On the Brink with Russia in Syria Again, 5 Years Later

It’s deja-vu all over again in Syria, with the U.S. on the verge of a confrontation with Russia as Donald Trump faces his biggest decision yet as president, comments Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

The New York Times, on September 11, 2013, accommodated Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s desire “to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders” about “recent events surrounding Syria.”

Putin’s op-ed in the Times appeared under the title: “A Plea for Caution From Russia.” In it, he warned that a military “strike by the United States against Syria will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders … and unleash a new wave of terrorism. … It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

Three weeks before Putin’s piece, on August 21, there had been a chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed. There soon emerged, however, ample evidence that the incident was a provocation to bring direct U.S. military involvement against Assad, lest Syrian government forces retain their momentum and defeat the jihadist rebels.

In a Memorandum for President Barack Obama five days before Putin’s article, on September 6, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) had warned President Barack Obama of the likelihood that the incident in Ghouta was a false-flag attack.

Despite his concern of a U.S. attack, Putin’s main message in his op-ed was positive, talking of a growing mutual trust:

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action. [Syria’s chemical weapons were in fact destroyed under UN supervision the following year.]

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive … and steer the discussion back toward negotiations. If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust … and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”

Obama Refuses to Strike

In a lengthy interview with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg published in The Atlantic much later, in March 2016, Obama showed considerable pride in having refused to act according to what he called the “Washington playbook.”

Clapper (far right): No slam dunk Assad did it. (Office of DNI)

He added a telling vignette that escaped appropriate attention in Establishment media. Obama confided to Goldberg that, during the crucial last week of August 2013, National Intelligence Director James Clapper paid the President an unannounced visit to caution him that the allegation that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack in Ghouta was “not a slam dunk.”

Clapper’s reference was to the very words used by former CIA Director George Tenet when he characterized, falsely, the nature of the evidence on WMD in Iraq while briefing President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in December 2002. Additional evidence that Ghouta was a false flag came in December 2016 parliamentary testimony in Turkey.

In early September 2013, around the time of Putin’s op-ed, Obama resisted the pressure of virtually all his advisers to launch cruise missiles on Syria and accepted the Russian-brokered deal for Syria give up its chemical weapons. Obama follow public opinion but had to endure public outrage from those lusting for the U.S. to get involved militarily. From neoconservatives, in particular, there was hell to pay.

Atop the CNN building in Washington, DC, on the evening of September 9, two days before Putin’s piece, I had a fortuitous up-close-and-personal opportunity to watch the bitterness and disdain with which Paul Wolfowitz and Joe Lieberman heaped abuse on Obama for being too “cowardly” to attack.

Five Years Later

In his appeal for cooperation with the U.S., Putin had written these words reportedly by himself:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is ‘what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.’ It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

In recent days, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has left no doubt that he is the mascot of American exceptionalism. Its corollary is Washington’s “right” to send its forces, uninvited, into countries like Syria.

We’ve tried to convey the message in recent days that if there’s a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger,” Bolton said on Monday. “I can say we’ve been in consultations with the British and the French who have joined us in the second strike and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response.”

As was the case in September 2013, Syrian government forces, with Russian support, have the rebels on the defensive, this time in Idlib province where most of the remaining jihadists have been driven. On Sunday began what could be the final showdown of the five-year war. Bolton’s warning of a chemical attack by Assad makes little sense as Damascus is clearly winning and the last thing Assad would do is invite U.S. retaliation.

Haley: Already knows who did it. (UN Photo)

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, with remarkable prescience, has already blamed Damascus for whatever chemical attack might take place. The warnings of direct U.S. military involvement, greater than Trump’s two previous pin-prick attacks, is an invitation for the cornered jihadists to launch another false-flag attack to exactly bring that about.

Sadly, not only has the growing trust recorded by Putin five years ago evaporated, but the likelihood of a U.S.-Russian military clash in the region is as perilously high as ever.

Seven days before Putin’s piece appeared, citizen Donald Trump had tweeted: “Many Syrian ‘rebels’ are radical Jihadis. Not our friends & supporting them doesn’t serve our national interest. Stay out of Syria!”

In September 2015 Trump accused his Republican primary opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria. Give me a break. You know, Russia wants to get ISIS, right? We want to get ISIS. Russia is in Syria — maybe we should let them do it? Let them do it.”

Last week Trump warned Russian and Syria not to attack Idlib. Trump faces perhaps his biggest test as president: whether he can resist his neocon advisers and not massively attack Syria, as Obama chose not to, or risk the wider war he accused his Republican opponents of fomenting.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years, and was a Presidential briefer from 1981 to 1985.

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93 comments for “On the Brink with Russia in Syria Again, 5 Years Later

  1. Richard Graham
    September 15, 2018 at 16:41

    The Idlib enclave should be reduced in fastest manner possible. Any other course will give subsequent bigot and astroturf rebellions the notion civilian pain is a winning strategy. The notion that acceptance of Idlib or a slow reduction will be less painful for civilians is so ridiculous it shouldn’t need explaining. I recommend ground penetrating bombs that collapse the tunnels and bunkers. Once the fighters are above ground kill everyone with a weapon.
    The so-called refugees are a Turkey, Israeli, and a US problem. These countries created, funded, and armed these astroturf militias. These countries provide diplomatic support and other political help. Iran can be threatened for complying with a treaty, and Russia punished for defending key strategic assets and Russian citizens held in Crimea since 1784. Why should proudly ignorant, cultural vandals, and murdering, raping terrorists be allowed access to the world’s financial system? Any export of fanatics should be laid at Trump’s golf shoes.
    But then Washington’s 1% parties can’t recognize and welcome the truth, because chaos protects and produces profits. It is easier to manipulate a terrified angry population. Not even if the truth looked like Keira Knightley, and she parachuted out of the warm summer sky into their backyard, naked, and laughing for joy.
    We can no longer pretend Washington and Americans know anything about the world, their own best interests, or the best interests of their strongest allies and best friends. They can’t be expected to defend democracy, expand human rights, or manage the most important part of world’s economy.

    • CitizenOne
      September 17, 2018 at 23:40

      We owe our twisted sense of justice and war surrounding Syria to President Obama. Obama was the Commander In Chief who led the US into the war in Syria based on lies that ISIS was an ally of the West and that they were some kind of force for good in the region. This fundamental deception and support for ISIS while attempting to overthrow the government of Assad will have repercussions that go way beyond the Obama administration. Trump is quagmired because his basic instinct is to run away from the twisted logic of the Syrian War but he has to face the reality that the Western Nations including the US will do anything to unseat Assad including twisting logic to blame Assad for the gas attacks conducted by ISIS.

      In the final hours before Assad and his military forces decide to wipe out the former allies of the USA Trump issues grave warnings to Russia not to strike despite his former willingness to let the Russians handle the situation.

      This some fairly clear evidence that Trump is being bullied into a stance favorable to the right wing political factions that want Assad out of power at all costs.

      All the while the Western Media glowingly report that any act of chemical warfare must be solely attributed to Assad. Even though Assad does not have any credible motive or opportunity to conduct chemical attacks, it is a snow job with the support by our government and the support from our media leading the charge that the next chemical attack will come from Assad’s government and not the entities who have real motive and opportunity to drag the administration back into the fight which it seeks to end.

      Such slipshod reporting can only be sustained in a propaganda environment created and supported by our US media. There is no way that the instantaneous judgement that it was Assad who conducted the chemical attacks as “found out” by our intelligence agencies has any grain of truth. Again, there is simply no motive or opportunity for Assad to do such a thing. Even less likely would be an Assad decision to conduct chemical attacks given the current administrations penchant to flee from the conflict which would give Assad an edge.

  2. Tom
    September 14, 2018 at 16:09

    Obama’s also the one who deliberately looked the other way as CIA operatives tortured and then destroyed the evidence. In the real world, you’d do jail time for this. But in the US the “custom” is to never prosecute any former President for anything. Nixon for Watergate. Carter for overthrowing Australia. Bush Jr. for murdering over 1 million in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Obama. And ladies and gentlemen, Trump who says mass genocide (3,000 innocent Puerto Ricans dying) is a “Democratic conspiracy”.

  3. Professor
    September 13, 2018 at 15:38

    Yeah, Well Ray someone has to state truth in a truth telling forum, it ain’t exactly American to embrace being a “Loser”. Just ask the Trump Campaign. NATO is a loser. Didn’t Trump state as much on the campaign trail. So IPSO FACTO France and a weakened Merkel in Germany and the Duchess in charge in Britain absolutely must conform to the diktat of the American Deep State. There will be at least one more major strike against Syria regardless of how pointless and nihilistic such a thing must be. because it is necessary and inevitable because they have won……. BUT they aren’t giving them their oilfields back PERIOD.. We are the indefensible nation if Trump isn’t smart enough to repeat this mantra THEY, will bring back Obama for a photo op after Kavanaugh is approved and make this completely clear to all … Peace

  4. September 13, 2018 at 12:24

    One of the major reasons why I began to like Obama.

    Trump is not going to pass the “test”. He is being assaulted from all sides. He cannot afford any new assault on his Presidency. But I do not even believe he wants to “test” it. He is not so naive that he did not know who Bolton was, or who were the other neo-cons who surround him. His relationship with Netanyahu fills me with fear. He recognized the capital of Jerusalem and completely turned a blinds eye to the suffering of the Palestinians. Even on the day of their celebrations, with his daughter and son in law present in Israel, they were killing Palestinians.

    It appears to me that the Israelis got him in office, and that is where the real “collusion” lies. But they do not trust him, and have been threatening his Presidency ever since….as a warning.

    In my opinion, they have him by the throat.

    • Walter
      September 13, 2018 at 15:57

      @Anastasia… I tend to agree, but although the zionistnazi “neoconz” and zionist Israelis clearly have great influence on Trump, it was Hillary and her obvious character defects as well as the opportunity to disrupt the direction of the American Policy Set that gave the voters the logic – either a known mass murderer and criminal, or a character like Trump. Essentially people “threw a wrench” into the gears of the state when they chose to reject the female. Trump is clearly unable to govern – Kennedy was, to a lesser degree, in the same situation. And, yes, they’ve got him by “something” probably something lower down than the throat, beginning with a “b” He’d do ok if the state supported him…

      His function in History will be as Pharmacos…he’ll be blamed for the US losses, the economic disasters and military defeats that are evidently inevitable…as Russia and China consolidate their Power. Poor sod…he’ll be, as Oswald was, created to be the patsy.

      In the end, absent global ruin by nukewar and overwhelming sudden climate change, the US will come to occupy its place in the Triumvirate with China and Russia, unless it falls to civil war and fragments – in which case the Major Powers will divide it as the Brits did India and China….

      Is interesting that the civil paradigm Ru and Ch follow closely aligns with the domestic policies of FDR…and that’s where a civil peace is achievable for the US. Rooseveldt’s Policy prevented revolution… Give people jobs, mortgages, get them invested in social peace, and revolution can be managed – throw a bone and people decide not to fight and overthrow the state.

  5. September 13, 2018 at 11:33

    Our good friend Ray McGovern has put the Russian-American-Syrian crisis into a perspective born of a quarter of a century of informing US administrations as a CIA analyst and Presidential briefer. The use of false-flag (poison gas) incidents to justify precipitous US uninvited US military intervention has become a familiar modus operendi, despite persistent calls to investigate them before responding, such a Professor Ted Postal’s review after the pipe bomb incident in the Syrian hinterlands a few years ago.

    It is strange to have to hope that such a confused President as Mr. Trump presents himself to be might actually succeed in extricating the US from the Syrian crucible and leave its solution to the principals, and not follow “the Washington Playbook” written by the “exceptional” self view of the US neocon’s strategy. If we are so “freaking exceptional”, why are the world’s major countries looking for ways to by-pass US leadership that is being forced down their throat whether they like it or not?

  6. September 13, 2018 at 11:16

    The idea that Donald Trump ever wielded power over U.S. foreign policy, the intelligence services, the military, the Republicans, or even his own cabinet is sheer fantasy. While most Americans were slurping up their news from the mainstream media, a coven of neo-cons staged a silent coup. And they are intent on waging war. For the moment, they would prefer to remain anonymous and let Americans think Trump is still in charge, at the same time as allowing John Bolton to think he is in charge. But Bolton is just as expendable as Trump. He’s just another fall guy with an ego bigger than his brain. Another back-up in case thing go drastically wrong. First, they will point the finger at Trump, and if the American public won’t swallow that, they’ll point it at Bolton. Democracy died in the United States a whole lot of yesterdays ago.

  7. Walter
    September 13, 2018 at 11:08

    Inflections, “the wings of butterflies” generally do not usually affect History, but at critical moments they can change the course of an important process…accordingly, it may be worthwhile to consider that there is a massive storm about to “flap the wings” along the East Coast…evidently, two Nuclear Power Stations (Brunswick 1 & 2) about 30 miles from Wilmington, are running at 88% and 100 % power even though they know they’re about to lose grid power…these are BWR GE Mark 1 reactors…Fukushima types…. If they lose onsite power (diesel engines and primary cooling) even after shut-down, there is going to be a release of radioactive material… The primary cooling pump motors seem to be sited below the storm surge predicted… The NPS in question are located in a coastal swamp….

    Look it up.

    Imagine a radioactive mess…a real FUBAR….against the Syrian FUBAR at Itlib… The potential changes are interesting, to say the least…an emergency evac of Washington DC is conceivable…

  8. Abe
    September 13, 2018 at 00:06

    Idlib Offensive: Why is Turkey Freaking Out?
    By Salman Rafi Sheikh

  9. September 12, 2018 at 21:29

    From thirteen years ago: Here we go again, and again, and again , and …

    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-literate retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    Boobie Official Mendacity

    The characters in government
    Will change from time to time
    As fashion colors change from green
    To slightly lemon-lime
    But lying never changes, like
    The meter of this rhyme

    The former Clinton government
    Once wanted to inflict
    The normal needless bombing on
    A country it had picked
    Because its petty potentate
    Our boots had never licked

    It seems that of the suspects whom
    We normally accuse
    One stood apart in infamy
    Thus him we would abuse
    Because he could not stop us so
    That made him great to use

    Inspectors roamed across his land
    Discovering not much
    Of mass-destructive weaponry,
    And gas, and germs, and such
    Thus did Saddam Hussein refuse
    To come through in the clutch

    So in frustration Bubba Bill
    Turned Madam Albright loose
    To use up some “diplomacy”
    Much like a hangman’s noose
    To threaten peace with war until
    War seemed our only ruse

    A decade’s worth of sanctions failed
    To bring the tyrant down
    But only starved his children which
    Caused few of us to frown
    If hungry Arab kids can’t swim
    We say: “Then let them drown”

    “We think the price is worth it,” said
    Ms Albright in her way
    Yet glib and airy phrases left
    No food upon the tray
    Just surly scorn for diplomats
    Who never have to pay

    But still those damned inspectors caused
    Our President to pout:
    To bomb might make them hostages
    Which could extend the bout
    To something more than half a round
    And not the hoped-for rout

    This Bubba Bill could not abide:
    So he asked the UN
    To have its people leave and tell
    Him where and how and when
    So he could blame their absence on
    Saddam and all his men

    To pull off this duplicity
    He needed lies to spout
    And so he took the muzzle off
    Of Madam Albright’s snout
    So she could lie and say Saddam
    Had forthwith “kicked them out”

    And so with the inspectors gone
    And nothing more to say
    The bomber pilots got to fly
    Three miles above harm’s way
    And blitz some helpless cities
    Just to earn their monthly pay

    Just so with Boobie Bumbler George
    Who also wanted in
    To knock about the whipping boy
    And all his clan and kin
    Yet once again inspectors proved
    An obstacle to spin

    They’d gone ahead and done their jobs
    And found no smoking gun
    Which vexed another President
    Who so much needed one
    To validate more lies and his
    Vendetta left undone

    “He tried to kill my daddy!” swore
    The vengeful Boobie Bush
    “I know because the CIA
    Has searched the Hindu Kush;
    And found out lots of stuff, so now
    I say shove comes to push”

    So Boobie George told the UN
    That its men hadn’t found
    What Boobie George and Dick and Don
    Knew lay somewhere around
    Someplace where only they could see
    On undiscovered ground

    And Boobie Condoleeza Rice
    And Colin Powell, too,
    Proved once again that Black folks lie
    Just like the White ones do
    Repeating what no one believed
    Exactly right on cue

    With summer coming on so soon
    And springtime cool so short
    The bombing had to start at once
    Lest hot weather abort
    Mad plans to land upon a ship
    Sent steaming back to port

    And so once more the snoops and hounds
    Packed up and left Iraq
    The UN wished to take no part
    In Bush’s planned attack
    Yet still the obvious and bald
    Required a little slack

    To cover for their rush to war
    The Bush Bunch needed spin
    They claimed they had no choice because
    They wanted so to win
    And bad Saddam had not allowed
    Inspectors to come in

    Thus here we have a sorry tale
    Of two groups sworn to tell
    No truth if they could help it
    And they could, so what the hell?
    And Boobies, anyway, had grown
    Accustomed to the smell

    Saddam Hussein had let a host
    Of spies stay at his inn
    But yet it didn’t change a thing
    Or mitigate his sin
    Bill lied about the “kicking out”
    And George the “letting in”

    The Presidents who work for us
    Decline to let us know
    The things we need to supervise
    Their fumbling tell-and-show
    So wars begin on schedule and
    The piles of bodies grow

    Bill Clinton swore one type of lie;
    George Bush another kind
    They both had lied so much that each
    Thought none would ever mind
    With Boobies all so fast asleep
    The bland could lead the blind

    If once their lips commence to move
    A lie we should suspect
    And if their lips should move again
    We should at once reflect
    That we can — in their moving lips —
    A naked lie detect

    Their lying we should not expect
    To bother them that much
    To make them tell the truth would be
    To rob them of their crutch
    If they could choose, they’d lie so that
    They wouldn’t loose their touch

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2005

    • September 13, 2018 at 10:14

      Well done! You captured it perfectly.

    • Gregory Herr
      September 13, 2018 at 17:20

      Enjoyed perusing your website as well Michael. More “Poetic License” where this came from, an interesting personal history, and other commentary.

  10. Jill
    September 12, 2018 at 20:32

    Dear Ray,

    I deeply appreciate your speaking truth to power. My feeling is that there’s no getting around it, the president already knows the information that you and VIPS relate to him. He did hire all the neo-cons and he could, but isn’t, firing them. This means he agrees with what they want to do. (This was also true of Obama and Bush so it isn’t a partisan issue.)

    I am requesting VIPS to inform citizens of the facts. We are often the people who don’t have good information. For example, most of us do not know that there are legal procedures the US is supposed to follow regarding chemical weapons allegations. Scott Ritter outlines those procedures. We are legally required to follow them. We may not legally bomb Syria or any other nation we accuse of using chemical weapons until we have followed these procedures.

    It would help if more people understood this. It would help if more people understood why we are in Syria, what the govt. really wants. That one thing it wants is regime change and that regime change is illegal.

    If citizens have good information we can make informed decisions. It is more difficult to manipulate people who have knowledge. It may even allow people to protest the illegal and unjust actions of this govt.

    So I am asking VIPS to address the American people. I’m not saying don’t keep writing to the president. I am saying that it is more effective to address the American people. The president already is informed, we are most not informed.

    Thank you again for the many times you have stood up for justice.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 13, 2018 at 03:26

      Jill – maybe he knows and maybe he doesn’t. Could be he is surrounded by people who give him 60% or 70% on any given topic, while omitting the other 30 to 40%, and Trump might even know that they’re doing it. And why did he surround himself with those people? Maybe he didn’t have a choice? Maybe he’d be Kennedy’d if he didn’t? If that’s the case, you might say he has no guts. Well, maybe he knows what would happen if he WERE taken out, that there surely would be war. He just might be saving our butts by being the only “no” in the room.

      Trump ran on stopping the wars. He doesn’t believe in the official version of the Kennedy assassination, nor 9/11. He’s even mentioned the false flags, and he definitely knows that there was a real plot to stop him from being elected President (or remove him after he did) by the FBI, CIA and DOJ. He’s less stupid than you might think. Keeping your enemies close is sometimes the best practice; that way you know what they’re doing.

      • Jill
        September 13, 2018 at 12:03


        The most important point I am trying to make is this–it is the people of the United States who most need accurate, in depth information. We don’t normally get that. If VIPS wants to effect real change then informing the American people has the best chance of making that change.

        In our society, we are used to going top down. I believe we need to reverse this way of doing things. It is not people at the top of govt. who will bring change. It is the “average” American citizen. We are being fed misinformation. It is very difficult for us to organize for the common good when we are undermined at every point.

        Therefore, having a group of experienced people who will give Americans accurate information–a go to place for real analysis is vital in breaking the strangle hold of misinformation and outright lies we face everyday, all day.

        As to your other points, I cannot agree. So many people want desperately to believe Trump has a plan of redemption for the US. This was also the case with Obama. After 8 years Obama’s redemption of the US never occurred. All his “12 dimensional chess” and “keeping his enemies close” did not provide good policy for our nation. He was a disaster for both our nation and many others.

        If you look at both Obama and Trump before they ran for president you will see the same person you see/saw in office. I know this is difficult for people to deal with because these are desperate times and people do want someone to come save us. Unfortunately, that person is not Trump, nor was it Obama.

        If you truly believe every president will not make a move against the IC because of JFK, the implication of that idea is exactly my point, no president can help you because they are too afraid of the IC. Thus looking to them for redemption is a mistake.

        We need to look to our fellow citizens and ourselves instead.

      • Deniz
        September 14, 2018 at 11:07

        I dont tthink Trump is stupid or uninformed, corrupt probably, but in Washington corruption is relative. The tentacles of Empire have been with us for a very long time and manifests itself frequently. We expect this very fallable person Trump to slay this beast, but it is far more likely that the beast will slay him.

  11. September 12, 2018 at 16:48

    President Trump should stick to his campaign promises to drain the swamp by firing those listed below, and replacing them with people who think the same as he does. But, then again, maybe he knew exactly what he was doing when appointing those he has. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Secy. of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin because he is opposed to the renewal of Glass/Steagall and a new Bretton Woods type agreement with Russia, China India, and Japan.
    Secy. of Defense, James Mattis because he can not manage the military and its industrial complex.
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford because he is a war monger.
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions because of his cowardice in recusing himself from controlling Robert Mueller’s treasonous witch hunt.
    U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley because she is a loud mouthed, Russian- hating bitch who loves the British.
    Director of the FBI Cristopher Wray, who may be a distant relative of mine, because he has failed to stop regime-change policies of FBI in South America, Central America, and other places.
    National Security Advisor John Bolton because of what Ray McGovern and other have pointed out.
    Director of CIA Gina Haspel may be OK. I’ll give her a chance, although I dislike her illegal torture policies.
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may also be OK. He should have a chance, but I question his judgement when he appointed Kiron Skinner as his top assistant and advisor. She is a student of dark-siders George Pratt Shultz and Condoleezza Rice.

    • Mildly Facetious
      September 14, 2018 at 15:38

      Noel cowling, you seem to be, like, a day late and a dollar short – as they say… ?

      Trump’s latest Horror Story (s) include the transfer of TEN MILLION $$$ from FEMA (in the face of Hurricane Florence) to ICE, in order to build More Detention Camps for asylum seeking CHILDREN ! —

      Allow me to also mention the fact that these children, separated from parents, are also being “sedated” with antipsychotic drugs.

      While you’re here, let me to remind you that Trump is also calling for MORE Air Polluting METHANE Gas to be released into our air!

      Now Hear This !!!

  12. jaycee
    September 12, 2018 at 14:21

    It’s worth remembering that participation in a proposed bombing in 2013 was rejected by the British Parliament in a vote, and the US Congress insisted it also vote on this matter. Phone calls and emails to members of Congress from their constituents were plentiful and overwhelmingly opposed to military action. Obama gets a bit too much credit for not bombing as there was external pressure, but the criticism today that he didn’t follow through on his “red line” is pure revisionism.

    John Kerry’s State Department wanted to bomb in 2013. He even responded to Congress that they shouldn’t worry as it wouldn’t be “shock and awe”, it would be precisely targeted at Syrian leaders and military commands. The shock and awe would come later as jihadists overran the decapitated state and established their caliphate. The plan at the time was to facilitate exactly that, and then start a second war to remove the jihadists. NATO would then have a whole country in which to establish military bases. ISIS soon became the Plan B, similar to Plan A but with new scary villains.

    The announcement this week that the US has a “new policy” on Syria, a Plan C still similar to A and B but without the scary villains, also emanated from the State Department. Trump does not appear to have been consulted, and neither has Congress. Citizen led pressure directed at Congress and the President, as it is a mid-term year, can be very effective at this time.

    • David G
      September 12, 2018 at 17:30

      You’re absolutely right about what happened in 2013: Obama deserves some credit for not adding to his list of war crimes with an attack on Syria – but only in context.

      The basically unprecedented resistance by the U.K. parliament was key to making bombing look politically risky to him. The few squeaks from Congress may have also helped a bit, though they wouldn’t have done anything if he had gone ahead anyway.

      And don’t forget Sergei Lavrov alertly seizing on Kerry’s facetious rhetoric about how war could be avoided if Assad surrendered his chemical weapons stockpile, but “he isn’t about to do it”. The Russians took a sloppy, throwaway remark by Kerry and turned it around to channel the reluctant U.S. into peaceful cooperation on destroying Syria’s CWs, rather than engaging in the usual pointless violence.

    • September 12, 2018 at 18:13

      Kerry :Arab countries willing to pay for US attack on Syria –

      Sep 5, 2013 – Secretary of State John Kerry told a House committee that countries in the … are dedicated to an American attack on Syria and offered to pay fo.

      Did Saudi just pay for the US to overthrow the Syrian government?


    • GKJames
      September 12, 2018 at 19:28

      It’s equally worth remembering that it was Obama who presented the choice to Congress in the first place. When it was clear that most Democrats and even some Republicans were not in favor, he — by himself, against the advice of his advisors — decided against it, as he didn’t want to go to war without public support. Why, therefore, he’s deemed to be “get[ting] too much credit for not bombing” is beyond me. Any other president would have fired first and asked questions later.

    • Gregory Herr
      September 12, 2018 at 20:10

      Very much worth remembering jaycee. A direct U.S. military assault on Damascus would have messed with Obama’s manicure and left his dirty hands all too involved and exposed. The red line-false flag was a muck-up, his arse wasn’t covered with political support, and Russia’s response (missile cruiser and destroyer dispatched in the Mediterranean) was a wild card Obama and the Pentagon had to be wary of.

      Obama had already devastated Libya-allowing the CIA to rat line weapons to proxy terrorists. I would think he was aware of the CIA training of proxy terrorists in Jordan, Saudi-UAE funding, and Israeli machinations. He had presided over a phony “fight” against ISIS in Iraq–when in actuality, terrorist factions thrived in Iraq and spread into Syria. Obama simply took the more patient, cover-my-ass route to “regime change”. For someone to get “credit” for not acting on one heinous option while acting on another heinous option is beyond me. But the jive turkey walks…and people still think there’s water under those feet. That’s America for ya.

    • Bogart
      September 13, 2018 at 10:21

      You are correct. My understanding from the Main Stream Media was that Obama was ready to bomb. Their big issue was that they didn’t want go alone and had the executives in the UK and France on their side. But the UK Parliament gets its vote and it voted decidedly not to get involved. That was when the whole plan fell apart as France and Obama were not going to take the fall for starting this mess.

  13. September 12, 2018 at 14:08

    Article of interest at link below.
    White Helmets making films of ‘chemical attacks’ with orphans in Idlib – Russian military
    Published time: 12 Sep, 2018 13:50Edited time: 12 Sep, 2018 15:06

    • Randal Marlin
      September 12, 2018 at 17:33

      Yes, this is most interesting. In propaganda terminology this is called a preemptive strike. It is a very effective tactic. If the story is true, it may have something of a dissuasive effect on those planning to galvanize public opinion once again to support a military confrontation between the U.S. and Assad’s Syria. I’m inclined to believe it.
      Trouble is, not so many people read RT and the power from a preemptive strike comes from being the first to get the message out. The mass media can also say that the Russian story was invented.
      The neocons need their casus belli, and they seem to be pinning their hopes on the red line of the use of poison.
      So the Russian account, in the light of past events, seems to me credible; but one can never be certain. As a prominent Russian economist said to me, quoting some philosopher: “If others tell the truth, I will also tell the truth. But if others are lying, then I must also lie.”
      The URL I have for the Russian account is .

  14. September 12, 2018 at 13:39

    Based on the evidence available, regarding the illegal wars in a number of countries, I believe those responsible should be arrested., and put on trial.
    “Arrest Them”

    Arrest all those responsible for the plight of the Refugees
    These people are in camps, or drowning in unfriendly seas
    And when these unwanted, reach “safety,” or a foreign land
    They are treated like garbage and the rulers want them banned

    Arrest these “rulers” who created this hell on earth
    Who act, that human lives, don’t have any worth
    They are examples of evil and should not be in power
    They really are disgraceful and an awful bloody shower

    Arrest the warmongering “leaders” who create havoc around the world
    Authorizing bombings and killings these “leaders” should be reviled
    Instead we give them fancy titles and homes to park their asses
    Will there ever be a day of reckoning and a rise up of the masses?

    Arrest the financiers of these bloody wars of destruction
    This is how these blood sucking parasites get their satisfaction
    Drag them away in chains and handcuffs, and orange prison attire
    These are the corporate cannibals who set the world on fire

    Arrest the fat and plump little “honourable” Ministers of Wars
    They are the “useful idiots” for the leading warmongering whores
    They never fight in battle or sacrifice any of their rotten lives
    They get others to do their evil work while they themselves thrive

    Arrest the corporate chieftains who feed off death and destruction
    And who count their bloodstained profits with smiling satisfaction
    These are the well dressed demons who call their investments “creating jobs”
    Meanwhile, around the world the oppressed are crying, and nobody hears their sobs

    Arrest the uniformed generals who blindly obey their marching orders
    To bomb, kill, maim and destroy: they are the brainwashed enforcers
    Years ago there were trials for war crimes committed by those in charge
    Now we need them again for we have war criminals at large

    Arrest all the aforementioned, and help clean up the world
    We cannot afford these people in power: Are they mentally disturbed?
    They are a danger to all of us and we better wake up
    Is it time to arrest all of them: Have you had enough?…
    [more info at link below]

  15. Anonymot
    September 12, 2018 at 13:28

    While we’re at it, may I remind you that the loudest proponent of attacking Russia via the no-fly zone was Hillary Clinton, the mouthpiece for the CIA and Deep State, the MIC and Wall Street. Up until he followed Putin’s advice, Obama was in the same position she was. I’ve never heard what changed his mind, but the decision was not about Syria, it was going to war with Russia and Iran. They had already destroyed the Middle East as Netanyahu wanted.

    • September 12, 2018 at 21:50

      Yeah, and she actually campaigned on it. Brought it up in debates and acted as if it was a winning topic. I was–just what sort of voter is she trying to appeal to? Nihilists? People who want a hot war with Russia? Psychopaths? It was baffling. Thank goodness that warmonger lost.

  16. F. G. Sanford
    September 12, 2018 at 12:33

    Nikki Haley’s a clairvoyant swami. Crystal balls tell her Putin’s a commie.
    John Bolton chimed in, claiming Assad can’t win,
    If he gasses, he’ll get the salami!

    In Idlib, there’s lots of Jihadis. They’ve been armed by our buddies, the Saudis.
    We sent them arms too, just to tighten the screw,
    So we’re counting on lots of dead bodies!

    The false flag event is encroaching. The fate of the victims approaching.
    They’ve rounded up kids for the sympathy bids,
    Since the neocons did all the coaching!

    White Helmets decide who’ll be stricken. They’ll gas them and cause them to sicken.
    With cameras rolling and twitter trolls trolling,
    They’ll blame Trump and say he was a chicken!

    Putin’s after our proxy head choppers. They’re threatened by barrel bomb droppers.
    Every neocon flack wants a missile attack,
    So they’re telling some outrageous whoppers!

    Jim Jeffrey will get the job done. Bombing Russians will be lots of fun.
    Our Syrian envoy will gin up a convoy,
    He’s a neocon favorite son!

    Mike Pompeo picked him for the job. He’ll clean up Assad’s evil mob.
    If you ask Jeffrey Sachs, the plan’s full of cracks–
    But the neocons think he’s a snob!

    Putin’s got nuke submarines. And his missiles can mutate your genes.
    With that neocon pride, reckless fools may decide,
    Yet they promised they won’t fry our beans!

    Perjurious experts are scorning. It’s a perilous tale they’re suborning.
    What they might embroil to keep Assad’s oil–
    Could precisely induce “launch on warning”.

    So Nikki’s a staunch fortune teller. And Bolton’s an avid swamp dweller.
    It’s for certain these loons belong in cartoons,
    Or at least keep them locked in the cellar!

    • September 12, 2018 at 13:59

      F.G., You did it again! Terrific verse. We are in your debt. Our (residual) sanity depends a lot on your good sense of humor. Thanks.


    • John G
      September 12, 2018 at 14:50

      Impressive! Thank you.

    • Tom Kath
      September 12, 2018 at 21:22

      Great FG! – Since we’re in poetic vein, I’ll contribute one of mine, considerably less to the current point.

      Because they don’t have opinions, and haven’t any ideas,
      They’re selected, endorsed, and elected. That’s how it has been now for years.
      Manicured and well presented, they play out their role on the stage
      Working hard to preserve the interests of those few who just pay their wage.

      Smooth and polished and handsome, with the face of a movie star
      They rehearse every word that’s been scripted. That’s what politicians now are.
      Overseeing their wide dominions, they allay the public’s worst fears
      Can’t afford to have any opinions, dare not have any ideas.

  17. Pete
    September 12, 2018 at 12:33

    As always, “America first” or Neocunts” first.

  18. unfettered fire
    September 12, 2018 at 12:16

    The international community should never have allowed the Palestinian travesty continue for so long. This blatant affront to humanitarianism is why we now have a “liberal” military empire that expects this carte blanche privilege to continue unabated. Until we put an end to that slow motion genocide, this hubris will only distort itself into uglier, more destructive machinations.

    • M Adams
      September 12, 2018 at 13:45

      You hit the nail on the head.

    • Jim Hartz
      September 12, 2018 at 15:23

      The “International Community”? Are you kidding?

      The more accurate name for this assemblage of louts would be CHURCH OF LATTER DAY CONQUISTADORS.

      Get serious!

  19. Eduardo Cohen
    September 12, 2018 at 12:09

    One of the most important points in all this that Ray didn’t address is the predictable result of the Trump/Bolton promise of major military intervention against the Syrian Government in the case of a chemical attack. Not only will this invite the beleaguered “rebels” to stage an attack but, perhaps more importantly, it gives the ‘rebels’ a reason NOT to engage in a negotiated end to the standoff. This could needlessly extend the fighting and increase the number of casualties which the Trump Administration dishonestly claims it wants to avoid.

  20. John V. Walsh
    September 12, 2018 at 12:07

    How can Trump resist the pressure from the neocons, the Hillarycons and the rest when he gets no backing from those who claim to be for peace?

    Such is the Russophobia and the hatred of Trump expected amongst the Respectables, including those in the peace movement, that they have lost the ability to respond to Trump based on POLICY not on gossip, psychobabble and innuendo.
    So, for example, when Trump met with Kim in Singapore and Putin in Helsinki, there was little praise from the “left”? This was especially so in the case of Helsinki. (There were a few exceptions including a brief statement of support from CodePink in a fundraising appeal.)

    I attempted to get a resolution passed in a well known national peace organization to which I belong in support of the Trump meeting with Putin in Helsinki. I was told that there was no way the words Helsinki and Trump would be used in such a statement but perhaps a statement saying that more dialogue with Russia was a good thing might be possible. In the end there was nothing!! Nada. Zilch. Now the follow-up Summit has been postponed because of pressure against it – until after the midterms and maybe permanently!!
    This is especially odd because a majority of Americans supported both Helsinki and the follow-up and 63% are in favor of better relations with Russia – exactly what Trump campaigned for. Cannot the peace movement at least follow if it will not lead?

    By all means, vigorously oppose the policies of Trump that are not peaceful BUT support those like rapprochement with North Korea and Russia that are. That is the adult thing to do – and the wise thing when faced with conflict between the nuclear superpowers. To do otherwise is to ignore the existential question of survival.

    Much of this is due to the malign influence of the Democratic Party Establishment in the antiwar movement and much of it due to the ceaseless bashing of Trump 24/7 and the Russophobia and demonization of Putin in the corrupt MSM like the NYT, NPR, ETC.
    So when the neocons start to get their way and pressure for war ramps up, the peace movement should look to itself as being part of the problem.
    But hey, at least on its present course the peace movement can claim a seat at the table with the Respectables instead of being consigned to the outcast status of the Deplorables

    • September 12, 2018 at 12:17

      The “professional peace-niks” have proven themselves to be a bunch of phonies! They are controlled by the Democratic Party and can’t see the forest for the trees. I was tipped off when they threw Cindy Sheehan, a true and courageous peace activist, under the bus years ago. Very scary times we’re living in.

    • September 12, 2018 at 13:55

      Good points, John.

      As Anne Dillard says, “There is only us; there never has been any other.”

      So, I would strongly suggest we follow the “Noah Principle”: “No more awards for predicting rain; rewards only for building arks.”

      Alas, Noah was provided with the blueprints. Millennia later, though, are we not smart enough to figure out something tangible to do — “all by ourselves,” as my grandchildren put it?

      I cannot escape the thought that there has to be enough imagination and smarts right in this small consortiumnews commentary community to come up with doable, practical ideas/suggestions. The fault, I fear, may not be in our stars, but in ourselves.



      • Jim Hartz
        September 12, 2018 at 16:26

        Dear Mr. McGovern,

        Of course: the problem is “in ourselves,” not “in the stars,” or merely in those dastardly “others.”

        I’d like to combine the insights of two great champions of sanity, who didn’t get a chance to meet: Thomas Merton and Noam Chomsky.

        Chomsky has suggested: without a clear picture of “human nature,” social change cannot possibly succeed.

        Merton, is his dying-breath talk in Bangkok, December 10, 1968, sees a unity between the Christian notion of The Fall or Original Sin (the latter with a Jungian inflection); the Buddhist notion of Avidya or Ignorance (in the technical sense of our “habitual tendency” to “dualistically fixate” [in the micro-level individual psychological sense]) or engage in “center-periphery polarization” [in the macro-level global political economic sense]), so, an invitation to “connect the dots”; and the Early Marxian notion of Alienation (especially if we ignore the suggestion of an “epistemological break” between Early and Late Marx, and see his painstakingly created work as one continuous development).

        So, what pictures of “human nature” do these three traditions provide, for openers? And if we underscore the traditional Buddhist schema of View, Meditation (or Contemplation), and Action, VIEW is essential. Without a clearer and more comprehensive VIEW, all these spur-of-the-moment myopic ACTIONS will continue to lead us smarty-pants lemmings–as History keeps telling us, over and over (and what’s that often-repeated definition of insanity?)–off a cliff!

        So, that’s one idea, for a start.

      • Tom Kath
        September 12, 2018 at 21:40

        Ideas? Yes, Ray, we do seem to be short. The problem is that our whole “resistance” movement is pretty much exclusively AGAINST things and very fractured and disfunctional as regards being FOR anything. – I have been searching for a fundamental “FOR” tenet. You have to hand it to Trump or Bannon or whoever came up with MAGA! although that one obviously doesn’t apply to world problems that we are dealing with.
        I also appeal to anyone to come up with a simple description of what we are all fighting FOR.

    • Kieron
      September 12, 2018 at 15:49

      63% in favour of better relations with Russia. 63% of who? The people who take time to understand what’s going on,or, 63% of a nation as a whole ? Until journalism addresses what it’s role in investigating and reporting the truth, I’m sorry 63% means nothing. Such a large portion of an informed population would surely be out on the streets and bringing the likes of Bolton, Haley and the rest of the war mongering neocons into a court of law where they would, if it were applied properly, locked up and prevented from causing the carnage they are so keen to push.

      • KiwiAntz
        September 12, 2018 at 19:17

        What Court of Law would that be?? The International Criminal Court or the Hague?? Bolton has already announced that the US clwill never be held to account for War Crimes against Humanity because they are above such laws! The American Empire, the Fifth Reich, as a rogue, lawless State, has a contemptuous disregard for any International Law & will not abide by any norms of morality & human decency!

        • Kieron
          September 13, 2018 at 16:09

          Absolutely, however, once the dross
          ( much of the existing US, UK and others ) political and media con merchants have been removed, then once again we may be able to build a system based around humanitarian needs and not war and money. Problem is getting rid of these clowns before they destroy us all.

  21. Walter
    September 12, 2018 at 11:57

    Just for old time sake…”Yes Sir, No Sir” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nPJgeg6hpA

    Can anybody spell “f-r-a-g-g-i-n-g”?

    Faced with gradually increasing realization inside the military, what would MacBeth do? (he was)

    It’s a lose it or use it now (or soon)

    Good movie Ray…

    I see that US now intends to totally isolate Russia….”US-Regierung droht Russland wegen Syrien mit “völliger wirtschaftlicher Isolation” https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/75941-us-regierung-droht-russland-wegen/

    Maybe that’s a side step to avoid a catastrophic naval defeat in the Med…

    I hope so…

  22. September 12, 2018 at 11:31

    Does anyone know why some who post on CN’s comment section get their name in italics and others get their name in regular font? Thank you.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      September 12, 2018 at 11:50

      A users name will be in italics if it is linked to a website or email address. If you would prefer your name not link to your email address, simply leave the “Website” field blank when filling in the comment form. Thank you.

      • September 12, 2018 at 14:16

        Thank you for the interesting info.

      • Realist
        September 13, 2018 at 02:53

        Ah, that’s what that’s all about when my computer attempts to auto fill those empty boxes, the first with my name and the next two with my email address, which I have been deleting from the third box because I guessed it was something like that. Now we know. It was easier when the data we wanted in those boxes was remembered on your end, and we didn’t have to type it in each time.

    • September 12, 2018 at 12:01

      I want my name in “scare quotes.”

      How do we make that happen? Ha ha ha!

      • Realist
        September 13, 2018 at 03:10

        I never knew the application of said punctuation to be known as “scare quotes.”

        I often use them to express skepticism, not fear. I have done so for many years.

        But you’ve led us to an entire article in a prestigious journal on their supposed emergence and popular usage.

        Now, who knows for sure what the usage of multiple parentheses around a word is meant to convey?
        I have my suspicions from context that it may be an ethnic identifier, but don’t know for sure.
        It sure doesn’t stand for hugs and kisses and you won’t find it in a style manual.

  23. TomG
    September 12, 2018 at 11:14

    I have some staff changes to propose to Trump. Senator Lee or Senator Rand to replace Pence; Chas Freeman to replace Pomeo; Daniel Larison to replace Haley; and Peter Van Buren to replace Bolton. That would be a start…

    • Pete
      September 12, 2018 at 12:38

      WHAT? America first? Such blasphemy!

    • Malcolm MacLeod, MD
      September 12, 2018 at 20:39

      TomG: A stroke of genius; too bad it can’t happen. Kudos!

  24. September 12, 2018 at 10:47

    “Come to Attention: Forward March!”
    “The Mad March of the Brainwashed”

    Left, right, left right, see them march ready to bomb and destroy
    Obeying orders from war criminals and maniacs; do you feel the joy?
    Full of pride and waving their flags, all standing to attention
    As they listen to the mad war criminals that brook no dissension

    An order is an order even if it sets the world on nuclear fire
    Left, right, left right, “Yes sir, what else do you desire”?
    “Just make every missile hit its target, as we your leaders’ watch on T.V.
    Burn up the peoples’ tax dollars, because this is, “the land of the free.”

    Left right, left right, the brainwashed take orders from the insane
    When the nukes start flying, their landings will be the end game
    Still, not to worry, the “leaders” will be hiding in their bunkers underground
    Issuing the orders; as the brainwashed bomb the people, that live on the

    Left right, left right, “A question sir, if I may, will we get a medal”
    When we blow up the world, this fine and wonderful day”?
    “Of course, you will my brave man/woman you are serving your country
    And we will be watching all the action from our bunker, to put it bluntly”

    Left right, left right, “Are you ready to fight and to do battle”?
    “Are all the bombs and missiles ready, to kill people like helpless cattle”?
    “Yes sir, yes sir, everything is ready and we are ready too”
    “Just issue the orders and we will press the buttons, we are a brave crew”

    Left right, left right and the brainwashed marched away
    Ready to fire their missiles on an unfortunate land this very day
    The war criminals that planned all this filthy hellish action
    Are hiding in their underground lairs smiling with crazy satisfaction

    The end result of all this treachery and insanity
    Could probably be the end of the world and humanity
    Left right, left right, orders are orders, and the enemy must be punished
    Will nuclear war be the end result of the mad march of the brainwashed?
    Will we all be extinguished?…
    [more info at link below]

    • Susan
      September 12, 2018 at 21:18

      Good to see some of the responsibility for this looming disaster being placed squarely on the shoulders of the “brainwashed’.
      If there’s time after the disaster strikes, I look forward to the satisfaction of telling them so.
      Trouble is, there won’t be enough time to get round to all of them.

  25. Gregory Casey
    September 12, 2018 at 10:36

    “22 children with their parents from… Aleppo province were selected by militants for the participation in the staged chemical attack. Another group of orphans, abducted from refugee camps, intended for the shooting of the lethal scenes, is now held in… the Iqab prison, controlled by the Nusra Front terrorists,” the center said.

    “According to the information received by the Reconciliation Center provided by Idlib residents, signs of intensified preparation far staging false flag chemical attacks were recorded in the village of Kafir-Zait. Poisoning substances for provocations were delivered to the settlements of Kafr Nabudah and Qalaat al-Madiq,”

    Staged Chemical Weapons Attacks have taken place in Idlib and according to Reports just posted on Sputnik online

    “Following the filming in the evening of September 11, at a joint meeting of representatives of the White Helmets and the militants of the Nusra Front terrorist group, only two videos out of nine were approved for transfer to the United Nations Nations and the OPCW following the order. The remaining videos due to poor quality are suggested for use in social networks,”

  26. Walter
    September 12, 2018 at 10:32

    Parenthetically I would remark that my spies in the military whisper dark ideas to one another these days…the enlisted are beginning to twig to their reality as fodder units in a crime seen… One might then expect the “effectiveness” to “suffer”… They recognize the “enemy” as fake, and are going to go in the direction of Yossarian in “Catch 22”.

    At some point there will probably be mutinies.

    (Me? I remember Vietnam, and “Pukyou Lt” when ordered to do stupid stuff)

  27. September 12, 2018 at 10:27

    The Washington imperialists and Zio crazies keep insisting on poking the Russian bear.

    The seminal question for our world today: How long will the Kremlin remain a stoic punching bag?

    The answer will determine whether we all live or die.

  28. Walter
    September 12, 2018 at 10:21

    Hey Ray! (just in case he reads this)

    Bolton repudiated all international law – on video… Saying that the US recognizes no law beyond the US Constitution itself.

    Did anybody notice? (Well, I watched him say it.) Look it up…same day that he threatened Syria (“just so there’s no misunderstanding…”)

    Consider the implications in logical deduction… No UN Charter, No Law of War, presumably no Treaty Law…

    I do not object, why bother? There’s an awful truth and logic to his declaration…he’s “right”, so to say.

    In the Putin letter vide supra NYT Putin remarks on Obama’s “exceptionalism” speech. What he says is not a disagreement…go read it.

    And Obama’s correct…it is the US Policy, the Policy set that seized 1/3 of Mexico, obliterated the indigenous civilizations and nations, and so on ad nauseam – this is obviously a policy that has long defined the establishments of the Sea Peoples – with the US as the nominal agent in charge of Policy (for now). At one time it was Britain that help the Policy…and created the Zionish agency called Israel, there of course the Policy is frank and clear, ain’t it? UK and transnational zionists (traitors?) now steer the Policy, while the US spends itself into degradation and chaos. The Policy is turning on itself…for the US.

    As Putin remarked, it is a dangerous policy. It is destroying the USA.

    Putin might have mentioned how Russia prevented European control over our Civil War…will they do that for us again? Otherwise the Bear will dance with with the dragon all alone, also dangerous, eh?

    I would remark that the Bolton statement makes sense, as it is, in order to control the Heartland, absolutely essential to maintain a constellation of pied-à-terre (forward operating bases) in the landmass of Heartland – at any cost. This Strategy is not an option, it is essential. And it is also closely similar in motivation to that expressed by King George in 1914 at all costs a reason for war must be found, quoth the King… (Otherwise the Germans and the Russian would control the Heartland and the Royal Navy would become useless to control trade at sea….

    Accordingly, the strong “highly likely” next phase will be violent…possibly also diffuse, as the Donbass conflict is said to hot white hot about mid September… Maybe not, but the flow of history suggests a terrible next phase at several forward operating loci within Heartland mass.

    • Rob
      September 12, 2018 at 10:55

      Ah, the good old Heartland strategy. You write as though it is something sacred, a divine truth. In fact, it is just one of a number of geopolitical theories, whose validity remains uncertain. Your devotion to this theory is tantamount to an act of religious faith.

      As for Bolton’s statement that international laws are not binding upon the United States, only the Constitution is, evidently Bolton the Dolton is unaware of the clause in the Constitution that declares that all international treaties signed and ratified by the United States are the law of the land and are just as binding as laws against theft and murder. But sociopaths like Bolton do not feel bound by any laws or norms that might impede them achieving their own perverse goals.

      • Walter
        September 12, 2018 at 15:16

        Heartland Principle is one of several mechanisms, naturally. It is alone, however, sufficient to establish the necessity of the forward operating loci. Other mechanisms as well may also be stand-alone proofs of necessity. However Heartland being well understood and in common understanding, it seems like the best example.

        Is Geography a “divine truth”? Is algebra? As Poincaré but it, as far as I recall, these things are convenient. Not true.

        Heartland is convenient, as it accounts for the objective reality.

        No one in my area believes in any faith, brother. I can pass on ad hominem, and mind readers…

        Bolton, get this, repudiated the entire body of international law…that this is illegal, unconstitutional is the obvious point of mentioning it.

      • JRGJRG
        September 12, 2018 at 17:34

        Bolton’s speech on the jurisdiction of international treaties is here.
        He essentially declared war on the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday, threatening sanctions against the Hague judges, for daring to investigate credible allegations of US war crimes and torture in Afghanistan. Bush Jr. withdrew the US from the Rome Treaty that established the ICC in 2002.
        Bolton’s threatened sanctions against the international war crimes judges were stated as: “ICC judges and prosecutors would be barred from entering the US and their funds in the US would be targeted. We will prosecute them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans,”
        Bush pushed through what became nicknamed the “Hague Invasion Act,” which authorized use of military force against The Netherlands to rescue any American war criminals, (such as Henry Kissinger, perhaps?) held by the ICC.
        Why do I keep getting this feeling that the US neocon foreign policy wonks always ask themselves the question, “What would Hitler do?”

  29. Mild -ly - Facetious
    September 12, 2018 at 09:40

    Ray McGovern wrote: “Last week Trump warned Russian and Syria not to attack Idlib. Trump faces perhaps his biggest test as president: whether he can resist his neocon advisers and not massively attack Syria, as Obama chose not to, or risk the wider war he accused his Republican opponents of fomenting.”

    I’m shamefully amazed, Ray McGovern, at your heartfelt faith in this airhead – blithering idiot – troglodyte President Donald Trump.

    The United States of America OWNS this Tragic Situation in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon, Western Sahara; including the Refugee Crisis !!!!! — There CAN BE NO PEACE IN THE REGION AS LONG AS WE, THE UNITED STATES, CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ARMS TO BOTH SIDES IN THIS WAR OF ATTRITION — THAT WE STARTED WITH THE FALSE FLAG OPERATION ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 — A PLANNED DECEPTION… .

    • Gregory Casey
      September 13, 2018 at 07:57

      Never a truer word!! But there is a real problem in both America and in England and it is that primary sources of information for the masses ……… SKY BBC ITV Channel 4 Times Telegraph Express Mail Mirror Guardian CNN ABC CBC NBC MSNBC FOX NY Times WaPo et al publish the propaganda issuing forth from State Department, White House, Defense Department Whitehall Downing Street both blindly and unquestioningly : whatever trace of truth happens to escape these filters is immediately rubbished on TV-Chat Shows that have replaced objective News and so, whenever there is even a question mark ticked against actions of US & UK Foreign & Defence Policy, the wrath of God (almost) immediately falls upon whatever brave-heart happens to utter it leaving ordinary everyday people who pay little attention to anything other than headlines and opening paras of stories completely in thrall to which ever lie happens to be the dish of the day. Unless and until our primary media sources actually begin to question and report both honestly and truthfully, there is little, if any hope of overturning the Defence Establishment that is NATO and N Atlantic Alliance that requires an ENEMY at all times in order that it may justify the obscene amounts of taxpayers’ money……… whether tax revenues or borrowings, being wasted on Military / Defence spending on both sides of the Atlantic.

  30. September 12, 2018 at 09:04

    “When the Nukes Start Flying”

    When the nuclear missiles start flying
    The result will be many millions dying
    Planet earth will be all aflame
    Nothing will ever be the same

    “Our leaders” will be hiding in their safe quarters
    Hoping to escape the deadly horrors
    Mad men of the earth who caused this fiery hell
    “ Honourable” idiots with nothing left to sell

    Useless scumbags in a now useless world
    Their “victory” dreams are now fulfilled
    Now they have nowhere to run or go
    The stupid bastards now reap what they sow

    Sadly, many innocent people will also suffer and die
    Victims of the madmen who sent hellfire from the sky
    Hell on earth becomes the final solution
    Courtesy of maniacs who pay no restitution

    This is what happens when war criminals rule
    And people obey these bloody fools!
    A corrupt system brings death and dying
    This is what happens when the Nukes start flying…

    [more info at link below]

    • mike k
      September 12, 2018 at 11:42

      Good one Stephen!

  31. September 12, 2018 at 09:01

    Vietnam was a sobering defeat but it didn’t take many years to abandon sobriety and when the USSR collapsed, we became raging drunks again. Sadly, only another Vietnam will dry us out and that is really scary for us and the world.

  32. September 12, 2018 at 08:44

    Do they have school buses in Idlib? Right now America is now targeting these yellow and black weapons of mass destruction…

    US Provided “Intelligence” and Bomb Used in Massacre of Yemeni Schoolchildren

  33. Joe Tedesky
    September 12, 2018 at 08:41

    Thank you Ray for the walk down memory lane. If not for you Ray reminding us of Putin’s address for our two countries to find a better way we would not hear such Putin remarks. That’s because, as you know Ray, the agenda set down for our MSM doesn’t have room for such honesty. Sorry to say most Americans never hear of Putin’s levelheaded approach to such geopolitical problems, for our MSM has orders to paint the Kremlin leader as a thug.

  34. Sally Snyder
    September 12, 2018 at 08:01

    As shown in this article, one major American company has taken steps to ensure that the world doesn’t hear Syria’s viewpoint on the final push of the Syrian civil war:


    History has shown that conquering forces almost always try to control the media as a key part of taking over a nation.

    • john wilson
      September 12, 2018 at 12:08

      Try having a look at Real.video instead as they are starting to get a lot of clicks.

  35. OlyaPola
    September 12, 2018 at 07:48

    “Donald Trump faces his biggest decision”

    Framing is a form of condensing facilitating strategic myopia, in this case through seeking to assign prime and/or sole agency to a participant in an interactive system, rendered possible by “exceptionalism”, “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident” and consequent “plausible belief”.

  36. Tom Welsh
    September 12, 2018 at 07:22

    ‘National Intelligence Director James Clapper paid the President an unannounced visit to caution him that the allegation that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack in Ghouta was “not a slam dunk.”’

    My vocabulary is continually being expanded as I read about the activities of those politicians.

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” means “I did have sexual relations with that woman”.

    “Highly likely” means “untrue”.

    “Not a slam dunk” means “untrue.

    • Walter
      September 13, 2018 at 09:04

      The torture of Language is ordinary in conflict, and the torture we see of American Language, is simply of Forth Reich mirror of the torture seen within the Third Reich… witness “Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1472507215/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i1

      Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich (Amazon has it, but it’s ‘spensive…) Is also a worthwhile read. Many will notice that the “neoconz” use language lifted from the nazi German….

      Einstein compared Lukud zionists with the nazis….and the neoconz are indistinguishable from them…his letter about the zionistnazis was published in the NYT….

  37. mike k
    September 12, 2018 at 07:21

    In a foolish attempt to get the neocons off his back, Trump invited them into the White House. Whatever authority Trump may have had when he was elected, he has squandered it now, and the crazy parasites are in charge. Far from being the “Boss Man” he portrayed on his reality TV show, the “hired help” now runs his business.

    • September 12, 2018 at 10:42

      Not so sure about the “get them off his back.”

      His appointments and policies reflect, I think, two realities.

      One, as Bob Woodward identifies, is Trump’s inability to deal with real situations that he doesn’t like and the resulting anger and confusion he generates. The appointment of horrors like Bolton and Haley and Pompeo represent confusion big-time.

      Two, his ego demands reelection. Well, he has literally been lining up any big-money support he can get, as Sheldon Adelson. The quid-pro-quo for that support are appointments like we see and insane decisions like tearing up the Iran Agreement and moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

      Both acts actually illegal and foolish but heavily lobbied for by Israel’s lobby. But illegality never troubled Trump. His little real estate empire is built on it. Adelson, by the way, helps keep Netanyahu afloat with money and publicity.

      • Lucius Patrick
        September 13, 2018 at 02:45

        So much better than what Hillary would have done… Are we dropping more bombs or less? Are we throwing coups inviting ww3? Easy to underestimate Trump…

      • Lucius Patrick
        September 13, 2018 at 03:07

        Appointments of Bolton, Haley, and Pompeo representing Trump’s inability to deal with real situations? Or representing his ability to deal with very real situations? Woodward not looking so good now–I used to respect him, not sure I do anymore. His “Plan of Attack” seems to agree with Bush for going into Iraq. Watergate was a long time ago; could it be that his assets there were youthful energy, hard work and luck, and not perceptual genius?

  38. David G
    September 12, 2018 at 05:55

    I remember when the Times ran that Putin op-ed: I recall them getting a goodly amount of grief about it from various quarters, even though running occasional op-eds by foreign leaders and ambassadors, even “unfriendly” ones, is long-established practice there.

    In retrospect, that was one of the first indications I had that the anti-Russia sentiment was shifting into the phantasmagorical, neo-McCarthyite realm that has since prevailed.

  39. H.J.Schmid
    September 12, 2018 at 05:38

    According to the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations testimony, the White Helmets have already prepared themselves for their coming false flag “Chemical attack by Assad on its own people” by kidnapping 44 children to be used as requisites in the staged “rescuing efforts”. Remember this when you see the piled up corpses of the innocent or footage of their death in agony, murdered in cold blood by the celebrated heroes of Western war-propaganda. These heinous acts of barbarity have been planned and ordered in the headquarters of US/UK/NATO military intelligence, paid generously by the European and American taxpayer.

    How much longer are we gonna sit and watch quietly as this is done IN OUR NAME?

  40. September 12, 2018 at 05:05

    And so it goes….Thank you Ray for the “lessons of the past”, lessons which are so important to our survival, but erased from the Deep State-owned media. Thomas Jefferson, a president who risked his life by signing the U.S. Declaration of Independence, wrote many wise statements. Of them this strikes me as super important. He wrote: “Information is the currency of a democracy.” They have stolen the currency and the means for citizens to know the truth. Meanwhile their pursuit of war profits spirals the world toward oblivion. We can only cling to the hope that enlightened leaders like Putin, a kindred spirit to Jefferson, can save us.

    • September 12, 2018 at 06:24

      The real Jefferson was pretty much a scoundrel in almost everything he did.

      His elegant slogans and phrases serve as a kind of disinformation.

      Here’s a few things about Tom:


      • David G
        September 12, 2018 at 06:32

        The quotation cited by Bruce R Dooley is spurious, so we can declare this one a draw between Jefferson fans and detractors.

      • penrose
        September 12, 2018 at 12:01

        RE: The real Jefferson was pretty much a scoundrel in almost everything he did.
        His elegant slogans and phrases serve as a kind of disinformation.

        The real Abe Lincoln was pretty much a scoundrel in almost everything he did.
        His slogans and phrases serve as a kind of disinformation.

        Excellent summary of old Honest Abe. :)

        • historicus
          September 12, 2018 at 13:12

          Let’s remember this about his adversary the southern Confederacy, that it was formed by a small clique of oligarchs who refused to accept the result of a free national election that they had done everything in their power to sabotage. This included keeping Lincoln’s name off the ballot in the nine states they controlled and wrecking the Democratic Party’s nominating convention in Charleston.

          In 1860, for the first time in American history, the slaveholder lobby lost control of the White House, so they said “screw democracy” and left – even though with their northern Democrat allies they still controlled Congress and the Supreme Court.

          As for “saving” slavery, Plank Four of the 1860 Republican Party platform explicitly guaranteed federal non-interference in the domestic institutions of those states whose laws gave slavery “legal existence” within their borders. But if you read almost any southern newspaper from 1860, you’ll find that Lincoln planned to immediately abolish slavery by executive decree, grant the freedmen full political and social rights, including the right to “amalgamate” with your daughters and sisters, and that his running mate, the nationally unknown Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, was himself a black man. “Fake news” promoted by a cynical elite is not a new phenomenon.

          Meanwhile, the U.S. War Department, headed in the 1850’s by the Virginian John Floyd and earlier by Jefferson Davis himself, ordered many tons of modern munitions transferred from northern to southern arsenals, in preparation for the war they long plotted against American democracy.

          • penrose
            September 12, 2018 at 14:35

            The best thing that could have happened for America and the World would have been for America to start splitting up instead of remaining as a single Monolithic Monstrosity.

  41. September 12, 2018 at 04:52

    Its all in the cake mix
    Rinse ,Lather and Repeat
    Did anyone rmember Bush Jrs run at the presedincy 2000. Less intervention against the Globalist fear porn artist Gore the bore.
    Its the same play book different year anglo-zionist live and die for such deception.
    NOVOCHOK anyone WMD anyone or the infamous Chilcott inquiry that in a round about way actually exposed the whole deception and gaslighting.
    Oh how Orwellian the times we r living

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