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Posts Tagged ‘warmongering’

Adam Schiff’s Very Scary Warmongering Speech – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2020

The same goes for arguments that it’s actually NATO’s aggressive expansion to the east that has led to a needless buildup of tensions, not Russia’s drive to the west. Recent examples include an article in the National Interest arguing that NATO has “empowered some of the most historically anti-Russian elements in that region – Ukrainian Banderites [i.e. followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera], Polish nationalists, Balkan Islamists” – elements that, not unreasonably, have sparked Russia’s worst fears – or one in the Nation stating that NATO’s drang nach osten is “the primary cause for the new and very dangerous Cold War.”

Articles like those are verboten as well because they go counter to the new line that Russia is entirely to blame.

https://original.antiwar.com/daniel_lazare/2020/01/23/adam-schiffs-very-scary-warmongering-speech/

All the usual suspects are praising Adam Schiff’s marathon two-and-a-half-hour Senate speech on Wednesday to the skies. Neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin calls it “a grand slam” in the Washington Post. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes it as “dazzling” on CNN. New York Times columnist Gail Collins says it was “a great job” and that Schiff is “a rock star” for pulling it off.

But in fact it was the opposite – a fear-mongering, sword-rattling harangue that will not only raise tensions with Russia for no good reason, but sends a chilling message to dissidents at home that if they deviate from Russiagate orthodoxy by one iota, they’ll be driven from the fold.

What is that orthodoxy? It’s that Russia invaded poor innocent Ukraine in 2014, that it interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and propel Donald Trump into the White House, and that it’s now trying to smear Joe Biden merely because he had allowed his son to take a high-paying job with a notorious Ukrainian oligarch at a time when he was supposedly heading up the Ukrainian anti-corruption effort.

As Schiff put it with regard to Donald Trump’s famous July 25 phone call urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Biden’s activities:

“This investigation was related to a debunked conspiracy theory alleging that Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. This narrative propagated by the Russian intelligence services contends that Ukraine sought to help Hillary Clinton and harm then-candidate Trump…. This tale is also patently false and, remarkably, it is precisely the inverse of what the US intelligence community’s unanimous assessment was that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systemic fashion in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.”

So even though the Financial Times reported during the 2016 election campaign that the threat of a Trump victory was spurring “Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they have never attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a US election,” articles like that are now down the memory hole because Schiff says they’re Russian propaganda that US intelligence agencies have determined to be false.

The same goes for arguments that it’s actually NATO’s aggressive expansion to the east that has led to a needless buildup of tensions, not Russia’s drive to the west. Recent examples include an article in the National Interest arguing that NATO has “empowered some of the most historically anti-Russian elements in that region – Ukrainian Banderites [i.e. followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera], Polish nationalists, Balkan Islamists” – elements that, not unreasonably, have sparked Russia’s worst fears – or one in the Nation stating that NATO’s drang nach osten is “the primary cause for the new and very dangerous Cold War.”

Articles like those are verboten as well because they go counter to the new line that Russia is entirely to blame. Declared Schiff:

“Russia is not a threat … to Eastern Europe alone. Ukraine has become the de facto proving ground for just the types of hybrid warfare that the twenty-first century will become defined by: cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of state institutions, whether that is voting systems or financial markets. The Kremlin showed boldly in 2016 that with the malign skills it honed in Ukraine, they would not stay in Ukraine. Instead, Russia employed them here to attack our institutions, and they will do so again.”

As for Biden, a New York Times editorial said about his son’s unfortunate new job back in 2015:

“Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s [anti-corruption] message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices…. Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on.”

We must all put such sentiments behind us now Russia is seeking to “weaponize” such information, according to Schiff, and deploy it “against Mr. Biden just like it did against Hillary Clinton in 2016 when Russia hacked and released emails from her presidential campaign.” If Russia wants to weaponize it, then it’s best for the rest of us not to breathe a word of it lest people think we’ve been weaponized as well.

Bottom line: we must impeach Trump, according to Schiff’s epic presentation, not only because he’s overstepped his proper constitutional bounds, but because he’s part of a grand Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation, undercut US security, undermine faith in US intelligence agencies, and “remake the map of Europe by dent of military force.” In order to counter this all-encompassing threat, it is our patriotic duty to do the opposite by believing the CIA and redoubling US defense. If anyone tells us that Biden was guilty of a flagrant conflict of interest, we must stop up our ears because that’s what Moscow wants us to think. If anyone says that the entire Russian-interference narrative is just a silly conspiracy theory based on a paucity of facts and an abundance of paranoid speculation, we must do likely because it’s just the Kremlin trying to worm its way into our minds.

When in doubt, just remember to bleat: America good, Russia baa-aa-aad.

But while it would be nice to dismiss this as a joke, it’s not. Schiff’s emergence as leader of the Democratic impeachment drive means that the party is re-grouping along the most retrograde Cold War lines. As reckless and appalling as Trump’s behavior is in the Persian Gulf, the emerging Democratic worldview is shaping up as no less extreme. Because it sees Russia as mounting a multi-pronged offensive, the clear implication is that the US must respond in kind. This means more troops deployments, more forces mobilized to counter Russian threats from Venezuela to the Middle East, more TV talking heads going on and on about this or that Kremlin conspiracy, and more labelling of people like Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein as Russian assets.

Remember, this is the Los Angeles neocon who backed the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, and Saudi Arabia’s unprovoked war against Yemen, an assault that, since March 2015, has cost 100,000 lives and brought half the country to the brink of starvation. He supported Obama’s war in Libya and called for the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria and relies on arms manufacturers and military contractors for major financial support.

But while Bernie supporters may have thought that Democrats were edging away from such views, they’re plainly in the wrong. Schiff’s new-found prominence shows that the neocons are back in the saddle. Impeachment advocates should be careful of what they wish for because the anti-Trump forces are turning out to be no less dangerous than those helping him to remain.

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Full-Scale War Is Avoided And Trump Goes Right Back To Warmongering – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2020

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/01/09/full-scale-war-is-avoided-and-trump-goes-right-back-to-warmongering/

The United States and Iran entered into a direct military exchange for the first time ever with the drone assassination of General Qassem Soleimani last week and a retaliatory strike from Iran via surface-to-surface missiles upon two US military bases on Wednesday.

As usual it was the less powerful nation who exercised restraint, with Iran skillfully targeting the bases’ military capabilities but taking measures to successfully avoid any casualties. The two nations de-escalated back down to their previous high level of dangerous hostilities with an understanding between them that neither side wants a full-scale war. Both sides played “chicken” and both sides swerved, and they know that about each other now.

So that was a relief. We were all forced to hold our breath and hope against hope that cooler heads would prevail after the senseless assassination of a sovereign nation’s top military official, and they did. A full-scale war that would have dwarfed Iraq and Vietnam in terms of death, destruction and destabilization was averted.

And then Trump immediately went right back to warmongering.

“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said in his speech the morning after the Iranian missile strike. “These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.”

It is unclear at this time what form these sanctions will take. If they are of the sort being leveled at Iran currently, they will further target Iranian civilians with the goal of making them even more miserable so that they rise up and overthrow their government. This deliberate attempt to foment civil war against Tehran is not speculation; it is a fact, admitted to by the Trump administration itself.

A New York Times article from last year reports the following:

“Last week, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged to Michael J. Morrell, a former acting director of the C.I.A., that the administration’s strategy would not persuade Iranian leaders to change their behavior.

“’I think what can change is the people can change the government,’ he said on a podcast hosted by Mr. Morrell, in what appeared to be an endorsement of regime change.”

It is impossible for the US and Iran to de-escalate from the military powderkeg situation they are in as long as the US is deliberately attacking Iran’s economy with the goal of igniting a civil war in that country. The US government intends to not just continue to escalate this direct assault, but to continue its increasingly intrusive military presence in the region, including the unwelcome occupation of Iraq.

And yet, bizarrely, Trump also claims to want to reach a new nuclear deal with Iran.

“The very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout,” Trump said. “Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal, or JCPOA. And we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential.”

This is not going to happen. The US government has already burned Tehran on the JCPOA and it’s not going to enter into a new deal as long as the US continues to inflict aggressions upon it that the US itself wouldn’t tolerate from any other nation.  Iran is going to be much less willing to trust the US government in a new deal now and will require much more assurance and accommodation than it did in the previous one; such a negotiation (assuming the Trump administration even really wants it) would be harder, not easier. This will remain true even after Trump leaves office.

The Trump administration also further inflamed tensions by inviting NATO to become further involved in the Middle East, which NATO chief chief Jens Stoltenberg agreed to.

“The President asked the secretary general for NATO to become more involved in the Middle East,” a NATO statement said. “They agreed that NATO could contribute more to regional stability and the fight against international terrorism.”

So things are only continuing to heat up with Iran, and there is no reason to believe more eruptions like the direct military confrontation we just experienced won’t occur again, with the world perhaps getting a lot less lucky next time. Trump and his supporters are trying to claim the evasion of full-scale war as a victory for both peace and for America, but it is neither.

All of the defenses of Trump’s warmongering that you’ve been seeing are premised upon the unquestioned assumption that it is both reasonable and acceptable for the United States to maintain a military presence in the Middle East, even in nations whose governments don’t want them there like Iraq and Syria. If the US didn’t insist on maintaining an enormous military presence in this one area on the other side of the planet, there would be no debate about the need for America to “defend” itself by attacking the Iranian economy, assassinating government officials, and conducting airstrikes upon Iraqi militias. It would just be another country on the other side of the world, doing its own thing in its own way.

Most Americans haven’t thought very hard about this premise. They are fed some lines about the need to protect American “interests” and some unexplained need to defend Israel, and because those lines are spoken in an authoritative tone of voice most are content to leave it there. But if Americans actually laid out all the facts in front of them and thought deeply about what their government’s Middle Eastern military presence costs them and risks for them compared to what it actually gains them, it would be seen for the insane imperialist power agenda that it so clearly is.

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Top 10 Warmongering Ideas of the Day

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2020

https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/top-10-warmongering-ideas-of-the-day-HI4ORQ85N0WoKOxLWhTMwg

Mish

by

The list of warmongering excuses is nearly endless. Here’s 10 of them.

  1. It’s OK to kill someone today if there is reason to believe they may do something wrong in the future: Senator Lindsey Graham January 3, 2020. “This was not an act of revenge for what he had done in the past. This was a preemptive, defensive strike planned to take out the organizer of attacks yet to come.” Apparently only the US has this right.
  2. Assassinating foreign leaders is OK and does not constitute an act of war. Trump, Graham, Ben Shapiro, and too many neocons to count.
  3. Declared wars, who needs em? Bush, Obama, Hillary, Trump. Rand Paul Mocks the idea October 15, 2019. “Senator Graham and Hillary Clinton stood together to support Islamic extremists in the Syrian civil war. America should come first,” said Paul
  4. It will be a short war: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld November 2002
  5. Keeping US troops in Iraq will only cost $3.9 billion: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 2003
  6. It’s OK for the US to fight everyone else’s war: Bush, Cheney, Obama, Hillary, Trump, and every neocon, too many to name. In contrast, “I’m tired of America always paying for everybody else’s war,” said Rand Paul, February 4, 2019.
  7. Crippling economic sanctions are not an act of war. Who cares how many starve to death? Too many neocons to count.
  8. “We Came, We Saw, He Died!”: Hillary Clinton joked in 2011 when told of news reports of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi death at US hands. Libya is now a Jihadist wonderland led by ISIS and Al Qaueda.
  9. Iran’s retaliation in response to Trump’s Assassination of a foreign leader was an “Act of War” but the assassination was not: Senator Lindsey Graham, January 7, 2020.
  10. “In order to get elected, Barrack Obama will start a war with Iran”: Donald Trump November 29, 2011.

Here’s a bonus 11th. “We have to get them over there so they don’t get us here.”

That goes back at least to the wonderful domino theory and false flag incident that kicked off the Vietnam War.

Iran History Lesson

Iran has every reason to mistrust if not hate the US for its role in the 1953 Iranian Coup D’état

If you don’t support war, you get accused of being an Incomprehensible America Hating Sissy.

Let’s make that Warmongering Idea Number 12.

John Bolton’s Warmongering Notes

Image from John Bolton’s Warmongering Notes by Brian McFadden on The Nib.

 

…Could we not make better use of that money on US infrastructure than blowing up the world and making enemies in the process?

Nah. That kind of thinking is for sissies. Real men are willing to kill innocent men women and childrens with drones and blow up cultural sites in the name of peace.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Why Oppose War? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 9, 2019

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” ~ Albert Camus

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/gary-d-barnett/why-oppose-war/

By

War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it. ~ Martin Luther

How could any decent human being not oppose war? War is the scourge of mankind, it is the destroyer of entire civilizations, and if taken to the ultimate test, will be the destroyer of all living things on earth. The logic of this statement is not accepted by those who foment and prosecute war, and it is not understood by the masses of common people that support the aggressor state due to false patriotism and statolatry. The worship of the state in this country has reached levels that are beyond the bounds of sanity, and this could lead to a perilous end.

I have struggled all my life to understand the human desire to support war and country. I have always wondered how anyone could support the maiming, torture, displacement, and total destruction of war, where millions of innocent men, women, and children are slaughtered, and their homelands laid to waste. Why do I abhor war when so many others do not? Why does it sicken me, but drive the masses to a religious fervor of national pride? How can the lives of so many be disregarded, and mass killing be ignored or seen as glorious? This is a human flaw that is not only unconscionable, but impossible for me to understand.

This United States has been the most deadly warmongering nation in the history of mankind, and even in its short existence of 243 years, America has been at war over 93% of the time.  That is 226 years of war out of 243. This statistic is staggering, especially considering that virtually all U.S. wars, domestic and foreign, have been wars of aggression, and never for actual defense. This alone is reason for condemnation of the state, and reason for the American populace to finally awaken to the truth that this country is the world’s greatest terrorist threat to mankind.

The U.S. has 800 military bases in over 70 countries outside U.S. borders. An empire of this magnitude dwarfs all other countries. America’s so-called greatest enemies, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, have bases in just 12 countries combined. Other than former Soviet provinces, Russia has bases in just 3 other countries, China in 5, Iran in 4, and North Korea has none. Most all of these country’s foreign bases are located in neighboring regions. The U.S has encircled Iran with 45 bases, and along with NATO is also positioned around Russia’s border. And of course, the U.S. has a major military presence on North Korea’s border as well, and has since it invaded North Korea 69 years ago. Obviously, the only country today that is a deadly world threat is the United States, and other than a few allies, almost no country is safe from possible or probable U.S. aggression.

The reality of the costs of war are not limited to life and limb, but also adversely affect every aspect of economics, commerce, basic moral and psychological foundations, and liberty. War allows for the powerful to gain more control, and for the government to expand its reach. War supporters and media perpetuate lies, propaganda, and nationalism that are used as excuses by the general population to falsely demonize all other cultures that are in the crosshairs of the U.S. hegemonic state.

The costs of war are deep-seated and long-lasting, and the scars of conflict remain permanently embedded in the minds and souls of the innocent victims. Even as the pain subsides, the anger continues to fester long after the aggression has quieted. The result is a continued risk of blowback that can escalate into even more war. This vicious cycle leads to never-ending war, and that is what is sought by the warmongers and war profiteers, and those ruling elites seeking to eliminate individual sovereignty in order to gain global societal control…

War is madness, but it is madness that is purposely planned and designed. It is not random, it is not legitimate; it is simply an elaborate plot meant to achieve a desired end for those holding the strings. Those are the very rich ruling elites, the banking magnates and powerful corporate heads that control the money and the politicians…

So why oppose war? War is maiming and killing. War brings starvation and poverty. War destroys economies. War breeds hate and division. War destroys families, and orphans children. War is terror and fear. War is immoral. War is evil.

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” ~ Albert Camus

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