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Russia and the War Party

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[su_panel background="#e9eaef" radius="11"]   When it comes to exposing and dissecting dirty capitalist/imperialist shenanigans, few can match, let alone surpass, Carl Boggs. Here he is in top form with a conclusive broadside on Russiagate that admits no possible refutation. A delight for those who love the truth and the smashing (and shaming) of arrogant intellectual chicanery. [/su_panel]

The steady deterioration of American political discourse seems to have reached its lowest ebb in historical memory, visible in the rightward shift of both Democrats and Republicans.  One sign is the frenzied Democratic assault on Republicans from the right, especially in foreign policy.  Another is the resounding silence on the most crucial problems facing humanity: threat of catastrophic war, nuclear arms race, ecological crisis, health-care debacle, the worsening miseries of global capitalism.   Tabloid-style spectacles have increasingly filled media space.  Still another sign is the intensifying anti-Russia hysteria promoted by unhinged liberals in Congress and the corporate media, reminiscent of the worst McCarthyism.

Liberal lion Rachel Maddow. Stirring up wars and xenophobia, and singing paeans to the CIA is now normal for this kind of "progressive".

Another example of this descent into absurdity is the book Russian Roulette, by liberals Michael Isikoff and David Corn – Beltway writers whose shrill anti-Russian crusade has received highest accolades by the New York Times and such promoters of the permanent warfare state as Rachel Maddow (whose gushing endorsement is on the back cover).  The subtitle – “The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump” – reveals the political obsession of Democrats (and plenty of Republicans) for the past eighteen months, to the exclusion of most everything else.   More than anything, the volume illustrates the staggering level of ignorance in the U.S. about Russian history and politics, crude propaganda easily displacing coherent analysis.  (A more general – and devastating – review of Russian Routlette by Paul Street appeared earlier in CP.)

Russian Roulette is filled with 300 pages of meticulous detail – Trump’s (actual, planned, or failed) business dealings in Russia, endless goings and comings of shady characters and “operatives”, electronic transactions across the great divide, a litany of speeches, conferences, dinners and other activities, computer hacking and trolling schemes, breathless tales of lurid behavior, Russians clandestinely entering the U.S., reports on secret files, and of course the menacing specter of Russian “oligarchs”.  All this is believed to demonstrate Putin’s ruthless war against America, his supreme goal being to “destroy our democracy”, instill chaos, and neutralize U.S. as well as European geopolitical power.  As we have been ritually informed by CNN and kindred venues, cyber warfare (for now) is the Russians’ preeminent mode of combat – and it has been so devastatingly effective as to paralyze normal American politics.  It was cyber warfare, moreover, that delivered the 2016 presidential election to the Russia-loving Trump.

A thick tissue of lies and innuendo from cover to cover, but no hard evidence anywhere.

Trump, it turns out, was guilty of the most grievous sin: he went so far as to mention the possibility of cooperative relations with Russia, the idea being to help fight terrorism and better manage the nuclear threat. His other crime was to question the neocon/Democratic/Clintonite agenda of regime change in Syria – an agenda (still alive) that could bring military confrontation with a nuclear state. Trump’s fanciful hope meant that he had to be a willing “stooge” of Putin and his nefarious plots.

It turns out that the myriad claims, charges, and allegations set forth by Isikoff and Corn amount to little of substance – surely nothing to prove that Putin has been conducting warfare against the U.S., or that Russians had decisively influenced the 2016 presidential election.  Evidence that Trump conspired in any way with Putin or his imagined assemblage of henchmen, former KGB agents, cyberwarriors, and oligarchs is similarly lacking.   Yet, for the authors the only way Hillary Clinton could have lost the presidency that was rightfully hers was because the Russians intervened, with help from the treacherous Wikileaks, the authors writing: “Never before had a president’s election been so closely linked to the intervention of a foreign power.”

According to Isikoff and Corn, the scheming Russians managed to infiltrate party machinery, elections, and the Internet, deploying squads of cyberwarriors from the notorious Internet Research Agency and other sites.  They also placed ads in Facebook and other social-media sites.  How many American voters were even exposed to such fare, much less swayed by it, cannot be established, but vague popular awareness of this Russian skullduggery did not appear until the Mueller investigation called attention to it more than a year after the election.  No one denies the actuality of Russian trolling and hacking enterprises. The problem for the authors here is that such operations are so universally practiced as to be rather commonplace, while it has yet to be shown they can alter election outcomes in the U.S.. Moreover, in this area of intelligence work (as in so many others) the U.S. has long been unchallenged world champion.

Another example of this descent into absurdity is the book Russian Roulette, by liberals Michael Isikoff and David Corn – Beltway writers whose shrill anti-Russian crusade has received highest accolades by the New York Times and such promoters of the permanent warfare state as Rachel Maddow (whose gushing endorsement is on the back cover). 

The authors describe Putin as an “autocratic, repressive, and dangerous Russian leader” who routinely kills his political enemies and crushes dissent.  Such oversimplified descriptions of Putin and the Russian scene in general are set forth as established truths, no discussion or evidence needed.  Why a duly-elected leader (with 76 percent of the vote earlier this year) can be so ritually dismissed as a ruthless tyrant Isikoff and Corn never get around to explaining.  Were election irregularities or illegalities reported?   Were voters threatened or coerced?   Is Putin any more authoritarian than the vast majority of leaders around the world?  Would Netanyahu in Israel, Macron in France, or Merkel in Germany (all elected by much slimmer margins) be described as simple despots?


M. Isikoff and D. Corn, two recently discovered highly virulent strains of genus sordidum politicus imperatoria vermes. Liberals seem extremely vulnerable to this contagion.

As for Trump, Russian Roulette seeks to demonstrate that the candidate and then president somehow “aided and abetted Moscow’s attack on American democracy.” That’s right: the White House served as a willing, secret accomplice in Putin’s criminal schemes.  So many Trump associates –Paul Manafort, General Michael Flynn, Carter Page, et. al. – had indeed previously traveled to Russia, talked and dined with Russians, and (gasp) seemed to want something of a cordial relationship with business and other interests there.  (Why this should have been shocking is hard to fathom, since in 2016 and 2017 the Russian Federation was still an integral part of the global capitalist economy and the U.S. has been doing plenty of business there since the early 1990s.)

The authors’ unfounded generalizations are based mainly on three sources, most crucially the all-important (but phony) Christopher Steele “dossier” that was said to implicate Trump in a variety of offenses and scandals that even Isikoff and Corn admit is comprised of “sensational and uncorroborated claims” – that is, fake news.  They argue, further, that Putin hacked DNC communications and passed along damning emails to Wikileaks, but investigation (by William Binney and others) suggests they were more likelyleaked than hacked; Julian Assange firmly denies that the files (never viewed by the FBI) came from any state actor.  The establishment media paid little attention to the damning content of these emails, so their impact on the election in any case could not have amounted to much.  Even the Mueller Committee report earlier this year, which indicted 13 Russian trolls and hackers, conceded they had no appreciable impact on the 2016 election results.

In Russian Roulette the authors seem infatuated with the American “intelligence community” – purported last word on the question of Russian interference — writing confidently but misleadingly: “The intelligence community has identified Moscow as the culprit in the hacks of Democrats in October [2016].”  One cannot help wondering what sort of “community” Isikoff and Corn have in mind.

By “intelligence community” do they include the NSA, an agency that has been spying on Americans and the world with impunity for years while a spokesperson (James Clapper) lied about it before Congress?  Could they be referring to the CIA, active for decades in clandestine and illegal operations such as unwarranted surveillance, sabotage, torture, drone strikes on civilians, and regime change (by military force, not just computer meddling) in Vietnam, Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and too many other countries to list here, all aided and abetted by flagrant lies and cover-ups?  Perhaps they have in mind the FBI, an agency long dedicated to destroying popular movements (Civil Rights, anti-war, etc.) through COINTELPRO and other illegal operations.  Or the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), which for decades has squandered hundreds of billions of dollars on a futile but disastrous and racist War on Drugs, filling jails with people targeted, harassed, jailed, and ruined for the crime of using banned substances?

Can Isikoff and Corn actually take seriously the murky claims of the most Orwellian surveillance apparatus in history?  Do they believe that this “community” is subject to any meaningful oversight and accountability?  Their remarkably clueless account – basic to virtually every narrative in Russian Roulette – reveals an astonishing disconnect from postwar American (and world) history.

The central Isikoff/Corn thesis is not only devoid of factual support but is totally inverted: the present state of affairs is exactly the opposite of what they argue.  There has been no “Putin’s war on America”, but rather sustained U.S. (and NATO) warfare against Russia – political, economic, ideological, military – since 2000, if not earlier.  The Russians occupy the other, targeted end of the power spectrum, obvious to any serious observer.  Who has invoked harsh and repeated economic sanctions on whom?  Who has militarily encircled and targeted whom?  Who has deployed nuclear weapons at whose border?  Who has financed and orchestrated a hostile coup adjacent to whose territory?  Who has carried out non-stop ideological hysteria against whom?

In the world as it now exists, it is worth asking whether Russia could plausibly assume the role of imperial aggressor in its dealings with the world’s leading superpower?   Consider that in 2017 the total Russian GDP as barely 1.5 trillion dollars, roughly one-twelfth that of the U.S. ($19.5 trillion) and not even one-tenth that of the European Union ($14 trillion).  Military spending breaks down accordingly: nearly one trillion for the U.S. and $250 billion for NATO compared to $61 billion for Russia.  As for intelligence operations, the imbalance worsens – a budget of six billion dollars for the FSB and military GRU combined, compared to $75 billion for Washington not counting another $45 billion for the DEA and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) in tandem.

In fact Russia, despite its nuclear prowess, does not have the leverage and resources to threaten American (much less broader Western) geopolitical objectives – the real “threat” coming from the stubborn fact of Russian independence that was squelched during the Clintonite 1990s, when Washington used its power to reduce post-Soviet Russia to puppet status under Boris Yeltsin.   During the Yeltsin period the U.S. was never content with simple “meddling” in Russian affairs: it propped up a weak president, dismantled the public infrastructure, coddled an emergent stratum of oligarchs, and then spent $2.5 billion to sway the 1996 election in favor of a weak and unpopular Yeltsin.  Only with Putin’s emergence in 1999 did the nation regain a semblance of independence, restoring economic and political sovereignty, much to the disgust of Western ruling interests.

American intrusion into domestic Russian affairs is never explored by Isikoff and Corn, as it would undermine their one-sided tract. Nor do the authors have much to say about the post-Soviet eastward march of NATO, which allowed the U.S. and its allies to partially encircle Russia with both nuclear and conventional forces. The opening salvo of this strangulation gambit was President Bill Clinton’s “humanitarian” war against Serbia ending with the 1999 U.S./NATO bombings.   This was followed by President George W. Bush’s decision to scrap the crucial ABM Treaty with Russia in 2002 before invading Iraq in 2003.  CIA and State Department efforts to orchestrate regime change in Ukraine, ultimately achieved in 2014, came soon thereafter.

The ongoing Western campaign of economic warfare, media propaganda, and military provocations directed at Russia has only served to bolster Putin’s legitimacy, as shown by his overwhelming support in the 2018 election.  Yet Isikoff and Corn can write: “He [Putin] was a Russian nationalist to the core.  He wanted to extend Russian power. . . [as] an autocrat in the long tradition of Russian strongmen and had little interest in joining the club of Western liberal democracies – or winning its approval.”  Given the rampant imperial behavior of Washington and its European partners, Putin would have to be certifiably insane to respond in a manner that would permit further Western encroachments.

It is the expansionist U.S./NATO alliance that has maliciously targeted Russia, not the other way around.  Putin is surely a nationalist, but why not?  That just means he will fight for Russian national integrity against Western efforts to isolate and destabilize the country.  Any cyberwarfare activities launched by the Russians will appear to the rational observer as quite intelligible, a proven method to gain information about the plans of a vastly superior adversary overflowing with anti-Russia venom.

Like other Russia-bashing ideologues, Isikoff and Corn see terrible “oligarchs” everywhere, all naturally cozy with Putin. We have references to “Putin and his oligarch friends,” as if large-scale business interests could somehow have nothing to do with government.  They note that payments to IRA trolls “were being made through a holding company owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and restaurateur close to the Russian president and known as ‘Putin’s chef”.”  Along with this disturbing revelation we are told that a “clique of [oligarchic] hardliners was able to outgun Russian moderates – a group including Yury Kovalchuk, billionaire owner of Rossiya bank and friend of the president “known as Putin’s banker”.  It would be a mistake to overlook the infamous Aras Agalarov, a real-estate mogul identified as “Putin;s Builder”.  Left out was any reference to “Putin’s Gardener”.

The authors deftly uncover a clique of diabolical oligarchs colluding with Putin to launch attacks on the West.  It might be useful to clarify the meaning of “oligarch”. One generally held definition is that they are exceedingly wealthy and powerful business and financial elites – the same interests that Washington zealously supported in Russia during the 1990s. These would be aligned with the very corporate and banking interests that dominate the global capitalist system, everywhere seeming to enjoy close relations with their governments.  American oligarchs (multibillionaires) in fact far outnumber their Russian counterparts – 565 to 96 – and possess many times the wealth and influence.  Further, if Washington really despises oligarchs, why did it install billionaire Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine ruler after the 2014 coup?

For Isikoff and Corn, Hillary Clinton might have been a terribly flawed candidate, but her loss nonetheless would not have occurred in the absence of “Putin’s underhanded intervention”.  No one questions whether Russian trolls and hackers were active in 2016 – or that Facebook ads were placed – but no evidence of their actual effectiveness has been presented, much less their capacity to determine an election outcome.

As they righteously celebrate the virtues of multiculturalism, diversity, and tolerance, liberal Democrats – now more than ever a neocon party of war – have come to embrace just the opposite: fierce hostility against other nations and cultures, smug provincialism, a recycled McCarthyism that spews hatred at even the slightest dissent from super-patriotic orthodoxy.  They pretend victim status when they are the ones targeting, attacking, smearing, and warmongering.

Worse yet, to satisfy their narrow political agendas they are perfectly ready to risk military confrontation with a nuclear power – a conflict that could lead to unprecedented global catastrophe.  Nowhere in this parochial text do the authors express the slightest concern for the horrors that might result from years of U.S./European hostility toward Russia.  Despite an unlevel economic and political playing-field, it is worth remembering that in nuclear matters Russia has rough parity with the West.  This might deter the neocons of both parties or it might not, the sad reality being is that liberal Democrats exemplified by Isikoff and Corn have little to offer the world beyond continuous war shrouded in a flimsy, desperate identity politics.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Carl Boggs is the author of The Hollywood War Machine, with Tom Pollard (second edition, forthcoming), and Drugs, Power, and Politics, both published by Paradigm.  

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ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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Things to ponder

While our media prostitutes, many Hollywood celebs, and politicians and opinion shapers make so much noise about the still to be demonstrated damage done by the Russkies to our nonexistent democracy, this is what the sanctimonious US government has done overseas just since the close of World War 2. And this is what we know about. Many other misdeeds are yet to be revealed or documented.

Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report

Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.




The “fractured world”: Plutocrats convene in Davos amid war and great-power conflict

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Henry Kissinger, longtime counsellor to the world's top scumbags, dispensing wisdom at Davos. To his right Shimon Peres.

27 January 2018

Thousands of business executives, central bankers and world leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland. The general mood was one of apprehension over every aspect of global politics and economics, from the possibility of a financial collapse on the scale of 2008 to the threat of a new world war and the growth of social anger around the world.

Even though a typical billionaire attendee will have been nearly 20 percent richer than he was last year, and will have acquired more than a few new houses, airplanes, paintings, boats and jewels, “Davos man” was nervous.

Perhaps never in the forum’s 47-year existence has its program reflected such unease. The vapidly resolute topics of recent years, such as “Resilient Dynamism” and “The Reshaping of the World,” have been replaced with a more sober theme: “A Fractured World.”

The event’s official summary contrasts the utopian vision promoted at the turn of the century, based on the belief that “greater economic interdependence among countries, buttressed by liberal democratic institutions, would ensure peace and stability well into the new century,” with the “changed” reality that “geostrategic fissures have re-emerged on multiple fronts with wide-ranging political, economic and social consequences.”

The most serious of these fissures is the imminent threat of a war between major world powers. As the summit ended, this reality was brought home by a cover story in the Economist, published online Thursday, “The next war: The growing danger of great-power conflict.”

The article’s introductory paragraphs paint a bleak picture: “In the past 25 years war has claimed too many lives. Yet even as civil and religious strife have raged in Syria, central Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, a devastating clash between the world’s great powers has remained almost unimaginable.”

“No longer,” declare the magazine’s editors. Amid the erosion of “the extraordinary military dominance that America and its allies have enjoyed,” war “on a scale and intensity not seen since the second world war is once again plausible. The world is not prepared.”

The Economist noted the publication on January 19 of the Pentagon’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which declared that “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security,” and argued for an aggressive expansion of the United States’ nuclear forces that could potentially put it in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

In the week following the publication of that document, an extraordinary series of events has reaffirmed its central message that “great power” conflict is now on the agenda.

On Tuesday, General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the British Army, proclaimed that the present global situation has “parallels with 1914,” declaring, “Our generation has become used to wars of choice since the end of the Cold War, but we may not have a choice about conflict with Russia.”


Trump spreading his trademark imbecility at Davos in 2018, His fleecing of the masses to benefit the plutocracy however endears this clown to the sociopathic privileged mob gathering in Davos. 

Also on Tuesday, US CIA Director Mike Pompeo broached the possibility of a preemptive strike on North Korea. Two days later, General Robert Neller, the head of the US Marine Corps, publicly discussed the possibility of a ground invasion of the impoverished country, declaring that such a war “will be a very, very kinetic, physical, violent fight.”

To back up its threats, the US this month deployed nuclear-capable B-2 bombers to Guam, bringing nuclear strikes by supersonic stealth aircraft against North Korea within the realm of possibility. Any war with North Korea could quickly expand to involve China and Russia.

The Davos summit took place against the backdrop of the widening offensive by Turkey against Kurdish militias backed by the United States, raising the danger that “US and Turkish soldiers, two NATO allies, could soon clash,” as the Wall Street Journal bluntly put it. The expanding war in Syria involves not only the US and Turkey, but Iran and Russia as well. Adding to the tensions is the fact that the tanks being used to pound the positions of US-backed militias had been supplied by Germany, which has grown increasingly distant from its transatlantic NATO ally.

While the United States has played the most aggressive role in stoking up global tensions, the world leaders at Davos made it clear that they would not be out-done by American belligerence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech to the forum in which she declared "that Europe has not been the most active continent on foreign policy, and that we often depended on the United States, which is now concentrating more on itself, must compel us to say: we have to assume more responsibility; we have to take our fate into our hands.” That is, Germany and Europe must remilitarize.

The threat of war was only one of the threats vexing the Davos elite. The past week saw a spate of warnings that red-hot stock markets are on the verge of a meltdown. William White, the chairman of the OECD review board, declared this week: “All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis.” Among the most contentious summit panels was one titled, “Could 2018 Be the Year of the Next Financial Crisis?"

Even more imminent was the threat of trade war, implying the potential breakdown of the dollar-denominated international monetary system. Trump, despite his relatively subdued (for him) closing address, went to Davos guns blazing, having just slapped tariffs of up to 50 percent on imports of solar panels and washing machines.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sparked a substantial selloff of the dollar this week after he declared that “a weaker dollar is good,” leaving the greenback down by 10 percent for the year and spurring warnings of a competitive devaluation of the euro in a retaliatory trade war measure.

And yet, amid all of these dangers, panel moderator Heather Long declared that the “biggest topic at Davos” and the “biggest topic around the world,” was “inequality.” A newly-released report by Oxfam showed that just one percent of the population accumulated 82 percent of all social wealth created in the past year.

In his annual letter to CEOs attending Davos, Blackrock Chief Executive Larry Fink warned that even though “those with capital have reaped enormous benefits… popular frustration and apprehension about the future simultaneously reached new heights” amid “low wage growth” and “inadequate retirement systems.”

After enumerating the various geopolitical tensions and social crises gripping the world, the summit’s official program summary sanguinely pronounced that “By coming together at the start of the year, we can shape the future by joining this unparalleled global effort in co-design, co-creation and collaboration” in order to create a “shared future.”

Few to none of the assembled billionaires took this feel-good nonsense seriously. When they step off their private jets from Davos, they will resume their daily business of plotting wars, scheming to enrich themselves, and devising ways to suppress and repress social discontent—although perhaps with a heightened awareness that, if the world is in crisis, the working class may soon hold them responsible.

Andre Damon


 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andre Damon is a senior analyst with wsws.org, a Marxian publication. 

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Make every homeless tranny

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” -- acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump -- a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 




Who Will Pay the $250+ Billion Reconstruction Cost in Syria?



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The indecent audacity of the US government and its whore imperial media knows no bounds. 


CROSSPOSTED WITH STRATEGIC CULTURE
The United States Government says that Syria’s Government caused the U.N.-estimated "at least $250 billion" cost to restore Syria from the destruction that Syria’s war produced, and so Syria’s Government should pay those reconstruction costs. That link is to a New York Times article, which explicitly blames Syrian “President Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless triumph” — which was won against all of the jihadist groups (which the US and its allies had brought into Syria to overthrow and replace Assad's Government) — for having caused the devastation in Syria; the US and its allies say they aren’t to blame for it, at all, by their having organized and armed and trained and manned that 6-year invasion of Syria; and, so (they say, and the NYT article implicitly assumes it to be true), if the invaders-occupiers of Syria might ultimately agree to pay some portion of these $250B+ reconstruction costs, then this would be sheer generosity by the US and its allies — nothing that these governments are obligated to pay to the surviving residents in Syria.

It would be charity — not restitution — according to them. The way that this NYT news-report presents this case is, first, to ask rhetorically, regarding the US and its allies in the invasion of Syria, “Can they afford to pour money into a regime that has starved, bombed and occasionally gassed its own people?” and then promptly to proceed by ignoring this very question that they have asked, and instead to provide a case (relying heavily on innuendos) for the immorality of the US and its allies to provide restitution to Syria’s Government to restore Syria. That’s how this Times’ news-report argues for the US Government, against Syria’s Government, regarding Syria’s postwar reconstruction: The Times news-report repeatedly simply assumes that Syria’s Government is evil and corrupt, and is to blame for the destruction of Syria, and thus shouldn’t receive any money from good and honest governments such as ours. It implicitly accepts the viewpoint of the US Government — a viewpoint which blatantly contradicts the actual history of the case, as will here be documented by the facts:


President Assad: By imperial logic, the victims should pay the costs of their own annihilation.

America’s Government (including its press, such as the NYT) simply refuses to recognize the legitimacy of Syria’s Government (even after the first internationally monitored democratic election in all of Syria’s history, which was held in 2014, and which the incumbent candidate Bashar al-Assad (whom the US alliance has been trying to overthrow) won, by 89%), and the US Government has, itself, evilly been trying to conquer Syria (a country that never threatened the US), ever since at least 1949, when the CIA perpetrated a coup there (the new CIA’s 2nd coup, the first one having been 1948 in Thailand — and here is the rest of that shocking history) and ousted Syria’s democratically elected President; but, then, in 1955, Syria’s army threw out the US-imposed dictator, and restored to power that democratically elected Syrian President, who in 1958 accepted Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s offer to unify the two countries (Syria and Egypt) into the United Arab Republic (UAR), in order to protect Syria against a then-imminent invasion and attempted take-over by NATO member Turkey (which has traditionally been hostile toward Syria). It was a peaceful and voluntary transfer of power, to Nasser.


The Times news-report repeatedly simply assumes that Syria’s Government is evil and corrupt, and is to blame for the destruction of Syria, and thus shouldn’t receive any money from good and honest governments such as ours.

However, Nasser became an unpopular President in Syria, as the nation’s economy performed poorly during the UAR; and, so, on 28 September 1961, Syria’s army declared Syria's secession from the UAR; and it then installed-and-replaced seven Presidents over the next decade, until 22 February 1971, when General Hafez al-Assad resigned from Syria’s military and was promptly endorsed by the Army for the Presidency; and, soon thereafter, on 12 March 1971, a yes-no national referendum on whether Assad should become President won a 99.2%"Yes" vote of the Syrian people. President Assad initiated today’s Syria, by assigning a majority of political posts to secular Sunnis, and a majority of military posts to secular Shiites. All of the Sunnis that he allowed into the Government were seculars, so as to prevent fundamentalist-Sunni foreign governments — mainly the Sauds — from being able to work successfully with America’s CIA to again take over Syria’s Government. Assad’s Ba’athist democratic socialist Party chose his son Bashar, to succeed Hafez as President, upon Hafez’s death on 10 June 2000; and, when Barack Obama became US President in 2009, Obama carried forward the CIA’s plan to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and to install a Saud-allied fundamentalist-Sunni Syrian government to replace the existing non-secular, but Iran-allied, Ba’athist Government. However, since Bashar had built upon Hafez’s secular, non-sectarian, governmental system, the old CIA plan, to apply fundamentalist Sunnis to destroy the basically non-sectarian state (which is the basis of the Assads’ political support), ultimately failed; and, so, America’s Government and media are trying to deal with the consequences of their own evil, as best they can, so as to have only Syria and its allies suffer the Syrian war’s aftermath. US President Donald Trump has been continuing President Obama’s policy, and he loaded his Administration with rabidly anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian people.

In the American Government’s view, the least that Syria’s Government should now do is to pay all the costs for the consequences of America’s lengthiest-ever effort against Syria — or, if Syria’s Government won’t do that, then the US Government will continue its occupation of Syria, and won’t help the Syrian people at all, to recover from the devastation, which they blame entirely on Assad (who never threatened the US).

However, the Syrian Government says that the countries which invaded it with their weapons and their jihadists and their organization — not only the United States and its weapons-supplies to the jihadists, but also Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, UK, France, and other US allies, the entire US coalition who organized and supplied the six-year international jihadist invasion against Syria — are to blame for the destruction of Syria; and, “If you break it, you own it, and need to replace it.” So, Syrians think that the invaders — and not the people of Syria — must pay the reconstruction cost.

The US Government blames Syrian President Bashar Assad for everything. That charge is, however, quite problematic, given the facts in the case. The US CIA was behind the “Arab Spring” movements to overthrow and replace Assad and other Arab leaders who dissatisfied the US regime, and it then fed into Syria the ‘rebels’ until now. Few of them are still remaining under US protection — which is mostly east of the Euphrates River, where America’s Kurdish proxy-forces are in control, after having finally defeated, with American air power, Syria’s ISIS.

That NYT article used the word “rebel” six times to refer to the jihadists who were fighting against Syria’s Government, and didn’t even once use the word “jihadist” or “terrorist” or anything like that, to refer to even a single one of them. However, almost all of the anti-Assad fighters were, in fact, jihadists (or, some people call them, instead, “radical Islamic terrorists”).

Western-sponsored opinion polls have been taken of the residents of Syria, throughout the war, and they have consistently shown that Bashar al-Assad would easily win re-election there in any free and internationally monitored election, and that the Syrian people overwhelmingly (by 82%) blame the United States for having brought the tens of thousands of foreign fighters into Syria to overthrow and replace their nation's Government. Consequently, if Syrians will end up bearing the estimated $250B+ reconstruction cost of a war that 82% of them blame on the US, then the Syrian people will become even angrier against the US Government than they are now. But, of course, the US Government doesn’t care about the people of Syria, and won’t even allow in any of them as refugees to America; so, Syrians know whom their friends and enemies are. America’s absconding on its $250+B reparations-debt to them wouldn’t surprise them, at all. It’s probably what they’re expecting.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome US propaganda-media, such as Britain’s Financial Times, have field-tested an alternative, a blame-Russia approach, in case the US team can’t get the blame-Syria story-line to gain sufficient international acceptance. For example, that newspaper’s Roula Khalaf headlined on 1 March 2017,  “The west to Russia: you broke Syria, now you fix it”, but most of the reader-comments were extremely hostile to that designation of villain in the case. Here were the most-popular comments:

COMMENTS, Most recommended:

Nomad_X Mar 1, 2017 What dreadful 'analysis' .... Russia finished the Syrian war because they had to. Syria was an artificial proxy war instigated by the USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - the Iranians and Russians joined in after the west tried to remove Assad, and failed. The UN also said publicly that Syria was not a civil war - it was a war of foreign mercenary groups trying to overthrow the Assad regime. Russia had no choice but to be there - Putin said publicly there was over 500 Russian nationals involved, and they would be going home once they were finished in Syria. Syria is another US foreign policy disaster which someone else had no choice but to clean up - it essentially created and legitimatized ISIS and now we ALL have to pay for it ....

Reply Airman48 Mar 1, 2017 The usual Bogus Russian troll perspective that is devoid of the truth. Syria has been a Russian client state in the 1960s when Hafez al Assad invited the Soviets in. Russia took ownership of the Syrian Civil War the minute it intervened and deployed Military forces to that country and after waging a brutal campaign of indiscriminate bombing that killed many hundreds of innocent Syria Non combatants it now expects the West to pay to reconstruct Syria. Read the title of the article again "The West to Russia. You broke it, you FIX it”

Reply Nomad_X Mar 1, 2017 @Airman48 Some facts for your viewing pleasure - 1. Syria being a client state is not new news - just because they bought their weapons does not mean they wanted a war. 2. Russia cleaned up and finished the war - they did not initiate it - the USA did. 3. The title is a misnomer - the USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey broke Syria. ReportShare27Recommend 

Although some readers, such as “Airman48,” seemed eager to blame anything on Russia, most of the readers, even at that rabidly anti-Russian, neoconservative-neoliberal (or, to use old terminology, pro-imperialist) publication, seemed to be somehow uncomfortable with that view. Perhaps that view would have been popular in 1900 (America and UK were proudly imperialistic at that time), but it seems to be unpopular today. It’s not as easy to fool the American and British people into an invasion as it was, for example, when we invaded and destroyed Iraq on the basis of lies, in 2003. Barack Obama managed to win public support for a repeat of that performance in Libya in 2011, and, of course, for the anti-Syria campaign, and also for a very bloody coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014 — a trifecta of US invasions on the basis of lies (and all of which were invasions of countries that never endangered US national security) — but the bipartisanship of that US hyper-aggressiveness (first with the Republican Bush, and then with the Democratic Obama) has made clear to many Americans, that the US Government itself is the problem, that this is not a partisan problem; it is a problem with the Government itself, by both Parties, which is evil in what it is bipartisan about (such as supporting invasions by lies, against countries that never threatened us). [And it does so to fill its masters' goals, that is the goals of the plutocratic elites that own all the huge global corporations and much of the wealth in the US and the world.—Eds]

Voice of America is no more propagandistic than all of America’s major media are, even though it’s openly a US Government medium; and it headlined on 30 December 2017, “Pentagon Preparing for Shift in Syrian Strategy” and reported the latest variant of the US regime’s plan to dump all the costs of the invasion of Syria, onto the Syrian people. Secretary of ‘Defense’ James Mattis said, “What we will be doing is shifting from what I call an offensive, terrain-seizing approach. … You'll see more US diplomats on the ground.” The article continued, “‘When you bring in more diplomats, they’re working that initial restoration of services. They bring in the contractors. That sort of thing,’ the defense secretary said. ‘There’s international money that’s got to be administered so it actually does something and doesn’t go into the wrong people’s [the Syrian Government’s] pockets.’” He wants US international corporations to be placed into position to skim off some of that reconstruction-money. (Some of this cash might then become recycled into Republican political campaign donations, which would please the Republican US President, and Republicans in Congress. But the Democrats in Congress are ‘patriotic’, and so will not resist Republicans’ effort to continue crushing Syria.)

Mattis was threatening Syrians with America’s absconding with all the damages it left behind, unless Syria’s Government will give America’s Government at least some of what it wants (but never earned). This VOA article said, “There are questions about how the initial recovery efforts will work, given that much of Syria is now under the control of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” The implication there is that America has a right to overthrow Syria’s Government; and, that, unless Syria’s Government will bend at least part-way in recognizing this right, the US Government will abscond totally from this matter. The US regime is blaming everything on Assad, and expects him to be grateful for any financial assistance that the US Government, in its kindness and generosity, provides, to his land, which it has destroyed. (Of course, Syria’s Government has also bombed targets in Syria, but the only alternative that was available for President Assad would have been to surrender Syria to the jihadists whom the US team had brought into and armed there.) However, VOA’s presumption that Syria’s Government is to blame and that the invading jihadists aren’t, isn’t likely to be accepted by any nations except some of America’s allies. For example, Poland might back it, in order to retain the US regime’s support, which is especially important to the Polish regime, because their support from some of the other European regimes has been fraying recently, and because beggars (such as Poland is, when it becomes widely criticized by the rest of the EU) can’t be choosers. Apparently, the Trump regime believes it can assemble a sufficient number of such regimes, so as to win its way.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]rump has the support of the entire US aristocracy on this. A leading voice of the US aristocracy (and funder of its agents — such as US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner — when they are in the revolving door between government-service and Wall Street or other private agencies of the aristocracy) is America’s Council on Foreign Relations, which publishes Foreign Affairs magazine, which is perhaps the chief public voice of America’s billionaires, concerning international relations. On 4 October 2017, it published an article, Don’t Fund Syria's Reconstruction: The West Has Little Leverage and Little to Gain”, which presumed that “The West” is democratic and its governments represent their publics, and that Syria’s Government isn’t and doesn’t; so, “The West” has a supposed right to ignore the plight it caused in Syria (and which “The West” constantly lies to deny that it caused, and to blame Syria’s Government for the devastation that “The West”s retainers actually produced there).

Here are key excerpts from this CFR Foreign Affairs article, showing the position that America’s billionaires collectively argue for, on this matter — displaying their guidance on this issue, for their vassal aristocracies, in America’s allied countries:

Now that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has successfully defeated or neutralized much of the insurgency in his country, domestic and international attention has begun to turn toward stabilization and reconstruction. …

Yet large sections of the international community — including, critically, key donor countries — continue to reject the legitimacy of Assad and his regime. …

There is a less complicated solution: Do not fund the reconstruction of Assad’s Syria. …

Syria’s reconstruction cannot be dictated or meaningfully shaped by Western donors — at least not to any satisfactory political ends. …

The cost of Syria’s reconstruction will be immense — between $200 billion and $350 billion, depending on the estimate. These sums are far beyond the capacity of Syria, or the willingness of its Iranian and Russian allies, to pay. The burden of reconstruction, then, is expected to fall on the United States, members of the EU, and Japan, as well as on multilateral institutions that are likely to take cues from their major Western donors, such as the World Bank. …

On September 21, a meeting of “like-minded” actors (including Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the EU) announced that “recovery and reconstruction support for Syria hinges on a credible political process leading to a genuine political transition that can be supported by a majority of the Syrian people.” Reconstruction funding is “the biggest lever” the United States and its allies have to push for a credible political process, said David Satterfield, a US State Department official, after the meeting. And according to British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, “We have one big card left to play in a pretty poor hand and that is the cash we can provide for the reconstruction of Syria.”. …

The country, in other words, cannot be put back together by working around the regime that tore it apart. …

Some analysts believe that the West can use funding to win concessions short of regime change. …

The regime will end up trading away “things that don’t matter,” said one European diplomat. “But it will hold out for so long, they’ll seem like concessions when you get them. If there’s something that Damascus has that most others don’t, it’s time.”

Donors will not be permitted to do an end run around Assad. …

Westerners who want to drive a hard bargain will find that they have less leverage than they thought. To begin with, the international community — and the universe of possible donors and investors — is not limited to the West. Syrian officials are keen to advertise the country’s nascent economic recovery and attract investment, but they have also said that they will give priority to investors from countries that stood by Damascus. …

Western donors should not finance the regime-led reconstruction effort. …

The West does not get unlimited tries to remove Assad or to dictate Syria’s politics. Thinking otherwise will be an expensive delusion.

Or, in short: America’s billionaires view the entire question as a business deal between themselves and the ‘regime’ that they have hired the US Government since 1949 to overthrow and control; and the advice that they are giving to their vassal aristocracies is: “The West does not get unlimited tries to remove Assad or to dictate Syria’s politics”; and, so, “The West” should just walk away from the matter: there shouldn’t be any deal — Syria should just become a failed state, such as Libya, or Afghanistan.

Another prominent institutional voice of America’s billionaires is the similarly solidly neoconservative-neoliberal (or pro-imperialistic) Brookings Institution, whose Steven Heydemann headlined on 24 August 2017, “Rules for reconstruction in Syria”, and he wrote:

For the Assad regime, however, reconstruction is not seen as a means for economic recovery and social repair, but as an opportunity for self-enrichment, a way to reward loyalists and punish opponents, and as central to its efforts to fix in place the social and demographic shifts caused by six years of violent conflict. Assad himself affirmed this intent in a speech he delivered to mark the inauguration of the Damascus Exhibition. Thanking Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah, Assad said that Syria had “lost its best youth and its infrastructure,” but had “won a healthier and more homogenous society.” The prominent Arab [Qatari-Palestinian-Israeli] political analyst Azmi Bishara described Assad’s claim as "Hitlerian" and as confirmation of the “genocidal” intent of the regime’s policies of displacement.

Thus, a statement by Assad expressing satisfaction that Syria has even a smaller percentage of its citizens who support jihadists today than it had prior to the US-Saudi-UAE-Qatari-Turkish importation of the world’s jihadists into Syria, was there being called “Hitlerian.” America’s billionaires (or at least their policy-propagandists) view Assad’s loathing of jihadists as bigotry, just like Hitler’s loathing of Jews was.

Furthermore, Bishara, who was being cited there by Brookings as an authority about Assad, was a big supporter of the US coalition against Syria: for example, he said about Assad’s Government, at 2:17 in this 20 May 2013 telecast on Syria’s enemy Qatar’s Al Jazeera television in Arabic (Al Jazeera is pro-jihadist in its Arabic broadcasts, but anti-jihadist in its English ones), “Now, it’s shelling its own people, ferociously, an ongoing massacre, and yet the people resist. They haven’t stopped.” He didn’t mention “jihadists” or “terrorists” at all (because he represents their backers). There is no available evidence as to whether Bishara is being paid by the CIA, or perhaps by the Thani family who own Qatar, but Brookings’s failure to disclose information like that (Bishara’s statement’s falsely implying that Assad is anti-Syrian instead of anti-jihadist), in such a context as this passage by Heydemann, indicates the extent to which Brookings should be presumed to be merely an extension of the same international aristocratic group that ultimately controls the CIA, CFR, etc. (Bishara then went on there to use the phrase “we, the Israelis”; so, maybe he instead represents Israel’s Mossad. But that’s just as bad, and maybe even the same thing as the rest of them.)

The argument by America’s billionaires (via their agents), regarding restitution to the Syrian people, for the catastrophe that those billionaires (via their political contributions) spearheaded against Syrians, is: If anyone should pay it, then Syria’s Government should.

Apparently, “The West” intends simply to keep on destroying nations and leaving behind more and more failed states.

Of course, that long war to get rid of Russia’s allies might be a profitable policy for the owners of corporations such as Lockheed Martin, but there are big downsides to this policy, for the billions of people whom “The West” seems to care nothing about, such as in Syria, and in Libya, and in Ukraine. And this evil policy is also bad even for the American people, who are increasingly coming to loathe the Government that America’s billionaires have increasingly bought and impose upon us.

America’s corruption deserves a Nobel Prize, like was won by Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama; but, this one should be called the “Hypocrisy Prize” and awarded directly to the US Government — an invoice, “amount due,” totaling the damages done by this Government to all of the governments that had posed no threat to US national security but that the US Government nonetheless overthrew, starting with Thailand in 1948. Of course, the rogue US Government would not pay it, but the bill should still be presented, because that bill would be the first Hypocrisy Prize, and it would show what hypocrisy can amount to.  


About the author

EricZuesse

ERIC ZUESSE, Senior Contributing Editor

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity. Besides TGP, his reports and historical analyses are published on many leading current events and political sites, including The Saker, Huffpost, Oped News, and others.

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Tinpot Despot Erdogan Reveals Where He Stands on Syria


BE SURE TO PASS OUR ARTICLES ON TO KIN, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

[su_panel background="#f8f8f7" color="#1d1919" border="2px solid #41362d" shadow="7px 0px 1px #eeeeee" radius="3"]The pathological mentality of Erdogan is totally medieval, constantly plotting against friend and foe with no principles or sense of loyalty to anyone. He is a natural ally of Washington and the European vassal imperialist states, despite his latter-day tepid rapprochement with Russia and Iran. [/su_panel]


No offence to real reptiles, but there are few poisonous snakes as dangerous as the Erdogan subspecies.


Speaking at a press conference in Tunis with his repressive Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi, Erdogan disgracefully called Syria’s Assad “definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism,” adding:

“It is impossible to continue with al-Assad. How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed almost a million of his citizens?”

“There is no peace in Syria, and this peace won’t come with Assad.”

Syria’s Foreign Ministry blasted his comments, saying he “continues to misdirect Turkish public opinion with his usual froth in an attempt to absolve himself of the crimes which he has committed against the Syrian people through advancing support to the various terrorist groups in the country."

He earlier called for removing Assad from office, backing ISIS and other terrorists, committing atrocities against Syrian civilians. He aims to annex northern Syrian territory, why he invaded the country earlier. His troops remain illegally, combatting Kurdish fighters.

He’s an illegitimate peace partner with Russia and Iran. Last year, he called Assad “a more advanced terrorist than a terrorist from the PYD or the YPG…a more advanced terrorist than Daesh (ISIS).”

He’s a tinpot despot, a wannabe sultan, an international outlaw, a thuggish human rights violator, terrorizing his own people and regional countries – cleaning house, eliminating political challengers, at war with press freedom, imprisoning scores of independent journalists and others opposing his ruthlessness.

His remarks about Assad from Tunis show he can never be trusted. Western states turn a blind eye to his worst crimes. Turkey is a democracy in name only. Erdogan rules with an iron fist. Anyone criticizing or challenging his leadership risks imprisonment, including public figures, journalists, academics, other intellectuals, human rights activists, even young children – on charges ranging from insulting the president to terrorism, espionage or treason.

He purged tens of thousands of regime critics, uses emergency powers to target dissent, disappears opponents, extrajudicially killing or imprisoning them. In 2016, he cited Hitler as a role model, calling his Nazi regime an ideal way to run Turkey, saying he wants things streamlined for more effective decision-making.

Complicit with ISIS, he was involved in smuggling, refining, and selling stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil on the black market, enriching himself and other regime officials. Vilifying Assad after pretending to ally with Russia and Iran for conflict resolution in Syria showed he can never be trusted.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.00 AMSTEPHEN LENDMAN was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient. His new site is at http://stephenlendman.org


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Intimidating UN Member States the Al Capone Style

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

The White House’s commitment to spreading chaos across the world, bringing people of various religions and beliefs misery and suffering is hardly a secret to anyone at this point. After Afghanistan and Iraq, the latest instances of this American obsession manifested themselves in Libya and Syria.

This tactic was readily adopted by the administration of US President Donald Trump even though it hasn’t yet spent a full year in office. Yet, we see more calamities looming over horizon, with dangerous games being played by Washington simultaneously against Iran and North Korea.

The recent statement regarding the status of Jerusalem made by Trump regarding the status of Jerusalem falls in this familiar pattern, as the US thus demanded other states follow its lead. In such a fashion Trump has not just formally announced his imperial aspirations, or claimed the right to function as global arbiter, but has also buried any hope of negotiations between Arabs and Israelis, even though Washington assumed the role of guarantor of a peace accord between these two parties. By making a statement that looks irresponsible for any sensible observer, Trump has not just violated all of the UN documents signed so far by the United States, he also chose to ignore the plan of Palestine’s partition adopted in 1947, after the termination of the British Mandate. This plan stipulated the creation of a Jewish and an Arab state within the former border of Palestine, while granting Jerusalem an international status as the holy city of the three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

By unilaterally altering the status of Jerusalem Trump has not just showed the true face of “American diplomacy” to the whole world, but has deprived America of an ability to play any constructive role toward resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict or any other Middle Eastern conflict for that matter. After all, until now, as a guarantor of Israel’s existence since 1948, the United States has always sought to maintain a balanced position, which allowed America to remain an “honest broker”. As the French Figaro recalls, in November 1956 it was Washington that urged London and Paris, the allies of Israel, to put an end to the Suez war against Gamal Abdel Nasser. In October 1973, Kissinger persuaded the Israelis to loosen up pressure on the surrounded Egyptian Third Army. In October 1991, President George W. Bush initiated the Madrid Peace Conference by inviting the Palestinian delegation to talks, in spite of fierce opposition by Tel-Aviv.

Today in the world, according to various sources, there are about 1.77 billion adherents of Islam, constituting 23% of the world’s population. The reaction of the inhabitants of 28 Muslim countries (including the fourth most populous country, Indonesia, and nuclear-armed Pakistan) to the Trump solution in Jerusalem has caused a predictable effect – with aggressive statements coming from all across the globe. Even America’s European allies announced their disagreement. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogerini, stated that Trump’s move has brought the Middle Eastern peace process back to the dark ages. The refusal to support Trump’s position was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the head of Washington’s most trusted satellite state – British Prime Minister Teresa May.

This universal condemnation was supported by the president of Turkey, a now-formal-ally of the United States and a NATO member, as its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Trump as a person reckless enough to stir up the whole Middle East.

The former head of Israeli secret services Yakov Kedmi has recently told the media that Washington has dropped yet another bomb on the Middle East without even giving a second thought to the possible consequences of its actions. Kedmi believes that it’s an example of typical American behavior, associated with ruining even the simplest matters.

The Middle East undergoes radical change these days, as tactical alliances are being made and then collapse rapidly, with yesterday’s enemies becoming today’s allies. The development of events and the changes that the whole world and the Arab world in particular are observing seems extremely dangerous for the Arab World. The reason for this is the growing colonial aspirations of the United States. Washington is not just amassing troops and invading states, it’s heavily engaged in hybrid warfare as well. It has consistently relied on the divide and conquer strategy in its dealings with the Arab World, its peoples and the peoples of other Muslim-majority nations.

It’s been noted that America has proven itself capable of provoking malice and disgust, of sowing the seeds of hatred and dispute in every Arab state, affecting society at every level: family, tribe, religious group, and political party. In particular, best exemplified by the so-called “Arab Spring.” As all plans and conspiracies against the governments of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq led back to Washington and Israel.

Against this backdrop, one cannot help but feel disgust over the recent actions of Trump and his representatives, in particular the sitting US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley who would send letters of intimidation to representatives of more than 180 countries in a bid to prevent them from voting in the UN Security Council on a resolution condemning the recent decision of Washington to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That’s a vivid example of the so-called American-style of democracy at its best along with Washington’s willingness to put all sorts of pressure on those courageous enough to disobey America’s dictates.

The world is becoming increasingly impatient with Washington, a development long overdue decades ago. Nikki Haley’s attempts to use her position in a reckless attempt to bully UN member states in clear violation of the UN Charter, pushes this patience toward its breaking point.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Vladimir Odintsov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine ‘New Eastern Outlook
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/22/intimidating-un-member-states-the-al-capone-style/

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report