America’s Militarized Economy – By Eric ZUESSE ( THE UNZ REPORT)

America’s Militarized Economy

 

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Donald Trump’s biggest success, thus far into his Presidency, has been his sale of $400 billion (originally $350 billion) of U.S.-made weapons to the Saudi Arabian Government, which is owned by its royal family, after whom that nation is named. This sale alone is big enough to be called Trump’s “jobs plan” for Americans. It is also the biggest weapons-sale in all of history. It’s 400 billion dollars, not 400 million dollars; it is gigantic, and, by far, unprecedented in world-history.

The weapons that the Sauds and their friends, the 7 monarchies that constitute the United Arab Emirates, are using right now, in order to conquer and subdue Yemen, are almost entirely made in America. That’s terrific business for America. Not only are Americans employed, in strategically important congressional districts (that is, politically important congressional districts), to manufacture this equipment for mass-murdering in foreign lands that never threatened (much less invaded) America, but the countries that purchase this equipment are thereby made dependent upon the services of those American manufacturers, and of the taxpayer-funded U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and its private military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, to maintain this equipment, and to train the local military enforcers, on how to operate these weapons. Consequently, foreign customers of U.S. military firms are buying not only U.S. weapons, but the U.S. Government’s protection — the protection by the U.S. military, of those monarchs. They are buying the label of being an “American ally” so that the U.S. news media can say that this is in defense of American allies (regardless of whether it’s even that). American weapons are way overpriced for what they can do, but they are a bargain for what they can extract out of America’s taxpayers, who fund the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and thus fund the protection of those monarchs: these kings and other dictators get U.S. taxpayers to fund their protection. It’s an international protection-racket funded by American taxpayers and those rulers, in order to protect those rulers; and the victims aren’t only the people who get slaughtered in countries such as Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, and Palestine, but also (though only financially) are the American public, who get fleeced by it — the American public provide the bulk of the real funding for this operation to expand the lands where America’s allies rule, and so to serve both America’s aristocracy and the aristocracies that are America’s allies.

This is how today’s America enforces its ‘democracy’ around the world, so that America can spread this ‘democracy’, at gunpoint, and at bomb-point, like America’s allies, those Kings and Emirs, and the apartheid regime in Israel, are doing, to the people whom they kill and conquer, with help from the taxpayer-funded American military — funded to protect those aristocrats, against their respective publics, and to further enrich America’s own aristocrats, at the expense of America’s own public.

The global ‘aggressor’ has been identified by America’s previous President, Barack Obama, who won office like Trump did, by promising ‘a reset’ in relations with post-communist Russia, and by mocking Obama’s opponent (Mitt Romney) for having called Russia “the number one geopolitical foe” — which America’s aristocracy has historically considered Russia to be, ever since the aristocracy in Russia fled and were killed in 1917, which caused America’s and other aristocracies to fear and hate Russia and Russians, for having ousted its aristocracy, this being an act that aristocrats everywhere are determined to avenge, regardless of ‘ideology’. (Similarly, America and its pro-aristocracy foreign allies, seek to avenge Iran’s 1979 overthrow of the Shah.) As Obama’s own actions during his subsequent Presidency made clear, and as he already had started in 2011 (if not from day one of his Presidency) secretly to implement, he privately agreed with what Romney said on that occasion, but he was intelligent enough (which his opponent obviously was not) to recognize that the American public, at that time, did not agree with it but instead believed that Islamic terrorists and aristocrats such as the Sauds who finance them are that); and Obama took full advantage of his opponent’s blunder there, which helped Obama to win a second term in the White House (after having skillfully hidden from the public during his first term, his intention to weaken Russia by eliminating leaders who were friends or even allies of Russia, such as in Syria, and Ukraine).

This is American ‘democracy’, after all (rule by deceit, lies), and that’s the reason why, when Russia, in 2014, responded to the U.S. coup in Ukraine (a coup under the cover of anti-corruption demonstrations) which coup was taking over this large country next-door to Russia and thus constituted a deadly threat to Russia’s national security, Obama declared Russia to be the world’s top ‘aggressor’. Obama overthrew Ukraine and then damned Russia’s leader Putin for responding to Obama’s aggressive threat against Russia from this coup in neighboring Ukraine. Russia was supposedly the ‘aggressor’ because it allowed the residents of Crimea — which had been part of Russia until the Soviet dictator in 1954 had arbitrarily handed Crimea to Ukraine — to become Russian citizens again, Russians like 90% of them felt they still were, despite Khrushchev’s transfer of them to Ukraine in 1954. The vast majority of Crimeans felt themselves still to be Russians. But Obama and allies of the U.S. Government insisted that the newly installed Government of Ukraine must rule those people; those people must not be permitted to rule (or be ruled) by people they’ve participated in choosing.

Ever since at least 2011, the U.S. Government was planning to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected Government; and the plan started being put into action by no later than 1 March 2013 inside America’s Ukrainian Embassy. In preparation for this planned coup (“the most blatant coup in history”), a poll of Crimeans was funded by the International Republican Institute and USAID, in which Gallup scientifically sampled Crimeans during 16-30 May 2013, six months prior to the forced rejection on 20 November 2013 of EU membership by Ukraine’s democratically elected government — that’s six months prior to the Ukrainian Government’s rejection that Obama’s team were intending to use as being the pretext for the anti-Government demonstrations, which would start on Kiev’s Maidan Square the day after this forced rejection, on November 21st. The poll of Crimeans (which was made public on 7 October 2013) found (here are highlights):

p.14:
“If Ukraine was able to enter only one international economic union, which entity should it be with?”
53% “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”
17% “The European Union”
p.15:
“How would you evaluate your attitude to the following entities?”
“Russia”: 68% “Warm”; 5% “Cold”
“USA”: 6% “Warm”; 24% “Cold”
p.17:
“In your opinion, what should the status of Crimea be?”
“Autonomy in Ukraine (as today [under Crimea’s 1992 Constitution and as subsequently celebrated by RFE/RL on 20 January 2011] )”: 53%.
“Common oblast of Ukraine [ruled under Ukraine’s 1991 Constitution]”: 2%.
“Crimea should be separated and given to Russia”: 23%.

In other words: prior to the U.S. State Department and CIA operation to steal Ukraine’s government from Ukraine’s citizens — including especially from the residents of the sole autonomously governed region in Ukraine, which was Crimea — 53% of Crimeans wanted continued autonomy, 23% wanted not only a total break away from the Ukrainian Government but their becoming again citizens of Russia, such as had existed until 1954; and only 2% wanted restoration of the situation in 1991 when Crimea was briefly a “common oblast” or regular region within Ukraine, a federal state within Ukraine just like all the other states within Ukraine were. And, obviously, after America’s coup in Ukraine, the percentage who wanted a total break away from Ukraine rose even higher than it had been before.

Consequently, the U.S. demand that the newly imposed Ukrainian regime, which Obama’s coup created, made upon Crimea subsequent to the coup, and which demand both Obama and his successor Trump insist must be imposed upon and obeyed by Crimeans if the anti-Russia sanctions are even possibly to end, is the demand that Crimeans, in that May 2013 poll, even prior to the bloody Obama coup and the takeover of Ukraine by rabidly anti-Crimean Ukrainian nazis, had supported by only 2% (it was demanding reimposition of the brief 1991 Ukrainian relationship, which Crimeans had rejected in 1991), as compared to the 53% of Crimeans who favored continuation of Crimean “autonomy,” and the 23% who favored becoming Russians again.

Furthermore, the May 2013 poll showed that only 17% of Crimeans favored becoming part of the EU, whereas 53% preferred to be part of the “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”; so, clearly, Crimeans, prior to the democratically elected Ukrainian Government’s having declined the EU’s offer, overwhelmingly wanted Ukraine’s democratically elected Government to do precisely what it did — to turn down the EU’s offer.

During the U.S. coup, and immediately after it, until the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum on what to do about it, Crimeans saw and heard on television and via the other Ukrainian media, reports that could only have terrified them about the new Government’s intentions. Clearly the U.S. regime had no objection to placing nazis in charge, and Crimeans are intensely anti-nazi — not only anti-Nazi during Hitler’s time, but against nazism, the racist-fascist ideology, itself, regardless of which group it’s targeting; but, in their case, it targets Crimeans, and, more broadly, Russians.

A January 2015 poll of Crimeans was financed by rabidly anti-Russian Ukrainians in Canada and released in early February, and it found (probably to their enormous disappointment) that 93% of respondents did “endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea” and 4% did not. On 16 March 2015, the U.S. State Department issued a statement: “On this one year anniversary of the sham ‘referendum’ in Crimea, held in clear violation of Ukrainian law and the Ukrainian constitution, the United States reiterates its condemnation of a vote that was not voluntary, transparent, or democratic.” No evidence was provided for any of that assertion, simply the allegation. Four days later, the far more honest Kenneth Rapoza at Forbes headlined “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea,” and he opened:

The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are. One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.
Little has changed over the last 12 months. Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit. At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule.

The U.S. and its allies have a different idea than that. They reject Rapoza’s view.

The United States claims to support ‘democracy’. But it demands imposition upon Crimeans of a rabidly anti-Crimean Government. What kind of ‘democracy’ does the United States actually support? Has the U.S. Government answered that question in Crimea — and, in Ukraine — by its actions there? Obama supported this kind of ‘democracy’, and this kind. He wanted this kind of treatment of Crimeans. Trump hasn’t yet made clear whether he does, too; but his official representatives have made clear that they do.

America has a militarized economy. It also currently has the very highest percentage of its people in prison out of all of the world’s 222 countries and so certainly qualifies as a police state (which Americans who are lucky enough to be not amongst the lower socio-economic classes might find to be a shocking thing to assert). On top of that, everyone knows that America’s military spending is by far the highest in the world, but many don’t know that it’s the most corrupt and so the U.S. actually spends around half of the entire world’s military budget and that the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department is even so corrupt that it has been unauditable and thus unaudited for decades, and that many U.S. military programs are counted in other federal departments in order to hide from the public how much is actually being spent each year on the military, which is well over a trillion dollars annually, probably more than half of all federal discretionary (which excludes interest on the debt, some of which pays for prior wars) spending. So, it’s a very militarized economy, indeed.

This is today’s American ‘democracy’. Is it also ‘democracy’ in America’s allied countries? (Obviously, they are more democratic than America regarding just the incarceration-rate; but what about generally?) Almost all of those countries continue to say that America is a democracy (despite the proof that it is not), and that they are likewise. Are they correct in both? Are they allied with a ‘democracy’ against democracy? Or, are they, in fact, phonies as democracies? These are serious questions, and bumper-sticker answers to them won’t suffice anymore — not after invading Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011, and Syria right afterward, and Ukraine in 2014, and Yemen today, etc.

Please send this article along to friends, and ask for their thoughts about this. Because, in any actual democracy, everyone should be discussing these issues, under the prevailing circumstances. Taxpayer-funded mass-slaughter is now routine and goes on year after year. After a few decades of this, shouldn’t people start discussing the matter? Why haven’t they been? Isn’t this the time to start? Or is America so much of a dictatorship that it simply won’t happen? We’ll see.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

 

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  • Wally says:

    Zuesse said:
    The US “currently has the very highest percentage of its people in prison out of all of the world’s 222 countries …”

    Zuesse lies when he says its people.

    Not mentioned by Zuesse:
    32% of Federal Inmates Are Aliens

    https://cis.org/Huennekens/32-Federal-Inmates-Are-Aliens

    Heretofore I have seen no reason why the lions share of them should not be in prison, regardless of who they are.

    The EU’s failure to imprison ignorant Muslim rapists and violent low IQ anti Euro-white Africans are certainly factors in this misleading ranking.

    Not to mention the EU’s embrace of pedophila:
    France Passes Law Saying Children Can Consent To Sex With Adults

    https://yournewswire.com/french-law-children-consent-sex/

    “President Macron’s government has voted against having an age of consent in France, becoming the latest nation to give in to pressure from an international network of liberal activists determined to normalize pedophilia and decriminalize sex with children across the world.”

    • Replies: @Herald, @Skip Sullivan
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread

US violating intl law by breaking into Russian consulate in Seattle – embassy – By RT

US violating intl law by breaking into Russian consulate in Seattle – embassy
The US government is violating international law with its decision to break into Russia’s locked consulate in Seattle, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement.

What we see now is a gross violation of the Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Convention on Consular Relations,” commented Nikolay Pukalov, the head of the embassy’s consular department. “The Russian side did not agree on stripping diplomatic status from our property in Seattle and did not give permission to American officials to enter our territory.”

The spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, called the development “a hostile takeover” of the compound by the US.

The diplomatic building was evacuated earlier this week due to an order from Washington, which expelled 60 Russian diplomats and told the embassy to shut down the Seattle consulate in retaliation for the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain.

After the diplomats left on Tuesday, they locked the building. US officials on Wednesday broke into the compound.

The closure of Russia’s Seattle consulate was the latest in a string of diplomatic mission reductions taken by both sides over the past years. The pretext for this particular expulsion was the British accusation that the Russian government ordered an assassination of a former double agent. London failed to provide any public proof of the allegation and instead launched an international campaign to punish Moscow, finding a most eager participant in Washington.

The US claimed that the 60 diplomats it expelled were Russian spies and that the consulate in Seattle was heavily used for espionage purposes. Similar justifications were used when Washington ordered the shutdown of Russian missions in San Francisco and New York in September 2017.

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Syrian Army Reportedly Finds Documents in E Ghouta Linking Terrorists to the US – By Sputnik

A member of Syrian forces of President Bashar al Assad walks inside a tunnel that was used by rebels in Jobar, eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria April 2, 2018

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Following the liberation of East Ghouta, the Syrian military has found an extensive network of tunnels with underground hospitals that were used by terrorist groups to move safely and perform raids on Syrian army positions.

Syrian soldiers have found documented proof of the secret cooperation between a US-based company and terrorists in Syria in the tunnels discovered after the liberation of East Ghouta, the Fars news agency reports, citing anonymous source in the army. The source refused to give the name of the company, due to the sensitivity of the information and the fact that the investigation is still ongoing. But he reassured that the documents are corroborative and prove that the terrorists were funded and even paid regularly by the US organization.

READ MORE: US Caught Evacuating More Daesh Leaders in Syria — State Media

After the last groups left East Ghouta, the Syrian army started cleaning the city of what remained after the terrorists, including mine fields and booby-traps, and discovered a system of tunnels, connecting different parts of the town. The Syrian military found two hospitals, equipped not only with what terrorists had stolen from local hospitals, but also with more advanced equipment, reportedly produced in Western countries and Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Uses Al Hasakah Camp in Syria to Train Militants — Russian MoD

The US, which operates on the Syrian soil without the authorization of its government or a UN mandate, has been frequently accused of helping Daesh terrorists. Information surfaced late February and March in Syrian media that US helicopters were transporting Daesh commanders and their family members to Sabah al-Khair, which is believed by locals to be a terrorist training camp.

UN Feigns Outrage Over Ghouta While Terrorist Rockets Rain Down on Damascus – By Eva Bartlett ( MintPress )

A man is seen near the remains of a homed-made rocket in Douma, Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria January 22, 2018. (Photo: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)

Eva Bartlett breaks down the dizzying array of information surrounding the mounting humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta. With accusations abound, parsing the reality on the ground is becoming more challenging by the day.

Also on February 22, the UN body tweeted a CNN report citing the SOHR, and of course the UNICEF blank statement of outrage, in the cyclic fashion that is typical of regime-change war propaganda reinforcing itself.

On February 21, UNICEF tweeted a Newsweek photo slideshow titled after UNICEF’s own blank statement of outrage.

The February 20 tweet of the blank UNICEF statement included #EasternGhouta, but no hashtag for Damascus. Surely an oversight…

Their February 19 tweet links to an article on the Bana al-Abed of Ghouta, Muhammad Najem, whose Twitter account began in December 2017 and has nearly 5,000 followers. Expect that number to skyrocket. Expect a memoir to follow.

A UNICEF February 19 tweet on Ghouta links to war propagandist Louisa Loveluck’s article, reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.

If it isn’t already clear, UNICEF is participating in war propaganda against Syria, reporting and endorsing one very exaggerated and not substantiated side of the story, disappearing another very real side.

This is not the first time the UN has covered up terrorists’ crimes against Syrian civilians. In October 2016, I wrote of UNICEF’s unproven claims of an aerial attack on an Idlib school, in which UNICEF decried it as possibly “the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.” As I reported, UNICEF overlooked numerous documented deadly attacks on schools:

On October 1, 2014, terrorists’ car- and suicide-bombed the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians.”

I further noted:

On October 28, 2016, RT reporter Murad Gazdiev reported from Aleppo on the latest attacks by Western-backed terrorists on a school in the city. At the time of the report, at least six children were reported killed by a Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bomb which struck a school in Ḩadaiq al-Andalus. From an Aleppo hospital, Gazdiev reported:

‘The rebels launched the rocket at 10 in the morning. Seconds later it hit the National School of Aleppo… Three of the children died on the spot…. blood and pieces of them sprayed on the walls. The victims, six children, ranged in age from 2 to 12. In some cases, doctors weren’t sure if they’d put the right body parts with the correct bodies. Three of the dead children were siblings: two brothers and a sister. Their father was beyond consolation. His mental stability had been torn apart.’

This statement was given over footage of a devastated father kissing the corpses of his children.”

In January 2016, I wrote of OCHA’s selective tweeting around the terrorist-occupied village of Madaya, obfuscating the terrorist-besieged Idlib villages of Foua and Kafraya.

Honest reporters like Murad Gazdiev entered Madaya in January 2016 and confirmed that food and medical aid had indeed entered. He spoke with residents who complained of the armed groups stealing this food.

When I went to Madaya in June 2017, I spoke with civilians there who stated that vast amounts of food and medical aid entered the area, but they had no access to it, as Ahrar al-Sham, al-Nusra and co-extremists holding the village hoarded the food and sold it at extortionist prices. I also saw prisons use to hold, and sometimes torture, civilians before their trials in terrorists’ courts. I also saw these in eastern Aleppo and in al-Layramoun, in the city’s northwest. When eastern Ghouta is finally secured, it won’t be surprising to learn that schools, hospitals, and/or homes were turned into prisons to hold the civilians for whom the UN and corporate media feign concern.

 

Why the UNICEF bias?

Henrietta Fore, during her time at director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator under George W. Bush in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 30, 2008. Fore also acted as former Director of the U.S. Mint. She now heads UNICEF. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

According to UNICEF, the current executive director, Henrietta H. Fore, was formerly Administrator of USAID, Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of State, and Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The prior UNICEF executive director, Anthony Lake, was national security advisor to President Clinton, and was nominated to be the director of the CIA.

According to Telesur, Lake played a significant role in mass starvation in Somalia in 2010-2012, under-budgeting food aid, budgeting “10 cents a day per person to feed a million internally displaced persons.” Telesur reported that Lake also “admitted publicly that he knew about and did nothing to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, something he ‘regretted.’”

In Yemen, the UN is suspected of having smuggled in two CIA agents, as reported in 2015 by journalist Nizar Abboud, and surprisingly in 2017 by The New York Times.

UNICEF executive directors who formerly worked for USAID, the U.S. State Department, even Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury: it seems that UNICEF’s role is less about humanitarian aid and more about being the humanitarian propaganda arm of Washington.

We should, indeed, feel sorrow for any civilian casualties in the U.S./U.K. and allies’ war on Syria. However, after years of the most egregious war propaganda on Syria, we should also exercise caution about the latest stories, be they from unsourced SOHR reports or the UN itself.

Remember, Omran Daqneesh was once depicted widely as the face of Syrian suffering. As it turned out, the entire story Western media and agencies told was false, based on unreliable sources.

Recall that the humanitarian agency MSF once insisted that Syrian or Russian airstrikes had destroyed — reduced “to rubble” — a hospital that MSF supported. This turned out to be utterly false.

Unlike MSF, unlike the most of journalists who reported lies around Omran Daqneesh, I did go to see the intact Quds hospital, and met Omran and his father, who told me everything the media had reported on his son was false; the media had exploited his boy. Both MSF and corporate media lied about these stories, and their lies were used to call for further Western intervention in Syria.

 

Targeting of Afrin civilians met with relative silence

Flames rise from buses and trucks in a convoy headed to Afrin, Syria. According to Syrian state TV, a convoy carrying aid heading toward Afrin was targeted by Turkish artillery, in al-Ziara village. The incident, came two days after pro-government fighters began entering the predominantly Kurdish town to shore up the Kurdish forces, Feb. 23, 2018. (SANA via AP)

While UNICEF on January 26 noted having received “alarming reports” regarding children’s deaths in Afrin, it hasn’t thus far expressed outrage at the Turkish murder of civilians in the northwestern Syrian town. On February 20, SANA reported:

Entering its 32nd day, the Turkish aggression continues to claim more civilian casualties and causing material damage to properties.

Medical sources at Afrin Hospital told SANA that so far, 175 civilians were killed and more than 450 civilians, most of them children and women, were injured due to the continued assault on civilians’ houses and infrastructure.”

Contrast the nonspecific and tame title of the January 26 UNICEF statement, “UNICEF statement on the escalating violence in Syria,” to the emotive language of February 20, riding on the coattails of corporate media hysteria around Ghouta:

The war on children in Syria: Reports of mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus; … No words will do justice to the children killed; … We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage; … barbaric acts …”

The UN has yet to issue an updated statement of concern regarding the latest Turkish bombings of Afrin.

In UN humanitarian chief Lowcock’s February 22 address, he spoke of “the killing of civilians and the destruction of entire cities and neighborhoods.”

However, he didn’t mean the killing of hundreds (a lower estimate) or even thousands of Syrian civilians by the U.S.-led coalition, illegal in Syria — the latest being 12 civilians, “mostly women and children,” killed in residential neighborhoods in Hajin town in Deir Ezzor eastern countryside on February 21.

One day prior, Syrian media reported the deaths of “at least 16 civilians, including nine women,” in al-Bahra village, Deir Ezzor countryside, noting, “the death toll is likely to rise as a number of civilians were injured and some of them are in critical condition as a result of airstrikes…”

A UN press release on Lowcock’s statement cited him as saying: “You can still save lives in eastern Ghouta – and elsewhere in Syria. I urge you to do so.”

But this is precisely what Syrian officials have been attempting to do, with offers of amnesty, safe transport of out of Ghouta, and the provision of medical and food aid.

Recently, independent researcher Hadi Nasrallah tweeted (in a long thread on Ghouta):

Even After 7 years of failed negotiations with terrorists for the sake of civilians held in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian government dropped flyers and maps on the terrorist-held city to give details for civilians on how to flee areas with high tensions and guaranteed them safety”

Al Masdar News reported:

…eight projectiles struck the Al-Wafideen camp site where the Syrian Army has set up an evacuation point for civilians attempting to escape militant-held areas of East Ghouta.”

As with Aleppo, a humanitarian corridor has been established to enable eastern Ghouta residents to leave the district. However, given that terrorists repeatedly shelled humanitarian corridors in Aleppo (including a corridor road I stood on in November 2016), holding civilians hostage, it is quite likely terrorists in eastern Ghouta will do the same.

Yet, in the end, the combination of humanitarian corridors and Syria’s offer of amnesty and reconciliation enabled the exit of terrorists and return of life in Aleppo. As of August 2017, over half a million displaced Syrians returned home, the vast majority internally-displaced.

In Madaya, al-Waer, Homs, and many other areas of Syria, the same deals as in Aleppo enabled the return of stability and life.

In addition to opening the humanitarian corridors, the Syrian army has dropped leaflets over eastern Ghouta informing civilians of designated safe exits for civilians to leave the district to safety in Damascus.

These are the types of actions the UN should be focused on and supporting, not repeating war propaganda that only confuses and prolongs the fight for peace.

Top Photo | A man is seen near the remains of a home-made rocket in Douma, Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria January 22, 2018. (Photo: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground cover conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Visit her personal blog, In Gaza, and support her work on Patreon.

Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

What the hell are we still doing in Syria? – By Michael Brendan Dougherty National Review (SOTT)

NettingSoldier

© Corporal Zachery C. Laning
US Marines conduct a fire mission in Northern Syria, March 2017.

With our ongoing war efforts there, the Trump administration is courting disaster.

Congress refused to authorize American intervention in Syria in 2013. Still, we sent in Special Forces. Congress later authorized a smaller intervention against ISIS. The caliphate was smashed, after President Trump changed the rules of engagement, and the president claimed credit. Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, had crushed most of the rebel forces. All done, U.S. troops can come home, having not been authorized to carry out any other missions by the people through their representatives. Right?

Wrong. Last week, in a speech at the Hoover Institute, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson relayed America’s latest policy in the Syrian civil war. We’re staying. And we’re going to accomplish everything we failed to do over the last half decade. We’re going to finish off both ISIS and al-Qaeda. Then resolve the conflict between Assad and his opponents, diminish Iranian influence, make the country safe for returning refugees, and ensure that there are no weapons of mass destruction in the country. And we’re going to do it without committing major resources. Yessiree, we’re going to lick this Syria problem even though our putative allies in the region are now more divided than ever.

The Congress and the U.K. Parliament both declined to go along with the elite consensus for regime change in Syria years ago. Later, Russian intervention on Assad’s behalf surely had some persuasive power of its own. So too the realization that the “moderate rebels” were little more than a PR front group for al-Qaeda. But Tillerson tells us it is still American policy to plan “for a post-Assad Syria.”

Tillerson said that “previous American efforts to halt the conflict have been ineffective.” Perhaps that is because they’ve also been unauthorized, which means they were illegal – and conducted without popular support. Sure, officials have occasionally trotted out the 2001 Authorization of Military Force against al-Qaeda, and they’ve preposterously twisted it into an authorization to destroy al-Qaeda’s chief enemy in Syria. But public opinion ran overwhelmingly against intervention, so the United States just conducted a smaller and more clandestine war than the one it would have preferred.

The prospect of a massive American intervention almost certainly extended and exacerbated the Syrian war and also created a moral hazard by allowing rebels to overestimate their chance of success. That is America’s contribution to “a humanitarian catastrophe,” where “half a million Syrians have died,” Tillerson noted. “Over 5.4 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.1 million are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. And as a result of conflict between regime and opposition forces, whole cities have been destroyed.” Not to mention a string of terror attacks in Europe connected to refugee flows, the destabilization of Europe’s Shengen Agreement (by which Europe’s internal borders have been largely abolished), and the loss of credibility for the European center-left and center-right. Brexit, the weakness of France’s two major political parties, and the hobbling of Merkel’s political career can all be partially blamed on the West’s botched foreign-policy decisions in Libya and Syria.

Yet none of the enormities since 2013 have dimmed the hopes of American policymakers. And now the war may get more complicated.

A few days after Tillerson’s speech, Turkey’s armed forces burst through the Syrian border, attacking the Kurdish militias who have been the most reliable allies of the United States in the fight against ISIS. Kurdish militias already have reason to distrust Americans, who welcomed their help in dismantling ISIS in Iraq, only to be driven out of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army. Now these same fighters face the wrath of long-term NATO ally Turkey, which is undergoing its own Islamicizing counterrevolution.

Consider the problems occasioned merely by one American ally.

Can the U.S. ever gain the trust of new allies in this region if we allow the Turks to annihilate our Kurdish friends?

Is our Article 5 NATO guarantee to Turkey likely to make Erdogan more or less responsible while conducting military operations in the same theater as Russia?

Is Erdogan really a great friend of the United States, when he is threatening our European allies with a new migration crisis if Turkey is not put on a faster track to full membership in the EU?

Oh, and by the way, Europe is in a lose-lose arrangement when it comes to Turkey as well. Turkey’s full membership would, by its very nature, cause a politically perilous migration crisis for Europe. How would European powers react to even more election rallies for Erdogan in their capital cities?

And that is just Turkey. The United States still has to accommodate the demands of its other friends, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Who authorized this ongoing presence in Syria?

How are all these goals possibly achieved with such a paltry troop commitment and no popular support?

How long can the United States pretend to manage everyone’s ambitions and demands in Syria without risking a more direct and deadly conflict with Russian forces there?

What the hell are we doing?

Comment: So far, the US says one thing and does another. What the hell are we doing? It certainly seems hard to tell! But then again, by lowering standards and switching plans you lower expectations and confuse everyone. An advantage, no?

Iran warns to rethink work with IAEA & make Trump ‘regret’ if US jeopardizes nuclear deal – By RT

Iran warns to rethink work with IAEA & make Trump ‘regret’ if US jeopardizes nuclear deal
Tehran may reconsider its cooperation agreement with the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, should the US default on its commitments to the 2015 Iranian deal, the country’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has warned.

The warning came during Salehi’s phone conversation with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director general, Yukiya Amano Monday. “If the US does not meet its commitment in the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the Islamic Republic of Iran would take decisions that might affect its current cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said as cited by Iranian state news agency, Fars.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, warned further that Washington’s “possible withdrawal or any irrational behavior” regarding the nuclear deal will be a “blatant mistake,” which the Trump administration would “regret.”

“All options are on the Islamic Republic’s table for any conditions and they will be implemented the same day and quickly proportional to the type of decisions made in the US,” Qassemi said during his weekly media conference.

The country is, in fact, “ready for any scenario,” Seyed Abbas Araqchi, the country’s Deputy FM said of Washington’s possible withdrawal from JCPOA. “Our region will not turn into a safer region without the nuclear deal,” the deputy FM cautioned, as cited by Fars.

Donald Trump notoriously dubbed the Iranian nuclear agreement “the worst deal ever” and is considering Washington’s possible withdrawal from the pact. In October, the US president refused to recertify Iran’s compliance with the agreement signed by his predecessor Barack Obama. The 2015 deal between Tehran and six world powers – China, France, Germany, Russia, the US, and the UK – involves, in broad terms, the lifting of sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.

Trump has to decide by mid-January whether to prolong the waivers on American sanctions against Iran’s oil exports under the nuclear deal or not. If the president fails to sign the waivers, which are to be extended every 120 days, the restrictions on Tehran will be automatically re-imposed.

READ MORE: US abusing UN Security Council to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs – Russia

The IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full compliance with the international agreement, saying Tehran has not been enriching uranium above the prescribed levels. The UN watchdog also made clear that it never experienced barriers in gaining access to the desired nuclear sites inside the country.

The idea of Iran’s possible exit from the landmark accord was first voiced by foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said in September that “if Washington decides to pull out Iran has the option of withdrawal and other options.”

 
Reporting what the mainstream media won’t: Follow RT’s Twitter account
 

Trump Claims US Defeated ISIS, But Terrorists Still emerging from US bases in Syria – By Andrés Perezalonso

US supplied Syrian rebels

© Associated Press/Hammurabi’s Justice News
Dodgy alliance: Syrian ‘rebels’ side-by-side US troops

Last Thursday, US president Donald Trump posted what appeared to be a self-congratulatory tweet on the achievements of the US military in the war against ISIS:

These numbers may or may not be accurate, but the implicit message is that they are the result of the efforts of the US-led coalition rather than the combined Russian, Iranian/Hezbollah and Syrian/Iraqi forces.

Trump’s Pentagon numbers conflate the operations against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, thereby overwriting the more specific numbers produced by the Russian military intervention in Syria alone, which changed the tide of the war in both countries: 60,318 jihadists killed, including 813 commanders; the destruction of 718 clandestine arms factories; and the liberation of 1,024 cities and settlements.

In pursuing its goals of eliminating Western-backed jihadist mercenaries in Syria, Russian forces took extreme care to safeguard civilian lives and minimize damage to infrastructure. This was in stark contrast to US policy in both Syria and Iraq, which involved little if any attacks on ISIS forces in the field, concentrating instead on ‘liberating’ strategic cities like Mosul and Raqqa by way of massive and indiscriminate bombing (compare the painstaking liberation of Aleppo with the flattening of Mosul). This difference in military strategy was, of course, to be expected given that Russia has a vested interest in maintaining Syria as a viable and independent nation state under Assad, while the US, from the very onset of the conflict, was interested only in the ruin of Syria and the overthrow of Assad.

While there is little hard evidence of the US real intentions in Syria, there have been many strong indications that supporting ISIS was (and still is) US policy, ranging from providing safe passage to terrorist groups, airlifting their senior members, providing air cover against the Syrian Army, delivering weapons, and even an admission from former Secretary of State John Kerry that the US allowed ISIS to grow as a way of putting pressure on Assad.

At the very least it is clear that the US preferred to see criminal groups of fanatics ruling Syria than a democratically-elected secular government such as Assad’s, even if the extent to which it actively sought to ‘make this a reality’ can be disputed.

Strictly-speaking, Trump is correct that ISIS collapsed on his watch. But how much, if any, of that progress – with respect to Syria anyway – is due to US action in the country? The terrorist front in Syria disintegrated over the course of 2017 once the siege of Aleppo was ended by Syrian forces in December 2016, enabling them to begin methodically liberating the country from west to east.

That Trump was president-elect, then president, during this timeframe is coincidental, not causal. He may wish to see the scourge of ISIS gone from the face of the Earth, and win the US some of the glory in delivering its ignominious retreat, but since becoming president Trump has had ample opportunity to learn what US forces are really up to.

The day before Trump’s tweet, Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valeri Gerasimov revealed in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda that US forces had turned their illegitimate base in Al-Tanf, in the southeast of Syria and conveniently located within the 55 km ‘de-confliction’ buffer zone, into a training camp for the remnants of ISIS – a group which he described as a de facto regular army, given their weaponry, training and tactics.

“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there,” Gerasimov said, when asked about what’s going on at the base.

The general also said the US has been using a refugee camp in northeast Syria, outside the town of Al-Shaddadah in Al-Hasakah province, as a training camp for the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, including those evacuated from Raqqa, and other militants.

“This is essentially ISIS,” Gerasimov said. “They change their colors, take different names – the ‘New Syrian Army’ and others. They are tasked with destabilizing the situation.”

Gerasimov says that there are currently some 750 militants in Al-Shaddadah and 350 in Al-Tanf. We are left to wonder if those are the same 1,000 ISIS fighters that the Pentagon estimates are left in Syria, as per Trump’s tweet.

Syria map Al-Tanf

The New Syrian Army, aka the Revolutionary Commando Army, is, according to the ‘fact-checkers’ at Wikipedia, a “Syrian rebel group” consisting of army defectors and other ‘rebels’ who “sought to expel ISIS” from eastern Syria. They claim to have received training and weapons from Saudi-backed ‘rebel’ groups and the CIA. But if their goal is to ‘fight ISIS’, why then does Gerasimov report that they have launched offensives on Syrian forces from the eastern bank of the Euphrates after ISIS militants were previously routed there?

In early October, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov described the US base in Al-Tanf as a “black hole” protected by a “human shield” of refugees from where ISIS carried out sabotage and terror attacks. He pointed out:

“The Pentagon’s representatives have repeatedly stated that instructors from the US, the UK and Norway staying there under the cover of tactical aviation and multiple-launch rocket systems are training New Syrian Army militants. However, in actual fact, al-Tanf has turned into a 100-kilometer ‘black hole’ on the Syrian-Jordanian state border. Instead of the New Syrian Army, mobile ISIL groups, like a jack-in-the-box, carry out sabotage and terrorist attacks against Syrian troops and civilians from there.”

Konashenkov added that the illegal US base in Al-Tanf was publicly justified “by the need to conduct operations against ISIL”; however, no public information has been received of any US operations against ISIS during the six months of its existence. Indeed, the Pentagon and Trump can make all the claims they want about ‘fighting ISIS’ in Syria, but in stark contrast with the Russians, who publish videos, satellite images, war maps, and send journalists to front lines, the Americans have almost no documentary evidence to show for it.

Just yesterday, local residents told Syrian media that US helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from several districts of Deir ez-Zor province. Earlier this week, the Syrian government sent a communiqué to the United Nations accusing the US-led coalition of dealing and coordinating with ISIS.

Significantly, on the same day as the publication of Gerasimov’s interview, militants shot “several missiles” from Bdama at Latakia International Airport and the Russian Aerospace Forces’ deployment site at Hmeymim airbase. No damage was caused as two of the missiles were shot down and at least one landed off-site. While Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speculated that the provocation was “aimed at disrupting the positive trends in the development of the situation in Syria and, in particular, at creating obstacles to convening and holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30,” it is also possible that this heralds an attempt to bring ISIS back from the dead – either under that name or a different one. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but the explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg which injured thirteen people – an event Putin described as a terrorist attack – also occurred on the same day. Is someone sending Russia a message?

Imperial Wishful Thinking

The New York Times published an op-ed article written by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – also that same day – which summarized current US foreign policy positions with respect to North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, Russia, China and Iran. What Tillerson wrote about Syria was in line with Trump’s triumphant tweet:

Defeating terrorism remains one of the president’s highest priorities. The administration’s aggressive strategy to counter the Islamic State delegates greater authority to American military commanders on the battlefield, giving our forces more freedom and speed to do what they do best, in partnership with indigenous fighting forces. As a result, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS has accelerated operations and has recaptured virtually all of previously-held Islamic State territory in Iraq and Syria. While our military was helping clear Iraq and Syria of Islamic State forces, our diplomats were following up with humanitarian aid and assistance, such as clearing land mines, restoring water and power, and getting children back in school.

Tillerson is naturally counting on the fact that Western audiences almost exclusively consume the narrative Western media tells them – that the US was fighting ISIS instead of aiding them. It’s a great story, one anyone would want to own, but it’s not the US’ to tell. The US has not been clearing land mines, providing humanitarian aid, restoring water and power and getting children back to school: Russia has.

Despite earlier reports that the White House had finally accepted he would stay in power until, at least, Syria’s next-scheduled elections in 2021, Tillerson went on to recite the litany of Russian Evils before segueing into a resurrection of the “Assad must go” mantra:

On Russia, we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with. The United States today has a poor relationship with a resurgent Russia that has invaded its neighbors Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade and undermined the sovereignty of Western nations by meddling in our election and others’. The appointment of Kurt Volker, a former NATO ambassador, as special representative for Ukraine reflects our commitment to restoring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Absent a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine situation, which must begin with Russia’s adherence to the Minsk agreements, there cannot be business as usual with Russia.

While we are on guard against Russian aggression, we recognize the need to work with Russia where mutual interests intersect. Nowhere is that more evident than in Syria. Now that President Vladimir Putin has committed to the United Nations-backed Geneva political process for providing a new future for Syria, we expect Russia to follow through. We are confident that the fulfillment of these talks will produce a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family.

Aside from the fact that there was no Russian aggression in Georgia or Ukraine, nor any evidence of election-meddling in the US or elsewhere, and that it is Kiev which regularly violates the Minsk agreements, it’s interesting that Tillerson sneaked in that threat to Assad: “This is not over!” If you read Tillerson’s entire NYT op-ed, see how many veiled or open threats you can spot. If this tone is anything to go by, 2018 doesn’t look promising as far as conflict-resolution goes.

However, we can perhaps take solace in the knowledge that the US has failed, especially in Syria, and there is no reason they should succeed in the future if tried again. As the popular saying goes:

Insanity quote doing the same thing over and over again

Andrés Perezalonso

Andrés Perezalonso has been a contributing editor for Signs of the Times in both its English and Spanish versions since 2007. He holds a PhD in Politics, an MA in International Studies, a first degree in Communication, and has a professional background in Media Analysis. He thinks that understanding world events is not unlike detective work – paying attention to often ignored details and connections, and thinking outside of the box. He was born and raised in Mexico and currently resides in Europe.

 

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Terrorists leave Homs as the Syrian Army regains control – By SPUTNIK

© Sputnik/ Michael Alaeddin

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on the organized withdrawal of more than 400 terrorists and members of their families from the northwestern suburb of Syrian Homs. The al-Wyer district remains, in fact, the last stronghold of the armed opposition in this administrative center of the country’s largest province.

Withdrawal was preceded by almost a month of tense negotiations because the terrorists put forward their conditions while the Reconciliation Center and Syrian side put forward others,” said Lieutenant General Aleksey Kim, head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria.

He added that it was necessary to come to a common denominator so that both sides were satisfied with the fulfillment of these requirements. The negotiation process was very difficult.

According to the center, the terrorists who have not yet left al-Wayer are also preparing to lay down their arms. Many of them will go to militia or replenish the ranks of the Syrian police in the framework of amnesty announced by the Syrian president.

The military experts have said that total control by Damascus over this city is a major strategic success for Bashar al-Assad and diplomatic for the Russian negotiators.

Importance of Homs

Only a glance on the map is enough to understand the geographical importance of Homs, the third largest city in Syria with a pre-war population of 900,000 people.

It occupies a strategically important intersection at the crossing of major highways. These traffic routes connect Damascus (in the south), the Hama province, Idlib and Aleppo (in the north), the Tartus and Latakia provinces (in the west), and Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor (in the east).

“Full control over Homs will significantly protect the movement of humanitarian and military convoys all along the Damascus-Aleppo road which is more than 350 kilometers from north to south,” Anatoly Tsyganok, the head of Center for Military Forecasting told Sputnik.

The militants present in al-Wayer had an opportunity to conduct sabotage activities against government troops both in the city and on the highway. The Syrian military forces going north repeatedly moved through this site and were killed in an ambush because of such improvised explosive devices.

Homs has great value not only as an important transportation hub. This city is a large industrial center. It houses an oil refinery and several oil storage facilities. From Homs to Damascus and from Aleppo to Latakia there are pipelines.

In addition, before the war the city was one of the largest agricultural centers of Syria. Corn, cotton, wheat, vegetables and fruits were grown here. Right now most of the infrastructure is destroyed but its restoration is the key to economic, food and fuel-energy security of the whole country.

City of revolution

Homs also has strong political significance. It was one of the first cities where in July 2011 clashes with government forces broke out and therefore the city received a nickname: “capital of the revolution.”

The terrorists had planned to use Homs as a main platform for attacking Damascus from the north. Full-scale fighting in this city did not cease for years and became one of the most violent during the Syrian civil war.

The city lies in ruins as the majority of its residents escaped the war zone. In particular, Christian communities left the city with more than 138,000 people. Government forces managed to take Homs under control only in May 2014 but in a number of areas (including al-Wayer) the terrorists continued to be active in the years to come.

Anatoly Tsyganok said that fighting in Homs with varying degrees of intensity has been going on for six years now and the fact that the remaining members of the armed opposition in the city voluntarily left is a great success for the negotiating group which consists of Russian officers.

“This is an achievement for our diplomats as well and it became known right after the third round of talks on the Syrian settlement in Astana in mid-March regarding the withdrawal of 400 militants from Homs. Although there was no opposition it is obvious that they reached a number of agreements with them,” Tsyganok said.

According to the head, the general situation in Syria gives cautious optimism. As the expert stressed, in recent years support of the so-called “moderate opposition” from European states has noticeably weakened.

In turn, interaction on the Syrian issue between Russia, Turkey and Iran is strengthening. The government troops that took Aleppo and regained control over Palmyra received a break and were able to free up considerable forces and resources for possible actions in other directions.

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‘The State Cannot Convict Itself’: Operation ‘Gladio’ & the Crimes of U.S. Empire – By Gary Weglarz (Global Research)

The key institutions of Western societies have lost their credibility. They fail to merit either the respect or loyalty of the domestic populations they purport to serve.

Testing the validity of this assertion requires examination of Western institutions from a holistic rather than fragmentary perspective. This is easier said than done.

There exists a massive amount of near real-time web based information available for us to process daily if we are attempting to keep abreast of world events. This often leaves us diligently evaluating recent events, while lacking the opportunity to step back and assemble these discrete events into a more comprehensible whole.

The assassinations of the entire elite level of progressive leadership in the United States during the 1960s (JFK, Malcolm X (image left), MLK & RFK within a 5 year period).In Europe this includes the later assassinations of Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme.

Following is but a partial list of the crimes of the U.S. empire (with the routine complicity of many Western European governments) over the decades since the end of WWII. It is important to briefly review them as the intersection of these orchestrated criminal actions casts light on the lack of legitimacy of Western governments and institutions:

This litany of institutionally based criminality has taken place in service to the larger foreign and domestic policy agendas of the U.S. and allied Western European governments. The United States has played the primary coordinating and leadership role among Western nations and intersecting institutions since the end of WWII.

This is of course but a very partial list of the crimes of the U.S. empire and Western Europe since the end of WWII. However, it is clear by the breadth of this subject matter that any one, or even several subject areas, will provide only a partial view of the larger puzzle that depicts the institutional structures and behaviors by which the West dominates and controls the entire planet.

We are fortunate to have a global community which includes researchers who have focused in great depth on the various aforementioned crimes sponsored by Western governments and their institutions. Many such individuals have sacrificed a great deal personally to do so. Some have given their lives in the pursuit of truths that powerful violent institutions prefer be kept hidden from public view. Their efforts provide exhaustive detail regarding particular historical actions and policies of Western institutions. However, it is critical that we assemble these discreet puzzle pieces into a discernible image that can unify and shed light upon the whole.

Let us return to the assertion that Western governments and institutions by simple objective evaluation of this history currently lack all legitimacy.

While the intersection of institutionalized Western criminality and war crimes cited in our partial list should be enough to persuade an impartial observer, one particular example from our list can stand alone. Operation Gladio is an individual puzzle piece that helps unite and shed light upon many other disparate pieces. This is precisely why it is seldom acknowledged, much less discussed in Western MSM or academia. Even a cursory examination of Operation Gladio offers us a much more comprehensible image of the essentially illegal and amoral nature of many important Western institutions.

Gladio offers us a rather frightening glimpse into the thought processes and ethics of the assemblage of oligarchic Western elites and institutions that continue to literally rule our world. These powerful Western hierarchical institutional structures evolved over many centuries.

They evolved from control situated in earlier periods under the auspices of popes and feudal monarchies.

They evolved through various forms of parliamentary and dictatorial rule.

Their current manifestation today is one in which massive global corporations rule in tandem with entrenched Western military, intelligence and economic institutions, all of which function beyond any practical popular input much less control. Oligarchic rule, carried out through these institutional structures is the reality, in spite of the West’s much publicized devotion to liberal democracy. Examination of Operation Gladio exposes the rot at the very core of the structures of Western rule.

Operating under the aegis of NATO with CIA input/supervision, Operation Gladio utilized false flag terrorism, mainly bombings but also shootings, in service to what it defined as the “strategy of tension.” This “strategy” was seen as a way to manipulate European public perception, thought, opinion and voting behavior away from progressive political parties and leadership, and toward the conservative pole of the political spectrum. Some Gladio operatives have testified that the intent was to force the public to seek a stronger more authoritarian police and State presence in order to protect citizens from political violence.

Critically important is the fact that the violence carried out by Operation Gladio operatives was routinely blamed on the left, on communist or socialist political parties, and/or on groups advocating progressive or revolutionary change. However, the many decades of violence were in actuality carried out by right wing cells within NATO’s Gladio stay-behind army units. Thus Operation Gladio was by definition orchestrated false flag terrorism carried out not by “leftists,” but rather by a multiplicity of Western institutional structures in Europe in coordination with the CIA.

The Gladio units were originally organized under the supervision of the CIA and NATO, ostensibly as a way to respond in guerrilla warfare fashion to a possible future Soviet invasion of Western Europe. However, lacking cooperative Soviet troops to kill and terrorize the population of Western Europe, the CIA and NATO took up the task of doing the killing and terrorizing themselves.

Gladio’s terrorism was conducted in order to shape the minds of the European public, and thus manipulate the political landscape in favor of the goals of U.S. and European elites. This is the reality of Operation Gladio, and it is also why knowledge of its actions is critical to our understanding of present day terrorism.

In the process of authorizing and conducting false flag bombing attacks, Western elites and institutions intentionally killed, maimed and/or psychologically terrorized thousands of European citizens. This violence was carried out with the top-secret collusion of select members of Western European governments, as well as through loyal right-wing cadres within their intelligence agencies, judicial branches, and various police services. Operation Gladio was of course hidden from the public, since it constitutes both treason as well as murder conducted by the very Western government institutional structures sworn by law to protect their citizenry from such crimes.

Although its false flag violence was based in Western Europe, Operation Gladio offered a domestic propaganda benefit to CIA operations in the United States. Mass protests and progressive groups in the United States were tarred in the public mind through guilt by association with the Gladio terror events in Europe. The false reality created by Gladio intentionally portrayed leftists in Europe as “violent murderers of innocent civilians.” This narrative was endlessly amplified by corporate media in the U.S. where it meshed rather seamlessly with both the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities and the CIA’s Operation Chaos program on the domestic front.

The critical conclusion we arrive at from reviewing the history of Operation Gladio is that Western elites used a great many institutions of State to intentionally target and kill their own citizens for political purposes, and then conspired to hide that fact. The importance of this reality cannot be overstated. Failing to widely publicly expose and discuss the history of Operation Gladio has left all citizens of Western nations vulnerable to the continued use of State sponsored false flag terrorism in new and varied manifestations.

When we examine Operation Gladio from a more macro perspective we must remain cognizant of both past and ongoing U.S. and Western European assaults on Third World governments. That people of color around the globe have been the targets of Western imperial violence for over 500 years is simple historical reality. What Operation Gladio demonstrates decisively is that Western elites saw the cold blooded murder of their own citizens as no more an obstacle to their plans for global control than the murder of countless residents of the many Third World nations which were still struggling to free themselves from Western domination.

Consider that Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Northwoods document requested authorization to conduct false flag terror operations in the U.S. in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. Only JFK’s fateful refusal to comply stopped those proposed Gladio-style false flag operations from occurring on U.S. soil.

Historical knowledge of both Operation Gladio and the Northwoods document should be at the forefront as we attempt to analyze the numerous false flag terror events in Western Europe and the United States that have occurred since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Official narratives often leave us with rather disturbing questions regarding the true nature of such attacks. With the loss of the Soviet Union as a military danger and its replacement by Islamic terrorism, the identity of the official enemy changed. However, we would be remiss if do not question whether the dynamic of false flag terrorism might continue as a tool to manipulate the public mind.

The perceptions, thinking and consciousness of the citizens of Western Europe and the US have been powerfully shaped by the new narratives emanating from events of 9/11, and from subsequent terror attacks. Although these events are routinely blamed upon Islamic jihadist groups, knowledgeable observers find that numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the true identity of the perpetrators, often including the nature of their connections to Western intelligence structures.

Yet in spite of the historical reality of Gladio never has NATO been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for conducting the false flag bombings and murders of civilians in Western Europe. Unaccountable and unpunished, with its Gladio units still possibly in place, NATO instead offers possible cover for the continuing conduct of false flag terrorism in Europe. On the US domestic front the CIA also has never been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for its role in advising/coordinating Operation Gladio bombings and terrorism. Nor has the Northwoods document been treated to widespread public discussion and analysis.

The total impunity enjoyed by NATO, the CIA and all the interconnected Western institutional structures of police, military, politicians and judiciary exists for a very specific reason.

In the words of convicted Operation Gladio bomber Vincente Vinciguerra, the reason is simple:

” . . . because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.”

This is because, as Vinciguerra openly acknowledges, it was the institutions of the State itself who were responsible for the Gladio bombings and for hiding the truth of those bombings.

For the State to investigate, prosecute and punish itself for terrorism is of course unimaginable. To do so would be an admission that Western institutions have in fact been for many decades morally and legally bankrupt, and have been operating to systematically murder their own citizens while engaging in a cover-up. Such an admission would validate my contention that the institutions of the West currently lack all moral and legal legitimacy, therefore such an admission cannot occur.

It is clear from this history that what is required to move toward the restoration of any semblance of legitimacy to Western institutions would be the investigation and criminal prosecution on charges of murder, treason and cover-up for all parties, individual and institutional, involved in Operation Gladio. This would need to take place in every country in which it operated in Europe, and would need to also address the organizational and operational support of the CIA.

This is not about some obscure ancient history from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The link between Operation Gladio and present day terrorism is as disturbing as it is clear. Today NATO, multiple Western European governments and the government of the U.S. are suspected by increasing numbers of the world’s citizens of continuing to use false flag terrorism in order to validate their ongoing “war on terror.”

This war is at least in part designed to destroy the remaining secular governments of the Middle East while manipulating the control of petroleum and the resources of the region. In the course of pursuing such policies Western governments and institutions have now maneuvered the entire planet to the brink of nuclear war between the West and Russia. Yet in spite of the danger posed to all of humanity the U.S. continues a publicly stated quest to achieve full spectrum dominance. Given post-WWII history and our current state of affairs Western governments and institutions clearly exist as criminal entities which function outside the rule of all recognized morality and law, domestic and international.

Even the limited amount we know of the history of Operation Gladio should destroy in the mind of any thinking person the utter and complete fantasy that Western leaders would “never harm their own people” to achieve their larger strategic goals. Western elites in fact did so for many decades. They systematically killed their own citizens and they lied about it. There is a great deal of evidence that they continue to do both while hiding behind the mask of false flag terrorism. Our failure to adequately investigate and prosecute Operation Gladio paved the way for our current wave of false flag events used to manipulate Western public perception and behavior in support of endless war in the Middle East.

From the U.S. government’s official account of 9/11, which requires belief in the temporary suspension of the laws of physics in conjunction with the magical suspension of fighter jet intercept protocols, 9/11 can be seen as a logical continuation of Operation Gladio’s “strategy of tension.” 9/11 is

Nato-Terror: Gladio

false flag State terrorism writ large. It is by definition the “big lie.” It makes both the Reichstag fire, and Operation Himmler look like the work of small time amateurs. It is perhaps more than simply ironic that so many former Nazis made their way into U.S. intelligence services after WWII, given the many decades of politically useful false flag events in the West that have followed.

The State kills its own citizens and blames a foreign or domestic enemy. The population looks to the state for protection and surrenders their democratic rights to an ever more militaristic, invasive and repressive State. State power increases along with corporate profits in many sectors of the permanent wartime economy of the U.S. The bewildered populace lives in fear and is psychologically vulnerable to the next false flag terror event which in truth the government, rather than “terrorists,” actually control. In the instance of the 9/11 attacks it is the State itself that is the terrorist entity. The official Islamic enemies exist very simply as Oswald explained his own role, that of the designated “patsy.”

Since we have mentioned Oswald, the puzzle piece that is the JFK assassination, carried out by our deep state, fits quite well alongside the later false flag operations of Operation Gladio and 9/11, as well as intersecting the assassinations of European leaders such as Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme. These assassinations all appear to be activities of the unaccountable deep state institutional structures which exist outside of view, law and morality, and which serve to connect elites in Western Europe and the United States.

One cannot admit this information into one’s consciousness, without reaching the logical conclusion that Western governments and institutions have become quite literally massive criminal enterprises which routinely violate the very laws, international and domestic, they ostensibly exist to enforce. Given this state of affairs, it is rather difficult to view electoral politics as the way forward if justice, meaningful institutional change and a planet not rendered uninhabitable by nuclear war are our goals. Our institutional structures have shown themselves to be irredeemably corrupt.

The recent election cycle in the United States has writ this large into the consciousness of anyone with a pulse. If the two nominees of this past election are the “best candidates” with the “best platforms” the two major political parties can field, it is without doubt an absolutely definitive indictment regarding the deadly gangrenous condition of our electoral charade. Cognitively amoral and behaviorally psychopathic elite policies are hardly a new phenomenon.

For centuries such behavior has typified Western elites regardless of how polished their public personas. Such are the political scoundrels we peasants are graciously allowed to choose between every four years. There does appear to be a silver lining to the recent Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton carnival of the absurd. It would appear that for growing numbers of Americans of all persuasions the ability to continue to believe in the fairy tale that is the U.S. electoral process has finally been shattered beyond repair.

Before closing let us step back for a moment and imagine a world that might have been. A world in which progressive leaders in the U.S. and abroad had not been assassinated or overthrown in favor of fascists; dictators hadn’t been armed, taught torture techniques and supported against the interests of their own people decade after decade; and the CIA prevented rather than facilitated the international drug trade.

Imagine a world in which corporations and oligarchs weren’t allowed to own the mass media and so were not allowed to weaponize the news, reducing it to simplistic pro-war mass culture propaganda, all while buying the services of the political candidates who will support their ongoing war profiteering. Imagine a world that could have been in which the political organizing of the masses wasn’t systematically infiltrated, disrupted and shut down by the institutions of State; Third World nations were allowed to develop independently of Western subversion and control; and the massive amounts of Western taxpayer money spent on war and violence went instead toward the public good. This is the world that has been stolen from humanity by violent unaccountable oligarchic interests ruling through long discredited and massively corrupt Western institutional structures.

The history of Operation Gladio, including the failure of Western institutions to publicize and prosecute its murderous activities, unmasks our elites as capable of “doing literally anything” in their quest for power and domination. However, we are ourselves complicit. A public that can find any legitimacy whatsoever in economic and political institutions that systematically engage in and profit from endless war, while the 8 richest people possess as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire earth’s population, one fears, can make themselves believe literally anything.”

Gary Weglarz recently retired from practice as a clinical social worker. He worked with, and learned from, Alaskan Native peoples who were attempting to heal the damage inflicted by the collective intergenerational trauma of colonization. Currently he is engaged in research and writing regarding the relationship between past mass trauma in Western societies, and the subsequent colonial violence that has characterized Europe and her colonies.

He was actively involved in Central American solidarity efforts throughout the 1990’s, traveling with human rights delegations to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Colombia. He currently lives in France.

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Exposing the Real Deep State – By Tony Cartalucci

 

563234234Many both within and beyond America’s borders labor under the delusion that US policy is determined by the nation’s elected representatives amid a careful balancing act between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. In reality, the inner workings of US policy resemble nothing of the sort.

In reality, an unelected deep state controls the United States, its resources, government, and people. However, the term “deep state” has been overused and intentionally abused, particularly since the election of US President Donald Trump in an effort to continue concealing the real deep state and divert public attention away from what is becoming an increasingly obvious continuity of agenda from one presidency to the next.

Uncovering and understanding the nature of the real deep state is in fact elementary, but essential in understanding the genesis and perpetuation of US policy. It is also essential in formulating solutions aimed at reining in the unwarranted power and influence wielded by this seemingly nebulous entity.

Identifying the Real Deep State is Easy

Despite the myth of “democracy,” real power is held by those who control the essentials of any given state, province, district, or community. Essentials include control over monetary instruments, essential infrastructure such as water, power, communication, and transportation, control over manufacturing, healthcare, and basic public services, as well as more obvious forms of power such as control over police and military forces.

In rare instances, such vital essentials are controlled by decentralized, grassroots organizations – and in these instances deep states are either weak or virtually nonexistent. However, more often than not, this is not the case – at least not yet.

Ordinarily, regardless of apparent, ongoing political processes, those who actually, truly control these essentials often exist well beyond but not out of reach of politics. They include large corporations and financial institutions. Organizations, lobbyists, media platforms, think tanks, and political parties are set up and controlled by these special interests to then project their power and influence into or entirely driving any given political process.

The concept of a “deep state” is not unique to only the US. Virtually every nation and throughout all of human history, regardless of a nation’s alleged political proclivities, has been ruled by wealthy and influential special interests either directly or by proxy.

Ignoring political rhetoric and charades, and focusing on where money, power, and influence truly resides, reveals the real deep state.

Unraveling the “Trump Vs Deep State” Narrative 

A cursory examination of President Trump’s administration reveals that he is but one of many extensions of the real deep state. Allegedly “alternative” Breitbart News mogul Stephen Bannon who functions as President Trump’s chief strategist is in fact a former Goldman Sachs banker. US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, is also a former Goldman Sachs banker. Additionally, he managed funds for alleged “Trump archenemy,” George Soros, and had invested in the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is a long-time ExxonMobil executive, and the list goes on.

If one were to map the flow of US power and influence globally, tracing it back to its source, they would find themselves on Wall Street and in the boardrooms of financial institutions and corporations like Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil. They would also find, leading out from these boardrooms, proxy news platforms like Breitbart News aimed at manipulating, distracting, and preying on the emotions of the American public.

In other words, in reality, the Trump administration, like those of previous presidencies, is the embodiment of the deep state.

However, a narrative has emerged alleging that President Trump is actually at war with a shadowy “deep state” consisting of everything from the US intelligence community to career bureaucrats “resisting” the Trump administration and “its” policies from within the system.

To explain this contrived narrative to the American public, another one of the real deep state’s propaganda functionaries, TIME Magazine, punished an article titled, “President Trump’s Allies Keep Talking About the ‘Deep State.’ What’s That?

In it, it claims:

To allies of Trump in the conservative media and on Capitol Hill, it is an organized resistance within the government, working to subvert his presidency. They blame career bureaucrats, many of whom they see as loyal to former President Barack Obama, for leaking damaging information to the news media.

TIME also cites Freedom House, a US government-funded organization dedicated to regime change worldwide and chaired by the very same special interested centered upon Wall Street – again, the actual, real deep state – in an effort to downplay and dismiss the notion that the United States is actually run by just such an entity.

It claims:

“[The White House] is taking a sexy term that means something very real in an environment in which there has been a lot of violence associated with this term and we’re applying it to stuff that’s pretty normal in terms of a large bureaucracy,” said Schenkaan, the Freedom House project director. “These are state employees and they have been implementing their jobs faithfully for a long time.”

Back in reality, the American public is beginning to suspect in much larger numbers than ever before, that the US government is simply carrying out a singular agenda – regardless of election results and political affiliations – of  a permanent, deeply rooted conglomeration of special interests that transcend political parties, ideologies, presidential terms, as well as both domestic and international law.

The creation of an attractive, provocative, almost irresistible strategy of tension between various functionaries within the real deep state is intentionally designed to draw in and trap political discourse long before it reaches and reveals the true nature of both the real deep state and the solutions required to dismantle it.

America’s Deep State is the World’s Problem 

It is beyond obvious that America’s real deep state represents not only the usurpation of American sovereignty, but also a threat to global peace and stability. The wielding of America’s unwarranted power and influence manifests itself as regional wars, subsequent waves of refugees, socioeconomic exploitation and catastrophe within targeted states and across entire regions, as well as a general global malaise  resulting from a minute handful of special interests abusing and egregiously wasting the planet’s human and natural resources for its own petty, self-serving pursuits.

It is not, then, an American problem, because the consequences of America’s unchecked deep state stretch out across the entire globe.

Confronting this deep state, and all others like it regardless of size and reach, requires a careful transition pursued by lesser states – and more importantly – by modern, decentralized institutions and alternatives driven by individuals.

Confronting the real deep state at the very source of its power – its corporate and financial activities and the profits reaped from billions of people across the planet paying into them – is fundamental.

The effectiveness of doing so is already evident in such realms as information space where decentralized networks of genuine alternative news platforms have countered and overcome the real deep state’s information war capabilities. Adding leverage to this process are competing centers of global power in Eurasia who have created competing media platforms that have further diluted the US deep state’s grip on information.

A similar process – enabled by technology – is unfolding across all aspects of manufacturing and infrastructure. The emergence of aerospace industries across the developing world is beginning to challenge the US-European monopoly over both air and space. Chinese corporations building trains and aircraft – on the largest end of the spectrum – are diluting monopolies enjoyed for decades by corporations like Boeing and Airbus.

On the smaller end of the spectrum, localized manufacturing of simpler goods carried out by individuals or small businesses, both within formal and informal economies and markets, are chipping away at centralized manufacturing and retail monopolies.

Alternative energy such as solar power lends itself well to decentralized power production both for individuals and members of networks known as microgrids. As these microgrids proliferate, energy monopolies will inevitably whither.

And the organic food movement – a mesh network that continues to expand by leaps and bound in both size and capabilities – has challenged and in some instances, entirely replaced centralized agricultural and processing monopolies who also constitute the membership of the US deep state.

Solving the Deep State Problem 

Despite this, the deep state still poses a formidable and dangerous threat to both global and individual peace and prosperity.

The natural human inclination to create alternatives to compete with such a threat – but which simply resemble a mirrored version of the threat – means that a “Chinese” or “Russian” dominated deep state leading any given unipolar global order will simply replace America’s immense deep state and continue carrying on the abuses and destructive role Wall Street and Washington currently fulfill.

Talk of a multipolar world order in which nations balance themselves against one another rather than fall under a single, unipolar order dominated by a single deep state and the handful of interests that constitute it, forms a bridge between today’s current global order and a decentralized, balanced future.

A multipolar world order in which nations are balanced globally, then leads to an internal process of decentralization and balance, all of which is driven by technology and the opportunities in business and sociopolitical pursuits opened up by it which allow each individual to take a more proportional share of a nation’s or community’s resources.

While it may seem counterintiutive for nations like Russia, India, or China, or even smaller players like Iran, Thailand, or Brazil to invest in decentralization, national and local self-sufficiency, and even informal economies, currencies, and markets, by doing so, they help chip away at the current, dominate global deep state which through its media and consumerism still reaches into, threatens, and influences virtually every society on Earth.

Ultimately, sidestepping the crass, unsophisticated but highly provocative and alluring strategy of tension created around the Trump administration and the alleged “deep state” it is supposedly fighting, is essential in identifying and confronting the real deep state that is orchestrating both sides of this charade.

Placing stock in political functionaries of the deep state to solve the deep state problem is beyond futile – it is a rouse intentionally engineered to preserve and perpetuate the deep state. By identifying the true source of the real deep state’s power and influence – the wealth it derives from its corporate-financier monopolies, its control over national and international infrastructure, and its media – we can begin devising practical alternatives to dilute these monopolies and thus the power and influence they grant those who control them.

It requires a period of transition involving both state and individual efforts pursued by all who stand threatened by the deep state – and all those who are threatened by the deep state consist of anyone who resides outside the boardrooms from within which its agenda is devised and implemented.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”   
http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/13/exposing-the-real-deep-state/

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