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.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

By Felicity Arbuthnot

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, 
        When first we practice to deceive.” (Walter Scott, 1771-1832, “Marmion.”)

How speedily the lies of the “international community” in general and those of the US and UK [and Australia!] in particular about the Syrian situation are unraveling since the participation of Russia...
As for “no boots on the ground”, another seemingly whopping untruth. As Stephen Lendman has written (4): “On 2nd August The Sunday Express revealed: ‘SAS dress as ISIS fighters in undercover war on jihadis’ expanding that:
“ ‘More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country’ covertly ‘dressed in black and flying ISIS flags’ engaged in what is called Operation Shader – attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of combatting ISIS.”

...No wonder the Russians are being castigated for targeting the wrong kind of terrorists. In addition to being non-discriminatory and regarding a terrorist as simply that, they might also take the black flag waving SAS soldiers in fancy dress as terrorists. A “tangled web”, indeed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is anything but selective about the head chopping, culture erasing monsters besieging Syria – CIA trained or not – stating last week: “If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?” (6)...

The US and UK of course are both bombing and supporting insurgents entirely illegally in Syria, having no UN mandate and no request from the country’s governing body. Did Kerry even blush when Lavrov remarked...: “We are polite people, we don’t come if not invited”...

Vladimir Putin had said: “We have … an invitation and we intend to fight against terrorist organizations and them only”, possibly referring to allegations that the US has been targeting Syrian government sites and military personnel...

However the US cat had already escaped from the Pentagon bag and made it’s way to no less than the Wall Street Journal which, the previous day had a header: “Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say.
“One area hit was location primarily held by rebels receiving funding, arms, training from CIA and allies.” Oooops.
Michel Chossudovsky has succinctly unraveled (7) the unholy morass of the various groups coupling his piece with the WSJ story:
“Affiliated to Al Qaeda, Al Nusra is a US sponsored  “jihadist” terrorist organization which has been responsible for countless atrocities. Since 2012, AQI and Al Nusra — both supported by US intelligence– have been working hand in glove in various terrorist undertakings within Syria.
“In recent developments, the Syrian government has identified its own priority areas for the Russian counter-terrorism air campaign, which consists essentially in targeting Al Nusra.  Al Nusra is described as the terrorist arm of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
“While Washington has categorized Al Nusra as a terrorist organization (early 2012), it nonetheless provides support  to both Al Nusra and it’s so-called ‘moderate rebels’ in the form of weapons, training, logistical support, recruitment, etc. This support is channeled by America’s Persian Gulf allies, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as through Turkey and Israel....

...Syria, from lies, to heartbreak, to cultural destruction has become a microcosm of the demented, ridiculous “war on terror.” The lies and subterfuge to justify the horror have become more desperate but only the most obtuse can avoid noticing that terrorists R US.

Questions You Aren’t Supposed To Ask About ISIS: #1 – Those Toyota Trucks
By BlackCatte

Does ISIS really smuggle “$3M worth of oil” into Turkey EVERY DAY..."in jerrycans, carried by mules"?!  

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Another Bombed Hospital, Another day in the Empire.
By Joe Clifford

Imagine the horror, tears, lament, and rage, if a hospital was bombed by terrorists in an American city killing doctors, children, and patients, some who were burned to death in their beds because they were unable to move?...

US...bombed a hospital staffed by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz Afghanistan, a city of 300,000.  Yup, we did that, bombed a hospital.  Then claimed we didn’t, then claimed there were Taliban fighters in the hospital, then claimed it was “collateral damage”, then claimed it was “a mistake”, but, not to worry, the US military will investigate the incident. 

Allowing the US military to “investigate” the hospital bombing by the US military, is as stupid as allowing the police to investigate a deadly shooting by one of their own.

Was this an accident?  Hardly; the hospital had given their exact GPS co-ordinates to all the warring factions on numerous occasions, so the US knew full well they were bombing a hospital. Not only did we bomb it, but continued to do so for one half hour after we knew it was a hospital. 

So why was this done? Because that is what we do; we bomb hospitals!  Is this the first?  Hardly!  We have bombed many hospitals in many different countries.  This is not the first hospital to be bombed in Afghanistan, and we have repeatedly bombed hospitals in Iraq including a children’s hospital in western Iraq, and a maternity hospital. 

Is it legal to bomb a hospital?  Of course not; Article 18 of the Geneva Convention protects hospitals, but the rules of war are not for us, they are for countries like Russia or China or any other country we don’t like.  We are the best in the world, we are the Empire, we are above all law; we are the law!...

Corporate media failed to point out that Obama lectured Russia against killing innocents in Syria, and days later bombed a hospital, but not a whisper of the deadly irony by corporate media...

We have no moral compass, we justify everything, and anything, no matter how horrific, is shrugged off as though the only lives that count are American lives. We torture, we illegally attack nations for no reason, we bomb hospitals, we destroy nations, we bomb wedding parties, we have secret assassination programs, we have killed thousands by our illegal bombings, yet anything done to us requires the sacrifice of millions, regardless of who did what to us. 

The Empire can do no wrong for it is above the law; the Empire is the law! Might makes right!

Joe Clifford lives in Rhode Island 
Continue to read more

Why Is the U.S. Refusing An Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was An “Accident”?
By Glenn Greenwald  “This was just not an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated.” 

Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
By Robert C. Koehler

"...There are no words for how terrible it was. In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in their beds.”   

A Short History of U.S. Bombing of Civilian Facilities
By Jon Schwarz

The U.S. has repeatedly attacked civilian facilities in the past but the targets have generally not been affiliated with a European, Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization such as MSF ('Doctors Without Borders').   

By F. William Engdahl

...Going through the official Obama text it’s difficult to find even one sentence where he speaks honestly. It’s an example not of grey propaganda but black. I cite several of the most egregious instances...

There is a Russian joke currently making the rounds in Moscow. Russia’s Putin arrives back in the Kremlin after his September New York meeting with President Obama on Syria and other topics. A trusted aide asks how the talk with Obama went. Putin tells his aide that, in a bid to lower the temperature and calm the nerves before turning to grave topics like the wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Russian president proposed they first sit down to a game of chess. Putin tells his aide what it’s like playing chess with Obama. “It’s like playing with a pigeon. First it knocks over all the pieces, then it shits on the board and finally struts around like it won.”

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.