The Empire Strikes Back? Reply

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It is fascinating to observe the kind of paranoia that is now being disseminated by the Western elites in the face of the rising though very modest challenges that are now being presented by the BRICS-Shia-Global South alliance in international relations, and by left/right populist tendencies within Western nations. It seems the neoliberal ruling classes are working to invent a New Cold War. They tried once before with the “War on Terrorism.” But nobody outside the realm of FOX News junkies was buying that. So they came up with an enemy that wine and cheese liberals and “progressive activists” could hate as well, with Russia as the supposed headquarters of “world fascism,” allegedly sponsoring insurgent fascist regimes, parties, and movements all over the world. Joe McCarthy would be proud.

Iranians respond to the regime: ‘Leave Syria alone! Reply

Caveat: Al-Jazeera is owned by the state of Qatar, which is one of the Gulf States backing the jihadi war in Syria, along with Saudi Arabia.

By Ali Fathollah-Nejad

Al Jazeera

This is the second part of the article. Click here to read the first part focusing on the Islamic Republic’s efforts to control the official narrative on Syria.

While the Islamic Republic of Iran has been a staunch supporter of Bashar al-Assad‘s regime in Syria, little attention has been paid on public attitudes within the country.

While Tehran has tried to maintain complete control over information regarding the war in Syria and the narrative about its military involvement, it has not fully succeeded. The “war on terror” and “axis of resistance” rhetoric have not been enough to mollify the Iranian public and its demand for accountability.

Despite the Iranian state media’s blackout on issues related to the Syrian war, Iranians’ propensity to consult a myriad of Persian-language media sources abroad has kept them well informed.

Rising societal awareness about Tehran’s Syria military intervention has undermined the regime’s monopoly of interpretation, and Iranian officials have increasingly had to face questions from the public about its moral and economic dimensions.

Recent protests and public encounters have shown that Iranians are increasingly unhappy about their country’s involvement in Syria. The war is having an aggravating effect on already growing political and socioeconomic grievances at home.

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Neoconservatism: Where Trotsky Meets Stalin and Hitler Reply

One of the best articles on the neocons I have seen to date.

By Srdja Trifkovic

Chronicles

Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands.

The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many early neocons—including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter—belonged to the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that their successors, including Joshua Muravchik and Carl Gershman, came to neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally Manichean psychology that underlies both. [Half a century] later the dominant strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical militarism and “inverted socialist internationalism.”

Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and German National Socialism. Today’s neoconservatives share with Stalin and Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S. foreign policy-making community.

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Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace 1

By Diana Johnstone

Unz.Com

CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”

Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.

Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.

Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.

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Keith Preston: Trump does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize 1

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize because his foreign policy is creating tensions in the Middle East, an American journalist says.

According to a new poll a majority of Americans believe Trump does not deserve receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Just 24 percent of registered voters said that Trump deserves the award, compared to 61 percent who said he does not, a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday found.

“Trump has been in office for almost a year and a half; already during the time he has been in office he has launched two major attacks on Syria – about a year apart – under dubious circumstances. He’s also made an enormous arms deal with Saudi Arabia even if Saudi Arabia continues to engage in genocide in Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s own eastern province,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com.

“Donald Trump has also been more supportive of Israel than probably just about any president of the United Sates has been.”

Preston said US support of the aggressions of Israel and the actions of Saudi Arabia, and also Trump’s termination of the nuclear agreement with Iran has nothing to do with promoting global peace and stability.

“The idea that the Trump administration is somehow advancing world peace is nonsense.”

Preston cautioned about overvaluing the Nobel Prize arguing that in the 70s “Henry Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize even as the United Sates was waging a genocidal war in Southeast Asia.”

“[Former President] Barack Obama was given a Nobel Peace Prize only a few months after assuming office when he really had done nothing that merited any kind of recognition of that type.”

Dear Leftists: Going on Tucker Carlson Is Not Going to Stop Imperialism 1

There is quite a bit I disagree with in this article, but it is good to see someone from the Left arguing that anti-imperialism should be a priority issue.

By Noah Berlatsky

Pacific Standard

Tucker Carlson interviews Glenn Greenwald about U.S. strikes in Syria on April 10th, 2018.

Tucker Carlson interviews Glenn Greenwald about U.S. strikes in Syria on April 10th, 2018.

(Photo: YouTube)

“I just feel like I had my best girlfriend break up with me,” Alex Jones declared in a live rant last month during the American bombing of Syria. “I will tell Trump that you really betrayed your family and your name, and everything you stood for with this horse manure.”

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The Donald’s Done—The Deep State’s Wins Its War On America First Reply

By David Stockman

The Donald’s action to ash-can the Iranian nuclear deal marks the War Party’s complete and baleful triumph. There is now absolutely nothing left of America First.

Trump’s reckless, unwarranted and utterly irrational action will pull Washington ever deeper into an incendiary middle eastern vortex of political and religious conflict that has absolutely nothing to do with safety and security of the America people.

To the contrary, picking a fight with Tehran is an exercise in unprovoked Imperial aggression. The Iranian regime has no means to attack America militarily and has never threatened to do so. Nor has it invaded any other country in the region where it was not invited by a sovereign government host.

Even the minor skirmishes with American forces in recent years have been owing to the happenstance of Washington’s far-flung imperial ventures.

For example, Washington destroyed Saddam’s Sunni/secular government in Iraq and installed a Shiite regime in Baghdad, thereby leaving the Sunni lands of western Iraq in chaos. Only then did Baghdad invite their shiite co-religionists from Iran to help excise the scourge of ISIS that formed from the remnants of Saddam’s army and government.

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Why You Should Celebrate Loudly And Unapologetically When John McCain Dies Reply

By Caitlin Johnstone

Arizona Senator and murderous psychopath John McCain is rumored to be at death’s door, and already the world is being admonished by high-profile empire loyalists not to voice any criticism of his blood-saturated, obnoxiously long career.

“Anti-McCain twitter seems to have reached new heights (or depths) of repulsiveness,” tweeted Iraq-raping PNAC founder Bill Kristol to thunderous applause from #Resistance Twitter. “In the hope that a few of the haters see this, let me say: I’m proud to have voted for John McCain for president three times (2000 & 2008 primaries & 2008 general), and for Donald Trump…never.”

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Russia: ‘outrageous’ use of force against protesters 1

During the Cold War, some anarchists developed a tendency known as “Neither East nor West” for the purpose of opposing both superpowers and their satellites. As the Eastern axis continues to rise in opposition to the Western axis, such tendencies will be necessary once again.

Amnesty International UK

Following the forceful dispersal of today’s (5 May) peaceful opposition rallies in Moscow and all over Russia, and the inaction of the police who allowed the beating of protesters by unknown people in ‘Cossack’-style uniforms, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said:

“The forceful dispersal of today’s opposition demonstrations is outrageous. The Russian authorities once again refused to authorise protest rallies, and then used this ban to crackdown on those gathered in Moscow and elsewhere.

“But what is worse is the total police inaction, which allowed the beating of protesters by unknown men in Moscow. On what grounds people in ‘Cossack’ uniforms were allowed to use force remains a question.

“The authorities should immediately release all peaceful protesters arrested and launch an independent, thorough and effective investigation into the use of force by police, and the attacks on the protesters by the ‘Cossacks’.”

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North and South Korea Making Peace? Reply

Tom Woods interviews Michael Malice, one of the West’s most insightful commentators on North Korea. Listen here. I’d like for the upcoming Trump-Kim summit to be a “Nixon Goes to China” moment, and for Kim Jong-Un to become the DPRK’s Deng Xiaoping. But I’m not holding my breath.

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Michael Malice joins me to discuss the recent summit meeting between North and South Korea, in which a North Korean leader set foot in the South for the first time ever. What does it all mean?

About the Guest

Michael Malice is an author and celebrity ghostwriter. He is also a frequent guest on Kennedy on the FOX Business Network.

The Truth About War Powers, the Military-Industrial Complex, and Militarism in American Culture Reply

Tom Woods interviews leading antiwar commentator Scott Horton. Listen here.

This is what our so-called “antifascists” should be attacking, rather than forming a neoconservative-liberal international-human rights imperialist-antifascist axis in service of the Anglo-American-Zionist-Wahhabi empire.

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In something of a potpourri episode, Scott Horton and I discuss the real truth about presidential war powers under the Constitution, plus the empire’s highly successful propaganda apparatus, the military-industrial complex’s tactics, and much more.

Chomsky Among “Progressives” Calling for US Military Involvement in Syria 1

Chomsky of all people should know that the US fucks up anything it touches. The US ambition in Syria is to replace Assad with a Saudi-like Sunni fundamentalist regime that will be subservient to the US-Israel-Saudi triangle and allied with Turkey. Like the US empire is going to tolerate turning northern Syria into some kind of anarcho-communist Kurdish homeland. The Kurds are in the same position as the Spanish anarchists in the 1930s in the sense of being caught in the middle of a civil war between Eastern and Western proxies.

I very much want to see Rojava survive. I suspect the best bet would be for the PKK associated groups to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the Assad government for regional autonomy in northern Syria and a mutual alliance against the Salafist forces, with the support of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. Though I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go on a hunger strike waiting for that to happen.

By Whitney Webb

Mint Press News

NEW YORK – On Monday, the New York Review of Books published an open letter and petition aimed at securing Western support for putting pressure on Turkey to end its occupation of Afrin, opposing further Turkish incursions into Syria, and backing autonomy for Rojava — the region of Northern Syria that has functioned autonomously since 2012 after its administration was taken over by U.S-allied Kurdish factions. Authored by the Emergency Committee for Rojava, it has since been signed by well-known progressive figures such as Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler in its bid to organize efforts for the fulfillment of the group’s demands.

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The Lies Behind America’s Interventions Reply

The anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s and 1970s was arguably the most important movement in the history of the United States, because it had the long term effect of both making the draft politically impossible, and delegitimizing imperialist war to the point where Americans will not accept war if it requires any sacrifices on their own side. Since that time, the state has had to fight wars with professional armies, mercenaries, proxy forces, and technology, even in spite of the fact that the US emerged as the global hegemon at the end of the Cold War. If it were not for the legacy of the anti-Vietnam War movement, the state would still have conscript armies at its disposal, with many millions of Americans being drafted into the state’s imperial legions, and the US would likely have large scale occupation forces in many different locations around the globe, from Southeast Asia to the Middle East to Latin America to Africa, as opposed to the present imperialism of military bases and client states. However, even this post-Vietnam model is gradually declining as the empire continues to lose fourth generation wars, and as the frauds that are cooked up to sell wars of aggression are increasingly exposed. Eventually, the US empire will recede to the point where the USA resembles China, which is a large, powerful nation-state and a major economic player, but which has only one military base outside of its domestic territory.

By Jon Basil Utley

The American Conservative

Official Washington and those associated with it have misrepresented the facts numerous times in the service of military actions that might not otherwise have taken place. In the Middle East, these interventions have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab civilians, brought chaos to Iraq and Libya, and led to the expulsion of a million Christians from communities where they have lived since biblical times.

The most famous of these episodes, of course, was the U.S. government’s assurance to the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which formed the basis for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The government also insisted Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, bolstering the call to war. Of course neither was true.

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The U.S.-China Trade Conflict Reply

I agree with this summary of the problem as far as US-China trade relations go, but I disagree that the solution is a return to retrograde 19th century mercantilism. The solution is to recognize that all forms of state interference in the economy have a net effect of upward distribution of wealth, and to act accordingly, i.e. by attacking the state from the bottom up.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

President Trump is right to confront China on the trade issue.  China has long been dumping materials such as steel on the American market, and it has been acquiring technology we have developed by means open and surreptitious.  Together, China’s predatory trade policies have devastated American manufacturing and largely destroyed our blue collar middle class.  Here in Cleveland we have seen whole factories bought by Chinese, torn down, and re-erected in China.  What were good-paying American jobs became Chinese jobs.

At the same time, America needs China at the grand strategic level.  To meet the threat posed by Fourth Generation war, we need an alliance of all states.  The core of such an alliance must be the three greatest powers, Russia, China, and the U.S.

Nor should we wish to damage China’s economy.  The world is teetering on the edge of a global debt crisis.  Such a crisis is most likely to begin in China, whose recent prosperity is built on a $15 trillion mountain of debt, much of it bad.  A debt crisis in China will quickly spread.  It is likely to end in a world-wide depression to rival that of the 1930s.  America, which like China continues to pile up both public and private debt, will not be exempt.  America tomorrow will be Greece today, with the added nightmare of hyperinflation as the federal government seeks to pay off its debts with worthless money.  That is a future we should do our utmost to avoid. 

I think there is a way out of this seeming dilemma.  What is it?  Managed trade.

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Bill Lind on Syria Reply

I concur.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

The latest cruise missile caracole aimed at Syria was militarily meaningless.  A few empty buildings were destroyed, residents of Damascus and Homs lost a couple hours of sleep and honor was satisfied.  The only thing missing was Handel’s Musick for the Royal Fireworks

What was not trivial was that America once again fell into its besetting policy of sacrificing the strategic level to the tactical.  Strategically, we need an alliance with Russia and we need to restore the state in Syria.  When someone, probably not the Syrian government, launched a minor tactical attack that may or may not have used chemical weapons we immediately forgot our strategic goals and interests and fired off some missiles.  This is the response of a spoiled child, not a serious nation.

As I have pointed out before, a rule of war is that a higher level trumps a lower.  No matter how brilliant your tactical performance, if you lose operationally, you lose.  You can win repeatedly at the tactical and operational levels, as Germany did in both World Wars, but if you lose strategically, you lose.  It follows that one of the most elementary errors in statecraft is sacrificing a higher level to a lower.  And the U.S. does it time and time again.

In this case, part of the reason for the idiocy was the dreaded words, “chemical weapons!”  Chemical weapons, which used to be called poison gas, are now considered a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” like nuclear weapons.  This is historical nonsense.

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What if Kim Jong-un is Looking to Liberalize? Reply

I’m inclined with the argument made in this article. It is likely that the DPRK is now where the Soviets were in the 1980s, i.e. it’s become a matter of reform or die.

By Peter Van Buren

The American Conservative

On April 27, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in will meet, ahead of a trilateral summit with President Trump in June. There is a lot to talk about, but the focus in the West on nuclear issues misses the real story: Kim may be seeking revolutionary economic upheaval. There are signs everything is about to change.

It isn’t hard to imagine Kim with a biography of former Chinese leader Deng Xiao-ping on his nightstand. Deng’s rise to power saw China’s centrally managed economy failing to feed its people, isolated from the world, and dependent on the Soviet Union. Then everything changed in 1979 when Deng secured an agreement with President Jimmy Carter that covered his security needs (no one seemed worried China had nukes), diplomatically papered over long-simmering political issues like the status of Taiwan, and allowed him to introduce changes that led directly to China’s economic ascendance.

A key sign Kim is headed the same way is the extraordinary number of concessions he has made ahead of his upcoming summits. Kim is acting like a man in a hurry.

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International Journalist Tells The Truth About Syria Reply

A must watch.

A relevant post from a YouTube commentor:

“The Assad government may not be all roses and sunshine (And I dare anyone to find me a squeaky clean government, any government), but it is a secular and moderate government. Shiites, Sunnis, Alawites etc. and Christians all lived there peacefully, way more peacefully than ethnic groups do in the US. Women enjoy a great deal of rights, they are not required to cover their hair or face, the universities actually had more female students than male. Assad is by no means a dictator, if you look at the region, he is a rainbow farting unicorn in comparison to some of the murderous psychos on US payroll.”

 

Former UK Ambassador Reveals Truth About Syria – With Special Guest Peter Ford Reply

A must watch.

Former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford joins today’s Liberty Report to share his vast experience in the region. He has notably deviated from the government/media narrative about the alleged Assad gas attack. How likely is it that Assad used gas? Why are inspectors being prevented from visiting the site? How is the “official narrative” holding up to increasing scrutiny?

The World’s Five Military Empires Reply

Really just the USA, with the UK, France, Russia and China as minor leaguers.

By Frank Jacobs

BigThink.Com

Despite talk of American decline, the U.S. still is the world’s only superpower – if by that you mean: the country with by far the biggest military footprint throughout the world.

These maps, produced at the end of last year by the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER), show the geographic distribution of foreign military bases for five countries with some of the largest defence budgets (1) in the world.

The United States spent $611 billion on its defence in 2016. According to this map, that kind of money buys you a military presence on every inhabited continent of the world. According to SIPER, the U.S. has 587 bases in a total of 42 other countries, in addition to 4,154 bases on its own territory, plus 114 bases in U.S. overseas territories.

In the Americas, it’s easier to list the countries where the U.S. military is not present: Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in Central America; Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay in South America; and Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (and, to be fair, most of the region’s island nations) in the Caribbean. And yes, despite the decades of hostility with Cuba, the U.S. does maintain a base there: Guantanamo.

Same thing for Europe: listing the countries without an American military presence is easier – and more instructive: Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland: all neutral countries, outside NATO. Serbia and Montenegro: the former enemy from the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. And of course Russia, and its satellite Belarus. A few decades ago this would have sounded surreal, but there are now American troops in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Albania.

In Africa, the American military has a presence across the entire north, from Morocco to Egypt (and including Libya); in a few west African nations, including Burkina Faso and Niger; and in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Remarkable: the cluster of countries in the Horn of Africa with U.S. military presence, from former no-go area Somalia all the way to war-torn South Sudan. Noticeable absence: central Africa.

Also: pretty much the entire Middle East, except Syria and Lebanon. And Iran, if you include that country in the region. But again in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. If you were China, would that not feel like a link in the chain of U.S. military encirclement? That chain also includes Australia, South East Asia – from Indonesia all the way up to Vietnam and Laos – the Philippines, South Korea and Japan.

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