معاهدة الصواريخ: آخر دوائر الاشتباك

أغسطس 3, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– أول الاستنتاجات التي يؤكدها اندلاع أزمة معاهدة الصواريخ الاستراتيجية والمتوسطة بين موسكو وواشنطن، هو السقوط المدوّي للنظريّة القائلة بأن كل اهتمام روسيا كان منصباً خلال العقدين الماضيين على كيفية التدخل في ملفات نزاعات إقليميّة سعياً للتحرّش التفاوضي بواشنطن والحصول على صفقة تعترف لها بدور ما وتمنحها بعض المكاسب. فالقضية في أزمة الصواريخ هي قضية روسية أميركية صرفة لا تتصل بطرف ثالث، كحال الأزمات الإقليمية. وهذا يعني أنه عندما تفتح هذه الأزمة، فيما لا تزال العناوين الإقليمية مفتوحة في أربع جهات الأرض، من أوكرانيا وكوريا الشمالية إلى فنزويلا وسورية وإيران، أن النزاع الأصلي الحاكم في العالم هو روسي أميركي، وأن كلاً من الطرفين يخوض حروبه عبر البحث عن تحالفات راسخة في خيار المواجهة مع الآخر، ولكن عينه على الطرف الآخر، وكيف يزداد قوة أو ضعفاً.

– هذا يجب أن يكون كافياً لطرد الفرضيات القائمة على مساومات يمكن أن تجريها موسكو على حساب مَن تحالفهم، بل ربما يكون العكس هو القائم، خشية روسية من تسويات منتصف الطريق التي قد يعقدها حلفاؤها، كما كان حال كوريا الشمالية في فترة، وكما أرادت واشنطن من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، لكن إيران فضلت مواصلة المواجهة مع واشنطن في سورية وفلسطين واليمن وسواها، عندما تثبتت من عزم موسكو على الاستمرار. وكانت التضحية بالاتفاق النووي ثمناً لا بد من دفعه على هذا الطريق المشترك الذي ترجم بالانتصارات المشتركة في سورية.

– في أزمة الصواريخ قضيتان يجب شرحهما، الأولى أن روسيا كانت مستعدة لمواصلة العمل بالمعاهدة شرط التزام أميركي حقيقي بمضمونها، لكن بدا واضحاً من ولاية الرئيس السابق باراك اوباما أن واشنطن عاجزة عن المضي قدماً فيه، بسبب ضغط جماعات الصناعات العسكرية لزيادة العقود مع الحكومة الأميركية وتضامن وزارة الدفاع وضباطها للخروج من المعاهدة، أو من آلياتها التطبيقية إذا صمتت موسكو على الخداع وقبلت مجرد الالتزام النظري، وهو ما كان مقبولاً لمدة في موسكو الضعيفة، لكنه ما عاد وارداً في زمن الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين، الذي قال مراراً إما التزام متزامن ومتوازن أو خروج من المعاهدة.

– الأمر الثاني في الأزمة هو ما بدا من توازن آخر في التهديدات المتبادلة، وهو يحدث لأول مرة منذ الستينيات في القرن الماضي وما عرف بأزمة خليج الخنازير حول كوبا بين موسكو واشنطن، ففيما تعلن واشنطن عزمها نشر صواريخ جديدة في الجوار الأوروبي لروسيا، ردّت موسكو بإعلان العزم على نشر صواريخ موازية في كوبا وربما أيضاً في فنزويلا.

أزمة الصواريخ هي آخر مساحات الاشتباك المفتوح بين موسكو واشنطن، بعدما امتلأت الجغرافيا ببؤر التوتر ودارت حرب العقوبات، ولم يتبقَ إلا الساحة الأصعب، وهي تعبير عن فرصة لا تزال مفتوحة للقوى التي ترغب بالتحرّر من الهيمنة الأميركية للاستثمار على موقع روسيا الحاسم في هذه المواجهة، حتى يتحقق التوازن المنشود على الساحة الدولية.

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

Source

July 13, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

It appears that the information revolution is redefining cultural aspirations at a time when mass production has become a concave-convex supernova offering everybody (in theory) the right to ‘have everything’, regardless of the cost to fellow beings or to nature itself.

In the West, free enterprise had become an object lesson in short-sightedness and purblind avarice, suggesting that it’s time to revisit an age-old conundrum; the conflict between capitalist expediency and enlightened social wellbeing. Having successfully focused consumers on the many ways in which self-gratification can be experienced, the consumer-economy, committed to seducing the somnambulant among us, while turning a blind eye to the damage that comes with gauche and expedient ways of can-do-ness, suggest that collectively, we in the West have become befuddled pilgrims in a vainglorious journey to nowhere.

In the West we live in a world where militarism and the production of arms has come to represent the pulse of capitalism. The journey that began at the tribal level has moved through a succession of capitalist incarnations to become the singular purpose of investment-capital and a business model in every respect. As it was never intended to be an exercise in creating homogeneous wellbeing…socialism… this model remains as the one best suited to the elites who manage money. Not surprisingly, the rest is history as they say. The story of capitalism’s right-of-passage towards its colonial adventures and onwards into its imperial hegemonic phase is one of bloody-mindedness.

Until recently in the West, it was the growth of personal wealth and middle-classness that underpinned the reality of ‘collective-individualism’…an oxymoronic capitalist state of mind that encourages wealth accumulation. Skills effecting upward mobility were highly sought after. The desire to embrace cultural norms that defined progress as freedom to enjoy lifestyles enhanced by copious amounts of disposal income, soon became everyone’s dream.

So, when the economy lost it’s bearing in the heat of the bizarre excesses leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, ‘collective-individualism’ was left to pick up the pieces. Struggling with the legacy of a febrile narrative that served the interests of Wall Street, middle-classness lost some of its shine. The market had spoken, the individual was merely a unit in a bourse that had little time for niceties or human fallibility. Banking had become a low feeder-operation where the devil would take the hindmost.

It was the banking crisis of 2008 that revealed how ‘collective-individualism’ had become merely an adjunct of Wall Street’s insidiously covert private-banking system. Having cocooned itself in the system, the banking establishment managed to present itself as the face of liberal democracy…albeit pseudo… for the purpose of gratifying its own insatiable appetite. As a result of the 2008 debacle, fake-expertise-babble was required to disguise the signs of senescence now appearing in a banking system sliding toward obsolescence.

With the emergence of bureaucratic capitalism in China, the monumental task of moving countless tens of millions of people out of poverty was commenced and the results have been spectacular. Along with this operation came the realization that proportionality should be the linchpin for securing the principles of collective enterprise. The words Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong spoke in 1927 at the beginning of the Chinese Civil War; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” were replaced by notions of incremental change occurring for the betterment of the entire community.

Using the resources of the state to improve the wellbeing of the many would mechanically elevate the population to a level of heightened social order. By any measure, a great awakening had occurred…an age-old trading culture had reassembled its resources in order to find common cause. Through the medium of central planning, the path toward achieving internal hegemony reappeared in a distinctly Confucian way.

With an agenda designed to eliminate poverty by utilising the collective potential of the state to solve problems, statistics suggest that a modicum of proportionality has already been achieved within China’s sovereign territories and that plans are on track to achieve what the revolution sent out to do. Namely, a way of floating all its boats…one billion and a quarter of them…on the rising tide of a renascent imagination collectively focused on technological ascendancy.

Alert to the potential within the Chinese tech garden to achieve yet another Spring and Autumn period, the core interchangeable elements of Confucianism, collectivism and hegemony militate to emphasize personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

History shows us that the Chinese city of Guangzhou (Early Modern Guangzhou) represented the reference point that enable one to understand the changing context of Sino-foreign economic and cultural relations in the nineteenth century. A great trading city that would ultimately reconstitute itself as a commercial centre for maritime exports and debut as post-modern Guangzhou. It was always the city that identified China as a maritime trader surfing the waves of silk road opportunities. Unlike most European nations, its expansionism was benign. It never went into the business of exporting armaments or colonizing the natives along its trade routes.

From the traditional trading posts in Quanzhou and Guangzhou, to the modern treaty ports of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shanghai, to the contemporary metropolis Hong Kong and Taiwan and special economic zones in Shenzhen and Pudong, southern coastal cities in the last five hundred years and beyond have connected China to the outside world and the global economy. Throughout this time, China never sought to colonise its neighbours or occupy continents or countries across the globe…trading remained its modus operandi…and besides, Confucius the thinker, never confused occupation or dominance with the Chinese notion of hegemony!

Conversely, the colonial West’s predilection for gunboat diplomacy and stand-over tactics produced an entirely different trading model. With the advent of the industrial revolution in Europe, sorties of the ‘dalek’ kind…robotic incursions into exotic lands for the purpose of procuring the resources and territories belonging to people of colour became the norm.

It was as though the industrial revolution had spawned a concept of superiority that ultimately resulted in the white race distilling a notion of its own exceptionality that would justify its own work-ethic as proof of its right to exploit people whose appearance did not please their albino imagination. In the succeeding centuries, the march of the ‘daleks’ would in effect enslave, slaughter and exploit non-white peoples with impunity, all the while deluding themselves that their actions were progressive…a code word for exploitation…and justifiably, the ‘white-man’s-burden’…a program adopted in support of their assumption that the non-white peoples were inferior.

In time, institutional racism would achieve the kind of value an asset might have in a bourse. The concept of democracy would be privatised in accordance with the wishes of those who were there to do the thinking for all those of a lesser stripe. Patriotism would become a mantra of majestic proportions in the West to assure white people that they were on the winning side of history. Proof of same would be diligently manufactured. Strangely, Western powers who imagined they owned ‘democracy’ felt the need to garrison the globe with 800 military bases, fearing that those ‘others’ may have sovereign economic models of their own they might wish to develop.

In fact, disproportionality had reached such levels of lethality that the doyens of liberal democracy became citizens of cloud-cuckoo-land in possession of a foreign policy committed to kneecapping…sanctioning… other nation’s economies if they didn’t do what they were told to do. China in moving to re-embrace the “maritime silk road” once again, soon became the fly in the competitive ointment. Westerners, as heirs to the traditional colonial trading-throne decided that carrying a big ballistic stick was the only way to do business. Alarmed at seeing how China could engage in trade without threatening its clients, it chose the American way of doing business. In true American style, the military budget was given a massive blow job.

In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower ended his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. Before and during the Second World War, American industries had successfully converted to defence production as the crisis demanded, but out of the war, what Eisenhower called a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions emerged. Eisenhower had no need of a crystal ball to see where the emerging disproportionality would lead his country to. His fear, rightly, was that disproportionality of this kind would ultimately obfuscate the principles of the Democratic Republic of America.

Had he lived to see the colossal damage his country wrought on the Middle East he would have understood that a permanent armaments industry must do what a permanent armaments industry must do…use and sell what they produced in order to justify their budget.

What Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to as a permanent armaments industry could equally be applied to the permanent propaganda industry that has overtaken America. Together, these two industries have created a narrative for Americans to reassure them that a system based on might, is right for them. By every measure, the fourth estate and the fourth-of-July have synthetized into a narrative that is big on self-adulation.

On the occasion of the most recent fourth-of-July parade, the presence of Apache attack helicopters, ballistic missiles, M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and F-22 Raptors were assembled to reinforce the notion that corporate-capitalist-democracy existed to deliver a patriotic narrative capable of turning the key that could unlock the potential of the American psyche and find greatness by shoving its hardware and unique ideas of identity into the face of all and sundry.

As the fourth of this and that got under way, it became ever more evident that America’s unique identity possesses an internal form of hegemony seeking greatness through strictly military means. After military might was chosen as the path to dominance and greatness, America developed external hegemonic programs to curtail un-American activities such as Iranian Mullahs imagining that they can export oil to whomever they choose to, or China and Russia talking multilateralism, or Venezuela resisting imperial vassalage…or just about anything that moved, squeaked, farted or failed to avow the American way of doing business. Non-compliance would be met with sanctions or military invasion.

On the occasion of the recent fourth-of-July celebrations, Donald Trump (dealer extraordinary) stood before the statue of Abraham Lincoln to demonstrate his ability to wind up the patriotic narrative; he spoke thusly; “As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said he, “ Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told…The Story of America.”

But strangest of all were the ‘daleks’ flying overhead and the steel-clad ‘daleks’ rumbling past on terra firma for the purpose of bonding the vast gathering of patriotic stalwarts in hegemonic unity. The crowd, agog with admiration for the men and women flying overhead in their wonderful flying machines were proud to witness the “The American Story” in all its first-hand glory. Most noticeably, they were indifferent to the fact that the things they found admirable in this show of strength were designed to annihilate people. They were no less enamoured of the wet pointy cone bits of the ballistic missiles…glistening like killer-candy… as they were rained upon.

All in all, “The Story of America” reverberates across the globe as the story of meaty stealth. Its true colours were made available for all to see, or for anyone with the nous to join the dots… message delivered; American style hegemony is great for boys with schizoaffective disorders and the lethal toys that find them.

As America-the-circus moves into election mode its military arrive here in Australia to set up a military base in Darwin. As few…if any…of their political clowns will broach the subject of their lethal foreign policy, why should anyone in their right mind welcome one of their bases here? As for now, better we wait until Uncle Sam creates a peace bureau and sends an emissary of a different stripe to us.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

Monsters Walk the Earth. Why These Three Countries Are the Real Troika of Evil

By Philip Giraldi

June 28, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  There are monsters among us. Every day I read about an American “plan” to either invade some place new or to otherwise inflict pain to convince a “non-compliant” foreign government how to behave. Last week it was Iran but next week it could just as easily again be Lebanon, Syria or Venezuela. Or even Russia or China, both of whom are seen as “threats” even though American soldiers, sailors and marines sit on their borders and not vice versa. The United States is perhaps unique in the history of the world in that it sees threats everywhere even though it is not, in fact, threatened by anyone.

Just as often, one learns about a new atrocity by Israelis inflicted on the defenseless Arabs just because they have the power to do so. Last Friday in Gaza the Israeli army shot and killed four unarmed demonstrators and injured 300 more while the Jewish state’s police invaded a Palestinian orphanage school in occupied Jerusalem and shut it down because the students were celebrating a “Yes to peace, no to war” poetry festival. Peace is not in the Israeli authorized curriculum.

And then there are the Saudis, publicly chopping the heads off of 37 “dissidents” in a mass display of barbarity, and also murdering and dismembering a hapless journalist. And let’s not forget the bombing and deliberate starving of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians in Yemen.

It is truly a troika of evil, an expression favored by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, though he was applying it to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, all “socialist” nations currently on Washington’s “hit list.” Americans, Saudis and Israelis have become monsters in the eyes of the rest of the world even if in their own minds they are endowed with special privilege due to their being “Exceptional,” “Chosen by God” or “Guardians of Mecca and Medina.” All three countries share a dishonest sense of entitlement that supports the fiction that their oppressive and often illegal behavior is somehow perfectly legitimate.

To be sure not all Americans, Saudis or Israelis are individually monsters. Many are decent people who are appalled by what their respective governments are doing. Saudi citizens live under a despotism and have little to say about their government, but there is a formidable though fragmented peace movement in slightly less totalitarian Israel and in the United States there is growing anti-war sentiment. The discomfort in America is driven by a sense that the post 9/11 conflicts have only embroiled the country more deeply in wars that have no exit and no end. Unfortunately, the peace movement in Israel will never have any real power while the anti-war activists in America are leaderless and disorganized, waiting for someone to step up and take charge.

The current foreign policy debate centers around what Washington’s next moves in the Middle East might be. The decision-making will inevitably involve the US and its “close allies” Israel and Saudi Arabia, which should not surprise anyone. While it is clear that President Donald Trump ordered an attack on Iran before canceling the action at the last minute, exactly how that played out continues to be unclear. One theory, promoted by the president himself, is that the attack would have been disproportionate, killing possibly hundreds of Iranian military personnel in exchange for one admittedly very expensive surveillance drone. Killing the Iranians would have guaranteed an immediate escalation by Iran, which has both the will and the capability to hit high value targets in and around the Persian Gulf region, a factor that may also have figured into the presidential calculus.

Trump’s cancelation of the attack immediately produced cries of rage from the usual neoconservative chickenhawk crowd in Washington as well as a more subdued reiteration of the Israeli and Saudi demands that Iran be punished, though both are also concerned that a massive Iranian retaliation would hit them hard. They are both hoping that Washington’s immensely powerful strategic armaments will succeed in knocking Iran out quickly and decisively, but they have also both learned not to completely trust the White House.

To assuage the beast, the president has initiated a package of “major” new sanctions on Iran which will no doubt hurt the Iranian people while not changing government decision making one iota. There has also been a leak of a story relating to US cyber-attacks on Iranian military and infrastructure targets, yet another attempt to act aggressive to mitigate the sounds being emitted by the neocon chorus.

To understand the stop-and-go behavior by Trump requires application of the Occam’s Razor principle, i.e. that the simplest explanation is most likely correct. For some odd reason, Donald Trump wants to be reelected president in 2020 in spite of the fact that he appears to be uncomfortable in office. A quick, successful war would enhance his chances for a second term, which is probably what Pompeo promised, but any military action that is not immediately decisive would hurt his prospects, quite possibly inflicting fatal damage. Trump apparently had an intercession by Fox news analyst Tucker Carlson, who may have explained that reality to him shortly before he decided to cancel the attack. Tucker is, for what it’s worth, a highly respected critic coming from the political right who is skeptical of wars of choice, democracy building and the global liberal order.

The truth is that all of American foreign policy during the upcoming year will be designed to pander to certain constituencies that will be crucial to the 2020 presidential election. One can bank on even more concessions being granted to Israel and its murderous thug prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring in Jewish votes and, more importantly, money. John Bolton was already in Israel getting his marching orders from Netanyahu on the weekend and Pence was effusive in his praise of Israel when he spoke at the meeting in Orlando earlier in the week launching the Trump 2020 campaign, so the game is already afoot. It is an interesting process to observe how Jewish oligarchs like Sheldon Adelson contribute tens of millions of dollars to the politicians who then in turn give the Jewish state taxpayer generated tens of billions of dollars in return. Bribing corrupt politicians is one of the best investments that one can make in today’s America.

Trump will also go easy on Saudi Arabia because he wants to sell them billions of dollars’ worth of weapons which will make the key constituency of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) happy. And he will continue to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran and Venezuela to show how tough he can be for his Make America Great audience, though avoiding war if he possibly can just in case any of the hapless victims tries to fight back and embarrass him.

So, there it is folks. War with Iran is for the moment on hold, but tune in again next week as the collective White House memory span runs to only three or four days. By next week we Americans might be at war with Mongolia.

Philip Giraldi is Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. A former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. 

Towards a Culture of World Peace

Global Research, May 16, 2019

The following text was presented at the closing session of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations, programme organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, May 15-16, 2019

***

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. A culture of war and military conquest is upheld. War is presented to public opinion as a US-NATO peace-making endeavor which will ultimately result in the spread of Western democracy.

Military intervention not to mention “economic warfare” (including sanctions) are routinely upheld as part of a humanitarian campaign.  War has been granted a humanitarian mandate under NATO’s “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).

Culture which is the theme of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations (Beijing, May 15-16, 2019) is of utmost importance in resolving conflicts within and between nations. Culture defines perceptions and understanding as well as dialogue and diplomacy.

In this regard, “Towards a Culture of World Peace” constitutes a commitment to Human Livelihood. It is  an initiative  which consists in confronting the discourse in support of  war and military intervention emanating from NATO and the Pentagon. It requires reviving a Worldwide anti-war movement, nationally and internationally as well as establishing a resolve by the governments of sovereign nation states to reject this Worldwide process of militarization.  

The contemporary US-NATO “culture of war” (which has its roots in European colonial history) constitutes an obvious obstacle and impediment to the Dialogue of Civilizations and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013. 

The culture of peace is universal. It is shared by people and nations Worldwide. Today’s “culture of war” is a US hegemonic project predicated on the creation of conflict and divisions within and between countries. It is this (unilateral) project of global warfare which is intent upon destroying civilization.

“The culture of peace” which was addressed by President Xi Jinping in his opening address of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, constitutes an important instrument which has a bearing on broad geopolitical, economic and strategic relations. The procedure consists in ultimately confronting and dismantling “the culture of war”  which has a pervasive impact on the human mindset. 

This endeavour will not succeed through political rhetoric or a “war of words”.

It requires:

  • Translating the “culture of peace” into concrete actions at the geopolitical and diplomatic levels
  • Confronting media disinformation and war propaganda
  •  A cohesive anti-war movement at the grassroots of society (nationally and internationally)
  • An endorsement by the governments of sovereign countries, member states of the United Nations, namely a decisive inter-governmental rejection of the US-NATO “culture of war”, which is in blatant violation of the UN Charter.
  • The disbandment of military alliances, including NATO, which are supportive of global warfare.
  • The withdrawal of NATO member states and NATO partner member states from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • The adoption of a coherent and Worldwide disarmament programme coupled with major reductions in military spending.
  • The closing down of all military bases, some 800 US military bases in about 80 countries
  • The curtailment in the international trade of weapons
  • The restructuring of national economies with a view to downgrading and eventually closing down the war economy,
  • The reallocation of financial resources and tax revenues towards the civilian economy including social services.

So-called “Humanitarian Warfare”

The victims of U.S. led wars are routinely presented by the Western media as the perpetrators of war.

Realities are turned upside down. “War is Peace” said George Orwell. The Western media in chorus upholds war as a humanitarian endeavor. “Wars make us safer and richer” says the Washington Post.

When war becomes peace, the world is turned upside down. Conceptualization is no longer possible. The consensus is to wage war.

The building of this diabolical consensus consists in the militarization of the “cultural industries”. The latter are supported by the US Department of Defense which allocates a large share of its budget to upholding the “culture of war”.

[T]he ideology of militarism pervades society, glorifying the US state’s use of violence not diplomacy to achieve security in a world divided between a righteous American “us” and an evil and threatening “them,” representing war as the first and most appropriate solution to every problem that vexes America, and reducing patriotism to unquestioning support for each and every incursion. (Tanner Mirrlees, The DoD’s Cultural Policy: Militarizing the Cultural Industries, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, October 2017)

In turn Hollywood in liaison with the Pentagon has endorsed the culture of war and violence:

“[The] Hollywood–Pentagon connection represents a key dimension of the military–entertainment–industrial complex, where a film is simultaneously being used as a tool for recruitment, military public relations, and commercial profit.

According to Tom Secker and Matthew Alford, “A similar influence is exerted over military-supported TV”.

Meanwhile, the balance sheet of death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria is casually ignored. Civilians in war torn countries are “responsible for their own deaths”. This narrative pervades the Western media:  233,000 estimated deaths in Yemen since 2015, according to a recent United Nations report. 140,000 children killed. The media is silent: who are the war criminals?

Global Warfare

In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”. This document which has a direct bearing on US foreign policy refers to America’s “Long War”

  • defend the American homeland;
  • fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
  • perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
  • transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs;”

“The revolution in military affairs” consists in developing advanced weapons systems as well as a new generation of nuclear weapons.

War Culture and Nuclear Weapons

The culture of war is marked by a radical shift in US nuclear doctrine. Starting in 2001, tactical nuclear weapons are heralded as “harmless to the surrounding civilian population”.  A new generation of  “more usable”, “low yield” tactical nuclear weapons (mini-nukes) was put forth. They are heralded as peace-making bombs.

The doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) which prevailed during the Cold War era has been scrapped. Under Bush’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) (endorsed by the US Senate in 2002), nuclear weapons are to be used on a “first strike” “pre-emptive basis”, as a means of “self-defense” against both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

This is an absurd and diabolical proposition which can only be sustained by misleading public opinion, i.e. by obfuscating the deadly impacts of  nuclear weapons. Moreover, while the US has waged countless wars in what is euphemistically described as “the post war era” (1945- present), the issue of “self defense” is erroneous: the national security of the United States of America has never been threatened.

While the US and its NATO allies have launched a military adventure which is sustained by the “culture of war”, the public is largely unaware that the use of these “more usable” nuclear weapons (with a variable explosive capacity between one third to twelve times a Hiroshima bomb) threatens the future of humanity.

There are powerful economic interests behind the culture of war: the oil industry, the military industrial complex, Wall Street. In turn, there are powerful lobby groups which influence US foreign policy. Dialogue and debate are required: It is important that these economic actors, including the weapons producers, be made aware of the inherent dangers of global warfare.

Financing the Culture of War

Trump’s 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program constitutes a financial bonanza for the defense contractors. US media reports suggest that the nuclear weapons program “makes the World safer”.

The “culture of war” sustains a unilateral build up of the weapons industry funded by US tax payers.  The culture of war has triggered mounting military expenditures to the detriment of the civilian economy. Total military spending worldwide was of the order of 1.8 trillion dollars in 2018. US defense expenditure was of the order of 649 billion, which represents 36% of Worldwide military expenditure (all countries) (SIPRI).

The Trump administration has supported a significant hike in defense, war and related “National Security” expenditures. The defense budget presented by the presidency to the US Congress for 2020 is of the order of  750 billion dollars, of which 718 billion will go to the Pentagon.

But this figure of 740 billion is in some regards misleading: Accounting for a massive US intelligence budget, Homeland Security, and related war expenses, the requested annual US National Security (War) Budget for 2020 is estimated to be in excess of 1.2 trillion dollars.

“There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought”  (See, William D. Hartung, Mandy SmithbergerBoondoggle, Inc.: Making Sense of the $1.25 Trillion National Security State Budget  May 10, 2019).

Compare the figures: The total individual tax revenues for 2020 are of the order of $1.82 billion. Total defense, national security, intelligence, “to make the World safer”, etc is of the order of $1.25 trillion (68.7% of the individual income taxes paid by Americans)

While the weapons industry is booming, the civilian economy is in crisis, civilian infrastructure and social services including medicare are collapsing. Eventually what is required are policy mechanisms for the phasing out of the war economy and the national security apparatus, while channeling resources into rebuilding the civilian economy. No easy task.

The cultural dimension is crucial. US policy-makers believe in their own propaganda. The “culture of war” often combined with twisted ideological and/or religious undertones, influences government officials involved in acts of war.

In 1945, President Truman intimated in the immediate wake of  the bombing of Hiroshima, that God stands on the side of “Us Americans” with regards to the use of nuclear weapons. “We pray that He [God] may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes” (August 9, 1945).

Hiroshima was designated as a “military base” in Truman’s historic speech on August 9, 1945. The stated objective of the Harry Truman was to “save the lives of innocent civilians”.

In the contemporary context, diplomatic relations and dialogue are at an all time low. At no time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis has the World been closer to the unthinkable: a global military conflict involving the use of nuclear weapons.

In this regard, what should be acknowledged is that US government officials in high office who decide upon the deployment and use of nuclear weapons do not have a full understanding of the consequences of their acts.

The Legacy of  History

The contemporary US-NATO “culture of war” has its roots in European colonial history. Starting in the late 15th Century, European colonization was invariably supported by military conquest, violence and political subordination. A colonial economy was established. “Western cultural values” and the language of the colonizers were imposed, civilizations were undermined or destroyed. The colonial system ultimately led to the establishment of hegemonic relations, leading up to the consolidation of the British empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, followed by US neo-colonial expansionism in the late 19th century and in the wake of World War I.

What is significant is that this culture of colonial violence inherited from the British empire has a bearing on the nature of  contemporary US foreign policy, which in large part is predicated on militarization at a global level. The US has currently more than 800 military bases in 80 foreign countries.

Many Asian countries which were the victims of US-led war, not only have military cooperation agreement with the US, they also host US military bases on their territory.

In South and Southeast Asia, European colonialism was marked by conquest coupled with the displacement of the pre-existing silk road trade relations.

Historically, China’s trading relations under the land and maritime silk roads were marked by dialogue and the extensive exchange of culture. China’s trade relations during the Antiquity and Middle Age extended into South and South East Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa and Western Europe. Starting during the Han Dynasty (207 BC- 220 AD), the land and maritime silk road played a key role not only in economic exchange between civilizations but also in the spread of social and cultural values.

In contrast to European colonialism, these relations largely respected the sovereignty, independence and identity of the countries with which China was trading with. The silk road  trade did not  seek to impose or develop a dependent colonial relationship. The language of diplomacy was marked by the benefits of bilateral exchange.

Asian Culture and China’s Belt and Road

The mindset in Asian societies, which historically have been the victims of colonialism and US led wars is in marked contrast to the dominant “culture of war”.

The legacy of history prevails. While the “culture of war” characterizes America’s hegemonic ambitions modelled on the legacy of the British empire, China’s contemporary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)which consists in developing trade relations with a large number of partner Nations states, is largely committed to a “Culture of Peace”.

Most Asian countries have been the victims of Western colonialism starting in the 15th Century, the impacts of which have led to the destruction of the pre-existing maritime and land trade routes as well as the demise of cultural exchange.

And numerous countries in Asia and the Middle East extending from the Mediterranean to the Korean Peninsula have been the victims of US led-wars in the course of what is euphemistically called “the post war era”. Today most of these countries are partners of the Belt and Road Initiative launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

As we speak, the US is threatening Iran. Washington has announced the deployment of 120,000 US troops to be dispatched to Persian Gulf . Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo (who has little understanding of history and geography) has justified this deployment, while casually  referring to the “clash of civilizations”.

US led wars are intent upon destroying civilizations as well dialogue between sovereign nation states.

As we conclude this closing session of  the Conference on the Dialogue of Asians Civilizations in Beijing, let us endorse “the Culture of Peace” as a means to ultimately abolishing all wars.

*

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO’s war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at crgeditor@yahoo.com

America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry? Trillions Down the Hole of Military Spending

Global Research, March 20, 2019

Post-WW II, America’s only enemies were and remain invented ones. 

No real ones existed since Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were defeated – none anywhere, clearly none today!

Yet the US consistently pours countless trillions of dollars down a black hole of endless waste, fraud and abuse – global militarism and belligerence supported by the vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems, at the expense of world peace, equity and justice.

Trump regime director of trade and industrial policy Peter Navarro is a militant right-wing.

He’s part of the cabal in Washington, wanting US-controlled puppet rule replacing independent governments in China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

He favors whatever it takes for the US to achieve dominance. The NYT gave him feature op-ed spaceto promote greater military spending at a time it should be slashed.

He lied claiming “(i)nvesting in the (defense) sector means more jobs at home and improved security abroad. He lied saying “(i)n terms of economic security, the Trump defense budget is helping to create good manufacturing jobs at good wages.”

He lied claiming increased “arms sales (abroad) not only help create good jobs at good wages in America…they also enhance America’s capacity to bolster and stabilize our regional alliances, even as they may reduce the need to deploy more American soldiers overseas.”

He lied saying “our defense industrial base (is) the unshakable foundation of both economic and national security.”

Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about military-industrial complex dangers went unheeded, saying:

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

He called it a “potential enemy of the national interest…a distorted use of the nation’s resources…fail(ing) to comprehend its grave implication…(affecting our) livelihood (and) the very structure of our society,” adding:

“Every gun that is made, every war ship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed.”

In an article titled “The War Business,” the late Chalmers Johnson said the following:

“(M)unitions and war profiteering have (become) the most efficient means for well-connected capitalists to engorge themselves at the public trough.”

“To call these companies ‘private,’ though, is mere ideology. (Weapons and) munitions making in the United States today (and related industries profiting from them are) not really private enterprise. It is state socialism,” adding:

“When war becomes the most profitable course of action, we can certainly expect more of it,” sacrificing a free society for private interests reaping short-term gains.

George Washington warned about “overgrown military establishments,” calling them “inauspicious to liberty.”

Perpetual wars now rage for illusory peace, what ruling authorities in Washington abhor – along with democratic governance they tolerate nowhere, especially at home.

US elections are farcical when held. With attribution to redoubtable activist Emma Goldman, if they changed anything, they’d be outlawed.

Economist, activist writer opponent of the military, industrial, security complex, Seymour Melman wrote extensively on the topic, dispelling state-sponsored/media promoted myths.

Discussing what he called “the Grip of a Permanent War Economy,” he explained the following:

“(A)t the start of the twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life (has been) shaped by our Permanent War Economy.” Its horrific toll includes:

  • a de-industrialized nation, the result of decades of shifting production abroad, leaving unions, US workers and communities “decimated;”
  • government financing, promoting and pursuing “every kind of war industry and foreign investing by US firms” – war priorities taking precedence over essential homeland needs;
  • America’s “permanent war economy…has endured since the end of World War II…Since then, the US has been at war – somewhere – every year, in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans, – all this to the accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada, Panama,” and endless aggression in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Central Africa, and increasingly against perceived homeland threats;
  • “How to make war” takes precedence over everything, leaving no “public space (for) improv(ing) the quality of our lives;”
  • “Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the homeless population in every major city (because) state and city governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of the military…;”

The nation’s deplorable state is characterized by growing millions of poor, disadvantaged, low income, uneducated, and “disconnected (people) from society’s mainstream, restless and unhappy, frustrated, angry, and sad;”

“State Capitalism” characterizes America’s agenda – partnering with business, running a permanent war economy for greater power and wealth, ill-served by pure evil leadership, at war on humanity at home and abroad.

US rage for global dominance comes at the expense of a nation in decline, lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, millions of lost jobs offshored to low-wage  countries, growing millions at home uncared for, unwanted, ignored, and forgotten to assure steady funding for bankers, warmaking, and other corporate predation – at the expense of ordinary people everywhere.

Melman explained that investing in domestic needs, developing the nation and its people, achieves a far greater bang for the buck than resources spent for militarism and warmaking.

They’re parasitic, unjustifiable, illegal, immoral, and eventually self-destructive – why the US has been in decline for decades while China, Russia, and other nations are growing and developing productively.

Unlike America’s permanent war agenda, wanting its will forcefully imposed on other nations, they wage peace and mutual cooperation with other nations.

Along with equity and justice for all everywhere, what’s more important than that!

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

FULL PRICE PLUS 50% OR MORE: TRUMP SEEKS FINANCIAL COMPENSATIONS FROM FROM NATIONS HOSTING U.S. TROOPS

South Front

09.03.2019

Full Price Plus 50% Or More: Trump Seeks Financial Compensations From From Nations Hosting U.S. Troops

The Trump administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other nation hosting US troops pay the full price of US soldiers deployed on their soil – plus 50% or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to multiple reports in US media citin various anonymous officials and ‘informed sources’.

According to repots, in some cases, nations hosting US troops could be asked to pay 5 to 6 times as much as they do now under the “Cost Plus 50” formula.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!

41.5K people are talking about this

“Trump has championed the idea for months. His insistence on it almost derailed recent talks with South Korea over the status of 28,000 US troops in the country when he overruled his negotiators with a note to National Security Advisor John Bolton saying, “We want cost plus 50.”

The president’s team sees the move as one way to prod Nato partners into accelerating increases in defence spending – an issue Trump has hammered allies about since taking office. While Trump claims his pressure has led to billions of dollars more in allied defence spending, he’s chafed at what he sees as the slow pace of increases.

“Wealthy, wealthy countries that we’re protecting are all under notice,” Trump said in a speech at the Pentagon on Jan 17. “We cannot be the fools for others.”

Officials caution that the idea is one of many under consideration as the US presses allies to pay more, and it may be toned down. Yet even at this early stage, it has sent shock waves through the departments of Defence and State, where officials fear it will be an especially large affront to stalwart US allies in Asia and Europe already questioning the depth of Trump’s commitment to them,” The Straits Times reported on the issue.

So far, Trump’s idea to raise funds from US allies have faced a large wave of criticism in the mainstream media. The common argument is that this move would demonstrate a lack of “commitment” to US allies in Europe and Asia. On the other hand, this move seems logical in the framework of the Trump-delcared strategy to strengthen the US national industry, including the military industrial complex. The Trump administration is not going to abandon US military infrastructure around the world, but it does not want to pay for it as much as it does.

From the European perspective, all EU nations, which have been for a long time exploiting the US military presence as a political tool to justiy a low-scale military spending, this could be seen as an “unfriendly” move. They get used to the fact that the US takes a military spending burden off their back thus buying their loyality.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

ERIC ZUESSE | 27.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

Here are America’s recent targets for regime-change (against which have been used economic sanctions, invasion, and enormous destruction) — and all of them are nations that never invaded nor threatened to invade America:

Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2011-2018, Yemen 2015-now, Ukraine 2014, and Venezuela 2017-now.

Because all of these were and are aggressive wars by the US against nations that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US, they all ought to be subject to mega-criminal prosecutions as was done by the US, Britain, and USSR, against Germany at the Nuremberg Tribunals after World War II. That was merely victors’ ‘justice’, applied by the US, Britain and USSR, but this would instead be actual international justice, the first instance of such in all of world history. It’s desperately needed — especially now.

America’s Government and news-media were and are remarkably unanimous in saying that these invasions and coups are and were done in order to advance democracy and human rights in the given target-nation. However, what it actually brings and has brought, in each and every case, is, instead, massive bloodshed, death, poverty, destruction, and outpourings of refugees — and an increasingly dangerous world, the current world.

Is this lying, by the US and its allies, and their ‘news’-media, mere hypocrisy, or is it something even worse — far worse? In any case, only a fair and international juridical tribunal that’s controlled by no nation and by no alliance of nations can possibly deliver a credible verdict on this. And, so, such international criminal trials must be organized and carried out, or else even worse can be expected to occur. Impunity is desirable only by and for gangsters, and no land where it exists can reasonably be called “democratic.”

America’s news-media — especially the mainstream ones — not only cover-up important truths, but they routinely lie. Both the Democratic Party’s media and the Republican Party’s media report the same lies, which are the Government’s lies, on these international matters. These are lies on which there is bipartisan unity by the nation’s press (and by both political Parties), in order to deceive the public, into support for invading and occupying, or overthrowing via a coup or otherwise, some foreign government. Their target is always a government which America’s billionaires who control international corporations want to replace, and so the US regime unanimously lies against that targeted government, as being dangerous and evil, even though the given takeover-target has never invaded, nor threatened to invade, the United States — is no real national-security threat to the American people. Only on the basis of lies can that succeed. This is the main function of the press, in such countries: deceit, on those international matters.

In other words: the US Government is fascist, like the Axis powers were in World War II. This is worse than, for example, merely wasting billions of dollars on building a border-wall against Mexico in order to protect Americans, but it receives far less press-attention (perhaps because the press is so unanimous in endorsing and supporting these atrocities — and that’s yet further evidence of the American regime’s fascism). The press is owned by, and funded by ads, and donations from, America’s billionaires, the very same people who fund our politicians and who also own controlling interests in the weapons-firms such as Lockheed Martin, which can’t survive without these weapons-sales, and which therefore demand constant conquests, in order to create new markets for their wares, new “allied nations.”

So, naturally, America’s military is mainly the enforcement-arm of the billionaires who control US-based international corporations (especially the weapons-firms and the extractive firms such as mining and fuels, which corporations crave to control foreign natural resources), and those people also control America’s Government and press, and this produces the unanimity for these regime-change operations — which likewise fits the fascist model.

The US is clearly the world’s leading fascist nation, and there is no close second (and none of the nations that the US regime is trying to conquer is fascist at all). What Germany was under Hitler, the US is and has been at least since the time of US President Ronald Reagan. The US has been a dictatorship since at least 1981.

Coup or invasion (either form of aggression) is an international war-crime, but the deceit against America’s public usually succeeds, because the public trust especially the billionaire-controlled mainstream press, which is always leading these lies-for-conquest.

Furthermore, almost all of the ‘alternative news’ media are likewise owned by (and funded by ads or donations from) wealthy interests that participate in and benefit from this mass-deceit — from the stenographic ‘news’ reporting, the Government’s accusations against the particular target-nation that’s about to be (or has been) regime-changed.

For example, all of America’s ’news’-media were stenographically reporting the US Government’s many lies about ‘Saddam Hussein’s WMD’, in order to ‘justify’ America’s kicking out the UN’s weapons-inspectors and simply bombing Iraq and invading and militarily occupying, and basically destroying, that country (which had never invaded ours) in 2003. All of America’s ‘news’ media did the same, but especially all of the mainstream ones did, of both the right and the left, all the way from Fox News to the New York Times. They all were hiding the truth and lying to support an illegal invasion — an international war-crime under international law, and violation of the UN’s Charter. Did Americans stop buying those ‘news’papers and watching those ’news’ channels, and buying those ’news’ magazines, after the truth became reluctantly exposed (during 2002-2005) that those ‘WMD’ didn’t exist and no longer had existed after 1998? No, those same ‘news’-media still are successful. (They all ought to be long-since out-of-business, but such accountability doesn’t exist in the news-business. Not only does a major ‘news’-medium hide its own corruption and lying but it hides that of all other major ‘news’-media, because otherwise the entire ‘democratic’ system of control by the nation’s billionaires would simply collapse.)

America’s ‘news’-media report just as much false ‘news’ (not merely what they call “fake news,” but actually false ‘news’) today, as they did back then, because America’s ‘news’-media cover-up not only for themselves, but also for each other, since they all lie so routinely in order to ‘justify’ their Government’s aggressions, coups, military invasions, foreign mass-murders, etc., and those invasions and coups are part of the unspoken business-plan of them all, for growth or expansion of their global control.

These atrocities are all done for ‘national security’ reasons, and in order to ‘spread democracy’, and in order to ‘protect human rights around the world’ — and Americans continue to believe it, and to believe the regime, and to subscribe to those same mainstream (and hangers-on) ’news’-media. Accountability against lying doesn’t exist in a hyper-aggressive ‘democracy’, a would-be all-encompassing global empire, which America has certainly become.

Today, these ’news’-media hide that they’ve been lying when they report that Russia ‘hacked’ Hillary Clinton’s email and John Podesta’s computer. Just click onto that, right there, and you will immediately see the latest documentation that it’s all mere lies against Russia, which is the only nation that does actually possess the military wherewithal to stand up against the US regime (since it inherited the arsenal of the former Soviet Union when the Cold War ended in 1991 on their side — though that war secretly continued and still is continuing on the American side).

These fabrications could have many reasons, but perhaps the likeliest is in order to increase weapons-sales by Lockheed Martin and other US weapons-makers, all of which are 100% dependent upon their sales to the US Government and to its allied governments. (There are consequently interlocking directorates between the ‘news’-businesses and the armaments-firms, and the Wall Street banks, and the think tanks, etc.; and all of this is intensified by the revolving door between Government officials and the private sector, such as generals becoming directors of ‘defense’ firms.) But this fraud that ‘Russia hacked the election’ has been exposed before, though not with the same thoroughness as it is in that latest news-report, which comes from the “Sic Semper Tyrannus” blog. You might happen to think that it must be ‘fake news’, because it’s from a non-mainstream site? It comes from Bill Binney, who is the NSA whistleblower who was the NSA’s top signals-intelligence analyst before he quit in disgust at the Government’s lying. Of course, he had tried all the mainstream ‘news’-media as prospective outlets for this news-report, but they’re not interested in exposing the truth — because that would expose themselves to be liars. Once a major lie is told, and told repeatedly, by a major ‘news’-medium, exposing that lie would be exposing itself — and none do that.

They also hide that they’ve been lying to report that America was justified to bomb Syria on 11 April 2018, justified to do it in order to punish Syria’s Government for having perpetrated a chemical weapons attack on 7 April 2018 in the town of Douma — a chemical weapons attack that was actually fabricated by the US and its allies, and which US Government lie is still being protected (hidden from the public) by the US regime’s ’news’ media, which media, for example, fail to report that the OPCW did not find any such attack to have occurred:

“OPCW Issues Fact-Finding Mission Reports on Chemical Weapons Use Allegations in Douma, Syria in 2018 and in Al-Hamadaniya and Karm Al-Tarrab in 2016”

Friday, 06 July 2018

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 6 July 2018 — The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued an interim report on the FFM’s investigation to date regarding the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria on 7 April 2018.

The FFM’s activities in Douma included on-site visits to collect environmental samples, interviews with witnesses, data collection. In a neighbouring country, the FFM team gathered or received biological and environmental samples, and conducted witness interviews.

OPCW designated labs conducted analysis of prioritised samples. The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.

If those “final conclusions” are ever made public by OPCW, will you trust your ’news’-media to report them honestly? And, if the conclusions never are published, will you think that the US regime and its ’news’-media are war-criminals there, just as they were in Iraq, and Syria, and Yemen, and Ukraine, and so many other countries?

According to Russian Television, or “RT” — which all major ’news’-media in the US and its allied regimes say is ‘untrustworthy’ — “Real ‘obscene masquerade’: How BBC depicted staged hospital scenes as proof of Douma chemical attack”. That op-ed by the great British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, who specializes in Syria, isn’t published by the BBC, or by ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Guardian, or Washington Post. It’s too honest, for that. Could this be part of the reason that they call RT ‘fake news’? If so, maybe RT should replace them, at least for international reporting.

And, before that, there was the claimed 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack in the town of Ghouta by Syria’s Government, which was actually done by the US Government’s allies who were trying to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government — it’s what’s called a “false flag attack” — one that’s designed to be blamed against the other side, in order to serve as an ‘excuse’ to invade. The American Government and its ‘news’-media keep making suckers out of the American public this way, and yet the American public continue to subscribe to them — to pay their good money, for such evil propaganda. Apparently, nobody is even embarassed. It simply keeps happening, again and again.

Another recent example is the ‘democratic revolution’ in Ukraine in February 2014, which was actually a US coup that destroyed that country.

And the latest example is the US-and-Canada-led effort to impose a fascist regime in Venezuela.

Furthermore, as one of the perceptive reader-commenters to that latest Binney article on ‘Russiagate’ noted: “Craig Murray, in a very revealing but neglected interview with Scott Horton, said‘I should be plain that the Podesta emails and the DNC emails of course are two separate things and you shouldn’t conclude that both have the same source. But in both cases, we’re talking of a leak not a hack, in that the person who was responsible for getting the information out had legal access to that information.’” Murray, a whistleblower and former UK Ambassador, had been personally involved in that, by transferring a thumb-drive from the DNC whistleblower to Julian Assange, and he also said there, “If you are looking to the source of all this, you have to look to Americans,” and not at all to any Russians or other foreigners.

The comprehensiveness of the deceit by the US regime is beyond what the vast majority of Americans can even imagine to be the case. It is simply beyond the comprehension of most people. And that false ‘news’-reporting then becomes basic to, and enshrined in, false but best-selling ‘history’-books, so as to deepen, yet further, the deception of the public.

On Sunday, February 24th, the “Zero Hedge” independent news-site headlined “WaPo Quietly Deletes Branson’s Venezuela Concert From Article After ‘Fake’ Attendance Figures Exposed” and reported (and documented) that the British billionaire Richard Branson’s free pop-concert on Friday February 22 at the Venezuela-Colombia border in support of Washington’s attempted coup to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected President had drawn less than 20,000 fans instead of what had been reported in the US regime’s Washington Post, which had reported that 200,000 attended, and that as soon as the US regime’s fraud was publicly exposed — which was done by means of a photo of the crowd which had been taken by Dan Cohen of Russia’s RT, plus careful independent calculations by the “Moon of Alabama” blogger — the US regime’s ‘news’paper retroactively removed their ‘news’-report’s crowd-size-estimate from the online version of their ‘news’-report. Of course, the ‘error’ had already been physically printed in that trashy ‘news’paper, which might (at its discretion) subsequently publish a printed correction, saying that they’d only been trying to fool their subscribers in order to assist propaganda supporting the US regime’s grab for control over Venezuela.

The problem isn’t ‘fake news’ from RT or from small online sites (such as all of the major media claim to be the case), but false ‘news’ from mainstream US (and allied) ‘news’ (propaganda) media. They’ve all got millions of victims’ blood on their hands, and they’re not even a bit ashamed of any of it — and of shifting the blame for it to the targeted nations.

PS: Max Blumenthal is an investigative journalist who formerly believed the lies from the (think tanks and other agencies of the) billionaires who finance the Democratic Party. He was the star journalist at one of the Democratic Party’s leading ‘alt-news’ propaganda-sites, AlterNet, until he lost his employment there after starting to expose the rot that he had previously been fooled into supporting. He increasingly moved away from liberalism to progressivism; and the Democratic National Committee doesn’t want any of that, except as window-dressing — and Blumenthal decided he could no longer do that. He became unemployed for a while and then established, along with another former AlterNet reporter “The GrayZone Project,” in order to continue being employed. Blumenthal recently issued a YouTube video in which he interviewed star Democratic Party Presidential aspirant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress “Is the US Meddling in Venezuela? Max Blumenthal Asks US Congress Members.” As you can see there, all of them are either mildly or very supportive of Trump’s coup-attempt in Venezuela. Unfortunately, Blumenthal didn’t interview Tulsi Gabbard, who might possibly be an exception to the depressing rule that corruption reigns, and who recently announced her candidacy for the US Presidency. Nor did he interview Bernie Sanders, nor Sherrod Brown, nor Elizabeth Warren, all of whom likewise are competing for the progressives’ votes in the upcoming Democratic Party Presidential primaries. As for the other Democratic contenders, they’re competing to become instead the new Hillary Clinton — the American billionaires’ favorite. Instead, with Trump, we got in the 2016 Presidentials their second choice.

On February 18th, Blumenthal and a colleague, Alexander Rubinstein, headlined at one of the few sincere and honest US-based international-news sites, “Mint Press,” “Pierre Omidyar’s Funding of Pro-Regime-Change Networks and Partnerships with CIA Cutouts”, and they exposed Omidyar, the owner of a famous ‘news’ site that’s targeted at naive progressives, “The Intercept.” Whereas Mint Press is called ‘fake news’ by America’s billionaires’ ‘news’-media, The Intercept (which isn’t nearly as honest as Mint Press is) is not. The dictatorship’s aim is to crush the truth, and (like The Intercept does) they let in just enough of truth so as to keep hidden what’s most important to them to keep hidden from the public — things such as what Blumenthal and Rubinstein are now disclosing.

Everybody except America’s 585 billionaires should be reading sites such as the ones that publish Blumenthal and Rubinstein, and other honest investigative journalists (which are banned at all of the mainstream sites). Propaganda that poses as ‘news’ has to be crushed, in order for truth itself not to be crushed. But can their exposé of Omidyar win a top national journalism award without thereby bringing down the entire rotten and corrupt superstructure of lies? And that would also bring down the enormous international crimes this superstructure has supported and continues to support, such as Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2011-2018, Yemen 2015-now, Ukraine 2014, and Venezuela 2017-now.

If such news-reports cannot win top journalism prizes, then what hope is there, realistically, that things will ever be able to improve?

Only by removing the blinders from the public, can the public see the light and the actual truth, about the world in which they are living. That’s what is needed in order for democracy to be able to exist. What now exists is, instead, dictatorship. That’s the current reality. It includes the European Council, which is the unelected government of the EU, which clearly is a dictatorship (and this is true even if Brexit is wrong), and it also includes every other ally of the US regime. The EU was created by the US and its allies after WW II. It “always was a CIA project.” FDR was dead, and maybe whatever there had been of US democracy died along with him. The UN that exists is not the one that he had intended and so carefully planned. We’ve been living in a charade. It didn’t start in 1981. There is this, and there also is this. It’s FDR’s vision turned upside-down and inside-out. That’s the actual world of today. It’s based on lies.

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The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The swaggering arrogance of Washington’s Military-Industrial Complex never ceases to intrigue the rest of the world, much of which shrugs collective shoulders but has to acknowledge that the swaggering reflects the US National Defence Strategy which informs us that the military is going to concentrate on confronting Russia and China.

One of the loudest voices in the confrontation chorus is that of the Commander of US Naval Forces in Europe, Admiral James Foggo III, who knows that the noisier he is, the more money will be allocated by government to acquire more and more ships. And he is very good at being noisy. In 2016 he wrote a particularly bellicose piece for the US Naval Institute, titled ‘The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic’ in which he castigated Russia for not acknowledging that the United States is supreme. He declared that “the new Russian national security-strategy depicts the United States and NATO as threats to Russian security and accuses us of applying ‘political, economic, military, and information-related pressure’ on Russia.”

He is absolutely right about the US-NATO threat, because it has been growing for almost twenty years. As I’ve written before, after the Warsaw Pact disbanded in March 1991, NATO, although deprived of any reason to continue in existence, managed to keep going, and in 1999 added Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to its 16 members. As the BBC noted, these countries became “the first former Soviet bloc states to join Nato, taking the alliance’s borders some 400 miles towards Russia.”

With good reason Moscow wondered what on earth the US-NATO military cabal might be planning.

The New York Times recorded that the 1999 expansion was “opening a new path for the military alliance” and expressed delight that the ceremony took place in the town of Independence, Missouri, where “the emotional Secretary of State Madeleine K Albright watched the three foreign ministers sign the documents of accession, signed them herself, then held them aloft like victory trophies.” Ms Albright was born Marie Korbelová in Prague and “made no secret today of her joy as her homeland and the two other nations joined the alliance.” But neither she nor anyone else is on record as explaining what “new path” would be taken by NATO.

NATO continued to expand around Russia’s borders, inviting Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to join in 2002, which they did two years later.

There is little wonder that Russia is apprehensive about NATO’s intentions, as the muscle-flexing coalition lurches ever more eagerly towards conflict.

Further, the US itself has hundreds of military bases, spread all round the world. As noted by Nick Turse “Officially, the Department of Defense maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight US territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio… But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report, doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf [the US Special Forces base in Syria] 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.”

Yet Admiral Foggo insists that “an enduring objective of Russian foreign policy today is to challenge NATO and elevate Russia on the European stage once again.” Well, certainly Russia wants to be on the European stage, and it must be pointed out that it’s closer to that stage than is the US. It wants to trade with Europe — as is appreciated by the main European powers, Germany and France — and would be crazy to take action that would work against this mutually beneficial cooperation.

Unfortunately, Poland and the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are verging on the paranoid about Russia’s supposed “threat” to them — but there has been no indication of any sort by Moscow that Russia has any intention of moving against them in any way. Trade with these countries is important, too, but this hasn’t stopped the paranoid quartet from indulging in a vastly expensive operation to “decouple power grids from Russia” in spite of the fact that “Russia, on which the Baltic states currently rely to balance their power flows, has never cut power or threatened to do so.”

This is all part and pattern of the anti-Russia obsession that is mounting in much of the West, and plays into the hands of such as Admiral Foggo who now, some three months after an incident in the Kerch Strait last November, announced it “irritates me to no end” that Russia detained and charged 24 Ukrainian sailors who were involved in the illegal passage of some Ukrainian vessels. Foggo’s fury lies in his belief that “They are uniformed Ukrainian sailors and officers and chiefs. They’re not criminals, and they are being charged under a criminal code.”

None of his pronouncements make sense, but on February 19 Foggo despatched the guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook to the Black Sea where it is to conduct “maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.” The provocative sortie by the Donald Cook will achieve absolutely nothing other than the heightening of tension between the US and Russia, which, unfortunately, is the object of the exercise.

Which brings us to the other region where the US Navy fandangos for freedom, the South China Sea.

On that side of the world the US is represented militarily by Admiral Philip S Davidson, the Commander US Indo-Pacific Command, who doesn’t like China. On February 12 he warned the US Senate Armed Services Committee that China’s “first aircraft carrier group, centered around its refurbished Soviet-built carrier, reached initial operational capability in mid-2018” and its “first domestically-built aircraft carrier has completed four sets of sea trials since May 2018 and will likely join the PLA Navy fleet in 2019.” This is very interesting, but what he doesn’t say is that the United States has eleven fully operational carrier strike groups, one of which, headed by the carrier John C Stennis, as recorded by Stratfor, “is underway in the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region.” It is, as noted by the US Naval Institute “in the South China Sea” where it will contribute to tension by sailing through waters averred by China to be its own. Admiral Davidson announced that China was not abiding by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and naturally failed to note any amusing irony in the fact that the United States has not ratified the Convention. But in any event, in the eyes of Washington’s Military Industrial State, UN rules are valuable only when they coincide with US policy.

On January 7 the US Pacific Fleet announced that the USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, had carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation, sailing within 12 nautical miles of China’s Paracel Islands “to challenge excessive maritime claims.” Then on February 11 they were at it again, with CNN reporting a 7th Fleet announcement that the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble had sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law.”

Washington has woven a pattern of military confrontation, from the Baltic and the Kerch Strait to the South China Sea, that is intended to antagonise Russia and China. It may be claimed that provocational manoeuvres in the air, at sea and on land are undertaken with the aim of altering Chinese and Russian policies, but the only consequence of these juvenile jamborees is to heighten tension, increase distrust, and pave the way to war. That’s the path envisaged by the New York Times in 1999, and it’s being followed faithfully.

One can only hope that Trump might see the beckoning light of cooperation and prosperity rather than following the path of confrontation, but he seems to be at the mercy of the Military Industrial State. If so, there can only be grave trouble ahead.

The US Made a Stupid Mistake With the INF Treaty

by Ruslan Ostashko

Translated and captioned by Leo.

“Killing the INF Treaty was a gift for Russia,” says the title of the material published last week by the American magazine, The National Interest.  This score is fundamentally different from the triumphant reports that are generated by the mainstream American media.

Who then wrote this headline? And everything that’s under it. Maybe some secret agent of Putin? In all, no my friends. The actions of the White House was criticized by Jon Wolfsthal. Who was seated as the special assistant to the President under Barack Obama, and was also the senior Director of the US National Security Council. In other words, a typical representative of the American ruling class.

What’s surprising in this publication is not that Donald Trump is being criticized by a person belonging to his political opponents. But that instead of a stamp set about the “Kremlin’s hand”, Wolfsthal is using sane and pretty good arguments. In short, they go along with the fact the US had not the slightest military benefit from leaving the Medium and Short-Range Missile Treaty (INF). That is, the motives and actions of Trump were purely political, insists Wolfsthal. But for Russia, the benefits from the American withdrawal are straightforward, which the publication tells us.

“As long as the INF Treaty is in force, the US can use it for worldwide coordination and support to confront Moscow’s violation. The treaty also provides a basis for the United States to impose financial and political sanctions on Russia. The demise of the deal means both of these levers go away. In many ways, U.S. withdrawal gives Russia a get out of jail free card since the loss of the treaty removes any basis for the United States to claim Russia is not meeting its obligations.”

It’s impossible to not notice that the words of Wolfsthal have logic, look at this. While the treaty was active, Washington for years was accusing Moscow of violation of this treaty. As you understand, bringing any form of evidence was not necessary. It was enough to loudly declare to their vassals in NATO that Putin violated it. And they would immediately take the bill. This mechanism has been used by the US as a grade instrument for rallying their military alliance.

“But we have secret evidence that Russia is violating it, so it’s meant to be against you! Very quickly send us the money needed for military expenses. And start training the cannon fodder, in case tomorrow there will be war.” Now this instrument has vanished. And an answer to any accusations from Moscow will be reaching a spiteful voice that will say: the Americans themselves left this treaty and no more excuses should be made.

The same thing will be said by the Euro vassals of the US. “But we survived this way for 10 years, holding back treacherous Russia. But then *whoosh* and the main protector launched the boat in the water. Leaving behind everybody to the arbitrariness of fate. And since it’s that way, don’t ask us for any more money!”

The picture comes out logical and not contradictory. All that’s left is to simply explain why did Trump made this questionable event by leaving the INF Treaty. The answer traditionally is contained in one of the fragments of the cult film by Aleksei Balabanov.

*Clip from Brother 2 (2000) plays*

Hey, what is the English phrase “how are you?”

– You are asking them how are things.

And what, they’re all interested in how I’m doing?

– No, they’re not interested.

Then why do they ask?

– Just because. Over here, everything is “just fine” except for money.

*Clip ends*

Without the withdrawal from the treaty, Trump couldn’t justify the additional expenses of the US military industrial complex. That very one that is called one of the main supporters existing for the head of the White House. The MIC giants invested in Trump and will demand even more contracts. But the Pentagon budget is already ballooned like a pufferfish. How do you pull even more money from the degenerate president of congress if these scum can’t provide money for the wall at the Mexico border?

There is a proven method. During the Soviet times, they were shown with political caricatures. (Inflated balloon – “Soviet threat!”) It was made for confirming the amount of these fictional threats, which ended up ripping the previous century’s active treaty. (Magazine – Leningrad stories about the Soviet threat.) (Balloon – Soviet threat.) What will Russia get from this all? The regular.

Our country sticks out from an elevated adaptability to external circumstances. Knowing how to adapt it to their needs. It would be thought that after the failure of the sanctions pressure and the so-called “political isolation” [of Russia], the US has to understand this. But no, they don’t understand. And let them, it’ll be worse for them.

The Pentagon Realised What It Has Done – the Chinese Put the US Army on Its Knees

The Pentagon Realised What It Has Done – the Chinese Put the US Army on Its Knees

November 04, 2018

By Ivan Danilov
Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/ivan-danilov-the-pentagon-realised-what-it-has-done-the-chinese-put-the-us-army-on-its-knees/
source: https://ria.ru/analytics/20181104/1532106144.html

In the system of national defense of the US a gaping vulnerability was found that is very difficult to close. The reaction of the Pentagon is reminiscent of badly hidden panic, and journalists who examined the results of the research of American experts, who thoroughly studied the condition of the American army and defensive industry, admit that there is iron logic in the recent “strange” actions of president Trump — he wants to save America from transforming into a cardboard tiger with paper claws.

The essence of the problem, according to the retelling of the columnist of the Reuters agency Andy Home, who obtained a copy of the September report of the US Department of Defence on the situation concerning key deliveries necessary for the American army, is reduced to one important figure. More than 300 (!) key elements necessary for the normal functioning of the US Armed Forces and defensive industry are under threat: American producers are either on the verge of bankruptcy or were already replaced by suppliers from China or other countries because of the deindustrialisation of national economy and the relocation of production to the countries of Southeast Asia.

Mr. Home gives as a striking and clear example the amusing (of course, if you are not a US military man) fact from the report: it turns out that the last American producer of the synthetic threads necessary for the production of army tents “died” quite recently. This means that in the event that the US will fall under such a “textile embargo”, for some American soldiers they will seriously face the prospect of sleeping in the open-air. It is difficult not to notice that such a prospect looks slightly humiliating for an army that claims to be the most hi-tech on the planet.

The situation could be considered as funny if it didn’t affect such a wide range of requirements of the American army and military-industrial complex. In the declassified part of the research of the American Department of Defence it is mentioned that in the US there are difficulties with future deliveries of the power switches that nearly all American missiles are equipped with. As officials of the Pentagon report, the producer of these switches was closed down, but the highest military ranks learned about it only after it became clear that the power switches ended. And there is nowhere to take new ones from, because the producer disappeared into thin air a whole 2 years ago. One more striking example: the country’s only producer of solid rocket motors for “air-to-air” missiles, as the American officials write, “encountered technical production issues”, the reasons for which couldn’t be found even after government and military experts were involved. Attempts to restart production failed, and the Pentagon was obliged to employ a Norwegian company to ensure uninterrupted deliveries. Obviously, this indicates a certain technical degradation of the entire American system, because only the loss of some key competencies can explain a situation in which production cannot be restored and the problem cannot even be determined.

Whilst becoming acquainted with the complaints of the leadership of the American army it is difficult to rid oneself of the impression that it isn’t a document of the US Department of Defence dated September, 2018 that is in front of your eyes, but a description of the problems of the Russian army from the era of the dashing 90’s. Literally there is no direction in which there would be no serious or very serious problems, and often they even can’t be solved at the expense of the bottomless military budget.

In the section on nuclear weapon problems the Pentagon complains that in the US there isn’t the necessary number of engineers and technicians who would have the corresponding education, training, and US citizenship that are necessary for working with army nuclear objects. The mention of nationality is of importance, because American higher education institutions produce enough engineers, physicists, and representatives of other technical specialties and exact sciences, however a disproportionately large number of these graduates are foreigners, most often from the People’s Republic of China.

Americans can’t find not only the necessary engineers, but also the necessary microelectronics for nuclear weapons. And they complain that they no longer have the right to trust suppliers of electronic components – after all,

“the supply chain is globalised”. In translation from American bureaucratese into colloquial Russian it means: “the microelectronics for our nuclear missiles are made in China, and we don’t know what the Chinese have stuffed in it”.

There are serious difficulties even concerning issues that should be solved very easily in the conditions of hi-tech American economy. For example, the Pentagon complains about a lack of tools for the development of software, as well as the management of data and production, that could be trusted. The situation is exacerbated by “poor cybersecurity practices by many key software vendors”. This, when translated from American bureaucratese into colloquial Russian, means: “concerning cybersecurity, our vendors are so bad that we don’t know what the Chinese and Russian hackers cram into the software that our military use”.

Main conclusion of the report:

“China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security. <…> Areas of concern to America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base include a growing number of both widely used and specialized metals, alloys and other materials, including rare earths and permanent magnets”.

In general everything is bad, starting with aluminium and ending with cybersecurity, from power switches for missiles to engineers and drill operators, and from computer numerical control machines to synthetic fabric for military tents. The greed of American business, the ideology of globalisation, and the iron belief that history, as Fukuyama predicted, is about to end collectively caused such damage to the defense capability of the US that the geopolitical opponents couldn’t even dream of. It is precisely by understanding this fact that explains Donald Trump’s attempts to carry out the reindustrialisation of America almost by force.

However, there is every reason to believe that, taking into account the present economic difficulties, it’s unlikely that Trump’s administration will be able to fix what its predecessors broke 20 years. And we [Russians – ed] and our Chinese partners need, on the one hand, not to repeat the mistakes of Americans, and on the other hand — to make the most of these mistakes. Judging by what is happening now on the world stage, this is exactly what Moscow and Beijing are doing.

ثبوت «النية المسبقة» لقتل خاشقجي لا يعطّل النيّة المسبقة لصفقة مرابحةٍ ثلاثية

أكتوبر 29, 2018

د. عصام نعمان

للمرة الثالثة تبدّل السعودية روايتها لملابسات تصفية جمال خاشقجي. فمن رواية القتل أثناء «شجار واشتباك بالأيدي» داخل قنصليتها في اسطنبول، إلى رواية القتل بـ «كتم النَفَس»، إلى إقرارٍ من النيابة العامة في الرياض بأنّ المشتبه فيهم « أقدموا على فعلتهم بنية مسبقة».

ثبوت النية المسبقة للقتل لدى المشتبه فيهم السعوديين لم يعطّل نية دونالد ترامب المسبقة لتفادي إدانة محمد بن سلمان بل لتبرئته. إدانة ولي العهد وهو الحاكم الفعلي للبلاد تعني إدانة السعودية دولةً ومسؤولين. لوحظ منذ بداية تواتر الظنون والإتهامات ان ليس في نية الرئيس الأميركي التسليم بإدانة محمد بن سلمان لأنها تستتبع بالضرورة إنزال عقوبات شديدة بالسعودية ليس أقلها صرف النظر عن صفقة تزويدها أسلحةً بقيمة 110 مليار دولار.

ليس ترامب وحده من يستهول خسارة الصفقة المليارية. لوبي صنّاع السلاح وتجّاره في الولايات المتحدة يشاطر شاغل البيت الأبيض موقفه الحريص على مصلحة «أميركا أولاً». «رابطةُ الصناعات الجوية» التي تضمّ كبريات شركات الصناعات العسكرية كـ «لوكهيد مارتن» و«نورتروب جورمان» و«بوينغ» و«ريثون» و«جنرال داينمكس» بعثت برسالة إلى إدارة ترامب تتضمّن «نقاطاً طارئة» هي بمثابة برنامج عمل لصنّاع السلاح لاعتماده في الضغط على صنّاع القرار في الولايات المتحدة. تتمحور نقاط الرسالة على حجة رئيسة مفادها «أننا، ببيعنا المنتجات الأميركية للحلفاء والشركاء، نستطيع أن نضمن ألاّ يتمكّن أعداؤناً من أن يحلّوا محلنا في علاقاتنا السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية».

إلى ترامب ولوبي السلاح الأميركي، تحظى السعودية بدعم ضمني من «إسرائيل» واللوبي اليهودي الصهيوني «إيباك» في واشنطن، ذلك لأنّ لـ «إسرائيل»، بحسب دان شابيرو، سفير الولايات المتحدة السابق في تل أبيب، «مصلحة قوية في أن تبقى السعودية حليفة للولايات المتحدة من أجل القيام بأفضل الاستعدادات لمواجهة إيران» راجع مقالته في صحيفة «هآرتس» بتاريخ 2018/10/19 .

في إطار التحسّب لموقف إدارة ترامب وانعكاسه المحتمل على العلاقة الضمنية المتنامية بين «إسرائيل» والسعودية في مواجهة إيران، نشر زلمان شوفال، سفير تل أبيب السابق في واشنطن، مقالة في صحيفة «معاريف» 2018/10/22 كشف فيها انّ زيارة وزير الخارجية الأميركي مايك بومبيو الأخيرة الى الرياض واجتماعه الى الملك سلمان وولي عهده انتهت الى التفاهم على «صيغة أساسُها اعتراف السعودية بما حدث من دون تفاصيل أو من دون الإشارة إلى مسألة مَن أعطى الأوامر، وانّ هذا السيناريو يفترض أن يؤدّي إلى محاكمة استعراضية تجري للذين نفذوا الجريمة في القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول».

ما موقف تركيا مما جرى على أراضيها وما دورها المرتقب في سيناريو «اللفلفة» الجاري على قدم وساق؟

قيل إن «لا أحد في الشرق الأوسط يقدّم خدمات مجانية». أورد هذا القول السفير شابيرو في مقالته آنفة الذكر. من هنا فإنّ همّ أنقرة الرئيس سوف يتركّز، بطبيعة الحال، على الثمن الممكن استخلاصه من السعودية وأميركا مقابل «لفلفة» هذه الجريمة الحدث التي ارتكبت فوق الأرض التركية. في هذا السياق، تابَع ويتابع رجب طيب أردوغان ووزير خارجيته مولود جاويش أوغلو الكشف بالتدريج عن الوقائع والحقائق التي تتوصل اليها التحقيقات في القنصلية السعودية ومحيطها ومع موظفيها، مقرونةً بحرصهما على طرح المزيد من الأسئلة المحرجة حول هوية الآمر الفعلي بارتكاب الجريمة وعن مصير جثة خاشقجي. غير أنهما في كلّ ما يقولانه يحرصان أيضاً على إبقاء باب المفاوضة والمساومة والمقايضة مفتوحاً مع الرياض ومع واشنطن بدليل استبعاد جاويش أوغلو إحالة القضية على المحكمة الجنائية الدولية.

ما هي الخطوط العريضة المحتملة لصفقة القرن الجديدة بين العواصم الثلاث؟

ما يهمّ الرياض، بالدرجة الأولى، إبعاد أصابع الاتهام عن ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان لتبقى السلطة في عهدته ومعها تبرئة سمعة المملكة التي لاكتها ألوف الألسنة بالذمّ والتأثيم والتجريم احتجاجاً وإدانةً لحربها الظالمة على اليمن، ولنصرتها الحرب الإرهابية في سورية وعليها بالتعاون مع الولايات المتحدة وتركيا، وانخراطها في «الحرب الناعمة» التي يشنّها التحالف الصهيوأميركي على إيران والتزام تصنيفها العدو الأول للعرب في الحاضر والمستقبل بدلاً من الكيان الصهيوني العنصري التوسّعي المغتصب.

ما يهمّ أنقرة، بالدرجة الأولى، الحصول من السعودية على تعويضٍ مالي وازن مقابل امتناعها عن إدانة محمد بن سلمان، والضغط على واشنطن لحملها على التسليم بهيمنة تركيا على شمال سورية، ولا سيما على مناطق شرق الفرات، بدعوى تحصين الأمن القومي التركي في وجه الأكراد السوريين الإنفصاليين المتعاونين مع الإرهابيين من أنصار حزب العمال الكردستاني التركي. وقد تقوم أنقرة بالضغط على واشنطن لمساعدتها في حمل السعودية على رفع حصارها عن قطر. بذلك كله يظنّ أردوغان وجماعته انهم يكرّسون دوراً لتركيا كقوة إقليمية كبرى.

ما يهمّ واشنطن، بالدرجة الأولى، المحافظة على السعودية كحليف مقبول ومرغوب داخل الولايات المتحدة ولدى حلفائها الأطلسيين كي تستمرّ معها في عقد صفقات أسلحة بمليارات الدولارات، وفي محاصرة إيران سياسياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً، وفي توظيف الجهود لتعطيل سياستها المعادية لـ «اسرائيل» والداعمة لسورية وقوى المقاومة العربية، ولا سيما تلك المنخرطة في صراعٍ مرير ضدّ الهيمنة الأميركية والعدوان الصهيوني.

الخلاصة؟

توحي التطورات والواقعات وبعض المعلومات المتسرّبة من الحوار الضمني الجاري بين العواصم الثلاث بإمكان التوصّل، عاجلاً او آجلاً، إلى تسويةٍ مرنة لصفقة مرابحةٍ ثلاثية فيها من المقايضات ما يتيح لكلٍّ من أطرافها رعاية همومه وتحقيق أغراضه الرئيسة بتكلفة مقبولة.

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The Earthquake in International Alliances

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By Eric Zuesse
Source

America’s international alliances are transforming in fundamental ways. The likelihood of World War III is increasing, and has been increasing ever since 2012 when the US first slapped Russia with the Magnitsky Act sanctions. In fact, one matter driving these changing alliances now toward unprecedented realignments is that some nations’ leaders want to do whatever they can to prevent WW III.

On October 17th, America’s Military Times bannered “Why today’s troops fear a new war is coming soon” and reported, “About 46 percent of troops who responded to the anonymous survey of currently serving Military Times readers said they believe the US will be drawn into a new war within the next year. That’s a jarring increase from only about 5 percent who said the same thing in a similar poll conducted in September 2017.” Their special fear is of war against Russia and/or China: “About 71 percent of troops said Russia was a significant threat, up 18 points from last year’s survey. And 69 percent of troops said China poses a significant threat, up 24 points from last year.” The US spends around half of the entire world’s military budget; and, after 9/11, has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and perpetrated a bloody coup turning Ukraine into a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia’s very doorstep and even an applicant for NATO membership though, in 2009, before Obama’s coup overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected Government, even US media reported that “barely 25 percent of Ukrainians favor joining NATO.” After 1991 when Russia’s anti-American Warsaw Pact military alliance ended, America’s anti-Russian NATO military alliance expanded right up to Russia’s very borders. Nonetheless, these troops aren’t afraid that the US is posing a threat to Russia and maybe to China, but that Russia and China are both posing threats against America; they trust their Government; it’s what they’re taught to believe. But the reality is very different. And it involves all of the “great power” relationships — not only US, Russia, and China.

The precipitating event for the breakup that’s now occurring in international alliances, happened on October 2nd, when Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the leader of Saudi Arabia, went into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Turkey, and disappeared.

Allegedly, the dictator of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, had Khashoggi murdered and chopped-up inside that Consulate, within no more than two hours of his entrance there. Russia announced exactly a week later, on October 9th, that Salman had just bought Russia’s world-leading S-400 anti-missile system, for $2 billion. US President Donald Trump and the US Congress will thus now need to determine whether to slap sanctions against Saudi Arabia for that purchase of Russian weaponry, just like the US has already been threatening to do to fellow-NATO-member Turkey after its leader, President Tayyip Erdogan, likewise, recently purchased S-400s. (Trump and Congress also threatened India’s Modi this way, for its purchase of several S-400s.) But even without this Saudi S-400 purchase, some in Washington have been proposing cancellation of Saudi Arabia’s $404 billion purchase of US-made weaponry, the largest armaments-sale in history, which Trump had negotiated with Salman in 2017 and which is the likeliest cause of today’s booming US stock market. The news-media call it a $110 billion sale, but only the first-year of the ten-year commitment is $110 billion; the total deal is a 10-year commitment, at around $400 billion. (Though initially it had been 10 years at $350 billion, CNBC headlined nine months later, “Trump wants Saudi Arabia to buy more American-made weapons” and reported: “In the past nine months alone, the US has secured $54 billion in foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia.” So, without seeing the actual signed deal, to confirm with certainty, one can assume that the total now is $404 billion.) Low-balling the amount is done in order to hide the national embarrassment of the military-industrial-complex’s now being the actual basis of America’s booming stock market.

Salman’s purchase of that $2 billion Russian S-400 could place the vastly larger $404 billion US arms-sale to Saudi Arabia (and America’s consequent stock-boom and full employment) even more in jeopardy than it already is. America’s two most-core Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (and Israel is only a distant third, and has no other option than to do whatever the US Government requires it to do), could soon become no longer US allies. America’s most important international alliances have never before been in such jeopardy. Turkey is likelier to re-align with Russia than Saudi Arabia is, but even if Turkey becomes the only one to switch, that would be an earthquake in international relations. If both Turkey and Saudi Arabia go, it would be an earthquake, not just in international relations, but in world history. It could happen; and, if it does, then the reality that we know today will be gone and will become replaced by arrangements that virtually no one today is even thinking about, at all.

Jamal Khashoggi, a member and champion of the Muslim Brotherhood (as is Tayyip Erdogan — which is another reason why Erdogan would be especially unlikely to relent on this matter), was a nephew of the recently deceased billionaire international-arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi; press adviser to the billionaire Saudi chief of intelligence and Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Saud; and, more recently, a protégé of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud (who also is a Muslim Brotherhood member). Of course, he was also a columnist for the Washington Post, which makes impossible his case being ignored in the US

On 4 November 2017, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud, and many other Princes and billionaires, were seized by the forces of the billionaire Prince Salman, the heir-apparent to the throne of his father, King Salman al-Saud, who is the world’s only trillionaire. What’s essential to understand is that in order for any Saud Prince (such as this Crown Prince, Salman) to become King Saud (and thus to inherit his father’s trillion-dollar-plus fortune), he must first win the approval of the nation’s Wahhab clergy or “Ulema”, and so Saudi Arabia is both a monarchy and a theocracy. There has long been a global competition between two fundamentalist-Sunni groups: the Saud-funded Al Qaeda versus the Thani-funded Muslim Brotherhood. Ever since the Saud family and the Wahhab clergy agreed in 1744 to take control of all Arabs and to convert or kill all Shia, the Sauds have been (and are) anti-Shia and insist upon fundamentalist Sunni rule. Al Qaeda represents the Wahhabist and Saud view, which advocates elimination of Shiites and accepts hereditary monarchy as the power to impose Sunni Islamic law and rejects democracy; the Muslim Brotherhood represents instead the more tolerant Thani view, which accepts Shia and also accepts imposition of Islamic law by means of democracy, and not only by means of dynasty. Both Prince and King Salman hate the Shia-accepting Muslim Brotherhood, whose top funder is the competing Thani family, who own Qatar; the Thanis don’t hate democracy and Shiites and Iran enough to suit the Sauds and especially the Salmans. They’re not sufficiently anti-Iran and anti-Shiite and anti-democracy.

Khashoggi had explained why he shared the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideals: “We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere. We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.” He was out to save the world by making it a fundamentalist Sunni world, somehow without using terrorism to do it. Like him, the Thanis and Erdogan don’t share such extreme extremism as the Sauds demand.

Furthermore, On October 16th, Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair bannered “HOW JAMAL KHASHOGGI FELL OUT WITH BIN SALMAN”, and he wrote that Khashoggi had told him, back in March, that the reason he had turned against Prince Salman, and why the Washington Post had hired him, was what had happened on 4 November 2017: “‘When the arrests started happening, I flipped. I decided it was time to speak,’ he told me. Khashoggi subsequently landed a column in The Washington Post.” Furthermore, Khashoggi told Sherman, “The people M.B.S. arrested were not radicals. The majority were reformers for women’s rights and open society. He arrested them to spread fear. He is replacing religious intolerance with political closure.” This was the difference between Al Qaeda versus the Muslim Brotherhood.

The competition between, on the one hand, the pro-Muslim-Brotherhood Thanis and Erdogan, versus the pro-Al-Qaeda Sauds, UAE and Kuwait, on the other; is forcing the US to choose between those two sides, or else even possibly lose both of them and even to go instead with Shia Islam as America’s Muslim partners. The biggest US Middle Eastern military bases in the Middle East are Al Udeid in the Thanis’ Qatar, and Incirlik in Turkey. Both of those are Muslim Brotherhood Sunni territory, not Al Qaeda Sunni territory. The US under Trump has been more pro-Al-Qaeda (pro-Saud) than the US had been under Obama, but doesn’t want to lose those bases. (President Obama had supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. But he also vetoed the congressional bill for investigating whether the Sauds had done 9/11. He wanted friends on both sides of the Sunni divide. But he killed Al Qaeda’s founding leader, bin Laden. And yet he continued being staunchly pro Al Qaeda against Russia.)

Turkey has been a US ally through its membership (since 1952) in the NATO anti-Russia alliance. Saudi Arabia has been a US ally since a major 1938 Rockefeller oil-discovery there, and especially since US President Richard Nixon in the early 1970sswitched gold for oil as the physical basis for the dollar’s value in international commerce. But for both of these till-now US allies to be buying the world’s best anti-missile system from the very same country that the US aristocracy has secretly been trying ultimately to conquer even after the USS.R. and its Warsaw Pact military alliance and its communism all ended in 1991, is a shock, and an insult, to America’s aristocracy (the billionaires), coming from two of their most important former allies.

What is at stake now is not only the value-basis of the US dollar and the continuance of America’s NATO alliance against Russia, but, more basically than either, is the full realization of the dream by Cecil Rhodes in 1877 and of George Soros today, for a unified and all-inclusive UK-US empire to become ruler over the entire world — the first-ever all-encompassing global empire. Britain importantly bonded King Saud and his family to its Empire, at the time of World War I, against the Ottoman Empire. That was the Sauds’ alliance against Turkey’s empire. After World War II, US became the leader of this joint UK-US empire, as Rhodes had expected ultimately to happen. Ever since 2000, Erdogan has been scheming to restore Turkey’s role as the world’s primary Islamic empire, and so to squelch the Saud family’s aspirations to achieve dominance over global Islam. Ever since 1744, the Saud family has been trying to achieve that dominance as being the fundamentalist-Sunni champion against the fundamentalist-Shiite leadership since 1979 in Iran. But, now, the Sunni Sauds’ main competitor might no longer be Shiite Iran, but instead turn out to be Sunni Turkey, after all — which had been the Sauds’ main enemy at the very start of the 20th Century.

What will the US do, as the collapse of its aristocracy’s dream of global conquest after the fall of communism, is now gathering force even to bring into question such key former allies of America’s aristocracy, as Turkey, and as the world’s richest family (by far), the Saud family (the owners of Saudi Arabia)?

Perhaps the Sauds are making this stunning weapons-purchase from Russia because the prominent critic of the Sauds, Saudi citizen (and nephew of the global arms-merchant Adnan Khashoggi) Jamal Khashoggi, was recorded by loads of hidden cameras and audio recording devices including the watch and cellphone of the victim Jamal Khashoggi himself, as he was being murdered and chopped-up inside the Saudi Embassy in Constantinople-Istanbul when seeking papers that were required in order for him to marry his Turkish fiancé — as the Turkish Government now claims. This is an incident that reverberates hugely against the more-than-a-century-long goal of the UK-US aristocracies for those billionaires to take control over the entire world — including Russia.

Erdogan got shaken to resist the UK-US alliance, when on 15 July 2016, there was a coup-attempt against Erdogan, which endangered his life. The UK-US’s establishments kept the coup-attempt’s very existence almost hidden in their media for several days, because the attempt had failed and the ‘news’-media hadn’t received instructions on how to report what had just happened — the usual CIA-MI6 pipelines ‘informing’ them were probably silent, because those sources were prepared only for delivering the storyline for a successful coup, and it hadn’t been successful — it instead failed.

So, for example, UK’s Independent headlined on July 18th“Turkey coup attempt: Rebel jets had Erdogan’s plane in their sights but did not fire, officials claim: ‘Why they didn’t fire is a mystery,’ former military officer says,” and they raised the question in their report, of whether this had actually been a coup-attempt or instead an event that had been planned by the Erdogan regime in order for him then to be enabled to impose martial law so as to eliminate his political opponents: “Conspiracy theorists are saying the attempted military coup was faked, comparing it to the Reichstag fire – the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building used by Hitler as an excuse to suspend civil liberties and order mass arrests of his opponents.” If you then click onto that “attempted military coup was faked”, you will come to this same newspaper’s report, dated July 16th, which was headlined “Turkey coup: Conspiracy theorists claim power grab attempt was faked by Erdogan”. It’s unusual for an Establishment news-medium to provide any sort of credence to the possibility that a false-flag event has occurred, but if the empire’s intelligence services were providing no information, then even an Establishment ‘news’-medium can do such a thing — anything in order to pretend to have news that’s worthy of publishing about an important event.

But also on July 18th, yet another Establishment ‘news’-medium, Newsweek, headlined “PUTIN CALLS ERDOGAN TO VOICE SUPPORT FOR ORDER IN TURKEY” and used this event as an opportunity to publicize a statement by an expelled Russian billionaire who had actually been expelled because he had cheated Russia on his tax-returns. Newsweek hid that fact. This supposed billionaire-champion of democracy was there approvingly quoted in a passage: “Many in Russia drew parallels between Erdogan and Putin, hinting Putin may fear mutiny in his own ranks. ‘Well done Turkey,’ Putin rival Mikhail Khodorkovsky tweeted as news of the coup broke on Friday.” (That’s “Putin rival,” instead of billionaire tax-crook. Brainwashing is done that way.) Every possible anti-Russian angle to this attempted coup was pursued: the angle here was, the failed coup had been attempted for the sake of ‘democracy’.

On July 21st, Al-Araby headlined “Russia ‘warned Erdogan about coup’ moments before assassination attempt”, and reported that,

Russian intelligence warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that factions within the army were planning a coup – possibly saving the Turkish leader’s life – Iranian state media has alleged.

Moscow reportedly received “highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup”, Fars News Agency said, citing Arab sources.

An unnamed Turkish diplomatic source confirmed that intelligence services “received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup”.

Russian spies… informed Ankara that several military helicopters were dispatched to Erdogan’s hotel to “arrest or kill him”.

The CIA edits, and on some matters, even writes, Wikipedia articles; and their article on the “2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt” says nothing at all about this advance-notice by Putin — the key fact about the event, if it’s true. They don’t even mention it as something that might have happened (and which would explain even much that Wikipedia’s article does report). Is this absence because the CIA thinks that it’s not true, or because the CIA knows that it is true and perhaps also that the CIA itself was involved in the coup-attempt and so wants to keep this fact out of their account and out of the public’s consciousness altogether?

Also on July 21st, Alexander Mercouris, who is deeply knowledgeable about international relations, headlined at his The Duran, “Why Reports of the Russian Tip Off to Erdogan May Be True”, and he presented a stunning case, which could more accurately have been headlined “Why Reports of the Russian Tip Off to Erdogan Are Almost Certainly True.”

I further have documented its extreme likelihood, headlining at Strategic Culture Foundation on August 18th, “What Was Behind the Turkish Coup-Attempt?” But, of course, Wikipedia doesn’t link to sites such as The Duran, or Strategic Culture Foundation, because a controlled news-and-information system-environment is essential to the effective functioning of any dictatorship (and also see this and this, with yet further documentation that the US is no democracy, at all).

So: ever since 15 July 2016, Turkey has been veering away from the US and toward Russia, in its national-security policies.

But the only major prior indication that the Sauds might do likewise was when the Sauds’ intelligence-chief, head of the National Intelligence Council, and former US Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, secretly met with Putin in Moscow on 31 July 2013 in order to try to pry Russia away from protecting the Governments of both Syria and Iran — Bandar even told Putin “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the [upcoming Sochi Winter Olympic] games are controlled by us.” Bandar also promised to buy up to $15 billion of Russian-made weapons, if Putin would abandon protection of the sovereignty of the Syrian and Iranian Governments. Putin said no. Bandar was the long-time friend of Israel who had donated heavily to Al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks, even out of his personal account. He was especially close to both US President Bushes.

The Trump arms-deal with Saudi Arabia is enormous — $404 billion over ten years — and it very much is at stake now because of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. America’s ‘news’-media hide this reality.

For example, the 16 October 2018 NPR “Morning Edition” program headlined “Trump Says He Won’t Scrap Arms Deal Over Missing Saudi Journalist” and host Steve Inskeep diminished the importance of Trump’s enormous arms-deal with Saudi Arabia. Inskeep interviewed a supposed expert on international arms-sales. He asked her about Saudi Arabia, whether they are “a really lucrative market for weapons” and she said “Arms sales aren’t this lucrative big deal for the United States,” because “arms sales are a pretty inefficient employment mechanism,” which wasn’t even relevant to answering the question that had been asked. She went on to say they’re not lucrative because “sometimes weapons are given on grant or on favorable credit terms,” but that too was irrelevant but just pointed to the fact that the US taxpayer is often subsidizing those extremely lucrative — for the weapons-firms — transactions. Her answer ignored that Lockheed Martin etc. benefit just the same; only taxpayers lose when it’s subsidized. Inskeep: “You’re saying that there aren’t actually many jobs at stake?” She answered: “That’s what we’ve seen in the past.” But she again falsified, because what the econometric studies actually show is that armaments-expenditures produce less economic growth than non-‘defense’ spending does. (In fact, in the US, military spending actually decreases long-term GDP-growth.) Yet still, adding $404 billion to US manufacturing sales in any field (‘defense’ or otherwise) is an enormous short-term boost. (Inskeep and his guest never even mentioned the amount, $404 billion in this deal; the program was geared to idiots and to keeping them such. It was geared to deceive.) Both the questioner and the ‘expert’ were geared toward hiding the basic reality, certainly not to explaining it. Trump’s largest boost to US GDP thus far has been that $404 billion arms-sale he made to Prince Salman in 2017. It caused stock-values of those armaments-firms to soar, and will (unless cancelled) produce an enormous number of new jobs in the US making those weapons, once the specific contracts have become finalized. But the boosts to armaments-makers’ stock values are already evident. And yet not once in that segment was it mentioned that the Saudi deal was for $404 billion of US-made weapons over a ten-year period. That sale dwarfs any previous weapons-sale in history. NPR simply lied; they deceived their audience. One might say it’s instead because of incompetence on their part, but those program-hosts and producers and guests are hired and engaged and retained because they possess this kind of ‘incompetence’. It’s no mistake, and it is systematic throughout the mainstream Western ‘news’-media. It is lying ‘news’-media. So, as a result, the American public cannot understand US-Saudi relations and other matters that are basic understandings by and for the aristocracy. These are propaganda-media, not news-media.

In fact, just the day earlier, on October 15th, NPR had even headlined “Fact Check: How Much Does Saudi Arabia Spend On Arms Deals With The US?” The sub-head was “President Trump says he does not want to endanger what he describes as a $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. But the actual figure is considerably lower.” They reported that, “Since Donald Trump has been president, the United States and Saudi Arabia have concluded less than $4-billion-worth of arms agreements.” No mention was made of the $350 billion figure, much less of the $404 billion one. It’s as if the agreements didn’t exist. Of course, the US Government could have been lying, and maybe Trump actually had made no deal whatsoever with the Sauds. But that’s not the type of lie which NPR alleged here. Anyone nowadays who trusts what either the US Government or its news-media say, is trusting demonstrably untrustworthy sources — and this too is not the type of lying (their own lying) that NPR says exists. They just lie.

Saudi Arabia’s purchase now of Russia’s S-400 does indicate that the US aristocracy might lose their most important foreign ally, the Saud family, and that international relations could transform in transformative ways, not just superficially. It’s only a sign, but what it signals is enormously significant — and US ‘news’-media are hiding it.

The General Manager of the Saud family’s Al Arabya international TV channel that was established in order to compete against the Thani family’s Al Jazeera international TV channel, issued stark warnings to the US, on Sunday, October 14th. Headlining “US sanctions on Riyadh would mean Washington is stabbing itself,” he closed: “If Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh!” In between those were: The Kingdom is considering “more than 30 potential measures to be taken against the imposition of sanctions on Riyadh.” Included among them are: the price of oil “jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure.” Also “a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia.” More realistically, however, he threatened: “An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar. And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today.” And, he did not miss this one, either:

It will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the US army which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five percent; [and that’s] in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government which reaches $800 billion.

For the very first time publicly, a mouthpiece for the Saud family has now said publicly that the US doesn’t control the Saudi Government; the Saudi Government controls the US

If the relationship between the Saud family and the US is the relationship between a dog and its tail, which is which? Perhaps Cecil Rhodes, were he to return, would be so shocked, he’d have a heart-attack and die a second time.

 

Omidyar’s Intercept Teams Up with War-Propaganda Firm #Bellingcat

Omidyar’s Intercept Teams Up with War-Propaganda Firm Bellingcat

Despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA.

NEW YORK — The Intercept, along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using “open source” tools — with Bellingcat’s past, controversial investigations for use as case studies. The exact details of what occurred during the workshop have not been made public and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins declined to elaborate on the workshop when pressed on social media.The decision on the part of The Intercept is particularly troubling given that the publication has long been associated with the track records of its founding members, such as Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, who have long been promoted as important “progressive” and “anti-war” voices in the U.S. media landscape.

Greenwald publicly distanced himself from the decision to host the workshop, stating on Twitter that he was not involved in making that decision and that — if he had been — it was not one “that I would have made.” However, he stopped short of condemning the decision.

Bellingcat’s open support for foreign military intervention and tendency to promote NATO/U.S. war propaganda are unsurprising when one considers how the group is funded and the groups with which it regularly collaborates.

For instance, Bellingcat regularly works with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which – according to the late journalist Robert Parry – “engages in ‘investigative journalism’ that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption.” OCCRP is notably funded by USAID and the controversial George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.

In addition, Bellingcat’s founder Eliot Higgins is employed by the Atlantic Council, which is partially funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO and U.S. weapons manufacturers. It should come as little surprise then that the results of Bellingcat’s “findings” often fit neatly with narratives promoted by NATO and the U.S. government despite their poor track record in terms of accuracy.

Bellingcat’s funding is even more telling than its professional associations. Indeed, despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA.

Google has also been actively promoting regime change in countries like Syria, a policy that Bellingcat also promotes. As one example, leaked emails between Jared Cohen, former director of Google Ideas (now Jigsaw), and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that Google developed software aimed at assisting al-Qaeda and other Syrian opposition groups in boosting their ranks. Furthermore, Cohen was once described by Stratfor intelligence analysts as a “loose cannon” for his deep involvement in Middle Eastern regime-change efforts.

Under President Donald Trump, Google’s connections to the U.S. government have become even more powerful, as the current Trump-appointed Director of National Intelligence once worked as a corporate lobbyist for Google.

 

Synergy in the service of empire

Given the clear alliances between Bellingcat and the military-industrial complex, The Intercept’s decision to host a Bellingcat workshop in its New York offices may seem surprising. However, The Intercept has long promoted Bellingcat in its written work and its parent company has actually been associated with Bellingcat since 2015.

Indeed, Google-owned YouTube announced in 2015 the formation of the “First Draft coalition,” which nominally sought to bring “together a group of thought leaders and pioneers in social media journalism to create educational resources on how to verify eyewitness media.” That coalition united Bellingcat with the now-defunct Reported.ly – another venture of The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.

In the years since, The Intercept has repeatedly promoted Bellingcat in its articles, having called the Atlantic Council-connected, Google-funded group “a reputable U.K.-based organization devoted to analyzing images coming out of conflict zones.” Furthermore, prior to the recent workshop in late September between The Intercept and Bellingcat, both jointly participated in another workshop hosted in London earlier this year in April.

 

 

Omidyar’s connections

In addition, the Intercept’s main funder – eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar – shares innumerable connections to the U.S. government and has helped fund regime-change operations abroad in the past, suggesting a likely reason behind the publication’s willingness to associate itself with Bellingcat.

For instance, Omidyar made more visits to the Obama White House between 2009 and 2013 than Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. He also donated $30 million to the Clinton global initiative and directly co-invested with the State Department — funding groups, some of them overtly fascist, that worked to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014.

Even after Obama left office, Omidyar has continued to fund USAID, particularly its overseas program aimed at “advancing U.S. national security interests” abroad. Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative also cosponsors one of the Pentagon’s most important contractor expos, a direct link between Omidyar initiatives and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Such promotion of the regime-change wars has been reflected in reporting done at The Intercept, particularly in regards to Syria. Indeed, Intercept writers covering Syria frequently promote Syrian “rebels” and the opposition while also promoting pro-regime-change talking points.

Another former Intercept contributor and now Intercept “fact checker,” Mariam Elba, wrote a poorly researched article that sought to link the Syrian government to U.S. white nationalists, claiming that the Syrian government sought to “homogenize” the country despite its support for religious and ethnic minorities in stark contrast to the Syrian opposition. Notably, Elba recently praised the Intercept/Bellingcat workshop, which she had attended.

If that weren’t enough, last year the paper hired Maryam Saleh, a journalist who has called Shia Muslims “dogs” and has taken to Twitter in the past to downplay the role of the U.S. coalition in airstrikes in Syria. Saleh also has ties to the U.S.-financed propaganda group Kafranbel Media Center, which also has close relations with the terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham.

Furthermore, MintPress noted last year that The Intercept had withheld a key document from the Edward Snowden cache proving the Syrian opposition was taking marching orders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Intercept published that document only after the U.S. State Department itself began to report more honestly on the nature of these so-called “rebels,” even though The Intercept had had that document in its possession since 2013.

Even “anti-interventionist” Intercept journalists like Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald have
come under fire this past year for allegedly promoting inaccurate statements that supported pro-regime-change narratives in Syria, particularly in regards to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma. That attack is now widely believed to have been staged by the White Helmets.

Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as “independent” and “investigative journalism.”

Author’s Note | John Helsby contributed research, particularly in regards to social media, to this report.

Editors Note: After objection from Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, this story was updated to read: “The exact details of what occurred during the workshop have not been made public”, This was updated from the original: “The details of the workshop have not been made public” as Higgins interpreted this to mean details made prior to the event. MintPress was well aware of the pre-event details that were made public prior to the workshop, such as cost to attend, date and location as a link that the announcement of those details can be found in the second sentence of the article, which remains unchanged.

Top Photo | Bana Alabed promotes Bellingcat at an event put on by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Photo | Twitter

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

The US Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The S-300 May Destroy and Expose the F-35

The US Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The S-300 May Destroy and Expose the F-35

The US Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The S-300 May Destroy and Expose the F-35

The tragic episode that caused the death of 15 Russian air force personnel has had immediate repercussions on the situation in Syria and the Middle East. On September 24, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed allies and opponents that the delivery of the S-300 air-defense systems to the Syrian Arab Republic had been approved by President Vladimir Putin. The delivery had been delayed and then suspended as a result of Israeli pressure back in 2013.

In one sense, the delivery of S-300 batteries to Syria is cause for concern more for Washington than for Tel Aviv. Israel has several F-35 and has claimed to have used them in Syria to strike alleged Iranian weapons transfers to Hezbollah. With the S-300 systems deployed in an updated version and incorporated into the Russian command, control and communications (C3) system, there is a serious risk (for Washington) that Israel, now incapable of changing the course of events in Syria, could attempt a desperate maneuver.

It is no secret that Greece purchased S-300s from Russia years ago, and that NATO and Israel have trained numerous times against the Russian air-defense system. Senior IDF officials have often insisted that they are capable taking out the S-300s, having apparently discovered their weaknesses.

Tel Aviv’s warning that it will attack and destroy the S-300 battery should not be taken as an idle threat. It is enough to look at the recent downing of Russia’s Il-20 surveillance aircraft to understand how reckless a desperate Israel is prepared to be. Moreover, more than one IDF commander has over the years reiterated that a Syrian S-300 would be considered a legitimate target if threatening Israeli aircraft.

At this point, it is necessary to add some additional information and clarify some points. Greece’s S-300s are old, out of maintenance, and have not had their electronics updated. Such modern and complex systems as the S-300s and S-400s require maintenance, upgrades, and often replacement of parts to improve hardware. All this is missing from the Greek batteries. Secondly, it is the operator who uses the system (using radar, targeting, aiming, locking and so forth) that often makes the difference in terms of overall effectiveness. Furthermore, the system is fully integrated into the Russian C3 system, something that renders useless any previous experience gleaned from wargaming the Greek S-300s. No Western country knows the real capabilities and capacity of Syrian air defense when augmented and integrated with Russian systems. This is a secret that Damascus and Moscow will continue to keep well guarded. Yet two years ago, during the operations to free Aleppo, a senior Russian military officer warned (presumably alluding to fifth-generation stealth aircraft like the F-35 and F-22) that the range and effectiveness of the Russian systems may come as a surprise.

The following are the words of Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu concerning the deployment of the S-300 to Syria and its integration with other Russian systems:

“Russia will jam satellite navigation, onboard radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria. We are convinced that the implementation of these measures will cool hotheads and prevent ill-considered actions threatening our servicemen. Otherwise, we will respond in line with the current situation. Syrian troops and military air defense units will be equipped with automatic control systems, which have been supplied to the Russian Armed Forces. This will ensure the centralized management of the Syrian air defense forces and facilities, monitoring the situation in the airspace and prompt target designation. Most importantly, it will be used to identify the Russian aircraft by the Syrian air defense forces.”

If the Israelis will follow through with their reckless attempts to eliminate the S-300 (if they can find them in the first place, given that they are mobile), they will risk their F-35s being brought down. The US military-industrial complex would suffer irreparable damage. This would also explain why Israel (and probably the US) has for more than five years put enormous pressure on Moscow not to deliver the S-300 to Syria and Iran. The US State Department’s reaction over the future purchase by Turkey and India of the S-400 confirms the anxiety that US senior officials as well as generals are experiencing over the prospect of allies opting for the Russian systems. This would allow for a comparison with weapons these allies purchased from the US, leading to the discovery of vulnerabilities and the realization of the US weapons’ relative inferiority.

Given Tel Aviv’s tendency to place its own interests above all others, it would not be surprising to find them using the possibility of attacking the S-300 with their F-35s as a weapon to blackmail Washington into getting more involved in the conflict. For the United States, there are two scenarios to avoid. The first is a direct involvement in the conflict with Russia in Syria, which is now unthinkable and impractical. The second – much more worrying for military planners – concerns the possibility of the F-35’s capabilities and secrets being compromised or even being shown not to be a match against air-defense systems nearly half a century old.

An illuminating example of how the United States operates its most advanced aircraft in the region was given in eastern Syria around Deir ez-Zor. In this part of Syria, there is no threat from any advanced air-defense systems, so the US is often free to employ its F-22 in certain circumstances. The Russian military has repeatedly shown radar evidence that unequivocally shows that when Russian Su-35s appear in the same skies as the F-22, the US Air Force simply avoids any confrontation and quickly withdraws such fifth-generation assets as the F-22. The F-35 is not even ready in its naval variant, and has yet to be deployed on a US aircraft carrier near the Middle Eastern theater or the Persian Gulf; nor is it present in any US military base in the region. The US simply does not even consider using the F-35 in Syria, nor would it risk its use against Russian air defenses. Israel is the only country that so far may have already used these aircraft in Syria; but this was before the S-300 came onto the scene.

The F-35 program has already cost hundreds of billions of dollars and will soon reach the exorbitant and surreal figure of over 1 trillion dollars. It has already been sold to dozens of countries bound by decades-long agreements. The F-35 has been developed as a multi-role fighter and is expected to be the future backbone of NATO and her allies. Its development began more than 10 years ago and, despite the countless problems that still exist, it is already airborne and combat-ready, as the Israelis insist. From the US point of view, its employment in operations is played down and otherwise concealed. The less data available to opponents, the better; though the real reason may lie in a strong fear of any revelation of potential weaknesses of the aircraft damaging future sales. At this time, the Pentagon’s marketing of the F-35 is based on the evaluations provided by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, and on the tests carried out by the military who commissioned it to Lockheed Martin. Obviously, both Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force have no interest in revealing any weaknesses or shortcomings, especially publicly. Corruption is a big thing in Washington, contrary to common assumptions.

The combination of Israel’s ego, its inability to change the course of events in Syria, coupled with the loss of its ability to fly throughout the Middle East with impunity due to Syria now being equipped with a superior air defense – all these factors could push Israel into acting desperately by using the F-35 to take out the S-300 battery. Washington finds itself in the unenviable position of probably having no leverage with Israel over the matter ever since losing any ability to steer events in Syria.

With the Russian air-defense systems potentially being spread out to the four corners of the world, including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and who knows how many other countries waiting in the queue, Russia continues to increase its export capacity and military prestige as it demonstrates its control of most of the Syria’s skies. With the introduction of the the S-500 pending, one can imagine the sleepless nights being spent by those in the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin’s headquarters worrying about the possibility of an F-35 being taken down by an S-300 system manufactured in 1969.

New York’s Attackers

Hussein Samawarchi

About 17 years ago, I received a call asking me to report to duty and was advised to implement security protocol directives upon arrival to the workplace. My superior’s tone was one of urgency; this was, obviously, not a drill. The United States was under multiple attacks. At that point, no one knew how extensive the offensives were going to be or for how long they were to continue.

Uniforms were not to be worn. Even security clearance I.Ds needed to be obscured from the general public. Horror could be seen on the faces of people everywhere even at a distance of approximately 9,000 kilometers from where the events were taking place. The first few hours were ones of popular disbelief. Television stations showed people escaping from the thick toxic smoke and unbearable heat by jumping from incredibly high floors. New York’s terror attacks reverberated globally.

Continuous assessment had to be done so as to control the floating level of security measures being taken. Initial reports gathered from various official and non-official agencies coupled by media coverage were the primary sources of risk calculations. Were there going to be more terror strikes? If so, where?

Before long, major US news networks broadcasted information that should have been normally derived from official statements. Only, they preceded those statements. Eyebrows were raised.

Then, as we watched Fox News which was hosting guests on the phone while showing a live feed, the mentioning of “Middle Eastern terrorists” became a reporting pattern. They started infusing the Middle East in this event within an hour of its occurrence. It was as if the culprit was chosen way ahead of the crime.

Out of all the guest speakers who participated in the coverage, one particular “specialist” sounded very off. He laughed several times during his commentary; his tone did not fit that of a person who should be terrorized or angry.

The pace of events picked up; the towers crumbled down. It was difficult to believe that an aircraft, even if flying on full tanks, could bring down an architectural structure as wide as either of the twin towers; let alone having struck it in the upper floors and not in its base.

The following 24 hours were ones of grief over the number of casualties; the shock of the event kept my colleagues and I from noticing that we hadn’t slept or even rested for a long time. Necessary coordination with various security organizations kept phone lines busy almost continuously; I had never seen a backlog of emails this big before. A relief shift took over and we were free to go to our homes.

The last event of the day for me, which turned out to be the most significant on a personal understanding level of the events, was a little chat I had with a UN liaison officer on our way to the parking lot. I was telling him how the cc camera footage at the departure gates will show the hijackers. His reply was that it would be more beneficial to check the footage of the airport ramp security cameras designated for watching the handling of the four airplanes and also a log of where these airplanes had been technically serviced in the recent hours or days prior to the attacks. He said the same manufacturer of the four airplanes also manufactures highly advanced navigational systems for cruise missiles.

I saw the gentleman again after a few weeks and we touched on the topic. His view was that 9/11 was the perfect excuse for the American military-industrial complex to make an obscene amount of profits. He also pointed out that, as a matter of principle and from an intelligence point of view, the abundance of conspiracy theories that invaded every kind of media confirmed that higher powers were at play; powers that controlled media.

That was all during 2001. Now that all these years have passed and so much more concrete information surfaced, even the most simple-minded spectator of events can deduce who were the real perpetrators of the event that shook America’s public, but not its policymakers. Let us consider the following:

Larry Silverstein, a man known for his strong links with Zionism bought a 99-year lease of the World Trade Center a few months before 9/11. Then he quickly bought insurance against terror attacks. Sounds like the man had inside information about future plans.

Boeing, the company that supplies the air-launched generation of Cruise missiles (AGM-86) with navigation systems is the manufacturer of the four aircraft that acted exactly like Cruise missiles during the attacks. One wonders if the Boeing-757 and Boeing-767 aircraft types can be fitted with upgraded navigational systems designed by the same company. Boeing is said to be owned and operated majorly by Zionist Jews.

The group of men caught celebrating from a distance while the, possibly remotely guided, aircraft hit the WTC were “Israeli”. They were arrested and had their advanced surveillance equipment confiscated. In a television interview after their release, one of them confessed to having been there to “document” the event. How did they know that the event was going to take place?

Osama Bin Laden, the man who assumed responsibility for the terror attacks was a Wahhabi who implicated Arabs and Muslims. The two groups are the historical prime targets of Zionists; he gave them a gift.

Wahhabis have proved to be “Israel’s” biggest regional supporters in the past decade and Bin Laden was the receiver of US financial and military aid for many years during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Would such a man not make any statements that serve the ambitions of his masters?

The second generation of Al Qaida, “ISIS” and Al Nusra, have had their top operatives in Syria airlifted to safety onboard US military helicopters as per CIA orders. These mercenary Wahhabi terrorists are the people who have allegedly executed 9/11.

A thousand conspiracy theories orbit around every one of the above facts. Their abundance causes the public opinion to dismiss the reality as an absurdity; the plain and obvious truth is, therefore, missed. This is the operating style of Zionists whose spokesman, Netanyahu, admitted on video that they control at least 80% of the American public opinion.

Zionists have no problem with casualties to reach their goals. Jews were sacrificed in Europe so as to found a state in their name. Americans were burned alive in the WTC so as to invade Afghanistan. Kuwait was devastated so as to break the Iraqi army.

Going back to the “specialist” interviewed on FOX News during the live feed of 9/11 – the one who seemed to be unmoved and even happy. Watching the video of the coverage again, it was possible to catch his name. He was Harvey Kushner. The same family name as today’s biggest Zionist in Washington DC, Jared Kushner. Coincidence?

If Zionists are ever good at something, it is orchestrating devastating events at humanity-altering levels.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Iran Hawks in Washington

September 18, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

Iran Hawks in Washington

No doubt, anti-Iran propaganda out of Washington abounds. There are numerous Zionist-run think-tanks (sic) that make US Foreign Policy – and are ratcheting up anti-Iran anger in the US, but targeting especially the Iranian population at home, in Iran. The notorious chief-villain of these agencies, by the way, highly subsidized by the US State Department, and perhaps even more important, by the powerful US military-security complex, is the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD). More than fifty years ago, then President Dwight Eisenhower already warned the world about the invasive, abusive and greed-driven powers of this ever-growing war industry.

Nobody really heeded his advice, least the United States with her world hegemonic aspirations. Today we have to live with it – and recognize the dangers emanating from this war complex, that controls more than 50% of the US GDP – all associated industries and services included. If peace was to break out tomorrow – the US economy would collapse. It is, therefore, the new normal that aggressions are flying out from Washington to all those proud countries that refuse to submit themselves to the dictate of the hegemon – like Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, Pakistan, Cuba —- and many more. The assaults on free and independent thinking nations come in the form of verbal insults, economic sanctions, tariffs, broken international and bilateral agreements – and foremost war threats and provocations. Beware from falling into the trap.

Iran is not alone. It means – moving on and living with this western imposed system – or else…

And else, means getting out of it. Unfortunately, it does little good accusing the devil overseas, like the FDD, NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and whatever else they are called. They will not go away; they just enjoy the anger they generate. And yes, there is a clear and present danger that through Netanyahu and Trump war provocations on Iran are being launched. And yes, as long as Iran is still linked to the western monetary system, and tries hard to stay linked to it, more sanctions will follow, disastrous sanctions – but disastrous only as long as Iran is tied to the western dollar-based economy. If you, Iran, move away from this massive western monetary fraud – and this will not happen over-night – you, Iran, will gradually regain your economic autonomy and political sovereignty. This is crucial.

Fighting and arguing against senseless and totally illegal sanctions and aggressions – or even begging the west to stick to the Nuclear Deal, against Washington’s reneging on the Nuclear Deal, is a waste of time. It will achieve nothing. They, the US of A, will not give in. The Israel and war industrial complex lobbies are too strong. Counting on Europe to stick to the “Deal” is not a good strategy. Even if – for their own selfish interests – the Europeans would want to maintain the 5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), first, you never know whether and when they may cave in to Washington and Israel’s pressure, and second, even if they don’t, you are still linked to the western ponzy-economy through the euro and, thus vulnerable for sanctions.

Most important, however, rather than looking outside for a culprit – i.e. in Washington or Brussels, find the solution from within. There are two major obstacles to keep in mind. The first one Iran is in the process of overcoming, it’s called embarking on an “Economy of Resistance”; the second one is more complicated but not impossible – neutralizing the Fifth Column in Iran.

Economy of Resistance – is a path to self-sufficiency, economic autonomy and political sovereignty. Iran, under the guidance of the Ayatollah, has already embarked on this de-globalizing route. President Putin said already several years ago, the sanctions were the best thing that happened to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It forced Russia to rehabilitate an rebuild her agricultural sector and modernize her industrial park. Today Russia is by far the largest wheat exporter in the world and has a cutting-edge industrial arsenal. This message, Mr. Putin, transmitted during his visit to Tehran last November face-to-face to the Ayatollah.

Following the principles of a Resistance Economy implies a gradual, but eventually radical separation from the western monetary system – and adherence to the eastern alliances, like the SCO – Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS and the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU). Iran is poised to become a member of the SCO within short. These alliances are no longer trading in UDS dollars, have their own international transfer systems – separated from the western, privately run SWIFT which is totally controlled by the US banking moguls – and therefore, SWIFT is a prime instrument to impose financial and economic sanctions, by withholding or blocking international payment transfers and blocking or confiscating assets abroad.

These eastern alliances are trading in their local currencies and in the case of China and hydrocarbons, even in gold-convertible yuans. One or several new eastern monetary systems are under consideration, including by the BRICS. An important part of the eastern alliances is President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – or the new Silk Road, a massive multi-trillion yuan infrastructure and transport investments plan – spanning the world from east to west with several connecting “roads”, including maritime routes. This BRI plan, recently incorporated in China’s constitution – is the vanguard for a new economic system, based on equality and benefitting all partners – a clear departure from the western “carrot and stick” approach, i.e. ‘do as I say – or else’ – sanctions will follow.

Second, and this is the real challenge – countries like Iran, Venezuela, Russia, China – and all those nations that resist the west’s attempts to conquer, command and subdue them – have a strong so-called “Fifth Column”, open and covert infiltrated western or local and western-trained and funded ‘assets’. These people are usually embedded in the financial sector, especially the central banks and in trade related activities. They are the ‘recipients’ of the messages from the Hawks from Washington – they propagate them in Iran, bring people to the streets often by paying them – to make believe that there is a strong opposition to the government.

They control the local media, publish false economic information – unemployment, inflation – and seek tightening investment links with the west. The Fifth Columnists, or Atlantists, are helping manipulating currency exchange rates, devaluations of their country’s – Iran’s – money; they are exaggerating the impact of sanctions at home to create fear and hostility against the government – in brief, they are weaponizing public opinion against their own government. They are collaborators with Iran’s enemies.

The Fifth Columnists are a dangerous, criminal and non-transparent alliance of opponents working for foreign interests, in Iran, as well as in Russia, Venezuela, China – and where ever the Washington hegemon and its dark deep masters want to bring about regime change. Neutralizing them is a huge challenge, as their activities are deeply rooted in their countries financial system, private banking and international trade.

The best way of annihilating their nefarious impact is by applying the rules of Resistance Economy – breaking loose from the western dollar system, de-globalizing the economy, finding back to political and economic sovereignty – local production for local markets with local money and local public banking for the development of the local economy; and by trading with friendly, culturally and ideologically aligned countries. If the link to the globalized west is broken, their power is gone. Iran is on the right path – the future is in the East. The greed-driven aggressive west is committing economic and moral suicide – the west has become a sinking ship.

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 Vineyard of 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.

Imran Khan Has Successfully Exposed Liberalism as Pakistan’s Greatest Enemy

America’s Establishment – the military-industrial complex

During his final address as President of the United States of America, General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the development of a military-industrial complex in the following way:

“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 State house, every office of the Federal government.

We recognise 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. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Since Eisenhower’s speech, the US military-industrial complex has become so influential that its policy making role in government is thought to exceed that of elected officials up to and including the head of state. As the country with the world’s most powerful military and strongest economy, this means that not only does the US military-industrial complex threaten democracy in the US but it threatens the peace and freedom of those in other nations whose governments may occasionally quarrel with Washington.

Against this background, it is both absurd and hypocritical for anti-patriotic forces within Pakistan to heap scorn on the young government of Imran Khan and his PTI party under the guise that they are “too close” to Pakistan’s military establishment. In the United States, it has proved to be impossible to even get close to power by promising a revision in the nation’s foreign policy while in Pakistan, PTI proved that a party with a clearly reformist approach to foreign policy making can not only win but in many cases obliterate the vote of the old legacy parties as well as fringe extremist parties.

It is in fact true that Pakistan has a long history of open conflict between civilian governments and what is widely called The Establishment – the military. In July of this year however, a peaceful democratic election signifying only the second ever peaceful transition of power in Pakistan’s history has signalled the early stages of a shift from a policy of confrontation between the Establishment and government to one of cooperation. Before going further, it must be noted that while conflict between the military and elected government is a phenomenon that the international media tends to universally associate with Pakistan, such conflicts transpire in multiple nations with different histories and societal issues.

Turkey

Modern Turkey has a long history of civilian governments in open conflict with the military. In spite of reforms early during Erdogan’s time as Prime Minister to harmonise the relationship between the Turkish Army and elected government, the apogee of conflict between the military and government in Turkey occurred as recently as 2016 when elements of the Fethullah Terror Organisation infiltrated the Army and led an illegal coup against President Erdogan. The result has been an intensified effort by Erdogan and the civilian government to bring to justice those in the Army associated with all forms of anti-government activity. After his recent re-election under new constitutional regulations, Erdogan has made good on his pledge to make the army directly answerable to the president rather than operate as a body that was previously allowed to make public political pronouncements without conclusion with civilian factions.

Egypt

After the US backed de-stabilisation of Egypt in 2011, a Muslim Brotherhood government came to power in Cairo that was directly at odds with the military. In 2013, the military led an ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohammad Morsi and put General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power who remains President to this day. While some called Sisi’s rise to power a coup, others point out the reckless incompetence, unpopularity and social extremism of Morsi and his followers. Egypt is clearly a country where mainstream forces all make reasonable arguments both for and against the Army’s strong influence on the country’s national political development.

Pakistan’s light at the end of many tunnels 

Therefore, while Turkey took decades to peacefully harmonise military-civilian government relations and while Egypt has yet to fully do so, Pakistan stands on the verge of peacefully achieving such harmonisation. Furthermore, this was largely accomplished through the ballot box and domestic diplomacy. This is not to imply that the incoming PTI led coalition government of Pakistan is “subservient” to the Army as some of PTI’s domestic detractors have said for obvious enough self-serving reasons. Neither is it to say that Fatima Bhutto (whose relations with a powerful Pakistani political family are minimised by the Guardian’s editors) is correct in stating that “Imran Khan is only a player in the circus run by Pakistan’s military” as she recently did in Britain’s ultra-liberal Guardian newspaper.

In reality, Pakistan is maturing into a state where both the military and civilian leaders are increasing cooperating for the benefit of the nation, just as is the case within all three major superpowers where open schisms between the military and government are largely unheard of. While all such moves in any nation are bound to have growing pains, the fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s leaders are embarking on a new era of national unity – something that is necessary in order to ensure peace and prosperity for future generations. Therefore, less open antagonism between the government and military in Pakistan should be welcomed rather than be subject to conspiracy theories and wild speculation disguised as analysis.

Pakistan has a real enemy within and it is not The Establishment 

With PTI is moving to modernise and harmonise the government’s relationship with the Establishment on a legal and win-win basis, Imran Khan’s transformation from opposition leader to statesman has laid bear the face of the true enemy within. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s critics have sunk to new lows in their ever more frequent gossip column style criticism of the new Prime Minister. Before Imran has even settled into his new desk, his critics are already proclaiming the PTI led government a failure in a manner that only serves the foreign enemies of the Pakistani people and which in turns threatens the unity and survival of the state.

But while Imran Khan’s opponents continue to hurl stones within a glass house, they fail to realise that in shrieking about their own country’s supposed inferiority under the prying eyes of India, Afghanistan and The United States, they do not realise that when compared with other nations, Pakistan’s problems are not unique. To say otherwise is to fall into the trap of the colonial mentality which in the last election doomed the PML-N and PPP to electoral failure.

Liberal Pakistanis complain about the country’s blasphemy laws and the fact that PTI has no plans to change such laws. Meanwhile, such forces ignore the fact that in the countries of Europe and North America – countries which face a substantially low terrorist threat vis-a-vis Pakistan, legislators are hastily drafting new laws to censor criticism of just about any social trend ranging from feminism to sectarian politics. While Pakistani laws defend the country’s historical religious traditions, western governments are passing laws to protect the pagan gods of the west – the totemic ramparts of ultra-liberalism. Thus, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws should not be viewed in a vacuum and should certainly never be seen as more dangerous than the decrepit state of Indian society in which Muslims are being openly lynched with the support of members of the ruling political party simply for going about their daily business in peace. Until western hypocrisy and Indian mob rule are addressed, there is little point in growing hysterical over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Liberal Pakistanis then complain about press freedom before realising that Pakistan actually has some of the freest political speech in the world.

In an age where US corporate media, European corporate and state media and the Indian government all look to clamp down on free speech, Pakistan remains a place whose levels of political free speech are staggeringly high. Whether on Urdu, English or provincial language media, Pakistanis can say almost anything they want about almost anyone they want and for the most part it is all done in relative peace.

When the PTI government announced a further step to free Pakistan’s already highly open media it was clear that existing trends will only improve under the leadership of Imran Khan While private media outlets have long had editorial freedoms, according to a recent statement from Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, now even state owned media will be given full editorial freedom.

As per vision of @ImranKhanPTI Ended political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes ll be visible in Information Dept in coming 3 months Inshallah — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 21, 2018

This means that if fully realised, Pakistan’s private and state owned media will be more free to criticise the government than both private and state owned media outlets in many European countries where opposition views are increasingly shunned or derided as “fake”.

The real fight for Pakistan’s future 

Imran Khan has drawn the liberal werewolves out of their hiding places and has thus exposed the real enemies of social and economic progress in Pakistan to be liberal forces who see it fit to criticise every element of Pakistani society without cessation. Such people take perverse delight in blaming the Establishment for doing that which it does not do while summarily ignoring how the US military-industrial complex is vastly more powerful than Pakistan’s Establishment ever was. Likewise, Pakistan’s liberal fifth column somehow believe that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are unusual while similar things either already exist or are being legally erected in the countries who join Pakistan’s home grown liberals in heaping scorn on a nation being antagonised both on its eastern and western borders.

What good is it to be on guard against terrorism from Afghanistan and India if Pakistan’s own liberal fifth column continues to scapegoat the nation itself for every problem under the sun. Pakistan does have problems and most of these problems are not unique to Pakistan. What is however unique is the agility with which supposed patriots of Pakistan do more for the country’s foreign enemies than the foreign enemies themselves could ever hope to achieve.

By increasing the amplification of these anti-national voices in so far as his presence seems to agitate them into fits of Pakistan hating hysteria, Imran Khan has already proved why he is in the best position to fight this enemy within and secure a better internal and external future for Pakistan.

By Adam Garrie
Source: Eurasia Future

Two analyses by Paul Craig Roberts

July 18, 2018Two analyses by Paul Craig Roberts

Note by the Saker: As I have mentioned here, I am currently on a road trip and I have very spotty access to the Internet.  The recent Putin-Trump summit has elicited a lot of reactions and I will write an analysis of my own by the time I get back home (somewhere around the 20th-22nd of July).  In the meantime, I am posting two more articles by the special permission of Paul Craig Roberts. They were initially posted here

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/17/putin-confronts-the-american-dystopia/
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/18/america-overrules-trump-no-peace-with-russia/

I don’t necessarily agree with every point made by Paul Craig Roberts, but I do fully share his assessment of the gravity of the situation.  In fact, I have a very strong feeling that in spite of the fact that Trump is in reality a very weak man (just look how long it took him to deny having said what he, in fact, did say) the USA seems to be headed for a major constitutional crisis.  On this topic, please all see this article by Finian Cunningham originally posted on Sputnik.  Until my return, I leave you with Paul Craig Roberts’ latest analyses.

The Saker
——-

Putin Confronts The American Dystopia

We have to hand it to Putin. He is the best that there is. Note the ease with which he mopped up the floor with that idiot Chris Wallace. https://www.rt.com/usa/433447-putin-interview-fox-wallace/

What is wrong with the US media that it cannot produce a second competent journalist as company for Tucker Carlson? Why are America’s remaining good journalists, such as Chris Hedges, now in the alternate media?

All I can say, and Putin probably already knows it, is that there is more going on than presstitutes holding the relationship between Russia and the US hostage to an internal political struggle between the Democratic Party and President Trump. It is not just that the corrupt US media is serving as propagandists for the Democratic Party against President Trump. The presstitutes are serving the interest of the military/security complex, which has ownership interests in the highly concentrated US media, to keep Russia positioned as the enemy that justifies the huge $1,000 billion budget of the military/security complex. Without the “Russian enemy,” what is the justification for such a waste of money when so many real needs go underfunded and unfunded?

In other words, the American media are not only stupid, they are corrupt beyond all measure.

Today at 12:40 Eastern time NPR had a collection of Trump-bashers doing their utmost to prevent the Trump/Putin meeting from leading to a normalizing of relations between the two governments. For example, as every informed person knows, the US intelligence community has most certainly not concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election. That conclusion was reached by a few hand-picked members of 3 of the 16 intelligence agencies and was expressed not as a proven fact but as “highly likely.” It other words, it was nothing but an orchestrated opinion given by cooperative agents who no doubt expect promotions in return.

Despite this known fact, the NPR propaganda team said that Trump had believed Putin instead of an unanimous US factual intelligence report that proved Russia interfered. The NPR Trump-bashers said that Trump had believed the “thug Putin” and not his own American experts. The NPR Trump-bashers went on to compare Trump’s “siding with Putin” with Trump’s opinion that the Charlottesville violence had contributors from both sides. The NPR Trump-bashers equated Trump’s factual statement about violence from both sides with “siding with the neo-nazis” in Charlottesville.

NPR’s point is that Trump sides with Nazis and Russian thugs and is against Americans.

What Trump said in fact about alleged election interference was that whether there was or was not any election interference, it had no effect as Comey and Rosenstein have admitted, and is certainly not as important as two nuclear powers getting along with one another and avoiding tensions that could result in nuclear war. One would think that even an NPR idiot could understand that.

The Trump-bashing on NPR has gone on all day intermixed with an occasional bashing of Russia for killing Syrian civilians in air attacks on the Washington-supported jihadists that are, as instructed by Washington, trying to hold on to a bit of Syria so that Washington and Israel can restart the war. One wonders at the stupidity of those who give money to NPR so that NPR can lie to them all day long. Like George Orwell foresaw, people are more comfortable with Big Brother’s lies than with the truth.

NPR was once an alternative voice, but it was broken by the George W. Bush regime and has become completely corrupt. NPR still pretends to be “listener-supported,” but in fact is now a commercial station just like every commercial station. NPR tries to disguise this fact by using “with support from” to introduce the paid advertisements from the corporations.

“With support from” is how NPR traditionally acknowledged its philanthropic donors. The real question is: how does NPR hold on to its 501c3 tax-exempt status when it sells commercial advertising? No need for NPR to worry. As long as the presstitute entity serves the ruling elite at the expense of truth, it will retain its illegal tax-exempt status.

It is obvious that the indictments of the 12 Russian intelligence officers immediately prior to the Trump/Putin meeting was intended to harm the meeting and to give the presstitutes more opportunities for more dishonest shots at President Trump. In my day, journalists would have been smart enough and would have had enough integrity to understand that. But Western presstitutes have neither intelligence nor integrity.

How much proof do you want? Here is presstitute Michelle Goldberg writing in the New York Times that “Trump shows the world he’s Putin’s lackey.” The presstitute says she is “staggered by the American president’s slavish and toadying performance.” Apparently Goldberg thinks Trump should have beaten up Putin.

The Washington Post, formerly a newspaper, now a sick joke, alleged that “Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly.”

It is not only the presstitutes. It is the so-called experts, such as Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, a self-important group, financed by the military/security complex, that presides over American foreign policy. Haass, sticking to the official military/security line, declared erroneously: “International order for 4 centuries has been based on non-interference in the internal affairs of others and respect for sovereignty. Russia has violated this norm by seizing Crimea and by interfering in the 2016 US election. We must deal with Putin’s Russia as the rogue state it is.”

What is Haass talking about? What respect for sovereignty does Washington have? Surely Haass is familiar with the ruling neoconservative doctrine of US world hegemony. Surely Haass knows that the orchestrated troubles with Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Russia, and China are due to Washington’s resentment of their sovereignty. What is Washington’s unilateralism about if Washington respects the sovereignty of countries? Why does Washington want a unipolar world if Washington respects the sovereignty of other countries? It is precisely Russia’s insistence on a multi-polar world that has Russia in the propaganda crosshairs. If Washington respects sovereignty, why does Washington overthrow countries that have it? When Washington accuses Russia of being a threat to world order, Washington means that Russia is a threat to Washington’s world order. Is Haass demonstrating his idiocy or his corruption?

As the American media has conclusively proven that it has no independence but is a mouthpiece for Democrats and corporate interests, it should be nationalized. The American media is so compromised that nationalization would be an improvement.

The armaments industry should also be nationalized. Not only is it a power greater than the elected government, it also is vastly inefficient. The Russian armaments industry with a tiny fraction of the US military budget produces far superior weapons. As President Eisenhower, a Five-Star General, said, the military-industrial complex is a threat to American democracy. Why are the presstitute scum so worried about non-existent Russian interference when the military/security complex is so powerful that it can actually substitute itself for the elected government?

There was a time when the Republican Party represented the interests of business, and the Democratic Party represented the interests of the working class. That kept America in balance. Today there is no balance. Since the Clinton regime, the rich one percent has been getting vastly richer, and the 99 percent has been getting poorer. The middle class is in serious decline.

The Democrats have abandoned the working class, which Democrats now dismiss as “Trump deplorables,” and support instead the divisiveness and hatreds of Identity Politics. At a time when the American people need unity to stand up to warmongering and greed, there is no unity. Races and genders are taught to hate one another. It is everywhere you look.

Compared to the America I was born into, the America of today is fragile and weak. The only effort at unity is to create unity that Russia is the enemy. It is just like George Orwell’s 1984. In other aspects the current American dystopia is worse than the one Orwell described.

Try to find an American public or private institution that is worthy of respect, that is honorable, that respects truth, that is compassionate and strives for justice. What you find in place of compassion and demand for justice are laws that punish if you criticize the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians or leak information showing the felonies committed by the US government. With all of their institutions corrupted, the American people become corrupted as well. Corruption is what the young are born into. They know no different. What future is that for America?

How can Russia, China, Iran, North Korea reach a compromise with a government that does not know the meaning of the word, a government that requires submission and when submission is not given destruction follows as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen learned.

Who would be so foolish as to trust an agreement with Washington?

Instead of pursuing an agreement with Trump, who is being set up for removal, Putin should be preparing Russia for war.

War is definitely coming.

America Overrules Trump: No Peace With Russia

The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.

American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

The Russians—especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists—should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trump’s effort to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald Jeffries reminds us. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/07/donald-jeffries/the-trump-putin-conference/

The American rightwing is just as opposed as the leftwing. Only a few experts, such as Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock, President Reagan’s ambassader to the Soviet Union, have spoken out in support of Trump’s attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.

There is no support for Trump’s agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that “We must deal with Putin’s Russia as the rogue state it is.”

Russia is a “ rogue state” simply because Russia does not accept Washington’s overlordship. Not for any other reason.

There is no support even in Trump’s own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is “normal.” Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.

A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin’s lacky, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to “the murderous thug Putin” and accepted Putin’s word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin’s pocket and that the Russiagate story is true.

We can see now why neoconservative John Bolton arranged the Helsinki meeting. It set Trump up for political execution by the media and Congress, both controlled by the military/security complex. In the United States there is zero independence, with the exception of Tucker Carlson, in the print and TV media, and zero independence in Congress. These are controlled institutions, and Tucker will not be tolerated much longer.

The lie of Russian interference is now so firmly established that even the Open Letter published in The Nation and signed by luminaries such as Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Gloria Steinem states: “We must reach common ground to safeguard common interests—taking steps to protect the nation’s elections and to prevent war between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.” Even the most lucid Americans have to accept Russiagate as a fact and regard protecting our elections as important as preventing nuclear war.

There is no meaningful support in the Republican or Democratic party for Trump’s agenda of normalizing US/Russian relations. The combination of a lie made into truth and the power of political campaign combinations from the military/security complex suffice to stifle any support for normalizing relations with Russia. Any US Senator or Representative who supports Trump’s effort to remove Russia from the enemy category will find themselves confronted in their re-election with well-financed opponents declaring them to be traitors who supported Trump’s sell-out of America, while their own campaign contributions dry up.

The American people who are not on the military/security payroll or otherwise dependent on this powerful lobby support peace and elected Trump for that reason, only to discover that a president who stands for peace with Russia is branded a traitor.

It has happened many times before. For example, in his history, The First World War, A. J. P. Taylor explained that all efforts to stop the disastrous war that destroyed Europe were blocked by smearing “as a defeatist, a pacifist, probably a traitor, every advocate of peace, or even of moderation.” As Taylor writes, the “top hats” wanted the money, and the “cloth hats” paid for it with their lives.

What we are experiencing is that democracy is weak and dysfunctional when confronted with powerful lobbies capable of controlling explanations. In America the control over explanations is so complete that the vast majority live in The Matrix.

The Russian media has ignored the American outpouring of hatred and insult against Trump for “selling out America” and has portrayed the Helsinki meeting positively as having established a road to better relations. This Russian view ignores that Trump has no support in the US government or in the media to help him to build this road. The Russian media desperately needs to become familiar with the American response to Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Putin. I have collected together a number of these responses in my recent columns, and the link in this column to Donald Jeffries provides a good sample of the Republicans’ rejection of Trump’s effort to repair the US-Russian relationship.

Just as the World War I British, French, German, and Russian governments could not end the slaughter because they had promised victory and would be discredited, once the Russian government encourages the Russian people that better relations with America are in the making, the Russian government will be locked into delivering the better relations, and this will require the Russian government to give up more than it gains. Russian sovereignty will be part of the price for the agreement.

If the Russians, desperate for Western acceptance, hold on to their delusion that Washington’s hegemony is negotiable, it will not only be at their own peril but also at the peril of all of humanity.

Postscript: The rant in the URL below in Salon, which I suspect is a CIA asset, by a non-entity of no merit or achievement is devoid of fact. But it does stand as an accurate representation of the organized, orchestrated assault in the United States on truth and on those individuals committed to truth, such as Jill Stein and Julian Assange. As the goal is to denigrate Trump, it is not possible to believe the portrayal of the unidentified Republican state senator in the Salon account who lost his faith in Trump simply because Trump did not behave provocatively when he met with Putin. Nevertheless, the portrayal, even if fictional, is accurate in the sense that it represents the controlled explanation that is being fed to the American people and the subject peoples of Washington’s empire. https://www.salon.com/2018/07/18/trump-regret-syndrome-is-spreading-among-republicans-after-helsinki-how-far-will-it-go/

The Russian media desperately needs to accurately translate and publish the Salon article in order for the Russian people to comprehend the impossibility of any agreement with the United States that leaves Russia a sovereign nation. The hatred of Russia that is being generated in America is extraordinary. It can only lead to war.

Throughout the Western World truth and facts have lost their authority. The West lives in lies, and this is the West that confronts the world. It is pathetic to watch Lavrov and Putin continue, time and again, to appeal to facts and to truth when these mean nothing in the West.

ترامب في مواجهة العاصفة

يوليو 18, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– قبل أن تطأ قدما الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب الأراضي الأميركية انطلقت حملة استهداف عنيفة بوجهه، تشارك فيها متطرفو الجمهوريين الداعين لمواصلة خيار الحروب الانتحاري، في ظل موازين اختبرها الجمهوريون والديمقراطيون بالتتابع خلال ولايتين لكل من الرئيسين جورج بوش وباراك أوباما، وتصدرها الديمقراطيون بخلفيات تنافسية وانتقامية، ولكن بصورة رئيسية تمهيداً للانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، والانتخابات النصفية للكونغرس. ومع هؤلاء الإعلام الغاضب من تغطرس ترامب في معاملته وقد وجد فرصة للتصيد بدرجة الحضور الباهت لترامب في القمة، وظهوره ضعيفاً أمام الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، واتهامه بقبول التجريح بالمخابرات الأميركية وعدم قيامه بالدفاع عنها، كما يفترض برئيس أميركي.

– العاصفة التي تهبّ على ترامب تقف وراءها قوى ولوبيات لها مصالح عميقة، منذ أيام باراك أوباما. وهي القوى التي دعمت حملة هيلاري كلينتون، ويتشكل قلبها من جماعات الاقتصاد الافتراضي المكوّنة من تكتلات الشركات التي يقوم استثمارها على العولمة وشركات الأسهم المتعدّدة الجنسيات وتتصدرها الشركات العملاقة في قطاعي الصناعات الحربية والنفط، والتي يحملها جماعات الأصول الثابتة في الاقتصاد الذين يقودون الصناعات التقليدية في المعادن والسيارات والمشاريع العقارية والمقاولات مسؤولية خراب الاقتصاد الأميركي، فيما يتكوّن من هؤلاء مركز الثقل لدعم ترامب بين التكتلات الاقتصادية داخل المجتمع الأميركي.

– السباق بين ترامب وخصومه يدور منذ البداية حول قطاعين رئيسيين، يحسم انحيازهما لصالح أي من الفريقين نصره على الآخر. وهما يقفان في منتصف الطريق بين التكتلين المتقابلين في المجتمع الأميركي، وهما أولاً قطاع الاستثمار في الطاقة البديلة ومحورها استخراج النفط والغاز الصخريين، الذي استقطب مئات المليارات من الاستثمارات، يتشارك فيها منتمون لقطاعَيْ الاقتصاد الافتراضي والأصول الثابتة، وثانياً اللوبي الداعم لـ«إسرائيل» والممسك بأوراق قوة كثيرة في المصارف والإعلام وصناعة الرأي العام والقدرة على التأثير الانتخابي.

– نجح ترامب في توقيت القمة وخوض غمارها، على ساعة مأزق هذين التكتلين، فـ»إسرائيل» تعيش قلق الانتصارات في سورية، وتستنجد بواشنطن للعودة إلى فك الاشتباك عام 1974، بعدما أقفلت دمشق أذنيها عن الإصغاء للدعوات، ولم تتفوّه موسكو بما يطمئن. فجاءت القمة الروسية الأميركية، لتمنح تل أبيب نصف اطمئنان. فالاتفاق قابل للتعويم، لكن ضمن صيغته الأصلية يفتح الباب لمفاوضات حول الانسحاب من الجولان، يعرف الإسرائيليون أنها لن تجري الآن ولا غداً، ولكنهم يعرفون أنها تقطع طريق أحلامهم بضم الجولان. ورغم عدم حصول الرئيس الأميركي على معادلة مقايضة الانسحاب الأميركي بانسحاب إيراني تبقى القمة ملاذاً وحيداً لـ«إسرائيل» بوجه مصادر القلق. وبالتوازي جاء ترامب لمستثمري النفط والغاز الصخريين بإنجاز كبير عنوانه تقاسم الأسواق الأوروبية مع روسيا من دون حرب أسعار خاسرة سلفاً، بسبب فوارق الكلفة بين النفط والغاز الصخريين ومنافسيهما النفط والغاز الطبيعيين. وهذا يعني بالتزامن مع إجراءات ترامب الضريبية على مستوردات الحديد والصلب والألمينيوم والسيارات، دفعاً قوياً لقطاعات اقتصادية كبرى ستخوض معركة الدفاع عن الرئيس ترامب وعن القمة الروسية الأميركية لن يقلّ عنها الدعم الإسرائيلي ممثلاً باللوبيات الناشطة في أميركا.

– سيصمد ترامب بوجه العاصفة، وربما يكون ذاهباً لولاية ثانية بقوة إنجاز، يحظى بدعم الرئيس الروسي يتمثل بحل أزمة السلاح النووي لكوريا الشمالية عشية الانتخابات الرئاسية بعد عامين.

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The Two Superpowers: Who Really Controls the Two Countries?

The Saker

June 30, 2018

by Paul Craig Roberts (cross-posted with PCR’s website with his special agreement)

Among the ruling interests in the US, one interest even more powerful than the Israel Lobby—the Deep State of the military/security complex— there is enormous fear that an uncontrollable President Trump at the upcoming Putin/Trump summit will make an agreement that will bring to an end the demonizing of Russia that serves to protect the enormous budget and power of the military-security complex.

You can see the Deep State’s fear in the editorials that the Deep State handed to the Washington Post (June 29) and New York Times (June 29), two of the Deep State’s megaphones, but no longer believed by the vast majority of the American people.  The two editorials share the same points and phrases.  They repeat the disproven lies about Russia as if blatant, obvious lies are hard facts.

Both accuse President Trump of “kowtowing to the Kremlin.”  Kowtowing, of course, is not a Donald Trump characteristic.  But once again fact doesn’t get in the way of the propaganda spewed by the WaPo and NYT, two megaphones of Deep State lies.

The Deep State editorial handed to the WaPo reads: “THE REASONS for the tension between the United States and Russia are well-established. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine, instigated a war in eastern Ukraine, intervened to save the dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, interfered in the U.S. presidential election campaign to harm Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, poisoned a former intelligence officer on British soil and continues to meddle in the elections of other democracies.”

The WaPo’s opening paragraph is a collection of all the blatant lies assembled by the Deep State for its Propaganda Ministry.  There have been many books written about the CIA’s infiltration of the US media.  There is no doubt about it.  I remember my orientation as Staff Associate, House Defense Appropriation Subcommittee, when I was informed that the Washington Post is a CIA asset.  This was in 1975. Today the Post is owned by a person with government contracts that many believe sustain his front business.

And don’t forget Udo Ulfkotte, an editor of the  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who wrote in his best seller, Bought Journalism, that there was not a significant journalist in Europe who was not on the CIA’s payroll. The English language edition of Ulfkotte’s book has been suppressed and prevented from publication.

The New York Times, which last told the truth in the 1970s when it published the leaked Pentagon Papers and had the fortitude to stand up for its First Amendment rights, repeats the lies about Putin’s “seizure of Crimea and attack on Ukraine” along with all the totally unstantiated BS about Russia interferring in the US president election and electing Trump, who now kowtows to Putin in order to serve Russia instead of the US. The editorial handed to the NYT insinuates that Trump is a threat to the national security of America and its allies (vassals). The problem, the NYT declares, is that Trump is not listening to his advisors.

Shades of President John F. Kennedy, who did not listen to the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff about invading Cuba, nuking the Soviet Union, and using the false flag attack on America of the Joint Chiefs’ Northwoods Project (look it up online).  Is the New York Times setting up Trump for assassination on the grounds that he is lovely-dovey with Russia and sacrificing US national interests?

I would bet on it.

While the Washington Post and New York Times are telling us that if Trump meets with Putin, Trump will sell out US national security, The Saker says that Putin finds himself in a similar box, only it doesn’t come from the national security interest, but from the Russian Fifth Column, the Atlanticist Integrationists whose front man is the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, who represents the rich Russian elite whose wealth is based on stolen assets during the Yeltsin years enabled by Washington.  These elites, The Saker concludes, impose constraints on Putin that put Russian sovereignty at risk. Economically, it is more important to these elites for financial reasons to be part of Washington’s empire than to be a sovereign country.  http://thesaker.is/no-5th-column-in-the-kremlin-think-again/ 

I find The Saker’s explanation the best I have read of the constraints on Putin that limit his ability to represent Russian national interests.

I have often wondered why Putin didn’t have the security force round up these Russian traitors and execute them.  The answer is that Putin believes in the rule of law, and he knows that Russia’s US financed and supported Fifth Column cannot be eliminated without bloodshed that is inconsistent with the rule of law.  For Putin, the rule of law is as important as Russia.  So, Russia hangs in the balance.  It is my view that the Russian Fifth Column could care less about the rule of law.  They only care about money.

As challenged as Putin might be, Chris Hedges, one of the surviving great American journalists, who is not always right but when he is he is incisive, explains the situation faced by the American people.  It is beyond correction.  American civil liberties and prosperity appear to be lost.   https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/america-shows-many-signs-impending-catastrophic-collapse-pulitzer-prize-winner-explains 

In my opinion, Hedges leftwing leanings caused him to focus on Reagan’s rhetoric rather that on Reagan’s achievements—the two greatest of our time—the end of stagflation, which benefited the American people, and the end of the Cold War, which removed the theat of nuclear war.  I think Hedges also does not appreciate Trump’s sincerety about normalizing relations with Russia, relations destroyed by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes, and Trump’s sincerety about bringing offshored jobs home to American workers. Trump’s agenda puts him up against the two most powerful interest groups in the United States.  A president willing to take on these powerful groups should be appreciated and supported, as Hedges acknowledges the dispossessed majority do.  If I might point out to Chris, whom I admire, it is not like Chris Hedges to align against the choice of the people.  How can democracy work if people don’t rule?

Hedges writes, correctly, “The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we [the American people] don’t count.”
Hedges is absolutely correct.

It is impossible not to admire a journalist like Hedges who can describe our plight with such succinctness:

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowlege, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and banks destroy the economy.”

Read The Saker’s explanation of Russian politics.  Possibly Putin will collapse under pressure from the powerful Fifth Column in his government.  Read Chris Hedges analysis of American collapse. There is much truth in it.  What happens if the Russian people rise up against the Russian Fifth Column and if the oppressed American people rise up against the extractions of the military/security complex? What happens if neither population rises up?

Who sets off the first nuclear weapon?

Our time on earth is not just limited by our threescore and ten years, but also humanity’s time on earth, and that of every other species, is limited by the use of nuclear weapons.

It is long past the time when governments, and if not them, humanity, should ask why nuclear weapons exist when they cannot be used without destroying life on earth.

Why isn’t this the question of our time, instead of, for example, transgender toilet facilities, and the large variety of fake issues on which the presstitute media focuses?

The articles by The Saker and Chris Hedges, two astute people, report that neither superpower is capable of making good decisions, decisions that are determined by democracy instead of by oligarchs, against whom neither elected government can stand.

If this is the case, humanity is finished.

Here are the Washington Post and New York Times editorials:

Washington Post
June 29, 2018
Editorial
Trump is kowtowing to the Kremlin again. Why?
Ahead of a summit with Putin, Trump is siding with the Russian leader, with dangerous results.

THE REASONS for the tension between the United States and Russia are well-established. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine, instigated a war in eastern Ukraine, intervened to save the dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, interfered in the U.S. presidential election campaign to harm Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, poisoned a former intelligence officer on British soil and continues to meddle in the elections of other democracies. Yet on Wednesday in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin brushed it all aside and delivered the Russian “maskirovka,” or camouflage, answer that it is all America’s fault.

Meeting with John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, Mr. Putin declared that the tensions are “in large part the result of an intense domestic political battle inside the U.S.” Then Mr. Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov insisted that Russia “most certainly did not interfere in the 2016 election” in the United States. On Thursday morning, Mr. Trump echoed them both on Twitter: “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

Why is Mr. Trump kowtowing again? The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia did attempt to tilt the election using multiple campaigns, including cyberintrusions and insidious social media fakery. Would it be so difficult to challenge Mr. Putin about this offensive behavior? A full accounting has yet to be made of the impact on the election, but Mr. Bolton did not mince words last year when he described Russian interference as “a true act of war” and said, “We negotiate with Russia at our peril.” And now?

Summits can be productive, even – maybe especially – when nations are at odds. In theory, a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, now scheduled for next month in Helsinki, could be useful. But a meeting aimed at pleasing Mr. Putin is naive and foolhardy. A meeting aimed at pleasing Mr. Putin at the expense of traditional, democratic U.S. allies would be dangerous and damaging.

Just as Mr. Bolton was flattering Mr. Putin, Russia was engaging in subterfuge on the ground in Syria. The United States, Russia and Jordan last year negotiated cease-fire agreements in southwestern Syria, along the border with Jordan and the Golan Heights. In recent days, the United States has warned Russia and its Syrian allies not to launch an offensive in the area, where the rebel forces hold parts of the city of Daraa and areas along the border. The State Department vowed there would be “serious repercussions” and demanded that Russia restrain its client Syrian forces. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, saying an offensive would be unacceptable. All to no avail; Syria is bombing the area.

This is what happens when Mr. Trump signals, repeatedly, that he is unwilling or unable to stand up to Russian misbehavior. We are on dangerous ground. Either Mr. Trump has lost touch with essential U.S. interests or there is some other explanation for his kowtowing that is yet unknown.

New York Times
June 29, 2018
Editorial
Trump and Putin’s Too-Friendly Summit
It’s good to meet with adversaries. But when Mr. Trump sits down with Mr. Putin, it will be a meeting of kindred spirits. That’s a problem.

It’s good for American presidents to meet with adversaries, to clarify differences and resolve disputes. But when President Trump sits down with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Finland next month, it will be a meeting of kindred spirits, and that’s a problem.

One would think that at a tête-à-tête with the Russian autocrat, the president of the United States would take on some of the major concerns of America and its closest allies. Say, for instance, Mr. Putin’s seizure of Crimea and attack on Ukraine, which led to punishing international sanctions. But at the Group of 7 meeting in Quebec this month, Mr. Trump reportedly told his fellow heads of state that Crimea is Russian because everyone there speaks that language. And, of course, Trump aides talked to Russian officials about lifting some sanctions even before he took office.

One would hope that the president of the United States would let Mr. Putin know that he faces a united front of Mr. Trump and his fellow NATO leaders, with whom he would have met days before the summit in Helsinki. But Axios reported that during the meeting in Quebec, Mr. Trump said, “NATO is as bad as Nafta,” the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is one of Mr. Trump’s favorite boogeymen.

Certainly the president would mention that even the people he appointed to run America’s intelligence services believe unequivocally that Mr. Putin interfered in the 2016 election to put him in office and is continuing to undermine American democracy. Right? But on Thursday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted, “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

More likely, Mr. Trump will congratulate Mr. Putin, once again, for winning another term in a sham election, as he did in March, even though his aides explicitly warned him not to. And he has already proposed readmitting Russia to the Group of 7, from which it was ousted after the Ukraine invasion.

Summits once tended to be carefully scripted, and presidents were attended by senior advisers and American interpreters. At dinner during a Group of 20 meeting last July, Mr. Trump walked over to Mr. Putin and had a casual conversation with no other American representative present. He later said they discussed adoptions – the same issue that he falsely claimed was the subject of a meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 between his representatives and Russian operatives who said they had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

It’s clear that Mr. Trump isn’t a conventional president, but instead one intent on eroding institutions that undergird democracy and peace. Mr. Trump “doesn’t believe that the U.S. should be part of any alliance at all” and believes that “permanent destabilization creates American advantage,” according to unnamed administration officials quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic.

Such thinking goes further than most Americans have been led to believe were Mr. Trump’s views on issues central to allied security. He has often given grudging lip service to supporting NATO, even while complaining frequently about allies’ military spending and unfair trade policies.

The tensions Mr. Trump has sharpened with our allies should please Mr. Putin, whose goal is to fracture the West and assert Russian influence in places where the Americans and Europeans have played big roles, like the Middle East, the Balkans and the Baltic States.

Yet despite growing anxieties among European allies, Mr. Trump is relying on his advisers less than ever because, “He now thinks he’s mastered this,” one senior member of Congress said in an interview. That’s a chilling thought given his inability, so far, to show serious progress on any major security issue. Despite Mr. Trump’s talk of quick denuclearization after his headline-grabbing meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, experts say satellite imagery shows the North is actually improving its nuclear capability.

While the White House hasn’t disclosed an agenda for the Putin meeting, there’s a lot the two leaders should be discussing, starting with Russian cyberintrusions. Mr. Trump, though, has implied that Mr. Putin could help the United States guard against election hacking. And although Congress last year mandated sweeping sanctions against Russia to deter such behavior, Mr. Trump has failed to implement many of them.

In a similar vein, should Mr. Trump agree to unilaterally lift sanctions imposed after Moscow invaded Ukraine and started a war, it would further upset alliance members, which joined the United States in imposing sanctions at some cost to themselves. Moreover, what would deter Mr. Putin from pursuing future land grabs?

Mr. Trump could compound that by canceling military exercises, as he did with South Korea after the meeting with Mr. Kim, and by withdrawing American troops that are intended to keep Russia from aggressive action in the Baltics.

Another fraught topic is Syria. Mr. Trump has signaled his desire to withdraw American troops from Syria, a move that would leave the country more firmly in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad and his two allies, Russia and Iran. Russia, in particular, is calling the shots on the battlefield and in drafting a political settlement that could end the fighting, presumably after opposition forces are routed.

What progress could be made at this summit, then? Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin may find it easier to cooperate in preventing a new nuclear arms race by extending New Start, a treaty limiting strategic nuclear weapons that expires in 2021.

Another priority: bringing Russia back into compliance with the I.N.F. treaty, which eliminated all U.S. and Soviet ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, until Russia tested and deployed a prohibited cruise missile.

Mr. Trump’s top national security advisers are more cleareyed about the Russian threat than he is. So are the Republicans who control the Senate. They have more responsibility than ever to try to persuade Mr. Trump that the country’s security is at stake when he meets Mr. Putin, and that he should prepare carefully for the encounter.

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