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.”
Thanks to an explosive internal memo, there is no reason to believe the claims put forward by the Syrian opposition that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Douma back in April. This is a scenario I have questioned from the beginning. It also calls into question all the other conclusions and reports by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was assigned in 2014 “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic.”
Besides its activities around dubious ‘chemical’ incident in Syria there is another rather famous case in which the OPCW got involved: The alleged ‘Novichok’ attack on Sergei and Julia Skripal in Salisbury, Britain.
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.
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.
To borrow Caitlin Johnstone’s description of Bellingcat: “Imperialist propaganda firm.” Johnstone dissects its latest spin management and narrative control at medium.com:
Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.
Before we begin I should highlight that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own cofounder was set up to do overtly what the CIA had previously been doing covertly, namely orchestrating narrative management geared toward the elimination of governments which refuse to comply with US interests. NED is funded directly by the US government, which means that Bellingcat is funded by the US government via an organization set up to promote imperialist regime change agendas. Bellingcat is also funded by Open Society Foundations, another imperialist narrative management operation.
Most of America’s most ardent proponents of interventionism and perma-war have never been closer to an actual war than a two-day public relations tour of the troops. From Hunter DeRensis at antiwar.com:
Two weeks ago the Virginia State Senate switched hands from the Republicans to the Democrats, another step in the state’s leftward turn. One of the Democratic pick ups was in the 13th district, where incumbent State Senator Dick Black is retiring from public service. Black is a Vietnam veteran and former colonel in the US army, a former delegate in the Virginia House, and he has served in the state senate since 2012.
Senator Black, who has been a vocal opponent of the United States’ overseas wars, spoke to Antiwar.com for an exclusive interview covering his military career, candid rejection of the Washington foreign policy consensus, and his activism against regime change in Syria.
Military Service and the Vietnam War
Black was born in northern Virginia in 1944, and spent his young formative years being raised in Miami, Florida. After attending the University of Miami for one year, Black was compelled to leave due to financial distress. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and began a “miserable existence” in the aviation cadet program.
If you poke holes in one establishment narrative, people might be skeptical, or outright not believe, other establishment narratives. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is now hemorrhaging evidence that the US and its allies deceived the world once again about yet another military intervention, which should be a front-page story all over the world. Yet if you looked at American news media headlines you’d think the only thing that matters right now is indulging the childish fantasy that Donald Trump might somehow magically be removed from office via supermajority consensus in a majority-Republican Senate.
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