The Possible Education of Donald Trump

Exclusive: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is ratcheting up war tensions in Syria again, but President Trump reportedly is not happy with the threats as he shifts again toward resisting the neocons, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Despite the chaos and ugliness of the past seven months, President Trump has finally begun to turn U.S. foreign policy away from the neoconservative approach of endless war against an ever-expanding roster of enemies.

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from

This change has occurred largely behind the scenes and has been obscured by Trump’s own bellicose language, such as his vow to “win” in Afghanistan, and his occasional lashing out with violence, such as his lethal Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Some Trump advisers also have downplayed the current shift because it may fuel the Democrats’ obsession with Russia-gate as a much-desired excuse to impeach Trump. Every peaceful move that Trump makes is called a sop to Russia and thus an excuse to reprise the dubious allegations about Russia somehow helping to elect him.

Yet, despite these external obstacles and Trump’s own erratic behavior, he has remained open to unconventional alternatives to what President Obama once criticized as the Washington “playbook,” i.e. favoring military solutions to international problems.

In this sense, Trump’s shallow understanding of the world has been a partial benefit in that he is not locked into to the usual Washington groupthinks – and he personally despises the prominent politicians and news executives who have sought to neuter him since his election. But his ignorance also prevents him from seeing how global crises often intersect and thus stops him from developing a cohesive or coherent doctrine.

Though little noted, arguably the most important foreign policy decision of Trump’s presidency was his termination of the CIA’s covert support for Syrian rebels and his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to expand partial ceasefire zones in Syria.

By these actions, Trump has contributed to a sharp drop-off in the Syrian bloodshed. It now appears that the relatively secular Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is regaining control and that some Syrian refugees are returning to their homes. Syria is starting the difficult job of rebuilding shattered cities, such as Aleppo.

But Trump’s aversion to any new military adventures in Syria is being tested again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is threatening to attack Iranian and Hezbollah forces inside Syria.

Last week, according to Israeli press reports, a high-level delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen carried Netanyahu’s threat to the U.S. government. The Israeli leader surely has raised the same point directly in phone calls with Trump.

Tiring of Bibi

I was told that Trump, who appears to be growing weary of Netanyahu’s frequent demands and threats, flatly objected to an Israeli attack and brushed aside Israel’s alarm by noting that Netanyahu’s policies in supporting the rebels in Syria contributed to Israel’s current predicament by drawing in Iran and Hezbollah.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at an energy meeting on Nov. 23, 2015, in Tehran. (Russian government photo)

This week, Netanyahu personally traveled to Sochi, Russia, to confront Putin with the same blunt warning about Israel’s intention to attack targets inside Syria if Iran does not remove its forces.

A source familiar with the meeting told me that Putin responded with a sarcastic “good luck!” and that the Russians thought the swaggering Netanyahu appeared “unhinged.”

Still, a major Israeli attack on Iranian positions inside Syria would test Trump’s political toughness, since he would come under enormous pressure from Congress and the mainstream news media to intervene on Israel’s behalf. Indeed, realistically, Netanyahu must be counting on his ability to drag Trump into the conflict since Israel could not alone handle a potential Russian counterstrike.

But Netanyahu may be on somewhat thin ice since Trump apparently blames Israel’s top American supporters, the neocons, for much of his political troubles. They opposed him in the Republican primaries, tilted toward Hillary Clinton in the general election, and have pushed the Russia-gate affair to weaken him.

President Obama faced similar political pressures to fall in line behind Israel’s regional interests. That’s why Obama authorized the covert CIA program in Syria and other aid to the rebels though he was never an enthusiastic supporter – and also grew sick and tired of Netanyahu’s endless hectoring.

Obama acquiesced to the demands of Official Washington’s neocons and his own administration’s hawks – the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director David Petraeus, his successor John Brennan, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

The Syrian conflict was part of a broader strategy favored by Washington’s neocons to overthrow or cripple regimes that were deemed troublesome to Israel. Originally, the neocons had envisioned removing the Assad dynasty soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Iran also on the “regime change” menu. But the disastrous Iraq War threw off the neocons’ timetable.

‘Regime Change’ Chaos

The Democratic Party’s liberal interventionists, who are closely allied with the Republican neocons, also tossed in Libya with the overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Then, weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles were shipped to Syria where they strengthened rebel fighters allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other Islamist groups.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Faced with this troubling reality – that the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels” were operating side by side with Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and its allies – Washington’s neocons/liberal-hawks responded with sophisticated propaganda and devised clever talking points to justify what amounted to indirect assistance to terrorists.

The “regime change” advocates portrayed a black-and-white situation in Syria with Assad’s side wearing the black hats and various anti-Assad “activists” wearing the white hats (or literally White Helmets). The State Department and a complicit mainstream media disseminated horror stories about Assad and – when the reality about Al Qaeda’s role could no longer be hidden – that was spun in the rebels’ favor, too, by labeling Assad “a magnet for terrorists” (or later in cahoots with the Islamic State). For years, such arguments were much beloved in Official Washington.

But the human consequences of the Syrian conflict and other U.S.-driven “regime change” wars were horrific, spreading death and destruction across the already volatile Middle East and driving desperate refugees into Europe, where their presence provoked political instability.

By fall 2015, rebel advances in Syria – aided by a supply of powerful U.S. anti-tank missiles – forced Russia’s hand with Putin accepting Assad’s invitation to deploy Russian air power in support of the Syrian army and Iranian and Hezbollah militias. The course of the war soon turned to Assad’s advantage.

It’s unclear what Hillary Clinton might have done if she had won the White House in November 2016. Along with much of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, she called repeatedly for imposing a “no-fly zone” in Syria to stop operations by the Syrian air force and Russia, a move that could have escalated the conflict into World War III.

But Trump – lacking Official Washington’s “sophistication” – couldn’t understand how eliminating Assad, who was leading the fight against the terrorist groups, would contribute to their eventual defeat. Trump also looked at the failure of similar arguments in Iraq and Libya, where “regime change” produced more chaos and generated more terrorism.

Pandering to Saudis/Israelis

However, in the early days of his presidency, the unsophisticated Trump lurched from one Middle East approach to another, initially following his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s grandiose thinking about recruiting Saudi Arabia to an “outside-in” strategy to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, i.e., enlisting the Saudis to pressure the Palestinians into, more or less, letting Israel dictate a solution.

Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, and his wife, Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are seen as they arrive with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to the Murabba Palace as honored guests of Saudi King Salman, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Kushner’s “outside-in” scheme was symbolically acted out with Trump making his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Israel in May. But I’m told that Trump eventually cooled to Kushner’s thinking and has come to see the Israeli-Saudi tandem as part of the region’s troubles, especially what he views as Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for Al Qaeda and other terror groups.

Perhaps most significantly in that regard, Trump in July quietly abandoned the CIA’s covert war in Syria. In the U.S., some “regime change” advocates have complained about this “betrayal” of the rebel cause and some Democrats have tried to link Trump’s decision to their faltering Russia-gate “scandal,” i.e., by claiming that Trump was rewarding Putin for alleged election help.

But the bottom line is that Trump’s policy has contributed to the Syrian slaughter abating and the prospect of a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its Islamic State spinoff fading.

So, there has been a gradual education of Donald Trump, interrupted occasionally by his volatile temper and his succumbing to political pressure, such as when he rushed to judgment on April 4 and blamed the Syrian government for a chemical incident in the remote Al Qaeda-controlled village of Khan Sheikhoun.

Despite strong doubts in the U.S. intelligence community about Syria’s guilt – some evidence suggested one more staged “atrocity” by the rebels and their supporters – Trump on April 6 ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian air base, reportedly killing several soldiers and some civilians, including four children.

Trump boasted about his decision, contrasting it with Obama’s alleged wimpiness. And, naturally, Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream media not only accepted the claim of Syrian government guilt but praised Trump for pulling the trigger. Later, Hillary Clinton said if she were president, she would have been inclined to go further militarily by intervening with her “no-fly zone.”

As reckless and brutal as Trump’s missile strike was, it did provide him some cover for his July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany, which focused heavily on Syria, and also for his decision to pull the plug on the CIA’s covert war.

Saudi-backed Terror

I’m told Trump also has returned to his pre-election attitude about Saudi Arabia as a leading supporter of terror groups and a key provocateur in the region’s disorders, particularly because of its rivalry with Iran, a factor in both the Syrian and Yemeni wars.

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of Saudi King Salman, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Though Trump has recited Washington’s bipartisan (and benighted) mantra about Iran being the principal sponsor of terrorism, he appears to be moving toward a more honest view, recognizing the falsity of the neocon-driven propaganda about Iran.

Trump’s new coolness toward Saudi Arabia may have contributed to the recent warming of relations between the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shiites of Iran, a sectarian conflict dating back 1,400 years. In a surprising move announced this week, the two countries plan an exchange of diplomatic visits.

Even in areas where Trump has engaged in reckless rhetoric, such as his “fire and fury” warning to North Korea, his behind-the-scenes policy appears more open to compromise and even accommodation. In the past week or so, the tensions with North Korea have eased amid backchannel outreach that may include the provision of food as an incentive for Pyongyang to halt its missile development and even open political talks with South Korea, according to a source close to these developments.

On Afghanistan, too, Trump may be playing a double game, giving a hawkish speech on Monday seeming to endorse an open-ended commitment to the near-16-year-old conflict, while quietly signaling a willingness to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

One alternative might be to accept a coalition government, involving the Taliban, with a U.S. withdrawal to a military base near enough to launch counterterrorism strikes if Al Qaeda or other international terror groups again locate in Afghanistan.

Many of Trump’s latest foreign policy initiatives reflect former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s hostility toward neoconservative interventionism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil chief executive, also shares a more pragmatic approach to foreign affairs than some of his more ideological predecessors.

Albeit still in their infancy, these policies represent a new realism in U.S. foreign policy that, in many ways, paralleled what President Obama favored but was often unwilling or unable to see through to its logical conclusions, given his fear of Netanyahu and the power of the neocons and their liberal-hawk allies.

Still, some of Obama’s most important decisions – not to launch a major military strike against Syria in August 2013 and to negotiate an agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear program in 2013-15 – followed a similar path away from war, thus drawing condemnation from the Israeli-Saudi tandem and American neocons.

As a Republican who rose politically by pandering to the GOP “base” and its hatred of Obama, Trump rhetorically attacked Obama on both Syria and Iran, but may now be shifting toward similar positions. Gradually, Trump has come to recognize that the neocons and his other political enemies are trying to hobble and humiliate him – and ultimately to remove him from office.

The question is whether Trump’s instinct for survival finally will lead him to policies that blunt his enemies’ strategies or will cause him to succumb to their demands.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

193 comments for “The Possible Education of Donald Trump

  1. Z54
    September 6, 2017 at 19:17

    Well, the Donald may have said it, but no one told the boys and girls at the CIA. They just redirected the flow of weapons via a Bulgarian and Azerbaijani airlines. It just takes a little longer for our mercenaries to get their toys! Bringing freedom and democracy to the world, via coups, assassinations, vaporization by drone and invasion. Amerika, the indispensable and exceptional nation! What in the hell would the world do without our valiant leaders who hide under their desks in DC?

  2. September 1, 2017 at 06:22

    Interestingly, the theme of this article, or at least a central pivot, is that Trump is/was naive, “ignorant”, of global delicacies. However, almost every example given here of what Trump is doing or has done tells us that he is very far from ignorant or naive, but rather that he appears to have a strategic view that is proving to be effective in spite of the “neocon” lies we read every day in the media.

  3. August 30, 2017 at 08:29

    Outstanding analysis! There may yet be hope for a future of peace and prosperity.

  4. August 29, 2017 at 16:22

    A very enlightening background article. Keep them coming.

    One point: You write: “Despite strong doubts in the U.S. intelligence community about Syria’s guilt – some evidence suggested one more staged “atrocity” by the rebels and their supporters – Trump on April 6 ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian air base, reportedly killing several soldiers and some civilians, including four children.

    CIA Director Mike Pompeo has admitted that he fooled President Trump into falsely believing the chemical weapons attack in Syria was orchestrated by the Syrian government.

    I quote Pompeo:

    “I got a call from the President one afternoon back in April. He wanted to talk about some disturbing images that were coming in from Syria. I’m sure you saw many of them yourselves—scenes of innocent civilians writhing in agony, the apparent victims of a chemical weapons attack.

    “The President had a very direct message for me: Find out what happened. So we immediately assembled a crack team of Agency experts. They began piecing together the evidence, working closely with some outstanding partners from across the Intelligence Community.

    “The next day the President called his cabinet together. As we sat down, he turned to me and asked what we had learned. I told him that the IC had concluded that a chemical weapon had indeed been used in the attack, and that it had been launched by the Syrian regime.

    “The President paused a moment and said: Pompeo, are you sure? I’ll admit that the question took my breath away. But I knew how solid the evidence was, and I was able to look him in the eye and say, Mr. President, we have high confidence in our assessment.”

    • backwardsevolution
      August 30, 2017 at 20:38

      George – great post!

  5. Deborah
    August 28, 2017 at 14:32

    Very enlightening and I hope true. Trump should be his own man and tell the hawks AND ISRAEL to stand down.

  6. Mike from Fordham
    August 28, 2017 at 13:43

    I see none evidence of Trump turning away from aggressive war, and suggest that Consortium News refrain from publishing any analysis which could be used to justify or excuse the essentially fascist nature of Trumpism.

  7. Jamie
    August 28, 2017 at 12:56

    “President Obama faced similar political pressures to fall in line behind Israel’s regional interests. That’s why Obama authorized the covert CIA program in Syria and other aid to the rebels though he was never an enthusiastic supporter.”

    I see the Obama appologetics are in full strength still. Obama strongly supported the removal of Assad, but wanted to do it by bombing Syria in the ground, as he did in Libya. Once the British abandoned his regime change dream, and the generals told him it was stupid, he had no recourse but to arm jihadists:

    “Assad Must Go!”

    – Obama

    Both Trump and Obama own their presidency. If Trump is stupid and Obama is lazy, that does not excuse war crimes. Herman Goring was stupid, but he still ended up at Nuremberg.

  8. Zachary Smith
    August 28, 2017 at 00:57

    Reports of a Trump Rehabilitation may be premature.

    According to news stories and blogger opinions I’m seeing tonight, it appears that Rex Tillerson had had his fill of being a Trump Cabinet member. Assuming yet another General isn’t available for the job, what about the bubble-brain Nickki Haley? Victoria Nuland may be available. One wonders how this is going to play out – finding an otherwise qualified person who will also be willing to kiss Trump heiny on a regular basis isn’t going to be easy. Heck, even finding an unqualified person with that added proviso may be difficult.

    August 27, 2017 at 11:20

    Those 10,000,000 gallons of AV gas, paid to foreign suppliers at over double US rates, are just for US air operations within Syria.
    Gov F up on info suppression due to supply needs practices and State Dept papers.

    August 27, 2017 at 11:14

    US has had a foreign policy plan forever; Otherwise we would not have over 1000 foreign military installation and a 1.2 billion$ a month State Department luxury condo of a “Green Zone Iraq.
    We would not be building a permanent base in Syria and airfields in every North African mediteranen bordering nation.
    We would not have our own military adbisors and paid vontractors in 23 African nations.
    We would not of put out call for bids for 10,000,000 gallons of av gas for delivery beginning 2018 and ending 2019.
    WE would not be macho chest bumping China, N. KOREA, Iran and Russia trying to goad them into a fight
    These foreign policy actions are not just since Trump took office so where the hell was the authors outcrys for the last 8 Presidents?

    August 27, 2017 at 00:35

    Endless wars, how quaint.
    It is not news as we have been assassinating even Democraticly elected leaders in foreign lands since 1950’s.
    The dream of American empire began during our easy conquest of Spain in Spanish American war.
    Actually every supposed war since end of War of innsurection have been easy wars; wars where we inflict massive casualties upon enemies whil losing relatively few of our own.
    We today are making war against relatively unsophisticate, un trained civilians and we slaughter civiliNs as if they were enemy soldiery.
    Then we laud all in uniforms with title of hero.
    Today you hear of foreign dead but they mean relatively obscure shadows in the fog.
    Today the middle class , and the poor are complaing in a state of fear for more freebies. Afraid our fallen incomes may push us down into the same status as the poor unwashed masses.
    Todays fear of an extremely thin chance of a Nuclear exchange has our buts in a pucker and penis laying flacid.
    Today we no longer have a Constitutional Republic with the First Ten, and most important part, of Rights that shall never be infringed, we exchanged Rights for selective priveledges and cry about those who grant the priveleges.
    American populace lost the war of minds and ideals of sanctity of all americans and became but rotten meat seeking comfort.

    August 26, 2017 at 23:12

    It is not Trump who needs to be better educatedfor he plsys the power and wealth game quite wel It is we the public who had best become educated asbto true status of those and how they rule us.
    After all we in a Democratic Reublic are suppose to be educated enough to rule ovrr the government.

    • Chris Carlen
      August 27, 2017 at 00:13

      Empirically observable reality seems to suggest that we are either incapable of educating ourselves, or don’t want to know. As long as people are promised something they believe they deserve, or told there’s a “threat” out there, they seem eager and willing to be duped time and time again.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 27, 2017 at 19:01

      “educated enough” “involved enough” “care enough”

      None of these matter so long as we have an election system always producing results desired by the Power Elites. Abolish electronic voting and return to verifiable paper ballots and the possibility of citizen “rule” over the government will again be at least possible.

      At the present time, not the chance of a snowball in Hell. These days they pretend to let us “vote” and then pretend to count those imaginary votes.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:26

      Right, it is the American worker that needs education.

  13. Broos
    August 26, 2017 at 19:39

    EXCEPT Libya was on teh PNAC-Attack list since right after (9/11) whether DEM(or)miserepubilkan !
    B0TH Under Poppy Bush (CIA) Company diktat !!

  14. Richard Steven Hack
    August 26, 2017 at 17:56

    Not going to happen.

    Trump has been utterly sidelined. He’s essentially a prisoner in the White House, only allowed to issue meaningless tweets and speeches. A junta of Pentagon generals, Deep State operatives and neocons now runs the administration. There has been a “Seven Days in May” soft coup – without the military troop movements of the movie.

    Stopping the CIA support for training Islamists in Syria was probably instigated by the Pentagon, who realizes that none of that had any effect whatsoever on the Syria conflict.

    Surging into Afghanistan is entirely a Pentagon move because the generals don’t want to preside over yet another failed US war by withdrawing, not to mention that the military-industrial complex that the generals answer to don’t want to love the windfall profits by winding down the war. The whole “miniskirt” story that was trotted out for public consumption is complete nonsense.

    Parsing every alleged action and statement of Trump like “reading entrails” trying to find some sense that he has any clue what he’s doing is pointless. He’s not in control and never was.

    Pepe Escobar used to refer to Barack Obama as “the paperboy” – because all he did was deliver the news from his military-industrial-complex/Israel First masters in Chicago and elsewhere. Trump is even worse – he’s not even a “paperboy”. He’s a blustering nobody who is only nominally the President.

    • Chris Carlen
      August 27, 2017 at 00:09

      What should he have done differently?

      (I’m not asking with a hidden agenda, I’m seriously wondering what kind of thoughts people have about how one can go into the Presidency, issue the orders that need to be issued to back the USA away from the precipice of self-inflicted destruction, without themselves being shot in the back of the head within the first week of office.)

      • Chris Carlen
        August 27, 2017 at 00:11

        Or perhaps electing someone willing to accept a high probability of being assassinated is our only hope?

      • Sam F
        August 27, 2017 at 15:13

        A reforming administration could
        1. Operate out of several military bases using their own security forces, with no direct contact of officials.
        2. Round up and quarantine top officials to decapitate rebel agencies, and replace with selected loyalists.
        3. Then purge DC via selected middle-management forces having high security in or near DC.
        4. Proceed by degrees as control of agencies and their divisions is established.
        5. Replace the interim high-security management force with more agency-specific management.

  15. Jim Glover
    August 26, 2017 at 16:00

    Very good! Love and Peace

  16. August 26, 2017 at 14:19

    Friday, August 25, 2017
    Why The Swamp Is Not Yet Drained: Shock and Awe 2.0

  17. August 26, 2017 at 13:57

    Kelly moves to control the information Trump sees
    A new process, laid out in two memos circulating in the West Wing this week, is supposed to ensure Kelly vets everything that hits the Resolute desk.


    08/24/2017 05:11 AM EDT

    • Zachary Smith
      August 27, 2017 at 18:57

      This won’t keep Trump from watching the TeeVee, but hardly any policy proposals would be arriving by that route. If Trump has any sense at all he’ll set up a “back door” for suggestions & other communications to bypass Kelly.

      I’m talking serious stuff, not the need to demolish another government agency or pardon another elderly scofflaw like that wretched Arpaio. I don’t see this as very likely – the serious stuff, I mean.

  18. Broompilot
    August 26, 2017 at 12:33

    Parry gives voice to the wishfull thinking many of us have entertained – that The Donald was learning on the job and there is still hope of taking back foreign policy from neocons and company. There may be something even more sinister on the horizon though. Kurdistan. If a new country forms with the help of, and beholden to, and defended by the USA in areas bordering, if not inside, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey, and I suspect that may be a foreign policy goal now, we are just getting started.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 27, 2017 at 18:51

      Parry gives voice to the wishfull thinking many of us have entertained – that The Donald was learning on the job and there is still hope of taking back foreign policy from neocons and company.

      You are probably correct to say it’s wishful thinking, but I see no harm in daydreaming. What depresses me is the thorough wrecking job Trump and his Cabinet Appointees are doing on the Domestic Front. Hardly a bit of opposition there because 1) everybody is distracted by North Korea/Statues/etc. and 2) the so-called opposition party – a bunch who call themselves Democrats – is quite comfortable with most of the Domestic Demolitions.

      I’m expecting the subject of Social Security “Reform” to start popping up on the Corporate Media any time now.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:24

      First of all, being president of the US is not a job. Going to work every day as a wage slave is. I simply cannot understand how so many people have become hostage to a pipe dream while fascism nibbles at their lives.

      Trump is a follower of Julius Evola, the Italian fascist.

      If voting could change anything it would be illegal.

  19. Bob Ford
    August 26, 2017 at 10:49

    Good reporting. Thank you for your work.

  20. August 26, 2017 at 10:36

    I hate to sound pessimistic, but I believe America has been captured by powerful unelected forces from within. Trump, I believe is just a figurehead, just like all the others before him. The American people are, I believe, “Prisoners of “Democracy.” As are all of us that still believe we live in “democracies.”
    [more info at link below]

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:57

      My thoughts about America and Trump exactly, Stephen. You are one clear thinking guy.

    • Chris Carlen
      August 27, 2017 at 00:05

      That’s good stuff. I don’t really think humans are capable of stable self governance if the means exist to exploit the system for personal or collective identity group gain.
      The system has to protect the people from themselves by incorporating hard limits on its own scope. The US Constitution was a great effort toward that end, but not entirely unsurprisingly being only “beta software” has effectively failed.
      That it ever came into existence in the first place is remarkable since of course, people had to create it. And people are the problem. The founders were truly impressive thinkers for their time. Even for our time.
      Somehow we’ve got to get a “release candidate” grade rev. of the Constitution, or we’re going to disintegrate much like the USSR. But if that happens, what is the likelihood that the world will be lucky enough to have another massively nuclear armed state implode with hardly a shot being fired, nor the most ideologically insane managing to take the reigns via a coup in the process?

      • Anon
        August 27, 2017 at 09:05

        An implosion without a shot as in the USSR, would require sufficiently broad recognition of the problems, that the leadership of enforcement agencies already represents the people and will not suppress mass demonstrations. That would require generations of learning the failure of the status quo, and a folk tradition of revolution that the US has completely lost.

        The problem in revising the Constitution is trust in the convention representatives. We are so familiar with complete corruption of Congress that few would expect honorable convention representatives. A convention now would certainly produce a government of oligarchy accepted as an advertised product. There must first be a coalition of trusted parties of reform, enough to have won back control of Congress and the Executive branch.

        New parties must be tried, but they have failed because oligarchy already controls mass media and election funding, the tools of democracy. Few people even see that they need new leadership: they simply choose sides and hate.

        It appears to be inevitable that the forces of oppression gradually develop the means to defeat the methods of reform. Internet can circumvent mass media for those who care, but mass media remains the opiate of the masses. Most people are lazy and morally corrupt, most now live by some form of extortion, markups, deception, or other unproductive corruption, and see no other way to live. Most have accepted lying, cheating, and stealing as necessary, and even as professional credentials. There is no remaining trace of any ethic of cooperation to advance the common good. The people themselves are the seedbed of oligarchy, and prefer the faint hope of a lottery win through corruption, to the chance of success through cooperation with people like themselves.

        So yes, by all means political parties and public education are essential, but I doubt that revolution can be avoided, and expect that revolutions will get bloodier as history progresses, rather than more peaceful. The US moves swiftly into totalitarianism.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:22

      Of course, it is so obvious. Americans are as sharp as a sponge

  21. Herman
    August 26, 2017 at 10:12

    If the story about Putin’s response to Netanyahu-“Good luck” is really true, what a refreshing response to the wandering bully, Netanyahu. Putin continues to rack up points in my mind as our best hope for peace. I guess knowing he is number two or three in the world re power, he knows Russia’s best hope is to promote peace and stability. The neocons just don’t like peace and stability.

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:55


  22. Herman
    August 26, 2017 at 09:58

    Boy, if only what Mr. Parry says is true. And it may be. Trump’s opportunity for an historical shift from our hawkish policies would be a godsend to millions around the world. The stars may be aligned for such a shift, but powers that be certainly are not. One of the newfound weapons may be the backlash against the use of violence to force political change a la Charlottesville. I believe most Americans do not want to see color revolutions in America but as is too often is the case they are intimidated into silence. Their voices can still be heard at the ballot box, something politicians know full well.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:21

      Do you believe in magic?

  23. Michael Kenny
    August 26, 2017 at 09:56

    It used to be that whenever an Israeli politician met Putin, we were told that Israel and Russia were going to “kiss and make up” and that Israel was willing to “live with” Assad and that, therefore, the “nice” Israelis were going to force the “nasty” Americans to stop trying to overthrow Assad. Now, it’s the opposite. The “nasty” Israelis are trying to force the “nice” Americans to overthrow Assad! We’ve seen the same thing with sanctions. One day it’s the nasty Americans trying to force the nice Europeans to impose sanctions they don’t want to impose. The next day, it’s the nice Europeans trying to stop the nasty Americans from forcing unwanted sanctions down their throats. The common denominator is the conclusion. Either Putin is bound to win, is already winning or has already won! Mr Parry is simply seeking to destabilise opposition to Putin’s actions in Ukraine. He tries to make it sound as if Trump is getting ready to capitulate to Putin but hedges it with so many “conditionals” that it’s clear that he doesn’t believe his own argument: “albeit in its infancy …”, “may” now be shifting toward similar positions …”.

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:54

      Putin, Smutin. You are sounding like a broken record Michael. Doesn’t your boring propaganda script have any imagination at all?

  24. August 26, 2017 at 07:49

    The problem with an article like this is that it’s based on the presumption that Trump is in charge, and I’m not even convinced he believes that. The US doesn’t seem to be ruled by any one ‘thing’ at the moment, with various intelligence agencies and the Pentagon vying for power. Addded to that are the dominant global capitalists, mainstream media outlets and financial houses, all ready to switch allegiances at the drop of a hat, while trying to make sure they back all the horses in the race without anyone knowing. The neo-cons also think they run the US, but unfortunately for them they don’t have an army of their own, which allows for a breath of relief from the rest of us

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:52

      Don’t mean to spoil your moment of relaxation, but the neocons might as well have a written ownership title to the US Military.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:21

        They have the pink slip, they own the mortgage on the broken down jalopy called America

  25. Alister
    August 26, 2017 at 03:19

    Outside of an armed revolution nothing at all will change in how politics are run in Amerika. Most Americans are willfully ignorant and happy to be that way. It’s hard enough making ends meet, paying for food, and shelter, and kids clothing and education…and health care…that few have the mental capacity to think about how they are being screwed by their “elected” representatives, the Neocons zionists crazies, and the shadow government that pulls the strings in the background. No…..wishful thinking that a President can make such enormous and lasting changes….he has no power…the power is in the hands and guns of the people…as by their constitution….too take back when their representatives become overreaching rulers.

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:48

      Yes. You are right on the truth of our sorry situation.

    • Chris Carlen
      August 26, 2017 at 23:53

      An armed revolution might be inevitable, but we can’t know for sure whether the “event horizon” of our political deterioration has yet been crossed – which would represent having entered a true death spiral. So we have no choice but to try as best we can to stop the self-destructive deterioration through lawful means. The last people I want running the show after a revolution is the American people, with their crazy ideologies.

      • Sam F
        August 27, 2017 at 08:23

        The people can be well led to moderation in a democracy, by responsible mass media and mature representatives. Those who revolt to end suffering will generally accept moderate and mature leadership. The danger is that oppressors often remove the good leadership and ensure that only the extremists can prevail, as in the Russian revolution. The greatest danger is policing of ideology, which we already have. With such mechanisms in place as we have, reform never gets a start, and violence is ensured.

        But Trump has probably proved that only an oligarch can disrupt oligarchy, and will not do so very much. So we will see increasing oppression until revolution comes, probably not for 40-80 years. The upside is that we can celebrate every national disaster as a step on the shortest path to reform.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:20

      Wishful thinking? It is absolutely delusional. You are absolutely right.

  26. Realist
    August 26, 2017 at 01:10

    You want to be innovative, effective, not play sides, and ultimately stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, Donald? Try this. And, I know America should be able to easily do this because it is so effective at tracking down and freezing Russian-held accounts in American banks or Russian-held partnerships in American businesses. Do what? Cut off every nickel of Washington-originated financial and military aid to every faction committing carnage in the Middle East. That includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, al Qaeda (and all its pseudonyms). Tell them, have at it boys. Shoot your wads, but you won’t be receiving a single jet fighter, missile, rocket or bullet, nor the money to buy them on the world market, from us.

    The relevant parties would either cease fighting, freezing the conflicts in place or they would slug it out with what they have until they run out of ammo and are forced to do essentially the same thing. Unless Israel nukes its neighbors, based on the lesson it twice learned from Hezbollah in Lebanon, even it does not have the resources to push a conflict to its ultimate resolution. If the U.S. stood down and Russia did not, Israel would suddenly become very cooperative, or else get a lasting bloody nose. Clearly Russia does not wish to do that, with so many former citizens living in Israel, but left to its own devices Israel cannot project enough power to defeat an Iran protected with its own and Russian-built missile systems. Not without Israel’s sugar daddy Uncle Sam. Not if Israel has to cross hostile territory and airspace in Syria and Iraq to get to Iran. The Jewish Ubermensch couldn’t take Beirut, twice. Saudi Arabia cannot beat primitive Yemen even with help from the USAF. Anybody think they’d tangle mano y mano with Iran without Uncle Sam threatening to lay waste to Tehran in support of the kingdom with a thousand tomahawk missiles? Not hardly. Shit, Israel would even have to make significant cuts in its lavish social programs if the American lucre were suddenly cut off.

    Those are the sanctions that should be levied to achieve peace, not effing over Russia yet again. If the combatants in the region decide to go for it anyway, fine. There will still most likely be a stalemate after a brief eruption of hostilities, after they’ve shot their wads, as they say, and even if there are winners and losers, we will simply deal with those realities afterwards. (Is a new regime in Saudi Arabia going to stop selling their oil on world markets? Hardly.) The deaths in a brief escalation of fighting that goes to resolution will probably be fewer than this perpetual war instigated and financed by Washington. Why is it up to America to dictate which regime governs which country?

    What we have seen since Israel got the pot boiling back in the 60’s is simply the “racket” aspect of war that Smedley Butler described in his book. Washington has ridden that horse into the ground. Time to try something different, Donald. If my advice works, you’ll win a legitimate Nobel Peace Prize. Next move after that, cut off Ukraine’s water (financial and military aid) and you’ll see them suddenly finding new common ground with Russia and their ethnic Russian citizens. All you have to do, Donald, is issue the necessary executive orders. Congress didn’t preclude you from issuing new sanctions, and they didn’t preclude you from applying them to countries not named Russia. Act, before congress and the MIC box you in further.

    • Herman
      August 26, 2017 at 10:23

      Realist, yes your ideas in some form would work but the real risk that if Trump did that he would be lucky to still be alive when the articles of impeachment were read. Goes back to some fundamental reforms in the way politicians are vetted and financed. Can you imagine the great majority of Congressmen clamoring to get the floor to denounce your plan,

      • Sam F
        August 26, 2017 at 15:49

        That risk can be eliminated by presidential overreach. The president should conduct secret investigations of Congress, the judiciary, and the mass media for corrupt funding from AIPAC, corporations, etc. Then declare a national emergency to eliminate the corruption. With advance preparation, arrest and prosecute the AIPAC/corporate congress crooks, dump the entire federal judiciary for corruption, and place the mass media in the hands of universities.

        Then hold new elections and demand constitutional amendments to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited individual donations, and to strictly monitor all officials and their extended families throughout their lives for sources of funding and benefits. Define mass media corporations regulated to ensure this, and to ensure balance of representation.

        If Congress refuses or judges complain, again indict those who oppose democracy for corruption and repeat until democracy is protected from economic power. Executive overreach is completely warranted by US history, and does a lot less damage than a revolution.

        • Chris Carlen
          August 26, 2017 at 23:47

          Realist, Herman, Sam F,
          You three made me smile from ear to ear. Nice to hear innovative thinking “with balls.”

          I often say to people “make me Pres. and I’ll show you how it’s done; I’ll issue orders for the U.S. Military to phase out of S.K., Afghanistan, Syria (immediately), Iraq, etc. with strict timetables, or ‘you’re fired!’ And if they kill me for it, I don’t care. Once the orders are given, and made public, even if they do kill me that would precipitate an immediate internal Constitutional Crisis. I don’t know how that would pan out ultimately, but it would leave USA having no choice but to focus inward for some time.”

          Of course, I would have gone in to the WH having spent years studying the factions in Washington, with a plan to attack the destructive interest entities in advance. That Trump seemed to walk into a minefield without a clue was quite disappointing. But I accept that I also don’t have enough info to really know for sure what’s going on.

          I’ve also been saying for years that rooting out Israel’s infiltration would be essential if we ever are to change foreign policy back into something that actually helps protect US national security instead of undermining it. It would be done in a civil, yet uncompromising manner.

          “does a lot less damage than a revolution” Yup. A revolution would leave us with who governing afterwards? One of the most ruthless factions. It must be avoided at all costs.

          Let’s wish ourselves the best of luck somehow fixing this country before it’s too late :-(

        • backwardsevolution
          August 27, 2017 at 21:03

          Sam F – “The president should conduct secret investigations of Congress, the judiciary, and the mass media for corrupt funding from AIPAC, corporations, etc.”

          Sam, what you say sounds good on paper and if it could be pulled off, I’d be all for it, but what secrets are currently kept in Washington? There are cameras, microphones and leakers everywhere. As Tucker Carlson said, there are about a million people working in Washington and maybe 50 of them don’t hate Trump, or something along those lines.

          The elite would get wind of this even before the ink was dry or the telephone conversation ended, and Trump would be a dead man. Easier said than done, especially since the whole of Washington is now top-heavy in people who support the status quo.

          No, I don’t think there’s much that Trump can do from the inside. It’s going to have to be done from the people. The people should start with one thing and one thing only, get united behind it, and protest like crazy. That one thing should be ending campaign contributions to politicians. That’s where it should start. But stick to one thing only.

          When you are successful with that, you move on to the next most important thing.

          • Sam F
            August 28, 2017 at 05:10

            Without secrecy a reforming administration can:
            1. Operate out of military bases using their own security forces, with no direct contact of officials.
            2. Round up and quarantine top officials to decapitate rebel agencies, and replace with loyalists.
            3. Then purge DC via selected middle-management forces having high security in or near DC.
            4. Proceed by degrees as control of agencies and their divisions is established.
            5. Replace the interim high-security management force with more agency-specific management.
            This depends upon sufficiency of selected loyal administrators, which he may not have.

            Certainly a new political party intended to remove political corruption is necessary, and it should be ready to move swiftly wherever it has power.

      • Realist
        August 27, 2017 at 17:55

        I know, an actually sane plan would be considered “crazy” in Washington. A plan with logic behind it would be deemed totally unrealistic. I would never expect it to happen in the “real” world.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:19

        There will never be any impeachment. Trump is the front man for a gaggle of fascists and corporations

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:47

      I love your American withdrawal idea Realist. Very realistic. But Donald has had his banana stepped on by the Deep state for even thinking such thoughts, and he has now gotten the message, and will henceforth be their obedient servant, or else! Bully Trump finally picked on someone he can’t beat up or fire, and he now knows who is really the boss in Washington DC.

  27. E. Leete
    August 26, 2017 at 00:30

    Hope dies hard.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 26, 2017 at 00:44

      Hate dies always.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:18

        Hate does not die. If it did, we wouldn’t be where we are.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:18

      Well said. We do not need hope we need revolution

  28. Ellen
    August 26, 2017 at 00:17

    OK, thank you. And see the movie and comment, please.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 26, 2017 at 00:49

      Ellen – sorry to bother you again, but there’s also a “Search” bar on the right-hand side of the page. Just type in, for instance, “White Helmets” and start reading the most recent articles. Here’s a good one on the White Helmets to get you started.

  29. backwardsevolution
    August 25, 2017 at 23:25

    Ellen – stick around and keep reading. Robert Parry and others who post here have done some excellent reporting on White Helmets, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the so-called “moderate” rebels, and everything else you list. It’s all been covered here many times over. Go up to the top of the page and click the button “In Case You Missed”. There you will find a list of all of the articles. Scroll down to find articles on the White Helmets, etc., and then start reading. It’s fascinating stuff. You can read all about the false flags, coups, overthrows. You are going to be so smart, Ellen!

  30. Ellen
    August 25, 2017 at 23:13

    I have never really studied Syria, only tried to read the best articles and listen to the best commentators, so I deserve to be someone who says “I don’t understand Syria.” I think I get Robert’s idea–that even if inadvertently, Trump is making his way through parts of the system and its people and figuring out some things. And it’s kind of refreshing that though he’s a dangerous warmonger, he’s not a neocon, and is even resisting them. I guess that isn’t helping me, the longtime activist and now just about elderly grandmother who just doesn’t understand Syria. Here are the words (I took from the article but also from others) about players, that are never really explained, even by Robert: Assad’s army; anti-Assad White Helmets; past CIA forces; Al Qaeda and its Syrian affiliates; Islamic State spinoffs; Iranian forces; Hezbollah; U.S. backed moderate rebels; U.S. anti-tank missiles; Nusra Front; “various Islamic groups”; Trump’s Tomahawk missile strikes; “terror groups”; Russian air strikes. On the news I hear “the opposition,” and “the rebels.”

    Then I went to see the movie about young Syrian men who risked their lives and lost them, to be journalists who tell the world about Isis slaughtering Raqqa, “City of Ghosts,” and the only group referred to is Isis, the one not mentioned in the article, unless I was supposed to assume that it’s synonymous with Islamic State. I thought the film was great, but was it propaganda? No one tells me who all these people really are, and what they’re really doing. Today the U.N. asked for a temporary cease fire. No one is sane. No one knows anything. Only the dead can tell me. Someday.

    • Skip Scott
      August 26, 2017 at 09:37


      I am no expert on Syria either, but one journalist I have come to trust on Syria is Eva Bartlett. If you haven’t checked her out, please do.

  31. Seby
    August 25, 2017 at 23:01

    Warmongering is peacemaking and undermining the neo-cons? This doesnt sound much different from the tRump lemmings blabbering on about his “4D chess games”. Sorry, but thanks for making me feel I live in an Orwellian universe this morning.

    Doesnt his actions in the last few weeks answer the question at the end of your article.

    This recent commentary by Finian Cunningham makes a lot more sense to me.

    How To Explain The ‘Two Trumps’

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 23:17

      Seby – from the above article:

      “Analyst Randy Martin puts it succinctly with an oblique reference to the CIA’s assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963. «This time, they didn’t need a bullet».

      No, but for all we know, Trump might be aware, if he steps too far out of line, that there is a bullet out there with his name on it.

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:34

      Thanks for the link to this excellent article. I think Finian has it exactly right. Trump is in the hands now of his Generals, who serve the Deep State. Trump was always a candidate to be a Deep State clone, but he failed his consistent conformity to their wishes tests, and so he had to be disciplined, and shown who was boss, and that if anyone was to be fired this time it would be him, not them. To understand Trump’s actions now, you only need to understand the Deep State’s agendas, because whatever vague ideas Trump might have had before being elected, he is their obedient boy now.

    • D5-5
      August 26, 2017 at 10:58

      Thanks for this link to the two Trumps! This takes us more realistically into what’s going on with Trump–teleprompter obedient to the generals on the one hand and the usual buffoon at the rally assuring the crowd he’s still Trump (whatever that is).

    • Dave P.
      August 27, 2017 at 13:16

      Seby: Excellent article. Thanks for the link. It is the best analysis on this subject of “Trump” by Finnian Cunningham I have seen in a while.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:17

        Of course. Americans have no idea how fascism works

  32. Seby
    August 25, 2017 at 22:52

    Warmongering is peacemaking and undermining the neo-cons? This doesnt sound much different from the tRump lemmings blabbering on about his “4D chess games”. Sorry, but thanks for making me feel I live in an Orwellian universe this morning.

    • Seby
      August 25, 2017 at 22:58

      btw, surely his actions in the last few weeks have answered your question at the end of your article.

      This recent commentary by Finian Cunningham makes a lot more sense to me.

      How To Explain The ‘Two Trumps’

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 23:08

      Seby – “Warmongering is peacemaking and undermining the neocons?”

      Think of these neocons as people who are addicted to war and aggression in the same way as an addict is addicted to heroin. They want it! Trump is giving them (we think) smaller doses, just like a heroin addict is given methadone. If you take someone’s preferred drug away completely, cold turkey, they often get very aggressive. Better to give them some, but not as much. None of us really know what’s going on, though. We can only observe what is happening.

      • Seby
        August 26, 2017 at 10:16

        The world is run by pushers and junkies?

        I think we can do more than observe. A serious anti-war movement needs to get happening again like in the 1960’s, but an eternally vigilant one this time. Getting out in the streets is good exercise also. :)

  33. August 25, 2017 at 22:26

    April 8, 2017
    Donald You Fooled Us

    Donald, you were elected into a big White House
    Now you are acting like a warmongering louse
    Bombing other countries as you think and see fit
    Yemen and Syria you have already hit
    Donald You Fooled Us

    People believed you, when you promoted peace
    Now that you are elected the bombings don’t cease
    The war criminals are now applauding your dangerous sorties
    You sent “59” missiles into Syria: is this your forte?
    Donald You Fooled Us

    Will nuclear war be your gift to mankind?
    Unfortunately if this happens, nobody will be left behind
    The destroyed planet will be all aflame
    A hellish end to your mad reign
    Donald You Fooled Us

    You are now in the company of those that support terrorists
    Is this what you want? Or do you need a Therapist?
    Your credibility is shot, and there is no pun intended
    Many of your supporters are now bloody offended
    Donald You Fooled Us

    You said if elected you would clean and, “Drain the swamp”
    Now the swamp residents are now cheering your “pomp”
    They know it’s a return to good old “business as usual”
    And the people that supported You, are wondering if you’re delusional?
    Donald You Fooled Us

    People are fed up with double crossing politicians
    That are, leading them down the road to perdition
    You were believed, and that all this would change
    But now, they realize it’s just a dirty political game
    Donald You Fooled Us…

    [more info at link below]

  34. Zachary Smith
    August 25, 2017 at 21:43

    The Possible Education of Donald Trump

    I’ll confess my first reaction to this headline was to reject it. That’s because Trump keeps doing and saying such dumb things despite them obviously hurting him. It just seemed unreasonable to deduce he wanted to alter his ways.

    However, Mr. Parry makes a good case that there might be some changes in the skull region of the new President. Despite being 70 years old, the POTUS has reportedly abstained from both alcohol and tobacco for his entire life. In the absence of some uncommon brain ailment, that’s a good sign in terms of “possibilities”. Bad things tend to happen much more often and much earlier to drinkers and smokers.

    So though the man entered office as a stubborn ignoramus, one cannot discount the possibility that since January 20 he has started to look at more TV than Fox News, Internet sites besides the standard rightwingnut places, and started to talk to people with some education and real-world experience.

    But Trump’s aversion to any new military adventures in Syria is being tested again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is threatening to attack Iranian and Hezbollah forces inside Syria.

    Netanyahu has been trying to bully both Trump and Putin. Either was a mistake, but tackling both of them verges on totally nuts. Syria is going to be an increasingly tough nut to crack for the thieving and murderous little outhouse of an apartheid nation-state. Air defenses there continue to get denser, and retaliatory weaponry in case of an attack better. Regarding the first item:

    It is indeed a measure of the S-400’s effectiveness that kept it from having to fire a single missile in anger in Syria. So instead the aerial threats to Russian forces in theater have taken a different form, one which has kept the Pantsir-S vehicles quite busy. In 2017 alone Pantsir-S vehicles in Syria so far destroyed 12 aerial vehicles, all of them with missiles. Two of them were probably innocuous–drifting balloons, though given the nature of the conflict, and the fact they were both downed a few days apart in June over Tartus and Hmeimim, these balloons may have been fitted out with surveillance equipment to observe Russian military facilities. Both were destroyed at close to the missiles’ maximum range. Four of the targets were artillery rockets shot down over Hmeimim and Masyaf in Hama Province, all of them in March. The remainders are surveillance drones, including one Turkish-manufactured Bayraktar drone downed near Tartus on May 11, three Israeli-manufactured Heron drones downed near Tartus and Masyaf in April, May, and July of this year, one unspecified mini-drone over Masyaf and (drumroll please) a single RQ-21A Blackjack UAV downed near Tartus on May 27, 2017. That last downing is particularly interesting, since the Blackjack only entered service in 2016 and its sole confirmed users are Canada and…the United States Navy and Marine Corps. They are known to have been deployed by the USMC to Iraq in 2016, but can also be operated from naval vessels. Its 16-hour endurance presumably allows it to have been possibly launched from the British airbase in Cyprus.


    And another new story:

    “It’s Official, Russia and Syria Have Linked Their Air Defense Networks”
    By Joseph Trevithick August 25, 2017


    • D5-5
      August 26, 2017 at 11:10

      Valuable commentary moving into the changing realities of the region. Seems to me whatever we think of Trump as “bright” the big qualifier = his ego needs tempering it. The two Trumps article referred to in this forum is related, as well as reports yesterday that his do in Phoenix grew boring to the crowd, many leaving early, others sitting in groups or with their phones while Trump rambled. Here his ego seems in charge, buttressing and buttoning up perceptions he might have gone wonky with all them generals in the White House. It would be natural for him to get out there to his base and try to deliver some reassurance, both to them and himself.

      It’s interesting that the Washington playbook seems to have changed to disillusion Netanyahu and send him scrambling. I think we could do more analyzing on this aspect of what’s happening. What are the generals’ long-range plans in Syria at this time, and how is that sitting with Assad?

  35. August 25, 2017 at 21:42


    by Jacob G. Hornberger

    August 24, 2017

  36. Patrick
    August 25, 2017 at 20:21

    Robert I am disappointed in the lack of respect you show for Trump. He is a helluva politician. Do you really believe he is ignorant and uneducated but could still stumble on the right action over and over again as you state in your article. How many times does he have to do the right thing ignoring the neocons, before you realize that a man with an IQ estimated at 170 is not ignorant.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 21:42

      Patrick – look at the posters on this blog, read what most of them say. That’s why Mr. Parry (who I am sure is not a fan of Trump’s at all) has to tread lightly. Most people on here hate – yes, hate – Trump with a vengeance and they would never entertain for one second that Trump has done anything good, except by “accident”. With people like this, you have to come at them sideways.

  37. TEO
    August 25, 2017 at 20:07

    Thanks to Robert Parry for his objectivity. Trump seems to be right in a couple of important things (far more by accident than expertise, it would certainly seem), and it’s important to recognize this rather than to simply demonize him (the way we demonize Russia, for example) and give no credit where it’s due.

    I doubt that Parry expects much from Trump, who is so utterly unfit for office that words fail. I certainly do not; I think he should be removed as soon as possible (then all we face is Pence, Congress, the State legislatures and governors, and the folks who still support what they’ve all been doing). Nonetheless, I agree with Parry that there are some positive possibilities here.

  38. August 25, 2017 at 19:57

    Interesting article, but with all of the media psychobabble from right and left, what can one say but that Trump’s approach is a paradox? I can’t make heads or tails of it, but if the warmongering cools off, hey, that’s great!

    I also think we humans are seeing our own created paradox. What we have been doing on earth has been making a mess, and I can’t help but think that it’s becoming more and more apparent to everyone, everywhere. If not overtly, subliminally. We may be muddling toward change despite the current rash of irrational thinking. The question is, how much time do we have?

  39. August 25, 2017 at 19:02

    Trump is growing through a learning curve of deep conviction that brought him to try for Presidendency. Very smart, very committed to
    draining the swamp of the new refined corrupt realities to protect again the American identity as it once was in legal forms. law being gone.

  40. Stiv
    August 25, 2017 at 18:52

    Trumps foreign policy initiatives? That’s a awful generous reading there, Bob. There is no thought or plan, Bob, is there? Just reaction defined by his personal problem(s) of the day.

    We”‘ll take whatever positive moves and hope for the best, but you’re a fool if you expect any “policy” from this morally and intellectually bankrupt idiot. Even a blind man can hit the target with enough attempts. Let’s hope that will apply here as well.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 21:35

      Stiv – try to follow the bouncing ball, Stiv. From what Mr. Parry has laid out, there does appear to be some method to the madness. If someone is aiming a handgun at you, are you going to run in a straight line, or are you going to move from side to side?

      Watch what they do, not what they say. Follow the bouncing ball.

  41. mrtmbrnmn
    August 25, 2017 at 18:24

    Interesting recalibration of The Trump’s “thinking” on the Middle East, Mr Parry. With the release of ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from prison, there is a warm cell available for the troublesome and corrupt Nut-anyahoo. Jared Kushner must also decide if he is Bibi’s agent or his father-in-law’s. Russia appears to be the most rational actor in this bizarre bazaar. As for the repulsive (sword dancing) Saudis, the clock is ticking on that cartoon “Kingdom”.

  42. LJ
    August 25, 2017 at 18:14

    Well, it is hard for an old guy to learn much. I recall, It wasn’t that long ago, that Trump got the base and it never left him over Immigration. IMMIGRATION. The other Republicans were too PC and cowardly to say what the GOP base wanted to hear on immigration and so they got their butts kicked to the curb quite EASILY by Donald Trump. His other main point of separation from the Republican pack was on normalizing relations with Russia. This position did not hurt him with the Republican base in any way.. The talk about hatred of Obama is irrelevant. Obama was gone . As for hatred of Hillary, well she generated that naturally just by being herself . Trump didn’t have to even go there aggressively. . Whitey, Caucasians, voted for Trump on Immigration and the fact that the Democrats no longer stood up for or cared about what was formerly their base, the Working Poor. It is possible that Trump could get a handle on things but the Republicans in Washington D.C. don’t want him to succeed . It seems they would rather lose. They won’t touch immigration and they won’t vote out sanctions,on Russia. They won’t give him much on an infrastructure package, getting rid of Obamacare and Medicaid ain’t gonna happen , and tax reform isn’t going to happen either. Not aggressively anyway. In short nothing is going to happen in my opinion. What’s to learn, that he shouldn’t have asked for the job? I think he already figured that out.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 21:30

      LJ – “It is possible that Trump could get a handle on things but the Republicans in Washington D.C. don’t want him to succeed . It seems they would rather lose.”

      Yes, they would rather lose than support Trump. They are taking their orders from the only people who matter to them: the corporate donors who supply their large campaign contributions. If they do not go along with what their corporate donors want, they are gone the next time around. But if they go along with their corporate donors and still get voted out, it doesn’t matter because those same corporate donors will set the losing politicians up in some cushy job, some lobbyist job, and they’ll probably end up making even more than they made being a politician (even with all the free insider trading they’re allowed now).

      The politicians could care less whether they win or lose the election. As long as they please their big donors, they’re set for life.

      • LJ
        August 26, 2017 at 13:28

        Backwards, I think that’s about the gist of it. I haven’t heard one of them take a vow of poverty yet or become so guilt ridden by their corruption in office that they decided to do “good works”. I won’t hold my breath.

  43. August 25, 2017 at 18:12

    The Donald does not need a “possible education” he has made his “bones” in Syria
    The Donald “makes his bones” in Syria

    Syria was the recipient of an illegal attack by the President of the United States. This action confirms, that The Donald, has “made his bones,” and is now a bona fide resident of “The House of Blood.”…
    [read more at link below]

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 26, 2017 at 09:28

      Thanks Stephen J. As always, your documentation is through, and very helpful.

  44. August 25, 2017 at 18:04

    In this article Mr Parry seems to indicate that he has some sources that are giving him some surprising news. Like Trump may be starting to stand up to Bibi, KSA, and even the CIA in Syria. And the back channel to North Korea is a bit of a surprise given his recent rhetoric. All of this is welcome news, if it is true. I am certainly no fan of Trump’s domestic policies (unless he succeeds with Bi-lateral trade negotiations and an infrastructure project), but I guess I won’t throw in the towel just yet. Just imagine where we’d be with the Neocon agenda if Hillary had been elected. If the Russia gate BS is finally dying from lack of evidence, the deep staters will probably try to come up with something new, or find a patsy to do a JFK number on him. Maybe the assassin will be wearing a pink pussy hat.

  45. D5-5
    August 25, 2017 at 17:58

    I feel the situation is too complex as yet to begin talking about Trump’s “education.” It would be nice, and if he gave the cold shoulder to Netanyahoo that would be good. I speculate Net’s enthusiasm for IS warriors, the ones Trump has decided publicly to go after, did him no good on that score, and there may be personality factors additionally. Two blowhards such as these probably can’t stand each other privately. But there are other factors we’ve been discussing in this forum lately as to why Trump might for a moment here be lookin’ good. Turkey has changed its approach to Syria, seeking cooperation on the Kurds. The Saudis are moving toward Iraq and Iran etc. We’ve been over this ground already. No wonder Net is nervous.

    Also at issue here is the Golan Heights, with Iran as impediment to Israel’s pumping its deep oil resources and moving ahead with its own notions of a pipeline. Evidently Russia said “concerns noted” or some such in response to his visit this week. But back to Trump learning something? I’d like to hear more on this, while being dubious, now that the military junta of Kelly Mattis McMaster pretty much controls The White House. True, these generals seem uninterested in attacking Iran at this time. Maybe Net will invite them to dinner or do a trip to the US where he can cozy up to them and work his way around Donald.

  46. Jim
    August 25, 2017 at 17:14

    I have two questions for this group:

    1) Do you think Trump knows who’s out to get him and why?

    2) How do you think Russia will handle the threats from Israel considering its relationship with Syria and Iran?

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 21:21

      Jim – 1) yes, I think Trump is fully aware of who is out to get him. I think he knows he’s on a tightrope. Could be they’ve already explained to him in some soundproof room just how precarious he really is (as in JFK).

      2) So far Russia has been ignoring the shots that Israel has taken over the Syrian border. They know that Israel is trying to provoke them. Every world leader knows this too. Israel had better not press their luck.

      I just hope that Trump knows what’s going on with Iran, how they’ve done nothing wrong. I have a hunch he does. I don’t think that Trump is as dumb as he lets on. Hey, if I were him, I’d pretend I didn’t know what was going on either. Just act stupid, but head in the right direction.

      IMO, Israel is losing influence. If they weren’t, there’s no way the Senate and Congress (who are owned by AIPAC) would have jumped at the sanctions against Russia and Iran. They are getting paranoid.

    • SteveK9
      August 26, 2017 at 10:25

      Russia could upgrade Syria’s air defenses. Syria could then shoot down an Israeli jet flying over its territory. Or, would Israel be careful to stay on its side of the (occupied) border? Would Syria stand still for a real missile/rocket barrage from Israel, or respond in kind?

      Not sure what would happen next. If Israel attacks Syria, will the Russians stand by? Are Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah strong enough to stop Israel (Hezbollah did a decent job before). If not, do the Russians intervene? For that matter would Russian jets be attacked by Israel? Is that the start of WWIII?

      Hopefully Netanyahu is not crazy enough for a frontal attack on Syria.

  47. August 25, 2017 at 17:11

    Time will tell what the Trump whitehouse will achieve, or fail in concerning all foreign policy. He isn’t a seasoned Washington insider. He is President of the United States, and like all leaders, is in a perfect position to surround himself with people who are more educated in some arenas than he is, weigh the information he is given, and consider the outcome of every decision he makes in terms of how his decisions will affect the life of every living human that he was elected to represent. I hope I am not alone in hoping that the decisions he makes will not impact the lives of the American people who look to their President to shape domestic and foreign policy in a positive way. We are truly ” E PLURIBUS UNUM.” He represents all of us and I want to believe that he is color-blind. He has to be for all our sakes.

  48. mark
    August 25, 2017 at 16:52

    I’m not that optimistic. Trump now has a record of serial folding under pressure and throwing his appointees under the bus in a vain attempt to appease the pack of hyenas gathering around him. They have scented blood since the fall of Flynn and will not be satisfied with anything less than impeachment. He should have faced them down and kept Flynn. The Russiagate Balloon is deflating rapidly so they have moved on to racism/ KKK smears and mental incapacity smears.

    The Kosher Nostra around Trump probably has even more of a stranglehold on power than it did under Obama, especially with the departure of Bannon. The nonsensical attack on Syria could be seen as an attempt to buy time by throwing them a piece of red meat, but he seems intent on provoking a crisis with Iran as soon as possible, probably just for similar AIPAC appeasement purposes. Their total control is seen in the Stalinist majorities for sanctions, and impudent seizure of control of foreign policy from Trump, which he has just accepted.

    The endless threats and sabre rattling are interpreted as a sign of weakness, not strength, by Russia and other countries. There is no coherent or rational strategy or policy emanating from Trump’s administration, nor from Trump himself. Public statements are invariably contradictory, with different fiefdoms pursuing their own agenda and generally fighting like rats in a sack. It would be very optimistic to pass this off as some kind of cunning strategy to support behind the scenes diplomacy. There is a price to pay for this behaviour, whether in loss of support from erstwhile allies or miscalculation from targeted regimes in the crosshairs of US aggression.

    The sole crumb of comfort we have is that Trump is not Clinton. Had she been elected, she may have already ignited a major war. But the Deep State is in the driving seat. Give them time.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 25, 2017 at 21:02

      mark – “There is a price to pay for this behaviour, whether in loss of support from erstwhile allies or miscalculation from targeted regimes in the crosshairs of US aggression.”

      Unless the allies and the targeted regimes know beforehand what’s coming, Mark, which they very well could. This is the part that we don’t know about.

      Last week I posted a link that laid out what had gone on during the Obama administration, how they had a two-fold foreign policy: one was what was said to the public and the neocons, and the other was what was going on behind the scenes. In order to get that Iran deal through, they had to tell Israel and the neocons one thing, but they were doing something else all together behind the scenes. From the progress that is silently going on here, this very well might be occurring.

      I don’t know enough about Bannon to know whether it’s a good or bad thing he’s gone. Maybe Bannon was twiddling his thumbs and thought he could be more effective by going back to journalism, going after the MSM. Who knows. The few things I did know about Bannon I did not like, like his support for Israel, his animosity towards Iran (maybe it was all pretend?).

      I agree that Russiagate set Trump back, tied him in knots. It sure didn’t help that Jeff Sessions was tied up too. Trump was basically floating out there with no help. He needed a strong Attorney-General, and Sessions couldn’t even come to the dance.

      Was reading about Afghanistan and how the Taliban and drugs are joined at the hip. Wonder what the real story is about Afghanistan. Is it a drug war, a made-up war in order to keep selling more weapons, a pipeline war?

      I also read a good article (of course, I can’t find it now) where the author I think was talking about Zbigniew Brzezinski’s suggestion that they cut off Russia from India (as the article stated that India and Russia have always had good relations). The article said that it was important to separate India and Russia, essentially take India away from Russia. Could be what’s going on in their stupid little minds.

      • Dave P.
        August 26, 2017 at 16:44


        “The article said that it was important to separate India and Russia, essentially take India away from Russia. Could be what’s going on in their stupid little minds.”

        It is the first government in India where this pro-west elite, some of whom have gone to school in U.S., have established their foothold in a big way. Current pro-hindu nationalism party was a pro-west, anti-communist party during the Soviet days. The Congress party of Nehru and Indira Gandhi, which was in power for a long time was neutral, a secular party, was a friend of Soviet Union/Russia. People here have no knowledge that all this Elite in those third world countries have been moving their Wealth to The West – U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and have bought properties in these countries. Those countries with this enormous increase in populations are so polluted that they are fast becoming unhealthy to live. Very large segments of the population have developed serious health problems
        Neoliberal Economics have increased the wealth but destroyed the countries. Planned economies, and strict birth control for many of these countries are better models to follow. India had started in that direction right away in 1947. The West opposed it all. They wanted only client states, allies in the outfits like NATO, against the Soviet Union.

        Regarding their switching the sides, there is criticism of it from many political voices in India. The current government will learn it’s lesson soon. West has only economic interests, not friends. I don’t think this shift will last too long. India is a very diverse country, and has too many internal problems.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 27, 2017 at 20:51

          Dave P. – thanks for that good information on India. I hope you’re right and India remains neutral. Best place to be. I hope the people of India do not go against Russia.

          I just remember reading somewhere that this is where the neocons want to go, cut off India from Russia.

    • alley cat
      August 25, 2017 at 21:02

      “The sole crumb of comfort we have is that Trump is not Clinton. Had she been elected, she may have already ignited a major war. But the Deep State is in the driving seat. Give them time.”

      Mark, in response to your excellent post, I feel the same way about the respective threats to humanity posed by Clinton and Trump. Yes, the Deep State is in the driver’s seat but thankfully they don’t have their itchy fingers on the button that turns out all the lights on planet Earth. Chip-shouldered Hillary, had she won the election, might have pushed Vlad too far and gotten us all vaporized. I keep thinking about the time Trump publicly attacked George Bush for lying us into war in Iraq. A remark that was guaranteed to produce shock, consternation, and maybe even job insecurity at Deep State HQ. Trump got booed by the audience into the bargain but wasn’t fazed by it. Often it takes more cojones to tell the truth in public than it does to start a war. This country needs a good dose of that kind of courage and honesty right now, even if Trump’s bluster keeps us all guessing about his real intentions (but it keeps the neocons guessing too, and that can never be a bad thing).

      • mark
        August 25, 2017 at 23:57

        My fear is that he’ll just give up and spend most of his time on the golf course like Obama. It may be in a few years time they’ll be regarded as more or less identical, except Trump had more golf courses to choose from.

        • alley cat
          August 26, 2017 at 03:22

          Yes, but your “crumb of comfort” (the difference between Trump and Clinton) metaphor remains valid, and that crumb-sized distinction takes on existential transcendence if it means refusing to corner a Russia bristling with nuclear weapons (and capable of using them if it thinks it has nothing to lose). Neither Clinton nor Pence has the necessary courage/audacity to defy the foolhardy neocon policy of isolating and provoking Russia at every turn. Trump’s demonstrated willingness to defy the prevailing neocon consensus may turn out to be one hulluva of an important crumb of comfort.

    • mike k
      August 26, 2017 at 10:24

      Yes. Right on.

    • Dave P.
      August 26, 2017 at 11:50

      “The nonsensical attack on Syria could be seen as an attempt to buy time by throwing them a piece of red meat, but he seems intent on provoking a crisis with Iran as soon as possible, probably just for similar AIPAC appeasement purposes. Their total control is seen in the Stalinist majorities for sanctions, and impudent seizure of control of foreign policy from Trump, which he has just accepted.”

      Your comments are right on the mark regarding our feud with Iran. It is all the work of AIPAC and Israel. Being from close to that area, language, and customs (only difference is religion) we understand it better. An ancient civilization, they are the most educated and sophisticated people in that area. Persian language was the court language of Muslim emperors and the Persian language was studied in High Schools until 1947, and the Persian Cuisine was like the French cuisine and Language in Imperial Russia. And by their history and development, Persians are Western Oriented. It is the West who brought this Ayatollahs to the forefront by overthrowing Mosaddegh in 1953, and installing Shah. Give Iran some time (just like communism in Russia). Iran will come back to it’s natural historical equilibrium.

      With it’s 90 millions population, Iran is destined to occupy it’s rightful place in History in that part of the World. But it will be a sovereign Iran, not a puppet of The West. It is the U.S. who needs to change it’s course in policy towards Iran. But with the tight control of AIPAC over congress and other institutions of government as it is, it is highly unlikely.

  49. mike k
    August 25, 2017 at 16:50

    Considering who it is that is trying to get rid of Trump, and what would replace him, maybe I should back off a little howling for his removal. I do learn things here at CN. But Jeez! Talk about the lesser of evils? Hold you nose, and reach out for Trump’s hand??? It’s the damned crooked System that’s got us to this no good choices impasse. Could we please have another system than murderer’s capitalism nuclear roulette?

  50. Cratylus
    August 25, 2017 at 16:04

    Perhaps the superior attitude, condescension and psychobabble that characterize virtually every pundit’s approach to Trump stands in the way of making a better evaluation. In fact it is considered “bad form” to say anything good about the guy so the condescension is required in respectable company.

    In fact the termination of TPP, the “summit” with Putin in the face of enormous opposition, the cease-fire in SW Syria that followed, the other cease-fires there that Lavrov says are in the works, the termination of the CIA aid to Jihaist groups in Syria are all very positive things. Has the “progressive” media or the liberal punditry, all supposedly anti-war, praised any of these things? A very, veryfew have, but they are as rare as snowfall in Jamaica.

    Moreover, Tillerson is the main man on foreign policy and he has outlined a course of negotiations in North Korea and continuing dialogue with Iran.

    The pin-prick attack on Syria is routinely trotted out as a sign of Trump’s bellicosity as is done in this essay. But IMO it was a ploy, apparently coordinated with Russia, allowing Trump to look tough enough to get to the Hamburg summit. This essay at least imagines the possibility – which is a good step forward.

    There is no question that Trump wants to “get along” with Russia, will negotiate with North Korea and sees competition with China as economic. (Bannon did not see the competition with China as a normal economic one but as a clash of civilizations as he also sees the relationship with Iran and muslim world. From that point of view, it is good that he is gone – as some of us predicted would happen long, long ago. Breitbart has the same attitude to Iran which arise from its fanatical pro-Israel view. To understand Bannon, read Breitbart – but do not tell your friends you are so doing. Dinner invitations will be canceled among other things.)

    It is unwise to underestimate Trump. Will he be able to advance his peaceful policy toward Russia and advance his anti-interventionist stands that have clearly been his intuition for many years? His policy statement on Afghanistan suggests not. But he has agreed apparently to send only a few thousand troops to Afghanistan – not the tens of thousands sent by Obama/Hillary to bring the total to 110,000 at one point. So this too could also be a ploy to look tough. So the assessment must be that the policy statement on Afghanistan makes the probability of Trump’s returning to his anti-interventionist stance very low. In fact almost as low as the probability that he would win the presidency.

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 16:41

      Good food for thought.

    • Virginia
      August 25, 2017 at 20:36

      Craytalus, Surely hope you are right.

    • Dave P.
      August 26, 2017 at 00:23

      Craytalus: Your analysis is one of the best I have seen which makes sense. It does seem like that Trump, Tillerson, and Mattis are working in tandem. With all The Establishment against Trump and itching for wars and interventions, they have to talk tough, and act tough too here and there. But it seems like, under the table, they are trying to solve problems diplomatically in the direction Trump has been pointing out for a few years now.

      I think Trump was one of the few who understood long ago that to compete economically with China, Russia was natural partner of U.S. and Western Europe. Instead they pushed Russia into the arms of China.

      Zbigniew Brzezinski was not all that smart what he has been made up to be. His hatred towards Russia distorted everything the way he saw it. He was the one who started all this mess – Taliban, Al-Qaeda, leading to what is going on now in ME. Other NeoCons came later on who are fueling all this mayhem for two decades now.

      Let us hope it is right.

    • Brad Owen
      August 26, 2017 at 08:22

      Ridding Bannon over differences about China, the way you said it, greatly encourages me. Trump may be listening to the LaRouche people after all, as he champions FDRs grand strategic vision for World Peace for a post-WWII World (he also understands intimately that vision as he lived in that era and knew those folks close to FDR). He knows securing World peace hinges upon the cooperative partnership of USA, USSR (now Russia), and ROC, (now the people’s Republic of China), three of the permanent members of U.N.s Security Council. China’s New Silk Road OBOR policies are FDRs expanded Marshall Plan policies for developing the former colonies of Euro-Brit Empires, where JFK was going to go, picking up FDRs baton…now China has that baton. Both China and Japan have a standing offer to help finance and rebuild/upgrade/expand our infrastructure. China thinks we need 8 trillion$ worth of work done on it. Bannon is looking through a geopolitical lens at China, which is the WRONG lens to look at China, as LaRouche knows. Our strong alliance with Russia will come across the Bering Strait with an “English Chunnel” across it, connecting the entire World, and USA and Russia will be the “gatekeepers” of the World LandBridge. This is our facing West towards our future (where McKinley wanted to go, and was assassinated for it, by the Eastern Establishment, in favor of his Anglophile VP Teddy to keep us facing East across the Atlantic) towards Russia, China, Japan, towards partnership with China and Russia on building New Silk Road Infrastructure for the rest of the World, retraining our,industrial base from war-building to infrastructure-building.

      • Brad Owen
        August 26, 2017 at 08:52

        This will also have the effect of causing a new “NYC” to be built in the west of Alaska, in service to the World Land Bridge, maybe ten million people or more. Real estate developer Trump can’t fail to see THIS business opportunity.

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 26, 2017 at 09:17

      A really nice, and well thought out thread. Thanks to all of you’ and I hope that you’re right…

    • rick
      August 28, 2017 at 14:11

      According to the Hersh article, Trump didn’t even want to forewarn Russia about the Syria attack but had to be talked into doing so.

  51. Brendan
    August 25, 2017 at 15:58

    The main reason for the change in American strategy in Syria is not Trump’s disillusionment with his Israeli and Saudi allies. The real reason is the military success of the Syrian army. Trump is just responding to the facts on the ground, and nobody can offer any realistic way to overthrow Assad.

    The Syrians are winning the war with help from Russia and Hezbollah, so there’s no point in continuing to support the “moderate rebels”. The area controlled by the Syrian government has expanded dramatically since the US Presidential election. Lately that area has been changing significantly every week but you won’t learn about that in the western media.

    Hillary Clinton can keep on talking about no-fly zones, but that’s just bluster. If she were President, she too would probably have to accept the reality, but you could never be sure what someone as unstable as Hillary would do if she gets the wrong advice.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 25, 2017 at 22:14

      Given the amount of American military activity in Syria, I’m not sure that “ending covert aid to the rebels” actually means “ending aid” … rather ending the “pretend” …
      We are still telling the Kurds , apparently, that we’re in it for the duration (and they tweet we’ve committed for “decades”) …
      The Kurds aren’t usually synonymous with “rebels” but to the extent they are bucking for an autonomous state, I’d call them “rebels” (they originally sided with Assad — for several years — based on promises of post-settlement expansion of rights and citizenship)

      As usual, how representative the enthsiasm of our “pet” Kurd is of the greater Kurd population (it’s fractures into at least two competing “tribes”… and then there’s Rojava) — all opposed vehemently by Erdogan (remember him?) and by Syria, Russia and Iran as American proxy force.

      (The neocon evergreen plan of partitioning Iraq and Syria just like we partitioned Bosnia was alway bait for Kurdish support who would be granted a sector — Iraqi and Syrian nationalist reject partition as a neo-colonial breaking up of their respective countries)

      I think there’s alway some question as to Kurish “sincerity” since their receive a great deal of arms and money in “aid” which would dry up if they settled… which they may well do… although the warring factions may hamper peace dealing)

      From May — guardian: Arming the Kurdish fighters of the YPG could backfire spectacularly on the US
      Sending heavy weapons to a secular militia for the final assault on Isis was an easy decision for the US. But it comes with heavy responsibilities

      (how much of our Military aid was converted into cash by selling said “aid” to pay salaries has long been an open but unanswered question, as is to whom they are sold and where they end up — the middle east “should” be awash in small arms and rifles by now)

      Devil’s in the details and the dictionary used. (my understanding of the Kurds is limited by finding their infighting confounding and off-putting

    • Dave P.
      August 25, 2017 at 23:31

      Brendan: Excellent observations. With Hillary there would have been a full fledged war going on against Syria, Russia, and Iran in Syria by this time. Also, Ukraine front would have been very hot by this time. I think it is some sort of intervention up there from the heavens that she did not win. Close friend of Madam Albright, and all the other insane NeoCons, Hillary Clinton is one of the most dangerous persons on Earth, a threat to Humanity.

  52. WG
    August 25, 2017 at 15:50

    The US media has cooperated with neoconservative elements of the US government to hobble Trump repeatedly.

    Russia-gate managed to remove Michael Flynn and reverse his changes to the national security council. (Bringing it more under the control of the president)

    Statue-gate managed to get Steve Bannon removed (one of the last anti-interventionists left that Trump brought in).

    Statue-gate also gave a great excuse for all the CEOs to quit his working groups (which had successfully pressured some companies to bring some jobs back to the US or at least hault further factory closings). Now I’m sure things will get back to normal and the outsourcing will pick up steam again.

    It’s sad how the same tactics work over and over again, giving the general public the worst outcome in every situation. People should be calling congress to pressure them to support Donald Trumps promised infrastructure repair/rebuilding and following through on ending the wars. Instead everyone is running around with their hair on fire saying he’s a secret Russian controlled Nazi (who’s mentally ill to boot…)

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 16:38

      If only Donald would show some guts, and some consistent sanity – he might get more support.

      • August 25, 2017 at 20:50

        Sorry,Mike: It is easy for you to say “show some guts”. This man happens
        to love his family as many others do. I still believe that Bernie got threats
        from the CIA to kick him back into the fold. The two, who wanted to go up
        against the establishment, especially the CIA got killed in the sixties.

        There are two points to be made: a) President Trump is shrewd, and b) he
        is no warrior by temperament. Sleazy and fraudulent deals are more in
        his line. I don’t think that he counted on all that media whipped up
        hatred, but he knows that he has to keep his base together to avoid any
        serious impeachment moves. He also realizes that he has to throw some
        bones to the Deep State, like the 59 missiles or 3,000 troops to Afghanistan.
        Trump sees clearly the coming competition from Eurasia and would have
        liked to get the US involved peacefully. The fact that almost all in Congress
        have made this extremely difficult for him by means of the sanctions law
        should trouble all of us.
        As far as Bibi is concerned, he made a big mistake with Trump. Even during
        the primaries we saw how an attacked Trump reacts. On the other hand I
        think that Putin knows much better how to deal with Trump and will therefore
        have more sane influence.
        It is never wise to underestimate your opponent as the DS seems to have
        done. Otherwise the man would not be in the WH.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 25, 2017 at 22:57

          Louise – perfectly said.

        • Sam F
          August 26, 2017 at 07:38

          As to politicians being directed by threats, mike k is right: if their fears of personal welfare exceed their patriotism they have no business in public office. Any public office holder who allows himself to be threatened without informing the public is as much a traitor as the threatener. That applies as much to economic threats as physical threats.

          The President does not have to take threats from any or even multiple government agencies. All of them can be decapitated with no more than a raid by the US Marshall or even local police. Even an entire military division can be controlled by others, and an entire rogue agency can be opposed by the others. If the entire US armed forces were in rebellion, they could be opposed by the National Guard, the primary mission of national guards.

          The control of mass media by the secret agencies, and their joint control by oligarchy, is a major problem not easily rooted out. But as soon as they threaten they are in prison.

          You are right that Mr. Trump was unprepared to lead the government, having no shadow government to place in power, and has trusted MIC and WallSt operatives who oppose his platform. Likely the NSC controls his perceptions by now.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 27, 2017 at 20:46

            Sam F – so where does Trump start? By taking down the State Department? The Attorney-General’s office? All of the intelligence agencies? The Pentagon? Who is going to back him? The National Guard?

          • Sam F
            August 28, 2017 at 04:52

            A practical plan at this point would depend upon his identifying his supporters and recruiting and training more. If he cannot, he must play them against one another.

            If he has enough supporters, he must replace all disloyal heads of major military and intel agencies having domestic power, so as to secure his power base. If necessary, operate from secret bases without direct public exposure. Then do the same with disloyal middle management, purging State, DoD and intel as needed to stop the wars.

            I do not know whether he has the good intentions to do that to good effect. It appears that he was and remains unprepared for such a change.

        • mike k
          August 26, 2017 at 10:22

          Ah the secretly wise and artful Trump, skillfully outwitting his opponents. I’m sure that’s how the Donald likes to fantasize himself. The real blundering, clueless Trump is another story. Unfortunately the second real Trump is the one acting as President of the US.

          That Trump won the election by conning the gullible American public, does not somehow make him a statesman.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:10

        Right, and if we emptied the mental institutions the left might gain power. I cannot believe people actually believe this shallow analysis

    • Dave P.
      August 25, 2017 at 23:16

      WG: Very good. All you said is very true.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 26, 2017 at 00:04

      WG – “Instead everyone is running around with their hair on fire saying he’s a secret Russian controlled Nazi (who’s mentally ill to boot…)”

      Great comments. Yes, whenever Trump does anything right, he’s still panned by these people. They will not give him an inch because they absolutely despise/hate him and want him impeached. He’s criticized if he reads a teleprompter (which is all Obama ever did) or if he doesn’t.

      He’s called a Putin lover, a fascist, a white supremacist, a racist, a bigot, a Nazi, an orange-haired buffoon, a moron, a warmonger, an anti-semitic, a clown, a child, a narcissist, and the list goes on.

      People who profess to only “love”, but are so filled with hatred that they can’t see straight. It’s too bad really. Babies who haven’t gotten over losing the election. Apparently it was stolen.

  53. Charles S. Ferguson
    August 25, 2017 at 15:39

    The President should be very careful to avoid allowing the war criminal of Israel, from involving the United States in an escalated conflict which could potentially become nuclear. Robert how many of these neo-con-men and women have dual citizenships? And could they be liable for treason against our country by helping Israel. Excellent synopsis.

    • Sam F
      August 26, 2017 at 07:22

      Dual citizenship might in some cases be grounds for requiring their registration as foreign agents, or prosecution if they acted as foreign agents. Treason is limited by the Constitution to acts of war against the US, and that should be generalized to acts of economic war as well as physical war. So their guilt depends upon detailed factual knowledge in each case.

  54. August 25, 2017 at 15:28

    Food for thought?
    A Military Junta is Now Ruling the United States

    By Moon Of Alabama

    August 24, 2017 “Information Clearing House”

    • Brad Owen
      August 25, 2017 at 16:12

      Food for further thought: go to Executive Intelligence Review(EIR), type in their search box: “Society of the Cincinnati” (Cincinnatus was called into military dictator service twice, in Rome’s republican history. After the crisis subsided, he returned to his farm…twice). Things may not be as they appear…just sayin’.

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 16:35

      Been that way for a long time. Another name for military junta is MIC. Or CIA. MSM, NSA, Deep State, Oligarchy – all one big war loving headache for us common folks.

      • Larco Marco
        August 25, 2017 at 16:53

        “Military Junta” also includes Trump’s “wonderful” brass-encrusted generals, who have convinced him to remain in Afghanistan until victory is achieved.

    • Dave P.
      August 25, 2017 at 18:20

      I think, this Afghanistan move, 3000 more troops, may be a very smart move by Trump. It is insignificant number of troops. He just threw red meat to his enemies. He must solve the bigger problems, – Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and other ongoing conflicts in ME first. It is very difficult for us to conclude what is going on in Washington. He is in a very difficult situation given the whole Washington Establishment wants more wars, and also his removal

  55. Andreas Wirsén
    August 25, 2017 at 15:26

    I just hope he releases all the JFK records in October. After that, and a year to study them, I can die happy engulfed in that great nuclear mushroom cloud.

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 16:30

      That cloud would be a lousy way to die. Lets shoot for something better.

  56. August 25, 2017 at 15:14

    Netanyahu needs to attack for personal reasons, to distract from criminal investigations against his family and him. Hopefully, presidents Trump and Putin have both taken that into account.

    • glitch
      August 25, 2017 at 19:20

      Excellent point.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:09

      Rope a hope. When will Americans wake up and see that the Empire is dying?

  57. mike k
    August 25, 2017 at 15:02

    While everyone is focused on avoiding nuclear war, the climate monster is gaining on us in it’s project to ensure human extinction. Any chance Donald could include rejoining the human race’s attempt to duck this hothouse holocaust in his re-education? Tillerson won’t be much help on that one.

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 15:10

      There are so many tipping points looming, and so many profound one-eighties that need to happen, I am not very much deterred from my basic pessimism by the chance that The Donald might have a late blooming awakening. He really needs to go back to grade school, and start all over. I am afraid that this sleazy old leopard will not change his spots at this late stage of his life. And I don’t trust his shoot from the hip style of decision making one bit. Too many wild shots.

      • August 25, 2017 at 15:33

        ” I don’t trust his shoot from the hip style of decision making one bit.” …me neither, Mike…but sadly this unlikely scenario may be our best hope!

        • mike k
          August 25, 2017 at 16:28

          I’m looking for better chances for hope than the limp reed of DT. Like Putin and Xi Jinping, the BRICs and Eurasian integration.

          • JM
            August 25, 2017 at 21:17

            Putin is a smart cookie, like Xi Jinping and Merkel. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Trump. Naomi Klien nailed it a little while ago. Trump’s style is consistent with his World Wrestling appearances where taunts to your opponent in the ring like ‘Little Marco’ are part of the act and with his swagger on The Apprentice. Match that with a strong narcissistic trait and a hair trigger reaction to any criticism and I don’t have much hope for a positive result.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 26, 2017 at 00:18

            JM – Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama followed the neocon playbook. Well, Clinton fell out of line once, but then he got Lewinski’d and toed the line after that. These guys all did as they were told, kept the status quo going

            Is that what you want, more of the same? I think we need to be careful about who we listen to. The MSM is out to get Trump, and they are going to paint him in the worst possible light they can.

            This is a war between the corporate globalists and the corporate nationalists.

  58. August 25, 2017 at 15:00

    Listen to link below, then ask: Is his credibility gone?
    2012: Trump Says Get Out of Afghanistan
    Eric Garris Posted onAugust 21, 2017
    but then the War Party got to him…

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:08

      Parry does good work but he does not understand capitalism and thus he is now burying himself in cow pies. He is a libertarian and has no idea of how the world works, how imperialism leads to wars, how capitalism and imperialism are related. Sad that even the shallow ‘left’ behinds have now swallowed the kool aid

  59. SteveK9
    August 25, 2017 at 14:51

    ‘Though little noted, arguably the most important foreign policy decision of Trump’s presidency was his termination of the CIA’s covert support for Syrian rebels and his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to expand partial ceasefire zones in Syria.’

    This is another reason it is a shame that the whole fabricated Russia-gate garbage was created and has been so effective. If Trump had been allowed to work closely with Putin, I think his understanding of reality would have been greatly improved. I know this is now considered a treasonous opinion in the US.

    • mike k
      August 25, 2017 at 15:14

      Nobody gets a free hand in the White House. If you can’t swim upstream, you are not going anywhere.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:06

        The White House is a Flop House for coin operated politicians. Understand economics this is about capitalism and fascism

        • backwardsevolution
          August 30, 2017 at 20:32

          DannyWeil – no, this is about globalism and nationalism.

    • Gingerbread
      August 25, 2017 at 20:25

      I think Russia-gate turned out to be an embarrassment. People aren’t buying it. That’s why Big Media and the mayor of Charlottesville and Soros set up a riot to go with the Trump-is-a-racist meme.

      • Bruce Dickson
        August 26, 2017 at 09:33

        Spot. On.

        Underlining “set up”, which is precisely what Charlottesville was, enjoying all the hallmarks of a staged event incorporating cartoonishly inciteful iconography (e.g., torches, swastikas, black hoodies & bandanas, Confederate imagery) selected to push some easy-to-reach, divisory buttons in he general populace.

        The Democratic governor’s and Democratic mayor’s evident (and DNC-insider) hands in whipping up attention and emotions beforehand and then obstructing their commensurate police forces from maintaining order clearly betray the intent that preceded the inflammatory event – and, indeed, the meme – it became.

        (By the way, exactly why we’re so many members of the MSM assigned to be at a numerically small demonstration in a town of no special import or significance? Were their attentions not better-deployed elsewhere, given what all was going on in the land? It’s almost as if somebody must have known something in advance….)

        As it has been for quite some time, the game is afoot.

        • DFH1
          August 26, 2017 at 17:22

          So the violence perpetrated by white supremecists was in fact the work of Big Media, George Soros and a small town mayor?

          What total nonsense. When did this site start attracting the Infowars crowd?

          • Bill
            August 27, 2017 at 02:07

            Hold it….now, com’on! The violence in Charlottesville was perpetrated on ALL “sides”, and there were more than two sides in Charlottesville. No doubt, the homicide by car was conducted by a “nazi”, but to fault the violence in Charlottesville entirely to one side is emotionally blind, IMO, and plays right into the MSM’s ambitions.

      • DannyWeil
        August 28, 2017 at 22:14

        Russia gate was a fraud but Russian oligarchs and Trump. Google it, read, learn

  60. Ol' Hippy
    August 25, 2017 at 14:44

    I’m so sick of this ‘warrior’ mentality by Israel and the neocons here at home. If Trump, even with all his ridiculous faults would be allowed to smooth relations with Russia and consequently Syria and Iran, we’d be so much better off. Trump, I don’t believe is strong enough to stand up to “Washington’s” thirst for blood. Too bad. N Korea just needs a watchful eye because if , for some insane reason, launched an attack, it’d be suicide and I don’t think they’d want that. Let Trump be guided toward a more gentler position and the world willl be a better place for all, really!! It’s the domestic policies I have tons of trouble with, not to let Trump completely off the hook.

  61. August 25, 2017 at 14:38

    I believe The Donald joined the war criminals, in their illegal wars, when he authorized, the firing of 59 missiles into Syria, (An act of war.) killing children and other civilians. I believe he now has membership in: “The War Gangs and War Criminals of NATO…”
    [More info at link below]

    • Ol' Hippy
      August 25, 2017 at 14:51

      You mention the fireworks show, of the cruise missiles, no one mentioned that only 24 found there mark, which is lass than 50% success. Also that cost was around a $110 million, and the 60th, the one not counted, was a dud that crashed in the ocean. By my guess it’s one of the more expensive temper tantrums of late. Oh yeah, probably illegal too.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 25, 2017 at 16:26

      yup, he’s joined the Neocon – don’t take no shit from nobody — Macho Men and he’s (foolishly) competing with McCain … scared yet? His skin is in the game … he won’t be shamed … it’s all about him …

      • Susan Sunflower
        August 25, 2017 at 17:04

        the man is a moron … the White House Press office has announced that Trump’s travel plans to visit Houston early next week to survey the damage are being finalized … it’s supposed to be CAT 3, just like Katrina … and he’s planning logistic heavy photo-ops.

        from the headline, I half expected him — macho style — to be en route to Houston in advance of the storm, so he could ride-it-out sans “safety goggles”

        • backwardsevolution
          August 25, 2017 at 23:45

          Susan Sunflower – if he’s doing what Mr. Parry thinks he might be doing, he isn’t such a moron.

          • Susan Sunflower
            August 26, 2017 at 10:42

            “” In this sense, Trump’s shallow understanding of the world has been a partial benefit in that he is not locked into to the usual Washington groupthinks – and he personally despises the prominent politicians and news executives who have sought to neuter him since his election. But his ignorance also prevents him from seeing how global crises often intersect and thus stops him from developing a cohesive or coherent doctrine.””

            Between blowback and “unintended consquences” this is effectively an amateur tightrope walk by someone who isn’t nearly as afraid of heights as he should be …

  62. Joe Tedesky
    August 25, 2017 at 14:24

    I guess I should find some comfort in knowing that Donald Trumps inexperience, and his naïveté, is our saving grace to prevent us from continuing on the same Neocon path of war programs, but my comfort is in short limited supply to how good this news should make me feel. Who would have thought, that this war madness could ease a bit under a Donald Trump presidency? Or are we witnessing a newbie who is still only learning the ropes, and that once he receives his graduate degree in war, well then we can expect more war? Who knows, we’re talking about Trump here, Mr unpredictable himself, so is anything game?

    The three spokes of American power are, the military, the Wall St gangsters, and the hidden Bureaucracy of the Deep State. Trump has apparently brought in the military to serve under his reign. While the Wall St crowd along with the Bureaucracy of the Deep State, are totally against a Trump in the White House. The Neocon’s being a wing of the Wall Streeters and the Deep State, are no fan of Trump. What we should be concerned with, is where is the Pentagon when it comes to America’s hegemony project?

    I’m hoping that President Trump, may wade through these choppy waters of Washington’s various influences, and desires, and be still able to make decisions which will save more life’s than it takes, but I’ve wished for this so much so in my pass, that I’m running out of faith.

    Lastly tell Netanyahu to go fight his own wars, because the U.S. is done with his racist regime.

    • Dave P.
      August 25, 2017 at 17:14

      “The three spokes of American power are, the military, the Wall St gangsters, and the hidden Bureaucracy of the Deep State. Trump has apparently brought in the military to serve under his reign. While the Wall St crowd along with the Bureaucracy of the Deep State, are totally against a Trump in the White House. The Neocon’s being a wing of the Wall Streeters and the Deep State, are no fan of Trump. What we should be concerned with, is where is the Pentagon when it comes to America’s hegemony project?”

      Very good observations, Joe. Let us hope, there are some reasonable voices in Military who can help in finding diplomatic and peaceful solutions to the World problems.

      • Anon
        August 26, 2017 at 09:06

        I think the Pentagon are the primary backers of Trump because they see that America is suffering from Imperial over reach and they need to reorganise and rationalise the empire. Also, they are tired of cleaning up the mess the CIA creates.

        The other deep state factions are primarily there for the money.

        But it is an important question to ask.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 26, 2017 at 10:17

        I think there may be reasonable voices in a lot of places deep with inside of our government mechanisms, but are they drown out by the unreasonable screams, is in my mind the bigger question, Dave.

        I think Anon may have it right. I mean after all our U.S. Military has been going at it for at least 16 years. Think about that, think of the stretched out resources, the fatigue of it all, I mean everyone from the top down. I feel for our enlisted service people. One deployment right after another, and even though everyone thanks them all the time, you need to ask yourself, do we civilians even have the foggiest of any idea of what these batttered service people are up against? So yeah, the more I think about it, the military could be opting for a little ‘timeout’, as the world spins.

        Here, here, to reasonable thought prevailing in our U.S. Government, and if not, then what’s the harm, because we are at least use to working with an overloaded plate. Joe

    • Abbybwood
      August 25, 2017 at 19:48

      I read yesterday where General Kelly is now deciding what President Trump will and will NOT read in the news/social media.

      What does this mean?

      Now Trump has a “minder” for his Chief-of-Staff and the coup is complete?

      • backwardsevolution
        August 25, 2017 at 23:44

        Abbybwood – was that a New York Times article? If it was, that doesn’t surprise me. The whole MSM is trying to take Trump down. I’d be suspect reading anything they put out on Trump.

        • DannyWeil
          August 28, 2017 at 22:11

          So you support the Caligulaization of the American Empire. Can’t people see what is going on? Fascism. Plain and simple. Wake up

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 26, 2017 at 10:07

        I’m not sure what to think, about Kelly’s censorship over the Donald. Probably Abbybwood we both should pay heed to backwardsevolution warnings, about a slanted media working overtime to make Trump look bad.

        Although, there has been comments Trump has made in the pass that deserves some serious attention. Like when he said there were ‘thousands of dancing Arabs’, should that not have been ‘dancing Israeli’s’? Then there was those times he referenced ‘the money we are giving to Iran’, didn’t he know that that money the U.S. was giving Iran was their own Iranian money put up in escrow for American dollars so they could sell oil on the world market?

        Censoring President Trump to me, could also mean turning him on to reading the correct news, and not reading ….ready for it? ‘Fake News’.

        To answer your inquiry Abbybwood, I’m not sure what to make of the supposed Kelly censorship, but it was nice to correspond with you. Joe

        • DannyWeil
          August 28, 2017 at 22:13

          Enjoy a seat at the Reality TV circus. In Rome they got 187 days a year of Circus and Bread. In America it is just Circus and the people cheer for their favorite stars. How sad.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 26, 2017 at 11:14

      Here Eric Zuesse speaks to Kelly’s preparing news reports for President Trump, and Zuesse mentions to where Trump’s military influence may be going.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 22:04

      “I guess I should find some comfort in knowing that Donald Trumps inexperience, and his naïveté, is our saving grace to prevent us from continuing on the same Neocon path of war programs, but my comfort is in short limited supply to how good this news should make me feel.”

      Are you kidding? The neo con path is the path of imperialism and this is exactly what the US and Trump are. Seems like all this reality TV is working,decimating thinking and minds.

      America is an open air sewer. A seedy little cut rate civilization of morbidity.

      The US is pegged to Zionism, they support each other. To hope that ‘President Trump’ will save us from the fascism is like hoping that global warming goes away tomorrow.

      Trump is a fascist. Do not be fooled, he is the front man for Steve Bannon and Julius Evola. Google them. Learn.

      Read Daniel Hopsicker’s work at

  63. mike k
    August 25, 2017 at 14:14

    If Trump is going to reverse our disastrous foreign policy, he will have to show more consistency and backbone than he has demonstrated so far. I wonder if Robert’s optimistic prognosis is not influenced by wishful thinking. It would be nice to see more concrete evidence of a new Trump, before backing him to remain President. He is still up against the entire warhawk establishment.

    • August 25, 2017 at 15:24

      Mike,…the same thought occurred to me(wishful thinking). However, it’s quite conceivable that Parry could have a source within the leaky White House. Not one of those that leak to the msm, but someone interested in seeing Trump succeed in shaking himself from neocon policies. The “I’m told” reporting would seem to indicate this just might be the case and obviously Parry isn’t going blow the cover of his source. Nevertheless, even if Trump wants to make real foreign policy adjustments in the nation’s interests he’s up against a formidable offensive front line.

      • mike k
        August 25, 2017 at 16:21

        Good point Bob.

      • Erik G
        August 25, 2017 at 17:42

        Let us hope that we have a glimpse of Trump finding his way in the swamp, another essential counterpoint to the mass media propaganda.

        Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
        While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

      • BobS
        August 25, 2017 at 19:33

        Considering this is Trump he’s writing about, I’m not especially moved by all of the “I’m told…” that’s the basis of the article.
        I’m guessing that Bannon remembered to go off the record with this drunk dial.

        • August 25, 2017 at 20:48

          “I’m guessing that Bannon remembered to go off the record with this drunk dial.”…quite possibly so…however, even Bannon could be a useful source.

          • BobS
            August 25, 2017 at 21:06

            “…even Bannon could be a useful source.”
            Quite possibly so. Or, more likely, Bannon could perceive Parry (by virtue of his Russia reporting, as well as much of his readership) as being an ally (as he did Kuttner, with respect to trade policy- not so much his readership), and see him as “a useful source” for advancing the Bannon/Breitbart agenda.

          • August 25, 2017 at 23:35

            Bob S…Do you remember Dick Morris…the “advisor” that Bill Clinton slummed around with ? He too was said to be a big source of White House leaks. A good reporter has to be a good listener, no matter what others might think.

      • Antiwar7
        August 27, 2017 at 10:18

        Parry definitely wrote the story as if he has a source in the Trump administration. I hope that source’s information is accurate! And that this info becoming public doesn’t cause a successful backlash.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 25, 2017 at 16:16

      Yes, I think the desire to see Netanyahu “dissed” is playing tricks with the reality of Netanyahu statecraft …

      I’m a bit more optimistic and it doesn’t involve Trump … more the realpolitick of the Israeli “defeat” in Syria and Trump’s utter incapacity as an ally and/or mediator (let’s not even mention Kushner and Company) … the Israeli/Saudi axis may be forced into a corner … between a very very public rock .. and the hard place of negotiated compromise.

      I’m doubtful anyone wants the Iran nuclear deal scuttled (IRL, like ACA, the alternative of it’s absence is worse) … I’m likely wrong. … where’d I put my rose-colored glasses and my half-full wine glass.

      I read elsewhere that the Qatari fiasco has further stirred Saudi domestic unrest … when are those executions scheduled for? Today’s ISIS (KSA funded) attack on Shia mosque in Kabul won’t go over all that well with the greater Umma (Afghanistan is 90% Sunni) … hopefully ISIS is ruining their own brand … right and left … wanting the USA / Infidels gone should not involve burning the village. Don’t know if Al-Qa’eda will become resurgent .. with ISIS defectors … . we’ll see

      • August 25, 2017 at 16:41

        The best roadblock to Bibi’s ambitions SHOULD come from the Europeans. After all it is they who would bare the brunt of the huge influx of new refugees in the event of a regime change ploy in Damascus. The question is whether they are sufficiently alert to forestall it. I doubt that even a Polish contingent would join any aggressive moves by the U.S. and even the most eager hawks in congress would have a hard time drumming ups support for unilateral action.

        • Paranam Kid
          August 26, 2017 at 07:01

          The EU has enough clout to achieve a lot in the Isael/Palestine issue, but it is too scared of both Israel & the US to go against what those 2 want. It is not a question of alertness but of guts, and as for the Poles, with their blinkered anti-Russia phobia & US boot licking they will do whatever the US demands like the faithful lapdogs they are.

    • Sam F
      August 25, 2017 at 17:59

      If Trump now sees that the neocons/Israel/KSA are his enemies, and has truly ended the US secret war in Syria, why expand in Afghanistan? He may only have sidelined the zionists by turning to other warmongers.

      Unless Afghanistan is a diversion from Syria, the goal cannot be good. Why should the US assemble terror groups and bases there to harass Russia, install missiles, block China’s road project, conspire with India to harass Pakistan, harass Iran, or get opium revenue to harass Latin American socialists? No good can possibly come of any of those DoD projects. They are all unconstitutional, expensive, genocidal, and damaging to US security, business, and honor.

      Those goals all depend upon the warmonger vision of threats to US oligarchy from foreign powers doing ordinary things. Mr. Trump would show real courage and education by sidelining all of the warmongers in favor of a humanitarian vision, and if he cannot do that, in favor of isolationism and stability.

      • Susan Sunflower
        August 25, 2017 at 21:22

        Trump seems to believe that the strength of the threat of the American Big Stick is pretty much unlimited … if not military, then economic sanctions and coalitions … He has overplayed his hand repeatedly and America is palpably played out and fighting too many newly designated “enemies” …

        Apacio’s pardon demonstrates him as a man not interested in the rule of law … pardoning someone — in law enforcement, in public service — convicted of contempt of law … and so Trump becomes in turn contemptuous of the rule of law.

    • DannyWeil
      August 28, 2017 at 21:59

      I find this all absolutely absurd. Trump is a fascist, Bibi is a Bormann Jew. For those who do not know who Martin Bormann was google Gerrard Williams or better yet,

      The failure to understand how capitalism works, how it destroys civilizations and the world has led to so many now just grasping for straws. Now as global capitalism begins to fail, fascism is back with a vengeance.

      Until imperialism and capitalism are destroyed, wars and corruption will remain. To cast Trump as some unconventional player is to legitimize fascism

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