Many people foresaw the disaster that the 2003 Iraq invasion would become, even people in our own government. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
A newly declassified US intelligence memo has been unearthed this week and featured in a bombshell Wall Street Journal report. It proves that the year prior to the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq the White House was expressly warned in great detail of all that could and would go wrong in the regime change war’s aftermath, including the Sunni-Shia sectarian chaos and proxy war with Iran that would define Iraq and the whole region for years following. And crucially, it reveals that seven months before the US invasion of Iraq, American intelligence officials understood that Osama bin Laden was likely “alive and well and hiding in northwest Pakistan” — important given that a key Bush admin claim to sell the war was that Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were “in league” against the United States.
The July 2002 memo was authored by William Burns, then serving as assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, and though clearly dismissed by the Bush neocons making the case for war, proved prescient on many levels. “Following are some very quick and informal thoughts on how events before, during and after an effort to overthrow the regime in Baghdad could unravel if we’re not careful, intersecting to create a ‘perfect storm’ for American interests,” Burns wrote in the memo, classified ‘Secret’ and sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The status quo in North Korea is fine by the military-industrial complex who profit it by it and the neocons who support the idea of US global hegemony and dominance, and loath Eurasian integration. Thus the attempt to subvert negotiations and an eventual peace on the Korean Peninsula. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:
While the western media has written off last weekend’s summit in Hanoi as a failure, the talks did help to burnish Kim Jong-un’s reputation as a sincere statesman committed to peacefully resolving the nuclear issue. This is a significant development for the simple reason that Kim needs to continue to build popular support for his cause if he hopes to prevail in the long-term. In that regard, the lifting of sanctions is not nearly as important as Kim’s broader goal of ending Washington’s military occupation of the Korean peninsula and reunifying the country. In order to achieve those objectives, Kim will need the support of his allies in Moscow and Beijing as well as that of the Korean people. His disciplined performance in Hanoi suggests that he is entirely deserving of that support.
There’s no way to know whether Kim expected President Trump to put the kibosh on the deal or not. But with uber-hawks like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton at the bargaining table, he must have figured that there was a high probability of failure. Was that why Kim made such a generous offer during the negotiations? Was it part of a plan to make him look good because he knew Trump would throw a wrench in the works?
It’s hard to say, but it’s clear that Kim emerged from the confab looking much more amenable and statesmanlike than Trump. From the very beginning, Kim appeared to be fully committed to working with his American counterparts to hammer out a deal that was mutually acceptable. He basically showed the world that he was willing to offer up the bulk of the DPRK nuclear weapons-ballistic missile programs on a silver platter in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions. It was an extraordinarily generous offer which should have led to a real breakthrough, but it didn’t. Instead, the offer was breezily rejected without debate or counter-offer. Why? Why would Trump shrug off an offer to permanently halt all long-range rocket and nuclear tests and to “completely dismantle all the nuclear production facilities” at Yongbyon, the DPRK’s primary nuclear enrichment facility? Isn’t that what Washington wanted from the get go?
The neocons have a lot for which to be hated. From Caitlin Johnstone at lewrockwell.com:
American Conservative has published an article titled “Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around?“, an excerpt from a book by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, which documents neoconservative thought leaders Max Boot and Bill Kristol’s consistent track record of supporting spectacularly awful US war policies. Carlson goes over the many, many acts of military interventionism which have been pushed for by these two legendary failmeisters, documents what they predicted would happen as the result of that interventionism (freedom, democracy and prosperity) and what actually ended up happening instead (needless death, terrorism and chaos), and marvels at how they both somehow remain in positions of high esteem with high-profile, high-paying jobs.
The article was shared today on Twitter by Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, who commented that Carlson “offers a devastating critique [of] interventionism and shows how much of the foreign policy establishment has failed the American people. There is an emerging, left right coalition of common sense for a foreign policy of restraint.”
Khanna has received a predictable amount of backlash from the left for this tweet, as does anyone who mentions the possibility of cross-ideological coalitions against US warmongering. The only cross-ideological convergence that many leftists find palatable in compensating for their relatively weak numbers is with the neoliberal, neoconservative corporate “center”, so-called only because the plutocratic class which benefits from the current Orwellian status quo has been able to buy up narrative control to force their agendas to become the mainstream consensus. The trouble with this, of course, is that that corporate CIA/CNN “center” never opposes US warmongering in any meaningful way. The left (the real left, not the “We call everyone we’re cluster bombing by their preferred gender pronouns” MSNBC faux-left) opposes US warmongering, and in some cases so too does the populist right which has uplifted Tucker Carlson to such prominence.
The hawks want to keep the camel’s nose under the Syria tent indefinitely. You never know when you’re going to want to intervene or stage a regime change. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As the Pentagon appears to be moving forward on President Trump’s ordered troop draw down from Syria, administration hawks as well as foreign allies like Israel have one final card to play to hinder a total withdrawal. They argue that some 200 US troops in Syria’s southeast desert along the Iraqi border and its 55-kilometer “deconfliction zone” at al-Tanf are the last line of defense against Iranian expansion in Syria, and therefore must stay indefinitely.
Al Waleed border crossing, known in Syria as al-Tanf, is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq. It’s long been blocked and controlled by US special forces and US-backed local militias.
Despite Trump’s pledge for a “full” and complete American exit, the Tanf base could remain Washington’s last remote outpostdisrupting the strategic Baghdad-Damascus highway and potential key “link” in the Tehran-to-Beirut so-called Shia land bridge. Foreign Policy magazine identifies this as but the latest obstacle to an actual complete withdrawal of US forces:
“Al-Tanf is a critical element in the effort to prevent Iran from establishing a ground line of communications from Iran through Iraq through Syria to southern Lebanon in support of Lebanese Hezbollah,” an unnamed senior US military source told the magazine.
Washington’s initial justification for establishing the remote special operations outpost was to train local fighters to counter ISIS; however, not only has ISIS now been driven almost completely underground but Russia has accused US forces at al-Tanf of actually allowing ISIS terrorists to maintain a presence in the area in order to put pressure on Damascus.
There are plenty of good reasons for the US to exit Syria immediately, and no good reasons to stay. From Jacob Hornberger at fff.org:
n December, President Trump announced that he was finally ordering an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria. Almost immediately, under pressure from the interventionist crowd, including the national-security branch of the U.S. government, Trump reversed course and announced that he intended to delay the pullout by another four months. Today, it’s not clear that he even intends to abide by that deadline.
Meanwhile, while Trump dawdled with the withdrawal, four more Americans were killed in a suicide-bombing attack carried out by ISIS in Syria. They included two U.S. soldiers, a former U.S. soldier serving as a contractor, and an interpreter. Three other Americans were wounded in the attack.
What did those Americans die for? Nothing. All four died for nothing.
They died for nothing because the U.S. government has no business being in Syria. It never has had any business being in Syria. Those 2,000 U.S. troops don’t belong in Syria. Those four Americans deserve to be alive today. So do all other Americans who are killed in Syria the longer that Trump delays the pullout of all U.S. troops from the country.
Interventionists, not surprisingly, are saying that the ISIS attack instead shows that Trump needs to keep U.S. troops in Syria. They’re saying that the attack shows that ISIS hasn’t really been “defeated,” as Trump claimed when he was justifying his original withdrawal order.
The dead cannot be betrayed. Exiting a pointless war does no dishonor to those who died in it, and prevents their living comrades from being killed. From Maj. Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
Recent attacks on the U.S. military in Syria should not, in themselves, determine national strategy. Unfortunately, hawks in Washington will use American deaths to justify perpetual war.
I’m just old enough to remember a time – before 9/11 – when the death of a US soldier in combat was an exceptionally rare thing. Indeed, its hard not to look back fondly on those days of relative peace. Since then, nearly 7000 Americans – and perhaps half a million local civilians – have been killed in the wars for the Greater Middle East. Most of our fallen troopers, and all of the indigenous victims, are essentially nameless, faceless, forgotten. Sure, Americans “thank” their veterans, and display diligent adulation rituals at weekly sporting events, but most military casualties receive only a passing reference on the nightly news. War is the new normal after all, a standard fact of modern American life that’s far less interesting – and less lucrative – than reporting on the latest soap-opera-drama in the White House.
That’s why the detailed media attention on the latest bombing in Syria, which killed four Americans, is so notable. And strange. So why the sudden interest in individual troop deaths after 17+ years of aimless war? The answer, as is so often the case these days, is simple: Donald Trump. Last week’s fatal attack, and another attempted bombing this Monday, happened to occur on the heels of the president’s controversial announcement of a total troop withdrawal from Syria. Make no mistake: that’s the only reason these tragic deaths happen to matter to the mainstream media outlets and a slew of suddenly interested congressmen.
Before the families of the fallen were even notified, and prior to the release of the service-members’ names, a cacophony of voices flooded the big three TV news outlets to express concern and shamelessly use these deaths to attack the president. Their argument: ISIS attack us so now we have to stay put in Syria. Hawkish legislators – Dems and Republicans alike – claimed to know exactly what the latest attacks portend. Their conclusion, which is always their conclusion, was simple: more war, perpetual military intervention. It seems nearly every Beltway insider, media talking head, semi-retired general, and hawkish congressman immediately came to the same conclusion – that ISIS isn’t defeated and only prolonged U.S. military occupation can get the job done.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged ISIS, Neocons, President Trump, Syria, Syrian withdrawal
The neocons and progressives have found common cause: screwing up other countries and getting rid of Donald Trump. From Philip Giraldi at off-guardian.org:
The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”
Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative. The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.
The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Neocons, President Trump, progressives, US Interventionism