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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

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.

Be seeing you

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McCain and the POW Cover-Up | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2019

How many times do I have to repeat this?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/mccain-and-the-pow-cover-up/

By Sydney Schanberg •

Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.

* * *

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible…

Be seeing you

POW

 

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Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2018

2019 looks to be the year of bellum omnium contra omnes, the war of all against all. Entertaining, for sure, but how many more of these coups d’etat can the Republic sustain before a new generation says enough of all this?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/09/patrick-j-buchanan/regime-change-american-style/

By 

The campaign to overturn the 2016 election and bring down President Trump shifted into high gear this week.

Inspiration came Saturday morning from the altar of the National Cathedral where our establishment came to pay homage to John McCain.

Gathered there were all the presidents from 1993 to 2017, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Henry Kissinger, the leaders of both houses of Congress, and too many generals and admirals to list.

Striding into the pulpit, Obama delivered a searing indictment of the man undoing his legacy: Read the rest of this entry »

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WaPo Uses Photo of John McCain Next to Nazi to Praise His ‘Human Rights’ Work

Posted by M. C. on August 31, 2018

Human Rights. Tell it to the Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos POWs he helped leave behind.

https://fair.org/home/john-mccain-human-rights-ukrainian-nazi-photo-washington-post/

WaPo Uses Photo of John McCain Next to Nazi to Praise His ‘Human Rights’ Work

The Washington Post (8/27/18) published an op-ed by conservative staff opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin praising the late Sen. John McCain for his supposed commitment to “human rights.”

Rubin waxed poetic on the ostensible “lost champion” of human rights, who “model[ed] for others the behavior of a free society.” She declared, quite paradoxically, “With the possible exception of the US military…no group was more indebted to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) than the human rights community.”

There was an, er, optical problem, however: For the header image on this column, the Washington Post used a photo of McCain speaking next to the notorious Ukrainian neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok…

Be seeing you

Laos POW

Lost in Laos

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What the McCain Eulogies Tell Us About the Media and the Regime | Tom Woods

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2018

https://tomwoods.com/what-the-mccain-eulogies-tell-us-about-the-media-and-the-regime/

John McCain is dead.

People tell me I should not criticize him right now.

I do think some people are behaving in bad taste. But I do not think I am prohibited from making sober remarks at a moment when so many Americans, and the opinion molders who tell them what to think, are getting ludicrously carried away.

The phenomenon we are witnessing is so Orwellian that I can’t resist exploring it. I am less concerned with criticizing McCain — there will be ample time for that — than I am with trying to understand the regime under which we live, and the media lackeys that glorify it.

The tributes to McCain from the major newspapers are so over the top that there’s something more going on here than the perfunctory respect the media shows for most deceased politicians.

They will not be speaking this way about Pat Buchanan — a real maverick, who was the first conservative I ever saw who broke with both parties (that’s what a maverick does) to point out that the sanctions on Iraq were creating a humanitarian catastrophe that no moral person could support (that’s what an actual conservative says). Read the rest of this entry »

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John McCain and the Warrior Spirit in American Foreign Policy – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2018

Only half the US prisoners in North Vietnam were released. Few from Laos and Cambodia. The US knew they were there. To avoid political embarrassment they were abandoned. McCain led the cover-up.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/08/26/john-mccain-and-the-warrior-spirit-in-american-foreign-policy/

by 

…In his person, and his public pronouncements, McCain was the perfect representative of the nascent imperial class: born in the Panama Canal zone, the son of an Admiral, he was almost fated to become what he did indeed become – the archetypal Praetorian, the veritable embodiment of America’s post-World War II empire. A paladin of the cold war while it lasted, and a tireless advocate of post-cold war hegemonism, his favorite phrase was “boots on the ground,” and he championed this as a policy option for virtually every foreign policy problem confronted by US policymakers…

Indeed, McCain was on the other side of the barricades from Antiwar.com from our founding during the run up to the Kosovo war, right up to the present day, In 1999, he rose to prominence – after the “Keating Five” scandal – as the one dissident in a quasi-“isolationist” (i.e. anti-war) GOP. His recommendation? “Boots on the ground!” This position was lapped up big-time by the pro-Clinton media, which had him on every Sunday talk show and then some.

Prior to this, McCain had been cautious about supporting US intervention overseas, e.g. he opposed Reagan sending troops to Lebanon. However, the Bosnian civil war, in the course of which the US sent 20,000 troops to Central Europe to enforce the nonexistent “peace,” was a turning point for him… Read the rest of this entry »

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McCain Admits Iraq War Was A Mistake | The Daily Caller

Posted by M. C. on May 27, 2018

…and I have to accept my share of the blame for it.”

Too little and too late for hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, not to mention the refugees. The cancer must be killing the dominate (in his case) scumbag-liar part of the brain.

Maybe he will come clean about Vietnam POWs left to rot.

http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/25/john-mccain-iraq-war-was-a-mistake/

Robert Donachie

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona admitted Friday that the Iraq War was a mistake.

“The principal reason for invading Iraq, that Saddam had WMD, was wrong,” McCain wrote in his new book. “The war, with its cost in lives and treasure and security, can’t be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Fusion GPS Admits They Used John McCain to Pass Anti-Trump Dossier to Obama-Era Intel Agencies

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2018

All because Trump does not want to go to war with Russia. Neocon blasphemy.

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/01/10/fusion-gps-admits-used-john-mccain-pass-anti-trump-dossier-obama-era-intel-agencies/

The founders of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS admitted that they helped the researcher hired to compile the infamous, largely discredited 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump to share the document with Sen. John McCain.

Read the rest of this entry »

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McCain As Metaphor – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on October 19, 2017

Americans have no right to live their lives in peace, and to leave others in the same condition:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/10/18/mccain-as-metaphor/

Grizzled brow, wrinkled with the tension of an inborn belligerence, eyes alight with a perpetual flame of self-righteous anger, McCain is Teddy Roosevelt impersonating Cato the Elder. In the extreme predictability of his warlike effusions, he’s become a bit of a cartoon character. Who can forget his enthusiastic rendition of “Bomb bomb bomb Iran!” to the tune of “Barbara Ann”? Read the rest of this entry »

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McCain blasts ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2017

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/355759-mccain-blasts-half-baked-spurious-nationalism-in-emotional-speech

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in the United States in an emotional speech Monday night after receiving the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal.

“We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did,” McCain said. Read the rest of this entry »

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