Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Retro Cold War Guff from the NY Times
By Eric Margolis

A striking example of how dangerously [we] are misinformed and misled by the war party was featured in a major article in 24 December, New York Times.

In “Russia Rearms for a New Era,” the authors assert Russian military spending is growing and has risen $11 billion from 2014 to 2015. Lurid maps and diagrams of weapons make it seem that Stalin’s 210-division Red Army is again on the march – and headed into Europe.

A professor at Columbia’s Harriman Institute was actually quoted claiming that President Vladimir Putin is trying to “provoke the US and NATO into military action” to bolster his popularity.

What unbelievable rubbish. This dimwitted lady believes that Putin, whose popularity ratings rise over 82% in Russia, needs to court nuclear war to gain a few more points? Shame on the NY Times.

Let’s look at the true figures. The US so-called “defense budget”(it should be called “offense budget”) is in the range of $600 billion, 37% of total world military spending by a nation that only 5% of world population. Some studies put the true figure at $700 billion.

Not included in this figure are “black” projects, a lot of handouts to foreign military forces, and secret slush funds for waging small wars in Afghanistan, the Mideast, Africa and Asia. The US has over 700 military bases around the globe, with new ones opening all the time.

The US spends more on its armed forces than the next nine military powers – combined. America’s wealthy allies in Europe and Japan add important power to America’s global military domination.

Russia defense spending is roughly $70 billion, and this in spite of plunging oil prices and US-led sanctions. France and Britain each spend almost as much; Saudi Arabia spends more. A French admiral ruefully told me the US Navy’s budget alone exceeded that of France’s total armed forces.

Russia is a vast nation with very difficult geography that limits its different military regions from supporting one another – a problem from which Russia has suffered since its 1904 war with Japan. Moscow needs large, often redundant armed forces to cover its immensity. This includes the warming Arctic, where Russia, like other coastal nations, is asserting its sovereignty. And Russia must also keep a watchful eye on neighboring China.

The Kremlin’s view is that America is trying to tear down what’s left of the post-Soviet Russian Federation by subversion (see regime changes in Georgia, Ukraine) and by stirring up Muslim independence movements in the Caucasus and Central Asia. That’s why Russian military forces are fighting in Syria.

After the total collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s economy and its once potent military fell to ruin. For two decades, Russia military was starved of men and money, and allowed to rust. 

Putin has been playing catch-up for the past decade to rebuild his nation’s great power status and defend against what Russians see a constant western plots.

Memories are still raw of how Russia’s most secret military technologies were sold to the US during the ultra-corrupt Yeltsin era.

Russia’s relatively modest military budget is hardly a threat to the mighty United States. In fact, the only real Russia threat we face is the danger of blundering into a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, the Black Sea, Syria or Iraq. Great, nuclear-armed powers should never…repeat, never…engage in direct confrontations.

It appalls and mystifies me that otherwise smart, world-wise people at the NY Times and the anti-Russian Council on Foreign Relations would even contemplate military conflict with Russia – for what? Mariupol Ukraine or Idlib, Syria, places no one has ever heard of.

We have been closer to blundering into nuclear war with Russia than any time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Or worse, 1983, when a NATO military exercise codenamed Able Archer was misinterpreted by the Soviet military as an incoming attack by NATO.

This ultimately terrifying crisis was played against the background of intense anti-Soviet propaganda by the West, crowned by Ronald Reagan’s fulminations against the “Evil Empire,” which convinced the Kremlin a western attack was coming. Nuclear war was just averted thanks to a few courageous officers in the Soviet Air Defense Command.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Inconvenient' truths that contradict the official narratives of the warmongers will be excluded from the Western corporate mainstream media. Anyone who has been following alternative news media will already know this, but it's always good to have some more evidence:

Bashar al-Assad Has More Support Than The Western-backed Opposition
By Stephen Gowans   Bashar al Assad, and his ally, Iran, have more support than do the forces arrayed against him, according to a public opinion poll taken by a research firm that is working with the US and British governments. Continue

Turkey Smuggled Sarin Gas to Terrorists in Syria
By Stephen Lendman   Western sources know very well who carried out the sarin gas attack in Syria. No evidence showed Syrian use of chemical or other toxic substances throughout years of conflict. Plenty shows CIA and US special forces train takfiri terrorists in chemical weapons use, perhaps directly supplying them with toxic agents. Blaming Assad for incidents of chemical weapons’ use is part of the US-led propaganda campaign to wrongfully vilify him. Expect no letup ahead. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil

 Vijay Prashad says that ISIS oil is smuggled through Turkey to Israel and is a major source of ISIS funding
View Story

Noam Chomsky on the Terror Attacks in Paris

Professor Noam Chomsky took part in an event titled "Germany's role in the European Union and International Affairs: Post War History, Present and Possible futures" hosted by acTVism Munich on November 17, 2015.
View Story

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkish F-16 Attacked Russian Su-24 Within Syria Airspace – Commander
November 28, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "RT"

The attack on the Russian Su-24 bomber was intentional and had been planned in advance, Viktor Bondarev, the chief of Russia’s Air Force, announced Friday, calling the incident an “unprecedented backstab.”           - Continue

November 28, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "RT

In Moscow, Hollande and Putin confirmed that France and Russia will not be torn apart. The French leader declared: "What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit."

Now that unveils a thrilling horizon. In the “to hit” section we already find Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, which the Vienna negotiations have already branded as terrorists.

And considering that al-Nusra has gobbled up, co-opted or instrumentalized an array of Salafi outfits,“moderate” or otherwise, it won’t be hard for the Russians to convince the French these are all legitimate targets.

Also significant is that France will increase support to “rebels” fighting Daesh on the ground; that’s code for the YPG Syrian Kurds – one of Erdogan’s nemeses alongside the PKK.

So the Sultan’s risky shoot down investment is not paying too many dividends…

And then the clincher, as Putin and Hollande reached a consensus: there will be a barrage of air strikes against the fuel tanker truck convoys transporting stolen Syrian oil across Daesh-controlled territory on the way to Turkey. There goes in flames the profitable racket of ‘Sultan’s’ son Bilal Erdogan…

The ‘Sultan’ has been warned. From now on Russia has three major priorities:

1. A de facto no-fly zone already in effect south of the Turkish-Syrian border enforced by the S-400s. Ankara is so scared it grounded even owls and crows.

2. Already in effect; Russia will hit – hard - anything that suspiciously moves on every transport corridor in and out of Turkey. Turkish "humanitarian" convoys – carrying, what else, weapons – were pulverized in Azaz, which is only five kilometers from the Turkish border. And truck distribution points were also bombed near Raqqa.

3. Already in effect; Russia massively bombing the whole wide region where CIA ops run a cash and weapon highway to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and “innocent” Turkmen. Russia started carpet bombing the Jabal Turkmen area immediately after Russian pilot Lt. Col Oleg Pershin was rescued.

…At least two major questions are left unanswered. 

How come the US-led ‘Coalition of Dodgy Opportunists’ (CDO), in over a year, never – and the operative word is never – bombed any of the wheels in the Syrian stolen oil machine?

And how come no one among the CDO – Americans especially – did anything to prevent …funding the Daesh racket for so long? 

The CIA obviously knows all this and more, with geostationary satellites all over ‘Syraq’ working overtime. 

Well, the CIA was too busy running the cash and weapons highway through Turkmen Mountain to be disturbed by a mere oil smuggling op.

But now Russia is going after all of them; the CIA weapon highway, the Turkish-enabled Jihadi highway, the Daesh-to-Turkey stolen oil highway

Friday, November 27, 2015

In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border...  Continue

READ MORE, and read comments:

As I see it:

Any country not supporting the legitimate Syrian Army to enable it to retake its country from ISIS and other foreign-supported terrorists, is only promoting and supporting terrorism for their own strategic and imperial plans.

The "Assad Must Go" obsession is an insult to the democratic rights of the Syrian people. The so-called "dictator" was elected as President last year! Why should foreigners have the right to decide who the Syrian people should have as their leader?! 

If the U.S. and its followers believe President Assad is not popular, why not test this at another election, instead of making the ludicrous demand that he must step down and not be part of the political future of Syria? 

Syria has regularly and correctly complained about the "U.S.-led coalition" bombing attacks on its territory which destroy Syrian infrastructure essential for the Syrian people and their legitimate government. This is in stark contrast to the Russian military presence, which is there by invitation of the Syrian government to actually destroy the  terrorists, and does so in co-ordination with the legitimate Syrian authorities.

As the Syrian Ambassador has written to the United Nations Security Council: 

"On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey to you the following information. 

Aircraft of the so-called international coalition led by the United States of America continue to violate the sovereignty of Syria under the pretext that they are targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization. 

Thus, on Saturday, 10 October 2015, aircraft belonging to that coalition bombed... two thermal power stations. The bombardment caused severe damage to those stations and took them out of service, cutting off electricity to the area. The losses sustained amount to €1.2 billion. 

The bombardment by coalition aircraft of the power stations east of Aleppo city and other infrastructure in various parts of Syria is a heinous act of aggression and a continuation of the air strikes against the country’s economic, industrial and service infrastructure. 

Those attacks are aimed at destroying the capacities of the Syrian people and preventing development and reconstruction. They are also a continuation of the attacks that have been committed against many vital economic installations and have caused great economic and material losses. 

Following are just a few examples of those attacks:

...The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic reiterates its stated position that the air raids conducted by the United States of America and its alliance inside the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic are illegal. Those raids are taking place without the prior approval of and in the absence of coordination with the Syrian Government, in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. 

The Government calls for the cessation of these American Western operations against the infrastructure of Syria and stresses that they will not contribute anything to the war against ISIL. 

I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be issued as a document of the Security Council. 

(Signed) Bashar Ja’afari 
Permanent Representative

READ the Syrian letter to the UN Security Council here:

By F. William Engdahl

The Obama Administration has played a very dirty behind-the-scenes role in supporting IS in order to advance the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.  

Raqqa's Rockefellers: How Islamic State Oil Flows to Israel
By Al-Araby al-Jadeed staff

Oil produced by the Islamic State group finances its bloodlust. But how is it extracted, transported and sold? Who is buying it, and how does it reach Israel?  -Continue
Video Interview

How Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS-Daesh. Plus we examine the media's role in spreading disinformation ahead of a vote in Parliament for UK bombing of Syria.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UN Security Council resolution authorises 'all necessary means' to be used against groups associated with al Qaeda

November 24, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "RI" -

Russia’s diplomats...have now obtained UN Security Council as well as Syrian government approval for Russia’s military campaign.

They have also got the UN Security Council to scotch the myth of the “moderate jihadis” once and for all.

Back in September, when it became clear the Russians were intending to act in Syria, Russia Insider predicted the Russians would try to get a Resolution from the UN Security Council to give additional legal cover for their military action.

This is in contrast to the US, which avoids the Security Council whenever it can, and which usually prefers to act unilaterally without a UN Security Council mandate.

Thus US bombing of the Islamic State in Syria was doubly illegal under international law because it was carried out without permission from either the UN Security Council or from the Syrian government.

Russia's military action by contrast is completely legal. It has the permission of both the UN Security Council and the Syrian government for it.

It took weeks for the Russians to get their Security Council Resolution. This was because the US did everything it could to stand in the way. However, after weeks of hard work, Russia’s diplomats have finally got the Resolution Russia wanted.

What changed the position was the terrorist outrage in Paris. 

After the Paris attack the French backed Russia’s proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution. At that point the US could no longer block it. The US cannot veto a Resolution backed by its own ally France, especially in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Something that suggests some people in the US might be unhappy with this development is the absence from the Security Council table of one person who would normally be expected to be there for such an important vote.

This was Samantha Power - the US’s UN ambassador - a hardline liberal interventionist and one of the most aggressive voices within the US administration calling for regime change in Syria and confrontation with Russia. 

Her relations with Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s exceptionally able UN ambassador, are said to be poisonous (see the photo at the bottom of this article).

It looks as if voting for the Resolution was more than Samantha Power could bear. That probably explains why she stayed away. In her absence it was left to her deputy, Michele Sison - a career diplomat - to speak and vote for the US.... 

The UN has also released - along with the full text of the Resolution - a summary of the debate in the Security Council that preceded the vote.

The key words in the Resolution are these:
“(The Security Council) Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups”
The Security Council has not only backed Russia’s military campaign (“all necessary means”), but it has also made clear that Russia is fully entitled to extend this campaign to “all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups”.

The Resolution names amongst these terrorist groups the Al-Nusrah Front.

Russia is therefore fully authorised to bomb all the various jihadi groups in Syria that it is bombing. Even the US has been forced to admit - at least in the Security Council - that the talk of Russia bombing the wrong people - the “moderate jihadis” - is nonsense.

No more 'moderate terrorist' non-sense

To read the full text of the UN Resolution, and further comments:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Are you struggling to make sense of the endless wars ripping through our world? Are you overwhelmed by the horrendous deaths and destruction, the official lies and confusion, and the senseless waste?

Then read this article by Thomas Harrington. It is not new information, but it does help explain what is really going on in our world. It clears away some of the deliberate "fog of war", and makes current and future events easier to understand. These essential truths will NEVER be told by the mainstream media, because the MSM has its own agenda, and is part of the problem, not part of the solution. 

The first part of the solution is to understand "Why?". . .

US Caught Faking It in Syria
by , October 12, 2015

The great danger of faking your ability to do something in the public square is that someone with an actual desire to do the job you are pretending to do might come along and show you up. This is what has just happened to the US in Syria with the entrance of Russia into the fight against ISIL. And as is generally the case with posers caught with their pants down, the US policy elites are not happy about it.
You see, the US strategic goal in Syria is not as your faithful mainstream media servants... might have you believe, to  save the Syrian people..., but rather to heighten the level of internecine conflict in that country to the point where it will not be able to serve as a bulwark against Israeli regional hegemony for at least another generation.
How do we know? Because important protagonists in the Israeli-American policy planning elite have advertised the fact with a surprising degree of clarity in documents and public statements issued over the last several decades.
The key here is learning to listen to what our cultural training has not prepared us to hear.
In 1982, as the Likud Party (which is to say, the institutional incarnation of the Revisionist Zionist belief, first articulated by Jabotinsky in the ”Iron Wall”  that the only way to deal with “the Arabs” in and around Israel was through unrelenting force and the inducement of cultural fragmentation) was consolidating its hold on the foreign policy establishment of Israel, a journalist named Oded Yinon, who had formerly worked at the Israeli Foreign Ministry,  published an article in which he outlined the strategic approach his country needed to take in the coming years.
What follows are some excerpts from Israel Shahak’s English translation of that text:
“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon….”
“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.”
“If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan, or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt.
“There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority.”
Yinon’s vision reappeared in the now infamous “Clean Break” document from 1996, authored by a consortium of US and Israeli "strategic thinkers" that included Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David and Meyrav Wurmser, which was meant to serve as a foreign policy blueprint for the first administration  of Benjamin Netanyahu. 
The text is nothing if not obsessive regarding the need to seriously debilitate Syria’s ability to act in any way in a role of regional influence in the area . 
“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”
“Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.”
And as Dan Sanchez has recently shown, David Wurmser went into even greater detail about the need to balkanize Israel’s northeastern neighbor in articles published in approximately the same time period, talking quite openly in one essay about “expediting the chaotic collapse“ of Baathist Syria.
Then there is Wesley Clark’s famous interview, given in 2007, in which he revealed the true strategic aims of those running US foreign policy in the wake of the September 11th attacks.  In it, he tells of a conversation he had at that time with a Pentagon official who admitted that the real plan was “to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years”.
Those countries, according to Clark, were: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq. In the same speech, he explicitly ties the hatching of the plan to Richard Perle, head of the cadre of people who wrote in the “Clean Break” document of the paramount importance of putting Israel in position to “shape its strategic environment”.
On September 5th, 2013, Alon Pinkas, the former Israeli Consul General in New York and well-connected member of Tel Aviv’s conservative policy elite described the Syrian conflict in the following terms in the New York Times:
“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win – we’ll settle for a tie,….Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”
I don’t think it can get much clearer than that. The US-Israeli plan in Syria has never been about helping anyone in that country, but rather insuring its effective dismemberment so as to further the perceived “strategic interests” of the Jewish state.
As Tomás Alcoverro, the longtime Mideast correspondent of Barcelona’s La Vanguardia newspaper wrote on 9 October 2015, in reference to the combined Russian and Syrian government attacks carried out during the previous week: “If this joint offensive is successful, the US plan for continuing the war of attrition until both sides are exhausted will lie in ruins”.  
Yes, the US and Israelis, have been “faking it” in Syria for a good long time now.  And Putin has come along and called their bluff. And they are not happy about it.   Which is why the ongoing campaign of demonization against the Russian leader is being ratcheted up – if that’s possible – to still higher levels of intelligence-insulting hyperbole.

By Tony Cartalucci

US senators and generals conspire to arm and back a new terrorist army aimed at Iran. Continue

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
The confluence of Columbus Day Weekend and the Kunduz hospital bombing has us thinking about the deep levels of cultural violence in the United States and what can be done to change it. How does the US move from a country dominated by war culture to one dominated by a humanitarian culture?

What does Celebrating Columbus say About the Character of the United States?

Popular Resistance has reported on the legacy of ColumbusHoward Zinn describes the true history of Columbus and the Indigenous people of North America. There is a great need for the Columbus myth to be revised with realities. When the truth is understood, it is evident the US is celebrating a brutal war criminal and that it is time to abolish Columbus Day...

                               Artist’s rendition of early Americans slaughtering Native Indians...

The US Way of War

The United States has conducted war in brutal ways since before the country was founded. In the “Indigenous People’s History of the United States,” Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, writes about the origins of the ‘US Way of War:’ 

“This way of war, forged in the first century of colonization – destroying Indigenous villages and fields, killing civilians, ranging and scalp hunting – became the basis for the wars against the Indigenous across the continent into the late nineteenth century.”

This week the US military received intensive worldwide criticism for bombing a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.  

The DoD has changed its story multiple times, after MSF refuted each version, evolving from a mistake, to that the Afghans requested it, to that it was ordered in the US chain of command in violation of US rules of engagement. 

When Margaret Flowers, MD was sitting in the audience before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing and General John Campbell walked in to testify, she wanted to make sure he heard the anger of people over the Kunduz bombing and she said “Bombing hospitals is a war crime. Stop the bombing now.” Sen. John McCain ordered her arrested for making this statement.

The DoD will be investigating itself, so we know how that will turn out before it even begins. An independent investigation is needed. The DoD’s latest is to deny a congressional request for the audio and video cockpit tapes of the bombing. 

A request for the tapes was made in closed door congressional hearings this week. DoD acknowledged they had reviewed the tapes which provided important evidence but refused access to Congress because of the ongoing investigation. 

Edward Snowden first suggested these tapes would provide valuable evidence and Wikileaks has offered a $50,000 reward to find out. DoD should release the audio and video tapes of the bombing run. 

Sign our petition to President Obama demanding release of the tapes so the truth about the bombing can be known to all.

The Kunduz bombing and recent US wars are all consistent with the “US Way of War” which includes terrorizing communities, killing civilians of all ages, denying them healthcare and even food. We see the latter two in tactics like economic sanctions that increase poverty or make prescription drugs unavailable. These tactics go back to the founders...

In Vietnam does anyone think that the widespread use of napalm did not result in mass killings of civilians? From 1965 to 1973, eight million tons of napalm bombs were dropped over Vietnam. And, Agent Orange, the chemical poison that not only kills people, causing serious health problems for generations, but poisons the land was also used.  

Between 1962 and 1971, the United States military sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of Agent Orange over Vietnam. By 1971, 12 percent of the total area of South Vietnam had been sprayed with defoliating chemicals, at an average concentration of 13 times the recommended level of use. Five million acres, 20 percent of forests and 24 million acres of agricultural land were destroyed.

And, Tom Hayden asks in Democracy Journal whether people remember “the US bombing of Hanoi’s Bach Mai hospital on December 22, 1972, when 28 doctors and nurses lay dead among the civilian casualties? That sparked American and global outrage, caused the Pentagon to go into a defensive crouch, and spurred the mass movement for medical aid to Indochina [MAI].”

During the Iraq War, when the US attacked Fallujah, days after George Bush won re-election, health services were the initial targets of attack...

Jon Schwarz of the Intercept provides a series of examples of the bombing of civilian facilities since 1991 including: Infant Formula Production Plant, Abu Ghraib, Iraq (January 21, 1991), Air Raid Shelter, Amiriyah, Iraq (February 13, 1991), Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory, Khartoum, Sudan (August 20, 1998), Train bombing, Grdelica, Serbia (April 12, 1999), Radio Television Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia (April 23, 1999), Chinese Embassy, Belgrade, Serbia (May 7, 1999), Red Cross complex, Kabul, Afghanistan (October 16 and October 26, 2001), Al Jazeera office, Kabul, Afghanistan (November 13, 2001), Al Jazeera office, Baghdad, Iraq (April 8, 2003), and the Palestine Hotel, Baghdad, Iraq (April 8, 2003).

Throughout the Obama presidency and during the end of the Bush presidency, the US has been using drones to bomb multiple countries. There have consistent reports of drones killing civilians including Obama killing at least 8 Americans

This week the Obama administration took these killings a step further, trying to deny legal access to the victims’ families by seeking dismissal of their case. The US is seeing protests even in allied Germany against their use of drones. Efforts to bring transparency to the use of drones have resulted in blacked-out responses to FOIA requests.

This week the US moved toward direct confrontation with Russia and China. In Syria, the US is engaged in an unauthorized war supposedly against the Islamic State in Syria, but also to achieve its long term goal of putting in place a US friendly government in Syria

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about this war, which has now been joined by Russian aerial attacks. Unlike the US, Russia was asked by the Syrian government to help prevent terrorist attacks in Syria. The US has been covertly using the CIA for ground operations with supposed moderate Syrian terrorists while also conducting an aerial campaign. 

There are widespread deaths of civilians and a massive exodus of refugees. Rhetoric is escalating, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski is calling for retaliation against Russia while Senator John McCain says the US is in a proxy war with Russia. Talks in Geneva, without any preconditions as to the status of President Assad, are urgently needed...

War Is Not the Answer, Time to End US War Culture

Ralph Nader points to the recent war losses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and says there are lessons for the United States. The US has been unrestrained by international law and used “military power anywhere and everywhere, regardless of national boundaries and the resulting immense civilian casualties.” The US has created “wonton destruction and violent chaos” and destroyed functioning governments...

...These war policies seeking to achieve full spectrum dominance have also had negative effects at home. Nader points to “the harm to and drain on our soldiers, our domestic economy, the costly, boomeranging, endless wars overseas and what empire building has done to spread anxieties and lower the expectation level of the American people for their public budgets and public services.”

How do we get out of these depraved quagmires of our own self-creation? Nader gives an answer – a change in approach to the world, an end to war culture and a move toward a humanitarian culture. As Nader says it:

“Not repeatedly doing what has failed is the first step toward correction. How much better and cheaper it would be if years ago we became a humanitarian power – well received by the deprived billions in these anguished lands.”

Let’s stop repeating the mistakes that have been with us since Columbus. Let’s end the American culture of war.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance. This article first appeared as the weekly newsletter of the organization.