Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Condemning Trump on Syria? It’s “buffet outrage”

By Stephen Kinzer – Boston Globe – October 17, 2019

Several years ago, the United States hired Kurdish fighters to be our mercenaries in Syria. This month we decided we don’t need them anymore, and abandoned them to their fate. Turkey, which considers Kurdish militancy a mortal threat, quickly began bombing them. This set off a veritable orgy of indignation in Washington. It is a classic example of “buffet outrage,” in which one picks and chooses which horrors to condemn.

Among those shedding crocodile tears, often accompanied by vivid threats against Turkey, are politicians and pundits who have never uttered a peep about American bombs laying waste to Yemen or American sanctions devastating lives in Iran. The United States deserves condemnation for abandoning its promise to the Kurds. Much of it, however, is a hypocritical blend of anti-Trump fanaticism and frustration over the emerging reality that we have lost the Syrian war.

Abandoning the Kurds is not a policy that materialized out of thin air. It is the product of two long chains of American error, one dating to the beginning of the Syrian war and the other even further back. The deeper history of our Middle East tragedy begins in 1980, when President Carter declared that any challenge to American power in the Persian Gulf region would be repelled “by any means necessary, including military force.”

A generation later, President George W. Bush recklessly ordered the invasion of Iraq, which set the region afire and led to the creation of ISIS.
The more recent set of causes for our Kurdish misadventure began in 2011, when President Obama ordered President Bashar Assad of Syria to “step aside.” Beyond the arrogance that leads American presidents to think they can and should decide who may rule other countries lay the utter impossibility of achieving that goal.

The head-chopping death cults that fought alongside our partners in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra, the local al-Qaeda franchise, and Ahrar al-Sham, which seeks to “build an Islamic State” based on “Allah’s Almighty Sharia,” have as part of their agenda the murder of every Shia Muslim. Since the population of nearby Iran is 90 percent Shia, it should have been obvious from the beginning that Iran would use every ounce of its considerable power to assure Assad’s survival. If Obama had looked at Syria realistically rather than succumbing to fantasy, he would have understood that Assad and his Iranian backers would do whatever necessary to defeat the American project. Instead he plunged ignorantly into a conflict that we had no prospect of winning.

Following the example his predecessor set when invading Afghanistan, Obama looked for “partners” who would fight the anti-Assad war for us. Many of the militias we hired and armed were connected to jihadist terror gangs. That made sense, because the Assad government is resolutely secular and those fanatics hate secularism. We also hired Syrian Kurds. They agreed to fight not because they wanted to commit genocide against Shia Muslims and other infidels, but for a completely different reason. They had watched their Kurdish cousins in northern Iraq establish a mini-state, and dreamed of doing the same in northern Syria. If they supported the American war against Assad, they reasoned, the United States might reward them by helping them turn their piece of Syria into an autonomous region or quasi-independent state.

This was never a realistic possibility. The country that Syrian Kurds wanted to carve out for themselves, which they called “Rojava,” did not have nearly the size, population, or military strength to survive in the unforgiving Middle East. Kurdish leaders understood this, but believed they would thrive anyway because their American friends would defend them. That was a pitifully naive miscalculation. The United States has repeatedly made lavish promises to the Kurds and then betrayed them — most notably in the 1970s, when we encouraged Iraqi Kurds to rebel against Saddam Hussein’s government and then abandoned them when Saddam made an accommodation with our ally, the Shah of Iran.

Yet Kurds never seem to learn. Their childlike trust in American promises brings to mind the cartoon character Charlie Brown, whose so-called friend Lucy pulls the football away at the last moment every time he tries to kick, but who nonetheless keeps believing this time will be different.

Although the Kurds did not foresee this betrayal, Assad did. “We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you,” he warned in a speech nine months ago. The Kurds should have listened. In fact, seeking Assad’s protection was always their Plan B. Now, very late in the game and after taking thousands of casualties fighting for their alluring but unfaithful American “friends,” they are doing it. They have effectively surrendered to the Syrian army and asked for its help in defense against Turkey, which thought it had a chance to crush them and establish itself as the de facto ruler of “Rojava.” The Kurds’ alliance with the United States was doomed from the start. Alliance with Assad makes more sense. He may not be the world’s most reliable ally, but he is more trustworthy than the feckless United States.

Although the Kurds’ decision to ask pardon from Assad and join him in rebuilding a secular state is years overdue, it is welcome and wise. It brings Syrians a step closer to the only solution that can end their suffering: reunification. This war will only end when the government re-establishes its authority over all of Syrian territory and hostile foreign forces withdraw. Syria Kurds have belatedly recognized this truth. We should do the same.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Truth Is A Kremlin Talking Point

By Caitlin Johnstone | October 17, 2019

In response to a statement during the Democratic primary debates by presidential candidate Andrew Yang that both Russia and the United States have engaged in election interference, liberal pundit Molly McKew tweeted, “I now retract any vaguely nice thing I ever said about Yang knowing technology things because he answered the question on Putin with moral equivalency and a Kremlin talking point.”

If you’re in the mood for some depressing amusement, just type the words “Kremlin talking point” without quotation marks into Twitter’s search engine and scroll through all the results which come up. Just keep on scrolling and observe how this label, “Kremlin talking point”, gets bleated by mainstream empire loyalists to dismiss subjects ranging from the rigging of Democratic primaries to criticism of US regime change wars to endless US warmongering to concerns about new cold war escalations to disliking John McCain to criticism of Nancy Pelosi. Any criticism of the status quo which cannot be labeled false or misleading gets labeled a “talking point” of Russia/Putin/the Kremlin by those who support and defend the status quo of US-centralized imperialist world hegemony.

Yang’s statement about US intervention in foreign elections is indisputably true, of course. Both alternative and mainstream media outlets have thoroughly documented the fact that the US government’s own data shows them to have interfered in scores of foreign elections, far more than any other nation on earth. This includes an interference in Russia’s elections in the nineties that was so brazen they made a Hollywood movie about it. Former CIA Director James Woolsey openly admitted on Fox News last year that the US still interferes in foreign elections to this very day.

These are not conspiracy theories. These are not even secrets. These are facts. But because they are inconvenient facts, they get labeled “Kremlin talking points” by those whose job it is to defend the status quo.
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was also branded with the accusation of voicing “Kremlin talking points” for remarks she made during last night’s debate. In her case those “talking points” consisted of the indisputable fact that the bloodshed in Syria can be blamed on US politicians from both parties, and the indisputable fact that the US has armed extremist militias in that nation with the goal of effecting regime change.

“Literally a Kremlin talking point, but whatever,” tweeted #Resistance pundit Leah McElrath in response to Gabbard’s debate comments.

“It is a fact that the Russian talking point for years has been that the United States arms al-Qaeda in Syria. Tulsi Gabbard just said it on national television,” tweeted journalist Scott Stedman.

“How odd to listen to Tulsi Gabbard mouthing Syrian and Russian talking points on the Democratic debate stage… sorry but no one thinks US troops withdrawn by Trump were there as part of a ‘regime change war’ by the US,” tweeted Susan Glasser of CNN and The New Yorker.

So the establishment narrative managers now have an official three-word debunk of any criticism of the establishment which employs them, which applies even when that criticism is fully based in facts and reality. Facts are a Kremlin talking point, and anyone who believes them is Russian. Facts are Russian. Truth is Russian. Skepticism is Russian. Asking questions is Russian. Dissent is Russian. Revolution is Russian.

So let’s all get Russian then, baby. Let’s all fill our heads with objectively true Kremlin talking points and Cossack dance our way to a fact-based relationship with reality. Get as Russian as possible. Get aggressively Russian. Get offensively Russian. Get so Russian it hurts. Get so Russian it curls Louise Mensch’s hair. If they are going to start telling us that truth is Russian, then the only appropriate thing to say in response is dasvidaniya.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Jeffrey Epstein Again Disappears From View, but What About Mossad?

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 17, 2019

I have long argued that pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was clearly an intelligence agent and that he was most likely working for the Israeli external service Mossad. My belief was based on the nature of his activity, which suggested that he was able to blackmail important Americans using the sex tapes that he had been able to make at his Manhattan mansion. Put that together with the existence of his fake Austrian passport, as well as former Miami federal attorney Alexander Acosta’s comments  and it would seem that an intelligence connection is a sine qua non.

Acosta was particularly damning. When asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” he replied “…that I had just one meeting on the Epstein case.” He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told to back off,” that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.”

The answers to those remaining questions about Epstein are still lacking even though he is gone, but one fears that the authorities will be disinclined to further investigate a dead man. It appears that no one in the various investigative agencies or the mainstream media has been interested in what Acosta meant, even though it would be simple enough to ask him. Who told him to back off? And how did they explain it? And then there is Epstein’s Austrian passport. Was the document fake or real, with a real name and photo substitution or alternation of both picture and name? How did he get it? Austrian passports are highly desirable in intelligence circles because the country is neutral and its holders can travel just about everywhere without a visa.

What Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation in support of Mossad. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young girls. Recruiting and running American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express, former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation.

Other compelling evidence for a Mossad connection came from Epstein’s relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”

Israel and high-profile Jewish players also have continued to turn up like bad pennies in the Epstein case, but no one seems to be interested in pursuing that angle. Epstein clearly had contact with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak and Epstein patrol Les Wexner also had close ties to the Jewish state and its government.

And now, finally more evidence of the relationship has surfaced even though the mainstream media appears to have lost all interest in the subject. A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has inter alia made the claim that Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was from the beginning an Israel intelligence operation involving the entrapment of powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and also abroad.

In an interview with Zev Shalev, former CBS News executive producer, the retired senior executive for Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, Ari Ben-Menashe, claimed not only to have first met Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged procuress, Ghislaine Maxwell, in the 1980s, but that both Epstein and Maxwell were already working with Israeli intelligence prior to that time.

Ben-Menashe, was himself involved in the notorious Iran-Contra arms deals. He claimed that he had been introduced to Jeffrey Epstein by Robert Maxwell in the mid-1980s while Maxwell’s and Ben-Menashe’s were themselves working on Iran-Contra “… he [Maxwell] wanted us to accept him [Epstein] as part of our group …. I’m not denying that we were at the time a group that it was Nick Davies [Foreign Editor of the Maxwell-Owned Daily Mirror], it was Maxwell, it was myself and our team from Israel, we were doing what we were doing.” Ben-Menashe’s account has been corroborated independently by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, describing how Maxwell, Davies and Ben-Menashe arranged the transfer and sale of military equipment and weapons from Israel to Iran on behalf of Mossad and the CIA during that time period.

Ben-Menashe, who would have absolutely nothing to gain by lying, described how Maxwell stated during the introduction that “your Israeli bosses have already approved” of Epstein. Maxwell was involved in an major intelligence network in Israel “which included the then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon…” and was well placed to know that of which he spoke.

Will the three simultaneous investigations currently taking place even seek to ask the right questions now that the target of the investigation is gone and the new Ben-Menashe information has surfaced? Given the high stakes in the game, quite likely there will be a cover-up both of how Epstein lived and how he died and, most importantly, whom he worked for. Unfortunately, but predictably, the media and the inside the Beltway chattering class have lost interest in the story and we the public will most likely never learn what Epstein was all about. Just another instance of Israel spying on the United States… ho hum.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Lines Being Drawn By The U.S. in the Eastern Mediterranean

By Paul Antonopoulos | October 17, 2019

Greek-U.S. relations have entered “a new era” with the U.S. Secretary of State stating earlier this month that he has “come to Greece to expand the partnership that’s already at the best level it has ever been.” He followed up this statement in a tweet, saying “A strong and prosperous Greece is good for the Greek people and good for America.”

Why? Well during Pompeo’s trip to Greece, he finalized a new deal with the newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the U.S. to open 3 new military bases in the Aegean country, but most importantly, a naval presence in the port in Alexandroupolis. The port is strategically located close to the Turkish-controlled Dardanelles that connects the Aegean/Mediterranean Seas via also the Bosporus with the Black Sea, and therefore Russia. Therefore, Pompeo is ecstatic as Greece has now been firmly placed in the U.S. camp and has willingly become a NATO stronghold in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is likely that the U.S. is also ‘rewarding’ Greece for its continued and strengthening economic ties with Israel. The Greece-Cyprus-Israel pipeline, GRISCY, has likely pleased Washington, especially as all three states are anti-Turkish and it helps further secure Israel’s place in the region. Andrew Korybko argues that GRISCY is the U.S.’ key to containing multipolarity in the eastern Mediterranean. He continued to explain that the U.S. could try to thwart TurkStream’s possible expansion to Greece en route to Italy, continue cracking down on oligarchic holdings in Cyprus, and try to weaken the Russian-“Israeli” Strategic Partnership, as well as potentially cut off Moscow’s “Levantine Line” trade route between Crimea, Syria, the Sinai, and Eritrea in the event of a crisis.

With Turkish-Russian relations strengthening, the U.S. has turned to Greece as its Plan B to blockade the Russian Navy in the Black Sea as the Dardanelles spills open into the northern Aegean Sea, where there are thousands of islands, making it a naval labyrinth with limited manoeuvrability. With Greece having a respectable Navy and backed by a U.S. naval base, if ever Washington needed to illegally blockade the Dardanelles, it would be able to do so.

This is a major security concern for Moscow, leading the Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, to warn Greece that the U.S. might abandon it just as it had recently done with the Kurds in Syria, correctly adding that the recent military base deal in Greece was a mistake.

“I think this is wrong, but this is my personal opinion. Of course, you need to ask the Greek side why they made such a decision. But I do not rule out the possibility that they did so amid tensions between the United States and Turkey. However, this does not mean that this decision is well weighed for the future,” he said.

However, a reason why Greece has done this should be simply known to Chizhov, with Athens on a daily basis reporting Turkish air violations in its territory, Turkey threatening to invade Cyprus as recently as August, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivering a speech last month in front of a map that had Greece’s eastern Aegean islands under Turkish control.

When quizzed about the Turkish invasion in northeastern Syria and the US decision to abandon the Kurds, Chizhov commented: “We had warned the Kurds that the Americans will abandon them. And here, […]  I can personally warn the Greeks about it, that they will have the same fate as the Kurds.”

However, this is an unfair comparison considering Greece is a country with full state functions unlike the stateless Kurds. This prompted the Greek government’s national security adviser, Alexander Diakopoulos, to state a day later that “the U.S. bases will not remain in Greece forever. Nowadays, nothing lasts forever.”

Although what he says could be true if a truly anti-American government came to power, something that could be a possibility considering that only 36% of Greeks view the U.S. favourably according to 2018 Pew survey, it remains unlikely since every political party that has come into power turned out to be pro-U.S. despite some pre-election rhetoric.

Although the rhetoric by the Russian and Greek officials was friendly in nature, it does demonstrate that sides are being drawn, even if unwillingly in Moscow’s view, between Turkey and Greece and their relations with the Great Powers. Although Turkey is the most important member of the anti-Russian NATO alliance because of its critical strategic position, delicate and impressive diplomacy by Russian President Vladimir Putin has not only meant the strengthening of relations with his Black Sea neighbour, but has returned the question to whether Turkey will or should leave NATO.

Although both officials were disingenuous with their comments, it remains to be seen whether a war of words will erupt between the two Christian Orthodox countries, however it is unlikely in the short term. Although the current Greek government has not expressed any anti-Russian sentiment, Athens continues to pivot closer to Washington as U.S. officials claim they will protect Greek sovereignty.

Greece’s alliance with the U.S. is not anti-Russian in its view, but rather a guarantee of protection in case armed hostilities breakout with Turkey. However, Greece’s constant search for security because of Turkey’s escalated aggression in recent years has provided the perfect opportunity for the U.S. to exact revenge on Turkey for its purchase of the Russian S-400 system.

The Aegean is becoming increasingly volatile between Greece and Turkey, and the U.S. is leveraging these hostilities to its advantage in a double move to secure a Plan B in strangling the Russian Navy in the Black Sea if needed, and punishing Turkey for its increasing relations with Moscow. Therefore, Russia as the most sensible player has the potential influence to calm the situation between Turkey and Greece, and therefore also secure its sea passages.

With Greece being the original ancient Eurasian civilization and Russia being a giant Eurasian power, commonalities between the two countries can easily be made. Although U.S. military bases are here to stay in the foreseeable future, there is every potential that a new government can emerge in Athens that will expel all U.S. military presence in the country, as indirectly said by Diakopoulos. Therefore, Russia must be ready to take every opportunity that could be opened from this.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Bedouin Mass Eviction is Part of Israel’s Efforts to Drive Palestinians off their Historic Lands

Tens of thousands are to be driven out of their homes because their numbers pose a major demographic threat to a Jewish state

By Jonathan Cook | The National | October 16, 2019

The decades-long struggle by tens of thousands of Israelis against being uprooted from their homes – some for the second or third time – should be proof enough that Israel is not the western-style liberal democracy it claims to be.

Last week 36,000 Bedouin – all of them Israeli citizens – discovered that their state is about to make them refugees in their own country, driving them into holding camps. These Israelis, it seems, are the wrong kind.

Their treatment has painful echoes of the past. In 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by the Israeli army outside the borders of the newly declared Jewish state established on their homeland – what the Palestinians call their Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel is regularly criticised for its belligerent occupation, its relentless expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian land and its repeated and savage military attacks, especially on Gaza.

On rare occasions, analysts also notice Israel’s systematic discrimination against the 1.8 million Palestinians whose ancestors survived the Nakba and live inside Israel, ostensibly as citizens.

But each of these abuses is dealt with in isolation, as though unrelated, rather than as different facets of an overarching project. A pattern is discernible, one driven by an ideology that dehumanises Palestinians everywhere Israel encounters them.

That ideology has a name. Zionism provides the thread that connects the past – the Nakba – with Israel’s current ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the destruction of Gaza, and the state’s concerted efforts to drive Palestinian citizens of Israel out of what is left of their historic lands and into ghettos.

The logic of Zionism, even if its more naive supporters fail to grasp it, is to replace Palestinians with Jews – what Israel officially terms Judaisation.

The Palestinians’ suffering is not some unfortunate side effect of conflict. It is the very aim of Zionism: to incentivise Palestinians still in place to leave “voluntarily”, to escape further suffocation and misery.

The starkest example of this people replacement strategy is Israel’s long-standing treatment of 250,000 Bedouin who formally have citizenship.

The Bedouin are the poorest group in Israel, living in isolated communities mainly in the vast, semi-arid area of the Negev, the country’s south. Largely out of view, Israel has had a relatively free hand in its efforts to “replace” them.

That was why, for a decade after it had supposedly finished its 1948 ethnic cleansing operations and won recognition in western capitals, Israel continued secretly expelling thousands of Bedouin outside its borders, despite their claim on citizenship.

Meanwhile, other Bedouin in Israel were forced off their ancestral lands to be driven either into confined holding areas or state-planned townships that became the most deprived communities in Israel.

It is hard to cast the Bedouin, simple farmers and pastoralists, as a security threat, as was done with the Palestinians under occupation.

But Israel has a much broader definition of security than simple physical safety. Its security is premised on the maintenance of an absolute demographic dominance by Jews.

The Bedouin may be peaceable but their numbers pose a major demographic threat and their pastoral way of life obstructs the fate intended for them – penning them up tightly inside ghettos.

Most of the Bedouin have title deeds to their lands that long predate Israel’s creation. But Israel has refused to honour these claims and many tens of thousands have been criminalised by the state, their villages denied legal recognition.

For decades they have been forced to live in tin shacks or tents because the authorities refuse to approve proper homes and they are denied public services like schools, water and electricity.

The Bedouin have one option if they wish to live within the law: they must abandon their ancestral lands and their way of life to relocate to one of the poor townships.

Many of the Bedouin have resisted, clinging on to their historic lands despite the dire conditions imposed on them.

One such unrecognised village, Al Araqib, has been used to set an example. Israeli forces have demolished the makeshift homes there more than 160 times in less than a decade. In August, an Israeli court approved the state billing six of the villagers $370,000 (Dh1.6 million) for the repeated evictions.

Al Araqib’s 70-year-old leader, Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhim, recently spent months in jail after his conviction for trespassing, even though his tent is a stone’s throw from the cemetery where his ancestors are buried.

Now the Israel authorities are losing patience with the Bedouin.

Last January, plans were unveiled for the urgent and forcible eviction of nearly 40,000 Bedouin from their homes in unrecognised villages under the guise of “economic development” projects. It will be the largest expulsion in decades.

“Development”, like “security”, has a different connotation in Israel. It really means Jewish development, or Judaisation – not development for Palestinians.

The projects include a new highway, a high-voltage power line, a weapons testing facility, a military live-fire zone and a phosphate mine.

It was revealed last week that the families would be forced into displacement centres in the townships, living in temporary accommodation for years as their ultimate fate is decided. Already these sites are being compared to the refugee camps established for Palestinians in the wake of the Nakba.

The barely concealed aim is to impose on the Bedouin such awful conditions that they will eventually agree to be confined for good in the townships on Israel’s terms.

Six leading United Nations human rights experts sent a letter to Israel in the summer protesting the grave violations of the Bedouin families’ rights in international law and arguing that alternative approaches were possible.

Adalah, a legal group for Palestinians in Israel, notes that Israel has been forcibly evicting the Bedouin over seven decades, treating them not as human beings but as pawns in its never-ending battle to replace them with Jewish settlers.

The Bedouin’s living space has endlessly shrunk and their way of life has been crushed.

This contrasts starkly with the rapid expansion of Jewish towns and single-family farming ranches on the land from which the Bedouin are being evicted.

It is hard not to conclude that what is taking place is an administrative version of the ethnic cleansing Israeli officials conduct more flagrantly in the occupied territories on so-called security grounds.

These interminable expulsions look less like a necessary, considered policy and more like an ugly, ideological nervous tic.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Why Withdrawing US Troops from Northern Syria is GOOD

By Rick Sterling | Dissident Voice | October 17, 2019

The foreign policy elite is in an uproar. They claim “we have abandoned our allies”. They question “how can America be trusted?” They say the decision to withdraw from northern Syria was a “gift” to Russia, Iran, and Assad, even ISIS. It is true that the policy of US/NATO interventionism is failing. But that has been true since the invasion of Iraq or earlier. After the disastrous invasions and attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and the 8 year undeclared war on Syria, isn’t it time to  question the foreign policy elite?

If one believes in restoring international law and the UN Charter, it is GOOD that US military forces have been withdrawn from  northern Syria. Here are some facts and history which explain why.

Basic fact: It’s not our country and US troops were never authorized by the sovereign government. Whether or not Washington likes Damascus is irrelevant. Under international law those troops have no right to be there. Even the overflights of Syria by the US air coalition violate international agreements. It’s up to  Syrians to defend their country against invading Turkey. If they choose to get support from another country, that is their right.

Another fact: President Obama was correct when he said that “putting boots on the ground” in Syria would be a “profound mistake”. Later he said, “We have a very specific objective, one that will not lead into boots on the ground or anything like that.” But the hawks prevailed. There were not only “boots on the ground”, there was a shifting rationale why they had to be there.

The US and allies have done all they could, short of direct invasion, to overthrow the Syrian government. They have spent tens of BILLIONS of dollars in weapons, training, equipment, recruitment, etc. This is in violation of international law. More than one hundred thousand Syrians have died defending their country against a foreign sponsored army of mercenaries and foreign fighters.

An astonishing fact: The US encouraged the emergence of the Islamic State. Why? Because it put pressure on Damascus and because it justified the entry of the US.  While the US carpet bombed Raqqa, it looked the other way as hundreds of trucks conveyed oil from eastern Syria into Turkey to fund the Islamic State. The US air coalition attacked the Syrian Arab Army in the midst of a critical battle against ISIS near Deir Ezzor. In  a secretly recorded conversation in New York with Syrian “activists”, John Kerry admitted they were watching ISIS and hoping to use it to pressure Damascus. In other words, US foreign policy was duplicitous and used terrorism as a tool. This is well documented in the book The Management of Savagery.

After the US-backed “Free Syrian Army” failed, the US looked for another means to destabilize Syria. They started to fund  the Syrian Kurdish militias known as the Peoples Protection Unit (YPG /YPJ). They gave the militias a new name, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and encouraged the secessionist tendency. Meanwhile in Turkey, which has the largest Kurdish community,  most Kurds want to have their rights within Turkey and have formed a political party (Peoples Democratic Party – HDP) which unites progressives of all ethnicities. In the 2015 Turkish election this party emerged as the third most popular party and stopped Erdogan’s election domination. Currently the HDP is campaigning against Turkey’s invasion of Syria. As of 13 October the Syrian Kurdish militias have come to an agreement to work with Damascus to combat the Turkish invasion. The agreement specifies that the Syrian Arab Army will control and defend the entire area from Jarablus on the Euphrates River to the far eastern border with Iraq.

Advocates of US intervention claim that the Kurds were fighting and dying “for us.” That is not true. They were defending their own community. To the extent that they accepted and welcomed US air support, equipment, weaponry, etc. it was for their own benefit. There were two parties trying to use each other.

Whenever the US attacks or occupies a country it needs a rationalization. In 1991 there were false claims about incubators being stolen by Iraqi troops in Kuwait. In 2003 there were false claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In 2011 there were false claims of civilians being threatened by Libyan troops in Benghazi. All these claims were subsequently found to be exaggerated or entirely false.

One of the main justifications for continuing US presence in Syria is “keeping our word” and not “abandoning” the Kurdish forces. This is a favorite rationalization for war. In Cuba, the CIA trained Cuban exiles that attacked Playa Giron “were counting on us.” Fortunately, JFK resisted the pressure and said “No”. In Vietnam, the US continued the war for a decade because we could not let down our “ally”, the government of Saigon. Millions of Vietnamese were killed plus 55,000 US troops because we could not “abandon” a government that in reality was a proxy.

In the Democratic Debates (15 October) Joe Biden said that the  withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria was “the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy.” This is absurd. Over one million died in Iraq including 4500 and at least 100,000 severely injured US soldiers. Joe Biden was an influential supporter of the 2003 Iraq  invasion. Later, as Vice President, he supported the overthrow of the Libyan government. The country is still in chaos with tens of thousands dead.  These two countries were devastated by US actions. It is evidence of shameless unaccountability in media and politics that Joe Biden is a serious candidate for President after he destroyed so many lives at a cost of trillions. In the same Democratic debates Tulsi Gabbard was honest and accurate as she said that the plight of the Kurds in northern Syria is “yet another consequence of the regime change war we’ve been waging in Syria”.

Despite the howls of indignation and disinformation, withdrawing US troops from northern Syria is a step in the right direction.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who has visited Syria several times since 2014. He lives in the SF Bay Area and can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Trump unchained: How the ‘God-Emperor’ is ending American Empire with Syria gambit

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | October 16, 2019

US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria is drawing fire from Democrats, media and some in his own party as well. He doesn’t seem to care, insisting on his 2016 campaign promise to end the endless wars.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump batted away every attempt at criticism – calling out the media for faking footage from Syria; describing the Kurdish militias that worked with US troops against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) as “no angels”; and demanding one good reason why the US should be involved in a centuries-long dispute between Syrians, Kurds and Turks when they could work that out themselves. None was forthcoming.

He even chided the US military-industrial complex that wants to “fight forever,” while making sure to note that he authorized a $2 trillion spending spree to rebuild the “depleted” US military. When reporters brought up the outspoken opposition by some Senate Republicans, Trump shot back that they ought to do their jobs, and he would do his. This was not a president worried about getting impeached, but someone confident in his position after 1,000 days in office.

While 2016 may seem like a long time ago, Candidate Trump did run on the platform of ending endless wars and entangling alliances. His daring to question the sacred cow of NATO, or the US presence in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq caused apoplexies across Washington.

After becoming president – and facing a coordinated effort from every quarter to block, sabotage and “resist” his agenda – he chose to go along with the military and political establishment. So the US did not withdraw from Afghanistan, and sent more troops to Iraq and Syria to fight IS. Trump even launched strikes against the Syrian government on two occasions – both prompted by alleged “chemical attacks” – in 2017 and 2018. Having hired neocon warmongers, he embraced their agenda for regime change in Cuba and Venezuela.

If this was done to appease his domestic critics, it obviously did not work. Neocons and establishment Republicans continued to denounce him and ally with the Democrats seeking Trump’s impeachment. So at some point recently – perhaps when he fired the hawkish adviser John Bolton? – Trump appears to have decided he might as well do what he wanted all along.

Declaring IS defeated, he ordered the pullout of US troops from northern Syria, setting in motion a chain of events that have transformed the situation in the region practically overnight, while his critics could only wail and gnash their teeth in impotent rage.

Trump has always had the uncanny ability to force his foes to defend the indefensible – see the curious case of Democrats and open borders, to name just one example. Now that talent has been leveraged in the area where US presidents have the most influence, and where his critics appear the weakest: foreign policy.

Turns out that getting the US out of Syria was easy, so long as Trump let others do all the hard work. Mainstream media said Trump gave Turkey the “green light” to invade Syria, when he clearly didn’t. They gleefully took up the cause of the “betrayed Kurds” until they got caught faking footage of the Turkish invasion. When it emerged that the “Turkish” troops involved were the very same “moderate rebels” they cheered on, back during the Obama administration – now denounced as “thugs and pirates” – the contortions they had to put themselves through were a sight to behold.

What if Barack Obama had called out the military-industrial complex, told off politicians who wanted to fight “endless wars,” or declared that American soldiers should not be injured or killed in centuries-old sectarian conflicts? It is no stretch to say that he would have been applauded by the same people that now vilify Trump.

Yet Obama didn’t do any of those things, even though he had the “hope and change” mandate. Instead, he allowed himself to be seduced by the promises of glory coming from his ambitious advisers. The result was the rise of IS, as Washington sponsored jihadists in Syria; the destruction of Libya and its transformation into a slave-market anarchy; the coup in Ukraine and the war in Donbass. The “geniuses” behind these fiascos are now shrieking that Trump’s cleanup of their mess is somehow hurting America!

During the 2016 campaign, some of his supporters jokingly referred to Trump as their “God-Emperor,” a science fiction reference that spawned a thousand memes. Yet here he is, single-handedly dismantling the American Empire because he believes it runs counter to the notion of the American Republic its founders had envisioned over two centuries ago.

Meanwhile, his critics are once again forced to defend the indefensible, and the only “argument” they have left is that all of this is somehow “helping Russia.” Trump is either lucky beyond all probability, or truly a “stable genius,” as he once put it himself. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Climate ‘limits’ and timelines

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | October 16, 2019

Some thoughts in response to a query from a reporter.

I received the following questions today from a reporter, related to climate change and ‘timelines.’ These questions are good topics for discussion.

My answers are provided below:

From your perspective, have the early warnings about how hot the Earth is getting turned out to be accurate? Have they been adjusted higher or lower than expected?

Early predictions of warming were 0.2 to 0.3 degrees Centigrade per decade are too high relative actual observations. Further, blaming all of the recent warming on carbon dioxide emissions is incorrect, in my opinion.  Solar indirect effects and multi-decadal oscillations of large scale ocean circulations have been effectively ignored in interpreting the causes of the recent warming.

What is the best figure that explains how we will know when things are really irrevocably bad? Is it the 2ºC limit, as some have reported?

‘Bad’ is a value judgment, and regions are affected differently by climate variations and change. Most of the so-called ‘bad effects’ of climate change relate to the natural variability of weather, and there is little to no evidence that extreme weather events have been worsening, against the large variations of natural climate variability.

The single adverse impact that is unambiguously associated with warming (whatever the cause) is sea level rise.  Since 1900, global sea level has risen about 8 inches. There is substantial temporal and spatial variations of sea level rise, associated with large scale ocean circulation patterns, glacial rebound, weather and tides. Projections of sea level rise by 2100 beyond several feet require: implausible scenarios of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, climate models that have implausibly high warming sensitivity to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and invocation of scenarios of collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet associated with speculative and poorly understood processes.

The 2C limit relates to expectations for long-term (many many centuries) melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The issue of the 2C limit is better described as ‘planetary diabetes’ rather than extinction or other dire characterizations. Another way of thinking about the so-called 2C limit is by analogous to a high-way speed limit. If the speed limit is 65 mph, exceeding that by 10 or even 20 mph is not guaranteed to cause a crash, but if you exceed the limit by a lot, your risk of a fatal crash certainly increases.

How do the actions (or inactions) of the Trump administration, such as withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, affect that timeline? If Democrats win the government in 2020, would implementing the Green New Deal (if it even passed) be too little, too late?

The political actions of President Trump have essentially made no difference to this timeline. Most of the signatories to the Paris Agreement are falling far behind in their commitments (the U.S. has been doing relatively well in terms of its emissions cuts.) Any future success of the Green New Deal relies on both politics and technology. Overwhelming Democratic control of the U.S. government wouldn’t necessary help with the needed technology developments.

1.5 C

Larry Kummer has a post today Did the IPCC predict a climate apocalypse? No.

Excerpts from the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C, Summary for Policy makers.

B1. Climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C, and between 1.5°C and 2°C. …

B1.1. Evidence from attributed changes in some climate and weather extremes for a global warming of about 0.5°C supports the assessment that an additional 0.5°C of warming compared to present is associated with further detectable changes in these extremes (medium confidence). …

B1.3. Risks from droughts and precipitation deficits are projected to be higher at 2°C compared to 1.5°C global warming in some regions (medium confidence). …

B2. By 2100, global mean sea level rise is projected to be around 0.1 metre lower {4″} with global warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C (medium confidence). …

B2.1. Model-based projections of global mean sea level rise (relative to 1986-2005) suggest an indicative range of 0.26 to 0.77 m by 2100 for 1.5°C global warming, 0.1 m (0.04-0.16 m) {4″} less than for a global warming of 2°C (medium confidence). …

B3. On land, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, including species loss and extinction, are projected to be lower at 1.5°C of global warming compared to 2°C. …

B3.1. Of 105,000 species studied,9 6% of insects, 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates are projected to lose over half of their climatically determined geographic range for global warming of 1.5°C, compared with 18% of insects, 16% of plants and 8% of vertebrates for global warming of 2°C (medium confidence). …

B3.2. Approximately 4% (interquartile range 2–7%) of the global terrestrial land area is projected to undergo a transformation of ecosystems from one type to another at 1ºC of global warming, compared with 13% (interquartile range 8–20%) at 2°C (medium confidence). …

B4. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2ºC is projected to reduce increases in ocean temperature as well as associated increases in ocean acidity and decreases in ocean oxygen levels (high confidence). …

B4.1. There is high confidence that the probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century. This likelihood is increased to at least one per decade with 2°C global warming. Effects of a temperature overshoot are reversible for Arctic sea ice cover on decadal time scales (high confidence). …

B4.4. Impacts of climate change in the ocean are increasing risks to fisheries and aquaculture via impacts on the physiology, survivorship, habitat, reproduction, disease incidence, and risk of invasive species (medium confidence) but are projected to be less at 1.5ºC of global warming than at 2ºC.

Larry Kummer’s comments:

“Most of the findings in the SPM of this Special Report are of two kinds. First, stating that the effects of 1.5°C warming are less than those of 2.0°C warming. Pretty obvious, but it means little unless we know the effects of 2°C warming. It seldom quantifies the difference in effects from that extra 0.5°C warming, which is the key information necessary to know when assessing the cost-benefit of limiting the coming warming.

Second, there are more specific findings – bad but not disastrous – given at a “medium” level of confidence. The IPCC uses five levels of confidence: very lowlowmediumhigh, and very high. “Medium” is a weak basis for extreme measures to restructure society and the global economy. Especially since it is human nature to overestimate confidence more often than to underestimate it.”

JC note: with regards to IPCC confidence definitions, see my previous post A crisis of overconfidence

“There is nothing in this Special Report justifying belief that the world will end, that the world will burn, or that humanity will go extinct. It has been misrepresented just as past reports have been (e.g., the 4th US National Climate Assessment). The disasters described the Climate Emergency and Extinction Rebellion activists are those of RCP8.5, the worst-case scenario in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment report – or even beyond it. RCP8.5 is, as a worst-case scenario should be, a horrific but not apocalyptic future that is improbable or impossible.”

JC note: with regards to RCP8.5, see my previous post What’s the worst case? Emissions/concentrations scenarios

JC conclusion

Bottom line is that these timelines are meaningless. While we have confidence in the sign of the temperature change, we have no idea what its magnitude will turn out to be. Apart from uncertainties in emissions and the Earth’s carbon cycle, we are still facing a factor of 3 or more uncertainty in the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to CO2, and we have no idea how natural climate variability (solar, volcanoes, ocean oscillations) will play out in the 21st century. And even if we did have significant confidence in the amount of global warming, we still don’t have much of a handle on how this will change extreme weather events.  With regards to species and ecosystems, land use and exploitation is a far bigger issue.

Cleaner sources of energy have several different threads of justification, but thinking that sending CO2 emissions to zero by 2050 or whenever is going to improve the weather and the environment by 2100 is a pipe dream. If such reductions come at the expense of economic development, then vulnerability to extreme weather events will increase.

There is a reason that the so-called climate change problem has been referred to as a ‘wicked mess.’

October 16, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

House of Representatives votes 354-60 against Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from Syria

RT | October 16, 2019

Democrats and 129 of the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to pass a non-binding resolution disapproving of President Donald Trump’s pullout of US troops from Syria – never authorized by Congress to be there.

The House Joint Resolution 77 describes the presence of US troops in northeastern Syria as “certain… efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces,” and formally voices opposition to their withdrawal, but does not offer an alternative. Instead, it demands the White House present a “clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat” of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

The IS “capital” of Raqqa was liberated by US-allied Kurdish militias in October 2017, and the last IS enclave was declared secured in December 2018, but traces of the presence of the self-declared “caliphate” remain in both Syria and Iraq, weakened by years of war and sanctions.

The House resolution asks the White House to continue providing “humanitarian support” to the Kurds and ensure that Turkey “acts with restraint,” while also demanding of Ankara to stop its “unilateral military action” in Syria.

Trump has maintained he never gave the “green light” to Turkey to invade Syria, and defended the withdrawal as protecting the lives of American soldiers in a region where they had no business being anymore. He has also threatened to “destroy” Turkey’s economy with sanctions and tariffs over the invasion.

Congress has never voted to authorize the US troop presence in Syria, which is not sanctioned under international law and is based only tenuously on old resolutions allowing military action against Al-Qaeda terrorists following the 9/11 attacks. Damascus considers the US presence a violation of its sovereignty, unlike the Russian force that was invited back in 2015.

While the resolution does little to change the situation in Syria, the fact that so many Republicans chose to back Democrats against the sitting president from their party is being held up as a possible barometer for the Democrat-led impeachment process, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly refused to hold an actual floor vote on the matter.

October 16, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Media and politicians didn’t care about chaos the US caused in Syria for years, but now that Trump can be blamed, they’re outraged

By Danielle Ryan | RT | October 16, 2019

Mainstream US media has been the biggest cheerleader for Washington’s chaos production in Syria for years, but now, as Donald Trump pulls troops out of the northeast, they’re suddenly outraged. Spare us the crocodile tears.

“Plenty of reason here for the US possibly to become involved,” pleaded a horrified MSNBC correspondent this week, chastising Trump for ignoring “war crimes” and “human rights abuses” by Turkish forces.

Yet, while he and others cloak their demands for continued US military action in humanitarian concern for the Kurds in the face of Ankara’s onslaught, there is a more selfish reason for the media outrage. They are profoundly addicted to the bogus narrative of the US as the world’s savior, and worse, they crave the kind of dramatic TV footage and tales of military heroism that US forever wars offer. If that sounds a bit too cynical, recall MSNBC anchor Brian Williams close to weeping as he shared the “beautiful pictures” of American missiles raining down on Syria two years ago.

The pleas for fresh US intervention also reveal a hyper-focus on Washington’s “image” in the eyes of the world. The media has been bleating for days about how Trump’s actions will be perceived by its allies and enemies, but who is going to break it to them that their “image” is not quite what they think it is?

Successive US administrations have pursued policies of chaos and disarray in Syria for years; first covertly attempting to sow social discontent to spur and exploit a popular uprising, then by funding, training, and backing jihadist militias (Al Qaeda, included) against Bashar Assad’s army, and prioritizing the fall of his secular government over peace for the better part of a decade.

Couple that with Washington’s continued facilitation of slaughter in Yemen, its penchant for economically choking uncooperative nations with punitive and deadly sanctions and its psychological warfare of constant threats of violence against Iran, and one wonders exactly what kind of benevolent do-gooder image there is left to salvage.

This uniquely American obsession with image on the world stage was on display during CNN’s Tuesday night Democratic presidential debate, too. The perpetually grandstanding Cory Booker claimed Trump had turned America’s “moral leadership” into a “dumpster fire,” while Pete Buttigieg lamented the president’s betrayal of American “values” that left the country’s reputation and credibility “in tatters.”

Joe Biden, who as Obama’s former VP, shares plenty of the blame for the state of Syria today, called Trump’s pullout from northern Syria “the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history” in terms of foreign policy. Iraqis might disagree with that statement, but remember, all pre-Trump foreign policy disasters have been conveniently flushed down the memory hole and their perpetrators rehabilitated for the purposes of comparison with the evil Orange Man.

The hand-wringing over America’s image betrays a deeply delusional but long-ingrained belief that the world at large sees the US military as a force for good. In reality, worldwide polls have shown that the US is actually regarded as the greatest threat to world peace, not — as news anchors and Washington politicians would have you believe — a facilitator of world peace.

Tulsi Gabbard was the only candidate on the Ohio debate stage willing to call a spade a spade, describing the chaos in northeast Syria as “another negative consequence” of US involvement in the region.

“Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country, from both parties, who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading” it, she continued.

She slammed the US’s “draconian sanctions” on Syria, describing them as “a modern-day siege the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen” and promised that if she was the president, she would end support for Al Qaeda in Syria, which she said had been the US’s “groundforce” in the war.

Cue the gasps all around.

Gabbard’s insistence on forcing a reckoning with the reality of US policy in Syria makes her presence on the debate stage so necessary, but predictably her input, while entirely truthful, was met with spineless attacks in the same vein as those she has been subjected to from mainstream media for months, culminating recently with a McCarthyist hit-piece published by the New York Times implying that she is a Russian asset.

Reaction to Gabbard from journalists watching on social media was just as fierce. MSNBC’s Clint Watts called the notion of US support for Al Qaeda a “falsehood” that needed challenging. Watts, it turns out, part-authored a 2014 piece for Foreign Affairs about Ahrar al-Sham, an Al Qaeda-linked group “worth befriending.” Another reporter called Gabbard’s claims about the US arming Al Qaeda a “Russian talking point.” Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal quickly responded with a photograph of Al Qaeda firing a US-supplied TOW missile in Aleppo.

But to the regime change fanatics and war cheerleaders, these facts don’t seem to carry much weight. Narrative has always been more important.

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer based in Dublin. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, teleSUR, RBTH, The Calvert Journal and others. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ

October 16, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | | Leave a comment

And now, a message from our wannabe masters about Syria

The Saker | October 16, 2019

this just came to my inbox:

Dear The Saker,

The American Jewish Congress opposes the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria and strongly condemns Turkey’s actions in Syria against the Kurds. In addition to endangering a U.S. ally, the Kurds, it also poses a great threat to Israel and to the region’s stability overall. Israel shares a border with Syria and is affected by what happens within Syria.

Syria has become a hotbed of Hezbollah and Iranian activity, which poses a direct threat to Israel; as a result of this decision, Turkey, Iran and Hezbollah win while Israel loses. Ultimately, the impact of this decision may come to outweigh President Trump’s historic actions in support of Israel. Regional stability and the security of our allies must be paramount for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Jack Rosen
President
American Jewish Congress

American Jewish Congress
745 5th Ave., 30th Floor
New York NY 10151 United States

October 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 6 Comments

Evidence for the German Euthanasia Program Compared to the Holocaust

NS Euthanasia Propaganda Poster, around 1938. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
By John Wear | Inconvenient History | August 31, 2017

Abstract

I have been asked the question: Why do you think the German euthanasia program happened during World War II, but not the Holocaust? This article will show that the evidence for the German euthanasia program is overwhelming, while the evidence to support the Holocaust story is severely lacking.

Written Order

In August 1939, Hitler let it be known to his close associates that he approved any measure which could be seen as delivering handicapped patients from pain and suffering. Probably in the late autumn or winter of 1939, Hitler backdated a document to Sept. 1, 1939, that authorized the euthanasia program. The authorization states:[1]

“Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Med Brandt are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the powers of specific physicians, designated by name, so that patients who, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death after the most careful assessment of their condition.”

NS Euthanasia Propaganda Poster, around 1938 (public domain)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:
EuthanasiePropaganda.jpg

Historians have acknowledged that no similar document of a plan by Germany to exterminate European Jewry has ever been found. In his well-known book on the Holocaust, French-Jewish historian Leon Poliakov states that “…the campaign to exterminate the Jews, as regards its conception as well as many other essential aspects, remains shrouded in darkness.” Poliakov adds that no documents of a plan for exterminating the Jews have ever been found because “perhaps none ever existed.”[2] British historian Ian Kershaw states that when the Soviet archives were opened in the early 1990s:[3]

“Predictably, a written order by Hitler for the ‘Final Solution’ was not found. The presumption that a single, explicit written order had ever been given had long been dismissed by most historians.”

The lack of a written order for the extermination of European Jewry led to Raul Hilberg’s famous explanation of how the Holocaust happened:[4]

“What began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy.”

On Jan. 16, 1985, under cross-examination at the first Ernst Zündel trial in Toronto, Raul Hilberg confirmed that he said these words.[5] Thus, Hilberg states that the so-called Holocaust was not carried out by a written order or plan, but rather by an incredible mind reading among far-flung German bureaucrats.

Defenders of the Holocaust story sometimes explain the absence of a written order to exterminate European Jewry by saying that the Nazis destroyed the evidence. However, an operation as big as the so-called Holocaust would have required written orders that would have been referred to in countless different ministerial bodies. It would have been impossible for all of these documents to have been completely destroyed at the end of the war. There would always have been carbon copies of the extermination order somewhere.[6]

Confessions of Defendants

The Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, which opened on Dec. 9, 1946 and ended on July 19, 1947, tried German doctors for their participation in the euthanasia program. Dr. Karl Brandt readily admitted his involvement in the euthanasia program, since too many records and affidavits directly linked him to the killing operation. Brandt argued that the only rationale for the euthanasia program had been to free handicapped and incurably ill patients from suffering. Brandt considered his involvement in the euthanasia program authorized by Hitler to be absolutely legal.[7]

By contrast, none of the defendants at the Nuremberg trials stated that they knew anything about a program to exterminate Jews during the war. Hermann Göring, Hans Frank, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Albert Speer, Gen. Alfred Jodl, and the other Nuremberg defendants all denied knowing anything of an extermination program of European Jewry. While such testimony is often dismissed as lying, the categorical and consistent nature of their testimony, sometimes by men who assumed they would be hanged, suggests that they are telling the truth.[8]

Hermann Göring in particular had no reason to lie about his lack of knowledge of a plan by Germany to exterminate European Jewry. As the highest ranking surviving Nazi, Göring’s execution was certain. Göring told his wife Emmy to give up all hope that he would not be executed at Nuremberg.[9] Yet Göring repeatedly and emphatically denied any knowledge of the so-called Holocaust. Göring confided to American psychologist Dr. Gustave Gilbert in his jail cell at Nuremberg:[10]

“I wish I could have Himmler here – just for 10 minutes – to ask him what on earth he was up to out there.”

It is most unfortunate that Heinrich Himmler was a “suicide” while in British captivity. However, since Himmler was in a position to know the true story of the alleged Holocaust, it was not within the bounds of political possibility that Himmler live to testify at the Nuremberg trials.[11]

Discussion of Killing Methods

German doctors determined that carbon monoxide gas was the most painless and humane way to euthanize people. The use of carbon monoxide gas therefore became the standard technique to kill people in the adult euthanasia program, with the first killings probably beginning in January 1940. Dr. Karl Brandt, Albert Widmann, Dr. Leonardo Conti and others all stated that they determined carbon monoxide gas to be the most humane method of euthanizing adults.[12]

Dr. Karl Brandt wrote in his personal notebook:[13]

“Adolf Hitler asked me which method, based on current considerations and experiences, was the mildest, that is to say the safest, quickest and the most effective and painless one. I had to concede that this was death through the inhalation of carbon monoxide gas. He then said that this was also the most humane. I myself then took on board this position and put to one side my medical concerns for external reasons… I am convinced that the procedure with carbon monoxide was right.”

No such planning has been found regarding the use of homicidal gas chambers in German concentration camps. The Holocaust story claims that the first gassings occurred at Auschwitz using Zyklon B in September 1941. These gassings were allegedly done without any prior engineering considerations.[14] According to the officially accepted version of the Holocaust story, the SS at Auschwitz quickly built homicidal gas chambers that were capable of killing thousands of people out of ordinary buildings .[15]

This official version of the so-called Holocaust is pure nonsense. Homicidal gas chambers using Zyklon B cannot be built “on the fly” by SS men with no engineering background. This is shown by a comparison to the delousing chambers used in the German concentration camps. The German delousing chambers were patented by the German firm Degesch, involved extremely advanced engineering, and were carefully constructed to be gastight and safe for the operators.[16]

Feasibility of Killing Methods

Carbon-monoxide gas can be used to efficiently kill people in homicidal gas chambers. The dead bodies from the gassings can also be safely removed by personnel wearing only a gas mask. Richard von Hegener observed that patients in the euthanasia program would lose consciousness within two to three minutes of the gas entering the room. Within five minutes all of the patients had fallen into a “kind of sleep.” The gas was left running for half an hour before a physician, protected by a gas mask, entered the room, examined the bodies, and pronounced that all of the patients were dead.[17]

By contrast, Zyklon B cannot be safely used to kill large numbers of people in homicidal gas chambers. Dr. Robert Faurisson states in regard to Zyklon-B poisoning: “The corpse of a man who has just been killed by this powerful poison is itself a dangerous source of poisoning, and cannot be touched with bare hands. In order to enter the HCN-saturated chamber to remove the corpse, special gear is needed, as well as a gas mask with a special filter.”[18] The danger of touching someone killed with Zyklon-B gas is confirmed in the scientific literature.[19]

The alleged homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek could not have been used as homicidal gas chambers. The first scholar to make that observation was Dr. Robert Faurisson in the late 1970s.[20] He induced the American expert for execution technologies Fred Leuchter to come to similar conclusions in a 1988 study.[21] Leuchter’s research has since been revised, deepened and broadened by a number of subsequent technical studies coming to similar conclusions.[22]

The Diesel engines allegedly used at the Aktion Reinhardt camps of Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor also could not have been used to mass murder people as claimed either. The first to point this out was U.S. engineer Friedrich Paul Berg in a 1984 paper.[23] In a revised paper of 2000, Berg stated that for any Diesel arrangement to have been even marginally effective for mass murder, it would have required an exceptionally well-informed team of experts to know and do all that was necessary. Berg mentions that, even if someone had tried for a time to commit murder with Diesel exhaust, after a few tries it would have become apparent that something better was needed. Berg concludes that the evidence for Diesel gassings in the German concentration camps fails to meet the most basic standards that credible evidence must pass to satisfy reasonable people.[24]

After reading Berg’s 1984 paper, Walter Lüftl, a prominent Austrian engineer and at that time the president of Austria’s Association of Civil Engineers, confirmed in his own research paper that mass murder with Diesel-exhaust gasses is a sheer impossibility for reasons of time alone. Lüftl states in his report:[25]

“The laws of nature apply both to Nazis and anti-fascists. Nobody can be killed with diesel exhaust gas in the manner described [in the Holocaust literature].”

Public Knowledge

Public knowledge of the German euthanasia program was widespread in Germany. This public knowledge led to growing criticism from churches, the judiciary, and the state bureaucracy. Church leaders, and especially Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen, made it internationally known that National-Socialist Germany was killing handicapped children and adults on an unprecedented scale. In a sermon on Aug. 3, 1941, Galen openly attacked the hypocrisy and the economic rationale for killing handicapped people. Instead of punishing Galen, Hitler ordered a stop to the euthanasia program on Aug. 24, 1941.[26]

By contrast, the German public was not aware of a program of extermination of European Jewry during the war. Nowhere in the archives, which contain mountains of intercepted cipher messages and the reports on bags of mail captured from enemy ships and from overrun enemy positions, is there the slightest evidence that a program of genocide against Jews was known by the German public.[27]

The German public became aware of the alleged genocide of European Jewry only when U.S. and British troops entered German concentration camps at the end of World War II. The horrific scenes of huge piles of dead bodies and emaciated and diseased surviving inmates were filmed and photographed for posterity by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Films of the horrific scenes at the camps were made mandatory viewing for the vanquished populace of Germany, so that their national pride would be destroyed and replaced with feelings of collective guilt.

The tour of liberated concentration camps became a ritual in the occupied Germany of late April and early May. American officers forced local citizens and German POWs to view the camps. German civilians were paraded against their will in front of the sickening piles of dead bodies found in the German camps.[28]

What the general public was not told is that most of the inmates in these camps had died of typhus, typhoid, and other natural causes. None of the Allied autopsy reports shows that anyone died of poison gas. Also, contrary to publicized claims, no researcher has been able to document a German policy of extermination through starvation in the German camps. The virtual collapse of Germany’s food, transport, and public-health systems and the extreme overcrowding in the German camps at the end of the war led to the catastrophe the Allied troops encountered when they entered the camps.

Other Considerations

Defenders of the Holocaust story inevitably raise eyewitness testimony as proof that the genocide of European Jewry happened. However, as I discussed elsewhere, eyewitness testimony to the so-called Holocaust is notoriously unreliable.[29]

The large number of Jewish survivors at the end of World War II also makes impossible a program of genocide against European Jewry. Dr. Arthur Robert Butz states in regard to the large number of Jewish survivors: “The simplest valid reason for being skeptical about the extermination claim is also the simplest conceivable reason; at the end of the war they were still there.”[30] Norman Finkelstein, the author of The Holocaust Industry, quotes his mother as asking:[31]

“If everyone who claims to be a Holocaust survivor actually is one, who did Hitler kill?”

Defenders of the Holocaust story also inevitably quote speeches from Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and Heinrich Himmler or writings from Hitler, Goebbels, and Hans Frank to prove that Germany had an extermination program of Jews during the war. In fact, Himmler’s Posen speech of Oct. 4, 1943 has been called “the best evidence” to prove the Holocaust happened.[32] Himmler states in this speech:[33]

“I am referring here to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination of the Jewish people… it’s in our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination.”

Most translations of Himmler’s Posen speech assume that the German word “ausrotten” means murder or extermination. David Irving, who is very fluent in the German language, testified at the second Ernst Zündel trial that this is an incorrect translation of the word “ausrotten”:[34]

“There is no doubt that in modern Germany the word ausrotten now means murder. But we have to look at the meaning of the word ausrotten in the 1930s and 1940s, as used by those who wrote or spoke these documents. In the mouth of Adolf Hitler, the word ausrotten is never once used to mean murder, and I’ve made a study of that particular semantic problem. You can find document after document which Hitler himself spoke or wrote where the word ausrotten cannot possibly mean murder.”

Since Hitler never used the word “ausrotten” to mean murder, and since Hitler and Himmler spoke the same language, there is no reason to believe that Himmler was speaking about the murder of the Jews in his Posen speech.

Other defenders of the Holocaust story assume that the Nazis used code words such as “special treatment” to hide their genocide of European Jewry.[35] This theory does not explain why the Nazis used explicit written orders for all of their other crimes. For example, Heinrich Himmler authorized in writing many illegal human medical experiments and executions in the German concentration camps. Adolf Hitler’s other crimes including the euthanasia program were all made in writing. It is absurd to think that only the genocide of European Jewry was hidden behind code words, while all other German war crimes were clearly stated in writing.

Conclusion

The German euthanasia program is a well-documented reality. Hitler authorized the euthanasia program in writing, the defendants at the Doctors’ Trial admitted their involvement in the program, the best method for killing victims was discussed among the participants in the program, the carbon-monoxide gas used in the German euthanasia program can safely and effectively kill people, and the euthanasia program was widely known by the German public. In fact, public opposition to the program was so strong in Germany that Hitler ordered the end of the first phase of the euthanasia program in August 1941.

By contrast, the genocide of European Jewry is not well documented. No order has ever been found authorizing the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. The German defendants at the main Nuremberg trial all stated they knew nothing about the so-called Holocaust. The Holocaust story absurdly states that the first gas chambers were built at Auschwitz using Zyklon B by SS personnel with no engineering experience. None of the alleged homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek or the claimed diesel gas chambers at the Aktion Reinhardt camps of Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor could possibly have been used for mass murder. The alleged genocide of Jews was also not known by the German public during the war. The eyewitness testimony to the so-called Holocaust has consistently proven to be extremely unreliable. Finally, the large number of Jewish survivors at the end of the war makes impossible a program of genocide against European Jewry.

In conclusion, while the German euthanasia program is a well-documented reality, the Holocaust story is a fraud. Dr. Arthur Robert Butz has aptly stated:[36]

“The ‘Holocaust’ is such a gigantic fraud that it is a cornucopia of absurdities.”


Notes

[1] Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, pp. 125, 132-133.

[2] Poliakov, Leon, Harvest of Hate, New York: Holocaust Library, 1979, p. 108.

[3] Kershaw, Ian, Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2008, p. 96.

[4] De Wan, George, “The Holocaust in Perspective,” Newsday: Long Island, N.Y., Feb. 23, 1983, Part II, p. 3.

[5] See trial transcript, pp. 846-848. Also Kulaszka, Barbara (ed.), Did Six Million Really Die: Report of Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel, Toronto: Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 1992, p. 24.

[6] Kulaszka, Barbara (ed.), op. cit. (note 5), p. 370.

[7] Schmidt, Ulf, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 354, 370f.

[8] Weber, Mark, “The Nuremburg Trials and the Holocaust,” The Journal of Historical Review, 12(2) (1992), pp. 197-199.

[9] Irving, David, Nuremberg: The Last Battle, London: Focal Point, 1996, p. 276.

[10] Irving, David, Göring: A Biography, London: GraftonBooks, 1991, p. 493.

[11] Butz, Arthur R., The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, 9th ed., Newport Beach, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 240.

[12] Schmidt, Ulf, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 138f.

[13] Ibid., p. 138.

[14] Longerich, Peter, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 281. See also Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Kl: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015, pp. 267-269. In extreme detail: Mattogno, Carlo, Auschwitz: The First Gassing. Rumor and Reality, 2nd ed., Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2016.

[15] See Mattogno, Carlo, Debunking the Bunkers of Auschwitz: Black Propaganda versus History, 2nd ed., Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2016. Also idem, Auschwitz: Crematorium I and the Alleged Homicidal Gassings, 2nd ed., ibid., 2016;

[16] Berg, Friedrich P., “The German Delousing Chambers,” The Journal of Historical Review, 7(1) (1986), pp. 73-94; http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v07/v07p-73_Berg.html .

[17] Schmidt, Ulf, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 138f.

[18] Faurisson, Robert, “The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: A Challenge,” The Journal of Historical Review, 13(4) (1993), pp. 14-17; http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n4p14_Faurisson.html.

[19] Padmakumar, K., “Postmortem Examination Cases of Cyanide Poisoning: A Biological Hazard,” Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, 32(1) (2010), pp. 80f.; http://medind.nic.in/jal/t10/i1/jalt10i1p80.pdf .

[20] In English: Faurisson, Robert, “The Gas Chambers of Auschwitz Appear to be Physically Inconceivable,” The Journal of Historical Review, 2(4) (1981), pp. 312-317; https://codoh.com/library/document/1995 .

[21] Leuchter, Fred A., and Robert Faurisson, Germar Rudolf, The Leuchter Reports: Critical Edition, 4th ed., Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2015.

[22] See in addition to the works by Mattogno mentioned in notes 14f. also: Mattogno, Carlo, The Real Case for Auschwitz: Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed, Uckfield, Castle Hill Publishers, 2015; idem, and Franco Deana, The Cremation Furnaces of Auschwitz: A Technical and Historical Study, ibid.¸ 2015; Rudolf, Germar, The Chemistry of Auschwitz: The Technology and Toxicology of Zyklon B and the Gas Chambers, ibid., 2017; Graf, Jürgen, and Carlo Mattogno, Concentration Camp Majdanek: A Historical and Technical Study, 3rd ed., ibid., 2016.

[23] Berg, Friedrich Paul, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth within a Myth,” The Journal of Historical Review, 5(1) (1984), pp. 15-46; https://codoh.com/library/document/982 .

[24] Berg, Friedrich Paul, “The Diesel Gas Chamber: Ideal for Torture—Absurd For Murder,” in Gauss, Ernst (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of Truth and Memory, Capshaw, AL: Theses and Dissertations Press, 2000, pp. 454f.

[25] Lüftl, Walter, “The Lüftl Report,” The Journal of Historical Review, 12(4) (1992), pp. 403-406, 419; https://codoh.com/library/document/2383 .

[26] Schmidt, Ulf, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 162f., 166f. See also Evans, Richard J., The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945, London: Penguin Books, 2008, pp. 99f.

[27] Irving, David, Nuremberg, op. cit. (note 9), p. 168.

[28] Abzug, Robert H., Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 128-132.

[29] Wear, John, “Holocaust Eyewitnesses: Is the Testimony Reliable?,” The Barnes Review, 19(4) (2013), pp. 26-29; https://katana17.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/holocaust-eyewitnesses-is-the-testimony-reliable/ .

[30] Butz, Arthur R., op. cit. (note 11), p. 10.

[31] Interview with Norman Finkelstein, by Viktor Frölke, in Salon.com, “Shoah business,” Aug. 30, 2000. See also Finkelstein, Norman, The Holocaust Industry, New York: Verso, 2000, p. 81.

[32] https://codoh.com/library/document/891/ .

[33] http://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%204029.pdf .

[34] Kulaszka, Barbara (ed.), op. cit. (note 5), pp. 370f.

[35] For example, see http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/06/gauleiter-arthur-greiser.html .

[36] Butz, Arthur R., “Some Thoughts on Pressac’s Opus,” The Journal of Historical Review, 13(3) (1993), pp. 23-37, here p. 23; https://codoh.com/library/document/2425/ .

October 16, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment