Prior to any investigation US State Dept accuses Russia and Syria of gassing civilians – By Caitlin Johnstone (Medium) ( SOTT)

Heather Nuaert

Just weeks ago, two firebreathing neoconservative war whores were promoted to the highest echelons of influence within the Trump administration. The new National Security Advisor John Bolton only has one key on his piano, and that key is war. Neoconservative hawk Mike Pompeo was promoted from the head of the notoriously vicious Central Intelligence Agency to Hillary Clinton’s old job as Secretary of State after famously announcing that he was trying to make the CIA “a much more vicious agency.”

Trump supporters talk a lot about the Deep State as though it is something separate from and at odds with the Trump administration. If that was ever the case, it certainly isn’t anymore. Trump might be in a power struggle with certain factions or aspects of the power establishment, but you don’t promote bloodthirsty swamp monsters like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to positions of maximum impact if you’re fighting the Deep State.

Pompeo’s State Department has issued a press release by way of its soulless spokeswoman Heather Nauert about the nonsensical new report that the Syrian government once again decided to kill a bunch of children with poison gas at the least strategically opportune moment imaginable. The press release is riddled with falsehoods and jaw-dropping accusations which cannot possibly be based in fact since they were made mere hours after the allegations surfaced, long before any sort of investigation into them could have even begun, much less been completed.

Let’s go through this press release line by line, from beginning to end:

“We continue to closely follow disturbing reports on April 7 regarding another alleged chemical weapons attack, this time targeting a hospital in Douma, Syria. Reports from a number of contacts and medical personnel on the ground indicate a potentially high number of casualties, including among families hiding in shelters.”

We should note here that the “ground” these sources are “on” is controlled by the Al Qaeda-allied terrorist group Jaysh al-Islam, and the reports we’re seeing sourced by the press are in fact coming from the western-backed and Al Qaeda-affiliated propaganda firm known as the White Helmets and the “pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center“. There’s no reason to believe that there is anyone “on the ground” in Douma willing to make themselves available as a source who is not supportive of jihadist factions and the western empire’s longstanding regime change agenda in Syria.

“These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community.”

If confirmed. That’s an open acknowledgement from the State Department that these reports are unconfirmed, which renders all the accusations which come later in this press release nonsensical.

“Immediate response by the international community” is exactly what Libya got in response to deceitful narratives promulgated by unquestioning media outlets. Now the nation which the west raped, brutalized and left for dead under the pretense of humanitarianism is a humanitarian nightmare, and NATO doesn’t care because the empire got the real job done in 2011.

“The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable. The regime’s history of using chemical weapons against its own people is not in dispute, and in fact nearly one year ago on April 4, 2017, Assad’s forces conducted a sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which killed approximately 100 Syrians.”

The assertion that the “regime’s history of using chemical weapons against its own people is not in dispute” is a brazen lie. The entire other half of the conflict consistently denies it, including Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin personally, and many respected western journalists and scholars remain skeptical of the official NATO narrative for a whole variety of reasons. It is absolutely ridiculous to say everyone agrees that in a region crawling with known terrorist factions who have a known history of chemical weapons attacks, and in a nation long targeted for regime change by the western empire, the only possible explanation for chemical weapons reports is a government which stands nothing to gain and everything to lose by using them.

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately.”

Whoa! Held accountable? Immediately? What happened to “if confirmed”??

“Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons. By shielding its ally Syria, Russia has breached its commitments to the United Nations as a framework guarantor. It has betrayed the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118. Russia’s protection of the Assad regime and failure to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria calls into question its commitment to resolving the overall crisis and to larger non-proliferation priorities.”

Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for an attack with no evidence? Again, mighty big words for a press release about a completely unconfirmed report.

I’ve never seen a convincing explanation as to why Assad would be “targeting” civilians at all. I could see criticizing him for, like America, not taking enough measures to protect civilians from air strike crossfire, but why would he “target” them? Is killing civilians with internationally banned weapons just some bizarre sexual kink of his? One he only discovered in 2011? Nobody has ever given me an answer to this that fits into what I know about motive and human nature.

“The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks.”

Half of this press release about Syria is actually about how awful and evil Russia is, the same nation the western empire has been finding any excuse to escalate tensions with since 2016 in a steadily escalating new cold war. Funny how this is all happening after the spectacular collapse of the “Novichok” narrative the UK was trying to use to unite Europe in aggressions against Russia.

Truth is the first casualty of war. Because of its reliance on psyops, propaganda and narrative shaping, this is especially true of cold war.

And that’s it for that insane State Department press release and all its accusations and demands for an international response. For further reading on the latest regime change Syria narrative being promulgated by the western war machine, check out this brand new article by independent investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley and this one by the always excellent Moon of Alabama. Both explain how this latest allegation fits in with an already highly suspicious pattern and explain how absurd it is to believe what we’re being told to believe. I wrote another article about this a few hours ago as well.

Remember: they wouldn’t be working so hard to manufacture your consent for these strategic power grabs if they didn’t need your consent. Refuse to be bullied and manipulated into handing it over to them.

Comment: See also:

Remember, Jaish al-Islam is the group that put Syrian civilians in cages on rooftops to act as human shields in order to discourage air strikes in East Ghouta. (Why would they even have bothered if Assad targets his own civilians?) Their leader praises Osama Bin Laden. Chemical weapons labs have been discovered in the liberated portions of East Ghouta. The terrorists have means, motive and opportunity, but idiots like Trump blame “Animal Assad”. Give us a break. Donate your brain to science, because it’s obvious you don’t need it.

The Russian military, via the head of the Reconciliation Center in Syria, refuted the reports of the alleged attack, saying:

“We declare our readiness, after Douma is liberated from the militants, to immediately send Russian radiation, chemical and biological protection specialists to collect data that will confirm the fabricated nature of these allegations,” he stated.

Yevtushenko said that “a number of Western countries” are trying to prevent the resumption of an operation aimed at driving militants from the city of Douma.

“For this purpose, the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces – one of the most widespread claims in the West – is being used,” he added.

Even the propaganda source SOHR has refused to confirm the attack, “and said casualties might have been a result of fire and toxic smoke following a conventional airstrike.”

Thus Reuters, while admitting it “could not independently verify reports of a chemical attack,” sought a comment from another obscure organization, the Syrian American Medical Society. A US-based SAMS representative claimed that, while a “chlorine bomb hit Douma hospital,” another nearby building was targeted by a barrel-bomb containing a mix that included “nerve agents.”

And how would they know? Ahh, it must be their jihadist chemical weapons experts on the ground in Douma. Of course!

Even Turkey has jumped on the bandwagon, saying they have “strong suspicions” Damascus is behind the alleged attack.

This is the background on what has actually been happening in Douma: the terrorists are desperate:

The situation in Douma escalated after Jaysh al-Islam militants breached all agreements, shelling Damascus and terrorizing civilians to derail evacuations, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria said in its daily report, issued before the claims of a chemical attack emerged.

“The Jaysh al-Islam militants carried out a number of attacks against the SAA [Syrian Armed Forces] positions and conducted mortar and missile shelling against Damascus,” the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria said Saturday. “Over the last 48 hours, militants fired 25 mines and rocket projectiles at the capital and its suburbs. As a result, seven civilians were killed and 42 people injured. Shelling attacks are intensifying.”

Terrorists also continue to use civilians as human shields, the MoD noted, adding that militants are “publicly executing civilians” who support the withdrawal of militants from Douma.

“Jaysh al-Islam terrorists breached [the] Douma agreement by attacking with mortar and rocket shells several residential areas of Damascus, claiming lives and injuring dozens of civilians, including women and children,” Sana meanwhile reported.

The U.S. is “reviewing its options” – which is ridiculous given that they don’t have a freaking clue what has even happened yet:

The EU claimed on Sunday that there is “evidence” pointing to “another chemical attack” conducted by Damascus. It provided no specific details to substantiate the claim. Instead, the bloc called for an immediate “international response” and urged Russia and Iran to use their influence to prevent any similar incidents in future.

Damascus rejected the accusations, calling them “boring and inconclusive propaganda.” Only countries that “speculate on the blood of civilians and support terrorism in Syria” could be convinced by such reports, a Syrian Foreign Ministry official told SANA news agency. They pointed out that similar allegations emerge every time the Syrian Army makes advances in its fight against terrorists. The official added that Damascus had warned about a pre-planned false-flag attack.

Assad, once again, is the sane one. The Russian Foreign Ministry too:

The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports about a chemical attack that allegedly affected dozens of civilians in the militant-controlled town of Douma. It said the reports were another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

“The goal of this… baseless speculation is to shield the terrorists and… the radical opposition that refuse to engage in a political settlement [process], as well as to justify potential military strikes from the outside,” the statement said. It then warned that any military interference in Syria conducted under “far-fetched or fabricated pretexts” would be “absolutely unacceptable” and could lead to “dire consequences.”

The Russian and Syrian air forces are on red alert after Trump’s idiotic tweets.

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.

 

See Also:

The End of Empire – It’s Coming – By Chris Hedges

The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.

Chris Hedges Subscribe to 18015

8 hours ago

|

The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements.

Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding.

Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.

The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.

Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two.The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states.

Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoywrites in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” by “a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg” that will “forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.”

Under every measurement, from financial growth and infrastructure investment to advanced technology, including supercomputers, space weaponry and cyberwarfare, we are being rapidly overtaken by the Chinese. “In April 2015 the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggested that the American economy would grow by nearly 50 percent over the next 15 years, while China’s would triple and come close to surpassing America’s in 2030,” McCoy noted.

China became the world’s second largest economy in 2010, the same year it became the world’s leading manufacturing nation, pushing aside a United States that had dominated the world’s manufacturing for a century.

The Department of Defense issued a sober report titled “At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World.” It found that the U.S. military “no longer enjoys an unassailable position versus state competitors,” and “it no longer can … automatically generate consistent and sustained local military superiority at range.” McCoy predicts the collapse will come by 2030.

Empires in decay embrace an almost willful suicide. Blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. They replace diplomacy, multilateralism and politics with unilateral threats and the blunt instrument of war.

This collective self-delusion saw the United States make the greatest strategic blunder in its history, one that sounded the death knell of the empire—the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The architects of the war in the George W. Bush White House, and the array of useful idiots in the press and academia who were cheerleaders for it, knew very little about the countries being invaded, were stunningly naive about the effects of industrial warfare and were blindsided by the ferocious blowback.

They stated, and probably believed, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, although they had no valid evidence to support this claim. They insisted that democracy would be implanted in Baghdad and spread across the Middle East. They assured the public that U.S. troops would be greeted by grateful Iraqis and Afghans as liberators. They promised that oil revenues would cover the cost of reconstruction.

They insisted that the bold and quick military strike—“shock and awe”—would restore American hegemony in the region and dominance in the world. It did the opposite. As Zbigniew Brzezinskinoted, this “unilateral war of choice against Iraq precipitated a widespread delegitimation of U.S. foreign policy.”

 

Historians of empire call these military fiascos, a feature of all late empires, examples of “micro-militarism.” The Athenians engaged in micro-militarism when during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) they invaded Sicily, suffering the loss of 200 ships and thousands of soldiers and triggering revolts throughout the empire.Britain did so in 1956 when it attacked Egypt in a dispute over the nationalization of the Suez Canal and then quickly had to withdraw in humiliation, empowering a string of Arab nationalist leaders such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and dooming British rule over the nation’s few remaining colonies. Neither of these empires recovered.

“While rising empires are often judicious, even rational in their application of armed force for conquest and control of overseas dominions, fading empires are inclined to ill-considered displays of power, dreaming of bold military masterstrokes that would somehow recoup lost prestige and power,” McCoy writes. “Often irrational even from an imperial point of view, these micromilitary operations can yield hemorrhaging expenditures or humiliating defeats that only accelerate the process already under way.”

Empires need more than force to dominate other nations. They need a mystique. This mystique—a mask for imperial plunder, repression and exploitation—seduces some native elites, who become willing to do the bidding of the imperial power or at least remain passive. And it provides a patina of civility and even nobility to justify to those at home the costs in blood and money needed to maintain empire.

The parliamentary system of government that Britain replicated in appearance in the colonies, and the introduction of British sports such as polo, cricket and horse racing, along with elaborately uniformed viceroys and the pageantry of royalty, were buttressed by what the colonialists said was the invincibility of their navy and army. England was able to hold its empire together from 1815 to 1914 before being forced into a steady retreat.

 

America’s high-blown rhetoric about democracy, liberty and equality, along with basketball, baseball and Hollywood, as well as our own deification of the military, entranced and cowed much of the globe in the wake of World War II. Behind the scenes, of course, the CIA used its bag of dirty tricks to orchestrate coups, fix elections and carry out assassinations, black propaganda campaigns, bribery, blackmail, intimidation and torture. But none of this works anymore.The loss of the mystique is crippling. It makes it hard to find pliant surrogates to administer the empire, as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photographs of physical abuse and sexual humiliation imposed on Arab prisoners at Abu Ghraib inflamed the Muslim world and fed al-Qaida and later Islamic State with new recruits.

The assassination of Osama bin Laden and a host of other jihadist leaders, including the U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, openly mocked the concept of the rule of law. The hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of refugees fleeing our debacles in the Middle East, along with the near-constant threat from militarized aerial drones, exposed us as state terrorists.

We have exercised in the Middle East the U.S. military’s penchant for widespread atrocities, indiscriminate violence, lies and blundering miscalculations, actions that led to our defeat in Vietnam.

The brutality abroad is matched by a growing brutality at home. Militarized police gun down mostly unarmed, poor people of color and fill a system of penitentiaries and jails that hold a staggering 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although Americans represent only 5 percent of global population.

Many of our cities are in ruins. Our public transportation system is a shambles. Our educational system is in steep decline and being privatized. Opioid addiction, suicide, mass shootings, depression and morbid obesity plague a population that has fallen into profound despair.The deep disillusionment and anger that led to Donald Trump’s election—a reaction to the corporate coup d’état and the poverty afflicting at least half of the country—have destroyed the myth of a functioning democracy.

Presidential tweets and rhetoric celebrate hate, racism and bigotry and taunt the weak and the vulnerable. The president in an address before the United Nations threatened to obliterate another nation in an act of genocide.

We are worldwide objects of ridicule and hatred. The foreboding for the future is expressed in the rash of dystopian films, motion pictures that no longer perpetuate American virtue and exceptionalism or the myth of human progress.

“The demise of the United States as the preeminent global power could come far more quickly than anyone imagines,” McCoy writes. “Despite the aura of omnipotence empires often project, most are surprisingly fragile, lacking the inherent strength of even a modest nation-state.

Indeed, a glance at their history should remind us that the greatest of them are susceptible to collapse from diverse causes, with fiscal pressures usually a prime factor.

For the better part of two centuries, the security and prosperity of the homeland has been the main objective for most stable states, making foreign or imperial adventures an expendable option, usually allocated no more than 5 percent of the domestic budget.

Without the financing that arises almost organically inside a sovereign nation, empires are famously predatory in their relentless hunt for plunder or profit—witness the Atlantic slave trade, Belgium’s rubber lust in the Congo, British India’s opium commerce, the Third Reich’s rape of Europe, or the Soviet exploitation of Eastern Europe.”

When revenues shrink or collapse, McCoy points out, “empires become brittle.”

“So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly wrong, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, eleven years for the Ottomans, seventeen for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, just twenty-seven years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003 [when the U.S. invaded Iraq],” he writes.

Many of the estimated 69 empires that have existed throughout history lacked competent leadership in their decline, having ceded power to monstrosities such as the Roman emperors Caligula and Nero. In the United States, the reins of authority may be in the grasp of the first in a line of depraved demagogues.

“For the majority of Americans, the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading international competitiveness,” McCoy writes.

The loss of the dollar as the global reserve currency will see the U.S. unable to pay for its huge deficits by selling Treasury bonds, which will be drastically devalued at that point. There will be a massive rise in the cost of imports. Unemployment will explode. Domestic clashes over what McCoy calls “insubstantial issues” will fuel a dangerous hypernationalism that could morph into an American fascism.

A discredited elite, suspicious and even paranoid in an age of decline, will see enemies everywhere. The array of instruments created for global dominance—wholesale surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties, sophisticated torture techniques, militarized police, the massive prison system, the thousands of militarized drones and satellites—will be employed in the homeland. The empire will collapse and the nation will consume itself within our lifetimes if we do not wrest power from those who rule the corporate state.


 

  • Daily Headlines
  • Weekly Kremlin Koolaid
  • The Week’s Top 10 Articles
  • Breaking News Alerts

 

Related articles

Congressman Rohrabacher Pushes to End Russia-Gate

13 Countries Where John McCain Has Demanded War – A Trip Down Memory Lane

 

"North Korean aggression"

Can We Stop Pretending North Korea Is a Threat to World Peace?

 

Perhaps the only successful US military conquest in the last 20 years

The Party’s Over: America’s Post-Soviet Power Trip Is Coming to an End

Eliminating remaining ISIS groups next goal in Eastern Syria – by Moon of Alabama

Eastern Syria oil fields

The last Syria Summary was headlined A New Clash Looms in Syria’s East. It stated:

Critical oil fields are north and east of Mayadin. The Omar oil field in the east is the biggest one in all Syria. The U.S. wants these under its control to finance its Kurdish and Arab proxies in north-east Syria. The Syrian government needs the oil to rebuild the country. Should the U.S. supported forces try to annex the area we will likely see a direct conflict between them and the Syrian government forces. Would the U.S. and Russia join that fight?

Yesterday a first clash of forces occurred. Syrian government and Russian special forces (red) have crossed the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to reconnaissance the area for their next large operation. A crossing in force towards the north of Euphrates and east of Deir Ezzor is expected during the next few days. The Russian military had informed the U.S. of its area of operation. Despite that, formerly ISIS aligned tribal forces, now paid by the U.S. under the label SDF, tried to extend their areas north of Deir Ezzor (blue). A “warning shot” was delivered to them in form of a small air attack. Several “SDF” were wounded, the U.S. special forces accompanying and commanding them were not harmed.

The Russia military is asking who, really, those forces are:

“Over the past few days, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Russian control and reconnaissance facilities have not identified a single combat of Islamic State terrorists with armed representatives of any ‘third force.’ Therefore, only representatives of the international coalition can answer the question as to how ‘opposition members’ or ‘military advisers of the international coalition’ managed to get to the IS-held areas in the eastern part of Deir ez-Zor without striking a blow.”

Our last summary noted that these new U.S. proxies Brett McGurk had hired, the ‘third force’ in the Russian statement, allegedly progressed some 30 kilometers into ISIS country without firing a shot. These forces are evidently ISIS fighters now under a new banner and with U.S. special forces directing them.

South of the river the Syrian government forces consolidate their positions around the two-thirds of Deir Ezzor city now under their control. To avoid unnecessary casualties and damage they push the Islamic State fighters out of the up-build areas instead of immediately surrounding and besieging them. They will be easier to eliminate in the more rural areas still left to them. The campaign south of the Euphrates will continue along the river towards ISIS held areas in the west and east.

A second group of Syrian government forces is coming up from the Jordan-Iraq-Syria border triangle and is progressing along the Syrian Iraqi border towards al-Buqamal/Qaim at the Euphrates. An Iraqi force is working in parallel with them on the Iraqi side of the border.

During the next months three Syrian government forces are likely to meet where the Euphrates crosses into Iraq. One group is now moving north along the Syrian-Iraqi border, one coming from Deir Ezzor on the south side of the river and the one that will soon establish itself north of the Euphrates to move towards the oil-fields further east. Iraqi forces are expected to mirror those moves on their side of the border. In the end of the operations no area in Syria and Iraq will be left under control of the ISIS organization. (Isolated ISIS holdouts east of Homs as well as in Iraq are under siege and will soon be cleared.)

There is no more need for any U.S. intervention to achieve the total defeat of the Islamic State. While the U.S. president had declared that his country has no further interest in Syria but the defeat of ISIS, other forces within the U.S. ruling structure have likely different ideas. We can expect some operations, by “independent” U.S. proxy forces or by “accidental” bombing, to hinder the Syrian and Iraqi government plans.

In the north-west of Syria al-Qaeda is still in control of Idleb governate. Syria, Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed last week to pacify the area by force. Each of them will take control of a “deescalation zone” within Idelb. The announcement of the agreement lacked all details. It is yet unknown who’s force will take what part of Idleb and how the coordination of the project will proceed. Leaks of various map outlining designated areas of control are of Turkish origin and unlikely to reflect the real agreed upon lines.

Former high ranking CIA agent gives a break down on what the US deep state and shadow government is comprised of – Aaron Kesel

A CIA whistleblower, Kevin Shipp, has emerged from the wolves den to expose the deep state and the shadow government which he calls two entirely separate entities.

“The shadow government controls the deep state and manipulates our elected government behind the scenes,” Shipp warned in a recent talk at a Geoengineeringwatch.org conference.

Shipp had a series of slides explaining how the deep state and shadow government functions as well as the horrific crimes they are committing against U.S. citizens.

Some of the revelations the former CIA anti-terrorism counter intelligence officer revealed included that “Google Earth was set up through the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and InQtel.” Indeed he is correct, the CIA and NGA owned the company Google acquired, Keyhole Inc., paying an undisclosed sum for the company to turn its tech into what we now know as Google Earth. Another curious investor in Keyhole Inc. was none other than the venture capital firm In-Q-Tel run by the CIA according to a press release at the time.

Shipp also disclosed that the agency known as the Joint Special Ops Command (JSOC) is the “president’s secret army” which he can use for secret assassinations, overturning governments and things the American people don’t know about.

FBI warrantless searches violate the Fourth Amendment with national security letters, which Shipp noted enables them to walk into your employer’s office and demand all your financial records and if he or she says anything about them being there they can put your supervisor in jail or drop a case against themselves using the “State’s Secret Privilege law.”

“The top of the shadow government is the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency,” Shipp said.

Shipp expressed that the CIA was created through the Council on Foreign relations with no congressional approval, and historically the CFR is also tied into the mainstream media (MSM.) He elaborated that the CIA was the “central node” of the shadow government and controlled all of other 16 intelligence agencies despite the existence of the DNI. The agency also controls defense and intelligence contractors, can manipulate the president and political decisions, has the power to start wars, torture, initiate coups, and commit false flag attacks he said.

As Shipp stated, the CIA was created through executive order by then President Harry Truman by the signing of the National Security Act of 1947.

According to Shipp, the deep state is comprised of the military industrial complex, intelligence contractors, defense contractors, MIC lobbyist, Wall St (offshore accounts), Federal Reserve, IMF/World Bank, Treasury, Foreign lobbyists, and Central Banks.

In the shocking, explosive presentation, Shipp went on to express that there are “over 10,000 secret sites in the U.S.” that formed after 9/11. There are “1,291 secret government agencies, 1,931 large private corporations and over 4,800,000 Americans that he knows of who have a secrecy clearance, and 854,000 who have Top Secret clearance, explaining they signed their lives away bound by an agreement.

Comment: Incredibly large numbers of those involved in pulling the black strings – if true.

He also detailed how Congress is owned by the Military Industrial Complex through the Congressional Armed Services Committee (48 senior members of Congress) giving those members money in return for a vote on the spending bill for the military and intelligence budget.

He even touched on what he called the “secret intelligence industrial complex,” which he called the center of the shadow government including the CIA, NSA, NRO, and NGA.

Shipp further stated that around the “secret intelligence industrial complex” you have the big five conglomerate of intelligence contractors – Leidos Holdings, CSRA, CACI, SAIC, and Booz Allen Hamilton. He noted that the work they do is “top secret and unreported.”

The whistleblower remarked that these intelligence contractors are accountable to no one including Congress, echoing the words of Senator Daniel Inouye when he himself blew the whistle on the shadow government during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987.

At the time Inouye expressed that the “shadow government had its own funding mechanism, shadowy Navy, and Air Force freedom to pursue its own goals free from all checks and balances and free from the law itself.”

Shipp further added that the shadow government and elected government were in the midst of a visible cold war.

So who is Shipp and is he credible as a whistleblower, does he have credentials for the CIA? Aim.org wrote:

Shipp held several high-level positions in the CIA. He was assigned as a protective agent for the Director of Central Intelligence, a counterintelligence investigator, a Counter Terrorism Center officer, a team leader protecting sensitive CIA assets from assassination, a manager of high-risk protective operations, a lead instructor for members of allied governments, an internal staff security investigator, and a polygraph examiner. He was tasked with protecting the CIA from foreign agent penetration and the chief of training for the CIA federal police force. Mr. Shipp functioned as program manager for the Department of State, Diplomatic Security, and Anti Terrorism Assistance global police training program. He is the recipient of two CIA Meritorious Unit Citations, three Exceptional Performance Awards and a Medallion for overseas covert operations. He is the author of From the Company of Shadows-CIA Operations and the War on Terrorism.

Shipp noted he was working with former NSA whistleblower William Binney but didn’t state what the two were working on together. Shipp is highly credible and may just be the highest level whistleblower. This leak is huge. He has been previously mentioned in the New York Times for blowing the whistle on the mistreatment of him and his family when they were put in a mold-contaminated home. He is also mentioned in a WikiLeaks cable during the GiFiles that I was able to dig up. Is this the beginning of whistleblowers coming forward to end the shadow government and deep state? You can watch Shipp’s full explosive presentation below.

Comment: For all of the interesting ‘leaking’ that Shipp has done, one may find the following comment on his Amazon book page interesting too:

This book reiterates the official lies of 9-11.

ByJimon September 6, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

This book reiterates the official lies of 9-11. If that is not what you want to read don’t waste your money and time.

Any high ranking intelligence officer of the CIA that’s worth his salt would probably not spread the lies about 911, unless he had a very strategic reason for getting some other information out there.

James Corbett: Our Leaders Are Psychopaths – An Introduction to Political Ponerology (VIDEO) – By JAMES CORBETT

They walk among us. On the outside. they’re just like you and me, but on the inside they are unfeeling automatons who care only for themselves. They are the psychopaths, and they are in control of our governments, our corporations, our military and all of the positions of power. Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we delve into Political Ponerology, a diagnosis of our politicians and a brief look at the bigger picture.

NOTE: This is a visualization of Episode 090 of The Corbett Report podcast, first released on June 14, 2009.


Comment: Political Ponerology is a seminal book that describes what is quite probably THE great problem of our time.

Syria lashes out at US: ‘The insane ones are capable of doing anything’ – By Al Mayadeen – translated by Samer Hussein

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, affirmed that Damascus has never ever prevented the experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to check any sites in Syria, adding that Syria officially asked the OPCW to help it destroy its entire stock of chemical weapons.

“On behalf of my country, I would like to state that Syria got rid of its entire stock of chemical weapons”, Mekdad was heard saying at the conference, dedicated to the recent developments on the ground in Syria.

“There is no moral, legal or political justification of the illegal US strikes on Syria, however, we have to take into account that insane ones are capable of doing anything”, said Mekdad, adding the main goal of the US attacks on Syria was to prevent the Syrian Army from achieving its victory against the threat of terrorism, stressing that Washington and its lapdogs made huge “investments” in terrorism and deliberately attacked Syria only to hold back the progress of its army.

He also pointed out that US President Donald Trump’s desire is to re-demonstrate the ability of the United States as a country that can use its force anywhere, noting the US administration wants to retain a certain role in Syria, despite the progress of the Syrian Army, while also stressing that reprehensible actions of US benefit the terrorists directly.

Mekdad did not forget to lash out against the conspiracies of the Arab regimes, stressing it has become known that they are supporting and harboring the terrorist groups.

Regarding the Khan Sheikhoun incident, Mekdad said the new OPCW report is highly unreliable, given the fact its data is based on samples from highly questionable sources, noting that the OPCW experts themselves have never ever made it to Khan Sheikhoun, nor any other place in Syria, despite they were previously asked to do so by the Syrian authorities.

He also said the United States blocked a mission of experts that were supposed to go check out the Shayrat military airport. It is noteworthy that the Trump administration keeps accusing the Syrian government of stocking chemical weapons at particular airport, in addition to making frequent claims that military jets, who assaulted Khan Sheikhoun, took off from there.

Before finishing his speech, Mekdad reminded that people of Khan Sheikhoun confirmed that there was no shelling on the day when the alleged chemical attack supposedly took place, adding that terrorists, who indeed possess prohibited chemicals, forged all the evidence, noting that Damascus does not stock chemical weapons or toxic gases for military purposes.

Syrian Arab Army on brink of total victory in central Syria – Alexander Mercouris

Syrian offensive in key As-Safira district encircles ISIS fighters, securing communications from western Syria to Aleppo and Rusafa, and bringing large areas of central Syria under Syrian government control.

Unreported by the Western media, the situation in the Syrian war continues to shift decisively in the Syrian government’s favor, and continues moreover to do so at a blistering rate.

Following the Syrian army’s recent capture of the strategically important town of Rusafa in northern Syria, the Syrian army has launched a major offensive further south against ISIS fighters occupying the key As-Safira district in Aleppo province around the town of Khanasir. ISIS fighters occupying this district – the last area of Aleppo province still held by ISIS – have been resisting fiercely, but Al-Masdar reports that they are now totally encircled by the Syrian army.

The Syrian army offensive in As-Safira district is led by the Desert Hawks Brigade, a unit which originally began as a volunteer militia unit formed by Syrian army veterans to support the Syrian government in the war, but which has acquired a formidable reputation as a fighting unit, and which is now fully integrated in the Syrian army. It seems that the Brigade has been thoroughly retrained and re-equipped by the Russians over the last few months, and that along with other advanced equipment it now possesses a number of advanced T90 tanks, which have proved highly resistance to the US made TOW anti tank missiles possessed by ISIS fighters in large quantities.

The destruction of the ISIS force in As-Safira will have three important consequences for the Syrian army:

(1) Already according to Al-Masdar the Tiger Forces – a different elite unit of the Syrian army which spearheaded the offensive on Rusafa – has fully cleared the Ethriyah-Rusafa highway in a separate movement from the north. This move has not only trapped the ISIS fighters holding out in the As-Safira district, but it has opened a direct and much faster line of communications between the Syrian army’s forward positions in Rusafa and its main bases in western Syria. This is how Al-Masdar explains it:

….this most recent accomplishment by the SAA has a second strategic benefit in the form of a new, and more direct, line of communication that has now been opened to pro-government forces stationed in the area of Rusafa (south of Tabaqah); the original supply line to this area was exceptionally longer, running from Ethriyah, to Aleppo, to Deir Hafer, to Maskanah, and then finally to Rusafa. The new line of supply runs directly to Rusafa via Ethriyah, shaving many precious hours off the original logistical haul. The capture of this stretch of critical highway will increase the sustainability of any future operations that the SAA may undertake to strike at Deir Ezzor from the northern direction.

(2) It enhances the security of the city of Aleppo. ISIS fighters based in the As-Safira district have regularly acted to cut the main road links from southern Syria to Aleppo, with the Syrian army repeatedly forced to deploy large numbers of troops to repel these attacks and to keep the roads open. Capture of the As-Safira district will finally end this threat, further securing the Syrian government’s hold on Aleppo.

(3) Capture of the As-Safira district will end the existence of a dangerous ISIS/Jihadi controlled salient, enabling the Syrian army not only bringing more territory under the Syrian government’s control and enabling the Syrian army to advance further eastward, but almost making it possible for the Syrian army to shorten significantly the length of its front lines.

In the meantime, as the Syrian army continues to strengthen its position in northern and central Syria, reports have been circulating that the US is now considering withdrawing from the base it has illegally established in the south of Syria on the Iraqi border in Al-Tanf.

These reports have not been officially confirmed. However a US decision to withdraw from Al-Tanf makes sense given that the value of this base has been completely negated by the Syrian army’s advance to the Iraqi border.

If these reports are true then the US withdrawal from Al-Tanf will also inevitably result in a large block of territory in southern Syria along the Iraqi and Jordanian border falling under the Syrian government’s control. Here is how the Moon of Alabama – which discusses the reports of the US withdrawal from Al-Tanf extensively – explains it all:

About 150 or so U.S. trained Arab fighters will be flown from al-Tanf to north-east Syria where they will join the (hated) Kurdish forces. They may later try to reach the ISIS besieged Deir Ezzor from the north or get pushed into some suicide mission against another ISIS position. The Syrian army will approach and liberate Deir Ezzor most likely from the south and east. It is unlikely that it will let U.S. proxy forces take part in that. The U.S. contingent will move west out of al-Tanf and back into Jordan. The Syrian and Iraqi forces will take over the Al Waleed border crossing at al-Tanf and the regular commercial traffic on the Damascus-Baghdad road will resume.

The various propagandists who argued for a big U.S. mission to occupy the whole Iraqi-Syrian border and all of east Syria have lost. The “Shia crescent” between Iran and Lebanon they claimed to prevent with such a move was never a physical road connection and certainly nothing the U.S could fight by any physical means. Their pushing for a U.S. occupation of east Syria and incitement of a larger conflict has for now failed.

To which I would only add that if the US pulls out of Al-Tanf and the belt of territory in southern Syria that it and its ‘Free Syrian army’ proxies have occupied, then the areas still under Jihadi control in southern Syria including in the Damascus countryside will be reduced to a few isolated pockets. Even though some of these are supposed to be covered by one of the ‘de-confliction areas’, realistically they would no longer be viable or sustainable, and their collapse would only be a matter of time.

Most probably – in the way that is now traditional in the Syrian war – their surrender to the Syrian authorities would be rapidly negotiated, with the remaining Jihadi fighters still present in these pockets driven by secure convoy to what will soon be the last remaining non ISIS controlled Jihadi refuge in Syria, which is Syria’s Idlib province.

Several commentators noted President Assad’s visibly high spirits during his recent visit to Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province. With the war going decisively and rapidly in his favor, he has every reason to be happy.

Comment: For more updates on Syria, watch the South Front video:

Former Clinton Foundation Donors Flocking To The McCain Institute – By Whitney Webb

In years past, the Clinton Foundation enjoyed significant donations from individuals and countries that sought to purchase influence in Washington. But now, the McCain Institute is their new darling, having received large sums from the likes of George Soros and Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., greets Saudi Arabia's King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON, D.C.– With the Clinton Foundation standing at the heart of the many scandals that dogged Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, it was no small wonder that donations to her family’s controversial charity began to dry up soon after her loss last November. Just weeks after the election, donations to the foundation from foreign governments plummeted, some as much as 87 percent, while donations from the corporate sector dropped by 37 percent.

While this was clearly devastating news for the Clintons – essentially signaling a drastic decline in their political clout – it has now become clear that the foundation of another former U.S. presidential candidate has gained the favor of many of the Clinton Foundation’s former donors. Republican Senator John McCain (R-AZ), current chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, has seen donations to the McCain Institute surge, particularly donations from ostensibly “liberal” donors such as George Soros and other long-time Clinton backers.

The McCain Institute is meant to serve as the senator’s “legacy” upon his eventual retirement and claims to be “dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy, and freedom.” Like the Clinton Foundation, the McCain Institute is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation with approximately $8.1 million in assets.


However, the McCain Institute’s donor list has raised eyebrows among conservative groups due to its uncanny similarity to that of the Clinton Foundation. Among its donors are the neoliberal billionaire and “activist” George Soros, Evelyn and Lynn de Rothschild, and the for-profit company Teneo. Teneo was co-founded by Doug Band, a longtime associate of the Clinton family and counselor to former President Bill Clinton, as well as an instrumental force in the creation of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).In addition to these individuals, many of the same foreign governments that were known to donate massive sums to the Clintons have also bestowed their favor on the McCain Institute. For instance, Saudi Arabia, a nation that funded 20 percent of Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, made a $1 million donation to the McCain Institute, a donation that the both foundation and the senator himself have refused to explain.

Watch John McCain shut down a reporter who asked about the Saudis’ $1 million donation to the McCain Institute:

Foreign governments are forbidden from donating to U.S. politicians and often donate to non-profits in order to gain privileged access to America’s most powerful lawmakers, an arrangement often called “pay-to-play.” For instance, the Clinton Foundation received between $10 and $25 million from the Saudi monarchy, with between $1 and $5 million more originating from the group “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” which was co-founded by a “Saudi prince.”


Related: Wikileaks Founder Targets Clinton’s Saudi Connection In Scathing Interview


The McCain Institute has also accepted more than $100,000 from the OCP Group, a Moroccan state-run phosphate fertilizer company that operates in territory that it has illegally occupied since 1975. Morocco has been criticized by human rights groups who argue that the Moroccan government consistently violates basic human rights and that its state-owned companies subject their workers to gruesome conditions while exploiting the disputed territory’s natural resources.

The King of Morocco, not so coincidentally, was himself a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton personally received a $12 million check from the king in return for holding a CGI regional meeting in the country.

Critics of the McCain Institute have repeatedly pointed out the conflict of interest for the Republican senator while also noting the institute’s similarities to the Clinton Foundation.“This is a very real conflict of interest,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, told the Daily Caller. “This is the similar type of pattern we received with the Clinton Foundation in which foreign governments and foreign interests were throwing a lot of money in the hopes of trying to buy influence.”

Concerns have also been voiced regarding the role of the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive “Sedona Forum,” which critics say is remarkably similar to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in that it hosts an annual gathering of special interests and powerful political figures, resulting in the alleged creation of pay-to-play schemes.

While McCain’s coherence may be fading, his political power in Washington still stands, meaning that the McCain Institute will likely continue to attract the attention and funds of powerful special interests and foreign governments.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.– With the Clinton Foundation standing at the heart of the many scandals that dogged Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, it was no small wonder that donations to her family’s controversial charity began to dry up soon after her loss last November. Just weeks after the election, donations to the foundation from foreign governments plummeted, some as much as 87 percent, while donations from the corporate sector dropped by 37 percent.

While this was clearly devastating news for the Clintons – essentially signaling a drastic decline in their political clout – it has now become clear that the foundation of another former U.S. presidential candidate has gained the favor of many of the Clinton Foundation’s former donors. Republican Senator John McCain (R-AZ), current chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, has seen donations to the McCain Institute surge, particularly donations from ostensibly “liberal” donors such as George Soros and other long-time Clinton backers.

The McCain Institute is meant to serve as the senator’s “legacy” upon his eventual retirement and claims to be “dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy, and freedom.” Like the Clinton Foundation, the McCain Institute is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation with approximately $8.1 million in assets.



However, the McCain Institute’s donor list has raised eyebrows among conservative groups due to its uncanny similarity to that of the Clinton Foundation. Among its donors are the neoliberal billionaire and “activist” George Soros, Evelyn and Lynn de Rothschild, and the for-profit company Teneo. Teneo was co-founded by Doug Band, a longtime associate of the Clinton family and counselor to former President Bill Clinton, as well as an instrumental force in the creation of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

In addition to these individuals, many of the same foreign governments that were known to donate massive sums to the Clintons have also bestowed their favor on the McCain Institute. For instance, Saudi Arabia, a nation that funded 20 percent of Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, made a $1 million donation to the McCain Institute, a donation that the both foundation and the senator himself have refused to explain.

Watch John McCain shut down a reporter who asked about the Saudis’ $1 million donation to the McCain Institute:

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/QzLErES1HWA?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0

Foreign governments are forbidden from donating to U.S. politicians and often donate to non-profits in order to gain privileged access to America’s most powerful lawmakers, an arrangement often called “pay-to-play.” For instance, the Clinton Foundation received between $10 and $25 million from the Saudi monarchy, with between $1 and $5 million more originating from the group “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” which was co-founded by a “Saudi prince.”


Related: Wikileaks Founder Targets Clinton’s Saudi Connection In Scathing Interview


The McCain Institute has also accepted more than $100,000 from the OCP Group, a Moroccan state-run phosphate fertilizer company that operates in territory that it has illegally occupied since 1975. Morocco has been criticized by human rights groups who argue that the Moroccan government consistently violates basic human rights and that its state-owned companies subject their workers to gruesome conditions while exploiting the disputed territory’s natural resources.

The King of Morocco, not so coincidentally, was himself a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton personally received a $12 million check from the king in return for holding a CGI regional meeting in the country.

Critics of the McCain Institute have repeatedly pointed out the conflict of interest for the Republican senator while also noting the institute’s similarities to the Clinton Foundation.“This is a very real conflict of interest,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, told the Daily Caller. “This is the similar type of pattern we received with the Clinton Foundation in which foreign governments and foreign interests were throwing a lot of money in the hopes of trying to buy influence.”

Concerns have also been voiced regarding the role of the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive “Sedona Forum,” which critics say is remarkably similar to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in that it hosts an annual gathering of special interests and powerful political figures, resulting in the alleged creation of pay-to-play schemes.

While McCain’s coherence may be fading, his political power in Washington still stands, meaning that the McCain Institute will likely continue to attract the attention and funds of powerful special interests and foreign governments.

Print This Story

 

 
%d bloggers like this: