Venezuela and Iran in the Crosshairs of Murderers Inc – Who is Next?

Venezuela and Iran in the Crosshairs of Murderers Inc – Who is Next?August 09, 2019

by Peter Koenig for The Saker blog

Imagine just for a moment, the World would stand up in unison, sick and tired of the aggressive killer arrogance of the United States and her vassals – and their joint war-force called NATO – and this World, our World, what’s left of it when you deduct Washington and its Brussels allies, would at once block every shipment of everything destined for the ports of the United States of America; every sea port, airport and road port. Hermetically. Nothing would enter. Nothing, no food, no medicine, no electronics, no cars – no nothing. And nothing could leave. No exports, no petrol, no grains, no meat, no pharmaceuticals and foremost, no weapons. Nothing.

And now, take your mind a step further – and imagine the same – exactly the same, a total and full blockage of Israel – nothing would enter, no food, no fuel, no medication, no machinery and especially no weapons – and nothing would leave; a full and total blockage.

This would of course be totally illegal; illegal and unacceptable, by any international law, by the standards of the UN Charter, by the Human Rights Laws and Directives – by any ethical values of human morals. Wouldn’t it? – Yet, this is exactly what these countries are doing, have been doing for decades, sanctioning to strangle and murder entire populations into death or submission. The US with Cuba; Israel with Palestine. And the coercion and strangulation go on, unabated.

The longest embargo – illegal, inhuman and outright criminal – Washington imposed on Cuba – 60 years. Because Cuba has chosen socialism as her form of state and government. Cuba survived and will never give in to the tyrant of the north.

Now the US is expanding her palette of killing by impunity to dominate and subjugate nation after nation which they do not consider bending sufficiently to the dictate of their masters. Venezuela has been targeted for two decades, ever since former President Hugo Chavez was democratically elected in 1998; and Iran, ever since the US-imposed Shah was deposed in 1979 – exactly 40 years ago – by Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Both Venezuela and Iran are rich in natural resources, especially hydrocarbons but also in gold, rare earths and other precious metals and stones.

Contrary to what one would like to imagine, international world bodies, like the United Nations and her sister and associated organizations remain just about silent. When a high-level official utters some benign criticism of the US or Israel – it flairs up for a moment in the ‘news’, then it disappears again, as if it never happened. And indeed, nothing happens. They – the US and Israel – go on with their crimes in impunity.

The latest is an open declaration of economic warfare by Washington, a total embargo on Venezuela; the embargo is now being turned into a naval blockade. Similar steps are to be taken for Iran. That literally means that no merchandise – no matter how vital for survival, like food and medication, is allowed into Venezuela. Three days ago, the US seized, totally illegally, a cargo ship attempting to deliver food and medication to Venezuela – in the Panama Canal, territory which the US does not own or control anymore.

The ship was carrying soy cakes, from which Venezuela was to produce food. Never mind, that the cargoes are fully paid for by Venezuela. And this seems to be just the beginning. Vessels leaving Venezuela with petrol deliveries to client countries are also targeted for blockage, thus confiscating, or rather stealing, Venezuela’s main source of income on which she intends to survive and feed and provide health care for her people. This, in addition to the more than 130 billion dollars total Venezuelan assets confiscated – stolen – by the US worldwide .

And nobody says beep. Almost. Yes, there are some collective protests by countries in solidarity – like key members of the Sao Paulo Forum, as well as more than 60 members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM – total 120 members) that have become especially active in recent years in defense of Venezuela within the United Nations. Protests and protest declarations also take place by ALBA members, a Latin American trade alliance (ALBA – Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, 11 members [Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis]).

But most interesting are the hypocrites, those who write and scream that Venezuelans are starving to death, that the Maduro government neglects its people – yet these accusers-in-falsehood – let the US and her vassals strangle Venezuela and steal her foreign assets, including foreign reserves and gold, food and medical imports – they are saying zilch, nada, nothing. Just watching.

To top it all off, the Human Rights Commissioner, Madame Michelle Bachelet, Hypocrite-in-chief, who recently visited Venezuela, at the invitation of President Nicolas Maduro, on a Human Rights mission, and who delivered a devastating report about Venezuela’s HR, full of lies, half-truths and outright omissions, not mentioning with one word the US inspired coup attempts, the US-funded opposition and its bloody atrocities on the Chavista population, and the strangulating and starving by the US and US-dictated European sanctions – Madame Bachelet now came forward condemning the naval blockade. Great. But she did not stand up against the deadly embargo by the US and the European Union. – What credibility remains for the Human Rights Commission? – The world can see it – it’s all bought, coerced into submission, like so many other UN agencies by the Murderers Inc.

If we are not careful, they are soon going to rule the globe. Thanks god, for Russia and China – which are also subjects of US-EU sanctioning and targeted for take-over. But they are a tiny little bit too big and too strong for this sort of games by the decaying US empire and her obedient rats on the sinking ship.

Similarly, the European Union – despots as they have been for hundreds of years as colonialists in Africa, Asia and Latin America – and continue in a modern colonial role through economic control of much of Africa – this very EU, has been sanctioning Venezuela for years on the orders of Washington, naturally, who else? – Now they condemn the naval blockade, but continue their routine sanctions regime.

According to a study carried out by the Washington DC based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), under guidance of Mark Weisbrot, CEPR co-director and Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, New York, US and EU sanctions have cost some 40,000 Venezuelan lives. This mainly since August 2017, when Washington escalated its unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela and her state oil company, PDVSA, cutting them off international financial markets.

Yes, the world would have plenty of reasons to stand up and dish out similar naval and air blockades against the US and Israel. Just as a teaser to begin with, and if that doesn’t send a strong enough wake-up message, perhaps such embargoes should be considered on a longer-term indefinite scale. It’s illegal. But we are living in a world where international laws don’t count – where laws are made, as we go, by the self-declared hegemon, the US of A, and her symbiotic Middle East ally, Israel. – So, why not nudging the legal, moral and ethical order back into balance?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.  Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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ISIS Resurgent in Syria and Iraq

By Stephen Lendman

Source

In late 2018 and numerous other times, Trump falsely claimed ISIS was defeated.

Last December he tweeted: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there…”

In his January State of the Union address, he falsely said: “(T)he coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100% of the territory…in Iraq and Syria.”

In July he said: “We (eliminated) 100% of the caliphate, and we’re rapidly pulling out of Syria. We’ll be out of there pretty soon” — not a message US hardliners want to hear.

He’s a geopolitical know-nothing, proved time and again, aware only of what his handlers want him to know, along with rubbish from Fox News, his favorite propaganda TV channel.

He may not know what followers of reliable independent sources, largely online, explained many times.

ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and likeminded terrorist groups are US creations.

They’re recruited, armed, funded, trained, and directed by the Pentagon and CIA — using these jihadists as imperial foot soldiers in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, even the Philippines.

In a 2006 article and in his book on America’s “War on Terrorism,” Michel Chossudovsky explained the following:

“The US military-intelligence has created it own terrorist organizations. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program (pretending) ‘to go after’ these terrorist organizations,” adding: 

“To reach its foreign policy objectives, the images of terrorism in the Iraqi war theater (and later in Syria) must remain vivid in the minds of the citizens, who are constantly reminded of the terrorist threat” — unaware of its US creation.

In 2014, Chossudovsky discussed 26 things to know about the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). Here’s some of what’s discussed:

“The US has been protecting both Al Qaeda and ISIS-ISIL-Daesh.”

“The US Airforce has consistently acted on behalf of the terrorists, bombing Syrian government forces.”

“The Islamic State (ISIS) was until 2014 called Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).”

“Al Nusra is an al Qaeda affiliate which has committed countless atrocities in Syria. It is now considered by the US (to be) the ‘Moderate Opposition,’ fighting against Syrian government forces.”

“The terrorists are described as the victims of Syrian government aggression. From the very outset, the atrocities committed by the terrorists are casually blamed on Syrian government forces.”  

“Those who recruited, trained and financed the terrorists are upheld by the ‘international community’ as the guardians of World Peace.” 

“The latter include the heads of state and heads of government of the US, Britain, France and Turkey among others. It’s called ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P).”

“The US led war against the Islamic State is a big lie.”

“Going after ‘Islamic terrorists,’ carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to ‘Protect the American Homeland’ are used to justify a military agenda.”

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s ‘Counter-terrorism Agenda’ in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists.”

There’s more vital information in the article to know about ISIS, its origin, and why it was created. Along with likeminded jihadist groups, it’s used to further US imperial interests wherever these elements are deployed.

US aggression in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere is unjustifiably justified as aiming to combat and eliminate the scourge US dark forces support — establishment media going along with the subterfuge.

State terrorism is official US/NATO/Israeli policy, waging war on nations threatening no one and defenseless Palestinians for not being Jewish.

Proxy fighters have been used by the US since the 1980s in Afghanistan and Central America.

Now they’re largely used in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia — but can show up wherever US ruling authorities, the Pentagon, and CIA want them deployed, aided by US terror-bombing of vital infrastructure and other targets.

On August 2, the US war department’s inspector general said the following:

During Q II 2019, ISIS became resurgent in Syria and Iraq, adding:

“According to the Combined Joint Task Force–OIR (CJTF-OIR), ISIS carried out assassinations, suicide attacks, abductions, and arson of crops in both Iraq and Syria.” 

“In addition, ISIS established ‘resurgent cells’ in Syria and sought to expand its command and control nodes in Iraq.”

“CJTF-OIR reported that the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and US-backed (terrorists called) Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were unable to sustain long-term operations against ISIS militants.” 

The report claims ISIS has up to 18,000 fighters, new ones recruited to replenish its ranks, Pentagon officials opposed to a US drawdown in Syria and Iraq.

As long as the US and its imperial partners support the scourge of ISIS, the group remains active, not defeated as Trump falsely claimed.

The same goes for other terrorist groups in the region and elsewhere. They exist because of support from the US, NATO, Turkey, Israel, the Saudis, UAE, Jordan, and other US imperial partners.

Their heavy and other weapons don’t materialize out of thin air. They’re supplied cross-border from war theaters by Western and other countries.

Their fighters are trained by the Pentagon and CIA at US regional bases, including in northern and southern Syria.

Turkey bordering Iraq and Syria gives these jihadists safe haven in its territory, letting them move back and forth freely cross-border while pretending to combat this scourge.

The August 2 US war department report was a commercial for wanting a permanent Pentagon, NATO, CIA presence in Syria and Iraq — along with more funding for militarism and warmaking.

Wherever the US shows up militarily, mass slaughter, vast destruction, human misery, and permanent occupation follow.

It’s true in all US post-9/11 war theaters, as well as in the former Yugoslavia following the Clinton co-presidency’s rape of the country in the 1990s.

Instead of a hoped for peace dividend after Soviet Russia dissolved in December 1991, endless US-led wars continue to rage in multiple theaters with no prospect for peace and stability.

Countless millions of corpses, wrecked lives, and trillions of dollars spent for aggression attest to US barbarity.

Throughout the post-WW II period from 1950 to the present day, preemptive US wars of aggression rage and continue raging against nonbelligerent nations threatening no one.

That’s what the scourge of imperial is all about.

Yemen’s Interior Ministry Mourns Martyr Ibrahim Badreddine Al-Houthi as Clashes among Mercenaries in Aden Escalate

August 9, 2019

Capture

The Yemeni Interior Ministry on Friday mourned the martyr Ibrahim Badreddine Al-Houthi, who had been assassinated at the treacherous hands of the Saudi-Israeli aggression.

The ministry confirmed in a statement that it would not hesitate to prosecute and capture the puppets of criminal aggression that carried out the assassination.

In Aden, the clashes between the gunmen backed by UAE and those who follow the fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi have escalated and reached the presidential palace in Al-Maashiq as reports have indicated that a number of them were either killed or injured.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led Coalition, in a bid to restore control to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is Riyadh’s ally.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured in the strikes launched by the coalition, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and Al-Masirah

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US Empire: The Reality of the “Greater United States”

Global Research, August 09, 2019

The US Empire is not a term you will commonly hear when people refer to the United States of America. Nor is the Greater United States, American Empire or even just Empire. There is something of a taboo quality to using the word empire to refer to the US. Yet, that is precisely what it is. With numerous territories and land acquisitions, around 1000+ military bases worldwide and the ability to project its power to influence and coerce foreign territories and nations, the USA is the biggest empire the world has ever known. Countless foreign nations, victims of US aggression and invasion, have denounced the US for its imperialism, a word with the same etymological root as empire. So why is it so strange to describe it as the US Empire?

USA: From Republic to Empire

It is a telling example that the American experiment in self-governance has turned out like this. What began as an attempt to set up one of the most limited, constrained and decentralized governments ever has transmogrified into a sprawling empire whose breadth, power and influence is unprecedented in world history. Those who believe humanity should run society without government (anarchists) based only on voluntary cooperation (voluntaryists) point to the results of the American experiment as proof that government by its very nature grows out of control. The results, they say, show that no matter what limits you attempt to put on government, they can always be undone, because politicians can simply change laws and find way to bypass constitutions once they are in power. For one example of many, look at how the US bypassed many privacy and surveillance laws in the Bill of Rights by dreaming up a new idea (terrorism), defining it in law (first international terrorists, then domestic terrorists), changing the definition to describe their political enemies (gun carriers, conspiracy theorists), then applying that by name-calling its citizens. Suddenly, the usual rules don’t apply when terrorism and the fake war on terror are invoked. All of this is gives credence to the idea that no government is better than small government in the anarchy vs minarchy debate.

US Empire Greater United States

The actual Greater United States. Image credit: Daniel Immerwahr

US Empire Land Acquisition

Right from the start, the US has always looked west. The original 13 colonies soon expanded. Just to name a few highlights, the US Republic bought Louisiana from the French in 1803, annexed Texas in 1845 and took California away from Mexico in 1848 (at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War). The US then expanded further, such that it then had a mainland of 48 contiguous states and territory beyond that. It bought Alaska from Russia in 1867 and it conquered Hawaii in 1893 after a coup by a small group of rich landowners put a gun to the head of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani. A watershed moment in the history of the US Empire, and its land and territory acquisition, came in 1898. At that time, the Spanish colonial Empire was falling, and Spain was having problems quelling dissent in its colonies such as Cuba. Through a false flag operation revolving around the USS Maine, the USA entered the conflict (named the Spanish-American War), defeated Spain and established itself as a new colonial and imperial power. While it was at it, it either purchased or annexed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Wake Island. Thus, by end of the 19th century, the US had already transformed itself into the US Empire. In this video and in his book, Daniel Immerwahr makes the point that around this time, Americans began to redraw their maps and take pride in their new status; however later on, they sought more to play down and hide their power, figuring it would serve them better to keep it concealed. At one point in the video clip, Immerwahr tells the story of an American GI soldier in the Philippines during WW2, who was told by a Filipino that the US had colonized the Philippines, but didn’t realize it. “What?” he said, thinking he was fighting in a foreign country not on US territory, “We colonized you?”

Hiding the Empire: 1000+ Military Bases

Fast forward around 120 years, and just look at the state of affairs. The US emerged as the sole world superpower after WW2, but unlike the British Empire, it decided not to outright conquer or annex territory, but rather to build military installations on virtually every continent. The US hides the official number of its military bases so as to conceal the true extent of its imperial reach, however based on the research of people like Chalmers Johnson and Nick Turse, we know that it is at least 1000 bases, and quite probably more. Johnson died in 2010, but in a talk now removed from YouTube claims that in 2004, the Pentagon’s official number was 725 (as published in the Base Structure Report). However, he acknowledged that the Pentagon disguised many of its bases and had 300+ unacknowledged ones. Turse has written many articles and books on the topic of US military bases including this 2019 one Bases, Bases, Everwhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report:

“Officially, the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.”

To put this number in perspective, the emerging rivals to the US Empire have barely any foreign military bases: Russia has 21 (according to this source) and China has 2.

Hallmark of the US Empire: The Projection of Power without Annexation of Territory

The rulers of the United States Inc. have done a very good job of concealing the power and reach of the US Empire. Through domestic propaganda, they have obscured the reality of the empire such that not many Americans make the connection. They have also avoided colonizing too many weaker nations, instead preferring to project power without actually annexing land. This is achieved through economic warfare such as forcing smaller nations to buy US products, or the infamous use of sanctions as accelerated by Trump against nations like Venezuela and Iran. Then there is also the method described by former economic hitman John Perkins.

But, but … the US is a Republic, Right?

Some people at this point may say, “Well, the US may be an Empire, but its form of government is still a Constitutional Republic. Therefore, the US is a Republic.” Yes, the US is a republic in the sense that it has (highly controlled) elections where (s)elected individuals ascend to power, however, despite this form of governance, the US still behaves as an imperial bully, aggressor and invader to nations outside of it. That behavior is what defines it as an empire. In this context, the word “republic” means nothing. Have you noticed the irony with which nations around the world use the word republic in their official country titles? Both of the communist totalitarian nations of China and North Korea are “republics” since they are called People’s Republic of China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korearespectively. Never mind the censorship and control via social credit. In the so-called “free” West, in the Federal Republic of Germany, if you investigate the truth about the Holocaust you can be fined or imprisoned. In the French Republic, people are so taxed to the hilt they donned yellow vests to spark a worldwide protest movement. Republic means “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.” Do you really think the people hold the supreme power in the US, China, North Korea, Germany or France?

Conclusion

Words have power. Propagandists and magicians alike know this, since they know words help to mold perception and create reality. This is why you “spell” words, since uttered words are like a (magic) spell. The power of the US Empire lies in its narrative control and perception control. Whoever controls words, controls narrative; whoever controls narrative, controls perception. It’s a simple formula. Orwell’s great work 1984 showed what can come from word control. The question we must ask ourselves here is this: why is it so strange, uncomfortable and unfamiliar to call a spade a spade, and to admit internally to ourselves and externally to others that the USA is an empire? Surely this uncomfortability itself is evidence of the magic of word control and propaganda. Are we so programmed and conditioned with ideas of “USA = freedom and democracy” that we can’t fathom the idea of a US Empire? If so, then it is more crucial than ever that people begin to use terms like US Empire and Greater United States to take a small yet bold step of breaking the conditioning that holds them in chains.

*

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This article was originally published on The Freedom Articles.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

Sources

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/anarchy-vs-minarchy-pros-cons/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-mz7x2RAmI

*https://www.salon.com/2019/01/11/bases-bases-everywhere-except-in-the-pentagons-report_partner/

*https://theintercept.com/2018/12/01/u-s-military-says-it-has-a-light-footprint-in-africa-these-documents-show-a-vast-network-of-bases/

*https://www.newsweek.com/russias-military-compared-us-which-country-has-more-military-bases-across-954328

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/google-project-dragonfly-helps-china-censorship/

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/sesame-credit-gamification-control/

Featured image is from The Freedom Articles

Rouhani: War on Iran is The Mother of All Wars, Iran to Emerge Victorious Sooner or Later

By Staff

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that a possible war against Iran is “a mother of all wars”, while peace with Tehran is “the mother of all peace”.

In a speech broadcast live on state-run TV on Tuesday, Rouhani also reiterated Tehran’s readiness to sit down with Washington if it scraps all the sanctions against Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran favors talks and negotiations and, if the US really wants to talk, before anything else it should lift all sanctions”, he underscored.

The Iranian President further highlighted: “We are always ready for negotiation. I tell you this hour and this moment to abandon bullying and lift the sanctions and return to logic and wisdom. We are ready.”

He added that Iran had shifted its approach from “strategic patience” to “reciprocal action” and would respond in kind to any of Washington’s steps related to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

According to Rouhani: “Certain parties in the nuclear deal have violated commitments to deprive Iran of economic benefits.”

“Zionists, reactionary states, and US hardliners sought to destroy JCPOA from the beginning,” Rouhani stated, noting that “Only certain US cronies support [US President Donald] Trump’s decision to withdraw from The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].”

In parallel, he underscored that Iran took calculated step to scale back certain commitments under JCPOA. “Our reduction to nuclear commitments is not a burden on us.”

“All US sanctions against Iran have proved to be its own detriment,” Rouhani stressed, pointing out that “The Americans have proved that their words are far from truth.”

In a clear message to the US and regional rivals, the Iranian President warned: “No one can target our security and seeks peace for himself.”

“Iran to emerge victorious from US restrictions sooner or later,” he concluded.

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Has Washington Joined the List of Israeli Occupied Territories?

Image result for Has Washington Joined the List of Israeli Occupied Territories?

Elias Samo
August 4, 2019

Relations between Washington and Damascus have never been cordial, particularly after the creation of Israel in 1948 and Washington’s blanket support of the newly established state. With the election of Obama in 2008, there was a glimmer of hope for improved relations between the two capitals. Although the high expectations of improved Washington-Damascus relations did not materialize noticeably, the Obama period could be viewed as the ‘good old days’ compared to the Trump presidency. Unfortunately, the animosity in Washington towards Syria is not exclusive to the White House, but it includes Congress and Foggy Bottom, and it is counterproductive to the interests of both nations.

UK ambassador Sir Kim Darroch’s “clumsy and inept” characterization of Trump’s administration aside, it is sufficient to refer to Trump’s own characterization of Syria: “We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and death”. It is beyond belief that a sitting US President labeled the home of the historic Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia, a land very rich in soil, an abundance of rainfall and rivers including the Euphrates and Tigris, as “sand and death”. Syria is also the cradle of civilizations, the home of the three monotheistic religions and home of three of the five oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Irrespective of Trump’s ignorant comments on Syria, his actions prove he is a dummy for ventriloquist Netanyahu. East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan were occupied in the ‘67 War. From 1967 to the Trump administration, the US went through nine administrations. Many of the presidential candidates publicly spoke of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but not once in the White House did any administration see the wisdom of doing so. Along came Trump and moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.

Congress, the second center of power and decision making in Washington, has long been considered Israeli-occupied territory. In an article titled “The Only Strategic Rationale for America’s Involvement in Syria Finally Revealed,” I wrote that nearly four hundred congressmen; roughly seventy five percent of the total number of congressmen from both chambers and both parties, had written a letter to Trump. The irony, as I noted in the article, is the fact that “four hundred congressmen, who are elected by Americans to serve American interests, at a time when the US is bogged down in the Arab region, sign and submit a letter to the US President concerned almost exclusively with Israeli Security” I conclude noting: “These congressmen had an opportunity to make a coherent recommendation on US policy in the Arab region in the interest of American National Interest, but instead chose to make recommendations to safeguard the wellbeing and security of a foreign state: Israel.” More recently, also nearly four hundred House of Representatives members chose to violate the freedom of speech protected in the First Amendment of the US Constitution and vote for a resolution that rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions- BDS- campaign against Israel. Thus, the notion that US Congress is Israeli occupied territory is no exaggeration.

In Foggy Bottom, a few decades ago, there was always a group of Arabists, mostly American diplomats who had served in Arab states. They had realized that Israel is a burden on American taxpayers and American excessive support of Israel is not in the best American interest, while American interest would be better served with friendly and improved relations with the Arab states. The Arabists are no more, only Zionists; if any are left, they are reluctant to be vocal out of fear of anti-Semitic charges. Not only the Arabists have disappeared, but to top it off, now there is Mike Pompeo, an Evangelical Christian Zionist, heading the State Department. Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, in welcoming the guest of honor, Secretary Pompeo, during Israel’s 71st Independence Day celebrations, said: “I can honestly say that Israel has never had a better friend in Foggy Bottom than you.” On another occasion, Pompeo noted that “the work our administration’s done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains. I am confident that the Lord is at work here.” So, God is at it again; having originally granted the land to the Jews, now he is guarding Israel. To top it off, in a speech at the most recent AIPAC annual conference, Pompeo said, “As Secretary of State and as a Christian, I am proud to lead American diplomacy to support Israel’s right to defend itself.” Israel, God’s gift to the Jewish people and her guardian, as per Pompeo, and the only regional nuclear superpower, which has boots on sovereign grounds but no foreign boots on its grounds and a very close ally of an international superpower, would need help defending itself.

I recall a conversation I had years ago with Dr. Dori Gold, who was a close associate of Netanyahu. During the conversation, he said we are afraid of you; referring to Syria. I said Dori, you are not serious, your Air Force roams all over Syria unhindered with impunity. He said thousands of Syrian tanks with mounted guns aimed at Israel, prevent us from sleeping restfully. On another occasion, Israelis expressed a desire to eat hummus, a traditional Syrian Lebanese chickpeas appetizer, in Damascus, a significant gesture; reflecting Israel’s schizophrenia towards Syria.

At present, a central issue is the safe zone in northern Syria and Turkish, Kurdish, Syrian and Israeli configuration regarding the zone. Israel, in particular, will covertly have an important role. The zone runs several hundred kilometers east of the Euphrates to the Iraqi border and south of the Turkish-Syrian Orient Express rail track border to a depth yet to be agreed on which could run  between twenty to fourty kilometers. Israel has occupied and subsequently annexed the Golan and recently Trump recognized Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan. Israel will maintain a military presence in the Golan in southern Syria, not too far from Damascus, as it has for half a century, in violation of Syrian territorial integrity and a threat to its national security. As to Syrian northern border, a Turkish occupied zone in northern Syria, a la Northern Cyprus, would also be a violation of Syrian territorial integrity and a threat to its national security. Syria caught between the hammer and the anvil; a dream come true for Israel and it will do its best to see the dream is fullfilled. The sacrificial lamb will be the Kurds; but then who cares about the Kurds other than using them as pawns in great power conflicts when needed.

Syria, Israel’s archenemy, would be surrounded on its northern and southern borders by two hostile and powerful enemies occupying Syrian land and would consider further occupation, violating Syrian territorial integrity and permanently threatening Syrian national security. However, take heed, Syria is not a pushover, nor is it alone.

US ‘Democracy’ – A Spectacle of War Party

August 2, 2019
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With over 20 Democratic party candidates vying for the US presidential election in 2020, there appears to be an abundance of choice from a glance at the mere number of contenders. But the superficial optics are far from “2020 vision”.

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Unfortunately, lamentably, on crucial foreign policy concerning militarism, war and peace, and on relations towards Russia and China, there seems little difference between the crowded field. The single notable exception, so far at least, is the Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

As our columnists Philip Giraldi and Tom Luongo have both separately assessed in recent commentaries for SCF, Gabbard appears to be the only genuine anti-war candidate.

Gabbard, a veteran soldier who served in Iraq, has trenchantly criticized America’s overseas militarism and covert wars for regime change. She has also clearly called for an end to Cold War-style hostility towards Russia, and for better bilateral relations.

In some ways, Gabbard is an echo of Donald Trump when he was running for the 2016 presidency as the Republican candidate. Trump back then condemned US foreign wars and proffered developing normal relations with Russia. Since then, however, Trump has failed miserably to end Washington’s militarism. Indeed he has emerged as an even bigger militarist than previous presidents, boosting the Pentagon’s already gargantuan budget, and embarking on a policy of reckless aggression towards Iran.

In regard to Russia, Trump has expressed wanting friendly relations with Moscow. Nevertheless, he has not scaled back on NATO’s provocative build-up along Russia’s borders; his administration continues to sanction Moscow over spurious claims, including on the matter of gas energy trade with Europe; and, to cap it all, this week the US has officially ended its adherence to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) Treaty. The US termination of the INF raises the specter of a new arms race with Russia and gravely undermines global peace and security. It was President Trump who personally pushed ending the INF by citing baseless claims of Russia violating the treaty.

In short, Trump is no friend of Russia and his past electoral promises of challenging the US status quo on malign foreign policy have turned out to be pathetic empty rhetoric.

It remains to be seen whether Tulsi Gabbard advances to the nomination as Democrat candidate for the presidency. And whether she retains her commitment to fundamentally change US foreign policy on matters of militarism, war and peace and in particular on creating a real reset in relations with Russia.

As both of our columnists cited above have appraised, the US mainstream corporate-controlled media and Washington political establishment have embarked on a systematic and scurrilous campaign to smear Gabbard as “soft on Russia” and a “Kremlin stooge”. The same smear campaign, of course, has been a non-stop effort to politically eviscerate Trump since he entered the White House more than two years ago. He appears to have conformed to the pressure by self-censoring and suppressing his erstwhile promise to restore relations with Russia.

That brings us back to the other 20 or so Democrat candidates. Virtually all of them conform to the giant media hoax (“psyops”) known as “Russiagate” which bombarded the US public with specious allegations of Russian “interference in American democracy”.

Democrat front-runners Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are proponents of this nonsense. So too are supposed “radical left” candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A handy compilation of all the candidates’ stated views on Russia as “an enemy” and their denigration of President Vladimir Putin as a “dictator” illustrate the execrable poverty of independent, intelligent thinking among America’s political class. These “opponents” are supposed to be offering American voters a change from Trump. Admittedly, Trump has scoffed at the whole Russiagate claims as “fake news” – and he is right to do that. But what has Trump actually done to pursue normal relations with Moscow? Very little.

All the Democrat candidates – with the honorable exception of Gabbard – are on record for harboring, to varying degrees, Cold War-style ideology of depicting Russia as an enemy or adversary. They have used this baleful and offensive view of Russia as a way to attack Trump. Instead of challenging Trump on his dubious economic policies favoring the wealthy and big corporations, the Democrats have used a futile and destructive tactic of trying to paint Trump has a “Kremlin agent”. Such thinking has only consolidated ever-more hostile US relations with Russia, which has culminated this week in the deplorable collapse of the INF Treaty.

As well as supporting the status quo of obscene US military spending and militarism generally, the so-called political opposition to Trump demonstrate with crystal clarity that there is only one party in the US – the War Party.

Republicans and Democrats are in reality two sides of the same coin that promotes oligarchy and imperialistic wars. That conformity of thinking even among so-called “radical left” candidates is a repugnant reflection on the degraded state of US politics and democracy.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
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