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Tillerson’s Promise of More War in Syria Gets Warm Reception From Corporate Media

By Gregory Shupak | FAIR | January 29, 2018

In a speech at Stanford this month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that America intends to keep military troops in Syria indefinitely, in pursuit of the US’s “key end states for Syria,” including “post-Assad leadership,” the marginalization of Iran and the elimination of “weapons of mass destruction” that the US claims Syria has.

Occupying a country without the permission of the host government, as America is doing in Syria, contravenes international law. Nor does the US have a legal right to pursue regime change in Syria. Yet multiple media outlets have praised Tillerson’s remarks.

Newsweek (1/19/18) ran an article from the Atlantic Council’s Frederic Hof that called Tillerson’s speech “a major improvement in the American approach to the crisis in Syria.” The piece concluded that “what Mr. Tillerson has articulated is more than good enough as a starting point for a policy reflecting American values and upholding American interests.”

The Washington Post editorial board (1/22/18) also endorsed American violation of international law, writing that

Tillerson bluntly recognized a truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge: that “it is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, and assist the Syrian people . . . to achieve a new political future.”

The same paper’s Jennifer Rubin (1/23/18) wrote:

Belatedly, Tillerson has recognized (as critics of both Trump and President Barack Obama have long argued) that we do have a national interest in Syria, cannot tolerate the indefinite presence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and need to recognize that if we mean to check Iranian aggression, we will need to maintain a presence in Syria.

In Rubin’s conception, Iran’s presence in Syria—at the request of the recognized government—is “aggression,” whereas America’s is apparently legitimate.

The Atlantic (1/18/18) published a piece by Kori Schake, a self-identified supporter of “regime change [and] long-term military commitments.” Schake called Tillerson’s speech

both sensible and fanciful. It was sensible in that it gave a history of Syria’s grisly war, stated clearly America’s interest in continued involvement even as ISIS is defeated, and outlined policies consistent with those interests. It was fanciful in that the policies outlined would require a much greater measure of American involvement than has been in evidence by this administration—or were committed in yesterday’s speech—to succeed.

For Schake, the problem isn’t that the goal of America’s Syria policy is to illegally occupy a country and overthrow its government, while ratcheting up already dangerously high levels of hostility towards Iran and Russia. It’s that that the Trump administration isn’t doing enough to achieve this.

Meanwhile, accounts of Tillerson’s speech on CNN (1/18/18) and Buzzfeed (1/18/18) opt not to make any reference to the absence of a legal basis for what he describes. One of the few allusions of any kind to international law was a throwaway line in an AP report (1/24/18): “The Islamic State’s retreat also has forced the US to stretch thinner its legal rationale for operating in Syria.” What that rationale might consist of was not explained.

The Best Way to End War Is More War

Tillerson is proposing a prolongation and escalation of the war in Syria. The Syrian government will not passively allow itself to be removed by the US military, and neither will Syria’s allies from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. So in practice, Tillerson’s policy means a wider, more dangerous conflict.

Yet the Newsweek piece (1/19/18) accepts that the plan is aimed at creating “conditions suitable for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes”—the opposite of what war produces.

Not only are media outlets failing to address the violence implicit in Tillerson’s policy, they are claiming the opposite and treating it as a plan for peace in Syria. These articles do not explain how a US-led regime change war will achieve that, instead of the years of war and slave markets such policies brought to Libya, or the half million to a million civilians killed in Iraq.

These publications take for granted that the US has a right to decide who governs Syria. For example, an Atlantic article by Paul McLeary (1/18/18) characterizes the US plan to maintain an occupying force in Syria and compel the ouster of its government as “nation-building,” though “nation-destroying” is probably more apt.

The Washington Post (1/22/18), similarly, echoes Tillerson’s claim that if the US were to “abandon” Syria, it would be “repeat[ing] the mistake the United States made in Iraq,” when “a premature departure . . . allowed Al Qaeda in Iraq to survive and eventually morph into ISIS.” The Post missed the possibility that the US’s “mistake” in Iraq was invading in the first place, one consequence of which was the birth of both Al Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS.

The paper also claims:

Critics predictably charge that Mr. Trump is launching another “endless war” in Syria. In fact, the administration has simply recognized reality: The United States cannot prevent a resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, prevent Iran from building bases across Syria, or end a civil war that has sent millions of refugees toward Europe without maintaining control over forces and territory inside the country.

The editors go on to write that the Trump administration “has rightly absorbed the lesson that [America’s] way out [of Syria] starts with a serious and sustainable US commitment.”

In other words, the best way for the US to get out of Syria is to stay in Syria, and the best way to end the war in Syria is more war in Syria.

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Neocons as a Figment of Imagination

Criticizing their thuggery is anti-Semitism?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 21, 2017

We have a president who is belligerent towards Iran, who is sending “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS, who loves Israel passionately and who is increasing already bloated defense budgets. If one were a neoconservative, what is there not to like, yet neocons in the media and ensconced comfortably in their multitude of think tanks hate Donald Trump. I suspect it comes down to three reasons. First, it is because Trump knows who was sticking the knife in his back during his campaign in 2016 and he has neither forgiven nor hired them. Nor does he pay any attention to their bleating, denying them the status that they think they deserve because of their self-promoted foreign policy brilliance.

And second, Trump persists in his desire to “do business” with Russia. The predominantly Jewish neocons always imagine the thunder of hooves of approaching Cossacks preparing to engage in pogroms whenever they hear the word Russia. And this is particularly true of Vladimir Putin’s regime, which is Holy Russia revived. When not musing over how it is always 1938 and one is in Munich, neocons are nearly as unsettled when they think it is 1905 in Odessa.

The third reason, linked to number two, is that having a plausible and dangerous enemy like Russia on tap keeps the cash flowing from defense industries to the foundations and think tanks that the neocons nest in when they are not running the Pentagon and National Security Council. Follow the money. So it is all about self-interest combined with tribal memory: money, status and a visceral hatred of Russia.

The hatred of Trump runs so deep that a leading neocon Bill Kristol actually tweeted that he would prefer a country run by bureaucrats and special interests rather than the current constitutional arrangement. The neocon vendetta was as well neatly summed up in two recent articles by Max Boot. The first is entitled “Trump knows the Feds are closing in on him” and the second is “WikiLeaks has joined the Trump Administration.” In the former piece Boot asserts that “Trump’s recent tweets aren’t just conspiratorial gibberish—they’re the erratic ravings of a guilty conscience” and in the latter, that “The anti-American WikiLeaks has become the preferred intelligence service for a conspiracy-addled White House.”

Now, who is Max Boot and why should anyone care what he writes? Russian-born, Max entered the United States with his family through a special visa exemption under the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment even though they were not notably persecuted and only had to prove that they were Jewish. Jackson-Vanik was one of the first public assertions of neoconism, having reportedly been drafted in the office of Senator Henry Jackson by no less than Richard Perle and Ben Wattenberg as a form of affirmative action for Russian Jews. As refugees instead of immigrants, the new arrivals received welfare, health insurance, job placement, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years. Max went to college at Berkeley and received an M.A. from Yale.

Boot, a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012, networked his way up the neocon ladder, including writing for The Weekly Standard, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He was a member of the neocon incubator Project for a New American Century and now sits on the heavily neocon Council on Foreign Relations. Boot characteristically has never served in the U.S. military but likes war a lot. In 2012 he co-authored “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now.” He is a reliable Russia and Putin basher.

Max Boot’s articles are smears of Donald Trump from top to bottom. The “closing in” piece calls for establishment of a special counsel to investigate every aspect of the Trump Team/Russian relationship. Along the way, it makes its case to come to that conclusion by accepting every single worst case scenario regarding Trump as true. Yes, per Boot “Putin was intervening in the presidential election to help Trump.” And President Barack Obama could not possibly have “interfered with the lawful workings of the FBI.” As is always the case, not one shred of evidence is produced to demonstrate that anyone associated with Donald Trump somehow became a Russian useful idiot, but Boot assumes that the White House is now being run out of the Kremlin.

Max is certainly fun to read but on a more serious note, the National Review is working hard to make us forget about employing the expression “neocon” because it is apparently rarely understood by the people who use the term. Plus its implied meaning is anti-Semitic in nature, something that David Brooks in an article pretty much denying that neocons really exist suggested thirteen years ago when he postulated that it was shorthand for “Jewish conservative.”

National Review actually searched hard to find a gentile who could write the piece, one Kevin D. Williamson, who is described as a “roving correspondent” for the magazine. His article is entitled “Word Games: The Right Discovers the Deep State.” Williamson begins by observing that using “neocon” disparagingly in the post-9/11 context acts either “as a kind of catalyst enabling a political reaction that revived a great many stupid and ugly myths about Jewish bankers orchestrating wars for profit…” or serves as a standby expression for a “Jew with politics I don’t like.”

Interestingly, I have never heard the “Jewish bankers” theory or disparagement of Jewish “politics” from the many responsible critics who have been dismayed by the aberrant U.S. foreign policy that has evolved since 2001. I don’t know how much money Goldman Sachs has made since the World Trade Center went down and that is not really the issue, nor is the fact that Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic, which is a party that I don’t particularly like. Williamson dodges the increasingly held view that America slid into the abyss when Washington declared war on the entire world and invaded Iraq based on a tissue of lies, in large part to benefit Israel, which is what matters and why the enabling role of the neocons is important.

And one might reasonably argue that U.S. policy since that time has nearly always deferred to Israeli interests, most recently declaring its prime mission at the U.N. to be protecting Israel, then acting on that premise by forcing the resignation of a senior official who had prepared a report critical of Israel’s “apartheid” regime. I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish. And they are in your face every time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. Abrasive and abusive Professor Alan Dershowitz recently proclaimed that Jews should never apologize for Jewish power, saying that it is deserved and granted by God, but I for one think it is past time for a little pushback from the rest of us to make Washington protect American interests instead of those of Israel.

The neocon cult has been behind the promotion of Israel as well as the serial foreign policy misadventures since 2001. Do the names Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Edelman, Ledeen, Senor, Libby and Nuland in and around the government as well as a host of others in think tanks and lobbies like AIPAC, AEI, WINEP, PNAC, FPI, FDD, JINSA and Hudson ring a bell? And do the loud voices in the media to include Judith Miller, Robert Kaplan, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Fred Hiatt, Bret Stephens, Bill Kristol, the Kagans and the Podhoretzes, as well as the entire Washington Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages, suggest any connivance?

They are all Jews and many are connected in terms of their careers, which were heavily networked from the inside to advance them up the ladder, often to include moving between government and lucrative think tank and academic positions. They mostly self-identify as neoconservatives and all share some significant traits, notably extreme dedication to Israel and embrace of the doctrine that the U.S. should not be shy about using military force, so it is interesting to learn from Williamson that they really do not constitute a cohesive group with shared values and interests as well as excellent access to the media and the levers of power. When did you last see an “expert” on the Middle East on television who was not Jewish?

Having made his pithy comments and dismissed neoconservatism-phobes as bigots, Williamson then wanders off subject into the Deep State, which, like neoconism apparently is some kind of urban legend being propagated by the poorly informed, whom these days he identifies as Trump supporters. He argues that the entities that are frequently cited as the Deep State, including the neocons, actually have quite divergent interests and it is unlikely that those interests should become “identical or aligned” to enable running of the country in an essentially clandestine fashion.

It is perhaps inevitable that Williamson is confused as he does not recognize how the American Deep State differs from that in most other countries – it is perhaps better described as the Establishment. Unlike in places like Turkey, it operates largely out in the open and ostensibly legally along a New York-Washington axis that constantly revitalizes itself through the revolving door allowing the entry of politicians and high government officials who create and enforce the legislation that benefits Deep State interests. Its components do indeed have different motives, but they come together in preserving the status quo, which benefits all parties, while little dissent comes from the Fourth Estate as the process plays out, since much of the media and many of the proliferating Washington think tanks that provide Deep State “intellectual” credibility are also part of the same malignancy. And yes, quite a bit of today’s Establishment is Jewish, most particularly financial and legal services, the think tanks, and academia. Many of them support or are part of the neocon persuasion and frequently also of the Israel Lobby.

The existence of a Deep State means that many issues that impact on the citizenry never are discussed as part of the political process, leading to jokes that the United States has only one political party with two wings. Issues like the relationship with Israel, though hotly debated by some of the public, are never really debated and are dealt with by consensus crafted by the politicians and the media. Significant policies like those relating to war and peace, healthcare and immigration were rarely seriously challenged prior to Trump because there is a broad agreement regarding what the Establishment will allow to take place. That is how the Deep State operates.

When it comes to foreign and national security policy the neocons are most definitely an integral part of the Deep State, using money and access to politicians to influence what is taking place without anyone seriously challenging their role. They are an essential cog in a system that is completely corrupt: it exists to sell out the public interest, and includes both major political parties as well as government officials. And it is so successful because it wins no matter who is in power, by creating bipartisan-supported money pits within the system. Monetizing the completely unnecessary and hideously expensive global war on terror benefits the senior government officials, beltway industries, and financial services that feed off it. Because it is essential to keep the money flowing, the Deep State persists in promoting policies that enrich its constituencies but otherwise make no sense, to include funding the unending and unwinnable wars currently enjoying marquee status in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and the gift of $38 billion to Israel.

Max Boot spews the kind of bile that is commonly seen or heard when the neocons zero in on their enemies. The National Review meanwhile provides cover for Max and others by suggesting that only anti-Semites or the demented could possibly have it in for neoconservatives or be wary of zany concepts like a Deep State. Together they generate the fog that makes it impossible to challenge certain aspects of the status quo. Maybe, just maybe, what Donald Trump has been saying about his predecessor’s Deep State inspired machinations are true. And just possibly there is a largely Jewish cabal within that Deep State, call it what you will, that works very hard behind the scenes to favor Israel while also pushing for a state of perpetual war, from which it benefits personally. I know that thinking that we Americans are on the receiving end of a vast and very effective conspiracy makes many uneasy, but history has taught us that sometimes our worst nightmares are actually true.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jennifer Rubin: Hillary Must Stop Peace With Iran at All Costs!

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By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | August 18, 2016

After anxiously and incessantly angling for a hardcore neoconservative to take the Republican presidential nomination, the Washington Post’s online blogger Jennifer Rubin has made the long journey home. Rebuffed by Republican voters who selected Donald Trump as their candidate, Rubin’s gunpowder breath is now desperately seeking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ear.

Her message? This damned Iran deal is improving US/Iran relations and that is completely intolerable. “Hillary: Please bomb something over there,” Rubin screeches, in her latest installment of the neocon chronicles.

Why is Rubin so hot and bothered? Well, Secretary of State John Kerry has dared to encourage some business investment in Iran after the nuclear deal has begun paying dividends in more stable relations. Doing business is always preferable to sanctions and blockades because it makes war less likely. Each side has too much to lose when there are economic interests at stake so each side will act with more caution. As when a Chinese incident with a US spy plane led the damaged US plane to land in China, yet both sides realized that economic relations were sufficiently important that the potentially volatile situation needed to be carefully walked back from the brink of conflict.

War kills economic opportunities for the average people on both sides, but it also produces unique financial opportunities for the specially connected. Like the people around Jennifer Rubin.

Rubin is given a little corner of Washington’s “paper of record,” but she is either so ill-formed when it comes to the basic situation in Syria that one wonders why she has such a platform when surely there are plenty of better-informed high school students who could fill the slot… or she is purposely obfuscating from her little perch in which case the Washington Post is a witting party to her deception.

For example she writes this:

This week we have also learned that as many as 100,000 Iranian-backed militia members are fighting in Iraq…

But she does not inform her readers that these Iranian militia members are in fact fighting ISIS in Iraq. In other words, they are helping us defeat our sworn enemy. While Washington is pained to admit it, even John Kerry said not long ago that having so many additional fighters taking on ISIS in Iraq is “helpful” to America’s efforts to defeat ISIS.

Rubin would clearly prefer an ISIS victory to accepting the assistance of an Iran that also views the establishment of an anti-Iranian jihadist Caliphate in its backyard an existential threat.

Again Rubin plays fast and loose with the truth when she writes:

Russia is expanding its alliance with Iran and influence in Syria in unprecedented ways. Russian planes are now taking off directly from Iran to bomb Syrian targets…

What she does not tell us once again is that those Russian planes are bombing ISIS and al-Qaeda (those guys who attacked us on 9/11). Does anyone else wonder why she objects to the Russians bombing ISIS and al-Qaeda? Particularly as the US seems to be letting them get away at every possible opportunity.

What is to be done, in the mind of Rubin?

[R]ather than pleading with Russia, we can make clear that we will be establishing a new policy of direct action against the Assad regime, including establishment of safe havens. Vladimir Putin has had a risk-free policy of aggression up to now; that should change.

So, Rubin would have the US attack a Syrian government that has fought for five years against a foreign, radical jihadist insurgency and directly confront a Russia that has the same enemy in the process.

Who’s side is she on? Ours or the terrorists’?

Evidently we can partner with Stalin to defeat Hitler but we dare not partner with Putin to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda. The neocons are clearly high on their own vapors. Rubin is first in line for neocon bong hits.

August 20, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seeking Bibi’s Favor

It’s a waste of time…

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 26, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly knows how to return a favor. To express his gratitude for the United States having engaged in laborious 17 month multilateral negotiations that succeeded in eliminating Iran’s ability to construct a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu is now demanding more money from Washington because the agreement has, in his esteemed opinion, made Israel more vulnerable. As Israel is already the largest recipient of United States military assistance at $3.1 billion a year the jump to $5 billion might seem relatively inconsequential, but for Netanyahu it will mean that 25% of his entire defense budget will now come from the United States, enabling Israel to free up funds to provide free university education and medical treatment for its citizens, something that the American taxpayers who come up with the money do not enjoy.

And it seems that beyond that there is no limit to Israel’s own particular form of expressing “thank you America.” Even as Israel prepares to accept the additional money it seems disinclined to restrain either its actions or its rhetoric towards anyone who questions its behavior, including the President of the United States. One would think the prospect of receiving an extra $20 billion dollars would produce at least a little moderation but the Israeli government appears to be intent on sending a message to the Barack Obama White House telling the world who is really in charge.

Last Tuesday, with Netanyahu off attending a meeting of global movers and shakers in Davos Switzerland, the Israeli government announced that it would be seizing from Arab owners 380 acres of arable land near Jericho in the Jordan River valley. The land has been up until now considered an Israeli Army security zone so even though it was Palestinian property the owners were not allowed to use it. Settlers are reportedly already encroaching on the land and it will no doubt soon transition into a new settlement bloc with the blessing of the military and government. Israel has also announced the destruction of West Bank buildings used by Bedouin tribesmen that were financed by the European Union (E.U.), presumably so it can declare the land vacant, permitting its annexation to construct permanent homes for Israeli Jews.

The seizure and demolitions produced predictable protests from the Europeans, the Arab League, the Palestinians themselves and also from Washington. But as in the case of the all too fungible money flowing incessantly from Washington, Israel’s having already stolen tens of thousands of acres of Arab land on the West Bank while planting something like 600,000 illegal settlers, many in heavily guarded compounds, a few hundred more acres matters little. But that would be to ignore the essentially political reality that the Netanyahu government always responds to critics by taking the offensive, in this case carrying out actions that are gross violations of international law a few days before a U.S. delegation is due to arrive in Tel Aviv to discuss Israel’s new aid package. It demonstrates Israel’s contempt for the interests and sensitivities of the United States.

Indeed, Netanyahu does not behave as he does because he is compelled to do so or has some good reason for responding to critics disparagingly. He does so because standing up to the world community enhances his political stature among his extreme right wing supporters in Israel, who rejoice in telling critics that they do not care one bit about the increasing international sentiment condemning their behavior. And Netanyahu knows he can in reality behave with impunity because he de facto owns the U.S. Congress and the mainstream media and has said as much, noting that for him “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

Several recent incidents demonstrate the Netanyahu disdain for the opinion of the United States as well of the rest of the world. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was on the receiving end of Bibi’s wrath when he commented that “continued settlement growth raises honest questions about Israel’s long term intentions,” adding that the Israeli authorities do not investigate attacks on Palestinians “vigorously,” that there was increasing vigilantism by settlers, and that there are two standards to the rule of law “one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.” Shapiro was referring to civil law prevailing in Israel while the army operates on the West Bank under martial law, which has far fewer protections for the accused and where shoot to kill policies against Arab demonstrators have become common. The criticism, as mild as it was, drew an angry response from Netanyahu, who called the statement “unacceptable and untrue.” A political ally of Netanyahu called the American Ambassador a “little Jewboy.”

Israel, which fancies itself a democracy, does indeed have different standards of justice. As part of a new program of action against “terrorists,” Israel last week began arrests of anyone who posts content on Facebook that the government considers to be anti-Israeli. As it is not necessary to actually do anything to fall afoul of the new regulations, the offense is in the nature of a thought crime. Inevitably, Arabs have been arrested but no Jews. It is also interesting to consider whether Israel believes its extraterritoriality on what it considers terrorism to extend to Americans and Europeans who criticize Israeli actions. Many of those who are reading these words might well find themselves arrested if they should ever have to enter Israel for any reason.

Israel and its friends have also responded sharply to a European Union demand first put in place last November that products derived from the Israeli settlements be labeled as such, enabling consumers to avoid them if they choose to do so. Last week, the E.U. also indicated that any business or government to government dealings with Israel must not involve the settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Israel’s point of view is that the West Bank settlements are de facto part of Israel. The Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom has also been subjected to Israel’s wrath after she suggested that it might be worthwhile to investigate whether Israeli police and military have been executing Palestinian prisoners extra-judicially. More than 141 Palestinians have died in the recent unrest versus 24 Israelis. There have been numerous reports that some of the Arab victims have been shot and killed after they were either incapacitated or arrested while a leading Rabbi has called for all Palestinians to be executed. The Netanyahu government has attacked Wallstrom, stating that her comments were “a mix of blindness and political stupidity.” She has been officially banned from travel to Israel.

Israel’s pit bulls in the think tanks and media have inevitably joined in the discussion. Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post explains “Why it’s correct to label the Obama administration anti-Israel,” citing, among others, the deranged Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, who describes identifying settlement produced goods as “blatant anti-Semitism” coupled with a warning that that “it should be clear to Jews everywhere that the 1930s are returning.” Rubin also cites the ever reliable Elliott Abrams, who sees a broad movement to discredit Israel, commenting that the U.S. failure to condemn the E.U. action means that Obama is “joining the jackals.”

Rubin and her friends seek to twist the argument by maintaining that other areas “in dispute” do not have their products labeled, but they ignore the fact that there is no other situation anywhere in the world quite like Israel’s continued military occupation coupled with the introduction of settlers, destruction of the local economy and exploitation of aquifers and other natural resources. And the West Bank is hardly disputed, except by the Israel first last and always crowd. It is clearly Palestinian land.

Giving Israel more money will not make Netanyahu behave but there is no possibility that the largess will somehow be terminated because America’s timorous leadership is afraid to confront the obvious. The whole world understands that Israel is the ultimate rogue nation, propped up by the only remaining superpower, which appears to be a helpless giant whenever it is confronted by the Israeli Prime Minister’s demands. Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard has recently suggested that the most influential papers within the U.S. mainstream media might want to consider featuring on their opinion pages more foreign power realists and a lot fewer neocons, in part because the former have been consistently right while the latter have nearly always been wrong. How true. It would be a breath of fresh air to open a newspaper and not be confronted by Elliott Abrams, Jennifer Rubin, Robert Kaplan, Charles Krauthammer and the Kagans spewing their nonsense about the Middle East.

A realist would instead ask “What are America’s interests in the Middle East?” and “Why do we have a widely promoted ‘special relationship’ with Israel?” The answers would demonstrate that Washington and Tel Aviv’s interests do not coincide and never have. And that the special relationship is a self-serving fiction invented by Israel’s friends. Understanding that and acting upon it would be a real change that many of us could quite comfortably live with.

January 26, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin: More Regime Change, Please!

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By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | January 21, 2016

Most normal people look at the smoldering cemetery that is post-“liberation” Libya, the gruesome graveyard of an almost-“liberated” Syria, the 14 year slow-motion failed regime change in Afghanistan, blood-drenched Iraq, and they are horrified. Washington Post’s neocon nag Jennifer Rubin looks across that bloody landscape and sees a beautiful work in progress.

She writes today in the online edition of the Post that despite what we might be hearing from some “libertarian/populist pols masquerading as conservatives,” the interventionist enterprise is chugging along just fine. Democracy promotion at the barrel of a gun is every American’s “white man’s burden” whether he likes it or not.

Never mind that Syria has been nearly leveled by almost five years of an Islamist insurgency that was but a few weeks from success when Russia stopped it in its tracks. The real villain is the secular Bashar al-Assad, writes Rubin. After all, he “is partnered with Iran and spurs support for Islamist rebels…”

Assad “spur[s] support for Islamist rebels” by waging war on them for six years? Or does she somehow deny that Assad is fighting the insurgents who seek to drive him from power? Both cannot be true.

And on Planet Rubin, funding, training, and arming Islamist rebels, as the US and its allies have done, can in no way be seen as spurring them on.

“It has become fashionable in some circles to pooh-pooh support for democracy,” Rubin moans. Not so fast, she says. This is not a failed project. Her evidence? From all the countries destabilized by US democracy promotion schemes there is “one encouraging success story” — Tunisia!

Yes, after the destruction and killing in places like Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and the rest, it is the great success in little Tunisia that makes it all worthwhile!

Unfortunately for Rubin, even her little Tunisian success story looks to have an unhappy ending. As reported by BBC News, unrest is spreading throughout Tunisia as demonstrators are clashing with police. Tunisians are in far worse economic shape now than before the US-backed “Arab Spring” brought them their “liberation.” One-third of young people are unemployed in post-liberation Tunisia and 62 percent of recent college graduates cannot find work.

“We have been waiting for things to get better for five years and nothing has happened,” Yassine Kahlaoui, a 30-year-old jobseeker, told the AP as reported by the BBC.

Here is the ugly truth that regime change enthusiasts like Rubin will never admit: it is very easy to destabilize and destroy a country from abroad in the name of “promoting democracy,” but those recipients of America’s largesse in this area soon find that it is all but impossible to return a country to even pre-“liberation” economic levels. They are left missing their “dictator.”

What does Rubin care: she doesn’t have to live in these hellholes she helps create.

January 24, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Escalating the Anti-Iran Propaganda

By Jonathan Marshall | Consortium News | August 13, 2015

The United States and five other powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran based it on verification, not on trust. The media need to start applying to same standard rather than trusting the often questionable claims of their favorite expert on nuclear proliferation, David Albright.

Albright, who is president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, has long been a loud and oft-quoted critic of Iran’s nuclear intentions. His latest salvo was his widely reported claim that Iran is engaging in suspicious activity at Parchin, a military facility in northern Iran, that “could be related” to “sanitization efforts” to defeat verification efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Albright’s suspicions were buttressed by two anti-Iran-deal columnists who reported that the “U.S. intelligence community” was also studying recent photos of the site for possible evidence of clean-up work ahead of planned inspections. His claims were touted by the Washington Post’s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin as one more reason to reject the Iran nuclear deal. The Post’s neoconservative-leaning opinion page also gave Albright a column to repeat his assertions, and to ridicule as “mirthful” Iran’s denials.

But credible experts with much more serious credentials than Albright have undercut his latest report along with many of his earlier warnings about Iran’s nuclear plans. Needless to say, they have received much less media attention.

Albright’s Aug. 5 report — a mere one page of text along with three photos — began by describing Parchin as a facility “that is linked to past high explosive work on nuclear weapons.” That unqualified phrase should have concerned reporters right from the start.

Yes, there have been unproven claims that Iran tested non-nuclear high-explosive devices at Parchin — but they have been debunked by no less an authority than Robert Kelley, former director of the Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory and former director of the IAEA’s nuclear inspections in Iraq. Moreover, IAEA found nothing amiss during two unrestricted visits to Parchin in 2005, though Iran has rebuffed its requests for return visits.

Albright’s report then analyzed several recent satellite photos, which show something happening on the roofs of two buildings, several “possible oil spills,” and a couple of vehicles, possibly including a bulldozer. In contrast, a photo taken before the signing of the agreement showed “little activity” and no vehicles. In addition, two new structures “of unknown purpose” had been erected since May. All of this pointed, in Albright’s fevered imagination, to a “last ditch effort to try to ensure that no incriminating evidence will be found.”

He offered not a shred of evidence to link the mundane visual clues to his dramatic conclusion. One wonders if any reporters actually looked at his photo evidence critically.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, stated in response that the activities at Parchin were related to road construction. Opponents of the deal “have spread these lies before,” he added. “Their goal is to damage the agreement.”

In his Washington Post column, Albright twisted Zarif’s words to claim that he “chose to deny the visible evidence in commercial satellite imagery. Iran’s comments would be mirthful if the topic were not so serious.” Of course, Zarif was disputing not the imagery but the tendentious conclusions that Albright drew from it.

Albright’s conclusions were also disputed by Kelley, the American nuclear weapons scientist and inspector, who studied a much larger sample of satellite photos over the past five years and found no evidence of any unexplained activity. He also took issue with a subsequent Albright “imagery brief” calling suspicious attention to more than 20 cars parked between Parchin and a nearby dam.

“The ‘parking lot of death’ has been imaged dozens of times and there are clear patterns of passenger cars parked there,” Kelley told Bloomberg News. “There have been no indicators of a change in Iranian activities of any significance — no earth moving or sanitization whatsoever.”

Other experts also derided Albright’s overheated conclusions. “Parchin is an active site and movement is inevitable,” said Paul Ingram, executive director of the British American Security Information Council. “Attempting an impossible cleanup in full view of satellites and just before Congressional votes would be stretching conspiracy theories beyond breaking point.”

Who should one believe? Expert nuclear inspectors like Kelley, or Albright, who apparently has no advanced training as a nuclear engineer or photographic interpreter?

Scott Ritter, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector and IAEA consultant, unloaded on Albright several years ago, saying he has “a track record of making half-baked analyses derived from questionable sources seem mainstream. He breathes false legitimacy into these factually challenged stories by cloaking himself in a résumé which is disingenuous in the extreme. Eventually, one must begin to question the motives of Albright and ISIS” (the unfortunate acronym of Albright’s organization).

Ritter cited example after example of Albright peddling misinformation: “On each occasion, Albright is fed sensitive information from a third party, and then packages it in a manner that is consumable by the media. The media, engrossed with Albright’s misleading résumé (“former U.N. weapons inspector,” “Doctor,” “physicist” and “nuclear expert”), give Albright a full hearing, during which time the particulars the third-party source wanted made public are broadcast or printed for all the world to see. More often than not, it turns out that the core of the story pushed by Albright is, in fact, wrong.”

Ritter concluded his blast, “It is high time the mainstream media began dealing with David Albright for what he is (a third-rate reporter and analyst), and what he isn’t (a former U.N. weapons inspector, doctor, nuclear physicist or nuclear expert). It is time for David Albright, the accidental inspector, to exit stage right. Issues pertaining to nuclear weapons and their potential proliferation are simply too serious to be handled by amateurs and dilettantes.”

Judging by the latest dust-up, Albright remains a media darling, able to garner headlines whenever he lobs new charges into the political battlefield. The issues at stake in the Iran nuclear deal, to echo Ritter, are simply too serious to be muddied by such irresponsible speculation. It’s high time the media began subjecting Albright — and all quoted experts — to more careful verification of their credentials and claims.

For more on Albright and other fake experts on Iran’s nuclear program, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight.

August 13, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crunch Time with Iran Let’s push back against Israel’s friends and avoid a war

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • June 30, 2015

It now appears that the longest drawn out negotiations in history since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War will again be prorogued. I am, of course, referring to the P5+1 talks in Vienna seeking to come up with a peaceful resolution to the problem of Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons program. Today represents the third deadline as the negotiations have already been extended twice, ostensibly to permit further discussion of details of timing for the lifting of sanctions as well as verification and inspection procedures.

I refer to a “nonexistent” program as the frequently cited intelligence suggesting that a weapon was being developed has turned out to be based on forgeries provided by the Israelis. Currently, both the CIA and Mossad agree that no such program exists though both Washington and Tel Aviv persist in suggesting that Iran might change its mind and therefore must not even be able to develop relevant technologies in the future.

In theory an agreement should have been reached long ago as the two basic elements are well understood: Iran wants an end to sanctions and the United States plus its negotiating partners want a verifiable end to existing and potential programs in Iran that could possibly produce a nuclear weapon. The devil would appear to be in the details but that is not necessarily the case as the real problem is political. The talks have in fact been subject to a relentless media campaign by Israel and its friends in the U.S. to derail any possible agreement, to include a number of appearances by none other than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before both the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. Netanyahu has been warning that an Iranian weapon is imminent since 1996 and he has even produced a cartoon showing a bomb with a ticking fuse to illustrate his thinking on the issue.

The intensity of the anti-Iran campaign has increased to a boiling point as the end of June deadline has approached, to include full page ads in newspapers and a rash of editorials, op-eds and letters to the editor. If you read an article about the negotiations on an unmoderated site like yahoo you will see numerous comments trashing Iran using the same misspellings and phrases, suggesting that they originate in the banks of paid students organized and directed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

In order to avoid constantly rehashing the same material, the well-funded and highly creative exploration of Persian perfidy has meant in practice that the media and punditry are constantly raising new issues that have nothing to do with the nuclear weapons themselves. These have included demanding that a contrite Iran confess that it once sought a weapon, addressing the state of possible missile delivery systems in the discussions, assessing Iran’s intentions as a regional power, critiquing the country’s human rights record and examining Tehran’s support of organizations that critics choose to describe as terroristic. Congress is on record calling for the prevention of Iran’s “capability” to construct a weapon, a threshold that it already has passed. Presidential wannabe Senator Marco Rubio has even demanded that Iran recognize “Israel’s right to exist.” The latest wrinkle is to insist on assurances over what might happen in ten years’ time when any agreement negotiated currently will presumably expire.

Assuming that the neocons’ other pet projects to go to war with Russia and eventually also China do not actually materialize and that we will all still be here in a decade, it has to be recognized that what is occurring in Vienna this week is already a war. On one side are the serious players, including Secretary of State John Kerry acting for the president as well as the Russians, Germans, Chinese, British and French, all of whom understand that no agreement leaves armed conflict as the only remaining option. They realize that a major explosion in the Persian Gulf would be disastrous for all parties and potentially even for the world economy. On the other side are the naysayers from Israel and its formidable amen section, deeply embedded in the media and among politicians at all levels. Many believe that, as Israel firster mega billionaire Sheldon Adelson has recommended, all Iran really needs is an admonitory nuclear strike to show the Mullahs that we are serious about the military option.

As in any war it is important to know what the enemy is doing. That generally requires massive mobilization of resources to collect intelligence, but in this case we are fortunate in that our enemies write for the Washington Post, The Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal when they are not, collectively speaking, busy appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows and on Fox.

My favorite Queen of Mean among the pro-Israel shock troops is Jennifer Rubin, who writes a blog appropriately labeled “Right Turn” for the Washington Post. In previous incarnations before she found her niche with editorial page chief Fred Hiatt at the Post Jennifer wrote for neocon house organs Commentary, Human Events and Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard. Jenn has ungraciously referred to President Barack Obama as the “most anti-Israel president ever.” Ben Smith at Politico describes her as “caustic and single minded” possessing an “intense and combative interest in foreign affairs and politics in general, and in Israel in particular – the sole bumper sticker on her gray Honda Pilot reads, “JERUSALEM IS NOT A SETTLEMENT. It’s Israel’s Eternal And Undivided Capital.” A recent comment on one of her pieces observed “Science is wrong. The world revolves around Israel. Jennifer knows it to be true. Bibi told her.”

Rubin writes about Iran frequently. Between June 16th and the 26th she penned no less than seven articles attacking the Mullahs – “Obama ignores Iran’s human rights atrocities,” “The Iran missile mistake,” “Democrats, Republicans, neutral experts reject Iran sellout,” “The Iran debacle unfolds,” “Iran appeasement relies on self-delusion,” “Can these forces stop a rotten Iran deal?” and “Iran sanctions back on the table.” All of her writing on Iran beats to death the same theme, i.e. that Iranians are both evil and liars and are out to destroy Israel. Driven by her obsession with Israel, she is constantly at work finding connections and seeing things that the rest of us cannot discern, appreciating as she does that there is always an Israeli angle as well as an evil Muslim narrative hidden somewhere as long as one looks long and hard enough. One of her most recent gems “Can these forces stop a rotten Iran deal?”, which appeared on June 25th, does a good job recounting recent commentary by all her friends in the Israel Lobby who are opposing a nuclear deal, which to her mind represents objective opinion. As is always the case, I searched in vain for any real evidence that Iran in any way threatens the United States but that does not appear to be on her agenda. She does, however, quote a number of Israeli politicians.

And Rubin is far from a lonely voice crying in the wilderness. The New York Times featured a story last Wednesday revealing that “former members of President Obama’s inner circle of Iran advisers” had written a letter advising caution on the possible Iran agreement. The article describes in some detail the objections of Dennis Ross, David Petraeus, Robert Einhorn, Gary Samore, Stephen Hadley and General James E. Cartwright. The signatories, who are accepted at face value in the article, should give one pause. Ross is chairman of the Jewish People Policy Institute (which opposes intermarriage of Jews with non-Jews) and has been described as “Israel’s lawyer” while Hadley, a National Security Adviser for George W. Bush, believes that Iran is intent on dominating much of the Middle East and has a nuclear program that “…is a complex threat to international peace and stability.” Einhorn, who helped “devise and enforce the sanctions against Iran,” and Gary Samore have been persistent critics of the ongoing negotiations. Samore is a fixture at the Harvard Belfer Center, a neocon stronghold, and heads United Against Nuclear Iran. Petraeus is probably the best known of the signatories but I will leave it up to the reader to judge his integrity.

If one were looking for someone who might just entertain the thought that Iran has a legitimate point of view it would not be found in the letter nor in the Times coverage. But the most astonishing thing about the article is what the editors chose not to mention, an omission that would appear to constitute deliberate obfuscation of the letter’s intent. The Times notes towards the end of the article that the letter was commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), but it does not reveal that WINEP is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). AIPAC is an organization that is de facto opposed to any agreement with Iran that is not endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu, which means no deal at all.

Interestingly, Israel is not mentioned even once in the letter nor in the Times coverage of it even though it certainly loomed large in the mind of Ross in particular and likely for all of the other co-authors. One might also note that the arguments against the possible agreement made by the signatories is based on the reader’s acceptance of the view that Iran is some kind of global threat, though they make no attempt to explain how that is so and they also assume that its rulers are not to be trusted without an intrusive inspection regime directed against all military facilities in the country, something that no government anywhere could possibly accept. The five signatories of the letter all claim to support a negotiated settlement with Iran but they are just not happy with what Obama has come up with, which is a characteristic line for many of those who in reality want no agreement at all.

Finally, in a completely bizarre instance of the Israel Lobby’s unwillingness to miss any opportunity in its campaign against Iran, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft traveled to Israel last week with an entourage of 20 Hall of Fame football players. They met with Prime Minister Netanyahu who lectured the players, attired in their Hall of Fame gold Jackets, all about Iran by using a football metaphor: “Iran is one yard away from the goal line. If they get nukes, the preeminent terrorist regime of our day will be armed with nuclear weapons. That’s dangerous for the United States and for Israel and for the entire world. And our effort today is to make sure that we block them and push them back.” The appreciative players gave Bibi a game jersey, a helmet and a signed football in return.

And so the enormous smear campaign against Iran goes on, though I suppose we can always hope that Obama will show a little intestinal fortitude and go ahead with an agreement. I will most certainly never watch the New England Patriots again, but I made that decision some time ago based on their win at any cost ethos. Indeed, since the Israel Lobby is very much in the game of punishing critics as it is doing with its odious website Canary Mission perhaps it is past time for a little pushback coming from Americans who would like to take their government back. Folks like myself who object to the Lobby’s overweening influence over our foreign policy might initiate personal boycotts of the products and business interests of those billionaires who are the most enthusiastic supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu and who are the enablers of Israel’s crimes against humanity. It would be partial payback for nearly seventy years of systematic abuse of America’s true interests. Don’t attend their sporting activities, don’t buy their products, don’t watch their films and don’t stay in their hotels or play in their casinos. Such a reckoning would certainly include people like Robert Kraft, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, as well as Hollywood moguls Haim Saban and Arnon Milchan. Milchan notoriously spied against the U.S. for Israel and is still walking around free, which I don’t quite get. I won’t suggest any additional names but other over the top friends of Likudnik Israel are easily identifiable through Google. As the Mikado’s Lord High Executioner once put it, “I’ve got a little list.”

June 30, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace Breaks Out… Neocons Weep

By Chris Rossini | Neocon Watch | November 24, 2013

A peaceful agreement has been reached between the P5+1 nations and Iran. As expected, the bomb-dropping idea peddlers are crying like babies:

Daniel Pipes calls peace a disaster: “Barack Obama has made many foreign policy errors in the past five years, but this is the first to rank as a disaster.”

Jennifer Rubin hopes Israel can still find a way to bomb: “Admin needs to reaffirm final deal will comply fully with UN resolutions. If not Israel should act”.

Michael Ledeen is not losing hope for war either: “this might make war more possible, life is full of surprises.”

Michael Rubin grabs for the North Korean Bogeyman: “Iran deal risks creating another North Korea.”

Jeffrey Goldberg takes a ride in the spin machine: “This is, if nothing else, an interim victory for tough sanctions.”

Jonathan Tobin plays monday morning quarterback, and wishes Obama would’ve chose differently: “Everyone knows that the sanctions are hurting, but if Iran’s oil trade was subjected to a complete embargo…Tehran could have been brought to its knees.”

In the final analysis, neocon ideas have ruined so many lives around the Earth it’s hard to even wrap your mind around it. They’ve greatly contributed to bringing about the financial bankruptcy of the US, have encouraged so much hatred around the world by getting involved in everyone’s business, have left entire countries in total ruin, and have stuck the bills to all of us to pay.

If neocons are crying about not getting another war, it means things are going in the right direction for a change. Not attacking Syria was the first good step, and a (even if temporary) rapprochement with Iran provides another step. One more, and we can call this a trend, which is very good news indeed.

November 25, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment