The U.S. government may pretend to respect a “rules-based” global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is “might makes right” — and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer, writes Nicolas J.S. Davies.
By Nicolas J.S. Davies
As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people.
As conversations tape-recorded in the White House reveal, and as other writers have documented, the reasons for wading into the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger satirized it, and then pushing on regardless, all came down to “credibility”: the domestic political credibility of the politicians involved and America’s international credibility as a military power.
Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. The CIA’s support for the repressive Diem regime and its successors ensured an ever-escalating war, as the South rose in rebellion, supported by the North. No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them.
The critical “lesson of Vietnam” was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War. “At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing,” Barnet wrote, “It has become an impractical means of political domination.”
Losing the war in Vietnam was a heavy blow to the CIA and the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, and it added insult to injury for every American who had lost comrades or loved ones in Vietnam, but it ushered in more than a decade of relative peace for America and the world. If the purpose of the U.S. military is to protect the U.S. from the danger of war, as our leaders so often claim, the “Vietnam syndrome,” or the reluctance to be drawn into new wars, kept the peace and undoubtedly saved countless lives.
Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991.
Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA’s politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country’s credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. His predictable response has been to escalate ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa, and to threaten new ones against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.
Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States.
Ironically but predictably, the U.S.’s aggressive and illegal war policy has finally provoked a real military threat to the U.S., albeit one that has emerged only in response to U.S. war plans. As I explained in a recent article, North Korea’s discovery in 2016 of a U.S. plan to assassinate its president, Kim Jong Un, and launch a Second Korean War has triggered a crash program to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could give North Korea a viable nuclear deterrent and prevent a U.S. attack. But the North Koreans will not feel safe from attack until their leaders and ours are sure that their missiles can deliver a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.
The CIA’s Pretexts for War
U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty’s book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty’s book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy.
Prouty surprisingly described the role of the CIA as a response by powerful people and interests to the abolition of the U.S. Department of War and the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Once the role of the U.S. military was redefined as one of defense, in line with the United Nations Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of military force in 1945 and similar moves by other military powers, it would require some kind of crisis or threat to justify using military force in the future, both legally and politically. The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war.
The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years.
Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out.
Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq.
CIA in Syria and Africa
But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant. In late 2011, after destroying Libya and aiding in the torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the CIA and its allies began flying fighters and weapons from Libya to Turkey and infiltrating them into Syria. Then, working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia and other allies, this operation poured thousands of tons of weapons across Syria’s borders to ignite and fuel a full-scale civil war.Once these covert operations were under way, they ran wild until they had unleashed a savage Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), spawned the even more savage “Islamic State,” triggered the heaviest and probably the deadliest U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam and drawn Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Hezbollah, Kurdish militias and almost every state or armed group in the Middle East into the chaos of Syria’s civil war.
Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their operations across Africa, the U.N. has published a report titled Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment, based on 500 interviews with African militants. This study has found that the kind of special operations and training missions the CIA and AFRICOM are conducting and supporting in Africa are in fact the critical “tipping point” that drives Africans to join militant groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.
The report found that government action, such as the killing or detention of friends or family, was the “tipping point” that drove 71 percent of African militants interviewed to join armed groups, and that this was a more important factor than religious ideology.
The conclusions of Journey to Extremism in Africa confirm the findings of other similar studies. The Center for Civilians in Conflict interviewed 250 civilians who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya for its 2015 study, The People’s Perspectives: Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict. The study found that the most common motivation for civilians to join armed groups was simply to protect themselves or their families.
The role of U.S. “counterterrorism” operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the “global war on terror,” would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective.
“The more intimate one becomes with this activity,” Prouty wrote, “The more one begins to realize that such operations are rarely, if ever, initiated from an intent to become involved in pursuit of some national objective in the first place.”
The U.S. justifies the deployment of 6,000 U.S. special forces and military trainers to 53 of the 54 countries in Africa as a response to terrorism. But the U.N.’s Journey to Extremism in Africa study makes it clear that the U.S. militarization of Africa is in fact the “tipping point” that is driving Africans across the continent to join armed resistance groups in the first place.
This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale.
Taking on China
What seems to really be driving the CIA’s militarization of U.S. policy in Africa is China’s growing influence on the continent. As Steve Bannon put it in an interview with the Economist in August, “Let’s go screw up One Belt One Road.”
China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States “pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.”
China is too powerful and armed with nuclear weapons. So, in this case, the CIA’s job would be to spread violence and chaos to disrupt Chinese trade and investment, and to make African governments increasingly dependent on U.S. military aid to fight the militant groups spawned and endlessly regenerated by U.S.-led “counterterrorism” operations.
Neither Ledeen nor Bannon pretend that such policies are designed to build more prosperous or viable societies in the Middle East or Africa, let alone to benefit their people. They both know very well what Richard Barnet already understood 45 years ago, that America’s unprecedented investment in weapons, war and CIA covert operations are only good for one thing: to kill people and destroy infrastructure, reducing cities to rubble, societies to chaos and the desperate survivors to poverty and displacement.
As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world’s wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others.
But if that is the only “significant national objective” driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike.
Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty’s analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA’s role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy.
The Three Scapegoats
In Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he named North Korea, Iran and Venezuela as his prime targets for destabilization, economic warfare and, ultimately, the overthrow of their governments, whether by coup d’etat or the mass destruction of their civilian population and infrastructure. But Trump’s choice of scapegoats for America’s failures was obviously not based on a rational reassessment of foreign policy priorities by the new administration. It was only a tired rehashing of the CIA’s unfinished business with two-thirds of Bush’s “axis of evil” and Bush White House official Elliott Abrams’ failed 2002 coup in Caracas, now laced with explicit and illegal threats of aggression.
How Trump and the CIA plan to sacrifice their three scapegoats for America’s failures remains to be seen. This is not 2001, when the world stood silent at the U.S. bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan after September 11th. It is more like 2003, when the U.S. destruction of Iraq split the Atlantic alliance and alienated most of the world. It is certainly not 2011, after Obama’s global charm offensive had rebuilt U.S. alliances and provided cover for French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Arab royals to destroy Libya, once ranked by the U.N. as the most developed country in Africa, now mired in intractable chaos.
In 2017, a U.S. attack on any one of Trump’s scapegoats would isolate the United States from many of its allies and undermine its standing in the world in far-reaching ways that might be more permanent and harder to repair than the invasion and destruction of Iraq.
In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to “make the economy scream” in preparation for the 1973 coup. But the solid victory of Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party in recent nationwide gubernatorial elections, despite a long and deep economic crisis, reveals little public support for the CIA’s puppets in Venezuela.
The CIA has successfully discredited the Venezuelan government through economic warfare, increasingly violent right-wing street protests and a global propaganda campaign. But the CIA has stupidly hitched its wagon to an extreme right-wing, upper-class opposition that has no credibility with most of the Venezuelan public, who still turn out for the Socialists at the polls. A CIA coup or U.S. military intervention would meet fierce public resistance and damage U.S. relations all over Latin America.
Boxing In North Korea
A U.S. aerial bombardment or “preemptive strike” on North Korea could quickly escalate into a war between the U.S. and China, which has reiterated its commitment to North Korea’s defense if North Korea is attacked. We do not know exactly what was in the U.S. war plan discovered by North Korea, so neither can we know how North Korea and China could respond if the U.S. pressed ahead with it.
Most analysts have long concluded that any U.S. attack on North Korea would be met with a North Korean artillery and missile barrage that would inflict unacceptable civilian casualties on Seoul, a metropolitan area of 26 million people, three times the population of New York City. Seoul is only 35 miles from the frontier with North Korea, placing it within range of a huge array of North Korean weapons. What was already a no-win calculus is now compounded by the possibility that North Korea could respond with nuclear weapons, turning any prospect of a U.S. attack into an even worse nightmare.
U.S. mismanagement of its relations with North Korea should be an object lesson for its relations with Iran, graphically demonstrating the advantages of diplomacy, talks and agreements over threats of war. Under the Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea stopped work on two much larger nuclear reactors than the small experimental one operating at Yongbyong since 1986, which only produces 6 kg of plutonium per year, enough for one nuclear bomb.
The lesson of Bush’s Iraq invasion in 2003 after Saddam Hussein had complied with demands that he destroy Iraq’s stockpiles of chemical weapons and shut down a nascent nuclear program was not lost on North Korea. Not only did the invasion lay waste to large sections of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of dead but Hussein himself was hunted down and condemned to death by hanging.
Still, after North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, even its small experimental reactor was shut down as a result of the “Six Party Talks” in 2007, all the fuel rods were removed and placed under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the cooling tower of the reactor was demolished in 2008.
But then, as relations deteriorated, North Korea conducted a second nuclear weapon test and again began reprocessing spent fuel rods to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.
North Korea has now conducted six nuclear weapons tests. The explosions in the first five tests increased gradually up to 15-25 kilotons, about the yield of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but estimates for the yield of the 2017 test range from 110 to 250 kilotons, comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.
The even greater danger in a new war in Korea is that the U.S. could unleash part of its arsenal of 4,000 more powerful weapons (100 to 1,200 kilotons), which could kill millions of people and devastate and poison the region, or even the world, for years to come.
The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction.
China has proposed a reasonable framework for diplomacy to address the concerns of both sides, but the U.S. insists on maintaining its propaganda narratives that all the fault lies with North Korea and that it has some kind of “military solution” to the crisis.
This may be the most dangerous idea we have heard from U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War, but it is the logical culmination of a systematic normalization of deviant and illegal U.S. war-making that has already cost millions of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote in Century of War in 1994, “options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles.”
The idea that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program is seriously contested by the IAEA, which has examined every allegation presented by the CIA and other Western “intelligence” agencies as well as Israel. Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed many details of this wild goose chase in his 2011 memoir, Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times.
When the CIA and its partners reluctantly acknowledged the IAEA’s conclusions in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), ElBaradei issued a press release confirming that, “the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.”
Since 2007, the IAEA has resolved all its outstanding concerns with Iran. It has verified that dual-use technologies that Iran imported before 2003 were in fact used for other purposes, and it has exposed the mysterious “laptop documents” that appeared to show Iranian plans for a nuclear weapon as forgeries. Gareth Porter thoroughly explored all these questions and allegations and the history of mistrust that fueled them in his 2014 book, Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, which I highly recommend.
But, in the parallel Bizarro world of U.S. politics, hopelessly poisoned by the CIA’s endless disinformation campaigns, Hillary Clinton could repeatedly take false credit for disarming Iran during her presidential campaign, and neither Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump nor any corporate media interviewer dared to challenge her claims.
“When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb,” Clinton fantasized in a prominent foreign policy speech on June 2, 2016, claiming that her brutal sanctions policy “brought Iran to the table.”
In fact, as Trita Parsi documented in his 2012 book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy With Iran, the Iranians were ready, not just to “come to the table,” but to sign a comprehensive agreement based on a U.S. proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. But, in a classic case of “tail wags dog,” the U.S. then rejected its own proposal because it would have undercut support for tighter sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. In other words, Clinton’s sanctions policy did not “bring Iran to the table”, but prevented the U.S. from coming to the table itself.
As a senior State Department official told Trita Parsi, the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take “Yes” for an answer. Trump’s ham-fisted decertification of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA is right out of Clinton’s playbook, and it demonstrates that the CIA is still determined to use Iran as a scapegoat for America’s failures in the Middle East.
The spurious claim that Iran is the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism is another CIA canard reinforced by endless repetition. It is true that Iran supports and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. But they are mainly defensive resistance groups that defend Lebanon and Gaza respectively against invasions and attacks by Israel.
Shifting attention away from Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other groups that actually commit terrorist crimes around the world might just seem like a case of the CIA “taking its eyes off the ball,” if it wasn’t so transparently timed to frame Iran with new accusations now that the manufactured crisis of the nuclear scare has run its course.
What the Future Holds
Barack Obama’s most consequential international achievement may have been the triumph of symbolism over substance behind which he expanded and escalated the so-called “war on terror,” with a vast expansion of covert operations and proxy wars that eventually triggered the heaviest U.S. aerial bombardments since Vietnam in Iraq and Syria.
Obama’s charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budget of any president since World War Two.
But Obama’s expansion of the “war on terror” under cover of his deceptive global public relations campaign created many more problems than it solved, and Trump and his advisers are woefully ill-equipped to solve any of them. Trump’s expressed desire to place America first and to resist foreign entanglements is hopelessly at odds with his aggressive, bullying approach to every foreign policy problem.
If the U.S. could threaten and fight its way to a resolution of any of its international problems, it would have done so already. That is exactly what it has been trying to do since the 1990s, behind both the swagger and bluster of Bush and Trump and the deceptive charm of Clinton and Obama: a “good cop – bad cop” routine that should no longer fool anyone anywhere.
But as Lyndon Johnson found as he waded deeper and deeper into the Big Muddy in Vietnam, lying to the public about unwinnable wars does not make them any more winnable. It just gets more people killed and makes it harder and harder to ever tell the public the truth.
In unwinnable wars based on lies, the “credibility” problem only gets more complicated, as new lies require new scapegoats and convoluted narratives to explain away graveyards filled by old lies. Obama’s cynical global charm offensive bought the “war on terror” another eight years, but that only allowed the CIA to drag the U.S. into more trouble and spread its chaos to more places around the world.
Meanwhile, Russian President Putin is winning hearts and minds in capitals around the world by calling for a recommitment to the rule of international law, which prohibits the threat or use of military force except in self-defense. Every new U.S. threat or act of aggression will only make Putin’s case more persuasive, not least to important U.S. allies like South Korea, Germany and other members of the European Union, whose complicity in U.S. aggression has until now helped to give it a false veneer of political legitimacy.
Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler’s Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction.
Americans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military “solution” to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA.
Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.
Trump’s “support” for the Venezuelan opposition was it’s kiss of death. Not surprising given that Goldman Sachs had just bought $2B of dollar denominated Venezuelan debt for around $800M.
Why no mention of the various “color” revolutions or the Maiden putsch?
Good article. And now Mattis and Tillerson are asking that AUMF of 2001, which Congress has to reauthorize, be given no limit. Sen. Jeff Flake, who has announced he won’t run again, and Tim Kaine propose a 5-year limit open to review. Tillerson definitely drank the Kool-Aid. We should call our senators to complain about endless war and the AUMF, no matter what. (Realist put his finger on the problem, that our government is out of control. We have a police and military state.)
Poverty is a result of this out-of-control military state, which creates global chaos to make America safe for corporate capitalism. Stephen Kinzer’s great book, “The Brothers”, shows the genesis of the US foreign policy to meddle and overthrow governments so that American big business can prevail. No, poverty is not the cause, it is the result. It is corporate capitalism, the American kind, making the “world safe for democracy” and prating about “free market” being supported by this bullying.
Zero Hedge has an article from one week ago, “China’s Rise, America’s Fall”, discussing the petroyuan issue, that China, Russia, many other countries are working to get away from dollar dominance in trade because of the US bad behavior to dominate the world. Included in the article is a bar graph showing time periods from 15th century to now, for western empire dominance starting with Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, France, Great Britain, now United States. This empire is about to fall due to its debt and bad choices. That’s why the CIA and US government will do every dirty trick they can in the world until they can’t continue.
Kudos to Nicolas J.S. Davies for a well articulated background on rogue intelligence operations and its inordinate influence on U.S. foreign policy right up to the current egregious situation. The example in the following quote sums it up…” the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take “Yes” for an answer.”
The “Domino Theory” was another, particularly stupid, justification for Vietnam and other wars. It is galling that history showed how truly crappy the theory was – Vietnam “fell to the Commies”, nothing happened, and today Vietnam is a rising trading partner – and yet the idiocy of the original justification was never analyzed or retracted.
Josh, the Domino Theory was a facet of the “Containment of Communism” meme. I had a lot of curiosity about that because I wound up doing 27 months of involuntary servitude in the Viet Nam War and that meme was the only justification ever offered for that gruesome adventure. But it just didn’t ring true.
A few years back, after I retired from my law practice, I finally had time to really dig on the meme. It turns out to be the public window dressing for a truly insane Foggy Bottom geostrategic policy. I wrote an essay on the topic, published on my blog at http://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/03/us-russia-and-ukraine-heartland.html
I recommend reading a short War College paper linked from that essay if you want to comprehend just how “particularly stupid” the Containment policy actually was. Absolutely bonkers. And for that we killed millions of people.
Yes, it was never analyzed. I recall a US Lt. who came to propagandize my prep school with a short presentation of excuses for the Vietnam War, who was instead unable to answer the many searching questions put to him afterward. He was not offended; one had the impression that he didn’t find the argument persuasive either. Nothing in the mass media argued the case beyond blaming the inevitable disasters of war on the other side. Almost no one dared to question the oligarchy line due to their economic tyranny, implemented by opportunists and demagogues seeking money and power under tyranny.
One other thing that I believe could help put an end to American aggression in the world, or maybe lessen it, is attributed recently to a story I was reading about China’s push for the Petro-Yuan. If successful, the Petroyuan would be a challenge to US hegemony, the Petrodollar, the US dollar’s reserve currency status and would reduce US government spending (such as in the military industrial complex) by reducing worldwide demand for US dollars. Already, China is Saudi Arabia’s largest customer so it kind of makes sense to start selling oil in Yuan. Anyway, we will have to see how this all plays out but I fully expect more demonization from the US Government and MSM for state actors that do not bow to America’s rule of the world.
Article great.. no fixes, exposes elected, paid USA corrupted America, w\spoils to undisclosed?.
Behind the scenes suspicion Zionism (not Jews, not persons of Jewish decent, not a people or their religion, but an global empire made of criminals of the type that form conspiratorial mafias; bankers involved in an international systems of corrupt banks, stock markets that provide swindlers massive access to global and domestic markets; wealthy elites conducting Ponzi schemes, and corporations w/ strengths and size dependent on monopoly powers (monopolies are [c/only b] created by law, grant, gov contracts, gov. subsidy, and privatization).
__Realist said “The CIA w\n stop micromanipulating American foreign policy, .. .. <=suggest the entire non-Snowden membership in the elected and salaried gov., its bureaucracy, its military t/b part o\e criminal empires that have reduced Americans to video-controlled barnyard stock (VCB_stock),
Amazing: expose of corrupt criminal activities not reaching football habituated vcb_stock.
The CIA will not stop micromanipulating American foreign policy, including all the destabilisation programs, regime changes and proxy wars, until its charter is terminated and its personnel are dismissed, tried and incarcerated for crimes against humanity. That will not happen until America gets a congress and a president who is not chosen, elected and installed by them.
Kennedy could not accomplish this. He was murdered by them, followed by a cover-up carried out in broad daylight. Don’t believe it? Read this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48105.htm The facts have been reported over the years, but the media has kowtowed to the conspirators since day one. Plenty of witnesses, many of whom died unexpectedly after testifying. Plenty of hard evidence, such as windshields, medical data and dead presidential corpses, which were all conveniently destroyed or tampered with early on.
Trump was faced with allowing some pittance of classified records to opened to the public, but, of course, the intelligence agencies, who are his de facto superiors, prohibited this. Fifty-four years wasn’t enough time to assess the potential damage to the republic if some of the truth actually got out. We will have to wait until any smidgen of hard evidence left in the files is thoroughly scrubbed clean. Don’t expect Trump to buck them. He knows his life is on the line unless he does as he’s told. The entirely contrived fiasco of “Russia-gate” convinced him of that. His head has not stopped spinning from the threats and accusations since he took the oath of office.
Love Trump or hate him, the madness of the Obama administration, which was a continuation of the insanity of the Bush administration is fated to go on under the auspices of our true Dark Overlords, the CIA. The Constitutional State, comprising the Presidency and the Congress is just the veneer, or epidermis, of American power. The Deep State is just the sub-veneer, or endodermis. The Dark State, comprised of the intelligence agencies, is the load-bearing support element, or guts, where the ultimate power resides. Manafort was just Mueller yanking on Trump’s choke chain to let him know who’s boss. It was not Trump’s “get out of jail free” card as some on the alt-right and the disaffected left seem to think. Read the NYT, WaPo, Huffpo et al. for quite different takes. They are still in full support of the travesties described by Mr. Davies in this piece. Expect your kids and financial fortunes to suffer even more to advance the agenda of the establishment elites.
I guess Realist I look upon all of this, as the way it goes in life, and there isn’t a whole lot that one individual can do to change it. This was true for all of our previous ancestors who came before us, and sadly this is what those who will follow us will need to struggle with, and it is to be excepted. Don’t get me wrong, every generation should fight the Oz from behind the screen, but along with that, all who walk this earth must at least come to realize, that there are somethings in life that will remain as they are. I think it’s called human nature, and fighting that is generational.
Joe – I don’t think it is “human nature” that is our problem. We have it in our nature to be kind and loving and sharing and peaceful. We also have other darker possibilities, which some of us are manifesting to a great and dangerous degree. But we have a choice which way we go, and our good or bad behavior is dependent on which choices we make. Let’s not cop out and blame our bad decisions on “human nature” – let’s become responsible for them and make better ones.
I’m now in full agreement on this, but I still resist “evidence” like the windshield. Too many years, too much coverup, and far too much in the way of diversions stirred into the story. It may or may not be correct, but in my opinion it no longer matters. One shooter, seven shooters, I don’t think any of that matters either.
Likewise, I doubt if it’s possible to say anything substantial about LBJ, but the exact opposite is true for George H. W. Bush.
Everybody has a personal memory about high-stress events. If they don’t, it’s “smell a rat” time.
9/11? It’s like yesterday. Challenger explosion? Extremely vivid for me. But November 22, 1963 is a blank for Bush Daddy? BS.
The link is to a conspiracy site, but still worth a look as a starting point like Wiki.
Afterwards GWHB’s career took off like a rocket.
I don’t want to be misunderstood about some of the remarks I’m about to make later on, for this was mostly a really great essay. That the CIA went to so much trouble to suppress the Prouty book suggests that he was on to something. I tried downloading his book at the Internet Archive site, but for some strange reason the PDF link was corrupted. Just like the Truman editorial on the CIA had a similarly corrupt link. It’s all a coincidence, I’m sure.
At Prouty’s wiki I found a description of a strange guy who was mixed up with Scientologists and holocaust deniers. But I’m quite willing to entertain the notion that both encounters were encouraged by a certain alphabet agency so as to muddy his reputation in the future. Prouty DID produce the first motive I’ve yet seen to explain Kennedy’s murder.
That would suggest Truman’s notion of returning the CIA to an intelligence arm of the White House was an idea already being circulated. If Kennedy really did plan to prune the CIA, I think I can declare that murder case to be solved.
Now to the quibbles.
It’s a shame something this silly was included in the long essay. The NK programs have been going on for decades, and this was merely the latest excuse produced by that nation.
On another front, the nuclear needs of the Iranians and the North Koreans are portrayed as directly opposite. Poor North Korea desperately needs the Bombs to protect itself from the evil US, despite having China – a nation which has previously defended it from the US – as a next-door neighbor. On the other hand, the Iranians – a nation without many friends at all – is described as not wanting nukes in the past, present, or future. This contrast just doesn’t compute.
I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that Iran has precisely as many nuclear weapons as it feels it needs at this very moment. Whether that number is zero or a dozen, I wouldn’t know, but Iran obviously understands that a large arsenal isn’t worth a damn, and is instead a positive hazard.
That North Korea hasn’t come to the same conclusion causes me to maintain that deterrence against the US isn’t the main reason they’re going for the Bombs and their delivery systems.
So I’ll personally grade this essay a B+ or an A-.
One final remark: a glance at a map of the NK area shows that if the Trumpies use nukes in any way, shape, or form, substantial fallout is going land in Japan, South Korea, Russia, or China. Or all of them.
If they’re fool enough to attack North Korea, I hope that they keep the nukes in a storage unit under lock and key for the duration. Even if the North Koreans detonate a one or more ineffectual ones themselves. Given the nature of that alphabet agency, wouldn’t surprise me if the false-flag use of a small American Bomb wasn’t used to trigger a larger “N” attack. There are historical precedents….
Zachary – You need to review the history of NK’s nuclear program. They put that program on complete ice for years until the US government lied and cheated on the deal in order to set them up for a sneak attack – at which point they resumed their defensive nuclear program. More recently, when NK uncovered the war plans to stage a surprise attack, they accelerated their efforts to defend themselves, as Gadaffi and Saddam had failed to do – which led to the destruction of their societies by America.
North Korea’s Space Program Aims Higher
I found a Wiki listing satellites in geosynchronous orbit, and didn’t see a one of them which hadn’t been launched by a very large Russian, US, or European Space Agency rocket. In my opinion this is another example of North Korea throwing up a smoke cloud about why it is building large rockets. It obviously plans to continue building and testing long range rockets, and this is nothing more than a feeble cover story.
That was a great essay to read. Fantastic even.
I usually find it some combination of sickening, scary and outrageous to read that kind of stuff. I do prefer to know the truth, but how should it make one feel to know that one’s own death and the destruction of all human progress may be for the petty reasons outlined? Especially when you can’t do a damned thing about it, not even effectively crawl under a rock to avoid it?
I often feel powerless like you, Realist. But then I have to remind myself that although I can’t change the world in some major way, I can still do my little part. Maybe if enough people do their small parts, we can bind the Gulliver who threatens to destroy us all.
Yes, exchanging our thoughts with other sane people, as we mostly do here, matters in the bitter struggle for peace and reason. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it would help others to know they are not alone.
It is hard to pinpoint the influence we can have on each other. I do know this, that I have grown in many ways with my thinking from reading what others had to say about our worlds current events. What actually brought me here to this site, was a linked referral from a comment posted somewhere on the web. And as you said Realist, it’s comforting to discover like mindsets. Joe
Excellent thought. There is hope in sharing the truth with others.
Yes, Joe. It is great article by Nicolas Davies. It is an excellent summation and interpretation of the events and written materials/books on this subject covering a long period of time – really an excellent expose of what U.S. has been unfortunately doing on this planet for a long time now.
I have mentioned this before on CN. The most wonderful Dulles family, all of them, even the sister Eleanor. Our collective history goes way back. I like JFK because he finally got rid of one. Look at the Dulles heirs, industrialists, empire people, except for one , Dulles brother who became a priest. Our beautiful empire goes back. Why do we have a problem with IRAN? 1953, we overthrew their democratically elected president Mossadegh. would not you be pissed off? Just asking.
If you want to know the real source of global chaos look no further than the driving force of extreme lethal poverty (http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2017/09/07/vers-l-extremisme-violent-en-afrique.html) mentioned in this article. We were warned about this as a national security threat in 1980 by President Carter’s Commission on World Hunger, then again in measured detail by a CIA study commissioned by Al Gore in 1995 – identifying a high IMR as the prime indicator of a nation state failure – requiring costly (in blood, treasure, and political will) US military interventions . American’s addiction to comfort and low cost consumption (if environmental and human rights costs are not included) is NOT a function the CIA. There is no doubt some in the CIA are evil as hell, but I know others who are deeply committed to the prevention of conflict, human rigths violations, and the environment. Some believe (falsely?) that capitalism’s assistance in broad global economic growth has a primary role to play in reducing human suffering from hunger and disease. I spent 30 years working professionally to reduce hunger, poverty, infectious diseases, and child deaths (via well targeted aid programs)… According to UN stats – from the late 1970s to today Infant and child mortality rates dropped from 42,000 a day to 15,000 per day. A few years ago an article in The Economist asserted that 2/3rds of that drop was credited to economic growth…and the other third to development assistance. Massive amounts of aid were wasted in Official Development Assistance but it seems like a no brainer to know the eventual economic, environmental and security costs to the US – and risk to US military — in a world of growing chaos that we have today. Most businesses see profit losses of wars and poverty when it comes to the global sales of products. Blaming the CIA (or weapons dealers) for all of this will never solve the fundamental problem. I put much of the blame on the so called “peace movement” that rarely if ever devotes time, attention, and resources to the justice needed to prevent the primary driver of war – lethal poverty. To blame the industrial military complex instead of our own American consumption pattern that clearly values comfort, ease, fast and cheap products with virtually no concern for the protection of Human Rights or the environment — is understandable. This sick culture is the primary driver of elections, party platforms, and eventually chaotic U.S. foreign policy and costly, damaging, and antagonizing military interventions. Blaming the CIA for everything is a cop out from taking on the gargantuan task of educating the American public to the consequences of our collect wasteful consumption, lack of interest in the suffering of others, and apathy toward politics, and the fundamental principle of ‘liberty and justice for all’. The CIA is the dark side of the US Government. But “we the people’ ARE the source of US government in our votes (and pre-Trump political apathy), our tax dollars, and our ignorance. If anyone on this list is serious about addressing the root causes of war, terrorism, poverty, infant mortality, environmental destruction, pandemics, loss of antibiotic arsenal,… please consider making global justice your prime objective. And the best means of ensuring the protection of human rights is making sure that the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved before 2030. Violent extremists will not stop their vengeful quest for WMD…even if the CIA disappeared tomorrow. Liberals think peace is a function of disarmament. Conservatives rely on armaments. Neither work. Peace (and sustainable security) relies on justice. That’s not the role of the CIA… But it needs to be the role of some institution. If ‘we the people’ don’t make it happen…it aint going to happen.
The road to hell is paved with your “good intentions.” Sorry, but the ends do not justify the means. Which of Obama’s seven concomitant wars is close to bringing peace, prosperity and justice anywhere? How will Trump expanding the battlefield to three more countries without the ability to fight back against America’s war machine improve anything for the inhabitants of those lands? Your words are those of a warmongering troll or a delusional fool. Nothing would change even if every vote had been cast for Jill Stein and we all cheerily donated a tenth of our incomes to feed the children of Africa. She’d simply be the next casualty of CIA black ops and the money would be used to buy weapons. That’s what the Dark State run by the CIA wants for the reasons outlined by Mr. Davies.
Please read his words again and again and stop calling people trolls when you don’t understand them or when their comments hurt your self esteem that consists of foolishly repeating what other fools have said before. Grow up and see your country for what it is: greed and stupidity written large that results in endless wars against all other nations, while taking down your country into a quagmire of poverty and agression.
Instead of blaming the virus one should blame its own lack of resistance. Have you ever wondered how CIA and zionism could flourish so well in the USA? Have you ever realised that every nation has a deep state? But they don’t usually conquer other countries. The US are not so special except in scape coating and war mongering. The US has never fought a war without lying through its teeth.
The consequences of your approach will be disastrous. There is no question about it. The only hope that I still hold is that it will affect your people and not mine. We are not friends anymore. You killed to many of us. I could still symphatise with you if you would have been honest but you failed completely.
Bull shit. You go ahead and blame poverty for all the murder and insanity and absolve the CIA if you like, because that’s what Mr. Woolery does. The bloody wars weren’t started because Americans are complicit. They are endlessly lied to and ignored by the government and its intelligence agencies. We constantly vote thinking we will get “hope and change.” We get flipped the bird every time.
You go back and read Woolery’s assinine remarks again, I don’t need to, because this is the kind of BS he discharged: “Blaming the CIA (or weapons dealers) for all of this will never solve the fundamental problem. I put much of the blame on the so called “peace movement” that rarely if ever devotes time, attention, and resources to the justice needed to prevent the primary driver of war – lethal poverty.” He practically gives the CIA a good conduct medal and blames the victims for CIA treachery, going on to spout nonsense like, “There is no doubt some in the CIA are evil as hell, but I know others who are deeply committed to the prevention of conflict, human rigths violations, and the environment.” If they are so committed to pure crystalline goodness, why aren’t they the ones correcting their aberrant evil brethren working for the company, while you and Woolery blame regular folks.
Yeah, there are a few saintly exceptions who’ve spent a career in the CIA, like Ray McGovern and the VIPS, but they are few and far between, and, fortunately for the rest of us, they have provided the rare insight that the outside world has of the nefarious doings of their rotten colleagues.
That’s my totally justified take of Woolery’s statements. Whatever the hell you are on about in the rest of your response to me is totally unrelated to anything I said before or am saying now. I know that my country and its functionaries, especially those in the CIA, are murderous, so why do I need to “Grow up and see [my] country for what it is: greed and stupidity written large that results in endless wars against all other nations?” I know all about the Deep State, I reject its abominations, disdain the lies and wars you condemn. Why the hell do you assume otherwise? What consequences of “my approach” are going to be disastrous, when the ongoing disaster is exactly what I would put an end to. And, just who are “your people” whom you claim are not my friends? my country’s friends? whose friends exactly? None of that is clear. Just who the hell are you whom I (and others) am accused of hating? If you are from one of the war torn Islamic countries in the Middle East, you’ve got no friends in the CIA. You can only hope to find them in the citizenry who want an end to the wars. If you’re from Israel, you’re in bed with the CIA. Same if you’re from Ukraine. Not only Woolery seems to be a troll, but I’d nominate you for that role as well…based on the idiotic complaints you’ve directed at me.
Realist: Thanks for saving me the trouble of that response. Your’s was more complete and eloquent than mine would have been anyway. After the revelations of the Snowden documents on government trolling operations my motto has become that – “if it posts like a troll, respond as if its a troll.” Realistically there aren’t many options and in the end I don’t really care if someone is a troll or just a run of the mill uniformed idiot without the good sense to keep their mouth shut. If they come to a progressive site spouting nonsense they should be called out on it. Thanks for doing so.
I find that it is worth re-reading the Snowden docs on trolling from time to time as they shed a good deal of light on the “techniques” used to disrupt dialogue critical of the CIA and the empire.
“Chuck Woolery” just couldn’t lurk in the woodwork and listen to this indictment of the CIA. He just had to divert attention to somewhere else. Wonder why anyone would do that?
Chuck Wooley –
Your comments: “… please consider making global justice your prime objective. ” And there are many other fine words in your comments. Thank you. But, these are just fine words and feel good words. These kind of words – global justice, saving the environment, human rights, saving Africa – are routinely proclaimed from the podium at the Hollywood annual Extravaganza of Oscars by our Idols (actors and actresses) of the Nation. Yet the whole Hollywood was deeply involved in supporting the Wars, death and destruction across the globe under Obama and Hillary and these days as well. These are empty feel good words to fool the American people and the world. In fact, it seems to me Hollywood, Finance, Media, CIA . . . are all full partners now in implementing “Full Spectrum Dominance ” and PNAC Ageda and Ideology.
What I have observed during the last six decades in U.S. and in other lands is that the CIA has been deeply involved in destabilizing other countries including the biggest democracy on this Earth. CIA along with NGO’s are the most potent antidemocratic forces on Earth. Venezuela have had five or six democratic elections/ referendums – more fair and free than in U.S. – during the last two decades. Yet Venezuela is on the target list for regime change. There has been this never ending destabilizing of Venezuela by NGO’s and CIA for the last two decades.
It seems to me that we in U.S. are the most Propagandized Subjects on planet being that the Finance, Media, and Entertainment is owned directly or indirectly by few people. Being completely brainwashed for a very long time now, the masses simply do not have the knowledge and analytical abilities to even understand what is going on in our foreign policy or even domestic policy. They are easily manipulated.
Yet I believe that with the potential – in terms of land, resources, population, it’s Great Universities and vast amount of imported Intellectual Capital from all over the World – the U.S. can be a positive force on Earth in terms of building a real democratic and peaceful World – Instead what U.S. is doing now is as Davies says Global Chaos through wars, death and destruction. It has to stop that before we can save the Environment, promote human rights, and democracy and save Africa.
I think the US is a lost cause. How long can a nation as corrupt and violent still exist? they seem intent on beating themselves at every turn.
How long? Not much longer.
“US politicians, policymakers and commentators insist that the United States military’s involvement in Syria and Iraq is solely aimed at defeating militants from the self-titled Islamic State (IS). However, it is abundantly clear that before the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015, the United States was engaged in a proxy war against Damascus, not IS and that as the Russian intervention began rolling IS back and the organization clung to existence, Washington found itself revising its narrative around a new pretext to remain in the region, the ‘Iranian threat.’
“Geopolitical analysts have long-warned that regime change in Tehran was always America’s ultimate goal and that the conflicts ignited across the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) was a means of reorganizing the Arab World into a united front against Tehran and its allies and in turn, against Moscow and Beijing. […]
“Israel’s participation in the Syrian conflict, its own state sponsorship of terrorism in neighboring Syria including militants from Jabhat Al Nusra, a US State Department and UK Home Office proscribed terrorist organization, Israel’s contributions to US-Kurdish proxies in northern Syria and Iraq and multiple Israel provocations aimed at Iran itself, including the sabotaging of its infrastructure with the Stuxnet computer virus. All of these are more than credible reasons for Iran and Hezbollah’s enmity of Israel. […]
“US policymakers have stated multiple times that before war with Iran can be pursued directly, both Syria and Hezbollah must be weakened first. A war with Lebanon thus could be a means to either directly lead into direct conflict with Tehran, or as a means of preparing for one in the near or intermediate future.
“Immediate Peace and Stability vs. Constant and Perpetual War
“What is clear is that the 2015 Russian intervention in Syria along with Iran’s growing influence in the region has rolled back attempts by the US and its partners to reassert control over the Middle East they have sought since the Cold War. With a new multipolar coalition of emerging regional and global powers, US dreams of hegemony will be increasingly more difficult to achieve with no single ‘superpower’ to topple in order to gain an upper hand.
“For governments everywhere from Beruit to Amman and even Riyadh and its Persian Gulf neighbors, the choice of whether to go down this increasingly violent path in pursuit of increasingly distant hegemony Washington has promised them the spoils of, or to constructively embrace multipolarism by pursuing regional stability is fast approaching.
“For the US, the threats it has used to coerce some of its more unwilling partners are quickly being dwarfed by the consequences of their complicity. Additionally, with nothing but perpetual war on the horizon as the ‘plan’ to achieve US hegemony in the region, even if Washington succeeded, it will be only after its regional proxies endure years more of dangerous conflict.”
Lebanon Next in US War on Middle East
By Ulson Gunnar
A constant stream of Israeli rhetoric threatens a destructive war against Lebanon.
In September 2017, Israel carried out its largest military drills in two decades on the northern border, apparently in preparation for renewed conflict.
On October 10, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor said that the U.S.-backed Lebanese army would be a target in any future war, and warning the next conflict with Lebanon would also involve Syria and Gaza.
Lieberman falsely claimed that the Lebanese armed forces were under the command of the Hezbollah Party.
Senior Lebanese military officials rejected Lieberman’s comments, emphasizing that the Lebanese armed forces are fully independent and subordinate only to the government. Lebanon’s army receives support from the United States and Britain.
Lebanon and Israel remain formally in a state of war, following the 2006 Israeli ground invasion of southern Lebanon that killed around 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians devastated infrastructure and displaced more than a million.
That was the third such violation since 1978.
Israeli propaganda constantly tries to depict Israel as an innocent, welcoming and tolerant state threatened by its neighbors.
An example of Israeli propaganda and military saber rattling is a document produced by the so-called High Level Military Group (HLMG) was formed in early 2015 after the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza.
The Israeli report is a political document that makes widespread use of the Hasbara propaganda canard that Israel’s wars are merely “defensive”.
The report makes hysterical claims that conflict is imminent because of an irrational “drive to destroy Israel”.
The Israeli report explicitly demands that the international community ensure “not only that Israel has the diplomatic cover, but rather also the military means and room for maneuver”. In other words, Israeli is preparing to launch even more destructive attacks on civilians areas in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza
I plainly remember when Israel gave Gaza Strip to the Palestinians they used it to launch rockets at Israel citizens. Seems Israel needs to protect themselves from surrounding countries that want to eliminate them.
Debra, I think you’ve got a wire crossed somewhere. Israel never “gave Gaza Strip to the Palestinians.” Israel occupied Gaza in the Six-Day War of 1967 but never ended its occupation, just pulled its troops and illegal settlements out of Gaza then implemented a blockade instead, reserving the right to invade with military force at will, which Israel has done several times. Gaza was never Israel’s territory to give. International law governing warfare required Israel to end its occupation immediately upon cessation of hostilities, but Israel never did so, despite repeated U.N. Security Council Resolutions requiring it to do that, not only for Gaza but also for the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
Residents of occupied territories are legally entitled to resist the occupation with force. To help understand this, consider how you would feel about armed resistance if the U.S. were occupied by a hostile power. On the other hand, Israel has no right of self-defense in the territories it occupies, only police authority to preserve law and order. Israel has massively exceeded that authority time and again. See this “lawsplainer” by International Humanitarian Law Prof. Noura Erakat, addressing why Israel has no right of self-defense in territories it occupies. http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/8799/no-israel-does-not-have-the-right-to-self-defense-
Violent resistance must be aimed at the Israeli military however, not at civilians. But it is wrong for Israel to depict Palestinian attacks on its soldiers as “terrorism.” Its soldiers are fair game.
After Israel removed its troops and settlers from Gaza in 1994, the violence that reigned for the next two years was not aimed at Israel. It was war between Fatah and Hamas, because the Israeli lapdog Fatah refused to honor the election that Hamas won, egged on by Israel and the U.S. improperly classifying Hamas as a “terrorist” organization because it refused to commit to non-violence. But as just discussed, Hamas has the legal right to violently resist occupation. Perhaps even more so in the case of an illegal occupation and illegal levels of violence wielded by Israel when it periodically invades Gaza.
In each instance in which Hamas has unleashed rockets at Israel, Israel began the violence. There have been instances when Islamic Jihad has launched rockets at Israel without provocation, but Hamas cannot be blamed for actions it does not control. In any event, the Hamas rockets have been home made, nearly impossible to aim, and almost entirely ineffectual. Hamas rockets fired in self defense simply do not compare with the precision massive violence meted out by Israel when it attacks Gaza.
Israel has not been attacked by surrounding nations other than Palestine since the 1994 election.
I hope this clears up some of your misconceptions.
Thank you Paul, for your thoughtful reply to Debra. Some Israeli officials call their violent incursions into Gaza “mowing the grass.” By any reasonable definition this is terrorism, yet we and the Israelis get to call it “collateral damage.”
Glad I took one last look at this page before closing the window and moving on. Your explanation of the law as it pertains to Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory is impeccable, and mostly unknown to most laymen. I had no idea what Israel’s obligations to the indigenous people were under international law. Sounds like the United States may be committing similar infractions in Afghanistan, a cursed country we seem determined to never stop assaulting. Whenever you say something here, Paul, it is pithy and pertinent.
The facts do not lie.
Israel has consistently violated ceasefire agreements and initiated military violence.
Contrary to U.S. media spin, Israel’s 7-week assault on Gaza titled “Operation Protective Edge” (July 8, 2014 – August 26, 2014) was not defensive.
Israel had blamed Hamas for the June kidnapping and murder of three Jewish settlers in the West Bank, although there was evidence to the contrary, using that as a pretext to attack the Gaza Strip. Israel then bombed the homes of three families and killed two Palestinians (one of whom was 10-years-old) in Gaza before a single rocket was launched back from Gaza.
“Since Israel’s creation in 1948, Israeli political and military leaders have demonstrated a pattern of repeatedly violating ceasefires with their enemies in order to gain military advantage, for territorial aggrandizement, or to provoke their opponents into carrying out acts of violence that Israel can then exploit politically and/or use to justify military operations already planned.”
ABE” AND BEFORE CREATION..
“…“Since Israel’s creation in 1948….” (ABE, from comment above)
In former years (not too former!) everything was measured from the
war of 1948 in Palestine. Thomas Suarez in his book “THE
TERROR STATE…” demonstrates thoroughly that this is far
from the truth.
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
Yes, Peter Loeb, an important point.
State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel (2016), by Thomas Suárez, shows that the systematic and routine use of terror was accepted by Jewish leaders as necessary to achieve their aims in Palestine.
A review of the book notes that Suárez “‘does not deny or condone the existence of Palestinian Arab terrorism, but shows how it was then (and remains today) ‘a reaction to Zionist ethnic subjugation and expropriation of land, resources and labour, with non-violent resistance having proved futile’. Whereas the Palestinian terrorists were loose bands of guerillas operating in the country districts, the Zionist terrorists were organized militias operating from within urban centers under the protection of those communities.
“As Palestinian terrorism died down after the brutal suppression of the Arab protests in 1936, Zionist terror escalated, particularly after the 1939 White Paper which placed restrictions on Jewish immigration, ‘targeting anyone in the way of its political objectives – Palestinian, British or Jewish’. During the second world war, the official Zionist militia, Hagana, toned down its attacks on the British. Both Arab and Jewish Palestinians volunteered to join the Allied forces, though the Jews insisted on their own regiment.
“From 1942 onwards, when it was clear that the Allies were going to win the war, the Zionists restarted their campaign of wholesale terrorism (as the British described it) to establish a Zionist state by force: a campaign which eventually forced Britain’s decision to abandon the Mandate, leading to the UN Partition Plan, civil war, ethnic-cleansing of the Arab population, and the unilateral declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.
“The book makes the important point that in the early days most of world Jewry were opposed to Zionism. In Britain, the Jewish cabinet minister Lord Montagu, supported by other Jewish leaders, viewed the Zionists as collaborators with the anti-semites who were delighted with the idea of the Jews expelling themselves from their current homelands. Montagu was instrumental in changing the aim of the Balfour Declaration from “Palestine AS THE Jewish national home” to the vaguer “A Jewish national home IN Palestine”. […]
“The book also reveals the Zionist willingness to use violence against their Jewish opponents; their conviction that all Jews had an obligation to leave their homelands to go to Palestine; their willingness to stir up anti-semitism to encourage such migration; and their attempts to prevent displaced Jews going anywhere other than Palestine.”
Long but terrifying and accurate. Every American should read this, and sadly very few will. But every one who learns how destructive the CIA and our foreign policy (assuming there is one) actually is, is a victory for truth and possible future sanity.
Yet another asserting the USA lost the Vietnam War. I disagree as the aim of the war was to destroy Vietnam’s ability to provide a good example of an alternative development pathway to the other fledgling post-colonial states in the region and temporally globally. And that goal was accomplished in spades, with Vietnam just now in the second decade of the 21st century finally stretching its economic legs–40+ years after the USA fled Saigon.
A few more victories like Vietnam and our USA suicide plan will be complete.
Wonderful article. I love it when anyone calls a spade a spade, and delivers the unqualified truth. We are dying from the lies we have imbibed. Only truth can make us free. Unless enough of us can wake up in time, we will be destroyed, and never knows what hit us. Please do all you can to wake up your friends and associates. Print out this article and give it to them, and then be there to discuss it with them when they have read it. We must find the courage to do this.
Not sure there is the time or the means to do anything about it, even if everyone were suddenly enlightened. The Dark State seems to have a secure grasp on all levers of power in the Western world, including numerous ones you’ve never heard of or couldn’t even imagine to exist. Will it help in your last minutes before the nukes detonate to know that you and everything you hold dear is being annihilated for no reason other than the naked exercise of power by a small cadre of self-selected psychopaths?
Are you certain the nukes will be ALLOWED to detonate? Steven Greer found evidence it will not be allowed to happen.
and THAT evidence has the HIGHEST classification of Secrecy.
I think it is true that we need a “miracle.” And I am not sure exactly what that would be, but my awareness of how profound my ignorance of cosmic realities and possibilities is leads me to have a few shreds of hope in a situation that presses me constantly to give up all hope.
The question then is Just who does the CIA represent? The institution is given direction by some powerful people – who are they? What is the purpose of all the slaughter? “Global full spectrum domination.” for what?
That is probably highly classified information, dispensed only on a “need to know”; and the President himself has been refused information, being judged as not having “need to know” clearance to “be read in” to the Project about which the President inquired. This story from Steven Greer.
The Fletcher Prouty mentioned in this article quoted Winston Churchill as saying that a “high Cabal” exists which makes the important decisions in world affairs. A century earlier, another English Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, maintained “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
Another Churchill quote, this one from 1953 to Conservative MP Lord Boothby, either adds to the mystery or clarifies it, depending on your perspective, “Germany’s most unforgivable crime before the Second World War was her attempt to extricate her economic power from the world’s trading system and to create her own exchange mechanism which would deny world finance its opportunity to profit.”
Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi also perpetrated such “crime” and were duly punished by Britain’s successor on the world stage. Today, Russia, China, Venezuela, et al are being threatened to be dealt with the same way. The faces change but policy endures, and of course only madmen would embrace conspiracy theory to explain it.
Here is an article that looks at U.S. arms sales to developing nations between 2008 and 2015:
The United States thinks that it is impregnable so it does whatever it wants and, as such, sows the seeds of war around the globe.
Not surprisingly, the CIA is till covering up the rest of the JFK documents. He said right before he was assassinated he wanted to break the CIA into thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds. No president since has ever dared to utter a critical word about the CIA. We are ruled by psychopathic serial killers.
I hate to say this, but I believe the American people, (as do the rest of us) live in a captured country or countries. We are spied upon, taxed to death, controlled, fed propaganda and Trillions are spent on wars. Our sons and daughters and grandchildren fight and die in these illegal wars, while corporate cannibals make massive bloodstained profits. Homeless people are everywhere, drugs are epidemic and some banks launder drug money. the Rule of “law” has become the rule of outlaws. Offshore tax havens hide the money of the plutocracy. i could go on and on with more examples of the depredations perpetrated upon ordinary people. Therefore, I ask:
Is This The “Democracy” of the Depraved? see link below for more info,
CIA – Chaos, Interventionism and Austerity, enforcing neoliberalism worldwide, an economic policy that ignores human and environmental rights and protections. When this policy changes, as it should given that its credibility has been shattered after the 2008 financial crash, then a new, fairer global society can emerge. That day is arriving sooner than the globalists think.
“If you’re not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek’s free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom.” ~ Michael Hudson
“The financial elite and oligarchs despise democracy since they know that neoliberalism is the antithesis of real democracy because it feeds on inequality; it feeds on privilege, it feeds on massive divisiveness, and it revels in producing a theater of cruelty. All you have to do is look at the way it enshrines a kind of rabid individualism. It believes that privatization is the essence of all relationships. It works very hard to eliminate any investment in public values, in public trust. It believes that democracy is something that doesn’t work, and we hear and see this increasingly from the bankers, anti-public intellectuals and other cheerleaders for neoliberal policies.” ~ Henry Giroux
Excellent comment/quotes Kristin…..and if I may, add to neoliberalism that it feeds on “slavery”……pushing Neoliberal policies to their limit in this country drives working people into bankruptcy, isolation desperation.
Pushing for $15.00 minimum wage, healthcare for all, labor having a seat at the bargaining table is seen as a threat by the Neoliberal elite. Why? Stopping the waste of trillions of dollars for the ridiculous purpose of their quixotic wet dream of controlling the world (which has been proven again and again as disastrous) would more than pay for having a more equitable distribution of wealth. Or stopping the banks from their predatory schemes to foreclose on homes using teaser unsustainable rates as they did following the massive deregulation under Reagan then Clinton that used govt gtd deposits to make riskier and riskier ultimately destabilizing bets which their cronies in govt paid off using the U.S.treasury…..
We don’t have a free market system at all. It’s a predatory, corrupt financial system. The rules favor the insiders. Bankers and oligarchs skim maybe 30 % off the labor of others via tax schemes and ruthless trade policies.
Any effort to make the system fairer- to create a level playing field with full disclosure of information produces hysterical cries against “socialism” “communism”.
Bottom line whether it be domestic or foreign policy, TPTB who make the rules are not sane, fair minded, reasonable well informed people but power hungry, greedy people who shockingly ignore how destabilizing and dangerous their decisions are.
This comprehensive excellent essay by Nicholas J S Davies proves that nothing has really changed since Vietnam sadly and has gotten much worse.
I remember hearing the recording of Lyndon Johnson whining about his fears of pulling out of Vietnam because it would be seen as a failure……
Our leadership has been too fearful to do the right thing.
Each one allows themselves to be pushed into using mindless violence to prove that they are strong and powerful. But they are weak and controllable…..
But as you point out, Kristin, the massive failures that are now seen by most people in this country – endless regime change wars and massive financial near catastrophe prove that our leaders ARE NOT THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST! They are in fact foolish fearful, unreliable frauds. And I think that is part of why Trump won – he tricked people by sympathizing with their pain and pretending he would change course…. and they, in disgust and desperation, believed him.
It is much worse than “Chaos”
December 11, 2014
Do Gangsters Rule?
Is anybody really surprised at the latest revelations that torture was used by the “greatest country in the world?” After all, this is a country whose record of depredations over the years is there for all to see. Torture is there forte. They have been training torturers for years along with some of their allies.
“Officials from the United States and the United Kingdom spent years teaching members of the Brazilian military how to develop and improve their torture techniques during that country’s two-decade long dictatorship, it was confirmed yesterday.” Buenos Aires Herald, December 11, 2014….
Now today in our supposedly “civilized world” where our politicians preach about “human rights,” and “the rule of law,” and “civil liberties,” and that “nobody is above the law,” we know it is all B.S. emanating from the mouths of dangerous hypocrites. Who are, I believe, a danger to a not so free society. This latest torture document should make people finally realize that if our so-called leaders would commit, support and perpetrate these atrocities without an open trial, then we could be next on their agendas. If our laughable system called “democracy” accepts this kind of heinous filth, no one is safe from their immoral gangster style “systems” of torture….
[read more at link below]