Syria

A modest search for truth – 2

Châlons_-_Mau_(1)Remembered pictures, scenes, objects from childhood sometimes give us clues as to our way of thinking, as to the questions that keep haunting us. The small town where I grew up had, in those days, a single dancing locale, which was, on Saturday evenings, the meeting place for the young, the not so young, and visitors. Among those were American GIs, whose campment was hidden in the dark pine forests, planted in the Second Empire, that surrounded the town. There they would stay until, in 1967, De Gaulle, in a spirit of national independence, withdrew the French military from the joint command of NATO, and sent SHAPE packing from their palatial abode in Fontainebleau to Brussels.

In my childhood, my friends and I looked at those tall and strangely spoken gum-chewing fellows, riding their huge trucks and noisy jeeps, as we wondered who they really were, and what they were (still) doing there. Particularly entertaining were Saturday nights, when I was allowed out a little late, as we witnessed the Military Police, helmetted and brassarded, collecting the bodies of recalcitrant or far too-drunk-to-move GIs. Everyone was well behaved, and only occasionally the MPs used their long truncheons to calmly herd the unruly. Especially well-behaved were the chaps of the Combat Engineers battalion, stationed within the US campus, all black soldiers, and seggregated as was then the entire US army. These men had seen real combat in Germany, and were, for us, a subject of amazement and deep interest. They were even taller than the others, always impeccably dressed in their strange uniforms, and among them were, mysteriously, very good French speakers. During the frequent maneuvres, their GMCs crossed villages and country roads, gratifying the local urshins with oranges, various sweets and the highly valued gum. My childhood impressions of the US military presence were benevolence and gigantism.

These days have long gone, but the childish questions, after several decades, have remained, transformed by adulthood, experience, and the flow of history:

  1. What were the American troops still doing in Europe, more than a decade after the end of the war?
  2. What are they still doing here now, thirty years after the end of the Cold War?
  3. How is it that US Foreign Policy appears, at least since 1945, to have been unchanged, through wars and cataclysms, irrespective of whose majority holds Congress, and which president sits in the White House?

(Image: Par Fab5669 — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32658017)

 

The puzzle of Empire

62FBNFYRGZHOHGEYTKQPMP7VRUI had read in Arrighi that the Vietnam war had been the “signal crisis” of American hegemony. However it took me until 2006, the publishing date of The Peace of Illusions, American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present, to gather some of the main pieces of the puzzle. The author, Christopher Layne, is University Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, and Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Mr Layne explains in his book the rationale for the Post-World War II US Hegemony in Europe, and in Eurasia, and hence America’s role in the world. This is a work of thorough academic-historical research, unbiased by ideology. Mr Layne is a realist, who unravels the causes, motivations and consequential costs of the US hegemonic strategy. In the following the emphasis is mine (except in bold) :

Since the early 1940s, the United States has pursued a grand strategy of extraregional hegemony. From the standpoint of neorealist theory, this is puzzling. The historical record shows that hegemonic grand strategies invariably have proved self-defeating, because they result in counterhegemonic balancing and/or imperial overstretch […] The puzzle is explained partially by the fact that America’s geostrategic position in the international system is sui generis. Unlike Europe’s great powers – which could attain security only by establishing hegemony  on the Continent – the United States has not needed to seek security through extraregional hegemony. Because of military capabilities and geography, since its emergence as a great power, the United States  has been extraordinarily secure. Moreover, before 1945 America’s security was bolstered by the fact that Europe’s great powers had to focus their strategic attention on threats close to home and were unable, therefore, to build up the power projection capabilities to seek extraregional hegemony.

Unlike Europe, the Western Hemisphere was a power vacuum rather than a multipolar system, which allowed the United States to attain regional hegemony. America’s uniques status as the only regional hegemon in the international system was a launching pad for US pursuit of extraregional hegemony. The stopping power of water did not prevent the United States from extending its hegemony to Western Europe after Word War II. Combined with military capabilities, water (or, more correctly, geography) often is a barrier to great power expansion, because it is difficult to project great power over long distances. However, the “stopping power of water” is not an ironclad rule. As America’s experience demonstrates, distance is not invariably an insurmontable obstacle to the attainment of extraregional hegemony. The United States was able to establish its extraregional hegemony on the Continent after World War II because Western Europe was a power vacuum, the United States had overwhelming military capabilities, and it was the beneficiary of sheer good luck (the war ended with a massive US military presence on the Continent.

Thus Layne explains how the US pursuit of hegemony, outside its natural sphere of influence (the Western Hemisphere), at the end of Word War II was possible. This is no surprise: with the Soviet Union, England and all West European countries on their knees, the vacuum was economic, human and military. By comparison the US were an economic and military superpower, without competitors. But why pursuing hegemony?

If security did not drive America’s postwar pursuit of extraregional hegemony, what did? That question is best answered by extraregional hegemony theory, a neoclassical realist theory of US grand strategy. After World War II, the presence of American military power in Europe, the shift in the distribution of power between the United States and Europe in America’s favor as a result of the war, and America’s hard power capabilities provided the opportunity and means for the United States to seek hegemony in Western Europe. But what were the motivations animating US grand strategy? The answer is found at the domestic level: the economic and political Open Doors – in other words, America’s liberal (Wilsonian) ideology – caused the United States to seek hegemony.

The Open Doors is a complex set of linkages among economic and political (ideological) openness abroad, America’s prosperity, and the security of its core values domestically. Since World War II, the Open Doors has reflected what present-day US policymakers call the virtuous circle (which is based on circular logic): international economic openness and the spread of Americam ideology abroad create peace and security for the United States, and the US military presence in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East creates the conditions that allow for international economic openness and the spread of American ideology. By the same token , the Open Doors posits that closure abroad – either economic or ideological – would endanger the safety of America’s core values at home by forcing the United States to adopt regimented economic policies and to become a garrison state. In essence, the Open Doors substituted an open-ended, ideological, and de-territorialized definition of American security for a more traditional conception of security based on the international system’s distribution of power. That is, it divorced the concept of security from defense of the American Homeland and, instead, ultimately defined security ideationally […]

The Open Doors posits that the United States can be secure – that its domestic political and economic system can survive – only if it enjoys absolute security. Unsurprisingly, therefore, even as World War II was still being fought, US postwar planners had concluded that the United States needed to aim for unipolarity. To this end, Washington used its economic leverage to reduce Britain to an adjunct to American power and its military muscle to ensure Germany and Japan never again could reemerge as great powers. During the late 1940s and the 1950s, US policy makers also aspire to eliminate the Soviet Union as a great power by fomenting internal dissention and “rolling back” the Soviet empire in East Central Europe. However, this aspiration – which never entirely disappeared as an element in America’s cold war strategy toward the Soviet Union – ran up against the harsh realities of the nuclear revolution, and its realization had to be deferred.

Thus, I finally uncovered the truth about the continued presence of American forces, and the ideology that fired US hegemonic ambitions since the 1940s. Layne’s analysis also clarifies the reasons for the peculiar predicament of the European Union.

Postwar US grand strategy toward Western Europe was based on the perception that America’s prosperity and its domestic political stability were linked inextricably to an open Western Europe and that, by fostering peace, an open international economic system would contribute to US security. US policymakers believed that economic openness could not take root in Western Europe if the Continent reverted to multipolar power politics. In this respect, America’s postwar Western European grand strategy was neither cold war-driven nor counterhegemonic. The aims of that strategy had been decided on even before World War II had ended, and they required the United States to establish its own hegemony on the Continent. As the cold war unfolded, it was superimposed on this preexisting grand strategic foundation. Even if there had been no Soviet threat, the United States would have maintained a permanent military presence in Western Europe, because the attainment of its economic Open Doors aims compelled it to act as Western Europe’s stabilizer (or “pacifier”) to keep the Western Europeans – especially the French and the Germans – from being at each other’s throats.

The United States also wanted to make certain that Western Europe did not emerge as an independent pole of power – a “third force” – in the international system. Thus the United States had to keep the Western Europeans together economically but apart strategically to prevent them from coalescing and contesting US hegemony. Hence, the United States  promoted Western European integration to “de-nationalize” the foreign and security policies of the Western European states, and it established its hegemony  on the Continent to subordinate the Western Europeans to American leadership in the realms of “high politics”. The most important piece of evidence supporting this explanation is the fact that although the cold war ended some fifteen years ago [Layne writes c. 2005], the United States has not given up its hegemonic role on the Continent and has opposed the European Union’s emergence as an independent strategic pole of power in the international system […]

By many measures, America’s grand strategy from 1945 to 1991 indeed was successful – but not without a price. Not only did US postwar grand strategy impose great costs – and serious risks – on the United States, but the cold war obscured from view America’s underlying hegemonic ambitions and the costs of pursuing them. Some of these costs are tangible, measured in the opportunity cost of trillions of dollars diverted from other – arguably more economically productive and socially benefitial – uses to pursuing US global ambitions […] Other costs were more subtle: the expansion of state power, the accretion power in the imperial presidency (and the concomitant diminution of congressional authority in the realm of foreign affairs), the decay of traditional social institutions, and a general coarsening of public discourse. Ironically, US officials claimed that America’s post-World War II grand strategy would prevent the United States from becoming a garrison state. Instead, the United States became […] a national security state – a point made by Eisenhower when he warned of the dangers of the “military-industrial complex”.

Image: The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, destroyer Russell and cruiser Bunker Hill conduct routine operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (MC2 Anthony Rivera/U.S. Navy) – source

The dominant elites

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Why has the United States stuck so long with its hegemonic strategy? Were US policymakers foolish, or were they willfully indifferent  to the burdens placed on the United States by its grand strategy? The answer is both complex (a topic worthy of a book in its own right) and yet simple. In his book Myths of Empire, Jack Snyder talks about elites “highjacking” the state. This fails to make the point quite strongly enough. Dominant elites do not hijack the state; they are the state. The United States has pursued hegemony because that grand strategy has served the interests of the dominant elites that have formed the core of the US foreign policy establishment since at least the late 1930s, when the New Deal resulted in the domestic political triumph of what Thomas Ferguson calls “multinational liberalism” [“From Normalcy to New Deal“, 1984]. At the core of the multinational liberal coalition were large capital-intensive corporations that looked to overseas markets and outward-looking investment banks. This coalition displaced the so-called system of 1896, which was organized around labor-intensive industries that favored economic nationalism and opposed strategic internationalism.

The multinational liberal coalition that cemented its hold on power during the New Deal had its roots deep in the Eastern establishment; it also included the national media, important foundations, the big Wall Street law firms, and organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations. This coalition favored economic and political Open Doors and the strategic internationalism that accompanied them. Although the bipartisan consensus among the US foreign policy establishment favoring strategic internationalism and US hegmony that was forged some six decades ago has occasionally been tested – notably during the Vietnam War – it has proved remarkably durable. Unless it undergoes a Damascene-like intellectual conversion, as long as the present foreign policy elite remains in power the United States will remain wedded to a hegemonic grand strategy. It probably will take a major domestic political realignment –  perhaps triggered by setbacks abroad or a severe economic crisis at home – to bring about a change in American grand strategy.

Layne concludes his analysis by considering if and how the United States could distance itself from its hegemonic grand strategy in order to preserve its own interests. We are now reading The Peace of Illusions fifteen years after its publication. In this “modest search for truth”, we accept that it provides a very clear and convincing demonstration as to why US foreign policy appears to have been constant, since the 1940s, in its pursuit for global dominance and hegemony. Yet some questions remain unresolved (emphasis mine).

In Thomas Ferguson paper, quoted by Layne, its author intends to “outline the major elements of the coalition that triumphantly came together during and after Roosevelt Second New Deal – the coalition that, in its successive mutations, dominated American politics until Jimmy Carter […] I sketch the systematic, patterned disintegration of the System of 1896 and the simultaneous emergence of another New Deal bloc, whose interests and ideology shaped what can conveniently be termed ‘multinational liberalism'” The full title of Ferguson’s 1984 essay is “From Normalcy to New Deal: industrial structure, party competition, and American public policy in the Great Depression”. Did Ferguson mean that the “coalition” ceased to be dominant under, or after, the Carter presidency, or that its objectives, and hence American politics, then changed and took another direction?

Yet Layne asserts, in 2005, that no such change ever took place:

It is often said, with respect to US grand strategy, that the al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington DC, “changed everything”. But they did not. After 9/11 – as before – geopolitical dominance has been the ambition of the United States. If anything, 9/11 gave Bush II administration’s “hegemonists” a convenient – indeed, almost providential – rationale for implementing policies they would have wanted to pursue in any event, including “regime change” in Iraq (and possibly Iran); the projection of US power into the Middle East and Central Asia; a massive five-year defense buildup […] and a nuclear strategy that aims at attaining meaningful nuclear superiority over peer competitiors and simultaneously ensuring that regional powers cannot develop the capacity to deter US military intervention abroad. In short, the Bush II administration has sought security by expanding US power and pursuing hegemony. In this respect it has stayed on – not left – the grand strategic path followed by the United States since the early 1940s.

In considering the merits of Layne’s arguments, some fifteen years later, one must observe that, judging by results, the main outcomes of the Bush II administration’s – and its successors’ – initiatives in Central Asia and the Middle East, appear now to be opposite to the grand strategic aims. While the global US military presence, the expansion of NATO, and the bloated defense budget, public and hidden, remain constants of American foreign policy, the Iraq and Afghanistan fiascos imposed a heavy cost on American credibility and influence, a blow to the hegemonic ambition. If Vietnam was America’s hegemon “signal crisis”, according to Arrighi, was the second Iraq war not an ignominous sign of its decline? Is this the inevitable result of the “self-defeating” grand strategy?

Especially in the Middle East, the US lost friends, failed to succeed in their regime change ambition in Syria (assuming regime change was the objective), and, worst of all, was unable to prevent the armed intrusion, in Syria, at the heart of this most strategic area, of a dreaded “regional power”, the Russian Federation. It must be legitimate to ask who really benefited from the “providential” events of 2001 and the actions of the Bush II “hegemonists”.

In the following posts we will investigate the apparent contradictions of the grand strategy in recent history, as well as attempt to answer this last question: who benefited? To achieve this we will have to look back at some of the influences that may have inflected US foreign policy and its actors.

For a European left critic of Christopher Layne’s book, see “A Radical Realist“.

Image: President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, President Bush, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in June 2003. source

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A modest search for truth – 3 >>

Supremacy, and delusion

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In his 2006 seminal opus, titled “The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present“, Christopher Layne, Professor of International Affairs and Robert M Gates chair in National Security at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, exposes the fallacies of a US foreign policy continued through all administrations since before the onset of WWII. “Does the United States need to pursue hegemony to gain security (offensive realism), or should it be an offshore balancer (defensive realism)?” asks Layne in the first chapter of the book. 205 pages later the reader is clear for the reasons, the logic, and the illusions. The successive US administrations have sought to maintain hegemony, especially through military supremacy, in order to maintain the “Open Doors” dogmatic strategy, the right to influence, exploit, preserve the US worldview, its corporate interests, the influence of its culture, and above all, prevent its isolation. Wayne concludes: ” Unless it undergoes a Damascene-like intellectual conversion, as long as the present foreign policy elite remains in power the United States will remain wedded to a hegemonic grand strategy. It probably will take a major domestic political realignment – perhaps triggered by setbacks abroad or a severe economic crisis at home – to bring about a change in American grand strategy.”

We now know that this change could not be brought about, neither by the 2008 financial crisis, nor by the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency. In the meantime, NATO’s enlargement to the former Warsaw Pact’s countries and encirclement of the Russian Federation, backed by relentless economic sanctions, have brought Europe and the world to the brink of war. As observed by John Helmer, in a post reviewing Tariq Ali’s book on “Lenin’s Dilemmas“, the  military situation now is analogous to that of 1922, when western armies encircled the young Soviet Union. But this is a different Russia, and the Soviet Union is no more.

The perspective presented by Andrei Martyanov‘s “Losing Military Supremacy: the Myopia of American Strategic Planning“, in many ways confirms Layne’s analysis, and draws the conclusion further. According to Martyanov, the American elites and their allies are about to experience a brutal awakening. Whereas, in the West, there is no shortage of literature about the Soviet, and now, Russian “threat” and agression (inclusive of “Russian military deception“), Martyanov explains that in the last decades, in parallel with the financialisation of western, particularly anglo-saxon, economies, real expertise in Russian real power has disappeared. In the present circumstances, and since WWII, the reference line is on military power. Martyanov blames the decay of the US education system, undermined by the fictitious, as opposed to real, economy, the disappearance of diplomacy in the classical sense, for delusions going back to a Hollywood interpretation of the victory over Nazi Germany in WWII by Pattonesque generals and politicians, as well as the so-called “victory” in the Cold War. He quotes distinguished US officers in the Navy and Intelligence who anticipated and deplored these developments: deluded elites relying on pseudo expertise by unqualified individuals without the prerequisite knowledge and understanding. As a result, political miscalculations – the Kiev putsch, the destruction of Libya, terrorism in Iraq and Syria, Iran sanctions etc. –  are a real threat to peace. The Russian economy is underestimated – for if GDP has been historically a measure of real power, its value in de-industrialised economies based on (particularly financial) services are of no relevance to a comparison of military power. Yet, policy decisions continue to be made in Washington, and elsewhere, based on a gross underestimate of Russian real military power. The evidence is there to be seen, beyond the veil of fake news and increasingly absurd claims, in the Ukraine, in the Middle-East, in the Pacific. Martyanov identifies long range and hypersonic missile technology, electronic countermeasures, submarine warfare and air-defences, among others, where it is claimed, Russia has now a lead over the US.

Some observers have for some time concluded that Russia, and China, are now preparing for war. On the day when more war-mongers have just been elected to the US Congress, I, for one, cannot blame them.

The End of International Law?

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by Thierry Meyssan

The war against the Greater Middle East should end with the withdrawal of US troops within the next six months. And yet nothing proves that peace will settle in each of the countries that were invaded. Today we are witnessing what seems to be a tentative to get rid of international law. Will this consolidate a division of the world into two parts, or will it open to a generalised conflict?

Continue here

Thierry Meyssan: Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in French – Sous nos Yeux. Du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump (Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump).

Décryptage de la guerre en Ukraine

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Ce qui suit a été publié sur Twitter par le journaliste de la Stalker Zone, Ollie Richardson (@O_Rich_). Les commentaires entre […] sont les miens.

Je vois encore souvent la Russie critiquée, pour n’être pas intervenue lors des évènements, en Ukraine, il y a quatre ans. Cette critique suit toujours la même forme, sans que soit proposée une alternative, ou si une alternative est proposée, d’une naïveté incroyable.

Le problème principal: ces critiques supposent un scénario non-existant, où l’Ukraine serait la seule source de conflit géopolitique. Bien sûr, si l’Ukraine était la seule source de conflit, une solution serait beaucoup plus facile à identifier. Mais la réalité est différente.

Le second problème est l’ignorance du fait que les évènements de 2014 en Ukraine ont été la culmination de cent ans d’histoire. En fait, il est légitime d’affirmer, en gros, que tout ce désastre était déjà prévisible du temps de la République Populaire Ukrainienne.

Le troisième problème est de croire que les évènements se suivent en série, plutôt que de se produire en parallèle, c’est à dire qu’au départ d’un évènement dans un pays, il s’en suit que les évènements en cours dans d’autres pays s’arrêtent, temporairement ou indéfiniment. Il y a suffisamment d’explications scientifiques qui montrent que cette hypothèse est erronée.

Le quatrième problème est le manque de compréhension, en général, que la Russie d’aujourd’hui est construite sur les fondations de l’URSS. Prétendre séparer les deux périodes, comme si elles n’étaient pas connectées, contribue à une approche à la fois idéaliste et mentalement étriquée.

Pour en arriver maintenant au coeur du sujet: en 2014, les USA lâchent sur l’Ukraine quelque chose qui avait déjà forme et énergie. Les idées anti-soviétiques avaient déjà été promues dans les années 90, grace à Gorbachev et Yeltsin. Cette base était alors établit.

Dans les années 90, dans l’ouest de l’ Ukraine, vous pouviez déjà être attaqué pour porter un ruban de Saint-George. Bien sûr c’était encore bien différent de ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, quand vous pouvez être légalement abattu pour la même raison, mais les symptômes étaient identiques.

Au même moment le gouvernement ukrainien se dirigeait vers une politique multi-vectorielle, pour être à la fois pro-US et pro-Russe. C’est Kuchma qui développa cette approche, qui mit le pays sur la route des évènements de 2013/2014. Dès 2013 les US avaient déjà établit leur réseau de NGOs [en Ukraine].

La formation de ce réseau avait en fait commencé pendant la 2e guerre mondiale, avec comme stade précurseur la formation de l’ UPA/OUN [organisations nationalistes]. Il est vital de comprendre que les US avaient déjà une main-mise solide sur l’ouest de l’Ukraine, bien avant l’effondrement de l’URSS.

La tâche était toujours d’injecter [le même procédé: création de “NGOs” et préparation d’un soulèvement armé] en Russie. Yeltsin fit de son mieux pour dépecer le pays, mais le KGB finit par identifier les principaux points chauds du complot US, et agit à temps pour neutraliser les menaces les plus dangereuses (Putin y fut engagé.)

Donc pour la CIA c’était le retour au départ, puisque ni l’Afghanistan, ni Grozny, ni la Géorgie, ni les “révolutions multi-couleurs” en Lettonie/Biélorussie/Arménie n’avaient réussit, et le moment était donc venu de jouer la carte de l’Ukraine. Le réseau NGO attira la Galicie [partie de l’Ukraine historiquement et politiquement hostile à la Russie] vers Kiev, et le reste est déjà de l’histoire. Et c’est exactement au moment de la fuite de Yanukovych et de la césure des élites, que la Russie aurait du intervenir, à croire ses détracteurs. Il y avait un autre problème: le réseau US NGO [dans ce cas les organisations soi-disantes d’opposition au gouvernement syrien, et, en fait, les terroristes] était sur le point de prendre Damas.

Ainsi, en 2014, la Russie est attaquée dans deux directions, la Syrie et l’Ukraine. A en croire ses détracteurs, la Russie aurait du envahir l’Ukraine et repousser la junte. Ceci avant le commencement de l’ATO [l’opération “anti-terroriste” déclenchée par la junte contre le Donbass.] Imaginons que la Russie envoie ne serait-ce qu’un char de l’autre coté de la frontière…

Où cela aurait laissé la Russie en ce qui concerne le droit international? Qu’est-ce que Moscou pourrait espérer, alors que l’histoire montre que démarrer une guerre est facile, mais la terminer est très, très difficile? La Russie doit-elle commencer à tuer ses fils, car les Ukrainiens sont en fait des Russes?

C’est précisément là que la logique fallacieuse des détracteurs est apparente. Les US sont en Ukraine pour une seule raison: pour attirer la Russie, et, en attendant, pour le pillage. Les US veulent à tout prix que la Russie tue des Ukrainiens, n’importe quel Ukrainien.

Les US veulent cela au point d’aider à provoquer la Russie pour qu’elle franchisse la frontière: l’ATO. Ils veulent que Moscou détruise la nation Russe de ses propres mains. Il n’y aurait pas de victimes américaines, le complex militaro-industriel y aurait bon compte, il suffirait d’un seul crime de guerre de la part de Putin.

Et alors, que cela fait non seulement de Putin, mais de la Russie dans son ensemble? Après tout, si la Russie envoie ses chars en Ukraine en 2014, le seul résultat serait du sang, et encore plus de sang. La Russie commettrait des crimes de guerre hideux, et le tribunal de La Haye préparerait le dossier.

Vous vous rappelez de la Yougoslavie, comment Milosevitch fut attiré dans le conflit, et comment cela s’est terminé. Les détracteurs ont-ils appris quoi que ce soit? Ainsi, Putin, qui sait exactement ce que les US veulent, utilise leur énergie à ses fins propres: les accords de Minsk.

Maintenant l’UE et les US sont tenus par la decision du Conseil de Sécurité, et ne peuvent pas fuir et laisser tomber l’Ukraine comme un jouet dont on ne veut plus. Ils ont à faire face à ce Frankenstein nazi qu’ils ont créé, tout en savant très bien qu’il est empoisonné. En même temps que Minsk, Putin fait autre chose.

En 2011 la Russie savait qu’intervenir en Libye aurait résulté en échec. Le Ministère de la Défense et leurs ordinateurs ont conclue: attendez, et frapper les US en Syrie.

Cela s’est traduit par un succès à 100%. Pourquoi? Parce que la Russie a été invitée en Syrie par son gouvernement. Et cela est une chose que les US ne peuvent pas changer. Et en un clin d’oeil le “couteau de l’armée suisse” fut déployé (S-400, Sukhoi, Pantsir S1, Tupolev etc.)

Rappelons que ceci a lieu au même moment où la Russie supporte le DPR/LPR [les républiques du Donbass] au mieux de ses possibilités, sans être attirée en Ukraine par les US. Autrement dit, la Russie frappe les US au coeur en Syrie, et immobilise le front parallèle en Ukraine.

Je ne mentionnerai pas Strelkov [volontaire Russe au Donbass, commandant les forces anti-Kiev à Slaviansk, au début de l’ATO], mais ce n’est pas une coïncidence que le Département d’État aime faire se louanges, et que ses patrons aime visiter la capitale [?] de la cinquième colonne en Russie. Ses actions heureusement échouèrent à attirer la Russie en Ukraine.

La Russie doit-elle être condamnée pour les cent mille victimes de la guerre du Donbass? Non, parce que si elle était intervenue de la manière voulue par ses détracteurs, ce nombre serait probablement autour d’un million, ou plus. Obama réussit à faire ce que nul autre président n’avait pu faire:

Enfoncer une cale dans la nation Russe, qui continue à saigner jusqu’à ce jour. Des Russes tuent des Russes au Donbass, partout en Ukraine, tous les jours. Chaque mort des forces armées  ukrainiennes ou des milices du Donbass, est une victoire pour les US.

Mais pour la Russie envoyer ses blindés à Kiev n’est pas la solution, parce que la Russie se comporterait alors comme les US (Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Japon etc.) raisonnant avec ses poings. Ce n’est pas la méthode Russe, comme l’armée rouge l’a si bien démontré.

On dit en sport que l’offensive gagne les matchs, mais la défensive gagne les tournois. Dans ce cas, S-400 plus les accords de Minsk conduiront à la victoire. Kiev respectent-ils les accords de Minsk? Non. Était-ce l’intention des signataires qu’il en soit autrement? Non.

Merkel, Hollande, Putin et Poroshenko, tous savaient qu’il n’y aurait pas de cessez le feu. En réalité, le but de ce document était de ralentir l’escalation, parce que l’Ouest avait besoin que les évènements de Syrie rattrapent ceux de l’Ukraine pour compenser la perte de Debaltsevo/Ilovaisk [défaite de l’armée ukrainienne au moment des négociations de Minsk]

La triste réalité est que l’Ukraine avait [tot ou tard] à faire face aux actions des UPA/OUN dans les années 40, à Volyn et Babi Yar [massacres de juifs et de partisans.] Il lui appartenait de résoudre ce problème, et les US pointaient cette bombe à retardement dans la direction de Moscou. Seuls les Ukrainiens eux-mêmes peuvent résoudre le dilemme.

Et c’est pourquoi les US investissent autant dans les media ukrainiens et les NGOs, pour empêcher la solution ukrainienne du problème, et empêcher le changement de la trajectoire centenaire et suicidaire vers la destruction commencée par les Petliura et Skoropadsky [politiciens ukrainiens au temps de la révolution russe]

Le temps démontrera que l’immobilisation du front ukrainien par la Russie, sa neutralisation comme arme des US, l’encouragement aux élites et bandéristes à s’entre dévorer, était le seule solution pour pouvoir sauver la nation Russe.

C’est pourquoi Putin insiste sur l’unité de l’Ukraine, avec les républiques du LPR/DNR continuant de faire partie de la structure interne de l’Ukraine sous un statut spécial: les NGO US et les bandéristes ne doivent pas avoir droit d’entrée dans la Fédération de Russie, et Moscou doit prouver à l’Ouest comment fonctionne le Droit International.

Lorsque les critiques de Moscou se font de nouveau entendre, puisque, apparemment, bombarder Kiev ou quelque sorte d’intervention doit arriver, la question s’impose: pouvez vous proposer une autre solution compatible avec les réalités des Relations Internationales à notre époque?

La réponse est d’habitude bal-bla-bla. Deux règles d’or: si vous n’êtes pas capable de faire un meilleur travail, fermez la! Si vous n’êtes pas engagés dans ce jeu, 2+2 devient soudainement 5.

Traduction française: Honoré Dupuis, qui porte la responsabilité pour toute erreur d’interprétation.

 

 

 

Deciphering the war in the #Ukraine, via @O_Rich_

 

A magisterial analysis of events by Ollie Richardson, writer at the      stalkerzone.org   

(*) UNR: Ukrainian National Republic

 

After the wet Summer, a hot Winter?

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It has not been a good Summer over here, with many trips we did not wish for, and few moments of inspiration on the writing front. And those news… Seeing clearly through the  mass of lies, fake facts, false flags and other turpitudes of the neocon/neo-liberal media requires constant attention, and more than a critical eye.

As the US presidency under Donald Trump sank further into the sulfur of the neocon swamp, amid force applauds from the worse in US politics, we wondered what could be left of free-will for the man who defied the said swamp, not that long ago. With his clear-eyed advisers gone, who really now would explain to the president the realities of the world? Listening to outrageous statements about Iran and Korea, and the continuation of Obama’s shitty wars via proxies, drones and SOF, who could doubt that the generals are in charge?

Which takes us to Syria, where the battle front brings now the government forces and their allies closer and closer to the truth, which they no doubt have known all along: that “terrorism” was a mask, that there is no such thing as “ISIS” (or whatever) but an army of thugs, gangsters and murderers, set up, funded and armed by the US, under cover of an alleged “opposition” to the “regime”, to perpetuate their permanent attack on the last secular state in the Middle-East. The episode of the attack against the Syrian army and a small unit of Russian military police in Idlib, from positions held by Al-Nusra and the US SOF, the release by the Russian MoD of aerial photographies showing US armour and transport, in an area allegedly held by “ISIS”, and the absence of any evidence of fighting or air attack in the area, are a clear indication of the permanent intentions of the US government (or whoever is really in charge in DC). We knew from the very beginning of the Russian Airforce onslaught on “ISIS”, that the said “ISIS” appeared then remarkably untouched by the so-called anti terrorism coalition: oil quietly flowing from the stolen oil fields of Iraq and eastern Syria, to Turkey, installations in perfect order, after two years of alleged bombing by the said coalition etc. A sham. With the dismantling of “ISIS” and affiliated murderers, there is little doubt that what will be left, is the original sin: US SOF and gangs of thugs, armed and trained by them (“SDF”), from the very start of the conflict in occupied Iraq. No surprise that the Iraqi Kurds, allies of the US during the invasion of Iraq, are now calling their bluff: they want their independence, promised at the time to ensure their loyalty.

This is where the crunch lies: in the arc Turkey – Northern Syria – Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Is there any valuable comparison there with the Balkan situation pre-1914?

So, Germany just had general elections. The German system, its constitution and electoral laws, are without comparison elsewhere in the European Union. This is a federal system, where general elections (for the Bundestag, federal parliament) do not lead to an overall majority, without the formation of some coalition. Hence the debates, started even before official results were known, and behind the door negotiations that will last for weeks. Two notable facts: many voters deserted the parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) of the now dead “great coalition”, and the rise of the nationalist AfD. Nonetheless Mrs Merkel will still be Chancellor (head of government), and changes in Foreign Policies (NATO, Ukraine, Russian sanctions, Afghanistan) are unlikely in the medium term. But there is some hope that, with a real opposition in the Bundestag, assuming a likely CDU/CSU – FDP – Grün coalition, there may be some scope down the line.

On Sunday, the Berlin marathon was run on the wet streets of the capital. Heroic African runners won the race. The skies are grey.

The ‘Global Order’: Myth Teary-eyed nostalgia as cover for U.S. hegemony

By ANDREW J. BACEVICH

From: The American Conservative

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Lotus_studio/Shutterstock 

During the Age of Trump, Year One, a single word has emerged to capture the essence of the prevailing cultural mood: resistance. Words matter, and the prominence of this particular term illuminates the moment in which we find ourselves.

All presidents, regardless of party or program, face criticism and opposition.Citizens disinclined to support that program protest. Marching, chanting, waving placards, and generally raising a ruckus in front of any available camera, they express dissent. In normal times, such activism testifies to the health of democracy.

Yet these are not normal times. In the eyes of Trump’s opponents, his elevation to the pinnacle of American politics constitutes a frontal assault on values that until quite recently appeared fixed and unassailable. In such distressing circumstances, mere criticism, opposition, protest, and dissent will not suffice. By their own lights, anti-Trump forces are fending off the apocalypse. As in November 1860 so too in November 2016, the outcome of a presidential election has placed at risk a way of life.

The very word resistance conjures up memories of the brave souls who during World War II opposed the Nazi occupation of their homelands, with the French maquis the best known example. It carries with it an unmistakable whiff of gunpowder. After resistance comes revolution.

Simply put, Trump’s most ardent opponents see him as an existential threat, with the clock ticking. Thus the stakes could hardly be higher. Richard Parker of Harvard has conjured what he calls Resistance School, which in three months has signed up some 30,000 anti-Trump resistors from 49 states and 33 countries. “It is our attempt to begin the long slow process of recovering and rebuilding our democracy,” says Parker. Another group styling itself the DJT Resistance declares that Trump represents “Hatred, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Sexism, Racism, and Greed.”

This is not language suggesting the possibility of dialogue or compromise. Indeed, in such quarters references to incipient fascism have become commonplace. Comparisons between Trump and Hitler abound. “It takes willful blindness,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times, “not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare.” And time is running short. Journalist Chris Hedges says “a last chance for resistance” is already at hand.

In the meantime, in foreign-policy circles at least, a second, less explosive term vies with resistance for Trump-era signature status. This development deserves more attention than it has attracted, especially among those who believe that alongside the question that riles up the resistance—namely, what values define us?—sits another question of comparable importance: “What principles define America’s role in the world?”

That second term, now creeping into the vocabulary of foreign-policy specialists, is liberal, often used interchangeably with the phrase rules-based and accompanied by additional modifiers such as open, international, and normative. All of these serve as synonyms for enlightened and good.

So Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, describing what he refers to as the “twilight of the liberal world order,” worries about the passing of “the open international economic system the United States created and helped sustain.” Donald Trump’s misguided emphasis on “America First,” Kagan writes, suggests that he has no interest in “attempting to uphold liberal norms in the international system” or in “preserving an open economic order.”

Commenting on Trump’s Inaugural Address, Nicole Gaouette, CNN national-security reporter, expresses her dismay that it contained “no reference to America’s traditional role as a global leader and shaper of international norms.” Similarly, a report in the Financial Times bemoans what it sees as “a clear signal about Mr. Trump’s disregard for many of the international norms that have governed America as the pillar of the liberal economic order.” The historian Jeremi Suri, barely a week into Trump’s presidency, charges Trump with “launching a direct attack on the liberal international order that really made America great after the depths of the Great Depression.” At the Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart Patrick concurs: Trump’s election, he writes, “imperils the liberal international order that America has championed since World War II.” Thomas Wright, another Brookings scholar, piles on: Trump “wants to undo the liberal international order the United States built and replace it with a 19th-century model of nationalism and mercantilism.”

In Foreign Policy, Colin Kahl and Hal Brands embellish the point: Trump’s strategic vision “diverges significantly from—and intentionally subverts—the bipartisan consensus underpinning U.S. foreign policy since World War II.” Failing to “subscribe to the long-held belief that ‘American exceptionalism’ and U.S. leadership are intertwined,” Trump is hostile to the “open, rule-based international economy” that his predecessors nurtured and sustained.

Need more? Let Gen. David Petraeus have the last word: “To keep the peace,” the soldier-turned-investment-banker writes in an essay entitled “America Must Stand Tall,” the United States has established “a system of global alliances and security commitments,” thereby nurturing “an open, free and rules-based international economic order.” To discard this legacy, he suggests, would be catastrophic.

You get the drift. Liberalism, along with norms, rules, openness, and internationalism: these ostensibly define the postwar and post-Cold War tradition of American statecraft. Allow Trump to scrap that tradition and you can say farewell to what Stewart Patrick refers to as “the global community under the rule of law” that the United States has upheld for decades.

But what does this heartwarming perspective exclude? We can answer that question with a single word: history.

Or, somewhat more expansively, among the items failing to qualify for mention in the liberal internationalist, rules-based version of past U.S. policy are the following: meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran, Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere—many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; “extraordinary rendition,” torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process.

Granted, for each of these, there was a rationale, rooted in a set of identifiable assumptions, ambitions, and fears. The CIA did not conspire with Britain’s MI6 in 1953 to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected president just for the hell of it. It did so because shelving Mohammad Mosaddegh seemingly offered the prospect of eliminating an annoying problem. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson did not commit U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam because he was keen to fight a major ground war in Asia but because the consequences of simply allowing events to take their course looked to be even worse. After 9/11, when George W. Bush and his associates authorized the “enhanced interrogation” of those held in secret prisons, panic rather than sadism prompted their actions. Even for the most egregious folly, in other words, there is always some explanation, however inadequate.

Yet collectively, the actions and episodes enumerated above do not suggest a nation committed to liberalism, openness, or the rule of law. What they reveal instead is a pattern of behavior common to all great powers in just about any era: following the rules when it serves their interest to do so; disregarding the rules whenever they become an impediment. Some regimes are nastier than others, but all are law-abiding when the law works to their benefit and not one day longer. Even Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalin’s USSR punctiliously observed the terms of their non-aggression pact as long as it suited both parties to do so.

My point is not to charge à la Noam Chomsky that every action undertaken by the United States government is inherently nefarious. Rather, I am suggesting that to depict postwar U.S. policy in terms employed by the pundits quoted above is to whitewash the past. Whether their motive is to deceive or merely to evade discomfiting facts is beside the point. What they are peddling belongs to the universe of alt facts. To characterize American statecraft as “liberal internationalism” is akin to describing the business of Hollywood as “artistic excellence.”

“Invocations of the ‘rules-based international order,’” Politico’s Susan Glasser rightly observes, “had never before caused such teary-eyed nostalgia.” Whence comes this sudden nostalgia for something that never actually existed? The answer is self-evident: it’s a response to Donald Trump.

Prior to Trump’s arrival on the scene, few members of the foreign-policy elite, now apparently smitten with norms, fancied that the United States was engaged in creating any such order. America’s purpose was not to promulgate rules but to police an informal empire that during the Cold War encompassed the “Free World” and became more expansive still once the Cold War ended. The pre-Trump Kagan, writing in 2012, neatly summarizes that view:

The existence of the American hegemon has forced all other powers to exercise unusual restraint, curb normal ambitions, and avoid actions that might lead to the formation of a U.S.-led coalition of the kind that defeated Germany twice, Japan once, and the Soviet Union, more peacefully, in the Cold War.

Leave aside the dubious assertions and half-truths contained within that sentence and focus on its central claim: the United States as a hegemon that forces other nations to bend to its will. Strip away the blather about rules and norms and here you come to the essence of what troubles Kagan and others who purport to worry about the passing of “liberal internationalism.” Their concern is not that Trump won’t show adequate respect for rules and norms. What has them all in a lather is that he appears disinclined to perpetuate American hegemony.

More fundamentally, Trump’s conception of a usable past differs radically from that favored in establishment quarters. Put simply, the 45th president does not subscribe to the imperative of sustaining American hegemony because he does not subscribe to the establishment’s narrative of 20th-century history. According to that canonical narrative, exertions by the United States in a sequence of conflicts dating from 1914 and ending in 1989 enabled good to triumph over evil. Absent these American efforts, evil would have prevailed. Contained within that parable-like story, members of the establishment believe, are the lessons that should guide U.S. policy in the 21st century.

Trump doesn’t see it that way, as his appropriation of the historically loaded phrase “America First” attests. In his view, what might have occurred had the United States not waged war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and had it not subsequently confronted the Soviet Union matters less than what did occur when the assertion of hegemonic prerogatives found the United States invading Iraq in 2003 with disastrous results.

In effect, Trump dismisses the lessons of the 20th century as irrelevant to the 21st. Crucially, he goes a step further by questioning the moral basis for past U.S. actions. Thus, his extraordinary response to a TV host’s charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump retorted. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?” In offering this one brief remark, Trump thereby committed the ultimate heresy. Of course, no serious person believes that the United States is literally innocent. What members of the foreign-policy establishment—including past commanders-in-chief—have insisted is that the United States act as if it were innocent, with prior sins expunged and America’s slate wiped clean. This describes the ultimate U.S. perquisite and explains why, in the eyes of Robert Kagan et al., Russian actions in Crimea, Ukraine, or Syria count for so much while American actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya count for so little.

The desperate exercise in historical revisionism that now credits the United States with having sought all along to create a global community under the rule of law represents that establishment’s response to the heresies Trump has been spouting (and tweeting) since his famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower.

Yet in reclassifying yesterday’s hegemon as today’s promulgator and respecter of norms, members of that establishment perpetrate a fraud. Whether Americans, notably gullible when it comes to history, will fall for this charade remains to be seen. Thus far at least, Trump himself, who probably knows a thing or two about snake-oil salesmen, shows little inclination to take the bait.

Say this for the anti-Trump resistance: while the fascism-just-around-the-corner rhetoric may be overheated and a touch overwrought, it qualifies as forthright and heartfelt. While not sharing the view that Trump will rob Americans of their freedoms, I neither question the sincerity nor doubt the passion of those who believe otherwise. Indeed, I am grateful to them for acting so forcefully on their convictions. They are inspiring.

Not so with those who now wring their hands about the passing of the fictive liberal international order credited to enlightened American statecraft. They are engaged in a great scam, working assiduously to sustain the pretense that the world of 2017 remains essentially what it was in 1937 or 1947 or 1957 when it is not.

Today’s Russia is not a reincarnation of the Soviet Union; the People’s Republic of China is not Imperial Japan; and the Islamic State in no way compares to Nazi Germany. Most of all, United States in the era of Donald Trump is not the nation that elected Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower, not least of all in the greatly reduced willingness of Americans to serve as instruments of state power, as the failed post-9/11 assertions of hegemony have demonstrated.

The world has changed in fundamental ways. So too has the United States. Those changes require that the principles guiding U.S. policy also change accordingly.

However ill-suited by intellect, temperament, and character for the office he holds, Trump has seemingly intuited the need for such change. In this regard, if in none other, I’m with the Donald
But note the irony. Trump may come closer to full-fledged historical illiteracy than any president since Warren G. Harding. Small wonder then that his rejection of the mythic past long employed to preempt serious debate regarding U.S. policy gives fits to the perpetrators of those myths.

Andrew J. Bacevich is TAC’s writer-at-large.  

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Austin Scott Introduce Legislation to End Illegal U.S. War to Overthrow Syrian Government of Assad

From http://gabbard.house.gov/index.php/press-releases/520-reps-tulsi-gabbard-austin-scott-introduce-legislation-to-end-illegal-u-s-war-to-overthrow-syrian-government-of-assad

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Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), both members of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced H.R. 4108, a bipartisan bill to end U.S. efforts to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed combat veteran, said the intent of the bill is to “Bring an immediate end to the illegal, counter-productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard explained,“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria. The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11.  The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.

“The war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria—which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world.  Also, the war to overthrow Assad is illegal because Congress never authorized it.”

Congressman Austin Scott said, “Our primary mission should be the war against ISIS, al Qaeda, and radical Islamic extremists that have operations both inside and outside of Syria and Iraq.  Those groups have carried out attacks on American allies, and are currently threatening attacks on our homeland.  This represents a clear and present danger to our citizens, and I support eliminating these radical Islamic terrorists through any means necessary.  Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said, “Here are 10 reasons the U.S. must end its war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad:
1.     Because if we succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, it will open the door for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremists to take over all of Syria.  There will be genocide and suffering on a scale beyond our imagination.  These Islamic extremists will take over all the weaponry, infrastructure, and military hardware of the Syrian army and be more dangerous than ever before.

2.     Because overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad is the goal of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremist groups. We should not be allying ourselves with these Islamic extremists by helping them achieve their goal because it is against the security interests of the United States and all of civilization.

3.     Because the money and weapons the CIA is providing to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad are going directly or indirectly into the hands of the Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and others who are the actual enemies of the United States.  These groups make up close to 90 percent of the so-called opposition forces, and are the most dominant fighters on the ground.

4.     Because our efforts to overthrow Assad have increased and will continue to increase the strength of ISIS and other Islamic extremists, thus making them a bigger regional and global threat.

5.     Because this war has exacerbated the chaos and carnage in Syria and, along with the terror inflicted by ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups fighting to take over Syria, continues to increase the number of Syrians forced to flee their country.

6.     Because we should learn from our past mistakes in Iraq and Libya that U.S. wars to overthrow secular dictators (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) cause even more chaos and human suffering and open the door for Islamic extremists to take over in those countries.

7.     Because the U.S. has no credible government or government leader ready to bring order, security, and freedom to the people of Syria.

8.     Because even the ‘best case’ scenario—that the U.S. successfully overthrows the Syrian government of Assad—would obligate the United States to spend trillions of dollars and the lives of American service members in the futile effort to create a new Syria.  This is what we have been trying to do in Iraq for twelve years, and we still have not succeeded.  The situation in Syria will be much more difficult than in Iraq.

9.     Because our war against the Syrian government of Assad is interfering with our being one-pointedly focused on the war to defeat ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the other Islamic extremists who are our actual enemy.

10.  Because our war to overthrow the Assad government puts us in direct conflict with Russia and increases the likelihood of war between the United States and Russia and the possibility of another world war.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said, “To destroy ISIS will take international alliances.  If we are serious about defeating ISIS and solving the refugee problem, we’ll work in partnership with Russia, France, and anyone else who is serious about destroying ISIS and affiliated Islamic extremist organizations worldwide.

“The problem is, because the U.S. is trying to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and Russia is supporting the government of Assad, it is impossible for us to have an effective, cooperative relationship with Russia in our mutual fight against ISIS.  Our focus on overthrowing Assad is interfering with our ability to destroy ISIS.”

“We must immediately end the illegal, counter-productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and ally ourselves with any countries willing to focus on destroying the Islamic extremists who pose a genuine threat to civilization,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard concluded.

Tulsi Gabbard, spent her life growing up in beautiful Hawai‘i. As a teenager, she co-founded an environmental non-profit called Healthy Hawai’i Coalition, focused on educating children about protecting Hawaii’s environment. An advocate for environmental policy, Tulsi was elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2002 when she was just 21 years old, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. A year later, she joined the Hawai‘i Army National Guard to serve Hawai‘i and our country. In 2004, Tulsi volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers, becoming the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.
Tulsi served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard. Tulsi’s 2005 deployment was a 12-month tour at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.
In between her two tours, Tulsi served in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), where she advised him on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veteran issues. While working for Senator Akaka in 2007, Tulsi graduated from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy, where she was the first woman to finish as the distinguished honor graduate in the Academy’s 50-year history. Tulsi was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and again assigned to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard—this time to serve as the Military Police Platoon Leader.
Tulsi continued to work for Senator Akaka until 2009, when she again voluntarily deployed with her unit to the Middle East. During this second deployment, in addition to leading her platoon on a wide variety of security missions, she also conducted non-military host-nation visits and served as a primary trainer for the Kuwait National Guard. Tulsi was one of the first women to set foot inside a Kuwait military facility and became the first woman to ever be awarded and honored by the Kuwait National Guard for her work in their training and readiness program.
In 2010, Tulsi was elected to the Honolulu City Council, serving as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of the Budget Committee. In 2011, she visited Indonesia as part of a peacekeeping training with the Indonesian Army. Tulsi was elected in 2012 to the United States House of Representatives, serving Hawaii’s 2nd District. She is one of the first two female combat veterans to ever serve in the U.S. Congress, and also its first and only Hindu member.
Now in her second term in Congress, Tulsi brings with her a broad range of real world experience, a storehouse of personal strength, and tested leadership as she represents the people of Hawai’i and our nation in Congress. As she works on the challenges that face our country, she remains focused on bringing her pragmatic approach to working in a collaborative, bipartisan fashion to find real solutions that best serve the people. Tulsi serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee where she is a strong advocate for veterans, our service members, and making smart strategic decisions that best secure our nation. Tulsi is working every day to make sure we have a sustainable economy that works for all families, with access to affordable health care, good jobs, and a quality education.
In the 114th Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard serves on the following House Committees and Caucuses:
  • House Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
    • Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats
  • House Committee on Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
    • Subcommittee on Readiness
  • Congressional Future Caucus (Founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus (Founder and co-chair)
  • Diversifying Technology Caucus (Founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus
  • Bipartisan Veterans Caucus
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
  • Congressional STEAM Caucus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)
  • Small Business Caucus
  • Congressional India Caucus
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

 

Photo: The Temple of Bel in Palmyra, which was destroyed by ISIL in August 2015, Bernard Gagnon – Own work

Interview with Dr. Joseph Goebbels

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HD – Guten Morgen Herr Doktor, and thank you again for agreeing to meet me for this interview. We know that you are at the moment extremely busy.

JG – Good morning Honoré. I like your use of “we”: do you mean you and your Jewish/American friends, or is it now the “royal We”?

HD – Nothing of the sort, I can assure you, merely a reference to friends who are interested in European politics as well. If I may, I will start with some preliminary questions.

JG – Ha ha… Be my guest, I will answer all intelligent questions!

HD – It has been now some years since your last interview in English (I recall it was with the magazine “Prospect”.) Since then tremendous events have shaken our world: the financial maelstrom of 2008, the wars in the Middle East, the war in the Ukraine. I would like to know your views on these developments, including the rise of the extreme right in Europe.

JG – Mm… I am a bit confused about what you and your estimated colleagues describe as the “far right”. From the perspective of someone of my age – and remember someone the Führer tasked explicitly to remove the bolsheviks from Berlin! – there is no national-revolutionary movement in Europe at present. There might be a slow and hesitant response of some sections of the people to the appalling situation created for workers the world over by Judeo-Capitalism, not a new story. We ourselves succeeded in our enterprise – after much work and sacrifices – because precisely of the mess caused by your masters after WWI. But I probably don’t need to remind you.

HD – Perhaps we could start with this then: what, in your view, is the root case of the crisis we are living through, particularly since the beginning of the banking crisis in the US.

JG – It has all been written long ago. Re-read Mein Kampf, or, even, authors on your side of the fence: there are some worthy lessons in Karl Polanyi, for example. By the late 60’s, Judeo Capitalism decided that enough was enough, they no longer needed gloves to exploit the people. The lessons of the 30’s, the long war, all was now forgotten, buried under the consumerism they had successfully promoted since the war. Within two decades the US and the UK deindustrialised, shipping workers jobs to Asia and other slave colonies. They evidently had prepared their plan carefully. Credit replaced decent wages: the bubble grew. The hyperfinancialisation that followed could only end up in disaster. Your mentor Mr Giovanni Arrighi explained all this superbly! So now the entire building is shaken to its foundation. Moreover the Eurasian continent is moving…

HD  – Before we come to that, I must say I am very surprised to hear you quote Polanyi and Arrighi, Herr Doktor!

JG – You should not be. We, National-Socialists, have always known how to borrow from our enemies. In this case I don’t even see either of them as “enemies”. Simply they did not draw the end conclusions of their own analysis. For example, Arrighi could have drawn some useful insights from the demise of the British Empire, not just in terms of world-system, but indeed in terms of the ultimate failure of what you and your friends call “globalisation”. 

HD – Very interesting… Coming to the Middle-East, what is your analysis of what has been happening since 2001?

JG – There are two root causes, that are closely intertwined. In one sentence: Israel, and the unsolvable Palestine issue, and the “Neo-Cons”, again to borrow your vocabulary. The Neo-Cons are an extension of the Israel lobby in the US. Iraq, Libya, Syria, all are pieces on the board the Jewish state’s game. I am not teaching you anything there. What is, perhaps, relative news to you (but not to us), is the (now) evident collusion of so-called traditional Arab countries, chiefly Saudi-Arabia, and Israel . But, remember, your friend Mr Roosevelt stopped in Ryad on his way back from Yalta – for a reason! So, what we had, in sequence, a provocation (the two towers), a mock, intractable conflict (Afghanistan), and then the beginning of the onslaught, Iraq. The chaos in Iraq was, for all intelligent observers, including ourselves, unavoidable, and deliberate. Saudi money and jewish expertise flowed in, to arm and train the so-called jihadists, and demolish whatever was left of nationhood in the region. The pooddle governments of France and the UK followed suite in Libya. It’s all very clear. The thinking was that no-one in the world could do anything about it. 

HD – Until Syria… What do you think made the Russian Federation act?

JG – We have followed these events with great interest. You see, something your American friends still have not realised, is that Russia has got rid of bolshevism! Russia is reasserting itself, developing a web of alliances with those countries that will count in this and the next century. Russia was in no position to oppose the war to Iraq. Furthermore Mr Hussein was a US agent. But 2014 is not 2003: Mr Putin and his government have done some good work. Look at the statistics that matter: birth rate, industrial production, growth of the arm industry. There is no longer any reason for the US to continue pretending they are the one superpower! And then there is a simple fact, that we knew already when we planned Barbarossa: only the Eurasian landmass will survive absolute war.

HD – You mean nuclear war?

JG – Absolute war, generally, a nuclear engagement would not last very long. What matters is what would follow. We lost the war because Germany was too small. Just think of the combination of Russia and China, and a few allies. So, the bottom line is, that the US State Department and the Pentagon may rage and puff, but Syria is not Libya. From our viewpoint, the US Judeo-Capitalist nexus is on its way out. It will take time, and we are sure a lot more victims around the world. But time is against them. You reminded me of that interview with Prospect, I said it at the time: when we are back there won’t be a Soviet Union to save your bacon! Literally, there ain’t!

HD – Are you saying you are back?

JG – Not yet, but we will. And don’t mention to me those jerks in Kiev! We never trusted those guys, even when we were there in strength, liars and cowards, thugs, not soldiers! The Donbas and Crimea are different. We haven’t forgotten what it cost us to take Sevastopol!

HD – So what is next for the Ukraine?

JG – More misery in the short term. Although part of the US establishment wishes to disengage from the NATO fiasco – and let the German government get on with it – I doubt that Mr Trump will succeed in his bid. So we’ll have another four or even eight years of neocon nonsense. The situation in Eastern Ukraine will get worse, and at some point Russia may well intervene, not softly, but massively. They will show those clowns who really has control. But I may be wrong, there maybe some compromise. I know that our current government does not wish war! Just think about that: who really does?

HD – Hopefully no-one. I thank you again for your time Herr Doktor.

JG – My pleasure. I hope you are enjoying your stay in Berlin!

Photography: Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1968-101-20A, Joseph Goebbels Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Geneva talks delay exposes (again) US links to terrorism

That truth is far too grim to admit to public knowledge and discussion. For such truth would indict Washington as a terror sponsor, answerable to international law. And so the Western media fulfill their assigned function –of concealing damning truth and keeping the public oblivious. That makes them equally complicit in the criminality of their government.

OffGuardian

By Finian Cunningham at the American Herald Tribune

As is often the case, you have to read between the lines to parse the truth about Syria –or indeed many other issues –as reported in the Western mainstream media. With a discerning eye the truth can be found. But that’s why it is played down, sanitized, half-told or frosted with banality. Because the truth is pretty shocking.

This week, UN-backed political talks were scheduled to begin in the Swiss city of Geneva between the Assad government and various so-called opposition groups. The talks did not take place as planned on Monday, January 25, and it is unclear if they will even go-ahead this week.

The stumbling block is finding agreement on which opposition groups are to be admitted to the negotiations. The Western news media won’t spell it out. But the main problem resides with the United States and Saudi Arabia…

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