Making Trump an Endless War President

A politically embattled President Trump is under pressure to reverse his campaign promise to finally bring U.S. troops home and instead commit to open-ended wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

By Gareth Porter

The two top national security officials in the Trump administration – Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – are trying to secure long-term U.S. ground and air combat roles in the three long-running wars in the greater Middle East – Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

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)

Proposals for each of the three countries are still being developed, and there is no consensus, even between Mattis and McMaster, on the details of the plans. They will be submitted to Trump separately, with the plan for Afghanistan coming sometime before a NATO summit in Brussels on May 25.

But if this power play succeeds in one or more of the three, it could guarantee the extension of permanent U.S. ground combat in the greater Middle East for many years to come – and would represent a culmination of the “generational war” first announced by the George W. Bush administration.

It remains to be seen whether President Trump will approve the proposals that Mattis and McMaster have pushed in recent weeks. Judging from his position during the campaign and his recent remarks, Trump may well balk at the plans now being pushed by his advisers.

The plans for the three countries now being developed within the Trump administration encompass long-term stationing of troops, access to bases and the authority to wage war in these three countries. These are the primordial interests of the Pentagon and the U.S. military leadership, and they have pursued those interests more successfully in the Middle East (bureaucratically at least) than anywhere else on the globe.

U.S. military officials aren’t talking about “permanent” stationing of troops and bases in these countries, referring instead to the “open-ended commitment” of troops. But they clearly want precisely that in all three.

Shifting Timetables

The George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration both denied officially that they sought “permanent bases” in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. But the subtext in both cases told a different story. A Defense Department official testifying before Congress at the time admitted that the term had no real meaning, because the Pentagon had never defined it officially.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

In fact, at the beginning of the negotiations with Iraq on the U.S. military presence in 2008, the U.S. sought access to bases in Iraq without any time limit. But the al-Maliki government rebuffed that demand and the U.S. was forced to agree to withdraw all combat forces in a strict timetable.

Despite efforts by the Pentagon and the military brass, including Gen. David Petraeus, to get the Obama administration to renegotiate the deal with the Iraqi government to allow tens of thousands of combat troops to stay in the country, the Iraqis refused U.S. demands for immunity from prosecution in Iraq, and the U.S. had to withdraw all its troops.

Now the regional context has shifted dramatically in favor of the U.S. military’s ambitions. On one hand, the war against Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is coming to a climax in both Iraq and Syria, and the Iraq government recognizes the need for more U.S. troops to ensure that ISIS can’t rise again; and in Syria, the division of the country into zones of control that depend on foreign powers is an overriding fact.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, growing Taliban power and control across the country is being cited as the rationale for a proposal to reverse the withdrawals of U.S. and NATO troops in recent years and to allow a limited return by U.S. forces to combat.

Now that Islamic State forces are being pushed out of Mosul, both the Trump administration and the Iraqi government are beginning to focus on how to ensure that the terrorists do not return. They are now negotiating on an agreement that would station U.S. forces in Iraq indefinitely. And the troops would not be there merely to defeat ISIS, but to carry out what the war bureaucracies call “stabilization operations” – getting involved in building local political and military institutions.

Plans for Syria

The question of what to do about Syria is apparently the subject of in-fighting between Mattis and the Pentagon, on one hand, and McMaster at the National Security Council, on the other. The initial plan for the defeat of ISIS in Syria, submitted to Trump in February, called for an increase in the size of U.S. ground forces beyond the present level of 1,000.

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

But a group of officers who have worked closely with Gen. Petraeus on Iraq and Afghanistan, which includes McMaster, has been pushing a much more ambitious plan, in which thousands – and perhaps many thousands – of U.S. ground troops would lead a coalition of Sunni Arab troops to destroy Islamic State’s forces in Syria rather than relying on Kurdish forces to do the job.

Both the original plan and the one advanced by McMaster for Syria would also involve U.S. troops in “stabilization operations” for many years across a wide expanse of eastern Syria that would require large numbers of troops for many years. Both in its reliance on Sunni Arab allies and in its envisioning a large U.S. military zone of control in Syria, the plan bears striking resemblance to the one developed for Hillary Clinton by the Center for New American Security when she was viewed as the president-in-waiting.

Reversing Obama’s Afghan Policy

The Pentagon proposal on Afghanistan, which had not been formally submitted by Mattis as of this week, calls for increasing the present level of 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan by 1,500 to 5,000, both to train Afghan forces and to fight the Taliban. It also calls for resuming full-scale U.S. air strikes against the Taliban. Both policy shifts would reverse decisions made by the Obama administration.

Five past U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, including Petraeus, have publicly caIled for the U.S. to commit itself to an “enduring partnership” with the Afghan government. That means, according to their joint statement, ending the practice of periodic reassessments as the basis for determining whether the U.S. should continue to be involved militarily in the war, an idea that is likely part of the package now being formulated by Mattis.

But the problem with such a plan is that the U.S. military and its Afghan client government have now been trying to suppress the Taliban for 16 years. The longer they have tried, the stronger the Taliban have become. The U.S. and NATO were not able to pressure the Taliban to negotiate with the government even when they had more than 100,000 troops in the country.

Committing the U.S. to endless war in Afghanistan would only reinforce the corruption, abuses of power and culture of impunity that Gen. Stanley A. McChystal acknowledged in 2009 were the primary obstacles to reducing support for the Taliban. Only the knowledge that the U.S. will let the Afghans themselves determine the country’s future could shock the political elite sufficiently to change its ways.

Most political and national security elites as well as the corporate news media support the push to formalize a permanent U.S. presence in Afghanistan, despite the fact that national polls indicate that it is the most unpopular war in U.S. history with 80 percent of those surveyed in a CNN poll in 2013 opposing its continuation.

There are signs that Trump may reject at least the plans for Afghanistan and Syria. Only days after his approval of the missile strike on a Russian-Syrian airbase, Trump told Fox Business in an interview, “We’re not going into Syria.”

And White House spokesman Sean Spicer seemed to suggest this week that Trump was not enamored with the plan to spend many more years trying to “transform” Afghanistan. “There is a difference between Afghanistan proper and our effort to defeat ISIS,” Spicer said

Despite Trump’s love for the military brass, the process of deciding on the series of new initiatives aimed at committing the U.S. more deeply to three wars in the greater Middle East is bound to pose conflicts between the political interests of the White House and the institutional interests of the Pentagon and military leaders.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. [This article originally appeared at Middle East Eye at http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/pentagon-seeks-permanent-war-iraq-afghanistan-and-syria-1080897678.]

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30 comments for “Making Trump an Endless War President

  1. Sally Snyder
    May 12, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Here is an article that looks at the United States latest nuclear weapon:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/05/the-super-fuze-and-us-nuclear-forces.html

    This weapon has clearly been designed to win wars by leaving any foe completely incapable of nuclear retaliation.

    • Brad Owen
      May 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Look up Bruce Cathie. He maintained that nuclear bombs cannot be exploded anywhere, anytime like chemical high-explosive bombs can. They depended upon “Harmonics”, being in sync with the “electro-dynamic” energy grid of the Earth (kind of like R. Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic dome etched upon Earth—the energy grid), depended upon the “Geometric structure of space-time”, before they could explode. He realized that a nuclear war couldn’t be fought. Like accupuncture only works at those energy points upon the body (you can’t just stick the needles any old where and get results), likewise, atom bombs can only explode at certain points upon the Earth, at certain times of the day and year, to get that “mushroom cloud” effect. If true, we’ve all been subjected to a gigantic war-scare fraud, and there will never be such a thing as “carpet-bombing” with atom bombs. This may be why we’re still messing around with M.O.A.B.s

      • mike k
        May 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        Bruce Cathie is a flying saucer nut. They always dress up their BS with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo.

        • Brad Owen
          May 13, 2017 at 8:35 am

          Look into it a little further, Mike. There is a whole world of alternative technologies and pseudo-sciences (“pseudo” ONLY because they are not yet completely understood) out there that “offends” the “Official Narative”. When the Official Narative says “Look thou not upon it” my instinct is immediately to look into it…that’s how much I distrust the Official Narative (the father of all lies).

      • May 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm

        Please post a source for this. At first glance it seems like California orchard growers wrapping their trees in chicken wire to block radio waves back in the 1920’s and 30’s.

        • Brad Owen
          May 13, 2017 at 8:41 am

          Just google Bruce Cathie. That is what I did, and turned up all kinds of info. I used to have an old 3hr video of Bruce, back in the nineties. It was a dry mathematics video,and my eyes glazed over. But I thought it was an interesting theory about nuclear weapons… and that we are being played by the national security establishment. All of this recent fear about thermonuclear war made me remember old Bruce Cathie.

          • Tom W
            May 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

            Brad…like you, years ago I followed people like Cathie, there are hundreds of them. I even bought their books and listened to them on Coast to coast. After 20 years or so I began to see although they had interesting ideas and even some true facts their overall theories were developed to sell books and try to make a name for themselves among the conspiracy groups. In the final analysis their ideas cannot never be proven one way or another and they know it. So they continue to make money on their wild ideas. With Cathie, you will never know if this wild ideas really hold water unless and until World War III breaks out. So my suggestion is if you wish to continue being a follower…go ahead but take it all with a grain of salt.

    • natoistan
      May 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Fake news

      Making sense of the “super fuse” scare.

      http://www.unz.com/runz/making-sense-of-the-super-fuse-scare/

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      BREAKING NEWS: U. S. General reveals closely guarded secrets of high technology American weapon systems: The device in question is a fuse with which armaments may be equipped to vastly increase their destructive power. The controversial revelation sheds light on strategies employed by U.S. Armed Forces with regard to strategic weapons. Great care has been taken to prevent this vital secret from falling into enemy hands. Use of the device insures devastating losses against enemy targets due to vastly enhanced effectiveness. The device, also known as a proximity fuse, utilizes a radio frequency oscillator which determines the appropriate altitude to effect detonation, thus maximizing the potential explosive efficiency. On advice from the NSA, the FBI is investigating potential damage to National Security interests as a result of this devastating breach of secrecy. The General has not been available for questioning, but his published memoirs revealed many of the strategic initiatives and precautions surrounding the deployment of this devastating technology. Of primary concern is the precaution that the system only be fielded if tactical control of the battlefield is a virtual certainty. Should one of the devices fail to detonate in enemy territory, a recovered weapon could easily be duplicated by the enemy. This could permanently cripple the American strategic advantage. Authorities are considering potential alternatives if General George S. Patton’s body cannot be successfully resuscitated for questioning. Unfortunately, millions of copies of his 1947 memoir, “War As I Knew It”, are currently in circulation. The book contains devastating revelations about the nature of this secret weapon. Efforts may be undertaken to remove the book from circulation before Russian scientists are tipped off and have a chance to read it. Authorities are confident that, now that revelations in the book have been discovered, there is still a chance to preserve this vital American secret. Technical expert and flying saucer aficionado Bruce Cathie has suggested that construction of Buckey Balls, geodesic structures pioneered by Buckminster Fuller, could conceivably be constructed over every American city to prevent Russian high-resolution satellites from reading the memoir. Mathematical physicist and world-renowned nuclear explosives expert Freeman Dyson, pioneer of the Orion Nuclear Propulsion Project, determined that nuclear detonations in rapid succession could be timed at will in order to propel a spacecraft. Hundreds of atmospheric test detonations during the 1950’s confirmed the accuracy of his calculations. Investigations are ongoing; stay tuned to your local CONELRAD station for details.

      • Abe
        May 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

        “The funny fuse won the Battle of the Bulge for us. I think that when all armies get this shell we will have to devise some new method of warfare.” – George S. Patton

        http://www.ww2hc.org/articles/proximityfuse.pdf

    • john wilson
      May 13, 2017 at 5:07 am

      The Americans don’t actually want to win wars, they want to dominate perpetual wars so they can keep on milking the American people out of their money. If a war is won then there is no need for a huge military, just enough troops to subjugate the people left who they haven’t murdered.

  2. mike k
    May 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    The military takeover of the United States is almost complete now. The whole scam of our brave troops heading off the forces of evil and fighting for democracy and justice all over the world has been hammered into people’s minds relentlessly for years. If you are looking for a cancer growing out of control on the body politic, sucking the life blood out of every other societal need, you need look no farther than our glorious armed services. Militarism is the essence of fascism. Every other value must be subordinate to serving the power and expansion of the Fatherland (called the Homeland in order to hide the similarity with Hitler’s totem).

    • May 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Yep. Military empires like the US are sucked dry by their military 100% of the time.

      • Realist
        May 13, 2017 at 1:58 am

        At any rate, the taxpayers who have to pay for the goose-stepping brass bands get fleeced. The war profiteers get rich.

        I keep hoping that Trump, who knows the value of a buck, won’t want to squander too many of them on a venture that basically only accomplishes wanton killing, maiming and the wholesale destruction of property.

        As a chemist who knows the value of Gibbs free energy, I hate to see it squandered increasing rather than reducing entropy.

        Trump has mainly been a builder and real estate developer for most of his life. I think his instincts tell him that there’s more money to be made by the Trump family in replacing crumbling bridges and outdated air terminals than in replacing every scary enough mirved hydrogen bomb with the new super fuse gimmick variety. Those are the insane ideas that are presently bringing Obomber $3.2 million per speech in deferred compensation.

        • Chris Reed
          May 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

          I live in West Virginia where Trump won 70%. The life expectancy in McDowell County is 63. That is not Trump’s fault. I am all for trashing both the Obama legacy as well as Reagan’s.

    • May 12, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Niet te vergeten: Incarceration Nation and a freshly revived “war on drugs” for that sole purpose; i.e. endless, continued war on the american public. Heil Sessions!

  3. Skip Scott
    May 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Just think of Trump’s rhetoric before taking office. Peace with Russia and cooperation with them in defeating ISIS, the Iraq war was terrible, Assad staying or going up to the Syrians, the Afghans will have to learn to take care of themselves, etc. etc etc. Then he gets into office, hires a bunch of warmongers, and gives us more of the same Forever War. Also so much for big infrastructure plans, a better health care plan, renegotiating NAFTA. What is he doing now that Hillary would have done differently?

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Skip I think like how our healthcare bills are written by the health industry insurance corporations, our defense strategy is figured out by the Military Industrial Complex and their reliable Think Tanks. Trump probably has little to say about it, unless he wants to do a JFK, so we are stuck in this wartime grove until someone downsizes our corporate culture…and that may take a while.

      • Skip Scott
        May 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        Yeah Joe,

        You’re absolutely right. It has to be that he’s had his “trip to the woodshed”. It also is proof that the MSM is in cahoots with the deep state since they never bring up any of these glaring contradictions. And it shows that the average IQ of a Trump supporter isn’t exactly Mensa quality, since I don’t hear much from them regarding his 180 degree turn on most issues. They just love his false bravado for the TV cameras, and don’t even realized that they’ve been screwed again.

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

          I got a kick out of Trump’s NBC Lester Holt interview at how he contradicted all of his administration’s talking points. After I listened and watched him I thought of how this interview could sell if that’s all a audience were to watch. Remember a lot of people dislike the media pundits, so critics to Trump’s words only help to propel Trump in the eyes of his supporters. The bad thing is watching Trump’s Cabinet choices shred the good out of everything they touch. Mattis & McMasters are planning on putting permanent bases in the Middle East ….I mean more bases over the ones we already have. Sessions is making drug offenders serve maximum sentences, or that’s the headline. It’s just all not good, or so it seems.

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 13, 2017 at 1:52 am

          Trump gives me the impression he’s one of those visionary CEO’s who doesn’t have a clue to how we proform in our core business, but he tells others to accomplish things he has no idea of what he is telling them to do. He’s a leader who will eat before the troops, as he is no doubt the type to run up steps to greet their host while he leaves his wife standing at the rear of the car…oh wait the Don did that.

          Nevertheless Trump is what he is. I picture he told his Cabinet to go get Conservative things done, and while they do that he Donald J Trump will do presidential type things….now run a long. I would imagine that there is a think tank plan out there somewhere whereas the military feeds stupid info to Trump knowing Trump will saber rattle at the right moment our military would want such a thing to occur, like have the fleet heading in the wrong direction, you know stupid stuff to play with the enemies head. Did anyone thing that saying the fleet was going in one direction that by then disputing it with the headed in the wrong direction story that that could have been a distraction? Or Trump saying one thing while our military does another thing that that could have been that stupid too…which do you buy? this poor messaging could be a decoy….or I don’t know maybe it’s so the other side will react, but Trump could be a most important ‘useful idiot’ and not even know it.

          The one thing you can say about Trump, is he certainly knows how to entertain. I read somewhere recently where the major media networks are profiting quite well with the Trump news 24/7 model, thank you Prez. Trump.

    • Realist
      May 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      How is the Trump presidency different from a would-be Hillary administration? Well, he is being hounded by both sides of the aisle in congress and all of the Deep State, MIC, intelligence agencies and the entire corporate media. He is accused of being a Russian puppet and traitor to his own country, even as he backpedals on all of the promises he made about pursuing peace rather than war to satisfy this rabid mob of mindless warmongers. In a Hillary presidency all of these maniacs would be on the same insane page and perhaps we’d all already be dead. The string pullers behind the scenes insist that Trump take us to the same hideous realm that Hillary would have led us, even if it takes a little longer and creates a few bothers in the media.

      Reading the Saker’s last couple of essays it is clear that, as a firm religious believer, he thinks that Hillary and the people behind her are possessed by daemonic forces that want to destroy humanity and send it to hell. As a rationalist rather than a religionist, I’m not sure I see the glint in her wandering crossed eyes as the spirit of the Devil in control of her mind, but she and her slavish legion of followers who have been pursuing the destruction of the Trump presidency on the basis of the most wild-eyed concocted phony narratives are surely mentally deranged. We, in essence, have the majority of the elites who run this country all clearly suffering from a mental disorder, which has been called, half-jokingly but quite accurately, Putin Derangement Syndrome and Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      The disease, not always focussed like a laser on Putin and Trump who have arrived on the scene only during their own historical time, has been festering beneath the surface for decades within power centers of the United States. It’s targets were different as human lifespans and public careers are so transitory, but the aggressive, dangerously addled thinking has determined American government policy, especially foreign policy, throughout my life of 70 years. But, I must say, things have gotten much worse most recently. Rational men of peace, like Linus Pauling, used to be given accolades by the public and institutions beyond the reach of the American Deep State, rather than being ridiculed as they are today, with institutions like the Nobel Peace Prize committee being co-opted by the Neocon octopus to reward chosen stooges like Barack Obama with money and honors for sabotaging the very principles he supposedly ran on in his elections.

      The collective madness came into full flower with no longer any attempts to hide its objective of a third world war for ultimate control of all the earth when puppet Obama, loyal to his sick minders but traitorous to human kind, decided to launch the final confrontation with Russia starting in the Ukraine. You have all seen the absurd excuse of what supposedly passes for diplomacy and deliberation, reason and clear thinking, ever since Victoria Newland anointed “Yats” as our guy to start the war against Russia and to “fuck the [clueless] EU.” There has been no reason, no clear thinking, no deliberation, no diplomacy only an unstoppable rush to our own self-destruction along with the rest of the world. This may or may not be daemonic, but it is clearly insanity. I would encourage Robert Parry to find a renowned psychologist to write an essay on how pathological thinking spreads through a population like a contagion, for surely that is what has happened in America and the rest of the West in thrall to the US.

  4. ADL
    May 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    • Eddie
      May 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      ADL – I’ve read a book or two of AB’s and I like his anti-war stance. In our militaristic society, his opinions in that area carry a lot of weight, since Bacevich has strong military credentials. (Yes, theoretically it shouldn’t matter whether an opinion comes from a military person or a pacifist, but in a militaristic society, the pacifist is highly unlikely to be given press, and the few times he/she is, they will be quickly discounted). As Wikipedia puts it, AB “… is critical of American foreign policy in the post Cold War era, maintaining the United States has developed an over-reliance on military power, in contrast to diplomacy, to achieve its foreign policy aims. He also asserts that policymakers in particular, and the American people in general, overestimate the usefulness of military force in foreign affairs. Bacevich believes romanticized images of war in popular culture (especially movies) interact with the lack of actual military service among most of the U.S. population to produce in the American people a highly unrealistic, even dangerous notion of what combat and military service are really like.”
      Realistically speaking, probably the best chance we in the US would have to ratchet-down the military would be to get an AB in the White House, which of course is why he’ll never be in the White House — too much economic/cultural momentum against that. It’s going to take something TRAUMATIC (economic or military) to change course I fear…

  5. May 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Seems the Pentagon determines more US policy than any other arm of the government. Ashton Carter was taking many decisions in Syria over Obama’s head once Russia got involved. Obviously these plans have been in works before Trump. Who stuck him with these generals? He has no idea how to be a “Commander-in-Chief”. I maintain that we have to take to the streets with the antiwar, antinuke movement as in the past when LBJ and Nixon were dogged by the people’s opposition on a constant basis. These wars have dragged on for over 15 years and made nothing but a bloody mess.

    On a side note, I would not be so quick as to dismiss Bruce Cathie’s work. We know very little about energy transfer, earth’s energy grids, and other dimensions of space-time continuum, quantum energy. Cathie was pressured by the CIA to work for him, which he declined. Just because Cathie was interested in UFOs and claimed to have seen one while flying, doesn’t mean he deserves to be written off. Such claims have been made by other pilots. Apparently some of Cathie’s notebooks were obtained by the CIA and destroyed, much like Nikola Tesla’s were taken over for their value by NASA. All I can say is that we’re like Prometheus chained to the rock with our liver being eaten since humans stole fire from the gods (nuclear power, except we’re not immortal like Prometheus).

    But that is a sidebar to Gareth Porter’s article, and since Trump promised not to be a war president, I believe we have to hold his feet to the fire on his stated commitment to it.

  6. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    May 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Some of the articles on this blog really make me laugh……This one comes up near the top. Has anybody in America bothered even reading a couple of good quality books about “The Culture and History of Afghanistan”?! I bet not even a few and if they did, some did not even understand anything judging by where America is now regarding Afghanistan (or Iraq or Syria or Somalia etc etc ). “Transforming” Afghanistan?! And “Stabilizing” Iraq?! Really??!! America has created a stupid mess in the Middle East thanks to the Jewish Neocons who are dreaming about making the Oded Yinon Plan to create GREATER ISRAEL become a reality…….The Nation State is a FAILED CONCEPT to start with. Just take a look at America itself. Does this look to you like one nation state?! Look at the Cold War going on between the Republicans and the Democrats…….How long will that keep going before it devolves into either an anarchy or a civil war?! Afghanistan itself is a creation of The Great Game of Empires between Russia and Britain. Those people are made of tribes and fiercely clannish and independent. America in its wisdom is trying to make them a copy of “Western Style”Democracies!!!! As if democracy is flourishing in America itself where the rich buy the government!! I bet that America will still be talking about “transforming” Afghanistan 20 years from now given how ignorant decision makers are in the land of the “Free”!!

    The same applies to Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East which was left a mess by the mighty British and French (and Italians)….The policies of the West in the Middle East are totally wrong and going against the natural current of the Cultural evolution of those people and their HISTORY…..

  7. Abe
    May 12, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    “With the war in Syria raging in its fifth year, and the Islamic State wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it’s clear that the entire region has been made into one large theater of conflict. But the battlefield must not be understood solely as a physical place located on a map; it is equally a social and cultural space where the forces of the US-UK-NATO Empire employ a variety of tactics to influence the course of events and create an outcome amenable to their agenda. And none to greater effect than propaganda.

    “Indeed, if the ongoing war in Syria, and the conflicts of the post-Arab Spring period generally, have taught us anything, it is the power of propaganda and public relations to shape narratives which in turn impact political events. Given the awesome power of information in the postmodern political landscape, it should come as no surprise that both the US and UK have become world leaders in government-sponsored propaganda masquerading as legitimate, grassroots political and social expression […]

    “[The US] Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) is, in effect, an intelligence hub acting to coordinate propaganda for CIA, DIA, DHS, and NSA, among others. This mission, of course, is shrouded in terminology like ‘integrated analysis’ and ‘plans and operations’ – terms used to designate the various components of the overall CSCC mission. […] the CSCC is focused on shaping narratives online under the pretext of counter-radicalization.

    “It should be noted too that CSCC becomes a propaganda clearinghouse of sorts not just for the US Government, but also for its key foreign allies (think Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain), as well as perhaps favored NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, or Doctors Without Borders (MSF). As the New York Times noted:

    “‘[The CSCC will] harness all the existing attempts at countermessaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies. The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State.’

    “But taking this information one step further, it calls into question yet again the veracity of much of the dominant narrative about Syria, Libya, ISIS, and related topics. With social media and ‘citizen journalism’ having become so influential in how ordinary people think about these issues, one is yet again forced to consider the degree of manipulation of these phenomena.

    “Manufacturing Social Media Narratives

    “It is by now well documented the myriad ways in which Western governments have been investing heavily in tools for manipulating social media in order to shape narratives. In fact, the US CIA alone has invested millions in literally dozens of social media-related startups via its investment arm known as In-Q-Tel. The CIA is spending the tens of millions of dollars providing seed money to these companies in order to have the ability to do everything from data mining to real-time surveillance.

    “The truth is that we’ve known about the government’s desire to manipulate social media for years […]

    “the one-sided narrative of brutal and criminal repression of peace-loving activists in Syria stuck. While the source was discredited, the narrative remained entrenched.

    “And this last point is perhaps the key: online manipulation is designed to control narratives. While the war may be fought on the battlefield, it is equally fought for the hearts and minds of activists, news consumers, and ordinary citizens in the West. The UK and US both have extensive information war capabilities, and they’re not afraid to use them. And so, we should not be afraid to expose them.”

    Syria, ISIS, and the US-UK Propaganda War
    By Eric Draitser
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/10/syria-isis-and-the-us-uk-propaganda-war/

  8. Brian W
    May 13, 2017 at 10:31 am

    February 22, 2017 Instead of ‘Draining the Swamp’, Trump is Feeding the Alligators

    Zerohedge’s “Tyler Durden” headlined on February 21st, “Bannon Breaks With Pence, Delivers Warning To Europe” and noted that before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis reassured European leaders this past weekend that the U.S. is as anti-Russian now as it was under Barack Obama, U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had told European leaders “that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis” — and that this fact supposedly raises a question regarding the Trump Administration, of “which axis is dominant: that of Trump/Bannon/Miller or Pence/Mattis/Haley.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/instead-of-draining-the-swamp-trump-is-feeding-the-alligators/5576297

  9. Brian W
    May 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Dec 18, 2015 Donald Trump Is The Establishment Candidate

    While his rise in the polls is attributed to his challenging the establishment and the political status quo, let’s look at the many ways Donald Trump, when it comes to his political positions, represents that very same status quo. From the Fed, to war, to civil liberties, the “anti-establishment”? Trump takes no positions not already endorsed by the establishment.

    https://youtu.be/vt2NPP1z-y8

  10. Bill Goldman
    May 17, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Some say that Trump will succumb to his military advisors and send more US troops into the Middle East. That is unlikely but an enlarged air war is in the making. It mistakenly suits military expenditure and economic stimulus supporters. Trump favors the use of Arabs on the ground, not Americans or Europeans. He is a good ol’ boy.

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