Wednesday, August 24, 2016



By Rick Sterling

Neocons and liberal hawks have poured millions of dollars into propaganda to justify “regime change” in Syria and are now desperate to keep the war going until President Hillary Clinton gets a chance to escalate, as Rick Sterling describes.


By Rick Sterling

August 23, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - 


Neocons and Clintonites have launched a major campaign with the goal of direct U.S. military intervention and aggression against Syria, potentially leading to war with Iran and Russia.

An early indication emerged as soon as it was clear the Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party nominee. Following the California primary, The New York Times reported on State Department diplomats issuing an internal memo “urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al Assad.”


In early August, Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in The New York Times about “The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad”. Dennis Ross is a favorite Clintonite. In her book Hard Choices, Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to “work on Iran and regional issues.”

New York Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his own pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need “safe zones” as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright. That is risky, Kristof said, but “the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater.”

PBS broadcast a story titled “Repeatedly targeted by airstrikes, Syrian doctors feel abandoned.” The story features video from the “White Helmets” along with photos from the reported April bombing of Al Quds Hospital. 

Currently there is a huge media campaign around the situation in Aleppo. Syrian American doctor Zaher Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, has been interviewed extensively on mainstream media as well as DemocracyNow with widespread promotion in Truthout and other sites.

There has been lots of publicity around a letter to President Obama, supposedly written by 15 doctors in East Aleppo. The letter ends “We need your action.” The flow and wording of the letter suggests it may have been composed by a marketing company and there has been no verification of the doctors who supposedly signed it.

The letter was likely written by a paid Syria War propagandist or Washington lobby firm. Read the letterhere and judge for yourself. For contrast watch this interview with a real Syrian doctor not mouthing propaganda from K Street in Washington D.C.

An online Change petition asks German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama to “save the people of Aleppo.” The publicly funded Holocaust Memorial Museum has promoted the video #SaveSyria. One of the producers of the video is The Syria Campaign which is the marketing organization which branded the pervasive “White Helmets,” as documented in “Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators”.

In parallel with this media campaign, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has introduced HR5732 the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2016.” The resolution calls for escalating economic/financial pressure on Syria and “Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no fly zone in Syria”.

Dr. Sahloul, the Syrian American Medical Society doctor / spokesperson, says that Obama’s legacy will be defined by whether or not he attacks Syria to impose a “no fly zone.”  

It seems unlikely that Obama would do that at the end of his term. Instead, the goal is to prepare the public for the new war to begin after Hillary Clinton becomes President.

Falsehoods and Lies of Omission 

In his article ““The media are misleading the public on Syria” author Stephen Kinzer recently wrote, “Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.”

Here a few facts about Aleppo which contradict the mainstream media narrative:

–At least 85 percent of Aleppo’s population is in government-controlled areas.

–The estimate of 300,000 civilians in rebel/terrorist-controlled east Aleppo is likely a gross exaggeration. In spring 2015, Martin Chulov of the Guardian visited the area and estimated there were 40,000.

–While there are very few doctors serving in the opposition-controlled Aleppo, there are thousands of doctors working in the government-controlled area.

–The dominant rebel-terrorist group in Aleppo is the Syrian version of Al Qaeda.

–The armed groups who invaded Aleppo have been unpopular from the beginning. In the fall of 2012, journalist James Foley wrote

“Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.” (Foley was later captured by Syrian rebels and executed by the Islamic State on Aug. 19, 2014.)

–The rebel-terrorists launch dozens and sometimes hundreds of mortars daily into the government-controlled areas causing huge casualties. Western media ignores this destruction and loss of life.

–The much publicized April bombing of the supposed Medecins sans Frontieres-supported “Al Quds Hospital” in Aleppo was full of contradictions and discrepancies. These were highlighted in an Open Letter to MSF. To this date, MSF has not provided corroborating information.

–Much of the video purporting to show bombing effects in Aleppo are stamped with the “White Helmets” logo. White Helmets is a creation of the U.S. and U.K. and primarily a propaganda tool. The claims they are Syrian, independent and non-partisan are all false.

–Much of the information about Syria comes from “activists” trained and paid by the U.S. In her book Hard Choices, Secretary Clinton says the U.S. provided “training for more than a thousand (Syrian) activists, students, and independent journalists” (p464, hardback version). Obviously they are not independent and their reports should be carefully checked.

–In contrast with the ambiguous situation at “Al Quds Hospital”, consider what happened to Aleppo’s “Al Kindi Hospital.” Take three minutes to view the suicide bombing of Al Kindi Hospital. Take two minutes to view what the “rebels” did to Syrian soldiers who had been guarding the hospital.

–Like NBC correspondent Richard Engels’s fake kidnapping and the contrived CNN reports by “Syrian Danny,” the Aug. 21, 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta has been essentially shown to have been a staged event intended to force a U.S. attack on the Syrian government by making it appear that President Bashar al-Assad had crossed President Obama’s “red line.”

–The latest propaganda tool being used to promote U.S. aggression against Syria is the photograph of little Omran in the orange ambulance seat. The video comes from the Aleppo Media Center, or AMC. Like the White Helmets, AMC is a U.S. creation.

The photo of Omran has been widely accepted without scrutiny. The insightful Moon of Alabama has raised serious questions about the media sensation. 

Brad Hoff has documented that the main photographer, Mahmoud Raslan, is an ally of the Nour al Din al Zenki rebel terrorists who beheaded a young Palestinian Syrian a few weeks ago, confirmed step by step in this short video. Another good short video exposing the propaganda around #Syrianboy is here.

Why the Burst of Propaganda?

The Syrian crisis is at a critical point with the prospect that the rebel/terrorists will collapse.  If they are crushed or expelled, it would allow hundreds of thousands of displaced Aleppans to return home as soon as services are restored. This would also allow the Syrian army and allies to focus on attacking the Islamic State in the east and rebel/terrorist groups remaining in Idlib, Hama, the outskirts of Damascus and the south.

Until the last year, fanatics and mercenaries were traveling from all parts of the globe into Syria via Turkey. Tens of thousands went to Syria from Southeast Asia, China, Russia, North Africa, Europe and North America. They were given carte blanche to depart their home countries, arrive in Turkey and be guided into Syria.

For example, young Canadians such as Damien Clairmont went and died in Syria. His mother has courageously exposed the fact that Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) knew about his plans yet did nothing to stop him.

Progressive Muslim leaders demanded the government identify and start dealing with the radical recruiters. It was evidently the policy of the cynically named “Friends of Syria” to “look the other way” as their citizens were being brainwashed and then recruited to become terrorists attacking Syria.

Now, with terrorist blowback in Western Europe, the United States and Turkey, these same “Friends” are feeling consequences from their policies. Terror attacks in Britain, France, Belgium and the U.S. have ended – or at least disrupted – the policy of collusion with Wahhabi terrorists.

In the last year, security services have started arresting recruiters and new recruits. In Britain, a long-time promoter of ISIS has been convicted. In Belgium, the court has approved the extradition of a suspected French terrorist. Previously, Belgium was the Western country with the highest per capita number of citizens joining the terrorist fight in Syria. And now Turkey has started arresting people en route to join ISIS in Syria.

Since the rebel/terrorists invaded Aleppo in 2012, they have had a constant pipeline bringing weapons, fighters and supplies into the city. For the past few months the Syrian army has been on the verge of encircling and closing the access routes into rebel terrorist sections of east Aleppo.

Western media and governments, which support the rebel/terrorists, are doing all they can to delay or prevent this closure. They are trying to stall or prevent a Syrian government victory until someone more hawkish than Barack Obama is in the White House.

Driving the Conflict

Regional forces supporting the war on Syria include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Israel has always been deeply involved, contrary to the faulty analysis of some observers. 

Israel has provided medical and military support to Nusra/Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating near the Golan Heights. 

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was explicit: “Israel has wanted Assad ousted since Syria war began.” Oren has said Israel favors that outcome even if it means a victory by Al Qaeda or other Sunni extremists.

The U.S. and Western powers are also deeply involved. Working with Saudi Arabia and through Turkey, the U.S. has supplied huge quantities of weapons to the rebel/terrorists. Sophisticated weaponry totaling 994 TONS was provided last winter as documented here.

On the other side, Iran and Hezbollah are committed to defending the existing Syrian government. They know that if the Syrian government falls, they will be the next ones under attack.

Russia also sees this as a crucial conflict. The U.S. has expanded NATO up to the Russian western border, promoted the 2014 Ukraine coup, and insisted on economic sanctions against Russia. Syria is Russia’s only Arab ally and hosts Russia’s only foreign naval base. 

Russia probably sees this conflict as a crucial for its own future. In another sign of resistance to U.S. global hegemony, China has indicated it wishes toexpand military cooperation with Syria.

Following the U.S. lead, Canada, Australia and West European countries have supported the “regime change” effort despite it being in clear violation of the U.N. Charter and international law.

Despite five years of tragedy and destruction, the U.S. continues trying to overthrow or destroy the Syrian government. This is not a new U.S. objective. 

In 2005, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Syrian President Assad and said to him “Mr. President, you know the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States….They’re talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling. What are you thinking about that?”

Amanpour is not only a CNN host, she is the wife of neocon Clintonite James Rubin.

In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Syria to stop its support of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, “loosen” its alliance with Iran and sign a treaty with Israel. Significantly, these are Israel’s demands and of much higher importance to the Zionist state than the U.S.

The war in Syria is bringing numerous conflicts to a head: sectarian Wahhabism vs. humanitarian Islam; the “New American Century” with one superpower vs. a multilateral world; Zionist dominance and occupation vs. Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.

Hillary Clinton is on record criticizing the decision to not bomb Syria in late summer 2013 after the sarin gas attack outside Damascus. She has continued to promote the idea of a “no fly zone.” She is an avowed Zionist who has said she wants to take the U.S.-Israeli relationship to the “next level.”

Zionist Israel is deeply worried by the prospect of a strengthened Syria and Lebanese resistance. In addition, there are many Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Syria and Lebanon. They retain their wish to return home in keeping with international law. 

Just as Zionist Israeli interests were a major factor in the invasion of Iraq, so they are in continuing the conflict in Syria. In addition, neocons have not given up their goal of a “New American Century.”

The Western Left?

The Left has been weak in responding and opposing the aggression against Syria. Major factors have included:

–Saudi and U.S. State Department-funded Muslim groups which support the aggression against Syria. This includes the recently famous Dr. Zaher Sahloul and the Syrian American Medical Society. SAMS and Zahloul are aligned with Saudi Arabia and receive substantial State Department funding.

–Deluded leftist groups which support what they have been told is a people’s “revolution” in Syria, just as happened in Libya.

–The flooding of social media and the Internet by “activists” and Syrian “civil society” groups who are actually paid and trained agents of the West. This is confirmed by Clinton herself in her book Hard Choices.

–Uncritical acceptance of the claims by major non-governmental organizations (or NGOs), which are predominately funded by billionaires. These organizations need to be viewed with some skepticism because of their financial dependence on a few wealthy individuals with personal agendas.

For example, in 1990, Amnesty International mistakenly corroborated the accuracy of the false claim that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor.

In the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Human Rights Watch, which is heavily funded by currency speculator George Soros, did not oppose the Iraq invasion and implicitly accepted it by only criticizing the lack of preparation. 

(HRW also promoted what turned out to a bogus story claiming that by “vectoring” the flight paths of two rockets it had proved that the Syrian military fired the sarin gas on Aug. 21, 2013, a claim that later collapsed when aeronautical experts determined that the only rocket found to carry sarin had a much shorter range.)

Physicians for Human Rights, another Soros project, has issued grossly misleading reports on Syria.

–Alternative media, which is progressive on many issues but echoes NPR and mainstream media on critical foreign policy issues including the Syrian conflict.

Some groups including Arab Americans for Syria, Syrian American Forum, Black Agenda Report, Syria Solidarity Movement, Answer and Workers World Party have actively challenged the disinformation but their budgets and influence are relatively small in comparison to the heavily funded organizations pushing for Syrian “regime change.”

Veterans for Peace, one of the most influential and respected peace organizations, has recently sharpened its understanding and position on Syria.

Following a recent visit to Syria, the Vice President of Veterans for Peace, Jerry Condon, saidEverything we read about Syria in the U.S. media is wrong. The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria’s secular state.

“In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change, the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria’s president, Bashar al Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeat this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true.” 

What the Future Holds

Neoconservatives, including Clintonites, are pushing hard for a direct U.S. attack on Syria to prevent the collapse of their “regime change” project. 

Claiming that the U.S. and NATO can bring a “safe zone” and “protect civilians” is a grotesque falsehood. (In Libya in 2011, similar “humanitarian” claims were simply a cover for another “regime change” project that has unleashed more chaos and death across northern Africa.)

If the U.S. tries to impose a “no fly zone” in Syria, it will result in vastly more deaths and risk escalation into direct conflict involving Syria, Russia, Iran and Israel.

Former Acting CIA director Mike Morell, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, recently suggested the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria to make them “pay a price.”

There is a clear solution to the Syrian tragedy: the countries who have been supplying tons of weapons and paying tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists should stop. 

The conflict would soon end. The foreigners would depart with much less fanaticism than what they came with. Many Syrian rebel/terrorists would accept reconciliation.

To create the circumstances for a peaceful settlement, there needs to be a global campaign for peace, but there is much responsibility in the U.S. since our government has become the greatest threat to peace with its insistence on global dominance. 

Following are some specific ideas that could help:

–Sen. Bernie Sanders raised expectations when he talked about the need stop the “regime change” foreign policy. Now is when he needs to be clear and unequivocal that U.S. military aggression against Syria will make things worse not better and must not happen. Sanders also proved that a progressive policy is popular. If Sanders abandons this core foreign policy position and does not speak out strongly against the drive for aggression, it will be a huge disappointment and failure.

–DemocracyNow and other leading alternative media need to start including different analyses. To a sad extent, their coverage of Syria has echoed NPR and CNN. If DemocracyNow is truly an “Exception to the Rulers,” it needs to start including more critical examinations.

DN producers should be studying publications such as Consortiumnews, Global Research, AntiWar, MoonOfAlabama, Al Masdar News, Al Mayadeen, Counterpunch, DissidentVoice, American Herald Tribune, 21stCenturyWire, Black Agenda Report, the Canary, RT, PressTV and TruePublica (not corporate ProPublica).

They should be bringing the observations and analysis of journalists such as Sharmine Narwani, Edward Dark, Eva Bartlett, Brad Hoff, Vanessa Beeley, Stephen Sahiounie to name just a few. Syrian academics such as Issa Chaer (U.K.) and Nour al Kadri (Canada) could be interviewed. Followers of DN have heard Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and other U.S. officials speaking about Syria countless times. Why have Amy and Juan not interviewed the Syrian Ambassador to the UN?

–This is an opportunity and challenge for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party. They are clear on this issue. If they can get a mass audience to hear their message, it could be crucial to their winning support and prompting a necessary national debate.

At the moment there is almost no debate on the issue of perpetual war in the Middle East. Instead, the media is filled with propaganda using a boy’s photo to promote more war. 

The Green Party could play a hugely important role exposing the danger and duplicity of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They could play a key role in blocking the Clintonite march to a new war.

–Veterans for Peace could play a leading role in changing the perception and ending the marginalization of the U.S. peace movement.


Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist and member of Syria Solidarity Movement. He can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com

Read or post public comments on this article for more information: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45340.htm


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Exposing more fake 'news' as deliberate propaganda for war



The mainstream media has a long history of reporting, without fact-checking, faked ‘news’ and misinformation to promote war and the agendas of the elites. Remember the ‘news’ of the infamous use by the Syrian government of deadly sarin gas in Ghouta, August 2013?

According to investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, and others, this was actually carried out by the terrorists the U.S. and its various allies have been supporting, yet the media still blames the Syrian government every chance they get.

So, before believing anything the media is telling us now about this story of the “iconic image” of the “wounded Syrian boy in the orange ambulance seat”, please consider this alternative journalism:


MSM using pro-al Nusra “media center” as source for war-propaganda
"...If the sight of all the major outlets who cheer on western-backed slaughter every day, running wall-to-wall op-eds and features about the tragedy of a little boy with a cut on his face, simply because it serves the empire’s agenda, doesn’t convince you of the moral and intellectual blank they’ve become then keep reading. It gets better..."



The "Wounded Boy In Orange Seat" - Another Staged "White Helmets" Stunt
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/08/the-wounded-boy-in-orange-seat-another-staged-white-helmets-stunt.html



Crocodile Tears For Aleppo Poster Child
By Paul Craig Roberts



East  Aleppo is held by terrorists, not so-called rebels
VIDEO (5:27)  21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen reports on RT International. 



The man behind the viral ‘boy in the ambulance’ image has brutal skeletons in his own closet



The Boy in the Ambulance: US State Department Funded Groups Behind Latest ‘Iconic Image’ Designed to Demonize Russia and Encourage Further Bloodshed in Syria

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-boy-in-the-ambulance-us-state-department-funded-groups-behind-latest-iconic-image-designed-to-demonize-russia-and-encourage-further-bloodshed-in-syria/5541761



Tuesday, August 16, 2016


US War Crimes or ‘Normalized Deviance’

By Nicolas J S Davies

EXTRACTS:

”…The normalization of deviance from the rules and standards that formally govern U.S. foreign policy has been quite radical.  And yet, as in other cases, this has gradually been accepted as a normal state of affairs, first within the corridors of power, then by the corporate media and eventually by much of the public at large.

Within the high priesthood that now manages U.S. foreign policy, advancement and success are based on conformity with this elastic culture of normalized deviance.  Whistle-blowers are punished or even prosecuted, and people who question the prevailing deviant culture are routinely and efficiently marginalized, not promoted to decision-making positions.

For example, once U.S. officials had accepted the Orwellian “doublethink” that “targeted killings,” or “manhunts” as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called them, do not violate long-standing prohibitions against assassination, even a new administration could not walk that decision back without forcing a deviant culture to confront the wrong-headedness and illegality of its original decision.

Then, once the Obama administration had massively escalated the CIA’s drone program as an alternative to kidnapping and indefinite detention at Guantanamo, it became even harder to acknowledge that this is a policy of cold-blooded murder that provokes widespread anger and hostility and is counter-productive to legitimate counterterrorism goals – or to admit that it violates the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the use of force, as U.N. special rapporteurs on extrajudicial killings have warned.

Underlying such decisions is the role of U.S. government lawyers who provide legal cover for them, but who are themselves shielded from accountability by U.S. non-recognition of international courts and the extraordinary deference of U.S. courts to the Executive Branch on matters of “national security.” These lawyers enjoy a privilege that is unique in their profession, issuing legal opinions that they will never have to defend before impartial courts to provide legal fig-leaves for war crimes…

Let’s take a brief look at how the normalization of deviance undermines two of the most critical standards that formally define and legitimize U.S. foreign policy: the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.

The U.N. Charter prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations… No U.S. leader has proposed abolishing or amending the U.N. Charter to permit aggression by the U.S. or any other country. 

And yet the U.S. is currently conducting ground operations, air strikes or drone strikes in at least seven countries: Afghanistan; Pakistan; Iraq; Syria; Yemen; Somalia; and Libya. U.S. “special operations forces” conduct secret operations in a hundred more. U.S. leaders still openly threaten Iran, despite a diplomatic breakthrough that was supposed to peacefully settle bilateral differences.

President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton still believes in backing U.S. demands on other countries with illegal threats of force, even though every threat she has backed in the past has only served to create a pretext for war, from Yugoslavia to Iraq to Libya. But the U.N. Charter prohibits the threat as well as the use of force precisely because the one so regularly leads to the other.

The only justifications for the use of force permitted under the U.N. Charter are proportionate and necessary self-defense or an emergency request by the U.N. Security Council for military action “to restore peace and security.”  But no other country has attacked the United States, nor has the Security Council asked the U.S. to bomb or invade any of the countries where we are now at war.

The wars we have launched since 2001 have killed about 2 million people, of whom nearly all were completely innocent of involvement in the crimes of 9/11. Instead of “restoring peace and security,” U.S. wars have only plunged country after country into unending violence and chaos. The U.N. Charter is still in force, in black and white, for anyone in the world to read. But the normalization of deviance has replaced its nominally binding rules with looser, vaguer ones that the world’s governments and people have neither debated, negotiated nor agreed to…

Courts martial and investigations by officials and human rights groups have exposed “rules of engagement” issued to U.S. forces that flagrantly violate the Geneva Conventions and the protections they provide to wounded combatants, prisoners of war and civilians in war-torn countries

U.S. rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan have included: systematic, theater-wide use of torture; orders to “dead-check” or kill wounded enemy combatants; orders to “kill all military-age males” during certain operations; and “weapons-free” zones that mirror Vietnam-era “free-fire” zones.

A U.S. Marine corporal told a court martial that “Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency”, nullifying the critical distinction between combatants and civilians that is the very basis of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

When junior officers or enlisted troops have been charged with war crimes, they have been exonerated or given light sentences because courts have found that they were acting on orders from more senior officers. But the senior officers implicated in these crimes have been allowed to testify in secret or not to appear in court at all, and no senior officer has been convicted of a war crime…

U.S. rules of engagement already permit routine targeting of civilians based only on cell-phone records or “guilt by proximity” to other people targeted for assassination. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has determined that only 4 percent of thousands of drone victims in Pakistan have been positively identified as Al Qaeda members, the nominal targets of the CIA’s drone campaign…

Although the U.S. government would not dare to formally renounce the Geneva Conventions, the normalization of deviance has effectively replaced them with elastic standards of behavior and accountability whose main purpose is to shield senior U.S. military officers and civilian officials from accountability for war crimes.

The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy is a byproduct of the disproportionate economic, diplomatic and military power of the United States since 1945. No other country could have got away with such flagrant and systematic violations of international law…


…as US General Dwight Eisenhower later warned, the Cold War soon gave rise to a “military-industrial complex” that may be the case par excellence of a highly complex tangle of institutions whose social culture is supremely prone to the normalization of deviance…

Advising the President on these matters are the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, several generals and admirals and the chairs of powerful Congressional committees. Nearly all these officials’ careers represent some version of the “revolving door” between the military and “intelligence” bureaucracy, the executive and legislative branches of government, and top jobs with military contractors and lobbying firms.

Each of the close advisers who have the President’s ear on these most critical issues is in turn advised by others who are just as deeply embedded in the military-industrial complex, from think-tanks funded by weapons manufacturers to Members of Congress with military bases or missile plants in their districts to journalists and commentators who market fear, war and militarism to the public.

With the rise of sanctions and financial warfare as a tool of U.S. power, Wall Street and the Treasury and Commerce Departments are also increasingly entangled in this web of military-industrial interests.

The incentives driving the creeping, gradual normalization of deviance throughout the ever-growing U.S. military-industrial complex have been powerful and mutually reinforcing for over 70 years, exactly as Eisenhower warned.

Richard Barnet explored the deviant culture of Vietnam-era U.S. war leaders in his 1972 book Roots Of War. But there are particular reasons why the normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy has become even more dangerous since the end of the Cold War.

In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. and U.K. installed allied governments in Western and Southern Europe, restored Western colonies in Asia and militarily occupied South Korea

The divisions of Korea and Vietnam into north and south were justified as temporary, but the governments in the south were U.S. creations imposed to prevent reunification under governments allied with the U.S.S.R. or China. U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam were then justified, legally and politically, as military assistance to allied governments fighting wars of self-defense.

The U.S. role in anti-democratic coups in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, Chile and other countries was veiled behind thick layers of secrecy and propaganda. A veneer of legitimacy was still considered vital to U.S. policy, even as a culture of deviance was being normalized and institutionalized beneath the surface.

It was not until the 1980s that the U.S. ran seriously afoul of the post-1945 international legal framework it had helped to build.  When the U.S. set out to destroy the revolutionary Sandinista government of Nicaragua by mining its harbors and dispatching a mercenary army to terrorize its people, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) convicted the U.S. of aggression and ordered it to pay war reparations.

The U.S. response revealed how far the normalization of deviance had already taken hold of its foreign policy. Instead of accepting and complying with the court’s ruling, the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the binding jurisdiction of the ICJ.

When Nicaragua asked the U.N. Security Council to enforce the payment of reparations ordered by the court, the U.S. abused its position as a Permanent Member of the Security Council to veto the resolution. Since the 1980s, the U.S. has vetoed twice as many Security Council resolutions as the other Permanent Members combined, and the U.N. General Assembly passed resolutions condemning the U.S. invasions of Grenada (by 108 to 9) and Panama (by 75 to 20), calling the latter “a flagrant violation of international law.”

President George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher obtained U.N. authorization for the First Gulf War and resisted calls to launch a war of regime change against Iraq in violation of their U.N. mandate. Their forces massacred Iraqi forces fleeing Kuwait, and a U.N. report described how the “near apocalyptic” U.S.-led bombardment of Iraq reduced what “had been until January a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society” to “a pre-industrial age nation.”

But new voices began to ask why the U.S. should not exploit its unchallenged post-Cold War military superiority to use force with even less restraint. During the Bush-Clinton transition, Madeleine Albright confronted General Colin Powell over his “Powell doctrine” of limited war, protesting, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

Public hopes for a “peace dividend” were ultimately trumped by a “power dividend” sought by military-industrial interests.

The neoconservatives of the Project for the New American Century led the push for war on Iraq, while “humanitarian interventionists” now use the “soft power” of propaganda to selectively identify and demonize targets for U.S.-led regime change and then justify war under the “responsibility to protect” or other pretexts. U.S. allies (NATO, Israel, the Arab monarchies et al) are exempt from such campaigns, safe within what Amnesty International has labeled an “accountability-free zone.”

Madeleine Albright and her colleagues branded Slobodan Milosevic a “new Hitler” for trying to hold Yugoslavia together, even as they ratcheted up their own genocidal sanctions against Iraq. Ten years after Milosevic died in prison at the Hague, he was posthumously exonerated by an international court.

In 1999, when U.K. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Secretary of State Albright the British government was having trouble “with its lawyers” over NATO plans to attack Yugoslavia without U.N. authorization, Albright told him he should “get new lawyers.”

The normalization of deviance that promoted war and marginalized reason at that moment of national crisis was not limited to Dick Cheney and his torture-happy acolytes, and so the global war they unleashed in 2001 is still spinning out of control.

When President Obama was elected in 2008 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, few people understood how many of the people and interests shaping his policies were the same people and interests who had shaped President George W. Bush’s, nor how deeply they were all steeped in the same deviant culture that had unleashed war, systematic war crimes and intractable violence and chaos upon the world…

A Sociopathic Culture

Until the American public, our political representatives and our neighbors around the world can come to grips with the normalization of deviance that is corrupting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, the existential threats of nuclear war and escalating conventional war will persist and spread.

This deviant culture is sociopathic in its disregard for the value of human life and for the survival of human life on Earth. The only thing “normal” about it is that it pervades the powerful, entangled institutions that control U.S. foreign policy, rendering them impervious to reason, public accountability or even catastrophic failure.

The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy is driving a self-fulfilling reduction of our miraculous multicultural world to a “battlefield” or testing-ground for the latest U.S. weapons and geopolitical strategies. 

There is not yet any countervailing movement powerful or united enough to restore reason, humanity or the rule of law, domestically or internationally, although new political movements in many countries offer viable alternatives to the path we are on.

As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warned when it advanced the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 3 minutes to midnight in 2015, we are living at one of the most dangerous times in human history. The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy lies at the very heart of our predicament.


Nicolas J S Davies is the author of "Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq".  He also wrote the chapters on "Obama at War" in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.


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Thursday, August 04, 2016


CORRECTION: Hillary Clinton is not the first woman to run for U.S. President. Remember Cynthia McKinney, Gloria LaRiva and currently Dr. Jill Stein. Otherwise, this is an insightful article about Syria:



EXTRACTS from the article:   

Western governments and media engage in cynical word games by referring to some of the Syrian fighters as “moderates” and “rebels”. The United States and its NATO allies, Britain and France, have worked with their regional partners Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey in their covert, dirty war of regime change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The death-cult mercenaries for this foreign conspiracy of regime change in Syria have come from all over the world, from some 100 countries, including Western and Arab states, as well as from Russia’s Caucuses.

Syria’s torturous conflict was imposed on the country by the US and its allies for the purpose of regime change under the guise of a “pro-democracy” uprising. What an indictment that is of Washington’s criminality and that of its rogue state cronies. Some 400,000 people killed over the past five years and nearly half the population of 23 million turned into refugees. The refugee crisis and blowback terrorism that Europe is confronted with are also repercussions from this foreign criminal conspiracy to subvert Syria.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin resolved to send in his military forces to salvage Syria at the end of September 2015, the turnaround was immediate and crucial. The industrial-scale oil smuggling routes run by the jihadist networks in eastern Syria were smashed by Russian air power. That cut off major financial support to the jihadists which the Turkish state had facilitated. That, in turn, left the terrorist center at Raqqa to wither from isolation. 

The retaking of ancient Palmyra in the center of Syria with its world-class archaeological heritage was also another momentous victory for the Syrian army and its Russian ally. The holding of a classical music concert by Russian artists among the Romanesque ruins recaptured from terrorists was not merely smart public relations. It spoke eloquently of what the Syrian war was all about. A conflict between a sovereign nation supported by Russia against barbaric killers mobilized by lawless foreign powers.

For years, Western media have spun a torrent of lies and fabrications, claiming that “rebels” were fighting for democracy against a “tyrannical regime”. They are being seen for what they are: a network of terrorist mercenaries deployed by the United States and its allies.

Now they turn to a new narrative for distraction – the “wonderful” nomination of Hillary Clinton, with glowing quotes from Clinton on how she will lead America and the world in defeating jihadist terrorism. This is the same Clinton who as US Secretary of State (2009-2013) orchestrated the covert war for regime change in Syria, with the despicable deployment of terrorist mercenaries guided by the American Central Intelligence Agency.

A warmonger posing as a champion for world peace and law and order? This breath-taking, absurd deception is only made possible because of the way Western media operate to change the narrative, distort perspectives and obliterate the facts. One of the culprit architects of the criminal war on Syria is – Hillary Clinton.





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Friday, July 22, 2016


Australia, UK, US Complicit in Indonesian Massacres, International Judges Say

By Samantha Hawley

July 21, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "ABC" -  

A non-binding international tribunal at The Hague has found Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were complicit in facilitating the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia.

Key points:

  • 500,000 Indonesians killed in anti-communist purge at height of Cold War
  • Report found Australia continued to back army despite knowing about the killings
  • President Joko Widodo has refused to apologise for historic murders

An estimated half a million people perished in what was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century. The killings were triggered by a failed coup that led to the deaths of six army generals, followed by the mass targeting of communists.

The International People's Tribunal at The Hague has now ruled that Indonesia committed crimes against humanity, but the finding is non-binding and carries no legal weight.

The judges found allegations of "cruel and unspeakable murders" and the "unjustifiable imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people without trial" was well founded.

"It has also been demonstrated that sexual violence, particularly against women, was systematic and routine, especially during the period 1965 to 1967," the report said.

The judges found Indonesia responsible for the crimes and called for the current administration to apologise and to institute investigations and prosecutions of those perpetrators who are still alive.

"Furthermore, the archives should be opened and the real truth on these crimes against humanity should be established," the judges said.

The tribunal's report found Australia, the US and the UK complicit by using propaganda to manipulate international opinion in favour of the Indonesian army.

The report said Australia and the UK, " … shared the US aim of seeking to bring about the overthrow of president Sukarno."

"They continued with this policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis. On balance, this appears to justify the charge of complicity," the report said.

The report detailed horrifying details of rape and torture...

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said he will not apologise for the historic atrocity, but the report argued it was his duty to do so.


Watch the documentary:

Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy




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