Tag Archives: Middle East

Shock and Awe Is a State of Mind: Millions of Deaths Have Not Made Americans Safer, by Philip Giraldi

How can invading foreign lands that pose no threat to the US make Americans safer? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

That the United States likes to use expressions like “shock and awe” or “maximum pressure” would rather suggest that there is a psychopath working in the White House basement whose full-time job is to come up with pithy one-liners to somehow euphemize government bad behavior. The expressions hardly mean anything in and of themselves apart from “tough talk” but they do serve as an alternative to having to admit in plain language to the killing of millions of people since the Global War on Terror began in 2001. “Millions?” one might skeptically ask. Yes, millions if one includes all those killed directly or indirectly as a result of the wars. Direct victims of the violence number at least 157,000 in Afghanistan, 182,000 in Iraq, 400,000 in Syria and 25,000 in Libya. And if you want to go back a few years three million Vietnamese died in 1964-1975 while 2.5 million civilians were killed in Korea. And even in the “Good War” World War 2 there were unnecessary incidents to include the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed 105,000, the firebombing of Tokyo adding another 97,000, and the firebombing of Hamburg and Dresden that together killed 45,000.

An estimated ten million more civilians have been displaced from their homes since 2001, creating refugee crises in both Europe and the Americas, while trillions of dollars have also been wasted or “misplaced” by the geniuses at the Pentagon and in Congress. And some might reasonably argue that the violence taking place all around the world has also been internalized in the U.S., with mass murders surfacing in the news media every few days. Some argue that the United States has nearly always been at war since its founding, which would be true, but it is also correct to note that the nature of America’s lethal engagement with the rest of the world has changed in the past twenty years. Old wars were fought to expand territory and trade or to acquire colonies for the same purpose, meaning they were intended to increase one’s power and wealth. Since 9/11, however, the wars are being fought seemingly without any real identifiable objective while also inflicting significant losses in relative wealth and power on the United States.

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The Entire World Should Be Laughing At America For Pretending To Care About Muslims In China, by Caitlin Johnstone

Hypocrisy, as HL Mencken once said, is the hair running through the hot dog of American foreign policy. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The current representative of the US empire finally held his first full press conference yesterday, an embarrassing and undignified affair which saw a gaggle of obsequious imperial stenographers gather round to make believe that important policy decisions about the operation of the most powerful government in the world are actually being made by this dried up empty husk of a man who can barely think or talk.

Once again we heard the US empire babbling about the plight of Muslims in China, with the words tumbling out of Biden’s dementia-addled brain that he “made it clear that no American president, at least one did, but no American president had ever backed down from speaking out of what’s happening in the Uyghurs.”

By “what’s happening in the Uyghurs” Biden was attempting to articulate a concern for the human rights of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, a talking point the US empire has been fallaciously and dishonestly pushing with more and more aggression as attempts to halt the rise of China escalate in urgency. And literally seconds later, Biden made it clear that that is exactly what this feigned concern for Muslim lives was indeed really about.

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Joe Biden Is Following a Blueprint for Forever War, by Danny Sjursen

Going bigger in Syria and backing up the power-mad idiot in Saudi Arabia just gets the US more stuck on the Middle Eastern tar baby. From Danny Sjursen at inthesetimes.com:

Bombing Syria and excusing the crimes of the Saudi crown prince won’t bring us any closer to a withdrawal from the Middle East.

Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. Although the U.S. launched its missiles across an international border (and without the approval of Congress), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki framed the strike as a ​defensive” response to a series of rocket attacks that have killed one and wounded several Americans over the past two weeks. The American bombing left up to a handful dead,” according to one U.S. official who spoke with CNN, and Tehran condemned the assault as ​illegal and a violation of Syria’s sovereignty” — a perception gap certain to complicate President Joe Biden’s pronounced plans to reverse Donald Trump’s antagonistic Iran policies and rejoin the nuclear deal.

The campaign will do little to further the United States’ objectives in the Middle East (in as much as they can even be articulated at this point), but it heralds something more dispiriting still: That nearly two decades into a regional war, Washington (perhaps willfully) does not understand the Syria-Iraq-Iran nexus, and that the Biden administration is following a failed blueprint in the Middle East — a reality that was thrown into even sharper relief when the U.S. elected not to punish Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) after the release of a declassified intelligence report that found he was directly responsible for the murder of the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi.

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9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East, by Michael Snyder

Would anybody be surprised that the same crew who brought us Libya and Syria forever wars would start a new one in the Middle East? From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control.  Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East.  I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable.  While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn’t start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting “American influence” all over the globe once again.  Most Americans don’t understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.

In this article, I would like to examine some of the chess moves that have been made since Joe Biden entered the White House.  As you will see, a very troubling picture emerges once you start putting all of the pieces together.

#1 Literally one day after Biden was inaugurated, a massive U.S. military convoy rolled into Syria

A large US military convoy entered northeastern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state news agency SANA reports, citing sources on the ground.

According to the report, the convoy included some 40 trucks and armored vehicles and was backed from the air by helicopters.

President Trump had tried very hard to disengage from the war in Syria, but Biden has made it crystal clear that the U.S. will be heavily involved in that conflict moving forward.

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Has Israel Been Out-foxed? by Alastair Crooke

While the whole world, particularly Israel, has fixated on Iran’s potential nuclear weapons capability, Iran has concentrated on its non-nuclear capabilities. Israel may be wishing it had paid a little more attention. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Reactivating the JCPOA has drawn some unexpected advocates – top Israeli security officials wanting to pull Iran back into the JCPOA.

A top Russian official, last weekend, said something which pinpoints the times we are living today. It may seem a throwaway remark, but behind it, just out of sight, lies something profound. He said that the JCPOA, (for very many, and not just for Iran), had become the prime symbol of how the rules-based global order is used precisely to squeeze-out a peoples’ sovereignty and autonomy – and to Gulliverise them into its Siamese twin, the rules-based monetary order.

At first brush, such a comment might seem a bit exaggerated, even hostile – for surely the intent to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons by the U.S. is a laudable aim?

Ostensibly that may be seem the objective (and one shared by Russia). But it is also true that the JCPOA methodology fits to a particular pattern: Unilaterally declare a certain vision, together with its values, to be Universal, then lay down the ‘rules-of-the-road’ to this universal. These rules will not necessarily comport with international law, but then, in line with Carl Schmitt’s infamous phrase, “Sovereign is he who decides the exception (to law)”, and since universality takes itself to be a distinct cut-above backward, nationalist civilisations, in that measure alone, it claims exceptionality. And the rules-based ‘order’, on this reckoning, must supersede and supplant ‘law’.

In the case of Iran, the superimposed ‘universal’ rules-of-the road were intended to supplant Iran’s NPT legal rights: to walk-back the Revolutionary impulse in Iran; drain its residue of radicalism through the drudgery of complying with tedious JCPOA rules; and ultimately force Iran’s assimilation into the global monetary governance too.

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A New Year’s Wish, by Philip Giraldi

It’s wishful thinking, but maybe 2021 could be the year the US stops being Israel’s cat’s paw. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump swore that he would be the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, a pledge that some of us viewed skeptically as Trump was also committed to bringing the troops home from “useless wars” in Asia, most of whom were in the Middle East supporting Israeli interests. More recently Trump admitted that America was in the Middle East to “protect Israel” and he has indeed proven to be the great benefactor he promised to be in responding fully to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wish list. Trump has increased tension dramatically with Iran, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, and has basically given Israel the green light to do whatever it wants on the Palestinian West Bank, including getting rid of the Palestinians. And as all that has played out the Israelis have attacked and killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Syria and the West Bank with impunity, protected by the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council against any consequences for their actions while a subservient Congress gives Netanyahu twenty-eight standing ovations and bleats that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Trump has made the United States completely complicit in Israeli war crimes and has committed a few of its own to include the widely condemned assassination of the senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad one year ago.

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Every Presidential Election Since The Iraq War Has Featured Candidates Who Supported It, by Caitlin Johnstone

The Iraq War was truly a bipartisan clusterf*ck, supported by an overwhelming consensus of the high and the mighty. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The most powerful government on earth has still yet to have a single presidential election that doesn’t feature a prominent candidate who supported one of the most evil things that government has ever done.

The United States has done many, many profoundly evil things throughout its history, but the 2003 invasion of Iraq is surely in the top ten. It killed over a million human beings, destabilized an entire region, led to the rise of ISIS and Al Nusra and facilitated a rush of new Middle Eastern interventionism, all to no benefit for the American people whatsoever, and it is utterly unforgivable.

Yet there have been no consequences for it. No real changes of any kind were made to American military, governmental, political or media institutions to ensure that a similar atrocity never happens again, because the drivers of US foreign policy had every intention of doing it again. There weren’t even any real political consequences for it, as evidenced by the fact that politicians who supported it have been ascending to Democratic and Republican presidential nominee status ever since.

This is insane. The fact that every electoral contest for commander in chief of the most powerful military in the history of civilization has featured at least one candidate who supported one of the most evil things ever done in the blood-soaked history of their nation is too insane to really put into words. And it says so much about the state of the US political system today.

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The 9/11 Attacks: Understanding Al-Qaeda and the Domestic Fall-Out from America’s Secret War, by Sam Jacobs

This is a good review of the history surrounding 9/11. From Sam Jacobs at ammo.com:

With American military personnel now entering service who were not even alive on 9/11, this seems an appropriate time to reexamine the events of September 11, 2001 – the opaque motives for the attacks, the equally opaque motives for the counter-offensive by the United States and its allies known as the Global War on Terror, and the domestic fall-out for Americans concerned about the erosion of their civil liberties on the homefront.

Before venturing further, it’s worth noting that our appraisal is not among the most common explanations. Osama bin Laden, his lieutenants at Al-Qaeda, and the men who carried out the attack against the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon are not “crazy,” unhinged psychopaths launching an attack against the United States without what they consider to be good reason.

Nor do we consider then-President George W. Bush to be either a simpleton, a willing conspirator, an oil profiteer, or a Machivellian puppet whose cabinet were all too happy to take advantage of a crisis.

The American press tends to portray its leaders as fools and knaves, and America’s enemies as psychopathic. Because the propaganda machine hammered away so heavily on the simple “cowardly men who hate our freedom” line, there was not much in the way of careful consideration of the actual political motives of the hijackers, the Petro-Islam that funded them, the ancient, antagonistic split between Sunni and Shi’a, the fall-out from the 1979 Iranian revolution or the 1970s energy crisis, the historical context of covert American involvement in the Soviet-Afghan War and the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, nor the perceived “imperialist humanitarianism” of American military adventures of the 1990s in Muslim nations like Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Kosovo. Alone, none of these factors were deadly. Combined, they provided a lethal combination.

It is our considered opinion that the events of 9/11 and those that followed in direct response to the attacks – including the invasion of Iraq – were carried out by good faith rational actors who believed they were acting in the best interests of their religion or their nation. There are no conspiracy theories here; sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

This opinion does not in any way absolve the principals from moral responsibility for the consequences of their actions. It does, however, provide what we believe to be a more accurate and nuanced depiction of events than is generally forthcoming from any sector of the media – because we see these principals as excellent chess players who, in the broad sweep of events, engaged in actions which are explicable.

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Foreign Interventionism, 9/11, and the Perpetual War on Terrorism, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Ron Paul got booed in a presidential debate for suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were blowback for US interventions in the Middle East, but that was exactly what they were (if they weren’t a false flag, which is certainly a possibility). From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

With today being another anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it’s important to recall why it was that that deadly event came about.

No, the terrorists didn’t attack us because they hated our “freedom and values,” as U.S. officials and American interventionists claimed after the attacks. Instead, the attacks occurred in retaliation for what the U.S. national-security establishment, specifically the Pentagon and the CIA, had been doing to people in the Middle East prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Recall the Persian Gulf War in 1991, when the U.S. government intervened in a conflict involving their old partner and ally, Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Iraq had gotten in a territorial dispute with Kuwait, which ended up with Iraq invading Kuwait.

U.S. officials felt that they could not let Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait to stand, which is somewhat strange given that the U.S. government supported Iraq when it invaded Iran in the 1980s. Without the congressional declaration of war the Constitution requires, the U.S. government went to war against Iraq, killing multitudes of Iraqi people in the process and wreaking untold destruction across the country.

During the conflict, the Pentagon ordered the destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plants, after a study revealed that such destruction would help spread infectious illnesses within the Iraqi populace.

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Trump’s Distractions or Is the Empire in Retreat? by Tom Luongo

Some of us voted for Trump because we thought he’d pull us out of our stupid wars. Trump hasn’t done so, but he hasn’t started any new wars either. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Things continue to spiral out of control in the U.S. as the myth of policing fails and anti-civilizational forces move into the power vacuum.

And while I’m still completely committed to the end of the U.S. empire and its imperial edicts, It’s also not lost on me what’s happening, who’s making it happen and how they are taking advantage of this.

I warned you President Trump’s near atavistic pursuit of U.S. ‘enemies’ in places like Syria, Iraq, Iran and Venezuela would turn the world against us. Look at the protests for George Floyd across Europe and tell me things haven’t changed.

The empire is the problem. It’s a lesson Justin Raimondo taught me at Antiwar.com twenty years ago. And it’s only now that that idea has reached any kind of critical mass.

Are we going to dismantle the empire in an orderly fashion or a chaotic one? The animals on the streets have cast their vote. What’s yours?

And while Trump has made a hash of foreign policy in so many ways, I also told you that he was smart enough to only play the crazy Ivan role up the to point of actually starting a shooting war.

This is his greatest accomplishment as President. Sadly, it shouldn’t be that great an accomplishment.

And all detractors need to remember this, including me. He hasn’t ended existing wars, but he hasn’t started any new ones. And the U.S. political apparatchiks in D.C. have been braying for wars for nearly four years.

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