US House Seeks Syria-War Escalation

Moving to trap President-elect Trump into a war escalation in Syria, the House rushed through a resolution promoting a U.S.-imposed “no fly zone” that could spark World War III, reports Rick Sterling.

By Rick Sterling

Late in the day, on Nov. 15, one week after the U.S. elections, the lame-duck Congress convened in special session with normal rules suspended so the House could pass House Resolution 5732, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” calling for intensifying the already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing the imposition of a “no fly zone” inside Syria (to prevent the Syrian government from flying) and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.

HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, it imposes preconditions which would actually make a peace agreement more difficult.

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol

There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Ed Royce, R-California; Eliot Engel, D-New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida) all speaking in favor of the resolution. There were few other representatives present, but the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning these special conditions.

According to Wikipedia, “Suspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives … such as naming Post Offices…” In this case, however, the resolution could lead to a wider war in the Middle East and potentially World War III with nuclear-armed Russia.

Most strikingly, the resolution calls for evaluating and developing plans for the United States to impose a “no fly zone” inside Syria, a sovereign nation, an act of war that also would violate international law as an act of aggression. It also could put the U.S. military in the position of shooting down Russian aircraft.

To call this proposal “non-controversial” is absurd, although it may say a great deal about the “group think” of the U.S. Congress that an act of war would be so casually considered. Clearly, this resolution should have been debated under normal rules with a reasonable amount of Congressional presence and debate.

The motivation for bypassing normal rules and rushing the bill through without meaningful debate was articulated by the bill’s sponsor, Democrat Eliot Engel: “We cannot delay action on Syria any further. … If we don’t get this legislation across the finish line in the next few weeks, we are back to square one.”

The current urgency may be related to the election results since President-elect Donald Trump has spoken out against “regime change” foreign policy. As much as neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist allies are critical of President Obama for not doing more in Syria, these Congressional hawks are even more concerned about the prospect of a President who might move toward peace and away from war.

The Caesar Fraud 

HR5732 is titled the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act,” which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Royce explained was named after “the brave Syrian defector known to the world as Caesar, who testified to us the shocking scale of torture being carried out within the prisons of Syria.”

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the  YouTube video]

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

In reality, the Caesar story was a grand deception involving the CIA with funding from Qatar to sabotage the 2014 Geneva peace negotiations. The 55,000 photos which were said to show 11,000 torture victims have never been publicly revealed. Only a tiny number of photos have been publicized. However, in 2015, Human Rights Watch was granted access to view the entire set. They revealed that almost one half the photos show the opposite of what was claimed: instead of victims tortured by the Syrian government, they actually show dead Syrian soldiers and civilian victims of car bombs and other terror attacks. The “Caesar” story, replete with a masked “defector,” was one of the early propaganda hoaxes regarding Syria.

One of the other big lies regarding Syria is that the U.S. has been doing nothing. Royce said, The administration has decided not to decide. And that itself, unfortunately, has set a course where here we sit and watch and the violence only worsens. Mr. Speaker, America has been sitting back and watching these atrocities for far too long. Vital U.S. national security interests are at stake.”

Rep. Engel said, “Four years ago I thought we should have aided the Free Syrian Army. They came to us in Washington and begged us for help. … They were simply looking for weaponry. I really believe if we had given it to them, the situation in Syria would have been different today.”

That narrative is nonsense. By late 2011, the U.S. was actively coordinating, training and supplying armed opposition groups. When Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government was toppled in fall 2011, the CIA oversaw the diversion of Libyan weapons to the Syrian armed opposition, as documented in the Defense Intelligence Agency report of October 2012.

These weapons transfers were secret. For the public record, it was acknowledged that the U.S. was supplying communications equipment to the armed opposition while U.S. “allies” — Saudi Arabia and Qatar — were supplying the weaponry. This is one reason that Saudi purchases of weapons skyrocketed during this time period; they were buying weapons to replace those being shipped to the armed opposition in Syria. It was very profitable for U.S. arms manufacturers.

Huge weapons transfers to the armed opposition in Syria have continued to the present, with the U.S. government even more directly involved. This past spring, Janes Defense reported the details of a U.S. delivery of 2.2 million pounds of ammunition, rocket launchers and other weaponry to the armed opposition.

So, the political claims that the U.S. has been inactive are baseless. In reality, the U.S. has done everything short of a direct attack on Syria. And the U.S. military is starting to cross that line. On Sept. 17, the U.S. air coalition conducted a series of airstrikes on the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor, killing 80 Syrian soldiers and enabling ISIS to launch an attack on the position. Claims that it was a “mistake” are highly dubious.

The assertions by Congressional hawks that the U.S. has been “inactive” in the Syrian conflict are part of the false narrative suggesting the U.S. must “do something” which leads to a “no fly zone” and full-scale war. Ironically, these calls for war are masked as “humanitarian” though even proponents, such as Hillary Clinton, privately have acknowledged that large numbers of Syrians, including civilians, would be killed in the U.S. attacks needed to establish the “no fly zone.”

And, never do the proponents bring up the case of Libya where the U.S. and NATO “did something”: destroyed the government and created chaos.

Fact-Free House of Propaganda

With only a handful of representatives present and no dissent, the six Congressional members engaged in unrestrained propaganda and misinformation.

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016. Power has been an advocate for escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria. (UN Photo)

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016. Power has been an advocate for escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria. (UN Photo)

Engel, said “We’re going into the New Year 2017, Assad still clings to power, at the expense of killing millions of his citizens.” Even if all the deaths, including Syrian soldiers and civilians killed by anti-government jihadists, were blamed on Assad, this number is way off anyone’s charts.

Rep. Kildee said “The world has witnessed this terrible tragedy unfold before our eyes. Nearly half a million Syrians killed. Not soldiers – men, women, children killed.”

The official text of the resolution says, It is the sense of Congress that– (1) Bashar al-Assad’s murderous actions against the people of Syria have caused the deaths of more than 400,000 civilians…”

The above accusations – from “millions of citizens” to “half a million” to “400,000 civilians” – are all preposterous lies. Credible estimates of casualties in the Syrian conflict range from 300,000 to 420,000. The opposition-supporting Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates the documented 2011-2016 death toll as follows: killed pro-Syrian forces – 108,000; killed anti-government forces – 105,000; killed civilians – 89,000

In contrast with Congressional and media claims, civilians comprise a minority of the total death count and the heaviest casualties are among those fighting in defense of the Syrian state. In the U.S. political world and the mainstream media, these facts are ignored and never mentioned because they point to the reality versus the propaganda narrative which has allowed the U.S. and its allies to continue funding terrorism and a war of aggression against Syria.

The Congressional speakers were in full self-righteous mode as they accused the Syrian government of “committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including murder, torture and rape. No one has been spared from this targeting, even children.” A naive listener would never know that the Syrian government is primarily fighting the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda including thousands of foreign fighters supplied and paid by foreign governments.

The speakers went on to accuse the Syrian military of “targeting” hospitals, schools and markets. A critical listener might ask why they would do that instead of targeting Al Qaeda terrorists and their allies who launch dozens and sometimes hundreds of hell-cannon missiles into the government-held sections of Aleppo every day.

The Congressional propaganda fest would not be complete without mention of the “White Helmets.” Royce said “We (previously) heard the testimony of Raed Saleh of the Syrian White Helmets. These are the doctors, nurses and volunteers who actually, when the bombs come, run towards the areas that have been hit in order to try to get the injured civilians medical treatment. … They have lost over 600 doctors and nurses.”

This is more Congressional nonsense. There are no nurses or doctors associated with the White Helmets. The organization was created by the U.S. and U.K. and heavily promoted by a “shady PR firm.” The White Helmets operate solely in areas controlled by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front (recently renamed Syria Conquest Front) and associated terrorist groups. The White Helmets do some rescue work in the conflict zone but their main role is in the information war manipulating public opinion.

The White Helmets actively promote U.S./NATO intervention through a “no fly zone.” Recently, the White Helmets became a major source of claims about innocent civilian victims in east Aleppo.

Given the clear propagandistic history of the White Helmets, these claims should be treated with skepticism. We need to ask exactly what is the evidence?

The same skepticism needs to be applied to video and other reports from the Aleppo Media Center. AMC is a creation of the Syrian Expatriates Organization whose address on K Street in Washington, D.C., indicates it is a U.S. marketing operation.

What’s Going On?

The campaign to overthrow the Syrian government is failing and there is possibility of a victory for the Syrian government and its allies.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

The earlier flood of international jihadi recruits is drying up. The Syrian Army and allies are gaining ground militarily and negotiating settlements or re-locations with “rebels” who previously terrorized Homs, Darraya (outer Damascus) and elsewhere. In Aleppo, the Syrian army and allies are tightening the noose around the armed opposition in east Aleppo.

This has caused alarm among neoconservative lawmakers devoted to Israel, Saudi Arabia and U.S. empire. They are desperate to prevent the Syrian government from finally eliminating the terrorist groups which the West and its allies have promoted for the past five-plus years.

“Pro Israel” groups have been major campaigners for passage of HR5732. The name of Simon Wiesenthal is even invoked in the resolution. Rabbi Lee Bycel wrote, “Where is the Conscience of the World?” as he questioned why the “humanitarian” HR5732 was not passed earlier.

Israeli interests are one of the primary forces sustaining and promoting the conflict. Syria is officially at war with Israel which continues to occupy the Syrian Golan Heights; Syria has been a key ally of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance; and Syria has maintained its alliance with Iran. In 2010, Secretary of State Clinton urged Syria to break relations with Hezbollah, reduce relations with Iran and come to settlement with Israel. The Syrian refusal to comply with these Washington demands was instrumental in solidifying Washington’s hostility.

Congressional proponents of HR5732 make clear the international dimension of the conflict. Royce explains, “It is Russia, it is Hezbollah, that are the primary movers of death and destruction. … It is the IRGC [Revolutionary Guard] fighters from Iran.”

Engel echoes the same message: “Yes, we want to go after Assad’s partners in violence … Iranian and Hezbollah forces.”

In words and deeds Israel has made its position on Syria crystal clear. Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren explained in an interview: “we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran … the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc.”

These statements have been fully backed up by Israeli actions bombing Syrian positions in southern Syria and providing medical treatment for Nusra/Al Qaeda and other armed opposition fighters.

What Will Happen Now?

If the Syrian government and its allies continue to advance in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, outer Damascus and the south, the situation will come to a head. The enemies of Syria – predominately the U.S., Gulf Countries, NATO and Israel – will come to a decision point. Do they intervene directly or do they allow their “regime change” project to collapse? HR5732 is an effort to prepare for direct intervention and aggression.

One thing is clear from the experience of Libya: Neoconservatives do not care if they leave a country in chaos. The main objective is to destabilize and overthrow a government which is too independent. If the U.S. and its allies cannot dominate the country, then at least they can destroy the contrary authority and leave chaos.

What is at stake in Syria is whether the U.S. and allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, are able to destroy the last secular and independent Arab country in the region and whether the U.S. goal of being the sole superpower in the world prevails. The rushed passage of HR5732 without any meaningful debate is indicative of that.

Despite Trump’s election and his stated priority of taking on Islamic terrorism – not overthrowing Assad – the “regime change” proponents have not given up their war on Syria. They still seek to escalate U.S. aggression there and hope to box President Trump in.

It’s also clear that the U.S. Congress has become a venue where blatant lies can be stated with impunity and where violent actions are advanced behind a cynical and amoral veneer of “humanitarianism.”

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist and member of Syria Solidarity Movement.

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69 comments for “US House Seeks Syria-War Escalation

  1. Abe
    November 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    “while the US proxy war with Syria began in 2011 under Obama, the stage was already being set as early as 2007 under Bush. In Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, ‘The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,’ it would be explicitly stated that:

    “‘To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.’

    “Hersh, in his 9-page report, would enumerate how financial, political, and material support was already benefiting extremist organizations associated with this expanding conspiracy, organizations that would soon be directly involved in the 2011 Syrian conflict including the Muslim Brotherhood and armed militant groups aligned with Al Qaeda.

    “US corporate-financier funded policy think tanks including the Brookings Institution as early as 2009 would also reveal that either the coercion or overthrow of the Syrian government, as well as the neutralization of Hezbollah would be essential prerequisites to the eventual attack on and overthrow of the Iranian government, as stated in their extensively detailed report, ‘Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran.’ […]

    “If it seems that Trump’s campaign speeches, his campaign and transition team, as well as his prospective presidential administration seem fully arrayed to preserve a continuity of agenda that has so far, clearly transcended both the 8 year term of Bush and Obama’s subsequent 8 years in office, that’s because it is.

    “Russian ‘optimism’ regarding America’s incoming president is likely nothing more than a diplomatic gesture of goodwill. And just as Foreign Minister Lavrov humored Secretary Clinton’s “reset” charade, fully anticipating treachery, Russia and its Syrian allies must prepare fully for American treachery once again – from an administration carrying the distinct DNA of the very policy circles that added Syria to the ‘Axis of Evil’ in the first place, and has since then worked ceaselessly to undermine it and its allies for well over a decade.”

    For Washington, Destroying Syria is a Bipartisan Agenda
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2016/11/for-washington-destroying-syria-is.html

    • November 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Clear as day!

  2. Joe B
    November 22, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    These appear to be very appalling acts of the extreme zionist warmonger faction of Congress, which is not serving the interests or the will of the people. These are just the people who must be investigated for accepting campaign bribes to distort US foreign policy. Let us hope that they are investigated and prosecuted by the Trump DOJ or that of a successor progressive administration.

    • Patrick Lucius
      November 22, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      I concluded the same thing Joe. When I responded you had not written yet so I would have been the 2nd posting but yours got in their first. Google “national Jewish democratic council Eliot Engel “. Engel, one of the 6 representatives referenced in the article above, was getting on about syria w/ legislation in 2004. If syria is torn apart there will be no one asking for the Golan heights back. I am all for Israel`s right to exist but not with ever-expanding borders and U.S aid. Something is wrong here.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        Haartz is recognizing Hezbollah has no longer being a guerilla organization, but now being a full fledged army. Hezbollah is saying that on the next war they will invade Galilee itself. All this war has seemed to have made Hezbollah stronger, and now Israel feels threatened.

        http://english.almanar.com.lb/107501

        Once again, the U.S. comes to the aid of Israel. Israel who doesn’t hold back when signing energy deals with Russia and Turkey. Israel who isn’t bound by any sanctions against doing business with Russia, while EU nations are. How many refugees were admitted into Israel, while the EU became swamped with these homeless souls? Someone please explain to the American public why Tel Aviv gets to call the shots, while not needing to abide by the rules. This is the Israel who hides behind America’s military power, while standing guard over the oppressed Palestintian people…where are our triumphant American values when it matters?

        • November 24, 2016 at 6:56 am

          Those “triumphant American values” have been as much a media spread lie as many other parts of history of the West.

          Here some American value facts:

          http://mtwsfh.blogspot.fr/2007/12/1800-1849-thirty-two-invasions-and.html

          The site shows a timeline from the first (?) settlers up to half ways the 20th century. A history of facts, feats and values to be really proud of…

      • Larry Larsen
        November 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        And don’t forget that a big chunk of “Israel’s” Leviathan natural gas field is in Syrian and Lebanese territorial waters.

        No Syria, no claim on the resource.

    • steve n.
      November 22, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      yes you are correct but I doubt anything will change!Remember Israel gets $4billion this year from the congress!
      steve n.

      • Joe B
        November 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

        I wonder how much of that has been coming back to Congress as campaign bribes. Same for the military and intelligence aid, which appears to be a war crime. Congress and all of their relatives and associates need a very thorough investigation, and this should be the accepted practice to avoid corruption.

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 22, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Joe B. I’m going to supply a link to the vote so people can see who voted for this House Resolution…

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5732/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Syria+%22%5D%7D&r=1

      • Bill Bodden
        November 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        Now we know who the reptiles are, let’s get the swamp drained.

    • Nancy
      November 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Eliot Engel and his warmonger friends need to be punished for spreading propoganda and inciting war.

    • Stephen Sivonda
      November 24, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Joe B , my thoughts also. I wondered just how much they get from AIPAC to pull that sleazy move. HRC must be thrilled. I ‘m sure that Putin is aware of that move…and his military is on high alert. Now we’ll get to see those Russian S-300 and S-400 SAMs and what they can do.

  3. November 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Regarding Syria:
    “Something is very evil when there is overwhelming evidence that a number of wars were planned on various countries. The evidence can be seen at links below.
    This diabolical “plan” is described in the must listen to video below:”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E

    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/11/something-is-very-evil.html

  4. Patrick Lucius
    November 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I just Googled “Democrat Engel jewish” because I simply wondered, and this is the first link I got http://45.55.176.148/site/page/eliot_engel.html. which says Engel, a Jewish champion for Israel, authored the syria accountability act in 2004. That is rich, being as Israel took the Golan heights in ’67 and still has not given back… So this has been going on for a while now. I am thinking lobbyists are exerting pressure/money at this juncture

    • Donato Cote
      November 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

      So you knew what happened on 67 and I presumed you were aware of 48 who were the aggressor then. History taught Israel of many things how to depend themselves. Golan heights are necessary and necessity for them in order to survive the unwarranted violence thrown to them throughout their modern history. If you really know their history……

      • John
        November 25, 2016 at 12:34 am

        Do you really want to talk about the history of the Jewish people (not to be confused with Israel, a project that was opposed by many Jewish people from its first inception in modern times by Theodor Herzl through to the present?)

        Shall we speak of how the Rabbis condemned any association with Zionists starting at the time of Herzl? Or, shall we start with how the Zionists had an alliance with the Nazis, as both groups wanted the Jewish people out of Europe? Or shall we talk about the origin of the blue and white flag, which first flew over a training camp, started and funded by Nazis, to prepare the Zionist invaders of Palestine for their illegal plan to violate the British Mandate, which forbid Jews from immigrating to Palestine in the White Paper of 1932, after the Balfour Declaration (which promised the rights of the non-Jewish population would be upheld and they would not be in any way deprived.) was twisted beyond recognition by the Zionists.

        Shall we talk about how the Holocaust was (apparently intentionally) provoked by the Zionists calling a boycott of Germany (the boycott was opposed by the Rabbis, who openly and presciently feared it would endanger the Jewish People)? Shall we point out that the Zionists, at the same time they declared this boycott, exclusively purchased German equiptment to aid their invasion of Israel? Shall we point out that when Jewish refugees from Europe came by boat to the US, that it was the Zionists that lobbied to send them back to Europe? Shall we point out that, when given the option of ransoming Jews from Europe, the Zionists refused? Shall we quote David Ben-Gurion’s statement that he would rather that half of Europe’s Jews die in Nazi Concentration camps, if the other half came to Palestine, than see all of Europe’s Jews be saved by going to places other than Palestine? Shall we quote Herzl’s writings, such as “Anti-Semites will be our closest friends, and Anti-Semitic nations our closest allies?”

        Or would you rather discuss that every single conflict Israel has been in since its inception has been intentionally provoked by Israel? Shall we point out that the expulsion of Jews from (some) Arab lands was a response to the theft and rape of Palestine, and the ethnic cleansing (a term openly used at the time) that accompanied it? Shall we point out that Iran has a pretty large Jewish population, which gets a disproportionately large representation in the Iranian Parliament, and that these Jews have been offered large sums of money by Israel if they will join the invasion of Palestine, but they refuse, because it would be a sin against Judaism (blasphemy, in fact) to in any way aid the Golden Calf squatting in Palestine?

        Shall we talk of how Zionists bombed Jewish gathering places in Iraq, but used the same typewriter to type up the threats accompanying the bombs that they used for their Zionist recruitment posters? Or about the lies told to poor Yemeni Jews to get them to provide cheap labor for the European (AsheNazi) colonists, and then, once they arrived, took the Yemeni Jewish children away from their parents by force, cut off their sidelocks by force, and forbid them from studying the Torah?

        Shall we talk about how the UN Partition plan did not, and could not, create Israel, because it required the approval of the Palestinians to be effective, as it clearly states, and thus was never any more than a suggestion? Or that it would have been a violation of the UN Charter for them to give away Palestinian land to a group of Europeans?

        Do you need me to cite any of these claims using Jewish sources? That is, after all, where I got this info.

        This is not the Fluffington Post, the readership of this site is well aware that Hasbara is equal in meaning to Lies. Please be sure to include my response in your scholarship application.

        • Northern Observer
          November 25, 2016 at 10:55 am

          Fuck off Nazi. The jews caused the Holocaust … how fucking desperate to you have to be as a human soul to fill your mind with such pathetic bullshit. The Israelis play rough to advance their interests but don’t go swallowing lies and bullshit to deal with it.

        • Jeff Davis
          November 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

          Nicely done!

      • Jeff Davis
        November 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        The internet is here and the truth is out. The hasbara is a failure. Israel is a geopolitical crime-in-progress, and nearly everyone on the planet knows it, even those in denial. (Actually, a good many Kool-Aid saturated Americans remain hoodwinked, but that is changing, particularly among young American Jews, god bless ’em.)

        The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman

        http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/

        Read it. Get a clue.

        Also, try “Concerning the Jews” by Mark Twain, a magnificent read, and fun.

      • alan
        November 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm

        garbage 1948 1956 1967 wars were all wars of aggression by Israel committing preplanned atrocities and war crimes of a Nazi character and on a Nazi scale

  5. jaycee
    November 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    At least names are getting attached to policy.

    It has long been in the public record that Israeli officials prefer UN designated terrorist groups to prevail in Syria. Last week, the Washington Post conceded that US officials such as Brennan and Carter also advocate a tactical alliance with al Nusra Front. It should be assumed that the legislators behind this resolution also support a US- al Qaeda alliance to effect regime change. Their constituents might appreciate being informed of this.

  6. November 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Heil! Amerika! uber alles! Uber alles!

  7. steve n.
    November 22, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    yes the neocons will try and push or war as it supports the arms manufacturers and hegemony.
    steve

  8. David Smith
    November 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    A No Fly Zone requires a Security Council resolution, and that ain’t gonna happen, Russia and China would veto. Are these clowns suggesting they want unilaterally attack Syria? All US and “coalition” air operates out of Incirclik and with the new understanding between Turkey and Russia that ain’t gonna happen. There is no place from whence to run air operations and the US Navy cannot operate alone in the Eastern Med. If they were capable they would have done it by now, and that means they won’t do it. They could not get Russia to respond to Turkish provocation, and Putin surprised everybody with the concord with Erdogan. This means Incirclik will not be used for any fun-n-games and Russia’s very short supply line through Bosphorus is secure. There will be no Jihadi victory or No Fly Zone. It is over.Neocon Plan B could be to buy time by forcing a finish fight with the Jihadis and perhaps a new provocation in Ukraine.

    • Stephen Sivonda
      November 24, 2016 at 2:16 am

      David Smith… the pivot in this mess is Turkey, and I don’t trust Erdogan one bit. He’s an opportunist and will do what he thinks will benefit him. Case in point is a bit I heard on the NPR station today…. Erdogan has made it clear he wants to be part of the EU. This has been floated by him and they’ve turned him down because Turkey is not part of Europe. So this morning it’s been brought up by him again…but now he’s playing this card. If I can’t then I’ll join the Russia -China trade group…. It’s too bad the coup didn’t take him out.

      • Sam F
        November 24, 2016 at 8:06 am

        I’m not sure why Turkey should not join the opposing trade groups if excluded from the EU. The EU states like the US have refused to take via Turkey significant refugees from their own zionist disruptions, and elements of the USG apparently instigated the coup, like many others. If we had a military coup attempt in the US, and the public were allowed to hear of it, I’m sure that the repercussions would be at least as extensive as those of which the mass media accuse Erdogan. All of that is not much of an invitation to join the EU.

      • November 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        Stephen. Sivonda

        You really don´t get it do you? It was the coup that focused Erdogen´s mind , and he realized that just like Assad, the Americans want him dead or at least gone. It was the Americans with their simplistic regeime change policy that has set Turkey against Europe, NATO and the USA and has made the SCO such an attractive haven for Turkey. The US in it´s brilliance did not realize that Turkey is not The Ukraine, nor is it Lybia. it is the second most powerful military in NATO, and it is led by a leader who is just as smart at surviving as was Fidel Castro, and we know how those hundreds of attempts to murder Fidel turned out don´t we.? The American´s do not have the mental capacity to play in his league. Erdogan holds all the cards. So lets see now. Recently the USA has gained Montenegro ( a country that is really nothing but a city state and about the size of an American midsized city,) to it´´s side against Russia and China, and the Russians and Chinese are gaining Turkey and the Phillipines, Do you see where this is going? It sure ain´t win , win for the US and it´s interests.

        So now that even the Americans and Europeans have access to alternative news sources, other than state sponsored propaganda, you see the ” Fake News” ploy being reved up so that the Beltway Warriors and the War Hawks in the EU can keep Americans and Europeans, like mushrooms, kept in a warm dark place only fed on their bullshit. But I am afraid for them that horse has already fed the barn.

        • John
          November 25, 2016 at 12:40 am

          Correction. The Americans have the mental capacity, just not the Americans in the corridors of Power.

          The American System, to the world’s detriment, has intentionally marginalized its mental capacity for longer than I have been alive. If it hadn’t, Henry Kissenger would long ago have been replaced by Chomsky.

      • David Smith
        November 25, 2016 at 4:05 am

        Stephen Sivonda, didn’t you notice President Putin’s visit to Turkey last month and the photo of him and Erdogan side by side? Russia has lifted sanctions against Turkey and the TurkStream deal is signed. Do you think this would have happened without an agreement by Turkey it would not alow Incirclik to be used for a No Fly Zone? Russia’s position in Syria is now secure. Supply lines to the jihadis from Turkey is a difficult issue that may be part of the agreement. President Putin has proved himself a diplomat of the highest order.

    • Edwin G
      November 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      You posted pretty much what I think also. If the US goes ahead with this plan, for the first time in my life I will be routing for the Russians.

  9. Andy Jones
    November 22, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    The drooling neocons still want to start WW III.

  10. Tristan
    November 23, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Excellent article. Of note in conjunction a report from RT on some similar efforts to influence the war efforts, is this; https://www.sott.net/article/334447-UK-Think-Tank-report-finds-more-KGB-under-the-bed-Dissenters-are-Putins-agents It ties in with the US Congress’s efforts to demonize and conflate the US’s and concurrently NATO’s “Enemies”.

    • Tristan
      November 23, 2016 at 12:14 am

      I forgot to note that this report is slated to be presented to the European Union Parliament soon.

      • LongGoneJohn
        November 26, 2016 at 8:36 am

        Do you happen to know a date, if one exists at this time?

        The lines are being drawn. Has been going on for a few years now (AFAICS), and it keeps getting crazier. My grandmother (RIP) lived through the war. She didn’t talk politics that much but her and me talked a lot about the subjects it deals with. Personally I’ve always believed I would see a great war, and the funny thing is… The closer we get, the more I notice that a part of me refuses to believe what it sees. But it’s there alright.

  11. James lake
    November 23, 2016 at 12:12 am

    For those like me who don’t understand US politics
    What comes next after this Senate resolution
    What stages does it need to progress through to become an actual reality??

    It would help to assess how dangerous this is if this could be made clear.

    • Tristan
      November 23, 2016 at 12:20 am

      The US Senate resolution is a statement of “resolve”. It is how the members wish to present themselves in their intent. It is not law. They say in this resolution that they will seek to find ways to implement this, legally, ie by finding a way to unilaterally attack Syria (and crazily Russia considering the circumstances) under the auspices of protecting our national security or saving Syrian lives.

  12. backwardsevolution
    November 23, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Rick Sterling – excellent article. Thank you.

  13. Idiotland
    November 23, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Apparently these crazed imbeciles are determined to get congressional approval ratings from single digits down to 0%.
    Great job doing the people’s “business” asshats.

  14. Alfonso
    November 23, 2016 at 4:18 am

    America needs war to keep its population employed, we have to many bartenders and waiters.

  15. Realist
    November 23, 2016 at 6:09 am

    What is the legal status of this resolution exactly? Is it tantamount to a declaration of war against the government of Syria? I don’t think presidents can veto a declaration of war. Is it more on the order of a bill that the president can sign or veto? Is Obomber willing to sign a law that commands the American armed forces to engage in a shooting war with an Arab country, and by extrapolation with its ally Russia? If so, the subsequent war should be named in his honor: call it World War Obama. That should do his legacy proud. Or is this just a bunch of hot air with no force of law behind it whatever? Killary alone had been promoting a no fly zone and the implementation of World War III for quite some time now. Is this just picking up the ball and carrying her fumble forward? I certainly hope so. No word on the Senate taking any action on this bit of insanity. Isn’t their input required before we can commence with the annihilation of the world so America can say it was the planet’s last hegemon? Curious that the bellicose nincompoops running congress didn’t even have the decency to confront the new president of their own party directly, rather they try to slip in a glorious little war under the aegis of the defeated political party’s lame duck president. Analysts talk about the American government wreaking chaos throughout the world with its militarism gone wild, now it is about to impose major chaos within our own federal government, and the people will pay the price. Days like this make me wish that another asteroid like the one that killed off the dinosaurs would find its way here ASAP–better a dead planet than a total living hell on earth.

  16. jim kubik
    November 23, 2016 at 8:36 am

    The plan to over throw Assad is failing because Bashar sold his ass to Tehran and his soul to Russia. Rick Sterling there is no place hot enough for you in Hell,but the flames await none the less.

    • Joe B
      November 23, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Why do you want to overthrow Assad?
      Why would that be an interest of the US, or Whose interests other than the US do you represent?
      What religion do you suggest is opposed to the writer, and why?

    • Andrew Nichols
      November 23, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Keen on AlQuaeda rule are you? Well I guess the nearest thing is Saudi Arabia. When do you head off there then?

  17. Bart in Virginia
    November 23, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Congressman Engel is 69 years old, apparently dodging Viet Nam by going to graduate school. Someone needs to ask him whether any of his three kids made up for that un-patriotic move by serving the country.

    • Vietvet68
      November 23, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Engle is just another failed Chickenhawk

  18. Joe L.
    November 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Stuff like this prove to me that there is one country, over all others, that needs complete regime change and that is the United States. I am not a Trump fan but it is unbelievable that people continually point fingers at the dangers of Trump meanwhile the people that will be out of power soon are trying to kickstart WW3 before Obama leaves office. Now we learn that the US and the EU are going to try to control information… truly Orwellian.

  19. Noneya
    November 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    This just goes to show that we have STUPID PEOPLE RUNNING THIS COUNTRY!

    Syria is about an oil pipeline and the Saudis and other nations in the Middle East trying to blackmail Syria into an oil pipeline controlled by the Saudis – ie. PETRODOLLARS! which are worth squat anyway because our government prints them out of thin air.

    ENOUGH OF THIS STUPIDITY!!

    There is NOT going to be a NO FLY ZONE. That is STUPID! and will lead us to war with Russia.

    How many IDIOTS are exactly in MORDOR AKA WASHINGTON DC???

    Let me answer: As many as you can see with your own two eyes – look no further than the US House and the US Senate where all of the dumb dumbs of the US congregate on a regular basis.

    IDIOTS!

    • David F., N.A.
      November 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      The Saudi/UAE LNG pipeline is probably playing a large roll in these attempted Assad overthrows, but this HR5732, which was quietly passed a few days ago, appears to be completely Israeli AIPAC driven. Google “HR5732”.

    • Steve Naidamast
      November 23, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Sort of like you know when they are lying… Their lips are moving…

    • Anon
      November 24, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Hey, don’t you criticize stupid people. This is Olympic class stupidity! If we didn’ have no stupid people, we wouldn’ have nobody to run the government. You gotta tink about dese tings, you know. You can’t leave it to those rocket scientists. If you ain’t a stupid a-hole, what are you doin’ in the United Stupid A-holes? Go back to Russia.

      • Noneya
        November 25, 2016 at 12:44 am

        I am not Russian. I am an American citizen. My ancestors founded this country and have fought for it since. And we are sick and tired of these nut jobs in DC and their stupidity and their polices that are killing people in this country and around the world each and every day.

        Enough of this trash running our government. Enough of the lies of Obama, and the Neocons, and the Deep State. Enough of our citizens suffering and dying for banker wars for international banking cartels that only start wars to fund their pet projects and their dream of a global government run by demonic filth.

        If the average American knew what was being done in their name by this evil government that is killing their families and this country and countries around the world they would be appalled.

        Some of us do know – all to well – because we have lived it! And we have had family members die because of it!

        The facts are crystal clear.

        • Anon
          November 25, 2016 at 10:58 am

          I am very sorry, Noneya. My comment was no more than a joke. This is the “Archie Bunker” impersonation genre which is generally regarded as amusing, pretending to defend stupidity. Sometimes the stupidity of the people is too much to take seriously, and we need the relief. Every statement is intended to be obviously false. Your response is quite correct.

    • Robert Bruce
      November 29, 2016 at 2:56 am

      More like stupid people voting in stupid people. The average American is a downright moron. H.L. Mencken was a god damn political/cultural Nostradamus

  20. November 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Wars on various countries was planned according to link below
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E

  21. Hillary
    November 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    War escalation is encouraged because Iran is the real target & has been since the PNAC agenda was established.
    The wholescale destruction of the Middle minus Israel is almost achieved .

    • Garry Zelk
      November 24, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Actually, the real end target is Russia. This is why Putin has stepped up. If Syria and Iran fall, the Saudi/Qattar pipelines become reality, Russia is surrounded and can thereby be contained until their economy collapses. Putin knows this and won’t allow it. Thank god our stupid leaders can only play checkers, while Putin shows himself to be a chess master.

  22. Steve Naidamast
    November 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    OK, let’s start WWIII in Syria!

    As a military historian and analyst I am placing my bets on the Russian Air Force knocking out the US in a week or less…

  23. bluto
    November 23, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    How the Israeli/Israeli Lobby ‘Clean Break Dream’ perished in Aleppo

    =======
    ‘The Israeli Civil War and 1P1V1S’

    WHEN: OCT 22, 2016 Saturday, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
    WHERE: Otay Branch San Diego Public Library,
    3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, Ca 92154
    WHO: Dr Lance Dale

    Topics:

    ‘Israeli Apartheid and the 3rd Israeli Generals Revolt’
    The Commanders for Israeli Security (CIS)

    The Israel Civil War:
    ‘Hillary and the CIS vs Bibi, Adelson, and the Settlers’

    The UN Sec Council Resolution against Israel supported by the US

    1P1V1S (– One Person One Vote One State)
    Marwan Barghouti and 1P1V1S from the River to Shining Sea

    The 3 Existential Events (and seen as such by Israel itself) for Israeli Apartheid:
    The Iran Nuclear Deal, UN Sec Co Resolution against Israel, and the ICC

    ‘The Collapse of Israeli Apartheid and the Tsunami on American Politics’

    ‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution of 4-2-15 and the Iran Nuclear Deal’

    How the Israeli/Israeli Lobby ‘Clean Break Dream’ perished in Aleppo

    Q and A after the talk

  24. November 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    If you want to understand “American” Mideast foreign policy, understand this: The Congress primarily is a Zionist/Israeli entity. Nuff said.

  25. BRF
    November 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Is this the last gasp of unilateralism or the prelude to nuclear war with a US led NATO provoking a conflict with Russia and China?

  26. November 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    i dont think they could establish a no-fly-zone, even if they had the preisdents signature…this isnt some lame 3rd world army this time…the russians might have this all wrapped up in a week…dont kid yourselves…russia has an extremely competent and sophisticated military…this could get very dangerous fast if the US were to be more foolish than usual…im also surprised that china, india and the EU havnt had enough of this type of aggression from the US…they have lost real treasure looking the other way…

  27. November 24, 2016 at 11:45 am

    In the meantime Russia and China sit there and batten down the hatches and are prepared for the worse. No doubt they are planning a crippling blow against the US Military and civilian targets if the US begins this war. 20 years of continuous warfare has severely weakened the pool of candidates for the military in the USA. The obesity epidemic in the US has taken more than 50% of it´s citizens out of the possible military replacements that would be needed right away if a war with Russia and China is embarced upon. That makes a new draft a joke.

    Russia and China could within hours break the back of the American support for the war. If cities like Chigago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta etc. were hit with even conventional missiles, causing widespread damage and thousands of deaths, the Americans would never again feel safe in their ” Fortress Anerica”. I state this because of the prime example we had when the World Trade Centres went down, it paralysed the country for three days. The national government could not be found. Think in terms of hundreds of thousands of deaths.and billions in infrastructure destroyed. Then just like the Europeans they would realize that they are not immune to the effects of war with an equal military power. Only then would the popular sentiment in favour of war, war , war all the time be taken out of the American mindset. Like all peoples directly impacted by war they will have to experience it first hand.

  28. MA
    November 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Did Consortiumnews confirm the authenticity of the first photograph in this article showing “preparation of a 12 years old boy for beheading”? If not then Consortium is being used as a conduit for propaganda of those who are using such videos for their ulterior motives – the ‘terrorists’ and their handlers, whoever they are.

    • Tracy Baker
      December 1, 2016 at 2:15 am

      MA, it’s been known that the boy was beheaded and the picture isn’t propaganda.
      Our government is funding the same group of Al Quada that attacked this country and our troops fought against during the Iraq war. This should piss people off, but of course the media doesn’t report on this.
      I have no idea what the rest of your comment means.

  29. Anthony Freathy
    November 26, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I only see a request for an impact statement. Hardly seems like an plan or even a request for a no-fly zone:

    SEC. 303. ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL EFFECTIVENESS OF AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SAFE ZONES OR A NO-FLY ZONE IN SYRIA.
    (a) In General.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committee a report that—

    (1) assesses the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements of the establishment and maintenance of a no-fly zone over part or all of Syria, including—

    (A) the operational and legal requirements for United States and coalition air power to establish a no-fly zone in Syria;

    (B) the impact a no-fly zone in Syria would have on humanitarian and counterterrorism efforts in Syria and the surrounding region; and

    (C) the potential for force contributions from other countries to establish a no-fly zone in Syria; and

    (2) assesses the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements for the establishment of one or more safe zones in Syria for internally displaced persons or for the facilitation of humanitarian assistance, including—

    (A) the operational and legal requirements for United States and coalition forces to establish one or more safe zones in Syria;

    (B) the impact one or more safe zones in Syria would have on humanitarian and counterterrorism efforts in Syria and the surrounding region; and

    (C) the potential for contributions from other countries and vetted non-state actor partners to establish and maintain one or more safe zones in Syria.

  30. Wayne Pacific
    November 27, 2016 at 4:11 am

    America is a tool to be used by Israel as needed. At this time their greatest concern is Hezbollah,Syria and Iran.

  31. Michael Morrissey
    November 28, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Nobody has mentioned that Pompeo was one of the co-sponsors of the bill. This does not bode well if he is confirmed as CIA director.

  32. Jeff Davis
    November 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    C’mon, is this really to be taken seriously? These guys are just pimping for more AIPAC campaign money. This would have to pass the Senate and then get Obama’s signature, all in five weeks. And even then, military action is the purview of the CinC. Trump will not get dragged into stupid war crimes, no matter the pressure from traitorous Zionist stooges in Congress.

    We are witness here to the last desperate attempt to retain power by those Israeli agents who have subverted the govt of the United States of America. Obama in his weakness could not stand up to them (or anyone), Trump has balls of steel and a spine to match, and has declared his intention to “fire” the Neocons. And though it’s still early, he appears to be making good on that promise (have you noticed the disappearance of arch-neocon Bolton, once notional for SoS, who weaseled briefly into trump’s circle? Gone!)

    Trump was politically savvy enough to play the “I pledge my undying support to Israel” card at AIPAC during the campaign. But of all the “intentions” he professed, and which he has already begun to “walk back”, the “undying loyalty to Israel” is possibly the most important to toss in the trash. Fundamentally incompatible with America First.

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