Category Archives: Foreign Policy

US ‘Deep State’ Sold Out Counter-Terrorism To Keep Itself in Business, by Gareth Porter

As SLL has said repeatedly, the Deep State, the military-industrial-intelligence complex is a racket. It’s probably the world’s largest. From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:

Since 2001, senior Pentagon and CIA officials have sacrificed American interests in weakening al-Qaeda to pursue their own interests

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on 12 April calling on President Trump to ”back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria”. The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that US wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah”.

That suggestion that the US sell out its interest in counter-terrorism in the Middle East to gain some advantage in power competition with its adversaries was rightly attacked as cynical.

But, in fact, the national security bureaucracies of the US – which many have come to call the “Deep State” – have been selling out their interests in counter-terrorism in order to pursue various adventures in the region ever since George W Bush declared a “Global War on Terrorism” in late 2001. 

The whole war on terrorism has been, in effect, a bait-and-switch operation from the beginning. The idea that US military operations were somehow going to make America safer after the 9/11 attacks was the bait. What has actually happened ever since then, however, is that senior officials at the Pentagon and the CIA have been sacrificing the interest of American people in weakening al-Qaeda in order to pursue their own institutional interests.

‘The only game in town’

It all began, of course, with the invasion of Iraq. Counter-terrorism specialists in the US government knew perfectly well that US regime change in Iraq through military force would give a powerful boost to Osama bin Laden’s organization and to anti-American terrorism generally. Rand Beers, then senior director for counter-terrorism on the National Security Council staff, told his predecessor Richard Clarke in late 2002, “Do you know how much it will strengthen al-Qaeda and groups like that if we occupy Iraq?”

To continue reading: US ‘Deep State’ Sold Out Counter-Terrorism To Keep Itself in Business

Advertisements

Confronting Russophobia, by Srdja Trifkovic

Russophobia is far more dangerous to western society than Islamophobia, and precludes what could be an effective alliance against radical, violent Islamic extremism. From Srdja Trifkovic at strategic-culture.org:

There is a paranoid, hysterical quality to the public discourse on Russia and all things Russian in today’s America.  The corporate media machine and its Deep State handlers have abdicated reason and common decency in favor of raw hate and fear-mongering.  We have not seen anything like it before, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.

The roots of Russophobia’s emotional appeal to the left seem clear: It comes as a huge mental relief to the ultrasensitive liberal mind to be able to hate an outside group with impunity, and even to appear virtuous in the process.  Of course, the object of that animus is a Christian and European nation that stubbornly refuses to be postmodernized, or become gripped by self-hate and morbid introspection; a nation not ashamed of its past and unwilling to surrender its future to alien multitudes; a nation where nobody obsesses over transgender bathrooms, microaggressions, and other “issues” indicative of a society’s moral and intellectual decrepitude.

The liberals’ ideological and emotional Russophobia has blended seamlessly with the bread-and-butter hostility to Russia shared by Deep State operatives in the intelligence and national-security apparatus, in the military-industrial complex, and in the congressional duopoly. The result is a surreal narrative that mixes supposedly unprovoked “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, hostile intent in the Baltics, serial war crimes in Syria, political destabilization in Western Europe, and gross interference in America’s “democratic process”. The result is an altogether fictitious “existential threat,” which has made President Trump’s intended détente with Moscow impossible.  He may have been serious about turning over a new leaf, but the Deep State counterpressure proved just too great.  A solid rejection front emerged, left and right, conservative and liberal, which extends even into his own team and finally inhibited him from making moves that could have appeared too friendly to Putin.

The Russophobes’ narrative is unrelated to Russia’s actual policies. It reflects a deep odium of the elite class toward Russia-as-such. That animosity has been developing in its current form since roughly the time of the Crimean War, when in his Letters From Russia the Marquis de Custine said that the country’s “veneer of European civilization was too thin to be credible.”

To continue reading: Confronting Russophobia

‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’, by Tim Alberta

Politico magazine does an extensive, and surprisingly fair, profile of Patrick Buchanan. From Tim Alberta at politico.com:

Pat Buchanan won after all. But now he thinks it might be too late for the nation he was trying to save.

His first date with his future wife was spent in a New Hampshire motel room drinking Wild Turkey into the wee hours with Hunter S. Thompson. He stood several feet away from Martin Luther King Jr. during the “I Have a Dream” speech. He went to China with Richard M. Nixon and walked away from Watergate unscathed. He survived Iran-Contra, too, and sat alongside Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavík Summit. He invaded America’s living rooms and pioneered the rhetorical combat that would power the cable news age. He defied the establishment by challenging a sitting president of his own party. He captured the fear and frustration of the right by proclaiming a great “culture war” was at hand. And his third-party candidacy in 2000 almost certainly handed George W. Bush the presidency, thanks to thousands of Palm Beach, Florida, residents mistakenly voting for him on the “butterfly ballot” when they meant to back Al Gore.

If not for his outsize ambition, Pat Buchanan might be the closest thing the American right has to a real-life Forrest Gump, that patriot from ordinary stock whose life journey positioned him to witness, influence and narrate the pivotal moments that shaped our modern world and changed the course of this country’s history. He has known myriad roles—neighborhood brawler, college expellee, journalist, White House adviser, political commentator, presidential candidate three times over, author, provocateur—and his existence traces the arc of what feels to some Americans like a nation’s ascent and decline. He was 3 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and 6 when Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now 78, with thick, black glasses and a thinning face, Buchanan looks back with nostalgia at a life and career that, for all its significance, was at risk of being forgotten—until Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

To continue reading: ‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’

Did Russia Shoot Down US Missiles in Syria? by Jonathan Roth

If Russia shot down some of the US missiles targeted for the Syrian air base, that means Russia and the US have been in direct conflict. That has obviously ominous implications. From Jonathan Roth at riskhedge.com:

In an exclusive video interview with RiskHedge, a long-time geopolitical expert says there is an alternate story making the rounds about the United States’ April 7 missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase in response to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of sarin gas on its own people.

“Not all missiles made their target,” says Dr. Theodore Karasik, a senior advisor to Gulf State Analytics. “There were supposed to be 60. One malfunctioned on one of the ships. 36 made target, the remainder did not. And, there’s a question of where did they go?”

Dr. Karasik, a former senior political scientist in the International Policy and Security Group at RAND Corporation, spent the last decade in the Middle East and retains an extensive network in the region.

“The missing [missiles] were either brought down by S-300 battery or were taken over by Russian electronic jamming and were plunged into the sea,” explains Dr. Karasik. “Now, this alternative theory means that the US and Russia have already clashed if you will—technically—with the use of the TLAMs (Tomahawk missiles) and then being intercepted or taken over by Russian control.”

If true, this means the US and Russia have had a direct military confrontation for the first time in decades.

“This is very important,” says Dr. Karasik, “because it illustrates that we’ve had our first encounter with the Russians, and that sets the stage for potentially future encounters between Washington and Russia on the Syrian battlefield.”

In addition, the rationale for the missile strike in the first place—Bashar al-Assad’s sarin gas attack on his own people—may be based on faulty intelligence.

To continue reading: Did Russia Shoot Down US Missiles in Syria?

 

 

Why Not a Probe of ‘Israel-gate’? by Robert Parry

Russia has never come close to attempting to influence American elections and the political process the way Israel has. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Special Report: As Official Washington fumes about Russia-gate, Israel’s far more significant political-influence-and-propaganda campaigns are ignored. No one dares suggest a probe of Israel-gate, says Robert Parry.

The other day, I asked a longtime Democratic Party insider who is working on the Russia-gate investigation which country interfered more in U.S. politics, Russia or Israel. Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, “Israel, of course.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Which underscores my concern about the hysteria raging across Official Washington about “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential campaign: There is no proportionality applied to the question of foreign interference in U.S. politics. If there were, we would have a far more substantive investigation of Israel-gate.

The problem is that if anyone mentions the truth about Israel’s clout, the person is immediately smeared as “anti-Semitic” and targeted by Israel’s extraordinarily sophisticated lobby and its many media/political allies for vilification and marginalization.

So, the open secret of Israeli influence is studiously ignored, even as presidential candidates prostrate themselves before the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both appeared before AIPAC in 2016, with Clinton promising to take the U.S.-Israeli relationship “to the next level” – whatever that meant – and Trump vowing not to “pander” and then pandering like crazy.

Congress is no different. It has given Israel’s controversial Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a record-tying three invitations to address joint sessions of Congress (matching the number of times British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared). We then witnessed the Republicans and Democrats competing to see how often their members could bounce up and down and who could cheer Netanyahu the loudest, even when the Israeli prime minister was instructing the Congress to follow his position on Iran rather than President Obama’s.

Israeli officials and AIPAC also coordinate their strategies to maximize political influence, which is derived in large part by who gets the lobby’s largesse and who doesn’t. On the rare occasion when members of Congress step out of line – and take a stand that offends Israeli leaders – they can expect a well-funded opponent in their next race, a tactic that dates back decades.

To continue reading: Why Not a Probe of ‘Israel-gate’?

It’s Time to Stop Pretending North Korea Is a Threat to the United States, by James Holbrooks

When you’re “offering” protection everything is a threat, and there’s no bigger protection racket than the US government. From James Holbrooks at theantimedia.org:

North Korea is a threat, goes the narrative. And we, as loyal Americans, should fear the potentiality of that fact.

That’s why U.S. aircraft carriers, accompanied by fighter jets and warships, are currently steaming toward the Korean Peninsula.

That’s why Japan, staunch U.S. ally, is considering deploying troops to South Korea — in preparation for the time when that evil dictator from the north will try to harm Japanese nationals in the south.

Conveniently, if Japan does deploy those troops — and, let’s be honest, they will — that will put the coalition of Japan, South Korea, and the United States together on the Korean peninsula.

Consider that for a moment.

They actually want us to believe that it would take the combined military might of the U.S., Japan, and South Korea to take out Kim Jong-un. There literally is no other way to look at it.

As in all cases when it comes to geopolitical analysis, it helps to look at a map. North Korea is sandwiched between a U.S.-occupied territory to the south and a global superpower, China, to the north.

In what universe does it make sense that Kim Jong-un would think attacking an “enemy” in the region would be beneficial? On Monday, Anti-Media reported on the fact that former Pentagon chief William Perry told CNN in November that North Korea would never strike first because, very simply, Kim doesn’t want to die.

“I do not believe the North Korean regime is suicidal,” he said. “Therefore, I don’t believe they’re going to launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on anyone.”

That’s because Kim has certainly applied to the situation what the mainstream narrative would like you to discard — common sense. With just a dash of it, any logical being can look at the events unfolding and see that North Korea poses no threat, to any surrounding nation, period.

To continue reading: It’s Time to Stop Pretending North Korea Is a Threat to the United States

First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary, by Fred Reed

Is Donald Trump morphing into Hillary? From Fred Reed on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Oh Lord, it’s happening–the remanufacture of Trump by the Establishment. During the campaign, Trump and the Basilisk had nothing in common but their hair dye. Now, almost daily, he looks more like her.

He gets embarrassing. Regarding the alleged gassing in Syria, quoth Donald:

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies — babies, little babies — with a chemical gas … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. … And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me … my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”

God almighty. Who wrote this–a middle school girl with C’s in English, or the President of the United States? Did he retire to his bedroom for a good cry?

Apparently he ordered his missile strike without bothering to find out what happened. The usual suspects are driving him like a sports car.

The election was a choice between fetor and a lunatic. We chose the lunatic. Whether this was better than the alternative, we will never know, but Trump is going from bad to worse, or as the Mexicans say, de Guatemala a Guatepeor.

Does he believe this stuff? Is he naive enough to think that there was something unusually horrible about the attack? Horrible, yes, but not in the least unusual. Do you know what everyday, boring artillery does to children? Five-hundred-pound bombs? Hellfire rockets? Daily Mr. Trump’s military and his allies daily drop shrapnel-producing explosives on people, cities, towns, adults, children, weddings and goatherds in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Good draft-dodger that he was, he probably has never seen any of this. Good psychopath that he may be, he may not care.

To continue reading: First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary