by Willy B
Sourced from Truthseeker
10 September 2018. A report posted by the Wall Street Journal, late yesterday, gives reason to ask that question. “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war,” it begins. “In a recent discussion about Syria, people familiar with the exchange said, President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib…”
After this hearsay, it does go on to say that while the US military has developed attack options, “Trump hasn’t decided what exactly would trigger a military response or whether the U.S. would target Russian or Iranian military forces aiding Mr. Assad in Syria, U.S. officials said.” The US administration could, instead, rely on economic sanctions or unspecified political tools, but I doubt the neocons who have hijacked U.S. Middle East policy would be satisfied with such measures.
The Journal article otherwise repeats ad nauseam all of the propaganda about Assad and chemical weapons, including quotes from Bob Woodward’s latest book, demonstrating how deeply entrenched it has become, like the “intelligence” about Saddam Hussein’s WMD in the run up to the Iraq invasion.
“I will not comment on U.S. military plans, but Assad’s use of chemical weapons, sarin and chlorine, and disregard for civilian lives is well documented and contrary to regional stability,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. Clearly, the Al Qaeda terrorists that run Idlib are getting a free pass.
The propaganda and the pressure for war is apparently getting results in Germany. The German Bild tabloid reported yesterday that the German government is now considering joining any US-UK-French offensive against Syrian government troops. Previously, Angela Merkel has rejected German participation in such military actions “But now a radical change is being discussed in the ministry.”
Ursula von der Leyen, the defense minister, appears to be fully onboard. According to Bild’s account, it began with a request from the US side and progressed to meetings of experts between the German Defense Ministry and the US military attache. The two sides discussed several options relating to a possible military alliance against Assad, including pre- and post-strike reconnaissance and even combat missions.
“Should Assad verifiably use chemical weapons against its own people again, armed Bundeswehr, Tornados could fly attacks on military infrastructure — barracks, air bases, command posts, ammunition and weapon depots, factories, and research centers,” Biild reports. “In doing so, Germany would risk a direct confrontation with Syria’s allied Russia for the first time.” The Defense Ministry and the Foreign Office, in a statement to Bild, would only say: “The situation in Syria gives cause for grave concern. Of course, we are in close contact with our American ally and European partners during these times.”
If Merkel were to decide to move closer to the US, the British and the French on Syria, she might not have the support of her coalition partner. The Social Democrats’ (SPD) chair, Andrea Nahles, reacted to the report by saying that “the SPD will not approve Germany joining the war in Syria, neither in parliament nor in the government,” according to news agency dpa, reports DW.
I haven’t yet seen a Russian response to these latest provocations, unless one considers the interview with our friend Virginia Senator Richard Black by Sputnik to be a Russian response, as he thoroughly demolishes the assertions in the WSJ piece. “I’ve studied each of these gas attack provocations and with the exception of Douma, every one of them has been carried out by the terrorists, often in conjunction with Turkey or with other foreign intelligence agencies,” he said. As for the exception, “There never was a gas attack in Douma,” because Syrian army units had overrun the jihadi’s chemical stocks and so they had to fake it.
Black notes that he knows this because his good friend Pearson Short, who works for One America News, hurried down to Douma from Damascus after the “attack” was reported only to find people replying to his queries by asking “what gas attack?” The Independent’s Robert Fisk followed a few days later and found the same thing, that it had all been faked. Short and Fisk are the only two Western journalists that I know of that actually reported on the ground from Douma days after it was liberated.
Senator Richard Black said:
“It was all staged and fake. There is sort of a pattern on these things. I began to pick up in the British media about four weeks ago these panic announcements that Syria was going to use gas. To me it’s always a signal that they are about to stage one of these staged gas attacks. I think there’s a very real danger.
No American journalist has ever asked if Syria had gas in the first place. If they were so desperate to use gas, why don’t they use it against the terrorists? There are 50,000 terrorists in the province of Idlib. Why do they always use them against women with baby strollers and old men?
There is no answer to it. It’s irrational. No rational person would believe that this was possible.”
According to a statement from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the sides are considering 73 investment projects cumulatively worth more than $100 billion.
The group overseeing the potential billions in investment is the Russian-Chinese Business Advisory Committee, which includes more than 150 representatives from “leading Russian and Chinese companies.”
RDIF said that seven projects worth a total of $4.6 billion have already been implemented as a result of work of the China-Russia group.
“While strong economic growth in both countries will certainly produce many domestic opportunities for profitable investments, we believe particularly promising transactions will be found in bilateral deals that capitalize on the Russia-China relationship,” the CEO of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, said.
The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), China Investment Corporation, and Tus-Holdings (one of China’s leading innovation companies) also announced on Tuesday the launch of the Russia-China Venture Fund (RCVF).
The RCIF was established in 2012 by China’s state-owned China Investment Corporation and RDIF to focus on projects that foster economic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.
“The fund has already studied more than 100 potential projects, of which it is currently considering five in detail – in such areas as new materials, information protection technologies, virtual reality, the development of new generation industrial equipment, innovative oilfield services,” said RDIF, adding that the fund plans to announce the first deal by the end of the year. The sides are also considering setting up a Sino-Russian tech innovation park with more than $100 million in investment.
He says that the new Russia-China alliance could not be taken on by the US militarily which means that “the US dollar is in grave jeopardy of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.”
Washington is “very aggressive in defending its currency, it tends to bomb anybody who tries to ignore the dollar,” Keiser said, adding that if Russia and China pull off the alliance then the greenback will start crumbling.
“So, this is a totally new century, we’ve got a new multipolar world, the US really has to start tap dancing to a different tune if they want to participate or be left out.”
Keiser explained that the dollar is benefiting from the chaos in emerging markets in Argentina, Venezuela, and South Africa.
“There’s a flight of the dollar as a safe haven currency but once that trend has peaked, then you’ll be looking at this broader geopolitical picture in terms of the currency market and you’ll see Russia and China coming together and they will be able to ignore the dollar.”
Keiser stressed that it would be a “net negative for the US in terms of its current ability to govern much of the world economy. It may force Washington to change some of its behavior when it comes to dealing with other countries around the world and scale back its militaristic policies.”
Keiser used China’s activities in places like the African Union as an example where Beijing has been going in with “development dollars for years now” while the US was installing military bases.
“So, the US has lost in Africa in a lot of ways while China has gained a lot friends there because they are going there with trade, infrastructure projects, and they are building a huge new Silk Road across all of Eurasia with the help of Russia,” he said.
With permission from
Paul Craig Roberts
Sept 10, 2018
Armageddon Rides In The Balance
For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the left has lost its mind. https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-love-the-cia-or-how-the-left-lost-its-mind/5653450
Indeed, it has.
Out of its hatred of Trump the left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American left has totally separated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump. The American left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.
I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations. The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.
The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the left supports as proven truth.
The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.” If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars?
The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary. Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.”
Nevertheless, the hoax continues.
Muller’s indictments are for unrelated matters, such as income tax evasion in the distant past of Republican fund raisers and consultants. These charges have nothing whatsoever to do with Mueller’s mandate. Indeed, as Andrew C. McCarthy, a former US attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has made clear, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller to head the “Russiagate” investigation is not in compliance with the regulations that govern the appointment of a special prosecutor.
The appointment of a special prosecutor requires evidence of a specific federal crime that is to be investigated. You only have a special prosecutor when there is factual basis for believing that a federal crime has been committed. What is the federal crime? What is the factual basis? Mueller’s appointment does not say. Therefore, Mueller’s appointment is invalid. Rosenstein has violated the process. In my opinion, this is grounds for Rosenstein to be removed from office. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation/
At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment. However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.
Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, and David Ray Griffin’s book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, accurately document how 9/11 was used to destroy the Constitution’s balance of power within the government and to create unaccountable executive branch powers that over-ride the Constitution’s protection of civil liberty. This demand for an unaccountable executive branch, pushed by VP—actually President in fact—Dick Cheney and his minions, such as Addington and John Yoo, was the agenda of the Republican Federalist Society. An early book laying out the legally invalid and legally incompetent argument that the president had powers unchecked by Congress or the judiciary was Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive. This collection of nonsense became Cheney’s bible as he proceeded in secret to remove constraints on executive branch power. The elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land is documented in Charlie Savage’s book. Read it and weep for your country destroyed by Dick Cheney.
On top of Cheney’s coup against accountable government, we have in America today another coup, organized by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the Democratic National Committee, the departed Republican senator John McCain, a coup fully supported by the entirety of the US presstitute media. This coup is against the democratically elected President of the United States for the sole reason that he threatens the power and profit of the entrenched military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us 57 years ago, by wanting to normalize relations with Russia, the world’s premier nuclear power.
The question is unavoidable: Why do the American people put up with this? Are they so insouciant that they have no realization that, if a president can be driven from office because he wants peace with Russia, the removed president’s successor will have to stand against Russia or also be driven from office. Trust and negotiation between the nuclear powers becomes impossible. Why do Americans support conflict with a nuclear power that can completely destroy America?
During the entirety of the Cold War, in which I was a participant, the emphasis was on reducing tensions and creating trust. Today Washington’s interest is piling provocation after provocation on a country that can wipe us off the face of the earth. The liberal/progressive/left, the Democratic National Committee, the CIA and the rest of the covert state, and the media whores all share this same commitment to the reckless and irresponsible provocation of a powerful nuclear power. As the US military itself acknowledges, Russia’s weapons are far beyond America’s defenses.
So what is going on? Is it the liberal/progressive/left’s desire that evil America be destroyed? Is this desired destruction of evil America the reason the left has allied itself so tightly with the warmongers in Washington? Is this the reason that the left and the Democrats and a handful of Republicans want to impeach President Trump for attempting to make peace with Russia?
How can these crazed immoral people present themselves as some sort of moral arbiter when they are locked on a trajectory that will destroy Earth?
This destruction might be closer than anyone thinks. Here is the situation in Syria:
Russia and Syria, in cooperation with Iran and Turkey, have begun the assult on Iblid province, the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army consisting of Al Qaeda, Al Nursra, and ISIS mercenaries hired by Washington.
According to reports, which might or might not be true considering the lack of veracity that is the defining characteristic of the Western media, the US and UK have troops among the mercenary forces, hoping apparently that this presence will deter the attack. As the attack has already begun, this is a false hope.
The Russians discovered Washington’s plot to explode a chemical weapon in Iblid province and exposed Washington’s plot to the UN. Washington had it set up that once its proxies created the appearance of a chemical weapon explosion, Washington would send Tomahawk missiles upon the Syrian forces, thus protecting its proxy army that it sent to overthrow Assad for Israel. The Russian exposure of Washington’s conspiracy has denied Washington UN support. Moreover, Russia has sent a naval force armed with the new Russian hypersonic missiles to Syria and has announced that its aircraft in the area are also armed with these missiles. As the US Navy and Air Force have no defense whatsoever against these missiles, if the US attacks the Syrian/Russian forces, it will be Putin’s decision whether any US ship or military aircraft in the area exists as anything but a smoldering ruin.
In other words, the entire power in the area lies in Russian hands. If Washington had any sense—and it doesn’t, Washington has hubris and arrogance in the place of sense—Washington would be nowhere close to Syria.
The question is this: Will the hotheads in Washington conclude that the Russian announcements and marshalling of forces is “just another Putin bluff.” So far Putin has been loaded up with never-ending insults and provocation— blame for the crash of the Malaysian airliner, blame for poisoning a variety of people in England, blame for invading Ukraine, blame for interfering in US elections, blame for supporting the “dictator” Assad, a person democratically elected by a large vote who obviously has the support of the Syrian people as he liberates Syria from the forces Washington sent to put the country into the same chaos that exists in Iraq and Libya.
Have we reached the situation about which I have been worried, worries shared with my readers, in which Washington makes the miscalculation, based on the incorrect understanding of Russia’s resolve, to launch an attack on the Syrian/Russian forces that have begun the final liberation of Syria from Washington’s paid mercenaries? Yesterday the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent a letter to President Trump advising him of the war danger that the Trump administration has created by its continued illegal interference in Syria’s internal affairs. https://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-has-upped-the-ante-in-syria/5653571
The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself.
A realistic alternative to military action would be for Washington to stand aside as Syria reconstitutes itself and use a propaganda war to blame Syria and Russia for civilian deaths and for destroying “democratic rebels” who rose against a “dictator.” The fear could be expanded to the Baltics and Ukraine by reviving the propaganda that Putin intends to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.
Washington has long used an expertly manufactured fear of Russia to control Europe. Fear can keep Europe in line, whereas military action against Russia could scare Europe into taking refuge in a revival of its sovereignty.
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the US strikes could target Russian and Iranian forces as well as Syrian forces.
It is difficult to believe that Washington thinks attacks on Russian forces would go unanswered. Such a reckless and irresponsible act could initiate Armageddon.
The claim that Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the liberation of Iblid is propagandistic nonsense put out by Washington as an excuse for Washington’s effort to protect its proxy army in Syria with military strikes. All Syrian chemical weapons were removed by Russia and turned over to the US during the Obama regime. Moreover, Russia would not permit Assad to use chemical weapons if he had them.
Life on earth is faced with a situation in which Washington is so determined to overthrow Assad and to leave Syria in the same chaos as Libya and Iraq that Washington is willing to risk war with Russia. Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on a government. The world should be scared to death of the recklessness and irresponsibility of the US government.
(RPI Opinion) — Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with “bad guys” in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.
Does the Trump Administration actually support al-Qaeda and ISIS? Of course not. But the “experts” who run Trump’s foreign policy have determined that a de facto alliance with these two extremist groups is for the time being necessary to facilitate the more long-term goals in the Middle East. And what are those goals? Regime change for Iran.
Let’s have a look at the areas where the US is turning a blind eye to al-Qaeda and ISIS.
First, Idlib. As I mentioned last week, President Trump’s own Special Envoy to fight ISIS said just last year that “Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.” So why do so many US officials – including President Trump himself – keep warning the Syrian government not to re-take its own territory from al-Qaeda control? Wouldn’t they be doing us a favor by ridding the area of al-Qaeda?
Well, if Idlib is re-taken by Assad, it all but ends the neocon (and Saudi and Israeli) dream of “regime change” for Syria and a black eye to Syria’s ally, Iran.
Second, one of the last groups of ISIS fighters in Syria are around the Al-Tanf US military base which has operated illegally in northeastern Syria for the past two years. Last week, according to press reports, the Russians warned the US military in the region that it was about to launch an assault on ISIS fighters around the US base. The US responded by sending in 100 more US Marines and conducting a live-fire exercise as a warning.
President Trump recently reversed himself (again) and announced that the US would remain at Al-Tanf “indefinitely.” Why? It is considered a strategic point from which to attack Iran. The US means to stay there even if it means turning a blind eye to ISIS in the neighborhood.
Finally, in Yemen, the US/Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis has been found by AP and other mainstream media outlets to be directly benefiting al-Qaeda. Why help al-Qaeda in Yemen? Because the real US goal is regime change in Iran, and Yemen is considered one of the fronts in the battle against Iranian influence in the Middle East. So we are aiding al-Qaeda, which did attack us, because we want to “regime change” Iran, which hasn’t attacked us. How does that make sense?
We all remember the old saying, attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, that “if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.” The “experts” would like us to think they are pursuing a brilliant foreign policy that will provide a great victory for America at the end of the day.
But as usual, the “experts” have got it wrong. It’s really not that complicated: when “winning” means you’re allied with al-Qaeda and ISIS, you’re doing something wrong. Let’s start doing foreign policy right: let’s leave the rest of the world alone!
Published on 10 Sep 2018
(ANTIMEDIA) — On September 11, 2001, one of the most tragic events in recent American history took place. Close to 3,000 civilians lost their lives in horrific terror attacks that took place on American soil. Fifteen years later, it is time to ask the question: have our counterterror efforts helped to reduce the amount of terrorism in the world? Or at the very least, have they tried to make the world safer?
According to a report released by Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, spending by the United States Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs since 9/11 is now close to $5 trillion USD. Before we have the chance to ask how a country that has racked up over $19.3 trillion USD in debt can spend $5 trillion USD on war, the focus of this article is to ask: What has all of this spending achieved?
As Reader Supported News reported at the end of last year, terrorism has increased 6,500 percent since 2002 (they probably should rename it “the war of terror”). In 2014, the outlet noted, it was reported that 74 percent of all terror-related casualties occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Syria. As stated by Paul Gottinger, a staff reporter for Reader Supported News, out of the aforementioned countries, “only Nigeria did not experience either U.S. air strikes or a military occupation in that year.”
Omitted from that assessment is the fact that the U.S. has been meddling in Nigeria for some time now. Why wouldn’t they? Until recently, Nigeria was Africa’s largest oil producer, as well as the continent’s largest economy until last month.
Hillary Clinton herself refused repeated requests from the CIA to place Boko Haram, the al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror group wreaking havoc across Nigeria (statistically they are far more deadly than ISIS), on the U.S. official list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Further, it was Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya that helped catapult Boko Haram into the menace it is today. In 2009, Boko Haram was a small-scale group with very limited weaponry. Following the invasion of Libya and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan armories were looted, and much of the weaponry was sent over to Syria. However, Boko Haram was able to capitalize on these looted weapons and the instability that rippled throughout Africa following the NATO-led war in Libya. As Peter Weber stated in The Week:
“[Boko Haram’s weaponry] shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns.”
Boko Haram is just one example of an unforeseen consequence, right? At least we removed a dictator who was going to massacre his own people in Libya, right? Despite one’s thoughts on Gaddafi’s moral compass, he was able to transform Libya into Africa’s most prosperous democracy with the highest standard of living on the continent. Since then, Libya has fallen massively in the U.N. Human Development Index ratings (in 2015 alone, Libya fell 27 places). According to UNICEF, there are two million Libyan children out of school in a country that is now plagued by militants, civil war, and extremism. What are the chances of those children out of school being swayed to join a militant group?
Last year, four former U.S. air force service members wrote a letter to Barack Obama warning him that the single most effective recruitment tool for groups like ISIS was the drone program being implemented across the Muslim world, courtesy of the president himself. In fact, three former U.S. air force drone operators have even backed a lawsuit against the state, brought by a Yemeni man who lost members of his family in a drone strike in 2012.
According to Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s “Untold History of the United States”:
“When the U.S. began its Yemeni drone campaign in 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula had fewer than 300 militants in Yemen. By mid-2012, that number had jumped to over 1,000.”
Still believe there is no relationship between bombing a country to death and the resulting extremist groups that emerge from the rubble?
It seems as though recent history is just repeating itself over and over — not to mention the cruel and unnecessary havoc unleashed on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. As Ben Swann, an investigative journalist and outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, stated:
“Before the 2003 U.S. invasion, do you know how many suicide attacks there were in Iraq? None. In the country’s history there had never been one. But since the 2003 invasion, there have been 1,892.
“In Iraq, prior to the start of the Iraq war, there were reportedly just over 1.5 million Christians living in that country. And yet shortly after the war started, more than one million of them fled to Syria. That didn’t work out well. Today fewer than half a million Christians remain and yet are being exterminated by groups like ISIS.”
The list of ways in which the $5 trillion USD effort to stamp out terrorism has either caused more terrorism or done nothing remotely towards curbing terrorism is endless. Even College Humor, in their show “Adam Ruins Everything,” put together an informative piece on how the TSA is almost completely useless, having never prevented a single terrorist attack – ever.
Yet how much money has been flowing into these programs – and still is today?
It’s time for a realistic talk about our counterterrorism efforts. One can only assume the U.S. establishment is not genuine in their bid to fight terrorism across the globe given that they have continued policies that merely exacerbate terrorism and have created a world less safe for future generations.
The first step in preventing future terrorism would be to admit that our current strategy isn’t working. Anyone who believes otherwise — or who decides to run for president on the promise they will further expand these failed policies — is not only wasting our time, but will be wasting countless lives in the process.