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The Neocon in the Oval Office

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | August 31, 2016

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

— Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna 1:45

If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes US President, she will be the first neoconservative to actually occupy that office. The neoconservatives have been an ascendant force in policymaking since the Reagan administration, and remained (through Vice President Dick Cheney) an unsteady heartbeat from the presidency in the G.W. Bush administration. Now possession of the highest office in the land is within their grasp.

This is important because the neoconservatives are wedded to war, death and destruction. It is the foundation of their policy and it dominates the culture that they have created. They see war and conquest as the means to maintain unchallenged US military, political, and economic supremacy in the world – and even (according to H.R. Clinton) as a “business opportunity”.

The origins of neoconservatism

The neoconservative movement dates from the 1970s.  The term originally referred to “newcomers” to conservative politics from leftist and liberal origins. They gravitated to the politics of Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson and UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Among their adherents were Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and later Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

What they held in common was advocacy for aggressively challenging the Soviet Union, coercion of smaller countries through authoritarian puppet regimes and pre-emptive war. At home, they preached “free market” economic liberalism, while their domestic social agenda was moderately liberal and even progressive on some issues (e.g. civil rights). They became staunchly Republican during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, but gained a foothold in Bill Clinton’s Democratic administration and crossed party lines to an even greater extent during the Obama presidency. Their supporters include the military-industrial complex, the major financial institutions (“Wall Street”) and, importantly, the Israel lobby.

Israel and the neoconservatives

Israel and its supporters were inseparable from the neoconservative movement from the beginning. Many neocons were already Zionist or pro-Zionist, and their support for aggressive militarism was largely indistinguishable from Israel’s own strategic plans. To the extent that the neocon movement could sell Israel’s views as solidly American, it could bend the resources of the most powerful military on earth for Israel’s own ends.

Israel’s lobby invested heavily in strategic think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Brookings Institution, and later the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Project for a New American Century. By placing neoconservatives in these institutions, Israel helped to advance their influence and their careers in government while promoting Israel’s point of view in government circles.

Together, the Israel lobby and its neoconservative allies projected an image of Israel as a Middle East superpower, defending America against Arab nations allied with the USSR. In reality, Israel’s aggression against its neighbors and against Israel’s own captive Palestinian population only drove the Arab nations farther into the Soviet orbit and made the US more hated in the region. Ironically, Israel’s US allies used this to strengthen Israel’s image as a strategic and needed US asset.  Even Israel’s attack on US forces in 1967, killing 34 servicemen and wounding 174 aboard the USS Liberty, did little to weaken this image.

Post-USSR: The New American Century and the baptism of Hillary Clinton

With the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the neoconservatives accomplished one of their main goals and went on to argue that the US should take advantage of its status as the only remaining superpower to consolidate and extend its domination of the world. The first articulation of this was in the February, 1992 Defense Planning Guidance prepared for Defense Secretary Dick Cheney by Paul Wolfowitz and his subordinate, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The document and its subsequent revisions advocated a policy to “prevent the re-emergence of a new rival” and “maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” It also advocated pre-emptive US intervention regardless of international law and the UN, and assurance of Israeli dominance in the Middle East.

The “Wolfowitz Doctrine” did not immediately win favor in the waning days of the G.H.W. Bush administration, but Hillary Clinton was one of its relatively few supporters when Bill Clinton came to office. (Her main early success was to instate Madeleine Albright as UN ambassador and then Secretary of State.) Then, in 1996, neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and others prepared A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu during his successful campaign for prime minister of Israel. It argued for a “New Middle East” to be molded by “preemptive” war in order to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” perceived threats.

The next year, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), an explicitly neoconservative think tank, was formed. It globalized the regional principles and policies described in Clean Break, for application to US policy, but one direct carryover was a recommendation for regime change in Iraq. This became the subject of an open letter to President Bill Clinton in February, 1998, and it spurred the Iraq Liberation Act, strongly supported by Hillary Clinton and passed in October of that year.

In 2000, PNAC issued a 90-page report, Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, shortly before the presidential election of 2000. It recommended regime change and military force as cornerstones of US foreign policy.

When George W. Bush became president the following January, his Vice President, Dick Cheney, a leading neoconservative, brought many of his colleagues from PNAC and elsewhere into policy-making roles, including Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and many more. With the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, they put their plans for permanent warfare into motion. The first two objects of regime change were Afghanistan and Iraq. It is estimated that more than a million people died as a result.

The Senate years

2001 was also the year Hillary Clinton first took office in the US Senate. There she supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and essentially the same foreign policy objectives as her neocon Republican colleagues, as her voting record attests. In 2007, she encouraged the founding of the first specifically Democratic neoconservative think tank, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). One of the co-founders of CNAS was Michelle Flournoy, a Defense Department political appointee in the Bill Clinton administration who is expected to be Secretary of Defense in a H.R. Clinton cabinet.

General Wesley Clark has also revealed that by September, 2001, Defense Department offices in the Pentagon had drafted plans to invade Iraq, and that by the following month seven countries in the Middle East had been targeted for “regime change” in a five-year period. Plans change, but we know that after Afghanistan, Iraq was, in fact, invaded and destroyed, as well as Libya, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, either by the US or by its allies with US support. It is estimated that at least 2 million people died as a result of these actions (not including the million or more who died in the first Gulf War and as a result of a decade of economic sanctions), and that more than 20 million became refugees.

With the encouragement of her friends in Israel and its US Lobby, Hillary Clinton became one of the leading Democratic cheerleaders for these neocon projects while in the Senate during the G.W. Bush administration. In 2006, partly as a result of Israel’s experience of stronger-than-expected resistance from the Shiite Hezbollah movement during its war with Lebanon, Israel decided to make Shiite Islam a strategic target.

The neoconservatives in the G.W. Bush administration, such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliot Abrams and Douglas Feith, quickly championed this policy, as did Hillary Clinton. US destruction of Iraq had strengthened the hand of Iran and its Syrian and Hezbollah allies, and so neocon logic dictated that these countries should be destroyed, to prevent a potential challenge to Israeli and US supremacy in the region. It was also decided that it would be advantageous to stoke Sunni-Shiite rivalry in order to split and weaken the countries in the region, to the power advantage of Israel and the US. This policy formation is described in Seymour Hersh’s “The Redirection”.

Secretary of State

When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in the Obama administration in 2009, she was in effect the top ranking neoconservative in government. During her four years in that post, she encouraged and supported the neoconservative priorities of overthrowing the elected Honduran, Libyan, Syrian and Ukrainian governments. She advocated intervention in Syria and the provision of funding, training and military equipment to groups fighting the Syrian government.

In Ukraine she created a $5 billion program to “democratize” Ukraine. This became a regime change operation, which her State Department chum Victoria Nuland actively engineered, and which resulted in the overthrow of the legally elected Ukrainian government. Nuland and her husband, Robert Kagan, are important figures in the neoconservative movement, co-founded the neoconservative PNAC and Foreign Policy Initiative think tanks, and have held posts in the Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush and Obama administrations.

The neoconservative movement is a hammer that views every problem as a nail. Its foreign policy consists of intimidating every potential rival and making an example of every nation or movement that does not follow US direction or accept without question the dictates of Israel. There is essentially no room for win-win outcomes, and even a lose-lose outcome is acceptable if the greater loss is on the other side. Total military domination and the profligate use of unlimited lethal force is their stock in trade. The fastest way to advance in the dominant neocon culture in Washington is to propose ever more spectacular destruction and bloodletting on a massive scale, and especially if it benefits Israel.

The US alliance with and use of terrorist organizations

This explains the neoconservative love/hate relationship with terrorist organizations. The artful covert support of such groups contributes greatly to their agenda. From the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the late 1970s to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other groups today, neocons have successfully encouraged US exploition and often subsidization of such groups for strategic mayhem. They were employed to create a quagmire for the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Since then, US-subsidized mercenary terrorists have served to undermine real or potential adversaries of the US and Israel as quasi-allies and recipients of covert aid. As enemies, they serve as a pretext for US intervention wherever they may be.

From the neocon perspective, the al-Qaeda attacks against the USS Cole, the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salam, the World Trade Center and other targets worldwide, as well as the ISIS targeting of western civilian populations, have helped to make the case for American military intervention and leadership without necessarily committing large numbers of American troops. The US has used these attacks to enlist countries like Britain, France, Canada and Australia in military actions against Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Britain and France also participated with the US in the destruction of Libya, for which Hillary Clinton in particular took credit. Terrorist organizations were allowed and even encouraged to take over, with the result that Libya went from having one of the highest standards of living in the region to a failed and destitute state. Clinton appears to have taken particular enjoyment in the US-sponsored terrorists’ grotesque murder of Libyan President Muammar Qaddhafi. She is also strongly implicated in the transfer of Libyan weapons to terrorist groups in Syria. These have possibly included Libyan sarin gas used in the false-flag chemical attacks blamed on the Syrian government. She has promised that she will escalate US intervention in Syria after becoming president.

Currently and for the past five years, the neoconservatives have successfully promoted the use of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. They are considered expendable, and they are a means of creating destruction where that is the intended result.  Their purpose in Syria is to overthrow the government and create a failed state, as in Iraq and Libya but also to threaten the security of Russia and Iran. This explains why the US is waging selective “war” against ISIS in some regions while protecting and supporting it in others.

The threat to Russia includes encouraging terrorist groups from Russia’s Chechnya province, who are an important part of the estimated 100,000 foreign terrorist mercenaries from nearly 100 countries that have participated in trying to overthrow the Syrian government. Until now, there is no sign that the US is encouraging them to take their war back to Russia, but this is clearly a possibility that neither government will ignore. Nevertheless, the neoconservative agenda includes supporting Russia’s enemies in Ukraine and placing NATO troops into former Warsaw Pact countries like Poland.

China is also not spared. Chinese Uighurs are among the terrorist mercenaries equipped largely with US arms in Syria, and the US is undermining China’s security in the South China Sea and through its bases in Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

The prospect of a 2017 H.R. Clinton administration

These neocon ambitions will be more dangerous and destructive when Hillary becomes US President. Unlike previous administrations, it will not be a matter of selling the president on neoconservative policy or even allowing high-level neocons in government to dominate policy. When Clinton takes office, she will be leading the neoconservatives, not following their recommendations.

In the election, she is likely to benefit from crossover votes from disaffected Republicans while assuming that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party will have little choice but to vote for her. She has a history of cooperation with Republican foreign policy neoconservatives, and may choose to move closer to their positions during the remainder of the campaign, in order to attract their support. “I would say all Republican foreign-policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan said at a “foreign-policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”

Former GOP candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush have refused to back Trump, as have George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Brent Scowcroft, Tom Ridge and other Republican leaders. With their support, Clinton may be able to craft a stable bipartisan majority in Congress for her neoconservative agenda, even if substantial elements in both parties oppose it.

This would enable her and her fellow neocons to pursue the most dangerous and aggressive foreign policy in US history. If we extrapolate from the two previous administrations, we should expect at least a million people to die in US-sponsored foreign wars, and ten million to become refugees. And if plans go forward to further challenge the security of Russia and China, we could see a nuclear crisis rivaling or surpassing the Cuban missile crisis, with potentially more disastrous results.

There are many career professionals in the US State Department, intelligence community and the Pentagon who believe that the neocon agenda is foolish and destructive, and that perpetual warfare has too many unintended consequences to be an effective means of national policy. They believe that diplomacy is a better way, and point to examples like the de-escalation of the imminent US bombing of Syria in September, 2013 through a Russian-brokered agreement for Syria to give up its entire chemical weapons arsenal.

Unfortunately, this is not the plan of Hillary Clinton and her neoconservative partners. For one thing, diplomacy diminishes the value of Israel as a strategic asset, and so the Israel lobby will be opposed. In addition, however, the neoconservatives view diplomacy as the way of the weak and the timid. If they are allowed to prevail, perhaps only another catastrophic world war will cause a new generation to re-learn the lesson of those who survived WWII and vowed to find a better way. If we survive.

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Still The BBC Gives Air Time To Peter Wadhams

By Paul Homewood  | Not A Lot Of People Know That | August 31, 2016



I gather that the embarrassment to science, Peter Wadhams, was on BBC News again this week, and was naturally treated with due deference and reverence.

Wadhams has, of course, made a living out of forecasting that the Arctic would be ice free for the last decade now. Neither he, nor the BBC, ever seem to learn from the way that his predictions repeatedly turn out to be such humiliating failures.

Only in June this year, he was at it again:

The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years, a leading scientist has claimed.

Provisional satellite data produced by the US National Snow & Ice Data Centre shows there were just over 11.1 million square kilometres of sea ice on 1 June this year, compared to the average for the last 30 years of nearly 12.7 million square kilometres.

This difference – more than 1.5 million square kilometres – is about the same size as about six United Kingdoms.

Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, told The Independent that the latest figures largely bore out a controversial prediction he made four years ago.

“My prediction remains that the Arctic ice may well disappear, that is, have an area of less than one million square kilometres for September of this year,” he said.

“Even if the ice doesn’t completely disappear, it is very likely that this will be a record low year. I’m convinced it will be less than 3.4 million square kilometres [the current record low].

“I think there’s a reasonable chance it could get down to a million this year and if it doesn’t do it this year, it will do it next year.


Yes, of course, there is always next year!

Well, with just a couple of weeks or so left before the Arctic ice hits its minimum, this is what Wadhams’ “ice free Arctic” is looking like:




Back in 2007, when Wadhams began to run his peddle his scare stories, the Arctic looked much different. Not only was ice extent much lower then, it was also much thinner in that area.



Meanwhile, average ice thickness is currently running much higher than it was from 2010-13. (Average thickness is lower than 2007 because much of the new ice is, naturally, fairly new and therefore thin).





Final word goes to that BBC report from 2012:




The loss of Arctic ice is massively compounding the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, ice scientist Professor Peter Wadhams has told BBC Newsnight…….


The melting ice could have knock-on effects in the UK. Adam Scaife, from the Met Office Hadley Centre told Newsnight it could help explain this year’s miserable wet summer, by altering the course of the jet stream.

“Some studies suggest that there is increased risk of wet, low pressure summers over the UK as the ice melts.”

There may be an effect for our winters too: “Winter weather could become more easterly cold and snowy as the ice declines,” Mr Scaife said.

Or, to put it another way, summers could become warmer and drier, and winters mild and wet! (Which just so happens to be, very conveniently, the latest Met Office thinking).

There is only one certainty in climate science these days – the BBC will continue to give broadcasting time to these charlatans, without a glimmer of critical journalism, and certainly no thought of offering time to those scientists who don’t agree wholeheartedly with the alarmist narrative.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Who needs evidence? US election system reportedly hacked, media outlets blame Russians

RT | August 31, 2016

If Democracy has indeed been hacked – a number of major news outlets claim it’s not by social media or search engine manipulations – but in fact by Russians. This time cyber-attacks have reportedly targeted electoral systems in at least two American states.

And despite the fact that there’s almost no evidence to suggest Russia’s involvement, U.S. officials name anonymous FBI workers as sources in the media.

The Russian hacker trend in the U.S. has become so popular that even fashion magazine, ‘Glamour’, has picked up the story.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton speaks on America’s place in the world

RT | August 31, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is making the case for American “exceptionalism” and US leadership around the world, speaking to the national convention of the American Legion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The veterans group invited Clinton to speak on Wednesday. Her rival for the White House, Republican nominee Donald Trump, is scheduled to address the convention Thursday.

Clinton began her speech talking about American exceptionalism, which means  “America’s unique ability to be a force for peace and progress.”

“We are the indispensable nation. People all over the world look to us and follow our lead,” she said. “When America fails to lead, we leave a vacuum that either leaves chaos, or other countries rush in to fill the void.”

Through her speech Clinton often criticized the words of her major opponent Donald Trump who was skeptical about American foreign police and called the situation with its military “disaster.”

Clinton brought in the Bin Laden raid as an example of US foreign policy successes and touted her participation in advising President Obama.

She also noted that she enjoys “bipartisan support” several times.

She brought up the letter of 50 Republicans who said they won’t vote for Trump, because he’d be “most reckless president in American history.”

Clinton said she’s honored to have so many retired military leaders and these Republican experts on board.
“They know I believe in a bipartisan foreign policy,” she said.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Selling imperialist propaganda in an anti-imperialist wrapper


Any resemblance to persons living or dead or quoted in this article is entirely coincidental
OffGuardian | August 31, 2016

As we predicted a few weeks ago, the Washington war party seems to have seized the initiative from the “lame duck” Obama administration over Syria and is currently pushing hard for a direct confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army, and possibly with Russia. Extreme anti-Assad hate porn has been saturating the press in what looks very much like a bid to “normalise the unthinkable” and prep us for a major war.

So, why are Counterpunch and the Socialist Worker choosing such a time to present a piece on Syria by Ashley Smith that reads like a briefing from the Clinton campaign or Kagan’s Foreign Policy Initiative?

We aren’t going to leap on a bandwagon and accuse Counterpunch or the SW of discreditable intentions. Counterpunch in particular has been a source of hugely valuable anti-imperialist commentary for very many years and it would be incredibly arrogant for we newcomers not to give it every respect for that. But what are they thinking here?

Smith tries to present this piece as a condemnation of the “campist” left for its kneejerk siding with a “brutal dictator”( Assad), simply because he is being attacked by the US imperialists. Maybe the Counterpunch co-editor (Jeffrey St. Clair) who defended the piece was convinced by this? That would be fair enough, if that was really Smith’s point. We’re the first to agree Assad isn’t beyond criticism and shouldn’t be sanctified by the “enemy of my enemy” syndrome. We’re the first to acknowledge he may entirely deserve to be called a tyrant. But Smith’s article doesn’t come close to exposing Assad’s real crimes. It doesn’t even try. It just settles for a lot of familiar misdirection, such as this:

The regime carried out a chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus in 2013…

Why would such a gratuitous lie by omission be perpetrated by any author trying to bring honest analysis to bear? Why does Smith offer no balancing mention that even the corporate media has admitted there is no proof who perpetrated the Ghouta attack? Or that investigative journalists and people on the ground have amassed considerable amounts of data (see also here and here and here) pointing to it being perpetrated by the Turkish and US (imperial)-backed rebels?

But in case you’re thinking this is just an isolated slip of judgement on Smith’s part, do please read his entire article, and take note of these selected highlights:

“… The Syrian Revolution has tested the left internationally by posing a blunt question: Which side are you on? Do you support the popular struggle against dictatorship and for democracy? Or are you with Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, his imperial backer Russia, his regional ally Iran and Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah from Lebanon?..”

“… Since then, they [the US] have turned a blind eye to Assad’s massacre of some 400,000 Syrians, and his regime’s use of barrel bombs, chemical weapons and barbaric sieges of cities like Aleppo. Today, 11 million people–half the country’s population–have been displaced, with the Assad regime responsible for the lion’s share of the death and destruction…”

“… In reality, the U.S. retreated in general from outright regime change as its strategy in the Middle East after the failure of its invasion and occupation of Iraq. The main priority behind the alternative direction for U.S. imperialism pursued by Barack Obama is that the U.S. should avoid destabilizing regimes for fear of the chaos that ensues in the aftermath…”

“… The campist misreadings, however, have led them to the conclusion that the U.S. government is pulling the strings in the rebellion in Syria. Some have gone so far as to argue–absurdly–that the U.S. backs ISIS against Assad. Ironically, this puts the campists in agreement with Donald Trump, who, in his latest ravings, claims that Obama and Clinton were “founders” of ISIS.

“… In Syria, however, Washington’s goal is obvious, and has been for some time: It doesn’t want regime change. Perhaps the hated figurehead of Assad will be pushed aside, but U.S. policy from the beginning has been to preserve the core of Assad’s state….. Why? Above all, the U.S. fears an unpredictable outcome, whether as a result of the advance of the Nusra Front or ISIS–but especially in the form of a popular revolution…”

“… In its initial stages, the uprising in Syria had a nonviolent and mass character, but the savage repression and violence carried out by the regime militarized the conflict. The U.S. blocked the shipment of heavy weaponry, such as anti-aircraft systems, that would have strengthened secular and democratic forces that have borne the brunt of the Assad regime’s terror…”

“… Today, Washington’s goals are to wipe out ISIS and to secure a negotiated settlement in Syria that preserves the regime, if not Assad himself. In America’s camp, regional powers like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have tried to push the envelope even further, backing various jihadist forces to strengthen their position in region and weaken their opponents, from Assad to Iran, as well as challengers from below such as the Kurds…”

“… On the other side of the international geopolitical rivalry, Russia–profoundly weakened since its defeat in the Cold War a quarter century ago–is reasserting its imperial power through its all-out support for the Assad regime in Syria…”

So, how many approved mainstream Syria-tropes has Smith managed to crowbar into his piece in the guise of telling it like it is to the comrades? Let’s run through the checklist :

  • The a priori demonisation of the “brutal” Assad regime (“responsible for the lion’s share of the destruction”) and its allegedly “imperial” territorially ambitious Russian backers, together with the sanctification of the allegedly “populist” alleged “rebels” without qualification, substantiation or historical perspective? Check…
  • Promotion of the myth that Assad is known beyond doubt to have committed the Ghouta atrocity, and total suppression of any contesting possibility? Check…
  • Promotion of the myth that “barrel bombs” are a form of terror weapon worse than conventional bombs or shells, and that they are being used by, and exclusively by, the Syrian regime? Check
  • Promotion of the myth the US is a helpless bystander to the chaos, regardless of the mountain of evidence to the contrary? Check
  • Promotion of the myth the US “fears” unpredictable outcomes, even though it routinely induces them wherever it goes (Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Ukraine)? Check…
  • Promotion of the myth the US only went into Syria to “stabilise” the situation and/or to “fight ISIS”? Check…
  • Promotion of the myth that Assad is directly responsible for the “400,000 dead”, when even the UN rep who estimated this figure was making a guess at the number killed in the five years of civil war as a whole? Check.
  • Promotion of the myth that Assad is “hated” in Syria and refusal to acknowledge the evidence to the contrary? Check.
  • Promotion of the myth that Aleppo, as a whole, is under siege by the SAA, and the denial by omission of the truth that the city is split in two or that al Nusra is shelling and killing civilians in the west of the city? Check
  • Denial by omission of the entire question of legality or the requirement to abide by international law, and framing the debate instead as one of who “we” want to see running Syria? Check
  • The concomitant assumption by implication that “we” have some sort of moral obligation to overthrow governments we don’t like and to supply weaponry to anyone who opposes them? Check.
  • The ridiculing of the mere idea the US backed ISIS to overthrow Assad, and the omission of evidence that shows this is exactly what they did? Check…

Impressive, no? If a paid government stenographer at the Guardian had written this they couldn’t have hoped to hit more approved talking points. Just like the US imperialists he claims to loath Smith tries to sell the idea Assad spontaneously started “assaulting” the “rebels” for no reason apart from evil (just like Yanukovich in Ukraine), and not as a response to the western-funded attempts at yet another phoney color revolution. He tries, just like the US imperialists, to make us see these poorly-defined “rebels” not as al Qaeda or ISIS or bands of mercenaries, but valiant heroes, struggling to fend off tyranny. He hopes we’ll be as dyslexic about the real legal and moral issue as he and his Washington friends are, and simply accept a priori our right/obligation to decide who gets to run Syria based on how much we like them.

But Smith doesn’t just sell on used mainstream lies, he also adds a few deceptions and reinventions of his own, aimed exclusively at getting his left wing audience to see regime change and armed intervention as the New Anti-Imperialism.

He starts by boldly reversing reality and presenting the “rebels”, not Assad as the target of US aggression. He tells us Obama doesn’t really oppose the Syrian government and that he “denied” the “rebels” the “heavy weaponry they pleaded for to stop the regime’s assault.” Given these “rebels” are currently bombarding western Aleppo (you know that place he doesn’t want to talk about) with US-donated mortars, rockets and sniper fire, this claim is about as stupid as it gets, and he ends up tying himself in knots of contradictions trying simultaneously to say Obama supports everything Assad stands for but also wants him – inexplicably – to go. He is so blatantly trying to weasel us into calling on Obama to send Tomahawks to the terrorist mercs (oops, sorry, “those who rose up for democracy and justice”) that it’s embarrassing. He thinks his audience are morons with short term memory loss and no idea how to use search engines, and by underestimating them only succeeds in making himself look a fool.

His phoney left, phoney social-justice warrior, phoney righteous indignation and general incompetence at creating a plausible alternative narrative only makes the lies he tells more repulsive. It’s a horrible display. As morally bankrupt as it is idiotic. It’s the Establishment-sanctioned war narrative in a red-painted, rainbow-tinged box.

Everyone sing along with Ashley now…

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station amid escalation in press violations


A Palestinian journalist checks damages after Israeli forces raided offices of local Palestinian Al-Khalil radio overnight in Hebron on November 21, 2015
Ma’an – August 31, 2016

HEBRON – Israeli forces raided and ransacked a Palestinian radio station early Wednesday morning in Dura City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, detained five of the station’s employees, and ordered it closed for three months, amid a documented escalation of violations against media freedoms by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided al-Sanabel radio station, destroyed its contents, and confiscated transmission and broadcast equipment.

Israeli forces left a closure order on the door of the radio station.

Locals added that Israeli forces detained head of the radio station Ahmad al-Darawish, as well as radio employees Muhammad al-Sus, Nidal Amro, Muntaser Nassar, and Hamed al-Nammura after raiding their homes.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli forces, police, and civil administration authorities closed al-Sanabel upon a military order that claimed that the radio station broadcast programs inciting against Israel.

Adraee added that the five detainees were transferred for interrogation.

News of the closure came after Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA released a report on Saturday saying Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory increased by 17 percent during the first half of 2016.

MADA General Director Moussa Rimawi said in the semi-annual report that while the total number of violations by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities declined from 224 cases in the first half of 2015 to 198 in the first half of this year — a rate of 12 percent — Israeli violations continued to climb, as Palestinian authorities committed 41 percent less violations during the same period.

A total of 133 violations committed by Israel were recorded during the period.

The most common types of violations committed by Israel were physical attacks, arrests, confiscation of equipment, prevention of coverage, and detentions.

The report highlighted that Israeli authorities in March closed two media institutions — Falastin al-Yawm and TransMedia Production Company — after ransacking and confiscated equipment from their offices.

Meanwhile, some 23 journalists and media workers were detained between January and June of 2016.

The report also noted an escalation of the Israeli practice of detaining Palestinians for social media activity, with Israeli authorities alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by “incitement.”

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

MADA said in the report that they were “gravely concerned regarding all systematic attacks and violence against journalists and media workers by the Israeli occupation, and urges state members to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists, to ensure accountability, and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against media freedoms.”

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Secretive ‘Children of Israel’ backs Trump at $25,000-per-head California fundraiser

RT | August 31, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump headlined a $25,000-per-ticket fundraiser at the California home of Saul Fox, a private equity CEO and secret donor behind the “Children of Israel.”

Forty people attended the Monday fundraiser including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who arrived with Trump.

The visit was the billionaire’s first visit to San Jose since a clash between his supporters and protesters in the Silicon Valley city.

Fox is one of the many political donors who use so-called ‘ghost corporations’ to conceal their identity.

It was revealed only earlier this month that he was the main donor behind ‘Children of Israel,’ who have donated $734,000 to the Republican party so far this year, according to The Intercept.

This includes a $400,000 donation to the Super PAC Stand for Truth, which supported Ted Cruz’s presidential run, as well as $334,000 to the RNC.

Shaofen Gao, a realtor in Silicon Valley with no history of making political contributions, was listed as the registered agent for Children of Israel in mid-2015, but a later filing revealed that the sole person behind the money was Fox.

Fox hasn’t commented on why he channeled the money through the company, keeping his identity hidden. In addition to the company’s donations, Fox himself has also donated to the GOP.

Most recently, he donated $100,000 to speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s aptly-titled fundraiser “Team Ryan” as well as a $25,000 donation to Trump’s joint fundraising committee.

Fox’s 2016 donations also include $2,700 to Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid and the $5,400 maximum to the campaigns of both Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v FEC decision in 2010, the 2016 election cycle has seen an unprecedented influx of corporate donations with one out of every €8 collected by super PACs coming from ‘ghost corporations,’ according to the Washington Post.

In 2015, Children of Israel gave $50,000 to Pursuing America’s Greatness, a super PAC supporting Huckabee’s run, as well as $100,000 to a pro-Huckabee group.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some Important Things That Really Do Matter About Hillary Clinton

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | August 31, 2016

hillary-300x200Even if everyone does it, that does not make it right. That excuse did not work for you in 6th grade when you were caught smoking in the girl’s room and it should not be accepted from a presidential candidate or her supporters in the media.

Many politicians do crappy things. That is not an excuse for you to also do them. See above.

“Well, at least I wasn’t indicted” is not a very high standard for the presidency.

“There is no proof of quid pro quo.” What do you mean by proof? A notarized statement “This guy gave us money, so let’s sell him weapons?” Reality doesn’t work that way so spare us the strawman argument. Phone calls are made. Conversations happen. Minions learn quickly what their boss wants. People at the Clintons’ level rarely leave paper trails behind and when they do, they delete them before the FBI arrives to pick up the server.

If someone offers you millions of dollars for essentially no work (i.e., a speech) they are going to want something in return. If you want more money, you will need to give something to them.

“All they wanted was a meeting with the secretary to offer their views.” Sure, maybe. But in Washington the currency is closeness to power. For a wealthy person, buying just material things loses its charm after awhile. They buy access, they buy the appearance of power, they buy chances to take those photos of themselves with prominent world leaders all rich people have on their walls. You look like a sap, arm candy in return for cash. Quid pro quo can mean a meeting, a visa issued, an arms deal made.

Follow the money. Always follow the money.

If the secretary of state’s name is Clinton and the foundation receiving the money is named Clinton, they are part of the same thing.

If you put classified material on an unclassified server, that is wrong. It exposes that material to America’s adversaries. Presidents should simply not do that. No one else in government has ever knowingly been allowed to do that.

There is such a thing inside the U.S. government called retroactive classification. You may not like it, and you may have convinced sops in the media to pretend with you it does not exist, but it is real. I’ll Google it for you, here, and here. Someone please call CNN and pass them those links.

The Clinton Foundation as a charity has done some good deeds. But do not conflate those with its role as a money laundering tool. The two are very separate functions of the same organization. And you can have the first without the second. In fact, that’s how good charities work.

Avoiding even the appearance of unethical behavior is important. Persons throughout the government watch what their senior leaders do as signals as to what they can get away with. Leadership matters, and that means staying clean and making sure everyone sees that you are clean. You lead by example, one way or the other.

When global leaders come to wonder if you can be bought off for some “donations,” they will either lose respect for you, or want to buy you off themselves. They will not simply ignore it.

Putin could really not give a sh*t which assclown is elected president. He’ll go on acting in his country’s best interests no matter who is in the White House, as he has done through multiple administrations already. Get over yourself.

Hiding from the press and not holding press conferences seems like the behavior of a petulant six-year-old.

It is not leadership nor is it presidential to be caught as a liar and a prevaricator on a regular basis. People do not trust you; not voters, not the Congresspeople you will need to work with, not other world leaders you will have to negotiate with.

The lesser of two evils is still evil. Why do you want to knowingly vote for evil?


August 31, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

UN report on Syria chemical attacks lacks proof to pin blame or introduce sanctions – Moscow

RT | August 31, 2016

The findings of the latest UN report that blamed Damascus for the use of chlorine in several chemical attacks in 2014 and 2015 lack specifics, while some of the evidence might have be fabricated by opposition and terrorist groups, Russia’s envoy told UNSC.

“Already at this stage, we have a number of questions regarding the findings of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on some cases. Evidence provided in the report gives rise to serious doubts. It could have been fabricated by the forces opposed to Damascus and terrorist groups, perhaps not without outside help,” Moscow’s Vitaly Churkin told a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council. His speech was circulated by the Russian permanent mission.

Last week the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published an inquiry dealing with nine attacks in seven areas of Syria. Eight of the cases involved the use of chlorine. The inquiry was unable to reach a conclusion in six cases but attributed at least two attacks to government forces.

The report claimed that there was sufficient data to conclude that Syrian Arab Air Force helicopters dropped chemical weapons on Talmenes on April 21, 2014, and Sarmin on March 16, 2015.

Following the report, UNSC members have been debating whether to introduce additional charges on Syria given the fact that Damascus agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013 when it signed the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention under a deal brokered by Russia and the US. If Syria did indeed violate the Chemical Weapons agreement, the UN will be forced to impose sanctions under Chapter seven of the UN Charter.

But the Russian envoy to UN challenged the findings, claiming that findings are based on a single factor, namely which side had the capability to use aviation for the chemical weapons drop.

The document states that the investigators “did not find evidence that the armed opposition has used helicopters during the incident,” Churkin said. “From the wording, we can conclude that there is no direct evidence to the contrary – that the opposition did not use helicopters.”

Furthermore, Churkin noted that report also stated that rebels managed to capture an airfield which had nine combat ready helicopters, which could have been used by rebels who have necessary technical skills and training to operate the machines.

“It is not clear why the authors of the report questioned the existence of such ‘levels’ [of technical knowledge] in well-trained” militants that also could come from abroad, the diplomat noted.

Churkin also noticed that the authors of the report virtually recognized themselves the “ambiguity of the available evidence” by resorting to using a language filled with “assumptions, rather than stating clearly established facts”.

Earlier in the day Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, told reporters that UN report was based on the witness testimonies provided by the armed terrorist groups. Furthermore, the Syrian diplomat accused the findings of lacking any actual evidence based on sample analysis and medical reports.

“In light of the lack of reliable evidence the Syrian authorities consider it appropriate to continue the thorough examination of the incidents in Talmenes and Sarmin” to establish facts, Churkin said.

Following the closed door UNSC meeting Churkin told reporters that there are a number of questions which have to be clarified before Russia will accept all the findings and conclusions of the report.

“Clearly, there is a smoking gun. We know that chlorine most likely has been used — that was already the finding of the fact-finding mission before — but there are no fingerprints on the gun,” Churkin said following the closed-door session.

“There is nobody to sanction in the report which has been issued,” he said. “It contains no names, it contains no specifics. … If we are to be professional we need to question all the conclusions.”

Read more:

‘PsyOps to build case against Assad’

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment