The Bait-and-Switch ‘War on Terror’

The U.S. “war on terror” has always been a bait-and-switch scam on the American people, with Washington putting the desires of its Mideast allies ahead of defeating Al Qaeda and ISIS, Gareth Porter reports for Middle East Eye.

By Gareth Porter

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on April 12 calling on President Trump to ”back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria.” The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that U.S. wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah.”

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

That suggestion that the U.S. sell out its interest in counter-terrorism in the Middle East to gain some advantage in power competition with its adversaries was rightly attacked as cynical. But, in fact, the national security bureaucracies of the U.S. – which many have come to call the “Deep State” – have been selling out their interests in counter-terrorism in order to pursue various adventures in the region ever since George W Bush declared a “Global War on Terrorism” in late 2001.

The whole war on terrorism has been, in effect, a bait-and-switch operation from the beginning. The idea that U.S. military operations were somehow going to make America safer after the 9/11 attacks was the bait. What has actually happened ever since then, however, is that senior officials at the Pentagon and the CIA have been sacrificing the interest of American people in weakening Al Qaeda in order to pursue their own institutional interests.

It all began, of course, with the invasion of Iraq. Counter-terrorism specialists in the U.S. government knew perfectly well that U.S. “regime change” in Iraq through military force would give a powerful boost to Osama bin Laden’s organization and to anti-American terrorism generally.

Rand Beers, then senior director for counter-terrorism on the National Security Council staff, told his predecessor Richard Clarke in late 2002, “Do you know how much it will strengthen al-Qaeda and groups like that if we occupy Iraq?”

After it quickly became clear that the U.S. war in Iraq was already motivating young men across the Middle East to wage jihad against the U.S. in Iraq, the chief architect of the occupation of Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, came up with the patently false rationalization that Iraq would be a “flytrap” for jihadists.

Breeding Terrorists

But in January 2005, after a year of research, the CIA issued a major intelligence assessment warning that the war was breeding more Al Qaeda extremist militants from all over the Middle East and even giving them combat experience that they would eventually be able to use back home.

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

In a 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, the intelligence community warned that the number of people identifying themselves as jihadists was growing and was becoming more widespread geographically and even the predicted growing terrorist threats from “self-radicalized cells” both in the U.S. and abroad.

The war managers continued to claim that their wars were making Americans safer. CIA Director Michael Hayden not only sought to sell the flypaper argument on Iraq, but also bragged to the Washington Post in 2008 that the CIA was making great progress against Al Qaeda, based mainly on its burgeoning drone war in Pakistan.

But Hayden and the CIA had a huge bureaucratic interest in that war. He had lobbied Bush in 2007 to loosen restraints on drone strikes in Pakistan and let the CIA launch lethal attacks on the mere suspicion that a group of males were Al Qaeda.

It soon became clear that it wasn’t really weakening the Al Qaeda in the northwest Pakistan at all. Even drone operators themselves began privately criticizing the drone attacks for making many more young Pakistanis hate the United States and support Al Qaeda. The only thing Leon Panetta, Hayden’s successor as CIA director, could say in defense of the program was that it was “the only game in town”.

Barack Obama wanted out of a big war in Iraq. But CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus and Joint Staff director Gen. Stanley A. McChyrstal, talked Obama into approving a whole new series of covert wars using CIA drone strikes and special operations commando raids against Al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations in a dozen countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. At the top of their list of covert wars was Yemen, where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had just been formed.

Cruise Missiles and Drones

Since 2009, the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA have launched 16 cruise missile strikes and 183 drone strikes in Yemen. Unfortunately, they lacked the intelligence necessary for such a campaign. As many as one-third of the strikes killed innocent civilians and local notables – including the cruise missile strike in December 2009 which killed 41 civilians and attack on a wedding party in December 2013. Virtually every independent observer agrees that those killings have fed Yemeni hatred of the U.S. and contributed to AQAP’s luster as the leading anti-U.S. organization in the country.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis welcomes Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman to the Pentagon, March 16, 2017. (DoD photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

The CIA again claimed they were doing a splendid job of hitting AQAP, but in fact the Yemeni offshoot of Al Qaeda continued to be the primary terrorism threat while the covert war continued. Three times between late 2009 and 2012, it mounted efforts to bring down airliners and nearly succeeded in two of the three.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the contradiction between the U.S. pretension to counter-terrorism in its Middle East policy and the interests sharpened even further. That’s when the Obama administration adopted a new anti-Iran hard line in the region to reassure the Saudis that we were still committed to the security alliance. That hardline policy had nothing to do with a nuclear deal with Iran, which came more than a year later.

At first, it took form of covert logistical assistance to the Sunni allies to arm Sunni anti-Assad forces in Syria. But in 2014, the Obama administration began providing anti-tank missiles to selected anti-Assad armed groups. And when the Nusra Front wanted the groups the CIA had supported in Idlib to coordinate with the jihadist offensive to seize control of Idlib province, the Obama administration did not object.

The Obama national security team was willing to take advantage of the considerable military power of the Nusra Front-led jihadist alliance. But it was all done with a wink and a nod to maintain the fiction that it was still committed to defeating Al Qaeda everywhere.

When the Saudis came to Washington in March 2015 with a plan to wage a major war in Yemen against the Houthis and their new ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the deep state was ready to give Saudi a green light. A predictable consequence of that decision has been to fuel the rise of AQAP, which had already emerged as the primary threat of terrorist attack on the U.S., to an unprecedented position of power.

The Biggest Winner

As documented by the International Crisis Group, AQAP has been the biggest winner in the war, taking advantage of state collapse, an open alliance with the Saudi-supported government and a major infusion of arms – much of its provided indirectly by the Saudis.

The late Osama bin Laden, whose Al Qaeda terrorist organization and its affiliates are being rebranded by some neocon writers as “moderate” or of secondary interest.

Endowed with a political strategy of playing up AQAP’s role as champion of Sunni sectarian interests against those Yemenis whom they wrongly call Shia, AQAP controlled a large swath of territory across southern Yemen with the port of Mukalla as their headquarters. And even though the Saudi coalition recaptured the territory, they maintain a strong political presence there.

AQAP will certainly emerge from the disastrous war in Yemen as the strongest political force in the south, with a de-facto safe haven in which to plot terrorist attacks against the U.S. And they can thank the war bureaucracies in the U.S. who helped them achieve that powerful position.

But the reason for the betrayal of U.S. counter-terrorism interests is not that the senior officials in charge of these war bureaucracies want to promote Al Qaeda. It is because they had to sacrifice the priority of countering Al Qaeda to maintain the alliances, the facilities and the operations on which their continued power and resources depend.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. [This article first appeared at Middle East Eye.]

 

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123 comments for “The Bait-and-Switch ‘War on Terror’

  1. Bill Bodden
    April 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    What has actually happened ever since then, however, is that senior officials at the Pentagon and the CIA have been sacrificing the interest of American people in weakening Al Qaeda in order to pursue their own institutional interests.

    Is this not a betrayal of the American people and, thus, a form of treason?

    • Sam F
      April 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, it is treason in “making war against these United States” by supporting and strengthening its declared enemies for a private gain for the supporters of Israel.

      • April 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        Saudis and Qatar governments are greatest financial backers of Da-esh. Not to minimumize USA or Isreali crimes.

        • Sam F
          April 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm

          Yes, the US warmongers should be tried for supporting Saudi and Qatari aggression using AlQaeda.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm

            And answering the question of how long they have been “using Al Qaeda”.

      • JWalters
        April 22, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        Sam F,

        Yes, the evidence is overwhelming that Israel is up to its neck in fomenting the so-called “War on Terror”, in initiating the religious conflict, in financially coercing American poliiticians, and in duping the American public through controlling the media. And it is done for war profits. For new readers, see “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at
        http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

        Israel and Wall Street are emerging as today’s axis of evil in the western world. They house the financial Oligarchy which controls the Deep State elements of the CIA/MIC and the editorial desks of the MSM.

        Informing the public is the solution, discrediting and ultimately jailing the criminals. Hence the central importance of courageous sites like Consortium News.

        • Bob Van Noy
          April 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

          JWalters, thanks for properly applying the “axis of evil” metaphor. This is probably the first time that it actually applies! David Frum, Neocon inventor of propaganda…

    • Abe
      April 23, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      The Global War on Terror (GWOT) is an active terrorist breeding program.

      Al Qaeda and ISIS are put ahead in order to satisfy the desires of the most “special” Mideast ally: Israel.

      The latest bait-and-switch scam is: Sarin (WMD redux)

      Associated Press in Jerusalem is broadcasting the evidence-free Israeli “specific intelligence assessment”, backed by two anonymous Israeli “defense officials, and claimed to be “conservative” by the ever helpful fake “chemical weapons expert” Dan Kaszeta of Bellingcat, that Syria still has chemical weapons
      https://apnews.com/fc7c8d33cb0c4c3da66bfd9f0e8099d1

      • Abe
        April 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        In November 2016, Gareth Porter warned of the Western media’s “serious risks of being manipulated” by the White Helmets, an organization heavily funded by the U.S. State Department that only operates in Al Qaeda controlled areas of Syria.
        http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-syrian-white-helmets-played-western-media

        Porter highlighted the key disinformation role played by the Bellingcat website founded by Eliot Higgins, a fellow of the U.S. State Department-funded Atlantic Council.

        Citing the example of Bellingcat declarations about an alleged air attack in an Al Qaeda controlled area of Aleppo, Porter observed that “the confirming evidence of an airstrike claimed by Bellingcat did not actually confirm it at all”.

        Porter warned of “journalistic malpractice by media outlets with a long record of skewing coverage of conflicts toward an interventionist narrative”.

        This is precisely the situation today with the mainstream media coverage of the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical incident in an Al Qaeda controlled area of Idlib.

        The Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat continues to be a primary disinformation source.

        Dan Kaszeta, a long-time collaborator with Eliot Higgins, has been widely cited by mainstream media backing claims by the White Helmets and Al Qaeda that the Khan Shaykhum chemical incident was an “airstrike”.

        Dan Kaszeta, a long-time collaborator with Eliot Higgins, keeps claiming there was an “air-dropped Sarin bomb” despite the fact that the evidence does not actually confirm an airstrike.

        On 19 April, Associated Press reported from Jerusalem that Kaszeta is now backing evidence free “Israeli intelligence” claims that Syria still possesses up to three tons of chemical weapons.

        • Marko
          April 24, 2017 at 3:04 am

          “….. Kaszeta is now backing evidence free “Israeli intelligence” claims that Syria still possesses up to three tons of chemical weapons.”

          I’m backing evidence-lite “U.S. intelligence” claims that al Nusra has pilfered considerable amounts , and maybe all , of that stash :

          Al Nusrah Front, foreign jihadists seize key Syrian base in Aleppo
          By Bill Roggio | December 10, 2012 FDD’s Long War Journal

          ” The Al Nusrah Front…… and allied jihadist groups took control of the last major Syrian Army base in western Aleppo after a two-month-long siege. The ( Sheikh Suleiman base, or Base 111 ) is believed to be involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program……. The base “contained a clandestine scientific research whose purpose was unknown even to the rank and file,” AFP reported in late November, based on a claim from a soldier who defected.”

          How the Islamic State Seized a Chemical Weapons Stockpile 8-17-2016
          BY HARALD DOORNBOS, JENAN MOUSSA Foreign Policy

          ” Roughly four months before the split between the Nusra Front and ISIS, in December 2012, dozens of Syrian jihadi fighters climbed a hill toward Regiment 111 — a large army base near the town of Darat Izza, in northern Syria……….The base was a goldmine: home to guns, artillery, ammunition, and vehicles. And deep inside Regiment 111’s bunkers lay something even more valuable — a cache of chemical weapons……

          …….Within a day, the combined jihadi forces had broken through the lines of the Syrian Army. Shortly after, Regiment 111 was fully under jihadi control. They found large stocks of weapons, ammunition and, to their surprise, chemical agents. They were, according to Abu Ahmad, mainly barrels filled with chlorine, sarin, and mustard gas.

          What followed was the distribution of the war spoils. Everybody took some ammunition and weapons. But only the Nusra Front seized the chemical weapons. Abu Ahmad watched as the al Qaeda affiliate called in 10 large cargo trucks, loaded 15 containers with chlorine and sarin gas, and drove them away to an unknown destination. He did not see what happened to the mustard gas.

          Three months later, both the Syrian government and rebel groups reported an attack in Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo. The international media said that 26 people had been killed, among them 16 regime soldiers and 10 civilians. Both the Syrian regime and opposition claimed that chemical weapons had been used — and both accused the other of having carried out one of the first chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian war.

          Abu Ahmad kept his mouth shut in public, but privately he and some of his Syrian jihadi comrades discussed the matter. Although they did not have any evidence, they wondered whether the material used in the Khan al-Assal attack had been taken from Regiment 111. He knew he couldn’t ask Abu al-Atheer for clarification. By now he had learned one of the golden rules of the secretive jihadi movement: When it’s none of your business, keep quiet.”

          ……..

          And remember ,

          Khan al-Assal was a documented sarin attack , with sarin that was chemically similar to that used in Ghouta some months later.

          If all of the above is true , then no matter which side deployed the sarin , they were likely using remnants of Assad’s stockpile. The same situation could well apply in Khan Sheikhoun. That’s why I think the fingerprinting business is a sales job , not part of a quest for truth.

          The other possibility is that the Syrian army Regiment 111 sarin stockpile was not from Assad’s production line , but from Gaddafi’s.

      • Abe
        April 23, 2017 at 11:36 pm

        “The United States has already entered Syria. Its military is there right now. The US Air Force has recently expanded an air base in northern Syria. The base is near Kobani, which is about 90 miles north of Raqqa, the last urban stronghold for the Islamic State (IS).

        “It’s not Syria only. After initially reinforcing the residual forces remaining in-country, America’s military presence (Operation Inherent Resolve) was restored in Iraq in the summer of 2014, commencing a campaign, dominated by air and special operations, allegedly targeting the Islamic State (IS) group. In 2016, US military established the Kobani airfield in Syria and also set up an airfield at Qayarrah West in northern Iraq. The Kobani airstrip has been modified to support C-17s, the largest cargo aircraft which need hardened runway to support their weight, and other planes. In March alone, the airfield was used for at least 50 landings by C-17s and more than 100 landings by C-130 military cargo planes.

        “The United States is assessing another airstrip near the newly retaken Tabqa Dam, north of Raqqa that was taken by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on March 26. The capture of Tabqa airfield about 110 kilometers north of Raqqa would be used in the same way as Qayyarah Airfield West in Iraq is being used for operations to retake Mosul. When finished, Tabka airfield will enable the US to deploy twice as many warplanes and helicopters in Syria as the Russians currently maintain. It is already dubbed ‘Incirlik 2’ or ‘Qayyarah-2’.

        “The new base is designed to accommodate the 2,500 US military personnel housed at Incirlik, Turkey. The administration is on the way to pull US air force units out of Turkey, to the five new and expanded air bases in Syria. […]

        “Approximately at the time of launching Inherent Resolve, the US added surveillance missions over Syria to clandestine support for specific opposition forces. US military personnel on the ground in Syria became directly involved in hostilities. Since then, the operations of Special Operations Forces (SOF) have intensified and widened in scope. In 2016, the US deployed its special forces in at least seven bases in Northern Syria which are located in Qamishli, Ain Issa, Kobane, Hasaka and Tal Abyadh regions.

        “The US is preparing for establishment of ‘safe zones’ (zones of stability) or quasi states under its control to be used as springboards for military operations in the Middle East region. […]

        “All told, there is a reason to view the April 7 attack as a new phase in the ongoing war preparations. It does not matter for the US if President Assad holds the reins in Syria or not. The Assads – father and son – have been in power since 1970. The US and the Syria ruled by the Assad family are always at odds. Why is it so important to get rid of the regime now? Alleged chemical attacks and other things are obviously used as a pretext to justify large-scale military presence in the entire region.

        “The war in Syria has not been provoked by the recent events. It began long before Donald Trump took office. The incumbent president has not done anything new. He just decided to continue what his predecessor started. In general, the US administration is taking over where George W. Bush, Jr, left off. The president, who called for keeping away from foreign conflicts during the election campaign, has shifted his stance from ‘America First’ to ‘America Omnipresent’.”

        Trump’s Middle East Policy: Shifting from ‘America First’ to ‘America Omnipresent’
        By Andrei Akulov
        http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/04/15/trump-middle-east-policy-shifting-america-first-to-america-omnipresent.html

    • April 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Absolutely. Silver lining: Cat’s out of the bag. No more neo cons hiding in black skin, or pretending to be a woman. Just Donald Dump and the opposite of everything he spewed during the election. Donald is a bigger whore than Hillary; no need for the house slave; we got the plantation owner revealing exactly who is. Read ’em weep; then get back to work. Not to mention Jeff Sessions: the squirreliest little twerp the Confederacy ever produced. General Lee and even Nathan Bedford Forest are rolling over in their graves in reaction to this little twerp.

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Trumppence
      Trumppence
      noun – trump·pence \(?)t-rhum-?p?n(t)s\

      1. the joining of 2 large, mid-life white males, with a tendency to foment hatred, and alienate those who are not like them

      2. a slang term for Smegma, that originates from men of privilege

      3. the punishment that a country deserves to receive, if they throw away their vote & allow 2 gas bags to wreak havoc upon the world
      1. “This country is headed for a Trumppence of biblical proportions.”

      Mayor: What do you mean, “Trumppence”?

      “What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff. ”
      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      2. “Gross! You got your Trumppence all over me!!”
      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      3. “We brought this upon ourselves for not voting. This is our Trumppence…”
      #trumppence#smegma
      by HMSCaptainBlood July 14, 2016

    • April 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      “The idle days of pretending are gone like a candle from the wind
      really really really really really the people know…” (Cimarons “Rooting for a Cause”

  2. Joe Tedesky
    April 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The most effective weapon the Establishment used after 911, was to marginalize anyone who would question the official narravative which our Government declared to be the truth. Even the FBI never charged Osama bin Laden with the crime of 911 due to their lack of evidence against bin Laden. While some would like to consider a line used by the Project for the New American Century a coincidence of word usage, I on the other hand look upon it as a warning, or better yet a recipe for what was to come, you decide;

    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor. …”

    • Sam F
      April 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      It would be interesting to know the extent to which US officials knew of the Saudi support for the high-profile 9/11 attack that would bring the US into Mideast wars for Israel. But certainly it was treason for zionist DefSec Wolfowitz to appoint known zionist conspirators Perle, Wurmser, and Feith (who had previously worked together for Netanyahu’s support of a plan to trick the US into MidEast wars for Israel) to run the offices at DIA, CIA, and NSA that sent discredited WMD info to the Bush admin to trick the People into Iraq War II.

      For details see Bamford’s Pretext for War.

      • D5-5
        April 22, 2017 at 8:20 pm

        the photograph of Bush and Bandar Bush is certainly interesting, as to what is the extent of Bandar’s pretence and role-playing while in George’s company, the secret mask. But I suppose that was just business.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 22, 2017 at 11:47 pm

        As you know Sam our corporate media who can spend months dwelling on how the Russians rigged our American 2016 Presidential Race so Hillary would lose, can’t seem to find any quality time questioning the official 911 story. No videos to show a plane hitting the Pentagon, no wonderment to how without any plane hitting it WTC Building #7 fell, never a word to when the BBC went on the aire minutes before Bldg #7 fell reporting it’s collapse, no explanation to how Flight 93 could leave an 8 mile debris field when supposedly the aircraft went straight down before hitting the ground, and with all of these questionable items left unreported from the same media who claim beyond a doubt that Putin fixed the presidential race still with no proof to prove their claim, will refuse to aire with reasonable doubt to the official 911 narravative. I find it totally mystifying that no career opportunistic reporter has taken on the investigative research required to produce a quality 911 report or documentary to answer these many questions raised when digging in to this arranged tradegy that took place almost 16 years ago.

        The uncanny timeline of Wolfowitz presenting the ‘Rebuilding America Defenses’ raises even more questions, and his help in appointing people who authored ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ only prompts one to even scratch their head a lot more with unanswered questions, and to who these people are.

        I lean to a theory that the CIA brought agent Tim Osmon in from the cold, whereupon agent Osmon retook his birth name of Osama bin Laden. I also believe that Osama bin Laden was nearing his death, and that while his taking the blame for 911 would demonize him in the West, his memory would be long lived and celebrated in his Middle East to whom all would honor him for many years to come.

        Certainly the Muslim people didn’t benefit from this crime that was committed on that fateful day back in September of 2001, but a few others did. Between the fortunes made by the MIC and the Homeland Security vendors and contractors, why 911 was a business persons dream come true. Plus by invading Afghanistan and Iraq this sandwiched Iran, and that claim to Middle East territory is just what the Zionist and Wahabi power players salivate over.

        While it makes perfect sense to accuse Putin of election tampering, it is decidedly wrong to ever question the official 911 story. Lennon & McCartney had it right…..

        Your inside is out when your outside is in
        Your outside is in when your inside is out
        So come on come on
        Come on its such a joy
        Come on its such a joy
        Come on let’s make it easy
        Come on let’s make it easy
        Make it easy, make it easy
        Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and
        My monkey

        • Sam F
          April 23, 2017 at 6:40 am

          Yes, clearly the US goal in the Afghanistan/Iraq wars was to surround Iran at the request of Israel, since we knew that BinLaden had been based in Pakistan since the US supported him there, and had many contacts to keep him supplied there. It is hard to believe that the US is not behind destabilization of nuclear-armed Pakistan, especially having encouraged India to place troops in Afghanistan.

          It is odd that 911 is not investigated more than the Dem-alleged hacking, although many questions might remain unresolved. I have heard of videos of the second WTC impact, and it would be lucky to have videos of the others. Since the planes were crashed, it seems unlikely that there was any other cause, but I won’t discuss further here, to avoid diverting the comments.

        • Gregory Herr
          April 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

          In the real world of physics, causes and effects can be scientifically determined. The “effect” of near-complete, rapidly synchronized pulverization of the 3 WTC buildings in no way can be caused by the two plane impacts and resulting fires. Structural collapses due to structural damage do not look like this…these are not “collapses”, they are controlled demolitions.

          • Joe Tedesky
            April 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

            Thanks for your input Gregory, but would not your comment been well received if reported by our corporate media hacks? The absence of any critical analysis of 911 by America’s news media is the cover up.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

            That’s right Joe. The “news media” to which you refer is remarkably short on critical thinking and analysis while being quite adept at stenography.
            The “crash site” in Pennsylvania is as preposterous as the “structural collapses”. But of course the earth just sucked it all up…

          • Anon
            April 24, 2017 at 4:39 pm

            I’m very skeptical of the controlled demolition theory because I know more about the collapse process. But we can test this by hiring AlQaeda to turn DC back into a proper swamp for its denizens, leaving just the memorials. By filming each impact we will know the truth at last, and have much less to worry about.

        • John P
          April 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm

          Building 7 was on fire from burning debris not seen from photos taken of the twin towers. There was a documentary on this and film showing the fire. I can’t remember the details as that was some time ago. As for the twin towers the second tower was hit at a much lower level than the first. If you have seen a tall building demolition, the explosives are set at the bottom of the building in such a way that the building falls down and in on itself as the lower floor collapses and the building falls down floor by floor from the bottom. The towers can be seen to collapse from where the fires were and coming down floor by floor. The supposed explosions near the bottom are probably compressed air forced down the stairwells and elevator shafts and escaping through windows. That would be a lot of air trying to find its way out.
          I do however believe that the Israelis knew it was going to happen and by whom. Interestingly at least 4 or 5 of the named culprits are alive as reported by the BBC and other agencies, innocent people who had had their identities stolen. One had lost his a year before while a student at a university in the western USA.

          • April 24, 2017 at 6:52 am

            Actually the radio tower on top is the first to topple.

      • Beard681
        April 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        We already know. As the declassification of the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 report show, all investigation into Saudi involvement was blocked at the highest levels of government.

    • F. G. Sanford
      April 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      “Salty…but that’s just the way I like it.” It’s a punchline to an old joke.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 22, 2017 at 11:53 pm

        Yes F.G. this is an old conversation which we have had many times over, and still the punchline gets few laughs. Anchors away…Joe

  3. mike k
    April 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Those who wage war for any reason are very bad people, and need to be stopped. We need to stop war on this planet. War is never necessary or justified. These excuses are all part of the war making process. It is wrong for any individual to take part in the war making process in any way. This includes working in war industries, voting for or supporting war makers, or holding thoughts leading to war within oneself. War is evil period. War must end now. War is the greatest evil human beings can engage in. Everything good and true and beautiful is destroyed by war. War is the enemy of humankind, and threatens to kill all of us. Be clear that there is never any justification for war ever.

    Stop war in your heart and in the world. This is your primary duty as a human being.

    • Sam F
      April 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      I would change that to “aggressive war.” While some will not defend themselves, the Constitution does properly empower the federal government to repel invasions, and certainly the founders saw the necessity of the Revolutionary War, and felt that rebellion against tyranny was justified.

      So to preach against all war, you would be urging acceptance of tyranny and enslavement. But that would only increase the overall level and duration of injustice, usually intended by the advocates of capitulation.

      It is only treaties that can authorize other US warmaking, and those have been abused since WWII to rationalize aggressive war. So I would suggest rigorous limitation of defensive treaties, and operation under UN auspices, rather than rigorous pacifism. Those treaties should provide for prosecution of war crimes. The US is the only nation to pass a law to attack the Hague if its citizens are tried for war crimes, and that in itself shows intent to systematically abuse military power.

      • Bill Bodden
        April 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm

        I agree with you, Sam. I’m working on “Nuremberg and Vietnam” by Telford Taylor, one of the Nuremberg prosecutors, in which he indicates a defensive war is the only just war.

      • D5-5
        April 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        I’m with Mike on this. Get RID of it! This is basic common sense unless we relegate ourselves to being simply children, which I’m sorry to say is pretty much the truth.

        We must strive to advance ourselves beyond simple emotional levels toward use of the reasoning faculty.

        Apparently you are suggesting defense, but that goes without saying. Which means you’re against war, which means you wouldn’t mind if this ritualistic blood-savagery were to cease.

        Cheers, comrades. I’m lifting a glass to all of you!

        • Sam F
          April 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

          Understood, and so we must strive. I oppose all other war. Even the philosophy of humanitarian war is generally abused for wars of convenience, and when not deliberately abused has nonetheless caused far more harm than good. Our security is far better advance by aid and diplomacy than by war, and humanity is far better advanced by aid than war. The only exception that I see would be the case of stopping a genocide, wherein the UN could decide the most practical and humanitarian course.

      • J. D.
        April 22, 2017 at 10:42 pm

        The distinction of a just war is an important one. The colonial wars of the British Empire fought by the US, especially since the assassination of Kennedy, are examples of unjust wars.In that regard, the difference between the Bush and Obama administrations was essentially one of emphasis. Bush favored direct US invasion, while Obama preferred to use terrorist proxies. The goal is not, as the author implies, to please allies, but rather the British authored geopolitical goals of the isolation and destruction of Russia and its allies by any means, at any cost in lives, even at the risk of WWlll.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 23, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks mike k, “very bad people”, that surely was the conversation Jack and Bobby had after being briefed by the Joint Chiefs on our First Strike possibilities…

      • Gregory Herr
        April 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        “During the Cold War, LeMay was prepared to launch a preemptive nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union. He dismissed civilian control of his decision making, complained of an American phobia about nuclear weapons, and wondered privately, “Would things be much worse if Khrushchev were secretary of defense?” Theodore Sorensen, Kennedy’s speechwriter and alter ego, called LeMay “my least favorite human being.”
        The strains between the generals and their commander in chief showed up in exasperating ways. When Bundy asked the Joint Chiefs’ staff director for a copy of the blueprint for nuclear war, the general at the other end of the line said, “We never release that.” Bundy explained, “I don’t think you understand. I’m calling for the president and he wants to see [it].” The chiefs’ reluctance was understandable: their Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan foresaw the use of 170 atomic and hydrogen bombs in Moscow alone; the destruction of every major Soviet, Chinese, and Eastern European city; and hundreds of millions of deaths. Sickened by a formal briefing on the plan, Kennedy turned to a senior administration official and said, “And we call ourselves the human race.”

        excerpted from: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/08/jfk-vs-the-military/309496/

        • Bob Van Noy
          April 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

          Thanks Greg…

    • April 24, 2017 at 6:57 am

      True. The USA revolution was partly a war to allow genocide of Natives. War is always a failure, tyranny is better resisted by more intelligent means.

      • Sam F
        April 25, 2017 at 11:56 am

        I don’t know of “more intelligent means” that actually work in resisting tyranny. Historically it is ended by either revolutions or invasions. Intelligent persuasion does not affect the tyrant, and moral education does not prevent the rise of tyranny. The tyrant knows only the language of force.

  4. mike k
    April 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    I am completely losing patience with all this tangled analysis of the infinitely complex war making ideologies and strategies. All of this seems to tacitly accept the basic premise that there will always be wars, and we will always need to wage them. We need a movement that cuts this whole logic at the root, Gandhi and others have tried to make this point in their own ways, and to me it is valid. We need to just quit accepting that we must play according to the warmaker’s twisted logic. Only a radical antiwar movement has any chance to end this evil tragedy of war. Stop war. It is as simple as that. People have been brainwashed into thinking war is necessary – it is not. War has no logic – it is insanity.

    • Bill Bodden
      April 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      We need a movement that cuts this whole logic at the root,

      Much easier said than done, mike. Consider human nature which apparently decides evil will be among us making war inevitable.

    • Gregory Herr
      April 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      I think the premise being discussed is that the necessary conditions for which it may become imperative for a group to defend itself could arise. That isn’t to say that those conditions will necessarily arise, or are inevitable, but simply that they could arise. Yes, all war has consequences that are intrinsically “evil” so war is much to be avoided, but a “war” of self-defense, it may.be argued, could under circumstances be an “only” choice for an ethically-minded group of people.

    • Lois Gagnon
      April 22, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Are you familiar with David Swanson’s World Beyond War? He’s doing good work. You can get involved in your area.

      http://worldbeyondwar.org/

    • Skip Scott
      April 23, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Mike K- I agree with you that war is not the answer, and that we must look within ourselves to find peace, and learn to radiate that peace. Only by accepting personal responsibility for our actions, rather than blindly becoming part of a war machine, will world peace ever become possible. When our founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment, their idea was to have a citizen’s militia to impel foreign invaders, and protect ourselves and our new republic. They are turning in their graves at what we have become. In this modern world, I suppose we may need more than muskets, but I don’t think we would need more than a National Guard and a Coast Guard. Imagine what we could do with the manpower and resources if we brought our soldiers home! We must learn to wage peace within ourselves and with the world.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 23, 2017 at 9:59 am

        Skip America growing up to be the biggest guy in the room could have leveraged it’s massive size to insure peace, but instead by our convert instigations we have only waged more war than was/is necessary. We blew it at being that kind of peacemaker, and for that the world only suffers. Imagine what America could have accomplished being the biggest and the kindest.

      • Skip Scott
        April 23, 2017 at 9:59 am

        Obviously should have been “repel foreign invaders”. Oops.

      • Sam F
        April 24, 2017 at 7:05 am

        Jefferson argued that we needed no standing army and no more than patrol boats. But with raids on US shipping and the impressment of merchant seamen by the British Navy, Letters of Reprisal authorizing armed merchant vessels were not enough, so the warships USS Constitution and Constellation and others were built and used in the War of 1812. Foreign trade implied defending shipping even if we avoided foreign entanglements.

        The National Guard was an ominous nationalization of the state militias, themselves an attempt to gain government control of small militias. Whether that serves the People or tyranny depends on whether tyranny exists, debatable then, but we have tyranny now and might be better off with small militias, but for the likelihood that the extreme right wing would control them. Militias might or might not suppress rebellions against tyranny, but would likely be motivated by the mass media of tyranny until that is reformed.

        But still you are correct that “if we brought our soldiers home” or re-purposed the military to build roads, schools, and hospitals in developing nations, we would have the “manpower and resources” to have lifted half the world from poverty since WWII instead of killing over six million innocents struggling for the same independence goals of our Revolutionary War.

    • Beard681
      April 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      We are not going to abolish 1 million years of primate evolution. Wars are waged by the state, which is always seeeing to increase its powers. The one constant in war is that it always results in increased state power. Only by weakening and reigning in the state will it’s penchant for violence and conquest be lessened.

  5. John Neal Spangler
    April 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    It is obvious the GWOT is just an excuse to ramp up budgets and pursue geopolitical goals in the Mid East. By their actions and strategies the pentagon and CIA do not believe Osama and Al-Quaeda did 9-11. Invading Iraq, trashing Libya, and trying regime change in Syria about Oil and pipelines. Petraeus, McChyrstal, Mattis are not stupid. they know the SWOT is an excuse to pursue their fantasies of Friendly regimes in Mid-East that will allow Big Oil to loot them. Of course the more we kill the more the locals hate the US, so the whole strategy is doomed to fail and give Iran and Russia more influence in the long term.

    • Sam F
      April 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      The US can buy oil from whomever has it for about the same price. It is the zionists who control the politicians: they don’t make speeches about oil to oil companies, as they do to AIPAC about Israel.

      Not a single unusually-favorable US oil deal came out of Iraq or Libya, despite all of the warmonger propaganda. Nor was there any reason to believe that such a result was possible. Nor is there anything that would have prevented a Qatari pipeline through Syria to Turkey if that had been the original goal. With the permanent insurgency we have created there, it would now be a risky place for any pipeline. The idea of competing pipelines and oil deals is a propaganda diversion to distract us from the primary zionist plan.

      • April 24, 2017 at 7:06 am

        Qatari pipeline without Assad approval? Stated USA policy of global full spectrum domainence would include control of all energy sources. Chomsky states the USA intends to purchase oil in the Alantic basin, but needs to Control the other suppliesfor global domainence.

        • Sam F
          April 24, 2017 at 7:18 am

          By that I mean that pipeline approval by Syria would have been likely if Qatar/KSA/Israel/US were not in conflict with Assad. And likely Syria would have moved toward democracy if it were not under threat. The bullying US constantly uses actions that it has provoked by aggression, to rationalize further aggression.

          • Joe Wallace
            April 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm

            Sam F:

            “The bullying US constantly uses actions that it has provoked by aggression, to rationalize further aggression.”

            Your remark perfectly recapitulates Richard Sakwa’s insight about the ongoing expansion of NATO:

            “NATO’s existence became justified by the need to manage the security threats provoked by its enlargement.”

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Thank you John Neal Spangler, and (in a better word) begin an international, real discussion, on sustainability and movement, as best possible, toward that…

  6. John Neal Spangler
    April 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    It is obvious the GWOT is just an excuse to ramp up budgets and pursue geopolitical goals in the Mid East. By their actions and strategies the pentagon and CIA do not believe Osama and Al-Quaeda did 9-11. Invading Iraq, trashing Libya, and trying regime change in Syria about Oil and pipelines. Petraeus, McChyrstal, Mattis are not stupid. they know the SWOT is an excuse to pursue their fantasies of Friendly regimes in Mid-East that will allow Big Oil to loot them. Of course the more we kill the more the locals hate the US, so the whole strategy is doomed to fail and give Iran and Russia more influence in the long term.

  7. Adrian Engler
    April 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    One long-standing constant in US foreign policy is the close alliance with Sunni Arabic theocracies. Originally, the main basis for this was probably access to oil, but with the time, their investments in the US became more important. These countries always had a preference for supporting extremist groups in other countries. To some degree, the United States just tolerated this as an inevitable part of the alliance, but in many cases, their connection to extremist Islamist groups were very useful to the United States for geopolitical reasons. The Mujaheddin were supported against the government of Afghanistan that was allied with the Soviet Union. Partially, these were the same people that later appeared as a part of Al Qaeda, one of them was Osama Bin Laden. From that perspective, when we take into account how the Mujaheddeen were celebrated as freedom fighters, it is not that surprising if now, it is attempted to rebrand Al Qaeda militias in Syria as “moderate rebels”, though it may be a bit difficult to get acceptance for this from the US public. In the light of the US support for the Mujaheddeen, it is also somewhat absurd when later, NATO actions are celebrated as a fight for women’s rights, but probably it is hoped that people’s memories are short.

    An important factor is probably the increasing convergence of the lobbies of Sunni theocracies and of Israel in the United States. Both are very well represented in foreign policy think tanks. If they pulled towards opposite directions, they might partially cancel each other out, but Israel’s relationship with these very repressive theocracies has become relatively good. An explanation might be that in such extremely repressive Arabic countries, public opinion matters less, and so their leaders naturally arrange themselves with the strongest military power in the Middle East. Secular governments, even if they are not democratic, generally do not ignore public opinion as much, and as long as the Palestinian territories are occupied, it is more difficult to normalize relationships with Israel (although two non-theocratic neighbors of Israel still have normal relationships). Therefore, the main target have been secular Arabic governments in the Middle East.

    It is very doubtful that the drone wars that lead to many innocent victims really help in the fight against terrorism. What could possibly help would be if the United States gave up their long-time alliance with countries like Saudi-Arabia and Qatar that support terrorist groups and completely reversed their Middle East policies. But there are very strong forces within the United States that would hardly allow this.

    • F. G. Sanford
      April 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Yeah. The “petrodollar” would collapse…a strong force indeed!

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:09 am

      Main targets secular Socialist governments.

      • Sam F
        April 24, 2017 at 7:22 am

        Yes, socialism abroad is the target of the US oligarchy, which prefers any tyranny over socialism, to head off socialism in the US.

        • Beard681
          April 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

          Tyranny and socialism are not mutually exclusive. Look at North Korea, and Cuba. Even the gulf state monarchies have economies that are dominated by state enterprises. Here in the US, the military establishment, from the Intelligence serves to even the VA is for all intents and purposes a state enterprise.

  8. April 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    The maddening part is how unquestioning the American people are. Polls come out from time to time stating that over 50% of Americans don’t believe the official 911 Iraq story, I’ve read 65%, but many go on consuming these lies, which get worse and worse, apparently accepting there is nothing to be done about it. And I know the feeling, even briefly bringing up the GWOT to someone can make me feel like talking to a wall.

    However, among many websites that would be called “activist”, there is lots of talk that people who oppose war and the ongoing pillage believe silence is no longer acceptable. On Counterpunch today, Sean Stinson posted an essay titled “MOAB: More Obama and Bush”, making a case for our present US government as a military junta which has become gradually worse and now in full control under hapless Trump. He ends by saying:

    “Will the antiwar left finally take off their pink pussy hats and join the struggle now that Trump is acting like a bona fide war president?… Stopping the imperialist juggernaut as it prepares for the final battle will require nothing less than a revolutionary mass movement”….”The time for incremental reforms and piecemeal progress has passed. Radical action is urgently needed.” and “Today the stakes are far higher. Russia and China have made it clear they will not tolerate unilateral action in Syria or North Korea. If we are going to stop an all-out confrontation between superpowers, then the war machine must be stopped by any and all means possible. While I’m not specifically advocating for the return of the guillotine, there was that time in 1650 when a mob of angry Dutch killed and ate their own Prime Minister. It’s good to have options. “

  9. mike k
    April 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    The belief that war is an inevitable part of the human story, and that it will always be that way is one of the primary reasons we have not outgrown this bizarre mutual destruction. Think about that for a bit. If you believe deeply that this is true, and a large number of others also believe it, what effect will that have on the probability that wars will continue? War is not like the planetary motion, or the weather, or other natural phenomena. War is a phenomenon that originates in human minds, and their aims, understandings, fears, and desires. War is a creation of human beings. It is possible for humans to live together without war. This has happened in our history here and there. The whole “human nature” explanation for war is on the same level as Aristotle’s explanation of falling objects, “they have an inner tendency to fall, it is their nature to fall.” Some explanation; it really means you don’t have a clue why something happens. “Human nature” is about as vague a concept as can be imagined – as an explanation for human behavior, it’s just a cop out.

    Reminds me of the belief expressed in the old saying, “The poor will always be with us.” There goes socialism! No sense trying to do something assumed to be impossible. War will always be with us. No sense trying to end that. Conventional beliefs defy contradiction. Goodbye lasting peace….

    • Bill Bodden
      April 22, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Mike: You aspire to an ideal world without war. So, too, do those of us who believe that is unattainable – at least in the short-term, that will endure for decades and probably generations. What is attainable is a world with less wars.

      • mike k
        April 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm

        “If we had but world enough and time…..but at my back I always hear time’s winged chariot drawing near.”

        Our global situation reminds me of addicts I share with at a treatment center, they always think there will be more time. “One of these days I’ll just quit.” And then I get word, Charlie just died, OD’ed. Our culture operates and thinks like an addict. We are all infected by these false memes and myths that keep us hooked on so many things,,,,like war. We’ll quit tomorrow, but not today.

        When I was drafted to go to the Korean War, I refused to go. I quit doing war. All you have to do to stop war is stop doing it. If enough people decide to do that, there will be no war. If people still choose to go to war, then it will still exist. Only people who choose to do war keep it alive, Those who believe in war need to be conscious of their choice and it’s consequences. You can’t blame it on outside forces, you always have the ability to refuse to fight. It make take courage to do so, but it is always possible, even if you have to give up your life. If you don’t believe in war, don’t do it. If you do believe in war, then you are responsible for keeping it going. Ask yourself, what were US soldiers protecting in all our wars these last fifty years? What were we willing to kill others for?

        • Gregory Herr
          April 23, 2017 at 10:21 am

          Mike, like you, I do not subscribe to the notion that war is to be accepted as a given, as an “inevitable” aspect of human civilization. And I agree that personal choice is always available.
          But modern warfare is a function (perhaps a poor choice of wording) of the nation-state, and we see in our own nation how little effect the will of ordinary people has on “policy”. Massive, coordinated “disobedience”, it is true, would have quite an effect, but such a state of affairs, I’m sorry to say, is not really something I could ever hope has much of a realistic chance of occurrence.
          It is possible, should humans survive our present dire predicaments, that someday there will be an international “rule of law” based in cooperation and respect for decency and human rights that is actually abided by. We had a good chance after WWII…if we’re fortunate, there will be another. Might as well dream.

        • Bill Bodden
          April 23, 2017 at 9:01 pm

          Ask yourself, what were US soldiers protecting in all our wars these last fifty years?

          Something similar to what Smedley Butler confessed to – making the world safe for Wall Street. Smedley Butler also expressed his opinion that Woodrow Wilson’s plan to have America join the Brits in the First World War was to protect Wall Street loans made to Britain. If Britain had lost the war those loans would have gone down the tube. The Brits had an understanding that the U.S. would join the war on their side when talks of a truce were going the rounds in the summer of 1917 so they turned the truce down. Between then and Armistice Day more millions of people died in vain.

        • Beard681
          April 28, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          LOL. Read some of the posts adjacent to yours. They talk about Guillotines, revolts and eating humans. Name any religion, political theory or economic platform (even socialism) and there are people willing to kill to advance it. Add on top of that, all the criminal and personally driven assaults and murders. What elevates what can be considered “normal” human violence to the mass produced misery and violence of war, is the overarching power of the state.

      • April 24, 2017 at 7:15 am

        What is attainable is what one believes and what one imagines, as shown by quantum physics.

    • Joe Wallace
      April 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      mike k:

      The rich will always be with us, too. Not sure which is the greater burden.

  10. mike k
    April 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    The difficulty in the situation we find ourselves in today is that incremental changes and tried and true methods will not deliver us from the doom bearing down on us very rapidly. What is needed to avert what will probably be a final disaster is thinking and changes that go way beyond what we have thought possible before. We are being forced to come up with some things perhaps considered impossible until now. These quantum leaps now represent the only ways out of what otherwise is becoming a no exit progression. As Einstein put it, the old ways will never solve the new problems, like nuclear energy and others, that we have blundered into.

    • D5-5
      April 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      You are absolutely right. The simple point is we must strive to move ahead, not fall back toward the Dark Ages. We MUST use our intelligence properly. War is an instrument of ignorance and savagery. It is the act of the savage.

      The great Dystopian novelists warned us this was coming but we didn’t believe it. In the face of the ludicrous weaponry available, to be FOR WAR is prima facie evidence of lunacy.

  11. D5-5
    April 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    “But the reason for the betrayal of U.S. counter-terrorism interests is not that the senior officials in charge of these war bureaucracies want to promote Al Qaeda. It is because they had to sacrifice the priority of countering Al Qaeda to maintain the alliances, the facilities, and the operations on which their continued power and resources depend.”

    I think we need to dig into this betrayal a little further.

    The problem moves beyond the logistics surface to the underlying betrayal of the idealism supposed to govern the country.

    The further the US steps away from its avowed historical intentions not “to seek monsters,” while urging defense as foremost, but instead serves special interests, the more contradictions will inevitably arise.

    These contradictions constitute the betrayal in its deepest sense. We no longer defend, we globalize, we one-world.

    Questionable actions in historical terms—in terms of basic understandings from the foundations of the country—are masked and hidden in simplistic thinking.

    The betrayal emerges from the special interests and rationalizations of the policy makers, under the guise of generalized “national security.”

    It moves beyond (ignoring) a safeguard such as consulting the people’s representatives on whether to go to war.

    Next, we move to authoritarianism through hysteria and propaganda, if not new legislation, to shut up the critics who are asking: what happened to the original idealism governing this country?

    A functioning democracy, as with any human being, needs to examine itself, ask the hard questions, seek truthful information, and move toward improvements.

    The betrayal at its deepest avoids self-correction as if it were some evil disease brought in by “subversives,” while increasing the authoritarian side of government.

    • Skip Scott
      April 23, 2017 at 7:09 am

      As a side note concerning National Security and the war machine, I have always wondered at the justification for “classified information” in a supposedly free and open society. I would love to have an informed debate with the likes of VIPS members Ray McGovern and William Binney. I think it is obvious that the whole structure has been grossly mis-used to hide the actions and motives of our government from the citizenry, but I wonder if an argument can be made that there are times when secrecy is warranted and wouldn’t violate our core beliefs in freedom, democracy, and human rights. I think it is quite possible that there is no place for classified information in our form of government.

      • Bob Van Noy
        April 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

        Skip Scott, l agree and, like you, I’ve wondered about secrecy in these times. I have been visiting Robert David Steele’s site more frequently because he seems to be an advocate of “open source everything” as a way to shine a light on so called intelligence. It seems plausible to me, but surely an open and broad discussion is a necessary beginning.

        http://robertdavidsteele.com

      • evelync
        April 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

        Skip, re: “I have always wondered at the justification for “classified information”

        I think it’s mostly used to hide unpleasant truths – e.g. politically motivated decisions (Trump’s big bombing to get the applause of the Deep State and the MSM); policies that do not serve the public interest but the fantasy world of the deciders; policies that would be unacceptable to the public – the “hard choices” as Mrs. Clinton called the COUP in Honduras. and on and on and on.

        It’s one thing to protect “sources”

        It’s another to keep secret what should be an honest open debate on foreign policy which we just don’t have.

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Idealism has had lip service in the USA but greed and violence has Always been it’s true Creed . Native genocide, Imperial Agression in Mexico, Spanish colonies, Slavery , Always war in many places.

  12. April 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Reading comments by people who contribute to CN discussions makes clear that this group is very intelligent and thinking, but what to do about the 85% who make the murderous lies possible, who pay little attention, don’t even know where these countries are located? That is how the Masters of War prevail. That is the problem.

  13. pete22
    April 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    We have been using terrorists to further our interests since Operation Cyclone almost 40 yrs ago in Afghanistan. Installed an Islamic state in Iran around the same time to use against Iraq which weakened both states in the war where we armed both sides of the conflict. Meanwhile Israel was using Hamas to weaken Arafat. Worked so well we did the same in the Balkans against the Serbs and in Chechnya to weaken Russia . Basically this strategy worked even better in the 90’s and we are using it today in pretty much every country in the region that has a Muslim population, including Europe even if only to get NATO support for our interests. Of course, to get the financial support needed for the wars in the 21st century we needed a Pearl Harbor event as predicted in the neocon PNAC report on rebuilding our defenses in 1999 which is exactly what happened.

    ISIS like AQ is useful tool in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc. More moderate groups like the MB and Guilen movement are being used in Turkey, Egypt, etc.

    At some point we will turn against them like we did Stalin who was a former ally until we decided a Cold War would be useful. GWOT is just a temporary replacement for the Cold War but rather unsustainable unless the bad guys are backed up with a state which the public will perceive as a real threat. That will take awhile so perhaps China/Russia is the backup plan, or maybe part of same plan.

    A scenario where East Asia, Eurasia and Oceania are in perpetual war , changing sides from time to time with history being rewritten to make it seem like there has been no change might be desirable. Historical amnesia is just as prevalent today as in 1984 and technology makes this easier to accomplish and enforce.

  14. jimbo
    April 23, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Speaking of oil, how much longer will we need it? If electric vehicles take off it doesn’t matter if they’ve newly found oil on the Golan or off the Somali coast. Pennsylvania’s fields might supply enough oil to run electric generators, which, I imagine, would be the biggest demand for future oil. Left after that are the more piddly uses for petroleum like cosmetics and lubricating robots’ joints.

    And left off of your exhortations to “get Israel!” leaves the fact that there is still Islam. In the American revolution and other western revolutions the good guys were secular and rational men and women of the renaissance. Individually, of course, there are many fine Muslims, Jews and Christians, but as a group the most fiery are the Muslims. I’m a western man who breaks religious taboos every day and in 65 years God has not yet stuck me down. But many millions of Muslims actually get down on their knees and pray three times a day. Radical Islam takes that kind of devotion to a new and more deadly level. If you think the schemers in the Pentagon and in Tel Aviv are devious at least they are doing it for money or for their perception of security. But Islamists really do want to convert the world, really want to make a caliphate, truly want to win for God! A drone here and there won’t stop them. Make a two state partition of Palestine and Israel and you will have a modern western style country on one side and a medieval and fanatic country on the other. If only the Muslims would chill. Not saying the west isn’t at fault but if somehow the CIA made a ray gun which zapped God out of peoples’ heads I might be for it.

    • Sam F
      April 23, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Medievalism does not persist strongly in the modern world, even when it survives among the uneducated. Theocracy now is the defense of those whose rights are suppressed. Iran would likely be less so if the US had not overthrown its democracy in 1953.

      The US is quite able to stay out of those areas while encouraging secular education. Religious fanaticism would have been forgotten since WWII if we had done so. Putting a Jewish state in Israel, overthrowing Iran to get oil, and arming AQ theocrats against Russia, was the US thorn in the side of Islam that ensured the present instability.

    • mike k
      April 23, 2017 at 7:32 am

      So our two main problems are oil and Islam? Get rid of those and the glorious reign of USA can proceed unimpeded? Brilliant. I never realized it was so simple. If we could only do this our dominion over the world could proceed as planned.

    • Irene
      April 23, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Is it any skin off your nose if other people pray? Count the bodies and you will see it is the US that needs to chill. All the money in the world hardly justifies the carnage we have allowed our government to inflict on people who have done nothing to us. All the carnage our government has inflicted has hardly added to our security. Your idea of western modernity is completely irrational and truly frightening.

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:28 am

      The love of money is the root of all evil, true words by a fanatic praying peacenik.

  15. Realist
    April 23, 2017 at 4:23 am

    U.S.-instigated wars as “fly paper” to lure and entrap an entire generation of Islamic young men from around the world who otherwise would have stayed home and cared for their families? Who have now been transmogrified into headchopping religious fanatics by the training they receive from America’s great ally Saudi Arabia? Just how has anybody (except the MIC, Big Oil, the authoritarian fascists, the deranged egos of the Neocons and the sick minds of Wahabist “holy men”) gained from this? The American treasury is empty, our economy, social safety nets, healthcare system, education system and infrastructure are shot, the middle class taxpayer is on the hook for the debt, the poor who send their kids off to war have only coffins, widows, orphans, burial expenses or a lifetime of medical rehabilitation, while the poor saps overseas upon whom we have warred have a generation wiped out or displaced and thousands of square miles of their countries in ruin. Every city and village in the countries we have invaded look like photos of the aftermath of World War II in Europe. Fallujah, Bashrah, Mosul, Allepo, Kandahar, and Benghazi (to name just some) were cities the size of Cleveland, Baltimore or larger, and now they are rubble with their people dead or scattered. And we don’t even count the actions of our junior varsity, Israel, in Gaza, Lebanon or the West Bank as our responsibility even though we aid and abet it all. I know Madeleine Albright believed it to be “worth it,” but this price was worth WHAT exactly? The Ayatollah was right, America IS the great Satan.

    Clearly Asian lives weren’t worth a damn either, in Indo-China and the Koreas, nor Latin Americans in Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, just starting the discussion since World War II. (I know about Mexico, the Philippines and so much more that blemish most of our history.) Neither, for that matter, were Eastern European lives in the present day valued in the former Yugoslavia and the Donbass, where we or our proxies kill without restraint to further some nebulous over-arching American policy of “isolating” and “containing” Russia, which basically minds its own business and doesn’t go round invading other countries willy nilly. I’m also pretty sure that Russia never exterminated the indigenous people who make up the vast multi-ethnic component of its population. Yes, Stalin and all that, but he wasn’t nearly as effective we were against the Native Americans. We win the prize as all around world class blood-thirsty asshats.

    • mike k
      April 23, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Wonderful summary Realist. I love the truth. Evil is always stupid and self-defeating. Violence is good at destroying things, worthless for lasting construction. Lies give temporary results but long term problems. War is the epitome of wrongheadedness. Every shot fired ends up in our foot. The cosmic law of life is cooperate or fail, love or perish. Capitalism and empire operate in defiance of this cosmic law, hence they are doomed to fail and create immense misery in doing so.

      • Realist
        April 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm

        As I see it, if one follows the LOGIC, as opposed to the religious dictate, of the golden rule, everyone receives the benefits. As Mr. Spock would say, war is not logical. Refraining from it is an inherent good for all concerned. Not hard to understand. Why so rarely practiced by Homo sapiens (Latin for wise or sensible person)?

  16. Bolt
    April 23, 2017 at 4:27 am

    A Bulgarian journalist has been tracking multiple shiploads of Bulgarian produced (non-NATO) arms to KSA – paid for by the US. KSA uses NATO standard weapons.
    https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/bulgarian-weapons-for-the-terrorists-in-syria-colonel-cassad/

    • Gregory Herr
      April 23, 2017 at 9:17 am

      From Joe’s article:

      “Vice President of the United States Joe Biden said: “[Erdogan…the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc.]…poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
      Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

      Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said: “I know major Arab allies who fund them [ISIS].”

      Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said: “It’s unbelievable and unacceptable that more than 60 nations comprising this coalition that have the most modern aircraft and weapons at their disposal have been conducting their campaign in Iraq for 14 months and IS still remains in the country.”
      Former Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn said: “I think it was a decision, a willful decision.”

      The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said: “The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria…The West, the Gulf Countries, and Turkey support the opposition.”

      Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan said: “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the [Olympic] games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us.”

      The U.S. State Department said, “Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa’ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan…Al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point…UAE’s role as a growing global financial center, coupled with weak regulatory oversight, makes it vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financiers and facilitation networks…[Qatar has] been hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals.”
      No concrete steps are taken against these state supporters of terrorism. Far from it, they are intimate partners with the United States and form a coalition of the willing to use proxy terrorists to destroy Syria. ISIS has been a main component of this effort for years. It was not until they attacked targets in Europe (Paris), that Western leaders finally decided that they needed to appear to do things differently.”

      Thanks for your efforts Joe.
      All “appearances” notwithstanding, now in April of 2017, support for vile terrorist mercenaries rolls on.

  17. Herman
    April 23, 2017 at 8:13 am

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Empires stay viable working on this principle. The British were particularly good at it. Knowing this places a new light on Charlie Wilson’s war. Andy Gump aka Tom Hanks made Congressman Wilson a hero for doing just that. No matter the consequences of a failed state of Afghanistan which followed. Syria is the current target but real men are after Russia.

    • mike k
      April 23, 2017 at 9:01 am

      The logic of hate. The morals of evil.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Wow, thanks for bringing that up Herman, never ever has a statement that makes so little sense been taken so seriously. A true sign of the moral ineptitude of our Security State…

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:37 am

      So when a serial killer kills your busines competition . you guys are buddies?

  18. Mark Thomason
    April 23, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Before “terror” the go to excuse was “communist” but it was no more true the way it was used. It was the label that excused whatever the powerful wanted to do for their own reasons.

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

      And Savages or Pagans, or Catholics or Protestants, or Cathars or what ever. The other is demonized to support one’s greed.

  19. MaDarby
    April 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

    If, as I believe, the goal and strategy of the Empire of the Exceptionals in the Middle East is to create and maintain chaos and confusion then the strategy is working.

    The goal of the Empire of the Exceptionals has been stated over and over “Global full spectrum domination.” AirSeaLandSpaceCyber. To avoid sharing hegemony in the Middle East with Russia/Iran/China the idea is to keep the region in chaos through low intensity military actions throughout the region.

    Everyone talks about Libya, for example, as a failure but I don’t agree, the Empire of the Exceptionals is opposed to government and sovereignty. Destroying the Libyan state was the goal and it succeeded. Now, the resources can be plundered without concern for anything but profit and there is no organized state there to interfere and there is no leader who might act against Imperial interests.

    My view is that the Empire of the Exceptionals has far bigger fish to fry. The war(s) of the Middle East are manageable low intensity regional conflicts which can go on indefinably. The real prize is Russia/China/Iran (which do not fall under the financial domination of the Empire) and that is where their primary attention is focused.

    The almost complete encirclement of China/Russia with trillions of dollars of military equipment and personnel – hundreds of bases and anti-missal batteries around the globe (allowing a first nuclear strike by neutering a nuclear response (they believe)) the stationing of nuclear carrying B-1 long range bombers in Australia and nuclear submarines in waters surrounding China and Russia have advanced dramatically over the past ten years.

    Russia, China and Iran (with a few other smaller players) are accumulating gold in large amounts and have set up their own trade and money transfer systems separate from SWIFT and the Imperial financial system and dollar reserve currency system. That is what frightens them most the loss of global financial domination through the dollar reserve currency system – and that is what the conflict is really about.

    When Nixon removed the US from the gold standard it was a stealth way for the US to go bankrupt after the Vietnam war ruined the US. Now the dollar is based on nothing more than faith and trust – which are in shorter and shorter supply. China/Russia/Iran are setting up an alternative system based on gold and not air.

    Economic warfare is well underway and is more intense in many ways than the kinetic warfare.

    Failure of US policy in the Middle East and elsewhere is based on the amount of human suffering created. Yet, the Empire of the Exceptionals could care less about human suffering – they intend to own the entire planet and if billions die and/or suffer – so what – there are way too many people anyway.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

      You are so right with your analysis. If America wanted to end this war of terror, well then for all the time, money, and manpower which has been spent on fighting it this crisis should have been subdued by now a thousand, or better yet a few trillion times over. Chaos is a money maker for the few who profit from it.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Exactly, MaDarby. Thanks. I’ve been thinking a lot about national and international money especially after following the collapse of the Greek economy and understanding what brought that about. Actually there isn’t enough shiny stuff to hoard to support a world economy, so leaving the gold standard was probably a good decision but then it became petro-dollars and we are learning the limitations of that right now. Good, sound economics are no mystery, but it will require international cooperation which seems impossible this morning…
      You might enjoy reading “Welcome To The Poisoned Chalice” by James Galbraith…

      https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Poisoned-Chalice-Destruction-Greece/dp/0300220448/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

  20. April 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    There is overwhelming evidence that there are war criminals in our midst. The time has come to tell it like it is. Therefore, I ask:
    “Who Will Arrest The War Criminals? Or Has Justice Been Subverted”?
    [much more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/04/who-will-arrest-war-criminals-or-has.html

    • John Doe II
      April 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      A lyric from the american songbook — (an American idiomatic, history-suppressed love song to itself:

      “How Little It Matters How Little We Know”

      How little we know
      How much to discover
      What chemical forces flow
      From lover to lover

      How little we understand – what touches of that tingle
      That sudden explosion – when two tingles intermingle

      Who cares to define
      What chemistry this is
      Who cares with your (bombs online)
      How ignorant bliss is

      So long as you kiss me – (and) the world around us SHATTERS
      How little it matters – how little we know

      (How little we know, how little we know,…)

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      I’ve bookmarked your list Stephen. Thank you.

  21. John Doe II
    April 23, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    (how little we know, or how little “other peoples” matter to us as long as They’re the ones being bombed out of existence)-Right?
    .

    What on earth could be more terrible than to have your National Leader declared a “vicious dictator” or “thug” — then see undeclared war perpetrated upon your historic way of life — for no other reason than so-called World Powers injudiciously decide to OVERTHROW your Government?

    In the process of that, you and Manifold Millions of your countrymen are Bombed Out of the Reality you and your Forebears have Known & Lived for ACTUAL CENTURIES !!!!!!!!

    Freak’n forced out of homes, schools, worship houses, employment, daily schedules, families/relatives, waving,smiling, Living Normally in Neighbor hoods of familiarity, commonality, community under a Structured Government that Provided a Stability that The Majority Understood and Abided By.
    That’s all been destroyed.
    The nation(al) Polity, an Entire Nation of people suddenly/radically disembodied, parts scattered into “refugee camps”-“detention centers” or under Hostile subjugation/control by Force of “Rational” moderates whose best interests are tied to the Chalibi camp of insiders that incite.
    They’re now displaced.
    The now homeless (Strugglers) as desperate and dependent, having their independence stolen
    have no voice in the world, no heritage, no belonging; being neither migrants nor immigrants
    they have been Removed into Freak’n Camps in Freak’n UNKNOWN COUNTRIES for shelter.
    “Mans Inhumanity”
    Is the rule by force of Raw Persuasive Power or the Control of World Economies.
    how debilitating to health&wellbeing would be a sudden change of diet/sleep patterns?
    What on earth could your National Leader do but RESIST for your Very Ethnic Existence?

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Picasso’s Guernica

  22. John Doe II
    April 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Realities of history disappear rapidly
    Acts of Aggression against Rogue States;

    Noam Chomsky and Edward Said

    Some humans recognize truth,
    believe in it, practice it in living.

  23. John Doe II
    April 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm
  24. John Doe II
    April 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    The French were not dispassionate
    and had not the heart to destroy
    Vietnamese society and culture.

    The Russians were the same,
    vis-a-vis humans in Afghanistan.
    Murderous USA is not so inclined…

    The Fascist of the world are fraught
    with global dominance as are
    The Slave-ist capitalist superiortist

    Capitalism and Slavery
    Each generation seems condemned to have to prove the obvious anew: slavery created the modern world, and the modern world’s divisions are the product of slavery.
    Capitalism and Slavery
    Each generation seems condemned to have to prove the obvious anew: slavery created the modern world, and the modern world’s divisions are the product of slavery.

    • April 24, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Soviets in Afghanistan may have been extremely brutal.

  25. David F., N.A.
    April 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Bait and switch is used for more than just the “war on terror”. There’s the economy, healthcare, civil liberties, etc. And now that the neocons have pushed out one of their favorite bait and switch salespersons, Bill “show me your birth certificate” O’Really, they’ve moved Rachel “show me your tax returns” Maddow into their lead distraction position. Where are the late night yucksters sales folks when you need them? (I guess a buck’s a buck)

  26. John Doe II
    April 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    white supremacist capitalist patriarchy

    The social and political system prevalent in the United States and much of the world right now. Its agenda includes white supremacy and other forms of racism to keep many ethnic and racial groups in their place (often aided by political leaders of the opressed ethnic groups), religious fundamentalism and prejudice reminescent of medieval times, inhuman levels of riches and wealth for corporations and rich individuals of the upper and upper middle class (at the expense of the environment and the great majority of the world’s people), total destruction of soical welfare programs to the poor, war and imperialism on a global scale, unyielding support for Israel, and above all, a contempt for humanity.

    White supremacist capitalist patriarchy rules the world right now.

    • mike k
      April 24, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Exactly. Thank you for this concise summary of our awful situation.

  27. elmerfudzie
    April 23, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I have the highest regard for Gareth Porter. I couldn’t match his accomplishments should I be blessed with five lifetimes. That said, this article like so many others, keep rehashing the same old stuff, about logistical failures, terrorists under every rock, religious animosities and civil wars but fails to hint at or mention one real game changer, that proverbial elephant in the room…Magrav technology, the Russian super weapon, so powerful it cannot be matched even by AEGIS. This story began in Iran where a nuclear engineer by the name of Mehran Keshe developed an electronic warfare system so advanced that it brought down a sophisticated American done in 2011 and the reverse engineering performed on this captured drone was in turn shared with Syria. Apparently, Magrav technology was used by the Russians, the Khibiny Electronic Warfare System, against the USS Donald Cook during patrols in the Baltic, needless to say the ship suffered a complete electronic shut down. One week ago this same new technology was applied against our Alaskan NORAD defense system-with the same stunning result-a complete breakdown of an entire regional defense system! And now to my point, cruise missiles and drone technology are as defunct for projecting military force as is the battleship was or aircraft carriers are today (sitting ducks on the waters surface). The Russians, Syrians and Iranians have up to this point, held back, maximizing Magrav onto various front lines in the middle east; perhaps out of deference to the Western Occidents’ pride and embarrassingly regressive prejudices (see Vanity Fair’s recent article about Russians) against certain second and third world peoples. In any case, all this nonsense devoted to deliberately stirring up frictions between religious factions of Islam or manufacturing “color revolutions” of one type or another must now come to a close. A new tabula rasa requires Saudi Arabia’s help, simply by recalling and or de-funding their militaristic version of Blackwater and attendant soldiers of fortune (shock troops) with specific orders to leave Syria immediately and return home. In closing, I find it curious and more than just interesting that President Obama signed an Executive Order in April of 2012 banning the distribution of any Mehran Keshe publication for public use in our country…

  28. Abe
    April 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    “Any outright hostile steps that the White House takes against Damascus are designed to serve as an indication of the absence of any need to seek a reason or a permission from Bashar al-Assad for the US to take any steps on the Syrian soil. The international community is also being purposefully disregarded by the Trump administration as if an attack against the sovereign Syrian state doesn’t constitute a violation of international law. We are being shown that Washington will be taking into consideration nothing but its own plans and interests while deploying its military forces in the region, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it will continue pretending that it was going to fight pursue the declared fight against the terrorists of ISIS. Hence, American bases that are being built in Syria as if the soil that they occupy is up for the tacking of anybody reckless enough to claim it, thus emphasizing once again that the West couldn’t care less about Assad’s opinion on that matter.

    “In recent years, Russia acquired two military bases in Syria – the Khmeimim air base and the naval Tartus base. The United States has had no foothold in Syria to speak of. In this regard, the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the US Armed Forces have been particularly active in pursuing the goals that were considered unimportant before Trump came to power. It is quite obvious America’s bases that are being erected to the east of the Euphrates are built with long-term goals in mind, so they are there to stay, no matter what turn the so-called War on Terror will take.

    “United States Secretary of Defense, James Mattis has already presented to Donald Trump the plan of military seizure of Syrian lands last February that was to be achieved by building a network of military facilities under the pretext of having an urgent need to fight the so-called Islamic State simultaneously in Iraq and Syria. According to this official, there’s no victory to achieve against ISIS without US military installations being installed no more that 35 miles from major Syrian cities that are being occupied by radical militants.

    “In this regard, in addition to enhancing the engineering and logistic capabilities of the recently acquired Syrian bases of Rmeilan and Kobani, construction works were urgently launched at the former Syrian armed forces base of Al-Tabqa in the Raqqa Governorate, with American engineers working at that base around the clock. In particular, a lot of work has been invested in reconstructing and expanding the runway so that the base will be able to host tactical aviation and air transport units. It is expected that the Al-Tabqa base will soon be playing a pivotal part of US plans.

    “It is noteworthy that the three above mentioned bases were constructed in the de facto regions of ‘Syrian Kurdistan’. Thus, the Trump administration tries to show that Damascus can forget about returning the Kurdish areas under its control. A somewhat similar scenario has already been used in Iraq, where ‘Iraqi Kurdistan’ since 2003, in fact, was transformed into a sort of an autonomous region, with Baghdad having no real authority in those lands.”

    Trump’s Endgame in Syria and its Implications for the Region
    By Martin Berger
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/04/23/trump-s-endgame-in-syria-and-its-implications-for-the-region/

  29. Joe Tedesky
    April 24, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Upon reading Gareth Porter’s article here a second time, it goes beyond saying how we have fallen victim to what Eisenhower had warned us about. Our country’s Military Industrial Complex is a perpetual money hungry war machine. This Middle East disaster is Vietnam where we convertly arm the Viet Cong. Every strategic decision is based upon the expenditure of what new weapon to use. There is no end strategy, because bringing this war to an end, is for sure shutting down a very profitable business venture. With Trump’s recent awakening towards his extreme saber rattling, and with his generous 54 billion dollar Pentagon gift, I don’t see any end in sight to bring this war ride to a screeching halt.

    • Sam F
      April 24, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Yes, the MIC is hungry for wars and aligned with the zionist plan to destabilize the MidEast.

      But Congress or even the executive by itself could repurpose the military to build the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing nations, to civilize the economic sector of the MIC. That is, there is no inherent economic motive of the US toward war, that cannot be met by humanitarian activity, which is James’ (and Carter’s) “moral equivalent of war.”

      The underlying cause, that this industry has not been redirected to benefit humanity, is therefore zionism and the oligarchy attacks on socialism everywhere. The aspirations of the corrupt are the causes of war.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 24, 2017 at 9:53 am

        I agree with you Sam, we could use our military to do a lot of good, but that will never happen as long as the U.S. has the hegemonic mentality that it apparently has. The only protest that gets any news exposure, are protest over taxes, and celebrity led protest over women’s rights. Not that those causes are not worth jumping up and down over, but where are the peace marchers? I think a lot of Americans don’t think much about our country’s wars, and because of that lack of concern people throughout this world suffer.

        • Sam F
          April 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

          Yes, the public is controlled by the oligarchy mass media and elections, and this cannot be reformed peacefully because those are the tools of democracy. There will be no protest until the public sees the mass media facilities being destroyed, by activists, and turns away from that circus to these independent media. Broadcast media in particular are vulnerable for the same reason that they are corrupt, the centralization of their facilities and management.

  30. mike k
    April 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

    It is so refreshing to hear those on this site put the real truth out so plainly, I am learning so much. I love it. The truth is here for any who would drink from this spring….

  31. Bob Van Noy
    April 24, 2017 at 9:47 am

    And let’s not forget that it is Souls, (individual bodies) that are being manipulated into service either because of financial necessity or propagandized false patriotism. I first realized this by reading War And Peace, then by paying careful attention to the War Promotion Business. In my own town, it was the poor and poorly educated that served and payed the ultimate price of death or dismemberment. The Special Ones, while often supportive, didn’t sacrifice their Own.
    I now see that characteristic in the Neocons… Smedley Butler was right!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

  32. Jefferson
    April 26, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Find out who really was behind 9/11 by visiting : Bollyn.com and RealJewNews.com

  33. Bill Goldman
    April 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Mr. Porter overlooks the fact that the CIA inspired Al Quaeda or they wouldn’t have become so lethal. Even today, their relationship is schizophrenic; both bombing them and arming them in conjunction with the Saudis.

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