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Posts Tagged ‘WMD’

Is Trump Exiting Afghanistan—To Attack Iran? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2020

Over two decades, Arabs and Muslims have died in the hundreds of thousands from these wars. But what have any of these wars availed the USA?

Not the best Legacy to leave US with.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/11/patrick-j-buchanan/is-trump-exiting-afghanistan-to-attack-iran/

With the Pentagon’s announcement that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be cut in half — to 2,500 — by inauguration day, after 19 years, it appears the end to America’s longest war may be in sight.

The Pentagon also announced a reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January. In 2003, we invaded and occupied Iraq to remove a perceived threat from Saddam Hussein and to disarm that nation of weapons of mass destruction we discovered it did not have.

No WMD were ever found, and the war George W. Bush launched to find and destroy them has been called the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history.

These two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, cost us some 7,000 dead, 50,000 wounded and trillions of dollars. And as they preoccupied us for two decades, China rose to become a strategic, military and economic superpower to rival the United States.

Iraq and Afghanistan were the longest wars in U.S. history, and the most costly of the Mideast wars we have fought there, but there were others.

In 2011, we attacked Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s army in the early days of Libya’s civil war. We intervened on the side of the rebels in Syria’s civil war. We assisted Saudi airstrikes in Yemen after Houthi rebels arose up in 2015 to dump over a Saudi-backed regime.

Over two decades, Arabs and Muslims have died in the hundreds of thousands from these wars. But what have any of these wars availed the USA?

Libya is split between a Turkish-backed government in Tripoli and Russian- and Egyptian-backed rebels under Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Benghazi and the east of the country.

The Syrian regime of Bashar Assad has largely won its civil war, thanks to timely and decisive intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, which came to the regime’s rescue when it was on its last legs.

Today, Iran-backed militias in Iraq with ties to Tehran have far greater influence in Baghdad than Iran did before the Americans arrived in 2003.

And the Americans are now going home.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, Trump is terminating the U.S. presence. It is impossible to believe a President Joe Biden would emulate President Barack Obama and surge 100,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan in some new crisis to stave off a Taliban victory.

Thus, what we are looking at is not only the end of America’s war in Afghanistan but the possible, if not probable, eventual victory of the Taliban.

If the Afghan army and security forces could not put away the Taliban with 100,000 Americans fighting at their side in 2011, they are unlikely to do so when all of the Americans are gone.

The outcome of this war could well be a reenactment in Kabul of what happened in Saigon in 1975, two years after the Americans ended their role in the Vietnam War.

Yet, as Trump is halving U.S. forces in Afghanistan, The New York Times is reporting an Oval Office meeting with his national security inner circle to discuss a strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.

According to the Times, Trump had to be persuaded not to order the attack by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley.

Why Trump would order an attack on Natanz seems on its face inexplicable. The facility is under regular U.N. inspection and has never enriched uranium to the 90% level needed for a bomb.

Even today it is enriching uranium only to 4.5%.

U.N. inspectors have regular access to the facility. While the small stockpile of low-enriched uranium Iran has produced is in violation of the nuclear deal, Trump walked away from that deal in 2018.

And Tehran could return to compliance easily by halting production and shipping its small stockpile out of the country.

As America exits from the seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, what strategic U.S. interest is imperiled by Iran’s enrichment of low-grade uranium to justify a new war with a nation larger, more populous and more powerful than any of those with which we have been involved in the last 20 years?

As Trump is mulling over an attack on Iran, the Israelis are carrying out strikes in Syria on Iranian-backed militias and boasting about it.

Thus, if the election of 2020 turns out the way most now expect, with Biden taking the oath on Jan. 20, the new president could be faced in his first days with a crisis with Iran and the prospect of a collapse of the Afghan regime in Kabul in his first year in office.

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

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RAY McGOVERN: Powell & Iraq—The Uses and Abuses of National Intelligence Estimates – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2020

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/18/ray-mcgovern-powell-iraq-the-uses-and-abuses-of-national-intelligence-estimates/

By Ray McGovern

The New York Times Magazine on Friday posted “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers,” a long article by Robert Draper to appear in Sunday’s edition. The article is based on Draper’s upcoming book, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq.

Google Books calls it “the definitive, revelatory reckoning with arguably the most consequential decision in the history of American foreign policy.” I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, Draper’s article focuses on then Secretary of State Powell and his UN speech of Feb. 5, 2003 and the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) upon which it is largely based. A lot of the detail will be new to most readers, not very much new to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which had been established a month before. VIPS watched the speech, dissected it, and sent their verdict to President George W. Bush before close of business that same afternoon

We gave Powell a charitable grade of “C”, faulting him for, inter alia, not providing needed context and perspective. We should have flunked him outright.

Draper describes how, despite CIA’s strong effort to please, the “case” the agency made for war on Iraq, using such evidence as there was on weapons of mass destruction, was deemed not alarmist enough for Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration hawks.

Specifically, the hawks were dissatisfied with the evidence-light, but-alarmist (term of art used was “leaning forward”) Pentagon and White House briefings by CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin in late Dec. 2002 on WMD in Iraq. The hawks started to look elsewhere, since not all senior officials (including Powell) appeared to be “with the program.”

Draper reports that Powell ordered Carl Ford, director of the widely respected State Department Intelligence Unit (INR), to review the bidding regarding biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Ford’s analysts strongly disputed many of the key assertions from the usual suspects — particularly those coming from non-intelligence, war-friendly bureaucrats enlisted to support the war-lust proclivities of Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Powell’s chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, was also spending an inordinate amount of time batting away unsourced and dubious-sourced assertions from Cheney-ites, so Powell finally told Wilkerson to start drafting from scratch.

Here’s where it gets interesting; here is where a little history and inside-baseball intelligence experience comes in handy. Draper quotes Powell: “It was George Tenet who came to the rescue.”

CIA Director Tenet suggested basing a new draft on the National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1, 2002, “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction.” That had immense appeal to Tenet and others who had been co-opted into “leaning forward” to facilitate a Bush/Cheney war on Iraq. Indeed, one can assume it had appeal to most of those involved in Powell’s speech preparation, given that the Security Council briefing was but a handful of days away.

I have been referring to that NIE, advisedly, as The Whore of Babylon, wrong on every major accusation about WMD in Iraq. I speak from experience at the CIA as a former chair of National Intelligence Estimates. This one was prepared not to determine the truth, but rather to “justify” a preemptive war on Iraq, where there was nothing to preempt.

To their credit, State/INR analysts had expressed formal dissent from some of its main conclusions back in September 2002.

No, it is not possible that Powell could have been unaware of that. And it is not difficult to explain why Powell chose to spurn his own intelligence analysts, despite their relatively solid reputation. I will resist the temptation to guess at Powell’s motivation, even though I have had some considerable experience with him. Back in the day, we used to spend a few minutes comparing notes before my one-on-one morning briefings of his boss, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, with The President’s Daily Brief.

I am not surprised, though, as Draper quotes Powell explaining his decision to stay in place as secretary of state and to do what he was told: “I knew I didn’t have any choice. He’s the President.” Draper adds that, “although Powell would not admit it, Bush’s request that he be the one to make the case against Hussein to the U.N. was enormously flattering. Cheney took a more direct approach: ‘The Vice President said to me: “You’re the most popular man in America. Do something with that popularity.””

The All-Purpose NIE on Iraqi WMD

Draper describes INR’s Director Ford as “heartsick” watching Powell on TV before the UN Security Council. Ford’s chagrin was widely shared among serious intelligence analysts — as well as by us alumni watching the prostitution of what had been our tell-it-like-it-is intelligence analysis profession. But there the National Intelligence Estimate was for plucking — an intelligence community-endorsed consensus already “on the books” — and with drafting time running out.

Admittedly, this would be a far cry from starting “from scratch.” Rather, it became a case of “garbage in, garbage out.” Draper names the intelligence garbagemen: CIA Director Tenet, his deputy McLaughlin, the chair of the NIE Robert Walpole, for example. They were out and out guilty of fixing the NIE in the first place and then its derivative that Powell briefed in open session to Security Council. No, these were not innocent mistakes. The intelligence was fraudulent from the get-go.

I am not making this up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some Conspiracy Theories Are for Real — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on July 6, 2020

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/02/some-conspiracy-theories-are-for-real/

 Philip Giraldi

What is the best way to debunk a conspiracy theory? Call it a conspiracy theory, a label which in and of itself implies disbelief. The only problem with that is there have been many actual conspiracies both historically and currently and many of them are not in the least theoretical in nature. Conspiracies of several kinds brought about American participation in both world wars. And however one feels about President Donald Trump, it must be conceded that he has been the victim of a number of conspiracies, first to deny him the GOP nomination, then to insure that he be defeated in the presidential election, and subsequently to completely delegitimize his presidency.

Prior to Trump there have been numerous conspiracy “theories,” many of which have been quite plausible. The “suicide” of Defense Secretary James Forrestal comes to mind, followed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which has been credibly credited to both Cuba and Israel. And then there is 9/11, perhaps the greatest conspiracy theory of all. Israel clearly knew it was coming, witness the Five Dancing Shlomos cavorting and filming themselves in New Jersey as the twin towers went down. Also the Saudis might have played a role in funding and even directing the alleged hijackers. And we have also had the conspiracy by the neocons to fabricate information about Iraq’s WMDs and the ongoing conspiracy by the same players to depict Iran as a threat to the United States.

Given the multiple crises currently being experienced in the United States it is perhaps inevitable that speculation about conspiracies is at its highest level ever. To the average American it is incomprehensible how the country has become so screwed up because the political and economic elite is fundamentally incompetent, so the search for a scapegoat must go on.

There are a number of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus currently making the rounds. Those libertarians and contrarians who choose to believe that the virus is actually a flu being exploited to strip them of their liberties are convinced that many in the government and media have conspired to sell what is essentially a fraud. One such snake oil salesman persists in using an analogy, that since more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than by the coronavirus it would be more appropriate to ban cars than to require the wearing of face masks.

Another theory making the rounds accuses Microsoft multi-billionaire Bill Gates of trying to take over the world’s healthcare system through the introduction of a vaccine to control the coronavirus, which he presumably created in the first place. The fallacy in many of the virus “conspiracies” that relate to a totalitarian regime or a crazy billionaire using a faux disease to generate fear so as to gain control of the citizenry is that it gives far too much credit to any government’s or individual’s ability to pull off a fraud of that magnitude. It would require people a whole lot smarter than the tag team of Trump-Pompeo or even Gates to convince the world and thousands of doctors and scientists that they should lock down entire countries over something completely phony.

Other coronavirus theories include that the virus was developed in the U.S., was exported to China by a traitorous American scientist, weaponized in Wuhan and then unleashed on the West as part of a communist plot to destroy capitalism and democracy. That would mean that we are already at war with China, or at least we should be. Then there is the largely accepted theory that the virus was created in Wuhan and escaped from the lab. Since that time Beijing has been engaging in a cover-up, which is the conspiracy. It is a theme favored by the White House, which has not yet decided what to do about it beyond assigning funny “Yellow Peril” names to the disease so everyone in MAGA hats will have something to chuckle about leading up to the November election.

But all kidding aside, there are some conspiracy theories that are more worth considering than others. One would be the role of George Soros and the so-called Open Society Foundations that he controls and funds in the unrest that is sweeping across the United States. The allegations against Soros are admittedly thin on evidence, but conspiracy mongers would point out that that is the mark of a really well-planned conspiracy, similar to what the 89 year-old Hungarian Jewish billionaire has been engaging in for a long time. The current round of claims about Open Society and Soros have generated as many as 500,000 tweets a day as well as nearly 70,000 Facebook posts per month, mostly from political conservatives.

The allegations tend to fall into two broad categories. First, that Soros hires protester/thugs and transports them to demonstrations where they are supplied with bricks and incendiaries to turn the gatherings into riots. Second, that Open Society is funding and otherwise enabling the destabilizing flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

Soros and his supporters, many of whom are Jewish because they think they see anti-Semitism in the attacks on the Hungarian, claim to support democratization and free trade worldwide. He is, in effect, one of the world’s leading globalists. Soros claims to be a “force for good” as the cliché goes, but is it completely credible that his $32 billion foundation does not operate behind the scenes to influence developments in ways that are certainly not democratic?

Indeed, Soros accumulated his vast fortune through vulture capitalism. He made over $1 billion in 1992 by selling short $10 billion in British pounds sterling, leading to the media dubbing him “the man who broke the bank of England.” He has been accused of similar currency manipulation in both Europe and Asia. In 1999, New York Times economist Paul Krugman wrote of him that “Nobody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit.”

Far from a passive bystander giving helpful advice to democracy groups, Soros was heavily involved with the restructuring of former communist regimes in eastern Europe and had a hand in the so-called Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 and the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, both of which were supported by the U.S. government and were intended to threaten Russia’s regional security.

Soros particularly hates President Vladimir Putin and Russia. He revealed that he is far from a benevolent figure fighting for justice in his March Financial Times op-ed (behind a pay wall) entitled “Europe Must Stand With Turkey Over Putin’s War Crimes in Syria.”

The op-ed is full of errors of fact and is basically a call for aggression against a Russia that he describes as engaged in bombing schools and hospitals. It starts with, “Since the beginning of its intervention in Syria in September 2015, Russia has not only sought to keep in place its most faithful Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has also wanted to regain the regional and global influence that it lost since the fall of the Soviet Union.” First of all, Russia did not “intervene” in Syria. It was invited there by the country’s legitimate government to provide assistance against various groups, some of which were linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that were seeking to overthrow President al-Assad.

And apart from Soros, few actual experts on Russia would claim that it is seeking to recreate the “influence” of the Soviet Union. Moscow does not have the resources to do so and has evinced no desire to pursue the sort of global agenda that was characteristic of the Soviet state.

There then follows a complete flight into hyperbole with: “Vladimir Putin has sought to use the turmoil in the Middle East to erase international norms and advances in international humanitarian law made since the second world war. In fact, creating the humanitarian disaster that has turned almost 6 million Syrians into refugees has not been a byproduct of the Russian president’s strategy in Syria. It has been one of his central goals.” Note that none of Soros’s assertions are supported by fact.

The Soros op-ed also included a bit of reminiscence, describing how, “In 2014, I urged Europe to wake up to the threat that Russia was posing to its strategic interests.” The op-ed reveals Soros as neither conciliatory nor “diplomatic,” a clear sign that he picks his enemies based on ideological considerations that also drive his choices on how to frame his ventures. Given all of that, why is it unimaginable that George Soros is engaged in a conspiracy, that he is clandestinely behind at least some of the mayhem of Antifa and Black Lives Matter as well as the flood of illegal immigration that have together perhaps fatally destabilized the United States?

 

© 2010 – 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

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Madeleine Albright Is Back, but She Is Still Living in the Past | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on June 12, 2020

“What’s the use of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Never mind the lives of those who volunteered to defend America.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/madeleine-albright-back-she-still-living-past-153751

by Doug Bandow 

Madeleine Albright is back with a new book to sell. Interviewed in by the New York Times magazine, she reminds us how she continues to live in the past. Unfortunately, that’s what made her advice as UN ambassador and secretary of state so uniformly bad.

When in office she announced that “My mindset is Munich.” Yet Adolf Hitler was sui generis, the unappeasable, fanatical tyrant in charge of the country with Europe’s largest population and economy, and greatest military potential. Applying that model to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Russia, and a host of other modern problems yielded awful results. Nevertheless, when asked by David Marchese about her claim that America was the “indispensable nation,” she returned to Munich to justify her view, arguing “as a Czechoslovak, the United States was not involved in Munich and terrible things happened.”

One of the disasters that she endorsed was the Iraq war. Although not as enthusiastic about launching an illegal, aggressive war as Sen. Hillary Clinton, Albright said at the time: “I personally felt the war was justified on the basis of Saddam’s decade-long refusal to comply with UN Security Council resolutions on WMD.” When pressed on America’s alleged indispensability, she allowed: “Vietnam clearly was a terrible disaster. The war in Iraq was a terrible disaster. I do think that we have misunderstood the Middle East.” Yet such admissions don’t appear to have tempered her enthusiasm for Washington’s meddling around the globe.

She does run away from her flip answer to journalist Lesley Stahl’s question about the death of a half million Iraqi children due to sanctions: “we think the price is worth it.” Albright even claims that the Clinton administration came to recognize the human cost of sanctions and moved to better targeted “smart” penalties. Yet there is nothing smart about America’s current economic war on Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea.

Moreover, she did not retreat from the assumption that U.S. policymakers are entitled to decide on the life and death of foreigners. She might doubt in retrospect that the price was worth it. But she still believes that decision was for her and other Clinton administration officials to make.

This mindset has made the U.S. government anathema to many around the globe. Why do “they” hate us? Because of officials like Albright. These days even the Europeans loath Washington. No doubt, she would be horrified to be lumped with President Donald Trump and some of his aides, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but they all are swimming in hubris. Albright is simply more polite when dealing with representatives of wealthy industrialized countries. In contrast, Trump and Pompeo are ever ready to insult them as well.

Nor does she appear to retreat from the hubris she constantly expressed in other forms. For instance, while declaring the U.S. to be “the indispensable nation,” she also claimed: “We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.” That assertion was bad enough when she made it in 1998. After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and more it is positively ludicrous. Overweening arrogance among foreign policy elites has cost America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, while killing hundreds of thousands of foreigners and ravaging foreign nations.

However, it is not just those overseas for whom Albright has contempt. In 1992 she famously queried Colin Powell: “What’s the use of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Never mind the lives of those who volunteered to defend America. For her, they were just gambit pawns to be sacrificed in whatever global chess game she was playing at the time. Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observed: “I thought I would have an aneurysm.” Having served in Vietnam, he knew what it was like to lose soldiers in combat. Anyone who has family in the military, as I do, cannot help but react similarly.

A decade later she was asked about her comment. She responded: “what I thought was that we had—we were in a kind of a mode of thinking that we were never going to be able to use our military effectively again.” A strange claim, since shortly before George H. W. Bush had sent American military personnel into a limited war against Iraq, while avoiding an interminable guerrilla war and attempt at nation-building. She well represented the sofa samurai who dominate Washington policy-making.

Even worse, however, in 1997 she said to Gen. Hugh Shelton, also JCS chairman: “I know I shouldn’t even be asking you this, but what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event—something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough—and slow enough—so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?” He appeared to react rather like Powell, indicating that it could be done as soon as she was ready to fly.

Albright is intelligent and has a fascinating family background. But she should be kept far away from American foreign policy.

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America’s Interventionist Middle East Policy Started 66 Years Ago – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2019

The collapse of our towers on September 11th was one large entry in a long running history of western interference in the lands of Islam, and if any more oil tankers get attacked in the Strait of Hormuz, it’s worth remembering that it was not Persia who cast the first stone.

https://original.antiwar.com/andrew_corbley/2019/08/20/americas-interventionist-middle-east-policy-started-66-years-ago/

As the late-summer date of August 20th passes stateside, very few Americans will recognize the significance of it in our nation’s history. It marks the 66th anniversary of a sinister turn in the history of American foreign policy, and while neocons and hawks of all sorts will tell you history started on September 12th 2001, a quick visit to the Tehran Times will remind you this is not the case.

In 1953 following a request for assistance by Great Britain, and enthusiastic support from Ike Eisenhower, the United States overthrew the democratically-elected leader of Iran, Mohammed Mosaddegh, in what was the first major coup d’état the United States would carry out since the end of World War II.

Dubbed Operation Ajax, it would set the stage for future decades of America’s sandpaper relations with the greater Middle East.

Dust and echoes

In cutting Britain out of the Iranian oil market, Mohammad Mosaddegh made not one but two terrible enemies as the British asked the Americans for help in reclaiming the oil supply. August 19th comes around and out goes Mosaddegh, his heinous crime being that he thought Persians should be able to elect whom they wish, and decide what happens with the resources extracted within their own borders.

Installed in his place, the shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and General Fazlollah Zahedi – members of a monarchical ruling class directed their efforts into the business of oppressing, torturing, killing, and turning what was becoming a prosperous and democratic country into a tyrannical Bronze Age satrapy.

Two decades later the Islamic revolution sends the shah and his secret police force packing, establishing what is now the Islamic Republic of Iran. Incensed by the attack on American interests, the United States brokers an agreement with neighboring Iraq to invade and repress the popular uprising, setting off the Iran-Iraq War, a horrible conflict that’s been likened to World War I because of the large-scale trench warfare, chemical weapons, bayonet charges, and massive casualty figures, which much like the first World War, all amounted to a steaming pile of nothing in terms of achieved geopolitical objectives.

Iraq started the war on the offensive, attempting to take advantage of the chaos following the Islamic revolution. Saddam Hussein, America’s ally at the time also had the logistical support of the Gulf States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France, while Iran stood alone.

The root of the problem

Ever since the Islamic Republic of Iran stood up against the American-backed dictator, the goal of every presidential administration to take of residence in the White House has been vengeance. Nothing as of yet has stood in America’s way of a Mongol-like destruction of the Shiite Middle East beyond the weapons of Persia herself. Not even our former ally Saddam Hussein was spared from the directive to place the Islamic Republic under the highest degree of geopolitical, military, and economic pressure.

No matter how many times Saddam assured the west that the only WMDs under his belt were the decommissioned chemical weapons which NATO countries had given him to use against the Iranians, he and his Baathist regime would have to go. And thus the United States wrongly invaded Iraq, wherein about four and a half thousand Americans died.

Throughout the 21st century the names of the countries have changed but the victims are always those among her neighbors who Iran might look to for help. Meanwhile the Sunni states all around her pledge in unity to fight the Iranians until the last American, as Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates famously told the French foreign minister in 2010.

Operation Ajax’s legacy

As Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zariff tweeted today: “66 years ago today, a coup instigated by the US and the UK overthrew the democratically-elected Government of Iran. This atrocity followed years of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iranians”.

The maximum pressure levied now against the Iranians is breathtaking in scope. Upon the denizens of this ancient land the United States has placed crippling economic sanctions; upon her borders, an armada of military bases; upon her shores, the crosshairs of the most powerful navy in the world; and upon her neighbors, utter devastation.

President Barack Obama saw a need to “knock Iran down a peg,” with a regime-change war containing all sorts of despicable behavior, such as arming “moderate rebels” like Jabot al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, and using the armed-forces of the United States to bomb sovereign Syrian military targets under the justification of preventing future chemical weapon attacks which have now been widely reported to have been conducted by non-governmental forces.

Not to be outdone, President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA nuclear treaty, as Javad Zariff claimed, “without even reading it,” instated further sanctions, and has managed with the help of Iran’s eternal antagonist John Bolton, to press America as close to the brink of a war with Iran as we’ve yet seen.

Americans must remember August 20th 1953 as the day when America dipped her toes into the water (or sand) and thought it good. President Eisenhower thought it was a great way to affect positive change in the world that didn’t involve land invasions. Ike is not unique in holding that perspective, since many presidents have felt the same way about coups, and have since enjoyed playing the coup card in countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, Libya, Egypt, and most recently Venezuela.

The overthrowing of Mosaddegh was a major step on America’s dangerous path to premier imperial world superpower in the sense that it reminded her that she could get away with murder and political terrorism, and demonstrated how greatly she could affect the world without bothering the American people over the details.

The collapse of our towers on September 11th was one large entry in a long running history of western interference in the lands of Islam, and if any more oil tankers get attacked in the Strait of Hormuz, it’s worth remembering that it was not Persia who cast the first stone.

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Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/stopped-clocks-the-european-union-gets-war-with-iran-exactly-right/

By Bill Wirtz

Regular readers of my contributions to this site may have noticed that I am in no way a fan of the European Union. Yet even with the EU, the stopped clock principle applies: they have to be right sometimes. And when Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said that everyone should tread carefully when it came to the attack on the oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, she was absolutely correct.

Mogherini stated: “We are living in crucial and delicate moments, where the most relevant attitude to take—the most responsible attitude to take—is, and we believe should be, maximum restraint, and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

This month, one of the EU’s top advisors on security questions declared that no military intervention from the European side should take place. This echoes French President Emmanuel Macron saying that France had no place in such interventions, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for a peaceful solution to the Iran problem. Seventy-four percent of German opposed a military intervention in Syria last year. In 2002, 71 percent of Germans opposed the war in Iraq, as did 64 percent of the French. During anti-Iraq war protests that took place on February 15, 2003, 100,000 people demonstrated in Brussels, 75,000 in Amsterdam, between 100,000 and 200,000 in Paris, between 300,000 and 500,000 in Berlin, 150,000 in Athens, 60,000 in Budapest, and well over 600,000 people in Rome.

And in the United Kingdom, more than one million showed up to protest in London…

In a January poll, 48 percent of Germans favored a withdrawal of their country’s troops from Afghanistan, with 29 percent opposing it. In 2009, almost two thirds of the French opposed the intervention in Afghanistan. In 2012, all French combat troops were withdrawn under President François Hollande…

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who is not known for his efforts to please his European counterparts, is an exception: he says that he is ready to take a “more rigorous” approach towards Iran. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has even come under fire from Iranian officials after he gave interviews in the United States explaining that he was “happy that Italy has long since relaxed its relations with Iran, a country that wants to wipe out Israel in 2019 has no right to speak.”…

So overall, in Europe, support for the hawks inside the Trump administration looks grim. Without at least a handful of European countries supporting an intervention, the United States would look like it was standing alone on the world stage, and America could once again come under fire for needless aggression. The WMD lies of the early 2000s have set the bar high for interventions based on military intelligence. And Syria has shown that without conclusive evidence, Europe isn’t about to send in the troops.

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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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Quit Worrying About the Russians in Our Borderless World – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2017

http://original.antiwar.com/srichman/2017/11/05/quit-worrying-russians-borderless-world/

Is American society so fragile that a few “divisive” ads, news stories, commentaries, and even lies – perhaps emanating from Russia – threaten to plunge it into darkness?

While we the people are not deemed worthy of being shown the evidence that “Russia” – which I take to mean Vladimir Putin – was behind the so-called meddling, even if we grant it just for the sake of argument, what does it amount to? Read the rest of this entry »

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Chemical Weapons and Mendacity

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2013

There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity! Harvey “Big Daddy” Pollitt

Guess Who Is Giving Up Chemical Weapons-US, Russia or Israel?

Check the none of the above box.

The US has thousands of tons of chemical weapons.

No doubt Russia has them.

Israel does not admit to having chemical nor nuclear weapons but is widely believed to having both and has signed neither chemical nor nuclear non-proliferation treaties.

Whom should we be worried about? Syria, who has nothing to gain and everything to fear by using WMDs, or countries that:

Enable poison gas use in Middle East oil wars,

Rain terror on civilians with (mostly faulty) cluster bombs ready for some curious child,

Cause cancer in civilians with depleted uraniaum munitions,

Flood countries with cancerous defolients,

Knowingly poison their own troops with agent orange,

Nukes a foreign country twice to show Russia they can do it,

Firebombs civilians in Japan and Germany,

Use napalm and white phosphorous,

Embargo and blockade countries into starvation to win their hearts and minds then bombs or rocket attacks the countryside into a pulp,

Have an anthrax research facility?

The earliest biological warfare I know of goes back to the French and Indian war where our proper English friends knowingly gave Indians small pox contaminated blankets (See Conceived In Liberty by Rothbard)

So much for Kerry’s morality spewing.

So whom do you think is the greater danger to world peace – Syria or the self-proclaimed world enforcer and it’s Middle East puppet master “ally” with proven track records of mass destruction?

Syria is the enemy of our enemy. Yet we are arming Al Qaeda to conquer Syria in their goal of a pan Sunni, anti-west, anti-Christian Middle East.

We are not good at the nation building thing.

It is time we followed Ron Paul’s advice and quit meddling in things that are not our business, attempt constructive diplomacy and peaceful trade. Let’s see how far that gets us.

It can’t be any worse than our current win their hearts and minds or burn their village philosophy.

Be seeing you

 

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