A Hello to Arms: A New Generation of Steely-Gazed Anarcho-Communists Head Off to Syria Reply

By John Knefel

Village Voice

A Hello to Arms: A New Generation of Steely-Gazed Anarcho-Communists Head Off to Syria (3)

Illustration by Matt Mahurin

Billymark’s is the most working-class bar in Chelsea, if not all of Manhattan. On a Thursday afternoon in early March, union guys play darts as both TVs air a CBS report on the early days of Syria’s fragile cease-fire. A few minutes after five, Guy, 22, and Hristo, 23, walk in and we grab a booth next to a group of day-drunk FIT students. The minute we sit down, it’s clear something is different. The two men are vibrating with excitement.

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Keith Preston: Apology to Japan would mean US admits past crimes Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Preston says “there is no evidence that it was necessary for the United States to” use those weapons against Japan.

The United States will not apologize to Japan over its 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because such an apology would mean an acknowledgment of Washington’s past crimes, says an analyst.

Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday when asked about President Barack Obama who has said Washington is not sorry for what it did to Japan in 1945.

This Friday, Obama will become the first sitting US president to ever tour the site of the world’s first nuclear bombing that killed more than 140,000 people in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The attack was followed by another US atomic bombing on the port city of Nagasaki three days later, killing about 73,000 people.

On Sunday, when Japanese national broadcaster NHK asked Obama if an apology would be included in remarks he plans to make in Hiroshima, he said, “No, because I think that it’s important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions.”

Preston said Obama is not the only person who has refused to offer an apology for the catastrophic incident in Japan.

“There are many Americans today that continue to claim the use of those weapons was justified in order to force surrender on the part of Japan,” he said, noting “but Japan had expressed interest in a conditional surrender.”

He went on to say that “there is no evidence that it was necessary for the United States to use those weapons in order to achieve victory.”

Preston said that “the United States sees itself as having the capability of doing the wrong and that’s why the United States rarely has ever apologized …for its past harms the American empire has inflicted on societies all over the world.”

“I do think that one of the reasons the Americans will not issue an apology is simply because the Americans continue to try to exercise hegemony over the entire world and to acknowledge the past crimes of that height would essentially undermine the ….empire’s own legitimacy,” he concluded.

Obama’s visit to the city would have enormous symbolic importance, however, it would be controversial in the US if it were seen as an apology.

Who rules the world? America is no longer the obvious answer Reply

A very good summation of the present world order. It looks like Chomsky heard my recent speech at the National Policy Institute. 🙂

By Noam Chomsky

The Guardian

When we ask “who rules the world?” we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states, primarily the great powers, and we consider their decisions and the relations among them. That is not wrong. But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading.

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Keith Preston: US fighter jet makers fretting over possible scrapping of PG Arab deal’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here: http://217.218.67.231/Detail/2016/05/07/464471/US-jet-makers-worried

Preston believes US fighter jet makers are fretting over losing revenue if they cannot sell jets to Persian Gulf Arab allies.

US fighter jet manufacturers are concerned about the future of sales to America’s Persian Gulf Arab allies, which in part explains a recent push by some senators to strike a military deal with Washington’s regional partners, says an analyst.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a number of US senators have been building up pressure on the administration of President Barack Obama to approve a major sale of jet fighters to some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

The bipartisan group of senators believes Washington’s delay over the fighter jets deal would threaten America’s relationship with its regional Arab allies and their commitment to help fight Daesh (ISIL).

Now Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, believes “the military industrial complex and well the corporate interest within the military industrial complex that generate revenue by means of the manufacture of these jets are certainly concerned about the loss of revenue that will take place if this particular sale does not go through.”

The comments follow the WSJ report where the US daily, which had obtained a letter signed by the senators last month, said the sale of the fighters to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain has been in limbo for over two years, but the White House has not yet allowed it to go forward partly due to policies that require the US to keep a military edge for Israel in the Middle East and avoid sales to other allies that could take away Israel’s advantage.

Preston also pointed to the conflict of interest with Israel in this case, saying although Washington wants to sell US combat aircraft to its Persian Gulf allies, it does not wish to take away Israel’s military advantage in the Middle East.

US Senators John McCain, Bob Corker, Jack Reed and Claire McCaskill argued in their letter that a delay to sell such jets was unnecessary and the sale would not undermine Israel.

“We understand that these requests must be carefully considered, but a decision on them has been pending too long,” the senators wrote.

The proposed deal, valued at about $9 billion, includes F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18 jets.

The companies that build the aircraft, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have recently warned they could be forced to close their production lines unless they secure new orders, the WSJ report said.

A senior Obama administration official said in a recent statement that “no decision has been made on fighter sales.”

Is War by Assassination on its Way? Reply

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

Russia intervened in Syria, did what it came to do–strengthen the position of the Assad government–and has partially withdrawn. Meanwhile, our war with ISIS continues its endless futility, an inevitable result of war by pinking.

War by plinking, using airstrikes that blow up an ammo dump here, an ISIS leader there, and wedding parties everywhere is largely a product of futility of thought. We think we have to do something, but our military leadership has few options to offer. We can invade, but as we have experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing so merely increases the scope and cost of our defeat. We can carry out an aerial campaign of annihilation, but our civilian leadership’s ideology forbids it. It might also generate new enemies faster than we can kill them, no matter how many bombs we drop. Approaches that require both imagination and skill cannot make it through our leaden, elephantine military decision process (where the process is the product). So we plink.

Much of our plinking seems devoted to war by assassination. There is a reason states have generally avoided that. As I fear we may discover, it is a game two can play. In the end it devolves, as it has, to mere war of attrition. Wars of attrition are usually indecisive, continuing until one party or another, or both, are exhausted. we are likely to tire before ISIS does.

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Once Again, Fuck the U.N.! 1

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Over at the Inferno: my latest love letter to the kind of “peacekeepers” nobody needs.

Excerpts:

Ostensibly formed as a global peacekeeping organisation in the wake of World War II, the United Nations, or U.N., has, over time, made it clear that the peace it means to impose on the world resembles the pax Romana (or pax Islama), mandated and managed by way of a top-down global hegemon.


For all the criticisms levelled at desert pirates Daesh, their M.O. seems to resemble the U.N.’s in several key ways, with its fatwa-friendliness, universalist aspredations*, and a heralded, hypocritical hard-on for pious prohibition and penile predation. If one didn’t know any better, it’d be easy to suspect the Muslim Männerbund of taking more than a few notes.

~MRDA~

Donald Trump Could Be the Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare Reply

Has Donald Trump opened the door for non-interventionist foreign policy views to enter the mainstream?

By William Greider

The Nation

Let’s admit it. As political provocateur, Donald Trump has a dizzy kind of genius. He feints to the right, then he spins to the left. Either way, the hot subject for political chatter becomes Donald Trump.

This week, while people everywhere were fretting over his violent talk, the candidate came to Washington and dropped a peace bomb on the neocon editorial writers at The Washington Post and the war lobby. Trump wants to get the United States out of fighting other people’s wars. He thinks maybe NATO has outlived its usefulness. He asks why Americans are still paying for South Korea’s national defense. Or Germany’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

“I do think it’s a different world today and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work. And we have a different country than we did then. You know we have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting probably on a bubble, and, you know, it’s a bubble that if it breaks is going to be very nasty. And I just think we have to rebuild our country.”

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Ted Cruz’s New Foreign Policy Team Makes Him as Extreme as Donald Trump Reply

A vote for this guy is a vote for the return of the neocons.
Hiwotenshe Bekele's photo.

 

GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz has unveiled a foreign policy team full of conspiracy theorists and arch-neoconservatives who support policies just as belligerent as those of Donald Trump. While Cruz has been supported by some Republican figures (most recently, Sen. Lindsey Graham) who consider him a relatively moderate alternative to Trump, the foreign policy advisers he has assembled show him to be running as an extremist. Among the advisers Cruz has assembled are:

Frank Gaffney: Gaffney is the president of the famously Islamophobic Center for Security Policy. He has developed a number of theories about how Muslims are invading and conquering the United States, including by infiltrating the government via the Muslim Brotherhood and by conquering Dearborn, Michigan, and turning it into a “no-go zone” for non-Muslims (although he recently admitted to The Intercept that he has never been there). He also thinks tax lobbyist Grover Norquist is a stealth jihadist.

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Keith Preston: ‘US Afghanistan blitz meant to instate puppet regime’ Reply

Press TV. http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/19/456645/US-wants-Afghanistan-puppet-

Obama reneged on his election campaign promise to end Afghan war, says Preston.

America’s stepped-up aerial attacks in Afghanistan are part of Washington’s policy to seek the instatement of a puppet regime there, says an analyst.

“What seems to be happening is that the goal of the United States in Afghanistan is to maintain Afghanistan as a puppet regime. That would in turn guarantee the access of American companies” to natural resources there, said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of Attackthesystem.com in a Saturday interview with Press TV.

The comments follow a report that Washington has significantly ramped up its bombing campaign in Afghanistan to roll back the Daesh (ISIL) terrorists who have expanded their territory outside of Iraq and Syria.

The New York Times report, citing US Air Force data, said American drones and warplanes carried out about three times more strikes in January and February in Afghanistan – dropping a total of 251 bombs and missiles – than they did during the same period last year.

The widening campaign has been in response to a decision by US President Barack Obama to give military commanders more leeway to launch airstrikes against Daesh positions in several Afghan provinces.

This is while Obama had pledged to end US military operations in Afghanistan.

Keith also pointed out Obama’s “reneged” promise, saying the US president failed to deliver on his pre-election vow.

Under the existing rules of engagement, American commanders can order airstrikes against the Taliban only when the militants pose a direct threat to US forces or Afghan troops.

The US military, however, has been given more latitude in targeting Daesh forces.

Failure as a Way of Life Reply

By William S. Lind

The American Conservative

10 FACE/Shutterstock

The fault line in American politics is no longer Republican vs. Democrat nor conservative vs. liberal but establishment vs. anti-establishment. This is an inevitable result of serial failure in establishment policies. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the establishment’s repeated military interventions abroad in wars against non-state opponents. When such interventions fail in one place—first Somalia, then Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya, now Syria—it does the same thing again somewhere else, with the same result.

Why has the establishment allowed itself to be trapped in serial failure? Once we understand how it works, the answer is plain: it cannot do otherwise. On Capitol Hill, the legalization of bribery—“campaign contributions”—means money rules.

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Army and Marine Corps chiefs: It’s time for women to register for the draft 1

Because gender equality means that everyone must be obligated to serve the empire. The latest in totalitarian humanism.

By Dan Lamonthe

Washington Post

The top officers in the Army and Marine Corps testified on Tuesday that they believe it is time for women to register for future military drafts, following the Pentagon’s recent decision to open all jobs in combat units to female service members.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, both said they were in favor of the change during an occasionally contentious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the full integration of women in the military. The generals, both infantry officers, offered their opinions in response to a question from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who said that she also is in favor of the change.

“Senator, I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft,” said Milley, echoing the remarks of Neller.

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Required Reading on Military Organization in the 21st Century Reply

Bill Lind expounds on the canon. This is what all you anarchist out there who want to overthrow governments and corporations need to be reading.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

Santa Claus fights terrorists in Syria

The real Saint Nicholas was less famous for giving gifts than he was for coming back from the dead to beat somebody up. That’s my kind of saint. It is to that St. Nicholas I sent my Christmas list, viz.

  • All American military officers will read the canon, the list of seven books which, if read in the correct order, will take the reader from the first to fourth generation of modern war. Without the roadmap the canon provides, our officer corps will continue to stumble around in the dark, losing one fourth generation war after another.

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Armed militia, incl. Bundy bros, occupy forest reserve HQ in Oregon, call ‘US patriots’ to arms 2

Russia Today

© Jim Urquhart

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s three sons and “about 150” militiamen have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge HQ to protest the pending imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers accused of arson, arguing the federal government has no authority in local cases.

“We’re going to be freeing these lands up, and getting ranchers back to ranching, getting the loggers back to logging, getting the miners back to mining where they could do it under the protection of the people and not be afraid of this tyranny that’s been set upon them,” Ammon Bundy, who appears to be the leader of the group, said in a Facebook video posted by Sarah Dee Spurlock on Saturday.

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Pentagon Officers: We Quit if Trump Wins 2

When it comes to electoral politics, I’m generally of the “worse is better” school. For instance, I’m inclined to root for Mrs. Clinton in 2016, for the simple reason that she is a reviled figure across the entire spectrum of the Right and the genuine (anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist) Left. A Hillary Clinton presidency would likely do much to create widespread alienation. However, this article indicates a reason to root for Donald Trump. Alienation between the political class and the military class, and between the enlisted personnel and the officer corps, is almost certainly beneficial to our cause, as is, for example, the alienation between the political class and law enforcement exhibited by the conflict between the NYPD and Mayor DiBlasio. Our victory ultimately depends on the Power Elite losing their legitimacy, and the police and military refusing to come to their rescue.

By Nancy A. Youssef

The Daily Beast

The plans of the next president are personal to the officers of the Pentagon, who are threatening to retire if The Donald becomes commander-in-chief.

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Bush Military Official: The Empire’s Ship is Sinking Reply

This is what anarchists and other radicals should be focusing on, not “microaggressions.”

Abby Martin interviews retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations. Today, he is honest about the unfixable corruption inside the establishment and the corporate interests driving foreign policy.

Hear a rare insider’s view of what interests are behind U.S. wars, the manipulation of intelligence, the intertwining of the military and corporate world, and why the U.S. Empire is doomed.

What ISIS Really Wants 2

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From the Atlantic. A thorough overview of the much-maligned militant-Muslim Männerbund.


What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

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To stop ISIS, outside powers must end their proxy wars in Syria Reply

 

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Some constructive criticism from Charles Glass.


A French news cameraman burst into the bar of Beirut’s Commodore Hotel, where his colleagues gathered most evenings, on November 17, 1983. “At last,” he shouted, cupping both hands upward, “someone with balls!” French warplanes had just bombed the town of Baalbek, site of magnificent Roman ruins but also of a Shiite Muslim militant barracks. This was France’s revenge for the killing of 58 French troops by a suicide bomber four weeks earlier. On the same morning the French died, the United States had lost 241 American service personnel, most of them U.S. Marines, to another suicide bomber. So far, Washington had not responded. We learned later that Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who was against sending Marines to Lebanon in the first place, had dissuaded President Ronald Reagan from bombing Lebanon until there was evidence to prove who had done it.

France’s bombardment satisfied one French cameraman. It changed nothing, except for the civilians and militants who died in Baalbek. When the U.S. finally bombed eastern Lebanon in December, Syrian air defenses downed a Navy A-6 Intruder. The pilot, Lt. Mark Lange, died when his parachute malfunctioned. The navigator-bombardier, Lt. Robert O. Goodman, became a prisoner for 31 days until the Syrians released him to Reverend Jesse Jackson. And that was that.

By April 1984, the French and American forces of the ill-advised Multinational Force had left Lebanon. French President Francois Mitterrand’s promise to remain in defiance of those who had murdered his soldiers was forgotten, as was President Reagan’s commitment to peace in Lebanon. The civil war, already in its eighth year, did not end until 1990. The parties behind the bombing of the French and American troops, the Hezbollah militia and its backers, Iran and Syria, emerged more or less victorious. In fact, Syria had proven itself so powerful in Lebanon that the U.S. approved its military occupation to keep order. Syria went too far by assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in February 2005, and its troops were forced to evacuate the country two months later.

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Why I’m Scared of Widows & Orphans 2

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Islam, immigration, and interventionism.

I’ll be incorporating a response to the Ann-xieties expressed here (and elsewhere) into a future Infernal episode.


There’s a lot of raspberrying and dismissiveness in the debate over whether to let the wave of “Syrian” “refugees” wash up on U.S. shores. In the partisan sandbox-fights to which we tend to reduce even the most serious questions, it’s easy to forget that in a case like this, there is probably a strong moral argument to be made on either side.

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Ron Paul: Is Islam on the Verge of Engulfing Western Civilization? 3

In a better world, Paul would be POTUS.

(In an >even< better world, the concept of a POTUS – and other national equivalents – would remain just that.)

Keith Preston: US-Russia confrontation to drag world nations into war 1

Press TV. Read here: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/10/441101/US-Russia-confrontation-NATO-war-Daesh-Syria-nofly-zone

The Pentagon says enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria could trigger a direct confrontation between the US and Russia.
The Pentagon says enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria could trigger a direct confrontation between the US and Russia.

A potential confrontation between the United States and Russia would create an “extraordinarily dangerous” situation which drags world nations into a war, says an American political commentator.

Keith Preston, chief editor and director ofAttacktheSystem.com, said if a confrontation happens between the US and Russia, “there is no limit on how far it could spiral.”

“A conflict between the United States and Russia could ultimately involve not only NATO but also Iran, Syria, Iraq…. and it’s even possible that other nations from the BRICS axis could intervene on behalf of Russia,” he told Press TV on Thursday,

On Wednesday, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Paul Selva warned that the enforcement of a no-fly zone in northern Syria would drag the US into a direct confrontation with Russia and Syria.

“It is an extraordinarily dangerous situation, when you have these major powers that are all involved in the conflict with the Daesh (ISIL) on the ground and they all have different objectives,” Preston said.

“If, for example, Russia were to shoot down an American plane or the United States were to shoot down a Russian plane, and that led to a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States, not only would that be an extremely dangerous situation as far as a confrontation between the two powers, but also it would allow for the United States to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty and that would potentially trigger a war between NATO and Russia or between other states that were aligned with Russia.”

Since late September 2014, the US and its allies have been carrying out airstrikes purportedly against Daesh positions in Syria.

“What the Americans should be doing is withdrawing from the region, and allowing the Syrian government and its allies and its backers to successfully defeat the Daesh,” Preston said. “That should be the first priority.”

Russia, that has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30, said the US-coalition has failed to defeat or even contain the terrorists.

Daesh terrorists were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.