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Guns or Butter: Neocons Want More Weapons less Government Services

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 30, 2018

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, which is not actually threatened by any foreign power, maintains a ruinously expensive and globally destructive national security policy that is based on fear. It can be argued that Washington was at least briefly a force for stability and good governance in the aftermath of the Second World War when much of Europe and Asia were in ruins, but America’s interference in the internal politics of other nations has, most particularly in the past twenty years, borne bitter fruit. The argument being made that the U.S. national security mandates “forward defense” by maintaining a string of overseas bases and outdated alliances has been proven wrong again and again as allies have proven feckless and countries that would otherwise be friendly have chafed and then rebelled under America’s imposed leadership role.

President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned in 1961 about the developing military-industrial-complex (MIC), which he had originally dubbed the military-industrial-congressional complex before accepting that he would need legislative help if he were to reverse the seemingly inexorable spending on weapons and expansion of overseas military bases. In the event, Ike’s warning went unheeded and, more recently, the expected “peace dividend” that might have developed from the end of the Cold War in 1991 was wasted when the Clinton Administration recklessly enabled the looting of the former Soviet Union’s natural resources while also expanding the no longer needed NATO alliance up to the Russian border.

Many politicians and industrialists who directly benefit from the spending on the military are largely to blame for propagating the myth that the United States is vulnerable to enemy attack. One only has to recall the panic when Moscow launched a satellite into orbit in 1957 and then there was the essentially fraudulent “Soviet Estimate” by the intelligence community which persisted in overrating Russian military capabilities and the strength of the Soviet Union’s economy. Having a powerful enemy was a sine qua non for those who wished to profit from “defense” spending.

The situation currently is somewhat different than that which prevailed during most of the post-World War 2 era. To be sure, the spending on weapons has continued at a ruinous level but the enemy has changed. Russia is back as a major threat due to the seemingly endless investigations into the 2016 election that have been dubbed “Russiagate,” but it has been joined by China, which is being seen at the major “over the horizon” enemy. And there is also the ubiquitous non-state player “Islamic terrorism” as well as Iran for good measure to keep the money flowing.

It would not be completely fatuous to suggest that the list of all of America’s presumed enemies is at least somewhat contrived. And it is also important to note that the identification of enemies for most Americans depends on the mainstream media, which is now closely linked to corporate and government interests so as to be incapable of independent inquiry or investigation. The impact of a tame media is significant: during the Vietnam War the press was highly critical and hammered the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration. Since then, reporters are embedded and the stories they are allowed to write, are generally puff pieces because to report the truth would make them lose their access.

A recent article that appeared in The Washington Post perfectly illustrates how the newspaper is selling a product that fearmongers to sustain more military spending. It is entitled Wake up. America’s military isn’t invincible, written by regular columnist Robert J. Samuelson.

The article begins with “The most uncovered story in Washington these days is the loss of U.S. military power — a lesson particularly important in light of recent events: the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; President Trump’s rash decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria; North Korea’s announcement that it will keep nuclear weapons after all; and alleged massive computer hacking by Chinese nationals.”

Now, right off the bat, Samuelson’s argument can be challenged. “Loss of U.S. military power” if it can be quantified at all has nothing to do with Mattis or Syria, nor with North Korea or China. Or even with Donald Trump, who has increased the armed services budget, though one should presume that the president is the ultimate target of the article given that it has appeared in the Post.

Samuelson makes his case by citing defense modernization programs in China and Russia and “advances” in Iran and North Korea that undercut U.S. military capabilities. He refers to a recent report of the congressional National Defense Strategy Commission (NDSC), which identifies specific areas in which Russia and China have upgraded their capabilities and quotes “If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency or China in a war over Taiwan . . . Americans could face a decisive military defeat.” The report concludes that “America has reached the point of a full-blown national security crisis.”

The possible armed conflicts cited by Samuelson are, of course, carefully chosen to produce a desired result. Confronting Russia or China in their home waters thousands of miles away from the U.S. gives all the advantage to the defense, which will be able to operate on interior lines and maximize available land, sea, and air forces. And the NDSC report itself is suspect, designed to promote a certain point of view. Its authors are top heavy with retired senior military officers and defense industry “experts” who have a personal interest in more spending on weapons.

Samuelson also cites fellow Post columnist Max Boot, writing that he had “done a great favor by publicizing the report.” He quotes Boot: “Air superiority, which the United States has taken for granted since World War II, is no longer assured. And, without control of the skies, U.S. ships and soldiers would be [highly] vulnerable.” Boot,  sometimes referred to as the Man Who Has Never Been Right About Anything is, of course, a neocon mouthpiece who is in favor of war all the time and nearly everywhere, particularly if Israel is involved. He characteristically, like Samuelson, fancies himself as an expert on national security even though he has never served in the armed forces. His “air superiority” mantra is ridiculous as it would seem to suggest that the U.S. should be able to “control the skies” everywhere simultaneously, which is impossible. And he ignores the fact that the United States uniquely has 19 aircraft carriers which can project air power to anywhere in the world.

Samuelson goes on to condemn what he calls “unwise cuts in defense spending” and cites a 12% decline in spending on the military between 2010 and 2015 as well as a decline in the “defense” share of the GDP from 1960 until 2017. Both figures come from the NDSC report. He does not, however, mention that the current defense budget is larger than the military spending of the next eight countries combined, to include both China and Russia.

Samuelson, doing a great impersonation of ex-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, blames the lack of money for the Pentagon on “the American welfare state — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and the like.” He advocates cutting “welfare” to buy more and better weapons. He then goes on to liken the current situation to that existing before World War 2, when Adolph Hitler’s Germany rearmed while England and France did nothing. The analogy is not exactly correct as, when war broke out, France alone fielded an army greater than Germany’s, but it’s always reassuring to have Hitler cited yet again in a neocon op-ed.

Samuelson concludes with the obligatory slap at Trump: “We need to keep our commitments — Trump’s abrupt withdrawal from Syria devalues our word. And we need to repair our alliances,” but one might well opine that there is something seriously wrong with that kind of thinking, where guns always take precedence over butter. Government exists to benefit the citizens that together make up the state, not to meddle in the affairs of other nations and peoples worldwide.

The selling of America the All-Powerful is a bit of a con job promoted by neocons like Samuelson and Boot but we do not need to send tens of thousands of young Americans overseas to give “value to our word.” We do not need to enter into pointless wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. We do need an America that is at peace with itself and which is willing to be strong and brave enough to realize that real security will come when the United States is no longer the world’s designated bully. Let’s consider a New Year’s wish to see a 2019 where the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen finally come home and where scribblers like Samuelson and Boot find themselves unemployed.

December 30, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Debunking the Cynics in Mainstream Media Who Spit Upon Korea’s Historic Triumph For Peace

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | 2018-04-28

While the leaders of multiple nations have praised the efforts of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in to open a new chapter for peace and reconciliation between the divided Korean states, certain voices in US mainstream media remain cynical in the face of a moment of joy for the Korean people, Asia as a whole and the wider world.

When expressed in its most exhaustive fashion, the cynics point to the previous time that the two Korean states attempted to engage in a peace process during what is known as the Sunshine Policy which became the official stance of Seoul via-a-vis Pyongyang between 1998 and 2008, with several notable interruptions. Some writers such as the notorious Max Boot of the Washington Post have claimed that the current rapprochement between the two Korean states will fail because in his view, the Sunshine Policy failed. However, Boot mis-characterises both the current events in Korea and the Sunshine Policy, while failing to understand key difference between that period and recent events.

Strength versus weakness 

In the 1990s, the North Korean economy was at its lowest ebb in history. While there is no ‘famine or starvation’ in contemporary North Korea and nor was there during the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, the 1990s were lean years for the DPRK in every sense. The economic downturn of the mid-1990s hit North Korea particularly hard and it was this reality that led leaders in Seoul to extend a hand to Pyongyang based on a combination of genuine compassion towards fellow Koreans and based on the fact that some in Seoul honestly believed that the DPRK was on the verge of collapse in the 1990s and therefore it was judged that it was more prudent to manage this collapse in an ordered and fraternal fashion, rather than a hostile and suspicious one.

Today, North Korea’s economy is incredibly strong in terms of aggregate growth rates, infrastructural development, consumer technology development, the building of modern housing and the building of public leisure, arts and entertainment centres. Without much international fanfare, Kim Jong-un has modernised the economy in ways that are far less radical than what Deng Xiaoping did in China, but are nevertheless indicative of a shift towards some of the characteristics of market socialism.

Secondly, with North Korea now in possession of modern hydrogen bombs and the intercontinental ballistic missiles with which to deliver them to the US mainland, Pyongyang now feels that it has more of an equal footing with its main international antagonist than ever before, let alone in the economically depressed 1990s.

So while the Sunshine Policy was instigated by the South at a time of Northern weakness in every sense, today’s rapprochement was launched by Kim Jong-un during his 2018 New Year’s Message. Kim acted from a position of strength and confidence and what is more, he did what he promised he would do throughout 2017’s weapons tests. The DPRK had always said that when it reached nuclear parity with the United States (which the DPRK defines as the ability to strike the US mainland with modern nuclear weapons), it would then and only then, be willing to engage in international discussions about peace. Furthermore, throughout the weapons tests, Pyongyang reiterated that the US and not South Korea remained the only foe that the country was arming itself against.

Differences in declarations

Contrary to what the Washington Post’s Max Boot says, yesterday’s Panmunjom Declaration is a far lengthier document than the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration of the year 2000. To illustrate this point, the following is the full text of the agreement signed yesterday between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in:

“During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae In of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.

The two leaders, sharing the firm commitment to bring a swift a swift end to the Cold War relic of long-standing division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner, declared at this historic site of Panmunjom as follows:

1. South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations.

Improving and cultivating inter-Korean relations is the prevalent desire of the whole nation and the urgent calling of the times that cannot be held back any further.

1) South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord and agreed to bring forth the watershed moment for the improvement of inter-Korean relations by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations adopted between the two sides thus far.

2) South and North Korea agreed to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measures for the implementation of the agreements reached at the summit.

3) South and North Korea agreed to establish a joint liaison office with resident representatives of both sides in the Gaeseong region in order to facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the peoples.

4) South and North Korea agreed to encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity.

Between South and North, the two sides will encourage the atmosphere of amity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15, in which participants from all levels, including central and local governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil organisations, will be involved.

On the international front, the two sides agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating in international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games.

5) South and North Korea agreed to endeavour to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation, and to convene the Inter-Korean Red Cross Meeting to discuss and solve various issues, including the reunion of separated families.

In this vein, South and North Korea agreed to proceed with reunion programmes for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of Aug 15 this year.

6) South and North Korea agreed to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation.

As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernisation of the railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilisation.

2. South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.

1) South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict.

In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarised zone into a peace zone in a genuine sense by ceasing as of May 2 this year all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line.

2) South and North Korea agreed to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.

3) South and North Korea agreed to take various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts. The two sides agreed to hold frequent meetings between military authorities, including the defence ministers meeting, in order to immediately discuss and solve military issues that arise between them.

In this regard, the two sides agreed to first convene military talks at the rank of general in May.

3. South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unnatural state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.

1) South and North Korea reaffirmed the Non-Aggression Agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this agreement.

2) South and North Korea agreed to carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.

3) During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, with a view to declaring an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.

4) South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard.

South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders agreed, through regular meetings and direct telephone conversations, to hold frequent and candid discussions on issues vital to the nation, to strengthen mutual trust and to jointly endeavour to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.

In this context, President Moon Jae In agreed to visit Pyongyang this fall.

April 27, 2018

Done in Panmunjom

Moon Jae In

President

Republic of Korea

Kim Jong Un

Chairman

State Affairs Commission

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

By contrast, the much shorter declaration from 2000 reads as follows:

“In accordance with the noble will of the entire people who yearn for the peaceful reunification of the nation, President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held a historic meeting and summit talks in Pyongyang from June 13 to 15, 2000.

The leaders of the South and the North, recognizing that the meeting and the summit talks were of great significance in promoting mutual understanding, developing South–North relations and realizing peaceful reunification, declared as follows:

  1. The South and the North have agreed to resolve the question of reunification independently and through the joint efforts of the Korean people, who are the masters of the country.
  2. For the achievement of reunification, we have agreed that there is a common element in the South’s concept of a confederation and the North’s formula for a loose form of federation. The South and the North agreed to promote reunification in that direction.
  3. The South and the North have agreed to promptly resolve humanitarian issues such as exchange visits by separated family members and relatives on the occasion of the August 15 National Liberation Day and the question of unswerving Communists serving prison sentences in the South.
  4. The South and the North have agreed to consolidate mutual trust by promoting balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and by stimulating cooperation and exchanges in civic, cultural, sports, health, environmental and all other fields.
  5. The South and the North have agreed to hold a dialogue between relevant authorities in the near future to implement the above agreements expeditiously.

President Kim Dae-jung cordially invited National Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il to visit Seoul, and Chairman Kim Jong-il will visit Seoul at an appropriate time.

(signed) Kim Dae-jung, President, The Republic of Korea

(signed) Kim Jong-il, Chairman, Supreme Leader, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 15, 2000″

Therefore when someone like Max Boot says that the 2000 agreement was more substantive than the one signed yesterday, he is stating a self-evident untruth.

A totally different international context 

In the year 2000, the US was more powerful than it is today, China was far weaker than it is today and Russia was for the first time since the early 16th century, largely geopolitically irrelevant. Today, China is in many sectors, more powerful than the US and is shortly set to become the world’s number one overall economy. Russia has long reclaimed its place as a global superpower and a very diplomatically important one at that, while the US remains powerful but is nevertheless in a period of geopolitical decline.

Against this backdrop, China has taken a far more proactive role in asserting its desire to secure peace in Korea while Russia has also worked closely with both Korean states in order to help foster an attitude of peace through strength that was unthinkable in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the DPRK was far weaker in every sense than it is today.

While the US under Donald Trump is in a self-described position of needing to re-acquire “greatness”, American foreign policy is also vastly less predictable than it was under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama. Trump’s pattern in almost all foreign policy matters is that of issuing extravagant and often worrying threats, claiming that some sort of negotiation is still possible, going back to even more outlandish threats and then waiting to see the response of other nations.

The DPRK has in many ways out-classed Trump in this respect as throughout the process of Trump threatening the DPRK, Pyongyang armed itself to the teeth, successfully tested nuclear capable ICBMs and made it clear that if Trump made good on his threat to “destroy” the DPRK, it would result in mutually assured destruction for parts of the US. This doctrine of mutually assured destruction is one of the primary reasons that nuclear war was averted during the Cold War and North Korea has resurrected it in the name of peace through strength.

From this position of strength, the DPRK is now in a position to issue its own demands, namely trading de-nuclearisation for the withdrawal of US troops and weapons from South Korea. Furthermore, as the DPRK has rejuvenated its relationship with China and has intensified its always good relationship with Moscow, should Trump play hardball regarding US withdrawal from South Korea, the DPRK could also invite Russia and/or China to have a military presence in the North.

The fact that both Trump and US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis have suggested that US withdrawal from the South is a possibility, means that if good will exists on both sides, a more pacific Korea could be entirely possible over the course of negotiations. This does not mean the US will cease its neo-imperial ambitions in Asia, but it does mean that the US may well be eager to pivot its attention and resources to different parts of Asia and in particular, in ways that are less costly than maintaining its large presence in South Korea.

A different South Korea 

While North Korea has changed drastically since 1998, the South has changed too. With the US putting up more and more tariff walls against both rivals like China and long time partners like South Korea, Seoul has raised unfair US trade practices with the World Trade Organisation, while Seoul-Beijing relations are at their best ever. By contrast, in 1998, China and South Korea had only engaged in formal relations for six years.

Today, trade between China and South Korea continues to expand while both Presidents Xi Jinping and Moon Jae-in seek to promote more economic connectivity.

Furthermore, the impeachment of anti-DPRK war-monger Park Geun-hye has led to a kind of collective revitalisation of the peace movement within South Korea. Jailed former President Park Geun-hye was removed from office after months of the largest protests that South Korea has ever seen. The collective attitude in the South was one of opposition to the corruption, paranoia, militancy and blind following of Washington that Park Guen-hye, like her brutal dictator father Park Chung-hee came to represent.

Moon is the anti-Park in the sense that he is moderate, sincerely concerned with peace and while still close to the US as all South Korean leaders necessarily are, has shown an incredibly high degree of independence in terms of attitude and policy making that remains vastly overlooked in both the west and Asia.

The contrast between Park and Moon is literally like night and day. This has had a profound effect on both the North and South Korean political psyche that bears close examination.

Conclusion 

Not only have the series of meetings between North and South progressed in a matter of months in 2018 rather than in a matter of years as was the case in the Sunshine Policy era, but already, more lengthy and concrete agreements have been made than those made at the peak of the Sunshine Policy.

As China, Russia, both Korean states and Asia as a whole become more independent of western influence, one must also realise that the events in Korea cannot be seen in isolation but must be viewed as part of a wider Asian space that is a growing economic powerhouse, a geopolitically independent space more so than at any time in the 20th century and a place where increasingly, national governments rather than far away superpowers dictate the trajectory of events.

Finally, as Kim Jong-un is a young leader who has embarked on meaningful internal economic reforms and as Moon Jae-in was a man whose spirit of peace and cooperation replaced his bellicose and old fashioned predecessor, one cannot underestimate the good will that has transpired between two leaders who have both survived one of the most tense periods in modern Korean history since the 1950s and have collectively chosen a path of peace and enlightenment over fear and hostility.

April 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Surrounded by Neocons

They are all the news that fits

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 9, 2018

Award winning journalist James Risen has recently described in some detail his sometimes painful relationship with The New York Times. His lengthy account is well worth reading as it demonstrates how successive editors of the paper frequently cooperated with the government to suppress stories on torture and illegal activity while also self-censoring to make sure that nothing outside the framework provided by the “war on terror” should be seriously discussed. It became a faithful lap dog for an American role as global hegemon, promoting government half-truths and suppressing information that it knew to be true but which would embarrass the administration in power, be they Democrats or Republicans.

If one were to obtain a similar insider account of goings-on at the other national “newspaper of record”, The Washington Post, it is quite likely that comparable trimming of the narrative also took place. To be sure, the Post is worse than the Times, characterized by heavily editorializing in its news coverage without necessarily tipping off the reader when “facts” end and speculation begins. In both publications, stories about Iran or Russia routinely begin with an assertion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and that Iran is the aggressor in the Middle East, contentions that have not been demonstrated and can easily be challenged. Both publications also have endorsed every American war since 2001, including Iraq, Libya and the current mess in Syria, one indication of the quality of their reporting and analysis.

A recent op-ed in the Times by Bret Stephens is a perfect example of warmongering mischief wrapped in faux expert testimony to make it palatable. Stephens is the resident neocon at the Times. He was brought over from the Wall Street Journal when it was determined that his neocon colleague David Brooks had become overly squishy, while the resident “conservative” Russ Douthat had proven to be a bit too cautious and even rational to please the increasingly hawkish senior editors.

Stephens’ article, entitled Finding the Way Forward on Iran sparkles with throwaway gems like “Tehran’s hyperaggressive foreign policy in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal” and “Real democracies don’t live in fear of their own people” and even “it’s not too soon to start rethinking the way we think about Iran.” Or try “A better way of describing Iran’s dictatorship is as a kleptotheocracy, driven by impulses that are by turns doctrinal and venal.”

Bret has been a hardliner on Iran for years. Early on in this op-ed he makes very clear that he wants it to be dealt with forcibly because it has “centrifuges, ballistic missiles, enriched uranium [and] fund[s] Hezbollah, assist Bashar al-Assad, arm[s] the Houthis, [and] imprison[s] the occasional British or American citizen.” He describes how Iran is a very corrupt place run by religious leaders and Revolutionary Guards and proposes that their corruption be exposed so that the Iranian people can take note and rise up in anger. And if exposure doesn’t work, they should be hammered with sanctions. He does not explain why sanctions, which disproportionately hurt the people he expects to rise up, will bring about any real change.

Stephens cites two of his buddies Ken Weinstein of the Hudson Institute and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), who are apparently experts on how to squeeze Iran. Weinstein prefers exposing the misdeeds of the Mullahs to anger the Iranian people while Dubowitz prefers punitive sanctions “for corruption.”

The article does not reveal that Weinstein and Dubowitz are long time critics of Iran, are part of the Israel Lobby and just happen to be Jewish, as is Stephens. The Hudson Institute and the FDD are leading neocon and pro-Israel fronts. So my question becomes, “Why Iran?” The often-heard Israeli complaint about its being unfairly picked on could reasonably be turned on its head in asking the same about Iran. In fact, Iran compares favorably with Israel. It has no nuclear weapons, it does not support any of the Sunni terrorist groups that are chopping heads, and it has not disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people that it rules over. The fact is that Iran is being targeted because Israel sees it as its prime enemy in the region and has corrupted many “opinion makers” in the U.S., to include Stephens, to hammer home that point. To be sure, Iran is a very corrupt place run by people who should not be running a hot dog stand, but the same applies to the United States and Israel. And there are lots of places that are not being targeted like Iran that are far worse, including good friend and ally of both Jerusalem and Washington, Saudi Arabia.

Oddly enough Stephens, Weinstein and Dubowitz do not get into any of that back story, presumably because it would be unseemly. And, of course and unfortunately, the New York Times opinion page is not unique. An interesting recent podcast interview by Politico‘s Chief International Affairs correspondent Susan Glasser with leading neoconservatives Eliot Cohen and Max Boot, is typical of how the media selectively shapes a narrative to suit its own biases. Glasser, Cohen and Boot are all part of the establishment foreign policy consensus in the U.S. and therefore both hate and fail to understand the Trump phenomenon. Both Cohen and Booth were vociferous founding members of the #NeverTrump foreign policy resistance movement.

Boot describes the new regime’s foreign policy as “kowtow[ing] to dictators and undermin[ing] American support for freedom and democracy around the world,” typical neocon leitmotifs. Glasser appears to be in love with her interviewees and hurls softball after softball. She describes Boot as “fantastic” and Cohen receives the epithet “The Great.” The interview itself is remarkably devoid of any serious discussion of foreign policy and is essentially a sustained assault on Trump while also implicitly supporting hardline national security positions. Cohen fulminates about “a very serious Russian attack on the core of our political system. I mean, I don’t know how you get more reckless and dangerous than that,” while Boot asks what “has to be done” about Iran.

Pompous ass Cohen, who interjected in the interview that “and you know, Max and I are both intellectuals,” notably very publicly refused to have any part in a Trump foreign policy team during the campaign but later when The Donald was actually elected suggested that the new regime might approach him with humility to offer a senior position and he just might condescend to join them. They did not do so, and he wrote an angry commentary on their refusal.

Hating Trump is one thing, but I would bet that if the question of a hardline policy vis-à-vis Russia or the Jerusalem Embassy move had come up Cohen and Boot would have expressed delight. The irony is that Trump is in fact pursuing a basically neocon foreign policy which the two men would normally support, but they appear to be making room for Trump haters in the policy formulation process to push the national security consensus even farther to the right. Indeed, in another article by Boot at Foreign Policy he writes “I applaud Trump’s decisions to provide Ukraine with arms to defend itself from Russian aggression, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and to accelerate former President Barack Obama’s strategy for fighting the Islamic State.” Cohen meanwhile applauds the embassy move, though he warns that Trump’s success in so doing might embolden him to do something reckless over North Korea.

Perhaps one should not be astonished that leading neocons appearing in the mainstream media will continue to have their eyes on the ball and seek for more aggressive engagement in places like Iran and Russia. The media should be faulted because it rarely publishes any contrary viewpoint and it also consistently fails to give any space to the considerable downside to the agitprop. It must be reassuring for many Americans to know that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is preparing itself to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States and it will be sharing information on the appropriate preparations with the American people. There will be a public session on how to prepare for a nuclear explosion on January 16th.

CDC experts will consider “planning and preparation efforts” for such a strike. “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the Center elaborated in its press release on the event.

That the United States should be preparing for a possible nuclear future can in part be attributed to recent commentary by the “like, really smart” and “very stable genius” who is the nation’s chief executive, but the fuel being poured on the fire for war is from the very same neocons who are featured in the mainstream media as all-purpose experts and have succeeded in selling the snake oil about America’s proper role as aggressor-in-chief for the entire world. It would be an unparalleled delight to be able to open a newspaper and not see Bret Stephens, Eliot Cohen, Max Boot or even the redoubtable Bill Kristol grinning back from the editorial page, but I suppose I am only dreaming.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Iraq-Raping Neocons Are Suddenly Posing As Woke Progressives To Gain Support

By Caitlin Johnstone | Medium | December 28, 2017

The invasion of Iraq was unforgivable. It remains unforgivable. It will always be unforgivable. Its architects should be tried in The Hague and imprisoned, and nobody who helped inflict that unfathomable evil upon our world should ever be employed anywhere they could do any more damage or mislead anyone else. All behaviors of the mainstream media, US intelligence agencies and US defense agencies should be viewed through the lens of those unforgivable lies and murders forevermore, and nobody should ever take them at their word about anything ever again.

Instead what has actually happened is that nothing whatsoever has changed since the invasion, Americans still take it on faith that Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Un are world-threatening enemies in sore need of ousting, and bloodthirsty psychopaths like Max Boot who have been consistently wrong about everything are still hailed as experts worth listening to.

Oh yeah, and now they’re being adored as progressive heroes.

Boot, who is a PNAC signatory and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, published an article yesterday in Foreign Affairs which perfectly matches the newfound love of progressivism in his neocon soulmate Bill Kristol. The article, titled “2017 Was the Year I Learned About My White Privilege”, details in halting, equivocation-laden prose the months-long journey into awakening that this lying warmonger claims to have experienced during the Trump administration.

This spectacularly evil man, who wrote an essay titled “The Case for American Empire” just weeks after 9/11 in which he called in plain English for America to “unambiguously to embrace its imperial role,” is now seeing his latest essay shared eagerly by Democrats everywhere enthusiastically exclaiming “Look! See? This conservative gets it!”

I’m seeing some progressives arguing that Boot’s sudden public recognition of his white male privilege is intrinsically worthy of praise and acceptance, and that the proper response is to applaud him for it, not spit in his face. These people are wrong. Max Boot did not have some personal epiphany about race and gender dynamics which he felt like sharing in Foreign Policy magazine (the obvious place everyone goes for publication of their enlightening insights into privilege and inequality); Max Boot is courting Democrats because his war-hungry ideology is being increasingly rejected by Republicans.

If you want to see why neocons are courting Democrats with increasing desperation, check out the response to Boot’s latest essay by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, who has come to align with the popular anti-interventionist sentiments of Trump’s base, or Carlson’s debate with Boot on his show back in July:

Meanwhile what have Democrats been doing? Supporting escalations with Russia based on accusations with no evidence that are reported as fact by the mainstream media in the exact sort of manic, violent, fact-free climate we saw in the lead up to the Iraq invasion (an invasion that Max Boot says nobody needs to repent for). Resistance hero Keith Olbermann says he owes George W Bush and John McCain an apology for the times he disagreed with them, and MSNBC’s Joy Reid openly admitted that she prefers people like Boot as allies instead of actual leftists and progressives:

One of the most amazing outcomes of the Trump administration is the number of neo-conservatives that are now my friends and I am aligned with. I found myself agreeing on a panel with Bill Kristol. I agree more with Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, and Max Boot than I do with some people on the far left. I am shocked at the way that Donald Trump has brought people together. [Laughs.]
~ Joy Reid

Reid’s comments are typical of the way the cult of anti-Trumpism has mainstream Democrats swooning over Bush-era neocons like they’re the Kennedys reincarnated instead of a bunch of child-butchering war profiteers. Just check out the top comments under this “Gosh I’m so woke all of a sudden!” tweet by neocon psychopath Bill Kristol.

In reality, nothing Trump has done in his administration so far is anywhere remotely close to as evil as the invasion of Iraq. The fact that hatred of the sitting president has Democrats so desperate they’re not only forgiving the crimes of vestigial Bush neocons but also helping them in their agenda to sabotage any movements toward detente with Russia shows just how brutally efficient the psychological manipulations of the establishment propaganda machine have become.

It was just in 2012 that these same Democrats were laughing along with their president at the Russia fearmongering of Mitt Romney.

Neoconservatism first rose to prominence in the 1970s, and right off the bat one of its key principles was an opposition to detente with the USSR. This never changed. Not when neocons moved from the Democratic party to the Republican party, not when the Soviet Union fell, and not when neocons began migrating back from the Republican party to their old home in the Democratic party. Neocons have always been fixated on the world-threatening agenda of aggressively crushing Russia, and today the Democrats have picked up that flag and run with it right alongside them.

Which is why now we have depraved psychopaths like Max Boot and Bill Kristol acting out the bizarre performance of suddenly woke progressives. Their new Democratic buddies have already helped them resurrect the cold war on the same amount of evidence as was needed to manufacture support for the Iraq invasion, and with a little tweaking they hope to eventually convince them to help satiate their bloodlust in Iran and Syria as well.

The neocons don’t oppose Trump because he is evil, they oppose Trump because he isn’t evil enough. The slight bit of inertia he’s been placing on their death cult has been enough for them to pivot full-scale toward the Democratic party, which they hope to rebuild and lead into power with full sympathy for all the wars on their infernal wish list.

The extremely influential neocon think tank Project for a New American Century’s most well-known publication, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century”, argued extensively in the year 2000 that America’s victory in the Cold War against the USSR means the US must step into a planetary leadership role and maintain that leadership role by any means necessary, including military force.

“As the 20th century draws to a close,” PNAC’s 1997 Statement of Principles reads, “the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?”

The answer to this question came after 9/11: yes, yes it does. The New American Century has seen an immense increase in military interventionism across the globe to ensure the hegemony of the US dollar and prevent Russia and China from climbing the global power ladder unchecked.

That’s all we’re seeing here in Woke Max Boot and Woke Bill Kristol. Neoconservatism has always been an ideology/military-industrial complex war profiteering scheme which advocates bullying and sabotaging all governments that could pose a threat to the planetary dominance of the US power establishment, and lately rank-and-file Republicans have been proving less useful in facilitating that agenda than rank-and-file Democrats. So they’re saying and doing whatever they need to in order to win the approval of the Dems.

And by golly, it sure looks like it’s working.

It’s not okay to be a neoconservative. In a healthy world, being a neocon would carry as much social weight as being a child molester or a serial killer. These people should not be embraced, they should be recoiled from. Always.

Until Democrats turn away from neoconservatism, the fact that they don’t should be pointed to at every opportunity. The correct response when any Democrat tries to tell you about Russia or Syria is “Get out of here with that Saddam-has-WMDs filth, neocon.”

That omnicidal death cult deserves nothing but our most sincere revulsion.

__________

December 30, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?

Kristol

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 19, 2017

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.

Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “… a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”

And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.

So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews. Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress re Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our Solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task. The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish.

One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.

Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.

There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.

Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.

For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”

As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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

Hating on Trump

It could be about Israel

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 8, 2016

Now we all know that many of those who are hating on Donald Trump are doing so because he is threatening the cozy-crony-politico-predatory-capitalist system that has made so many of them fat and rich. He is intending to break their rice bowls as the Chinese would put it or, in a more American vernacular, the gravy train might be ending. To be sure The Donald is warning that he will do just that, even if he will find in practice, if elected, that turning the ship of state around might well be a task beyond the ability of any aspirant to the presidency.

But while pure self-interest might well be driving many of the chattering nonentities that populate our congress and the senior political appointee ranks in government there is something nevertheless extraordinary in the level of venom and sheer hatred that is being spewed at random about a potential Trump administration. It is not uncommon to read or hear that Trump is seeking to overturn the Constitution of the United States and establish a dictatorship that will promote his allegedly warped views of what must be done to correct America’s domestic and foreign policies, suggesting that our form of government is so fragile that it can be subverted by one man.

The anger directed against Trump is unique, one might note, as it also includes demands to somehow overturn the popular will expressed in primaries and caucuses to obtain a candidate that is more in tune with what the Republican establishment is seeking to promote as the “national consensus.” That Trump is voicing an overwhelming American middle class perspective on the evils of mass illegal immigration matters not a whit to the Mandarins whose only concerns on that issue center on the availability of a supply of cheap labor to clean their McMansions and swimming pools.

The anti-Trump effort is being well funded, has included notable defections to the Democratic Party, has led to lists of Republican politicians who will not accept a Trump nomination or support a President Trump, and has even produced calls for a third party neo-Republican entity to run against him. Some other reactions are stupid, including Canadian neocon Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, calling for even more immigrants to the U.S., while talk radio extremist Glenn Beck has tweeted that if he had a knife and were able to get close to Trump he would have to keep on stabbing him.

To be sure, Trump has provided considerable fuel for the fire through his extraordinary ad libs about banning Muslims from the U.S., killing the families of terrorists and using torture. But mainstream politicians have already recommended and even done that much and more without the level of censure that Trump is receiving. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have engaged in widespread killing of civilians, torture and assassinating families of suspected militants, to include American citizens, without any of the invective being leveled at Trump.

Indeed, Trump would appear to have a more sensible foreign policy in mind, consisting of avoiding unnecessary wars and “regime changes,” honoring the multilateral negotiated agreement with Iran, engaging diplomatically even with heads of state that we consider to be adversaries and encouraging Russia to fight ISIS. His three current opponents have recommended “carpet bombing” areas controlled by ISIS, fusing Syrian sand into nuclear radiating glass, provoking wars with both Russia and China, arming Ukraine, punching Vladimir Putin in the nose and sending in thousands of American soldiers to the Middle East. They are not in the least bothered by fattening up the already fat national security state with trillions more dollars while domestic needs go unaddressed. So who is the crazy one?

But there is one significant difference between Trump and the “establishment,” be they Democrats or Republicans that has not been highlighted. I would suggest that quite a lot of the depth and intensity of what we are experiencing is actually about Israel. Trump is the first high level politician aspirant within living memory to challenge the notion that the United States must stand by Israel no matter what Israel does. Even while affirming his affection for Israel, he has said that Washington must be even handed in its efforts to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, implying that Tel Aviv might have to make concessions.

Trump has also added insult to injury by delinking himself from the blandishments of Jewish political mega-donors, who largely call the tune for many in the GOP and among the Democrats, by telling them he doesn’t need their money and can’t be bought. His comments have challenged conventional interest group politicking in American and have predictably produced a firestorm reaction in the usual circles. Robert Kagan announced that he would be supporting Hillary, who famously has declared that she would immediately call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon taking office as a first step in moving the relationship with Tel Aviv to “the next level.” It is to be presumed that Kagan and his fellow neocons will be experiencing a welcoming vibe from at least some of the Democrats as the neoconservatives have always been liberals at heart on nearly all issues except foreign policy, rooted by them in the “unshakable and bipartisan bond” with Israel.

It is my opinion that the “I” word should be banned from American political discourse. Ironically, many American Jews are themselves uneasy about the place occupied by Israel in ongoing political debates, recognizing that it is both unhealthy in a democracy and reflective only of the extreme views of the hardline members of their own diaspora community. It is also unpleasantly all about Jews and money since the Republicans and other mouthpieces now piling on Trump are motivated largely by their own sinecures and the Sheldon Adelson type donations that might be forthcoming to the politically savvy candidates who say the right things about the conflict in the Middle East.

Slate’s Isaac Chotiner has noted a particularly odd speech by Senator Marco Rubio in which he spoke of his single electoral triumph in Minnesota before immediately jumping to the issue of Israel, as if on cue or by rote. It is a tendency that is not unique to him. I read through the transcript of the GOP debate that preceded Rubio’s sole victory, which in part reflected a competition to see who could promise to do most for Israel. Senator Ted Cruz stated that he “would stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel… and the alliance with Israel.” Governor John Kasich declared that he’s “been a supporter of Israel – a strong supporter of Israel longer than anyone on this stage.” Senator Marco Rubio indicated that “I will be on Israel’s side every single day because they are the only pro-American, free enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East.” Ben Carson called Israel not only a strategic partner but also an element in America’s “Judeo Christian foundation” that can never be rejected.

Quite a few assertions about Israel made by politicians are, of course, nonsense. It is not in alliance with the United States and is not a democracy for starters, but the real question becomes why is Israel part of the debate at all? It is because of concerns that the deep pocketed donors like Sheldon Adelson will join his good friend Haim Saban in funding Hillary if candidates do not say what he expects to hear. Saban has referred to Trump as a “clown” and attacked him because he would be “dangerous for Israel.”

And then there is the recent attack of the Beltway Midgets, a “a strongly worded letter” orchestrated by Eliot Cohen, a former Condoleezza Rice State Department appointee whose attachment to Israel might well be regarded as demented, that attracted the signatures of more than one hundred self-described GOP foreign policy “leaders,” declaring that “We are unable to support a party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head.” Quite a few of the signatories are well known neocons, including Max Boot, Robert Zoellick, Michael Chertoff, Eric Edelman, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Daniel Pipes, Michael Rubin, Kori Schake, Randy Scheunemann, Gary Schmitt, Ray Takeyh and Philip Zelikow. Boot has vilified Trump as “emerging as the number one threat to American security.” All the signatories were passionate supporters of the Iraq War, which Trump has correctly disparaged as a catastrophic foreign policy failure, and all of them are describable as strong supporters of Israel.

The friends of Benjamin Netanyahu in the United States rightly fear that someday the American people and government will come to their senses and regard Israel as just another friendly foreign state, without any “special relationship” attached. To counter that possibility, the lashing out against any public figure who dares to criticize Israel is both immediate and visceral. Note, for example, the fate of former President Jimmy Carter who was virtually excommunicated by the Democratic Party after he condemned Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

But what the neocon subset of Israel’s powerful lobby fears most is something quite different – becoming irrelevant. They have weathered being wrong about nearly everything but what they particularly fear is finding themselves without a major political party whose foreign policy they can manipulate because that would cut off their funding from defense contractors and pro-Israel zealots. They will have to give up the emoluments that they have accumulated since hijacking the GOP under Ronald Reagan. They might have to abandon their corner offices and secretaries and could even have to find real jobs. And what would the Sunday morning talk shows be like without the Cheshire cat grin of Bill Kristol?

The end of the hypocrisy driven neocon ascendancy in foreign policy will be welcomed by many. Dan McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute has described the Trump hating neocons as “… soft skinned and well-perfumed keyboard warriors who eagerly send America’s sons and daughters to be slaughtered in wars that achieve nothing but the ascendance of new ‘bad guys’ used to justify ever more wars. And all of it pays very nicely for them.” Exactly.

March 8, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | December 19, 2012

Even after the Iraq War disaster and Barack Obama’s election in 2008, neoconservatives retained their influence over U.S. war policies in Afghanistan through their close ties to George W. Bush’s national security holdovers, such as Gen. David Petraeus who partnered with neocon war hawks in escalating the Afghan War.

How tight Petraeus’s relationship was with two neocons in particular, Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, was explored in a Washington Post article by war correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran who described how Petraeus installed the husband-and-wife team in U.S. offices in Kabul, granted them top-secret clearances and let them berate military officers about war strategy.

Though the Kagans received no pay from the U.S. government, they drew salaries from their respective think tanks which are supported by large corporations, including military contractors with interests in extending the Afghan War. Frederick Kagan works for the American Enterprise Institute, and Kimberly Kagan founded the Institute for the Study of War [ISW] in 2007 and is its current president.

According to ISW’s 2011 annual report, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provides training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplies software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.

In her official bio at the ISW’s Web site, Kimberly Kagan touts her work “in Kabul for fifteen months in 2010 and 2011 as a ‘directed telescope’ to General David H. Petraeus and subsequently General John Allen, working on special projects for these commanders of the International Security Assistance Force.”

Untitled-212x300In the ISW’s 2011 annual report, Petraeus praises Kagan as “a barracuda at some times,” hails her leadership and poses with her for several photographs, including one in his dress uniform with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

The Post article noted that “For Kim Kagan, spending so many months away from research and advocacy work in Washington could have annoyed many donors to the Institute for the Study of War. But her major backers appear to have been pleased that she cultivated such close ties with Petraeus, who went from Kabul to head the CIA before resigning this fall over his affair with [biographer Paula] Broadwell. …

“On Aug. 8, 2011, a month after he relinquished command in Afghanistan to take over at the CIA, Petraeus spoke at the institute’s first ‘President’s Circle’ dinner, where he accepted an award from Kim Kagan. … ‘What the Kagans do is they grade my work on a daily basis,’ Petraeus said, prompting chortles from the audience. ‘There’s some suspicion that there’s a hand up my back, and it makes my lips talk, and it’s operated by one of the Doctors Kagan.’ …

At the August 2011 dinner honoring Petraeus, Kagan thanked executives from two defense contractors who sit on her institute’s corporate council, DynCorp International and CACI International. The event was sponsored by General Dynamics. All three firms have business interests in the Afghan war.

“Kagan told the audience that their funding allowed her to assist Petraeus. ‘The ability to have a 15-month deployment essentially in the service of those who needed some help — and the ability to go at a moment’s notice — that’s something you all have sponsored,’ she said.”

Earlier Warning Signs

Though the Post article provides new details about Petraeus’s coziness to Washington’s neocons, there have been warning signs about this relationship for several years. In 2010, I wrote articles describing how Petraeus and other holdovers from George W. Bush’s administration, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had trapped the inexperienced Obama into expanding the Afghan War.

On Sept. 27, 2010, I noted that “after his solid victory in November 2008, Obama rebuffed recommendations from some national security experts that he clean house by installing a team more in line with his campaign pledge of ‘change you can believe in.’ He accepted instead the counsel of Establishment Democrats who warned against any disruption to the war-fighting hierarchy and who were especially supportive of keeping Gates. …

“Before Obama’s decision to dispatch [an additional] 30,000 troops [in an Afghan War ‘surge’ in 2009], the Bush holdovers … sought to hem in the President’s choices by working with allies in the Washington news media and in think tanks. …

“For instance, early in 2009, Petraeus personally arranged for Max Boot [a neocon on the Council on Foreign Relations], Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan to get extraordinary access during a trip to Afghanistan. … Their access paid dividends for Petraeus when they penned a glowing report in the Weekly Standard about the prospects for success in Afghanistan – if only President Obama sent more troops and committed the United States to stay in the war for the long haul. …

“‘Fears of impending disaster are hard to sustain, … if you actually spend some time in Afghanistan, as we did recently at the invitation of General David Petraeus, chief of U.S. Central Command,’ they wrote upon their return.

“‘Using helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and bone-jarring armored vehicles, we spent eight days traveling from the snow-capped peaks of Kunar province near the border with Pakistan in the east to the wind-blown deserts of Farah province in the west near the border with Iran. Along the way we talked with countless coalition soldiers, ranging from privates to a four-star general,’ the trio said.”

Update 2015: (Frederick Kagan is the brother of Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, which began the drive in 1998 for invading Iraq. Robert Kagan, now with the Brookings Institution and a columnist for the Washington Post, is married to Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw last year’s coup in Ukraine. For more on the outsized influence of the Kagans, see Consortiumnews.com’sObama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’”)

Trapping the President

How Obama was manipulated by Bush’s holdovers – with the help of the neocons – was chronicled, too, in Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, Obama’s Wars, which revealed that Bush’s old team made sure Obama was given no option other than to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan. The Bush holdovers also lobbied for the troop increase behind Obama’s back.

Woodward’s book notes that “in September 2009, Petraeus called a Washington Post columnist to say that the war would be unsuccessful if the president held back on troops. Later that month, [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Adm. Mike] Mullen repeated much the same sentiment in Senate testimony, and in October, [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal asserted in a speech in London that a scaled-back effort against Afghan terrorists would not work.”

This back-door campaign infuriated Obama’s aides, including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Woodward reported. “Filling his rant with expletives, Emanuel said, ‘Between the chairman [Mullen] and Petraeus, everyone’s come out and publicly endorsed the notion of more troops. The president hasn’t even had a chance!’” Woodward reported.

According to Woodward’s book, Gates, Petraeus and Mullen refused to even prepare an early-exit option that Obama had requested. Instead, they offered up only plans for their desired escalation of about 40,000 troops.

Woodward wrote: “For two exhausting months, [Obama] had been asking military advisers to give him a range of options for the war in Afghanistan. Instead, he felt that they were steering him toward one outcome and thwarting his search for an exit plan. He would later tell his White House aides that military leaders were ‘really cooking this thing in the direction they wanted.’”

Woodward identified Gates, Petraeus and Mullen as “unrelenting advocates for 40,000 more troops and an expanded mission that seemed to have no clear end.”

The Bush holdovers even resisted passing along a “hybrid” plan that came from outside their group, from Vice President Joe Biden who had worked with JCS vice chairman, Gen. James Cartwright. The plan envisioned a 20,000 troop increase and a more limited mission of hunting Taliban insurgents and training Afghan government forces.

Woodward reported, “When Mullen learned of the hybrid option, he didn’t want to take it to Obama. ‘We’re not providing that,’ he told Cartwright, a Marine known around the White House as Obama’s favorite general. Cartwright objected. ‘I’m just not in the business of withholding options,’ he told Mullen. ‘I have an oath, and when asked for advice I’m going to provide it.’”

Rigged War Game

Later, Obama told Gates and Mullen to present the hybrid option as one possibility, but instead the Bush holdovers sabotaged the idea by organizing a classified war game, code-named Poignant Vision, that some military insiders felt was rigged to discredit the hybrid option, Woodward reported.

According to Woodward’s book, Petraeus cited the results of the war game to Obama at the Nov. 11, 2009, meeting as proof the hybrid option would fail, prompting a plaintive question from a disappointed President, “so, 20,000 is not really a viable option?” Without telling Obama about the limits of the war game, Mullen, Petraeus, Gates and then-field commander McChrystal asserted that the hybrid option would lead to mission failure.

“Okay,” Obama said, “if you tell me that we can’t do that, and you war-gamed it, I’ll accept that,” according to Woodward’s book.

Faced with this resistance from the Bush holdovers – and unaware that their war game may have been fixed – Obama finally devised his own option that gave Gates, Petraeus and Mullen most of what they wanted – 30,000 additional troops on top of the 21,000 that Obama had dispatched shortly after taking office.

Obama did try to bind the Pentagon to a more limited commitment to Afghanistan, including setting a date of July 2011 for the beginning of a U.S. drawdown. Though Obama required all the key participants to sign off on his compromise, it soon became clear that the Bush holdovers had no intention to comply, Woodward reported.

Backstabbing

The incoming Obama administration was warned of this possibility of backstabbing by Gates, Petraeus and other Bush appointees when it was lining up personnel for national security jobs.

As I wrote in November 2008, “if Obama does keep Gates on, the new President will be employing someone who embodies many of the worst elements of U.S. national security policy over the past three decades, including responsibility for what Obama himself has fingered as a chief concern, ‘politicized intelligence.’ … It was Gates – as a senior CIA official in the 1980s – who broke the back of the CIA analytical division’s commitment to objective intelligence.”

More than any CIA official, Gates was responsible for the agency’s failure to detect the collapse of the Soviet Union, in large part because Gates had ridden roughshod over the CIA analysts on behalf of the Reagan administration’s desire to justify a massive military buildup by stressing Soviet ascendance and ignoring evidence of its disintegration.

As chief of the CIA’s analytical division and then deputy CIA director, Gates promoted pliable CIA careerists to top positions, while analysts with an independent streak were sidelined or pushed out of the agency.

“In the mid-1980s, the three senior [Soviet division] office managers who actually anticipated the decline of the Soviet Union and Moscow’s interest in closer relations with the United States were demoted,” wrote longtime CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman in his book, Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.

Instead of heeding these warnings, Obama’s team listened to Establishment Democrats like former Rep. Lee Hamilton and former Sen. David Boren, who were big fans of Gates. [For more on Gates’s role, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Petraeus was much the same story. A favorite of Official Washington and especially the influential neocons, he was credited with supposedly winning the war in Iraq by implementing the “surge” in 2007, which was advocated strongly by Frederick Kagan and other key neocons.

However, in reality, all Petraeus did was extend that misguided war for another few years – at the cost of nearly 1,000 more U.S. dead and countless more dead Iraqis – thus giving President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney time to get out of Washington before the ultimate failure of the mission became obvious. The last U.S. troops were forced to leave Iraq at the end of 2011.

Begging Boot

Petraeus had such close ties to the neocons that he relied on them to pull him out of difficult political spots. In one embarrassing example in 2010, e-mails surfaced showing the four-star general groveling before Max Boot, seeking the neocon pundit’s help heading off a controversy over Petraeus’s prepared testimony to Congress which contained a mild criticism of Israel.

The e-mails from Petraeus to Boot revealed Petraeus renouncing his own congressional testimony in March 2010 because it included the observation that “the enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests” in the Middle East.

Petraeus’s testimony continued, “Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. … Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”

Though the testimony was obviously true, many neocons regard any suggestion that Israeli intransigence on Palestinian peace talks contributed to the dangers faced by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan – or by the U.S. public from acts of terrorism at home – as a “blood libel” against Israel.

So, when Petraeus’s testimony began getting traction on the Internet, the general turned to Boot at the high-powered Council on Foreign Relations, and began backtracking on the testimony. “As you know, I didn’t say that,” Petraeus said, according to one e-mail to Boot timed off at 2:27 p.m., March 18. “It’s in a written submission for the record.”

In other words, Petraeus was saying the comments were only in his formal testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee and were not repeated by him in his brief oral opening statement. However, written testimony is treated as part of the official record at congressional hearings with no meaningful distinction from oral testimony.

In another e-mail, as Petraeus solicited Boot’s help in tamping down any controversy over the Israeli remarks, the general ended the message with a military “Roger” and a sideways happy face, made from a colon, a dash and a closed parenthesis, “:-)”.

The e-mails were made public by James Morris, who runs a Web site called Neocon Zionist Threat to America. He said he apparently got them by accident when he sent a March 19 e-mail congratulating Petraeus for his testimony and Petraeus responded by forwarding one of Boot’s blog posts that knocked down the story of the general’s implicit criticism of Israel.

Petraeus forwarded Boot’s blog item, entitled “A Lie: David Petraeus, Anti-Israel,” which had been posted at the Commentary magazine site at 3:11 p.m. on March 18. However, Petraeus apparently forgot to delete some of the other exchanges between him and Boot at the bottom of the e-mail.

~

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

March 12, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NPR: the Voices and Views of One Side

By HELEN REDMOND | March 5, 2012

NPR

National Public Radio.

National Pay or Play Radio.

Spring Pledge Drive, 2012.

Hosts beg and cajole on air hour after hour, day after day for money.

They creatively and with cool music in the background alternately shame and praise listeners to pony up part of the paycheck.

And promise membership cards, mugs, and messenger bags in return.

NPR is your radio station.

Send money; get “unbiased” reporting.

Send money; hear the views “of all sides.”

According to Gabriel Spitzer.

And Melba Lara.

And Scott Simon. Host of Weekend Edition. Saturday.

Simon supported the war in Afghanistan.

Simon: “It seems to me that in confronting the forces that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, American pacifists have no sane alternative now but to support the war. I don’t consider this reprisal or revenge, but self-defense: protecting the world from further attacks by destroying those who would launch them.”

Simon says. Sir, yes, sir.

Simon’s salary: $300,648.

Biased.

Steve Inskeep. “My job is to bring an unvarnished view of what’s happening around the world every day…”

The tone of Inskeep’s voice changes when he interviews Palestinians, Pakistanis, and Iranians vs. Israelis, Saudi’s, CEOs, and US government officials.

Hostile, disbelieving, aggressive for the former.

Cordial, obsequious, passive for the latter.

Inskeep’s salary: $331,241.

Biased.

I admit I listen and I don’t pay.

Because NPR doesn’t air the views of all sides.

All things are not considered.

The so-called “experts” NPR interviews are pro-government, pro-war, and promote the ideas of right-wing think tanks. A faction of former national security advisors, defense department officials, ambassadors, ex-pentagon generals, and military commanders.

Inside the DC beltway.

The government to K-street, to think tank, to NPR pipeline.

Those are the opinions and views heard in the vast majority of stories.

I know because after stories air, I google the website the expert represents.

The websites use words like: nonpartisan, principled, independent, strong, pragmatic, quality, benchmarking, innovative, strategic, impact.

Distinguished, deep thinkers thinking about good governance, rule of law, nuclear proliferation, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, 21st century defense, metrics, kinetics, energy security, failed states, nation building, geoeconomics, transparency, emerging markets, saving behavior, managing global order.

Like the Brookings Institution.

An NPR story titled: Technological Innovations Help Dictators See All.

Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin. Sunday. She interviewed an expert.

John Villasenor. Senior Fellow.

Brookings Institution.

Martin asks: “Give us some real-world examples. How could this play out in a country like Syria?”

Villasenor: “Well, in countries like Syria, there’s no reason to expect that governments won’t take advantage of every possible technological tool at their disposal to monitor their citizenry. Smartphones, and the apps that run on smartphones, very often track location in an authoritarian country.”

C’mon Rachel! Syria?

How many Syrians do you think own Smartphones?

How many Americans do you think own Smartphones?

The American surveillance state intercepts and stores 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications every day!

Why not talk about that?

They didn’t talk about that.

An NPR story titled: As Drones Evolve, More Countries Want Their Own.

Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan interviewed an expert.

John Villasenor.

The Brookings Institution Senior Fellow:

“And so, you know, unfortunately we have a long history of machines essentially engaging in killing, and so I think when people are designing – figuring out how to use drones, we have to keep in mind that, you know, there’s already been a precedent of these things and try to improve upon that.”

You lost me. Precedent? Improve on what?

Villasenor didn’t mention that American drones have killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Conan doesn’t ask.

For experts like Villasenor, civilian deaths are unfortunate but inevitable collateral damage in the war on terror.

I think they’re crimes against humanity.

Drone attacks are remote control terrorism.

That is my opinion.

But I’m no expert.

And NPR doesn’t want to hear my side.

Council on Foreign Relations.

An NPR story titled: Obama sends 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan.

All Things Considered host Michele Norris interviewed an expert.

Max Boot is the “Jeane  J. Kirkpatrick” Senior Fellow for

National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Norris: “…based on what you heard tonight, do you think the president went far enough?”

Boot: “I mean, the parts that I really liked and I thought were terrific were when he talked about that we have a vital national interest in Afghanistan. We have to be there to prevent a cancer from, once again, spreading throughout that country.”

The US military counterinsurgency won’t let cancer metastasize in Afghanistan.

But the troops can’t save everyone. Millions of Afghans are at the end stage.

There is no morphine to kill the pain.

An article by Max Boot on the recent clashes in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans.

Title: Afghans Don’t Hate Americans.

The Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow:

“Many Americans seem to be saying that if the Afghan people don’t want us there, why should we stay? That’s dubious logic because we are not in Afghanistan as a favor to the Afghan people. We are there to protect our own self-interest in not having their territory once again become a haven for al-Qaida.”

I think the American people are right.

The US military shouldn’t stay in Afghanistan.

That’s not dubious logic.

It’s smart logic.

I think Afghans hate the troops for occupying their country and killing their people.

I can understand that. I would, too.

I don’t believe Afghans hate all Americans.

Just some.

Like Max Boot and other Senior Fellows at right-wing think tanks.

Who want to continue the war, occupation, targeted assassinations, sanctions, night raids, kill-capture operations, and drone strikes.

But I’m no expert. Nor are the American people.

And NPR doesn’t want to hear our views.

We didn’t write two books about war like Boot did:

War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today. 

The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power.

Check out the search engine for stories at NPR’s website.

Search for the following: American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Royal United Services Institute.

A ton of hits.

A ton of expert opinion and analysis of the world.

You’ll be amazed.

Or maybe you won’t.

NPR.

The voices and views of one side.

Biased.

I listen, but I won’t pay.

Helen Redmond is an independent journalist. She writes about health care and the international war on drugs. She can be reached at redmondmadrid@yahoo.com

Source

March 5, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 4 Comments