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Posts Tagged ‘Antony Blinken’

Erie Times E-Edition Article- New chief on ‘Havana Syndrome’ named 

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2021

Another bureau created to investigate something that has been going on for decades. Why don’t I feel better?

To steal a meme from the Russiagate election fraud fiasco. Why are we paying $billions to the FIB, CIA, NSA?

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=459268a9c_1345fc6

Matthew Lee and Nomaan Merchant

WASHINGTON – The State Department on Friday named a new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome, responding to increased pressure from lawmakers to investigate and respond to hundreds of brain injuries reported by diplomats and intelligence officers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed a high-ranking deputy, Jonathan Moore, to coordinate the department’s task force on the cases. He replaces Pamela Spratlen, a retired diplomat temporarily called back into service by Blinken before leaving in September.

Blinken also appointed retired ambassador Margaret Uyehara to lead efforts to directly support care for State Department employees.

Investigators have been studying a growing number of reported cases by U.S. personnel around the world and whether they are caused by exposure to microwaves or other forms of directed energy. People affected have reported headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injuries.

Possibilities under consideration include the usage of a surveillance tool or a device intended to harm. The cases are known as “Havana Syndrome” dating to a series of reported brain injuries in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

After years of investigation, the U.S. government has still not publicly identified what or who might be behind the incidents or whether they are attacks. But leaders in the State and Defense departments and at the CIA have pushed employees to report possible brain injuries and in some cases removed leaders who were seen as unsympathetic to the cases.

“This is about the health and security of our people and there’s nothing we take more seriously,” Blinken said Friday.

Several hundred cases are under investigation. There have been multiple reports in recent weeks of potential incidents linked to visits by high-profile U.S. officials, including a case involving a member of CIA Director William Burns’ traveling party in India and incidents at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, before a visit by Blinken.

The State Department said Friday that Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon had met with diplomats in Vienna to discuss possible cases reported this year in Austria.

Democrats and Republicans have pressed President Joe Biden’s administration to determine who and what might be responsible for the cases and improve treatment for victims, many of whom have long said government officials aren’t taking their cases seriously. Biden earlier this month signed a bill intended to improve medical care for victims.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said at a recent hearing that after speaking to victims, there was still “clearly a disconnect as to what is happening at the top levels of the State Department and how victims are being treated in some cases.”

Shaheen has introduced new legislation to fix what she described as differences in how various agencies are investigating and treating cases.

“There’s still not enough information that’s being shared, not enough coordination that’s being done,” she said in an interview. “There’s not a unanimity of response on how to deal with it.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks while announcing that Jonathan Moore, back, is the new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL VIA AP

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Blinken denies giving Taliban lists of Americans and Afghan allies, but then says US turned over names for busloads of evacuees — RT USA News

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2021

Continuing the Hillary Clinton tradition of massive state department failures.

Implicit in that statement was the fact that rather than insisting on doing its own passenger vetting, the US State Department has trusted the Taliban not to misuse such information and to let through everyone whom Washington wants evacuated from Afghanistan.

https://www.rt.com/usa/533406-blinken-denies-giving-taliban-lists/

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to refute reports that the Biden administration gave lists of Americans and allies in Afghanistan to the Taliban, but then went on to say it provided names for busloads of its evacuees.

Asked by NBC News host Chuck Todd on Sunday how the administration could be sure that lists of people the US is trying to get out of Afghanistan won’t be used for “horrendous reasons,” Blinken said “it’s simply not the case” that such information has been turned over to the Taliban.

“The idea that we’ve done anything to put at further risk those that we’re trying to help leave the country is simply wrong,” Blinken added. “And the idea that we shared lists of Americans or others with the Taliban is simply wrong.”

Todd followed up, asking Blinken, “What was shared?” The secretary of state replied that “in specific instances,” the administration gave the Taliban manifests for busloads of people that it needed to get through checkpoints to the Kabul airport for evacuation.

“When you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through and you need to show a manifest to do that ​​– particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them – then you’ll share names of the lists of people on the bus so they can be assured those are the people we’re looking to bring in,” he said. “By definition, that’s exactly what’s happened, we’ve gotten 5,500 American citizens out of Afghanistan.” Also on rt.com President Biden says US ‘could very well have’ given evacuees’ names to Taliban, as he faces criticism after deadly Kabul attack

Implicit in that statement was the fact that rather than insisting on doing its own passenger vetting, the US State Department has trusted the Taliban not to misuse such information and to let through everyone whom Washington wants evacuated from Afghanistan. It’s not hard to imagine how the manifests could imperil Americans and Afghan allies, whom the Taliban could simply choose to seize or turn away and later target for reprisals, but Blinken insisted, “The idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong.”

President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also tried to bat down reports of lists being given to the Taliban, telling CNN host Jake Tapper that such reporting was “unfounded and inaccurate.” But he only denied giving “all” names to the Taliban, and like Blinken, he said the administration had worked with the Islamist group to get busloads of people through checkpoints. He didn’t respond directly when asked whether the manifests could have been used against any US evacuees.

And over on CNN, Jake Tapper grilled NSA Jake Sullivan on the administration giving a “kill list” to the Taliban. Sullivan’s argument was that they didn’t give them “all” the names just small lists. But he couldn’t say if the small lists were used against Americans or allies. pic.twitter.com/zflv5ZHoY0— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 29, 2021

US Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) called Blinken’s comments “disgusting,” saying in an ABC News interview, “Their plan has basically been happy talk. People have died and people are going to die because President Biden decided to rely on happy talk instead of reality.”

Sasse argued that the administration essentially “outsourced” security outside the airport perimeter to the Taliban. “They passed a list of American citizens and America’s closest allies – people who fought alongside us – they passed those lists to the Taliban, relying on them, thinking they could trust on them,” the senator said. “It was stupid then, it’s insane now.” 

Sasse added that by refusing to extend its withdrawal deadline beyond August 31, the administration will leave behind Americans and US allies who won’t be able to be evacuated in time.

Sullivan insisted that Washington has “substantial leverage to hold the Taliban to its commitments to allow safe passage for American citizens, legal permanent residents and the Afghan allies who have travel documentation to come to the US. We will use that leverage to the maximum extent, and we will work with the international community to ensure the Taliban does not falter on these commitments.” Also on rt.com Gold Star mother of US marine killed in Kabul attack blasts Biden as ‘dementia-ridden piece of crap,’ blames his supporters

The US and dozens of other governments issued a joint statement on Sunday, calling on the Taliban to honor its assurances that all foreign nationals and Afghans with authorization to enter their countries be allowed to depart from Afghanistan freely and safely.

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For What Will We Go to War With China? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2021

“We also reaffirm,” said Blinken, “that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

Is this an American war guarantee to fight the People’s Republic of China, if the Philippines engage a Chinese warship over one of a disputed half-dozen rocks and reefs in the South China Sea? So it would appear.

Is who controls Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal a matter of such vital U.S. interest as to justify war between us and China?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/07/patrick-j-buchanan/for-what-will-we-go-to-war-with-china/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In his final state of the nation speech Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his refusal to confront China over Beijing’s seizure and fortification of his country’s islets in the South China Sea.

“It will be a massacre if I go and fight a war now,” said Duterte. “We are not yet a competent and able enemy of the other side.”

Duterte is a realist. He will not challenge China to retrieve his lost territories, as his country would be crushed. But Duterte has a hole card: a U.S. guarantee to fight China, should he stumble into war with China.

Consider. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Manila we would invoke the U.S.-Philippines mutual security pact in the event of Chinese military action against Philippine assets.

“We also reaffirm,” said Blinken, “that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

Is this an American war guarantee to fight the People’s Republic of China, if the Philippines engage a Chinese warship over one of a disputed half-dozen rocks and reefs in the South China Sea? So it would appear.

Why are we threatening this?

Is who controls Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal a matter of such vital U.S. interest as to justify war between us and China?

Tuesday, in Singapore, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed the American commitment to go to war on behalf of the Philippines, should Manila attempt, militarily, to retrieve its stolen property.

Said Austin: “Beijing’s claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law. … We remain committed to the treaty obligations that we have to Japan in the Senkaku Islands and to the Philippines in the South China Sea.”

Austin went on: “Beijing’s unwillingness to … respect the rule of law isn’t just occurring on the water. We have also seen aggression against India … destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan … and genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.”

The Defense secretary is publicly accusing China of crimes against its Uyghur population in Xinjiang comparable to those for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg.

Austin has also informed Beijing, yet again, that the U.S. is obligated by a 70-year-old treaty to go to war to defend Japan’s claims to the Senkakus, half a dozen rocks Tokyo now occupies and Beijing claims historically belong to China.

The secretary also introduced the matter of Taiwan, with which President Jimmy Carter broke relations and let lapse our mutual security treaty in 1979.

There remains, however, ambiguity on what the U.S. is prepared to do if China moves on Taiwan. Would we fight China for Taiwan’s independence, an island President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger said in 1972 was “part of China”?

And if China ignores our protests of its “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” against the Uyghurs, and of its human rights violations in Tibet, and of its crushing of democracy in Hong Kong, what are we prepared to do?

Sanctions? A decoupling of our economies? Confrontation? War?

This is not an argument for threatening war, but for an avoidance of war by providing greater clarity and certitude as to what the U.S. response will be if China ignores our protests and remains on its present course.

Some of us can still recall how President Dwight Eisenhower refused to intervene when Nikita Khrushchev ordered Russian tanks into Budapest to drown the 1956 Hungarian revolution in blood. Instead, we welcomed Hungarian refugees.

When the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, President John F. Kennedy called up the reserves and went to Berlin to make a famous speech, but did nothing.

“Less profile, more courage!” was the response of Cold War hawks.

But Kennedy was saying, as Eisenhower had said by his inaction in Hungary, that America does not go to war with a great nuclear power such as the Soviet Union over the right of East Germans to flee to West Berlin.

Which brings us back to Taiwan.

In the Shanghai Communique signed by Nixon, Taiwan was conceded to be a “part of China.” Are we now going to fight a war to prevent Beijing from bringing the island home to the “embrace of the motherland”?

And if we are prepared to fight, Beijing should not be left in the dark. China ought to know the risks it would be taking.

Cuba is an island, across the Florida Strait, with historic ties to the United States. Taiwan is an island 7,000 miles away, on the other side of the Pacific.

This month, Cubans rose up against the 62-year-old Communist regime fastened upon them by Fidel and Raul Castro.

By what yardstick would we threaten war for the independence of Taiwan but continue to tolerate 60 years of totalitarian repression in Cuba, 90 miles away?

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Have We Learned Nothing? Biden Backs Mass Murder in the Middle East | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2021

Once again, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a complete mockery of his post as America’s top diplomat. As Dave DeCamp, news editor at Antiwar.com, has written:

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/have-we-learned-nothing-biden-backs-mass-murder-in-the-middle-east/

by Connor Freeman

The Gaza Strip, measures only 25 miles long and five miles wide. It is one of the most densely populated places on the planet.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a full blockade on Gaza from the air, land, and sea. The two million Palestinians living there (half of which are under the age of 18) are trapped in an open air prison where food, potable water, electricity, medicine, building materials, etc. are severely restricted by the Israeli authorities.

The latest Israeli military operation in Gaza was called “Guardian of the Walls,” a reference no doubt to the walls enclosing the Palestinian population of mostly refugees, victims of Zionist settler colonialism, forcibly prevented from returning home. Highlighting the unfairness of the fight, at the war’s onset reports described Israeli tanks and 80 aircraft, including  F-35’s, being deployed against a people militarily conquered and occupied since 1967. The Gazans have no air force, no navy, and no control over their borders, airspace, or coasts.

Following 11 days of bombing, an Egypt brokered ceasefire was accepted after multiple offers were rejected by Tel Aviv.

Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem

Last month’s war on Gaza was largely precipitated by an ethnic cleansing campaign occurring in East Jerusalem, illegally occupied by Israel. The threatened evictions of dozens of families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood sparked protests among the Palestinians.

Writer and researcher Yanis Iqbal provides some background;

Beginning from May 2, 2021, Israel has begun its attempts to forcibly evict 26 Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. These families consist of refugees since the Nakba (the 1947-49 expulsion and forced exile of over two-thirds of the population by Zionist forces) and have been denied their United Nations (UN)-mandated right to return home. They were relocated in the neighborhood when it was under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967.

Israeli propaganda attempts to present the idea that the homes being seized were once owned by Jews. This is a complete lie – the Jordanian authorities were the ones to finance the construction of the homes. Since the early 1970s, Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have been battling a series of Jewish settler organizations who filed lawsuits claiming the land belonged to them. Many Palestinians have been kicked out of the neighborhood and replaced by Israeli settlers. The current standoff and protests came about after an Israeli court ruled in favor of Nahalat Shimon International – an organization based in the US – and Ateret Cohanim, another settlement group that seeks to take over the properties.

In its bloody quest to eliminate Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, the settler state has left no stone unturned. Combat-clad murderers have been sent in to terrorize Palestinian sit-ins with skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades. Protesters have been physically assaulted, kneeled on, choked, and shot at with live rounds. On May 7, 2021, the Israeli police forced its way into the neighborhood as Palestinians and solidarity activists gathered to break their Ramadan fasting in solidarity with 40 Palestinians, including 10 children.

Far right violence had already been ramping up in Jerusalem. In one illustrative example from late April, a Israeli brownshirt-like group named Lehava led marches with memorable choruses such as “your village will be burnt down,” “may your village burn,” “Arabs get out,” and “death to Arabs.” The demonstrations saw large groups of Jewish youths hurling rocks at Palestinians, including inside their homes and vehicles. Participants were encouraged to arm themselves and get violent. Haaretz reported on a social media group administered by far right Knesset member, Itamar Ben-Gvir, that included somebody enthusiastically promoting plans to burn Palestinians with Molotov cocktails. A video shared on social media showed an Israeli man driving through East Jerusalem firing his gun in the air to frighten the occupied Palestinian residents. The Lehava event was explicitly promoted to “restore Jewish dignity” to Jerusalem. Palestinian counter protests at Damascus Gate in the Old City were responded to by police using similar measures to those deployed against the sit ins described above by Iqbal: 105 people were injured, with 22 hospitalized.

See the rest here

About Connor Freeman

Connor Freeman is a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He has been featured in media outlets such as Antiwar.com and Counterpunch, as well as the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also been a guest on Conflicts of Interest. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96

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Flying the flag for woke imperialism – spiked

Posted by M. C. on June 15, 2021

What’s more, as the woke elites fly the BLM and Pride flags, they have started to look down on the American flag. The BLM flag is almost viewed as an antidote to the Stars and Stripes. BLM protesters say it represents ‘slavery, genocide and war’. Burning the American flag was commonplace during last year’s BLM riots.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/06/14/flying-the-flag-for-woke-imperialism/

Sean Collins
US correspondent

Secretary of state Antony Blinken has authorised US embassies to fly the Black Lives Matter and rainbow Pride flags. The immediate spur for this decision is clear. Late May marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death and June is Pride month. But to fly flags other than the Stars and Stripes from the buildings that represent the US abroad is still extraordinary. It shows that the Biden administration is committed to exporting its woke values around the globe.

Embassies have flown BLM flags in many countries, including Bosnia, Cambodia and the UK, while Pride flags have been flown by embassies in Russia, Luxembourg and Namibia. In a move seemingly designed to troll the Vatican, which remains opposed to same-sex marriage, the US embassy to the Holy See tweeted that it was celebrating Pride month by displaying the rainbow flag. There are no reports of rainbow flags in Saudi Arabia, however.

Blinken and his State Department claim that flying these flags merely signals the US’s support for the rights of ‘people of colour’ and ‘LGBTQI+ persons’. But this does not explain why Pride and BLM, which are political movements, enjoy such a privileged status.

See the rest here

Sean Collins is a writer based in New York. Visit his blog, The American Situation.

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‘The Coming Biden/Putin Train-Wreck Summit’ – Ron Paul’s 7 June Column

Posted by M. C. on June 7, 2021


Though Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron have been loyal US lapdogs, the revelation of how Washington treats its allies has put them in the rare position of having to criticize Washington. “Outrageous” and “unacceptable” are how they responded to the news.

Russia has been routinely accused (without evidence) of malign conduct and interference in internal US affairs, but it turns out that the country actually doing the spying and meddling was the US all along – and against its own allies!

Surely this irony is not lost on Putin.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/inflation-115458?e=4e0de347c8

June 7 – I have my doubts whether the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva will take place later this month, but even if somehow it is pulled off, recent Biden Administration blunders mean the chance anything of substance will be achieved is virtually nil.

The Biden Administration was supposed to signal a return of the “adults” to the room. No more bully Trump telling NATO it’s useless, ripping up international climate treaties, and threatening to remove troops from the Middle East and beyond. US foreign policy would again flourish under the steady, practiced hands of the experts.

Then Biden blurted out in a television interview that President Putin was a killer with no soul. Then US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discovered the hard way that his Chinese counterparts were in no mood to be lectured on an “international rules-based order” that is routinely flouted by Washington.

It’s going to be a rough ten days for President Biden. Just as news breaks that under the Obama/Biden Administration the US was routinely and illegally spying on its European allies, he is preparing to meet those same allies, first at the G7 summit in England on June 11-13 and then at the June 14th NATO meeting in Brussels.

Make no mistake, Joe Biden is up to his eyeballs in this scandal. Ed Snowden Tweeted late last month when news broke that the US teamed up with the Danes to spy on the rest of Europe, that “Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.”

Though Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron have been loyal US lapdogs, the revelation of how Washington treats its allies has put them in the rare position of having to criticize Washington. “Outrageous” and “unacceptable” are how they responded to the news.

Russia has been routinely accused (without evidence) of malign conduct and interference in internal US affairs, but it turns out that the country actually doing the spying and meddling was the US all along – and against its own allies!

Surely this irony is not lost on Putin.

Biden has bragged in the US media that he would be taking Putin to task for Russia’s treatment of political dissidents like Alexei Navalny. Biden wrote recently in the Washington Post, that when he meets Putin, “I will again underscore the commitment of the United States, Europe and like-minded democracies to stand up for human rights and dignity.”

Perhaps President Putin will remind him of how the Biden Administration continues the slow-motion murder of Julian Assange for the non-crime of being a journalist exposing government misdeeds.

Perhaps Putin will remind Biden of how US political dissidents are being treated, such as the hundreds arrested for what the Democrats and the mainstream media laughably call the “January 6th Insurrection.” Many of these non-violent and unarmed protesters have been held in solitary confinement with no chance of bail, even though they have no prior arrests or convictions. Most await trial on minor charges that may not even take place until next year.

The Washington foreign policy establishment is hopelessly corrupt. The weaponization of the US dollar to bring the rest of the world to heel is backfiring. Only a serious change in course – toward non-interventionism and non-aggression – can avert a disaster. Time is running out.



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Copyright © 2021 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Blinken briefs Afghans on pullout

Posted by M. C. on April 16, 2021

” A report on worldwide threats issued by U.S. intelligence agencies forecast Tuesday that the Taliban “is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support.””

Wow! Really? The US invaded the country that never attacked US almost 20 years ago. The almost stone age enemy was operating out of caves with cell phones and VCRs. We are still there.

This war department flip flop is said to be because it is felt the US can’t be tied down trying to defeat a stone age Taliban when they go to war against Russia and China. Of course the Taliban aren’t really stone age. Especially after they received advanced equipment from our ME allies (US aided “moderate” al Qaeda) or just picked it up off the ground after we left an area.

That is our Washington, always one step behind.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=30cad8a90

Nick Wadhams

Bloomberg News TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a visit to Afghanistan on Thursday to brief the country’s leaders on U.S. plans to withdraw its remaining troops by Sept. 11 and to press for a peace agreement with the Taliban.

Blinken made the stop, which wasn’t announced beforehand in keeping with the strict security measures required for such visits, after President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. was pulling the more than 2,500 remaining troops from the country by the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. An additional 7,000 allied forces are also expected to withdraw.

“The reason I’m here, so quickly after the president’s speech last night, is to demonstrate literally, by our presence, that we have an enduring and ongoing commitment to Afghanistan,” Blinken told a crowd at the U.S Embassy in Kabul. He then met with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, saying the two countries’ “partnership is changing, but the partnership is enduring.” “We respect the decision and are adjusting our priorities,” Ghani told him.

Blinken visited NATO allies in Brussels earlier to coordinate plans for the withdrawal. The decision pushes back a May 1 deadline that the Trump administration agreed to with Taliban leaders.

Military and diplomatic leaders had said a rushed withdrawal could destabilize the country. Officials had also argued that the Pentagon’s previous “con-

See BLINKEN, Page 4A

Continued from Page 1A

ditions-based” approach for withdrawal was a recipe for leaving U.S. forces in the country forever.

Although some members of Congress endorsed Biden’s withdrawal plans, lawmakers from both parties have warned it would set the stage for the Taliban to return to power and for terrorists from al-Qaida and the Islamic State group to reestablish operations in the country.

Blinken told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday that the U.S. will work closely with allies on a “safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan.”

U.S. officials hope the impending troop withdrawal will create a new sense of urgency for Ghani’s government to agree to a peace deal with the Taliban. At the same time, it has complicated a U.S.-backed peace conference in Istanbul that representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban had been set to attend beginning April 24. The Taliban said in a tweet late Tuesday that it wouldn’t participate.

A report on worldwide threats issued by U.S. intelligence agencies forecast Tuesday that the Taliban “is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kabul on Thursday. AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL PALACE VIA AP

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The Banality of Blinken’s Evil – RPI 31 March Update

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2021

He does not say this as an apology for his murderous Syria policy beginning under Obama. Nor as an apology for the sanctions that have only caused suffering among the most innocent, in tandem with the arming and training of psychotic jihadists to burn the sectarian, multi-confessional Syria to the ground.

No, the empty-eyed Blinken cries crocodile tears for the Syrian children as political cover for his re-introduction of policies that killed their country and their parents in the first place.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/blinken?e=4e0de347c8

Dear Friends:

The 1963, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, written by Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, introduced the world to perhaps the most chilling aspect of the Nazi mass murder of so many Jews, Christians, other religious minorities – and so many others – at the hands of the national socialism of Hitler’s murder machine: the fact that the horror of mass killing on a colossal scale could be undertaken not with the fiery dramatics of drooling monsters, but rather could easily be carried out with the cold precision of the unthinking bureaucrat. The cog in the machine. The Eichmanns of the world, whose defense was, with a shrug, “I was only doing my job.”

For a period after the Nuremburg trials, which sought to criminalize such a defense of evil, it was accepted that the initiation of unprovoked aggression against others could no longer be justified with the excuse, “I was only doing my job.”

Arendt horrified us with the tale of Eichmann’s intellectual emptiness and the moral black hole that appeared at the center of his heart. He was not exceptional in his evil. He was just part of the machine. A bureaucrat.

As she put it:

The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.

Which brings us to current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This is not to compare Blinken with Eichmann or to suggest that he is a Nazi. Rather it is to point out that he shares the very same traits with those who actually feel a sense of moral superiority while implementing policies that result in the horrible deaths of tens of thousands – indeed hundreds of thousands and even millions – of innocents in the name of pursuing a “noble cause.”

So here we have this video Tweeted by Blinken’s office where he – shockingly – seeks to lecture us on the morality of his long-time Syria policy (while a senior official in the Obama Administration and now as Biden’s Secretary of State) that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and the displacement of millions. All in the pursuit of “regime change” in Syria.

Is it mere banality – or is it actual malevolence – that leads the co-author of Syria’s misery to Tweet the following about the victims of his criminal foreign policy:

When I think of the suffering of the Syrian people, including Syrian children, I think of my own two children. How could we not take action to help them? Our common humanity demands it. Shame on us if we don’t. 

He does not say this as an apology for his murderous Syria policy beginning under Obama. Nor as an apology for the sanctions that have only caused suffering among the most innocent, in tandem with the arming and training of psychotic jihadists to burn the sectarian, multi-confessional Syria to the ground.

No, the empty-eyed Blinken cries crocodile tears for the Syrian children as political cover for his re-introduction of policies that killed their country and their parents in the first place.

“We have to find a way to do something to take action to help people,” he says, with carefully rehearsed deep emotion, in the video.

But Blinken’s “do something” is no act of contrition for supporting jihadists and sanctioning the country into a hell on earth. It does not mean the US reversing course on “regime change” in Syria and leaving the desperate Syrians to rebuild their country.

No. It means that he intends to reinvigorate a policy gone flaccid under Trump – with some disgusting exceptions – that the US, led again by neocons and demonic “humanitarian” interventionists, would wander about Syria seeking the ruin of innocent lives.

But don’t worry: Blinken justifies the coming slaughter of innocent Syrian children by telling us he thinks of his kids when he thinks of the Syrian children. What a comfort.

As C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

Somewhere Blinken’s mentor, Madeleine “it was worth it” Albright, cackles with glee…

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Do We Not Have Enough Enemies? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 20, 2021

Biden also faces a new crisis of his own making. His “compassionate” policy on illegal immigration has been rewarded with scores of thousands of children, teenagers and families crossing our Southern border to be granted temporary residence while their cases await hearings.

With the border disintegrating, one would think the Biden administration would not be looking around for other crises.

Yet, in Tokyo, on the eve of his meeting with the Chinese in Anchorage, Blinken was playing the hawk: “China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law. … We will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way.”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/patrick-j-buchanan/do-we-not-have-enough-enemies/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Asked bluntly by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos if he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer,” Joe Biden answered, “Uh, I do.”

Biden added that he once told Putin to his face that he had “no soul.”

Biden also indicated that new sanctions would be imposed on Russia for the poisoning of dissident Alexei Navalny and for meddling in the 2020 U.S. election to allegedly help Donald Trump. Russia also faces U.S. sanctions for building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic to deliver natural gas to Germany.

With its president being called a “killer” by the U.S. president, Russia called Ambassador Anatoly Antonov home “for consultations.” In other times, such an exchange would bring the two nations to the brink of war.

What is Biden doing? Do we not have enough enemies? Does he not have enough problems on his plate?

The May 1 deadline for full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, negotiated a year ago with the Taliban, is just six weeks off. Do we stay and soldier on or depart? No decision has been announced.

If we stay, our forces in Afghanistan could, again, come under fire. If we leave, the Kabul regime could be shaken to its foundation and fall.

Leaving would be an admission that the U.S. failed, and the war is lost.

After the recent U.S.-South Korea military exercises, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister issued this threat to the Biden administration:

“We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off powdered smell in our land (that) if it wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”

There is talk of new North Korean tests of missiles and nuclear weapons.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Tokyo this week that the U.S. goal remains “the complete denuclearization of North Korea” But Presidents Bush II, Obama and Trump all failed to achieve that goal.

With national elections in June, the clock is also running on the Tehran regime that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal. Does Biden intend to sign on again, as he indicated in the campaign he would, or walk away?

Biden also faces a new crisis of his own making. His “compassionate” policy on illegal immigration has been rewarded with scores of thousands of children, teenagers and families crossing our Southern border to be granted temporary residence while their cases await hearings.

With the border disintegrating, one would think the Biden administration would not be looking around for other crises.

Yet, in Tokyo, on the eve of his meeting with the Chinese in Anchorage, Blinken was playing the hawk: “China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law. … We will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way.”

China has enacted a new law that authorizes its coast guard to use force to defend Chinese sovereignty. And among China’s claims to sovereign control are the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, claimed and controlled by Japan.

Blinken has warned the U.S. will fight to keep the Senkakus Japanese.

While in Tokyo, Blinken also denounced the generals’ coup in Myanmar, accusing Myanmar’s army of “attempting to overturn the results of a democratic election and … brutally repressing peaceful protesters.”

Former national security adviser to President Trump John Bolton has listed other areas where China is engaged in “unacceptable behavior.”

“A by-no-means-comprehensive list of Beijing’s transgressions that require U.S. attention would include: meddling, blatant and subtle, with U.S. public opinion; building military bases in the disputed South China Sea; menacing Taiwan, Vietnam and India; increasing strategic nuclear forces and egregious global cyberwarfare; empowering North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; concealing the origins of covid-19; stealing intellectual property and forcing technology transfers; and genocide against Uyghurs and the repression of Hong Kong.”

Perhaps the Anchorage talks can be extended to get all the items on Bolton’s agenda fully addressed.

Again, does not America have enough on her plate already?

Our national debt is now larger than our national economy. COVID-19 has killed half a million of us and is killing 1,000 a day more. We have a broken and bleeding Southern border being overrun with no end in sight.

Politically, our nation is divided as deeply as it was on the eve of the Civil War. We are caught up in a culture war, at the root of which is an irreconcilable conflict over whether America is a good and great country, perhaps the greatest — or a nation of whose history and founding we ought to be eternally ashamed.

If time is on America’s side in our cold wars with Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, is not the wiser policy to maneuver to avoid any new hot wars?

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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International Relations according to Antony Blinken, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2021

Washington has little choice: its interests have not changed, but those of its ruling class have. Antony Blinken therefore intends to pursue the line adopted since President Reagan hired Trotskyists to create the NED: to make human rights an imperial weapon, without ever respecting them himself. For the rest, one will avoid getting angry with the Chinese and will try to exclude Russia from the wider Middle East so that the war can continue without end.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212370.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The Biden Administration performs its first acts of International Relations.

First, Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in numerous international meetings by video conference, assuring his interlocutors that “America is back. Indeed, the United States is taking up its position in all intergovernmental organisations, starting with the United Nations.

The United Nations

As soon as he took office, President Biden cancelled the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization. Shortly afterwards, Blinken announced that his country was joining the Human Rights Council and was running for president. What’s more, he is campaigning to ensure that only those states that he considers to be respectful of human rights can sit on the Council.

These decisions call for several remarks:

Paris Agreements

- The US withdrawal from the Paris Accords was based on the fact that the IPCC’s work was not scientific, but political, since it is in fact an assembly of senior officials with scientific advisors. They led to, admittedly a lot of promises, but in reality to only one concrete result: the adoption of an international right to pollute managed by the Chicago Stock Exchange. The Chicago Stock Exchange was created by Vice-President Al Gore and its statutes were drafted by the future President Barack Obama. The Trump administration never contested climate change, but argued that other explanations were possible rather than industrial greenhouse gas emissions, for example the geophysical theory formulated in the 19th century by Milutin Milanković.
- The return of the United States to the Paris agreements has caused fear among US shale oil and gas personnel and companies. The Biden Administration is determined to quickly ban petrol-powered cars, for example. This decision will not only have an impact on employment in the US, but also on its foreign policy since it had become the world’s largest oil exporter.

WHO

- The US withdrawal from the WHO was motivated by China’s leading role in the WHO. The current Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is a member of the pro-Chinese Tigray People’s Liberation Front. In addition to his UN function, he has also played a central role in supplying arms to the Tigray rebellion.
- The WHO delegation that went to Wuhan to investigate the possible Chinese origin of the Covid-19 included Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the NGO EcoHealth Alliance, as the only US member. This expert funded work on coronaviruses and bats at the P4 laboratory in Wuhan. He is therefore clearly judge and jury.

Human Rights Council

- The US withdrawal from the Human Rights Council was the consequence of the Trump administration’s denunciation of its hypocrisy. In fact, the Council had been used in 2011 by the US itself to hear false witnesses and to accuse the “Gaddafi regime” of having bombed an eastern district of Tripoli; an event that never happened. This memorable staging had been transmitted to the Security Council, which had adopted a resolution authorising the West to “protect” the Libyan population from its infamous dictator. Given the success of this propaganda operation, various states and alleged NGOs have tried to use the Council in turn, particularly against Israel.
- The United Nations does not understand the term “human rights” as does the United States. For the latter, Human Rights are simply protection from the Reason of State, which implies the prohibition of torture. On the contrary, for the United Nations, the term also includes the right to life, education and the right to work, etc. From this point of view, China has important progress to make in terms of justice, but has an exceptional record in terms of education. It therefore has its rightful place in the Council, although Washington disputes this.
- Antony Blinken has just enunciated the “Khashoggi jurisprudence”. It is a question of no longer granting visas to foreign political leaders who do not respect the human rights of their opponents. But what value does this doctrine have when the United States has a gigantic targeted assassination service and sometimes uses it against its own nationals?

Iran and the future of the Greater Middle East

The Biden Administration is also negotiating a return to the 5+2 nuclear agreement with Iran. The aim is to resume the negotiations that William Burns, Jake Sullivan and Wendy Sherman began 9 years ago in Oman with the emissaries of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Today they have become respectively Director of the CIA, National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State.

At the time, Washington’s aim was to eliminate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and relaunch the Shia/Sunni confrontation in the context of the “war without end” (Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy). For the Khamenei Guide, it was to get rid of Ahmadinejad who had dared to strike against him and to extend his power over all the Shiites in the region.

These negotiations led to the manipulation of the Iranian presidential election of 2013 and the victory of the pro-Israeli Sheikh Hassan Rohani. As soon as he took office, he sent his foreign minister, Mohammad Djavad Zarif, to negotiate in Switzerland with Secretary of State John Kerry and his adviser Robert Malley. This time it was a question of closing the Iranian military nuclear file before witnesses, which everyone knew had long since been completed. Then came a year of secret bilateral negotiations on Iran’s regional role, called to resume the role of Middle East policeman under Shah Reza Pahlevi. Finally, the nuclear agreement was signed with great pomp and circumstance.

But in January 2017, the Americans elected Donald Trump, who questioned the agreement. President Rohani then published his project for the Shiite and allied states (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Azerbaijan): to federate them into a great empire under the authority of the Guide of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is on this new basis that the Biden Administration must henceforth negotiate.

But the United States can only position itself in the broader Middle East once it has decided what it is going to do with its two rivals: Russia and China. The Department of Defense has appointed a Commission that is working on the subject and will issue its recommendations in June. In the meantime the Pentagon intends to continue what it has been doing for 20 years: the “war without end”. The aim of the war being to destroy any possibility of resistance in the region, and thus to destroy all state structures, whether friendly or enemy, there was no a priori question of accepting the Rohani project.

Washington began contacts in November, three months before President Biden took office. This is exactly what the Trump administration had done with Russia, which led to legal action under the Logan Act. This time it is different. There will be no lawsuits because the Biden administration is unanimously supported by everything that matters in Washington.

Moreover, the Iranian-US negotiations are taking place in the East. Tehran and Washington are holding hostages to keep pressure on each other. Each one arrests spies, or if they are not tourists, and imprisons them for the duration of an investigation that is dragging on for a long time. It has to be said that they are better treated in the West than in Iran where they are subjected to constant psychological pressure.

To begin with, Washington maintained its sanctions against Iran, but lifted those it had taken against the Houthis in Yemen. It has also turned a blind eye to the South Korean channel that allows Iran to circumvent its embargo. But that wasn’t enough.

From February 15 to 22, Iran launched – through its Iraqi affiliates – commando actions against US forces and companies in Iraq; a way of showing that it is more legitimate in that country than Uncle Sam is. For their part, the Israelis accused Iran of having caused an explosion in a tanker belonging to one of their companies in the Gulf of Oman on February 25.

The Secretary of State responded by sending the Pentagon to bomb installations used by Shiite militias in Syria, a way of showing that the United States is illegally occupying this country whose authorities are suffering from Iranian sectarian aid – today Iran is not helping the Syrians, but those of them who are Shiites – and that they will have to come to terms with it.

China

See the rest here

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