Retired US generals have warned of the possibility of a coup during the 2024 election.

January 10, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen net

Retired US generals have warned of the possibility of a coup during the 2024 election.

A three percenter patch is worn over a US military outfit (AFP)

Experts are concerned that the emergence of right-wing extremism in the US military would endanger democracy in the US. The Department of Defense is implementing new procedures to combat extremism inside its forces; however, experts are concerned that the measures will not go far enough, making the next election vulnerable to assault. Retired US generals have warned of the possibility of a coup during the 2024 election.

Paul Eaton, a retired US army major general and senior advisor to the non-profit VoteVets, said, “We’re behind the ball on what we know about domestic terrorists in the United States.”

In an interview, Eaton said the US military and law enforcement have a history of underestimating the threat posed from the far right. Referring to the 1995 Oklahoma city bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people and injured over 650, Eaton said, “It’s the Timothy McVeigh problem: what did we know about McVeigh and what were we doing about it?”

He adds that the cyber age and social media have helped to boost the threat of the far-right, considering that the “McVeighs of the world are still there, we had about 4,500 of them crawling all over the nation’s Capitol.”

Eaton warns that there is a recruiting effort ongoing and that extremism infiltrating the police force is a concern that needs to be monitored.

The FBI has accused over 700 Donald Trump supporters of taking part in the siege of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. 81 of them had ties to the military and 5 were on duty at the time.

Neo-Nazi attacks attempted

Last year, army private Ethan Phelan Melzer confessed to organizing an attack against his fellow troops with a neo-Nazi group to ensure the “deaths of as many of his fellow service members as possible.”

In 2018, after attacking people in the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” demonstrations, marine lance corporal Vasillios Pistolis was found to be a member of the neo-Nazi group Aomwaffen.

354 people with military backgrounds have committed criminal acts motivated by political or religious goals, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

From 1990-2010, the number of cases a year has tripled.

Stand down

Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, authorized a 60-day “stand down” early last year to devise regulations to combat extremism throughout the military’s many branches. 

The Pentagon’s new guidelines, enacted last month, state that military officers are barred from engaging in extremist activities and may face disciplinary action even for “liking” terrorist information on social media.

Additionally, officers cannot be “indifferent” and must hold military personnel who engage in extremist activity accountable. 

An AP investigation found that the Pentagon’s efforts may fall short, as the new guidelines don’t prohibit membership in extremist organizations, as long as they are not “actively participating”.

Kristofer Goldsmith, an Iraq veteran and researcher, says white supremacist and fascist movements target veterans because they are an “economically efficient target for campaigns because if you get one, they often bring their immediate social circle with them.”

Goldsmith says, “we saw a violent insurrection, we did not experience a peaceful transfer of power. It was an attempted coup. Every failed coup is just practice for the next one.”

American Military Illegals Continue to Train Terrorists How to Bomb Syria

 

MIRI WOOD 

American military illegals continue to practice bombing war ‘games’ with its al Qaeda faction Maghaweir Thawra — and brag about them — in the Deir Ezzor and al Tanf desert areas of the Syrian Arab Republic, which is not in the United States, nor is it a US territory or satrap. The cost of each bombing practice by the war criminal American troops and the offshoot al Qaeda faction has not yet been worked through by this author. We do, however, note, that the continuing expenses are footed by the US taxpayer, besieged by inflation reaching Weimar levels, taxpayers teetering on homelessness, and suffering food insecurity, increased drug and alcohol addiction, and massive violent crimes in all US urban centers.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
This map clearly shows that Syria is not part of the US. The distance between the two countries is 6,677 mi / 10,745 km.

Any country that militarily invades another country engages in war crimes, per the Geneva Conventions to which the US is signatory.

A recent contract involving the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) presented the American taxpayer with a bill over almost one-half billion dollars, paid to Lockheed Martin facilities. Since 9/11, Pentagon spending has surpassed fourteen trillion USD, The Military Industrial Complex continues to rake in the murderous profits, and continues to propagandize for that nasty thing described as American exceptionalism.

US strikes in Syria may be lawful if Syria consents to the use of force in their territory.  If Syria does not consent, the strikes would violate international law, unless the US demonstrates that the strikes were taken in self-defense.  — Sarah Knuckey, international lawyer and Professor at Columbia Law School

It matters not that US Americans go hungry. It matters not that there is no peace. What matters is that the various offshoots of the Dr Strangelove Pentagon invade, occupy, steal, and brag about their inherent right to genocide and mass looting of Syrian grains and oil — irrespective of which party’s unindicted war criminal POTUS sits in the White House.

Compare this glimpse of Philly, to the bragging tweets of Inherent War Criminal Resolve, below.

A glimpse of hunger, homelessness, and addiction in Philly, while American military spends billions training terrorists in Syria.

A glimpse of hunger, homelessness, and addiction in a previously healthy neighborhood of Philly, while American military spends billions training terrorists in Syria.

Though DAESH was created by the US — as was al Qaeda, freely admitted by H. Clinton — Syria did not invite the criminal American military into its homeland, yet here it is, flaunting its arrogant imperialist crimes of invasion, occupation, and arming terrorists.

Though there is not one single, international definition of terrorism, both the US and the UN have similar definitions, that obviously the definition of all countries around the world:

Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as ‘the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives’ (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85). — fbi.gov

What is really appalling is that a non-politician/non-diplomat — this author — must give a rudimentary lesson to both: UNSCR 1566 (2004) considers “criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government…to do or abstain from doing any act” as within the description of terrorism.

What US American, faced with the horrors of the fifteen days to flatten the COVID curve, now going into its third year, faces with homelessness, food insecurity, and increased violent criminal activities, would consider a foreign military arming terrorists, like these savage in the Levantine Republic, in Philly, or NYC, or Chicago?

American military has armed and continues to train these killers, in Syria.
Moderate terrorists with their moderate lethal weapons, courtesy of the US taxpayers & the American military illegals in Syria.
Moderate terrorists with their moderate lethal weapons, courtesy of the US taxpayers & the American military illegals in Syria.
American military illegals with ISIS/DAESH Maghawir al Thawra affiliate terror gang, in Syria.

In May 2017, the FSA/al Qaeda offshoot Maghaweer al Thawra uploaded a video thanking the Trump administration for the millions of dollars worth of weapons these death squads planned to use to attack the Syrian Arab Army in Deir Ezzor and in al Tanf areas of the SAR. These degenerate psychopaths were later responsible for the martyrdom of General Issam Zahreddine, scant months later.

As the American taxpayer is under siege for almost three years and is busy idiotically fighting over the non-existent difference between war criminal Trump and war criminal Biden, they will likely continue to be oblivious to the increasing war crimes of the American military illegals in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Nonetheless, this US journalist will continue to report on the crimes against humanity perpetrated by her American military illegals in the Levantine Republic.

– Miri Wood

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The united West is preparing a zoo (open thread)

December 29, 2021

It appears that the united West is preparing what I would call a “negotiations zoo” which would include not only Russian-US talks, but also NATO and even the OSCE.  True, the US-Russia summit would take place 2 days before, at least that is the idea, but I still get the impression that the US has decided to use the Europeans like a kind of a political fig leaf behind which it would hide telling the Russians “but, unlike you, we are real democrats, and we need to consult with all our allies, friends and partners”.

So, say, Estonia will be consulted before any decision is taken.

If so, then this is headed nowhere and Russia will have to act unilaterally.

Some recent news are particularly funny.  Like the Pentagon announcing that it will keep an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean to “reassure our European allies”.  As if Russia did not have the means to reach to the mid-Mediterranean.  And if we are talking about the western Mediterranean, than ask yourself how far the aircraft based on the carrier would have to fly to “deter” Russia: the truth is that the Russian “reach” is much longer than the US one, making the entire exercise a pure PR action.

If my feeling is correct, then the following will happen: the Russians will see this zoo and interpret that as a way for the US not to seriously negotiate, either because they don’t want to, or because they are unable to.  Makes no difference to the Kremlin.

The Kremlin made a clear (and, frankly, quite reasonable) offer to the US, which now seems poised to drown it in enpty verbiage, empty PR actions and empty threats.  If so, then Russia will have no choice but to turn on the “pain dial” until the West comes back to reality.

What do you think – are you also getting the feeling that the US is simply unable to negotiate seriously?

Cheers

Andrei

Now comes the final countdown to either peace or war

December 04, 2021

So it is confirmed.  Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will have what is announced as a “long” direct conversation (not face to face, but by a secure video link) this coming Tuesday.  Considering the extreme tensions taking place between the US/NATO/EU and Russia, this event will be, by definition, a watershed moment, irrespective of its outcome.  The two basic options are a) some kind of deal with be made b) nothing will come out of this meeting.

Personally, I am “cautiously pessimistic”, and I will explain why next.

Let’s look at what the two sides have been doing in preparation for this meeting:

The Empire has basically ratcheted up the tensions as high as possible, both by an avalanche of bellicose statements and by engaging in “petty harassment” exercises near the Russian border.  The main (and sole) advantage of this pre-negotiations strategy is that it costs very little money while having a major PR effect.  The two main disadvantages of this pre-negotiations strategy are that 1) they tend to paint you into a corner from which any concession, no matter how reasonable, can be turned into an “abject surrender to Putin” by your political enemies and 2) that the Russians know that all this sabre-rattling is only hot air and, if anything, a sign of weakness.

Russia has made some comparatively “stronger” verbal protests and mentioned “red lines” which the Empire which the latter has completely ignored.  However, Russia has also made some actual military moves which have truly frightened the Empire, including the sudden flushing out into the Pacific or all the strategic submarines of the Pacific Fleet.

Here is the problem as I see it: “Biden” has allowed all sorts of russophobic nutcases to paint the Biden Administration into the exact same corner where the same russophobic nutcases stuck Trump: a place where no meaningful negotiations (i.e. negotiations which imply the willingness to make mutual concessions) are possible.  All that Kabuki theater about “talking to Russia from a position of strength/force” kind of implies that the Russians will get scared and cave in to the Empire.  The problem is that in the real world (as opposed the political Hollywood of the western propaganda machine), it is Russia which is in a very strong position while the US/NATO/EU are all in a position of extreme vulnerability.  In other words, it is extremely unlikely that the Russians will make major concessions on anything (if only because Russia’s “great retreat” of endless concession to win time for preparations has now left Russia pretty much with her own back also against the wall).  Of course, Russia does not want/need a war anywhere, so she is probably willing to make relatively minor concessions, but only political ones.  In military terms, Russia is now “ready to go” and she will not stand down unless the Empire gives legally binding and verifiable concessions to guarantee Russia’s security on her western border (Putin has specifically said so).

Frankly, none of that is very complex: de-escalation and mutual confidence building measures have been developed by all sides for many decades now and there is no need to reinvent the wheel here.  How to do that is easy and straightforward.  But politically, I don’t know how “Biden” would respond to the MAGA nutcases in Congress who will accuse him of weakness, or even treason, if he does anything but continue to escalate towards an inevitable war: escalations can only be stopped by two means: negotiations or war.  If the former is made impossible, the latter becomes inevitable.

Worse, there are pretty good signs that “Biden” is not fully controlling the Executive branch and that there are characters at the CIA, Pentagon and Foggy Bottom (lead by the totally rabid US Neocons) which actually want a war involving Russia and who believe that such a war would not imply a very high probability of going nuclear.  Blinken, for example, strikes me as a kind of person which would make a great tailor or maybe an insurance salesman, but as a diplomat he is clearly clueless and “loser” written all over his face (ditto for that imbecile Stoltenberg or most EU politicians).  Worst of all, these losers believe in their own superiority and think that they can talk to Putin like, say, Commodore Matthew Perry “talked” to the Japanese or how Reagan showed Grenada “who is boss”.

Finally, the upcoming planned “show of unity and force” (aka Summit for Democracy) will be seen by the Kremlin as a desperate attempt at hide the Empire’s real weakness (death, really) and to make it look as if the West still had the means to rule the planet.  In reality, just Russia and China together are already much more powerful than all the colonies which Uncle Shmuel as summoned to this Summit, even if it is only two against 109 countries on the US side and that is the reality which this summit is designed to conceal from the public eye.

So no hope at all?

Well, not much.  But, in theory, here is what could happen.

The US could agree to give Russia legal binding and verifiable security guarantees on her east, including a pull-back of Ukie forces in exchange for which, Russia could pull back some of her own forces.  Deconfliction measures in the air and the seas could be agreed upon.  Observer missions could be agreed upon and then deployed by both sides to verify the implementation of any agreements.  On the political level, the US could order a dramatic reduction of western military involvement in the Ukraine in exchange for a Russian re-affirmation of the recognition of the Ukraine in her current borders, that is without Crimea and but the Donbass (in other words, the Kremlin would promise not to recognize the LDNR republics sovereign states).  In theory, an international peacekeeping force could be set up in the “grey zone” between the LDNR and the Ukraine (that would require the Ukies to pull out from their current, and totally illegal, occupation of some locations in that zone). The nationality of these peacekeepers would have to be agreed by both sides.

[Sidebar: about the LDNR – please keep in mind that even if de jure the Kremlin does not recognize these republics, it has already basically done so de facto (especially with the latest change to the Russian laws on the economy).  Also, remember that Taiwan is a country that is largely unrecognized, but which is clearly independent, at least for the time being.  Finally, keeping the LDNR inside the Ukraine creates an anti-Ukraine which prevents the Nazi-run Ukraine from fully becoming an anti-Russia.  So no, flag-wavers notwithstanding, agreeing not to recognize the LDNR would not be a “betrayal”, but only a card which must be played later in the game.]

Furthermore, Russia and the USA should establish a standing bilateral (yes, I agree with Nuland on the EU!) discussions mechanism to replace the useless and basically dead NATO-Russia Council.  Other areas of discussion could include such self-evident issues as space, terrorism, immigration, energy, cybersecurity, the Arctic etc. and a full restoration of civilized diplomatic relations (which were totally sabotaged by both the Obama and Trump Administration).  A deal could also be made about mutual non-interference or, at least, improve the current deconfliction between the USA and Russia in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.  And, of course, Russia could agree to a long term gas contract through the Ukraine in exchange for a full US acceptance of NS2.

Does that sound a little pollyannish to you?

It sure sounds pollyannish to me!

But I am not quite willing to declare it as absolutely impossible.  Instead, I would simply say that such an outcome is unlikely but still possible.

The alternative is war with, at the low end, could be limited to some silly Ukie provocation (of the kind they have been regularly pulling off, and failing, for many years now) or, at the high end, to quickly escalate a full-scale (inter)continental war, probably one involving nukes.

Hope dies last, right?

The one thing which makes it possible for me to believe that a war can still be avoided is that besides the real hardcore nutcases, there are still some sober-minded officials in the USA (maybe Gen. Milley?) who understand not only that war is an unspeakable horror, but who ALSO understand that a US attack on Russia will result in a Russian counter-attack on the US itself.  Specifically, it is now an official Russian position that if weapon X is fired at Russia or Russian forces, Russia will not only destroy that weapon and the system which delivered, but will also strike at the command headquarters from which the order to strike Russia was given, and that could be Kiev, Warsaw, Brussels or even Washington DC.  I am quite sure that General Gerasimov explained that to General Milley in exquisite detail and I strongly suspect that Milley got the message.  Let’s just hope that Milley can prevail over Lloyd Austin (who is clearly an incompetent imbecile used by the “war party” only as a disposable figurehead).

If not, then God help us all, because then war is inevitable.

I consider the current situation as the most dangerous the world has ever faced, this is even worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis or the US attacks against Iran (the murder of General Soleimani) or Syria.  By nature, nurture, experience, and training I am an unrepentant pessimist.  But, in this case, I still want to force myself into a stance of “cautious pessimism” meaning that, yes, the situation is terrible and seems unfixable, but I choose to believe that there still are enough sane people in the US to avoid the worst.

Still, I am acutely aware that the UK+3B+PU gang want war at all and any cost and that they are now setting the agenda in both the EU and NATO.  The only actor which still could order them to stand down and shut the hell up would be the USA, but only one ruled by an Administration in real and actual command, not the senile aquarium fish collectively known as “Biden” which is in power (at least officially) right now.

We can also count on the MAGA-crazies to oppose any and all deals with Russia, no matter how urgently needed and self-evidently logical.  The GOP has now become the united party for war doing exactly what the Dems did during the Trump years.  In a way, the US political scene reminds me of the Soviet Union during and after Brezhnev – a political system which simply cannot produce a real leader, so all you see is terminal mediocrities trying as best they can to hide their own mediocrity and total lack of vision.  A Ronald Reagan or a George H. W. Bush would have what it takes to talk to the Russians and get some results.  Alas, none of the presidents since have had enough brains or spine to do anything constructive at all: all they did was to preside over first the destruction of the Empire followed by the destruction of the USA (at least as we knew it before Jan 6th).

The fact that our best (or, should I say, only) hope lies with Biden and “Biden” is a sad and very frightening reality.  All we can do now is wait for Tuesday and pray that both Biden and “Biden” muster enough courage and (real) patriotism to bring the world back from the brink.  It ain’t much, but that’s all we got.

So, what do you think will happen next?

Andrei

The NATOstan Clown Show

November 29, 2021

Flags wave ahead of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC28EQ9178EG

The charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Source

Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

By Pepe Escobar,

American hysteria over the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine has exploded every geopolitical Stupid-o-Meter in sight – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

What a mess. Sections of the U.S. Deep State are in open revolt against the combo that remote controls Crash Test Dummy, who impersonates POTUS. The neocon-neoliberal axis is itching for a war – but has no idea how to sell it to an immensely fractured public opinion.

UKUS, which de facto controls the Five Eyes spy scam, excels only in propaganda. So in the end it’s up to the CIA/MI6 intel axis and their vast network of media chihuahuas to accelerate Fear and Loathing ad infinitum.

Russophobic U.S. Think Tankland would very much cherish a Russian “invasion”, out of the blue, and could not give a damn about the inevitable trouncing of Ukraine. The problem is the White House – and the Pentagon – must “intervene”, forcefully; otherwise that will represent a catastrophic loss of “credibility” for the Empire.

So what do these people want? They want to provoke Moscow by all means available to exercise “Russian aggression”, resulting in a lightning fast war that will be a highway to hell for Ukraine, but with zero casualties for NATO and the Pentagon.

Then the Empire of Chaos will blame Russia; unleash a tsunami of fresh sanctions, especially financial; and try to shut off all economic links between Russia and NATOstan.

Reality dictates that none of the above is going to happen.

All exponents of Russian leadership, starting with President Putin, have already made it clear, over and over again, what happens if the Ukro-dementials start a blitzkrieg over Donbass: Ukraine will be mercilessly smashed – and that applies not only to the ethno-fascist gang in Kiev. Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

Defense Minister Shoigu, for his part, has staged all manner of not exactly soft persuasion, featuring Tu-22M3 bombers or Tu-160 White Swan bombers.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has conclusively explained, over and over again, that “NATO doesn’t have forces not only to ‘counter-act’ anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia.”

Martyanov notes, “there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode.”

Translation: anything the Empire of Chaos and its NATO subsidiary try in Donbass, directly or indirectly, the humiliation will make the Afghanistan “withdrawal” look like a House of Gucci dinner party.

No one should expect clueless NATO puppets – starting with secretary-general Stoltenberg – to understand the military stakes. After all, these are the same puppets who have been building up a situation which might ultimately leave Moscow with a single, stark choice: be ready to fight a full scale hot war in Europe – which could become nuclear in a flash. And ready they are.

It’s all about Minsk

In a parallel reality, “meddling in 404” – a delightful Martyanov reference to a hellhole that is little more than a computer error – is a totally different story. That perfectly fits American juvenilia ethos.

At least some of the adults in selected rooms are talking. The CIA’s Burns went to Moscow to try to extract some assurance that in the event NATO Special Forces were caught in the cauldrons – Debaltsevo 2015-style – that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russian help, will concoct, they would be allowed to escape.

His interlocutor, Patrushev, told Burns – diplomatically – to get lost.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, had a phone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, ostensibly to ensure, in Pentagonese, “risk-reduction and operational de-confliction”. No substantial details were leaked.

It remains to be seen how this “de-confliction” will happen in practice when Defense Minister Shoigu revealed U.S. nuclear-capable bombers have been practicing, in their sorties across Eastern Europe, “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia”. Shoigu discussed that in detail with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe: after all the Americans will certainly pull the same stunt against China.

The root cause of all this drama is stark: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

In a nutshell, the deal stipulated that Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled exactly zero commitments – while the proverbial NATOstan media machine incessantly pounded global opinion with fake news, spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned in the agreement.

Moscow in fact always respected the Minsk Agreement – which translates as regarding Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Moscow has zero interest in promoting regime change in Kiev.

This charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Lavrov was forced, under the circumstances, to publish 28 pages of correspondence between Moscow on one hand, and Berlin and Paris on the other, evolving around the preparation of a high-level meeting on Ukraine.

Moscow was in fact calling for one of the central points of the agreement to be implemented: a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass. Berlin and Paris said this was unacceptable. So yes: both, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Minsk Agreement. Public opinion across NATOstan has no idea whatsoever this actually happened.

Lavrov did not mince his words: “I am sure that you understand the necessity of this unconventional step, because it is a matter of conveying to the world community the truth about who is fulfilling, and how, the obligations under international law that have been agreed at the highest level.”

So it’s no wonder that the leadership in Moscow concluded it’s an absolute waste of time to talk to Berlin and Paris about Ukraine: they lied, cheated – and then blamed Russia. This “decision” at the EU level faithfully mirrors NATO’s campaign of stoking the flames of imminent “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Armchair warriors, unite!

Across NATOstan, the trademark stupidity of U.S. Think Tankland rules unabated, congregating countless acolytes spewing out the talking points of choice: “relentless Russian subversion”, “thug” Putin “intimidation” of Ukraine, Russians as “predators”, and everything now coupled with “power-hungry China’s war on Western values.”

Some Brit hack, in a twisted way, actually managed to sum up the overall impotence – and insignificance – by painting Europe as a victim, “a beleaguered democratic island in an anarchic world, which a rising tide of authoritarianism, impunity and international rule-breaking threatens to inundate”.

The answer by NATOstan Defense Ministers is to come up with a Strategic Compass – essentially an anti-Russia-China scam – complete with “rapid deployment forces”. Led by who, General Macron?

As it stands, poor NATOstan is uncontrollably sobbing, accusing those Russian hooligans – scary monsters, to quote David Bowie – of staging an anti-satellite missile test and thus “scorning European safety concerns”.

Something must have got lost in translation. So here’s what happened: Russia conclusively demonstrated it’s capable of obliterating each and every one of NATO’s satellites and blind “all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention ground forces” in case they decide to materialize their warmongering ideas.

Obviously those deaf, dumb and blind NATOstan armchair warrior clowns – fresh from their Afghan “performance” – won’t get the message. But NATOstan anyway was never accused of being partial to reality.

Theater of Absurd… Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops on Russian Soil

November 19, 2021

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

The United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin this week performed impressive, albeit pathetic, mental gymnastics. In a press conference, the Pentagon chief called on Russia to be more transparent about troop movements “on the border with Ukraine”. In others words, on Russian soil.

Meanwhile, the absurd hypocrisy sees U.S. and NATO forces brazenly escalating their offensive presence on Russia’s borders, especially in the Black Sea region.

Here’s an Associated Press clip on the Pentagon press conference: “American officials are unsure why Russian President Vladimir Putin is building up military forces near the border with eastern Ukraine but view it as another example of troubling military moves that demand Moscow’s explanation, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Wednesday.”

The report quotes Austin as saying: “We’ll continue to call on Russia to act responsibly and be more transparent on the buildup of the forces around on the border of Ukraine… We’re not sure exactly what Mr Putin is up to.”

This dubious talent for mind-bending mental gymnastics and double-think is shared with other members of the Biden administration. Last week, America’s top diplomat Antony Blinken claimed that Russia was about to invade Ukraine yet at the same time the U.S. Secretary of State confessed similar ignorance about what “Putin is up to”.

How is it possible to engage in meaningful dialogue with such vacuous people who are supposed to be government leaders – and leaders too of the self-declared world’s most powerful, most brilliant nation? No undue offense intended, but it would probably be more productive to engage in a dialogue with the bewildering characters from Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed all claims about it threatening Ukraine or any other country with invasion. Moscow also disputes “unreliable” information touted by the Biden administration and Western media of troop buildup near Ukraine on its western flank. Western media reports have relied on dodgy commercial satellite data purporting to show Russian military maneuvers. It is contemptible that senior U.S. government figures are basing grave allegations against Russia on such ropy sources. That in itself speaks volumes about the deterioration in Washington’s diplomatic professionalism and political intelligence.

Secondly, the salient fact being missed in all the hullabaloo is this: Russian troops and equipment are on Russia’s sovereign territory. It is the height of absurdity for U.S. officials to demand that Russia “explain” and be “more transparent” about its own national defenses. That speaks of a hyper-arrogance among American politicians that are deforming their ability to think reasonably.

There is an analogy here with the outcry this week over Russia’s successful missile test against a Soviet-era satellite in orbit. The Biden administration condemned Russia for creating “space junk” and weaponizing space while ignoring the fact that the U.S. previously carried out the same kind of missile strike and, arguably has been trying to weaponize space since the Reagan administration’s “star wars” program during the 1980s.

In any case, the U.S. charges of Russia’s military buildup on its own territory are made all the more ridiculous when we consider the actual increase in NATO forces in Ukraine and the Black Sea region – right on Russia’s western doorstep.

In a major speech this week delivered at the Russian foreign ministry, President Putin noted again how Western powers have continually failed to register Moscow’s national security concerns over the expansion of NATO forces along Russia’s borders. He described this inability for cognition of what should be an obvious grievance as “very peculiar”.

The Kremlin has suggested that the increasing NATO offensive presence near Russia’s borders is not due to stupidity, but rather is aimed at provoking a conflict. Russia is strenuously resisting the danger of an armed confrontation, and yet the provocations continue.

Nearly two weeks ago, William Burns, the head of the CIA made a high-profile visit to Moscow during which he held discussions with senior Kremlin figures, including President Putin. We can safely assume that Burns was told in no uncertain terms that the buildup of U.S. and NATO forces near Russia’s territory is a red line that will presage a response from Russia.

But these red lines continue to be skirted by Washington and its NATO allies.

More perplexing, too, are the moves by the U.S.-backed Kiev regime to escalate the conflict in Ukraine against the ethnic Russian population in the separatist Donbas region. The ultranationalist regime has been waging a low-intensity war against the Donbas since the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. The Americans and other NATO powers are increasing weapon supplies and military trainers to the regime, emboldening it to repudiate any peaceful settlement of the eight-year conflict.

Only last month, Pentagon chief Austin was in Kiev where he recklessly endorsed the joining of the NATO bloc by Ukraine. That is in spite of numerous warnings from Moscow that such a move would be an unacceptable destabilization.

The stepped-up war drills by NATO in the Black Sea region are inevitably leading the Kiev regime to resile from legally binding commitments to the Minsk Peace accord of 2015 – brokered by Russia, Germany and France. The release this week of diplomatic communications by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov clearly demonstrates that Germany and France are complicit in turning a blind eye to the Kiev regime’s systematic violation of the Minsk deal.

In this context, Russia is justifiably deeply wary of a confrontation exploding out of the tinderbox conditions in Ukraine and the Black Sea. Given the Russian nation’s tragic history of suffering from past military invasions, it is entirely understandable and indeed vitally prudent that the country’s formidable defenses are on high alert.

It is not for Russia to explain its troops. It is for the United States and its NATO partners to account for their wanton aggression and to desist.

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

Partner in Unending Crimes: US Approves $650m Weapon Sale to Saudi Arabia

Nov 5, 2021

Partner in Unending Crimes: US Approves $650m Weapon Sale to Saudi Arabia

By Staff, Agencies

Taking yet another part in unending crimes against Yemeni children, the United States approved a $650m sale of air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon announced.

The announcement brings to light the Biden administration’s first major weapons deal with the Gulf kingdom.

In a statement on Thursday, the Pentagon claimed that the US State Department approved the sale to help Riyadh ‘counter current and future threats.’

It added that Massachusetts-based firm Raytheon would be the “principal contractor” for the sale of AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles [AMRAAM] and related equipment.

The sale comes months after President Joe Biden claims he would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales.”

The State Department’s bureau of political-military affairs alleged in a series of tweets on Thursday that the missiles are “not used to engage ground targets.”

The sale does not require congressional approval, but lawmakers can block the deal by passing a disapproval bill in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The missile sale follows the US approval of a $500m helicopter maintenance deal for the kingdom in September.

As a candidate, Biden berated Saudi Arabia over the Yemen war and the killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling the kingdom a “pariah.”

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a devastating war against the poorest Middle Eastern country in 2015 to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement.

The coalition of aggression, however, has so far fallen way short of the goal. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have, however, died ever since amid the aggression and a simultaneous siege that the forces have been imposing on the entire nation.

The protracted war in Yemen has killed or maimed at least 10,000 children since the war began in March 2015, which is equivalent to four children every day, the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] said in October.

How the Pentagon Leaned on Hollywood to Sell the War in Afghanistan

September 28th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

Visual search query image
In hundreds of films and TV shows, every single word and image has been closely scrutinized and signed off on by senior military figures, all in an effort to convince viewers into supporting deadly and grossly immoral campaigns around the world.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA — The (official) 20-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has come to a close, with the military beating a hasty and ignominious retreat. The puppet Afghan government NATO installed lasted fewer than two weeks on its own, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing for the UAE, allegedly with around $169 million in cash.

If the occupation was so unpopular and weak, how was it able to last so long? The Afghanistan Papers  — a trove of military documents leaked to The Washington Post — showed that high-ranking government officials knew that the war was unwinnable but were openly lying to the public about how it was going, all while NGOs and military contractors made billions

But documents obtained by journalist Tom Secker under the Freedom of Information Act and shared with MintPress also show that Hollywood also played a significant role, knowingly collaborating with the Pentagon to produce pro-war propaganda about Afghanistan, ultimately helping to artificially buoy public opinion on the unwinnable campaign. This typically included giving the Pentagon direct editorial control over scripts and even removing any anti-war content or scenes that would show the military in a negative light. In exchange, the military offered its human resources, its bases as locations for filming, and its wide range of hi-tech vehicles to be used in movies. This quid pro quo effectively turned much of Hollywood, and the entertainment industry more generally, into cheerleaders for imperialism. 

The military-industrial-media complex

Reading through the documents, what becomes clear is the sheer scale of the military’s involvement in the silver screen, and in pop culture more generally. For instance, between 2015 and 2017, the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs West (OCPA-W) — based just outside of Hollywood, CA — was generally working on between 40 and 70 entertainment media projects at one time. The OCPA-W is one of three Army regional offices, the others being in Chicago and New York City. The Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, CIA and other government organizations all have similar agencies and programs aimed at manipulating their image in mass media. 

The OCPA-W’s weekly summary of its affairs for the week of December 22, 2016, for example, notes that it is involved in 63 working projects; 15 in pre-production, 26 in production and 22 in post-production. According to research by Secker  and Matthew Alford for their 2017 book “National Security Cinema,” the Department of Defense has supported at least 814 movies and 1,133 separate TV shows, the majority of those in recent years.

Afghanistan is generally far from American minds. This is by design: few at the top of American society want the public to be scrutinizing U.S. actions there. When the country is portrayed on American screens, the military works extremely hard to present the war in a way most conducive to its interests. Hollywood has been a willing collaborator in this. Below is a selection of case studies of movies about or featuring the war in Afghanistan and a discussion about how the U.S. military has had those movies sanitized before they ever met the public eye. 

12 Strong (2018)

“12 Strong” is a jingoistic action film based on a true story about a small unit of 12 U.S. Special Forces who invaded Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks, thus being the first American boots on the ground of a two-decade campaign that cost the lives of an estimated 176,000 Afghans, displacing almost 6 million more. 

The film entails the elite group attempting to capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif before NATO forces arrive. The team, so they say, is outnumbered by “50,000 Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces,” as if the two were close allies. This is despite the fact that the Taliban immediately condemned the 9/11 attacks and that Western estimates put al-Qaeda’s global forces at the time at below 100 members. “If we don’t take that city, the World Trade Center is just the beginning,” says one of the heroes of the film, whose tagline is “twelve soldiers gave us a reason to hope.”

Documents show that the military was eager to help with such a nationalistic film, and matched what they called the production company’s “breathtaking” list of asks, including access to a number of military bases in New Mexico for shooting; army uniforms for actors; “target” vehicles they could blow up; the hire of a number of aircraft, including Chinook and Seahawk helicopters; and appropriate Soviet tanks for the enemy to use. They also aided the company in finding military extras to appear in minor roles.

Despite the movie’s strongly pro-war message, the OCPA-W, Air Force, and other military organizations still insisted on going through the script with a fine-toothed comb, removing even minor details it did not like. This included demanding that writers changed their plans to present the 12 soldiers as rugged men with full beards and tattoos. An email from OCPA read: 

My other concern is that during the loadout sequences at Fort Campbell that occurred shortly after 9/11 our soldiers did not have full length beards and neck tattoos. That came later. I hope [REDACTED] guys are going to Shave for those sequences.

A few weeks later, the seemingly minor point had not been resolved. In a show of just how much control over creative direction the military had, the OCPA threatened to pull out of the movie, reminding the production company of the agreement they had signed up for: 

The production company agrees to cast actors, extras, doubles, and stunt personnel portraying military men and women who conform to individual Military Service regulations governing age, height / weight, uniform, grooming, appearance, and conduct standards. DoD reserves the right to suspend support in the event that disagreement regarding the military aspects of their portrayals cannot be resolved in negotiation between the production company and DoD within the seventy-two hour cure-period. The DoD Project Officer will provide written guidance specific to each Military Service being portrayed.

  1. U.S. Army.

(1) The depiction of Soldiers in the Continental United States prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks should be in accordance with U.S. Army Regulation 670-1, West and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia. Soldiers would meet height/weight standards, be clean shaven, with a well-groomed haircut and be wearing the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). Load bearing equipment would be olive drab or the BDU pattern.

(2) The depiction of deployed Soldiers following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would be in accordance with the tactical situation. Soldiers would still meet height/weight requirements (appear physically fit) with relaxed grooming standards for extended operations. The deployed Soldiers would be wearing the Desert Combat Dress Uniform (DCU) with olive drab or BDU pattern load bearing equipment.

The Department of Defense is well aware that the sort of assistance they offer (free equipment, filming locations, etc.) would be enormously expensive, if not impossible, to otherwise obtain. Therefore, they leverage their considerable influence into what amounts to control over every aspect of a movie or TV show they work on. This often even means jettisoning reality in favor of a relentlessly pro-war message.

Emails show that OCPA instructed the production company to change the minor criminal backstory of one of the 12 soldiers, despite the fact it was perfectly real. As one OCPA official wrote: 

I told him our two biggest issues were the background story of Cpt [REDACTED]

being any FNG [“Fucking New Guy,” a derogatory military term for recruits] when he was actually a Team Leader for two years and the comment about Sergeant [REDACTED] having a choice between Jail and the Army.

According to the book the bar fight incident did happen, [REDACTED] attorney

was able to plea deal it down to a misdemeanor with a probation period. He

did lose his job as a school teacher and he started to work construction. I [sic]

period of time later, he decided to join the US Army.

Production quickly agreed to the changes, a few weeks later sending a new script for the OCPA and Air Force’s approval. “Here is a revised draft of Horse Soldiers,” they replied. “We changed [REDACTED]’s backstory per your suggestion. Please let me know if this works for you. [PERSON’s NAME REDACTED], would you send this draft to the appropriate Air Force personnel and let me know whom to follow up with?” (Cross referencing the documents with the book it is based on makes it clear that the sergeant in question is Sam Diller, one of the main characters in both book and movie). 

None of the military’s demands appear to have caused much resistance from the company. Indeed, towards the end of filming, a senior member of the team even emailed the OCPA and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to offer his profound gratitude for their services: 

[The] Army and the entire team have been absolutely fantastic and helped us achieve an amazing air-to-air shoot this evening. They are the utmost professional highly trained crew. We know if it wasn’t for your great efforts to make this movie badass we would have never gotten such a team. We promise to make the Army proud, so THANK YOU!!!!!

Lone Survivor (2013)

“Lone Survivor” is the largely true story of a Navy SEAL team that was discovered and attacked by the Taliban while carrying out a special operation to assassinate the organization’s commander, Ahmad Shah. The SEALs suffered devastating losses, leaving only one man — Marcus Luttrell — to tell the story. 

The plot of the film revolves around the squad being discovered by local goat herders and their supposedly heart-wrenching decision on whether to kill the shepherds to cover their tracks, or let them go, the assumption being that the old man and two children in question would immediately alert the Taliban to their whereabouts. The group decided to let their captives go, which almost immediately turned out to be a deadly mistake. 

The story is based upon the book by Luttrell, who is now a Trump-loving media anchor on Glenn Beck’s conservative TV network “TheBlaze.” At times, Luttrell’s book reads like the manifesto of a white-nationalist mass-shooter, and is peppered throughout with his seething hatred of liberals. Luttrell is extremely regretful that he went along with the decision to let the Afghans go and did not stick to his gut feeling and insist they murder an old man and two children (all unarmed). “It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life,” he wrote. “I’d turned into a fucking liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain.” By way of explanation, he said that it was his certainty that the liberal media would betray the troops and side with the Taliban that made him release them, telling his fellow SEALs at the time: 

Just so you all understand, their bodies will be found, the Taliban will use it to the max. They’ll get it in the papers, and the U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy. We will almost certainly be charged with murder.

Apologizing for not carrying out what amounts to a war crime, he writes: 

That situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.

The book is a glorification of supposedly righteous violence against a subhuman opponent. As he explains: 

“In the global war on terror, we have rules, and our opponents use them against us. We try to be reasonable; they will stop at nothing. They will stoop to any form of base warfare: torture, beheading, mutilation. Attacks on innocent civilians, women and children, car bombs, suicide bombers, anything the hell they can think of. They’re right up there with the monsters of history.

The original script stayed close to Luttrell’s interpretation of events. Needless to say, however, the military demanded major rewrites. In the finished version, the Navy SEAL commander simply decides to let the goat herders go, with no arguments about whether to kill them and hide their bodies and certainly no long soliloquies about the treachery of the liberal media, as happens in the book.

The military often claims that they aid the film industry merely to ensure depictions of themselves are more accurate. Yet reading through 131 pages of declassified emails between them and production company, Film 44, it is clear that this is not the case. Indeed, Philip Strub, the Department of Defense’s chief Hollywood liaison, made this explicit, writing in a now-declassified email:

While maximizing historical authenticity is our mandate, we share responsibility for the reputations of the four SEALs and to their families’ memories of them.

What also becomes apparent after reading the documents is the level of intimacy between the movie industry and the military, and the latter’s fastidious attention to detail, poring over every single word of dialogue to ensure each frame is as pro-war as the film can get. Strub and his associates even insisted minor touches, like visible tattoos on the SEALs, be written out of the script. They also demanded the deletion of a scene in which Luttrell and another SEAL have a conversation about Power Bars, taunting each other, with Luttrell shouting “blow me, fag,” then loudly farting. This was presumably in an effort to ensure members of the Navy SEALs did not come across as uncouth as Lutrell does in his own book. 

“I just learned from Film 44 (Sarah and Braden) that they are ready to submit Pete’s latest rewrite to us. They say that they have used our notes as a kind of check-list, and addressed all of our concerns. You’ll be receiving the watermarked script via email very shortly,” Strub wrote in an email that suggests that every draft script needed to meet the military’s exacting standards. Strub is one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. The list of movies and TV shows for which he is (publicly) credited is staggering, surely more impressive than virtually any other director or producer in Hollywood. Yet his name is all but unknown to the public.

According to the documents, the military categorized their role in the movie into four parts: “script review and vetting,” “production department consulting,” talent training” and “on-set coaching.” In exchange for what amounts to total content control, the military provided “Lone Survivor’s” producers with the use of Kirtland Air Force Base in a rocky and sandy part of New Mexico that could easily pass for Afghanistan; the use of a multitude of expensive aircraft, including Black Hawk and Apache helicopters; and parachute jumpers and other general military personnel.

One reason for this continued involvement is obvious, and made explicit in the emails. “One of the criteria for DoD to support the movie is recruiting,” wrote an officer from U.S. Special Operations Command. 

What is particularly noteworthy about this movie is that its entire premise — that if the SEALs chose not to kill the goat herders they would be found out — is demonstrably incorrect. Interviews with locals (including the man who hid and protected Luttrell, ensuring he was the lone survivor) establish that everybody in the area knew the SEALs were there, thanks to the elite unit’s own incompetence when it came to stealth. An enormous American helicopter landing in a remote part of rural Afghanistan was enough to raise suspicions among locals. If that was not enough, the SEAL team failed to dispose of evidence of their landing. 

Unsurprisingly, Strub and his colleagues insisted this scene, which threatened to introduce a potential alternative reading of the movie — in which bungling Americans get caught, outmaneuvered, then slaughtered — was changed. This helped ensure the movie was as relentlessly pro-military as possible, despite the fact that it was telling the story of one of the deadliest U.S. military blunders of the entire war.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

“Charlie Wilson’s War” tells the story of the eponymous Texas politician most famous for being the driving force behind Operation Cyclone — the CIA’s funding and training of the Afghan Mujahideen (an action that also turned the country into the world’s largest heroin producer).

The original script did not portray Wilson or his endeavors especially sympathetically, explicitly noting how he was supporting extremists like Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. One of these ultra-radicals was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a brutal warlord widely accused of starting the trend of throwing acid in women’s faces. Throughout the original script, 9/11 is presented as a foreseeable consequence of the U.S.’s decision to empower these violent fanatics. Indeed, the original end scene took place at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, with Wilson hearing the deafening screech of an airliner hitting the building.

However, all this — al-Qaeda, Hekmatyar, and the 9/11 scene — was cut from the script after the CIA reviewed it. Instead, the finished film ends with Wilson receiving a medal for his services to freedom in Afghanistan. Also removed was a scene discussing the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres, where Israeli-backed forces slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinian refugees.

Earlier versions of the script also portrayed the Soviets somewhat sympathetically, with one character noting that Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan included “forc[ing] them [Afghans] to learn to read and write.” This was also cut in favor of portraying Soviet soldiers as brutal and unthinking monsters slaughtering the local population. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) 

The comedy-drama — which stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman as Western journalists covering the Afghan War — was something of a flop at the box office. Still, it managed to reduce losses significantly by filming at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico (just as “Lone Survivor” did) and using real U.S. Marines as extras. In exchange, producers handed over significant editorial control of the story to the military, which insisted on changing a scene where a U.S. military truck crashed into a crowd of civilians. In the final movie, there are no images of this, and the incident is referred to only in a 20-second news segment that describes it merely as “a fatal traffic accident involving a coalition truck.” 

The crash was a real incident. In 2006, the truck plowed through Kabul during rush hour, killing at least three civilians and injuring many others. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is based on American journalist Kim Barker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle.” The incident plays a major role in her book as the point where she finally understood how pointless and unwinnable the war was, how there was no accountability for the rich and powerful and no justice for the “have nots.” She described it and the following anti-U.S. riots as “a major breaking point in Afghanistan, the time when we first saw just how angry some Afghans were, just how ripe the country was for a Taliban comeback, just how leaderless Afghanistan really was.” Yet in the movie, the crash is mentioned only in passing, making the rioting Afghans appear irrationally angry and violent, a typical stereotype of Afghan War films. 

Iron Man (2008)

The original “Iron Man” script was decidedly pacifist, with protagonist Tony Stark attempting to use his enormous manufacturing empire to battle against war profiteers and the military industrial complex. However, after the Pentagon got involved, with Philip Strub again acting as the military liaison, the tone of the movie was radically altered. Much of the fighting in the movie takes place in modern-day Afghanistan, with the U.S. military serving the role of the good guys. In this sense, the film’s stance on war was reversed.

In exchange, the production agreement notes that the military would allow the movie to be shot at Edwards Air Force Base, just north of Los Angeles; provide “approximately 150 extras at Edwards AFB to play military members from various services and Afghan nationals;” help produce around 100 uniforms; and provide the opportunity to use a range of expensive aircraft.

Tom Secker, when asked by MintPress to assess the U.S. film industry’s role in prolonging the Afghan war, responded: 

Hollywood’s coverage of NATO’s war in Afghanistan has been notable by its absence, its silence, and its use of contextless microcosms which represent the war, rather than explore or explain it. “Iron Man” and “Lone Survivor” — two Pentagon-supported blockbusters — are both set during the U.S. occupation, but the scale of that occupation and the mess it was making of the country are ignored by both narratives, in favor of tightly-focused cinematic synecdoches which conveniently avoid the suffering of everyone involved.

Secker concluded:

In that sense, of course Hollywood has played a crucial role in perpetuating the war. They either failed to remind people that the war was still going on, or painted it in heroic, decontextualized colors that make it seem like a benevolent adventure halfway round the world, rather than the crushing, destructive geopolitical ratfuck it truly is.  

A mediated war 

It is not just big-budget Hollywood movies that the Pentagon works on, however. Practically every medium is used to spread a pro-war message. Declassified documents show that the Army flew Arnold Schwarzenegger to Afghanistan for the global-warming documentary TV series “Years of Living Dangerously.” This was, laughably, an effort to present the U.S. military — the single largest polluter in the world — as a force for good with regard to climate change, showing the former bodybuilder their supposed efforts to set up renewable energy systems across the Middle East. 

Likewise, pop culture is full of strategically inserted pro-war messages. For instance, declassified documents show that the OCPA-W carefully placed uniformed service members in opportune spots in the audience of the game show “The Price is Right.” The military pays the National Football League millions of dollars to put troops on the field or fly aircraft over the stadium before big football games, turning the entire event into a recruitment drive. It also has a video-games team called “U.S. Army Esports,” helping to associate the military with fun in the minds of the children watching. They have also been accused of using the same grooming techniques pedophiles use, only to recruit children into joining the war machine. 

Meanwhile, the music video for pop star Katy Perry’s song “Part of Me” was shot at Camp Pendleton Military Base in California, and shows Perry getting over a bad breakup by joining the Marines. The training process shows her finding herself again and growing as an individual. When Fox News asked Perry’s team if they had been paid by the military for the video, they refused to answer. The video currently has 887 million views on YouTube.

“The whole videography … is straight out of [Nazi film maker] Leni Riefenstahl: the same angled, heroizing upward shots, the same fetishization of physical power, of gleaming armaments, and of the rigor and mechanism of human beings cohering into living militarized units,” wrote feminist critic Naomi Wolf, who labeled the song “war propaganda.”

TV news is also filled with former high-ranking military officials who play the role of neutral expert while sticking, laser-like, to pro-war talking points, helping to give cable news coverage of the conflict a decidedly jingoistic bent. 

What these documents ultimately underline is the deep interlocking connections between Hollywood and the national security state. Few Americans experience the war from close up. Even fewer realize that depictions of the conflict come heavily mediated through the military. In hundreds of films and TV shows, every single word and image has been closely scrutinized and signed off by senior military figures, all in the effort to convince viewers into supporting deadly and grossly immoral campaigns around the world. Long ago, the military realized the power of Hollywood. It is high time that Americans realized that, when watching movies and TV shows about war, all too often they are not seeing neutral works of art, but carefully constructed pieces of national security propaganda.

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

September 11, 2021

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Twenty years have passed since 9/11, so where do we stand today?  I will give my short answers as bullet points and then let you post your own conclusions.  Here are mine:

  1. Numerous engineers, architects, chemists, researchers and others have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.
  2. There is very strong, albeit indirect, preponderance of evidence that the Israelis were deeply involved and that they had accomplices inside the USA.
  3. From the two above I think that it is reasonable to assume that the Israelis were working with the US Neocons on a common project.
  4. Al-Qaeda (which is a CIA creation in the first place!) had some parts of it activated by the US/Israeli deep states (which are trying run the Takfiris everywhere), but only to play the role of a patsy (there were a few Saudis and there were real aircraft, but they did not bring down any buildings in NY).
  5. It remains unclear to me what really happened at the Pentagon, but I think that we can take the notion that the aircraft over DC and NY were remotely piloted as a pretty good working hypothesis (which still needs to be proven).
  6. Directed energy weapons, Russian naval nuclear cruise missiles, mini-nukes and the like are crude disinformation responses to the 9/11 Truth movement by the US deep state.  These were only moderately effective and only convinced a, shall we say, specific type of “truthers” which are all rejected as idiots (at best) by the mainstream 9/11 movement.
  7. The truth about 9/11 is now slowly getting “JFK status” which is “everybody either suspects/knows, but nobody really cares anymore”.  It’s old news, especially in a society with an attention span somewhere between 2 mins and 2 days.
  8. The real goal of 9/11 was to create a “patriotic pretext” to launch the GWOT and change the entire Middle-East into a compliant entity à la Jordan.
  9. The GWOT was a total failure and one of the worst military campaign in military history.
  10. The plan to create a “new” Middle-East have totally failed and, if anything, created a stronger anti-Israeli environment than before 9/11.  The fact that GWOT medals are handed out by the ton means nothing: after the Grenada faceplant Uncle Shmuel gave out more medals than participants took place in the entire operation.
  11. The AngloZionost Empire died on January 8th, 2020 and the USA, as we knew it, died on January 6th 2021 (see here for a detailed discussion of these dates and context), almost exactly one year later.
  12. By being murdered by the USA, General Soleimani won the biggest victory in his life.
  13. The US will have to leave both Iraq and Syria sooner rather than later.
  14. The Zionist entity calling itself “Israel” is now in a major political and even existential crisis and is now on the ropes and desperate.  But they hide it a lot better than the US propagandists.  But the Palestinians “feel” that, as do quite a few Israelis too.
  15. Both Biden and “Biden” are now fighting for their political lives not only due to “Kabul” but also due to the way Biden has just declared war on those who refuse vaccines.
  16. Anti-vaxxers might be many things, but nobody can deny them the following qualities: they are very strongly driven, for them the entire issue is not medical, but one of self-image, of identity and resistance to tyranny.  Okay, some will quietly cave in, but many will not.  That is why I strongly believe that Biden’s “declaration of war” against the unvaccinated “deplorables” (he did not use the word, but his contempt and hate was obvious) is a huge mistake.  At least in the USA, I believe that there are plenty of anti-vaxxers who will rather die in a firefight than being vaxxed (which they sincerely believe will either chip them, or kill them in a couple of years).  In other words, I do not believe that “Biden” has the means to force 80M+ anti-vaxxers to get the jab, in fact, if anything, his entire speech was a highly divisive slap in the face of millions of US Americans.  Violence is almost inevitable by now.  First isolated incidents, but possibly something bigger too.
  17. The US economy is not growing or recovery.  That is just playing with numbers or, “statistics” in Churchill’s sense of the word.  The truth is that the country is breaking apart and slowly going “3rd world” (okay, there are already plenty of “3rd world” areas of the USA, but these are now expanding).  The real Chinese economy is about 1.5 times larger than the real US one.  Point, set, game and match China.  By the way, the real Russian economy is comparable or bigger to the real German one, and the Russian economy has pretty much recovered from the COVID crisis (but it is not over, cases are still rising in some areas of Russia).
  18. The US military has totally lost its ability to function as a real military.  Ditto for NATO.  They were publicly humiliated pretty much everywhere they set foot.  This process is now irreversible. Point, set, game and match Russia, China and Iran.
  19. Internally, the USA losing its cohesion and that centrifugal process is being accelerated by the truly insane internal policies of “Biden” (just Woke and Covid are a declaration of war against millions of US Americans).  I am not at all confident that “Biden” can bring states like Florida or Texas to heel.  I won’t comment any further on the internal US situation, but that needed to be mentioned.

Conclusions:

  1. As with all Neocon type policies, they initially look “brilliant” only to end up in an abject clusterbleep and the Neocons hated by pretty much everybody else.
  2. The Taliban won the GWOT (even at its best, Uncle Shmuel “controlled” about 40% of the country, max!).
  3. The entire Zone B and a big part of Zone A now realize that (whether they openly admit it or not).
  4. There is a good chance that the very public disaster in Afghanistan will now force the Europeans to distance themselves from a clearly senile, demented and weak Big Brother.
  5. The core Anglosphere (UK/CA/NZ/AUS) seems to be consolidating around the “Biden USA” which might put them on a collision course with the EU.  We are not quite there yet, but that’s were we are heading.
  6. The COVID pandemic effectively “exploded” all the societies in Zone A which are now all in a low-level “brewing” pre-civil war condition.  I do not see what anybody could do to change that.
  7. The COVID pandemic will only get worse, which will only trigger more attempts by Zone A government to try force their population to “obey” and that, in turn, will only further destabilize all, repeat, ALL the regimes in power in Zone A.

The bottom line is this: 9/11 and the GWOT were initial, very short lived, tactical successes which resulted in a strategic disaster or, better, in a strategic collapse of both the AngloZionist Empire and the USA.

And, finally, this.  I cannot prove it, but my reading of modern history and regime collapses brings me to believe the following:

I have always said that US policies, internal and external, are not really the result of careful planning as they are the result of various interests/entities using their influence and power to “pull” US policies in the way they want.  And since there are A LOT of various interests/entities, especially in important cases, what we see is not a “policy outcome” but only a “sum vector”, an “outcome” which is the sum of all the different pulling and the relative strength of the folks doing that pulling.

I believe that this process has only been magnified but by an order of magnitude.  What we see today in the US ruling elites is a huge “cover your ass”, “run for your life”, “protect yourself and your future” and even “grab it while you still can” and NOT, repeat, NOT “real” policies.  Those who believe in a grand conspiracy fail to realize that what happened in Kabul is not the exception, it is the rule!  Kabul was a giant spotlight which finally showed the true face of the US military to the entire planet: not the Tom Clancy kind of patriotic delusional hallucinations or Hollywood, but the “real reality” filmed “on the ground” on cheap but ubiquitous cellphones, by both Afghani and even US/NATO servicemen’s!

The problem for the delusional patriots is this: far from being “Putin agents” or anything like that, the million of folks out there who have cellphones with cameras (no matter how old or cheap) produce such a raw volume of data which makes it impossible to suppress.  The exact same goes for the Israelis, by the way, who have paid a huge price in terms of “losing the propaganda war” since the Palestinians (and quite a few Israelis too!!) now use their cellphones more effectively than any Palestinian rocket or suicide-bomber ever would.  That is also what really screwed up the recent US elections: ubiquitous cellphones (well, and CCTV cameras).

If we imagine the US/Israeli propaganda machine as a huge powerful animal (BILLIONS are invested into this) you can think of poor, oppressed people with cheapo cellphones as fire ants.  Let’s just conclude by saying that time is not on the side of the big powerful heavy animal, but on the fire ants’ side.

Andrei

PS: yes, I mentioned the POLITICAL aspects of the COVID pandemic.  I get to set the rules, since this is my blog.  The COVID topic remains banned on the entire Saker blog (Cafe included), EVEN if I get to mention it if/when it is part of my political analyses (I won’t touch the medicals aspects of COVID anymore, I have said all I have to say on this topic already anyway).  Do do NOT, repeat, NOT try to “sneak in” some COVID comments or you will be banned.  For the alternatively gifted: the article above is NOT about vaccines or the dangers of mRNA, it is about the political evaluation of 9/11 and the GWOT.  Stay on topic or else…

“There Was No Indication of Afghanistan Collapse Within 11 Days” – Top US General

AUGUST 20, 2021

“There Was No Indication of Afghanistan Collapse Within 11 Days” - Top US General

By Staff, Agencies

The top general in the US said no one predicted the sudden Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, speaking in a Pentagon press conference Wednesday.

“There was nothing that I or anybody else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said.

The US military and the administration of US President Joe Biden are under political attack domestically over the Taliban’s defeat of the Afghan forces with little fight and the collapse of former president Ashraf Ghani’s US-backed government last weekend.

“The intelligence clearly indicated multiple scenarios were possible: one of those was an outright Taliban takeover following a rapid collapse of the Afghan Security Forces and the government,” Milley said. “Another was a civil war, and a third was a negotiated settlement.”

But regarding the “timeframe of a rapid collapse, that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks, months, and even years following our departure,” he said.

He said that, to his knowledge, no reports “predicted a security force of 300,000 would evaporate in 11 days, from 6 August to 16 August, with the capture of 34 provinces and the capital city of Kabul.”

“The Afghan security forces had the capacity, and by that I mean they had the training, the size, the capability, to defend their country,” he claimed. “This comes down to an issue of will and leadership.”

The speed appeared to catch the US government off guard and it launched a rapid evacuation operation for US citizens and Afghans granted special visas for their work for US forces.

Since Saturday, around 5,000 US troops have flown in to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport to manage the evacuations of thousands.

Critics faulted the State Department, US intelligence, and the Pentagon for not anticipating the debacle and preparing earlier for the evacuation, which involves more than 10,000 US citizens.

US Defeat: Senators Horrified to See US Military Equipment in Taliban’s Hands, Want Answers from Pentagon

18 Aug 2021

US Defeat: Senators Horrified to See US Military Equipment in Taliban’s Hands, Want Answers from Pentagon

By Staff, Agencies 

A group of 25 Republican senators have written a letter to US War Secretary Austin Lloyd, demanding that the Biden Administration account for taxpayer-funded American military equipment that has now been seized by the Taliban. 

“As we watched the images coming out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retook the country, we were horrified to see US equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban,” the group of Republican senators wrote.

Reports have poured in from the war torn country on how the group has captured not just arms and ammunition stocked by the US troops but also helicopters and heavy armored vehicles. 

“It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by US taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies. Securing US assets should have been among the top priorities for the US Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the senators wrote.

The letter, which has been signed by Senators Bill Cassidy, Marco Rubio and 23 other Republicans, has sought a full account of military equipment provided to the Afghan armed forces last year.

The senators have also raised concerns over the possibility of the Taliban working with countries hostile to the US to use the highly advanced equipment. 

The Taliban is believed to have taken hold of more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including US Humvees, and about 40 aircraft including UH-60 Black Hawks, ScanEagle Military Drones and attack helicopters.

The letter has come days after a damning report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction [SIGAR], the leading US government audit authority, on how wasteful expenses were incurred by the US in Afghanistan. 

On 16 August, SIGAR John Sopko released a bombshell 140-page report titled “What We Need to Learn: Lessons from Twenty Years of Afghanistan Reconstruction,” concluding that the US government consistently underestimated the time needed to rebuild the country.

“If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that can sustain itself and pose little threat to US national security interests, the overall picture is bleak,” the report’s conclusion reads.

Pentagon: Iraq will Decide the Fate of Our Military Presence

22 Jul 21

Al Mayadeen

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

Visual search query image
US military parade in Iraq (archive).

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

Kirby said that the Pentagon is hosting an Iraqi delegation “as part of the ongoing strategic dialogue between the two states” and that “the US military presence in Iraq is under discussion with our Iraqi partners.”

He added: Our mission will not permanently focus on “ISIS” and we are in close consultations with Iraqi officials. We hope that we can rid ourselves and the region of the threat posed by it.

The Pentagon spokesman considered that the fate of US military presence in Iraq is a matter that will be concluded with Iraq, adding that “We will continue to talk with the Iraqis about our direct military presence in Iraq to serve the interests of the United States.” 

The United States reduced its military presence in Iraq last year by half, equivalent to 2,500 soldiers. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman also announced last April that the presence of US forces had become limited to guidance and training.

Talks about the US presence in Iraq come amid an American drive to reduce military deployments in the Middle East that accelerated the withdrawal process of US forces from Afghanistan. 

Bomber Joe Biden Strikes Iraq and Syria: Retaliation Breeds More Incidents

See the source image

July 15, 2021

Philip Giraldi

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

In less than six months in office President Joe Biden has already developed a national security policy that appears to lean strongly towards proactive use of military force in questionable circumstances, as if war is the answer to every problem. Biden should nevertheless be applauded for his persistence in withdrawing from Afghanistan after twenty years of ill-considered nation building, but even the departure from that country appears to be characterized by a lack of coordination, rather reminiscent of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof in Saigon in 1975.

For the second time the president has ordered a US bombing raid on two targets in Syria, and for the first time, he also attacked a site inside Iraq. According to one report possibly as many as seven Iraqis died in the attacks which targeted alleged weapons storage facilities along the Syria-Iraq border belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada militias. The US claims that the two Iraqi militias have ties to Iran, which may be more than usually true because the Iraqis and Iranians have cooperated regularly in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The Pentagon also claims that the militias were behind recent attacks on American targets, see more below.

After the attacks carried out by US fighter-bombers, the excuse provided was the same one employed after Biden’s first air attack in February, namely that the US, as described by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, “conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.” He added verbiage what has now become a regular feature of all US military actions, that “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense.” For those who are intrigued by Pentagon newspeak the expression “defensive precision airstrikes” must be considered as a new entry in the crowded field of phrases that largely have no meaning.

The strikes were framed as being retaliatory, but the most interesting aspect of this latest bombing is that the initial US government justifications for the action were on somewhat tentative. Reportedly, someone had used drones with explosives attached for mostly night-time attacks directed “against places where Americans were located in Iraq,” which were further described as including diplomatic, intelligence and military facilities. The Pentagon refers to the drones as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or UAVs. No Americans were killed in the alleged attacks and there were no reports of any substantial damage, though the Pentagon is apparently collecting information and preparing a comprehensive report which the public undoubtedly will not be allowed to see.

Oddly, the initial media reporting on what had occurred and who had been blamed for it included a weasel word, “suspected.” In government-speak that frequently means there was little or no evidence that the militias that had been targeted were actually the perpetrators, but it is convenient to assume that they are responsible, making them “suspects.” After all, it is relatively easy to transport a number of drones on the bed of a pickup truck, drive with it to a location where one is unlikely to be observed and then release them at a fixed target. Even if you don’t hit anything, you will spread fear and trigger a response that might well be exploited to vilify the occupying forces. You will also provide justification for your own retaliation.

The Iraqi government, which was not informed in advance of the US bombings, not surprisingly reacted strongly, registering its opposition to such activity on the part of its so-called ally, though occupier has been suggested as a more appropriate description. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office called the airstrikes a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” After the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament had called for the departure of all US forces, but the Trump Administration ignored the demand, claiming that it was in Iraq to help the Iraqis in their fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

The US currently has a claimed 2,500 soldiers in Iraq who, it asserts, are in country advising and training their local counterparts. Meanwhile, “Fighting terrorists and training friendly forces” is roughly the same excuse that has been used to justify remaining in neighboring Syria, where the US has deployed roughly 500 soldiers who have been taking possession of the production of the country’s oil fields, which it then provides to Israel. The US is also, by the way, trying to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus, using some of the very terrorists it claims to be fighting to do the job, but that is of course another story.

If the United States government is beginning to sound a bit like the Israeli government that should surprise no one, as Israel is clearly heavily involved in whatever on goes vis-à-vis Syria and Iran directly and in Iraq by proxy. One almost expects new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to provide an endorsement, parroting the Pentagon line as well as his own country’s rhetoric, saying “the US has a right to defend itself.” Of course, the unasked question then becomes “to defend itself against what?” Israel was at least able to pretend that there was some kind of threat coming from Gaza since the two share a border, but the United States would be hard pressed to explain why it has soldiers in Syria and Iraq at all, particularly since the Iraqi government has called upon them to depart.

A neocon journalist supportive of a global crusade to spread “democracy” once quipped that the nice thing about having an empire is never having to say you are sorry, but that has not meant that mindless acts of violence inflicted throughout the Middle East are have been consequence free. One has to suspect in this case that the use of force to include a target within the borders of a nominal ally was also mostly intended to send a signal to Iran. A Pentagon spokesman ironically boasted afterwards that “This action should send a message to Iran that it cannot hide behind its proxy forces to attack the United States and our Iraqi partners.” The spokesman appears to be oblivious to the fact that it was Iraqi militiamen tied to the government that had been killed, not Iranians. And his assumption that it would reduce the level of violence also proved wrong as there have been a number of new drone, rocket and mortar attacks against American targets in Iraq since Biden’s “defensive precision airstrikes” were launched. One of the militias that lost fighters to the US airstrikes, said it would “avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs.”  Another Iranian supported group, the Popular Mobilization Forces went further, threatening to “enter an open war with the American occupation.” In short, all the attacks really accomplished was to anger the Iraqi people over the continued US presence and to guarantee more incidents.

Biden’s “sending a message to Iran” would undoubtedly be intended to do the same to the Iraqi government, telling them that drawing any closer to the Iranians is too close as far as the Pentagon and White House are concerned. In terms of the timing of the airstrikes, it is also important to note that the US has been working closely with the new Israeli government to establish a unified policy on Iranian “regional aggression” and its nuclear program. Biden met recently with retiring Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has been having discussions with Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid. Iran was the focus of both meetings.

So, Joe Biden and whoever is advising him are continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy. The problem with the meddling in the Middle East is primarily that it permits no exit strategy. It will end ignominiously when it ends as is happening in Afghanistan, without any remorse and little to show for all the expense and the deaths. Given that reality, rather than concoct largely fabricated reasons to keep US troops in Iraq and Syria the Administration should be looking for ways to end the torment for everyone involved.

Related Video

NEO – The Nasty Secrets behind Pentagon Treason and America’s Rogue Nuclear Threat

Roosevelt found the Army not just unfit, but a threat to democracy with an officer corps largely aligned with Adolf Hitler

April 28, 2021

by  Gordon Duff, Senior Editor … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscsow, 

We will begin with a short and painless history lesson. Just before the US entered World War II, General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff for the US Army, was tasked with getting America ready for war.

To do so, he removed 30,000 incompetent officers, most of them West Point Graduates, from their positions with the Army and Reserve/National Guard Commands. Eventually, he ended up putting an obscure Lt. Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower in charge of all European operations.

From the 1972 hit song by the Scottish music group Steelers Wheels:

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…Stuck in the Middle Again”

Roosevelt found the Army not just unfit but a threat to democracy with an officer corps largely aligned with Adolf Hitler.

Vietnam

Vietnam was worse but the problem was sloth and cowardice. Here the Pentagon set up luxury resorts as military bases for brass and visiting “dignitaries” while those fighting the war starved and died in numbers unseen since the darkest days of World War II.

In the North/I Corps we had 3MAF Headquarters, the “Puzzle Palace,” with top rated chefs and high-end brothels while in the South we had MACV Forward, the infamous Westmoreland Compound, originally set up by MSUG’s Wesley Fischel, architects of the corrupt Diem regime.

This author enjoyed a firsthand view of Vietnam as a Marine infantryman serving in units commanded by privates and lance corporals while commanders were never seen.

A true story, from 1970. This author was being released from active duty as a corporal in the Marine Corps, stationed at that time at LZ Rockcrusher at Dai La Pass outside Da Nang. I was called into Da Nang to meet with General Nickerson, then III MAF Commander and an officer selection board.

I was offered an immediate commission if I chose to remain in the Corps and a slot, at a later date, at Annapolis. I was told the Marine Corps was getting rid of the “dead wood,” and I was asked to stay on.

My response, you mean “combat vets?” General Nickerson’s response: “That’s exactly what we mean.” My attempt at irony either zoomed past him or he did not care.

I was a combat vet, but I must have been the “right kind” of combat vet, tall, blond, white and educated and, seemingly “compliant.” They might have been wrong about that. Today’s “Dancing boy village” at Kabul with its million-dollar condominiums puts both to shame and we do not want to discuss the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Today

Our point is this, the military gravitates toward proving the Peter Principle and is, in fact, the best possible example of the worst principles of management. From Wikipedia:

“The Peter Principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their “level of incompetence”: employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent.”

The military now takes it to a whole new level with promotion based on servile gullibility and adherence to a blend of approved conspiracy theories, where Dispensationalism and Dominionism, both stressing the Pentagon’s role in bringing about nuclear Armageddon or the newest versions under Trump, Qanon, COVID denialism and a blend of Fascism and Hucksterism.

The Viper Academies and the January 6 Coup Attempt

This week, the director of the Air Force Academy, Lt. General Richard Clarke, director of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs decided to comply with presidential orders to investigate right wing extremism and white supremacism, which has virtually drowned the American military, by blaming “both sides.”

Several of the leaders of the January 6, 2021 coup attempt were Air Force Academy graduates with high security clearances. Secretary of Defense Austin ordered all military commands, and especially the Air Force Academy, to investigate extremism in the ranks.

It is supposed to be a highest priority that as few paranoid schizophrenics as possible enter the highest levels of America’s nuclear command structure. If you feel this statement reflects sarcasm, it is obvious that you have been asleep for the last couple of decades or more.

Asleep or Complicit?

This is the same military that has overseen the export of hundreds of tons of processed heroin from its bases in Afghanistan, that watched ISIS steal millions of tons of oil from Iraq and Syria and is now directly involved in that process itself, at presidential order.

At one point in 2015, ISIS (banned in Russia) had 12,000 oil trucks lined up 4 abreast headed into Turkey, a convoy visible from the surface of the moon with the naked eye. Yet, America’s drones, satellites and surveillance aircraft saw nothing, not until Russian Aerospace Forces decided to intervene.

These are facts that prove that every American military commander was and is fully complicit in protecting the operational activities of named terror groups.

We can make the exact same statement about the world heroin trade as well. At one point, the US Air Force asserted that the Taliban (banned in Russia) was flying heroin out of Afghanistan secretly from American bases.

As American humorist Jim W. Dean so often says, “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

Bin Laden Again

There are issues that should never be forgotten or allowed to be pushed aside. One is Osama bin Laden, longtime CIA asset chosen as “patsy” for the fake War on Terror and the other 9/11, one of the world’s greatest false flag events.

Note that Trump appointee, Clarke, was the architect of the Bin Laden raid. This “made” Clarke as an American hero and moved him into a position where he could, potentially, be very useful to extremist elements.

In 2009, this author traveled to Pakistan and met with Imran Khan, currently Pakistan’s Prime Minister, then ISI Chief General Pasha and discussed bin Laden’s death. The group also included former Head of the Army General Aslem Beg, former ISI Head and VT Editor General Hamid Gul and Chairman of Pakistan’s JCOS, Admiral Sirohey, also a member of VT’s Advisory Board.

This author also reviewed classified files on bin Laden and interviewed one of the men who buried bin Laden in Afghanistan. According to records, including reports from Fox News and other sources, bin Laden died in December 2001. From Fox News:

“Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader.

‘The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation, but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead,’ the source said.

Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.”

It gets much worse. In a further interview with White House intelligence coordinator Lee Wanta, I was told that bin Laden had been in the US on 9/11 receiving medical care at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center under the name Colonel Timothy Osman.

Wanta described his meetings in the US with bin Laden/Osman, which included Oliver North and other Bush officials, and of an earlier meeting with bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan, which included top CIA officials.

Wanta reported that Oxford educated bin Laden spoke better English than he did.

Yet, for years, SITE Intelligence, an Israeli run organization, provided videos of strange looking versions of bin Laden, followed by years of audio tapes as the world had apparently lost the ability to record or upload video in the interim, or we would supposedly be brought to believe.

Americans are still in Afghanistan hunting for the “dozens of vast underground fortresses” Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld spoke of when he ordered the hunt for long dead bin Laden, part of an American war that cost the lives of millions of innocents.

Every minute of it was fake and the Pentagon at it up like a dog at vomit.

Minot Barksdale and an Earlier Coup Attempt

The issue at the Air Force Academy began many years ago. This author was contacted by cadets (158) there back in 2008 who complained of religious persecution and a curriculum that promoted treason and extremism.

The root of the command meltdown within the US military is generally traced to the US Army Psychological Warfare Command at the Presidio, a base in San Francisco that is today a city park. At the time a strange Satanic child abuse scandal within the military had attempted to implicate commanders there including Colonel Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set, a Satanic cult powerful within the Pentagon and the service academies.

Aquino was cleared but an investigation led to broad allegations of abuse through 15 major military commands including and especially the US Air Force Academy and the US Air Force nuclear command at Minot Air Force Base. From New Eastern Outlook (2014):

“During the Bush (43) administration, something far more serious happened. America’s nuclear command structure was compromised at every level, culminating in the theft of nuclear weapons from Minot Air Force Base in 2007, an undisclosed number of thermonuclear weapons loaded onto a B 52 which later landed — or more appropriately, was forced to land at Barksdale Air Force Base some hours later.

Immediately thereafter, Secretary of Defence Robert Gates ordered the Department of Defense to remove all oversight of nuclear weapons from the United States Air Force, placing an Army general in overall command of what had previously been Air Force weapons inventories.

Soon thereafter, 84 personnel in America’s largest nuclear command were removed, 12 permanently due to accidents and suicide. Since that time, over 200 members of that command have been forced out, and America’s entire nuclear command has been put under direct oversight.

Greater Israel

The real problem is twofold and involves a breakdown of command authority and discipline, as well as treason. Not long after Bush (43) took office, his backers in the extremist Christian evangelical community approached Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

They wanted to assure that all military command personnel would follow the tenets of the obscure religious sect Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and Ashcroft belonged to.

This sect seeks to bring about a nuclear apocalypse tied to the expansion of “Greater Israel” in order to bring about what they call the “rapture” and “end times.” Their religious beliefs are a mix of “Ufology,” belief in alien influence, satanic worship and that a select group will be called to rule the world at the side of an alien master race, while those “left behind” will die in misery.

Their religion is a mix of misinterpreted biblical prophecy, science fiction and the occult. In fact, many of those at the highest levels of US government retain no actual Christian beliefs at all, not by any conventional standard.”

Given Enough Rope…

Blindly cheerleading for the military is called “patriotism” but, often as not it is treason in its purest form. There is now and there has been in the past, time and time again, no bigger threat against freedom than the military and America’s military is among the worst.

There are no simple truths, but we will distill it down as much as possible. The Pentagon is a feeding ground for extremists, bottom-feeders and “mama’s boys” in uniform. It is all haircuts and fancy uniforms, of saluting, strutting and conspiracy.

The Pentagon lives on conspiracy and treason that is held in check only by a few decent and honorable leaders.

The problem, initially, was the revolving door that placed potentially traitorous military leaders, after retirement, at Fox News as commentators or moved them into White House advisory positions.

Some gravitated to think tanks like the infamous Atlantic Council or Heritage Foundation and almost all have, predictably, embraced Fascism in his many forms.

Conclusion

The current political climate in the US is extremely dangerous. The Supreme Court, stacked with extremists, is openly tossing the constitution aside as recently cited by Justice Sotomayor.

Extremists in Arizona have seized the ballots from the recent presidential election and are doctoring them, in an attempt to justify a military takeover of the government. Their stated goal is to set up a “whites only” ruling party that will oversee elections where only the “righteous” will be allowed to vote.

A recent investigation of the military’s role in the January 6 coup attempt by General Honore’ found widespread complicity between military commands in and around Washington DC and coup plotters.

Simply put, were the US to be evaluating another nation, a nuclear power, judging whether its nuclear arsenal was at risk or its command structure capable of overruling elected officials and unleashing a nuclear war, based on the “situation on the ground” in the US today, America would be considered a “highest threat.”

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

BIOGRAPHY

Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Senior Editor , VTGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

Will the allies have to die for Kiev?

Thierry Meyssan Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in English – Before Our Very Eyes, Fake Wars and Big Lies: From 9/11 to Donald Trump, Progressive Press, 2019.

by Thierry Meyssan

The Ukrainian population is divided between a part of European culture and another of Russian culture.

This singularity offers Washington a playground against Moscow. For several weeks now, the drums have been beating, sounding war.

But none of the allies want to die for Kiev or sacrifice themselves to Russia.

VOLTAIRE NETWORK | PARIS (FRANCE) | 20 APRIL 2021

The US armed forces

Joe Biden has always been the “Pentagon’s man”.

1- The Anglo-Saxons have a hereditary enemy: the Russians. For them, Russians are despicable people, destined since Otto I (10th century) to be nothing but slaves, as their name indicates (‘Slavic’ means both ethnicity and slave). In the 20th century, they were against the USSR, allegedly because it was communist, and are now against Russia without knowing why.

2- Second adversary, enemies they have created for themselves by waging an “endless war” against them since September 11, 2001: the populations of the wider Middle East, whose state organisation they are systematically destroying, whether they are allies or adversaries, in order to “send them back to the stone age” and exploit the riches of their region (Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy).

3- Third adversary: China, whose economic development threatens to relegate them to second place. In their eyes, they have no other choice than war. This is at least what their political scientists think, and they even speak of the “Thucydides trap” in reference to the war that Sparta waged against Athens, frightened by its flight [1].

4 – The issues of Iran and North Korea are far behind the first three.

Joe Biden’s Interim National Security Strategy [2] or their Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [3] keep repeating this from different angles.

Fighting three wars at once is extremely difficult. The Pentagon is currently looking at how to prioritise these. It will report in June. There is absolute secrecy about the commission that is doing this assessment. No one even knows who the members are. Yet without delay, the Biden administration is focusing on Russia.

Whether we are independent or subservient to the “American Empire”, we must stop trying to avoid seeing. The United States of America has no other objective than to destroy Russian culture, Arab state structures, and – eventually – the Chinese economy. This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate defence of their people.

There is no other way to explain why the United States spends astronomical sums on its military that bear no relation to the budgets of those it describes as its “friends” or “enemies”. According to the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the US military budget is at least equal to the sum of the budgets of the other 15 most armed

states [4].

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Military budgets of the 15 largest states (in billions of US dollars).Source: Institute for Strategic Studies

Issues for confrontation with Russia

The US is concerned about Russia’s recovery. After experiencing a sharp drop in life expectancy between 1988 and 1994 (5 years less), it has recovered, then largely surpassed that of the Soviet era (12 years more), although its healthy life expectancy remains one of the lowest in Europe. Their economy is diversifying, particularly in agriculture, but remains dependent on energy exports. Their army has been renewed, their military-industrial complex is more efficient than the Pentagon’s, and it has acquired experience in Syria.

For Washington, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline threatens to free Western Europe from its dependence on US oil. While the attachment of Crimea to the Russian Federation, and even that of Donbass, is at least partially a blow to Ukraine’s dependence on the American Empire (Crimea and Donbass are not of Western culture). Finally, the Russian military presence in Syria is slowing down the project of political destruction of all the peoples of this region.

“When you want to drown your dog, you say it has rabies”

It was undoubtedly President Biden who opened the hostilities by calling the Russian president a “killer”. The two powers had never exchanged insults, even in the Gulag era. His interlocutor replied politely and offered to discuss the matter publicly, which he refused.

The United States has a short-term view of the world. They do not see themselves as responsible for their legacy. According to them, the evil Russians have amassed more than 100,000 troops in the vicinity of Ukraine and are preparing to invade it, as the Soviets did in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But then it was not Russia, but the USSR; not the Putin doctrine, but the Brezhnev doctrine; and Leonid Brezhnev himself was not Russian, but Ukrainian.

The Russians, on the contrary, have a long-term view of the world. In their view, the barbaric Americans challenged the balance of power with the attacks of 11 September 2001. Immediately afterwards, on December 13, 2001, President Bush announced the withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty. The United States then brought into NATO, one by one, almost all the former members of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR in violation of their promise at the time of the dissolution of the latter. This policy was confirmed by the Bucharest Declaration in 2008 [5].

Everyone knows the peculiarity of Ukraine: Western culture in the West, Russian culture in the East. For about fifteen years, the country was politically frozen, until Washington organised a pseudo-revolution and put its puppets, in this case neo-Nazis, in power [6]. Moscow reacted quickly enough for Crimea to declare its independence and join the Russian Federation, but it hesitated for the Donbass. Since then, it has been handing out Russian passports to all the inhabitants of this Ukrainian region for which it is the only hope.

The Biden administration

President Biden was known, when he was a senator, for introducing legislation in the Senate that was devised by the Pentagon. When he became president, he surrounded himself with neo-conservative figures. We cannot repeat it enough: the neo-conservatives were Trotskyite militants who were recruited by Republican President Ronald Reagan. Since then, they have always remained in power, except during the parenthesis of Jacksonian President Donald Trump, switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party and back again.

During the colourful Maïdan ’revolution’ (2013-14), Joe Biden, then vice-president, took up the cause of the neo-Nazis who were agents of Nato’s stay-behind networks [7] He ran the operation with one of the then assistant secretaries of state, Victoria Nuland (whose husband, Robert Kagan, is a founder of the Project for a New American Century, the fundraising arm of Republican George W. Bush). President Biden decided to make her the deputy to his new Secretary of State. She relied on the then US ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, now posted in Athens, Greece. As for President Biden’s new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, he is both judge and jury because his mother is of Ukrainian origin. Although he was raised in Paris by his mother’s second husband, te lawyer Samuel Pisar (advisor to President Kennedy), he is also a neo-conservative.

Preparing for the confrontation with Russia

In mid-March 2021, the United States and its Nato partners organised the Defender-Europe 21 manoeuvres. These will continue until June. This is a repeat of the mega-exercise Defender-Europe 20, which was reduced and shortened due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It is a huge deployment of men and equipment to simulate a confrontation with Russia. These manoeuvres are joined by a nuclear bomber exercise in Greece, attended by the aforementioned Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

On March 25, President Volodymyr Zelensky published the new Ukrainian Security Strategy [8], three weeks after President Joe Biden published the US one.

Responding to Nato, Russia undertook its own manoeuvres on its western border, including its border with Ukraine. It was even sending additional troops to Crimea and as far as Transnistria.

On 1 April, the US Secretary of Defense called his Ukrainian counterpart about a possible increase in tension with Russia [9]. President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement saying he was monitoring Russian moves that could be provocative [10].

On 2 April, the United Kingdom organised a meeting of the British-Ukrainian Defence and Foreign Ministries, under the responsibility of British Minister Ben Wallace [11] (who was very active in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict [12]).

On April 2, President Joe Biden called his Ukrainian counterpart to assure him of his support against Russia. According to the Atlantic Council, he announced his decision to give him a hundred combat aircraft (F-15, F-16 and E-2C) currently based at Davis-Monthan air base [13].

On April 4, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Democrat Adam Smith, negotiated with Ukrainian parliamentarians to provide large subsidies to the Ukrainian army in exchange for the Ukrainian commitment to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline [14]

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Discreet return trip to Qatar by President Zelensky and the head of the Ukroboronprom arms factories on April 5, 2021.

On April 5, President Volodymyr Zelensky paid a visit to Qatar. The official purpose was to develop trade relations. Qatar is the main supplier of weapons to the jihadists and, according to our information, the question of possible financing of fighters was discussed. The director general of the military manufacturer Ukroboronprom, Yuriy Gusev, was on the trip. It was he who had supplied weapons to Daesh on order from Qatar [15].

On April 6, Lithuania, which in the past protected the western part of Ukraine in its own empire, enquired about the military situation [16]

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President Zelensky receives the Chairman of the Nato Military Committee on April 7, 2021.

On 6 and 7 April, British General Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the Nato Military Committee, visited Ukraine to clarify the reforms necessary for the country to join Nato [17].

On 9 April, in accordance with the Montreux Convention, the Pentagon informed Turkey of its intention to transit warships through the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits.

After discussing weapons and money with Sheikh Tamin in Qatar, President Zelinski came to talk about men with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on 10 April 2021.

On April 10, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Istanbul as part of regular consultations between the two nations [18]. In view of the Qatari endorsement, Nato member Turkey immediately began recruiting international jihadists in Syria to fight in the Ukrainian Donbass. Turkish military instructors were also sent to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, the headquarters of the International Islamist Brigade [19], created by President Erdoğan and his then Ukrainian counterpart with Tatars loyal to Washington against Russia.

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Logically, the Russian Federation was amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. So its partners in the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) questioned it about its manoeuvres. The Russian side only answered evasively. The Vienna Document (1999) obliges OSCE members to provide each other with all information on the movements of their troops and equipment. But we know that the Russians do not operate like the West. They never inform their people or their partners during an operation, only when their deployments are over.

Two days later, the G7 issued a statement expressing concern about Russian movements, but ignoring those of Nato and Turkey. It welcomed Ukraine’s restraint and called on Russia to “stop its provocations” [20].

On April 13, on the occasion of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting with the Ukraine/NATO Commission, the United States pulled out all the stops. All the allies – none of whom wanted to die because the Ukrainians could not get a divorce – were invited to support Kiev and denounce Russia’s “escalation” [21]. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held extensive talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kouleba [22]. War was inexorably on the way.

Suddenly, President Joe Biden lightened the mood by phoning his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. He proposed a summit meeting, whereas Putin had dismissed the proposal for a public debate when he had insulted him [23]. After this initiative, war seemed avoidable.

On April 14, Antony Blinken, however, summoned his main allies (Germany, France, Italy and the UK) to mobilize them [24]

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.President Biden clarified his position on Russia on April 15, 2021.

On April 15, President Joe Biden gave his vision of the conflict, expelled ten Russian diplomats [25] He imposed sanctions on Russia, which was accused not only of rigging elections to get President Donald Trump elected, but also of offering bounties for the assassination of US soldiers in Afghanistan and of attacking federal computer systems using SolarWinds software.

Predictably, Russia expelled a similar number of US diplomats. In addition, it set a trap for a Ukrainian diplomat, who was caught in the act of espionage with classified documents in his hand.

Continuing on his path, President Volodymyr Zelensky went to meet his French and German counterparts, President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel. While deploring the Russian escalation and reaffirming their moral support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, they were evasive about what would happen next. In the end, if the United States and Russia are to meet and discuss, it is a bit early to die for Kiev.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation

Roger Lagassé

[1Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, Graham Allison, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2017).

[2Interim National Security Guidance, White House, March 3, 2021. “President Biden’s National Security Strategy”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 9 April 2021.

[3Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, Director of National Intelligence, April 9, 2021.

[4The Military Balance 2021, Institute for Strategic Studies, Routledge (2021).

[5] “Bucharest Summit Declaration”, Nato, April 3, 2008.

[6] “Who are the Nazis in the Ukrainian government?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 3 March 2014.

[7NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe, Daniele Ganser, Routledge (2005).

[8] Presidential Order 121/2021.

[9] “Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Call With Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andrii Taran”, US Department of Defense, April 2, 2021.

[10] “Zelensky on Russian troops near border: Ukraine is ready for any provocations”, Ukrinform, April 2, 2021.

[11] “UK defense secretary initiates talks with Taran due to escalation in eastern Ukraine”, Ukrinform, April 2, 2021.

[12] “Nagorno-Karabakh: victory of London and Ankara, defeat of Soros and the Armenians”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 24 November 2020.

[13] “U.S. Should Provide Lend-Lease Type of Aid Package for Ukraine to Help it Upgrade its Air Force – Atlantic Council”, Defense Express, April 7, 2021.

[14] “Arakhamiya, Congressman Smith discuss expanding military support for Ukraine”, Ukrinform, March 5, 2021.

[15] “Qatar and Ukraine come to deliver Pechora-2D to ISIS”, by Andrey Fomin, Oriental Review (Russia) , Voltaire Network, 22 November 2015.

[16] “Ukrainian, Latvian defense ministers discuss security situation on Ukraine’s borders”, Ukrinform, April 7, 2021.

[17] “NATO Military Committee Chairman visits Ukraine”, NATO, April 6, 2021.

[18] “Turkey recruiting jihadists to send them to Ukraine ”, Voltaire Network, 18 April 2021.

[19] « L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie », par Thierry Meyssan, Télévision nationale syrienne , Réseau Voltaire, 12 août 2015.

[20] “G7 Foreign Ministers statement on Ukraine”, Voltaire Network, 12 April 2021.

[21] “NATO-Ukraine Commission addresses security situation in and around Ukraine”, NATO , Voltaire Network, 13 April 2021.

[22] “Meeting of Antony Blinken and Dmytro Kouleba”, USA (Department of State) , Voltaire Network, 13 April 2021.

[23] “Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with Vladimir Putin”, USA (White House) , Voltaire Network, 13 April 2021.

[24] “Main allies meeting on Ukraine”, United States (Department of State) , Voltaire Network, 14 April 2021.

[25] “Remarks on Russia”, by Joseph R. Biden Jr., Voltaire Network, 15 April 2021.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212801.html

STRATCOM Chief: Nuclear War with Russia, China a REAL POSSIBILITY!

STRATCOM Chief: Nuclear War with Russia, China a REAL POSSIBILITY!

By Staff, Agencies

The head of US Strategic Command Charles Richard warned that a nuclear war with Russia or China is “a real possibility”.

In the February issue of the US Naval Institute’s monthly magazine, the STRATCOM chief and Vice Admiral Richard pointed to what he called “destabilizing” behaviors of America’s rivals. He also claims the Pentagon is not “stuck in the Cold War.”

STRATCOM, which oversees the US nuclear arsenal, views the probability of nuclear war as low. But with Russia and China advancing their capabilities and continuing to “exert themselves globally,” Richard said STRATCOM must understand what it’s facing.

The top American general underscored that “In the absence of change, we are on the path, once again, to prepare for the conflict we prefer instead of one we are likely to face. If that sort of talk seems reminiscent of the Cold War, that’s because it probably is.”

However, Richard claimed the US military has focused on counter-terrorism for two decades while ignoring “the nuclear dimension”. “I bristle when I hear the ‘Department of Defense’ accused of being stuck in the Cold War,” he said. “The department is well past the Cold War.”

So what has the Pentagon been up to? According to Richard, US forces have been completely immersed in fighting terrorism, to the extent that Russia and China have used that to “aggressively” challenge “international norms and global peace using instruments of power and threats of force in ways not seen since the height of the Cold War.” He cited alleged instances of “cyberattacks and threats in space” in particular.

Richard even claimed that the rival powers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to advance their agendas. “We must actively compete to hold their aggression in check,” he said, adding that failing to do so will further embolden Russia and China and lead allies to think the US is unable or unwilling to “lead.”

Such saber-rattling has escalated in recent years, especially between Washington and Moscow. Russia tweaked its nuclear doctrine in 2018 to allow for use of such weapons in response to a nuclear attack or to a conventional attack that threatens the nation’s existence. A Pentagon official said in 2019 that the US would retain its right to carry out a nuclear first strike in response to a conventional attack, noting that allies wouldn’t otherwise believe they are protected.

Likewise, the STRATCOM chief cited Russia’s modernization of its nuclear forces, which he estimated to be about 70 percent complete, as a concern. Noting that Moscow has built “new and novel” systems, such as hypersonic glide missiles, he claimed that it has ignored “international norms” through such actions as an anti-satellite test last year.

Richard added that China also is making “technological leaps” and, like Russia, has harassed US and allied aircraft and forces operating in international airspace and waters. Saying the Chinese nuclear arsenal could double, triple or quadruple in the next decade, he suggested “the US must take action today to position itself for the future.”

In conclusion, Richard cautioned that the US military must shift its stance from assuming that nuclear war won’t happen to working to meet and deter the real possibility of such a conflict – or else “risk suffering embarrassment – or perhaps worse – at the hands of our adversaries.”

The renewed talk of a possible nuclear war comes days after Moscow and Washington agreed to prolong the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, thought to have been doomed to expire by the Donald Trump administration.

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Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

By Staff, The Canada Files

Canada’s former top military commander says that the US gave Canada a heads-up on its plan to kill top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to his interview with the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail this past week.

General Jonathan Vance recently retired from his position as Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff, but left with some key information about Gen. Soleimani’s assassination.

In his interview, the Globe and Mail reports him saying that the Pentagon alerted Ottawa on its plans to kill Gen. Soleimani so that it could put in “force protection measures” in case of Iranian counterstrikes.

However, right after the assassination, Canada’s National Defense Minister, Harjit Sajjan, said that the US did not provide Canada with the details of its targeted US drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani in Iraq.

In an interview with CTV’s Power Play host, Even Solomon, in January 2020, Sajjan said they “didn’t have the exact information for the event that took place” but just that the US indicated it would “take action.”

Yves Engler, a Montreal-based political activist who has authored books on Canadian foreign policy, says he thinks that what Canada had said initially was just a “propaganda line” because “they didn’t want to take any responsibility for complicity in what the US did.”

He says that Gen. Vance spoke about it now because he was stepping down and thus being a little bit more honest. Engler, however, isn’t surprised that Canada did in fact know about the assassination as he says that Canada’s military is “totally tied in with the US military presence there.”

“In Iraq, Iraqis view Canadian military and the US military as pretty interchangeable,” he said.

Canadian and American foreign policy have generally also been quite aligned.

According to a report by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Canada’s foreign policy “has been shaped by deep integration with, and dependence on, the United States.” The US department of State also states in a bilateral relations fact sheet that both countries are part of a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, NATO, WTO, G7, G20, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others.

In fact, the US and Canada coordinate through the High-Level Policy Review Group, which was launched in 2009 so that both countries could “coordinate actions in response to pressing global issues” and to support each other in “rallying international support for shared goals.”

Engler says he doesn’t think that Canada would want to be directly associated with Gen. Soleimani’s assassination, but believes that Canada has been quite openly aligned with the US government’s campaign to weaken Iran.

He also says that Canada should have done better since they had advanced knowledge of the assassination.

“If they cared about international law, they would have publicly released information and warned Iranians and said that we don’t want to participate in crazy games of assassinating top officials of other countries,” he said.

Instead, foreign affairs minister, Francois-Phillippe Champagne, released a statement emphasizing the safety of Canadian troops in the region, calling for de-escalation and stating that Canada had been concerned about Gen. Soleimani’s Quds Force, whose “aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”

In a 2018 Parliamentary meeting, Gen. Vance, however, admitted that the “the PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces] and Shia militia forces did help with the destruction of Daesh [Arabic Acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’].”

Iran’s Parliament speaker, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, delivered a speech on May 31, 2020 saying that Gen. Soleimani’s assassination is what poses a major threat to international peace and security now.

“When Iran does something that is questionable there is usually a pretty aggressive denunciation from the Canadian government, but in this case [of the assassination], it was either total silence or close to silence,” said Engler, commenting about Canada’s “modest” statement post-assassination.

Gen. Soleimani was the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ [IRGC] Quds Force. He and his companions, including top Iraqi official Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were assassinated in a US drone strike, under the order of US President Donald Trump, when Gen. Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Iran shot a barrage of missiles on US military bases in Iraq on Jan. 8, 2020 as a form of revenge for assassinating their top Iranian general.

According to Airforce Technology, the Ain al-Asad air force base was the largest coalition base in western Iraq. The Pentagon announced that over 100 American soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the missile strike at the base.

Canada suspended its military mission in Iraq and moved its troops to Kuwait as a protection measure at the time. Canada’s NATO mission in Iraq provides training for Iraqi forces “to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defense and security institutions.”

But Engler believes otherwise.

“Since the US occupation, there have been huge amounts of resources put into trying to build up an Iraqi military force that will advance US interests in Iraq and in the region more generally.” he said. “That’s the objective of training militaries everywhere. Canada and the US don’t train other countries’ militaries just out of the goodness of their heart, [they do it] because it’s useful to have armed men…that are aligned with you in different ways.”

Pentagon’s Sinister Role in Trump’s Coup Bid

Pentagon's Sinister Role in Trump's Coup Bid - TheAltWorld

Finian Cunningham

January 11, 2021

With the likes of Miller and other far-rightists in charge at the Pentagon, there is no guarantee on whose side the military will be, Finian Cunningham writes.

The extraordinary breach of security at the US Congressional building wasn’t just a “failure of planning” which allowed thousands of Trump supporters to trash the seat of government and to interrupt the electoral certification of Joe Biden as the next president. It was a coup attempt.

What’s more, Trump’s acting Pentagon chief Christopher C Miller is implicated in aiding and abetting the coup bid on January 6.

Trump appointed Miller, a former Green Beret and political loyalist, to head the Pentagon as acting Secretary of Defense following the November 3 election. He was among several other Trump loyalists rushed into senior positions at the Department of Defense prompting concerns back then that Trump was planning to overturn the election result which had cast Biden as winner but which Trump and his supporters have relentlessly disputed.

Several media reports have focused attention on the Pentagon to explain how the siege on the Capitol last Wednesday turned into a four-hour ordeal during which over 500 lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence, were forced to shelter in secure bunkers fearing for their lives. But media outlets like the New York Times are reporting the fiasco in anodyne terms as a result of “poor planning” or “failure” to coordinate security.

Calls were put out at around 2pm by the Capitol Police that they needed assistance after crowds broke through security fencing. But it was not until 6pm that members of the National Guard arrived to vacate the government buildings of protesters.

Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser reportedly made phone calls to the Pentagon appealing for troopers to be deployed. So too did lawmakers trapped inside the Capitol, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Those calls went strangely unheeded.

Since Washington DC is not a state it does not have authority over its National Guard. That authority lies with the Pentagon. But the DC troops had been stood down in the days before January 6 or deployed away from the Capitol building on traffic duty, even though there were abundant signals across social media that far-right Trump supporters were planning to rally at the Capitol to block the scheduled certification of Biden’s election by lawmakers in a joint session of Congress.

Mayor Bowser then appealed to the governors in neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia to deploy their National Guards to assist the Capitol. The governors were also receiving frantic calls from those politicians besieged within the chambers of Congress.

However, these state authorities were still obliged to get clearance from the Pentagon in order to deploy their troopers across state lines.

Maryland governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, has said that his requests to deploy the National Guard were repeatedly denied by Pentagon officials. It is not clear who these officials were. But the finger of suspicion points to Christopher Miller and the cohort of Trump-appointed loyalists at the Department of Defense.

This indicates that the events on January 6 were much more sinister than has been reported thus far. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died on the day Trump protesters stormed the Congressional building.

President Donald Trump has been condemned for inciting the crowds to attack the Capitol. He made an incendiary speech at a rally hours before Congress convened to certify the election, instructing the throngs to “take back their country”.

The storming of the Congress halls has also been widely condemned as an act of “insurrection” and “an assault on democracy”. But the media coverage tends to portray the event as a chaotic breach of security by rag-tag pro-Trump supporters. Belying those reports are more sinister accounts of armed far-right militia among the melee. There were cadres of Neo-fascists who were armed, equipped with zip-ties and nooses. They were even chanting for Republican Vice President Mike Pence’s head after Trump had earlier denounced him for being weak in not backing his effort to overturn the electoral process.

But what if the Capitol was deliberately left undefended? Questions have to be asked of the chiefs of Capitol Police and Washington DC metropolitan force who reportedly declined security back up purportedly offered by the Pentagon in the days before the “stop the steal” rally which Trump had been promoting for weeks. Was that Pentagon offer genuine or part of a charade?

Capitol Police chief Steven Sund told lawmakers before January 6 that everything was under control for all contingencies. They weren’t. He has since resigned. The Capitol was remarkably vulnerable from only a thin line of cops deployed on the day. Former security officials have expressed amazement at the lack of security. And there is video evidence of officers letting protesters through fences, even waving them on, and guiding them to key areas within the cavernous chambers.

But it is the apparent sinister role of the Pentagon that is most disturbing. Four hours to deploy the National Guard while armed men were marauding the seat of government suggests that this was an opportunity afforded to them to kill members of Congress and to block the electoral process of electing Democrat Joe Biden.

Only three days before January 6, an unprecedented oped piece was published in the Washington Post signed by 10 former Pentagon chiefs, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Leon Panetta and James Mattis. In the oped, they warned Christopher Miller to not use the military to overturn the election result otherwise there would be dire consequences for America’s democracy. It was a phenomenal intervention and warning, which shows how degenerated US politics has become.

It looks like Miller and all the President’s Men at the Pentagon ignored the advice. They went ahead to aid and abet a coup. The coup fizzled out. But there is still explosive elements remaining until Biden is inaugurated on January 20.

When far-right groups target the inauguration ceremony fully armed as they are declaring to do, what will the Pentagon’s response be then? With the likes of Miller and other far-rightists in charge at the Pentagon, there is no guarantee on whose side the military will be.

Unipolar vs Multipolar: The Death of McKinley and the Loss of America’s Soul

Unipolar vs Multipolar: The Death of McKinley and the Loss of America’s Soul

December 23, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

On December 17, 2020 A new US Maritime strategy was unveiled putting into practice the regressive concepts first outlined in the early National Defense Strategy 2020 doctrine which target China and Russia as the primary enemies of the USA and demanding that the USA be capable to “defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized integrated all-domain naval force of the future”.

The Pentagon’s Advantages at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power continued by saying “China’s and Russia’s revisionist approaches in the maritime environment threaten US interests, undermine alliances and partnerships and degrade the free and open international order… moreover, China’s and Russia’s aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding US institutional advantages.”

The document continued to describe that “we must operate more assertively to prevail in day-to-day competition as we uphold the rules-based order and deter our competitors from pursuing armed aggression… ready, forward-deployed naval forces will adopt a more assertive posture in day to day operations”

For anyone who has been paying attention to the vast growth of the Pentagon’s Full Spectrum containment policy around China’s perimeter begun with Obama’s Asia Pivot, it may appear as though these words are not new, but just a continuation of American unipolar agenda, Pacific war games, and psychological projection onto perceived enemies, that have been underway for years. While this is certainly true, it must be noted that they are occurring at a time that NATO 2030 has enshrined an anti-China military posture into the Trans Atlantic security doctrine which had formerly channeled most of its hate purely onto Russia.

The fact is those unipolar zombies programmed to think in no other terms but global post-nation state dominance are deathly afraid of the Russia-China bond of survival which has created a uniquely viable foundation for an alternative economic/security architecture for the world. This model is based on a system of finance that defines money not in speculative but rather long-term development of the real economic foundations of life. It also features a strong emphasis on win-win cooperation as opposed to Hobbesian zero-sum logic dominant among western powers, and it also finds itself driven by OPEN system economic practices shaped by unbounded scientific and technological progress that once upon a time guided America’s better traditions.

With the obvious threat of nuclear war breaking out between a collapsing unipolar order in the west and an emergent Multipolar alliance, it is important to review what possible latent policy traditions may yet be revived within America’s history which certain forces have worked very hard to scrub out of the historical record and memory. This study will take us to the incredible fights that arose over America’s identity at the turn of the 20th century during the period of President William McKinley and the treasonous anglophile President of vice, Theodore Roosevelt.

Munroe Doctrine or Empire?

As Martin Sieff eloquently laid out in his recent article, President McKinley himself was an peacemaker, anti-imperialist of a higher order than most people realize. McKinley was also a strong supporter of two complementary policies: 1) Internally, he was a defender of Lincoln’s “American system” of protectionism, internal improvements and black suffrage and 2) Externally, he was a defender of the Munroe Doctrine that defined America’s anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823.

The Munroe Doctrine’s architect John Quincy Adams laid out this principle eloquently on July 4, 1821:

“After fifty years the United States has, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own.

That the United States does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

That by involving itself in the internal affairs of other nations, the United States would destroy its own reason of existence; the fundamental maxims of her policy would become, then, no different than the empire America’s revolution defeated. It would be, then, no longer the ruler of itself, but the dictator of the world.”

America’s march is the march of mind, not of conquest.

Colonial establishments are engines of wrong, and that in the progress of social improvement it will be the duty of the human family to abolish them”.

It was an aging John Quincy Adams whom a young Abraham Lincoln collaborated with in ending the imperial Mexican-American war under Wall Street stooge James Polk in 1846. When Adams died in 1848, Lincoln picked up the torch he left behind as the London-directed “proto deep state” of the 19th century worked to dissolve the republic from within. The foreign policy conception laid out by Adams ensured that America’s only concern was “staying out of foreign imperial entanglements” as Washington had earlier warned and keeping foreign imperial interests out of the Americas. The idea of projecting power onto the weak or subduing other cultures was anathema to this genuinely American principle.

A major battle which has been intentionally obscured from history books took place in the wake of Lincoln’s murder and the re-ascension of the City of London-backed slave power during the decades after the Union victory of 1865. On the one hand America’s role in the emerging global family of nations was being shaped by followers of Lincoln who wished to usher in an age of win-win cooperation. Such an anti-Darwinian system which Adams called “a community of principle” asserted that each nation had the right to sovereign banking controls over private finance, productive credit emissions tied to internal improvements with a focus on continental (rail/road) development, industrial progress and full spectrum economies. Adherents of this program included Russia’s Sergei Witte and Alexander II, Germany’s Otto von Bismarck, France’s Sadi Carnot, and leading figures within Japan’s Meiji Restoration.https://www.youtube.com/embed/gYeVDjFKpOU?feature=oembed

On the other hand, “eastern establishment families” of the USA more loyal to the gods of money, hereditary institutions and the vast international empire of Britain saw America’s destiny tied to an imperial global partnership with the Mother country. These two opposing paradigms within America have defined two opposing views of “progress”, “value”, “self-interest” and “law” which have continued to shape the world over 150 years later.

William Gilpin vs Alfred Mahan: Two Paradigms Clash

A champion of the former traditionally American outlook who rose to the international scene was William Gilpin (1813-1894). Gilpin hailed from a patriotic family of nation builders whose patriarch Thomas Gilpin was a close ally of Benjamin Franklin and leading member of Franklin’s Philosophical Society. William Gilpin was famous for his advocacy of America’s trans continental railway whose construction he proselytized as early as 1845 (it was finally begun by Lincoln during the Civil War and completed in 1869 as I outlined in my previous paper How to Save a Dying Republic).

In his thousands of speeches and writings, Gilpin made it known that he understood America’s destiny to be inextricably tied to the ancient civilization of China- not to impose opium as the British and their American lackies were want to do, but to learn from and even emulate!

In 1852, Gilpin stated:

“Salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the “Chinese constitution” viz. the “patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire”. The political life of the United States is through European influences, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States”.

With Lincoln’s 1861 presidential victory, Gilpin became Lincoln’s bodyguard and ensured the president survived his first assassination attempt en route to Washington from Illinois. During the Civil War, Gilpin was made Colorado’s first Governor where he successfully stopped the southern power from opening up a western front during the war of secession (applying Lincoln’s greenback system to finance his army on a state level) and winning the “Battle of Glorieta Pass”, thus saving the union.

After the war Gilpin became a leading advocate of the internationalization of the “American system of political economy” which Lincoln applied vigorously during his short-lived presidency. Citing the success of Lincoln’s system, Gilpin said: “No amount of argument will make America adopt old world theories… To rely upon herself, to develop her own resources, to manufacture everything that can possibly be manufactured within her territory- this is and has been the policy of the USA from the time of Alexander Hamilton to that of Henry Clay and thence to our own days”.

Throughout his speeches Gilpin emphasizes the role of a U.S.-Russia alliance: “It is a simple and plain proposition that Russia and the United States, each having broad, uninhabited areas and limitless undeveloped resources, would by the expenditure of 2 or 3 hundred millions apiece for a highway of the nations threw their now waste places, add a hundredfold to their wealth and power and influence”

And seeing in China’s potential the means to re-enliven the world- including the decadent and corrupt culture of Europe: “In Asia a civilization resting on a basis of remote antiquity has had, indeed, a long pause, but a certain civilization- although hitherto hermetically sealed up has continued to exist. The ancient Asiatic colossus, in a certain sense, needed only to be awakened to new life and European culture finds a basis there on which it can build future reforms.”

In opposition to the outdated British controls of “chock points” on the seas which kept the world under the clutches of the might of London, Gilpin advocated loudly for a system of internal improvements, rail development, and growth of the innate goodness of all cultures and people through scientific and technological progress. Once a global system of mutual development of rail were established, Gilpin stated “in the shipment of many kinds of raw and manufactured goods, it will largely supersede the ocean traffic of Great Britain, in whose hands is now carrying the trade of the world.”

Gilpin’s vision was most clearly laid out in his 1890 magnum opus “The Cosmopolitan Railway” which featured designs for development corridors across all continents united by a “community of principle”.

Echoing the win-win philosophy of Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road today, Gilpin stated:

“The cosmopolitan railway will make the whole world one community. It will reduce the separate nations to families of our great nation… From extended intercommunication will arise a wider intercourse of human ideas and as the result, logical and philosophical reciprocities, which will become the germs for innumerable new developments; for in the track of intercommunication, enterprise and invention invariably follow and whatever facilitates one stimulates every other agency of progress.”

Mahan Derails America’s Anti-Imperial Identity

Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) represented an opposing paradigm which true American statesmen like Lincoln, Secretary of State James Blaine, William Seward, President Grant, William Garfield, and McKinley detested. Sadly, with McKinley’s murder (run by an anarchist ring with ties to British Intelligence) and the rise of Teddy Roosevelt in 1901, it was not Gilpin’s but rather Mahan’s worldview which became the dominant foreign policy doctrine for the next 120 years (despite a few brief respites under FDR and JFK).

Mahan is commonly credited for being a co-founder of modern geopolitics and an inspiration for Halford Mackinder. Having graduated from West Point’s naval academy in 1859, Mahan soon became renowned as a total failure in actual combat having crashed warships repeatedly into moving and stationary objects during the Civil War. Since reality was not his forte, Mahan focused his post-war career on Ivory tower theorizing gushing over maps of the world and fawning over Britain’s power as a force of world history.

His “Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 published in the same year that Gilpin published his Cosmopolitan Railway (1890) was a total break from the spirit of win-win cooperation that defined America’s foreign policy. According to the Diplomat, this book soon “became the bible for many navies around the world” with the Kaiser of Germany (now released from the influence of the great rail-loving statesman Otto von Bismarck whom he fired in 1890) demanding all of his offers read. Later Teddy Roosevelt ordered copies for every member of Congress. In Mahan’s book, the geopolitician continuously asserts his belief that it is America’s destiny to succeed the British Empire.

Taking the British imperial definition of “commerce” which uses free trade as a cover for the military dominance of weak nations (open borders and turning off protectionism simply makes a people easier to rob), Mahan attempts to argue that America need not continue to adhere to “outdated” habits like the Munroe doctrine since the new order of world empires demands America stay relevant in a world of sea power and empire. Mahan writes: “The advance of Russia in Asia, in the division of Africa, in the colonial ambitions of France and in the British idea of Imperial Federation, now fast assuming concrete shape in practical combined action in South Africa” demands that the USA act accordingly.

Attempting to refute the “outdated habits” of rail development which consume so many foolish statesmen around the globe, Mahan states: “a railway competes in vain with a river… because more facile and copious, water traffic is for equal distances much cheaper and because cheaper, more useful”. Like those attacking today’s Belt and Road Initiative, the power of railways is that their returns are not measurable by simple monetary terms, but are rather QUALITATIVE. The long-term construction of rail systems not only unite divided people, increase manufacturing and industrial corridors but also induce closer powers of association and interchange between agriculture and urban producers. These processes uplift national productive powers building full spectrum economies and also a culture’s capacity for creative thought.

The attempt made to justify sea traffic merely because “larger amounts of goods can be shipped” is purely quantitative and monetaristic sophistry devoid of any science of real value.

While Gilpin celebrates the successful awakening of China and other great nations of the world, in the Problem of Asia (1901) Mahan says: “It is scarcely desirable that so vast a proportion of mankind as the Chinese constitute should be animated by but one spirit”. Should China “burst her barriers eastward, it would be impossible to exaggerate the momentous issues dependant upon a firm hold of the Hawaiian islands by a great civilized maritime power.”

Mahan’s adherence to social Darwinism is present throughout his works as he defines the political differences of the 3 primary branches of humanity (Teutonic, Slavic and Asiatic) as purely rooted in the intrinsic inferiority or superiority of their race saying: “There are well recognized racial divergencies which find concrete expression in differences equally marked of political institution, of social progress and of individual development. These differences are… deep seated in the racial constitution and partly the result of the environment”. Mahan goes onto restate his belief that unlike the superior Teutonics “the Oriental, whether national or individual does not change” and “the East does not progress”.

Calling China a carcass to be devoured by an American eagle, Mahan writes: “If life departs, a carcass can be utilized only by dissection or for food; the gathering to it of the eagles is a natural law, of which it is bootless to complain… the onward movement of the world has to be accepted as a fact.”

Championing an Anglo American alliance needed to subdue and “civilize” China as part of the post-Boxer Rebellion, Mahan says “of all the nations we shall meet in the East, Great Britain is the one with which we have by far the most in common in the nature of our interests there and in our standards of law and justice”.

In case there was any doubt in the minds of Mahan’s readers as to the MEANS which America should assert its dominance onto China, Mahan makes clear his belief that progress is caused by 1) force and 2) war: “That such a process should be underlain by force… on the part of outside influences, force of opposition among the latter themselves [speaking of the colonial European monarchies racing to carve up China in 1901 -ed] may be regrettable, but it is only a repetition of all history… Every step forward in the march that has opened in China to trade has been gained by pressure; the most important have been the result of actual war.”

A Last Anti-Imperial Push

The chaos induced by the anti-foreigner Boxer Rebellion of 1899 which spread quickly across China resulted a heated battle between imperial and anti-imperial forces in both Russia and the USA. Where Transport Minister Sergei Witte who spearheaded the development of the Trans Siberian rail line (1890-1905) tried to avoid military entanglement, McKinley was busy doing the same.

The boxers soon attacked the Manchurian rail connecting Russia to China by land and Witte succumbed to pressure to finally send in troops. The reformers of China who attempted to modernize with American and Russian assistance under Emperor Kuang Hsu and Li Hung Chang fell from power as total anarchy reigned. The outcome of the Boxer chaos involved the imperial powers of France, Germany and England demanding immense financial reparations, ownership of Chinese territory and mass executions of the Boxers.

While McKinley is often blamed for America’s imperial turn, the reality is just the opposite.

The Spanish-American war begun in 1898 was actually launched unilaterally by Anglophilic racist Theodore Roosevelt who used the 4 hour window he had while Undersecretary of the Navy (while the actual Secretary was out of Washington) to send orders to Captain Dewey of the Pacific fleet to engage in a fight with the Spanish over their Philippine territories. McKinley had resisted the war hawks until that point but found himself finally bending to the momentum. In China, McKinley, like Witte worked desperately to reject taking territory resulting in great fears from the British oligarchy that a U.S.-Russia alliance led by McKinley and Witte was immanent.

The assassination of McKinley on September 18, 1901 catapulted Mahan-loving Vice President Teddy Roosevelt into high office, who enmeshed America into a new epoch of Anglo-American imperialism abroad, a growth of eugenics and segregation at home and the creation of an independent police state agency called the FBI.

As Sieff writes“Roosevelt devoted his next eight years in the presidency and the rest of his life to integrating the United States and the British Empire into a seamless web of racial imperialist oppression that dominated Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and that destroyed the cultural history and heritage of the Native North American nations.”

In Russia, the 1902 Anglo-Japan Treaty led to the disastrous Japan-Russo war of 1905 which devastated the Russian navy, ended the political career of Sergei Witte and threw Russia into chaos leading to the fall of the Romanovs (Czar Nicholas II was the last statesman occupying high office that this author is aware of to have actively promoted the Bering Strait Tunnel rail connection in 1906. It wasn’t until FDR’s Vice President Henry Wallace met with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 that the idea resurfaced once more).

In his Two Peoples One Friendship, Wallace described his discussions with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 saying:

“Of all nations, Russia has the most powerful combination of a rapidly increasing population, great natural resources and immediate expansion in technological skills. Siberia and China will furnish the greatest frontier of tomorrow… When Molotov [Russia’s Foreign Minister] was in Washington in the spring of 1942 I spoke to him about the combined highway and airway which I hope someday will link Chicago and Moscow via Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Molotov, after observing that no one nation could do this job by itself, said that he and I would live to see the day of its accomplishment. It would mean much to the peace of the future if there could be some tangible link of this sort between the pioneer spirit of our own West and the frontier spirit of the Russian East.”

While the “open door” rape of the China was attempted by the Anglo-Americans, a fortunate rear guard maneuver orchestrated by another follower of Abraham Lincoln named Sun Yat-sen resulted in a surprise overthrow of the Manchu dynasty in 1911 and the institution of the Republic of China with Sun Yat-sen as the acting President. While Sun Yat-sen sided with Gilpin and Lincoln in opposition to the Mahanists on the issue of rail and industrial development (illustrated in his extraordinary 1920 International Development of China program which called for 160 000 km of rail, water diversion projects, ports and 1.5 million km of paved roads- illustrated below), the intrigues that sank the world into World War I made any hopes of this early development of China impossible in Sun Yat-sen’s lifetime.

Expressing his own deep understanding of these top down tactics of world history (and the recognition that the same British imperial forces that orchestrated the US Civil War were planning to do the same to China), Sun Yat-sen wrote in 1912:

“We understand too well that there are certain men of power—not to include for the present, certain nations—who would view with a greater or lesser satisfaction an internal rupture in the new Republic [of China]. They would welcome, as a move toward the accomplishment of their own ends and designs, a civil war between the provinces of the North and the South; just as, 50 years ago, there was applause in secret (in certain quarters) over the terrible civil strife in the United States.

Americans of today who were alive in those dark days of the great republic will remember the feelings in the hearts of the people—the bitter and painful thoughts that arose from the knowledge that foreigners were hoping and praying for the destruction of the American Union.

Had the war been successful from the South’s standpoint, and had two separate republics been established, is it not likely that perhaps half a dozen or more weak nations would have eventually been established? I believe that such would have been the result; and I further believe that with the one great nation divided politically and commercially, outsiders would have stepped in sooner or later and made of America their own. I do not believe that I am stating this too forcibly. If so, I have not read history nor studied men and nations intelligently.

And I feel that we have such enemies abroad as the American republic had; and that at certain capitals the most welcome announcement that would be made would be that of a rebellion in China against the constituted authorities.

This is a hard statement to make; but I believe in speaking the truth so that all the world may know and recognize it.”

Today’s Belt and Road Initiative, and strategic friendship established between Russia and China has re-awoken the forgotten vision of William Gilpin for a world of cooperating sovereign nation states. Does the USA have the moral ability to avoid disintegration by accepting a Russia-U.S.-China alliance needed to revive McKinley’s American System or will we slip into a new Great Reset and World War?

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow, BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide FoundationHe can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

Kim No-VAX does DARPA

Kim No-VAX does DARPA

December 20, 2020

A Back to the Future exercise: time-traveling to survey the sci-tech scene in the mid-1980s

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

HAL9000_I’m_Sorry_Dave, Motivational Poster. Wikimedia Commons

I have been going through my Asia Times archives selecting reports and columns for a new e-book on the Forever Wars – Afghanistan and Iraq. But then, out of the blue, I found this palimpsest, originally published by Asia Times in February 2014. It happened to be a Back to the Future exercise – traveling in time to survey the scene in the mid-1980s across Silicon Valley, MIT’s AI lab, DARPA and the NSA, weaving an intersection of themes, and a fabulous cast of characters, which prefigure the Brave New Techno World we’re now immersed in, especially concerning the role of artificial intelligence. So this might be read today as a sort of preamble, or a background companion piece, to No Escape from our Techno-Feudal World, published early this month. Incidentally, everything that takes place in this account was happening 18 years before the end of the Pentagon’s LifeLog project, run by DARPA, and the simultaneous launch of Facebook. Enjoy the time travel.

In the spring of 1986, Back to the Future, the Michael J Fox blockbuster featuring a time-traveling DeLorean car, was less than a year old. The Apple Macintosh, launched via a single, iconic ad directed by Ridley (Blade Runner) Scott, was less than two years old. Ronald Reagan, immortalized by Gore Vidal as “the acting president,” was hailing the mujahideen in Afghanistan as “freedom fighters.”

The world was mired in Cyber Cold War mode; the talk was all about electronic counter-measures, with American C3s (command, control, communications) programmed to destroy Soviet C3s, and both the US and the USSR under MAD (mutually assured destruction) nuclear policies being able to destroy the earth 100 times over. Edward Snowden was not yet a three-year-old.

It was in this context that I set out to do a special report for a now-defunct magazine about artificial intelligence (AI), roving from the Computer Museum in Boston to Apple in Cupertino and Pixar in San Rafael, and then to the campuses of Stanford, Berkeley and MIT.

AI had been “inaugurated” in 1956 by Stanford’s John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, a future MIT professor who at the time had been a student at Harvard. The basic idea, according to Minsky, was that any intelligence trait could be described so precisely that a machine could be created to simulate it.

My trip inevitably involved meeting a fabulous cast of characters. At MIT’s AI lab, there was Minsky and also an inveterate iconoclast, Joseph Weizenbaum, who had coined the term “artificial intelligentsia” and believed computers could never “think” just like a human being.

Joseph Weizenbaum. Source: Chatbots

At Stanford, there was Edward Feigenbaum, absolutely paranoid about Japanese scientific progress; he believed that if the Japanese developed a fifth-generation computer, based on artificial intelligence, that could think, reason and speak even such a difficult language as Japanese “the US will be able to bill itself as the first great post-industrial agrarian society.”

And at Berkeley, still under the flame of hippie utopian populism, I found Robert Wilensky – Brooklyn accent, Yale gloss, California overtones; and philosopher Hubert Dreyfus, a tireless enemy of AI who got his kicks delivering lectures such as “Conventional AI as a Paradigm of Degenerated Research.”

Meet Kim No-VAX

Soon I was deep into Minsky’s “frames” – a basic concept to organize every subsequent AI program – and the Chomsky paradigm: the notion that language is at the root of knowledge, and that formal syntax is at the root of language. That was the Bible of cognitive science at MIT.

Marvin Minsky at MIT Lab. Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At the MIT cafeteria, Minsky delivered a futurist rap without in the least resembling Dr Emmett Brown in Back to the Future:

I believe that in less than five centuries we will be producing machines very similar to us, representing our thoughts and point of view. If we can build a miniaturized human brain weighing, let’s say, one gram, we can lodge it in a spaceship and make it travel at the speed of light. It would be very hard to build a spaceship to carry an astronaut and all his food for 10,000 years of travel …

With Professor Feigenbaum, in Stanford’s philosophical garden, the only space available was for the coming yellow apocalypse. But then one day I crossed Berkeley’s post-hippie Rubicon and opened the door of the fourth floor of Evans Hall, where I met none other than Kim No-VAX.

No, that was not the Hitchcock blonde and Vertigo icon; it was an altered hardware computer (No-VAX because it had moved beyond Digital Equpment Corporation’s VAX line of supercomputers), financed by the mellifluously acronymed Pentagon military agency DARPA, decorated with a photo of Kim Novak and humming with the sexy vibration of – at the time immense – 2,900 megabytes of electronic data spread over its body.

The US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – or DARPA – was all about computer science. In the mid-1980s, DARPA was immersed in a very ambitious program linking microelectronics, computer architecture and AI way beyond a mere military program. That was comparable to the Japanese fifth generation computer program. At MIT, the overwhelming majority of scientists were huge DARPA cheerleaders, stressing how the agency was leading research. Yet Terry Winograd, a computer science professor at Stanford, warned that had DARPA been a civilian agency, “I believe we would have made much more progress”.

It was up to Professor Dreyfus to provide the voice of reason amidst so much cyber-euphoria: “Computers cannot think like human beings because there’s no way to represent all retrospective knowledge of an average human life – that is, ‘common sense’ – in a form that a computer may apprehend.” Dreyfus’s drift was that with the boom of computer science, philosophy was dead – and he was a philosopher: “Heidegger said that philosophy ended because it reached its apex in technology. Philosophy in fact reached its limit with AI. They, the scientists, inherited our questions. What is the mind? Now they have to answer for it. Philosophy is over.”

Hubert Dreyfus. Source: Berkeley Campus News

Yet Dreyfus was still teaching. Likewise at MIT, Weizenbaum was condemning AI as a racket for “lunatics and psychopaths” – but still continued to work at the AI lab.

NSA’s wet web dream

In no time, helped by these brilliant minds, I figured out that the AI “secret” would be a military affair, and that meant the National Security Agency – already in the mid-1980s vaguely known as “no such agency,” with double the CIA’s annual budget to pay for snooping on the whole planet. The mission back then was to penetrate and monitor the global electronic net – that was years before all the hype over the “information highway” – and at the same time reassure the Pentagon over the inviolability of its lines of communication. For those comrades – remember, the Cold War, even with Gorbachev in power in the USSR, was still on – AI was a gift from God (beating Pope Francis by almost three decades).

So what was the Pentagon/NSA up to, at the height of the star wars hype, and over a decade and a half before the revolution in military affairs and the full spectrum dominance doctrine?

They already wanted to control their ships and planes and heavy weapons with their voices, not their hands; voice command a la Hal, the star computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Still, that was a faraway dream. Minsky believed that “only in the next century” would we be able to talk to a computer. Others believed that would never happen. Anyway, IBM was already working on a system accepting dictation; and MIT on another system that identified words spoken by different people; while Intel was developing a special chip for all this.

Although, predictably, prevented from visiting the NSA, I soon learned that the Pentagon was expecting to possess “intelligent” computing systems by the 1990s; Hollywood, after all, already had unleashed the Terminator series. It was up to Professor Wilensky, in Berkeley, to sound the alarm bells:

Human beings don’t have the appropriate engineering for the society they developed. Over a million years of evolution, the instinct of getting together in small communities, belligerent and compact, turned out to be correct. But then, in the 20th century, man ceased to adapt. Technology overtook evolution. The brain of an ancestral creature, like a rat, which sees provocation in the face of every stranger, is the brain that now controls the earth’s destiny.

It was as if Wilensky was describing the NSA as it would be 28 years later. Some questions still remain unanswered; for instance, if our race does not fit anymore the society it built, who’d guarantee that its machines are properly engineered? Who’d guarantee that intelligent machines act in our interest?

What was already clear by then was that “intelligent” computers would not end a global arms race. And it would be a long time, up to the Snowden revelations in 2013, for most of the planet to have a clearer idea of how the NSA orchestrates the Orwellian-Panopticon complex. As for my back to the future trip, in the end I did not manage to uncover the “secret” of AI. But I’ll always remain very fond of Kim No-VAX.

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