I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

I’m Jumping Off the Trump Train: Assange Was the Last Straw

On March 6, 2016, this Deplorable issued a statement formally endorsing Donald J. Trump for the presidency of the United State.

I now hereby withdraw that endorsement.

No doubt this declaration from your Working Boy will be greeted with the same deafening indifference as my earlier less than earth-shattering announcement of support.

Keep calm. The planet will continue to spin on its axis at a 23.44 degree tilt.

As I tweeted on April 4, when it appeared that Ecuadorian President Lenín [sic] Moreno was going to cough up Julian Assange:

“If this comes to pass & #JulianAssange is brought to #US in chains like a Gaulish chieftain in a Roman triumph can we definitively declare that any possible #Trump revolution is over & the #DeepState won?”

A quick perusal of social media since Assange’s arrest shows that many others have reached a similar conclusion.

But why? To be sure, there have been other betrayals. The two strikes on Syria on phony chemical warfare accusations come immediately to mind. Or Trump’s failure to build the Mexican wall, coupled with repeated humiliating defeats in Congress with the predictability of Charlie Brown’s getting suckered by Lucy into trying to kick the football.

At the same time there were excuses. On Syria, maybe the President was fed false intelligence. Or maybe Ivanka was upsetDaaaddyyy, you have to dooo something! Or maybe Trump knew the CW accusations against Damascus were fake but felt he had to act (an ominous sign in itself) to deflect charges of being Putin’s puppet, hence what could be deemed deliberately pinprick pro forma strikes. On the wall, well you can’t trust lawyers’ advice, he just doesn’t understand his legal authority well enough, or maybe he…

But the Assange arrest and his upcoming renditi– – oops! – extradition to the United States are different.  There’s no nuance. No excuse. No false intel report. No poor legal advice.

It’s plain and simple. The same entities (Deep State, permanent government, the oligarchy, the Borg, whatever term you like) that targeted Trump with the phony Russia collusion narrative  want Assange’s scalp nailed to the wall. It’s one thing for favored outlets like the Washington Post and CNN to disseminate classified information that favors the Deep State, quite another to reveal information contrary to its interests. As the premier dispenser of embarrassing secrets that facilitates online dissidence from the established narrative (also under attack by governments and their tech giant accomplices) an example must be made of Assange pour encourager les autres. He can count on being sentenced to rotting for decades in a nasty Office Space federal prison (the US will gladly waive the death penalty to spare the Brits’ prissy Euro-consciences) but may very well die soon enough of natural causes, perhaps like Slobodan Milošević.

An essential role in Assange’s betrayal by Moreno was played by Trump’s Veep Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Former President Rafael Correa says a direct condition of Moreno’s getting a $4.2 billion IMF loan was Assange’s head on a platter. That’s a lot more plausible than establishment media reports that Assange was ejected for transgressing the Ecuadorians’ fastidious hygiene standards, which (whether based in fact or not) are just cynical defamations to justify his upcoming lynching.

It’s irrelevant whether Trump – who theoretically is the boss of all US agency operatives working with their Brit colleagues to get their mitts on Assange – let the nab go forward because he was unwilling to order his minions to stand down or was powerless to do so. In that regard, it’s similar to pointlessly asking why he has the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team he does. Is it because of “Javanka”? Is it because he’s beholden to a gaggle of oligarchs? (Supposedly his being a self-financed billionaire made him immune from such influences.)  Is it areflection of a personality disorder?

In the end it doesn’t matter why, all that matters is what is. With Assange’s arrest Trump is now exposed as the wholly owned subsidiary of the Swamp he ran against.  He’s now just a wheel fixed to an axle. All he can do now is it spin.

In my 2016 endorsement I asked the questions – only questions, not predictions – of what Trump might hopefully accomplish:

‘Can we trust Trump? Will he build his wall and secure our borders? Renovate our deteriorating infrastructure? Restore our manufacturing base? Audit the Federal Reserve and defenestrate the banksters? Restore the GOP’s long-lost reputation (now hardly remembered by anyone) as the “Peace Party” that got us out of wars the Democrats started? Sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they continue to perform abortions (which they will)? Exclude actual or potential Islamic terroristsDump our freeloading so-called “allies”? Cease the PC trashing of every tradition in which Americans once took pride? Reunite a nation sundered by Barack Obama and the GOP mandarins, with their divide et impera Punch and Judy show of class and racial discord?

‘Can Trump really “Make America Great Again”? Or at least slow our decline and give our country another chance?

‘I don’t know.  But I do know that none of the more mannerly politicians served up by the oligarchy will.

“Trust not in princes…” (Ps. 146:3) Neither Trump nor any other politician should be accepted on blind faith. Who really can say if Trump can win or if he does how he would govern. Who can say what’s really in his mind and heart or if, in God’s eyes, he’s a good man or a bad one. But given the dire warning from the likes of Mitt Romney, I like the odds with Trump better than with any of the available alternatives. When the character of his enemies is considered – particularly Warfare State neoconservatives (some of whom at least have the honesty to defect openly to Hillary) – my willingness to gamble on him only increases.’

Even in retrospect it was then a gamble worth taking, indeed the only responsible choice given the horrifying alternative. More, given what Trump promised that departed from the usual nonsense served up by the GOP, the fact that Trump got the nomination instead of the NPCs on the shelf was itself perhaps a sign of that the historic American nation still had a fighting chance.

As for what we hoped he might deliver to “Make America Great Again,” we can see now that the answers to all of the above questions are and will remain an emphatic No. Sure, we got a marginally better tax bill passed, something that any Republican White House and Congress would have done. He may have made minor progress on trade.  If we are really lucky, he’ll get another Supreme Court pick and Roe v. Wade will be overturned – marvelous to be sure, but it won’t same this country.

Trump has utterly failed to control the border, much less deal with related issues like remittances, birthright citizenship, and aliens illegally voting. As retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor observes: “Surely, Trump should have concluded by now that without an Executive Order that commits the U.S. Army to the defense of the southern border and limits cross-border traffic to legitimate commercial activity, mass illegal immigration will not stop… In a word, Trump refuses to take command and match rhetoric with action, then he will join the pantheon of failed presidents that promised the world only, this time, the American Republic’s existence hangs in the balance.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s appointees – uniformly neoconservatives, Bush-era warmongers, and GOP apparatchiki – have better things for our military to do than defending our own country, to which they are at best indifferent. We can be thankful that Trump hasn’t started any new wars, yet, but his underlings’ dogged commitment to regime change in Venezuela and Iran may change that. His outreach to North Korea hangs by a thread in the face of blatant attempts to sabotage it.

One hopes that at least some animal-level gut instinct will preclude Trump’s crossing that dark river and ruining what’s left of his presidency as George W. Bush did in Iraq. If his lunatics are reckless enough to stumble us into a war with Russia, Trump’s reelection will be the least of anyone’s concerns.

Even without a war his remaining time in office will not be the revival of America that he promised. Let’s keep in mind that for many decades now transformative Democratic presidents have not left this country the same way they found it: FDR, LBJ, Clinton, Obama. By contrast, Republican presidents’ tenures have been at best plateaus along our decline (Eisenhower, Reagan) or positively contributed (Nixon, the two Bushes) to the march of what the Left regards as “Progress” toward their abolition of the historic America and birth of a dystopian Cultural Marxist dictatorship of victims: a borderless, multiethnic, multilingual, multireligious, multisexual, ahistorical, fake country.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that even if he survives in office until the 2020 vote (and he might not) Trump still will almost certainly be the lesser of two evils, in the manner to which we have become accustomed. Despite his no longer representing a threat to the Swamp, the critters will continue to hate him anyway as an avatar of the America they seek to destroy: European ethnicity, Christian (culturally if not spiritually or morally), English-speaking, toxically masculine. He might even win, given the Wall Street and Democratic Socialist Democrats’ ripping each others’ guts out and the solid 35 to 40 percent of the folks who think from Trump’s tweets and stump speeches he’s actually delivering on his promises.

Either way, though, the outcome will be the same. The man who had what is almost certainly to have been the last peaceful, political chance save what’s left of the American republic will thrash around for a few more years, having become little more than a catalyst for our nation’s demise and perhaps its dissolution.

This is not to say that there is no hope. Maybe tomorrow Trump will pardon Assange. Maybe he’ll decide to militarize the Mexican border. Maybe he’ll fire his whole national security team and, for good measure, pull us out of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq – and NATO. Maybe Barr really will hold the FISA miscreants to account. Maybe…

…maybe there will be an outpouring of miracles that match the one that occurred when Trump improbably was elected in the first place. But as is the case with miracles, the odds are not good.

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Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

MARTIN SIEFF | 29.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICASFEATURED STORY

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Now that US President Donald Trump has finally been cleared of the ridiculous Russia Collusion charge, his top priority should be to reduce tensions with Moscow sensibly – and the place to start doing that is to fire John Bolton, his national security adviser at once.

The case for this is urgent and the preservation of world peace will depend upon whether Trump renews his courage and acts accordingly or lets himself once more be passively manipulated along the road to new endless wars and war crimes as the previous Republican President George W. Bush was by Bolton and his neocon friends.

All the signs are that, on the contrary, Bolton – along with his lifelong close friends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Special Envoy to Restore Democracy in Venezuela Eliot Abrams have Trump still completely in their pockets. And that they remain determined to topple the legitimate democratically elected government of Venezuela, despite the grave warnings from Moscow to stop doing so.

On March 20, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met Abrams In Rome and flatly warned him Moscow would not tolerate any direct US military intervention in Venezuela to topple President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with America’s farcical puppet fake President Juan Guaido. As Finian Cunningham wrote in the columns of Strategic Culture Foundation, “The encounter in Rome… was described as ‘frank’ and ‘serious’ – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange.”

Ryabkov said after the meeting, “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

But did Abrams honestly and accurately give his boss, the President of the United States an accurate and honest report of Ryabkov’s very serious warning?

We should seriously suspect this never happened but that, on the contrary, Abrams, and his master Bolton “protected” the man they are supposed to loyally serve from this “inconvenient truth.”

This certainly seems to be the case: For on March 27, Trump told reporters after meeting with Guaido’s wife in Washington that Russia had to get out of Venezuela, When asked how he would make Russia leave, Trump said: “We’ll see. All options are open.”

Earlier, the same day, Vice President Mike Pence, who is no fool but who has prospered mightily from often pretending to act like one, called on Russia to abandon its support for Maduro and “stand with Juan Guaido.”

It is clear, therefore, that Trump – and Pence – have not taken Ryabkov’s warning, conveyed through Abrams – if in fact he conveyed it at all – seriously for a second.

It must again be stressed: Behind Abrams stands John Bolton: The two men worked together like Siamese twins in orchestrating the bloody suppression of the Mayan peoples of Central America under President Ronald Reagan. Then, they worked overtime together to help orchestrate the invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush. Now they are at it again and the legitimate government of Venezuela is in their sights.

Bolton was implacable in his determination to scrap the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia and he continues to crush all possibilities for strategic arms control and cooperation in his fanatical and unrelenting grip. Trump has supported him enthusiastically on this at every step and shows no signs whatsoever of regret or second thought.

Bolton and Trump were obviously in full accord on recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights – a move that is certain to drive Syria and Iran closer to Moscow than ever and that can only motivate Damascus to poise new challenges for both Israel and the United States in retaliation as soon as possible.

All efforts to portray the US president as still eager to improve relations with Russia and avoid potentially catastrophic clashes with Moscow must therefore be rejected. As Sigmund Freud rightly said, often the obvious explanation is the correct one: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. If Bolton looks, acts and sounds like a dangerous warmongering fanatic that is because he is a dangerous warmongering fanatic.

If Trump remains at all serious about the courageous declarations of wanting to improve ties with Russia that he made repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign, he should therefore celebrate his total exoneration on Russia collusion charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller by firing Bolton immediately and seeking to start a serious constructive dialogue with Moscow. No such dialogue is remotely possible while Bolton stands at Trump’s right hand, endlessly deferential to him and whispering in his ear, determined to prevent it.

Bolton must go. The security and survival of the United States and indeed of the entire human race demand it.

Iraq: How We Were Lied into War

Iraq: How We Were Lied into War

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 24.03.2019

Iraq: How We Were Lied into War

Eric MARGOLIS

Sixteen years ago, the US and Britain committed a crime of historic proportion, the invasion and destruction of Iraq. It was as egregious an aggression as Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland.

Large numbers of Iraqi civilians died from 2003-2007. Iraq’s water and sewage systems were bombed, causing widespread cholera. The UN estimated 500,000 Iraqi children alone died as a result. Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, said it was ‘a price worth paying.’

But not so much for the 4,424 US soldiers killed in Iraq, or the 31,952 wounded, many with devastating brain and neurological injuries. Nor for US taxpayers who forked out over $1 trillion for this botched war and are still paying the bill – which was hidden in the national debt.

In 2003, Iraq was the most advanced Arab nation in social welfare health, education, military power, and industrial development. But it was run by a megalomaniac, Saddam Hussein, who had been helped into power and sustained in his long war against Iran, by the United States, Britain and their Arab satraps.

When Saddam grew too big for his britches, Washington lured him into invading Kuwait, another American-British oil satrapy. A hue and cry went out from Washington and London that Iraq had secret nuclear weapons that threatened the entire globe. War, thundered US-British propaganda, was urgent and necessary.

As I knew from covering Iraq for many years, it had no nuclear weapons and no medium or long-ranged delivery systems. What it did have was a chemical/biological laboratory at Salman Pak that was staffed with British technicians producing lethal toxins for use against Iran. I discovered this secret operation and reported it. Meanwhile, the dim-witted Iraqis were threatening to hang me as an Israeli spy.

I watched with disgust and dismay as the US and Britain launched massive broadsides of lies against Iraq and those few, like myself, who insisted Baghdad had no nuclear weapons.

Almost the entire US and British media were compelled to act as mouthpieces for the George Bush/Tony Blair war against Iraq, trumpeting egregious lies designed to whip up war fever. Our media, supposedly the tribune of democracy, became lie factories, putting even the old Soviet media to shame.

The New York Times led the charge, along with the three main TV networks. I was in Iraq with its star correspondent, Judith Miller, who became a key agent of the pro-war campaign. So too the Murdoch press in Britain and Fox News. When the BBC tried to question the torrent of lies about Iraq, it was crushed by Tony Blair. A leading British nuclear expert who questioned the nuclear lies was murdered. Iraq was polluted by US depleted uranium shells.

Journalists like me were intimidated or marginalized. I was dropped by a leading US newspaper, a major Canadian TV chain, and by CNN for whom I had been a regular commentator. I was told the Bush White House had given orders, ‘get rid of Margolis.’ My sin: insisting Iraq had no nuclear weapons and was not threatening the US. Things became so absurd that the story went out that Saddam had ‘drones of death’ that were poised to attack America.

Of the US media, only the McClatchy chain and Christian Science Monitor reported the war honestly. Nearly all the rest of America’s TV talking heads brayed for war. Most are still there today, demanding war against Iran.

Who was behind the war? A combination of big oil, which wanted Iraq’s vast reserves, and the Israel lobby which wanted to see Iraq destroyed by US power. The Pentagon was taken over by pro-war neoconservatives: Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld. George Bush, an ignorant fool, was putty in the hands of VP Dick Cheney, a pro-war megalomaniac. The CIA played along. Even the respected former general, Colin Powell, made a fool of himself before the UN and the world by claiming Iraq had hidden weapons. It had chemical weapons, all right, but we had the receipts to show they came from the US and Britain.

No one in the US or Britain ever faced trial for war-mongering and killing vast numbers of people. The lying media escaped well-deserved censure. As for the lying politicians who brought on this disaster, they blamed poor intelligence and bad luck. Those few who opposed the war of aggression remain sidelined or silenced.

Kashmir, Korea, Venezuela, Iran: hot, cold, hybrid war

Source

March 01, 2019

Kashmir, Korea, Venezuela, Iran: hot, cold, hybrid war

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

Turning and turning in a widening gyre, the geopolitics of the young  21st century resembles a psychedelic mandala conceived by Yama, the Lord of Death.

Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, fresh from a 70-hour train journey, meets in prosperous, communist Hanoi with fellow Nobel Peace Prize contender Donald Trump under the benevolent gaze of Uncle Ho.

This very sentence, if announced not long ago, would have elicited transcontinental howls of derision.

Chairman Kim, owner of a small nuclear arsenal, is deemed worthy of dialogue by the hyperpower while the nuclear-deprived leadership in Iran is not, even as the hyperpower ditched a multilateral, UN-approved, working nuclear deal.

In parallel, the hottest border in Asia reveals itself not to be the DMZ between the Koreas, but once again the Line of Control between nuclear powers India and Pakistan in Kashmir.

Although Islamabad and Delhi might, in theory, escalate to pointing nuclear missiles towards each other, the DPRK won’t point a nuclear-tipped missile at Guam and Tehran points to nothing at all, as it does not hold any nuclear missiles.

In a lighter, Looney Tunes vein, exit regime change in Pyongyang, while regime change in Iran stays, and enter regime change in Venezuela. Iran may still be placed in the Axis of Evil, but the new motto is the troika of tyranny (Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua) as the government in Caracas plays ‘Beep Beep’ to the hyperpower’s Wily Coyote.

An array of dodgy US neocons and shady “foundations” keep the flame of regime change in Iran alive, even fabricating a Tehran-al-Qaeda axis, while in Venezuela a stealth scenario advances. An astonishing briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Moscow this past Friday revealed that “US special forces and tech units will be delivered closer to Venezuela’s borders. We do have information that the US and its NATO partners are organizing for a mass delivery of weapons for the opposition in Venezuela, which will come from an Eastern European country.”

Facts are implacable. NATO, after nearly two decades, was miserably defeated in Afghanistan. The NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council war by proxy in Syria failed. The winners are Damascus, Tehran and Moscow. The conflict in Donbass is frozen. So, a remixed Monroe doctrine is back, even as a humanitarian ploy – reminiscent of the “humanitarian imperialism” that led to the destruction of Libya – may have failed, for now.

Brazilian Vice-President General Hamilton Mourao has introduced a dose of sanity going against the “all options on the table” regime change of his own President, Jair Bolsonaro. Mourao constantly insists “the Venezuela question must be decided by Venezuelans”, adding that US threats sound “more like rhetoric than action” as a military attack would be “purposeless”.

Watch that K

What’s in a name? Pakistan may indeed mean “land of the pure” in Urdu, but the key is in the acronym; K stands for Kashmir – alongside P for Punjab, A for Afghania (actually the Pashtun tribal areas), S for Sindh and T for the “tan” in Balochistan. K is a matter of national identity.

The first Indo-Pak war after Partition in 1947 was over Kashmir. In the following year, Kashmir was divided by the Line of Control (LoC), which remains the de facto Berlin Wall of Asia, way more dangerous than the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Koreas. Another mini-war across the LoC took place in 1999.

Kashmir is a crucial geostrategic prize. Assuming India would ever own it all, that would represent a direct bridge to Central Asia and a border with Afghanistan while depriving Pakistan of a border with China, thus nullifying to a great extent the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of the key projects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

If Pakistan ever owned it all, that would solve the country’s worries about water security. The Indus River starts in the Himalayas, in Tibet, and skirts through Indian-controlled Kashmir before entering Pakistan and running all the way down to the Arabian Sea. The Indus and its tributaries provide water to two-thirds of Pakistan. New Delhi has just threatened to weaponize the flow of water to Pakistan.

There’s no end in sight to Kashmir being roiled over and over by skirmishes or even partial conflagration between jihadis – protected by Islamabad at different levels – and the Indian army. The Islamist Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) wants the whole of Kashmir annexed to a Pakistan governed by Sharia law.

JeM’s Kashmir obsession is also shared by their de facto allies Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Both are supported – with degrees of nuance – by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. Most of all, both are heavily supported, financially, by the Wahhabi House of Saud and the United Arab Emirates.

There’s no solution for Kashmir that does not involve cutting off Saudi proselytizing, financing and weaponizing – the toxic cocktail that nurtured Pakistan’s famous Kalashnikov culture. And there can be no solution when the House of Saud’s ability to have nuclear weapons “on order” from Islamabad remains the number-one open secret in South Asia.

Russia and China as voices of reason

Were this a sensible realm, oblivious of Yama, India and Pakistan would talk, like Prime Minister Imran Khan has just offered, within a framework such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which both are members, with Russia and China as mediators.

And that brings us to what happened in Yueqing, China, on Wednesday, totally under the Western radar; a de facto, ministerial-level meeting of the “RIC” in BRICS, uniting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Lavrov may have denounced “absolutely brazen attempts” to “artificially create a pretext for military intervention” in Venezuela. But the game-changer should have been what Russia, China and India discussed on Kashmir, which may eventually have a direct impact on both Islamabad and New Delhi attempting to defuse a still explosive scenario.

China and Russia’s coordinated positions were absolutely instrumental in facilitating North Korea’s dialogue with the Trump administration. Yet it’s still a long way away from South Korean President Moon’s dream: Trump officially declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean war, via a peace treaty replacing the current armistice with iron-clad security guarantees. After all, that is the number-one condition for the DPRK to start contemplating denuclearization.

China and Russia, in theory, also have what it takes to bring India and Pakistan to reason – plus the clout to put pressure on Saudi Arabia’s weaponized Wahhabism.

And yet, from Washington’s perspective, China and Russia are “threats” – from the National Security Strategy all the way down to functionaries such as Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the Northcom commander, who just told a Senate committee that Russia’s “intent to hold the US at risk” presents an urgent threat.

Some more equal than others

China, Russia and Iran are essential nodes of Eurasia integration, which interlock key vectors of the New Silk Roads, via Iran’s trade agreement with the Eurasia Economic Union and expansion of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). Considering the stakes, Lavrov and Yi could not but be stunned by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif resigning from his post via Instagram.

Sources in Tehran maintained that the key reason for Zarif resigning was that he was not informed – and did not attend – an ultra high-level meeting in Tehran on Monday of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the IRGC’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and President Hassan Rouhani when they discussed strictly Syrian military matters, not diplomacy. Zarif may not have been in the room, but his number two, Abbas Araghchi, was.

In the end, Rouhani rejected Zarif’s resignation, stressing that it was against Iran’s national interests. And crucially, Soleimani said that Zarif had total support from Khamenei. Even as various factions of Iran’s hardliners may be fuming with both Zarif and Rouhani, characterizing them as fools who fell into an American trap, the last thing Tehran needs at the moment – under pressure by hybrid war – is internal division. In parallel, support from both Russia and China won’t waiver.

Washington may deploy variations of Hybrid War but most reflexes remain undiluted Cold War. The mechanism remains the same. A fortune in US taxpayers’ money is showered on the industrial-military complex, with defense contractors and major corporations paying back fabulous campaign contributions to the political class. That’s why someone like Tulsi Gabbard, who is anti-war – hot, cold and hybrid – and anti-regime change, will be smeared to Kingdom Come by the weapons lobby, and prevented from making a run for the presidency.

The Global South has learned that turning and turning in the widening gyre, some countries are indeed more equal than others. Even though some may be relentlessly blasted as terrorist enablers (Pakistan), and nuclear powers as a rule must be appeased (DPRK) and seduced (India as a plank of the “Indo-Pacific” strategy). Chairman Kim is now a “great leader” who can hand his nation a “tremendous future”.

Non-nuclear powers, especially those rich in natural resources and implementing strategies such as bypassing the US dollar, like Iran and Venezuela, face the fate of being regime change targets, slowly and painfully devoured by Yama, the Lord of Death.

Maduro 1: Abrams 0: but this match is far from over…

Maduro 1:  Abrams 0: but this match is far from over…

Source

February 28, 2019

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

Maduro wins the first round

The standoff between Venezuela and the AngloZionist Empire last week-end has clearly ended in what can only be called a total defeat for Elliott Abrams.  While we will never know what was initially planned by the demented minds of the Neocons, what we do know is that nothing critical happened: no invasion, not even any major false flag operation.  The most remarkable facet of the standoff is how little effect all the AngloZionist propaganda has had inside Venezuela. There were clashes, including some rather violent ones, across the border, but nothing much happened in the rest of the country.  Furthermore, while a few senior officers and a few soldiers did commit treason and joined forces with the enemy, the overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan military remained faithful to the Constitution.  Finally, it appears that Maduro and his ministers were successful in devising a strategy combining roadblocks, a concert on the Venezuelan side, and the minimal but effective use of riot police to keep the border closed.  Most remarkably, “unidentified snipers” did not appear to shoot at both sides (a favorite tactic of the Empire to justify its interventions).  I give the credit for this to whatever Venezuelan (or allied) units were in charge of counter-sniper operations along the border.

Outside Venezuela this first confrontation has also been a defeat for the Empire.  Not only did most countries worldwide not recognize the AngloZionist puppet, but the level of protest and opposition to what appeared to be the preparations for a possible invasion (or, at least, a military operation of some kind) was remarkably high, while the legacy corporate Ziomedia did what it always does (that is whatever the Empire wants it to do), the Internet and the blogosphere were overwhelmingly opposed to a direct US intervention.  This situation also created a great deal of internal political tensions in various Latin American countries whose public opinion remains strongly opposed to any form of US imperial control over Latin America.

In this respect, the situation with Brazil is particularly interesting. While the Brazilian government fully backed the US coup attempt, the Brazilian military was most uncomfortable with this.  My contacts in Brazil had correctly predicted that the Brazilian military would refuse to attack Venezuela and, eventually, the Brazilians even issued a statement to that effect.

Alas, there are still plenty of US puppet regimes in Latin America to mindlessly do whatever Uncle Shmuel wants them to (Colombia would be the worst offender, of course, but there are others).  But that is not the main problem here.

The main problem is that the Neocons cannot accept defeat and that they are likely to do what they always do, double down and make a bad situation even worse.  The head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, has warned that the US has deployed special forces in Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for a possible invasion.  Uncharacteristically, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made intelligence information public, which described in some detail what kind of plans the Empire and its allies had, even before this past week-end’s confrontation.  See for yourself:

In fact, the leaders of the Empire and their puppets are not making any secrets about their determination to overthrow the constitutional government and replace it with the kind of comprador regime the US already imposed in Colombia.  Pompeo, Abrams and Pence have been particularly hysterical in their threats, but the entire “Lima Group” is still at it:

As for the Russian UN Ambassador, he was very clear on what Russia expects to happen next:

The Neocons are not even content to threaten Venezuela, and John Bolton could not help himself and publicly threatened Nicaragua as being next in line for a US-sponsored regime change.  He even spoke of a “Troika of Tyranny” reminiscent of the famous “Axis of Evil“.

This is all hardly surprising: US politicians always resort to infantile comic-book kind of language when they want to give their threats a special gravitas.  Next we will be told that Maduro is a “New Hitler” and that he is “genociding his own people”, possibly with chemical weapons (“highly likely”, no doubt!).  If not that, then Maduro will be distributing Viagra to his forces to help them rape more women.   To those puzzled by the fact that presumably adult politicians use the kind of language one could find in grade school, I can only say that this just reflects the state of the political discourse in the USA, which has been dumbed-down to an incredibly low level.  Be careful, however, because while US politicians are rather comical in their infantile, ignorant, illiteracy, and while they have an almost perfect record of embarrassing failures, the past decades have also shown that they are quite capable of murderous rampages (in Iraq alone the US invasion resulted in over one million dead Iraqi civilians) or of wrecking even a very prosperous country (which Libya under Muammar Gaddafi definitely was).

Next, the Empire will probably strike-back

There is a small chance that Abrams & Co. will conclude that the situation in Venezuela is a total mess and that the Empire cannot capitalize on it in the short to middle term.  This is possible, yes, but also highly unlikely.

He is back…

The truth is that Mr MAGA and his Neocon puppet-masters have failed, at least so far, at absolutely everything they tried. And if taking on China, Russia, Iran or even Syria is no easy task, Venezuela is by far the most fragile country in what could be called the “Resistance countries”: Venezuela is far away from it’s allies (except Cuba), it is surrounded by more or less hostile countries (especially Colombia), it’s economy is crippled by US sanctions and sabotage and its armed forces are dwarfed by the immense firepower the Empire has available in the region.  Add to this the truly demonic mindset of Neocons like Abrams and the future for Venezuela looks bleak.

The good news is that the Colombians and the rest of the Lima Group “friends of Venezuela” probably don’t have the military power to take on Venezuela by themselves.  The preferred option for the USA would be to use the Colombians like the KLA was used in Kosovo or how al-Qaeda (and derivatives) were used against Syria: as boots on the ground while the US provides airpower, electronic warfare capabilities, intelligence, bomb and missile strikes, etc. The US also has immense naval capabilities which could be used to assist (and, of course, direct) any military operations against Venezuela (I highly recommend this analysis by my friend Nat South who describes in some detail the US naval capabilities and operations in the region).

My gut feeling is that this approach will not work.  As is often the case, the US has all sorts of impressive capabilities except for the main one: a military force capable of providing the boots on the ground (as opposed to a non-US proxy).  The problem for the US military would not be so much getting in, as staying inside and getting something done before leaving – what the US called an “exit strategy”.  And here, there are really no good options for the US.

It is therefore far more likely that the US will use the weapon which it truly masters better than anybody else on earth: corruption.

There is big money, really big money, all around the Venezuelan crisis: not only oil money, but also drug money.  And there are a lot of truly evil and corrupt people involved in this struggle who will use that corruption-weapon with devastating effect against the constitutionally elected government.  And, just to make things worse, Venezuela is already devastated by corruption. Still, there are quite a few factors which might well save Venezuela from being reconquered by the Empire.

First, while US Neocons are too arrogant to bother with anybody’s opinion except their own, and while the various US agencies primarily talk with the immensely wealthy rulers of Colombia and the rest of Latin America, it does appear that a strong majority of Venezuelans support their elected government.  Furthermore, US leaders simply don’t understand how hated the “Yankees” are in Latin America (at least among the masses, not the comprador elites) and how fantastically offensive the appointment of a felon like Elliott Abrams as Envoy to Venezuela is to the vast majority of the people of this continent.

Second, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did empower, for the very first time, the masses of the Venezuelan people, especially those who lived in abject poverty when Venezuela was still a US colony.  These people are under no illusion about what a Guaido regime would mean to them.  And while most of the supporters of Chavez and Maduro are not influential or wealthy, there are a lot of them and they will probably fight to prevent a complete reversal of all the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution.

Third, Latin America might well be changing, just like the Middle-East did.  Remember how, for years, the Israelis could attack their neighbors with quasi-total impunity and how poorly the Arab armies performed?  That suddenly changed when Hezbollah proved to the entire region and even the world, that the “Axis of Kindness” (USA, Israel, KSA) could be successfully defeated, even by a comparatively tiny resistance with no air force, no navy and very little armor.  As I never cease to repeat – wars are not won by firepower, but by willpower.  Oh sure, firepower helps, especially when you can fire from far away with no risk to yourself and your victim cannot fire back, but as soon as big firepower is met by big willpower the former rapidly fails.  There is a very real possibility that Venezuela might do for Latin America what the Ukraine did for Russia: act as a surprisingly effective “vaccine” against the AngloZionist propaganda.  An indigenous leader like Evo Morales, who has declared his full and total support for the elected government of Maduro, is an inspiration to the people of Latin America far beyond the borders of Bolivia.  The Russian ambassador to the UN got it right: there are already other leaders after Maduro which the AngloZionists want to eliminate and replace by a pliable puppet à la Guaido or Duque Márquez.  At the end of the day, this is a typical dialectical problem: the more brutal and overt the US aggression against Latin America is, the more successful coups or even invasions the US organizes, the stronger the anti-Yankee feelings generated among the people of the continent.  Think of it this way: the US has already terminally alienated the people of China, Russia and Iran, along with most of the Arab and Muslim world, and thanks to that alienation, the leaders of China, Russia and Iran have enjoyed the support of their people in their struggle against the AngloZionist Empire.  Could something very similar not already be happening in Latin America?

Conclusion: focus on the right question

To defeat the Empire’s plans for Venezuela, it is crucial that we all keep hammering over and over again: the choice is not between Maduro or Guiado, the choice is not between poverty under the Chavistas and prosperity under the AngloZionists.  This is how the agents of the Empire (whether paid or simply stupid) want to frame the discussions.  The real issue at stake here is the rule of law.  The rule of law inside Venezuela, of course, and the rule of law internationally.

First year law students are often taught that the purpose of the law is not “justice” per se, but to provide a mechanism to solve disputes.  That mechanism is, admittedly, a highly imperfect one, but it is understood by civilized people as being preferable to the alternative.  The alternative, by the way, is what happens in every time a so-called “humanitarian intervention” is launched: a humanitarian disaster.

Yet, this is the typical modus operandi of the Neocons (and of all imperialists, really). First, chose a country for destabilization, then use your control of the international financial markets and trade to trigger an economic crisis; then, send your “democracy promoting” spooks and agents of influence to foment protests or, even better, violent disorders; then send some “unidentified snipers” if the legitimate government does not use enough violence to quell the protests, then denounce the leader you want replaced as  “monster” “animal” or even “new Hitler” and threaten to overthrow him.  After that, declare urbi et orbi that it is “highly likely” that the “new Hitler” will massacre his own people, add a false flag op if needed, and then declare a “coalition of the willing” composed of “friends” of the country you want to occupy who will take action due to the “ineffectiveness of the UN”, ditch any thoughts about international law and only speak of “rules-based order“.  Check out how Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov explains the meaning of this substitution:

When you listen to the supporters of Guaido you will always hear them talking about how terrible Maduro is, how horrible the economic situation of Venezuela really is, how corrupt the members of the regime are, etc. etc. etc.  This is all a smokescreen.  Even the accusation that the last elections were stolen by Maduro is just another smokescreen.  Why?  Because even if Maduro did steal the election, Guaido did not have the right to declare himself President, Trump had no right to recognize him as such, and the Empire had no business threatening a military intervention or even a violation of the sovereign border of Venezuela under the ridiculous pretext of bringing in humanitarian aid while, at the same time, keeping the country under draconian (and fully illegal) sanctions.  The solution to a crisis brought about by a violation of law cannot be a wholesale abandonment of the very core principles of law, but such a solution can only be a restoration of law and order by legal means.  Kinda obvious, but so many seem to forget this, that it is worth repeating.  And here, I will again post a graphic which really says it all:

Which elections are legitimate and which are not?

The most powerful tools in the arsenal of the Empire are not it’s nuclear forces or its bloated, if generally ineffective, armed forces.  The most powerful tool in the Empire’s arsenal is its ability to frame the discussion, to set what is focused upon and what is obfuscated.  The Empire’s legacy corporate Ziomedia even dictates what words should or should not be used in a discussion (example: never speak of “illegal aggression” but speak of “humanitarian intervention”).

This is why we must speak of “true sovereignty“, of “international law“, of “constitutional procedures” and of “aggression” and “threat of aggression” as war crimes.  We need to continue to demand that basic fundamental principles of civilized societies (such as the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”) be upheld by governments and by the media.  We need to deny the rulers of the Empire the right to declare that they have the right to completely ignore the most sacred principles of the post-WWII international order.  We need to continue to insist that a just international order can only be a multi-polar one; that a single World Hegemon can never deliver justice and that there shall be no peace if there is no justice.  Finally, we need to ceaselessly demand that each country and each nation live according to its own traditions and beliefs and reject the notion that a single political model must, or even can, be applied universally.

These are all principles which the Neocons hate and which they would love to bundle together under a single all encompassing concept, like George Orwell’s “crimethink“.  Mostly, the Neocons like to use the “anti-Semite” and “anti-Semitic” to dismiss these principles, and when that fails, then “terrorist” is always available for use.  Don’t let them do that: every time they try that trick, immediately denounce it for what it is and continue focusing on what really matters.  If we can force the Neocons to deal with these issues we win.  It is really that simple.

It is impossible for me to guess how this conflict will play itself out.  Will the brazen arrogance of “the Yankees” be enough to seriously red-pill the people of Venezuela and the rest of Latin America?  Maybe.  My hope and my gut feeling is that it might.

The Saker

The Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon as a diagnostic tool

February 15, 2019

[This column was written for the Unz Review]

The Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon as a diagnostic tool

Ever since Tulsi Gabbard announced that she will be running for President in 2020 her personality and candidacy have been a subject of heated debates and after I posted a rather small message from her, I have been getting panicked emails warning me that she is a fake and that I should not “jump on her bandwagon” or otherwise endorse her.

So, first and foremost, I am not – repeat NOT – endorsing her in any way shape or fashion.

However, I do find her and what is taking place around her extremely interesting and I want to look at it a little closer.  This won’t be a review or analysis of her ideas, political platform or chance of getting elected.  Neither will I try to read her mind and do what so many other folks are doing and confidently declare that I know what her true values, ideas or plans are.  I don’t.

But there are a few things which can already be observed about her which I want to comment on.

Ask yourself: why do liberals hate this lady?

First, one might imagine that she would be the *dream* candidate for the Democratic Party: she is a female, she is not White, she has impeccable “patriotic” credentials, she is obviously both very good looking and very smart, she does not have any skeletons in her past (at least none that we know of for the time being) and she is not associated with the notorious Clinton gang.  So what’s there not to like about her if you are a Democrat?

Well, as we all saw, the putatively “liberal” legacy Ziomedia hates Tulsi Gabbard with a passion.  Maybe not as much as that legacy Ziomedia hates Trump or Putin, but still – the levels of hostility against her are truly amazing.  This may seem bizarre until you realize that, just like Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard has said all the right things about Israel, but that this was not nearly “enough” to please the US Ziolobby.  Check out the kind of discussions about Gabbard which can be found in the Israeli and pro-Israeli press:

This is just a small sample of what I found with a quick search.  It could be summed up “Gabbard is not pro-Israel enough”.  But is that really The Main Reason for such a hostility towards her?

I don’t think so.

I believe that Gabbard’s real “ultimate sin” is that she is against foreign wars of choice.  That is really her Crime Of Crimes!

The AngloZionists wanted to tear Syria apart, break it up into small pieces, most of which would be run by Takfiri crazies and Tulsi Gabbard actually dared to go and speak to “animal Assad”, the (latest) “New Hitler”, who “gasses his own people”.  And this is an even worse crime, if such a thing can even be imagined!  She dared to *disobey* her AngloZionist masters.

So, apparently, opposing illegal wars and daring to disobey the Neocons are crimes of such magnitude and evil that they deserve the hysterical Gabbard-bashing campaign which we have witnessed in recent times.  And even being non-Christian, non-White, non-male and “liberal” does not in any way compensate for the heinous nature of “crimes”.

What does this tell us about the real nature of the US society?

Appeasing *never* works with the Neocons

It is also interesting to note that the most vicious (and stupid) attacks against Gabbard did *not* come from “conservative” media outlets or journalists.  Not at all!  Most of the attacks, especially the more vicious ones, came from supposedly “liberal” sources, which tell us that in 2019 USA “liberals” do not refer to folks with liberal ideas, but to folks who are hell-bent on imperialism and war; folks who don’t care one bit about any real “liberal” values and who use a pseudo-liberal rhetoric to advocate for war outside the USA and for a plutocratic dictatorship inside the USA.

As for Gabbard herself, she already managed to publicly back-peddle to one obnoxious lobby (the homo lobby) on the issue of marriage (see hereherehere and here) and I fully expect her to cave in to the Zio-lobby just like Trump has been doing every day since he made it to the White House.  Apparently, US public figures like Gabbard and Trump still don’t understand the simple fact that NO amount of grovelling will EVER appease the Neocons or the Ziolobby (see here for a perfect example of that attitude from Commentary).

[Sidebar: this entire business about Rep. Ilhan Omar also illustrated something very crucial to Donald Trump’s personality.  Let me explain:

A typical “lowered” “rooster” (and no, in Russia they are not Presidents!)

In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, one of the tricks used by the prison/camp administration to break a prisoner (be he political or not) was to stick him into a cell with the so-called “roosters”.  In the slang of the Russian criminal underworld, the “roosters” are the very lowest category of prisoners (in what is a rather complex hierarchy): “roosters” are either homosexuals, rapists, child molesters or men who have been down-ranked (“lowered” in slang) to that status as a punishment for some kind of action which the criminals consider reprehensible (like interacting with other “roosters”, mistakenly sitting down next to one, not repaying a card-debt, etc.).  I won’t go into all the details here, but suffice to say that one thing which was well known in the Soviet jails/camps is that somebody who has committed some kind of trespass can be “lowered” to the status of “rooster” and that the prison/camp administration often uses these man as “combat roosters” – they send them to attack and even rape some prisoner who needs to be broken.  And, needless to say, after you have been raped by such “roosters” you yourself get that status for the rest of your life.

Trump wants her to resign from Congress

What Trump did in the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar is act like a “lowered combat rooster”, sent to abuse somebody else on the behalf of the prison/camp administration.  Of all people, Trump ought to know that accusations of anti-Semitism are absolutely, total hogwash. This is just a verbal whip used by AIPAC/ADL/etc to beat up their opponents.  In fact, all Omar did was to say on Twitter  that some members of Congress support Israel because they are collecting money from Jewish groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Duh?!  Is that really news to anybody?  Even Trump himself mentioned that during this campaign.

By the way, check out how Rep. Ilhan Omar grills that sorry SOB Abrams here: http://thesaker.is/rep-ilhan-omar-vs-elliott-abrams/ .  This young lady clearly has more courage and integrity that all her colleagues taken together!

But the Neocons have now “lowered” Trump to the status of “rooster” and he now is acting like a willing “combat rooster” for those who “lowered” him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of “rooster”: one who willingly serves his own rapists.  See for yourself:

The amazing thing is that Trump seems to be  completely oblivious to how utterly dishonorable, spineless, subservient, weak and cowardly he looks every time he tries to so crudely brown-nose the Neocons.  Apparently being a narcissist does not include the ability to be aware of how others might see you.]

In fact, one of two things are most likely to happen next:

  1. Tulsi Gabbard remains true to her ideals and views and she gets no money for her campaign
  2. Tulsi Gabbard caves in to the Neocons and the Deep State and she become another Obama/Trump

Okay, in theory, a third option is possible (never say never!) but I see that as highly unlikely: Tulsi Gabbard follows in the footsteps of Trump and gets elected in spite of a massive media hate-campaign against her and once she makes it to the White House she does what Trump failed to do and appeals directly to the people of the USA to back her in a ruthless campaign to “drain the swamp” (meaning showing the door to the Neocons and their Deep State).  This is what Putin did, at least partially, when he came to power, by the way.  Frankly, for all her very real qualities she does not strike me as a “US Putin” nor does she have the kind of institutional and popular backing Putin had.  So while I will never say never, I am not holding my breath on this one…

Finally, if Gabbard truly is “for real” then the Deep State will probably “Kennedy” her and blame Russia or Iran for it.

Still, while we try to understand what, if anything, Tulsi Gabbard could do for the world, she does do good posting messages like this one:

I don’t know about you, but I am rather impressed!

At the very least, she does what “Occupy Wall Street” did with its “1%” which was factually wrong. The actual percentage is much lower but politically very effective.  In this case, Gabbard speaks of both parties being alike and she popularizes concepts like “warmongers in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage and new places for people to die“.  This is all very good and useful for the cause of peace and anti-imperialism because when crimethink concepts become mainstream, then the mainstream is collapsing!

The most important achievement of Tulsi Gabbard, at least so far, has been to prove that the so-called “liberals” don’t give a damn about race, don’t give a damn about gender, don’t give a damn about minorities, don’t give a damn about “thanking our veterans” or anything else.  They don’t even care about Israel all that much.  But what they do care about is power, Empire and war.  That they *really* care about.  Tulsi Gabbard is the living proof that the US Democrats and other pretend “liberals” are hell bent on power, empire and war.  They also will stop at nothing to prevent the USA from (finally!) becoming a “normal” country and they couldn’t care less about the fate of the people of the USA.  All they want is for us all to become their serfs.

All of this is hardly big news.  But this hysterical reaction to Gabbard’s candidacy is a very powerful and useful proof of the fact that the USA is a foreign-occupied country with no real sovereignty or democracy.  As for the US media, it would make folks like Suslov or Goebbels green with envy.  Be it the ongoing US aggression against Venezuela or the reaction to the Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon, the diagnostics concur and we can use the typical medical euphemism and say with confidence: “the prognosis is poor”.

The Saker

Politics of regime change ‘dangerous & inhumane’

Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute joins News.Views.Hughes to blast the “total lie” that President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela “is blocking aid to his own people” and to discuss the clamor for regime change in Venezuela in the larger context of neocon warmongering around the world. Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

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