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Posts Tagged ‘Forever War’

Biden’s deal to end the US combat mission in Iraq is just window dressing to give the illusion of an end to that ‘forever war’ — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on July 29, 2021

Anyone pretending that America’s lingering and unwanted presence in Iraq is an act of altruism and benevolence dedicated solely to counter-terrorism is deluded. The 30-year history of its contemporary role in the country which involved two outright wars, the latter an illegal invasion, glaringly suggests otherwise. The existing façade that they are there to “defeat ISIS” is a painfully out-of-date distraction, not least when the rise of ISIS was a consequence of America’s intervention in the country in the first place.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/530376-us-combat-mission-iraq/

Tom Fowdy

Tom Fowdy

is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

Washington’s agreement to cease ‘direct fighting’ is a long way from a troop withdrawal. The reality is, America has no intention of pulling out of Iraq anytime soon as it is far too important to their real aim of containing Iran.

Iraq is a nation steeped in American controversy, epitomising the country’s catastrophic 21st century obsession with ‘regime change’. One wonders when America will cut its losses and leave the Middle East nation alone. Recently, there’s been some hope they might withdraw, with the Biden administration appearing to sympathise with the growing political sentiment against ‘forever wars’. Following a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to DC, Washington and Baghdad on Monday signed a deal to “end” the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year. But, as ever with American military intervention, many questions still remain.

The devil, of course, is in the details. The headline sounds great, but actually US forces won’t leave the country and don’t commit to either. They simply cease directly “fighting” ISIS and “remain” in an advisory capacity. The White House refused to comment on any potential “troop withdrawals” accordingly. If it wasn’t obvious, the Iraqi government have been wanting America out for a long time and its parliament even passed a motion to do so following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last year, but Washington refused to budge, with Trump pushing threats of sanctions. But it’s not like they were ever invited in the first place. One must question accordingly, does this deal actually mean anything at all? Are we going to keep pretending ISIS is the real reason America is there? And given the US happily uses its own capabilities within Iraq to attack Iranian targets at will, what is changing here?

Anyone pretending that America’s lingering and unwanted presence in Iraq is an act of altruism and benevolence dedicated solely to counter-terrorism is deluded. The 30-year history of its contemporary role in the country which involved two outright wars, the latter an illegal invasion, glaringly suggests otherwise. The existing façade that they are there to “defeat ISIS” is a painfully out-of-date distraction, not least when the rise of ISIS was a consequence of America’s intervention in the country in the first place. The real reason the US is there is simply to contain Iran. Also on rt.com Biden says US ‘combat mission’ in Iraq will be over by year’s end, but won’t say how many troops to remain deployed

The mainstream media have largely reacted to this deal claiming that a US withdrawal could expand “Iranian influence” in the country and over Iraq’s government, as if it is just Tehran that wants the “Americans out” as opposed to it being an authentic sentiment within the country. Yet this is a dishonest interpretation of events. Anyone who knows Middle East politics in detail will see that Iran is not exercising “malign influence” over Iraq, but the two countries have a natural affinity for each other on the fact they are both majority Shi’ia Muslim nations and are linked by history. It is ironic on behalf of the US that when Saddam Hussein was in Baghdad, he led a Sunni minority dictatorship who sought to play down sectarianism through wielding secular Arabist nationalism. He even went to the desperate length of going to war against Iran to thwart the Islamic revolution’s influence on his country after 1979.

This reveals the biggest problem with what America has done to Iraq, underscoring its brainless approach to the rejection and an obsession with getting the best of both worlds. By illegally invading Iraq, dumping Saddam’s Ba’athist regime and striving to build a utopian democratic project in its own image, Washington gifted the Shi’ia majority control of the country. They then naturally choose to pursue a closer sectarian and economic relationship with Iran. This brought about religious conflict, triggering the rise of ISIS out of Al-Qaeda, as disgruntled Sunni resistance forces found traction in the country’s poorer north. Iraq remains a chronically unstable country and America is part of the problem.

Yet despite the sectarian strife and the instability that continues to place Iraq in turmoil, both Sunnis and Shi’ias are united in their wish to simply see the US leave. It is only the Kurds in the North, who see the US presence as a route to securing their autonomy, who want the Americans to remain. The United States has already long overstayed its ‘welcome’. Its presence in Iraq is an occupation, one which the sovereign government has no leverage to reverse. It lingers there not because there is a mission to defeat terrorism, but because the US wants to maintain an unlimited right to bomb Iranian targets and militias as part of its regional proxy conflict against Tehran. Also on rt.com Washington denies its top envoy discussed withdrawal of troops from Iraq with Prime Minister Kadhimi

This is an unjust arrangement, with Washington believing it has more of a right to be an intruding presence in Baghdad than Tehran itself does. What we see here is a face-saving deal to supplement an Iraqi prime minister who is suffering under widespread anti-American pressure and frequent social unrest. But there is no substance to the deal, the US doesn’t really commit to anything, only saying it will stop fighting a terrorist force long since defeated. It’s not an exit, it’s simply window dressing and doesn’t alter the reality that the United States maintains an unwanted presence in Iraq and will continue to use it how it sees fit.

Biden talks the talk on withdrawing from various Middle East conflicts, but there are serious questions concerning whether he will ever actually live up to it in practice.

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Will Biden Have Blood on His Hands in Afghanistan? – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2021

Take a look at this article in USA Today. It’s by a quadruple amputee who lost his arms and legs in Afghanistan. He says it’s time to leave. He says, “I don’t need any soldier to honor me by doing the same thing.”

But that’s exactly what Biden is risking by intentionally, knowingly, and deliberately violating an agreement that the U.S. government willingly entered into. 

https://www.fff.org/2021/05/06/will-biden-have-blood-on-his-hands-in-afghanistan/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

President Biden has announced that America’s forever war in Afghanistan is finally coming to an end. He says that U.S. forces will exit the country by next September 11. 

That’s a good thing. And it is long overdue. 

But there is one big problem with Biden’s timetable: It violates an agreement that the U.S. government entered into with the Taliban to exit the country by May 1 of this year.

Under that agreement, the Taliban agreed not to attack U.S. troops prior to their scheduled departure on May 1. With Biden’s decision to deliberately  violate the agreement by unilaterally extending the withdrawal to September 11, he is knowingly placing the lives of the 3,500 American servicemen still in Afghanistan at risk.

In fact, the Taliban has implied as much. According to the Washington Post, a Taliban spokesman declared back in April, “If the agreement is breached and foreign forces fail to exit the country on the specified date, problems will certainly be compounded and those whom failed to comply with the agreement will be held liable.”

What’s the point of extending the departure? Is an extension to September so important that it’s worth risking the lives of American servicemen still in Afghanistan? If some soldiers are killed or maimed because Biden cavalierly decided to violate the agreement, will their sacrifice have been worth it? What about the lives of innocent Afghan civilians caught in a crossfire or in a bomb explosion designed to kill U.S. troops? 

Take a look at this article in USA Today. It’s by a quadruple amputee who lost his arms and legs in Afghanistan. He says it’s time to leave. He says, “I don’t need any soldier to honor me by doing the same thing.”

But that’s exactly what Biden is risking by intentionally, knowingly, and deliberately violating an agreement that the U.S. government willingly entered into. 

Moreover, as Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine and intelligence officer who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, pointed out in an article in the New York Times, 

[R]emoving the 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan is, in military terms, what’s called a “fighting withdrawal,” in which an army leaves the field while still in contact with the enemy. Of all the maneuvers an army can perform (advance, flank, defend, etc.), it is widely accepted that a fighting withdrawal is the most complex and difficult because you are neither attacking nor defending, and so are exceedingly vulnerable.

Unlike the withdrawal from Iraq, in which U.S. troops could drive through the desert into Kuwait as they did in 2011, and unlike the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, in which they could drive across a then-shared border, U.S. troops are currently marooned in Afghanistan, reliant on three principal U.S.-controlled airstrips (Bagram, Jalalabad, Kandahar), making their journey home all the more perilous.

If the Taliban decide to attack U.S. troops from now until September, Biden will have their blood on his hands. He should never have breached the agreement that U.S. officials willingly entered into with their enemy.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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Washington Is Wrong Once Again – Kurds Join Assad To Defend Syria – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2019

It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground.

Now “our Kurdish allies” are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad – who we are still told by US officials “must go.” Washington doesn’t understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.

https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2019/10/14/washington-is-wrong-once-again-kurds-join-assad-to-defend-syria/

When President Trump Tweeted last week that “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars,” adding that the US would be withdrawing from Syria, Washington went into a panic. Suddenly Republicans, Democrats, the media, the think tanks, and the war industry all discovered and quickly became experts on “the Kurds,” who we were told were an “ally” being sent to their slaughter by an ignorant President Trump.

But it was all just another bipartisan ploy to keep the “forever war” gravy train rolling through the Beltway.

Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting “mission creep.” As President Trump Tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into “we must fight ISIS” and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.

Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.

The latest “mission creep” was that we had to stay in Syria to save our “allies” the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is “pro-American” for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and Kurds?

It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washington’s muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.

We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway “experts” have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a destabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.

Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.

On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkey’s incursion into Syrian territory.

Now “our Kurdish allies” are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad – who we are still told by US officials “must go.” Washington doesn’t understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

 

 

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We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria

Posted by M. C. on August 29, 2019

In a wildly byzantine and absurdly self-defeating redux of the 2003 Iraq War folly and the 1980s anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, the US again fueled Islamism in the region before subsequently turning on the Frankenstein’s monster of Sunni jihadism to justify “forever war” anew. In retrospect, it was almost as if Washington wanted Syria to collapse, for the war to rage on indefinitely, and for a new, bigger, Islamist bogeyman to rise like the mythical phoenix

If Gabbard and Kucinich were right, it’s clear who was very, very wrong: the late and now canonized John McCain

We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria

…Yet, as journalist Max Blumenthal made clear in two illuminating chapters of his latest book, “The Management of Savagery, the U.S. and its European and Arab “partners” spent most of the brutal civil war backing the very Islamists that most threatened America. As such, the Western-Gulf alliance enabled, even caused, the “Talibanization” of huge swaths of Syria, especially in the oil-rich east.

It worked like this: The CIA set up shop across the border in Turkey and Barack Obama authorized $500 million in military aid—including anti-armor TOW missiles—which ended up in the hands of the Nusra Front and an array of other Islamist groups. At the peak of the mission, $1 in every $15 the CIA spent went to the Syria assistance mission. The blowback, so to speak, was the resurrection of al-Qaida, the empowerment of Islamic State, and the turning of much of Syria into a jihadi stronghold.

It all bore disturbing similarity to Operation Cyclone, the failed, 9/11-catalyzing, CIA assistance mission to the equally theocratic Afghan mujahedeen in its battle against the Soviets from 1979 to 1988. In this tragic counterproductive redux, Turkey stood in as Pakistan, once the way station for arms and cash to the mujahedeen. The US, Western Europe and the Gulf States performed an encore as the largest backers of rebels, and all the blowback was essentially the same—if no worse—in the Syria reprise.

This time around, Israel counterintuitively lent a hand to empower the Nusra Front and even Islamic State. It bombed Syrian targets over the years and funded some Islamists along its Golan Heights border. Indeed, one right-wing, Netanyahu-allied scholar published an op-ed titled, “The Destruction of the Islamic State Is a Mistake.” What’s more, as a former Israeli defense minister emphatically stated in 2016, “In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State.” This was all patently ridiculous, since Islamic State’s ideology poses an enormous threat to Israel’s future, whereas Iran is a boxed-in, sanctions-riddled, non-nuclear power. Yet it reflects exactly the prevailing Israeli—and, by extension, American and Gulf State—strategic dogma in the region.

US policymakers, furthermore, had ample evidence early in the civil war that the rebels were infused with and rapidly dominated by Islamists. Even hyperconservative Defense Intelligence Agency head (and later Trump national security adviser) Michael Flynn reported this, as did the United Nations. It all pointed to the massive empowerment of Islamists, including Islamic State.

Gabbard knew this—saw it, even—from the start. Anyone with a willingness to study recent history should have, though most didn’t. She wasn’t exactly alone, of course. Reliably antiwar Dennis Kucinich, a former Ohio representative, once flippantly, but astutely, asked whether US aid to rebels and strikes on Assad didn’t essentially turn the US into “al-Qaida’s Air Force.” More surprisingly, in what was, at the time, considered one his notorious gaffes, then-Vice President Joe Biden admitted that “[t]he problem is our allies [the Gulf States and Turkey] … they poured in [money and weapons] … and the people who were being supplied were Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” For this nugget of truth, Uncle Joe was sent on an “apology tour” around the region.

If Gabbard and Kucinich were right, it’s clear who was very, very wrong: the late and now canonized John McCain…

All in all, Gabbard was pilloried precisely because she was uncomfortably and rationally correct about the rebels and the course of the war in Syria. Gabbard is no doubt imperfect, but she is remarkably consistent—even when it is politically unpalatable—in her anti-interventionist stances. In this, she’s all but alone in the bloated Democratic primary field; that’s exactly why she’s the most intriguing presidential hopeful. It’s also partly why she’s unlikely to last much longer in the race to the top.

An alliance of beltway insiders, interventionist think-tankers, corporate arms dealers and mainstream Democratic Party stalwarts feel they have to sink her campaign. It must be stillborn, in fact, because they fear her and all she stands for. She seemed to know that while Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s ayatollahs aren’t exactly America’s friends, they did, and do, possess goals in common with the US The Assad-backing coalition also fights terrorists, both native Syrian and transnational. Furthermore, though the generals and admirals will never admit it, the SAA and Russian air force acted as a veritable anvil to the US and Kurdish hammer that rolled back Islamic State in its eastern Syrian stronghold.

To further disturb reflexively liberal friends, Donald Trump—though he did meaninglessly bomb a Syrian runway, leading CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria to declare The Donald presidential—seems to also partly recognize the real score in Syria. Though 2,000 US troops foolishly remain in place in the country, he hasn’t escalated conflict with Russia per se and appears to understand the common goals between the otherwise implacable opponents.

Nevertheless, the situation on the ground in Syria is dangerous as all hell. Through its counterproductive policies, Washington ended up with the worst of all worlds: a costly war with an empowered Islamic State, a hair-trigger standoff with Russia and Iran along the Euphrates River, and another perilous military footprint in an unstable Mideast quagmire. Bravo, America!…

All told, at present, Islamic State is hardly gone and is again gaining strength; Russia, Assad and Iran hold all the high cards in the civil war; US troops remain enmeshed in the East; and the Kurdish question has yet to be solved (and could even lead to a war with Turkey). Moreover, an entire people, and a region, are once more shattered.

That, as recent history demonstrates, makes America less safe and has led to hundreds of thousands of dead brown bodies, for which the US public hardly cares. Which means Tulsi Gabbard, almost alone, was right from the start. And that’s precisely why America’s perpetual warfare state must destroy her.

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You Just Do It – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2019

…How about secure American borders, patrol American coasts, guard American shores, watch over American skies, and stand ready to defend the America in the event of a real threat. Isn’t that the real purpose of the U.S. military?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/laurence-m-vance/you-just-do-it/

By

After more than seventeen years of war in Afghanistan, most Americans have simply accepted the perpetual war for perpetual peace that the war has become. U.S. soldiers are still dying in Afghanistan, but no one seems to notice—expect perhaps the parents, wife, and three children of Sergeant Major James G. Sartor, who was killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado. Sartor “joined the Army in 2001 as an infantryman and had deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan.” He “had received more than two dozen awards and decorations and will posthumously receive a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.”

It seems that conservatives are always making excuses for the imperialistic, militaristic, reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy that keeps American soldiers in Afghanistan and countless other places around the world.

A case in point is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), who “studies US foreign policy and defense strategy,” and is also “the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).”

Says Hal Brands:

The Democratic Party’s progressive presidential candidates want to end the “forever war” — America’s two-decade struggle against jihadist extremism. The trouble is that they don’t know how.

It is easy enough for the progressives to argue that the US should pull back from the greater Middle East and demilitarize its counterterrorism strategy. Unfortunately, they have less to say about how the US can do so responsibly.

Progressives have not answered the tough question about how America can safely pull back from the war on terror.

The United States can’t just leave Afghanistan because “al-Qaeda and ISIS are still active there, and the US intelligence community has reportedly warned that a complete US withdrawal could lead to a major terrorist attack on American soil within two years.”

The United States can’t just cut off support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen because “there is no guarantee that simply terminating that support will make a horrific situation better rather than worse.”

The United States can’t just leave Iraq and Syria. It needs “to keep the American boot on Islamic State’s back and prevent a replay of what happened in 2013-14, when a nearly-defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq morphed into the ISIS juggernaut that rolled across a large swath of the Middle East.”

So, how you end the war in Afghanistan? How do you end the global war on terror? How do you end U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Africa? How do you pull back from the greater Middle East? How do you remove the U.S. troops out of Italy, Germany, and Japan that have been there since World War II ended in 1945? How do you close the hundreds of U.S. military bases that are all over the world? How do you remove the U.S. troops from South Korea that have been there since the end of the Korean War? How do you bring home the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops that are outside the borders and territorial waters of the United States?

You just do it…

But how can such a mammoth task can be undertaken? You just do it. Yes, you do it orderly and safely, but you just do it. You start putting U.S. troops on planes and ships and you bring them home. That’s how you do it.

And just what should these U.S. troops do once they come home?

How about secure American borders, patrol American coasts, guard American shores, watch over American skies, and stand ready to defend the America in the event of a real threat. Isn’t that the real purpose of the U.S. military? If so, then why do conservatives who clamor for a “strong national defense” object to this?

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New Soros/Koch-Funded Think Tank Claims To Oppose US Forever War – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

Just make a mental note of the information you have about it now, and pay attention to what’s happening when you see the words “Quincy Institute” in reports from the political/media class going forward.

 

Good news. Too good to be true.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/01/new-soroskoch-funded-think-tank-claims-to-oppose-us-forever-war/

If you were to have asked me what news reports I definitely did not expect to see when checking my news feed this morning, “Malignant plutocrats join hands across partisan divide to end America’s forever war” would probably have been among my first guesses. And yet, weirdly, here we are.

A new Boston Globe article titled “In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy” reports that the two influential billionaires have chipped in a half a million dollars apiece to start a new DC think tank with the goal of doing the exact opposite of the sort of thing that billionaire-funded DC think tanks normally do.

“Besides being billionaires and spending much of their fortunes to promote pet causes, the leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common,” the report begins. “They could be seen as polar opposites. Soros is an old-fashioned New Deal liberal. The Koch brothers are fire-breathing right-wingers who dream of cutting taxes and dismantling government. Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its ‘forever war’ and adopt an entirely new foreign policy.”

“In concrete terms, this means the Quincy Institute will likely advocate a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the nuclear deal with Iran; less confrontational approaches to Russia and China; an end to regime-change campaigns against Venezuela and Cuba; and sharp reductions in the defense budget,” the article reads.

Responses to this news from Twitter’s blue-ticked commentariat have been largely supportive.

“Great to see that avoiding really stupid, costly wars has support across party lines,” tweeted author and professor Max Abrahms.

“Certainly understand skepticism of Soros and Koch money but with a platform of ending endless war and Trita Parsi at the helm, this sounds very promising and is sorely needed as we inch towards catastrophic nuclear war,” said journalist Dan Cohen.

“A new foreign policy think tank that will ‘promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing.’ YES PLEASE,” tweeted In The Now‘s Rania Khalek.

“Finally. A think tank that aims to fight the blob and endless war. Hope Stephen Walt will be involved,” tweeted foreign policy analyst Joshua Landis.

Others have been a touch more skeptical.

“Hi Joshua, I’ve got a bridge on sale. You seem very interested in buying such. Gimme a call,” Moon of Alabama tweeted at Landis.

Such skepticism is warranted. It is true that the Quincy Institute’s co-fouder Trita Parsi has been a vocal opponent of US imperialism towards Iran and elsewhere, but it is also true that the Kochs and Soros have both acted as toxic facilitators of US imperialism.

The report claims that the new think tank seeks an end to America’s regime change agenda in Venezuela, for example, yet investigative journalist Greg Palast reports that the Koch brothers have been a major driving force behind that very agenda. The group claims to seek a de-escalation against Syria, yet investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley and alternative media outlet Mintpress News have documented extensive ties between George Soros and the various NGOs and narrative management operations which have been facilitating the agenda of toppling Syria’s government.

In 2014 journalist Mark Ames observed that Soros “funded many of the NGOs involved in ‘color revolutions’ including small donations to the same Ukraine NGOs that Omidyar backed. (Like Omidyar Network does today, Soros’ charity arms—Open Society and Renaissance Foundation—publicly preached transparency and good government in places like Russia during the Yeltsin years, while Soros’ financial arm speculated on Russian debt and participated in scandal-plagued auctions of state assets.)”

Charles Koch has been a major donor to the Iraq-raping think tank American Enterprise Institute, which has returned the favor by aggressively churning out narrative management on the public image of the Koch brothers. George Soros is a major funder of the NATO narrative management firm Atlantic Council, which has been a driving force behind the campaign manufacturing consent for escalations against Russia, something the Quincy Institute claims to oppose.

So if you’re interested in viewing world events through a lens that is untainted by corrupt narrative management, some skepticism of this new Quincy Institute is not just appropriate, but absolutely required.

The term “think tank” almost always refers to a group of academics hired by plutocrats to come up with reasons why it is very good and smart to do something very evil and stupid, and then to market those reasons at key points of influence. They are key tools of narrative management for the billionaire class, and the interests of the billionaire class are rarely in alignment with those of ordinary people. This is especially true when said billionaires are operating in a bipartisan manner.

But the good news is that all we have to do to know the truth about this new group’s purposes is watch its behavior over time, and pay attention to who benefits from the narratives it ends up pushing. Just make a mental note of the information you have about it now, and pay attention to what’s happening when you see the words “Quincy Institute” in reports from the political/media class going forward. If this think tank is what it claims to be, we will see this proven over time in the effects it has on dominant narratives and government policy. If it isn’t, we’ll see that, too.

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Overreach: Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Order Came as Reaction to Admin Hawks Demanding Forever War

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2018

The Pompeo-Bolton wing of the administration wanted to stay in Syria forever. This would have been exactly the opposite of why Trump got elected

https://russia-insider.com/en/node/25741

RI Staff

This time it’s real. It isn’t entirely impossible Trump will reverse himself later on yet again, or qualify the withdrawal in some other way, but for now it is clear that he has indeed given the order to Pentagon to get all its forces out of Syria. This has always been his instinct and inclination, but until now the Empire-first hawks he has surrounded himself with always in the end convinced him to keep the soldiers there after all:

“We know Trump’s instincts from the get-go were to get these guys out of Syria,” Tamara Wittes, a former State Department Middle East official now with the Brookings Institution, told Al-Monitor. “And yet, he has clearly been persuaded at several points ‘not yet, ISIS is not quite defeated, but we can use [the troop presence] as leverage against Iran.’ He becomes persuaded, and then at a certain point, … he decides enough is enough. He just changes his mind.”

So why is this time different? Here is the answer: Read the rest of this entry »

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Balance Sheet of the Forever War – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 5, 2018

When one adds up the U.S. dead and wounded from the wars we have launched since 2001 with the Arab and Muslim wounded, killed, orphaned, widowed, uprooted and turned into refugees, as well as the trillions of dollars lost, what benefits are there on the other side of the ledger?

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2018/09/04/balance-sheet-of-the-forever-war/

by 

“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” said Gen. John Nicholson in Kabul on his retirement Sunday after a fourth tour of duty and 31 months as commander of U.S. and NATO forces.

Labor Day brought news that another U.S. serviceman had been killed in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier.

Why do we continue to fight in Afghanistan?

“We continue to fight simply because we are there,” said retired Gen. Karl Eikenberry who preceded Gen. Nicholson.

“Absent political guidance and a diplomatic strategy,” Eikenberry told The New York Times, “military commanders have filled the vacuum by waging a war all agree cannot be won militarily.”

This longest war in U.S. history has become another no-win war… Read the rest of this entry »

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