Category Archives: History

A Pattern of Passing Up Peace, by Ted Snider

For the warfare state, peace is the worst possible prospect. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran was working. Iran was consistently in compliance, the US and Iran were talking and diplomacy was working. Then Trump turned his back on peace, shattered the diplomacy and resuscitated the hostile relation with Iran.

This pass that Trump took on peace was not the first time the US had been offered peace by Iran and passed it up. In 2003, Iranian president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a comprehensive nuclear proposal that they offered to President George W. Bush. Bush ignored the overture and refused to respond.

Illegally pulling out of the JCPOA was not only not the first time the US took a pass on an Iranian offer of peace, it was also not the last. Iranian general Qassem Suleimani went to Baghdad to deliver Iran’s response to a Saudi de-escalation overture. A de-escalation of violence between the leaders of the Sunni and Shi’ite worlds might go a long way toward potentially calming the middle east. So, the US assassinated him.

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THE ANGRY ARAB: US Violated Unspoken Rule of Engagement with Iran, by As’ad AbuKhalil

What sort of reprisals will the assassination of Qassem Soleimani lead to by Iran? From As’ad AbuKhalil at consortiumnews.com:

As’ad AbuKhalil analyzes the Trump administration’s decision to escalate hostilities with Iran and its regional allies.   

U.S. paratroopers deploy to the Middle East following the Baghdad airstrike, Jan. 4, 2020.(U.S. Army/Hubert Delany, Wikimedia Commons)

Something big and unprecedented has happened in the Middle East after the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Qasim Suleimani.

The U.S. has long assumed that assassinations of major figures in the Iranian “resistance-axis” in the Middle East would bring risk to the U.S. military-intelligence presence in the Middle East.  Western and Arab media reported that the U.S. had prevented Israel in the past from killing Suleimani.  But with the top commander’s death, the Trump administration seems to think a key barrier to U.S. military operations in the Middle East has been removed.

The U.S. and Israel had noticed that Hizbullah and Iran did not retaliate against previous assassinations by Israel (or the U.S.) that took place in Syria (of Imad Mughniyyah, Jihad Mughniyyah, Samir Quntar); or for other attacks on Palestinian and Lebanese commanders in Syria.

The U.S. thus assumed that this assassination would not bring repercussions or harm to U.S. interests. Iranian reluctance to retaliate has only increased the willingness of Israel and the U.S. to violate the unspoken rules of engagement with Iran in the Arab East.

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Making Sense of the Impeachment Charges, by Paul Craig Roberts

The impeachment is an attempt by the Democrats to unseat a president they probably can’t beat in an election. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Prior to the impeachment of Trump, not by Congress as presstitutes report but by self-interested House Democrats, during the entirety of US history there have been only two attempts to impeach a president—Andrew Johnson in 1868 and 130 years later Bill Clinton in 1998. 

Clinton was impeached by House Republicans when he clearly lied under oath by denying his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern.  The Senate refused to convict him.  Enough Senators had enough sense to know that lying about a sexual affair, even under oath, did not rise to a “high crime.”  Moreover, Senators understood that few men would be inclined to embarrass their wife and daughter, or few women their husband and daughter, by admitting publicly to a sexual affair.

Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat, stood with the Republican Union of Abe Lincoln. Consequently, Lincoln chose Johnson as his Vice President in his 1864 reelection campaign.  When Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson became president.

President Johnson took to heart Lincoln’s emphasis on restoring comity between North and South. Consequently, Johnson opposed the harsh, exploitative, and demeaning policies of the Republican Congress during Reconstruction.  He didn’t see how the Union could be restored on the basis of dispossession of Southerners, rape of Southern women, and the infliction of general humiliation on a conquered people.

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The End of U.S. Military Dominance: Unintended Consequences Forge a Multipolar World Order, by Federico Pieraccini

Many of the factors responsible for the fading of US military dominance are directly attributable to US actions and policy. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

Starting from the presidency of George W. Bush to that of Trump, the U.S. has made some missteps that not only reduce its influence in strategic regions of the world but also its ability to project power and thus impose its will on those unwilling to genuflect appropriately.

Some examples from the recent past will suffice to show how a series of strategic errors have only accelerated the U.S.’s hegemonic decline.

ABM + INF = Hypersonic Supremacy

The decision to invade Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001, while declaring an “axis of evil” to be confronted that included nuclear-armed North Korea and budding regional hegemon Iran, can be said to be the reason for many of the most significant strategic problems besetting the U.S..

The U.S. often prefers to disguise its medium- to long-term objectives by focusing on supposedly more immediate and short-term threats. Thus, the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) and its deployment of the Aegis Combat System (both sea- and land-based) as part of the NATO missile defense system, was explained as being for the purposes of defending European allies from the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles. This argument held little water as the Iranians had neither the capability nor intent to launch such missiles.

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The Latest & Most Reckless US Imperial Act, by Patrick Lawrence

Killing a general of a country with which you are not at war is criminal under international law. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Following the U.S. assassination of Soleimani, the Trump administration is leading American conduct abroad into a zone of probably unprecedented lawlessness.

Of all the preposterous assertions made since the drone assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3, the prize for bottomless ignorance must go to the bottomlessly ignorant Mike Pompeo.

Speaking after the influential Iranian general’s death, our frightening secretary of state declaimed on CBS’s Face the Nation, “There was sound and just and legal reason for the actions the President took, and the world is safer as a result.”  In appearances on five news programs on the same Sunday morning, the evangelical paranoid who now runs American foreign policy was a singer with a one-note tune.  “It’s very clear the world’s a safer place today,” Pompeo said on ABC’s Jan. 5 edition of This Week.

In our late-imperial phase, we seem to have reached that moment when, whatever high officials say in matters of the empire’s foreign policy, we must consider whether the opposite is in fact the case. So we have it now.

We are not safer now that Soleimani, a revered figure across much of the Middle East, has been murdered. The planet has just become significantly more dangerous, especially but not only for Americans, and this is so for one simple reason: The Trump administration, Pompeo bearing the standard, has just tipped American conduct abroad into a zone of probably unprecedented lawlessness, Pompeo’s nonsensical claim to legality notwithstanding.

This is a very consequential line to cross.

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Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who Is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military? by Cynthia Chung

Do any of the elected officials in the US, from the president on down, have any significant control over what the government does? From Cynthia Chung at strategic-culture.org:

“There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold.”

– William Shakespeare

Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person.  The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.

In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of ‘official government statements’.

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The Geopolitics of Epistemological Warfare: From Babylon to Neocon, by Matthew Ehret

Do those who propound the theories that threaten mankind with extinction actually believe them? From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

I think any sane human being can agree that while war was never a good idea, war in the 21st century is an absolutely intolerable one. The problem we currently face is that many of the forces driving world events towards an all-out war of “Mutually Assured Annihilation” are anything but sane.

While I’m obviously referring here to a certain category of people who fall under a particularly virulent strain of imperial thinking which can be labelled “neo-conservative” and while many of these disturbing figures honestly believe that a total war of annihilation is a risk worth taking in order to achieve their goals of total global hegemony, I would like to make one subtle yet very important distinction which is often overlooked.

What is this distinction?

Under the broad umbrella of “neo-conservative” one should properly differentiate those who really believe in their ideology and are trapped under the invisible cage of its unexamined assumptions vs. that smaller yet more important segment that created and manages the ideology from the top. I brushed on this grouping in a recent 3 part study called Origins of the Deep State and Myth of the Jewish Conspiracy.

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