Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers To Syrian Rebels

A new bombshell joint report issued by two international weapons monitoring groups Tuesday confirms that the Pentagon continues to ship record breaking amounts of weaponry into Syria and that the Department of Defense is scrubbing its own paper trail. On Tuesday the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) produced conclusive evidence that not only is the Pentagon currently involved in shipping up to $2.2 billion worth of weapons from a shady network of private dealers to allied partners in Syria – mostly old Soviet weaponry – but is actually manipulating paperwork such as end-user certificates, presumably in order to hide US involvement.
The OCCRP and BIRN published internal US defense procurement files after an extensive investigation which found that the Pentagon is running a massive weapons trafficking pipeline which originates in the Balkans and Caucuses, and ends in Syria and Iraq. The program is ostensibly part of the US train, equip, and assist campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a coalition of YPG/J and Arab FSA groups operating primarily in Syria’s east). The arms transfers are massive and the program looks to continue for years. According to Foreign Policy’s (FP) coverage of the report:
The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022. The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.
But perhaps more shocking is the following admission that Pentagon suppliers have links with known criminal networks, also from FP:
According to the report, many of the weapons suppliers – primarily in Eastern Europe but also in the former Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine – have both links to organized crime throughout Eastern Europe and spotty business records.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 13, 2017.

Iran’s Ayatollah Vows Retaliation, Says Trump Exposes “Real Face” Of American Moral Corruption

Trump’s ongoing spat with Iran escalated on Tuesday, when Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the US president’s warning to Iran to stop its missile tests, saying the new U. S. president had shown the “real face” of American corruption. “We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” Khamenei said according to his website. He made the remarks in an address to the commanders of the Army Air Force on the verge of the Islamic Revolution’s victory anniversary which falls on February 10 this year.
“During his election campaign and after that, he confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U. S. ruling system,” he added. It is unclear if Trump’s domestic opponents will be quick to agree with the Iranian.
Provocatively, the Supreme Leader once again alleged that it was the US that created ISIS:
“The new U. S. president says Iran should thank Obama! Why?! Should we thank him for [creating] ISIS, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Syria, or the blatant support for the 2009 sedition in Iran? He was the president who imposed paralyzing sanctions on the Iranian nation; of course, he did not achieve what he desired. No enemy can ever paralyze the Iranian nation.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 7, 2017.

Trump Shuns Establishment ‘Board Meeting’

On Saturday, president Trump signed three more executive orders aimed at fighting terrorism and corruption. They follow yesterday’s order for a temporarily ban on immigrants from certain countries entering the U. S. Today’s actions are as follows:
EO #1: Implementing a five year lobbying ban on administration officials. “This is something I’ve talked about a lot on the campaign trail… and now we’re putting it into effect,” said Trump. EO #2: Calling for a reorganization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. EO #3: Calling on military leaders to present a report to the president in 30 days that outlines a strategy for defeating ISIS. “This is the plan to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, in other words ISIS. I think it’s going to be very successful.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 28, 2017.

If You Think “Fake News” Is A New Phenomenon, You’re Wrong

The ‘fog of war’ erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground.
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On Oct. 10, 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl identified only as ‘Nayirah’ told the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators and leaving them on a cold floor to die.
Her testimony was cited numerous times by senators and even President George H. W. Bush as justification for backing Kuwait in the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, which erupted just three months later.
However, it was later revealed that ‘Nayirah’ was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, and her testimony was arranged by a PR firm representing a Kuwaiti-sponsored group lobbying Congress for military intervention.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 13, 2017.

Trump vs. Clinton: The Eccentric Billionaire vs The Sociopathic Criminal

Below is a guest post from my colleague, who requested anonymity. 12 years ago, a friend of mine and I both agreed that – and this was after Enron, 9/11 and Colin Powell’s self-admitted lies about Iraq which were used to justify a military overthrow of the Hussein Government – that we would eventually see things occur in this country that would blow our minds (as if those three events were relatively ‘non-events). I can say with complete sincerity that two things completely blow my mind now: 1) the degree to which corruption and criminality have completely enveloped our economic, financial and Governmental system and 2) the fact that a criminal – with plenty of hacked emails on display to prove certain acts of criminality – is permitted to run for President.
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I am a casual observer having learned that when all you are left with is hope, it’s thatmoment you realize it’s over – whether it’s a game, investing, politics, etc. Unfortunately I reached that point many years ago with the state of politics and mainstream media’s (MSM) blatant biases towards…..well everything they touch. Last night’s Presidential Debate (sic) clearly reinforces my position that all we are left with is hope. Hope that things cannot get worse, hope that eventually things get better, hope that this is not simply a horrific Orwellian Nightmare, although the latter appears to be where we’ve arrived full frontal. I didn’t watch the debate looking for my opinion of the ‘candidates’ to change as I have zero plans to vote in this election. Yes, we’ve devolved to that point in history. I watched the debate for the same reason most people would watch a NASCAR race: waiting to see a wreck.
In attempting to summarize the spectacle from last evening, the first thought I had is ‘if aliens were watching from their spaceship what would they be thinking?’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 10, 2016.

Middle East ‘Peace’ Report: Turkey Risks Kurdish War on Two Fronts as Army Advances in Syria

Mustafa Denktas had twin sons. One of them, a Kurdish militant, was killed fighting the Turkish army in 2012. Denktas was still in mourning when news arrived three weeks later that the other son had met the same fate.
Back then Turkey’s war with separatist Kurds, however bloody and protracted, was essentially a domestic issue. Now it’s an international conflict. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his army into Syria last month, he wasn’t just striking a blow against Islamic State: a second goal was to stop Kurds from creating a de facto state.
That’s the element of Erdogan’s Syrian gambit that poses the biggest political risks. It threatens to ensnare his soldiers in a civil war that’s already lasted 5 1/2 years, and drive a wedge between Turkey and its NATO allies – especially the U. S., which considers the Syrian Kurds an ally against Islamic extremists. When Moody’s Investors Service cut Turkey’s rating to junk last week, it cited ‘the persistence of geopolitical threats’ among other reasons.
Erdogan is trying to stem a tide that turned more than two decades ago, when war in Iraq left Kurds in charge of that country’s oil-rich north. Since 2011, civil war has given a similar opportunity to Syrian Kurds, who now control of much of the territory along the 900-kilometer border with Turkey. Among the world’s largest ethnic groups without a state of their own, the Kurds can now glimpse a viable one.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Selcan Hacaoglu, Bloomberg Business ‘ September 29, 2016.

The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing

Arguably, the nuttiest neoconservative idea – among a long list of nutty ideas – has been to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia by weakening its economy, isolating it from Europe, pushing NATO up to its borders, demonizing its leadership, and sponsoring anti-government political activists inside Russia to promote ‘regime change.’
This breathtakingly dangerous strategy has been formulated and implemented with little serious debate inside the United States as the major mainstream news media and the neocons’ liberal-interventionist sidekicks have fallen in line much as they did during the run-up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Except with Russia, the risks are even greater – conceivably, a nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet. Yet, despite those stakes, there has been a cavalier – even goofy – attitude in the U. S. political/media mainstream about undertaking this new ‘regime change’ project aimed at Moscow.
There is also little appreciation of how lucky the world was when the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 without some Russian extremists seizing control of the nuclear codes and taking humanity to the brink of extinction. Back then, there was a mix of luck and restrained leadership, especially on the Soviet side.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 16, 2016.

Bombs Away! A 9/11 Retrospective On Washington’s 15-Year Air War

On the morning of September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda launched its four-plane air force against the United States. On board were its precision weapons: 19 suicidal hijackers. One of those planes, thanks to the resistance of its passengers, crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The other three hit their targets – the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. – with the kind of ‘precision’ we now associate with the laser-guided weaponry of the U. S. Air Force.
From its opening salvo, in other words, this conflict has been an air war. With its 75% success rate, al-Qaeda’s 9/11 mission was a historic triumph, accurately striking three out of what assumedly were its four chosen targets. (Though no one knows just where that plane in Pennsylvania was heading, undoubtedly it was either the Capitol or the White House to complete the taking out of the icons of American financial, military, and political power.) In the process, almost 3,000 people who had no idea they were in the bombsights of an obscure movement on the other side of the planet were slaughtered.
It was a barbaric, if daring, plan and an atrocity of the first order. Almost 15 years later, such suicidal acts with similar ‘precision’ weaponry (though without the air power component) continue to be unleashed across the Greater Middle East, Africa, and sometimes elsewhere, taking a terrible toll – from a soccer game in Iraq to a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey (where the ‘weapon’ may have been a boy).
The effect of the September 11th attacks was stunning. Though the phrase would have no resonance or meaning (other than in military circles) until the U. S. invasion of Iraq began a year and a half later, 9/11 qualifies as perhaps the most successful example of ‘shock and awe’ imaginable. The attack was promptly encapsulated in screaming headlines as the ‘Pearl Harbor of the Twenty-First Century’ or a ‘New Day of Infamy,’ and the images of those towers crumbling in New York at what was almost instantly called ‘Ground Zero’ (as if the city had experienced a nuclear strike) were replayed again and again to a stunned world. It was an experience that no one who lived through it was likely to forget.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 12, 2016.

The Woes Of Interventionism – – Turkey And Saudi Arabia Are Learning The Hard Way

VIOLENTLY INTERVENING IN the affairs of other countries has brought the United States much grief over the last century. We are hardly the only ones who do it. The club of interventionist nations has a shifting membership. During the current round of Middle East conflict, two new countries have joined: Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Both have succumbed to the imperial temptation. Both are paying a high price. They are learning a lesson that Americans struggle to accept: Interventions have unexpected consequences and often end up weakening rather than strengthening the countries that carry them out.
Turkey’s long intervention in Syria has failed to bring about its intended result, the fall of President Bashar Assad. Instead it has intensified the Syrian conflict, fed a regional refugee crisis, set off terrorist backlash, and deeply strained relations between Turkey and its NATO allies. As this blunder has unfolded, Saudi Arabia has also been waging war outside its territory. Its bombing of neighboring Yemen was supposed to be a way of asserting regional hegemony, but it has aroused indignant condemnation. The bombing campaign has placed Saudi Arabia under new scrutiny, including more intense focus on its role in promoting global terror, which the Saudi royal family has managed to keep half-hidden for years.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia intervened in foreign conflicts hoping to establish themselves as regional kingmakers. Both miscalculated. They overestimated their ability to secure quick victory and failed to weigh the strategic costs of failure or stalemate. If the Turks and Saudis had studied the history of American interventions, they would have been more prudent. We know the sorrows of empire. From Iran to Cuba to Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, the legacy of our interventions continues to haunt us. Ambitious powers, however, continue to ignore the stark lesson that American history teaches. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the latest to repeat our mistake. It is the same mistake that has undermined many nations and empires. They overestimated their ability to shape events in foreign lands. Now they are paying for their delusional overreach.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 6, 2016.

Imperial Washington Versus Little America

Former Arkansas Sen. William Fulbright said in 1967, ‘The price of empire is America’s soul, and that price is too high.’
War, expansion, the maintenance of a large standing army: these corrupt a country, as poets from James Russell Lowell to Wendell Berry have tried to tell us. The Vietnam or Iraq War may level villages across the sea but back home, in our villages, they unleash an insidious poison, too. They make our places less liveable. From the pit of the Cold War Edmund Wilson, the Sage of Boonville, New York, lamented that ‘our country has become today a huge blundering power unit controlled more and more by bureaucracies whose rule is making it more and more difficult to carry on the tradition of American individualism.’
In Boonville as in Emporia as in Sauk Centre, the little places that give America soul were ravaged and denuded by the machine of perpetual war.
War effaces and perverts the very bases of healthy community life. It elevates impermanence and rootlessness to virtues. It forcibly uproots people; it distorts natural economic patterns, causing artificial regional booms and busts – witness the histories of Detroit and Kentucky; it spreads venereal disease, if not democracy; it separates husbands from wives and parents from children; it leads to a spike in the divorce rate among service personnel and it nationalizes their children in what the Pentagon, with its usual tone-deafness to Orwellian rings, calls ‘the Total Army Family.’ Welcome to the Brave New World.
A militaristic state is a centripetal machine that sucks all power to the center. Smaller bodies, grass-roots democratic institutions, are devitalized, wiped out. All political decisions of consequence are made at a level impossibly remote from real life. People we don’t know – people who have no desire or even means to know us – make life or death decisions about us.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 6, 2016.

The National Security ‘Experts’ Denouncing Trump Are a Who’s Who of Disastrous Neocons

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch.com.
It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happeningmore and more frequently. The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men – and a few women – who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.
They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer ‘lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.’
That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. The letter’s signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice’s legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush’s CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the ‘global war on terror,’ this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.
Their letter continues, ‘He weakens U. S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.’
There’s a sentence that could use some unpacking.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 24, 2016.

Imperial City Groupthink – – Why The Threat Of War Continues To Rise

When did America’s establishment ever discuss, in elections or at other times, issues of war and peace for the people’s understanding and consent? Virtually never. There was no mandate for Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or a dozen other conflicts.
Of course, once a war gets going, there is a tendency for Americans to close ranks with flags and ribbons and slogans such as ‘Support our troops’ and ‘Love it or leave it.’ The senior leaders know this psychological pattern, and they count on it, every time.
The fundamental problem in America’s government is an elaborate political structure much resembling democracy but with actual rule by a powerful establishment and a set of special interests – all supported by a monstrous security apparatus and a huge, lumbering military, which wouldn’t even know what to do with itself in peace. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any apparent solution to this horrible political reality, and, while once it affected primarily Americans themselves, today it affects the planet.
There is an intense new element that has been added to America’s governing establishment: the drive of the neocons for American supremacy everywhere, for complete global dominance, and it is something which is frighteningly similar to past drives by fascist governments which brought only human misery on a vast scale.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 1, 2016.

US Has Spent $11.5 Million A Day For Past 542 Days Straight In Fight Against ISIS

After two years of bombing, the U. S. recently marked a horrendous milestone in a war with no clear end in sight.
Vocativ reported that the American-led coalition in the Middle East has now dropped 50,000 bombs in the ongoing campaign against Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or ISIL in the West) that began in August 2014.
The analysis noted that bombing has increased with time, peaking in June when coalition forces dropped 3,167 bombs on Iraq and Syria.
‘By comparison, U. S.-led forces in Afghanistan have dropped just over 16,000 bombs in the last six years, military data shows,’ Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, a senior writer for Vocativ, wrote on Tuesday.
Although reports suggest Daesh is losing to ground forces in the region, the conflict still has no clear end in sight. And despite U. S. government denials, Kavanaugh reported it’s become increasingly clear that civilians are frequently killed by bombs dropped by the U. S. and coalition forces:
‘Airwars estimates that at least 1,422 civilians have been killed by weapons deployed by coalition warplanes through July 18, a figure far greater than the 41 civilian deaths acknowledged by the Pentagon to-date.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on MintPress’ Kit O’Connell via TheAntiMedia.org, Jul 22, 2016.

No, Donald, It’s Not A ‘World War’

Actually, the Nice horror was the demented suicide of a wretch who recently got fired, divorced and arrested for road rage, not a planned jihadi terrorist attack.
Beyond that, the real jihadi threat is rooted in blowback, and combatting it is a domestic police function. Enough militatistic bellicosity already!
The inconvenient truth is, Washington and its NATO vassals have brought bombs, drones, occupations and slaughter to towns and villages throughout the greater middle east for upwards of three decades. It is that senseless intervention and aggression that has fueled the rise of vengeful barbarians who operate under the ideological cover of a twisted Sunni jihaddism.
In fact, it was the Bush/Clinton/Obama wars which gave rise first to al-Qaeda and then to ISIS. In very substantial degree Washington trained them, armed them and then incited them to their anti-western rampages.
The Imperial City’s insidious doctrine of ‘regime change’ also destroyed the states of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan, thereby giving the jihadi vast lawless territories from which to operate and to even establish a murderous medieval caliphate in the desert backwaters of western Iraq and northern Syria..
The frightful violence that has been episodically erupting in France owing to internal cadres and in the US owing to copycats does not originate in the religion of Islam. The latter confession is 1384 years old, but it was only 25 years ago that meaningful jihadi terrorism first impinged on the west.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 16, 2016.

Russian ‘Harassment’ and Other Fables

Whenever the subject of American foreign-policy catastrophes comes up, the word ‘Iraq’ immediately comes to mind. But George W. Bush’s ill-fated invasion of that hapless land in reality did not do irreparable damage to the United States. That is not to trivialize the costs, including trillions of dollars and the deaths of thousands of Americans plus hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but the reality is that the U. S. homeland was not attacked and the economy has not collapsed, making Iraq a war that should never have been fought but not a defeat in historic terms.
One thinks of Russia less frequently when U. S. policy failures are examined. In 1991, Russia was a superpower. Today it is a convenience, a straw man fortuitously produced whenever someone in power wants to justify weapons expenditures or the initiation of new military interventions in faraway places. Much of the negative interaction between Washington and Moscow is driven by the consensus among policymakers, the Western media, and the inside-the-beltway crowd that Russia is again – or perhaps is still and always will be – the enemy du jour. But frequently forgotten or ignored is the fact that Moscow, even in its much-reduced state, continues to control the only military resource on the planet that can destroy the United States, suggesting caution should be in order when one goes about goading the bear.
Truly, the unwillingness to takes steps after 1991 to assist Russia in its post-communism transformation into a stable, prosperous, and secure state modeled on the West is the most significant foreign-policy failure by both Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 30 years. The spoliation of Russia’s natural resources carried out by Western carpetbaggers working with local grifters-turned-oligarchs under Boris Yeltsin, the expansion of NATO to Russia’s doorstep initiated by Bill Clinton, and the interference in Russia’s internal affairs by the U. S. government (including the Magnitsky Act) have exploited Russian vulnerability and have produced a series of governments in Moscow that have become increasingly paranoid and disinclined to cooperate with what they see as a threatening Washington.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Philip Giraldi, American Conservative ‘ July 14, 2016.

The Myth of the ‘War on Terrorism’

Remember ‘We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’? That was the justification for the worldwide war on terrorism the Bush administration trumpeted in the early days of the post-9/11 era. Keeping in mind that the American people don’t really care about what goes on thousands of miles away, and that the purpose of our foreign policy is – ostensibly – to keep us safe here at home, the Bushies and their neocon Praetorian Guard always kept their focus on the threat that was supposedly hanging over our heads: another 9/11. As that Old Right prophet Garet Garrett put it some sixty years ago, US foreign policy was rationalized to the public with ‘a complex of vaunting and fear,’ and this was the fear part.
But now we hear that the latest iteration of the Terrorist Threat – ISIS – is losing ground in Syria, its home base: some 12 percent of its territory has been lost to a combination of opponents, and the Caliphate, we’re told, is shrinking. So does that mean the Terrorist Threat is abating, and we can get back to living our lives?
Heck no!
As CNN reports:
‘IHS [Information Handling Services] senior analyst Columb Strack says that ‘as the Islamic State’s caliphate shrinks and it becomes increasingly clear that its governance project is failing, the group is re-prioritizing insurgency.’
‘He told CNN: ‘As a result, we unfortunately expect an increase in mass casualty attacks and sabotage of economic infrastructure, across Iraq and Syria, and further afield, including Europe.’
‘In other words, ISIS is going to become a more ‘traditional’ terror group, boasting of its international reach to attract recruits and bolster morale as it loses ground in Iraq and Syria.’
So let’s see if I have this straight: we fought them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here, but now that we’re winning over there they’re coming over there.
Got that?

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 13, 2016.

General Michael Flynn – – The Neocon’s Worst Nightmare

When I first heard that Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under President Obama, was rumored to be on Donald Trump’s short list for the GOP vice presidential nomination, my ears pricked up. I wrote about Flynn here, and Antiwar.com has covered thecontroversy surrounding the 2012 DIA report that warned the Obama administration that its policy of regime change in Syria would lead to the rise of a Sunni Islamic ‘caliphate’ in Syria – a warning that fell on deaf ears.
Flynn was forced out of his job as DIA director because, he says, his views ‘did not fit the narrative.’ But what narrative is he talking about? In order to understand this intramural fight within the highest levels of the intelligence and military communities, we have to go back to the Bush administration, and the Iraq war.
As the US was fighting a losing battle against Iraqi insurgents, Gen. David Petraeus arose to show us the way forward, and the myth of the successful ‘surge’ was born. The Petraeus strategy was to recruit Sunni tribesmen in the Iraqi hinterlands bordering Syria to fight al-Qaeda, to win their ‘hearts and minds.’ In reality, this meant putting them on the American payroll: we’ll never know how many millions of taxpayer dollars went to financing this effort, but no doubt it was a considerable sum.
As the tribes took on al-Qaeda, the ‘surge’ was declared a success – but the blowback wasn’t long in coming. These same tribes soon turned against the central government in Baghdad, and their American protectors, while the remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq migrated across the border to Syria, where they became the core of what morphed into ISIS. Those Sunni ‘hearts and minds’ were now pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ‘caliph’ of the Islamic State.
The Petraeus strategy was the logical extension of the Bush administration’s ‘Sunni turn,’ which Seymour Hersh writes about here:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo ‘ July 11, 2016.

The Roots of Hillary’s Infatuation with War

IN THE early 1970s, Hillary Clinton was a familiar face in the left-liberal milieu she had cast her lot with: a volunteer for the Yale Law School watchdog committee to monitor fairness in the trial of the Black Panther leader Bobby Seale; a worker for Marian Wright Edelman’s Washington Research Project (the precursor of the Children’s Defense Fund); a member of the legal staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry. In one cause, however, she was mostly absent and unaccounted for: the protest against the Vietnam War. A friend of the Clintons, Greg Craig, told the New York Times reporter Mark Landler that while others in their circle were ‘heavily involved’ in antiwar activism, ‘I don’t remember Hillary having much to do with that.’ Clinton gave two pages to the war in her memoir Living History. She sympathized there with the burden of responsibility borne by President Johnson for ‘a war he’d inherited,’ which turned out to be ‘a tragic mistake.’ Johnson is her focus: the man of power who rode a tiger he could not dismount. On a second reading, ‘mistake’ may seem too light a word to characterize a war that destroyed an agrarian culture forever and killed between one and three million Vietnamese. ‘Mistake’ is also the word that Hillary Clinton has favored in answering questions about her vote for the Iraq War.
Like every Democrat who has run for president since 1960, Clinton sometimes talks as if she wished foreign policy would go away. A president’s most important responsibility, she agrees, is to strengthen the bonds of neighborhood and community at home, to assure a decent livelihood for working Americans and an efficient system of benefits for all. Yet her four years as secretary of state – chronicled in a second volume of memoirs, Hard Choices – have licensed her to speak with the authority of a veteran in the world of nations. War and diplomacy, as that book aimed to show, have become an invaluable adjunct to her skill set. Clinton would want us to count as well a third tool besides war and diplomacy. She calls it (after a coinage by Joseph Nye) ‘smart power.’ Smart power, for her, denotes a kind of pressure that may augment the force of arms and the persuasive work of diplomacy. It draws on the network of civil society, NGOs, projects for democracy promotion and managed operations of social media, by which the United States over the past quarter of a century has sought to weaken the authority of designated enemies and to increase leverage on presumptive or potential friends.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 1, 2016.

Another Case For Exit – – -America Should Get Out Of NATO

In its reporting on Brexit, the New York Times asks an interesting question: ‘Is the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the United States and its allies unraveling, too?’
Hopefully, it will mean the unraveling of two of the most powerful and destructive governmental apparatuses that came out of the postwar era: NATO and the U. S. national-security state. In fact, although the mainstream media and the political establishment elites will never acknowledge it, the irony is that it is these two apparatuses that ultimately led to the Brexit vote:
The Times points out:
Refugees have poured out of Syria and Iraq. Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have absorbed several million refugees. But it is the flow of people into the European Union that has had the greatest geopolitical impact, and helped to precipitate the British vote.
But what was it that gave rise to that massive refugee crisis?
The answer: It was the U. S. national-security state’s regime change operations in the Middle East, including NATO’s bombing campaign as part of its regime-change operation in Syria.
What did U. S. and NATO officials think – that people would simply remain where they were so that they could get blown to bits with the bombs that were being dropped on them, by the U. S. assassination program, or by the massive civil-war violence that came as a result of the U. S. and NATO regime-change operations?

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Jacob G. Hornberger, by FFF.Org ‘ June 28, 2016.

Reflections On Neocons and Cockroaches

If the human species extinguishes itself in a flash of thermonuclear craziness and the surviving cockroaches later develop the intellect to assess why humans committed this mass suicide, the cockroach historians may conclude that it was our failure to hold the neoconservatives accountable in the first two decades of the Twenty-first Century that led to our demise.
After the disastrous U. S.-led invasion of Iraq – an aggressive war justified under false premises – there rightly should have been a mass purging of the people responsible for the death, destruction and lies. Instead the culprits were largely left in place, indeed they were allowed to consolidate their control of the major Western news media and the foreign-policy establishments of the United States and its key allies.
Despite the Iraq catastrophe which destabilized the Middle East and eventually Europe, the neocons and their liberal interventionist chums still filled the opinion columns of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and virtually every other mainstream outlet. Across the American and European political systems and ‘think tanks,’ the neocons and the liberal hawks stayed dominant, too, continuing to spin their war plans while facing no significant peace movement.
The cockroach historians might be amazed that at such a critical moment of existential danger, the human species – at least in the most advanced nations of the West – offered no significant critique of the forces leading mankind to its doom. It was as if the human species was unable to learn even the most obvious lessons needed for its own survival.
Despite the falsehoods of the Iraq War, the U. S. government was still widely believed whenever it came out with a new propaganda theme. Whether it was the sarin gas attack in Syria in 2013 or the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17shoot-down over eastern Ukraine in 2014, U. S. government assertions blaming the Syrian government and the Russian government, respectively, were widely accepted without meaningful skepticism or simple demands for basic evidence.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Robert Parry ‘ June 28, 2016.