views are mostly held by pro-US “liberals” who are just waiting to fan any flame against Putin and the Kremlin.  Most people inside Russia do actually understand the reasons why Russia does not retaliate in kind (Maria Zakharova just repeated it all on TV recently, Russian speakers can listen to her here).  She summed it all up by mentioning the Russian proverb “На обиженных воду возят” whose direct translation into English makes no sense whatsoever: water is carried on the backs of offended people.  This proverb comes from the times of Peter I when canalizations were not available everywhere and when some dishonest employees of the state who were supposed to deliver the water by carriage for free began charging money for this.  When Czar Peter heard about that, he punished these crooks by making them pull the horse-carriages themselves.  Nowadays the word “offended” takes a different meaning of “pouting” or “whining”, so I would (very freely) translate it as “whiners get screwed” or something to that effect.  An even freer translation could be “don’t bitch and you won’t be treated like one”.  Simply put, concepts like “oi vey!” or “gwalt” are not Russian ones 🙂

When westerners are outraged, they typically do a lot of talking.  They threaten, they complain, they protest, they denounce, etc.   Russians typically say nothing, take the pain and concentrate.  Furthermore, complaints, threats or protests are seen as signs of weakness in the Russian culture.  For example, the advice given to anybody going to jail in Russia is “не верь, не бойся, не проси” which means “don’t trust, don’t fear and don’t ask/beg”.  If the so-called “Russian studies specialists” and other experts in the West understood this key feature of the Russian mindset they would not misread Russia so often.

So this is what happens: each time somebody in the West kidnaps a Russian citizen (or does not respect their diplomatic status) the Russian officials very boringly and vapidly protest, mostly behind closed doors and publicly repeat the canned sentences about “US obligations under international law”, about how the boorish behavior of the USA will end up boomeranging and even further discredit the country which modestly fancies itself the “city on the hill”, “indispensable nation”, the “land of the free”, “home of the brave”, etc.

This all simply reeks of weakness to non-Russians (just see Paul Craig Robert’s article above!).

And that is a REAL problem for Russia.

In Asia, everybody “gets it”.  The Iranians understand that absolutely perfectly and do not mistake politely smiling diplomats with Russian weakness (Iran’s future is, in so many ways, becoming dependent on Russia and the Iranians know that very well; just as with the Putin-Xi alliance, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Putin also understand each other perfectly).  Hence their immediate reaction.  As for the Russians, they also understand that this was not a hostile act on the part of Iran as a country but either a bureaucratic screw-up, or a case of Iranian infighting (which happens in Russia too!).

But in the West, Russia’s apparent passivity and even taste for pain only triggers bewilderment and frustration and I believe that Russia needs to address this problem for the following reason:

Thanks to the ceaseless efforts of Obama and Trump, the AngloZionist Empire is tanking much faster than anybody (including myself) would have ever thought.  True, Europe is still a US colony, but the “natives are being restless” and there are all the signs that at least the “Old Europe” (aka “western Europe”) is slowly coming to its senses and realizes that the US not only fails to deliver much, but even cannot really punish very much either.  Not only that, but the “Old Europeans” will vitally need Russia’s help to deal with the “New Europeans” (aka “eastern Europeans), wannabe colonial servants and full-time Empire-brown-nosing regimes when the EU finally tanks (which, at least to me, is not an issue of “whether” but only a question of “when”).

So far, and as long as Russia continues to look like a willing punching ball of the USA, future potential allies will always wonder whether Russia is a paper tiger or, even worse, a “pretend-resister” and a pushover in reality.

Europe and the Americas are no more a Russian foreign policy priority, if only because right now the US is “not agreement capable” while the EU is trying to find some middle-path between the US, Russia and the nutjobs in the East.  True, Russian foreign policy priorities are now in the South, the East and the North.  But let’s not confuse cause and effect here.  A truly sovereign USA or EU would be an superb partner for Russia in so many ways that she cannot but do everything she can to try to change current US and EU perceptions.

So what could Russia do?

I will immediately exclude all actions which would be illegal under international and Russian law.  The fact that a political Neanderthal acts like a thug is no reason for civilized people to emulate him or retaliate in kind.  Each country, each nation, has to decide for itself whether the rule of law (national or international) is something which matters to it or not.

However, I believe that there are legal actions the Russians could take.

For one thing, the Russians could get much, much more assertive at the UN.  I get it, Lavrov had to say that he was sure that Trump and Pompeo had nothing to do with the latest illegal denial of visas of Russian officials to the UN: he was trying to help Trump who probably really had nothing to do with this.  But Pompeo?!  Of course Lavrov and everybody else understand that this could not have happened without Pompeo’s go-ahead.  How much did Lavrov’s diplomatic talk help Trump?  I don’t think that it made any difference.  And it did make Lavrov look plain silly (a very rare case indeed!) in the eyes of the western public.  Was it worth it?  I don’t think so!

Next, so far the Russians have failed to really put pressure on the USA worldwide, but the reality is that she has plenty of options to hurt US security, political and economic interests. For example in Africa where Russia (and China) have gained a lot of traction in recent years or in Latin America where Russia could provide much more political support to opposition groups to local comprador regimes (say in Brazil, Colombia or even Mexico!).  I don’t mean do what the USSR did and waste millions on local Communist parties or by single-handedly supporting the local economies.  But the Russians could begin using political methods (covert and overt) to being showing the US intelligence community (which will immediately detect this) that there is a price to pay.

What would be important in this case would be to start very “low”, with a few actions here and there, just enough to get the US Americans to notice and then to protest in back-channels.  Once this happens, the Russians could simply say “you treat us as hostiles, fine, but there will be a price to pay”.  The first time around Uncle Shmuel is unlikely to notice, but once this become a pattern, especially an increasing one, trust me, he will notice!

And, consider this: the USA is already, and has been since at least 2013, engaged in a full-spectrum aggression on Russia and they have pretty much exhausted all nasty measures which the USA could implement more or less safely.  Escalating further by, say, disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT, or try to impose a no-fly zone over Syria or try to disconnect Russia from the Internet, or blockade Russian ships – these are all measures which are often mentioned, but which would definitely trigger a dangerous Russian retaliation.  The Russians have made several (very uncharacteristic) warnings about that and the US Americans most likely understood that perfectly.  This is also what happened when the Ukronazis were on the verge of an attack on Russia and Putin decided to (again very uncharacteristically) warn Kiev that any such attack would have major “consequences for the Ukrainian statehood“.  All the Ukrainians, most of them being either Russian or understanding the Russian political culture, immediately understood what that meant and the much announced offensive was scrapped.

Conclusion: Russians still often suck at PR

Yes, RT was huge progress, and even Sputnik probably has a function for the western audiences.  And ladies like Zakharova sure are a HUGE progress compared to the stone-faced Soviet spokesmen.  But, simply put, this is not enough.

Furthermore, even inside the Russian society there are real patriots (not just western agents) who are getting mighty fed-up with the Kremlin’s, let’s kindly call it “meek” or “hyper-polite” attitude.  Meekness is a great quality, so are good manners.  But other attitudes and actions are needed when faced with rogue thug-like regimes, especially when those regimes are both self-worshiping and appallingly ignorant.

I have already mentioned in the past that I believed that the “retirement age reform” was a mistake and that it would create a new, patriotic, opposition to the Kremlin’s policies and even, but to a lesser degree, to Putin himself.  This did happen, even if Putin’s last-minute intervention kinda softened the blow and, eventually, this topic was if not forgotten, then at least not the top issue.

Then there has been, for years now, a weird policy of apparent appeasement of the Nazi regime in Kiev.  Since Putin’s very public threat, since he refused to even take phone calls from Poroshenko and since the Russians have FINALLY begun handing out passports to the Ukrainians, things have somewhat improved on that front.  But for YEARS the Russian opposition (patriotic or not at all) was warning about an imminent “sellout” of Novorussia and that hurt the Kremlin (even if that sellout never happened).

I think that it is high time for Putin or Lavrov to start “not taking calls” from Trump or Pompeo, initially figuratively but, if needed, maybe even literally.

As for the patriotic opposition to Putin, there would be a very easy way to deal with it:

  1. start listening to it and show much more firmness
  2. finally give the boot to some of the more toxic 5th columnists in the government
  3. invite that opposition for a real national debate in various public forums (Valdai, TV, radio, etc.)

I think that many of these patriotic opponent of the Kremlin would be glad to fully support Putin if he did that.  If he fails to do so, this opposition will only grow.  Right now the Kremlin is “lucky” that this patriotic opposition has not succeeded (yet?) in presenting a single halfway credible political figure to lead it.  To my great regret, most of the folks involved are angry, bitter and deeply resentful that they have been almost completely ignored by the Kremlin.  But this will inevitably change, especially if the current government continues to look weak, indecisive and not truly patriotic at all.

Thus, I believe that, both for external and internal reasons, the Kremlin needs to develop and implement a much firmer policy towards US-ordered kidnapping of Russian citizens.  I also believe that this will happen once the political costs for the Kremlin of its current “politeness” become even higher.

One more thing – remember the US seizure of Russian diplomatic buildings in the USA?  Putin’s response was very typically Russian: he invited the children of US diplomats to Christmas ceremony in the Kremlin.  For a short while, he did look like the proverbial “better man”.  But what since?  NOTHING!  Another President sits in the White House and the buildings are still under illegal US control.  Did Putin’s “better man” attitude do anybody any good?  Especially in the long term?  I sure don’t think so.  There is a simple truth that every cop knows: narcissistic thugs do not appreciate good manners.  There is a lesson here.

The Saker

PS: I just saw this video of Iumasheva explaining what happened to her:

A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future

Yemen war children feature photo

Feature photo | A child injured in a deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike rests in a hospital in Saada, Yemen, Aug. 12, 2018. Hani Mohammed | AP

As a new school year begins in Yemen, Ahmed AbdulKareem investigates the impact that American weapons have had on the war-torn country’s schoolchildren.

الأميركيّون مع اللجنة الدستوريّة السوريّة غربي الفرات فقط!

سبتمبر 26, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

بدأ التفاؤل بتشكيل اللجنة الدستورية السورية يتراجع لسببين: رفض الأكراد في شرق الفرات والشمال لها، والتباينات الداخلية بين أطرافها حول المواضيع الأساسية للنقاش.

وكان أطراف مؤتمر أستانة روسيا وتركيا وايران توصلوا قبل ايام عدة بمشاركة هامة من الامم المتحدة على تحديد 150 شخصية سورية سياسية هم اعضاء اللجنة الدستورية، من الموالاة والمعارضة يتولون إنتاج صيغة سياسية لحل الازمة في سورية.

فاختارت الدولة 50 عضواً ومثلها المعارضة فيما تولّت الامم المتحدة اختيار 50 شخصية سورية بموافقة الدولة على أن تبدأ هذه اللجنة أعمالها أواخر تشرين الاول المقبل بهدف انتاج آليات سياسية تنهي الحرب على سورية التي اندلعت قبل ثماني سنوات.

للتذكير فقط فإن الأميركيين والخليجيين والاتراك دعموا بشكل عسكري مباشر حيناً وبالتمويل والتسليح والتدريب دائماً نحو مئة الف ارهابي ونيّف معظمهم من الأجانب الذين اخترقوا الحدود السورية بتغطية من مخابرات الدول المجاورة.

وكان الهدف اسقاط الدولة السورية او تفتيتها. لكن الانتصارات العسكرية لمحور الدولة وحلفائها الروس وحزب الله والايرانيين، أدى الى انكفاء الارهاب الى شرقي الفرات والشمال بموازاة احتلال تركي لعفرين وادلب بلبوس منظمات ارهابية.

ضمن هذه المعطيات بدأ محور أستانة الثلاثي محاولات لإطلاق تسوية سياسية منذ عامين ضمن معادلة الإصرار السوري الايراني على تحرير البلاد والمراوغة التركية الباحثة عن نفوذ عثماني لاردوغان وهندسة روسية تريد تحرير سورية مع جذب تركيا اليها وعدم فتح حرب كبيرة مع الاميركيين.

لقد بدا ان هناك ربطاً تركياً بين سحب «ارهابيي انقرة» من ادلب وبين تشكيل لجنة دستورية يحوز الترك فيها، على وجود سياسي من بين مناصريهم من الاخوان المسلمين السوريين.

فكان ان احتكرت تركيا وبشكل شبه كامل لائحة المشاركين على لوائح المعارضة وعلى رأسهم نصر الحريري رئيس ما يسمّى اللجنة العليا للمفاوضات وذلك على حساب إبعاد المعارضين من انصار السعودية واوروبا و»إسرائيل».

فأصبحت اللجنة الدستورية مؤلفة من موالين للدولة وآخرين للمعارضة المحسوبة على تركيا ومستقلين يحظون باهتمام مصري بموافقة الدولة وبدا ان شرط حيازة ثلثي الأعضاء لإصدار اي قرار يندرج في اطار عرقلة اعمال لجنة دستورية لا يزال التأثير الخارجي على اعضائها كبيراً، ففيما تستطيع الدولة اتخاذ أي قرار تراه لمصلحة شعبها، يعجز ممثلو المعارضة عن قبول أي اقتراح من دون موافقة تركية مسبقة وربما سعودية وأميركية وذلك لتأمين تأييد حولها من الاقليم والخارج.

هناك ما بدأ يلوح ايضاً كخلافات اكثر عمقاً، فالدولة ترى اللجنة الدستورية آلية لتعديلات دستورية من خلال الدولة الحالية، بما يجب ان يعكس برأيها مسألتين: دستورية الدولة ونظامها المغطى بأكثر من انتخابات داخلية، والتأييد الشعبي الواسع لها الذي تجب ترجمته بتعديلات في الدستور الحالي لتوفير مشاركات شعبية سورية وازنة.

بالمقابل عادت المعارضة الى اساليبها السابقة، بإطلاق شعارات قالت فيها اللجنة الدستورية انها تأسست لإلغاء الدستور الحالي وبناء دستور جديد وانتخابات رئاسية ونيابية يشارك فيها النازحون السوريون في أماكن نزوحهم في تركيا والأردن واوروبا وشمال سورية وشرقها وبعض انحاء لبنان، على ان يتولى مندوبون تابعون للامم المتحدة الاشراف على الانتخابات في مناطق الدولة، وللمعارضة شرطٌ آخر وهو إبعاد الدولة السورية ومقاتلي حزب الله والتنظيمات الاقليمية الموالية له والروس والمستشارين الايرانيين عن أماكن الاقتراع غربي سورية.

هذه بعضٌ من النقاط المختلف عليها، والتي لن تكون معالجتها سهلة، لانها بنيوية من داخل الوظائف الاساسية للجنة الدستورية.

لذلك فإن الذين يطرحونها منذ الآن انما يريدون افشال اللجنة الدستورية مسبقاً او في ما بعد.

لجهة المساعي الاميركية لنسف هذه اللجنة او دفعها لتكون اداة لصراع تركي سوري أو تركي روسي فتستعمل الأكراد في شرقي الفرات كآلية اساسية لعرقلة دورها، بشكل يبدو فيه الهدف الاميركي هو عرقلة الانسحاب التركي من ادلب وما عودة الأميركين الى جذب الترك عبر تنشيط موضوع المنطقة الآمنة معهم عند الحدود مع سورية إلا من هذه الوسائل الاضافية.

فليس هناك من يعتقد ان اكراد الشمال وبعض الشرق يستطيعون تبني موقف رافض للجنة الدستورية من دون طلب اميركي مباشر يستلهمونه او يأتمرون به.

لقد اعتصم حزب الاتحاد الديموقراطي الكردي وآلياته السياسية والعسكرية في الادارة الذاتية لمجلس سورية الديموقراطية وقوات سورية الديموقراطية بصمت وصولاً الى حدود التجاهل، اثناء مفاوضات ثلاثي أستانة حول اللجنة الدستورية مكتفين بمفاوضات سرية كانوا يجرونها في تلك المرحلة مع الدولة السورية.

وفجأة تعمدوا إعلان رفضهم للجنة الدستورية بعد تشكلها مباشرة وبذريعة أنها لا تضم اكراداً موالين لهم، علماً ان هناك عضوين كرديين من ممثلي المعارضة في اللجنة ينتمون الى المجلس الوطني الكردي.

وتبين أن «قسد» تطلب تمثيلاً كردياً مستقلاً داخل اللجنة الدستوري، لا علاقة له لا بالدولة ولا بالمعارضة، وهذا يعني انها تريد تمثيل شعب مستقل هم الأكراد مع جغرافيا خاصة بهم هي شمال وشرق سورية.

وهذا هدف اميركي يريد تفتيت سورية بواسطة الاكراد من جهة وتركيا من جهة ثانية. الامر الذي يوضح ان الاميركيين يؤيدون اللجنة الدستورية في غرب الفرات فقط، مقابل اعترافهم بدولة للكرد في الشمال والشرق.

اللجنة الدستورية الى اين؟

انها ذاهبة لعقد الكثير من اللقاءات بما يعزز من المرجعية الدولية لثلاثية أستانة، لكن التوصل الى حلول دستورية مسألة صعبة، لأن حل الازمة يحتاج الى تحرير إدلب وحشر الأتراك في زاوية ضيقة وهذا ما تعمل عليه الدولة السورية مع الروس، بعد استنفاد الوسائل السياسية لإقناع اردوغان بأن الدولة العثمانية سقطت الى الأبد منذ مئة عام واصبح من المستحيل إعادة إحيائها.

The U.S. Department of Terrorism

Global Research, September 23, 2019

The State Department—under the leadership of the Zionist fellow traveler, former CIA boss and tank commander Mike Pompeo—has tweeted out the following propaganda produced with your tax dollars (or debt spending that will be passed on to your children). 

Department of State

@StateDept

The Iranian regime is the most destabilizing force in the Middle East and the world’s top sponsor of terrorism. That’s why the U.S. launched a campaign of maximum pressure. It’s producing maximum results.

Embedded video

1,254 people are talking about this
This Big Lie production about Iran’s alleged malevolence toward its neighbors has dramatic music and graphics to support an obvious falsehood—Iran is the number one terror state in the world. 

In fact, that designation is reserved for the United States government and its junior partner, Israel.

History is replete with examples—from both world wars to dozens of imperialist ignited brush fires including Vietnam and Iraq. As for Israel, it has been at war with its Arab neighbors for well over 70 years. 

The State Department is the grand choreographer of conflict and murder in the name of a corporatist and bankster neoliberal order now crumbling. It is the largest and worst terrorist on the planet. Most recently, it installed Nazi throwbacks in Ukraine, reduced Libya to a failed state, and armed Wahhabi fanatics in Syria. 

The above video is essentially an advertisement for the cruel torture of the Iranian people through economic warfare in addition to the US-Israel assassination of scientists, malware attacks on Iranian infrastructure, and various terror attacks, including the 2017 attack on the Iranian parliament.

This latter incident was blamed on the Islamic State, a Pentagon fabricated terror group. If you believe a genuine Islamic (Sunni-Wahhabi) terror group was responsible for this attack and a simultaneous one on the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, you may be interested in a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. 

Back in 2014, I wrote: 

According to a Reuters report today, the sanctions imposed on Iran are resulting in the country having problems buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people.

It is not simply oil the sanctions target, but all kinds of imports, according to commodities traders…

Before long they will engage in even more barbarous war crimes after Israel bombs Iran’s suspected nuclear sites and the United States follows up with a general bombardment of the country’s civilian infrastructure not dissimilar from the bombardment of Iraq and Yugoslavia, both Nuremberg level war crimes.

Since that time, the situation has grown far worse for ordinary Iranians. 

In 2014, Israel and the US didn’t bomb “suspected nuclear sites” in Iran, mostly because Obama, while carrying out the globalist agenda in Democrat fashion, stepped back from annihilating the country at the pestering insistence of Bibi Netanyahu. 

That wasn’t the case with Libya. It didn’t have the ability to fight back, not like Iran, which does. 

John Bolton tried to get a bombing raid going but failed due to Trump’s fear an invasion—which would turn into a large regional conflict—will ruin his chance at re-election. Trump the Schizoid Man flits back forth between violent rhetoric aimed at Iran (and Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Syria) and saying we don’t need another expensive war in the Middle East. 

Donald Trump is a miracle—on one hand, a proclaimed noninterventionist and MAGA poster boy, and on the other a neocon enraptured with the apartheid regime in Israel. His personality disorder is on display 24/7. After showing Bolton the door, he hired a more acceptable and less abrasive neocon to be his national security adviser. 

The latest kerfuffle in Saudi Arabia has resulted in Trump pumping troops into that medieval nation, a message to Iran it will not be permitted to resist and respond to the economic destruction. 

I initially figured the attack on Saudi oil facilities was a false flag to get a war going. I now believe Iran is responsible for the attack. It warned months ago that the embargo of its oil will result in the Wahhabi emirates suffering a likewise fate. Iran is living up to that threat and responding in kind. 

For the indispensable ruling elite, self-defense is impermissible, lest you desire mountains of rotting dead bodies, typhus, cholera, cancer from depleted uranium and other military toxins, malnutrition, and endless sectarian conflict to keep the vassals from going after the real culprits. Syria, Libya, and Yemen are only the latest examples. 

Iran has the ability to resist this neoliberal death-head onslaught. It was decided that war and its horrific consequence is far more honorable than the humiliation of starvation and disease, which is the ultimate message of the State Department’s absurd propaganda video. 

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Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from the author

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