the beginning of the war against Syria in 2011, Russia has been supporting this
nation against what it considers to be an exterior aggression. While the
Western Press explains this behaviour as a case of solidarity between
dictatorships, Thierry Meyssan brings to light its real historical motives. He
notes that the victory, which also belongs to Moscow, opens a new period for
Orthodox culture in Europe.
In order to build a modern
Russia, Tsarina Catherine II decided to make its capital, Saint Petersburg, the
world’s leading cultural centre. She rooted her country in its basic cultural
foundations of Orthodox Christianity, developed the use of the French language,
and invited the greatest European intellectuals and artists to her court,
whether they were Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, even Muslim.
Aware that the retreat of
Christianity in the Middle East before the intolerance of the Ottoman Empire
threatened a cultural loss for Orthodoxy, and therefore Russia, she entered
into war with the Sultan.
This dream was thwarted by
the French and British during the Crimean war (1853) and even more so by the
Bolsheviks, who rejected the place of Orthodoxy in Russia. In 1918, they played
the game of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on behalf of arms dealer Alexandre Parvus,
The dream of Catherine the
Great had to wait until 2017 to begin to be realised. President Putin also
annexed Crimea and delivered Syria, not from the Ottoman Empire, but from the
jihadists, supervised by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Russia became the protecting power of all populations, whatever their religion,
from the banks of the Nile to the Alborz mountains.
The summit at Sochi highlights
the role of Russia in the Greater Middle East. It is now the protecting power
of Iran, Syria and Turkey – the last two states changed their allegiance from
Washington in 1991 to Moscow in 2017.
The awakening of the Orthodox
culture will have important consequences in Europe. The continent is
historically divided into a Catholic and Protestant zone to the West, and an
Orthodox zone to the East. We talk and bargain with God in the West, we submit
to his Greatness and we adore Him in the East. Family structures are less
egalitarian in the West and more egalitarian in the East. Since the 11th
century, this cultural difference splits Europe. During the Cold War, the «
Iron Curtain » did not respect this division, since Orthodox Greece had been
attached to NATO, and Catholic Poland had been incorporated into the Warsaw
Pact. Today, the extension of the European Union is aimed in priority at
imposing the Western European model on the countries of Orthodox culture.
Already, we can predict the dissolution of the European Union and the triumph
of the cultural model opened in Saint Petersburg.
The Christians of the Orient
have never felt themselves to be concerned by these intra-European cultural
differences, but the Europeans have always considered them to be either
Catholic or Orthodox. From 1848, France had imagined the displacement of the
Catholics and the Maronites from Syria to Algeria, and the extermination of the
Orthodox populations. Paris thought it could use these Christian Arabs,
faithful to Rome, to keep an eye on the Algerian Muslims. Failing that, it
ended up by using the local Jews (the Crémieux Decree) and entrusting them with
the mission (1870). More recently, during the wars against Iraq and Syria,
Western Europeans welcomed many Oriental Christians, who were in reality
exclusively Catholics, never Orthodox.
For Syria, the work of
President Putin is the occasion to return to its own foundations after the
experience with the jihadists, who seek to impose their unique cultural model
on everyone – Syria is only great when it takes care of all its populations
without exception. In the beginning, Vladimir Putin thought he could organise a
« Congress of the Syrian Peoples » in Sochi. He finally recognised that in
Syria, contrary to Russia, no community owns its own territory, they all live
mingled together in their unique, shared homeland. It will therefore be a «
Congress for a Syrian dialogue ».
intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace
Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in
daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last
two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.
articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is
cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial
purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).
article by Thierry Meyssan: At the UN
Why would Christian
conservatives in good conscience go to the polls Dec. 12 and vote for Judge Roy
Moore, despite the charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers leveled against
Answer: That Alabama Senate race could determine whether Roe v.
Wade is overturned. The lives of millions of unborn may be the stakes.
Republicans now hold 52 Senate seats. If Democrats pick up the
Alabama seat, they need only two more to recapture the Senate, and with it the
power to kill any conservative court nominee, as they killed Robert Bork.
Today, the GOP, holding Congress and the White House, has a
narrow path to capture the Third Branch, the Supreme Court, and to dominate the
federal courts for a decade. For this historic opportunity, the party can thank
two senators, one retired, the other still sitting.
The first is former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of
In 2013, Harry exercised the “nuclear option,” abolishing the
filibuster for President Obama’s judicial nominees. The Senate no longer needed
60 votes to confirm judges. Fifty-one Senate votes could cut off debate, and
Iowa’s Chuck Grassley warned Harry against stripping the
minority of its filibuster power. Such a move may come back to bite you, he
told Harry. Grassley is now judiciary committee chairman.
And this year a GOP Senate voted to use the nuclear option to
shut down a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was then
confirmed with 55 votes.
Yet the Democratic minority still had one card to play to block
President Trump’s nominees — the “blue slip courtesy.”
If a senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee
resides asks for a hold on proceedings, by not returning a blue slip, the
judiciary committee has traditionally honored that request and not held
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota used the blue slip to block the
Trump nomination of David Stras of Minnesota to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals. Franken calls Stras too ideological, too conservative.
But Grassley has now decided to reject the blue slip courtesy
for appellate court judges, since their jurisdiction is not just over a single
state like Minnesota, but over an entire region.
Thus have the skids been greased for a conservative recapture of
the federal judiciary unseen since the early days of FDR.
Eighteen of the 179 seats on the U.S. appellate courts and 119
of the 677 seats on federal district courts are already open. More will be
opening up. No president in decades has seen the opportunity Trump has to
remake the federal judiciary.
Not only are the federal court vacancies almost unprecedented, a
GOP Senate and Trump are working in harness to fill them before January 2019,
when a new Congress is sworn in.
If Republicans blow this opportunity, it is unlikely to come
again. For the Supreme Court has seemed within Republican grasp before, only to
have it slip away because of presidential errors.
Nixon had four nominees to the Supreme Court confirmed and
Gerald Ford saw his nominee, John Paul Stevens, unanimously confirmed. But of
those five justices confirmed from 1969 to 1976, Stevens and Harry Blackmun
joined the liberal bloc, and Chief Justice Warren Burger and Lewis Powell voted
for Roe v. Wade.
Of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees confirmed, Sandra Day
O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy cast crucial votes in 5-4 decisions to defeat the
strict constructionists led by Antonin Scalia.
George H.W. Bush named Clarence Thomas to the court, but only
after he had elevated David Souter, who also joined the liberal bloc.
Hence, both Trump, by whom he nominates, and a Republican
Senate, with its power to confirm with 51 votes, are indispensable if we are to
end judicial dictatorship in America.
And 2018 is the crucial year.
While Democrats, with 25 Senate seats at risk, would seem to be
facing more certain losses than the GOP, with one-third as many seats at stake,
history teaches that the first off-year election of Trump could prove a
Consider. Though Ike ended the Korean War in his first year, he
lost both Houses of Congress in his second. Reagan enacted one of the great tax
cuts in history in his first year, and then lost 26 seats in the House in his
Bill Clinton lost control of both the House and Senate in his
first off-year election. Barack Obama in 2010 lost six Senate seats and 54
seats and control of the House. And both presidents were more popular than
Trump is today.
If the election in Virginia this year is a harbinger of what is
to come, GOP control of Congress could be washed away in a tidal wave in 2018.
Hence, this coming year may be a do-or-die year to recapture the
Third Branch of Government for conservatism.
Which is why that Dec. 12 election in Alabama counts.
educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but
that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let’s look at a
recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of
Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the
state’s mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1 percent tested
proficient in math. In raw numbers, 3,804 Baltimore students took the state’s
math test, and 14 tested proficient (http://tinyurl.com/y7f56kg2).
Citywide, only 15 percent of Baltimore students passed the state’s English
spring, graduation exercises were held at one Baltimore high school, 90 percent
of whose students received the lowest possible math score. Just one student
came even close to being proficient. Parents and family members applauded the
conferring of diplomas. Some of the students won achievement awards and college
scholarships (http://tinyurl.com/ydb3v2ya). Baltimore is by
no means unique. It’s a small part of the ongoing education disaster for black
students across the nation. Baltimore schools are not underfunded. Of the
nation’s 100 largest school systems, Baltimore schools rank third in spending
per pupil (http://tinyurl.com/ybzglbyp).
Baltimore’s black students
receive diplomas that attest that they can function at a 12th-grade level when
in fact they may not be able to do so at a seventh- or eighth-grade level.
These students and their families have little reason to suspect that their
diplomas are fraudulent. Thus, if they cannot land a good job, cannot pass a
civil service exam, get poor grades in college and flunk out of college, they
will attribute their plight to racism. After all, they have a high school
diploma, just as a white person has a high school diploma. In their minds, the
only explanation for being treated differently is racism.
Let’s look at math. If one
graduates from high school without a minimum proficiency in algebra and
geometry, he is likely to find whole fields and professions hermetically sealed
off to him for life. In many fields and professions, a minimum level of math
proficiency is taken for granted.
Let’s look at just one
endeavor — being a fighter jet pilot. There are relatively few black fighter
jet pilots. There are stringent physical, character and mental requirements
that many blacks can meet. But fighter pilots must also have a strong knowledge
of air navigation, aircraft operating procedures, flight theory, fluid
mechanics and meteorology. The college majors that help prepare undergraduates
for a career as a fighter pilot include mathematics, physical science and
the NAACP response to educational fraud? At a 2016 meeting, the NAACP’s board
of directors ratified a resolution that called for a moratorium on charter
schools. Among the NAACP’s reasons for this were that it wanted charter schools
to refrain from “expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate”
and “cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing
children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet
as obvious.” Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys is a charter school. In 2016,
9 percent of its students scored proficient on the state’s math test. This
year, over 14 percent did so. It’s in the interest of black people for more of
our youngsters to attend better schools. However, it’s in the interest of the
education establishment — and its handmaidens at the NAACP — to keep black
youngsters in failing public schools.
Few people bother to ask
whether there’s a connection between what goes on at predominantly black high
schools and observed outcomes. Violence at many predominantly black schools is
so routine that security guards are hired to patrol the hallways. The violence
includes assaults on teachers. Some have been knocked out, had their jaws
broken and required treatment by psychologists for post-traumatic stress
disorder. On top of the violence is gross disorder and disrespect for
The puzzling question for me
is: How long will black people accept the educational destruction of black
youngsters — something that only benefits the education establishment?
E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George
Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about
Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and
cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page.
Copyright © 2017 Creators.com
article by Walter E. Williams: The Diversity Mania
Europe remains unprepared for a massive surge in immigration
from Africa, according to a top European Union official.
Tajani, the president of the EU parliament, said overcrowding, poverty and war
and will likely push “millions” of people from Africa to Europe in the coming
decades. Ahead of the annual EU-Africa summit this week, Tajani called for
improved coordination among EU members and a “Marshall Plan” for Africa to help
stem the flow of migrants.
a strategy we will have terrorism, illegal immigration, instability,” he
said, according to Financial Times.
“There are too many voices on Libya, on Africa.”
remains remains a potent issue in European politics, even as migrant flows have
subsided from the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. Right-wing and
immigration skeptic parties have enjoyed a surge in popularity in response to
decisions by EU leaders, particularly German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to admit
more than 1 million refugees and economic migrants from the Middle East since
the EU has since managed to reduce the flow of immigrants via the land route
through Turkey, illegal immigration from Africa across the Mediterranean Sea is
surging. The number of African migrants arriving via the Libya to Italy
sea crossing is up 40 percent from 2016, EU officials said this summer. Most of
the immigrants are coming from West African states such as Senegal, Guinea and
Nigeria in order to escape economic hardship and overcrowding. (RELATED: EU Official:
Migrants Still Pouring Into Europe, Only Now They Are Mainly Coming From
trends in Africa suggest the flow of migrants will intensify in the coming
years. The continent-wide population is expected to double from 1.2 billion to
2.5 billion by 2050, with most of the growth concentrated in Africa’s
least-developed countries, according to UN projections.
pending population boom takes on additional significance for Europe in light of
the wave of migrants and asylum seekers that have arrived in the continent in
recent years. Many European countries have already exhausted their capacity to
absorb the flow of immigrants, forcing even centrist, pro-immigration leaders
to address the problems posed
by continued migration from Africa and Asia.
Poland’s parliament has voted to slowly begin the process of
abolishing Sunday shopping to allow workers to spend more time with their
The law has been passed by
the sejm — equivalent to the British House of Commons or the U.S. House of
Representatives — but must be approved by the Senate and the president,
both of which could veto the decision.
the major change — which reverses decades of movement on turning Sunday from a
holy day of rest into an ordinary day of shopping and work — has been
criticised as putting jobs at risk, the government hopes it will improve
quality of life for ordinary Poles.
If the law passes, Poland will start by just allowing Sunday
shopping on the first and last Sunday of the month in 2018, reports the Catholic Herald. This will be followed by
a further reduction in 2019 when it will be permitted only on the last Sunday
of the month, followed by a near total ban in 2020. From this point, special
allowances will be granted for busy shopping periods — for instance in the
run-up to Christmas.
counter-revolution in how Poland will approach the working week, taking it back
to a system that would be more easily recognisable to Poland’s pre-Communist
ancestors, comes among a series of other changes by Law and Justice, a nation’s
conservative, nationalist, and Christian political party.
government policy, which has emphasised the role of Christianity in daily
life and rejected the forced redistribution of migrants and refugees around the
Europe by the EU, has brought Poland into conflict with the Brussels
establishment, who treat the acceptance of non-European mass migration as a
requirement for membership.
The head of Poland’s national security office spoke
out against mass migration in the wake of the Islamist attack in Barcelona
Islamist in August, remarking: “We are
convinced by the latest attacks that there is a natural base for terrorists
where a large number of poorly integrated Muslims live … I see a growing
number of Muslim refugees and a surge of terrorism.”
This followed similar
statements by Prime Minister Beata Szydło in 2016, when she said: “I see no possibility
that refugees will come to Poland.”
The EU has threatened to
punish Poland for their refusal to accept migrant quotas but the government
has hit back, saying any
punishment the EU could give out would be better than opening Poland’s borders.
If the United States climbs into bed with the Israelis and
Saudis and commits to take down Iran it will wind up having to do the hard
fighting in a war that could be unwinnable in any conventional sense.
been much discussion surrounding the travel of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad
al-Hariri to Saudi Arabia on November 4th. Al-Hariri, who is a
Saudi-Lebanese dual national with considerable business and other personal
interests in Saudi Arabia apparently complied with a summons to meet with Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been shaking up his government as part
of what appears to be an
attempt to concentrate more power in his own hands being marketed as a campaign
against corruption. Al-Hariri was by some accounts met at the Riyadh airport
unceremoniously and placed under something like house arrest. He shortly
thereafter read a statement – or was it a script? – claiming that he had fled
Lebanon in fear that he might be assassinated. He resigned his office and
proceeded to denounce Iranian influence over his country, saying that Tehran
was seeking to gain control through its dominance of Hezbollah and the
acquiescence of the president, a Maronite Christian, Michel Aoun.
allowed to leave Saudi Arabia on Saturday, flying to Paris to meet with French
President Emmanuel Macron, but his children and business interests are still in
Saudi Arabia, suggesting that his actions will be dictated by Riyadh.
Al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, was in Beirut on Wednesday for Lebanon’s
Independence Day, where he was convinced to hold off on formally submitting his
resignation to the government so more discussions could take place. This
temporarily avoids a government crisis for the country, where a coalition
carefully designed to balance the country’s three major religious
constituencies only came together last year.
fall from grace came about because the Saudis were unhappy regarding his
reluctance to directly confront Iranian influence, best demonstrated by
Hezbollah’s unilateral participation in the civil war in neighboring Syria. The
Saudis, who forced through a resolution at the
Arab League last weekend declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization, would
like to have its political wing out of the government completely, an
impossibility given its military and political power. Riyadh is also believed
to be working with the Israelis to increase pressure and create a casus belli over
Lebanon to justify direct action to isolate Hezbollah. And the ultimate target
is Iran with the two countries working together to roll up Iranian influence in
the region starting with Lebanon, which will see increasing political and
economic pressure from Riyadh while the Israelis will be standing by to
intervene militarily, if necessary.
are credible reports that
Israel and Saudi Arabia, though not bound by any formal agreement, have come to
an understanding over how to proceed which will include the abandonment of a
number of long established policies. The Palestinians will, in particular, be
thrown under the bus yet again and have been warned by Riyadh to cut all ties
with Iran. Saudi Arabia will apparently no longer push the Israelis to
accommodate Palestinian aspirations for full statehood, which will mean that
refugees will have no right to return under any formula for a settlement and
Jerusalem will remain wholly in Israeli hands.
It is a major
risk for the al-Saud Royal House to appear to be abandoning the highly popular
Palestinian cause, so what’s in it for Saudi Arabia? Israeli and U.S. support
for the idea that Iran is enemy number one and must be dealt with using the
military option trumps anything going on in Ramallah. Leaked Israeli and
Saudi diplomatic cables have
made clear that Tel Aviv will endorse Riyadh’s genocidal assault and blockade
on Yemen and any other comparable actions while the Saudis will in return
regard the Palestinian issue as a distraction. They will use their economic
leverage to compel the Palestinians to agree to an admittedly unacceptable
peace plan brokered by the U.S. and approved of by Israel. The U.S. is
reportedly fully on board at this point and it is believed that son-in-law
Jared Kushner has been the chief negotiator for the White House.
So what could
go wrong? Probably everything as most of the current initiatives being
discussed are unattainable. Israel has overwhelming air and sea superiority in
the region but it does not have the boots on the ground to control the land it
flies over. Nor do the Saudis and Riyadh’s vision of some kind of broad Sunni
front taking shape against Iran and the Shi’as is almost certainly little more
than wishful thinking. Hezbollah has been preparing for war and it has considerable
experience in fighting the Israelis, having driven them out of Lebanon in 2000.
It has thousands of missiles of variable quality concealed in bomb-proofed
sites and there are reports that there are plans to unleash them in enormous
waves if Israel were to strike. Israeli interceptor defenses are formidable,
including Iron Dome, but they would be unable to cope with the volume and the
devastation could be enormous on both sides.
And there is
no sign that the Lebanese, who have placed their army on standby, are eager to
avoid a war by cutting a preemptive deal with the Saudis that would involve
Israel, so the idea of starting a hot conflict that could somehow be managed
which would destroy Hezbollah will likely prove to be a bridge too far for
Riyadh and Tel Aviv. And then there are the Palestinians, who just might not be
willing, or able, to play ball no matter how much Saudi money is being offered.
All of which
could easily leave the United States out on a limb. If it climbs into bed with
the Israelis and Saudis and commits to take down Iran it will wind up having to
do the hard fighting in a war that could be unwinnable in any conventional
sense. Russia will almost certainly be watching closely but will wisely stay
out of any conflict as long as its own interests in Syria and Iran are not
threatened. If “regime change” in Lebanon to weaken Iran plays out badly, which
it will, it means that all parties involved will suffer from another decade of
instability in the Middle East.
who’s ever played a pinball machine can attest to the fact that the player
easily becomes wrapped up in it, to the point of the exclusion of all else
happening around him. He hits the flippers rapidly, glancing up from time to
time at his increasing score. It becomes irresistible to jiggle the table
frequently, in an effort to get the ball to go where the player wants it to go.
course, every player is familiar with the disappointment that comes when he’s
overplayed his body English and the machine stops suddenly, lighting up a sign
that says, “Tilt! Game Over.”
the world is now embroiled in an economic game similar to pinball. The stakes
are becoming ever greater, the flipper buttons are being pressed ever faster,
and those who are desperately attempting to keep the collapsing system going
are shoving the table ever more recklessly.
point in the world economy, the number of possible triggers that could take the
system down is growing ever more rapidly. And, for those who are paying
attention, the list of dominoes that we’ll see fall is becoming ever more
starkly apparent. Let’s have a look at just some of the more basic dominoes:
countries dumping US Treasuries back into the US market. (This has already
begun and will continue until the dollar crashes.)
of the US dollar as the petrodollar. (This is about to begin, but will
take several years to play out fully.)
sanctions by the US against Russia and China (that are unlikely to have
the support of the US’s allies).
of tariffs, resulting in a tariff war.
rise in interest rates (as was consciously created in 1929 by the Fed in
order to trigger a timed crash).
of the bond market bubble.
major stock market crash.
increase in mortgage defaults.
spike in commodity prices, coinciding with a drop in asset values
(inflation and deflation at the same time—the worst possible combination).
of the paper gold market.
switch to the new IMF cryptocurrency and a major effort to end the use of
cash. (This will succeed to some extent, but will create a worldwide
monetary black market.)
defaults on its debt. (This, too, will occur over several years.)
of the dollar.
these events will be black swans. As can be expected, some of the events will
be sudden, whilst others will take time to play out. In addition, although
they’re likely to occur roughly in order, several will be in play at any given
each of these events can be anticipated, they won’t come with warning notices.
Their actual occurrences will be unheralded. (As an example, when a stock
market crash occurs, investors will wake up to discover that it’s occurred
whilst they were sleeping.)
just as in pinball, the end of the game will come quite suddenly. The moment
that the player will know that it’s “Game Over” will be when he goes to his ATM
and finds that the screen is dark. The machine has been made inoperative
overnight. Annoyed, he’ll go to the next-nearest ATM, but will find that that
one, too, is shut down. He’ll go to others and, at some point, will realise
that they’re all shut down.
spending cash in his wallet, he’ll then go to the local gas station or supermarket
and attempt to pay with his credit cards but will find that they’ve all been
made inactive. In trying to sort out the problem with the manager, he’ll be
told that all credit cards for all his
customers have been denied that day.
realization will suddenly hit that money has ceased to flow. For how long? The
television news programmes will state that it will be temporary, but they don’t
few individuals who understood that an economic crisis was brewing will take
inventory of how much cash they have remaining in their wallets and how much
they’ve stashed at home, and realise that this total now represents their total
wealth is no longer measured in saleable assets, since, if virtually no one has
spending money, they have no means of payment. Therefore, the fellow who
thought that, if he found himself in a pinch, he could always sell the Harley
in the driveway, or perhaps the family boat, for some quick cash, can no longer
locate a buyer who can pay him—at any price.
course, many people will do all they can to contact their bankers, demanding
that they be allowed to remove their money on deposit and extract the contents
of their safe deposit boxes, but they’ll receive a recording, saying, “We’re
sorry for the inconvenience, but the bank will be temporarily closed until
point, “wealth” will change its definition to include only the cash in hand,
plus whatever might be bartered.
I received an email from an associate in Canada, who asked, “When will I know
when I really have to make a move?” My answer was, “You won’t.
But there will be an actual day when you’ll know that you’ve waited too long
and it’s now too late. That day will be the day that you visit the ATM and find
we all doomed? Well, no, not at all. Those who are proactive can remove
themselves from the system now, before the system reaches the
reader lives in one of the jurisdictions that’s likely to be the most impacted
(EU, US, Canada, etc.), he would be wise to liquidate his possessions there and
move the proceeds to a jurisdiction that’s less likely to be impacted and which
has a long reputation for economic stability. He should place his wealth (no
matter how great or little) in precious metals and real estate overseas—again,
in a safer jurisdiction.
should retain some money (in cash and precious metals) at home, or
nearby—enough to cover a few months’ expenses.
can afford to, he should then create a bolt-hole in a jurisdiction that he can
go to quickly, should the crisis overtake him.
even those who recognize that their home country may soon become an economic
prison camp are likely to dither, failing to prepare adequately. Sadly, they’re
likely to find themselves in the position of the fellow in the photo above,
discovering that “Game Over” has arrived before he could ready himself.
After the Berlin
Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two
years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the red
army tanks in front of Moscow's White House, a dark era in human history
came to an end.
world had descended into what had been a 77-year global war,
incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in
August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by
all the depredations which germinated in the Great War,
its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history
into the world war and cold war which followed
wit, upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped-out during that span. The
toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the
murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the
ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and
all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea
elaborated more fully on this proposition in "The Epochal Consequences Of Woodrow
Wilson's War", but the seminal point cannot be
gainsaid. The end of the cold war meant world peace was
finally at hand, yet 26 years later there is still no peace
because Imperial Washington confounds it.
fact, the War Party entrenched in the nation's capital is dedicated
to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee
perpetual war; they ensure endless waste on armaments and the
inestimable death and human suffering that stems from 21st century high
tech warfare and the terrorist blowback it inherently generates among
those upon which the War Party inflicts its violent hegemony.
In short, there was a virulent threat to peace still
lurking on the Potomac after the 77-year war ended. The great general and
president, Dwight Eisenhower, had called it the “military-industrial complex”
in his farewell address, but that memorable phrase had been
abbreviated by his speechwriters, who deleted the word “congressional” in
a gesture of comity to the legislative branch.
restore Ike’s deleted reference to the pork barrels and Sunday
afternoon warriors of Capitol Hill and toss in the legions of beltway
busybodies that constituted the civilian branches of the cold war armada (CIA,
State, AID etc.) and the circle would have been complete. It
constituted the most awesome machine of warfare and imperial hegemony
since the Roman legions bestrode most of the civilized world.
a word, the real threat to peace circa 1991 was that Pax
Americana would not go away quietly in the night.
fact, during the past 26 years Imperial Washington has lost all
memory that peace was ever possible at the end of the cold war. Today
it is as feckless, misguided and bloodthirsty as were Berlin, Paris, St.
Petersburg, Vienna and London in August 1914.
then a few months after the slaughter had been unleashed, soldiers
along the western front broke into spontaneous truces of Christmas
celebration, singing and even exchange of gifts. For a brief moment
they wondered why they were juxtaposed in lethal combat along the jaws of
truthful answer is that there was no good reason. The world
had stumbled into war based on false narratives and the institutional
imperatives of military mobilization plans, alliances and treaties arrayed into
a doomsday machine and petty short-term diplomatic maneuvers and political
calculus. Yet it took more than three-quarters of a century for all the
consequential impacts and evils to be purged from the life of the planet.
peace that was lost last time has not been regained this time for the same
reasons. Historians can readily name the culprits from 100 years ago, such
as the German general staff's plan for a lightening mobilization
and strike on the western front called the Schlieffen Plan or Britain's
secret commitments to France to guard the North Sea while the latter covered
these casus belli of 1914 were criminally trivial in light of all
that metastisized thereafter, it might do well to name the
institutions and false narratives that block the return of peace today. The
fact is, these impediments are even more contemptible than the forces
that crushed the Christmas truces one century ago.
is no peace on earth today for reasons mainly rooted in Imperial
Washington------ not Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Damascus, Mosul or Raqqah.
The former has become a global menace owing to what didn't happen in 1991.
should have happened is that Bush the elder should have declared "mission
accomplished" and slashed the Pentagon budget from $600 billion to $200
billion; demobilized the military-industrial complex by putting a moratorium on
all new weapons development, procurement and export sales; dissolved NATO and
dismantled the far-flung network of US military bases; slashed the
US standing armed forces from 1.5 million to a few hundred thousand;
and organized and led a world disarmement and peace campaign, as did
his Republican predecessors during the 1920s.
George H.W. Bush was not a man of peace, vision or even mediocre intelligence.
He was the malleable tool of the War Party, and it was he who
single-handedly blew the peace when he plunged America into a petty
arguement between the impetuous dictator of Iraq and the gluttonous
Emir of Kuwait that was none of our business.
contrast, even though liberal historians have reviled Warren G. Harding as some
kind of dumbkopf politician, he well understood that the Great War
had been for naught, and that to insure it never happened again
the nations of the world needed to rid themselves of their huge navies and
that end, he achieved the largest global disarmament
agreement ever during the Washington Naval conference of
1921, which halted the construction of new battleships for more than a
while he was at it, President Harding also pardoned Eugene Debs. So doing, he
gave witness to the truth that the intrepid socialist candidate for
president and vehement anti-war protestor, who Wilson had thrown in prison
for exercising his first amendment right to speak against US entry
into a pointless European war, had been right all along.
short, Warren G. Harding knew the war was over, and the folly of Wilson's
1917 plunge into Europe's bloodbath should not be repeated at all hazards.
George H.W. Bush. The man should never be forgiven for enabling the likes
of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Gates and their
neocon pack of jackals to come to power----even if he has denounced them
in his bumbling old age.
more to the point, by opting not for peace but for war and oil in the
Persian Gulf in 1991 he opened the gates to an unnecessary confrontation
with Islam and nurtured the rise of jihadist terrorism that would not haunt the
world today save for forces unleashed by George Bush's petulant quarrel
with Saddam Hussein.
will momentarily get to the 45-year old error that holds the Persian Gulf
is an American Lake and that the answer to high old prices and energy security
is the Fifth Fleet. Actually, the answer to high oil prices everywhere and
always is high oil prices-----a truth driven home in spades again two years
ago when the Brent oil price plunged below $35 per barrel.
But first it is well to remember that there was no plausible
threat anywhere on the planet to the safety and security of the citizens
of Springfield MA, Lincoln NE or Spokane WA when the cold war ended.
Warsaw Pact had dissolved into more than a dozen woebegone sovereign
statelets; the Soviet Union was now unscrambled into 15 independent and
far-flung Republics from Belarus to Tajikistan; and the Russian
motherland would soon plunge into an economic depression that would leave it
with a GDP about the size of the Philadelphia SMSA.
China's GDP was even smaller and more primitive than Russia's. Even as Mr.
Deng was discovering the PBOC printing press that would
enable it to become a great mercantilist exporter, an incipient
threat to national security was never in the cards. After all, it was 4,000
Wal-Marts in America upon which the prosperity of the new red capitalism
inextricably depended and upon which the rule of the communist
oligarchs in Beijing was ultimately anchored.
No Islamic Or Jihadi Terrorist Threat Circa 1990
1991 there was no global Islamic threat or jihadi terrorist
menace at all. What existed under those headings were sundry
fragments and deposits of middle eastern religious, ethnic and
tribal history that were of moment in their immediate region, but no
threat to America whatsoever.
Shiite/Sunni divide had co-existed since 671AD, but its episodic eruptions
into battles and wars over the centuries had rarely extended beyond the
region, and certainly had no reason to fester into open conflict in 1991.
the artificial state of Iraq, which had been drawn on a map by
historically ignorant European diplomats in 1916, for instance,
the Shiite and Sunni got along tolerably well. That's because the nation
was ruled by Saddam Hussein's Baathist brand of secular Arab nationalism.
latter championed law and order, state driven economic development and
politically apportioned distribution from the spoils of the
extensive government controlled oil sector. To be sure, Baathist
socialism didn't bring much prosperity to the well-endowed lands of
Mesopotamia, but Hussein did have a Christian foreign minister and no
sympathy for religious extremism or violent pursuit of sectarian causes.
it happened, the bloody Shiite/Sunni strife that plagues Iraq today and
functions as a hatchery for angry young jihadi terrorists in their
thousands was unleashed only after Hussein had been driven from
Kuwait and the CIA had instigated an armed uprising in the Shiite heartland
around Basra. That revolt was brutally suppressed by Hussein's
republican guards, but it left an undertow of resentment and revenge
boiling below the surface.
to say, the younger Bush and his cabal of neocon warmongers could not
leave well enough alone. When they foolishly destroyed Saddam Hussein
and his entire regime in the pursuit of nonexistent WMDs and ties with
al-Qaeda, they literally opened the gates of hell, leaving Iraq as a lawless
failed state where both recent and ancient religious and tribal
animosities are given unlimited violent vent.
the Shiite theocracy ensconced in Tehran was an unfortunate albatross on the
Persian people, but it was no threat to America's safety and security. The very
idea that Tehran is an expansionist power bent on exporting terrorism to the rest
of the world is a giant fiction and tissue of lies invented by the
Washington War Party and its Bibi Netanyahu branch in order to win
political support for their confrontationist policies.
the three decade long demonization of Iran has served one over-arching
purpose. Namely, it enabled both branches of the War Party to conjure
up a fearsome enemy, thereby justifying aggressive policies that call for a
constant state of war and military mobilization.
the cold-war officially ended in 1991, the Cheney/neocon cabal feared the
kind of drastic demobilization of the US military-industrial complex
that was warranted by the suddenly more pacific strategic environment. In
response, they developed an anti-Iranian doctrine that was explicitly described
as a way of keeping defense spending at high cold war levels.
the narrative they developed to this end is one of the more egregious Big Lies
ever to come out of the beltway. It puts you in mind of the young boy who
killed his parents, and then threw himself on the mercy of the courts on the
grounds that he was an orphan!
wit, during the 1980s the neocons in the Reagan Administration issued their own
fatwa again the Islamic Republic based on its rhetorical hostility to
America. Yet that enmity was grounded in Washington’s 25-year
support for the tyrannical and illegitimate regime of the Shah, and constituted
a founding narrative of the Islamic Republic that was not much different than
America's revolutionary castigation of King George.
the Iranians had a case is beyond doubt. The open US archives now
prove that the CIA overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953
and put the utterly unsuited and megalomaniacal Mohammad Reza Shah on the
peacock throne to rule as a puppet in behalf of US security and
the subsequent decades the Shah not only massively and baldly
plundered the wealth of the Persian nation; with the help of the CIA and US
military, he also created a brutal secret police force known as the
Savak. The latter made the East German Stasi look civilized by comparison.
elements of Iranian society including universities, labor unions, businesses,
civic organizations, peasant farmers and many more were
subjected to intense surveillance by the Savak agents and paid informants. As
one critic described it:
Over the years, Savak became a law unto itself, having legal
authority to arrest, detain, brutally interrogate and torture suspected people
indefinitely. Savak operated its own prisons in Tehran, such as Qezel-Qalaeh
and Evin facilities and many suspected places throughout the country as well.
Many of those activities were carried out without any institutional checks.
among his many grandiose follies, the Shah embarked on a massive civilian
nuclear power campaign in the 1970s, which envisioned literally paving the
Iranian landscape with dozens of nuclear power plants.
would use Iran’s surging oil revenues after 1973 to buy all the equipment
required from Western companies—– and also fuel cycle support services
such as uranium enrichment——in order to provide his kingdom with cheap power
the time of the Revolution, the first of these plants at Bushehr was nearly
complete, but the whole grandiose project was put on hold amidst the turmoil of
the new regime and the onset of Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran in
September 1980. As a consequence, a $2 billion deposit languished
at the French nuclear agency that had originally obtained it from the Shah
to fund a ramp-up of its enrichment capacity to supply his
planned battery of reactors.
in this very context the new Iranian regime proved quite dramatically that it
was not hell bent on obtaining nuclear bombs or any other weapons of mass
destruction. In the midst of Iraq's unprovoked invasion of Iran in the
early 1980s the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against biological
and chemical weapons.
at that very time, Saddam was dropping these horrific weapons on
Iranian battle forces—-some of them barely armed teenage boys—- with
the spotting help of CIA tracking satellites and the concurrence of
Washington. So from the very beginning, the Iranian posture was
wholly contrary to the War Party’s endless blizzard of false charges about
its quest for nukes.
benighted and medieval its religious views, the theocracy which rules Iran does
not consist of demented war mongers. In the heat of battle they were
willing to sacrifice their own forces rather than violate their religious
scruples to counter Saddam’s WMDs.
Then in 1983
the new Iranian regime decided to complete the Bushehr power plant and some
additional elements of the Shah’s grand plan. But when they attempted to
reactivate the French enrichment services contract and buy necessary power
plant equipment from the original German suppliers they were stopped cold by
Washington. And when the tried to get their $2 billion deposit back, they were
curtly denied that, too.
make a long story short, the entire subsequent history of off again/on again
efforts by the Iranians to purchase dual use equipment and components on
the international market, often from black market sources like Pakistan, was in
response to Washington’s relentless efforts to block its legitimate rights as a
signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to complete some
parts of the Shah’s civilian nuclear project.
to say, it did not take much effort by the neocon “regime change” fanatics
which inhabited the national security machinery, especially after the 2000
election, to spin every attempt by Iran to purchase even a lowly pump or pipe
fitting as evidence of a secret campaign to get the bomb.
exaggerations, lies, distortions and fear-mongering which came out of
this neocon campaign are truly disgusting. Yet they incepted way
back in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush actually did reach out
to the newly elected government of Hashemi Rafsanjani to bury the hatchet after
it had cooperated in obtaining the release of American prisoners being
held in Lebanon in 1989.
latter was self-evidently a pragmatist who did not want conflict with the
United States and the West; and after the devastation of the eight year war
with Iraq was wholly focused on economic reconstruction and even free
market reforms of Iran's faltering economy.
is one of the great tragedies of history that the neocons managed to squelch
even George Bush's better instincts with respect to rapprochement with
prisoner release opening was short-lived---especially
after the top post at the CIA was assumed in 1991 by
Robert Gates. He was one of the very worst of the
unreconstructed cold war apparatchiks who looked peace in the eye,
and elected, instead, to pervert John Quincy Adams' wise maxim by
searching the globe for monsters to fabricate.
this case the motivation was especially loathsome. Gates had been Bill Casey's
right hand man during the latter's rogue tenure at the CIA
in the Reagan administration. Among the many untoward projects
that Gates shepherded was the Iran-Contra affair that
nearly destroyed his career when it blew-up, and for which he blamed the
Iranian's for its public disclosure.
his post as deputy national security director in 1989 and then as CIA head
Gates pulled out all the stops to get even. Almost single-handedly he
killed-off the White House goodwill from the prisoner release, and
launched the blatant myth that Iran was both sponsoring terrorism and
seeking to obtain nuclear weapons.
it was Gates who was the architect of the demonization of Iran that became
a staple of War Party propaganda after the 1991. In time that morphed into
the utterly false claim that Iran is an aggressive would be hegemon that is a
fount of terrorism and is dedicated to the destruction of the state of
Israel, among other treacherous purposes.
giant lie was almost single-handedly fashioned by the neocons and Bibi
Netanyahu's coterie of power-hungry henchman after the mid-1990s. Indeed, the
false claim that Iran posses an “existential threat” to Israel is a product of
the pure red meat domestic Israeli politics that have kept Bibi in
power for much of the last two decades.
the truth is Iran has only a tiny fraction of Israel's
conventional military capability. And compared to the latter's 200
odd nukes, Iran has never had a nuclear weaponization program after a
small scale research program was ended in 2003.
is not merely our opinion. It's been the sober assessment of the
nation's top 17 intelligence agencies in the official National
Intelligence Estimates ever since 2007. And now in conjunction with
a further study in conjunction with the nuclear accord that will
straight-jacket even Iran's civilian program and eliminate most of its enriched
uranium stock piles and spinning capacity, the IAEA has
also concluded the Iran had no secret program after 2003.
the political and foreign policy front, Iran is no better or worse than
any of the other major powers in the Middle East. In many ways it is
far less of a threat to regional peace and stability than the military
butchers who now run Egypt on $1.5 billion per year of US aid.
it is surely no worse than the corpulent tyrants who squander the massive
oil resources of Saudi Arabia in pursuit of unspeakable opulence and decadence
to the detriment of the 30 million citizens which are not part of
the regime, and who one day may well reach the point of revolt.
it comes to the support of terrorism, the Saudis have funded more
jihadists and terrorists throughout the region than Iran ever even imagined.
Myth Of The Shiite Crescent
this context, the War Party’s bloviation about Iran’s leadership of the
so-called Shiite Crescent is another component of Imperial Washington's 26-year
long roadblock to peace. Iran wasn't a threat to American security in 1991, and
it has never since then organized a hostile coalition of terrorists that
require Washington's intervention.
with Iran's long-standing support of Bashir Assad's
government in Syria. That alliance that goes back to his father’s era and
is rooted in the historic confessional politics of the Islamic world.
Assad regime is Alawite, a branch of the Shiite, and despite the
regime’s brutality, it has been a bulwark of protection for all of
Syria’s minority sects, including Christians, against a majority-Sunni ethnic
cleansing. The latter would surely have occurred if the Saudi
(and Washington) supported rebels, led by the Nusra Front
and ISIS, had succeeded in taking power.
the fact that the Bagdhad government of the broken state of
Iraq——that is, the artificial 1916 concoction of two stripped pants
European diplomats (Messrs. Sykes and Picot of the British and French foreign
offices, respectively)——–is now aligned with Iran is also a result of
confessional politics and geo-economic propinquity.
all practical purposes, the Kurds of the northeast have declared their
independence; and the now "liberated" western Sunni lands of the
upper Euphrates have been physically and economically destroyed----
after first being conquered by ISIS with American weapons dropped in
place by the hapless $25 billion Iraqi army minted by Washington’s
what is left of Iraq is a population that is overwhelmingly Shiite, and
which nurses bitter resentments after two decades of violent conflict with
the Sunni forces. Why in the world, therefore, wouldn’t they ally with
their Shiite neighbor?
the claim that Iran is now trying to annex Yemen is pure claptrap. The ancient
territory of Yemen has been racked by civil war off and on since the early
1970s. And a major driving force of that conflict has been confessional
differences between the Sunni south and the Shiite north.
more recent times, Washington’s blatant drone war inside Yemen against alleged
terrorists and its domination and financing of Yemen’s governments
eventually produced the same old outcome. That is, another failed state and an
illegitimate government which fled at the 11th hour, leaving another vast cache
of American arms and equipment behind.
the Houthis forces now in control of substantial parts of the country are not
some kind of advanced guard sent in by Tehran. They are indigenous partisans
who share a confessional tie with Iran, but which have actually been armed by
the real invaders in this destructive civil war are the Saudis, whose vicious
bombing campaign against civilian populations controlled by the Houthis are
outright war crimes if the word has any meaning at all.
there is the fourth element of the purported Iranian axis—–the Hezbollah controlled
Shiite communities of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. Like
everything else in the Middle East, Hezbollah is a product of historical
European imperialism, Islamic confessional politics and the frequently
misguided and counterproductive security policies of Israel.
the first place, Lebanon was not any more a real country than Iraq was when
Sykes and Picot laid their straight-edged rulers on a map. The result was a
stew of religious and ethnic divisions—-Maronite Catholics, Greek
Orthodox, Copts, Druse, Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Kurds, Armenians,
Jews and countless more—– that made the fashioning of a viable state
length, an alliance of Christians and Sunnis gained control of the country,
leaving the 40% Shiite population disenfranchised and economically
disadvantaged, as well. But it was the inflow of Palestinian refugees in the
1960s and 1970s that eventually upset the balance of sectarian forces and
triggered a civil war that essentially lasted from 1975 until the turn of the
also triggered a catastrophically wrong-headed Israeli invasion of southern
Lebanon in 1982, and a subsequent repressive occupation of mostly Shiite
territories for the next eighteen years. The alleged purpose of this invasion
was to chase the PLO and Yassir Arafat out of the enclave in southern Lebanon
that they had established after being driven out of Jordan in 1970.
succeeded in sending Arafat packing to north Africa, but in the process created
a militant, Shiite-based resistance movement that did not even exist in 1982,
and which in due course became the strongest single force in
Lebanon’s fractured domestic political arrangements.
Israel withdrew in 2000, the then Christian President
of the county made abundantly clear that Hezbollah had become a legitimate
and respected force within the Lebanese polity, not merely some subversive
agent of Tehran:
“For us Lebanese, and I can tell you the majority of Lebanese,
Hezbollah is a national resistance movement. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t
have liberated our land. And because of that, we have big esteem for the
yes, Hezbollah is an integral component of the so-called Shiite Crescent
and its confessional and political alignment with Tehran is entirely plausible.
But that arrangement—-however uncomfortable for Israel—–does not represent
unprovoked Iranian aggression on Israel’s northern border.
it’s actually the blowback from the stubborn refusal of Israeli
governments—–especially the rightwing Likud governments of modern times—–to
deal constructively with the Palestinian question.
lieu of a two-state solution in the territory of Palestine,
therefore, Israeli policy has produced a chronic state of war with nearly
half the Lebanese population represented by Hezbollah.
latter is surely no agency of peaceful governance and has committed its share
of atrocities. But the point at hand is that given the last 35 years
of history and Israeli policy, Hezbollah would exist as a menacing
force on its northern border even if the theocracy didn't exist and the
Shah or his heir was still on the Peacock Throne.
short, there is no alliance of terrorism in the Shiite Crescent that threatens
American security. That proposition is simply one of the Big Lies that was
promulgated by the War Party after 1991; and which has
been happily embraced by Imperial Washington since then in order
to keep the military/industrial/security complex alive, and justify its
self-appointed role as policeman of the world.
Washington's Erroneous View That The Persian Gulf Should Be An
American Lake---------The Root Of Sunni Jihaddism
the terrorist threat that has arisen from the Sunni side of the Islamic divide
is largely of Washington's own making; and it is being nurtured by
endless US meddling in the region's politics and by the bombing
and droning campaigns against Washington's self-created enemies.
the root of Sunni based terrorism is the long-standing Washington
error that America’s security and economic well-being depends upon keeping an
armada in the Persian Gulf in order to protect the surrounding
oilfields and the flow of tankers through the straits of Hormuz.
doctrine has been wrong from the day it was officially enunciated by one of
America’s great economic ignoramuses, Henry Kissinger, at the time of the
original oil crisis in 1973. The 42 years since then have proven in spades
that its doesn’t matter who controls the oilfields, and that the only effective
cure for high oil prices is the free market.
tin pot dictatorship from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi to Hugo Chavez
in Venezuela to Saddam Hussein, to the bloody-minded chieftains of
Nigeria, to the purportedly medieval Mullahs and
fanatical Revolutionary Guards of Iran has produced oil—-and all they
could because they desperately needed the revenue.
crying out loud, even the barbaric thugs of ISIS milk every possible drop
of petroleum from the tiny, wheezing oilfields scattered around their
backwater domain. So there is no economic case whatsoever for
Imperial Washington’s massive military presence in the middle east, and most especially
for its long-time alliance with the despicable regime of Saudi Arabia.
truth is, there is no such thing as an OPEC cartel——virtually every member
produces all they can and cheats whenever possible. The only thing that
resembles production control in the global oil market is the fact that
the Saudi princes treat their oil reserves not much differently than
is, they attempt to maximize the present value of their 270 billion barrels of
reserves, but ultimately are no more clairvoyant at calibrating the best oil
price to accomplish that than are the economists at Exxon or the IEA.
Saudis over-estimated the staying power of China’s temporarily surging
call on global supply; and under-estimated how rapidly and extensively the $100
per barrel marker reached in early 2008 would trigger
a flow of investment, technology and cheap debt into the US shale patch,
the Canadian tar sands, the tired petroleum provinces of Russia, the deep
offshore of Brazil etc. And that’s to say nothing of solar, wind and all
the other government subsidized alternative source of BTUs.
back when Jimmy Carter was telling us to turn down the thermostats and put on
our cardigan sweaters, those of us on the free market side of the so-called
energy shortage debate said the best cure for high oil prices is high prices.
Now we know.
the Fifth Fleet and its overt and covert auxiliaries should never
have been there—–going all the way back to the CIA’s coup against Iranian
democracy in 1953.
having turned Iran into an enemy, Imperial Washington was just getting started
when 1990 rolled around. Once again in the name of “oil security” it plunged
the American war machine into the politics and religious fissures of the
Persian Gulf; and did so on account of a local small potatoes
conflict that had no bearing whatsoever on the safety and security of
US ambassador Glaspie rightly told Saddam Hussein on the eve of his Kuwait
invasion, America had no dog in that hunt.
wasn’t even a country; it was a bank account sitting on a swath of oilfields
surrounding an ancient trading city that had been abandoned by Ibn Saud in
the early 20th century.
because he didn’t know what oil was or that it was there; and,
in any event, it had been made a separate protectorate by the British in
1913 for reasons that are lost in the fog of diplomatic history.
Iraq’s contentious dispute with Kuwait had been over its claim
that the Emir of Kuwait was “slant drilling” across his
border into Iraq’s Rumaila field. Yet it was a
wholly elastic boundary of no significance whatsoever.
fact, the dispute over the Rumaila field started in 1960 when an Arab
League declaration arbitrarily marked the Iraq–Kuwait border two
miles north of the southernmost tip of the Rumaila field.
newly defined boundary, in turn, had come only 44 years after a
pair of English and French diplomats had carved up their
winnings from the Ottoman Empire’s demise by laying a straight
edged ruler on the map. So doing, they thereby confected the
artificial country of Iraq from the historically independent and hostile
Mesopotamian provinces of the Shiite in the south, the Sunni in the west
and the Kurds in the north.
short, it did not matter who controlled the southern tip of the Rumaila
field—–the brutal dictator of Baghdad or the opulent Emir of Kuwait. Not
the price of oil, nor the peace of America nor the security of Europe nor the
future of Asia depended upon it.
The First Gulf War-------A Catastrophic Error
once again Bush the Elder got persuaded to take the path of war. This
time it was by Henry
Kissinger’s economically illiterate protégés at the
national security council and his Texas oilman Secretary of State.
They falsely claimed that the will-o-wisp of “oil security” was
at stake, and that 500,000 American troops needed to be planted in the
sands of Arabia.
That was a catastrophic error, and not only because the presence
of crusader boots on the purportedly sacred soil of Arabia offended
the CIA-trained Mujahedeen of Afghanistan, who had become unemployed when
the Soviet Union collapsed.
The 1991 CNN glorified war games in the
Gulf also further empowered another group of unemployed
crusaders. Namely, the neocon national security fanatics who had mislead Ronald
Reagan into a massive military build-up to thwart what they claimed to be an
ascendant Soviet Union bent on nuclear war winning capabilities and global
things being equal, the sight of Boris Yeltsin, Vodka flask in hand, facing
down the Red Army a few months later should have sent them into the
permanent repudiation and obscurity they so richly deserved. But Dick Cheney
and Paul Wolfowitz managed to extract from Washington’s pyric victory in Kuwait
a whole new lease on life for Imperial Washington.
then and there came the second erroneous predicate. To wit, that “regime
change” among the assorted tyrannies of the middle east was in America’s
fatally, the neocons now insisted that the Gulf War proved it
could be achieved through a sweeping interventionist menu of
coalition diplomacy, security assistance, arms shipments, covert
action and open military attack and occupation.
the neocon doctrine of regime change actually did, of course, was to foster the
Frankenstein that utlimately became ISIS. In fact, the only real
terrorists in the world which threaten normal civilian life in the West are the
rogue offspring of Imperial Washington’s post-1990 machinations in the
CIA trained and armed Mujahedeen mutated into al-Qaeda not because Bin Laden
suddenly had a religious epiphany that his Washington benefactors were actually
the Great Satan owing to America’s freedom and liberty.
murderous crusade was inspired by the Wahhabi fundamentalism loose in
Saudi Arabia. This benighted religious fanaticism became agitated to
a fever pitch by Imperial Washington’s violent plunge
into Persian Gulf political and religious quarrels, the stationing of
troops in Saudi Arabia, and the decade long barrage of sanctions,
embargoes, no fly zones, covert actions and open hostility against the
Sunni regime in Bagdad after 1991.
Laden would have amputated Saddam’s secularist head if Washington
hadn’t done it first, but that’s just the point. The attempt at regime change
in March 2003 was one of the most foolish acts of state in American history.
younger Bush’s neocon advisers had no clue about the sectarian animosities and
historical grievances that Hussein had bottled-up by parsing the oil loot
and wielding the sword under the banner of Baathist nationalism. But Shock and
Awe blew the lid and the de-baathification campaign unleashed the furies.
no sooner had George Bush pranced around on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln
declaring “mission accomplished” than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a CIA recruit to
the Afghan war a decade earlier and small-time specialist in hostage-taking and
poisons, fled his no count redoubt in Kurdistan to emerge as a flamboyant
agitator in the now disposed Sunni heartland.
founder of ISIS succeeded in Fallujah and
Anbar province just like the long list
of other terrorist leaders Washington claims to have
exterminated. That is, Zarqawi gained his following and notoriety
among the region’s population of deprived, brutalized and humiliated
young men by dint of being more brutal than their occupiers.
even as Washington was crowing about the demise of Zarqawi, the remnants of the
Baathist regime and the hundreds of thousands of demobilized Republican Guards
were coalescing into al-Qaeda in Iraq, and their future leaders were
being incubated in a monstrous nearby detention center called Camp
Bucca that contained more than 26,000 prisoners.
former US Army officer, Mitchell Gray, later described it,
You never see hatred like you saw on the faces of these
detainees,” Gray remembers of his 2008 tour. “When I say they hated us, I mean
they looked like they would have killed us in a heartbeat if given the chance.
I turned to the warrant officer I was with and I said, ‘If they could, they
would rip our heads off and drink our blood.’ ”
What Gray didn’t know — but might have expected — was that he
was not merely looking at the United States’ former enemies, but its future
ones as well. According to intelligence experts and Department of Defense
records, the vast majority of the leadership of what is today known as ISIS,
including its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, did time at Camp Bucca.
And not only did the US feed, clothe and house these jihadists,
it also played a vital, if unwitting, role in facilitating their transformation
into the most formidable terrorist force in modern history.
Early in Bucca’s existence, the most extreme inmates were
congregated in Compound 6. There were not enough Americans guards to safely
enter the compound — and, in any event, the guards didn’t speak Arabic. So the
detainees were left alone to preach to one another and share deadly vocational
…….Bucca also housed Haji Bakr, a former colonel in Saddam
Hussein’s air-defense force. Bakr was no religious zealot. He was just a guy
who lost his job when the Coalition Provisional Authority disbanded the Iraqi
military and instituted de-Baathification, a policy of banning Saddam’s past
supporters from government work.
According to documents recently obtained by German newspaper Der
Spiegel, Bakr was the real mastermind behind ISIS’s organizational structure
and also mapped out the strategies that fueled its early successes. Bakr, who
died in fighting in 2014, was incarcerated at Bucca from 2006-’08, along with a
dozen or more of ISIS’s top lieutenants.
point is, regime change and nation building can never be
accomplished by the lethal violence of 21st century armed forces; and
they were an especially preposterous assignment in the context of
a land rent with 13 century-old religious fissures and animosities.
fact, the wobbly, synthetic state of Iraq was doomed the minute Cheney and
his bloody gang decided to liberate it from the brutal, but serviceable
and secular tyranny of Saddam’s Baathist regime. That’s because the process of
elections and majority rule necessarily imposed by Washington was guaranteed to
elect a government beholden to the Shiite majority.
of mistreatment and Saddam’s brutal suppression of their 1991 uprising,
did the latter have revenge on their minds and in their communal
DNA? Did the Kurds have dreams of an independent Kurdistan that had
been denied their 30 million strong tribe way back at Versailles and
Yes, they did. So the $25 billion spent on training and
equipping the putative armed forces of post-liberation Iraq was bound to
end up in the hands of sectarian militias, not a national army.
fact, when the Shiite commanders fled Sunni-dominated Mosul in June 2014
they transformed the ISIS uprising against the government in
Baghdad into a vicious fledgling state in one fell swoop. It
wasn’t by beheadings and fiery jihadist sermons that it
quickly enslaved dozens of towns and several million people in
western Iraq and the Euphrates Valley of Syria.
ISIS Is Washington's Frankenstein
instruments of terror and occupation were the best weapons that the American
taxpayers could buy. That included 2,300 Humvees and tens of thousands of
automatic weapons, as well as vast stores of ammunition, trucks, rockets,
artillery pieces and even tanks and helicopters.
that wasn’t the half of it. The newly proclaimed Islamic State also filled the
power vacuum in Syria created by its so-called civil war. But in
truth that was another exercise in Washington inspired and financed regime
change undertaken in connivance with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
latter were surely not interested in expelling the tyranny next
door; they are the living embodiment of it.
Instead, the rebellion was about removing Iran’s Alawite/Shiite
ally from power in Damascus and laying gas pipelines to Europe across the
upper Euphrates Valley.
any event, ISIS soon had troves of additional American weapons. Some of them
were supplied to Sunni radicals by way of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. More came up
the so-called “ratline” from Gaddafi’s former arsenals in Benghazi
through Turkey. And still more came through Jordan from the “moderate” opposition
trained there by the CIA, which more often than not sold them or defected to
the other side.
that the Islamic State was Washington’s Frankenstein
monster became evident from the moment it rushed upon the scene 18
months ago. But even then the Washington war party could not resist adding fuel
to the fire, whooping up another round of Islamophobia among the American
public and forcing the Obama White House into a futile bombing campaign for the
third time in a quarter century.
But if bombing
really worked, the Islamic State would be sand and gravel by now. Indeed, as
shown by the map below, it is really not much more than that anyway.
dusty, broken, impoverished towns and villages along the margins of the
Euphrates River and in the bombed out precincts of Anbar province do not
attract thousands of wannabe jihadists from the failed states of the middle
east and the alienated Muslim townships of Europe because the caliphate
offers prosperity, salvation or any future at all.
them is outrage at the bombs and drones being dropped on Sunni communities
by the US air force; and by the cruise missiles launched from the bowels
of the Mediterranean which rip apart homes, shops, offices and mosques
containing as many innocent civilians as ISIS terrorists.
truth is, the Islamic State was destined for a short half-life anyway. It was
contained by the Kurds in the north and east and by Turkey with NATO’s
second largest army and air force in the northwest. And it was surrounded by
the Shiite crescent in the populated, economically viable regions of lower
Syria and Iraq.
absent Washington’s misbegotten campaign to unseat Assad in Damascus and
demonize his confession-based Iranian ally, there would have been
nowhere for the murderous fanatics who pitched a makeshift capital in
Raqqa to go. They would have run out of money, recruits, momentum and
public acquiesce in their horrific rule in due course.
with the US Air Force functioning as their recruiting arm and France’s
anti-Assad foreign policy helping to foment a final spasm of anarchy
in Syria, the gates of hell have been opened wide. What has been puked out is
not an organized war on Western civilization as Hollande so hysterically
proclaimed in response to the mayhem in Paris.
It was just blowback carried out by
that infinitesimally small salient of mentally deformed young men who
can be persuaded to strap on a suicide belt.
to say, bombing wont stop them; it will just make more of them.
what can stop them is the Assad government and the ground forces of
its Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard allies. Its time to
let them settle an ancient quarrel that has never been any of America’s
Imperial Washington is so caught up in its myths, lies and hegemonic stupidity
that it can not see the obvious.
that is why a quarter century after the cold war ended peace
still hasn’t been given a chance and the reason that horrific events like
November's barbarism in Paris still keep happening.
the so-called "inspired" terrorists like the pair who attacked San
Bernardino emerge episodically because the terror that the American
military visits upon Muslim lands is actually what inspires
them. After all, whatever the Koran has to say about purging the infidel,
it inspired no attacks on American soil until Imperial Washington went
into the regime change and military intervention business in the middle
Another False Demon-----Putin's Russia
the end of the day there now exists a huge irony. The only force that
can effectively contain and eventually eliminate the Islamic State is the
so-called Shiite Crescent-----------the alliance of Iran, Baghdad, Assad and
Hezbollah. But since they are allied with Putin's Russia, still another
unnecessary barrier to peace on earth comes into play.
fact is, there is no basis whatsoever for Imperial Washington's relentless
campaign against Putin, and Washington-NATO's blatant intervention in
to the bombast, jingoism, and shrill moralizing flowing from Washington
and the mainstream media, America has no interest in the current spat
between Putin and the coup that unconstitutionally took over Kiev in
several centuries the Crimea has been Russian; for even longer, the Ukraine has
been a cauldron of ethnic and tribal conflict, rarely an organized, independent
state, and always a meandering set of borders looking for a redrawn map.
everything reviewed above, the source of the current calamity-howling
about Russia is the Warfare State–that is, the existence of vast machinery of
military, diplomatic and economic maneuver that is ever on the prowl for
missions and mandates and that can mobilize a massive propaganda campaign on
the slightest excitement.
post-1991 absurdity of bolstering NATO and extending it into eastern Europe, rather
than liquidating it after attaining “mission accomplished”, is just another
manifestation of its baleful impact. In truth, the expansion of NATO is one of
the underlying causes of America’s needless tension with Russia and Putin’s
paranoia about his borders and neighbors. Indeed, what juvenile minds actually
determined that America needs a military alliance with Slovenia, Slovakia,
Bulgaria and Romania, and now Montenegro!
the resounding clatter for action against Russia emanating from Washington and
its house-trained media is not even a semi-rational response to the facts at
hand; its just another destructive spasm of the nation’s Warfare State
and its beltway machinery of diplomatic meddling, economic warfare
and military intervention.
To Obama: It’s Their Red Line
only does Washington’s relentless meddling in the current Russian-
Ukrainian food fight have nothing to do with the safety and security of the
American people, it also betrays woeful disregard for the elementary facts
of that region’s turbulent and often bloody history.
fact, the allegedly “occupied” territory of Crimea was actually annexed by
Catherine the Great in 1783, thereby satisfying the longstanding quest of
the Russian Czars for a warm-water port. Over the ages Sevastopol
then emerged as a great naval base at the strategic tip of the Crimean
peninsula, where it became home to the mighty Black Sea Fleet of the Czars
and then the commissars.
the next 171 years Crimea was an integral part of Russia—a span that exceeds
the 166 years that have elapsed since California was annexed by a similar
thrust of “Manifest Destiny” on this continent, thereby providing,
incidentally, the United States Navy with its own warm-water port in San Diego.
no foreign forces subsequently invaded the California coasts, it was most
definitely not Ukrainian and Polish rifles, artillery and blood which famously
annihilated The Charge Of The Light Brigade at the Crimean city of Balaclava in
1854; they were Russians defending the homeland from Turks, Europeans and
the portrait of the Russian “hero” hanging in Putin’s office is
that of Czar Nicholas I—whose brutal 30-year reign brought the Russian
Empire to its historical zenith, and who was revered in Russian
hagiography as the defender of Crimea, even as he lost the 1850s war to the
Ottomans and Europeans.
the end of the day, it’s their Red Line. When the enfeebled Franklin Roosevelt
made port in the Crimean city of Yalta in February 1945 he did at least know
that he was in Soviet Russia.
to cement his control of the Kremlin in the intrigue-ridden struggle for
succession after Stalin’s death a few years later, Nikita Khrushchev
allegedly spent 15 minutes reviewing his “gift” of Crimea to his subalterns in
Kiev in honor of the decision by their ancestors 300 years earlier to accept
the inevitable and become a vassal of Russia.
during the long decades of the Cold War, the West did nothing to liberate the
“captive nation” of the Ukraine—with or without the Crimean appendage
bestowed upon it in 1954. Nor did it draw any red lines in the mid-1990’s when
a financially desperate Ukraine rented back Sevastopol and the strategic
redoubts of the Crimea to an equally pauperized Russia.
short, in the era before we got our Pacific port in 1848 and in the 166-year
interval since then, our national security has depended not one wit
on the status of the Russian-speaking Crimea.
local population has now chosen fealty to the Grand Thief in Moscow over
the ruffians and rabble who have seized Kiev is their business, not ours.
real threat to peace is not Putin, but the screeching sanctimony and
mindless meddling of Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Obama should have
sent them back to geography class long ago-------and before they
could draw anymore new Red Lines.
one in the Ukraine has been morphing for centuries among
the quarreling tribes, peoples, potentates, Patriarchs and pretenders
of a small region that is none of our damn business.
current Ukrainian policy farce emanating from Washington is not only
a reminder that the military-industrial-beltway complex is
still alive and well, but also demonstrates why the forces of crony
capitalism and money politics which sustain it are so lamentable. The fact is,
the modern Warfare State has been the incubator of American imperialism
since the Cold War, and is now proving itself utterly invulnerable to fiscal
containment, even in the face of a $19 trillion national debt.
101 years after the Christmas truces along the Western Front there is
still no peace on earth. And the long suffering American taxpayers, who foot
the massive bills generated by the War Party's demented and destructive
policies, have no clue that Imperial Washington is the principal reason.