The Good That Trump Could Do

Exclusive: Despite fears about the many negatives from a Donald Trump presidency, one positive could be his shattering of the monopoly that neocons and liberal hawks now hold over U.S. foreign policy, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Americans and the world have valid reasons to worry about Donald Trump’s presidency, given his lack of experience and his refusal to recognize that his loss of the popular vote should moderate his emerging domestic policies. But Trump also could do some good things.

Particularly, Trump could break the death grip that neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” tag-team partners now have locked around the throat of U.S. foreign policy.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona. October 4, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Trump owes little to these “regime change” advocates since nearly all of them supported either other Republicans or his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. And the few who backed Trump, such as John Bolton and James Woolsey, have been largely passed over as Trump assembles his foreign policy and national security teams by relying mostly on a combination of outsiders and outcasts.

Obviously, there remains much uncertainty about what foreign policy direction a President Trump will take and the neocons/liberal-hawks in Congress are sure to mount a fierce battle to defeat or intimidate some of his nominees, particularly Exxon-Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State because of his past working relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, assuming that the neocon/liberal-hawk establishment fails to stop Trump from escaping Official Washington’s foreign policy “group thinks,” the new president could radically reorder the way the U.S. government approaches the world.

Lost Opportunity

Eight years ago, President Barack Obama had a similar opportunity but chose to accommodate the Establishment and empower the neocons and liberal hawks by appointing his infamous “team of rivals”: Republican Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, liberal-hawk Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and leaving in place President George W. Bush’s military high command, including neocon-favorite Gen. David Petraeus.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

For doing so, Obama won applause from the editorial and op-ed writers but he doomed his presidency to a foreign policy of continuity, rather than his promised change. Only on the edges did Obama resist the neocon/liberal-hawk pressures for war and more war, such as his decision not to bomb Syria in 2013 and his negotiations with Iran to prevent it from building a nuclear weapon in 2014.

But Obama bowed down more than he stood up. He let Secretary Clinton push a neoliberal economic agenda by supporting oligarchic interests in Latin America, such as the 2009 Honduran coup, and extend the neocon “regime change” strategy in the Middle East, with the brutal overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and covert support for rebels in Syria.

Even after the original “team of rivals” was gone at the start of his second term, Obama continued his pathetic efforts to appease the powerful, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by undertaking a submissive three-day tour of Israel in early 2013 and cozying up to the Saudi royals with trips to the kingdom despite intelligence that they and their Gulf state allies were financing Al Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists.

Though Obama would eventually boast about the rare moments when he defied what he called the Washington “playbook” of relying on military options rather than diplomatic ones, it was a case of the exception proving the rule. The rule was that Obama so wanted to be accepted by Washington’s well-dressed and well-heeled establishment that he never ventured too far from what the editorialists at The Washington Post and The New York Times deemed permissible.

Still, the neocon/liberal-hawk establishment continued to scold America’s first African-American president for not doing everything that the “smart people” demanded, such as escalating the U.S. role in the “regime change” war in Syria or fully arming Ukraine’s military so it could more efficiently slaughter ethnic Russian rebels on Russia’s border.

Power Consolidated

In the end, however, Obama did nothing to alter Official Washington’s balance of power on foreign policy. Indeed, over his eight years, the neocons and liberal hawks consolidated their power, essentially banishing the once-relevant “realists” from establishment circles and smearing the few anti-war and independent voices as fill-in-the-blank “apologists,” maybe even “traitors” deserving FBI investigation.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

It now is clear that if Hillary Clinton had won, the drive to silence any dissent against the neocon/liberal-hawk orthodoxy would have escalated. The recently revealed strategies for isolating and punishing dissident Web sites took shape before the Nov. 8 election, not afterwards.

The U.S. government also continues programs to throw tens of millions of dollars to contractors whose job it is “to counter Russian propaganda,” code words for going after and harassing Web sites and other news outlets that question U.S. State Department propaganda.

For historians, there may be a reasonable debate about whether Obama was an enthusiastic supporter of these anti-democratic policies or was simply too eager to please the Establishment to resist them.

Nevertheless, despite his early promises of transparency and openness, he oversaw an administration that ruthlessly suppressed government whistleblowers and bought into the neocon/liberal-hawk manipulation of the American people via “perception management” or what NATO likes to call “strategic communications.

Obama then sat back passively as his Democratic Party sought to replace him with Hillary Clinton who had done as much as anyone to turn his beloved motto of “change” into the sad reality of “more of the same.”

I’m told that Obama privately had grave doubts about Clinton but he did nothing to encourage alternative Democratic candidates, like Senators Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown, to take on the money-churning Clinton machine.

Because of Obama’s miscalculations and timidity, he now will have to take part in the painful and humiliating process of handing over the keys to the White House to a man who launched his national political career by pushing the racist canard that Obama was born in Kenya.

Trump’s Challenge

But the question after Jan. 20 will be whether Trump has the guts and tenacity to enact some of the “change” that Obama promised. Particularly, will Trump stay the course in challenging the neocon/liberal-hawk establishment that rules the roost of Washington’s foreign policy?

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Can Trump withstand the barrage of slings and arrows that will zero in on him if he rejects the neocons’ “regime change” ambitions and if he presses for a détente with Russia to resolve the Ukraine crisis and to present a united front against Islamic terrorism?

If Trump moves in those directions – pulling back on the New Cold War with Russia and ending the coddling of Saudi Arabia over its covert backing of jihadists across the region – he could finally put the U.S. government on a more rational track for achieving its national interests.

One of Official Washington’s favorite “group thinks” has been that Iran is the “chief sponsor of terrorism,” a formulation favored by Israel and Saudi Arabia – as part of their anti-Shiite alliance – but it is clearly a lie. Yet, to take on the Saudis over their real leading role as state sponsors of terrorism, Trump would have to take on the Israelis, a daunting prospect.

In that regard, Trump’s choice of lawyer David Friedman, a staunch supporter of right-wing Israeli settlers, to be U.S. ambassador to Israel has been viewed as a major concession to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, but it could be a decidedly mixed blessing.

If Israel gets its way and further expands Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, it will be jettisoning the longstanding false hope for a “two-state solution.” That means Israel will have to either become a blatantly “apartheid state,” holding Palestinians as stateless or second-class citizens, or accept a “one-state solution,” granting both Jews and Arabs equal rights, arguably the most logical and humane answer to the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma.

In other words, if Trump takes on Saudi Arabia – finally recognizing its role as the principal state sponsor of terrorism – and sweeps away the “two-state solution” which has been a liberal excuse for doing nothing to resolve the Israel-Palestine mess for years, he could be clearing a path to a saner U.S. policy toward the region, not one dictated by the likes of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.

Obviously, the powerful neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks would not sit idly by and accept such a radical challenge to their preferred options in the region, i.e. more “regime changes” for countries that get onto the Israeli-Saudi “enemies list.”

And, it is certainly possible that President Trump would retreat when he confronts the Establishment’s fury that would surely come. However, if he follows through on this course of action, he might finally shatter the neocon/liberal-hawk monopoly over Official Washington’s bloody foreign policy. And the world and the American people might find that a very positive thing indeed.

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).

 

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121 comments for “The Good That Trump Could Do

  1. Bill Cash
    December 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    There is obviously a connection between Putin and the Trump people. I still think Trump owes a lot of money in Russia which is why he refused to release his tax returns. The people around Trump are friendly to right wing governments which spells trouble for peoples’ rights. I don’t agree with destroying our relationships with Europe democratic governments which people like Flynn seem to want.
    Trump sold the mid east policy to Sheldon Adelson for money. That means Netanyahu will be free to do whatever he pleases. Israel has become another right wing government.
    You seem to support the right wing sweeping through the world. I will part company with you there.

    • Pavlusha
      December 23, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      The end result of the sweeping changes will be not affected by your departure. The same mistake Hillary made.

    • spartacus
      December 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      evidence would be helpful , other than that , just another bladder full of hot air

    • Sergio Weigel
      December 23, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      I’m German and I am all for the US splitting ties with Europe as that would force European governments into more independence. Instead of dumbly following the Warshington towline they would have to get their act together, meaning acting on their own self-interest. And that, too, would mean mending the relationship with Russia, fighting terrorism among other things. In the end we all share the same interests. If change comes from the right, that’s fine by me, especially since the so-called “left” has rendered itself useless with petty bullshit (identity politics) since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

      That’s realpolitik as opposed to value-based politics which has caused far more trouble than helped anyone.

      • backwardsevolution
        December 23, 2016 at 8:26 pm

        Sergio – good post! I agree.

      • December 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        Excellent choice of words. But problems remain with extremely diverse often vague “left” and “right” identifiers. Ditto for “conservative” and “liberal.” Some semantic confusion is less bad in Europe than in the US. HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!

      • exiled off mainstreet
        December 24, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        I agree. As an ethnic German whose ancestors emigrated to North America in the 19th century I have always wondered about and been offended by the fact that the US stayed in Germany after the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Things have gotten worse and more dangerous in recent years for the reasons effectively spelled out repeatedly by Mr. Parry, including in this excellent accurate article about why Trump, with his serious faults, is far less odious than the Clintons would have been. He does provide a possibility for change, whereas she would not have, and, if he disappoints and continues the imperialist policy, resistance will be far greater and more effective than he would have been. I agree with Mr. Parry that his foreign policy choices give grounds for guarded optimism, though I also am disappointed with some of his moves, like continuing nuclear modernization. I’m sure he will be pretty bad, but at least he will be survivable, and an opening for a real future candidate like US rep. Tulsi Gabbard, can exist under the present circumstances.

    • Sara
      December 27, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Just curious – you don’t see a correlation between Clinton’s and Obama’s standard policy of blaming scapegoats for their behavior and Clinton’s current accusations against Putin in the context of her treason in selling uranium to Russia via Uranium One? If not, this is particularly interesting in light of the fact that the governors of three states have blamed Obama’s DHS for hacking their election servers: Obama hacked the election, not Putin, in these states. Obama just lied about it.
      Also, the neo-nazi Ukraine government set up by Obama and Clinton really is a right-wing fascist government that residents are currently escaping at the rate of 80,000/month. and emigrating to Russia. Your comment “The people around Trump are friendly to right wing governments ” is pretty vague.

  2. Daniel C. Maguire
    December 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    This article is the first flash of light to break through the dark liberal gloom. The mercurial and unpredictable Trump might, in spite of his Zionist son-in-law, see that we cross the ocean to act as Israel’s surrogate army to fight Israel’s perceived enemies in their own neighborhood, Iraq, al Quada, Isis, while the Israel’s fourth strongest military in the world stays home to enforce and extend its brutal occupation of the Palestinians. Now that would be change we could believe in.

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      We’re already paying Israel to let us create chaos in the Mideast for them, to get their campaign bribes. I presume that you suggest that Trump stop that zionist policy of mass murder to protect Israeli thefts.

  3. Pablo Diablo
    December 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Nixon “red-baited” China, then opened relations with them. Reagan inadvertently ended the “Cold War” with Russia by outspending them. Trump “could” be the change we need. Obviously the world is demanding “change”. Obama washed out and Hillary lost by promising “more of the same”. It’s just too bad Bernie got screwed.

    • b.grand
      December 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

      BERNIE WAS A FRAUD.
      He rallied enthusiasm with identity politics and special interests, such as college students with the promise of free tuition.
      His platform was built on planks unachievable with present Congress.
      He mumbled a few sympathetic words about Palestinians that “progressives” wanted to hear.
      His R2P foreign policy makes him a hawk: he called for No-Fly Zone in Syria, Israel-centric stance toward Iran.

      So screw Bernie. —Why hasn’t he introduced a bill in the Senate equivalent to
      Tulsi Gabbard’s
      STOP ARMING TERRORISTS ACT
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qdf2WH4g9k

      • Sara
        December 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        Tulsi Gabbard is awesome; the kind of person we need in US government,

        The people have a right to elect a fraud, and the cabal certainly supports one. The real problem is that the extent of voter fraud in the democratic primary, which Election Justice recommended be decertified, was so extensive that there was no option for voters to support a fraudulent candidate.
        http://www.election-justice-usa.org/Democracy_Lost_Update1_EJUSA.pdf

    • Michael Rohde
      December 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Reagan had alzeimheimers and didn’t inadvertently end anything except speaking in complete sentences. He thought god saved him for a special mission and he threw billions at fantasy missile defenses with no chance of stopping anything except our government writing good checks. He started the deficit ballooning by tripling it. It was not inadvertent.

  4. Christopher Schaefer
    December 23, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I tend to agree with Mr. Parry that there is an opportunity for Mr. Trump to adopt a more rational foreign policy toward Russia and in the Middle East, although I am not optimistic. As to Barack Obama how much choice did he actually have given the close relationship between the neo-con and liberal hawks with our security services and the ever present danger of clever assassinations and false flag incidents which are such a part of our history.

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Obama had every opportunity to oppose them, and if he was afraid his duty was to tell the people and purge the traitors. Otherwise resign and make way for someone with the ability.

      • December 24, 2016 at 11:42 am

        You don’t understand Washington and the Deep State. Obama could not oppose them because he had no power-base other than the finance-oligarchs who plucked him out of obscurity because he fit their profile of a well-spoken black man to defang the resurgent left. It worked perfectly.

        • Wm. Boyce
          December 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm

          Agree with this comment: Mr. Trump may skip security briefings, but there may well be a private conversation in which some official advises him as to limits that he’d better not cross over. Remember that he had extensive dealings with the Mob in NYC over his buildings being constructed- he does know how that sort of thing works.

        • Sam F
          December 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm

          That is quite incorrect: you express an extremely unbalanced power structure which would be utterly destabilized by any public revelation. Obama could easily have turned any powers under his control against them, commanding military purges of secret agencies if necessary. You are presuming that he controls not even enough force to exercise police power, which is simply not plausible.

          Obama has had eight years to inform the people whether he is in power or not. To suggest that he could not even inform the people of a coup situation is to suggest the most extremely unlikely structure against him. Any such revelation would have galvanized the people and the military against the rogue agencies, which would have been destroyed.

          If he did not even have the courage to tell the people so as to save the republic, he would be a traitor indeed. In that case Erdogan would have been a better choice.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 24, 2016 at 12:10 am

      Trump doesn’t have me optimistic, as you say, but just about any change towards rationality and humanity in foreign policy direction is something to hope and push for. And that wasn’t happening with Clinton. As for Obama…obviously he had/has ambition, but I’m not inclined to give him the benefit of any doubt on what his true ambitions were/are. If he wasn’t up to it, he should have left it to someone else. But I don’t think he’s as coerced as maybe you do.

      • Incredulous
        December 24, 2016 at 2:12 am

        I’ve always believed that Obama’s optimism during his first campaign was real. I think he honestly believed that he could affect change. In the end however, a naive belief. Misplaced idealism. The brutal obstruction, and being dogged at every turn didn’t help. But his bigger problem was how firmly the neoliberal agenga was entrenched. For 28 years the show had been run by a single entity. Sure, there were Republican and Democratic governments, but they maintained a single economic and foreign policy. Reagan was elected in 1980. It’s no secret that Papi Bush ran that show. The Dick Cheney of his day. So 8 years of Bush/Reagan, 4 of Papi alone, 8 years of Clinton, and 8 years of Dubya. They maintain their perceived differences by pandering to social wedge issues, and pitting American citizens against each other. It creates the illusion of two disparate groups, with equally disparate ideologies. While in the back rooms of Washington, a single neoliberal agenda dictates economic and foreign policy. To the enrichment of the Corporate elite, bankers, oil barons and war profiteers. Add in old money, and there you have the 1%. Government for the rich, by the rich. 28 consecutive years of that. They changed the face of the spokesmodel every 4 or 8 years, put the power was held by a single entity. With a single economic and foreign policy agenda. Over the years, the red herring wedge issues were ramped up to a fever pitch. Americans haven’t been this divided since the Civil War. Divide and conquer is a war strategy. And they’re winning the war. By turning the citizenry on each other, and constantly stirring up the pot, it creates a media spectacle where the story of the country’s bitter divide is spoon fed to us 24/7, and eventually that narrative becomes reality. Left vs. Right. Liberal vs. Conservative. Us vs. them. And while we’re at war with each other, we’re not supposed to notice that economic and foreign policy never really change. Neoliberalism at work. This is the political landscape that Obama inherited in 2008. In my heart, I want to believe that in the end, Obama caved under the weight of that reality. Maybe he was eventually sold on it. Maybe he was coerced. Maybe he believed it all along. The sad truth is, after his 8 year tenure, Corporations still call the shots, the Middle East is still on fire, jobs are still going overseas, the economy still works only for the 1%, and we’re still at war with each other. Probably more so. So much for change. It’s certain that Hillary was a guarantee for more of the same. It was a dire choice for Americans. A kleptocrat with a Messiah complex, or the person who epitomizes the bigger problem. And now take a look at Trump’s cabinet. He’s hardly the candidate of change. He’s a conman. Who has capitalized on our obsession of fawning over billionaires and TV stars.

        • December 24, 2016 at 12:16 pm

          I think you make excellent points. I depart from your analysis on two matters.

          1) Obama though was a fraud from the beginning–he was peddling a line of bullshit and misdirection I knew from the first five-minutes of a Charley Rose interview that he was a con. As I told everyone, he said a lot of nothing with great eloquence. The misdirection was largely his race–completely defanged the left. “The first black President” could not be resisted by the snowflakes that make up most of the left these days as well as then–identity politics uber alles!

          2) Trump = conman? No I don’t think so. Check out Scott Adams’ evaluation of Trump (he predicted that Trump would be POTUS before his campaign took off) as a “master persuader.” Trump is a new very slick Machiavellian politician who enjoys the game of power, it seems, for its own sake. He knows how to get attention and to influence events–the proof is in the pudding. He has pulled off the most remarkable Presidential campaign I’ve ever seen. Never have I seen the mainstream media’s almost 100% opposition to anyone not work! No candidate has ever escaped media-assassination and Trump dodged all the bullets aimed at him! He understands American culture and has the smarts now to ally himself with a group of public figures that almost guarantee that he will not be assassinated (always the threat to any President) and not impeached because he has enough military and capital support to limit opposition. He has shown me, by his moves, that he understands Washington and power-relations in that town. I also believe he is authentic in wanting to improve the country something we have not seen for a very long time since our lot for decades has been primarily determined by the corruption of ALL major public institutions.

          • Wm. Boyce
            December 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

            Point 2 – can’t agree with that analysis. If you think “…has the smarts now to ally himself with a group of public figures that almost guarantee that he will not be assassinated…” think again. His base contains lots of people with guns who will not take kindly to being betrayed, which is my prediction of what’s coming. His cabinet picks tell the story – corruption on a scale not seen since Tammany Hall.

          • Incredulous
            December 26, 2016 at 11:49 pm

            Trump is a conman and a fraud. He’s an aspiring dictator with a Messiah complex and a Twitter addiction. His only goal is to expand his personal wealth, and to expand his personal empire. With his name emblazoned in giant gold letters, atop alters to his glory, across his global kingdom. What he’s good at is acting. His performance has convinced tens of millions of fans that while he’s peering down on the world, from his gold-plated penthouse on Central Park, that he’s pondering the plight of the working man. That a trust-fund baby turned Corporate billionaire, the poster boy for the 1%, has somehow got their best interests at heart. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so ludicrous. It’s a performance worthy of that Emmy he keeps whining about. The only thing that Donald Trump ponders is his own greatness. And even then, only if it’s less than 140 characters. Make no mistake about Donald Trump.

    • Sara
      December 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Yes, Obama certainly is a puppet.

  5. Fred Taylor
    December 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I am impressed by your argument and overall assessment. Obama’s cooptation to the neo con alliance, as you have described it in this and many other articles, reminds me of the wisdom of theologian H Richard Niebuhr, brother of Reinhold Niebuhr in an essay “The grace of doing nothing” or perhaps better said “seeming to do nothing” – in this case not playing the Israel, Saudi, and neo con game but moving in other directions that generate unseen possibilities.

  6. Sally Snyder
    December 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    It will be interesting to see if Donald Trump vetoes this recent move to increase the FBI’s spying on Americans:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/12/how-fbi-is-monitoring-your-tweets.html

    Washington uses any excuse to further pry into what little remains of our privacy.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      …and most Americans seem to want to go along with that, tragically.

    • Sara
      December 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks – this is very important. In my opinion, banning George Soros from the US and from funding political action in the US is an additional imperative.

  7. Pavlusha
    December 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Weaseling to Arabs all these years did not work, it is worth trying another approach. After all it was Begin, with the support of the United States, who made the most practical difference in Israel domestic and foreign policy vis-a-vis the Arab and Palestinian world.

  8. Fergus Hashimoto
    December 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    It’s true that Iran is not the “chief sponsor of terrorism,” but that is not for lack of trying. Sowdy Arabia is a difficult act to beat. The founder of Iran’s current theocracy, Khomeini, first made his mark in the terrorism field in 1946, when he fingered a liberal Persian politician for assassination. From the triumph of the revolution until 1994 Iran – through its Hizballah surrogates — steadily murdered hundreds of Iranian exiles in Europe until a German judge bravely named Iran as sponsor of a murder in Berlin and the EU broke off diplomatic relations. In the 1990s Iran committed 2 bomb outrages in Argentina, killing almost 100 hundred Argentine Jews in the process, as vengeance for Israel’s actions in the Middle East.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Fergus – Iran pales in comparison to Israel. Iran has been screwed over so many times, the ousting of Mossaddegh by the Americans and British one example.

      I say give the Israelis the first settlement on Mars.

      • Sam F
        December 24, 2016 at 8:34 am

        Yes, giving the zionists Western Sahara or Chiloe or any other sparsely-inhabited area in 1947 would have worked with some infrstructure aid, but Truman was bribed to twist arms at the new UN, to let them steal Palestine, so we got generations of hatred and slaughter. It’s so rewarding to be generous with the property of others.

        The one-state solution should be no Israel. Now that they’ve proven that they do not deserve a two-state solution, and insist upon even more, Israel should be exported by the jihadis to some place where they can’t hurt anyone.

        It is surprising that Russia/Syria/Iran have not yet given ISIS and AlQaeda & co free one-way tickets to the Israel borders of Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to push out Israel as they so richly deserve. The Mideast wars should be on Israeli territory alone. The US should ban their entry to protect democracy from further zionist subversion.

    • geokat62
      December 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      “In the 1990s Iran committed 2 bomb outrages in Argentina, killing almost 100 hundred Argentine Jews in the process, as vengeance for Israel’s actions in the Middle East.”

      Here’s an article that paints a different picture:

      “The Argentine Courts have spent 15 years searching for proof of an “Iranian – Syrian – Hezbollah Connection”, which they have never found, for the simple but powerful reason that such a link does not exist.”

      http://www.voltairenet.org/article162474.html

    • Rob Roy
      December 26, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Fergus,
      None of what you’ve said is true. The propaganda about Iran goes on and on against all proof to the contrary just because Israel wants the US to bomb Iran so Israel can proceed with their “Greater Israel.” It won’t be enough for them to rid Palestine of all Palestinians, they want to take down Iran even though Iran decided in 2003 never to make a nuclear weapon. Yet just the other day, Trump said, “We can’t let Iran get nuclear weapons.” He is so far behind the times, he just says willy nilly whatever pops into his head. The US has created all the terrorists in the middle east and still keeps on funding them. Obama recently promised Israel 38B over a ten-year period!. Unbelievable. He’s been such a disappointment on all fronts. The US and Israel should be shunned by all other countries.

  9. Brad Owen
    December 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    So “Silent Cal” Obama fades into history, leaving behind nothing that is worthwhile remembering…just disappointments. I’m really hoping that the cordial relationships between Trump and Tillerson and Putin (also one of his other guys who’s good friends with the Chinese Prez) will be the beginning of a long fruitful partnership with them, in pursuit of China’s Silk Road “win-win” policies, ESPECIALLY the Russo-American component of this: the World Land Bridge between Alaska and Siberia. I hope Trump’s love for good money-making deals, via Great World Infrastructure Projects, outshines the filthy warmongers who only want to make a buck on weapons and war (how evil).
    On the other hand, as a counter point to the Great Infrastructure Projects ideas, check out the Paul Kingsnorth article on Counterpunch: “Brexit Reconsidered: a Modern Day Peasants’ Revolt”. He introduced a new idea (to me at least) by positing two opposing cultures at play in society; the Progress Culture (bourgeoisie) vs the Survival Culture (peasant, indigenous). The first is always seeking improvements and generally pursuing goals of “getting from here to there”. The Survival Culture has no goal; just existence, living from day to day, year to year, cycling through the seasons; a cyclical pattern of repeating, where father did what son did and what grandson does and so on. I’ve never seen the concept sold so well before; check it out.

  10. Peter Loeb
    December 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    OPTIMISM IS IN SHORT SUPPLY FOR D J TRUMP….

    While sharing most of Robert Parry’s views (above), I remain sceptical
    that the neocon establishment will disappear. Instead the
    current reeking crop of neocons under the soon former
    regime will be replaced by “new” neocons under the
    Donald Trump administration.

    While “hope springs eternal”, caution is the word. We all look
    to Consortium to provide us with the same investigative
    information on the replacements.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      I think Parry is right in being cautiously optimistic. The current version of the neocon dominated foreign policy delete are in disarray inside the power-structure because they’ve made too many enemies to continue largely because all their efforts have failed to bear fruit for the most part. It looks like a more realist Kissinger-style foreign policy will evolve though I don’t think anyone knows what will happen until the balance of power within Washington clears up. Right now its obscured with a lot of smoke since this is the first President in a long time that has been able to accrue personal power because he is, in the main, his own man.

  11. Bill Bodden
    December 23, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    But the question after Jan. 20 will be whether Trump has the guts and tenacity to enact some of the “change” that Obama promised. Particularly, will Trump stay the course in challenging the neocon/liberal-hawk establishment that rules the roost of Washington’s foreign policy?

    There seems to be a popular concept that the United States is ruled by an Establishment comprising the plutocracy, their corporate media, and the oligarchs in the two major political parties working together. This establishment has not been a monolith as some may have presumed. In 2008 the contest between Obama and Clinton showed, at least, two factions within the Democratic (?) Party. Now we have another faction led by one of the plutocrats out to put his brand on policies. Regardless of which faction or factions prevail, the people will almost assuredly get the short end of the stick as has almost always been the case in the past. There was hope for change when Obama was elected president. In some quarters there is hope for change with the election of Donald Trump, but there is little cause for optimism in this regard after he moves into the White House.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Bill – “There seems to be a popular concept that the United States is ruled by an Establishment comprising the plutocracy, their corporate media, and the oligarchs in the two major political parties working together.”

      You forgot the military/security establishment. Of course they’re working together. Almost all new laws are bipartisan, and look how quickly H.R. 5181 (Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act) was passed. Congress and Senate are bought and owned, period, full stop.

      • Bill Bodden
        December 23, 2016 at 9:30 pm

        backwards: Thank you for supplementing the line up. Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex has metastasized and proved to be a much greater threat than Ike foresaw.

        • backwardsevolution
          December 24, 2016 at 1:05 am

          Bill – they sure are a greater threat. Multinational corporations want something, they get their lawyers to draw up the papers, the lobbyists lobby the politicians, the bought-and-paid-for politicians pass said laws. The military/CIA go into action to bring about whatever the corporations want (resources, access to sell their goods), or the banks go to work taking down a country by putting them into greater debt. The media sell it all. All colluding for a specific goal. This is the way I see it going down.

          • Rob Roy
            December 26, 2016 at 1:10 am

            Yes, and it’s interesting to note that Eisenhower wrote, “Beware the military congressional complex,” but was persuaded to take out “congressional” which he should have left in. We can’t rid ourselves of neo-liberalism (both parties) without a grass-roots revolution and by electing strong third party senators and representatives. (think Jill Stein)

          • Rob Roy
            December 26, 2016 at 1:12 am

            Yes, and it’s interesting to note that Eisenhower wrote, “Beware the military industrial congressional complex,” but was persuaded to drop “congressional” which he should have left in. We can’t rid ourselves of neo-liberalism (both parties) without a grass-roots revolution and by electing strong third party senators and representatives. (think Jill Stein)

    • Junius
      December 24, 2016 at 11:42 am

      There is clearly a power struggle of some sort going on among several factions of the American ruling class. I have no idea what the real issues might be or even who the actors are and I don’t expect to find out any time soon. It’s a truism that great wealth buys anonymity. Perhaps specialist historians a century from now will produce monographs on what happened back in 2016. Most likely no one but other specialist academics will read them or care. I have in mind the unhappy example of at least two generations of recent historians who have brilliantly demolished the myths of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the world wars, yet the facts they documented are known to few, denied by the establishment, and ridiculed by the pundits.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      I disagree–there was no rational hope for change when Obama came in—it was ALL marketing and wishful thinking. As for Trump, he has personal power unlike Obama who was just a guy that looked the part and knew he was there on the pleasure of the finance-oligarchs–he was their get-out-of-jail-card.

  12. Knomore
    December 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I’m always surprised to read that Obama in 2013 “chose” not to pursue a more aggressive stance in Syria when, as I clearly recall, the people here were threatening impeachment if he dared start one more openly confrontational action in the Middle East. In the end, he continued to do by other means what demonstrations at that time had persuaded him not to do. What we’ve done in Syria is more than shameful; it’s unspeakable… but,

    maybe, as so many insiders report, Obama never had much choice. His strings were always in the hands of the Deep State and they were telling him what he could and could not do… I’ve also read that Trump has received the same kind of instruction — i.e., Do what we say or your fate will be the same as Kennedy’s.

    I certainly hope the time will arrive soon when some means is found to rout these evil foxes out of their hole(s) and return America to its Constitutional history prior to all of the phony false flags. The latter are but one more flank of a concerted attack on the Conscience of the Republic which has been destroyed by a deceitful and craven MSM, by bestial behaviors among our Congressional representatives and other leaders, all of which can be carried out without great fear of reprisal because thanks to the Clintons and their friends, the Bushes, there is no longer any Justice system in America.

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Obama certainly does not have the excuse of fear: public duty is accepted or the office holder resigns. He could have told the people of any such threat or risk of a coup, declared a national emergency, purged the suspect agencies by brute force if necessary, terminated their budgets, seized corrupted mass media and put them into the hands of universities, investigated and purged corrupted legislators, etc. Measures in proportion to such a national emergency would be well warranted.

  13. Realist
    December 23, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Obama had one trick that he was good at, the rest of his “talents” were dubious at best. He had an ability to read someone else’s text from a teleprompter in an articulate soothing voice that made liberals and moderates everywhere swoon, thinking here was the man to lead this country to long-needed reform and universal peace. He hoodwinked not only America, but most of the world, which is why he was given the Nobel Peace Prize for “future accomplishments” that all the smart people could easily visualize based on his rhetoric.

    When it got down to cases, the man not only read someone else’s insincere narratives in his speeches, he also took marching orders on everything from “fixing” the economy (make whole the crooks who destroyed it and let the little people sink or swim by their own devices) to “bringing peace” to the world (blame Russia for everything in the international arena that did not comport to the Wall Street and Langley world view, start hot wars of regime change at will, and foment color revolutions to beat the band, even at Russia’s doorstep, and, heaven willing, inside Russia itself). When his neocon military adventurism didn’t pan out as his handlers had intended, his solution was to declare war on Russia in the form of economic sanctions, bulk up the NATO military all around Russia’s periphery whilst accusing Russia of “aggession” (playing the childish game of “I know what you are, what am I?” sounding more like PeeWee Herman than a president) and endlessly threatening potential military exchanges with Russia in the Baltics, on the Black Sea, and in Syria, facilely using Mrs. Clinton and her bellicose rhetoric in the presidential campaign as a tool. The man, and his intended successor, were too thick to realise the size of the liberal voting bloc they had irretrievably lost with such warmongering. I venture to say a huge portion of the readership of this blog falls into that category. By rekindling the Cold War with Russia and threatening a hot war that could have ended civilisation, these two Democratic miscreants made Donald Trump seem the infinitely better candidate–if one’s personal survival and that of one’s progeny were of any importance.

    With the resources expended and the extent of the establishment’s support (including the major infrastructure of both parties, the financial centers, the MIC and the entire media), I must admit I was very much surprised that Hillary lost the election, but not WHY. Neither the Queen of Chaos or President Hopey-Changey still gets it. They still don’t understand why they lost and they continue to double down on their losing campaign gambit–that Russia is the bogeyman to be blamed for all evil in the world, including Hillary’s loss of the presidency. They took one last shot at another color revolution, this one to be domestic, and attempted to get the electoral college to turn against the candidate that the American people had chosen on November 8th, incessantly beating the drums that Russian and Putin had “hacked the election,” and given the presidency to “Putin’s Puppet” Donald J. Trump. Fish weren’t biting. Just as in the recount fiasco, which was a prologue to this attempted coup, Mr. Trump actually ended up with an even larger margin of victory, as he lost only two electors and Hillary lost six, and possibly eight if some electors hadn’t been disqualified. You would think that a couple of “geniuses” like Obama and Clinton would finally get the message and give up on this coup based on the pretext of Russia being to blame for all that is wrong in the world, but no, now we hear talk of getting at least one senator and one representative to formally object to the results at the joint session where the electoral vote counts are actually made. This would purportedly throw the contest into the House of Representatives… where I am sure that Barack and Hillary will simply be embarrassed one last time. Maybe someone in the Democratic Party, perhaps Schumer and/or Pelosi, will come to their senses and stanch the bleeding by putting the kibosh on such nonsense. If not, the comeback trail will get ever harder for the Dems.

    (I am a liberal and a registered Democrat. I mourn the history of the past eight years, especially the past three wherein Obama has completely lost his mind in his belligerence. But if Hillary had won in 2008, I fear we might not even be here.)

    • December 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      I agree with most of what you have to say. But…………..all Presidents had speech writers. Abe Lincoln probably ermployed a few. George Bush was positively incoherent when he went off scipt. Bill Clinto had a whole team of speech writers, as did Hillary. in that dept. Obama is no worse than the rest of them. Goebbles would have fitted right into the US political establishment over the last one hundred years. The last four or five presidencies have used his playbook to a tee.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 23, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      To the list of Obama’s sins in your comment we would do well to add his merciless treatment of whistleblowers, most especially Chelsea Manning. The more she remains in prison the more I will hold in contempt Barack Obama and his lackeys who have abused and continue to abuse Chelsea. As for Donald Trump I hope he doesn’t make a deal with Putin to get Edward Snowden.

      • backwardsevolution
        December 24, 2016 at 1:07 am

        Bill – “I hope he doesn’t make a deal with Putin to get Edward Snowden.” He had better not. I kind of think he’s more likely to pardon him, but I guess we’ll see.

      • Junius
        December 24, 2016 at 11:48 am

        There was another Chelsea Manning in 1940, and his name was Tyler Kent, a young code clerk stationed at the U.S. embassy in London. This was an especially important position because all diplomatic dispatches from American missions across Europe to Washington were routed through the London embassy’s code room.

        When Kent began work, U.S. law and overwhelming public sentiment seemed to insure that America would avoid entanglement in the European war. But from his special vantage point in London, Kent quickly learned that President Roosevelt was doing everything in his power to subvert the law and deceive the people in order to get America into war.

        Kent decided to make copies or summaries of diplomatic dispatches documenting Roosevelt’s secret policies and somehow bring them to the attention of sympathetic congressmen and senators. The most important and incriminating of these was the top secret correspondence between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, which began with a letter from the President dated 11 September 1939.

        In this secret correspondence, the two leaders conspired to insure that the United States government would secretly tolerate British violations of American territorial sovereignty and restrictions on neutral American shipping. The two men wanted to avoid any embarrassing incidents that would provoke public indignation in America over the illegal British actions. They also worked out procedures for joint British-American naval reporting of the location of German surface raiders and submarines which violated at least the spirit if not the letter of United States neutrality.

        Kent was arrested at his post in May 1940, charged with having violated the British Official Secrets Act. “For a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interests of the state,” the charge stated, Kent had “obtained a document which might be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.” He was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released and returned to the United States after serving five. The U.S. government to this day maintains that he was a spy for Germany, rather than an American hero.

        • Bill Bodden
          December 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm

          Very interesting. Thank you for this. I’ll pursue this further. It looks like FDR was following Woodrow Wilson’s playbook. In public not wanting to be involved in a European war while working behind the scenes to do just that.

          • Bill Bodden
            December 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm

            Tyler Kent’s story is very interesting. During my search for more information I also came across an article accusing Scott McClellan of treason because of his tell-all book based on his time in the George W. Bush administration.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Realist – good post. “Neither the Queen of Chaos or President Hopey-Changey still gets it. They still don’t understand why they lost and they continue to double down on their losing campaign gambit–that Russia is the bogeyman to be blamed for all evil in the world, including Hillary’s loss of the presidency.”

      Oh, I think they understand perfectly well why they lost. They understood the American people were not happy, but they thought perhaps they could pull the rabbit out of the hat one more time. I don’t think they’re surprised by the results at all; disappointed, yes, but not surprised. They know. And the recount and Electoral College disasters? I guess they figured they had nothing to lose. If enough American people could be convinced to hand over their money (and Soros) for the recount, then they figured ‘why not give it a shot’. I’d be interested to hear the stories from the Electoral College voters re how hard they were leaned on and by who. The Democrats have become the laughing stock of the nation.

      What they’re doing now is setting up Russia as the bad guy, hoping to tie Trump’s hands in the future. If Trump acts differently than they want, they’ll have already set up (they think) the American people to fear his decisions. Just creating lots of doubt in naive people’s minds.

      Heck, they’re even paying people to go on alternative media sites to just keep creating doubt.

      The whole world has been financialized, commodified, and stupified. This is a war between the ruling oligarchs (who have gotten filthy rich and don’t want anything changed) and the people who want to take back their country.

      • Realist
        December 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm

        Well, yeah, we can treat them as incredibly stupid or intensely evil and manipulating. This is the case repeatedly with a great many, if not most, American politicians. I was doing them a courtesy by presuming they were stupid in that passage. You must admit, however, that they are being quite stupid if they assume that all of the American people are going to fall for their machinations, in spite of B.T. Barnum’s assessment of the public’s averaged intelligence (“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people”). There will always be people smart enough and informed enough to call bullshit, even if the entire media tries like hell to drown them out. This blog is a case in point.

        • backwardsevolution
          December 24, 2016 at 1:25 am

          Realist – “I was doing them a courtesy by presuming they were stupid in that passage.” I figured you were, but just in case anybody new is reading, I thought I’d point that out. Sorry.

          “You must admit, however, that they are being quite stupid if they assume that all of the American people are going to fall for their machinations.”

          I don’t think they care. They just keep playing dumb every time they get caught in lies, and then they lie some more to cover up their tracks. It goes over with the more ignorant public, like you said. These politicians have been bought, and they are beholden to whoever bought them. They don’t seem to care if they get thrown out at the next election because the “revolving door” is there to back them up. Within a few days they’re sitting on boards, back at their old law firm, or out lobbying for the very people who owned them while they were a politician. They most certainly do not represent the “people”.

          I hope Trump is able to pass a law (as he said he would) whereby these politicians cannot lobby government for five years. Their value (to whoever is buying them) goes way down if they are prevented from doing this. Gee, maybe a few would even start representing their constituents.

    • John
      December 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      hmmm…..i’m confused mr. realist…should we collapse the wave with the realistic point of view or do we seek a more optimistic point of collapse….help us smart guy…….

      • Realist
        December 23, 2016 at 10:07 pm

        Like I said to you once before, learn a lesson from the Telosians who told Captain Kirk, “Captain Pike has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant.” Or, as Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and self-described hypnotist and “master persuader,” says (in paraphrase), everyone of us is essentially living out his own movie which may be very different from other concomitant movies in the people around him, because evolution did not select for the ability to discern absolute truth, only the ability to live long enough to procreate and continue the cycle for at least one more generation.

  14. December 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I think you are placing too much hope in the Trump Presidency. The reason I say this is that i do believe that Obama entered the Presidency with really good intentions. But shortly after his inauguration i think he was shuttled into a side office in the White House ( basement perhaps, where Oliver North operated?) where he was told in no uncertain terms just who runs the United States of America and it isn´t the President or Congress, the Senate or the Supreme Court. I think he was brought up to speed on what was expected of him by the Establishment and no doubt several references were made during those instructions to the Kennedy Family and what befell them when they got out of line.

    Obama being a practical man, most likely decided that he would like to live out his Presidency and reap the financial rewards held out as the carrot in these lectures and he towed the line. Hope and change evaporated faster than the morning fog on a sunny, summer day. i think Trump is going to get the same treatment and we will see the same result. Not much change at all. More vacuuming up all the money on the home front to the bennefit of the 1/10 of 1% and more war, lots of it. There will be a false flag operation to get him to throw Russia under the bus, and Iran will again be demonized. Who knows what will happen to Europe under Trump but it won´t be nice. England, since all of the really important bankers live there will be treated with kid gloves. The best we can hope for is that he will not start a nuclear war with China and Russia.

    As you can tell I am not an optimist when it comes to who calls the shots in the USA.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      The reason I say this is that i do believe that Obama entered the Presidency with really good intentions

      If you believed Obama entered the presidency with good intentions, presumably for the people, then you weren’t paying close enough attention to all that he was saying or who his big campaign donors were or who he was picking for his cabinet and key advisers.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Dan – but so far Trump is NOT falling in line. There is great angst among TPTB that he is not attending the intelligence briefings. Everyone is against him, have been all along, everyone but the people who voted for him.

      Before Obama became President, he attended the Bilderberg meetings. He was a one-time senator from Illinois. They chose him precisely BECAUSE he was going to toe the line and he was not going to ruffle any feathers. He would NEVER have been backed and fawned over by the media if TPTB thought otherwise. I am quite certain Obama knew what was expected of him from the outset. And being the first black President, the progressives back off Obama and did not hold him to his word. They coddled him, protected him from criticism. You don’t think TPTB knew that this was going to happen? They banked on it, and it worked. Nobody wanted to be mean to the first black President, and while this was happening, the foxes raided the hen house.

      The only reason Obama didn’t bomb Syria off the face of the earth was because Putin stepped in and got Syria to hand over their chemical weapons (even though it’s been proven that Syria had nothing to do with the sarin gas attack). I believe Putin also stepped in re the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Putin tied Obama’s hands. If not for Putin, Obama very well might have acted differently. In fact, I think the military establishment probably had their own nuclear meltdown when that occurred. They must have been seething with anger.

      Dan, it’s Christmastime and almost the New Year. Be optimistic. Cheers.

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Obama’s behavior is not “practical” it is betrayal before or after his promises, or the rankest cowardice. He has no excuse at all.

    • Junius
      December 24, 2016 at 11:51 am

      No, it does not seem likely that the empire will ever tolerate an anti-imperialist as its nominal Chief Executive.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      I don’t believe in the myth of Obama’s good intentions from the beginning. If you follow his history it is obvious he was selected and groomed to be “the first black President” despite the fact he, himself, had not built his political coalition but, rather grew one that managed to get him elected on image alone. Having said that, once in office, he acted as a moderating force by dragging his feet on expanding the war in Ukraine and Syria. Everything else he did was as per his marching orders.

  15. Abe
    December 23, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Wasn’t Obama supposed to “break the death grip that neoconservatives and their ‘liberal interventionist’ tag-team partners” had “locked around the throat of U.S. foreign policy”?

    With all due respect, sir, instead of musing about the conscience of the king-elect, I suggest draining the swamp by issuing a pink-slip to Graham E. Fuller and a having serious talk about sources with Norman Solomon.

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Agreed.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      That was the con–he did the opposite–rehabilitated the neocon faction to dominate the foreign policy elite.

  16. Marblex
    December 23, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Stop blaming ONLY neocons. Over the last 40 years:

    Reagan/Bush
    Bush/Qyale
    Clinton/Gore
    Bushie/Cheney
    Obama/Biden

    And what have we got? A globalist agenda to spread poverty everywhere by taking jobs away from Western workers and giving them to low paid foreign workers, thereby lowering western standards of living, lifestyles and longevity so the banksters could save money on labor.

    The neocons/neolibs have all been operating from the SAME economic playbook. That’s why they were ousted. The last thing we need is more of the same, which is all we would have gotten with Clinton.

    Trump may be a pirate and a thief, but he’s bound to be different than the old pirates and thieves and frankly, for tens of millions of disenfranchised and impoverished Americans, could hardly be worse.

    Obama made autoworkers take a pay SLASH to $28,000.00 per year as a condition of the auto bailout.

    Why weren’t banksters put on a similar salary as a condition for their bailout?

    Who wouldn’t love to see Wells Fargo’s CEO and entire BOARD in a perp walk?

    Could it happen under Trump?

    Could Trump provide an AG with the balls to prosecute them and other criminals who have destroyed America?

    I’m very skeptical but am willing to be cautiously optimistic.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Marblex – now that’s a good post! I too hope he chooses a strong Attorney-General. Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch were absolute disasters. Unfortunately, re going after the banksters, I’ve read that the Statute of Limitations has run out on most of their thievery. Obama made sure he appointed people who would NOT go after the bankers. Evidence? Well, if Obama was not happy with what they were doing, he could have sacked them, but he didn’t.

      “The neocons/neolibs have all been operating from the SAME economic playbook.”

      Yep, as simple as that.

  17. David F., N.A.
    December 23, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Since Trump is a republican, he’ll probably play a role similar to Bush’s where he trashes the economy (plus throw in a war, or 2). And meanwhile the upper echelon progressive/liberal/conservaDem media will get their daily briefing narratives to feed the lower echo chamber media with stuff like “this is all Trump and the republican’s fault.” Then when the next eloquent speaking candidate rises, again, with open arms, again, selling “Change we can believe in” or “Anyone but Trump,” again, the lefty sheeple (which, in all actuality, are retro-far-righties by now) will regurgitate the echoes, again.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      If Trump strays too far from the line, they will pull the stock market out from under his feet and crush him and the country. Everything is being artificially propped up, anyway. They have the power to do this. This is what it’s come to: a barely-hidden fascism.

      • David F., N.A.
        December 23, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        Yeah, if he wants to make money off his presidency, which he does, then he better behave like a good bought-and-paid-for politician.

        All this authentic rage/support for HRC, which was created by the msm and their echo chambers, shows how deceptive fascism’s manufactured anger can truly be. Today’s dems remind me of repubs 10-16 years ago. They’ll rationalize and condone what conservaDems are doing while, 8 years ago, they were condemning conservatives for the same crap. Be it dems or repubs, the US/world has allowed accepted media personalities and other persuasions to do all their critical-thinking for them.

        • backwardsevolution
          December 24, 2016 at 1:34 am

          David – I agree, they’re (both sides of the aisle) all in it together. They are ONE, bought-and-paid-for. I just don’t happen to think that Trump IS one of them, and that’s simply because they’re fighting him so hard. I hope this is the case, anyway, and I’m going to maintain a guarded optimism until it’s wiped away. Trump literally is the country’s last chance.

          • David F., N.A.
            December 24, 2016 at 3:39 am

            B.E., that’d be great if you’re right. We’ll see in a few months to a year if he’s sincere or not.

    • Junius
      December 24, 2016 at 11:59 am

      There’s a video of Trump from some years ago in which he says, “if I ever run for President, it will be as a Republican, because Republicans are stupid.” It’s clear that he conducted his campaign on this assumption, putting his strongest effort into the states with the most electoral votes, giving the famous dog whistles to the cretins among us because he knew that’s what they wanted to hear. He’s a businessman: he knows how to target the customer base he needs to meet his sales goal, in this case 270 electoral votes.

      It’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do with this power once he has it. Other statements he has made over the years are encouraging. We hear all these amateur pyschoanalyses of his character and doubts about his sanity but a valid question remains, why any man would give up the easy life of a billionaire raconteur for the stressful, thankless grind of managing a nation on the brink of chaos. Does Occam’s razor, perhaps, apply here too?

  18. Mk
    December 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm
    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Mk – give Trump time to get up to speed on the issues. One of Trump’s abilities is to smell a rat fairly quickly, and then expose that rat. Given time, I am hoping he will see right through Israel. This situation has been going on forever (along with Israel’s theft of Syria’s Golan Heights area). Israel needs to be smacked down hard. Let’s hope Trump’s “no” vote was just to give him time to hear both sides.

      Gee, I guess I am an optimist after all.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      “Reportedly Trump spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi by phone Thursday night, inviting him to Washington and saying he needs time to formulate his administration’s policy on Israel/Palestine.”

      http://sjlendman.blogspot.ca/2016/12/four-security-council-members-demand.html

      He needs time.

  19. backwardsevolution
    December 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I believe Obama signed up for exactly what he ended up delivering, more of the same. IMO, Obama was only concerned with getting through the days and coming out with lucrative appointments to boards of directors, giving speeches, living the good life. I never ever saw that man to possess a genuine social conscience, not really. I think it was all show. He was polished, the right color, read a good teleprompter, shook a good hand, and could lie just like the rest of them.

    His legacy will not be a good one, and he has earned it.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      He has been a very presentable head of state.

  20. December 23, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Does anyone have Donald Trump’s email address? Is there any way we could link him to Consortium News and have a prayer of a chance that he or one of his trusted advisers would read it??
    Today’s was such a great article, Parry put so many aspects right on the money. I am awed by his talents at analyzing and writing clearly, and without being pompous or nasty.

  21. Bill Bodden
    December 24, 2016 at 12:12 am

    There is a continuing thread of hope and optimism in the posts related to Trump that he will prove to be a good president in some instances if not all. This is similar to the mistake people made about Barack Obama. They ignored the signals. One was campaign donations. These were less of a factor in Trump’s case; nevertheless, he took some big donations. Pro-Israel Sheldon Adelson and his wife were two of his big donors. Add his son-in-law and there is no doubt Trump will be pro-Israel. Check the top figures among cabinet officials and advisers. You won’t get a government of, by and for the people out of that lot. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/23/the-trump-team-billionaires-and-generals/

    There may be some good things for the people in store, but they will be few and far between..

    • backwardsevolution
      December 24, 2016 at 1:55 am

      Bill – Trump is not Barack Obama. Not even close. Do you think that Obama could have stood up to everything that Trump has had to deal with? I don’t think so. He would have folded like a cheap tent. Nobody touched Obama. He waltzed into the presidency. Trump has had to claw his way there.

      In the end, you might be right about Trump. But his announcement of Kellyanne Conway (his campaign manager) as his new Counselor to the President implies that he is still intent on following through with what he promised. Otherwise, why would she still be there? I think he wants to do what he promised. Whether they will let him is another question.

    • Junius
      December 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      What’s that old saying about keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer? Remember how Lincoln constituted his first cabinet, with arrogant men of influence who thought they could manipulate what they scorned as an uneducated backwoods hayseed. But Lincoln used them to learn how to work the system, then he weeded out the useless ones and kept those he could shape to carry out his agenda.

      Trump is enough of a fighter to do just what he promised he would do, but he has to first learn the ground rules, and then effectively neutralize the substantial dissenting factions within his own party. He already has the support of the American people.

      This is what strong leadership in time of crisis looks like. We have not seen this quality in the useless intellectual wimp, the holy-rolling frat boy, or the lecherous sell-out who inhabited the White House these last twenty years while their country was being dismembered by the One Percenters.

      And Trump is a One Percenter. As such he has the insider’s advantage in the war to break the unholy power of that class – something the rest of us do not have a chance in hell of accomplishing from the outside.

      • Wm. Boyce
        December 24, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        “He already has the support of the American people.” Uh, Ms. Clinton won the popular vote by at least 2.8 million people, so I don’t think you’re right there.

      • Bill Bodden
        December 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

        What’s that old saying about keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer?

        Except Trump is surrounded only by “friends” who appear to have similar attitudes that divorce them from the real worlds of people in America’s middle and lower economic strata.

      • backwardsevolution
        December 25, 2016 at 2:23 am

        Junius – excellent post!

  22. union horse
    December 24, 2016 at 12:17 am

    tour de force
    bravo

  23. Jefferson
    December 24, 2016 at 3:58 am

    What a remarkably free country the U.S. is. Where else can foreign agents operate so freely as they do in the U.S. ? Where else can you merely change your title from Zionist zealot to NeoCon and be so readily accepted ? Where else can you BUY the electorate of a superpower and have this activity formally approved as “free speech” . Those fellows in Latin America and Asia just don’t understand “freedom” when they call it “bribery”. Those American soldiers who bled and died in the Middle East fought for “freedom” . Unfortunately “freedom” was used by the NeoCons as a cover to achieve the aims and goals of Benjamin Netanyahu, not the interests of the people of the United States.

  24. Michael Morrissey
    December 24, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I agree fully with Parry, and I find it a “a very positive thing indeed” to have him around. I hope Trump’s people pay attention. When the resistance to Trump’s appointments rises, e.g., when they try to reject Tillerson just because he is friendly to Russia, I hope there will be “feet in the street” if necessary to protest — which will very likely be the case since the CIA/MSM conspiracy that Parry talks about will certainly continue. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and swamps cannot be cleared in a day. Trump is still a question mark, as Parry says, but he is the best hope we’ve got at the moment. I would like to see Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders get on board, though I doubt that they will. But why not. They could do so with the same caveat that Parry (and I) and others have. Of course he may fail and disappoint us, but what is absolutely certain is that we will fail even if tries to do the right thing unless he has support from “the people,” with journalists like Parry and Ray McGovern leading the way.

  25. Tsigantes
    December 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Small point – but –
    “the racist canard that Obama was born in Kenya.”

    As a European I can understand your calling this claim a canard, but fail to understand why it should be racist.
    Unless PC in the United States means that one must no longer remark that Obama is not white and Kenyans are mostly black?
    Isn’t this in contradiction to Identity Politics?

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      America is obsessed with race mainly because the media uses race to divide and conquer. PC is the result and has, in my view, mostly destroyed and disabled the left. It’s all identity politics all the time in the media and universities.

  26. December 24, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Mr. Parry

    “………..Eight years ago, President Barack Obama had a similar opportunity but chose to accommodate the Establishment and empower the neocons and liberal hawks by appointing his infamous “team of rivals”: Republican Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, liberal-hawk Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and leaving in place President George W. Bush’s military high command, including neocon-favorite Gen. David Petraeus.……….It now is clear that if Hillary Clinton had won, the drive to silence any dissent against the neocon/liberal-hawk orthodoxy would have escalated…….”

    Neoconservative influence reached its peak early in the first term with the invasion of Iraq, but waned considerably after that. By the end of his second term, George W. Bush refused to give the green light for an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program effectively ending neocon influence. The all-powerful PNAC became defunct in 2006. It’s nothing more than populist rhetoric to invoke the neoconservatives when discussing the Obama Administration.

    1. The Obama administration re-established diplomatic relations with Syria in 2010 after Bush shut down the US embassy because of the role of Syria played in the assassination of Rafik Hariri. The Obama administration was far more interested in diplomacy than war.
    2. The Obama Administration passed on bombing Assad after the chemical weapons attack on civilians. Obama chose to diplomatically resolve the standoff with Russia by removing his very large chemical weapons stockpile. The Assad regime still used chemical weapons after they were supposedly removed as documented by the UN with still no response from the Obama administration. Obama chose diplomacy over escalating the war in Syria.
    3. The Obama Administration resolved the Iranian nuclear crisis by signing the agreement with Iran. Again, this was a diplomatic win for Obama over the alternative of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    In addition, neocon “favorite” General Petraeus believed that resolving the IP conflict was important to US regional Middle East interests (“Petraeus’s Israel Problem” http://natl.re/d0eTFb):

    “……….enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to advance our interest in the AOR (Area of Responsibility). Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizbollah and Hamas……..”

    This hardly reflects Neoconservative philosophy. Neither do the other points listed above. Certainly the Obama administration bowed to establishment policies generated since the end of WWII by projecting US power in Libya and Syria (by arming the rebels). Regime change was the official policy of the US government in Syria, but the Obama administration did the minimum in that regard. Obama was a domestic President disinterested in foreign policy. The use of drones to attack and harass al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda linked terrorists was the notable exception.

    The anti-Hillary crusade supported by antiwar and far left commentators pinned their hopes on Trump who has already threatened to move the US embassy to Jerusalem; appointed a hardline supporter of settlements as the Israeli Ambassador and has stirred up trouble with China on multiple fronts. In fact, Trump could destabilize the world. That’s a big gamble.

    • December 24, 2016 at 10:15 am
    • Wm. Boyce
      December 24, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      “It’s nothing more than populist rhetoric to invoke the neoconservatives when discussing the Obama Administration.”

      Uh, the neo-cons goal of regime change in Russia is alive and well, at least until January 20, 2017. NATO’s antics in the Ukraine have been reported pretty thoroughly by Gareth Porter, and we’re talking about playing with nuclear fire there.

      • December 24, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        “………Uh, the neo-cons goal of regime change in Russia is alive and well, at least until January 20, 2017…..”

        I am sure that the US government would love to have someone a little more amicable running Russia just like Putin would love to have a say in the US elections…….oh, he did!

        “………NATO’s antics in the Ukraine have been reported pretty thoroughly by Gareth Porter……”

        Did Gareth Porter report on Russian antics in Ukraine? Does Gareth Porter recognize the Ukraine is in Russia’s sphere of influence and Ukrainians should just submit to Russian subjugation? And did Gareth Porter believe that Russia was just going to let Ukraine fall to the west without a “fight”? Above all else, the loss of Ukraine to the west was a massive failure of Russian intelligence – a more or less joint venture between the SBU and the FSB.

        The revolt began when Yanukovych rejected closer ties to the EU in favor of Russia (as ordered by Putin). That had nothing to do with the US. Yanukovych was democratically-ousted after the violent crack down on protesters. As a result, the Russians annexed the Crimea Peninsula and continue to militarily support a war in Eastern Ukraine undermining the new Ukrainian government. Thousands of innocent people have been killed because Putin feels violated – in his sphere of influence. Finally, Russia violated the Budapest Memorandum recognizing the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Sure Ukrainians were fine when they were eating out of his hand, but what is a signed agreement among friends if conditions change – especially for a former KGB agent?

    • December 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      I like your comment but, mainly, I see things differently. The neocons are a varied lot with several factions but they share the following attributes: 1) an almost fanatical belief in American Exceptionalism, i.e., they believe that the U.S. has a duty (because of its multi-cultural and unique cultural attributes) to rule the world and can only achieve cohesion through accepting the burden of Empire; and 2) this Empire must achieve COMPLETE domination of the globe in which no rivals can be tolerated–the entire world must be under the direct control, without appearing to be, of Washington.

      The neocons are at the most powerful faction within the foreign policy/national security elite. However, they do not have the sort of power they had in 2004 but they are solidly intent because they offer a solid and intellectually compelling belief structure at a time of growing corruption and moral confusion. They also have the virtue of supporting perpetual war which gives them the indluence of the military-industrial-contractor-Congressioal complex which CANNOT EVER be opposed. Even “realists” have to support some kind of permanent war status through smoke and mirrors. Trump, has emphasized “rebuilding” the military in order to keep this powerful force away from causing too much mischief. Obama’s support came chiefly from the non-military sector mainly the FIRE sector so he tenede to drag his feet on ambitious neocon projects. But he had to go along with Libya, tacitly supporting Al-qaida and ISIS operations in Syria/Iraq to counter Iranian power and bolster the Saudi/Sunni jihadi networks the CIA had been nurtureing since Allen Dulles. Obama is most certainly not a neocon but he can be vetoed by them at any time. Thus the Kerry/Lavrov agreement was punctured by Ash Carter in the most openly rebellious gesture I have ever seen in my life by any memeber or any administration. He basically vetoed a dimplomatic agreement he and the Air Force (the prime movers as always) of the resistance to peace in the region. The neocons were all set to achieve permanent power if either their favorite candidates Bush or Clinton took office thus the extraordinary and almost embarrassing show of people rendering their garments I’ve ever seen since the neocon ideologues dominate the mainstream media. I have never seen more crying and howling in the press after Obama’s refusal (since he was basically told the Assad “gassing his own people” event was likely a false-flag operation) to go into an all-out war in Syria.

      The neocons have never gone away and are now regrouping mainly in the press to try and create jazz up the emerging Cold War II they’ve attempted to engineer. In addition, the entire structure of NATO is infected by the same neocon philosophy that dominates Washington still. You see, meaning means something and the neocons provide it. Trump, maybe, wants to substitute the American interest for the globalist/Imperial agenda. This is, clearly, the main historical struggle of our time globalism against nationalism. One would eliminate the power of the State as such and replace it with international organizations and structures and the other would consider their main duty the well-being of their citizens or at least those portions deemed worthy. Both have faults and virtues but, for me, globalism is most likely to lead to the destruction of civilization.

      • December 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        I am sorry. I’m not used to this commenting format so I didn’t see your reply which is very detailed and thorough. I need some time to absorb what you are saying. First off, I don’t believe that neoconservatives seek to rule the world, but they do see the US as a force for the global good according to Tibor R Machen (“Currently reading Leo Strauss: Neoconservative?” https://philosophynow.org/issues/59/Leo_Strauss_Neoconservative)

        “………Vigorous defense of a version of liberal democracy; substantial support for certain elements of the free market and society, mainly regarding freedom of thought, religion and the press; and an aggressive position toward any global forces which threaten any of this……”

        The classic example is communism, but it applies to managed democracies and, of course, Islamism. Neoconservatives believe that the USSR was the evil empire.

        In addition I don’t believe that Obama “tacitly supporting Al-qaida and ISIS operations in Syria/Iraq to counter Iranian power and bolster the Saudi/Sunni jihadi networks the CIA had been nurtureing since Allen Dulles……”. Obama reluctantly followed the advice of Hillary Clinton, but the real instigators of the intervention were Britain and France in support of the Arab Spring. This was a liberal intervention, not a conspiracy to empower the jihadists (IMHO).

        Furthermore, different philosophies are prevalent throughout the military. I don’t buy that neoconservative philosophy dominates (as I pointed out with the Petraeus example which represents a more pragmatic approach to foreign policy). Neoconservative philosophy certainly is not dead by any stretch of the imagination, but did it dominate foreign policy thought in the US during the Obama administration? I don’t believe it did. Obama supported a more pragmatic diplomatic approach to foreign policy, but he did cave to more traditional roles of projecting US power which has been a US foreign policy philosophy since WWII.

    • Abe
      December 24, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      After entertaining us with evidence-free claims about “motives” in the DNC “hack” [ see comments at https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/19/russia-hack-story-another-media-failure/ ], “craigsummers” returns with the three top evidence-free staples of Israeli propaganda:

      1. 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri (Reality: No evidence of Syrian involvement)
      2. 2013 chemical weapons attack near Damascus (Reality: Evidence indicated Al-Qaeda terrorist group Al-Nusra was responsible)
      3. Iranian nuclear power plant (Reality: No evidence of active Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons, but Israel has plenty of nuclear weapons)

      Crudely parroting articles from the National Review right-wing journal, “craigsummers” repeatedly assures us that “neoconservative” is passe. OK, forget about “neocons” and “liberal interventionists”. Let’s just say “Israel Lobby puppets” and move on.

      Sorry “craigsummers”, your links still do not work.

      • December 25, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        Abe

        This has nothing to do with Israel, Abe – and nothing to do with the point of my post. By the way, this is just you upchucking anti-Zionism. You need to do little more than add 2+2=Assad to link the Hariri murder to Assad (despite what the Special Tribunal calls a lack of evidence linking Syria to the assassination).

        1. Hariri was a vocal critic of Syrian troops on Lebanese soil. Syria considered Hariri a threat to Syrian hegemony in Lebanon (Wikipedia): .

        “…….He had cross-sectarian appeal and was vocal in his criticism of Syria’s influence in Lebanon, which had been a spillover from the war years. In the months before his death, he had supported a UN resolution calling on Syrian forces to leave the country…….”

        2. This was a professional hit job. Four Hezbollah operatives are accused in the killing which obviously was approved by Hezbollah. Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are strong allies forming the Shia Crescent. Hezbollah depends on shipments of weapons from Syria and Iran (as a deterrent against Israel). Iran uses Syria to route the weapons to Hezbollah. Additionally, Iran created Hezbollah, and Assad controls Lebanon through Hezbollah and the Lebanese military (before the assassination). This was clearly a well planned murder probably involving Iran as well.
        3. With Syrian troops on the ground in Lebanon, Hezbollah certainly needed the go ahead from Assad to assassinate the former very popular Prime Minister of Lebanon, Hariri. After the assassination, Syria was forced to remove their military from Lebanon.

        Despite the lack of evidence connecting Syria to the Assassination (according to the Special Tribunal), it’s completely absurd to believe that Assad had no foreknowledge of the Assassination since the killing was motivated by Hariri’s opposition to Syrian troops on Lebanese soil (among other reasons like the sectarian divide in Lebanon).

        As far as the Ghouta chemical weapons attack, of course Syria and Russia will deny that Syria targeted civilians with chemical weapons. However, western intelligence implicates Assad (Britain, US, Germany, France). German intelligence intercepted a conversation between a Hezbollah operative and the Iranian embassy which called the chemical attack by Assad a “mistake”. However, Assad may not have ordered the attack (according to the same German Intelligence). A UN report also implicated the Assad regime as the likely perpetrator of the chemical attack – and Assad has also used Chlorine gas to attack civilians on numerous occasions (confirmed by the UN). So the use of chemical weapons by Assad was simply meant to save his severely tested regime from collapsing at the time of the attack.

        Sorry, I will have to get to the Iranian nuclear program later.

      • Abe
        December 25, 2016 at 10:37 pm

        Nothing is precisely the point as “craigsummers” just keeps upchucking Hasbara.

        Pro-Israel Hasbara trolls attempt to trash the information space. They aim at confusing the audience, rather than convincing it.

        The Hasbara signature: “despite a lack of evidence” is a slam dunk.

        In reality, the White House report concerning the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack was a “government assessment” as opposed being released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as an “intelligence community assessment.”

        Two purported intercepts of communications that appeared to implicate the Syrian government received prominent media coverage.

        One was a phone call allegedly between Syrian officials as claimed by Israel’s Unit 8200 and passed to the US.

        The other was a phone call allegedly between a high-ranking representative of Hezbollah and the Iranian embassy, in which the purported Hezbollah official said that poison gas had been used and that Assad’s order to attack with chemical weapons had been a strategic error, as claimed by German intelligence.

        On 29 August 2013, the Associated Press reported that, according to two U.S. intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials, the U.S. intercept was a conversation between “low-level” Syrian officials with no direct link to the upper echelons of the government or military.

        The Bild am Sonntag newspaper subsequently reported that German intelligence indicated that Assad had likely not ordered the attacks. According to Bild, “intelligence interception specialists” relying on communications intercepted by the German vessel Oker said that Syrian military commanders had repeatedly been asking permission to launch chemical attacks for around four months, with permission always being denied from the presidential palace. The sources concluded that 21 August attack had probably not been approved by Bashar al-Assad.

        The conspicuous lack of any evidence of Syrian government responsibility for the chemical attacks has been investigated by several independent journalists here on Consortium News.

        Hasbara troll “craigsummers” remains a particularly inept example of Internet sockpuppetry.

        • December 26, 2016 at 12:14 am

          “……..The conspicuous lack of any evidence of Syrian government responsibility for the chemical attacks has been investigated by several independent journalists here on Consortium News……”

          You are simply dismissing the evidence out of convenience. In reality, there is significant evidence for the chemical attacks and the interference in the US election by Russia. And if you had read my post, you would have noticed that I also said that German intelligence said Assad did not order the chemical attack. Even if that is the case, do you really believe because he specifically didn’t order the attack that he is not culpable for what his army does?

          I am more than willing to discuss Israel with you anytime, but you already have gone off topic from what I posted and what the article by Parry covered.

          Thanks.

        • Abe
          December 26, 2016 at 3:11 am

          Western intelligence agencies have presented no evidence of responsibility for the chemical attacks in Syria.

          But “craigsummers” simply dismisses the facts out of embarrassment.

          Confronted with the conspicuous lack of evidence, “craigsummers” uses yet another Hasbara signature phrase:

          “Even if that is the case…”

          Evidence-free government “assessments” on Syria, Iran and Russia have been ceaselessly spun by the usual “regime change” propagandists in mainstream media and fake “citizen journalist” bloggers like Eliot Higgins (aka “Brown Moses”).

          In the case of Syria, Israel continues to occupy the Golan Heights after half a century of direct defiance of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions.

          The US and Israel-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist dirty war in Syria has everything to do with Israel’s “security” agenda.

          The Israeli government and Israel Lobby in the United States openly drive neocon/liberal-hawk establishment pressures for conflict with Syria, Iran and Russia.

          Robert Parry’s article covered the facts of “the neocon/liberal-hawk pressures for war and more war” including “escalating the U.S. role in the ‘regime change’ war in Syria”.

          Independent investigative journalists like Parry continue to present facts and evidence, including the obvious lack of evidence in cases like the 2013 chemical attack in Syria and the 2016 DNC hack.

          Hasbara trolls simply dismiss, distract, divert, deny, deceive and distort the facts, all the while insisting that “significant evidence” exists… somewhere.

          • December 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

            Honest(ly) Abe, the UN has conclusively documented the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime besides their likely use of sarin gas at Ghouta in 2013 (U.N. Claims Syrian Regime and Islamic State Used Chemical Weapons http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/24/u-n-claims-syrian-regime-and-islamic-state-used-chemical-weapons/):

            “…….The three-member panel, headed by Argentine chemical weapons expert Virginia Gamba, was established by the U.N. security council in August 2015 to identify the individuals, armed groups or government agencies that used chemical weapons in Syria. They focused on nine cases where an earlier fact-finding mission established that chemical weapons had been used: eight involved the Syrian government’s alleged use of chlorine gas, and one involved the use of sulfur mustard by the islamic State…….The panel said that its investigation was hamstrung by dire security conditions that precluded visits to the sites or interviews with local eyewitnesses, and had sought an additional six months to conclude its work. They only had enough confidence to make definitive judgments in three cases. The team reported varying degrees of certainty about Syrian complicity in the remaining seven cases……. The report “points to the Syrian government’s and ISIS’s responsibility for the sickening, illegal use of chemical weapons in Syria,” said Louis Charbonneau, the U.N.representative for Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The U.N. Security Council should now ensure that those responsible for these attacks are brought to justice in a court of law.”…….”

            Besides the two conclusive uses of chemical weapons, an additional seven cases have the signature of the Assad regime, but what would the UN investigative team know? You can run, but you can’t hide, Abe. No amount of obfuscating the facts can change that the Syrian regime is the biggest organized terror operation in the world.

            The Assad regime has committed far more war crimes in Syria than any other actor including the brutal ISIS. Indeed, Assad undeniably initiated the war attacking a defenseless civilian population (Amnesty International). You would think that 25,000 (plus) photographs of dead Syrians from torture, execution, mistreatment or a lack of treatment in Assad regime detention prisons/centers might provide a clue why people fled the regime – or that there are currently an estimated 200,000 still in detention centers and regime prisons (with a less than bright future). The use of chemical weapons; the dropping of hundreds of indiscriminately civilian killing barrel bombs; the use of starvation as a war tactic; the massive bombing campaign of Aleppo by the Russians and Assad (including cluster bombs and bunker busters); the repeated targeting of hospitals and field clinics; double tapping and so on clearly shows who is the biggest terrorist in Syria – and it isn’t the US, Saudi Arabia or Qatar (or ISIS/al-Qaeda), it’s the Assad regime backed by the brutal bombing campaign by Russia. No one else comes even close, and no one has created more refugees than the Assad regime – by far.

            Thanks.

          • Abe
            December 26, 2016 at 3:27 pm

            Hasbara troll “craigsummers” manages to get every relevant fact wrong about the UN report.

            The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) established under United Nations Security Council in Resolution 2235 was tasked with identifying “individuals, entities, groups, or governments involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical,” in Syria.

            In its third report issued on 30 August 2016, the Panel examined nine incidents of alleged chemical weapons use and claimed to have found “sufficient evidence” of three cases of chemical weapons use: Two “chlorine” gas attacks in Idlib governate at Talmenes (21 April 2014) and Sarmin (16 March 2015) were attributed by the JIM to Syrian government forces, and a “sulphur-mustard” gas attack at Marea (21 August 2015) in Aleppo governorate was attributed to the terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh.

            In “UN Team Heard Claims of ‘Staged’ Chemical Attacks” on September 8 2016, Robert Parry covered the many problems and discrepancies in the widely touted UN report

            https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/08/un-team-heard-claims-of-staged-chemical-attacks/

            In addition, what distinguishes the Talmenes and Sarmin incidents is the proliferation of video fakes produced by Jabhat al-Nusra and Western-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist groups headquartered in Idlib.

            Hasbara troll activity on the internet has intensified with the evacuation of defeated Al-Qaeda forces from Aleppo back to Idlib.

            John Ging, Operations Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told the UN Security Council that the evacuation operation from eastern Aleppo, Syria, ended late night on December 22, 2016, with more than 35,000 evacuated, including 20,000 since resolution 2328 (2016) was passed.

            With the ongoing defeat of Israel’s terrorist allies in Syria, we can expect lots more shrieking from “craigsummers”.

          • December 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

            Abe

            “……….In “UN Team Heard Claims of ‘Staged’ Chemical Attacks” on September 8 2016, Robert Parry covered the many problems and discrepancies in the widely touted UN report……”

            Read what you wrote: “Parry covered the many problems and discrepancies in the widely touted UN report”. Parry cast doubt on the UN report, but he certainly did not disprove them. The UN report is still credible and their summary still stands. Notice also that Parry made no attempt to discredit the chemical attack assigned to the jihadists. Why? Furthermore, if the US was pressuring the UN, then why publish this finding?

            Additionally, Parry cast doubt on the origin of the sarin attack in Ghouta, but did not prove that the “rebels” were behind the attack. Parry obviously questions Seymour Hersh’s credentials in his link to Hersh. Parry wrote in his article, April 7, 2014 (“The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case” https://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/07/the-collapsing-syria-sarin-case/

            “……..But the mystery of who gassed the Ghouta suburb of Damascus killing hundreds of people is one that deserves a serious examination. “If” as Sy Hersh reports the U.S. government has evidence revealing collaboration between radical jihadists in Syria and Turkish intelligence, that should be revealed regardless of the political discomfort it might cause…….” – My insertion of quotes around the “if”

            If the (well-known) Seymour Hersh is a credible source, why does Parry use “if” to describe that the US has evidence of collaboration between radical jihadists and Turkish intelligence? This should be a “slam dunk” since Hersh outlines clearly that the Turkish government wanted the Obama administration to intervene because Erdogan desired a “client-state” in Syria. Hersh describes this in detail. Hersh also uses a single source – a Russian (no less) – to suggest that the sarin used in the Ghouta attack was not known to be in the Assad chemical weapons arsenal.

            “……The former intelligence official said the Russian who delivered the sample to the UK was ‘a good source – someone with access, knowledge and a record of being trustworthy’…….”

            That’s not going to fly.

            Finally, the chemical watchdog, OPCW, reported in August this year that traces of chemicals were found that were never declared by Assad. This included a “troubling pattern of incomplete and inaccurate Syrian disclosures over the past three years about the scope of the country’s chemical weapons program” (Foreign Policy, “EXCLUSIVE: U.S. and Europe Say Assad May Have Kept Some Chemical Weapons”):

            “…….The world’s chemical weapons watchdog has repeatedly found traces of deadly nerve agents in laboratories that Syria insisted were never part of its chemical weapons program, raising new questions about whether Damascus has abided by its commitments to destroy all of its armaments, according to a highly confidential new report……..discoveries of precursors for chemical warfare agents like soman and VX at several undeclared facilities, including two on the outskirts of Damascus, underscored what a 75-page report by the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) describes as a troubling pattern of incomplete and inaccurate Syrian disclosures over the past three years about the scope of the country’s chemical weapons program…….Those gaps have confounded the inspectors’ attempts to verify whether or not Syria has fully abandoned its chemical weapons program……….”

            A little cat and mouse with the inspectors – a la Saddam Hussein. It should be noted that the UN and OPCW estimate “more than 130 alleged chemical- or toxic-chemical weapons attacks, including with sulfur mustard, sarin, VX and chlorine, between December, 2015, and August, 2016” (Foreign Policy). The rebels are rather busy, no?

            Thanks Abe

          • Abe
            December 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm

            Thanks “craigsummers”

            Colum Lynch played a key part in the Washington Post’s “diplomatic reporting” on the Iraq war.

            Lynch now writes the spin for Foreign Policy magazine, writing lurid evidence-free screeds about what the Syrian government “might have hidden”.

            In fact, Syrian authorities have extended the necessary cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in accordance with the implementation of agreements regarding chemical weapons.

            Progress has been made in clarifying the outstanding issues, and the Syrian Arab Republic has provided necessary scientific and technical data related to various facets of its chemical weapons program. From the beginning, UN efforts in Syria have been complicated by the ongoing terrorist assault on the Syrian people and their government.

            INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

            Pursuant to Security Council resolution 2235 (2015), the 24 August 2016 third report from the Leadership Panel of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) outlines the concluding assessments to date:

            UN document S/2016/738
            https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N16/269/75/PDF/N1626975.pdf

            The findings of the the OPCW Panel report: “insufficient evidence”.

            Lynch’s job is to make the OPCW “insufficient evidence” look like Syria “might have hidden” something.

            In his series of articles, Lunch dismisses, distracts, diverts, denies, deceives and distorts the facts of the OPCW report.

            What Lynch ends up presenting is not the report, but what the humanitarian interventionist war propagandists at Human Rights Watch and others want you to think about what might be in the report.

            Meanwhile Israel’s long-term, undeclared and large nuclear, chemical, and biological programs pose a major security threat to Syria, other nations in the Middle East, and Europe.

            ISRAEL’S HIDDEN WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

            Estimates of Israeli nuclear weapons range up to 400. Much of what is known about Israel’s nuclear program comes from revelations in 1986 by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center who served an 18-year prison sentence as a result. Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

            Israel has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In late 1982 a probable CW nerve agent production facility and a storage facility were identified at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert. Other CW agent production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry. In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities.

            The US Congress Office of Technology Assessment records Israel as a country possessing a long-term, undeclared biological warfare program. Israel is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). It is believed that Israel maintains an offensive biological weapons program.

            Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense Dr. Bill Richardson said in 1998 “I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time… There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years.”

          • Abe
            December 28, 2016 at 1:17 am

            United Nations Security Council document S/2016/738

            Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) –
            United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)
            24 August 2016

            https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N16/269/75/PDF/N1626975.pdf

            Reader note: The Official Document System (ODS) is an online database of UN documents.
            To view the pdf document, simply copy and paste the URL into your web browser.

          • Abe
            December 28, 2016 at 2:24 am

            United Nations Security Council document S/2016/888

            Fourth report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) –
            United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)
            21 October 2016

            http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2016_888.pdf

            Significantly, the fourth report’s claim of “sufficient information” of an additional “chlorine” incident in Idlib governate at Qmenas (16 March 2015) relied on “analysis by a defence research institute”.

  27. Mahatma
    December 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

    After doing just about everything possible to anger and alienate Trump and Trump voters – aka the insurgency against the Neoliberal establishment – the left is finally beginning to get the idea.

    Yes Trump will try to implement policies harmful to working people and make huge mistakes which will inadvertently cause suffering. However, how much more suffering can be heaped on the people of Ferguson? Not much. Yes, suffering will go on under Trump and it will be all the same people who would suffer under Clinton.

    However, if Trump can change the geopolitical profile of the US (Global full spectrum domination by 2020) to something even a little more positive, if he can make a successful rapprochement with Russia he will have accomplished more than the left could dream of accomplishing in the next 50 years.

    Instead to pissing off every single insurgent and belittling the insurgency and the the people who support is the left is failing everything it is supposed to stand for.

    The left should be right in the thick of this insurgency, trying to shape policies have influence and strengthen the insurgency instead almost the entire left is acting like any other established order and fighting against positive change.

    The insurgency has far more opportunity to make positive change than to cause more mass suffering but the left hates the insurgency because it is not theirs.

    But then, given the track record of the left who is surprised?

    • Junius
      December 24, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      I wonder where you have spotted specimens of the elusive American Left. There has been no Left in American political discourse for perhaps four decades. The liberty of the people was once ensured in the lively debate that formerly, briefly existed between Left and Right in American politics. It has been replaced by today’s florid posturing between Right-of-Center “liberals” and Far Right extremists. These are the only two political manifestations that are treated as serious in our rigidly controlled media.

      And let’s not forget that modern liberalism evolved as a reactionary movement to defuse the revolutionary radicalism of the nineteenth century. Liberalism is at heart about the preservation of property rights and the status quo. The elephant in the liberal living room is the embarrassing reality that our society is organized on the exploitation of one class by another. Elements of progressivism are incorporated into the published dogma of liberalism, but liberals fight just as vigorously as conservatives to see that these goals are never achieved in a way that infringes on their privileged social and economic status.

  28. Dan
    December 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    While I understand the desire to find a silver lining on the selection of President-elect Man-Baby, it is apparent that the downside of this coming administration far outweighs any potential upside.

    While it’s cathartic to hope that President Man-Baby can break the neocon establishment grip on US foreign policy, in particular, US coddling of the House of Saud, it is likely he will fall in line just like Obama and every other US president has going back to Carter.

    Time will tell.

    I guess it’s fun to dream…

    .

  29. ltr
    December 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    A sort of holiday wish essay, but interesting all the same.

  30. Wm. Boyce
    December 24, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the excellent article Mr. Parry, and I hope others will consider donating to this Web site as I have.

    That being said, I think any examination of Mr. Trump’s past reveals an unstable sociopath who is now 70 years of age. How many people do you know reach that age and undergo a total transformation into a different person? His latest tweet storm about starting a nuclear arms buildup while at the same time he wants better relations with Russia sure make sense, don’t they?

    This is going to be a very rough ride.

  31. December 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Great piece–you seem to have a good idea of what is going on in Washington unlike nearly all of the “left” or what is left of it. Those of us who are in opposition to the mainstream Narrative and are anti-imperialist need to learn from you. Trump is, as Scott Adams tells us, a “master-manipulator.” Most of the moves he has made since being elected and those he made to get elected show a man of unique political genius. The appointments so far seem to indicate a high-level of understanding of the nature and consistency of power-relations in Washington. He has appointed military leaders who have shown some independence but who have substantial support from that most important of all cliques that are essential to taking power–guyz with gunz. Without these guys Trump would be unlikely to live very long either actually or metaphorically. Almost as important he put together a cabinet of powerful individuals who are not operatives of various corporate interests but powerful people with armies of lawyers, lobbyists, operatives, and muscle. This is what the liberal/progressives seem to actually refuse to understand–politics is “realpolitik” that is governed by laws of power and not a contest between sermons and lectures. I have power to the extent I can help my friends and hurt my enemies–doesn’t mean I have to use that power–it is enough that I have it. Trump is now equipped to at least go into battle with a respectable show of force against the powers arrayed against him.

    Obama, in contrast, came into power as a vassal of the FIRE and some other sectors–he had very little power on his own other than his ability to flim-flam and bullshit both of which he did marvelously. The best he could do was drag his feet which he did at times as in negotiating with Iran, not escalating in Ukraine and keeping a lid on Syria. For this he must be commended–he did the best he could as a realist fighting the almost overwhelming power of the neocons and their “liberal” allies particularly in the mainstream media. However, he quietly expanded Bush’s attack on civil liberties and expansion of the power of the Executive branch which, unfortunately, had him as only one voice out of many in the policy arena.

    • Wm. Boyce
      December 25, 2016 at 1:31 am

      ” Most of the moves he has made since being elected and those he made to get elected show a man of unique political genius.”

      Dude, tell me that in six months.

    • dmorista
      December 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

      There is an unrealistic air of hope here about the accession of Donald Trump; who inherited a huge amount of money and real estate resources in the FIRE and Zionist capital of the U.S. and the World, i.e. New York City. He has been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits during his “career”, has consistently used H1B visa holders and undocumented workers in his various projects, has stiffed many of the small businesses that were contracted to provide goods or services to his endeavors, produced all his “Trump” brand products in low-wage countries, has run many flim flam operations such as Trump University, received very favorable treatment on his taxes and in his 6 bankruptcies, and of course obtained 5 conscription deferrments during the Vietnam War period and has bragged about his personal “contribution” to the conflicts of the era (i.e. he valiantly navigated the New York Disco scene and avoided contracting any sexually contracted diseases), and so on and so on. In other words he has been a typical Capitalist con-man in the current socioecoonomic milieu that pertains to the U.S., if anything he has been one of the more egregious swindlers around. His cabinet and advisor nominations for domestic policy positions so far include exclusively people who want to eliminate the social services that the working and middle classes depend on to survive and maintain a decent life. His nomination of Mattis would place a hardliner, who wants to confront Iran, in charge of the ill-named Department of Defense (it was more honestly called the War Department before WW 2). In other words he is another extremely unlikely champion for the common people (the Corporate Controlled Media mounted major campaigns to bolster the image of the two previous similar Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, we already see the beginnings of the legitimation of Trump).

      The American Deep State has many components that often support their favored candidates for office, particularly in the Presidential races, using a variety of techniques fair and foul; but know well how to make nice with the winner regardless of who they actually supported. The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) clearly has nothing to fear from a Trump presidency and his professed desire to “rebuild the military” and the munition makers stocks have rallied since the “election” results were announced. The Intelligence and Covert Operations agencies {ICO} (public and private, we should note that 70% of public monies spent on ICO operations are allocated to private contractors) will land on their feet. The Zionist organizations and wealthy Zionist Jews, that largely though not exclusively supported Clinton, have already deftly moved over to the Trump camp. Similar moves are certainly underway by any other Deep State elements that were, to one degree or another, in the Clinton camp, this would include the Health Care Industry, finance capital and banking sector, etc.

      The reality of the American geostrategic situation is that the U.S. has been decisively defeated in the two recent overt wars (Iraq and Afghanistan); and in general suffers from the consequences of 40 years of concerted deindustrialization and massive investments in low-wage countries. The China / Russia alliance is now consolidating its control of the Eurasia / Africa “World Island” land mass with its overwhelming portion of the planet’s population and resources. In the last couple of decades China built 65,000 km of first rate divided highways and 20,000 km of new or upgraded high speed rail lines, with another 10,000 km under construction, along with many other serious infrastructure investments. The Chinese now propose various projects to tie in China with the rest of Eurasia and Africa, including Europe. They now build the infrastructure to extract resources from “Third World” countries, much as the British and the Americans once did. The U.S. is unable to even maintain its own infrastructure, physical or social, and has managed to build only about ½ of a high speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and runs a faux high speed rail line from Boston to Washington, using the Canadian built Accela trains, on old outmoded tracks. Water systems, libraries, schools, clinics, road systems, and the small amount urban public transportation in the U.S., are all suffering from lack of investment. The U.S. will be gradually pushed out of Eurasia and Africa regardless of who occupies the White House or what BS is peddled at CSIS, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, or any of the other pro-imperialist think tanks.

      Perhaps the last major militaristic effort by the U.S. ruling class and its MIC will be undertaken to, once again, pull Israel’s chestnuts out of the fire. Israel, while a very advanced society in technological terms, is a small country that even with the endless American support of money and military hardware, cannot actually take on a project as large as attacking Iran. I find arguments that 9-11, a fairly obvious inside job of some sort and a huge complex undertaking, and the many other fishy events that occurred in its wake, were handled by a combination of Deep State elements of the U.S. in concert with Mossad and Israeli military intelligence. This harnessed the U.S. into the job of attacking Iraq and reducing it to a set of Bantustans with virulent sectarian conflicts keeping their populations at each other’s throats. A development very much to the liking of the Israeli far-right, while at the same time very unfavorable to American geostrategic interests. I do not think that all American foreign policy is controlled by a cabal of Jews, the U.S. is a much larger country than Israel with global interests, but Israeli / Zionist interests are very much focused on the Near East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. There have been several wars and proxy wars in the region that further the program far-right Israelis, e.g. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Mozambique, and Yemen (wars that include[d] significant input from Europe, Saudi Arabia, the gulf Emirates, and Turkey). At this point the proxy war in Syria appears to be failing and the various fanatical Islamist factions are getting pushed out, this precludes any attacks on Iran that do not include American intervention. The Israeli far-right, that is certainly aware that the U.S. is in terminal decline and will not be a major factor much longer, would not hesitate to push the U.S. into attacking Iran on their behalf. These Israeli factions don’t care about the consequences for the. U.S. itself, either geostrategically or in terms of internal cohesion. I have seen Mattis talk, he is clearly intelligent and thoughtful (much more so than Trump who is generally unbelievably ill-informed but does not hesitate to shoot from the hip). Elements of the high command of the U.S. military has resisted conducting an attack on Iran now for several years; hopefully any services rendered by Trump et. al. to Israel will not include a war with Iran.

  32. dj anderson
    December 25, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Robert Parry has written a fine piece here, as usual, but the logic that the birther issue is evidence Trump is racist eludes me. While Trump might or might not be more or less racist, the birther attack was an attack on Obama being eligible to run for office, as I saw it, then legitimately president. That Obama is African-American was already obvious without pointing it out. Mostly the birther issue’s function was to propel Trump into the headlines regularly. Trump found the birther question superior, for his purposes, to questioning policy or actions. Until some reality befalls me I will say this was just a trivial tidbit of Mr. Parry keyboarding a bit too fast, just as I comment much about little.

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