Many think tanks do very little thinking. From Dave DeCamp at antiwar.com:
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) released a report on November 21sttitled “Russia’s Dead-End Diplomacy in Syria.” The report focuses on Russia’s role in supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and calls for the U.S. to maintain a presence in Syria.
The ISW presents itself as a “non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.” In reality, the ISW is a neocon think tank funded by some of the country’s largest defense contractors. The ISW has a significant influence in Washington, and its chairman even has direct access to President Trump.
The report argues that Assad does not have the resources to regain and maintain control of the rest of Syria and that his victory would not bring stability. As far as Russia’s role, the report says, “The Kremlin seeks to thwart any Western effort to replace Assad and to instead reach a superficial political settlement that legitimizes his regime and neutralizes his opposition.”
The suggestion to send US troops to Mexico to fight drug cartels combines the worst features of the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
The 50-year US war on drugs has been a total failure, with hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down the drain and our civil liberties whittled away fighting a war that cannot be won. The 20 year “war on terror” has likewise been a gigantic US government disaster: hundreds of billions wasted, civil liberties scorched, and a world far more dangerous than when this war was launched after 9/11.
So what to do about two of the greatest policy failures in US history? According to President Trump and many in Washington, the answer is to combine them!
Last week Trump declared that, in light of an attack last month on US tourists in Mexico, he would be designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Asked if he would send in drones to attack targets in Mexico, he responded, “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated.” The Mexican president was quick to pour cold water on the idea of US drones taking out Mexican targets, responding to Trump’s threats saying “cooperation, yes; interventionism, no.”
Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking, blockbuster album, The Dark Side of the Moon, had much to say about contemporary conditions…46 years ago! From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform:
And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 charts for 937 weeks. Roger Waters concept was for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”. The Dark Side of the Moon’s themes include war, conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by former band member Syd Barrett’s worsening mental state.
The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and empathy. The themes of this album are timeless and are as germane today as they were forty-six years ago, if not more relevant. The country and world are awash in conflict, driven by the greed of evil men. Decent, law abiding, hard-working, critical thinking Americans see the world going insane as the passage of time leads towards the death of an American empire.
Nobody has been a bigger beneficiary of the US’s Middle East misadventures than Iran. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Intelligence documents reveal how Tehran took advantage of US blundering
The American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of that nation’s government in 2003 has rightly been described as the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the United States. Eight thousand one hundred and seventy five American soldiers, contractors and civilians have died in Iraq since 2003 as well as an estimated 300,000 Iraqis. By some more expansive estimates the so-called “global war on terror,” of which Iraq was the major component, may have directly killed 801,000, of which at least 335,000 were civilians. Other estimates indicate that the total dead from collateral causes, to include disease and starvation, could exceed 3 million, overwhelmingly Muslims.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone have also cost, according to the same Brown University study, an estimated $6.4 trillion and still counting as the money to pay for it was borrowed.
From the get-go Tucker Carlson was suspicious of the official Douma story. It turns out he was right to be so. From Alan Macleod at mintpressnews.com:
That Tucker Carlson is one of the few pundits willing to report on a bombshell revelation about a chemical attack in Syria, may say more about the state of the corporate press than it does about Carlson’s character.
Dozens of people were found dead in the Syrian city of Douma in April 2018 in what appeared to be a chemical weapons attack. The United States and its NATO allies immediately pointed the finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accusing him of crimes against humanity. Almost immediately, NATO forces began a retaliatory bombing campaign, with many others calling for an invasion to protect civilians from a massacre.
Mainstream media, often presenting themselves as the home of the resistance to the dangerous madman Donald Trump, were fully behind the bombings. A survey by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that not one of the top 100 U.S. newspapers by circulation opposed the airstrikes.
A report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) gave some credence to Washington’s assertions. While far from conclusive, OPCW’s report on the incidentdid suggest that it was “likely” that there was indeed some form of chemical weapons used, possibly an air attack that involved dropping chlorine canisters on the city. Although the OPCW refused to speculate on who was responsible, the suggestion of an aerial strike indicated Syrian government forces, the most equipped for such an attack, were to blame.
A mainstream expert “reveals” what’s been revealed in the alternative media since the Syrian war started: the US government’s official storyline is full of shit. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
A mainstream media and academic expert this week issued a rare admission: that pretty much everything the establishment has fed the public on Syria is false or distorted; but it remains that after tragic eight-year long war is slowly coming to a close, new indisputable facts are coming to light. “Truth did not matter at all,” he admits after years of providing commentary for mainstream publications.
In a lengthy thread on Twitter, counter-terrorism author and assistant professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University Max Abrahms exposed how he saw the ‘narrative managers’ at work from the inside of the establishment think tank world and media. As his own research came to uncover and document the truth of what was happening in Syria, “the media would excise me and the research from their stories” he revealed. His work in the early years of the war appeared in The New York Timesand other major outlets, however, he was increasingly censored and pushed out of a number of platforms for speaking inconvenient truths.
Below is his full commentary, written in the wake of the new OPCW leaks which the mainstream is still trying hard to ignore.
The rest of the world grows increasingly resistant to the US government throwing its weight around. From an interview between Finian Cunningham and John Pilger at strategic-culture.org:
Australian-born John Pilger has worked for over five decades as a reporter and documentary film-maker covering wars and conflicts all over the world. In the following interview, the award-winning journalist says the world is arguably at a more perilous geopolitical juncture than even during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 at the height of the Cold War. This is because American “exceptionalism” – which, he points out, mirrors that of Nazi Germany – has developed into a hyper-rogue phase. The relentless denigration of Russia by American and Western media show that there are few red lines left to restrain aggression towards Moscow, as there were, at least, during the past Cold War. Russia and China’s refusal to bow down to Washington’s dictate is infuriating the would-be American hegemon and its desire for zero-sum world domination.
John Pilger also gives his wide-ranging views on the systematic deterioration of Western mainstream journalism which has come to function as a nakedly propaganda matrix for power and corporate profit. He further condemns the ongoing persecution and torture of fellow-Australian publisher Julian Assange who is being held in a maximum-security British prison commonly used for holding mass murderers and convicted terrorists. Assange is being persecuted for telling the truth and for exposing huge crimes by the US and Britain, says Pilger. It is a grim warning of a covert war that is being conducted against independent journalism and free speech, and, more ominously, indicative of a slide towards police-state fascism in so-called Western democracies.
Question: In your documentary film, The Coming War on China (2016), you assess that the United States is on a strategic collision path with China for control of Asia-Pacific. Do you still see the threat of war looming between these two powers?
John Pilger: The threat of war may not be immediate, but we know or should know that events can change fast: a chain of incidents and missteps can ignite a war which can spread unpredictably. The calculations are not in dispute: an “enemy” has barely 12 minutes to decide whether and where to order a nuclear retaliation.
Unlike many websites, Straight Line Logic does not solicit donations. If you're going to lay out your hard-earned money, you should get something in exchange. If you like the site and want to support it, buy The Golden Pinnacle or The Gordian Knot, either as a book or download. The links are on the right-hand side of the page, in the Blogroll section. You'll be supporting the site, and getting a great book and hours of enjoyable reading.