Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s 15-year-long “global war on terror” has spread death and chaos across entire regions – while also imposing propaganda narratives on Americans – with no end in sight, says Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

The U.K.-based monitoring group reports that 41 U.S-led air strikes targeting ISIS in Iraq and Syria killed at least 296 civilians during the week after the chemical weapons incident on April 4. U.S. cruise missiles reportedly killed another nine civilians in villages near the Shayrat airbase that was targeted on April 7th.

Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilots fly near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 5, 2017. The pilots are assigned to the 7th Infantry Division’s Task Force, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.The unit is preparing to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support. (Army photo by Capt. Brian Harris)

But the fragmentary reports compiled by can only reveal a fraction of the true numbers of civilians killed by U.S. and allied bombing in Iraq and Syria. These are only the minimum numbers of civilians killed in 41 of the 178 air strikes reported by the U.S military that week.

In other war zones, when such compilations of “passive” reports have been followed up by more comprehensive, scientific mortality studies, the true number of civilians killed has proved to be between 5 and 20 times higher than numbers previously reported by “passive” methods. [For a fuller discussion of the differences between passive reporting of civilian deaths and actual estimates based on scientific mortality studies, see’s “Playing Games With War Deaths.”]

So, based on the fragmentary nature of passive reporting of civilian deaths and the ratios to actual deaths uncovered by more comprehensive studies in other war zones (such as Rwanda, Guatemala, D.R. Congo and U.S.-occupied Iraq), it is likely that U.S.-led air strikes killed at least 1,500 innocent civilians in just this one week, or conceivably as many as 6,000.

To put this scale of civilian deaths in the larger context of the U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria since 2014, the 589 bombs and missiles dropped in the week of April 4- 10 made this only an average week in a campaign that has been waged consistently at this intensity for more than two-and-a-half years.

Airwars has been investigating reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. and “coalition” bombing since 2014. It has investigated U.S. or allied responsibility for incidents that have killed between 8.303 and 12,208 civilians, reported by local and international media and groups like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At this point, it has confirmed that 3,061 to 4,943 civilians have been killed in 1,197 U.S. or allied air strikes. Airwars classifies these deaths as “confirmed.”

Airwars classifies the reporting as “fair” for another 454 strikes that have killed between 2,635 and 4,192 civilians, based on reporting by two or more credible sources and confirmation that an alleged U.S. or allied air strike did take place. Airwars classifies the remaining reports of a further 2,607 to 3,093 civilians as either “fair, but with no confirmed strikes,” “weak,” “contested,” or “discounted.”

Applying the 5 to 20 percent ratio of passive reporting to actual deaths found in other war zones to Airwars’ minimum and maximum figures for “confirmed” and “fair” reports of civilian deaths, a reasonable estimate of total civilians killed by U.S. and allied bombing in Iraq and Syria since 2014 would be between 28,000 and 180,000.

We can hope that Airwars’ thorough investigations have already captured a higher proportion of civilian deaths than were counted by passive reporting in Guatemala (5 percent) or occupied Iraq (8 percent). This would mean that the true number of civilians we have killed is closer to the lower of these numbers than to the upper level.

But a similar effort by Iraqbodycount during the first three years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq only counted about one-twelfth of the violent civilian deaths subsequently revealed by a comprehensive mortality study of the same period, and we will only know for sure whether Airwars has been more successful once we can compare its figures with a comprehensive epidemiological mortality survey of the present conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Claims by U.S. officials that the true civilian death toll from the U.S. and allied bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria is in the hundreds, as opposed to the tens of thousands, have never been credible, as senior officers have occasionally admitted. The uncritical repetition of the U.S. military’s absurd claims by U.S. media as if they were credible estimates of civilian deaths is a journalistic scandal. This has only served to increase the near-total ignorance among much of the American public about the real human costs of the wars being waged in our name.

As with the reporting of domestic gun violence in the U.S., occasional reports of single acts of mass killing grab headlines, but give only a hint of the constant slaughter that rages on unreported, day in, day out, in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and across the ever-spreading area of the world being dragged into the bloodbath unleashed since 2001 by the U.S. “Global War on Terror.”

Nationalism, Ignorance and Consequences

There is another critical factor in the under-reporting of these constant, daily atrocities, one that has probably been a common pattern in every war ever fought. George Orwell described it very well in an essay entitled “Notes on Nationalism” that was published in May 1945, as the allies celebrated Germany’s surrender at the end of World War II.

Author George Orwell.

“Actions are held to be good or bad,” Orwell wrote, “not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral color when it is committed by “our” side… The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

Far from treating this prejudice as a problem to be overcome through public accountability and serious journalism, our current military and civilian leaders and their media mouthpieces treat this kind of nationalism as a weakness they can exploit to further suppress public awareness of their own atrocities.

Then, when a single horrific incident like the mass casualty air strike on West Mosul on March 17 breaks through this wall of silence into the public consciousness, the propaganda machine is quick to frame our killing of civilians as “unintentional” and contrast it with the “deliberate” killing of civilians by our enemies.

The eminent historian Howard Zinn pointed out the flaw in this frame of reference in a letter published in the New York Times in 2007, based partly on his own experience as a a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II:

“These words are misleading because they assume an action is either ‘deliberate’ or ‘unintentional.’ There is something in between, for which the word is ‘inevitable.’ If you engage in something like aerial bombing, in which you cannot possibly distinguish between combatants and civilians (as a former Air Force bombardier, I will attest to that), the deaths of civilians are inevitable, even if not ‘intentional.’ Does that difference exonerate you morally?”

“The terrorism of the suicide bomber and the terrorism of aerial bombardment are indeed morally equivalent,” Howard Zinn concluded, “To say otherwise (as either side might) is to give one moral superiority over the other, and thus serve to perpetuate the horrors of our time.”

Chemical Weapons: Propaganda and History

The persistent role of chemical weapons in U.S. propaganda to justify attacks on Iraq and Syria turns on its head the way that Western powers actually used chemical weapons themselves in the past. During World War I, American factories produced 5,770 tons of chemical weapons for use by the U.S. and its allies on the Western Front, and this was only a small fraction of the weapons produced and used by the U.K., France and Germany.

Sir Winston Churchill.

This past weekend marks the centenary of the first time that chemical weapons were used in the Middle East, by British forces in the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917, where they failed to dislodge the Ottoman defenders barring the British advance to Jerusalem and Damascus.

As British occupation forces faced a nationwide rebellion in Iraq in 1920, British leaders in London sent chemical weapons to Iraq, but historians disagree on whether they were actually used. British forces relied mainly on bombing, and fire-bombing in particular, to put down the rebellion and enforce British rule in Iraq. One of the British squadron leaders in Iraq, Arthur Harris, is better know to history as Air Marshall “Bomber” Harris, who ordered the fire-bombing of Dresden and other German cities in World War II.

Winston Churchill was a strong advocate for the use of chemical weapons. As War Minister during the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Versailles, he wrote in a memo to his staff:

“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favor of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”

At that time, the British Army’s Manual of Military Law stated explicitly that the laws of war applied only to war “between civilized nations” and “do not apply in wars with uncivilized States and tribes.” The United Nations Charter in 1945 and the revised Geneva Conventions in 1949 formally abolished such legal distinctions between wealthy Western nations and the rest of the world. But attitudes born of wealth, privilege and racism die hard, and the purpose of much of today’s Western propaganda is to convince the world of the moral superiority of our mass technological violence over the asymmetric warfare of our less wealthy and more lightly armed enemies.

As Howard Zinn concluded, these claims to moral superiority only serve to perpetuate a mutually-reinforcing cycle of violence and to foreclose any attempt to resolve any of these conflicts except through even greater violence.

The unwritten rule that our propaganda seeks to impose on the world is that the U.S. and its allies have the right to use unrestrained, unlimited violence at will, with total impunity, while any country or government that dares to oppose us forfeits any right to defend itself, to determine its own future, or even to exist.

After George W. Bush’s administration’s crimes alienated much of the world, President Obama conducted the next phase of this aggressive policy under cover of his iconic image as a hip, sophisticated celebrity-in-chief with roots in African-American and modern urban culture. This triumph of style over substance constituted a new achievement in neoliberal “managed democracy,” allowing him to carry out policies that were the polar opposite of what his supporters thought he stood for.

With Trump, the mask is off, and the world is suddenly faced with the unvarnished reality of an aggressive military power that accepts no legal constraints on its violence.

Justice for War Crimes

If we or our leaders ever seriously want to prevent war crimes and hold war criminals responsible, we must start with the basic principle of justice invoked by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson at the London Conference that drew up the Nuremberg Principles in 1945. But this is a principle that Trump, Obama and other present-day U.S. leaders would find quite alien. Robert Jackson declared:

The second plane about to crash into the World Trade Center towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

“If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”

When civilians in New York, Washington and on a plane flying over Pennsylvania became victims of an unprecedented crime of mass murder on Sept. 11, 2001, former Nuremberg chief investigator and prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz was a lonely voice invoking another basic principle of justice. Ferencz demanded genuine criminal accountability for the crimes committed, and insisted that only the guilty should be punished.

On Sept. 19, 2001, Ben Ferencz was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR). “It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done,” he told NPR’s Katy Clark, “If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don’t approve of what has happened.”

Clark asked him, “So what do you say to skeptics who believe the judicial process is inadequate because it is very slow and very cumbersome?”

“I realize that it is slow and cumbersome,” Ferencz replied, “but it is not inadequate. I say to the skeptics, ‘Follow your procedure and you’ll find what happens… We will have more fanatics and more zealots coming to kill the evil, the United States.’ We don’t want to do that. We want to uphold our principles. The United States was the moving party behind the Nuremberg Trials and behind insisting upon the rule of law.”

As Ben Ferencz predicted only a week after the 9/11 attacks, our failure to follow the “slow and cumbersome” path of justice and our resort to systematically indiscriminate and illegal threats and uses of force has left us trapped in a cycle of violence that has so far destroyed half a dozen countries and killed about 2 million people.

More are being killed every day, and our government has no mechanism or policy in place to prevent further, even unlimited escalation. Like a blinded and wounded giant, the U.S. lashes out at every perceived enemy on every pretext, falsely invoking laws, values and standards of accountability that our leaders doggedly refuse to apply to their own actions.

Our leaders effectively claim the sole power to define whose violence is justified and whose is criminal, and on a strictly self-serving basis. Our violence is always legitimate. Our enemies’ is always criminal. Noam Chomsky has referred to this as the “single standard” that governs U.S. foreign policy. It is more traditionally referred to as “might makes right,” or the “law of the jungle.” It bears no relation to the rule of law, except to violate, abuse, undermine and discredit it.

Back Through the Looking Glass

Through several administrations, across political parties, and with the active collaboration of the U.S. mass media, our leaders have replaced the rule of law with the rule of propaganda, treating flaws in our public debates like those exposed by Orwell and Zinn only as weaknesses to be exploited, instead of dangers to beware of. The vital principles of justice upheld by Robert Jackson, Ben Ferencz and the ghosts of Nuremberg are reduced to inconvenient obstacles to be marginalized by propaganda and flushed down the memory hole.

The photograph released by the White House of President Trump meeting with his advisers at his estate in Mar-a-Lago on April 6, 2017, regarding his decision to launch missile strikes against Syria.

Political skill across the spectrum is now measured in the ability to “connect” with the public in a way that is completely divorced from the actual details or effects of government policy. U.S. politics has gradually been reduced to the corrupt circus of smoke and mirrors now personified by President Trump.

And yet we all have to live in the society that our political and economic systems create. The distractions of glitzy political campaigns and Hollywood fantasies can provide only superficial relief from the monopolization of our resources by an insatiably greedy ruling class; the resulting poverty of more and more working Americans; the systematic corruption of every institution of government and society by corporate power, or “inverted totalitarianism”; and the extreme violence of a foreign policy whose only response to the endless crises its militarism provokes is to threaten and then destroy yet another country and kill hundreds of thousands more innocent people.

It is becoming essential to our very survival that we find our way out of this self-destructive propaganda world, back through the looking glass to the real world: to the beautiful but fragile natural world in which we live; to the kaleidoscopic diversity of our fellow human beings and their societies; and to the serious problems we must all work together to resolve if any of what we each value in life is to survive, let alone thrive.

As our wars escalate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, as U.S. warships bear down on Korea, and as our leaders issue new threats against Iran, Russia and China, we may have less time to save ourselves, each other and our world than we have previously assumed.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

123 comments for “Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

  1. richard feibel
    April 20, 2017 at 13:51


  2. SteveK9
    April 18, 2017 at 19:42

    Bernie had good ideas domestically. On foreign policy he was totally ignorant. That’s just the way it was. Trump was by far the most sensible of the major candidates on foreign policy, but unfortunately he turned out to be as stupid as he appeared to be, and easily manipulated.

  3. Peppermint
    April 18, 2017 at 16:54

    “the 589 bombs and missiles dropped in the week of April 4- 10 made this only an average week in a campaign that has been waged consistently at this intensity for more than two-and-a-half years.”

    This is just ONE statistic. Take that in…really let it sink in. Can you imagine our country being bombed like this in one week? It’s insanity; the wasted lives, talent, and resources, not to mention the environmental destruction. Then, at other web-sites people have the gall to call the MOAB an “airstrike” as in “it’s not really war.” So I say, alright, how would it be for you if there was such an “airstrike” in your own neighborhood? How about an “airstrike” one mile away? Does that do anything for ya’? The U.S. is certifiably insane. And I got news for everyone: kamma (karma), in the truest sense of the word as it’s used traditionally, is real. And it’s gonna come back to bite us. As an Icelander said in a movie we watched recently, “Your country can be powerful with its military, but it doesn’t make you great.” The global community needs to take our government to task for the crimes against humanity being perpetuated- stand up to the “great and powerful OZ”- since our own citizenry and elected officials can’t muster up the cojones to do it. For the life of me I don’t understand the passivity of our citizenry. Besides insane, it’s disgraceful. Karma baby, karma.

  4. Abdul Katzman
    April 18, 2017 at 14:49

    Some Turkish, Syrian and Syrian news agencies are reporting that a sen. McCain’s good friend “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been captured during a joint Russian/Syrian intel. operation on Iraq-Syria border.

    • Abdul Katzman
      April 18, 2017 at 14:51

      Correction: … Turkish, Syrian and Russian news agencies …

  5. F. G. Sanford
    April 18, 2017 at 14:45

    My reply to Bill Bodden is “awaiting moderation”. I hope he doesn’t think I’m being rude or simply ignoring him. “Moderation” seems quite a fickle process lately.

  6. Abe
    April 18, 2017 at 14:34

    The US looking glass war of terror began in the late 1970s when the CIA claimed that the Soviets were deeply committed to “revolutionary violence worldwide” a basic part of destabilizing their adversaries. CIA-developed programs to destabilize the Soviet Union included support for terrorist groups in Central Asia and the Caucasus, regions with strong Islamic influences.

    After the revolutions in eastern Europe in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, efforts to destabilize and dismember the post-Soviet space intensified. The CIA-originated network of militant groups mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and the September 11 attacks, thereby providing the U.S. government a pretext for launching an aggressive “War on Terror” focused on the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

    CIA support for terrorist groups reached its zenith with the terrorist assault on Syria in 2011, and the rebranding of Al Qaeda in Iraq as the organization now known as Islamic State (IS) in 2014. Starting in 2015, Russian military aid for the Syrian government halted the advance of terrorist forces in that country, leading to our current perilous moment for global stability.

    Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci offers an accurate assessment of the situation in Syria.

    “The notion that the US is in Syria to ‘fight the Islamic State’ is a documented absurdity. It was the US and its allies, by their own admission, who sought the creation of a ‘Salafist principality’ in eastern Syria precisely where the Islamic State now exists. The militant proxy maintains an immense fighting capacity possible only through equally immense, multinational state sponsorship – provided by the US and Europe and laundered through their regional allies in the Persian Gulf – primarily Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    “Funneling weapons, supplies, and additional fighters to the Islamic State has been for years carried out by NATO-member Turkey which maintained extensive logistical networks connecting the Islamic State’s foreign sponsors to the Syrian territory it was occupying.

    “Upon Russia’s entry into the conflict in late 2015, these logistical networks have been targeted by Russian air power, disrupting them and contributing directly to the Islamic State’s now waning strength across the region. US intervention now serves two purposes, to maintain the defacto partitioning of Syrian territory the Islamic State’s presence contributed to by replacing defeated Islamic State forces with US forces – and to portray the US as having ‘defeated’ the very terrorist proxy front it created in the first place and perpetuated as long as logistically, politically, and militarily possible.

    “US Secretary of State Tillerson’s reaffirmation of US policy rolled out during the Obama administration is yet another illustration of ‘continuity of agenda,’ and how special interests on Wall Street, not politicians in Washington, steer US policy at home and abroad and explains how two apparently politically diametrically opposed presidents have maintained virtually the exact same policy over the course of six years and counting.

    “And while the US clearly lost in its bid to outright overthrow the government of Syria, it continues pursuing an agenda that will divide and destroy the Syrian state through every means available. Continued exposure and resistance to both this agenda and the special interests ultimately driving it is essential to ensure this aspect of US ambitions in the Middle East fails as well.”

    US Didn’t “Change Priorities” in Syria, It Lost
    By Tony Cartalucci

  7. April 18, 2017 at 13:51

    a must read article at link below:
    If Trump cares so much about Syrian babies, why is he not condemning the rebels who slaughtered children?

    Dozens of children were killed in Syria this weekend but where is the US president’s lament on how ‘beautiful’ they are, let alone action? Where are the denunciations by the EU and the UK? The West must react with equal outrage when it is Shias that are the victims of terrorism. Or do we just not care?
    • Robert Fisk
    • @indyvoices 22 hours ago

    There’s no doubting the flagrant, deliberate, vile cruelty of Saturday’s attack. The suicide bomber approached the refugee buses with a cartload of children’s cookies and potato chips – approaching, I might add, a population of fleeing Shia civilians who had been starving under siege by the anti-Assad rebels (some of whom, of course, were armed by us). Yet they didn’t count. Their “beautiful little babies” – I quote Trump on the earlier gas victims – didn’t stir us to anger. Because they were Shias? Because the culprits might have been too closely associated with us in the West? Or because – and here’s the point – they were the victims of the wrong kind of killer….
    [read much more at link below]

    • Abdul Katzman
      April 18, 2017 at 15:10

      Well, it seems to be quite simple, isn’t it – just keep pretending nothing happened.
      Because how would you spin the fact that you are supplying weapons and ammunition that are used to murder children to the very group of “freedom” fighters who have just blew up somewhat 90 children (“babies, little innocent babies” – D.Trump). The best tactics they could come out with is to ignore it.

  8. John Doe II
    April 18, 2017 at 12:38

    — FYI —

    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
    by Timothy Snyder – review

    In the brief chapter that follows the suggestion to “think up your own way of speaking”, Snyder, a professor of history at Yale, dwells on the insights of Victor Klemperer, the great Jewish philologist who studied the ways that the Nazis commandeered language before they commandeered everything else. Klemperer noted how Hitler’s language explicitly undermined all and any opposition. “‘The people’ always meant some people and not others… encounters were always ‘struggles’ and any attempt by free people to understand the world in a different way was ‘defamation’ of the leader.”

    Snyder does not name America’s 45th president in the course of this book, but the nascent administration is never far from his thoughts. Throughout his march to power, Trump used a narrowing of language in an identical way to that which Klemperer described, and has emphasised his populist project by the subordination of word to image. This is a presidency being shaped by the techniques and tone of television and Twitter and YouTube, rather than the progression of rational argument through sentence and paragraph. Trump’s admission that he never reads a book all the way through is symptomatic of his rhetorical style. He offers a “highly constrained [language] to starve the public of the concepts needed to think about the past, present and future”, Snyder argues. In the president’s frame of reference events are only ever bad or sad or mad. With his Dr Seuss vocabulary, he can present the world as a place of simplistic oppositions, stripped of nuance.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 18, 2017 at 14:54

      John Doe II – not to apologize for Trump’s simplicity of speech, but there are many others who have been brilliant orators (Churchill), those who read a good teleprompter (Obama), or those who write a good line (Friedman), but who have turned out to be brilliant liars.

  9. Susan Sunflower
    April 18, 2017 at 10:24

    The prosecution of holocaust related war crimes was curtailed in favor of the War on Communism. Many known crimes and criminals were swept under the rug. I’ve been impressed reading about WWI, the Treaty of Versaille and WWII (and its aftermath) just how much was done to cripple and sabotage the fledgling USSR, including doing nothing when Germany simply never paid reparations to the Russians

    Russia is not the only country disputing WWII reparations with Germany. … “Germany paid compensation for the six million victims of the Holocaust but ignored the 27 million Soviet citizens killed, 16 million of whom were peaceful civilians.”Feb 3, 2015

    “Throughout the duration of the war, 30% of our country’s treasures and national heritage, while 1,710 Soviet cities were destroyed, alongside over 70,000 towns and villages, 32,000 industrial sites, while some 100,000 farming sites were ruined,” Degyaterov said, referring to figures compiled by Stalin’s USSR committee which estimated damages after the war.

    According to Degyaterov these material damages amount to $600 billion, while he also estimated that by virtue of the same principle which obliged Germany to pay Israel €60 billion for the Nazi regime’s execution of over six million Jews during the Holocaust, Russia is owed more as a result to the loss of life on Soviet soil at the hands of the Nazi army.

    “Germany paid compensation for the six million victims of the Holocaust but ignored the 27 million Soviet citizens killed, 16 million of whom were peaceful civilians.”
    Guardian: Opening of UN files on Holocaust will ‘rewrite chapters of history’
    Archive used in prosecution of Nazis reveals detailed evidence of death camps and genocide previously unseen by public

    The once-inaccessible archive of the UN war crimes commission, dating back to 1943, is being opened by the Wiener Library in London with a catalogue that can be searched online.

    Nuremberg trials interpreter Siegfried Ramler: ‘The things we saw were shocking’
    Read more
    The files establish that some of the first demands for justice came from countries that had been invaded, such as Poland and China, rather than Britain, the US and Russia, which eventually coordinated the post-war Nuremberg trials.

    The archive, along with the UNWCC, was closed in the late 1940s as West Germany was transformed into a pivotal ally at the start of the cold war and use of the records was effectively suppressed. Around the same time, many convicted Nazis were granted early release after the anti-communist US senator Joseph McCarthy lobbied to end war crimes trials.

    Faulkner wrote, “”The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Indeed.

  10. Zachary Smith
    April 18, 2017 at 10:02

    The persistent role of chemical weapons in U.S. propaganda to justify attacks on Iraq and Syria turns on its head the way that Western powers actually used chemical weapons themselves in the past.

    At the Naked Capitalism site this morning is a story that U.S. propaganda to justify attacks has been based on totally fabricated evidence. Worse, evidence created within the White House.

    This report provides unambiguous evidence that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) of April 11, 2017 contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts. The WHR was produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of the National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster[emphasis added (GP)].

    This is discouraging, to say the least.

  11. Lee Francis
    April 18, 2017 at 03:56

    It was Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris, C-in-C RAF Bomber Command who actually invented ‘Area Bombing’ a euphemism for the mass bombing and the use of incendiary bombs, on Germany’s civilian population rather than its industrial infrastructure. He opined that infrastructure damage was a bonus after the mass aerial murder of german civilians. Thus Hamburg was fire bombed in July 1943, Operation Gomorrah, resulting in over 40,000 civilian deaths. Dresden also got the same treatment in 1945, resulting in 22,000 deaths.

    Not to be outdone the American air force, in the shape of Curtis Le May, took a note out of Harris’ book and fire bombed Tokyo in 1945 causing 100,000 deaths. It led to the candid confession on Le May’s part that had he been on the losing side in WW2 he would have been tried as a war criminal.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 18, 2017 at 12:00

      Not to be outdone the American air force, in the shape of Curtis Le May, took a note out of Harris’ book and fire bombed Tokyo in 1945 causing 100,000 deaths. It led to the candid confession on Le May’s part that had he been on the losing side in WW2 he would have been tried as a war criminal.

      The lawyers preparing for the Nuremberg Trials made up lists of crimes to be charged against the Nazi defendants. Many of the items listed by the lawyers were deleted by their superiors in Washington and London because our military forces were guilty of the same actions.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 18, 2017 at 15:24

      “The great lesson to be learned in the battered towns of England and the ruined cities of Germany is that the best way to win a war is to prevent it from occurring. That must be the ultimate end to which our best efforts are devoted. It has been suggested — and wisely so — that this objective is well served by insuring the strength and the security of the United States. The United States was founded and has since lived upon principles of tolerance, freedom, and good will at home and abroad. Strength based on these principles is no threat to world peace. Prevention of war will not come from neglect of strength or lack of foresight or alertness on our part. Those who contemplate evil and aggression find encouragement in such neglect. Hitler relied heavily upon it.”

      This from the “official report on the Strategic Bombing Summary report that J.K. Galbraith insisted be included in the original report…

  12. mike k
    April 17, 2017 at 21:51

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

  13. mike k
    April 17, 2017 at 21:47

    I believe small citizen groups spreading through America and other nations are the solution to helping folks awaken. Other top down approaches that leave most people asleep in the arms of their oppressors are not going to work. We have to cut through the lies at their roots – in citizens minds.

  14. April 17, 2017 at 20:15

    I believe that the US, Turkey, and Israel are using ISIS to destroy Syria. If that’s true, we’ll never hear about it in the main stream media.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 17, 2017 at 20:40

      James Troy – I believe it is true, James. One of the blue links in the above article is about “inverted totalitarianism”. Part of the article says:

      “According to Wolin, whereas the production of propaganda was crudely centralized in Nazi Germany, in the United States it is left to highly concentrated media corporations, thus maintaining the illusion of a ‘free press’. According to this model, dissent is allowed, though the corporate media serve as a filter, allowing most people, with limited time available to keep themselves apprised of current events, to hear only points of view that the corporate media deem ‘serious’.”

      The media are acting as an arm of the government. Of course, the government also is being controlled:

      “…inverted totalitarianism is described as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics trumps politics.”

      The elected officials are now bought off, and the citizens are kept busy with consumerism and Dancing with the Stars while another country bites the dust.

      • mike k
        April 17, 2017 at 21:40

        Exactly. We are in a corporate vise grip, but think we are free. There is a totalitarian state looking us in the face, but we can’t see it. A triumph of propaganda and mind control. For us who have somehow awakened to this, the task is to find ways to wake others from their state engineered trance.

      • mike k
        April 18, 2017 at 10:28

        Exactly. If you know what inverted fascism is, you know most of what you need to explain our present tormented world.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 17, 2017 at 22:12

      How can you leave out the Saudis, originators and international sponsors of Wahabbi Salafism and their pals in the Gulf States who dearly want to see Shiia or secular Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria ruined… Seriously …

      • backwardsevolution
        April 18, 2017 at 01:36

        Susan – yes, the Saudis too. But I wonder if they aren’t being pushed into doing this by the U.S. and Israel. Just a thought.

        • Sam F
          April 18, 2017 at 08:33

          Yes, KSA has money but few people, the money depends upon sales to the US, and they have entrenched radicals unhappy with their regime, whom they export as terrorists, and who will come home and destroy them if not supported elsewhere. So Israel has long corrupted and tricked the US to employ KSA terrorists for the fascist purposes of Israel.

  15. backwardsevolution
    April 17, 2017 at 19:09

    There are always disgruntled people, those who feel left behind, not listened to. And they are always there, no matter what society you live in.

    If you want to start a color revolution (with the hopes of overthrowing a government), these are the people you target. You give them a voice. In come the foreign NGO’s who join forces with grass root organizations (who up to now have not been listened to). Through Facebook, rallies are announced to right a wrong (housing, inequality, soaring inflation, fill in the blank). All of a sudden someone is speaking up for them, and people take to the streets.

    If you’re really intent on causing chaos, you place paid agent provocateurs in the crowd to stir things up, maybe throw some bricks/rocks into the crowd, through windows. People start getting hurt, and the authorities are called in, but they don’t know who to go after. These are all just civilians, aren’t they? Maybe not.

    Maybe the agent provocateurs fire off a few shots, maybe injure a policeman. Now the authorities are spooked, maybe they take a shot back or start hitting the demonstrators. The citizenry are angry with the police, but they don’t realize there are agitators among them whose job it is to purposely stir up trouble. The crowd disperses.

    Overnight the organizers might stir up the crowd again on Facebook and Twitter, “Protest being held tomorrow.” The crowd is angry with the authorities and it doesn’t take much to set them off. A large police presence is evident. If the agent provocateurs up the chaos, the police might start cracking some heads, firing more shots. Or maybe the police don’t know who to go after, they are paralyzed on how to proceed, and the crowd overtakes them.

    You can see how you can get the people to work against a government, even a sort of decent government whose biggest fault is that they’re not in the back pockets of the West, and who are about to be overthrown – with the help of the people who don’t realize they’ll probably be worse off than before. They just don’t know it yet.

    These humanitarian organizations and NGO’s are often used to overthrow governments. That’s why Putin told most of the NGO’s to get out of Russia.

    • Sam F
      April 18, 2017 at 08:29

      Very true. The very term “NGO” shows that they are compromised as secret agencies of a government, for there would be no need to mention government if they had independent purposes. Better to call them Negative Government Organizations.

  16. ranney
    April 17, 2017 at 18:29

    What a fabulous article! Not only instructive and coherent but all the links are wonderful. I hope people will read the Orwell article if they haven’t, and check out the other links. Thank you for introducing me to Sheldon Wolin’s term “Inverted totalitarianism ” – a term and a concept that should be talked about much more.

  17. April 17, 2017 at 18:14

    And on the world planning (chaos) issue, the above reference to world planning, check out the Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan, named for an elitist count who wrote a book in 1923 called “Paneuropa”, which gave idea to the EU. He envisioned a future of mixed races. I will say no more, read about it for yourselves.

  18. John Doe II
    April 17, 2017 at 17:59

    The First Global Revolution is a book written by Alexander King and Bertrand Schneider, and published by Pantheon Books in 1991. The tagline of “The First Global Revolution” is, A Report by the Council of the Club of Rome.

    The book is a blueprint for the twenty-first century at a time when the Club of Rome thought that the onset of the first global revolution was upon them. The authors saw the world coming into a global-scale societal revolution amid social, economic, technological, and cultural upheavals that started to push humanity into an unknown.
    The work being the product of a Think Tank, it attempted to transcend the nation-state governance paradigm of the nineteenth-century and the twentieth-century and sought a way to eliminate some of the challenges seen inherent with those older systems of global governance. As such, it explored new and sometimes controversial viewpoints.

    Many of the members of the Club of Rome are seen as Elites, and critics argue passages in the book looking at how to unite divided nations by motivating them to rally around a new common fabricated enemy are clear indicators the work is conspiratorial in nature. In one passage the authors conjecture about new needed enemies or rally points for global society, “either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.” Critics argue that statements like the previous made the book conspiratorial.

    Coinciding with this book was GHW Bush’s New World Order Speech on September 11, 1991

    the authors conjecture about new needed enemies or rally points for global society, “either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.”

    — Radicalized Islamists fit the description for these “invented enemies”

    We are in a Web of Deceit, like it or not… .

    • Brad Owen
      April 18, 2017 at 11:59

      Type in “The Club of Rome” in EIR’s search box to pop up some interesting reading. The name should be an obvious (and somewhat hilarious) clue: Venetian “Black Nobility” family dynasties, spread across Italy, Germany (of “Holy Roman Empire” fame), Netherlands, UK (of “The New Venetian Party” fame, immigrated from Netherlands), and probably elsewhere, are involved in this, up to their oligarchic eyebrows. Picking the Muslims is probably just a mere continuation of Historic precaution (in their oligarchic eyes), since the Roman Empire lost its’ North African provinces, its’ Middle East provinces, Anatolia, one of its’ Capitals (Constantinople-now-Istanbul), its’ Balkan provinces, its’ Iberian provinces, bits of France and Italy, to Muslim Empires at various times.

      For good measure, type in venetian black nobility too.

      • Brad Owen
        April 18, 2017 at 14:08

        Wow. I found “Return of the Monarchs” using the EIR search box, a counting-up of all the pertinent royal dynasties in Europe: there it is, PanEuropa, Synarchism, the New Roman Empire, the perps who never actually “touch the trigger”. The Founders/Patriots always knew exactly who the enemy of humanity was…and is.

  19. April 17, 2017 at 17:57

    F. G., thank you, those points would make a tremendous leaflet that we activists would put together in earlier days before the Deep State got so deep. The American consumers’ minds have gotten so compartmentalize that the tired folks get home, relax maybe with a drink, have dinner, watch the news with MSM (Main Sewer Media, new term thanks to Kiza) blabbing about bombs and deaths in Syria, Iraq, wherever, and it’s on to watch a TV show or movie, then go to bed. This weekend the biggest concern was Trump’s unreleased tax returns, since tomorrow is Tax Day. That is also Robert Reich’s biggest concern on his website and Twitter. Only two cities where protesters hit the streets about MOAB were Boston and Twin Cities.

  20. mike k
    April 17, 2017 at 17:19

    Good points Ira. Amen.

  21. April 17, 2017 at 17:06

    The same bloody-hands lack of morality — or even self-reflection — corrupts US domestic policy.

    Consider mass incarceration. The New Jim Crow. Lack of universal healthcare. For starters.

    With the so-called Affordable Care Act, we randomly execute 35,000 fellow Americans every year.

    How? Under the ACA 28,500,000 people still get no healthcare coverage. A statistical study in a peer-reviewed medical journal points to 1 additional death for each 830 people who lack coverage.

    Do the math: 28,500,000 divided by 830. Round up to the next 1,000.

    That’s 35,000 American men, women and children dying each year solely because politicians make public policy decisions that exclude these folks from healthcare coverage.

    Is this situation any different from randomly dropping bombs on people or pointing a gun to their head and pulling the trigger? They are just as dead. Their families grieve the loss of loved ones just as hard.

    And the politicians — and we who support them, if only by daily silence — are just as complicit.

    Would we choose to be less silent, less complicit, if we knew the names of the 670 Americans who will die next week, on average, strictly because they lack healthcare coverage?

    What if we knew the names of the 150 children among them?

    How about if we knew the names and could see the faces of the 40 children among them who are under the age of 5?

    That’s just for next week.

    There’ll be another batch of 40 diminutive body bags the week after that. And the week after that — thanks solely to US domestic policy whose existence we tolerate instead of filling the streets every day with our bodies and angry voices, demanding an end to this bloody madness, these random executions. Demanding universal healthcare as a human right.

    Just as we should be demanding an end to the murderous foreign policies described in this excellent article.

    • rosemerry
      April 17, 2017 at 17:38

      Ralph Nader has reminded us of the 5000 people in the USA who die EVERY WEEK because of medical errors in hospitals and prescription medication. More than one 9/11 every eek, and we pretend that “radical islamist terror” is our main danger.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 18, 2017 at 23:02

        But we have the “best” healthcare system in the world!


    • truthseeker00
      April 18, 2017 at 23:19

      Ira, It is actually much worse than what you so correctly point out. Not only are thousands being killed by lack of healthcare, but many millions have been killed by the very poisonous toxins pumped into our bodies via modern food, water, air, vaccines, medicines, clothing, beauty products and every other co-called ‘modern covenience’. We may think we have escaped the genocide, but we are merely getting the slow kill. It is certainly debatable as to which is worse.

      This is about so much more than a corrupt oligarchy that wants to rule the world. It is about the very power of darkness, evil itself, that in countless ways deceives men into thinking that they can solve the problems that we have created in our rebellion against our maker. As long as men attempt to solve their own dilemma, ‘save the world’, or tame the powers of evil we will continue to suffer the misery and destruction that has been afflicting this earth for centuries. I realize that there are many who reject the concept of God, or good and evil, but I suggest to you that there is no other logical answer to the very real problem of evil. It really is about so much more than a small group of greedy people who want to hoard the wealth of the planet for themselves and narrow down the ‘masses’ to a manageable number – although that certainly plays out. They could never have managed to ‘get away with it’ for so long if the masses of men were not confused and deceived into thinking this is not about God and his rightful place in our lives. He alone will bring peace, healing and restoration to our self-destructing world, and it seems to me that the fact that so many are beginning to recognize the depth of the lies and evil suggests that he is in the process of exposing, and ending the great deception. Sorry if that appears to be off topic, but I do believe there is a purpose to all of this, and it is to expose the myth of man’s ability to live well apart from healthy communion with his Maker.

  22. D5-5
    April 17, 2017 at 16:42

    Strong commentary by Davies, very welcome. I think the estimating is reasonable on number of deaths. His handling of principles is also very clear.

    “Our leaders effectively claim the sole power to define whose violence is justified and whose is criminal, and on a strictly self-serving basis. Our violence is always legitimate. Our enemies’ is always criminal. Noam Chomsky has referred to this as “the single standard” that governs U.S. foreign policy. It is more traditionally referred to as ‘might makes right,’ or ‘the law of the jungle.’ It bears no relation to the rule of law, except to violate, abuse, undermine, and discredit it.”

    This is scholarly and correct language for the bully-boy performance we are now seeing. It is outrageous gall of an incompetent leader to finger-wag at North Korea and send three battle groups to menace it and have his VP call North Korea’s response “provocative.” It is outrageous to tell Assad a barrel bomb crosses a red line then launch a MOAB a day or so following.

    Might makes right, indeed, and the law of the jungle, and in case these phrasings have become dulled, they translate into descent into savagery and the dark ages. This is the current path the US is glorifying.

    • mike k
      April 17, 2017 at 17:17

      Nice your noticing how we love our hi-tech MOAB and frown on Syria’s improvised barrel bombs.

    • Abe
      April 18, 2017 at 15:26

      The so-called “barrel bombs” in Syria are Large Improvised Explosive Devices (LIED) detonated on the ground by Al Qaeda and other terrorist forces.

      Allegations of air-dropped “barrel bombs” in the West’s dirty war in Syria trace back to disinformation operative Eliot Higgins’ Brown Moses blog). Higgins claimed that video showing an object being lit and dropped from a moving helicopter was an attack by Syrian military personnel.

      As of mid-March 2014, Higgins and terrorist forces in Syria had claimed that between 5,000 and 6,000 aerial “barrel bombs” had been used during the war, particularly in Aleppo.

      There is no dispute that Syrian cities and infrastructure have been massively damaged, and thousands of people injured and killed, by powerful explosions.

      However, other than the evidence-free allegations of the terrorists backed by Eliot Higgins, there is no credible evidence that proves the Syrian military was responsible for any of these devastating detonations.

      On the other hand, extensive use of powerful improvised explosive devices by the terrorist forces in Syria has been documented since the start of the conflict in 2011.

      IED attacks are a primary tactic of terrorist forces occupying Syrian cities and towns. The huge “barrel bomb” detonations occur in areas occupied by the terrorists. After they detonate the IEDs, the terrorist forces post on social media that they have been “attacked”.

      The earliest known use of aerial “barrel bombs” was by the Israeli military in 1948. The second known use of aerial “barrel bombs” was by the US military in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

      It appears that the original perpetrators of air-dropped “barrel bomb” attacks have generated a propaganda narrative about flying “barrel bombs” to advance their dirty war against the people and government of Syria.

  23. F. G. Sanford
    April 17, 2017 at 16:40

    BEWARE of the TROLLS who temper their propaganda with “On the one hand this, and on the other hand that” arguments. They use the “just trying to be reasonable” ploy by suggesting that many factors are involved, and many issues are at play. They resort to the “its very complicated” distraction, and insinuate that some factions are motivated by noble motives, but somehow got sidetracked along the way.

    BULLFEATHERS! There never was a “peaceful movement” in Syria or Ukraine either, for that matter. What…everybody forgets that Victoria Nuland gave a speech in front of a Chevron logo bragging about the five billion dollars we spent to destabilize Yanukovich’s government? Does everybody forget that the Syrian civil(sic) war began with the mass murder of Syrian military academy graduates? There never was a “peaceful” phase, and it never was a “civil” war. It’s been a proxy war from the get go. There are no “Syrian rebels”. There are foreign fighters from eighty different countries. Does everybody forget the five hundred million dollars the American General had to admit to Congress we spent to train “moderate rebels”? Does everybody forget the training camps in Jordan run by our CIA? Does everybody forget the stolen Syrian oil marketed to Turkey by Al Qaida and transferred to Israel on ships run by Bilal Erdogan – our NATO ally? How about Israeli field hospitals set up to treat wounded Wahhabi head choppers? Or, that photo of John McCain meeting with al Baghdadi in Syria? How about that story of fourteen western “advisors” captured while embedded with ISIS fighters? THAT sure disappeared out of the news really quick!

    Yep, the neocons and their trolls have learned that if they just keep changing the subject, nobody will notice. They’ll keep saying, “It takes two to tango”, and “There’s two sides to every story”. They’ll keep reminding us that “Assad is a really bad guy”, even if he isn’t guilty of every hoaky charge leveled against him. They’ll keep talking about the “innocent civilians yearning for democracy”, and it’s “all very complicated”. IT ISN’T COMPLICATED. It’s a proxy war organized by western operatives and financed by western vassals. Whenever you hear, “It’s complicated”, or “there are conflicting accounts”, rest assured your listening to a troll. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

    • mike k
      April 17, 2017 at 17:13

      Thanks F.G. Sanford, This deal is not as complicated as some people try to make it. Just keep in mind that the American Empire seeks world domination, and you will have the key to most of what is happening. You might also keep in mind that these folks don’t care who they hurt, or if they destroy the whole planetary ecosystem. They are obsessed with ruling the world, no matter what!

    • Bill Bodden
      April 17, 2017 at 23:07

      mass murder of Syrian military academy graduates

      List of massacres in Syria:

    • Abe
      April 17, 2017 at 23:09

      US-Israel-Al Qaeda-ISIS
      Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

      “the US – the true master of this war, and the one which confers immunity on its chosen terrorists by calling them “moderate rebels” – can never be trusted in any quest for a peaceful solution to the war against Syria”

    • Abe
      April 17, 2017 at 23:36

      Bellingcat-White Helmets-Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-Ukrainian Secret Service-Atlantic Council-Interpreter Mag-CrowdStrike-Google-First Draft Coalition-New York Times-Washington Post-CNN-BBC-UK Guardian
      Relationship Status: It’s Post-Truth Complicated

      “Bellingcat has been targeted by the ‘Fancy Bear’ hackers backed by the Russian government who did the DNC leaks.” – Eliot Higgins (minutes 12:35-45)

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 18, 2017 at 00:22

      F.G. just as you made your point of how our country uses any excuse to explain away our violent actions, and as a result turn every American into a supporter of these evil endless wars, that we have now become a loss civilization because of what you pointed out. I worry that the most decrepit of our society has risen to the occasion feeling justified and right about all this killing, and all due to our ideology of somekind of manifest destiny.

      To make my point I saw headlines today that since Trump turned over a new leaf with his infatuation of the bomb, his favorability ratings have shot up. I ask you what does this society of ours have wrong with it, that our fellow countrymen ignore human suffering only to go fight wars which most Americans can’t even explain the why of why we are even fighting them. Okay I understand that the campaign of fear drives nervous people to support our country’s warring, but why don’t these same citizens of ours question to why after 26 years of our bombing people in several countries, not to mention imposing deadly sanctions upon those in the Middle East, haven’t we won this pitifully long war? I’ll take a stab at answering that one; it’s because there is no end to these wars, there never was a plan to end any of these wars, and these wars will go on continuously until they don’t.

      For me I don’t need statistics of how many died to know there is nothing right in collateral damage. All I need is to see the horrifying picture of one Muslim child with their limbs blown off, or their head split in half, to realize that just one death is enough to make me want all war to end. I mean here I sit in the comfort of my American home enjoying our American life, and yet our country dishes out the pain to the remaining part of the world, as did our country’s forefathers had done to this lands original inhabitants the Native Americans, and then I think to myself this is an ugly god awful legacy to have, and one which we Americans must change.

      Here is a link where over at the American Herald Tribune Steven Sahiqunie writes about the day before in Deraa Syria when foreigners were popping up all over the place. Sahiqunie tells a very interesting story which you will never hear from our media. Much of what Sahiqunie writes about sounds a lot like the same script which was played out in Keiv during the Maiden Riots.

    • bitcoin 1E3g4c36XrV5jNg2nQdB3d1keWvEdZTcwc
      April 18, 2017 at 05:29

      Agreed F.G. Sanford.
      Also when that narrative starts to fail and when they (The Empire) starts to look like the evil do-er they always enter damage limitation mode – “well there just as bad” – “they do it as well”, or create a false flag to change the ‘Media Narrative’/”Public Perception”, take the recent Alleged Chemical weapons used in Syria, One day we’re talking about Obama ‘spying and lying’ with a significant lead involving Susan Rice, next day not a peep about Obama’s ‘spying and lying.

      “the principle & which is quite true in itself & that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily,” AH

    • Bill Bodden
      April 18, 2017 at 13:17

      Does everybody forget that the Syrian civil(sic) war began with the mass murder of Syrian military academy graduates? There never was a “peaceful” phase, and it never was a “civil” war. It’s been a proxy war from the get go.

      F.G.: I essentially agreed with you on the Syria civil war/proxy war above, but I noted this morning that Robert Fisk, one of the more experienced and knowledgeable journalists covering the Middle East, referred to the conflict in Syria as a civil war.

      “Mother of All Hypocrisies: Trump Cares for Some Syrian Babies Not Others” by Robert Fisk –

      The proxy war argument appears to be obvious but, perhaps, we are not being informed of the civil war aspects.

      • F. G. Sanford
        April 18, 2017 at 14:05

        Your point is well taken. I’ll admit, I used to be a Robert Fisk addict – I checked The Independent on a daily basis for any of his articles for a couple of years. But, as time went by, I became frustrated by his tendency to offer open-ended speculation, insinuation and elusive references to the intuition he expected of his readers. He’s certainly a brilliant man, and if any modern commentator could be accused of ascension to the linguistic feats of Edward FitzGerald, he might suffice. Fisk speaks English beautifully, which is why I enjoyed listening to him. He is the ONLY analyst who, in the face of unfettered universal praise for Barack Obama, correctly pronounced him “weak” and lacking understanding of power – and predicted his failure from the outset. That said, I think Benazir Bhutto probably knew more about the “behind the scenes” intrigue on the Hindu Kush than good old Fiskie. So, when he waxed mysterious and provided “wink and a nod” assertions regarding the head of America’s favorite proxy organization, I began to wonder. Was he stringing English pearls on an Irish thread…or merely engaging in a bit of the old Blarney? Bottom line is, I no longer believe every word he says. Please, let me know what you think!

        • Bill Bodden
          April 18, 2017 at 18:42

          F.G.: I believe we are on similar wavelengths. After years of enthusiasm and appreciation there came instances when I concluded I couldn’t agree with everything Fisk wrote – maybe just somewhere around 95 percent. However, I can’t abandon anyone who might be less than perfect if he ripped Colin Powell apart after his contemptible WMD speech at the U.N. and who assailed Thomas Friedman for his drivel during the Iraq war.

          The proxy war argument appears to be obvious but, perhaps, we are not being informed of the civil war aspects.

          Perhaps it would be better if I rephrased this point to “The proxy war argument appears to be obvious but, perhaps, we are not being informed of any possible elements of a civil war.

  24. Dave
    April 17, 2017 at 15:26

    “The U.S. government’s 15-year-long “global war on terror” has spread death and chaos across entire regions”

    Correction: The U.S. government’s 15-year-long global war of terror has spread death and chaos across entire regions.

    Let’s not white-wash this.

  25. Abe
    April 17, 2017 at 15:01

    Who is Behind the Push for World War 3?

  26. April 17, 2017 at 14:56

    If Trump stands down, it’s Pence, a front for the same game. It’s the Pentagon and CIA running the show. The electeds simply do the bidding of the war masters, who do the bidding of the predatory capitalists in charge. It’s all about the big money, to hell with the people and the planet.

    • Ol' Hippy
      April 17, 2017 at 15:15

      Thanx, another that understands the capitalist regime that encompasses the US and the world. Collapse is inevitable.

      • Anon
        April 18, 2017 at 08:16

        It may be comforting to think that collapse is inevitable, but saying it that way neutralizes the forces that bring about collapse.

        It is true that external reprisals are an essential component, and the oligarchy will bring that upon themselves by their greed and bloodlust. But that merely sets the stage for revolution, which must begin a generation before it succeeds.

        Tyranny will not collapse until it is brought down. That requires a generation of military attacks on mass media facilities and staff, politicians and duopoly shills, the rich and their gated communities. It requires a generation of reaching out and infiltrating the military and national guard units that must refuse to enforce when riots and strikes halt the nation.

  27. Abe
    April 17, 2017 at 14:39

    Trump Won’t Be Cancelling World War 3 After All

    Mr Trump is a liar, a hypocrite and a fool. He has turned the U.S. military into Al Qaeda’s air force. He’s playing chicken with humanity’s future. He’s rolling dice with the inhabitability of the planet.

    And this insanity is bipartisan! The Neoliberal, Neocon, corporate alliance has come out of the closet, in a disgusting show of war mongering solidarity.

    These haircuts in suits don’t deserve your obedience. They don’t even deserve your respect. It’s not their power it’s yours.

    If enough of you figure that out it’s game over. That’s why they pit you against each other provoking artificial group identities. Divide and conquer makes you easy to control.

    The choices we make in the next few milliseconds of human history count. A lot.

    Asymmetrical Response When the odds are stacked against us, and failure is not an option we must formulate an asymmetrical response.

    We have to think outside the box, find creative ways to break the chain of obedience, and send a message in uncompromising terms: # Stand Down Mr. Trump Stand Down.

    • April 17, 2017 at 23:25

      A wise congressman told me in 1976, that these same monsters had their game all layed out and we had less than 5 years to stop them….The most likejy outcome is all these Monsters would be dead…along with the rest of us…he saw the globalists back then…America has been captured…what are we going to do now?

    • Anon
      April 18, 2017 at 08:10

      The asymmetrical response requires that the oligarchy be deprived of its forces of deception and repression. That requires a generation of military attacks on mass media facilities and staff, politicians and duopoly shills, the rich and their gated communities. It requires a generation of reaching out and infiltrating the military and national guard units that must refuse to enforce when riots and strikes halt the nation.

  28. wootendw
    April 17, 2017 at 14:38

    “global war on terror”

    Not really. It’s more like regime change, sometimes using terrorists to do the job.

  29. April 17, 2017 at 14:36

    Interesting article at link below:
    Beware the Dogs of War: Is the American Empire on the Verge of Collapse?
    By John W. Whitehead
    April 10, 2017

    • Ol' Hippy
      April 17, 2017 at 15:10

      We are enmeshed within a collapsing empire as the capitalists struggle to find ever more devious and immoral ways to increase their capital. I would claim that the start of the collapse happened after the cold war ended and peaceful ways to exist, under a capitalist regime, were explored and implemented. Trouble is it doesn’t result in enough profit to satisfy the greedy. Result; continue to find ways to perpetuate endless war. Result; collapse because the resources are finite and expansion is not in a finite system.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 18, 2017 at 02:21

        I agree. The prelude was in the 80’s when Zbigniew Brzezinski had the CIA recruit Tim Osman to go into Afghanistan and drive the Communist Russians crazy. Tim will resurface later. The intro ends with the fall of communism and Russia goes from being the USSR to their citizenry’s beginning of the new Russian Federation, and this change won’t come easy and Russians are faced with a terrible end to a most difficult century for the whole of Russia.

        The main act for what we are living now came with Poppy Bush doing a twofer. H.W. felt like a free man with the fall of the USSR, and what away to begin our imperial reign by starting a war to show our stuff. So there it was Kuwait, and with that America now gained a base inside the Middle East. Bush also wanted to be the one to ditch the Vietnam Syndrome. Bush also was dying to show the world, especially Russia and China how advanced our American war machine had become. Poppy got so excited he jumped for glee that the ‘New World Order’ was now here. Most Americans didn’t know what to make of that one, and back then if you were putting your hand on the television while praying with the 700 Club you prayed that Bush wasn’t the antichrist. What’s with this New World Order business? Jesus keep the demon away!

        Clinton if you recall expanded NATO as far east as he could in Europe to go towards putting NATO right up at Russia’s doorsteps. Clinton sanctioned Iraq literally to death, and bombing runs in the no fly zone were regular violent occurrences. I’m probably leaving out a lot on Clinton, but a lot of what Clinton accomplished would be felt much later on. Bill’s most unfortunate episode involving Monica was where America took it’s eye off the ball. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993 and CNN was interviewing bin Laden by 1997, and I keep thinking of what we should have been discussing at that time, instead of Bill’s sexual life, and his continuous lying problem that he has? A BJ, or America inventing a new narrative for a one time operative who will going forward play the villain role to help prop up the MIC industry for the new 21st Century.

        Ol’ Hippy you are right, and sorry for the history rant, but yes with the fall of the USSR America was like a peeling dragster getting the Go Light at the strip. After Reagan increased our defense spending with his attempting to break Russia by forcing Russia to compete, this new armament would propel Poppy believing we bought ourselves time to reign supreme. Clinton did need to cut defense spending, but while he was doing that Cheney was crafting the Project for a New American Century, and as you know that doctrine gave the MIC multi orgasms just by saying its name…don’t say it, make then suffer.

        There I go again with my history telling. Often I wish that tomorrow I’d wake up and I’m 13 again, and it’s 11/21/63 and while eating breakfast before school the am radio reports that JFK cancelled his Dallas trip.

        • Sam F
          April 18, 2017 at 08:04

          Well put, Joe; an appealing dream ended there, and since then only corruption has been exposed.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 18, 2017 at 09:19

            After five decades Eisenhower’s MIC warning, JFK’s American University Speech, and MLK’s Vietnam Speech, should be required reading for my grandchildren. Our only hope for a better world now rest in the hands of the very generation I worry for the most, my kids and their kids are what will need saved. I hope they have the wear withal to struggle through it to do what needs done. Glad you enjoyed my writing here Sam F that makes it for me worthwhile.

  30. April 17, 2017 at 14:01

    Benjamin Ferencz is now 97 years old, Hungarian-born. His biography is worth reading, an inspirational man.

  31. April 17, 2017 at 13:42

    I believe if we could get at the covert info (which we can’t, it’s massively hidden), the fingerprints of the CIA would be all over the Arab Spring activities. It’s been that way since the founding days of Allen Dulles.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 17, 2017 at 15:04

      In the weeks following 09/11, the global reach of America’s intelligence apparatus became apparent as small Alqaeda sympathetic cells or cadres in dozens of countries were rounded up, when not simply decimated (some places caring even less about due process than the USA). They may have thought they were “sleeper cells” but in fact the quickness with which they were neutralized and how few successful attacks followed (with a half dozen or so intercepted “plots”) was striking.

      I suspect that this same semi-global intelligence anti-insurgent networking was employed to infiltrate and neutralize the oh-so-social-medial savvy and dependent Arab Spring. That it was deployed in response to Arab Spring does not mean that it “instigated” Arab Spring. I think the “deep state” type ultimately — despite decades of “democracy promotion” — preferred the status quo of entrenched “safe” strong men, so what else is new. In many ways, neoliberalism has made real-life “democracy” obsolete — too destabilizing…. until, as in the European elections and with Trump, that very “stability” becomes destabilizing … not so ironically, by appearances, that void making room for a rise of right-wing nationalism …

      • Susan Sunflower
        April 17, 2017 at 15:25

        note that Mubarak (tyrand of 30 years) was freed after 6 years when the last remaining charges were dropped … while Morsi ruled for one year (serving life in prison after death penalty overturned) … and Sisi’s crimes have been exponentially worse.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 18, 2017 at 22:46

        Yeah that global reach was swift and sure, but here at home they were outwitted, outmaneuvered, and unresponsive.
        Then they got really good at stifling “plots”. So striking. So impressive.

  32. April 17, 2017 at 13:41

    Is This the Land of the Free?

    In the land of the free is war their god?
    Are the mad men of militarism happy and awed?
    They dropped “The Mother of All Bombs” called “MO-AB”
    Are they thrilled, ecstatic, and fiendishly glad?

    The leader and his allies all dressed in nice attire
    Are bombing and killing, and setting the world on fire
    Are they blood-soaked monsters claiming to be “civilized”?
    Millions are homeless and millions have already died

    Hellfire missiles rain down from the skies
    And many helpless people are trying to survive
    Countries are destroyed and reduced to rubble
    Can they “thank” the land of the free for all their trouble

    Is the land of the free ruled by another posturing fake?
    Bombings are “beautiful” while eating chocolate cake
    Is he a hypocrite who fooled those that believed his mutterings?
    Now they are witnesses to his warmongering slaughterings…

    [much more info at link below]

    • mike k
      April 17, 2017 at 14:04

      Stephen, this is the best poem I have read of yours so far! Your poetry-craft is getting better and better, Keep ‘em comin’! That the poem is loaded with real truth really helps it’s impact.

      • April 17, 2017 at 14:19

        Thanks mike k, I wonder when, if ever, these war criminals that are perpetrating illegal wars will ever be arrested?
        Cheers Stephen.

  33. Herman
    April 17, 2017 at 13:30

    I wonder how many people like myself had the same thoughts and didn’t realize they had company such eminent person.

    “former Nuremberg chief investigator and prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz was a lonely voice invoking another basic principle of justice. Ferencz demanded genuine criminal accountability for the crimes committed, and insisted that only the guilty should be punished.”

    Holding the military and the likes of McCain at bay was perhaps too much to expect but it sure makes sense. In such a scenario the military might have had a role, but with a limited mission of finding and punishing the perpetrators if they existed in Afghanistan and not in Saudi Arabia. By continuing to focus on the perpetrators of the 911 attacks, it would have been far more limited.


    • rosemerry
      April 17, 2017 at 17:32

      I agree. If the “unprecedented” 9/11 had been investigated as a crime, this would have been a normal, fair reaction and “war on terror” and all the hype and hysteria could have been avoided. How would Raytheon, Halliburton and the MIC have coped?

    • Anon
      April 18, 2017 at 07:53

      The US war crimes can’t be investigated or prosecuted, because the UN is controlled by US bribes, and because the US oligarchy refuses to sign the Treaty of Rome subjecting it to the International Criminal Court ICC, and has even passed a law authorizing military attacks on the Hague if it prosecutes US citizens for war crimes.

      The US will instead be defeated, both economically and militarily. The only salvation for the US in the judgment of history would be a violent revolution, likely preceded by mass destruction of its mass media and refusals of its military and police forces to suppress large riots. Defeat by external powers is far more likely, more appropriate due to the extremity of its crimes and corruption, and likely in the 40-60 year future.

  34. April 17, 2017 at 13:15

    Very sobering and saddening article, thank you, Mr. Davies. I was among the millions opposed to the Iraq War and protested but we were ignored by the ruthless tyrants. Living in the Boston area for many years, I had the privilege of hearing the great Howard Zinn many times at rallies and programs.

    I was thinking, after reading this, that it is clear the United States is responsible for a Holocaust of Middle East countries. It is no different from Hitler’s Third Reich. The US hid behind the smokescreen of “democracy” and “liberation” because it had its good image from WWII. Hitler and the Reich had specific aims of ethnic cleansing of Jews and other non-Aryan people, but the effect of the ME wars started by Bush and Cheney and continued by Obama, Clinton, and now Trump, is the same as the Holocaust, a mass killing and utter destruction of peoples. The definition of “holocaust” is utter destruction, and I think we are justified in calling it that.

    And 911 was our Reichstag fire, albeit the most elaborate false flag ever pulled off. I was in Boston at the time and many people questioned the “official” account. It is out of current discussion given its national acceptance, and by now I think the discussion has to focus on the ME wars, that these mass killings have to stop, there is no “democracy” at the basis of any of it. The US is viewed as the greatest threat to world peace because of the hideous wars. (Russia opposed the Iraq War. Putin said a few years ago, context I forget but his translated words were, “I don’t think Russia would want to do what the United States did in Iraq”.)

    Jimbo, there’s a good article about Bernie Sanders by Paul Street on Counterpunch a few days ago, “Bernie Sanders, the Company Man”. Although Bernie opposed the Iraq War, in campaigning he never challenged Clinton on Libya, Honduras, any of her interventionism, and the evidence was all there for him to use. Media also ignored the wars, as though they were accepted. Bernie in the end chose to go with the Democrats. And now he’s going along with them on Assad and Putin, too. Company Man.

    • mike k
      April 17, 2017 at 17:05

      You are exactly right Jessica. The USA is continuing Hitler’s quest for world domination with different actors and some new twists, but it is the same game. The master race are the exceptional WASPs who are meant to rule over the other inferior humans. Our inverted fascism (Wolin) dispenses with swastikas and stiff armed salutes (mostly) – but it’s the same ugly game powered by wealthy elites, a brainwashed public, and a huge compliant military.

  35. Bill Bodden
    April 17, 2017 at 12:53

    There may be debates about percentages of people killed in the many actions plaguing the Middle East and South Asia, but it would be a good bet to say most, if not all, events in which the United States has acted with violence are in violation of international law – and the Nuremberg Principles.

  36. Drew Hunkins
    April 17, 2017 at 12:38

    Spreading permanent turmoil, chaos and destruction, and undermining relatively stable nations is EXACTLY what the Washington-Zio militarists desire. They aren’t stupid, misguided or confused. They have perfectly rational goals (to them): to make the Maghreb, Levant, and south central Asia and even Eastern Europe to a certain degree totally ungovernable to the point where no reasonable leadership can arise to 1.) enter into advantageous economic partnerships with the AIIB and conduct business relations with the new Silk Road, 2.) challenge diplomatically, economically, or even militarily Zionist land grabs in the West Bank and Tel Aviv killing sprees every 5 years of 2,000 innocent Gaza Palestinians suffering in the world’s largest open-air concentration camp.

    PERMANENT chaos and destabilization is the goal of our sociopathic leaders in Washington. Whether it puts the United States on the brink of nuclear war is of little concern to these warmongers. Whether it ALSO destabilizes the domestic home front with tens of millions living in economic ruin means nothing. In fact, it’s all the better in that a domestic anti-imperialist consciousness is much less likely to develop when tens of millions don’t know if they’ll have a job tomorrow morning when they wake up.

    • jaycee
      April 17, 2017 at 14:10

      Unfortunately (for Americans), the sociopathic leadership decided to fund their hegemonic construct through deficit financing, running an unpayable debt load reliant on foreign creditors (which include designated rivals). This state of affairs was only possible through the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency – requiring an alliance with the terror-funding Saudis and the continuing acquiescence of the rest of the planet. In this respect, the foundations of the national security state rest on sand, and any attempt to reinforce this instability compounds the problem (i.e. the “solution” rests on military power financed by continued deficits). It should be of immense concern that such “solution” – involving a massive war to help reset the debt, reset the table so to speak – is fully within the conceptual framework of the sociopathic leadership, beyond rational appeal. Will such a war occur solely outside the borders of the US? Don’t count on it.

      • Anon
        April 18, 2017 at 07:43

        The US has run up an even more massive repudiated debt to history in its endless massacres around the world, no doubt far greater by now than those of Rome, and is universally despised and ridiculed for its lies, hypocrisy, and murder. It will go the way of Rome, surrounded and at last isolated by enemies of its own making, who will destroy its power and enslave our descendants.

        That is the revenge of history, call it a deity if you prefer. It is slow but certain, making the aggressor state a dirty word, and eliminating the ultimate meaning of our lives within it, eliminating all that we would leave to our descendants.

        The fascist US oligarchy has sought to rewrite history with mass lying, but history will not be written by them. The US will be condemned forever. Its only hope is revolution or conquest, and it is long past due. It will not be peaceful or pretty.

    • Ol' Hippy
      April 17, 2017 at 14:54

      Lives mean nothing to the imperialist, militarist, capitalists, only profit directly from arms sales or profit form future oil sales. The profit media is there to serve their masters and further their “agenda”. Truth matters not, just as long as the propaganda furthers their “agenda”. To keep regular folks from rebelling against their masters,(the capitalists; including the war making apparatus) they must be misinformed and have lots of banal entertainment to occupy inquiring minds to keep them from asking all of those pesky questions. This indeed is a sad state of affairs as Earth slides further into the sixth extinction.

  37. Bill Bodden
    April 17, 2017 at 12:36

    Then, when a single horrific incident like the mass casualty air strike on West Mosul on March 17 breaks through this wall of silence into the public consciousness, the propaganda machine is quick to frame our killing of civilians as “unintentional” and contrast it with the “deliberate” killing of civilians by our enemies.

    Nothing new there. The so-called Founding Fathers of the United States were either slave owners or partners willing to accept slavery for form the union, but this merciless aspect is almost totally ignored or downplayed when people, including historians, reflect on that era. The same attitude applies when considering the many abuses of human rights that have taken place since then.

  38. Curious
    April 17, 2017 at 12:15

    Thank you Mr Davies as you raise important points. I had relatives who survived the fire-bombing of Dresden (hardly mentioned today) which were civilians. It didn’t have to happen, especially at the end of the war, and it was beyond horrible.
    One should also ask if the bomb on Nagasaki had to happen after the fierce, and mostly civilian population, was burnt beyond recognition in Hiroshima. But they had to test the two types of weapons since the R&D was done.

    These topics are but two of many. The military commanders think it is to punish the population for whatever they think the populace was complicate about, or maybe even that is too thoughtful. They just want to kill people.

    I think Nikky Haleys’ next rant should be about civilians killed by the ‘coalition’ and the use of depleted uranium (war crime) and the volume of citizens dead in your report during her next speech at the UN about American values. Please send your report to her asap.

  39. mike k
    April 17, 2017 at 11:01

    Excellent summary of important aspects of our situation. The last paragraph states a crucial problem in dealing with this fatal state of affairs: These healing changes will take considerable time to accomplish, but we don’t have much time left to get this done before we destroy everything worth having in our world, including ourselves.

    Need time + Insufficient time = Global failure = human extinction.

    Anybody got a way to alter this equation to give a better outcome?

    • April 17, 2017 at 13:09

      Only the US citizen can change how the US treats with other nations.
      This is true about all nation states by the way, if their state is dominated by a despot, than it is up to the people to rid themselves of the despot. Consider Nicaragua, where a dictator was overthrown by a coalition of socialist, individualist, right wing and christian political movements known as “Sandinistas,” after the 1920’s guerrilla leader Agustin Sandino. Once the Somoza regime was overthrown, the “Sandinistas” split up, socialists kept the name “Sandinista,” while the “right” wing and other interests parties went their way.
      If the US citizen is serious about rule by the people, then they must set aside their political leanings, and WORK to give Washington back to the US citizen. Offering violence to Washington’s established rulers would be a HUGE mistake. For the US citizen to change US politics, the citizen must have their own people in congress, the US Supreme Court, White House, and in every state’s institutes of governance.
      What the US citizen can do is create a political party ad hoc.
      It would accept funding from private US citizens ONLY, and the amount capped at a quantity which is affordable to a US citizen earning no more than 24K/year;
      Anyone who contributes has an equal membership and vote in internal party politics;
      Anyone who caped out in contributions, who has the support of 5000, or 20% of those eligible to vote in internal party politics may stand in as candidate to appear on the ballot (this would be the rule for on choosing the party’s candidate in all elections, from federal to state, regional whatever election).

      A very simplified idea of what could be done by the citizen of any country which holds legitimate elections, but where the elites limit the candidates who may stand in them, through creating and upholding laws which allow politics to be funded by corporations, and in amounts far in excess of that imaginable by the average citizen.
      The cynic will undoubtedly state that such a party would end up having to choose from talented moles inserted by the elites, but if the average US citizen cannot tell a demagogue from a populist, than nothing but divine intervention will save humanity.

      • Anon
        April 18, 2017 at 07:23

        That is the problem: the US citizen cannot tell a demagogue from a populist because the mass media are as corrupted as elections and the duopoly. Mass media must be prohibited by constitutional amendment from any funding but limited and registered individual contributions. The people cannot even discuss that because these tools of democracy are controlled by their enemies the oligarchy.

        Until we see mass destruction of mass media facilities and staff, there will be no progress whatsoever, just more pseudo-liberal oligarchy fakers like Sanders serving as sheepdogs to divide and conquer progressives. Destroy the mass media directly.

  40. jimbo
    April 17, 2017 at 11:00

    When asked in a recent interview by Jake Tapper about the situation in Syria I heard Bernie Sanders (my man!) say something that I’d never heard in these pages. If I’m not mistaken CN is more sympathetic to Assad than the MSN, right? This quote from his website is relevant to the article above because it sounds so much like propaganda that it masks reality and so, if Bernie is to be believed, would not help to bring sanity and peace to Syria. Here is what he said:

    “In a world of vicious dictators, Syria’s Bashar Assad tops the list as a dictator who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens to protect his own power and wealth. His regime’s use of chemical weapons against the men, women and children of his country, in violation of all international conventions and moral standards, makes him a war criminal.

    “As the most powerful nation on earth, the United States must work with the international community to bring peace and stability to Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed and over 6 million displaced. The horror of Syria’s civil war is almost unimaginable.”

    I agree with the sentiment of the second paragraph but I am skeptical of what he is saying in the first. This sounds like the NYT/WP/HRC neoconservative line – – but maybe it is true.

    Is it? Be honest.

    • mike k
      April 17, 2017 at 11:10

      Jimbo – Bernie is so full of shit about this. But given his faux socialist pose, I am not surprised. Those who think this establishment loving cipher is going to save us, need to do some serious rethinking. We think (rightly) that Trump is a plastic rubber flipflop artist, but we should realize Bernie is a master at that craft too.

      • D5-5
        April 17, 2017 at 16:33

        jimbo, as somebody below also recommends, take a look at Paul Street’s essay on Sanders in Counterpunch, April 14. Street’s language that Sanders is part of “the establishment chorus” sums it up.

      • Dave P.
        April 17, 2017 at 21:36

        Bernie Sanders candidacy was a show arranged by the Democratic Party to show that we have a great democracy with all the ideas, socialistic too.. Bernie Sanders is a Brooklyn man, part of the establishment. He is a farce.

      • Abe
        April 18, 2017 at 01:18

        Russian airpower and anti-aircraft missiles have definitely put a damper on Israel’s freedom of military action in Syria.

        Israel desperately wants Russia out of Syria.

        And when it comes to Russia and Syria, Sanders froths like a rabid Israel-Firster.

        He vomits the most vicious US-Israeli propaganda boilerplate whenever it suits his fancy.

        Sanders always moans how he’s “deeply concerned” about the use of military force before he approves it.

        It’s only a little unfair to say that Trump and Clinton, when it comes to military action, are like Bernie the Bomber minus the kvetching.

        Sanders’ 17 February 2017 letter urging the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the alleged ties between President Donald Trump and the Russian government contains the sentence:

        “The American people must have confidence that governmental decisions reflect their interests, not that of a foreign government.”

        Suffice it to say, I’m not aware of any instances when Sanders urged the Senate to investigate the ties between the White House and the Israeli government.

        • Dave P.
          April 18, 2017 at 12:32

          Being life long progressive democrats, we have been so much fooled by all these Politicians for the last three or four decades now. We sent money to Bernie Sanders first campaign for senate seat. The same for Elizaweth Warren. We did the same for Obama in 2008 – his “hope and change” campaign, worked our butt off registering voters, and all that.

          None of them have any principles. One can imagine human beings without principles! These politicians are ConMen of the worst sort.

          Tulsi Gabbard is the only one left, who has displayed some principles. Just watch, either she has to change or Democratic Party will get rid of her. If any Politician has some principles, they will run him out of Washington. The whole place is so rotten.

    • Susan Sunflower
      April 17, 2017 at 11:31

      You would have to ask Bernie Sanders the source of his figures and the time span he is referring to. There is a sleight of hand that blames Assad (the recognized elected leader of Syria) for ALL deaths incurred in the civil war (and all displaced persons and refugees), including afaict those killed by “rebels” and by ISIS. Because it is a civil war and Assad ‘s government has and had air power that the rebels and ISIS lack, and because air power is enormous and relatively indiscriminate, it is to be expected that there will be a resultant imbalance in casualties. There is an apples versus oranges versus pears to this three-way fight. Those who have “kept the war going” by supplying money (for salaries and other expenses), weapons, and hope for particularly American if not NATO intervention, long past a natural defeat of the “rebels” — back circa 2013 when a civil war broke up within the rebel ranks which the jihadis “won” — back when they were unable to unite to negotiate in Geneva at the time of the Assad’s regime’s greatest weakness.

      The attack on the evacuation convoy this weekend illustrated the simplistic and fraudulent thiking of those who seem to believe that banishing “the bad man” will bring a better Syria. The attack on the convoy was apparently perpetrated by a rebel faction that opposed the population transfer, a faction so cruel and vengeful that they deliberately targeted children getting snacks … freed from the buses after hours of sitting in the stalled convoy … within minutes — if only the convoy had been allowed to proceed — from safety. Despite this horrific attack, the Damascus government was able to get the transfer back in operation and this first stage completed within, iirc, 24 hours

      Simply removing Assad will create a “power vacuum” that the internally warring “rebel” militias will occupy. Consider how little we have been told about the “rebels” plan for a new Syria … as if words and promises likely mean much, but still … would this be an inclusive Syria that would welcome back its Shiia and its Christians? And where would the Kurds fit into this “new Syria”? Hezbollah? Would this become another near-failed state dependent on Saudi / Gulf State largess?
      The repeated “formula” that if-only Assad would step down, THEN everyone could focus on ISIS is fallacious, particularly now as ISIS is in decline, on it’s back foot… all too likely to be “fading into the background” of the Syrian “rebel militias” …

      Sanders has other fish to fry and imho, he’s repeat what is safe to say unchallenged, at best to avoid being sidelined/distracted from domestic issues and politics … disappointing, but — perhaps — understandable since any deviation from the script wrt Assad/Syria risks being branded “unserious” …

      • Bill Bodden
        April 17, 2017 at 15:00

        Because it is a civil war …

        The fighting in Syria began with the potential for a civil war (see link below), but with the intrusion of the Queen of Chaos from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Qatar funding and supplying weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda converts to “moderate rebels” it quickly became a proxy war against the Iran-Syria-Hizbollah crescent.

        Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning: The Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed thus far.
        Al Jazeera –

        The Al Jazeera article makes some interesting points, but many people will dispute the above claim of the war in Syria being the deadliest conflict of the 21st Century. It has a long way to go to catch up to the American war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. A good case could probably be made that Syria is part of the chaos predicted for the Middle East by opponents of the Bush/Cheney illegal war on Iraq.

    • Skip Scott
      April 17, 2017 at 11:44

      I would argue that there is not a “civil” war in Syria, but a war waged against an elected leader by foreign terrorists. The Syrian people were hoping for some progressive changes during the Arab Spring, and were peacefully protesting, but that movement was hijacked by jihadis and their puppet masters, the great majority of whom are not Syrian. I would like to see real proof of Assad killing hundreds of thousands of his own people. I doubt it exists.
      For the most realistic view of the situation in Syria, I highly recommend Eva Bartlett.

      This youtube video is dated but very enlightening.

      There is a lot of more recent stuff on the internet as well.

      I was a Bernie supporter as well, but after he caved, I went with Jill. His foreign policy views have always been questionable, in my humble opinion.

      • Susan Sunflower
        April 17, 2017 at 12:02

        I agree that the longstanding (decades) American efforts to destabilize Assad (and others) raise a lot of questions about the origin of the “rebels” as well as their base of support among the population. As with Libya, there were well-heeled and well-connected “pro democracy” advocates on the ground (likely with CIA connections among others) raising deep concerns about another Western stage-managed “color revolution”

        It’s hard to know with any certainty if “Arab Spring” or the Ukranian Maidan demonstrations were grass-roots, spontaneous public exercising free-speech (opportunistically exploited by the neocons) or if there was some deliberate “shock doctrine” style creation of a crisis to exploit. Regardless, the cynicism created is part of the “crisis in democracy” sweeping the globe as the very rigged system is exposed as incapable of change (because change does not serve the oligarchs holding deep state power and controlling who runs on what platform)

        • Skip Scott
          April 17, 2017 at 12:58

          I think the Arab Spring and the Maiden demonstrations were a little bit of both. There were “color revolution” managers, but also some genuine desire for progressive change among the grassroots.
          I don’t think it has to be either/or.

          • Susan Sunflower
            April 17, 2017 at 13:55

            I think they were both too, but it’s sobering to realize how easily these things can be exploited … someone mentioned “agents provocateurs” recently in another thread, but this is a form of shock doctrine exploitation that goes beyond enticing demonstrators to behave badly or entrapping them when they follow the lead of someone of ill-intent.

            I have some “sympathy” for Sanders’ position. I think he wants the Democratic Party to transform and survive (if at all possible) because the alternative to the existent two parties is likely several cycles of right-wing dominance as the obsolete Democratic Party fails while some new party tries to form (if at all possible).

            He’s more optimistic than I am … I’m hesitant to fault him for that… and for keeping “eyes on the prize” even if it means avoiding inciting controversy over foreign policy statements. He did not endorse Assad-must-go.

            Syria is in a rough neighborhood. Assad’s alleged crimes need to be seen in context and proportion … like Putin, his guilt is now presumed and seemingly fathomless. Our media was seemingly surprised to how many Syrians were eager to return home to help rebuild if only peace … part of our exceptionalism is the assumption “everyone” agrees with our judgments.


          • Dave P.
            April 18, 2017 at 21:45

            If you want to find who is guilty, you have to have a hard look at Washington – it’s actions and the results – going back many decades now; instead of arguing about the guilt of other world leaders. I am sure you will arrive at some good answers. What right do we have to sit on judgement of other Nations when we ignore all international laws. Some thing to think about.

        • mike k
          April 17, 2017 at 13:54

          Susan, the Unholy alliance of Israel and the US is behind all this color revolution and jihadis for hire operation in the ME. The five billion$ the US put out to stage the overthrow of the elected pro Russia president of Ukraine had more to do with proposed pipelines and the plan to weaken Russia as part of the world domination plotting of the US than any “popular revolution.”

          Israel has been humping for he removal of the sectarian democratically elected president of Syria, to be replaced by a bunch of fanatic Jihadis that could be useful tools later to needle the Russian Bear, since way back when. Somehow Susan I thought you would be clear about all of this. Most of what you share is right on. There is nothing unclear or foggy about what I and others on this blog have shared about this – is there?

          • Susan Sunflower
            April 17, 2017 at 14:05

            I think there are many players and motives — with Syria and Iraq and Libya, Saudi/Sunni interests were at least equal to those of the Israelis and we are at least as indebted to them as we are enmeshed with Israel, and yes, Israel and Sunnis have common cause in many places and independent interests in others. We have a history of acting as KSA’s proxy. I do not see it as as linear or “clear” or simple as you apparently do.
            eta: Have you seen Adam Curtis’ latest “Hypernormalization” ? It concerns Syria and terrorism in the 1980-1990’s in particular … much I never had any inkling of …

          • D5-5
            April 17, 2017 at 16:56

            Adding in here would like to recommend a strong piece from March 30 at NEO New Eastern Outlook with Golan heights-Israel-oil-and-trump in the title.

            The analysis focuses on the Golan Heights re Syria and Israel-US strategy this year; at issue is newly discovered oil in the Golan Heights and prospects for a pipeline north to Turkey, thence to Europe in competition with the Syria-Russia pipeline interests, and how all this is influencing current war policy.

          • April 17, 2017 at 18:10

            yes indeed….take a look at the names on this oil corporation as well…US oil interests want a pipe from the mideast fields, straight into europe….presumably to destroy the russian oil and gas markets there…i can just see the old ones at the Kremlin saying “sure, we will let this pack of weasles destroy our GDP by 50%:…the russians have real skin in the game in syria…

        • Marko
          April 18, 2017 at 04:57

          I’m sure that Victoria Nuland would be insulted if someone in D.C. circles suggested to her that grass-roots movements were a driving force in the Maidan. She’d explain that those groups only thought they were grass-roots , mistakenly , which was all part of the plan. After spending $5 billion to bring freedom and prosperity ( cookies , anyone ? ) to Ukraine , she would demand that the U.S. get full credit , but quietly , of course , very quietly.

          • Skip Scott
            April 18, 2017 at 07:09

            I agree Marko that people are often dupes for unseen forces, but that doesn’t change their genuine desire for progressive change. We have the same problem here in the good ol’ USA.

    • Herman
      April 17, 2017 at 13:34

      Jimbo, what Sanders had to say about Syria and Assad, much of it bald faced lies, tells you about his foreign policy would be, the same as Trump and certainly Clinton.

      • Susan Sunflower
        April 17, 2017 at 14:13

        I’m not a big Sanders fan, but I think he chooses his fights and his words carefully and doubt — given his history — that what he has said publicly represents the sum total of his thinking … I think that is to underestimate him to dismiss him … something else entirely …

        Drawing down the war machine will be difficult … the MIC is quite real, has armies of lobbyists and many American jobs depend on it and Americans are flighty and easily terrified, as they have demonstrated by applauding Trump’s rocket attack, accepting MOAB and silence in response to threats to Korea … Our “politics” are obsessed with foreign policy … the road to reducing our militarization, I think, is through a deliberate refocusing on domestic issues.

        Unlike Sanders, I do not think the Democratic Party can be reformed… I think we’re in for a very very difficult decade or more.

        • b.grand
          April 17, 2017 at 17:24


          If you think Sanders can be reformed, you’re as delusional as Jimbo. “His man” BERNIE IS A FRAUD and a surly old dog who will not change his tricks.

          “Chose his words carefully?” LOL…. he spewed like McCain.

      • DannyWeil
        April 17, 2017 at 14:55

        The difference between someone guided by principles and someone driven by bias:

        A person who is guided by principle will stand up to his allies and side with his “opponents”; if truth or morality dictates it.

        A person who is driven by bias will go to war against reality in order to defend the identity of the herd.

        • Susan Sunflower
          April 17, 2017 at 16:35

          Sanders is a company man. He is “working within the system” and — as far as I can tell — trying to keep American democracy alive by working to prepare and field candidates on a local level under the banner of the Democratic Party. I think the democratic party is too rotten and it’s bad practices too entrenched to be saved.

          “Purity testing ” is its own McCarthyism — ultimately almost everyone fails except for the dangerously-true and pure.

          It’s going to be a lousy decade, likely longer … Some folks are going to be trying to raise a new party, others like Sanders will be shoring up the duopoly (until an alternative comes along or until it is reformed) — there’s room for both and more.

          I was relieved he did not call for Assad’s ouster. I don’t pretend to have any idea what he knows or believes.

    • Miranda Keefe
      April 17, 2017 at 16:17

      “…maybe it is true.

      “Is it? Be honest.”


    • rosemerry
      April 17, 2017 at 17:20

      Correct-Bernie is just as warlike, anti-Russian, anti-Venezuela … as any of the neocons. Sad. The US keeping away is the best way to allow any nations to reach peace.

      • jimbo
        April 17, 2017 at 19:53

        Well then, can I switch my liking from Bernie to Tulsi Gabbard? She has said and done some things more reflective of a pro-Assad/anti-US intervention position? The Bernie quote above about Assad sounded way too fishy from what I have read here and in 21st Century Wire but there has to be someone in US leadership – with a hope of running – who will end the madness.

        • Skip Scott
          April 18, 2017 at 07:12

          Jimbo, I’m with you on Tulsi. I doubt if she can succeed within the all too corrupted democratic party, but maybe she’s enough of a firebrand to start a movement.

    • fledrmaus
      April 17, 2017 at 20:18

      Bernie said he would work with Saudis on Syria. He is not much different from other American politicians on the foreign policy.

      What I also see problematic is this narrative of the number of people killed in Syria, without breaking it down. I have seen different estimations about demographics of people killed and what all of them have in common is that highest numbers are amongst Syrian Arab Army (SAA) members. Oftentimes narrative is such that it implies that “dictator” Assad killed them all.

    • morgan weisser
      April 17, 2017 at 22:34

      Yeah, Jimbo, peruse consortium news for articles on Syria. Very well sourced and cut to the heart of the very cynical and destructive game we have been playing in Syria. An agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with protecting innocent lives or bringing safety to the world. And at least as far as Syria goes, Bernies is full of shit and playing it safe by parroting the “acceptable” stance dictated by the establishment.

      • jimbo
        April 17, 2017 at 23:57

        Hate hearing how Bernie has left me in the lurch. I never gave to a politician like I gave to him. The online battles I have fought favoring Bernie over Hillary were all for naught. I see now how their foreign policies were the same. Now I have to go back to the battleground and denounce Bernie and then offer nothing but Paul Craig Roberts-type pessimism. Forget Robert Parry changing their minds. I pepper them with Parry and they somehow believe him as much as if I sad the sky was green. I have the same empty feeling now as when I lost my wallet. No money, no credit cards, no license, no library card. Gone. Listening now to the Sunday Wire podcast reporting from Syria and the alternative “fake” reporters are blasting the MSM for all the blatant lies they tell. They knows the truth because they’re fucking there! Do any of you ever hear in your heads that 3 Dog Night song about how people can be so heartless? God bless all you good people and God fuck the bad ones. Peace and love, Jimbo.

        • Marko
          April 18, 2017 at 05:07

          Jimbo ,

          Tell me about it. When that little sparrow landed on the lectern next to him , and he said : ” I know it may not look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace ” , it brought me to tears. I thought : ‘ This man is The One ‘.

          What a letdown.

        • D5-5
          April 18, 2017 at 11:37

          “. . . how can people be so heartless . . .” I hear that 3 Dog Night song very well, beautiful sad music, have heard it year after year, totally appropriate to our time.

          Jimbo, on Tulsi here’s a very good piece by Gordon Duff I’d like to recommend:

          NEO journal April 16 “The strange case of Tulsi Gabbard and other tales of terror”

          That’s the New Eastern Outlook, Gordon Duff, Marine Combat Vet

          He also quotes somebody who said “When the sun is low in the sky, even dwarves cast long shadows.”

        • Dave P.
          April 18, 2017 at 21:49

          Jimbo: You are not alone in this. I am in a similar state.

    • Gregory Herr
      April 18, 2017 at 22:16

      In a world of mediocre (often vicious) national leaders, Syria’s Bashar Assad distinguishes himself as a principled humanist and internationalist who has led a valiant defense of his nation’s citizenry and heritage.

      The chemical weapons that have been used or stored in Syria have come from without and are the tools of terrorists, not the Syrian Arab Army.

      The horror of the dirty war inflicted upon the Syrian people is almost unimaginable.

      What’s this about war crimes and moral standards? I’d like to hear THAT filibuster.

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