Tag Archives: Russia

War Fever, by Daniel Lazare

The push towards war touts flawed logic and relies on unproven and dubious assertions. From Daniel Lazare at consortiumnews.com:

There is a fever that seizes this land from time to time and it is the fever of war, a condition that this time seems immune to all known cures, starting with reason, as Daniel Lazare explores.

What happens when an unthinkable war meets an unbeatable case of war fever?  Thanks to Russia-gate, unsubstantiated reports about the use of poison gas in Syria, and a slew of similar factoids and pseudo-scandals, the world may soon find out.

In saner times, including during the Cold War at even its most heated, political leaders knew not to push a conflict with a rival nuclear power too far.  After all, what was the point of getting into a fight in which everyone would lose?

Cooler heads thus prevailed in Washington while more excitable sorts were shipped off to where they could do no harm.  This is what kept the peace during the U-2 affair, the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban missile crisis and what promised to continue doing so even after the advent of American “unipolarity” in 1989-92.

But that was then.  Today, the question is no longer how to avoid a fight that can only lead to catastrophe, but how to avoid a showdown with a country that “in the past four years has annexed Crimea, intervened in eastern Ukraine, sought to influence the American election in 2016, allegedly poisoned a former Russian spy living in Britain and propped up the murderous government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” to quote the bill of indictment in a recent front-page article in The New York Times.

Given that the list of alleged atrocities expands with virtually each passing week, the answer, increasingly, is: no way, no how.  Since Russia is bent on spreading “conflict and discord” throughout the west – if only in the eyes of the U.S., that is – confrontation grows more and more likely.

 

To continue reading: War Fever

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Trump: Prisoner of the War Party? by Patrick J. Buchanan

As Obama was held hostage to George W. Bush’s wars, Trump may be held hostage to Bush’s and Obama’s wars. All these wars are the brainchildren of the war party. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria.’ We convinced him it was necessary to stay.”

Thus boasted French President Emmanuel Macron Saturday, adding, “We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term.”

Is the U.S. indeed in the Syrian civil war “for the long term”?

If so, who made that fateful decision for this republic?

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley confirmed Sunday there would be no drawdown of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, until three objectives were reached. We must fully defeat ISIS, ensure chemical weapons would not again be used by Bashar Assad and maintain the ability to watch Iran.

Translation: Whatever Trump says, America is not coming out of Syria. We are going deeper in. Trump’s commitment to extricate us from these bankrupting and blood-soaked Middle East wars and to seek a new rapprochement with Russia is “inoperative.”

The War Party that Trump routed in the primaries is capturing and crafting his foreign policy. Monday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page fairly blossomed with war plans:

“The better U.S. strategy is to … turn Syria into the Ayatollah’s Vietnam. Only when Russia and Iran began to pay a larger price in Syria will they have any incentive to negotiate an end to the war or even contemplate a peace based on dividing the country into ethnic-based enclaves.”

Apparently, we are to bleed Syria, Russia, Hezbollah and Iran until they cannot stand the pain and submit to subdividing Syria the way we want.

But suppose that, as in our Civil War of 1861-1865, the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, and the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949, Assad and his Russian, Iranian and Shiite militia allies go all out to win and reunite the nation.

Suppose they choose to fight to consolidate the victory they have won after seven years of civil war. Where do we find the troops to take back the territory our rebels lost? Or do we just bomb mercilessly?

To continue reading: Trump: Prisoner of the War Party?

Kabuki Warfare, by James Howard Kunstler

Well Syria settle into an uneasy quasi-stability? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

When this chapter of US history is finally written, it will look like a deep dive into a vat of lentil soup. In Syria Friday night, we came, we saw, and we slung 103 cruise missiles into largely symbolic targets, including a supposed chemical weapons plant just outside Damascus, and some other places where we were not likely to kill Russian military personnel. The Russians apparently decided to just suck it up, knowing that the civil war in Syria is nearly over. Then what?

Will the US tolerate what has effectively become a Russian client state in the Levant, with some Iranian sprinkles on top? The Saudi Arabians clearly don’t relish that prospect, and one wonders how much the nominal Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, put the squeeze on US officials (including the Golden Golem of Greatness) to do something (!) when he paid a call here a few weeks ago. Israel may not like having Hezbolah’s patron, Iran, camped on their doorstep, but there’s reason to believe that Bibi and Putin understand each other well enough, and that Russia will do what’s necessary to moderate the Iran-Hezbolah-Shia axis of maniacs. Israel’s February strike against Syrian air defense installations was a reminder to all concerned that they will act on their own when they choose to. Finally, Russia certainly has no interest in protecting the caliphate maniacs, since the Bear has plenty of restive Islamic factions in its neighboring former soviet republics.

The various moves and statements having been made, the balance of power in Syria may be settling into a sort of freeze. Actually, anything that arrests the process of Syria turning into another failed Middle East state is better than the alternative. Before al Qaeda, Isis, and their many mutant armies showed up, before Russia came on the scene, before the US set this regional meltdown in motion next door in Iraq, Syria was not the world’s problem. But neither, really, was Vietnam in 1963.

To continue reading: Kabuki Warfare

Why Theresa May Must be Impeached, by Rob Slane

To register their horror at the alleged Syrian attack that released chemicals into the atmosphere, May, Trump, and company conducted missile attacks on chemical plants and risked releasing copious quantities of chemicals into the atmosphere. From Rob Slane at theblogmire.com:

So the moment we’ve been holding our breaths for a week finally came. In the end, I am mighty glad that this particular strike seems more like the impotent thrashing of the neocon snake that didn’t dare to attack places where Russian servicemen were likely to be killed, than it does the start of World War III. For the moment, at least, thank God.

But the fact that it was a fairly limited strike — compared to what it might have been — in which the majority of missiles failed to hit their targets, having been eliminated by Soviet-era air defences, does not in anyway absolve those who ordered the strike from the grave and reckless action they have taken and for which they are responsible. Not only did they authorise this action before an investigation had been carried out in Douma, and in fact hours before the OPCW inspectors were due there, they did so without consulting their respective legislative bodies, without knowing how many of their missiles would or would not hit their targets, or — and this is crucial — knowing for sure whether their actions would elicit a response from Russia.

In other words, if you live in Britain, France or America, you now know just how cheaply the leaders of your country hold your life, and the lives of your fellow countrymen. They have taken action which could have resulted — and might still result — in a direct clash with the Russian military, and while you have breath left in you, you must never forget this, and do all you can to hold these people to account for their lawless, reckless and enormously dangerous actions.

You must also remember that they did so not because they cared about ordinary Syrians, but because their diabolical attempts to topple the Syrian Government, by backing Islamic terrorist groups such as Jaysh al-Islam, has been thwarted.

But there is one more thing. Amongst the myriad of mind-boggling and often deceptive remarks made by Theresa May during her statement after the attacks, I was particularly struck by this:

“Together we have hit a specific and limited set of targets. They were a chemical weapons storage and production facility, a key chemical weapons research centre and a military bunker involved in chemical weapons attacks. Hitting these targets with the force that we have deployed will significantly degrade the Syrian Regime’s ability to research, develop and deploy chemical weapons.”

So the response to an alleged and unproven chemical weapons incident was to attempt to blow up alleged stockpiles of chemical weapons. I confess that I am not an expert in blowing up chemical weapons stockpiles, but it does seem to me to be a reckless and insane thing to do. If there really were stockpiles of chemical weapons in those places, exactly what guarantee could Donald and Theresa give that such chemicals would not then be released into the atmosphere? As I say, I’m not an expert in blowing up chemical weapons stockpiles — I doubt that there are many in the world who are — but it does seem to me at least possible that an action such as this is potentially catastrophic.

To continue reading: Why Theresa May Must be Impeached

Putin Warns Of Global “Chaos” If West Hits Syria Again, by Tyler Durden

One of these days Putin is going to have to back up his threats…or quit making them. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Shortly after US Ambassador Nikki Haley revealed that Russia would be slapped with a third round of sanctions on Monday for “enabling the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons in civil war,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said that further attacks on Syria by Western forces, “in violation of the U.N. Charter,” would send international relations into “chaos.”

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Putin and Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement. –Reuters

The US-led strike was denounced by Putin as an “act of aggression,” and a “war crime” by Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the U.N. Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the Kremlin statement said.

The United States, France and Britain launched over 103 missiles on Saturday night at three Syrian facilities in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in the city of Douma seven days prior. While the West has conclusively blamed the Assad government for the attack, serious questions have arisen over everything from Assad’s motive, the type of nerve agent used, to the credibility of the first responders – an NGO known as the White Helmets who have a reputation for staging evidence.

France cited social media posts and YouTube evidence as justification for their participation in the strikes.

The French services analysed the testimonies, photos and videos that spontaneously appeared on specialized websites, in the press and on social media in the hours and days following the attack.

Testimonies obtained by the French services were also analysed. After examining the videos and images of victims published online, they were able to conclude with a high degree of confidence that the vast majority are recent and not fabricated. The spontaneous circulation of these images across all social networks confirms that they were not video montages or recycled images. Lastly, some of the entities that published this information are generally considered reliable. –Daily Star

So “it looked real and went viral” is apparently all France needs before launching a military strike on a sovereign nation.

To continue reading: Putin Warns Of Global “Chaos” If West Hits Syria Again

The Deep State Takes A Hostage—Orange Comb-Over And All, Part 3, by David Stockman

Has the Deep State captured Trump? David Stockman says yes. From Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com:

Part 1

Part 2

The Donald seems to be taking a Deep Breath on his Syria bombfest, but the Deep State has him by the orange hairs. So we doubt the delay will last much longer.

That’s because our Art of the Deal genius is getting bamboozled yet again. They are telling him that wiping out up to a dozen Syrian airfields, military installations and a dog-eared factory or two that can be identified as chemical weapons sites will amount to some pretty serious Shock & Awe where it counts: That is, the mere witnessing of it will cause the Fat Boy of Pyongyang to brown his ample trousers, thereby getting his “mind right” for the upcoming summit.

That’s exactly the kind of macho-bargainer stuff that the Donald thrives on, and is further proof that the Deep State has figured out exactly how to press his buttons.

To be sure, Trump is no innocent victim. He voluntarily made himself hostage to the War Party by surrounding himself with failed generals and the most rabid war-mongers to be found in the Imperial City—-John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel.

Indeed, you have to wonder. How could anyone with even a half-baked notion of America First think that a hard core interventionist like John Bolton should be brought up right close and personal to the POTUS ear lobes, Walrus mustache and all?

But whatever the Donald was thinking when he made such horrendous choices for his top national security posts, these denizens of the War Party have wasted no time shoving their own agenda right down his throat.

And at the top of that agenda is systematic, relentless escalation of provocations against Russia and Iran. That’s because confrontation with these demonized states is the best way to keep Imperial Washington (and therefore the entire country) on a war-footing and the national security gravy train overflowing with fiscal largesse.

As we indicated in Part 1, the impending attack on Syria is actually a shot across the bow aimed at Tehran and Moscow. The cover story is simply a humanitarian sounding ruse. Ostensibly, Bashar Assad is being administered a good hard spanking via a barrage of cruise missile birch switches.

That begs the question, of course, of how homeland security is actually enhanced by selectively spanking some malefactors and not others.

To continue reading: The Deep State Takes A Hostage—Orange Comb-Over And All, Part 3

Maybe the Russians Did It, by Robert Gore

Con artists are the most easily conned.

If ever a military incident seemed to scream “false flag,” it’s the alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma. The Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, predicted a staged chemical attack almost a month prior. If Syria launched such an attack, it did so a week after President Trump spoke of bringing American troops home, when Syria was clearly winning its war against myriad rebel groups, and knowing the attack would bring global condemnation and possible military action by the US and its allies.

The losing rebel groups have chemical weapons (chlorine gas can be produced by mixing ammonia and bleach). If Syria’s government was blamed, any retaliation by the US and its allies would aid the rebel cause and further the interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, America’s putative allies who would dearly love to see Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad deposed.

Moreover, a rush to judgment, blaming someone before an investigation commences, much less concludes, has become almost an admission that the assignment of culpability lacks credibility. The establishment and its media don’t have the power to persuade they did back in the “lone gunman” days of the 1960s. There are too many people asking too many questions on the internet. The official story line dissolved in the Skripal poisoning, and it was starting to in Syria as well. When governments and their media organs proclaim with certainty conclusions before any investigation has been conducted and any rational conclusions can be reached, what conclusion is possible other than that the narrative has been concocted?

But here’s an interesting possibility: what if the Syrian attack was a “false false flag?” Osama bin Laden knew the only way Islam could triumph over the West, led by the US, was to get the West entangled in the Middle East, thus the 9/11 provocation (if that wasn’t a US government false flag), an engraved invitation for the US to intervene. Seventeen years later, bin Laden’s insight has been confirmed in spades.

The US is still hopelessly bogged down in Afghanistan. Iraq, a stalwart enemy of Iran under Saddam Hussein (aided by the US, he attacked Iran), is now virtually an Iranian satrapy. The two Shiite-majority nations made common cause against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, where they came to the aid of Shiite Assad.

US involvement in Syria has been a series of maladroit disasters. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, and millions displaced, helping fuel a refugee flow to Europe that threatens to tear the European Union apart. The US national debt doubled from $5 to $10 trillion under George W. Bush, and doubled again to $20 trillion under Barack Obama. Take the over at $40 trillion on the debt if Trump gets eight years in office. That’s not all due to military spending, but the standard trade-off in Washington for more military spending has been more domestic spending (for example, Bush’s costly prescription drug program).

Oh, and al Qaeda, once a few hundred men in Afghanistan’s caves, is now a decentralized network wreaking havoc from Indonesia to Morocco, having recruited tens of thousands to its banner of Islamic extremism and hatred of the West.

It’s become mandatory for internet sages to ask cui bono, or who benefits, after each new suspicious incident and alleged false flag. Stepping back, SLL will ask that question about America’s involvement in the Middle East. Clearly Iran has been a big winner, consolidating a Shiite arc from Iran through Iraq and Syria to its Shiite ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, and perhaps Shiite rebels in Yemen. That arc supposedly terrifies Sunni Saudi Arabia and Jewish Israel, the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East. It’s cited in their every tiresome entreaty for the US to come fight Iran for them and make the Middle East safe for their brand of dominance.

However, the two biggest beneficiaries of US intervention in the Middle East have been Russia and China. Aside from Russia’s involvement with Syria, they have, for the most part, stayed on the sidelines. If your enemy is going backwards, you win by standing still, and Russia and China aren’t standing still.

While the US slips ever backward, Russia and China proceed with their One Belt One Road initiative. This series of projects will build out transport, shipping, and computer and communications infrastructure from Southeast Asia through Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe. They will be financed on concessionary terms mostly by China, if it can avoid its own potential debt black hole. Only Deep State lackeys are surprised that this approach wins more friends and influence than the US’s well thought out bomb first, ask questions later strategy.

Friday, Trump again executed that strategy in Syria, replaying last year’s kabuki missile lob, but with more missiles. Targets were carefully chosen so as not to provoke Russian retaliation, which has not been forthcoming so far. Perhaps the Russians actually welcome the US exercise. Like last year, it comes shortly after indications the US might reduce its involvement in Syria. Then, it was the US essentially swearing off Syrian regime change. Now, it’s Trump saying he wants “to bring our troops back home,” and that the US would be leaving Syria “very soon.”

Given the nonstop drain on the US—in blood, treasure, and moral standing—why would Russia want to see the US presence in Syria (or anywhere else in the Middle East) reduced? Maybe Russia was behind the chemical attack it predicted, knowing that Trump and the interventionists would take the bait and respond with one-shot theatre that did no real harm to Russian or Syrian assets. Most importantly to the Russians, it keeps the US involved in Syria. There will be no talk of withdrawal now. This though the Syria-Russia-Iran-Hezbollah alliance has secured most of the country. It’s one thing to have your enemy waste resources on a losing war. It’s a stroke of genius to have the enemy continue to do so on a war they’ve already lost.

Since 9/11, the US brain trust has rejected out of hand the idea that “they”—Islam, Russia, China, and other groups and nations that don’t like us—want us in the Middle East and Northern Africa and will do everything they can to keep us there. Looking at the staggering costs intervention has imposed on the US, why is that possibility rejected? If it is indeed the case, then the US has been played for at least seventeen years, and Trump and those cheering his “decisive action” are being played once again. To say it’s not possible is to implicitly overestimate the intelligence and integrity of the Washington crowd. Con artists are the most easily conned.

We Should Be Laughing At Them!

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