Exclusive: The U.S. news media flip-flops on whether international law is inviolate or can be brushed aside at America’s whim – and similarly whether killing civilians is justified or not depending on who’s doing the killing, says Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Over the past few decades, the U.S. mainstream media has failed the American people in a historic fashion by spinning false or misleading narratives on virtually every important global issue, continuing to this day to guide the nation into destructive and unnecessary conflicts.
To me, a major turning point came with the failure of the major news organizations to get anywhere near the bottom of the Iran-Contra scandal, including its origins in illicit contacts between Republicans and Iranians during the 1980 campaign and the Reagan administration’s collaboration with drug traffickers to support the Contra war in Nicaragua. (Instead, the major U.S. media disparaged reporting on these very real scandals.)
If these unsavory stories had been fully explained to the American people, their impression of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush would be far less favorable and the rise of Reagan’s neocon underlings might well have been halted. Instead the neocons consolidated their dominance over Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment and Bush’s inept son was allowed to take the White House in 2001.
Then, one might have thought that the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 – justified by a legion of lies – would have finally doomed the neocons but, by then, they had deeply penetrated the national news media and major think tanks, with their influence reaching not only across the Republican Party but deeply into the Democratic Party as well.
So, despite the Iraq catastrophe, almost nothing changed. The neocons and their liberal interventionist chums continued to fabricate narratives that have led the United States into one mess after another, seeking more and more “regime change” and brushing aside recommendations for peaceful resolution of international crises.
As part of this phenomenon, there is profound cognitive dissonance as the rationales shift depending on the neocons’ tactical needs. From one case to the next, there is no logical or moral consistency, and the major U.S. news organizations go along, failing again and again to expose these blatant hypocrisies.
The U.S. government can stand for a “rules-based” world when that serves its interests but then freely violate international law when it’s decided that “humanitarian warfare” trumps national sovereignty and the United Nations Charter. The latter is particularly easy after a foreign leader has been demonized in the American press, but sovereignty becomes inviolate in other circumstances when Washington is on the side of the killing regimes.
George W. Bush’s administration and the mainstream media justified invading Iraq, in part, by accusing Saddam Hussein of human rights violations. The obvious illegality of the invasion was ignored or dismissed as so much caviling by “Saddam apologists.” Similarly, the Obama administration and media rationalized invading Libya in 2011 under the propagandistic charge that Muammar Gaddafi was planning a mass slaughter of civilians (though he said he was only after Islamic terrorists).
But the same media looks the other way or make excuses when the slaughter of civilians is being done by “allies,” such as Israel against Palestinians or Saudi Arabia against Yemenis. Then the U.S. government even rushes more military supplies so the bombings can continue.
The view of terrorism is selective, too. Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. “allies” in the Persian Gulf have aided and abetted terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, in the war against the largely secular government of Syria. That support for violent subversion followed the U.S. media’s demonization of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Thus, trying to avoid another Iraq-style morass, President Obama faces heavy criticism from neocon-dominated Washington for not doing more to force “regime change” in Syria, although he actually has authorized shipments of sophisticated U.S. weaponry to the supposedly “moderate” opposition, which often operates under Nusra’s command structure.
In other words, it’s okay to intervene overtly and covertly when Official Washington wants to do so, regardless of international law and even if that involves complicity with terrorists. But it’s different when the shoe is on the other foot.
In the case of Ukraine, any Russian assistance to ethnic Russian rebels under assault from a Ukrainian military that includes neo-Nazi battalions, such as the Azov brigade, is impermissible. International law and a “rules-based” structure must be defended by punishing Russia.
The U.S. news media failed its readers again with its one-sided coverage of the 2014 coup that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych, who had undergone another demonization process from U.S. officials and the mainstream press. So, the major U.S. news outlets cheered the coup and saw nothing wrong when the new U.S.-backed regime announced an “Anti-Terrorism Operation” – or ATO – against ethnic Russian Ukrainians who had voted for Yanukovych and considered the coup regime illegitimate.
In the Western media, the “white-hatted” coup regime in Kiev could do no wrong even when its neo-Nazi storm troopers burned scores of ethnic Russians alive in Odessa and spearheaded the ATO in the east. Everything was Russia’s fault, even though there was no evidence that President Vladimir Putin had any pre-coup role in destabilizing the political situation in Ukraine.
Indeed, the evidence was clear that the U.S. government was the one seeking “regime change.” For instance, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland was caught on an intercepted phone call conspiring with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt regarding who should take power – “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk – and discussing how to “midwife” and “glue this thing.” The coup followed a few weeks later, with Yatsenyuk emerging as the new prime minister.
The U.S. news media acts as if it is the unquestionable right of the U.S. government to intervene in the internal affairs of countries all over the world – whether through subversion or military invasion – but the U.S. media then gets outraged if anyone dares to resist Washington’s edicts or tries to behave in any way similar to how the U.S. government does.
So, regarding Ukraine, when neighboring Russia intervened to prevent massacres in the east and to let the people of Crimea vote in a referendum on seceding from the new regime in Kiev, the U.S. government and media accused Putin of violating international law. National borders, even in the context of a violent coup carried out in part by neo-Nazis, had to be respected, Official Washington piously announced. Even the 96 percent will of Crimea’s voters to rejoin Russia had to be set aside in support of the principle of state sovereignty.
In other words, if Putin shielded these ethnic Russians from violent repression by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, he was guilty of “aggression” and his country needed to be punished with harsh sanctions. U.S. neocons soon began dreaming of destabilizing Russia and pulling off another “regime change,” in Moscow.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed Ukrainian regime prosecuted its ATO, bringing heavy armaments to bear against the eastern Ukrainian dissidents in a conflict that has claimed some 10,000 lives including many civilians. The Ukrainian conflict is one of the worst bloodlettings in Europe since World War II, yet the calls from neocons and their liberal-hawk pals is to arm up the Ukrainian military so it can – once and for all – crush the resistance.
Early in the crisis, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, who has cultivated a reputation as a caring humanitarian, was eager to send more weapons to the Kiev regime and to western Ukrainians (who include his father’s relatives) so they could kill their ethnic Russian neighbors in the east – or “go bear-hunting,” as Kristof put it. By calling Russians “bears,” Kristof was likening their slaughter to the killing of animals.
Yet, in a recent column, Kristof takes a very different posture regarding Syria, where he wants the U.S. military to invade and create so-called “safe zones” and “no-fly zones” to prevent the Syrian army and air force from operating against rebel positions.
Sovereignty means one thing in Ukraine, even following a coup that removed the elected president. There, national borders must be respected (at least after a pro-U.S. regime had been installed) and the regime has every right kill dissenters to assert its authority. After all, it’s just like hunting animals.
But sovereignty means something else in Syria where the U.S. government is called on to intervene on one side in a brutal civil war to prevent the government from regaining control of the country or to obviate the need for a negotiated settlement of the conflict. In Syria, “regime change” trumps all.
In the column, Kristof noted other conflicts where the United States supposedly should have done more, calling the failure to invade Syria “a stain on all of us, analogous … to the eyes averted from Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, to Darfur in the 2000s.”
Note again the selectivity of Kristof’s moral outrage. He doesn’t call for a U.S. invasion of Israel/Palestine to protect the Palestinians from Israel’s periodic “mowing the grass” operations. Nor does he suggest bombing the Saudi airfields to prevent the kingdom’s continued bombing of Yemenis. And, he doesn’t protest the U.S.-instigated slaughter in Iraq where hundreds of thousands of people perished, nor does he cite the seemingly endless U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Like many other mainstream pundits, Kristof tailors his humanitarianism to the cause of U.S. global dominance. After all, how long do you think Kristof would last as a well-paid columnist if he advocated a “no-fly zone” inside Israel or a military intervention against Saudi Arabia?
Put differently, how much professional courage does it take to pile on against “black-hatted” U.S. “enemies” after they’ve been demonized? Yet, it was just such a “group think” that cleared the way for the U.S. invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, a decision embraced by “liberal hawks” as well as neoconservatives and touching off mass suffering across the Mideast and now into Europe. Some estimates put the Iraqi dead at over one million.
So, it’s worth remembering how The New Yorker, The New York Times and other supposedly “liberal” publications hopped on George W. Bush’s Iraq War bandwagon. They became what Kristof’s former boss, Bill Keller, dubbed “the I-Can’t-Believe-I‘m-a-Hawk Club.” (Keller, by the way, was named the Times executive editor after the Iraq WMD claims had been debunked. Like many of his fellow hawks, there was no accountability for their gullibility or careerism.)
Kristof did not join the club at that time but signed up later, urging a massive bombing campaign in Syria after the Obama administration made now largely discredited claims accusing Bashar al-Assad’s government of launching a sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.
We now know that President Obama pulled back from those bombing plans, in part, because he was told by U.S. intelligence analysts that they doubted Assad was responsible. The preponderance of evidence now points to a provocation by Al Qaeda-connected rebels to trick the United States into intervening in the civil war on their side, but the mainstream U.S. media continues to report as “flat fact” that Obama failed to enforce his “red line” against Assad using chemical weapons.
Though the Kristof-endorsed bombing campaign in 2013 might well have played into Al Qaeda’s hands (or those of the Islamic State) and thus unleashed even a worse tragedy on the Syrian people, the columnist is still advocating a U.S. invasion of Syria, albeit dressed up in pretty “humanitarian” language. But it should be clear that nice-sounding words like “safe zones” are just euphemisms for “regime change,” as we saw in Libya in 2011.
The U.S. news media also often “forgets” that Obama has authorized the training and arming of so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels with many of them absorbed into the military command of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and with sophisticated U.S. weapons, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, showing up in the arsenals of Nusra and its jihadist allies.
In other words, beyond the selective outrage about morality and international law, we see selective reporting. Indeed, across American journalism, there has been a nearly complete abandonment of objectivity when it comes to reporting on U.S. foreign policy. Even liberal and leftist publications now bash anyone who doesn’t join the latest version of “the I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club.”
That means that as the neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment continues to push the world toward ever greater catastrophes, now including plans to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia (gee, how could that go wrong?), the U.S. news media is denying the American people the objective information needed to rein in the excesses.
Virtually nothing has been learned from the Iraq War disaster when the U.S. government cast aside negotiations and inspections (along with any appreciation of the complex reality on the ground) in favor of tough-guy/gal posturing. With very few exceptions, the U.S. media simply went along.
Today, the pro-war posturing has spread deeply within the Democratic Party and even among some hawkish leftists who join in the fun of insulting the few anti-war dissenters with the McCarthyite approach of accusing anyone challenging the “group think” on Syria or Russia of being an “Assad apologist” or a “Putin stooge.”
At the Democratic National Convention, some of Hillary Clinton’s delegates even chanted “USA, USA” to drown out the cries of Bernie Sanders’s delegates, who pleaded for “no more war.” On a larger scale, the mainstream U.S. news media has essentially ignored or silenced anyone who deviates from the neocon-dominated conventional wisdom.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
Hi Robert Parry. I am from Ukraine and want explain something to U and readers.
Some yzour words 99% same as Putin words. It is obviously that big politician which want work further can not say 99% truth in difficult situation.
Could be there some truth that US do not tell but Russia tell? Yes.
Are Russia tell 99% truth (80% there – are government’s media)? Definitely not.
In reality there is ~60% truth in your words about Ukraine. And 40% lie.
“a conflict that has claimed some 10,000 lives including many civilians”
True, war must be stopped!
“ATO – against ethnic Russian Ukrainians who had voted for Yanukovych and considered the coup regime illegitimate”
False! Now everyone everywhere do not like Yanukovych.
And look at that “ethnic Russians” with heavy weapons:
“_com” change for “.com”
In Ukraine is hybrid war
…brain-washed one fed a diet of TV propaganda. My wife comes from Lugansk and skypes with her childhood friends frequently. Even a 5 year old child there knows where the incoming shells are from yet OSCE just registers “explosions” without attribute, or attributing them to both sides (omitting who fired first!). Sadly the tactics used in Kiev to overthrow the government were supported as “peaceful” …while idiots jumped on the Maidan, PraySektor et al were throwing molotovs and shooting at BERKUT. That 2 years passed without a hint of finding out who was responsible for the deaths of “Heavenly 100” is even annoying the EU. That Hotel Ukraine was the HZ for Maidan and was chock full of CIA and neo-nazis and was one of the rooftops from which the snipers fired on the crowd is apparently not relevant…Yanukovich must be guilty becuz you say he is? That you blockaded gov’t buildings in Kiev and burned tires OK bu not the people of Donbass who did the same thing only to have the army sent out to put them down? Do you remember the babushkas standing in front of the tanks that were sent there? Many Ukrainian patriots in the army wondered where the terrorists were in these villages…they only found people their like the villages from which they came! But since the US ran the new gov’t in kiev, the army was sent and neo-nazis were sent time and time again to spill their blood. They succeeded in Odessa like never before (not counting Kiev). Then the people of Donbass resisted force with force….with weapons largely captured or surrended by the Ukrainian army. But I would not expect you to believe any of this…you are blinded by the propaganda which you hold dear…oblivious to seeing the many documents and video evidence of what really happened. So sad….
I do NOT say that Kiev 100% true or right.
“wondered where the terrorists were in these villages”
There was no terrorists.
But Putins side is wrong too and Putin’s propoganda lie a lot!!! Both UA and RU propaganda incite hatred (and Putin started much before Yanukovich run away).
But EU is good.
“PraySektor were shooting at BERKUT”
It could be but this is not facts. This is also from Putin’s side of propaganda.
Putin’s side of propaganda even sad there was “the crucified boy” (never exist)!!!
“Even a 5 year old child there knows where the incoming shells are from”
This is u main mistake. Can 5 year old child or grandma calculate the ballistic trajectory of long-range artillery? No. It is NOT 2 sides where 1 whole black and 1 whole white there!!! Propaganda affects very much. And rewatch my 2nd video, they call for shootback to houses.
Also watch the 1st leader of rebels-separatists (he is from Russia and his main mistake that he hate US, do not believe in dialog and think that war could be “not bad” so he started big war, not the people of Donbass). And separatism is not the same. And Odessa tragedy was after Russian army go for Crimea, not before.
Think u own mind, not emotions. Use logic and do not belive everything (critical thinking). And support peace.
(Crimea is not a problem now but it shows how it started)
“_com” change for “.com”
Regensordo, you ask:
Doesn’t this tell us that these “disasters” are not really disasters but all part of a greater plan? It’s been said the US and Israel want chaos in the Middle East. Remember, “never let a crisis go to waste”, as Obama best friend Rahm Emanuel said.
What is happening in the Middle East can be laid at our door but, in all of this military action and diplomatic rubbish, we are following the lead of Israel. Hillary wants to crawl deeper into be with Israel. I don’t know why she’s so fond of this apartheid nation, where democracy is as faux as it was when Bernie thought he could rely on votes to become the DNC’s champion.
Hillary is in bed with the Israelis, as is Pro-Israel citizens, includings the major of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, who finally endorsed Obama rather than Clinton back in 2008. Rahm Emanuel introduced Obama at AIPAC and then went with him for an off-the-record meeting with the Board of Directors. Meanwhile, an NBC journalist said on air that Emanuel had served in the Israeli Army. Rahm was right there, listening to every word, and not only did he not deny it but he can actually be seen nodding his head ‘yes’. Furthermore the journalist involved was not just an ordinary journalist, but none other than NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, herself very well-connected in Washington, very Jewish and Zionist, and married to none other than Alan Greenspan.
The tail shakes the dog and the dog fires missiles and, in the Security Council of the UN, makes sure that not even the slightest complaint makes it to be a UN Resolution.
Being “friends” with Israel is what caused bin Laden to attack us wherever he could. In his “Letter to America” he refers to the US as Crusaders and to the Israel-US alliance as the Judeo-Crusader alliance. Why? We give Israel 3 billion dollars every year, we protect Israel from ever being criticized by the UN Security Council. So, yes, when the Palestinians or Muslims anywhere feel the wrath of either Israel or the US, bin Laden makes it plain that the missiles, the cluster bombs, the high-in-the-sky surveillance is from both Israel and the United States.
Young journalist or “Putin stooge”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kcFNnU-QBg
“Then, one might have thought that the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 – justified by a legion of lies – would have finally doomed the neocons but, by then, they had deeply penetrated the national news media and major think tanks, with their influence reaching not only across the Republican Party but deeply into the Democratic Party as well.”
Doesn’t this tell us that these “disasters” are not really disasters but all part of a greater plan? It’s been said the US and Israel want chaos in the Middle East. Remember, “never let a crisis go to waste”, as Obama best friend Rahm Emanuel said.
Just another example of the real Evil Empire
It may just be a long-term “feisty press syndrome”
Reporting the International System: Attention to Foreign Leaders in the US News Media, 1950–2008, by Brandon Gorman and Charles Seguin
“We conclude that media attention to foreign leaders is a reflection of the dynamics of geopolitical struggles and conflicts rather than global interconnectedness. Thus, in the context of attention to world leaders, news values favoring conflict and struggle resonate more than news values favoring connections and cooperation.”
It’s not accurate to portray Reagan and Bush I as being identical in their relationship with the neocons. Reagan didn’t like the neocons, in fact fired some and indicted two (Abrams and Weinberger, who Bush later pardoned). The neocons hated the fact that Reagan wanted to end the cold war and normalize relations with the Soviet Union. They wanted to escalate the situation (as is their wont in all things). As John Patrick Diggins noted in a New York Times editorial in 2004:
“Those advisers in the Bush administration who regard themselves as Reaganites ought to remember that Mr. Reagan ceased heeding their advice. According to George Shultz’s memoir, ”Turmoil and Triumph,” Mr. Reagan would become uneasy when his hawkish advisers entered the Oval Office. In his own memoir, ”An American Life,” Mr. Reagan ridiculed the ”macabre jargon” of warheads, I.C.B.M.’s, kill ratios and ”throw weights,” the payload capacity of long-range missiles. The president thought their figures sounded like ”baseball scores” and dismissed his pesky advisers. Mr. Reagan rejected the neocons; George W. Bush stands by them no matter what.”
Dan, what you point out is true and I’m quite convinced that the true history of the Reagan/Shultz split from Bush, during the Reagan administration, is crucial to the accurate reporting of future administrations leading up to this very time. I suspect that it was this “moment” that we became a security state. I’m no Ronald Reagan apologist either; his entire time in office was an American train wreck…
Now that I’ve followed your links, I must say “great catch”. Thanks for your very perceptive reading and response…
VA former Gov. Bob McDonald is a dead ringer for Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller.
In other words, don’t vote out of fear for the lesser of two evils and wonder why our government is evil.
It makes no difference if we elect Trump or Clinton. Both represent a duopoly that is controlled by an oligarchy.
We hear the same argument every four years. We just have to vote for the lesser evil because the greater evil is worse. Yes, it’s true our candidate is evil, but the world will end if the greater evil is elected.
Don’t even think about voting for a third party, because then surely the greater evil will win and the world will end.
But the world never ends, it just keeps getting worse.
Someday the world may end at the ends of our own hands.
But it won’t be because we elected the greater of two evils.
It will be because we continued to elect the evil duopoly.
Kevin, I hate to break it to you, but if Bush Jr can be put into the office by 1 vote, why do you think your vote matters? Even Saddam had two votes as he had two sons.
It will be an interesting development with a 4×4 supreme court. The irony of all these articles seem to forget the court is completely out of whack and lacking constitutional precedence. Good luck with that ‘vote’ everyone seems to belch about. To distract the nation is the ultimate goal from what is in the peoples best interest. Evil politics 101. Park an aircraft carrier in some part of the world and people don’t even see what is in their backyard if they read the MSM. Or think of the new false flag by Israel to keep the Golan Heights in their possession….. the water taken from the Palestinians, and now the oil. Do they want people in the US to know this? Of course not. But please vote, but also pay attention to Israel and the Golan, plus Bibi’s greed
Good luck, really and truly.
9/11 was not a false-flag, idiot.
You forgot to mention the MSM pass at the barbarities of our “friend” Erdogan. Barbarities that match Sadam Hussein’s. Obliterating the press, jailing more than 6,000 people, anyone who doesn’t bow to him, destroying entire Kurdish villages and massacring thousands of Kurds. If you want a bad guy, forget Putin, Erdogan is it.
Sorry Diane, that “previous DNC chair” should have been fired in Dec 2015. Oh, and should never have been hired by team Hillary.
You got a big optics problem in this comment you made.
Except Kristof did join the invade Iraq club in 2002, with the column “Wimps on Iraq”–from very late August 2002.
He wasn’t jumping up and down and saying it was the greatest idea, but the was okay with invading Iraq as long as it was going to be cheap and easy.
He ended the column by saying that the Bush administration should drop the Iraq obsession, but that point doesn’t vitiate the first 7/8s of the column which is delusional.
I suspect that Kristof’s foolishness regarding Iraq escapes note because he pushed the idiocy in the very late summer, before the real push for the war started in the pages of the NYTimes (Miller and Gordon for example). He’s also pretended to have been against the Iraq war in later years, it’s a lie.
G’day Rob/CN Readers,
A necessarily righteous piece to be sure, the essence of which was brought home to me once more in spades after viewing the Roger Waters narrated documentary The Occupation of the American Mind – Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States (a must view; see link below for viewing options).
As it is I’m presently researching and penning a feature piece on the U.S.-Israeli relationship, and this doko not only provides a much needed alternative narrative to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (touched on in your piece herein). It also delivers an equally much needed insight into the inordinate power and influence of the Israel lobby, and is a savage indictment on the venality, mendacity, irresponsibility and unalloyed hypocrisy of the corporate (mainstream) media in the U.S. in the way it caters to special interest groups at the expense of truth, integrity and balance in their reporting of the Big Issues.
Like the above article, we simply cannot have enough reminders of this ongoing — indeed worsening — state of affairs, and this documentary brings home the bacon as it were. I encourage all readers to watch this extraordinary masterclass in truthtelling and spread the word.
I have also included herein a link to an extended interview conducted by Paul Jay of the Real News Network with Roger Waters and the producer Sut Jhally.
Produced by Sut Jhally. No kidding. I know him from way back. He is the founder owner of The Media Education Foundation in Northampton, Ma. They do great work. I’ll check out the film tomorrow as it is getting to be past my bedtime. Thanks for the link.
You’re welcome. It will rock you to the core I believe. My piece is nearing its final stages. Should be up on Op Ed News by this weekend. Best, GM.
Always great to read you here Mr. Maybury. Thanks for the links and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to your article. As you say… G’Day.
Great link, Sut Jhally and Roger Waters said it well.
Sad but excellent essay.
The American people need a war on their own soil–a devastating war ON U.S. SOIL–to convince them that “war is hell”. The Europeans (save Polish) already loath war, as do the Russians (who lost 20 MILLION in WWII). America hasn’t bled enough (yet) to destroy its blood-lusting politicians.
America feels secure in that no adversary could ever mount a land invasion of its “homeland,” and occupy it, which it would take to “win.” Assuming that Russia or China are the only two countries that could remotely match America bomb-for-bomb (but not really, because America outspends them both on armaments 10-to-1), neither of them have a foothold anywhere close to the American Atlantic or Pacific coasts where they could mobilise an invasion force like America did in Britain only miles away from mainland Europe during World War II. There is not even a small island they could use to get within striking distance. Neither has a navy of the size or the range of America’s global fleet. Moreover, any Russian or Chinese fleet trying to approach the American mainland would have to get past all the carrier task forces for which they have no counterpart. Russia or China suffers the same disadvantages if the strategy is to first conquer Canada or Mexico and then invade from there. Can’t be done. The US has long ago shown it will not allow Cuba to serve as a Russian weapons platform.
The only way any country could ever hurt us directly is to throw nuclear-tipped missiles at our cities and military bases. Russia, by stated policy, would only do that in a retaliatory strike against an American first strike, which is why the big bruhaha over the anti-missile batteries NATO is deploying in Romania and Poland. These are designed specifically to cut off Russia’s ability for a retaliatory strike (or MAD, if you will).
No, the American “homeland” remains virtually untouchable, especially in a limited war, and so Russia would have to direct its attacks on America’s enabling vassal states, i.e., the NATO countries harboring so many American bases and nuclear weapons. So, you tell me if any country in Europe really takes Russia as a realistic threat in any sense. They continue to harbor the American bases and nukes. In fact, countries like Poland and the Baltics are begging for permanent bases and nuke facilities to be deployed on their soil, providing more potential targets for the Russkies. Denmark (of all countries) has recently been “blessed” with American nukes. Are they that stupid to trust the Russians? Or are they that stupid to trust the Americans? Personally, in spite of all the lunatic rhetoric spread about at America’s behest, I don’t think they are worried about the Russians. If I were them, I’d worry greatly about Hillary Clinton.
Hey Realist check out this link ….
Interesting. The wheels are always turning in the minds of military strategists. However, for something like that to work would imply that America does not scan cargo containers for radioactivity in our ports or at our borders, which would absolutely flabbergast me. If so, there must already be hundreds of suitcase nukes planted in critical locations. I’ve read that our intelligence agencies covertly scan tractor-trailer rigs, cargo vans and other vehicles, looking for secreted weaponry with high power X-ray machines in the downtowns of major cities, putting thousands of people at risk from that radiation. (That supposed “pest control” van parked across the street may be zapping you with beaucoup rads as we speak.) Plus, the Russians (or Chinese) would have to maintain teams of technicians on American soil ready to deploy these launchers on a moments notice.
My own recommendation for a MAD deterrent (or a first strike, which I would not condone) would be for Russia and China to deploy submersible drones armed with nuclear-tipped missiles, in addition to the nuclear submarines they already have stationed off our coasts. Unlike expensive subs which have to carry around a live crew, these submersibles would be cheap (just large enough to carry their missile payload) and could be parked indefinitely offshore on the ocean floor until activated by a signal from HQ. Being small and stationary would make them hard to detect, relative to a sub. Moreover, they could be moved from time to time if necessary. They could be released (and later retrieved) by larger mother submarines or even from disguised freighters and trawlers. Thousands could be put in place, just waiting for Uncle Sam to knock the alleged chip off Putin’s shoulder.
I think this could be a very effective mechanism for delivering nukes anywhere on the map without having to penetrate borders or ports. It seems like it might be such an unstoppable weapon that I would hate to see it deployed, let alone used. But, America needs to realise that it cannot deploy nukes within a stone’s throw of another country’s capital and largest cities with impunity. The other side will take counter measures. Dubya was insane to repudiate our nuclear treaties with Russia, and Obomber was equally mad to deliberately take nukes to Russia’s borders and point them at people. If America militarily presses China, which does not have a navy with carriers to match ours, in the South China Sea, China is going to have to consider building many more expensive nuclear submarines, or something like I have described.
I really wish we’d stop trying to intimidate the rest of the world and start trying to cooperate with them. But, I guess our “leaders” figure it’s a fight to the death for earth’s remaining natural resources, which are rapidly being depleted. I’m not looking for a moral explanation from these guys, just a semi-rational one.
Excellent article. I believe the “media” are propaganda pushers for the warmongering establishment. See links below:
Thank you. I’m posting the second link since it is very relevant:
The Embodiment of Evil
The evil result of the endless wars perpetrated by regime change criminals  has resulted in massive numbers of refugees. These helpless men, women and children, have nothing left to lose (except for their lives) they are now wandering from country to country seeking refuge, and war is being waged on them. [1a] In Hungary a razor wire fence has been built to keep them out. They have been attacked by dogs, sprayed with chemicals, and water cannons, tear-gassed, food thrown at them and dehumanised.
“Speaking yesterday, David Cameron described migrants as a “swarm”. He was criticised by human rights groups for ‘dehumanising language’”. Siobhan Fenton., The Independent, UK, July 31, 2015.
Some of the very same powerful people who are using demeaning language on these wretched people are responsible for the misery that now exists in the lives of the refugees. They planned the wars that caused these people to be dispossessed. Now they reap the arrivals of the victims that they sowed with their wars. These displaced people have landed on the “rulers” shores.  I believe war crimes have been committed against these unfortunates and they are powerless against the powerful. 
“The Western leaders and media stay silent about the military intervention and regime change, interventions that have torn the refugees’ homelands apart and resulted in civil war, state collapse and extremely violent conditions lasting for long periods.” James Paul, September 16, 2015.
The powerful are not being held to account for the massive destruction, killings, bombings’ and invasions they perpetrated. The homeless and stateless are now wandering the earth as a result of devious conspiracies by those in power. These dishonorable “leaders” bask in the limelight of the world stage. Real life abominable actors in this real production of evil personified. Some of them even offer to “help” in this hellish tragedy of refugees that they diabolically created.  Hypocrites, dressed in expensive suits, with fancy titles to their names, pretending to be “humanitarians.”
These ruling monsters in our midst created, plotted and planned a number of these wars.
I have not seen the important information in the videos below in any of the corporate monopoly media. Are they complicit?
“General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years”
France’s Former Foreign Minister: UK Government Prepared War in Syria Two Years Before 2011 Protests
Surely, it is war crimes to plan wars on countries that never invaded you?
The fallout from these obscene acts of planned evil is; countries, cities, and homes destroyed, hundreds of thousands killed, children without parents, millions in refugee camps and numerous civil wars.
Thousands of soldiers are dead, maimed or are suffering from: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and some had trouble getting their veterans benefits.
“…a CBS News investigation has found widespread mismanagement of claims, resulting in veterans being denied the benefits they earned, and many even dying before they get an answer from the VA, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.”
CBS News February 25, 2015
Ordinary people everywhere are the victims and the losers in all these wars, the winners are the bloody profiteers of the arms industry. They are laughing all the way to their banks, offshore tax havens, luxury homes and all the other luxuries they acquire by investing in the “industry of death.”
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” – Voltaire
One wonders, will the people who pay for all these deadly war depravities with their tax dollars ever wake up and realize they are in the hands of “respectable” war criminals? Will they refuse to vote for, or re-elect politicians who support illegal wars? Will they call for war crimes trials  for those who plotted and planned this horrific carnage? And will they finally understand that: “War is a Racket” Smedley Butler 
And that the racketeers are running amok, and they truly are the embodiment of evil.
Stephen J. Gray
September 17, 2015.
An excellent essay. We should ask the question he embeds in his article: SURELY, IT IS WAR CRIMES TO PLAN WARS ON COUNTRIES THAT NEVER INVADED YOU ?
The answer is a bit complex. Suppose the country is getting ready to invade you or to attack you?
But there are not many countries in this category. Hillary Clinton believes in “bombs away!” She hasn’t seen a war she hasn’t liked until she realizes it will cost her votes so, yup, she’s against it. Clinton was single-handedly responsible for destroying the government of Libya and for the death of Gadaffi which she thought was so funny that she cackled when she said “we came, we saw, he died” ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. A very immoral lady with no sense of what is inappropriate, at least in public.
Donald Trump would not have us fighting any of these stupid wars that brutalize thousands, cost us millions of dollars, and also send home our own military in a box or on a stretcher or fully medicated as they are sent home to deal with PTS. Those causalities are all on Clinton.
Trump’s view is much different than Clinton’s, Obama’s, Bill Clinton’s, George Bush’s: “If we are going to intervene in a conflict, there had better be a direct threat to our national interests. The threat should be so obvious that most Americans will know where the hot spot is on the globe and will quickly understand why we are getting involved…. Iraq was no threat to us. The American people had no idea why the Bush administration decided to attack” (Crippled America, p. 36). “We spent two trillion dollars doing whatever we did in Iraq. I still don’t know why we did it, but we did (Crippled America, p. 34).
“Before the war started I came out very strongly against it. It made no sense to me. I said then that it would be a disaster and would destablize the Middle East. I said that would Iraq to hold them back, Iran would attempt to take over the Middle East. And that’s what happened” ((Crippled America, p. 38). See here for the interview that shows where Trump stood on the Iraq war: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqA2Hs5dTFM
“A very immoral lady with no sense of what is inappropriate, at least in public.”
Thanks for this post…poignant and soberingly thoughtful. The comment above brings to mind Clinton’s desperate stab at explaining why she was staying in the 2008 race after Obama had secured enough delegates for the nomination. She brought up Bobby Kennedy’s assassination (more than once), showcasing her damnably tone-deaf and inappropriate sensibilities. Keith Olbermann commented at the time:
This is an excellent review of the capture of US mass media by big business and foreign powers, and its use to prop up warmonger demagogues. Aren’t we all so personally powerful now with our weapons on parade. Long live tyranny.
Mr. Parry, I was at the convention. We started chanting USA to let the rude, disruptive, childish attempts by Bernie supporters know we were not going to let them interfere with speakers. Did you not hear them chanting during the opening prayer? Did you not hear them yelling against the previous DNC chair as the convention chair tried to conduct the proceedings? How dare you judge us!……………..FYI, we don’t support arming rebels except under state threat to slaughter innocent civilians, as Assad is doing. Or do you think it is quite all right for him to kill his own people?
Gregory thanks for the book. I have been following Cartalucci ever since he exposed McCain’s recruiting terrorist back in 2011 when he rambled through Syria seeking out these evil doers. I’m leaving a link to an excellent article which is one page long, and it basically tells the same story. Hope you enjoy reading it.
Yeah, it is a lengthy read Joe. Coincidently, I just came across a much shorter article that lends perspective:
Generosity and compassion…this is Syria.
Right on Joe…excellent summarization. Interesting aside about Pitt and Jolie in Damascus..as Syria was then considered a most safe travel destination for the entire Mediterranean region. And it is good to reflect on the Syrian generosity towards refugees from Iraq.
Couldn’t you have chanted, “Let them speak”?
Diane, be glad that the Bernie people after learning how the primary was rigged against their ‘progressive candidate’ didn’t burn the place down. Also, it was quite Patriotic of the you Hillary people to shout USA, USA, while those darn hippie Burners yelled ‘we want peace, we want peace’. Thank heaven you and General Allen were there to represent our true American values.
Hasbara 101: The “how dare you” (feigned outrage based on false narrative) troll
Hasbara 101: The “Diane” (feigned righteous indignation based on lady parts username) troll
Hasbara 101: The “Or do you think it is quite all right for him to kill his own people?” (suckers fall for this one every time regime change meme) troll
The DNC rigged the election, idiot. They had every right to protest, and they weren’t being rude or childish. They were right to chant during the prayer – that is a disgrace to the U.S’s secular system. They “No more war” to protest the choosing of Hillary Clinton, a warmonger who wants to send more arms and funding to the Syrian rebels, resulting in the deaths of more people. The only time I ever heard the chanting of “USA, USA”, other than sporting events, was when the U.S killed Osama bin Laden without trial, acting just like him, and the brutes were chanting that the first time I ever heard that phrase. They were chanting it along with “Obama second term!” or whatever they said.
I conclude that you are the sort of person who would have chanted that outside the White House that night. “How dare you judge us!”, followed by several dots? That is disgustingly melodramatic. Stop whining, loser.
When Law interest is holy.
When not interested It is satanic.
These are the eyes of USA for with the World
This is an excellent piece documenting the evolution of the yankee imperium from following the rule of law to a post-legal imperium. Part and parcel of this was the “independent” press becoming cheerleaders for this extralegality and normalizing it. Of course, as is indicated in discussing the disgraceful “USA” chants at the convention, the present Clinton campaign is the culmination of this process.
Even even more disgraceful, those chants, like much of the rest of the convention, were choreographed. A fake convention for a fake nominee.
A few people make money off of war (lots of money) whether they win or lose the war. Gotta keep the “war machine” well fed. And, Hillary is the one to do it.
A military buildup = an empire in decline.
Aah, you mean we near the hour of the witch?!
I hate to sound like a Marxist (which I am not), but Marx’s famous dictum (that the material conditions of existence define a person’s ‘consciousness’) sounds awfully relevant here. That is to say, in the context of Robert Parry’s insightful but depressing review of US press hypocrisy, American journalism usually accepts as ‘true’ whatever it is in one’s career interests to believe is ‘true.’ Other than sending a check to ConsortiumNews, not exactly clear what to do about it. Sounds like a good topic for a conference.
As you noted, we ALL have to support Independent media outlets that want to deliver the TRUTH. I believe Consortium is one of the best. Once the MSM realizes that they may start losing subscribers they will attack these truth sites. Please support the investigative journalists at Consortium (and other good independent journalism)
I wrote an email to Rachel Maddow last evening after her report on Manafort getting money from the previous Ukrainian President. She left out important facts regarding the Kiev coup in 2014 and stated Putin aggressively took over Crimea without any information about the referendum in Crimea or the US input regarding the coup. Selectively ignoring facts was something I always blamed Fox and talk radio for doing. It broke my heart to see it being done by her.
I used to respect Maddow, but since the take-over of the entire government and media by the neocon movement and their wide-ranging new Cold War against Russia, her blatant propaganda in service to the elites is sickening. You know, I find traitors, especially mercenary traitors such as herself who does this for the millions of bucks she is paid by NBC, to be more reprehensible than long-term true believers.
This is why I have also come to loathe Obomber so much. The man came to betray every principle he ran on in the 2008 campaign. It’s tragic, but these phony progressives have only themselves to blame for the fact that I now find more respect for some of the paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan than I do for them.
Sorry, Hillary, but years ago you and Bill betrayed the hard-working little people with no influence, for whom you pose as champions, when you began deregulating everything and dismantling the New Deal. You emboldened the Republicans to grab everything in sight for the rich and paved the way for Dubya. The Liar-in-Chief Obomber ran against all things Bush but then adopted all of his policies. Now, he even brags about the seven different wars he’s orchestrating all at once, and that doesn’t even count the drone strikes on yet more sovereign territory.
Rachel Maddow enjoys being a useful tool, a samurai, if you will, in the service of her bloody shogun. Bill Maher is a similar hyper-articulate snarkmeister who has been willing to pledge his fealty to the Demoness, ostensibly because she is not Donald Trump. Sad to see the hypocrisy these two must embrace to deliver their zingers in support of the establishment’s transparently cooked-up narrative.
Look for a continuation of the same kabuki dance by “progressive” Killary as performed by “progressive” Obomber. Both will claim they WANT to help the poor and middle class, but, at every turn, will be FORCED to give away the store to the filthy rich by those rascally Republicans. They REALLY want peace, but the Russians… they get up every morning exuding anti-American aggression. They must have a death wish. What CAN you do? The exceptional country must protect the freedom-loving Saudis, Israelis, Ukrofascists, “moderate” headchoppers and every other brigand on the planet… and with YOUR tax dollars and the lives of a bunch of rednecks and minorities who can find no other job than in the military. And so, evil will once again prevail. Ya doesn’t has to call me Nostradamus, but just you wait and see…
Why would you not expect that?
I’m surprised your heart has been intact up until now. I never risked my heart on Maddow, but there was a time (Keith Olbermann) when Maddow was not yet absorbed into the NBC/Comcast world view.
Rachel lost me gradually over time, but it really accelerated during the 2016 Democratic primaries to a point at which I will not watch her show at all any more.
I used to listen to her on Air America when she was still a progressive. She is indistinguishable from propagandists Andrea Mitchell, Brian Williams or Chris Mathews today.
I admire the author, but will respectfully remind him that the US media is owned and paid-for by the obvious rulers of Washington. Honest and decent jopurnalists are systematically weeded out. One should not expect anything better from what he rightly calls “presstitutes”.
One has to question whether there can be such a thing as “international law”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines law as follows: “a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority.” The operative words in this definition are “controlling authority”. Clearly, there is no “international controlling authority” that can enforce those rules, so how can we consider them as laws?
Essentially, what politicians call “international laws” are nothing more than a collection of unenforceable agreements to which each nation will chose to obey or not obey depending on whether or not it serves their purpose to do so.
I don’t apologize for posting once more the key section of the Melian Dialogue, in which – 2,500 years ago – an Athenian spokesman openly stated the rules that govern international relations.
Athenian: “For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses—either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us—and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Spartans, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”.
Melians: “You may be sure that we are as well aware as you of the difficulty of contending against your power and fortune, unless the terms be equal. But we trust that the gods may grant us fortune as good as yours, since we are just men fighting against unjust, and that what we want in power will be made up by the alliance of the Lacedaemonians, who are bound, if only for very shame, to come to the aid of their kindred. Our confidence, therefore, after all is not so utterly irrational.”
Athenian: “Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist forever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do”
– The Melian Dialogue – Thucydides (“Peloponnesian War”)
For my friends, anything, for my enemies, the law.
Then the definition is in error; “controlling authority” might be better stated without the “controlling” descriptor, leaving room for an International consensus of NonViolent diplomacy among the many nations.
It is the abuse of int’l law rather than the concept that we are experiencing.
And “int’l” begins at home, with usa grossly neglecting its leadship possibility.
Is this not yet another glaring example of the “normalization of deviance” discussed in other articles appearing on the site today? The press simply lie and claim they either didn’t or mainly just ignore anyone who points out their corruption.
Isn’t “normalization of deviance” more directly called institutionalized corruption?