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Afghanistan: In Search of Monsters to Not Destroy

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | August 2, 2019

America, John Quincy Adams said in 1821, “goes not 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’s as good a summary ever spoken of the non-interventionist position.

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagrees. He opposes President Trump’s quest for a peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan as “reckless and dangerous,” entailing “severe risk to the homeland.”

Nearly 18 years  into the US occupation of Afghanistan, at a cost of  trillions of dollars, more than 4,000 Americans dead and more than 20,000 wounded, Graham and his fellow hawks clearly aren’t really looking for monsters to destroy.  They want those monsters alive and at large, to justify both their own general misrule and the perpetual flow of American blood and treasure into foreign soil (read: into the bank accounts of US “defense” contractors).

The US invasion of Afghanistan was never militarily necessary. The Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden upon presentation of evidence that he was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, an offer President George W. Bush arrogantly declined in favor of war.

The extended US occupation of, and “nation-building” project in, Afghanistan, was even less justifiable. Instead of relentlessly pursuing the supposed mission of apprehending bin Laden and liquidating al Qaeda, US forces focused on toppling the Taliban, installing a puppet regime, and setting themselves to the impossible task of turning Kabul into Kokomo.

It hasn’t worked. It’s not working now. It’s not going to start working.  Ever. It should never have been attempted. Afghans don’t want Lindsey Graham running their affairs any more than you want him running yours. Can you blame them after as many as 360,000 Afghan civilian deaths?

Afghanistan is not and never has been a military threat to the United States, let alone the kind of existential threat that would justify 18 years of war. Yesterday isn’t soon enough to bring this fiasco to an end. But Graham and company would, given their way, drag it out forever.

They’re  the kind of grifters H.L. Mencken had in mind when he noted that “[t]he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” But they’d rather keep old hobgoblins alive than have to manufacture new ones.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org)

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , | 3 Comments

Russia Urges US, EU Countries to Withdraw Forces From Syria

Sputnik | August 2, 2019

MOSCOW – Russia is urging the United States and European countries to withdraw forces from Syria, but can see the increase in their military presence there instead, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said Friday.

“We are always calling on the United States and other — European — countries, whose troops are also illegally in Syria, to leave this sovereign state. Nevertheless, they are still justifying it by the need to fight Daesh* and other terrorist groups”, Lavrentyev said at a press conference.

The Russian presidential envoy stressed that these countries were in reality pursuing their own agenda.

“So far we have not been able to convince them to withdraw forces. Despite the words of [US President Donald] Trump that US forces would be pulled out, we can see, on the contrary, the increase in these forces, partly because of the presence of private military companies”, the envoy said.

The number of US troops in Syria has been declining since US President Donald Trump claimed victory over the jihadists in December, promising to withdraw at least 2,000 troops from the country in the near future.

US forces have been operating in Syria as part of an international coalition to fight the Daesh terrorist organisation for about four years without the permission of either Damascus or the UN Security Council.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 6 Comments

US to develop new missiles as INF treaty expires – Pentagon

RT | August 2, 2019

The Pentagon announced that the US intends to develop conventional ground-based missiles previously banned under the INF arms control treaty, on the very day it expired following Washington’s unilateral exit.

“Now that we have withdrawn, the Department of Defense will fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles,” a Pentagon spokesman said in an emailed statement on Friday.

The US cited Russia’s alleged breach of the INF treaty as the pretext to withdraw from it in February, starting the six-month clock until the treaty officially ended on August 2.

According to the Pentagon, Russia was “producing and fielding an offensive capability that was prohibited” under the INF, thus endangering the US and its allies.

This accusation refers to the SSC-8, known in Russia as the 9M729, which Moscow says is perfectly compliant with the treaty and represents an upgrade of an older, also compliant, missile system.

Last month, the US mission to NATO tried to blame the demise of the INF on Russia, asserting once again that it was up to Moscow to save the treaty by destroying all the SSC-8 units.

The promotional video produced for the campaign, however, showed the perfectly legal Iskander-M missiles, instead of the 9M729.
Also on rt.com What’s INF & why does it matter?

US accusations about the 9M729 are based on media reports and unprovable intelligence community assessments of different cruise missiles – the air-launched Kh-101 and sea-launched Kalibr, neither of which were banned under the INF.

Months prior to Washington’s announcement it was exiting the INF, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton visited Moscow and called the treaty a relic of the Cold War, ill-suited for the “new strategic reality” that included China, Iran and North Korea.

“The only reason for this to happen was that the US decided to untie itself from an arms control treaty that kept capabilities of the US in this area at zero-level for decades,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told RT.

He pointed out that Russia has demonstrated its ability to find “cost-effective answers” to any military challenges it faces, so if Washington intends to trigger a new arms race the effort is bound to backfire.

“No one will gain” from the collapse of the INF, Ryabkov said. “Everyone’s security will be in jeopardy.”

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | | 1 Comment

United Church should come clean on anti-Palestinian accord

By Yves Engler · August 2, 2019

Toronto church Trinity-St. Paul’s shameful suppression of a Palestinian youth cultural event highlights anti-Palestinian rot festering in the United Church of Canada. It ought to also shine a light on a little discussed anti-Palestinian accord UCC leaders signed with Israel lobby groups five decades ago.

Under pressure from B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Defence League the Trinity-St. Paul Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts recently canceled a room booking “to celebrate the artistic and cultural contributions of Palestinians in the diaspora.” The Palestinian Youth Movement’s spoken word event was to “showcase the winners of the Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship”, which the JDL and B’nai B’rith chose to target on the grounds the famous novelist was a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the early 1970s. After Kanafani and his 17-year old niece were assassinated by the Mossad in Beirut, Lebanon’s Daily Star labeled the novelist “a commando who never fired a gun, whose weapon was a ball-point pen, and his arena the newspaper pages.”

As I detailed in this article Trinity-St. Paul’s spiritual leader is anti-Palestinian leftist Cheri DiNovo. Since publishing that piece the former NDP MPP admitted — to vicious anti-Palestinian/Islamophobe Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy, of all people — that she forwarded B’nai B’rith’s concerns to the church’s board, which then cancelled the event. Dropping her progressive standing further, DiNovo unfriended a number of individuals on Facebook who politely questioned her role in suppressing the Palestinian cultural event.

To be fair to DiNovo she isn’t the only Progressive Except for Palestine voice in the UCC. “What happened at Trinity St. Paul’s is not isolated”, wrote Karen Rodman, an ordained UCC minister and prominent Palestine solidarity activist. Last year the UCC seminary at the University of Toronto’s Victoria University withdrew from a Palestinian Liberation Theology program with Reverend Naim Ateek. According to Rodman, work had been underway on Emmanuel College’s continuous learning initiative with Ateek for a year when pressure was brought to bear by Israeli nationalist groups.

Resolutions endorsed at UCC conventions in the 2000s called on Palestinians to recognize Israel as an ethnic/religious supremacist state. The 2009 motion called for “the emergent State of Palestine” to recognize “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within safe and secure borders.” In an interview after the 2009 convention Palestinian Canadian journalist Hanna Kawas complained the UCC was asking the victims of a European colonial movement to endorse the supremacist ideology that dispossessed them. In 2012 the UCC “advised against the use of ‘the language of apartheid’ when applied to Israel” and called for a solution to the Palestinian refugees’ right of return so long as it “maintains the demographic integrity of Israel.”

In another sign of the church hierarchy’s encouragement of a colonial ideology, Rodman was harassed and bullied for supporting Palestinian rights. Church officials purportedly called her a “terrorist” for traveling to the West Bank. In response to attacks and biased review process, Rodman filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) against the UCC for discriminating against her anti-Zionist worldview. Last year the HRTO granted Rodman a hearing, which awaits scheduling, to show her anti-Zionist worldview/creed is not just a political view.

(The UCC has supported labelling settlement goods and condemned other aspect of Israel’s occupation. But these resolutions have not been implemented. As an example, no congregation or UCC body implemented a 2012 resolution calling for divestment from companies profiting or supporting the occupation even though a resolution was passed at the subsequent General Council requesting implementation of the 2012 resolution.)

An anti-Palestinian deal UCC leaders brokered decades ago has influenced the church’s indifference to the plight of Palestinians. In the 1950s and 60s the UCC passed a number of resolutions upholding the rights of Palestinians, including those of the refugees to return to their homes. More significantly, the UCC’s influential magazine championed the Palestinian cause. With a circulation of 350,000 in the early 1970s, The Observer criticized Israeli human rights violations. But editor Rev. A.C. Forrest’s support for Palestinians prompted vicious attacks. Emboldened by the blow Israel delivered against pan-Arabism in the 1967 war, B’nai B’rith dubbed Forrest a “Haman”, “Pharaoh” and “anti-Semitic”.

In response, Forrest threatened to sue for libel. B’nai B’rith countersued. A high-profile battle between B’nai B’rith and the UCC ensued. But, new UCC leaders didn’t care much about Palestinians and opposed Forrest, as well as a pro-Palestinian resolution passed at the 1972 UCC convention. Moderator Bruce McLeod and General Secretary George Morris soon sought a “gentleman’s agreement” in which both the UCC and B’nai B’rith would drop the lawsuits. Couched in the language of interfaith sensitivity, the 1973 “peace pact” was about deterring criticism of Israel. As then Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) President Sol Kanee wrote in a private letter, “it would appear the United Church is determined to chart a more positive course with regard to Israel and the Jewish people, which we hope will be reflected in the ‘Observer.’”

Dozens of pages detail the B’nai B’rith-UCC battle at the Canadian Jewish Archives in Montréal. In one internal file CJC officials say only part of the B’nai B’rith-UCC agreement was published (a similar agreement is thought to have been made between the UCC and CJC and/or Canadian Council of Churches). Part of the “peace pact” published noted, “we recognize and appreciate the interests of Jews everywhere and of the United Church for the events in the Middle East and in the survival of Israel.”

As part of the agreement, the UCC seems to have committed to inform B’nai B’rith/CJC about Israel related affairs or even seek their consent before implementing policy approved by the grassroots. A 2009 Globe and Mail article reported that UCC general council officer Bruce Gregersen indicated that CJC president Bernie Farber “gave his blessing to the UCC resolution” on Israel.

Rodman and others have pushed the church hierarchy to reveal whether the anti-Palestinian agreement is still respected. But UCC leaders have failed to release the full agreement or say it is no longer being followed.

The agreement with B’nai B’rith/CJC has undercut grassroots initiatives within the church that challenge Canada’s complicity in Palestinian dispossession. But, the decision to succumb to B’nai B’rith’s disingenuous attacks 45 years ago has had another equally damaging impact on Palestinians. It has emboldened the anti-Palestinian group to make evermore outrageous demands.

After a half-century more of Israeli land theft and violence, B’nai B’rith demanded a Toronto church suppress an event because it included the name of a famous novelist driven from his home as a child and then blown up by Israel (a quintessential victim of terrorism). If Kanafani’s name “glorifies terrorists and murderers”, as B’nai B’rith claims, then what should we say of a group that defends every act of Israeli violence, including the assassination of a novelist and his niece?

If the UCC won’t have anything to do with a Palestinian youth group that mentions Kanafani’s name they sure better sever all ties to groups promoting Israeli “terrorists and murderers”.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Israel lobbied US to drop F-35 deal with Turkey

MEMO | August 2, 2019

Israel secretly lobbied the US to block Turkey from purchasing its F-35 fighter jets in an effort to maintain its military edge in the region, according to Israeli media reports.

Tel Aviv began urging the White House to drop Ankara from its F-35 program soon after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved the purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, Israeli Channel 12 reported yesterday.

“It put pressure on Washington to cancel the sale of advanced aircraft to Turkey,” it said.

Turkey was suspended from the F-35 program in July, with the US administration claiming the Russian S-400 would compromise the security of its F-35 jets. Turkey denies the claim, adding that for years it tried unsuccessfully to buy US Patriot missile defence before it turned to the S-400s.

While US President Donald Trump has resisted penalising Turkey over the S-400 issue, there has been pressure from Congress as well as his own administration to take measures against Turkey, including sanctions.

In the last two years, Israel started purchasing F-35s from the US, making it the only country in Middle East to own this type of fighter jet.

The Israeli government has signed agreements with US defence contractor Lockheed Martin to purchase at least 50 F-35 aircraft using US aid.

The aircraft will be delivered in batches of twos and threes through 2024.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

Protesters urge Israel to admit abduction of Yemeni children

MEMO | August 2, 2019

Israelis of Yemeni origin protested in front of the residences of both Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They were urging Israel to recognise what they described as state-sponsored kidnapping of Yemeni children during the early years of the establishment of the state of Israel.

On Thursday, Haaretz said that about 200 people took part in the march, on Wednesday evening, near the residences of Rivlin and Netanyahu.

“The demonstrators carried posters displaying pictures of the children, and the dates when they claim, the children were kidnapped,” said the newspaper.

A government commission was assigned in 2001 to look into allegations of children disappearances. The commission later concluded that “there is no proof for the systematic abduction of Yemeni children.”

According to the paper, “the committee and two previous committees concluded that most of the children died as a result of the disease.”

Families and legal experts questioned the performance and professionalism of the committee and the media that published a series of investigative reports about the issue.

In 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “the issue of Yemeni children is an open wound that continues to bleed. Many families do not know the fate of the missing children and are looking for the truth.”

The demonstration was organised by Amram Foundation to mark, “a day of awareness-raising regarding hundreds or thousands of missing children born to Jewish immigrants from Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries and the Balkans.” Amram had cancelled a planned meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin when “[he] refused to call for official recognition of what the foundation described as an injustice to these communities,” Haaretz said.

Minorities usually complain in Israel about what they describe as “discrimination official Israeli institutions practised against them.”

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Is Bernie Sanders Planning to Use Climate Catastrophism to Accelerate Agenda 21 and Global Governance?

By Barbara McKenzie | October 10, 2018

Bernie Sanders, who is on the campaign trail, has just released a video, Why Is There a Climate Change “Debate” in Washington?

Bernie Sanders utters one great truth in this broadcast and makes one portentous announcement.

The Great Truth

‘The debate over climate change in Washington really has nothing to do with science.’

The debate on ‘climate change’ never had anything to do with climate change, at least on the part of climate alarmists. The purpose of the narrative was always to fulfill a political agenda, to divert more and more wealth to the already rich and powerful, and to divest more and more power away from nation states and their citizens to the bloated and corrupt United Nations bureaucracy, which is essentially controlled by the rich and powerful.

The global warming idea is a project of the (very) elitist Club of Rome, whose members have included Al Gore, Ted Warner, George Soros, Bill Gates and members of the Rockefeller and Rothschild families.  The Club of Rome is the active division of a group of entities serving a globalist agenda, which have played the major part in the establishment of the United Nations, the European Union and NATO. They include the Bilderberg Group, the Committee on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (see Robert Galyon Ross on the ‘Elite Conspiracy’).

climate.jpg large

(Windows on the World, Climate Catastrophobia – The Big Lie)

The global warming project enables further enrichment of the already very wealthy, through the carbon trading scheme (Al Gore was projected to become the first carbon millionaire). However, United Nations publications such as Agenda 21 make it very clear that climate alarmism has another purpose: to enable and justify expansion ofUN bureaucracy, the empowerment of NGOs, inevitably controlled by the globalists, and to control and contain the populace, all in the name of the Earth and the ill-defined ‘sustainability’.

‘The Global Warming debate […] is a concept by the New World Order to justify the dismantling the industrial society and returning the mass of humanity to obedient serfdom.’ (The Great Climate and Global Warming Fraud invented by the Club of Rome)

Bernie Sanders usefully lays out the false, fallacious, or intellectually dishonest arguments for eco-catastrophism.

  • ‘99% of scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made and that it is already causing devastating harm.’ Scientists do indeed agree that climate change is real, but careful analysis by Lord Monkton and others has shown that while claims of 97% or 99% of support for the Club of Rome’s alarmist narrative are certainly made, the reality is more like 0.3%.
  • ‘The scientific debate is over’: Scientific debate is never over – that’s the thing about science – but moving on
  • ‘The real issue is politics’: Yes.
  • ‘… and the power of the fossil fuel industry’. Rather than cater to the wealthy and powerful special interests in the fossil fuel industry ….’ Well, no. The empirical evidence shows that wealthy and powerful interests associated with the Club of Rome, such as Ted Warner, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Bill Gates, have successfully invested in controlling the climate debate, far beyond anything Big Oil has even attempted.
  • ‘A group of internationally renowned scientists, the IPCC ….’  Back in 2007, New Zealander Dr Vincent Gray, a long-time IPCC reviewer, declared that the IPCC was too blinkered and corrupt to save. His assessment has only been confirmed with time, see this from 2014.   The latest report has been slammed by top climate scientists who have trashed the methods, findings and claims of the IPCC. The climate data set they used has turned out to be an embarrassment, using freezing tropical islands, boiling towns and boats on land.  As regards the scientists themselves, it has been observed that amongst the authors, ‘there are very few of what could be described as “climate scientists, but lots of geographers, energy analysts, economists, sociologists, engineers, sustainability experts and the odd Eco-Psychologist thrown in for good measure, together with considerable UN and World Bank affiliations’.
  • ‘We have 12 years […] to stop the worst impacts of climate change’: The UN and climate catastrophists have been giving us points of no return for decades, but all the ridicule in the world makes no difference.  Given that the world still has not recovered sufficiently from the Little Ice Age to regreen Greenland, highly fertile back in the Medieval Warm Period, projecting only 12 years to bring the world past that point to dangerously hot seems pessimistic.
  • ‘Increase in extreme weather disturbances’: Even the IPCC agrees that there has been no increase in extreme weather events.
  • More acidification of the oceans’: Scientists have found that higher Co2 and lowered pH levels (acidification) have little to no effect on ocean-dwelling organisms.
  • More rising sea levels‘:  Vincent Gray reported in 2007 that in response to Gore’s warnings about the island of Tuvalu sinking below the waves, scientists at Flinders University, Adelaide, were asked to check whether this was true. They set up new, modern, tide-gauges in 12 Pacific islands, including Tuvalu, confident that they would show that all of them are sinking. ‘Recently, the whole project was abandoned as there was no sign of a change in sea level at any of the 12 islands for the past 16 years. In 2006, Tuvalu even rose.’ There was a similar story with the Maldives which have, however, recently built another sea-level airfield.  Sanders makes no specific mention of global warming per se – very wise, as warming leveled out around 1998, and in fact the climate appears to be cooling, leading to dire predictions of a new ice-age, so what actually is causing these rising sea levels is unclear.
  • Hundreds of millions of people [will be] forced to leave own communities, in order to find the food and water they need to survive:”  Given the above, it is not quite clear why.
  • ‘We have a President and a Republican leadership who reject science’: Trump’s crime was to say, in answer to the accusation that the climate is changing, ‘it will change back’. Which shows a better grasp of science than almost any other Western politician.
  • ‘Trump is a conspiracy theorist’: Trump has said that alarmists have a very big political agenda.
  • ‘They do not have a political agenda’: Yes, they do.

The Portentous Announcement: an action plan to address this fictional problem –  flagged, not specified

  • ‘Unless we take bold and drastic action …’
  • ‘The action we need to take has no historic precedent.’
  • ‘In the coming months I will be working with fellow senators to bring forth the most sweeping climate change legislation ever introduced in the senate.’
  • ‘We need unprecedented legislation …’

Bernie Sanders is clearly in tune with the globalist agenda. Of course the legislation he has in mind here may simply be to raise fuel taxes and build more bird-killing windmills, in which case this is a lot of hype. On the other hand he may be planning moves in accordance with Agendas 21 and 30, to give more power to the UN and NGOs, and to accelerate the Wildlands Project, forcing people increasingly out of the countryside and into the ‘more sustainable’ cities.

Sanders’ sweetener is that renewable energy, he says, creates more jobs than fossil fuel industries, and is actually cheaper, claims which require more analysis to say the least. Even so, Bernie Sanders supporters could be turkeys voting for Christmas.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

The Empire Is Coming for Tulsi Gabbard

By Tom Luongo | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 2, 2019

The second debate among Democratic hopefuls was notable for two things. The lack of common decency of most of them and Tulsi Gabbard’s immense, career-ending attack on Kamala Harris’ (D-Deep State) record as an Attorney General in California.

Harris came out of the first debate the clear winner and Gabbard cut her down to size with one of the single best minutes of political television since Donald Trump told Hillary Clinton, “Because you’d be in jail.”

Gabbard’s takedown of Harris was so spot on and her closing statement about the irresponsible nature of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy was so powerful she had to be actively suppressed on Twitter.

And, within minutes of the debate ending the media and the political machines moved into overdrive to smear her as a Russian agent, an Assad apologist and a favorite of the alt-right.

Now, folks, let me tell you something. I write and talk about Gabbard a lot and those to the right of me are really skeptical of her being some kind of plant for Israel or the establishment. If she were truly one of those she wouldn’t have been polling at 1% going into that debate.

She would have been promoted as Harris’ strongest competition and served up for Harris to co-opt.

That is not what happened.

No, the fact that Gabbard is being smeared as viciously and baselessly as she is by all the right people on both the left and the right is all the proof you need that she is 1) the real deal and 2) they are scared of her.

When Lindsey Graham tweets about Tulsi Gabbard twice after a debate, when the Washington Post neocons like Josh Rogin are attacking her, you know she’s got their panties in a bunch.

You expect it from the Harris camp, obviously. But when it comes directly from people like Navid Jamali (double agent, navy intelligence, MSNBC contributor) you know the empire is beginning to get worried.

Gabbard is now getting the Ron Paul treatment. It will only intensify from here. They will come after her with everything they have.

In the past week she’s destroyed Kamala Harris on national TV, sued Google for electioneering and signed onto Thomas Massie’s (R-KY) bill to audit the Federal Reserve. What does she do next week, end the Drug War?

Tulsi Gabbard is admittedly a work in progress. But what I see in her is something that has the potential to be very special. She’s young enough to be both passionately brave and willing to go where the truth takes her.

And that truth has taken her where Democrats have feared to tread for more than forty years: the US Empire.

The entire time I was growing up the prevailing wisdom was Social Security was the third rail of US politics. That, like so many other pearls of wisdom, was nonsense.

The true third rail of US politics is empire. Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it’s quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC.

That is Gabbard’s crime. And it’s the only crime that matters.

When the Empire is on the line, left and right in the US close ranks and unite against the threat. The good news is that all they have is their pathetic Russia bashing and appeals to their authority on foreign policy.

Foreign policy, by the way, that most people in America, frankly, despise.

And the response to her performance at the second debate was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. It’s also easily countered. Gabbard will face an uphill battle from here and we’ll find out in the coming weeks just how deep into Trump Derangement Syndrome the average Democrat voter is.

If she doesn’t begin climbing in the polls then the Democrats are lost. They will have signed onto crazy Progressivism and more Empire in their lust to destroy Donald Trump. But they will lose because only a principled anti-imperialist like Gabbard can push Trump back to his days when he was the outsider in the GOP debates, railing against our stupid foreign policy.

No one else in the field would be remotely credible on this point. It’s the area where Trump is the weakest. He’s not weak on women’s rights, racism, gay rights or any of the rest of the idiotic identity politics of the rest of the Democratic field.

He’s weakest on the one issue that got him elected in the first place, foreign policy. Hillary was the candidate of Empire. Trump was not. It’s why we saw an international conspiracy formed to destroy him and his presidency. Now that same apparatus is mobilized against Tulsi Gabbard.

That’s good. As a solider she knows that when you’re taking flak you are over your target. Now let’s hope she’s capable of sustaining herself to push this election cycle away from the insanity the elite want to distract us with and make it about the only thing keeping the world from healing, ending the empire of chaos.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | | 5 Comments

No, Tulsi Gabbard is NOT This Election’s Ron Paul

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | August 2, 2019

When Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray contacted Dr. Paul yesterday for a comment for her latest piece, “Tulsi Gabbard Is This Election’s Ron Paul,” Dr. Paul and I discussed what the article might look like and how his comment might be used (or mis-used). Knowing Gray as an obsessive “Russiagate” promoter and manic never-Trumper, my view was that she would distort any Ron Paul quote to make it look bad for Gabbard, who Gray and the rest of the establishment journalists despise.

He declined to comment.

Proving my suspicions, Gray nevertheless twisted his polite decline into a slap in Gabbard’s face.

It’s not hard to spot Gray’s spin on Ron Paul’s decline:

Paul declined to comment for this piece through his spokesperson, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, but other prominent libertarians and Paul insiders were eager to praise Gabbard.

See how that works? Others were “eager to praise” Gabbard but Ron Paul declined. That’s how a hit piece takes shape.

Of course Ms. Gray’s email invitation for comment never let on that her intent was to attack rather than to report: “I’m doing a piece about Tulsi Gabbard and I was wondering if Dr. Paul might be available to speak to me for the story. Basically, it’s about the ways in which her campaign is thematically echoing Dr. Paul’s presidential campaigns.”

Sounds innocent. Journalists like Gray are always innocent while they twist and manipulate the pieces of their stories into the appropriately loaded assault weapon. No wonder Americans now believe that the media is more destructive than banks and large corporations: it is.

The “others” who were “eager to praise” Gabbard were all non-Democrats. That was the set-up of her piece from the beginning. A former Ron Paul campaign aide was quoted speaking favorably about her, along with a Reason magazine editor and a conservative Republican who once advised a Ron Paul presidential campaign. No Democrats.

Anyone with a critical eye on the news media can spot Gray’s intent: Destroy Tulsi Gabbard by pushing the narrative that she is not really a Democratic Party candidate because so many non-Democrats are interested in her campaign. She’s not one of “us” in other words. A Trojan horse!

Her piece after the first Democratic debate, “Tulsi Gabbard Is Having A MAGA Moment After Her Debate Performance,” makes her point with all the subtlety of a Stalin-era stenographer: “More than any other Democratic candidate, Gabbard has developed a favorable presence in the right-wing media.”

See what she did there? Grey hammers home her theme: Gabbard’s not really a Democratic Party candidate. If you are a Democrat who is tempted to support her, remember this: she’s a RIGHT-WING, not a progressive politician. As many of Gray’s other pieces are about how the “right wing” is racist, it doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way Gray’s wind blows.

She pulled the same trick out of her hat for this piece: No, Gabbard’s campaign is not like Ron Paul’s because she has been able to reach across party and ideological lines to appeal to a diverse group of potential voters (which could be a benefit in places like New Hampshire, a state with a libertarian flavor and liberal rules governing party registration for primary voters).  It’s like Ron Paul’s race because she’s attracting Ron Paul people and Ron Paul people are all “evil racists”!

Here’s Gray at her deceptive best: Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign is just like Ron Paul’s campaign and Ron Paul is…

… a highly controversial figure who dabbled in conspiracy thinking and whose connection to fringe politics dogged his campaign, especially when racist newsletters from the 1970s through the 1990s with his name on them were surfaced.

Why, Ron Paul even had the audacity to “suggest… that American military adventurism had provided a motive for the 9/11 attacks”!!!

Here’s where Rosie Gray shows her true colors: by taking the Giuliani side in the Giuliani moment she openly embraces the long-discredited neoconservative position that resentment of the United States in the Muslim world is not because the US government has been bombing and killing Muslims for the past 30 or more years. No, they hate us because we are so good and so free!

Why is Rosie Gray so desperate to paint Tulsi Gabbard as an evil right-wing racist who in no way deserves the attention of any self-respecting Democratic Party voter? She’s just doing the bidding of her paymasters.

Buzzfeed is not the plucky independent news outlet it likes to portray itself as being. It’s largest shareholder is NBCUniversal, whose news component is as mainstream media as mainstream media can be. NBCUniversal has pumped at least $400 million into Buzzfeed.

As any struggling media outlet will agree, $400 million does not a plucky upstart make.

The purpose of Buzzfeed is to appear edgy while keeping everyone on the reservation. You must support the mainstream Democratic candidates. There is a danger that a Tulsi Gabbard might actually make a move to end the endless wars that provide a steady stream of income to the corporate news that partners with the military industrial complex to push the endless wars.

That’s why Gray and her propagandists in the mainstream media pushed the false narrative that President Trump was an agent of the Russian government: his campaign rhetoric about “getting along” with Russia and ending pointless wars overseas was threatening to big media’s profits. Like most politicians, his promises proved to be a lot of hot air, but still he had to be kneecapped by the fourth estate. Just in case.

I’ll give this to Gray: In one way the Tulsi Gabbard campaign is like the Ron Paul campaign: the mainstream media hates both of their guts. But, thankfully, the American people increasingly hate the mainstream media’s guts.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Another ‘Arab Revolt’? History never repeats.

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | August 2, 2019

The Arab sheikhs who instigated the US-Iran standoff have heard the African proverb, ‘When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. But they chose to ignore it. The assumption in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi was that President Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ strategy would frighten Tehran and life would be back to normal very soon with a weakened Iran bludgeoned into submission.

On the contrary, the gyre of the US-Iran standoff is only widening by the day. What was thought to be a localised affair is acquiring international dimensions. America’s Arab allies no longer have a say in the mutation of the US-Iran standoff.

The Saudi and Emirati role narrows down to bankrolling the Anglo-American project on Iran and to allow the western bases on their territories to be used as launching pads for belligerent acts aimed at provoking the leadership in Tehran into retaliatory moves. In sum, there is growing danger that they might get sucked into a conflict situation in a near future.

The Gulf states lack “strategic depth” vis-a-vis Iran and are sure to find themselves on the frontline of any military conflagration. Conceivably, neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE bargained for such an eventuality.

It is possible to discern amidst the welter of interpretations given to the “partial” pullout of the UAE forces from Yemen, Abu Dhabi’s calculation that safeguarding homeland security comes first, way above any imperial agenda. That sobering thought may also have prompted the UAE to make some overtures most recently toward Tehran.

The UAE has taken a nuanced stance that no country could be held responsible for the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf in June. Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said “clear and convincing evidence” is needed regarding the attacks that targeted four vessels off the UAE coast, including two Saudi oil tankers. In essence he distanced the UAE from the US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s finding that the attacks on oil tankers were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran”.

Significantly, Al-Nahyan made the remark at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a visit to Moscow in late June, which from all indications focused on the efforts to bring the war in Yemen to an end and on a possible Russian initiative to moderate UAE’s tensions with Iran. (Interestingly, within the week after Al-Nahyan’s visit in late June, Moscow also hosted the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the UN special envoy on Yemen.)

It is entirely conceivable that Russia is doing what it can behind the scenes to lower the tensions between Iran and the UAE and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole. Moscow has lately rebooted its proposal for a collective security system for the Persian Gulf. In fact, on July 29, the Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf has been distributed as an official document approved by the UN.

The Russian document envisages an initiative group to prepare an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, which would later lead to establishing an organisation on security and cooperation in this region. China has welcomed the Russian initiative and offered to contribute to its success — “We would also like to boost cooperation, coordination and communication with all the corresponding parties.”

Clearly, the Russian proposal flies in the face of the Anglo-American project to create a western naval armada led by the US to take control of the 19000 nautical miles in and around the Strait of Hormuz that will put the West effectively as the moderator of the world oil market — with all the implications that go with it for international politics — and literally reduce the oil-rich Persian Gulf countries to de facto pumping stations. For that reason, the Russian initiative will not fly. Simply put, the US and Britain will resent Russia butting in.

However, there are other straws in the wind. The Iran-UAE joint meeting to address littoral security cooperation in Tehran on July 30 is a tell-tale sign that the Persian Gulf states may have begun to realise that the endemic insecurities of the region ultimately require a regional solution. Iran has welcomed the Emirati overture and sees in it a “slight shift” in policy.

The big question is how far the UAE can get away with an independent foreign policy toward Iran. The West traditionally dictates the bottom line and that cannot change fundamentally unless the Arab regimes in the region give way to representative rule.

This is where the real tragedy lies. The big powers — be it the US or Russia — are largely guided by their own mercantilist interests and are stakeholders in the autocratic regimes in the region, which they find easily amenable to manipulation. A century ago, when an Arab Revolt appeared in the region, Britain had engineered it to roll back the Ottoman Empire. Today, there is no such possibility. The dismal ending of the Arab Spring in Egypt was to the advantage and utter delight of both the US and Russia. 

Having said that, the situation is not altogether bleak. The western powers and Russia fiercely competing to secure lucrative arms sales running into tens of billions of dollars annually. This can be turned into opportunity.

The Russia-Saudi axis calibrating the world oil market shows the potential to incrementally shift the locus of Middle East politics.

Similarly, China’s appearance on the scene opens seamless possibilities for the Gulf states. The recent visit by the UAE Crown Prince to China underscores the Arab ingenuity to test the frontiers of strategic autonomy even in such difficult conditions. The fact of the matter is that the UAE has openly defied American pressure and is positioning itself as a hub of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and, furthermore, has become the first country in the Persian Gulf to introduce the 5G technology from China. (See my blog Belt and Road takes a leap forward to the Gulf.)

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

No, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is not an “Assad apologist”

By Sarah Abed | August 2, 2019

With nearly two dozen declared candidates competing for the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary field and the opportunity to run against Donald Trump in the general election, it’s no surprise that candidates are trying their best to “destroy” their opponents during the debates.

During yesterday’s second night of the second Democratic Debate, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, brought up California Senator Kamala Harris’s record as prosecutor. She said, “I’m concerned about this record of Senator Harris. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana”.

Gabbard also said “She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor of the state of California,” and added “The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not,”. Gabbard ended with “The people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.”

After the debate in Detroit, while talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Harris resorted to name calling and belittling Gabbard by saying she was an “apologist” for Assad “who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches.” She also said that because she is “obviously a top-tiered candidate” that she was prepared to take some hits especially from people who were polling at close to zero percent.

It’s interesting how the majority of the criticism that Gabbard faces is from her own party, whereas Republicans and progressives actually like her. She’s even sided with Republicans on the whole Russian collusion fiasco, some have even accused her of being hired by Russia to take down Kamala. Therefore, it’s no surprise that once #KamalaHarrisDestroyed started trending on Twitter people started accusing Russian bots and MAGA supporters of fueling it.

Let’s get back to why Gabbard is not an “Assad apologist.”

In January 2017, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited Syria on a fact-finding mission, and met with President Bashar Al Assad in Damascus, but few know that she met with the opposition as well, among others. She has said that she is willing to meet with any leader, “because the only alternative to having those meetings is war”.

Gabbard’s skepticism of how the media was portraying the Syrian president grew and the more openly she spoke about the need for proof before assigning blame for alleged chemical weapons attacks, the harsher the criticism against her became, from the media and her own party.

Gabbard has been accused of being an “Assad apologist” by many but the name calling doesn’t end there. The Washington Post called her “Assad’s Mouthpiece”, The Daily Beast said she was “Bashar Assad’s Favorite Democrat”.

What all of these people are missing is that she has on many occasions called Assad “a brutal dictator” or has folded under pressure like she did earlier this year on The View and the latest example is last night when Anderson Cooper badgered her repeatedly about whether she thinks Assad is a murderer, and yet again she caved.

Her weakness when faced with high pressure situations is a flaw that some of her supporters and critics have noticed and pointed out. It’s not a good look and some will try to defend it and say that it’s just “political talk” to get her elected, but folding and backtracking are signs of weakness and could cost her.

It also seems apparent that many are confusing her non-interventionist, anti-war views with being a supporter of “brutal dictators” and “regimes”. Her opposition in 2013 to Obama’s proposed military strikes in Syria resulted in her introducing legislation to block CIA activities in Syria and military actions against Assad. In 2016 she was only one of three members of Congress that voted against House resolution 121, “Syria war bill” which condemned the Syrian government and other parties for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She has opposed overthrowing the Syrian government under the false pretense of “humanitarianism”. That same year she even met with President Trump to try to convince him of her views. The following year she stated that the US’s “regime change” involvement in Syria caused the Syrian refugee crisis. That same year she visited Syria, met with President Assad and spoke with Syrian civilians. In 2017 she also sponsored the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. However, she also supports separatist Kurdish militia’s in Syria.

Gabbard has questioned whether or not Assad ordered chemical weapon attacks against Syrian civilians, she called for an investigation by the U.N. In 2018 she spoke during interviews about the US and their allies providing support to terrorist organizations like AlQaeda. Then, in 2019 while on The View she said there was no disputing the fact that (Assad) is a brutal dictator that has used chemical weapons against his people. Without any evidence, and while playing the role of judge and jury, she caved and said what the hosts wanted to hear.

Even after kowtowing mainstream media’s narrative about Assad being a “brutal dictator” and “murderer” who “uses chemical weapons on his own people”, Democrats insist Gabbard is sympathetic to Syria’s Assad.

Gabbard never was, nor is she now an Assad “apologist”. President Assad has the support of the majority of his people and has been fighting foreign and domestic terrorism in Syria for over eight years, he surely doesn’t need anyone to apologize for him.

Whoever wins the next US election should let Syrians determine their own fate and stay out of their internal political affairs. Ending “regime change” wars and bringing back US troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the world should be a top priority on their agenda.

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments