MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘John Bolton’

Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on October 7, 2020

As the OPCW’s first Director General, Bustani experienced first-hand the costs of challenging pro-war narratives. In 2002, he was personally threatened by John Bolton and ousted as OPCW chief after he facilitated inspections that stood in the way of the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/10/05/ex-opcw-chief-jose-bustani-reads-syria-testimony-that-us-uk-blocked-at-un/

Aaron Maté

At the UN Security Council, the US, UK, France and allies have blocked the testimony of Jose Bustani, the OPCW’s first Director General, on the chemical watchdog’s Syria cover-up scandal. The Grayzone has obtained Bustani’s prepared statement and is publishing it in full.

Jose Bustani was invited to brief the Security Council on the OPCW’s cover-up of an investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The US, UK, and France bombed Syria after accusing the Syrian government of dropping toxic gas in Douma. OPCW inspectors later found evidence that undermined the official narrative, but were censored by their superiors under US pressure.

As the OPCW’s first Director General, Bustani experienced first-hand the costs of challenging pro-war narratives. In 2002, he was personally threatened by John Bolton and ousted as OPCW chief after he facilitated inspections that stood in the way of the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.

In his comments, Bustani voices support for the OPCW inspectors and urges the current Director General, Fernando Arias, to let them air their suppressed evidence in a transparent manner.

“At great risk to themselves, [the inspectors] have dared to speak out against possible irregular behaviour in your Organisation, and it is without doubt in your, in the Organisation’s, and in the world’s interest that you hear them out,” Bustani says. “Regardless of whether or not there is substance to the concerns raised about the OPCW’s behaviour in the Douma investigation, hearing what your own inspectors have to say would be an important first step in mending the Organisation’s damaged reputation. The dissenting inspectors are not claiming to be right, but they do want to be given a fair hearing.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZgIDlgD_txM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

TRANSCRIPT

Mr Chairman, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, your excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

My name is José Bustani. I am honoured to have been invited to present a statement for this meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Syrian chemical dossier and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. As the OPCW’s first Director General, a position I held from 1997 to 2002, I naturally retain a keen interest in the evolution and fortunes of the Organisation. I have been particularly interested in recent developments regarding the Organisation’s work in Syria.

For those of you who are not aware, I was removed from office following a US-orchestrated campaign in 2002 for, ironically, trying to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention. My removal was subsequently ruled to be illegal by the International Labour Organisation’s Administrative Tribunal, but despite this unpleasant experience the OPCW remains close to my heart. It is a special Organisation with an important mandate. I accepted the position of Director General precisely because the Chemical Weapons Convention was non-discriminatory. I took immense pride in the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of its inspectors and wider staff in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. No State Party was to be considered above the rest and the hallmark of the Organisation’s work was the even-handedness with which all Member States were treated regardless of size, political might, or economic clout.

Although no longer at the helm by this time, I felt great joy when the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. It was a mandate towards which I and countless other former staff members had worked tirelessly. In the nascent years of the OPCW, we faced a number of challenges, but we overcame them to earn the Organisation a well-deserved reputation for effectiveness and efficiency, not to mention autonomy, impartiality, and a refusal to be politicised. The ILO decision on my removal was an official and public reassertion of the importance of these principles.

More recently, the OPCW’s investigations of alleged uses of chemical weapons have no doubt created even greater challenges for the Organisation. It was precisely for this kind of eventuality that we had developed operating procedures, analytical methods, as well as extensive training programmes, in strict accordance with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Allegations of the actual use of chemical weapons were a prospect for which we hoped our preparations would never be required. Unfortunately, they were, and today allegations of chemical weapons use are a sad reality.

It is against this backdrop that serious questions are now being raised over whether the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of some of the Organisation’s work is being severely compromised, possibly under pressure from some Member States. Of particular concern are the circumstances surrounding the OPCW’s investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on 7 April 2018. These concerns are emanating from the very heart of the Organisation, from the very scientists and engineers involved in the Douma investigation.

In October 2019 I was invited by the Courage Foundation, an international organisation that ‘supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record’, to participate in a panel along with a number of eminent international figures from the fields of international law, disarmament, military operations, medicine, and intelligence. The panel was convened to hear the concerns of an OPCW official over the conduct of the Organisation’s investigation into the Douma incident.

The expert provided compelling and documentary evidence of highly questionable, and potentially fraudulent conduct in the investigative process. In a joint public statement, the Panel was, and I quote, ‘unanimous in expressing [its] alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma’. The Panel further called on the OPCW, ‘to permit all inspectors who took part in the Douma investigation to come forward and report their differing observations in an appropriate forum of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, in fulfilment of the spirit of the Convention.’ 

I was personally so disturbed by the testimony and evidence presented to the Panel, that I was compelled to make a public statement. I quote: “I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

The call for greater transparency from the OPCW further intensified in November 2019 when an open letter of support for the Courage Foundation declaration was sent to Permanent Representatives to the OPCW to, ‘ask for [their] support in taking action at the forthcoming Conference of States Parties aimed at restoring the integrity of the OPCW and regaining public trust.’

The signatories of this petition included such eminent figures as Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor at MIT; Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Chair of the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights; Coleen Rowley, whistle-blower and a 2002 Time Magazine Person of the Year; Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary-General; and Film Director Oliver Stone, to mention a few.

Almost one year later, the OPCW has still not responded to these requests, nor to the ever-growing controversy surrounding the Douma investigation. Rather, it has hidden behind an impenetrable wall of silence and opacity, making any meaningful dialogue impossible. On the one occasion when it did address the inspectors’ concerns in public, it was only to accuse them of breaching confidentiality. Of course, Inspectors – and indeed all OPCW staff members – have responsibilities to respect confidentiality rules. But the OPCW has the primary responsibility – to faithfully ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Article VIII, para 1).

The work of the Organisation must be transparent, for without transparency there is no trust. And trust is what binds the OPCW together. If Member States do not have trust in the fairness and objectivity of the work of the OPCW, then its effectiveness as a global watchdog for chemical weapons is severely compromised.

And transparency and confidentiality are not mutually exclusive. But confidentiality cannot be invoked as a smoke screen for irregular behaviour. The Organisation needs to restore the public trust it once had and which no one denies is now waning. Which is why we are here today.

It would be inappropriate for me to advise on, or even to suggest how the OPCW should go about regaining public trust. Still, as someone who has experienced both rewarding and tumultuous times with the OPCW, I would like to make a personal plea to you, Mr Fernando Arias, as Director General of the OPCW. The inspectors are among the Organisation’s most valuable assets. As scientists and engineers, their specialist knowledge and inputs are essential for good decision making. Most importantly, their views are untainted by politics or national interests. They only rely on the science. The inspectors in the Douma investigation have a simple request – that they be given the opportunity to meet with you to express their concerns to you in person, in a manner that is both transparent and accountable.

This is surely the minimum that they can expect. At great risk to themselves, they have dared to speak out against possible irregular behaviour in your Organisation, and it is without doubt in your, in the Organisation’s, and in the world’s interest that you hear them out. The Convention itself showed great foresight in allowing inspectors to offer differing observations, even in investigations of alleged uses of chemical weapons (paras 62 and 66 of Part II, Ver. Annex). This right, is, and I quote, ‘a constitutive element supporting the independence and objectivity of inspections’. This language comes from Ralf Trapp and Walter Krutzsch’s “A commentary on Verification Practice under the CWC”, published by the OPCW itself during my time as DG.

Regardless of whether or not there is substance to the concerns raised about the OPCW’s behaviour in the Douma investigation, hearing what your own inspectors have to say would be an important first step in mending the Organisation’s damaged reputation. The dissenting inspectors are not claiming to be right, but they do want to be given a fair hearing. As one Director General to another, I respectfully request that you grant them this opportunity. If the OPCW is confident in the robustness of its scientific work on Douma and in the integrity of the investigation, then it has little to fear in hearing out its inspectors. If, however, the claims of evidence suppression, selective use of data, and exclusion of key investigators, among other allegations, are not unfounded, then it is even more imperative that the issue be dealt with openly and urgently.

This Organisation has already achieved greatness. If it has slipped, it nonetheless still has the opportunity to repair itself, and to grow to become even greater. The world needs a credible chemical weapons watchdog. We had one, and I am confident, Mr Arias, that you will see to it that we have one again.

Thank you.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Bolton – Traitor to Common Decency — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2020

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/06/29/john-bolton-traitor-to-common-decency/

 Tom Luongo

There are few men in modern American history more venal than Former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Calling Bolton a relic of the Cold War in his outlook on foreign policy is a kindness.

Bolton is a dangerous and pathetic creature whose entire life is an example of how incomplete men with a talent for violence can rise in a late-stage cesspit of political corruption.

He is simply someone who has never been in a fight in his life who lusts for the power to kill, main and destroy anyone who dares challenge him. A pathology he’s had the dubious distinction of being able to act out in the real world on more than one occasion.

This will, hopefully, be the last article I write about his cretin because once his last fifteen minutes of fame are used up attacking President Trump in slavish interview after interview supporting his book, Bolton will be finished in Washington D.C.

This book is his gold watch for being a lifelong soldier in the service of the American empire and the neoconservative/neoliberal dream of global conquest. $2 million, a handful of residuals and a final victory lap for a life spent in pursuit of the subjugation of those he considers sub-human.

President Trump’s recent tweet about Bolton is a masterful bit of brevity being the soul of wit.

And while Bolton spent the balance of his career in D.C. working nominally for Republicans, his lust for war served both parties equally well. That war lust was in service of the empire itself when Bolton was fired, and he turned against President Trump.

He was welcomed as a Hero of the Resistance by Democrats intent on impeaching the President after he was fired last year, one of the few good moments in Trump’s nearly four years at the helm of U.S. foreign policy. Given his involvement with Fiona Hill and Eric Chiaramella, the whistleblower whose testimony created the impeachment charges, Bolton really could be thought of as the architect of that process.

So, it’s no surprise that his book is welcomed as the gossip event of the summer by the media. But remember, this is a guy who refused to testify against Trump for Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff and that’s because he would have never stood up to cross-examination.

This is because, ultimately, John Bolton is a coward. And he’s the worst kind of coward. He’s the kind of man who deals underhandedly while hiding behind rhetoric in controlled environments to pursue his fever dreams of suppressing the Untermensch.

What we know now, thanks to Bolton’s unwillingness to keep his trap shut, is that things were as we suspected while he was in the White House. Every event that occurred was an excuse for Bolton to tell Trump to go to war. And every time Trump was led up to that trough to drink, he backed away causing Bolton’s mustache the worst case of sexual frustration.

Worse than that, Bolton sabotaged any hope of détente with Russia, North Korea and improving the situation in the Middle East. While he was right to hate Jared Kushner’s Deal of the Century for Israel/Palestine, he was instrumental in getting Trump to stay in Syria rather than turn over what’s left of its suppression to the people who actually want it to continue – Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In the end Bolton is really the best example I can come up with for the monolithic thinking that permeates D.C. Despite his best instincts, Trump took Bolton on because the potential talent pool is so thin.

Anyone with original ideas, such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, are more valuable in their current position rather than coming into an administration that is hamstrung by a permanent bureaucracy unwilling to change, or in open revolt.

There’s no profit for them to make the jump even if they wanted to.

This point has been in effect since before Trump took office when he wouldn’t stand behind his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who is still embroiled in the worst The Swamp can throw at a person.

Progressives, liberals and anti-imperalists I implore you to stop allying with this creature of The Swamp in his quest to do damage to a president you hate. Because by doing so you are strengthening the very people who are the architects of the empire you believe you are fighting against.

Because that’s who John Bolton wrote this book for.

He didn’t write it for you.

Bolton will ultimately be a foot note in the history books. A man whose only claim to fame was failing to allow a president to make some peace with North Korea and set the U.S. on a path to complete alienation with the rest of the world.

Because of the neoconservatives’ intense war lust, as embodied by Bolton, it pushed Trump, already an arch-mercantilist, even farther along the path of using economic pressure to force change on the world stage.

But, as I’ve been saying for years now, that is a strategy just as ruinous in the long run for the U.S. as Bolton’s cowardice urging use of a military — which he refused to serve in — to do his dirty work for him.

These are both expressions of an empire which refuses to accept that it is in decline. And it has invited the chaos now evident in cities all across the U.S. as our wealth has been squandered on endless wars for regime change overseas while building a regulatory police state at home.

That helped pushed the militarization of our local police, further putting them in conflict with a domestic population growing more desperate and reactionary on both sides of the political aisle.

Bolton’s projection of all the U.S.’s ills onto countries with no real ability to harm us physically ultimately was not only his undoing with Trump but the U.S.’s undoing as a leader of the post-WWII order.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Bolton’s Mission: Destroy Donald Trump’s Detente with North Korea | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on June 23, 2020

The only problem: North Korea isn’t some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It’s a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors.

The more accurate question, Mr. President, is “what did you expect from John Bolton,” whose only accomplishment on the North Korea portfolio was the slaying of the only nuclear agreement (the Clinton-era Agreed Framework) that managed to stick for more than a week?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/korea-watch/john-boltons-mission-destroy-donald-trumps-detente-north-korea-163211

by Daniel R. DePetris

Why is this such a shocker?

John Bolton, the former national security adviser who was ousted from his job last September (Bolton claims he resigned), has been on a tear over the last week. His memoir, “The Room Where it Happened,” documents a series of allegedly explosive encounters with President Donald Trump during Bolton’s 17-month tenure. By now, you have likely come across some of the more salacious excerpts from the book—including what Bolton himself likens to a campaign of systemic obstruction of justice on behalf of the dictators and authoritarians Trump appears to respect so much.

The media is jumping all over the story, covering Bolton’s book as if it was this century’s bombshell blockbuster. While the general public doesn’t have access to the volume yet, it’s safe to say that 90% of the pages are likely designed to make Bolton look as if he was the noble insurgent fighting his boss and trying to prevent the U.S. from being on the wrong side of history. And, knowing Bolton’s reputation, there are likely a few ham-fisted attempts to drag down his former colleagues in the process.

Normally, I wouldn’t touch a Bolton screed with a 10-foot pole. I didn’t read his last memoir (“Surrender is not an Option”) when it was published over a decade ago and I don’t plan on reading this one either. But scrolling through the excerpts, I couldn’t help but marvel at Bolton’s nerve. That Bolton had the audacity to pan Trump’s outreach to North Korean Kim Jong-un when he has a decades-long record of failure on the subject is beyond ironic (weeks before Bolton was appointed as national security adviser, he wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal arguing that bombing a nuclear-armed North Korea would be an act of self-defense). You almost have to admire his lack of self-perception.

In Bolton’s recounting, Trump’s slap-dash Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un was a “foolish mistake” that could have been catastrophic to Washington’s objective of denuclearizing the North. “Trump told…me he was prepared to sign a substance-free communique, have his press conference to declare victory and then get out of town,” Bolton wrote, implying that even the president himself doubted his diplomatic gamble with Kim would result in anything substantive. In Bolton’s mind, the entire summit was an exercise in showmanship and publicity—a way to persuade voters back in the United States that Trump was a bold, new leader willing to embrace the unconventional in order to strike a deal of historic magnitude.

Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton’s version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington’s demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton’s record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids—smash your opponent to pieces and don’t think twice about it.

The only problem: North Korea isn’t some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It’s a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton’s obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang’s total surrender—an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction—the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert—even the word “Libya” is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, “Libya’s experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs.”

One can certainly take issue with Trump’s North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump’s strategy aside, Bolton’s alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser’s public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton’s comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn’t pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn’t forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that “Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, “what the hell were you thinking?”

The more accurate question, Mr. President, is “what did you expect from John Bolton,” whose only accomplishment on the North Korea portfolio was the slaying of the only nuclear agreement (the Clinton-era Agreed Framework) that managed to stick for more than a week?

Be seeing you

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

David Wurmser, Key Iraq War Architect, Advising Trump on Iran

Posted by M. C. on January 17, 2020

Like Pennywise the Dancing Clown, war people keep coming back

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/16/david-wurmser-iran-suleimani-iraq-war/

David Wurmser was a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration. Eventually, he got what he wanted, and it was a total disaster. Now, Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

An influential neoconservative in President George W. Bush’s White House who became a significant force behind the push for war with Iraq in 2003, Wurmser has recently been serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration, according to new reporting from Bloomberg News. In that capacity, Wurmser helped make the case for the recent drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

David Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

Wurmser wrote several memos to then-national security adviser John Bolton in May and June of 2019. In the documents, according to Bloomberg, Wurmser argued that aggressive action by the U.S. — such as the killing of Suleimani — would, in Wurmser’s words, “rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival.”

The significance of this is two-fold. First, while it was already clear that the neoconservative movement has powerfully influenced the Trump administration, Wurmser’s role on Iran is further evidence of the sway that neoconservatism still holds on the U.S. right — despite the catastrophic invasion of Iraq and Trump’s disavowal of the war. Second, it demonstrates that neoconservatives such as Wurmser still cherish a peculiar theory about Iranian society.

After Bush’s reelection in 2005, the hard-right faction of his administration turned its attention to Iran. These officials had always wanted regime change in the Islamic Republic, but now some of them believed that a full-scale invasion would not be necessary to bring this about. A 2005 article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh quoted a government consultant who described the perspective of these officials as being that a bombing campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities would spur a revolution led by “secular nationalists and reformers.” The consultant summarized their view: “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse.”

 

This theory, so popular among neoconservatives, has always been bizarre: Nations generally become more right-wing when under attack. For instance, after the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, Americans did not demand that Bush be impeached and Dennis Kucinich move into the Oval Office.

We should definitely consider the possibility that the neocons don’t know what they’re talking about. And yet, here we are, with those self-same neocons again helping shape our foreign policy in delusional and dangerous ways.

The continued self-confidence of neoconservatives like Wurmser is particularly odd given how all their beliefs were proven disastrously wrong in Iraq…

the rest here

Be seeing you

Pennywise Final Form Makeup - YouTube

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Bolton Can’t Believe He Left White House Just Before War With Iran

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2020

More fun from Babylon Bee. Likely close to the truth.

https://babylonbee.com/news/john-bolton-cant-believe-he-quit-just-before-war-with-iran

WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to sources close to the former national security adviser, a teary-eyed John Bolton wept in great pain and anguish that he left the Trump administration just before the war with Iran broke out.

“Wait — what!?!” he had screamed as he saw that Trump had ordered a missile strike on Qasam Soleimani. “No… no… it can’t be true… it just can’t!”

“After all my years of service, we decide to go to war with Iran NOW!?!” Bolton flew into a rage, attempting to throw objects at the television. But not being strong enough to pick up the objects himself, and not wanting to get hurt, he ordered an aide to throw the objects on his behalf.

Finally, once the television was good and destroyed, Bolton moved on with the grieving process, going into bargaining (“God, I’ll devote my life to you if you just let me attack Iran”), depression (“What’s the point? World peace is inevitable”), and finally, acceptance.

“At least we’re still gonna have a war, even if I missed out on my chance to partake,” he said as an aide patted his back to comfort him.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Real Bombshell of the Impeachment Hearings

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

Let that sink in for a moment: Vindman did not witness any crimes, he just didn’t think the elected President of the United States had any right to change US policy toward Ukraine or Russia!

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman immigrated from Ukraine,

Let that sink in…

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/november/25/the-real-bombshell-of-the-impeachment-hearings/

Written by Ron Paul

The most shocking thing about the House impeachment hearings to this point is not a “smoking gun” witness providing irrefutable evidence of quid pro quo. It’s not that President Trump may or may not have asked the Ukrainians to look into business deals between then-Vice President Biden’s son and a Ukrainian oligarch.

The most shocking thing to come out of the hearings thus far is confirmation that no matter who is elected President of the United States, the permanent government will not allow a change in our aggressive interventionist foreign policy, particularly when it comes to Russia.

Even more shocking is that neither Republicans nor Democrats are bothered in the slightest!

Take Lt. Colonel Vindman, who earned high praise in the mainstream media. He did not come forth with first-hand evidence that President Trump had committed any “high crimes” or “misdemeanors.” He brought a complaint against the President because he was worried that Trump was shifting US policy away from providing offensive weapons to the Ukrainian government!

He didn’t think the US president had the right to suspend aid to Ukraine because he supported providing aid to Ukraine.

According to his testimony, Vindman’s was concerned over “influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency.”

“Consensus views of the interagency” is another word for “deep state.”

Vindman continued, “While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.”

Let that sink in for a moment: Vindman did not witness any crimes, he just didn’t think the elected President of the United States had any right to change US policy toward Ukraine or Russia!

Likewise, his boss on the National Security Council Staff, Fiona Hill, sounded more like she had just stepped out of the 1950s with her heated Cold War rhetoric. Citing the controversial 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment” put together by then-CIA director John Brennan’s “hand-picked” analysts, she asserted that, “President Putin and the Russian security services aim to counter US foreign policy objectives in Europe, including in Ukraine.”

And who gets to decide US foreign policy objectives in Europe? Not the US President, according to government bureaucrat Fiona Hill. In fact, Hill told Congress that, “If the President, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that is more than worthy of your attention.”

Who was Fiona Hill’s boss? Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who no doubt agreed that the president has no right to change US foreign policy. Bolton’s the one who “explained” that when Trump said US troops would come home it actually meant troops would stay put.

One by one, the parade of “witnesses” before House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff sang from the same songbook. As US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland put it, “in July and August 2019, we learned that the White House had also suspended security aid to Ukraine. I was adamantly opposed to any suspension of aid, as the Ukrainians needed those funds to fight against Russian aggression.”

Meanwhile, both Democrats and Republicans in large majority voted to continue spying on the rest of us by extending the unpatriotic Patriot Act. Authoritarianism is the real bipartisan philosophy in Washington.


Copyright © 2019 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Best Government Money Can Buy

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2019

Adelson’s power over policy makers is also evident in what the White House does not do. Israeli snipers have shot dead at least 143 unarmed Arab demonstrators in Gaza without so much as a word of condemnation coming out of Washington. Indeed, the Donald Trump Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has gone out of his way to defend the killings and also to support the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/04/best-government-money-can-buy.html

Philip Giraldi

October 4, 2018

Very few Americans know who Sheldon Adelson is and fewer still appreciate that, as America’s leading political donor, when he speaks the Republican Party listens. By virtue of his largesse, he has been able to direct GOP policy in the Middle East in favor of Israel, which might well be regarded as his true home while the United States exists more as a faithful friend that can be produced at intervals whenever Israel finds itself in need of a bit of cash or political cover.

Adelson’s recent successes in translating his political donations into policy favorable to Israel have included shifting the US Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to Palestinians, ending the Iranian nuclear monitoring agreement and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic office in Washington. All those Trump Administration measures were reportedly worked out privately by Adelson speaking directly with the president.

Adelson’s activities in buying politicians reflect what he believes, he reportedly having said that “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” Nor does his world view include much concern for the country that has sheltered him and made him wealthy. He served in the US Army in World War 2 and has said that he regrets having done so, as he would rather have worn an Israeli army uniform. He also expressed his desire that his son might become an Israeli Army sniper.

Adelson benefits from his exceptional access to the White House to the detriment of actual American interests. A New York Times article “Sheldon Adelson Sees a Lot to Like in Trump’s Washington,” states that he “enjoys a direct line to the president” and meets the president monthly “in private in-person meetings and phone conversations.” He has been delighted with the openly expressed threats emanating from the Administration’s key foreign and national security policy spokesmen regarding Iran. He would like to see the United States go to war with the Iranians to destroy their government and bring about some kind of regime change, and, judging from recent developments, he just might get what he seeks, which could easily have catastrophic consequences for the entire region and beyond.

Adelson is somewhat unhinged on the issue of Iran and has even called for dropping a nuclear bomb on a desert region of the country as a negotiating tactic to show “we mean business” so Washington could then “impose its demands [on Iran] from a position of strength.” If Iran continued to resist, Adelson would to drop the next one on Tehran. If Tehran were to be nuked millions of Iranians would die, which doesn’t bother Adelson one bit. Such a development would, in Adelson’s opinion, be good for Israel, which is his primary concern.

Adelson’s power over policy makers is also evident in what the White House does not do. Israeli snipers have shot dead at least 143 unarmed Arab demonstrators in Gaza without so much as a word of condemnation coming out of Washington. Indeed, the Donald Trump Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has gone out of his way to defend the killings and also to support the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Adelson is also widely believed to have had a hand in personnel changes in the White House. He has used his money and influence to advance the careers of United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while also arranging the removal of H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson for “being anti-Israeli” and not sufficiently willing to go to war with Iran. Defense Secretary James Mattis, the only actual adult remaining in the room when foreign policy is discussed, is believed to be the next target for removal.

How does Adelson do it? Money talks. He is worth an estimated $35 billion. His fortune came from casinos both in the US and in China, which some might consider to be promotion of vice. To buy and maintain the Republican support for right wing Zionist policies he has donated what is for him pocket change, $55 million so far this year in support of GOP candidates in the Midterm elections. In 2016, he gave large sums to the Trump campaign and to other Republicans, donating $35 million to the former and $55 million to two top Republican PACs — the Congressional Leadership Fund and the Senate Leadership Fund.

In America’s corrupt political culture, a monster like Sheldon Adelson can buy both a White House and Congress on behalf of a foreign government for a paltry $150 million or so. It is a reasonable investment for him given his views, as through him Israel is able to control a large slice of American foreign policy while also receiving billions of dollars each year from the US Treasury. And for those who think it would be different if the Democrats were in charge, think again. The Democrats have their own Adelson. His name is Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media magnate who has said he is a “one issue guy and my issue is Israel.” He is also the largest individual contributor to the Democratic Party.

Be seeing you

aipac

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019

What is remarkable is that all of Washington’s warmongers are ready for
war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim
of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia
in 2015. It was the other way around.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove,

Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Bolton by proxy.

https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2019/09/16/will-trump-take-neocon-bait-and-attack-iran-over-saudi-strike/

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, “It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries…” Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington’s warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, “let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years.” True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they’ve created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran’s role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

Be seeing you

John McCain & Lindsey Graham Are Syrias About War (TJDS ...

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fall of John Bolton: Exercising Power with the Grace of a Cockroach — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on September 13, 2019

John Bolton never saw a nuclear arms control treaty he did not hate. He was and is willfully blind to the dangers of Armageddon

Like his brother from another mother McCain who never saw a war he didn’t like.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/11/the-fall-of-john-bolton-exercising-power-with-the-grace-of-a-cockroach/

Martin Sieff

 

John Bolton was only national security adviser of the United States for less than18 months but it felt as if he had been there forever. And we are not – alas – done with him yet.

The first thing to be said about Bolton’s fall is that it was entirely consistent with his lifelong pattern. He went reluctantly and departed with all the grace of a cockroach. He showed no loyalty or even courtesy to the president who raised him from being an aged, deserved has-been to briefly being one of the most powerful men on the planet. He could never be graceful or grateful, never be a gentleman. He could never simply shut up.

John Bolton was never a genius: Though like all his neoconservative friends he imagined himself to be. It was always the childish fantasy of a creepy little psychopath who never grew up, always a lie.

For decades, the cockroaches and spiders in the most obscure recesses of all the conservative, libertarian and liberal-progressive think tanks sprinkled across Washington like smallpox scabs spoke with awe of Bolton’s brilliant brain, his remorseless work ethic and his capacious memory. They were only exposing their own even greater mediocrity.

For Bolton always lacked any form of judgment, wisdom, discernment or restraint. He had a simplistic rigid mind that never learned any anything good that was new and never forget everything that was old and vile.

As recently as July, he was lauded at a farcical so-called “national conservative” conference outside Washington as a champion of restraint and peace in foreign policy. Josef Goebbels could not have come up with a more outrageous and ludicrous lie. It was like congratulating Jeffrey Epstein on his chastity and respect for virgins.

Bolton was lauded by unending generations of neocon whores in the American media for his breadth of vision as if he actually understood the world. In fact the only thing he ever understood – and knew how to play – was the media and think tank gossip games inside the Washington Beltway.

John Bolton claimed to defend the national security of the United States: Another lie. As usual in the Infernal Groves of the National Capital, everything is the opposite of what it is presented as being. In fact, he worked endlessly to put his country at unprecedented risk.

To the very end, he sought to keep American soldiers dying in their thousands in an unending war in Afghanistan that he worked so hard with his neocon soulmates to unleash under their brainless puppet George W. Bush. Indeed, it seems to have been his efforts to (at least initially successfully) derail promising peace talks in Qatar between the Trump administration and the Taliban that finally led his longsuffering president to pull the plug on him…

Every one of his policies failed, cost untold hundreds of billions of dollars or took hundreds of thousands of lives. It never seemed to matter. He could count on the indulgent hosts and producers of Fox News to wheel him out endlessly, again and again to trot out the same tired old lies masquerading as wisdom and truth.

No one was ever allowed to call him out on it on national television to his face. He would never allow it. Like so many armchair warriors, he had been a draft dodger and was always a bully and a coward…

Bolton was also a central figure in the destruction of Iraq in 2003. He cheered on the attempt to destroy Syria in 2011. He solemnly and thoughtfully endorsed the destruction of genuine democratic and constitutional government in Ukraine in the Maidan coup of 2011. When it came to unleashing the Dogs of War, he was relentless and remorseless to the end.

Nor should we celebrate prematurely that we have seen the last of him yet: A future President Mike Pence or Nikki Haley is perfectly capable of making John Bolton secretary of defense, secretary of state or national security adviser for a second time.

And do not rule out him appearing magically reinvented as a figure of supposed wisdom and restraint at the side of a future President Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris. Compared to the fantastic, terrible and bizarre realities of Washington, Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” is a sober documentary.

John Bolton never saw a nuclear arms control treaty he did not hate. He was and is willfully blind to the dangers of Armageddon…

Who but a cockroach could possibly want thermonuclear war? Who but a cockroach – and John Bolton?

Be seeing you

John Bolton's zeal for regime change extends to Latin ...

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump, the New York Times, and John Bolton – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

Bolton’s best-known policies have been to bomb Iran and replace the Mullahs with a US puppet government; turn Venezuela into an American oil well; exit the UN; and start World War III

We are well rid but Bolton’s opinion on one thing has always been correct.

Dump the UN.

https://original.antiwar.com/david-bromwich/2019/09/11/trump-the-new-york-times-and-john-bolton/

The New York Times on September 10 ran six articles with the word Trump in the headlines. Two of the stories were clearly warranted – one on Trump’s continuing resolve to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, and one on the way the commerce department played along with Trump’s false message about the Alabama destination of the recent hurricane. The other stories were tabloid-fodder.

Then midday September 10 came the news that John Bolton had been sacked. That deserved a story, so it was fair to predict the Times would run three: one on the event, one on the history of a memorable relationship, and one on “possible consequences.”

The Times on September 11 ran four stories on Bolton. News analysis on page one, by Michael Crowley and Lara Jakes, opened with this sentence: “On one foreign policy issue after another, John R. Bolton was the in-house skeptic who checked President Trump’s most unorthodox instincts.” The word unorthodox is doing a lot of work there. It would be truer to say that Trump cut down Bolton’s most dangerous initiatives: for example his idea of starting a war with Iran by an immediate violent retaliation after the bloodless downing of a US surveillance drone.

Was John Bolton a “skeptic”? An “adult in the room”? Bolton’s best-known policies have been to bomb Iran and replace the Mullahs with a US puppet government; turn Venezuela into an American oil well; exit the UN; and start World War III soon while the US can win (if we don’t tie our hands). And meanwhile withdraw from none of the following countries: Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan…

Bolton was originally appointed by Trump at the request of the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. It was Bolton’s advocacy of Israeli expansion, and his detestation of the very idea of a Palestinian state, that prompted both Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu to recommend him as the the best choice for Trump’s third national security adviser…

It appears that anyone (no matter how devious and reckless) who opposes Donald Trump can now expect to be rewarded with the honorific title “skeptic” – a word often used in the past to describe a doubter rather than a fanatical supporter of an insane orthodoxy.

We are through the looking glass.

Be seeing you

?u=http2.bp.blogspot.com-vsL9x6b60BcTcjveUcibvIAAAAAAAAB7o1H7iFzRkTx0s1600000pulp_fiction_judy_miller_the_heretik.jpg&f=1

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »