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Caesar’s Palace: 5 questions on America’s latest round of Syria sanctions

Philip Roddis

While debate rages on whether the statues of colonial plunderers should be tossed into rivers or otherwise removed as blots on civilised landscapes – and as we progressives virtue-signal our damning of racism while enjoying to varying degree its fruits[1] – looting and sacking of the global south continues apace.

Only now we don’t call it colonialism. Direct rule of Asia, Africa and “Latin” America, which for all its horrors imposed a modicum of responsibility on Europe’s maritime powers, has largely gone.[2] Now we have the arm’s length – market discipline – controls of imperialism, practised by the former colonial powers and a good few more, all in the global north.[3]

(Like ‘ruling class’, I ration my use of ‘imperialism’. It puts off readers who might otherwise be receptive to the things I say. And as with ‘ruling class’ – defined by its monopoly ownership of some essential of wealth creation – I offer a simple but robust core definition. Imperialism is the export of capital from north to south, and repatriation of profits in the reverse direction. These remarkably consistent flows are empirical facts, as IMF, WTO and World Bank data attest.)

As with colonial powers, the imperialist powers are either armed to the teeth (Britain, France, USA) or in half competitive cahoots (Germany, Japan) with those that are. Almost as important, their control of narrative and ability to manufacture consent, subject of a recent post, enables them to sell wars of profit, the victims overwhelmingly brown skinned, as altruistic intervention in the Gladstonian tradition, and/or as defensive moves to take out a Threat To Us All.

This is by way of scene setting. Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the world of a new round of sanctions dubbed, for reasons I’ll get to in a moment, the Caesar Act. It targets the last remaining Ba’athist state.[4] Here’s a press release by the State Department, though Pompeo’s tweets give the gist.

But how do sanctions impact on people in the nations targeted? Why “Caesar” Act? Why trust a word of what Washington says about Syria? Why trust a word of what Mike Pompeo says about anything? What do America and its junior partners really want in Syria?

The rest of this post is dedicated to addressing these questions.

What harm do sanctions inflict?

For many a decade we’ve been nurtured in a view of sanctions (preferable to the harsher term, ‘blockade’) as almost benign – the gentle nudging by a caring parent to encourage a wayward child to mend her ways. The most serious puncturing of so naive and rose-tinted a view came when, it having emerged that half a million Iraqi children under five had died as a result of Bill Clinton’s sanctions, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright defended them as “a price worth paying”.

Though their creators deny this, sanctions kill indiscriminately and are intended to do just that.

(Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, now a thorn in the side of the boss who cut him loose, let the cat out of this bag when he declared his desire to see ordinary Iranians suffer to the point where, in desperation, they rose up to overthrow the theocrats in Tehran.)

But they do have this one merit. Thanks to that naïve view of them – damaged but not fatally so by the utterances of Albright and Bolton, and by UN/WHO data few read – sanctions, unlike bombs and returning body bags, never bring people out onto the streets of Western cities.

Why is this round of sanctions called the Caesar Act?

This from a CounterPunch piece of March 2016:

On 20 January 2014, two days before negotiations about the Syrian conflict were scheduled to begin in Switzerland, a sensational report burst onto television and front pages around the world. The story was that a former Syrian army photographer had 55,000 photographs documenting the torture and killing of 11,000 detainees by the Syrian security establishment.

The Syrian photographer was given the code-name ‘Caesar’. The story became known as the “Caesar Torture Photos”. A team of lawyers plus digital and forensic experts were hired by the Carter-Ruck law firm, on contract to Qatar, to go to the Middle East and check the veracity of “Caesar” and his story. They concluded that “Caesar” was truthful and the photographs indicated “industrial scale killing”.

CNN, London’s Guardian and LeMonde broke the story which was subsequently broadcast in news reports around the world. The Caesar photo accusations were announced as negotiations began in Switzerland. With the opposition demanding the resignation of the Syrian government, negotiations quickly broke down.

The piece goes on to list no fewer than a dozen “significant problems with the ‘Caesar torture photos’ story”. To be sure, the lies already proven of Western media and politicians in respect of Syria are huge. But for reasons I’ll go into, even if everything said of Assad and the Damascus “regime” were true, I’d still oppose imperialism’s dirty war on Syria.

But at least we know why it’s called the Caesar Act. Who knows? Maybe it’ll pop up, many years from now, in a round of Trivial Pursuits.

Why should we trust what Washington says about Syria?

No good reason – but a few dreadful ones. By any number of metrics, America is the world’s foremost rogue state. What would your proverbial Martian make of its unique and militarily unnecessary[5] use of nuclear weapons … proliferation across the planet of military bases which outnumber those of all other nations combined … the chilling extent to which armaments are key to the US economy … the non stop wars on the global south … the flouting of inconvenient UN resolutions … the underwriting of Israeli apartheid and backing of coups to install far more Washington friendly dictatorships than I can keep count of?

Why then is it given a free pass by so many of us? Why, in the face of overwhelming and quite damning evidence, is the good ol’ US of A seen as a force for good? I’ve gone into this question elsewhere and more than once. Here I’ll confine myself to the basics.

One, it helps that, thanks to a previous apex predator, English is the world’s lingua franca. The advantage is incalculable as the hard propaganda of news delivery, and the soft propaganda of the entertainment industries, paint a nuanced but – as the final credits roll – ultimately glowing picture of Uncle Sam.

Two, America emerged from WW2 as the stronger of two new superpowers. Three, this reality was cemented by Bretton Woods, Marshall Plan – and, later, Nixon’s decoupling from gold, and arrival of the petrodollar system. All in the context of a cold war on the other superpower.

Other imperialist nations, as they more or less reluctantly withdrew from their colonies, had to choose between looking to Moscow or to Washington. This was a no-brainer, the occasional outburst of resentment – from France especially – notwithstanding. In a world divided between the Good Guys of a Free West, and the Bad Guys lurking behind the Iron Curtain and itching to enslave us all, Washington was our protector and saviour from Red Tyranny. Now things are a little more complex – not least because in the War on Terror it spearheads, America has a habit of covertly backing The Enemy in places like Syria[6] – but the legacy has life in it yet.

Why should we trust what Mike Pompeo says about anything?

Phew! I’m tired and wanting a coffee break. I needed an easy question.

What do America and its junior partners really want in Syria?

In Israel: a Beachhead for the West – see my review – Stephen Gowans says this:

The ultimate purpose of dominating another country is to secure opportunities for big business to accumulate wealth. The dominated country may provide direct opportunities for wealth accumulation, or be a stepping stone to profit-making opportunities in a third country, without offering attractive opportunities of its own. Such a country may become the target of an imperialist power because favorably placed.

Perhaps it bounds important shipping lanes and is prized as a naval base from which the movement of goods can be protected from rival imperialist powers that might choke off the flow. Or perhaps the aim is to position military power at a shipping choke point. Or maybe the territory is close to enticing targets that could be absorbed through military coercion. Maybe the dominated country is close to another imperialism and attractive for encircling it.

There are scores of reasons why an imperialist power might dominate a country that offers no immediate or direct economic benefit, but all are traceable to a perceived economic advantage for the dominating country’s major investors.

In fact Syria ticks most boxes. Direct opportunities for wealth accumulation? Not as obvious as in Venezeula or Iran but do see the piece I wrote, informed not least by The Economist, on oil in a Golan Heights illegally occupied by Israel and now test drilled by Genie Energy, its board taking in Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney, a former CIA director and others in the same club.

It’s a characteristically grubby story but is in fact eclipsed by a greater imperative. The more you look into the workings of capitalism with the brakes off, i.e. the capitalism of forty years of post Keynsianism, the harder it is to avoid concluding that the goal is to privatise the world. A once free public loo monetised … casualisation of British academics in a climate of bums-on-seats marketisation … cold war to bring down the USSR … market forces unleashed with devastating effect in Walewski’s Poland … crippling debts imposed on Mandela’s South Africa … victor’s spoils in post invasion Iraq[7] … All and any opposition to that drive must, one way or another, give way.

With two Ba’athist states already reduced to chaos and terror but – hip hip hooray! – their evil statism vaporised, Damascus marks the final frontier.

Just kidding. There’s still Iran. And Venezuela. And Yemen. And China…

Gas pipeline? Syria, for the most part non oil producing, has warm water ports on the Eastern Mediterranean. These are ideally placed for a pipeline joining the big players with Europe, the world’s largest energy market. The southern route favoured by the West, through the Gulf, was eschewed in 2014 by Assad in favour of the northern route backed by Iran and Russia. Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar is good on this, though we should tread carefully. Other drivers of the dirty war on Syria are at least as important.

In fact the biggest driver of all is also addressed by Escobar, in a piece – Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration – which featured in my January reads post. I recommend reading it in full, preferably with a world map to hand. Meanwhile here’s a sample:

Russia is showing China how the West respects realpolitik power in any form, and Beijing is finally starting to use theirs. The result is that after five centuries of Western domination – which, incidentally, led to the decline of the Ancient Silk Roads – the Heartland is back, with a bang, asserting its pre-eminence …

… virtually the whole Asia-Pacific – from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean – now takes into full consideration Russia-China as a counter-force to US naval and financial overreach …

… Last summer, an Iran-Iraq-Syria trilateral established “the goal of negotiations as to activate the Iranian-Iraqi-Syria load and transport corridor as part of a wider plan for reviving the Silk Road.”

There could not be a more strategic connectivity corridor, capable of simultaneously interlinking with the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the Iran-Central Asia-China connection all the way to the Pacific; and projecting Latakia towards the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

What’s on the horizon is, in fact, a sub-sect of Belt & Road in Southwest Asia. Iran is a key node of Belt & Road; China will be heavily involved in the rebuilding of Syria; and Beijing-Baghdad signed multiple deals and set up an Iraqi-Chinese Reconstruction Fund (income from 300,000 barrels of oil a day in exchange for Chinese credit for Chinese companies rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure).

Is Western imperialism spooked by all this? Or is it spooked by all this?

But, hey, let’s not get all fancy and complicated about things! Let’s just take Mike Pompeo – a fully paid up born again bible carrier; former deacon and Sunday School teacher to boot – at face value on his Caesar Act. Life’s a whole lot simpler that way.

NOTES:-

[1] Racism was necessary to the West’s affluence. How else justify slavery, colonialism and the ethnic genocide on which the Americas and Antipodes were ‘discovered’ and settled? Oppression is always linked, though not necessarily in straightforward ways, to exploitation and class rule. (Let me add, apropos a FB exchange today with one who read my “virtue signalling” remark as an attack on BLM, that this isn’t my bag. Yes, I have criticisms of BLM but abhor sectarianism. Rather than rubbish BLM I see a need to have out the kind of arguments set out here, but from a place of solidarity in opposing racism.)^

[2] Only a few discreet colonies like Diego Garcia, prized not for their riches but their strategic location, continue, largely below the radar, to be ruled directly from afar.^

[3] ‘Global north’ is not a strictly geographic term. It includes Australia, New Zealand and Israel and in my usage is synonymous with ‘the West’ and ‘imperialism’.^

[4] Ba’athism is loosely defined as that mix of Pan Arab nationalism and state control of key sectors known as ‘Arab socialism’. For more, see my post, the Kurds in Syria.^

[5] See in this respect Eisenhower’s comments. Was the real aim at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to show the Soviet Union, as cold war dawned, what the USA could do?^

[6] Political economist Michael Hudson made this point in an essay prompted by the January assassination of General Suleimani, America Escalates its “Democratic” Oil War in the Near East. After Vietnam, US wars can no longer be waged by sending large conscript armies off to foreign lands. This leaves the US ruling class with two complementary options for imposing its will by military force: aerial supremacy and, on the ground, proxy forces which absolutely include terrorism. Hence Hudson’s depiction of Isis, Al Quaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra etc as “America’s Foreign Legion”.^

[7] The fates of Poland, South Africa, Iraq and other nations are comprehensively documented in Naomi Klein’s outstanding Shock Doctrine.^

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Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jun 22, 2020 11:13 PM

One answer to the ‘what does the US want from Syria’ question was suggested to me by a relative many years ago around the time of the second Iraq war. This person is an irrigation specialist who has done a number of significant contracts in the region and knows the area well. We all thought the Iraq war was about oil but he suggested it really was about water. Iraq has by far the largest reserves of water in the region, reserves that are not all tapped. Meanwhile Israel’s growth potential is limited by its water supply — its wars and incursions into Golan, and southern Lebanon are more about securing watersheds than any notion of military security. (Even the West Bank’s outline makes more sense when you think of it as a giant aquifer.)
 
Although it might sound a bit outlandish to think in terms of supplying Iraqi water to Israel via an aqueduct that runs through Syria this isn’t unusual — in the part of the US I live in our tapwater comes from a mountain range over 400 miles away, crossing another significant mountain range en route. This history of our part of the US has been dominated by water politics — everything comes down to managing the supply of fresh water.

Penny
Penny
Jun 22, 2020 11:52 AM

Looks as if the US has already promised to exempt their Kurdish allies from the sanctions. Not a shocker when one understands this is the remake the region in action. This is certainly a move beneficial to the creation of Israel 2.0- and harmful to Syria as a whole
 
Kurdish-led authorities in Syria in talks over U.S. sanctions exemption 
“Badran Jia Kurd, a vice president of the regional administration, said the sanctions would have an impact on his area which trades with government-held Syria via local merchants and uses the Syrian pound, which has plunged in value.
 
“They will lead to increase in prices to a very great degree and to weakness in trade activity with the Syrian interior, while on the other hand crossings to Iraq are closed, meaning the region was already living an economic siege,” Jia Kurd said.
 
“They told us the self-administration regions will be exempt from the Caesar sanctions but the mechanisms and means to achieve this exemption are being discussed with the international coalition.”
 
“We hope there will be international support for our regions given that they are fighting a continuing war against global terrorism,” Jia Kurd wrote.
 
Yup, fighting “global terrorism” That’s what the US does with it’s allies, UK, France. Israel. And the Usrael Kurds.
 
“The coalition has said the sanctions do not impede humanitarian assistance or hinder “coalition stabilization activities in northeast Syria”.
 

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 21, 2020 5:36 AM

From Gordon: “Syria is classic … slow country take down”
 
That seems to sum up the moral indignation on this thread — pity for the victim. What seems to have been overlooked is the Axis of Resistance:
 
Already firm, the Syria-Lebanon-Iran-Russia-China axis

Firming up, Iraq-Libya-Venezuela-Egypt
 
Back in the year 2000 AngloZioCapitalistan had a plan: “We are going to take out 7 countries in 5 years”, mostly countries with banks not yet owned by Rothschild. Twenty years later, Syria and Iran are still standing, their banks still state-owned. “Slow” is the operative word for this attempted take down.
 
“There was a stone in the middle of the road / In the middle of the road there was a stone…”
 
The stone was called Syria.
 
 

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 21, 2020 8:27 AM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

Likewise, resistance against Zionazism is firming up on the civil front. From Truth News:
 
“Canada’s Security Council defeat is a win for Palestine 
Just Peace Advocates organized 1,300 individuals to email all UN ambassadors asking them [succesfully] to vote for Ireland and Norway instead of Canada for the Security Council. …Canada’s permanent representative to the UN …responded with [an unsuccessful] letter defending Canada’s [anti-Palestinian] policy…
 
Not only has Canada’s [Zionazi] voting record … undercut its standing within the General Assembly, the Canadian public doesn’t want the government pursuing anti-Palestinian positions. … 74% of Canadians wanted Ottawa to express opposition to Israel’s plan to formally annex [a further] large swath of the West Bank, with 42% of the public desiring … some sort of sanction against Israel …. The Trudeau [regime] has not only isolated Canada … regarding Palestinian rights at the UN, but … contravene the wishes of most Canadians”
 
http://alethonews.com/2020/06/20/canadas-security-council-defeat-is-a-win-for-palestine/

gordon
gordon
Jun 21, 2020 12:36 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

we cannot overlook a simple fact trump putin are surrounded by chabad.
boris is a donmeh turk who self identify as jews.
 
putin went in when syria had already been made year zero maneuvers
 
putin is in lockstep with the rockerfella skank covids as is iran
 
 
division of spoils inter mafia inter gang maneuvers 
 
gangs counter gangs and pseudo
 
no good guys here
 

paul
paul
Jun 21, 2020 6:18 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

He’s also isolated Canada by acting as a Neocon catspaw over Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela, turning it into just another yapping poodle like Britain.
China has withdrawn its ambassador and treated Canada with complete contempt since the Huawei fiasco. Canada is now widely regarded as a joke where it previously had some authority and moral standing.

Penny
Penny
Jun 22, 2020 11:55 AM
Reply to  paul

Canada has always been duplicitous in it’s dealings for as long now as I can recall… Perhaps Canadians believed Canada had morals and authority, but, that was never the case.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 7:15 AM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

Part of the Firm Resistance, a first anniversary for Iran:
 
Iran’s air defence forces shot down a US spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz on June 20, 2019. Iran’s state of the art long range missile system successfully evaded a large aerial decoy (carrying U$ marines offered up by Uncle $cam as bait!) and homed in on the U$ Terrorist State’s much smaller RQ-4A Global Hawk drone.
 
“They said it couldn’t be done…”.

Reg
Reg
Jun 21, 2020 1:27 AM

Syria must be holding out against the fanatical new religion of disease, lockdown, the new abnormal and international usurers.

Einstein
Einstein
Jun 20, 2020 8:13 PM

What is nauseating about British policy is we’re supporting the worst (fanatical jihadis) against the best (secular egalitarians). Consider the protagonists:
CV Assad of Syria:
Elected 2014-2019 with 60% vote, secular leader tolerant of all minorities, including Jews and Christians. Egalitarian, with women in parliament and the professions. President’s party holds 134 seats in Parliament, opposition holds 116 seats.
 
CV Salman of Arabia:
hereditary absolute monarch. No parliament. Religious law (‘sharia’). No women allowed unaccompanied, free on the streets. Promotes Wahhabism, intolerant of all religions, even differing versions of Islam. Promotes these views violently. Public corporal punishment or death penalty for dissent.
 
Which side do you think the UK people support?
Which side do you think the UK government support?

Loverat
Loverat
Jun 20, 2020 9:05 PM
Reply to  Einstein

That’s about the sum of it.

And add in the support for apartheid Israel by vast sections of the Conservative and Labour party and you can see why they and mainstream media are the biggest threat to Syria and the Middle East, UK security and humanity in general.

gordon
gordon
Jun 20, 2020 9:19 PM
Reply to  Einstein

do a search on the destruction of the ancient buildings of mecca and medina
search for the story of burnt koran thousands of them in drains.
 
the house of saud is a zionist satanic british project
the greatest insult using donmeh turkic khazar pirates followers of zvi and jacob frank talmoodick front men for the rothschild family satanists all
 
feel free to down vote it is a badge of honor
 
these british map makers designed open wounds that are designed to never heal
weakness for all
 
oded yinon like a cog always moving

snuffleupagus
snuffleupagus
Jun 21, 2020 2:14 AM
Reply to  Einstein

Which side do you think the UK people support?
 
I suspect that the majority of the UK population, as also the US population, have their head so far up their ass that they couldn’t distinguish between Syria and Saudi Barbaria, if they were shown a map.
 
Even the ones who are now clamouring to tear down the statues of long-dead colonialists and slaveowners, apparently haven’t considered that their efforts might be better spent opposing the colonialism that is currently occurring, than that where both the victims and the perpetrators have been dead for centuries.
 
It’s almost as if their entire consciousness has been derived from the mainstream media, which has suddenly started wringing its hands about forms of oppression that it until recently ignored, while assuring the audience that all problems can be resolved through the fundamental benevolence of the bourgeois political system.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Jun 21, 2020 9:50 AM
Reply to  snuffleupagus

”Even the ones who are now clamouring to tear down the statues of long-dead colonialists and slaveowners, apparently haven’t considered that their efforts might be better spent opposing the colonialism that is currently occurring, than that where both the victims and the perpetrators have been dead for centuries.”
 
How true. The political backwardness of these people is breathtaking.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 3:57 AM
Reply to  snuffleupagus

“Even the ones who are now clamouring to tear down the statues of long-dead colonialists and slaveowners, apparently haven’t considered that their efforts might be better spent opposing the colonialism that is currently occurring, than that where both the victims and the perpetrators have been dead for centuries.”

Many of the BTL habitués of sites like this have taken to demonizing Julian Assange for making precisely the same point in the context of ‘911’.

snuffleupagus
snuffleupagus
Jun 22, 2020 7:34 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

the Terror War, for which the 9/11 operation serves as the essential enabling pretext, shows no signs of slowing down, so the “catastrophic and catalyzing event” which launched it continues to be of immediate importance and relevance.
 
anybody who fails to understand this point, is either an idiot or a shill, or perhaps both.

paul
paul
Jun 20, 2020 7:51 PM

They do like these melodramatic pseudonyms for their propaganda mouthpieces.
Curveball, Caesar.
No great surprise that the Qatar dictatorship and human rights superpower (only 5 years imprisonment for gays) would bankroll the whole shindig. They spent $5 billion in just one arms deal with Croatia to arm their proxy head choppers and throat slitters in Syria. Compared to that, even Carter Ruck’s inflated bills must have seemed like a snip.
Strange how we always get a Shock-Horror-Gasp atrocity story or Gas Hoax the day before any political negotiations. If you were cynically inclined (God forbid) you might think this was all being choreographed to sabotage them.
 
The western proxy head choppers helpfully provided most of the material for the required atrocity photographs. They would take over a village, massacre all the inhabitants, and hey presto, another Assad war crime, immediately laundered through tame media hacks like Ananpour and Alex Crawford and all those splendid chaps at The Guardian and BBC.
 
Not that there is anything new in this. Cremated bodies of air raid victims in Dresden were recycled into “gassed Jews” by the Holocaust Industry. You can’t beat the old favourites.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jun 20, 2020 7:32 PM

Its been fairly obvious for years — but blatantly obvious these days — that US foreign policy in the Middle East is directed from Jerusalem. I can understand the US’s historical support for Israel but this should come as a sort of dubious bargain where their support is conditional on Israel being a good neighbor to other states in the region and a relatively benign steward of the territories it occupies. This might have been the case years ago — maybe not the reality but the intention — but all pretense of the US being honest brokers in the region has long since been dropped as ultra-right forces in both countries have flexed their political and financial muscle.
 
Seen through this lens everything that happens in the region makes sense. Its also a imperialist mindset based on the notion of societies being either civilized (‘us’) or savage (‘them’) that’s long past its sell-by date.

snuffleupagus
snuffleupagus
Jun 21, 2020 1:54 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

nonsense, as the following video makes perfectly clear, US foreign policy is directed from Washington.
 


Calamity Jane
Calamity Jane
Jun 20, 2020 6:37 PM

https://eyreinternational.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/the-new-world-order-part-1/
British empire: throwing rocks in glass houses.
UK is a” partner” and joined in all the illegal invasions and atrocities as you can see from the link there is no ” America” just an all encompassing global war machine called “Washington” (that includes other nations).
 

Aldous Hexley
Aldous Hexley
Jun 20, 2020 5:58 PM

Ah yes
 
Let me have men about me that are fat,
sleek-headed men, and such as sleep at nights.
 
Another good article on the Syria topic.
 
Excerpt:
 
The US has multiple goals. One goal is to prevent Syria from recovering. Another goal is to prolong the conflict and damage those countries who have assisted Syria. With consummate cynicism and amorality, the US Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey described his task: “My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.” Evidently there has been no significant change in foreign policy assumptions and goals since the US and Saudi Arabia began interfering in Afghanistan in 1979.
 
https://original.antiwar.com/Rick_Sterling/2020/06/19/caesar-tries-to-suffocate-17-million-syrians/
 
 

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jun 20, 2020 5:27 PM

Render Unto Caesar
 
If you didn’t know the Caesar Act was the name of another US sanction imposed against Syria you’d think it was an historical term referring to Julius Caesar and ancient Rome. But in a strange way that’s not so far off, since not too much has changed in more than 2,000 years. The other day, I was reading about madman Caligula the third Roman Emperor who sadistically reigned for just four years. What was especially interesting was Caligula’s relationship with Tiberius the previous Emperor. As it turned out, Tiberius had Caligula’s father, mother, and siblings murdered in the most horrific ways, but spared Caligula since he was only a toddler.  However, when Caligula was in his late teens he was summoned to one of Tiberius’s remote island retreats and for several years Caligula witnessed and took part in excessive degrading debauchery. So infect, Tiberius was grooming Caligula to be a perverted sadistic psychopath as the next Emperor of Rome. 
 
The relevance of this bit of history should not be overlooked, inasmuch, as one can travel to any continent in the 21st Century and clearly see the world’s population is controlled by greedy self-obsessed maniacs. All who were groomed by Tiberius-like predecessors on how to extract wealth and exact punishment against anyone who poses a threat to their power.  Avarice and gangsterism is baked into the global cake. As one Empire wanes another emerges with better technological prowess used to quell the oppressed.  
 
The only factor separating today’s psychopaths from the ones who lived 2,000 years ago is about 14,000 nuclear warheads. If only one nuclear bomb is launched it would trigger a series of retaliatory nuclear attacks leading to the annihilation of the planet.  It could be, that cutting-edge science is incompatible with the inherent genetic lunacy present in the human genome which is destined to result in its own self-destruction.
 
Oh by the way, Aaron Matte’s interview on Pushback about the Caesar Act is quite informative.
 

 

paul
paul
Jun 20, 2020 8:12 PM

America and Americans represent fiendish evil, the acme of evil, subhuman filth, devils in human form. No fate that could befall them would ever be bad enough. The 120,000 dead and the burning cities are nowhere near enough, not even as a down payment. There will never be any peace in the world until Americans have to watch THEIR children starving in front of them. F*** America and f*** Americans. All of them. They can all burn in hell.

Admin1
Admin
Admin1
Jun 21, 2020 1:28 AM
Reply to  paul

Even the Americans who have spent their lives opposing imperialism, or the Americans who sacrificed their livelihoods to get the truth out about JFK or 9/11? Or the Americans who are just trying to make the world a better place? Or the Americans who have already seen their kids die of preventable illness because they couldn’t afford good food or healthcare?
 
Hate like yours is the more despicable for being dressed up in fake morality. You kid yourself it’s righteous anger that makes you fantasise about slaughtering people and watching children die, because you lack the courage to face the fact you’re a sadist.
 

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
Jun 21, 2020 5:07 AM
Reply to  Admin1

I lived and worked for several years in Michigan. I’ve spent most of my adult life living and working abroad, and I’ve always made an effort to get on fine with the locals wherever I was. As a Scot I take pride in my country’s reputation for hospitality, but I can say without hesitation that the people I met in Michigan were the kindest, friendliest, most generous people I’ve ever asociated with.
 
I also worked briefly for an American “management consultancy” in the early 1980s. My American colleagues were repulsive filth without a singe redeeming characteristic. Greed-maddened sociopathic liars and cheats without a trace of human empathy, who went around bankrupting client companies and postively gloating over the misery and havoc they caused.
 
The problem is that the American system is designed to ensure that none of the former group ever get a sniff of real power, and that the country is governed, ruled and run exclusviely by the latter group.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 21, 2020 11:27 PM
Reply to  David Ferguson

Yep. Look at the virus infesting the governors mansion in Trenton. Goldman Sachs filth. It needs to go.
 
Put one or both of these two women in its place.
 
https://www.gofundme.com/f/Kim-pagan-Ayla-Wolf
 
 

God
God
Jun 21, 2020 11:04 AM
Reply to  Admin1

God, the people who Admin this site are thick as shit.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
Jun 21, 2020 1:55 PM
Reply to  God

Is this you again Louis? Give it a rest. You’re a sad obsessive.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 21, 2020 11:33 PM
Reply to  David Ferguson

Now look what Off Guardian has gone and done. It has caused God to have a nervous breakdown.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 4:27 AM
Reply to  David Ferguson

“Is this you again Louis?”

Can’t you read? It’s God addressing a comment to Himself.

paul
paul
Jun 21, 2020 4:57 PM
Reply to  Admin1

It’s gone way beyond that. You just have to accept the reality of it. They will continue to butcher and starve millions of children across the planet until they are stopped. They are not going to change voluntarily. You can’t avoid the collateral damage that goes with it. Either this is going to be stopped or allowed to continue indefinitely. Think of the children in Syria and Iran and Venezuela and North Korea they are trying to starve even now. I shed no tears for any American, even ones who aren’t directly guilty. There will be no peace in the world until their jackboot is removed from the neck of humanity and their reign of terror is finally brought to an end. Anything else is just an exercise in self delusion. America delenda est. For the sake of suffering humanity. If America was going to detach itself from the rest of the planet and float off into outer space, that would be fine, but it ain’t going to happen. So we have to see America implode financially, politically, culturally, racially and spiritually. Let their cities burn like Damascus and Aleppo. Let their children starve like children in Baghdad and Caracas. If every last American died I would not mourn a single one of them.

Admin2
Admin
Admin2
Jun 21, 2020 10:45 PM
Reply to  paul

You really have a big problem with ethnically profiling people, you know. You can’t see individuals, you see religion, colour, creed. Frankly, as much as you bluster and bluff out your defence of this childish bigotry, it is obvious to those observing that behind this fragile masculinity is a scared person – lacking, as with many who elect to hide behind prejudice, any real-world perspective, to the point of desperate naivety.

I do hope, one day, that an American person saves you in some meaningful way – Good Samaritan-style; I hope you feel compelled to look into their eyes and humbly thank them for saving all that is dear to you, all that you have, from the bottom of your heart; and that you walk away with your narrow, petty, unimaginative, resentful little world view utterly shattered.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 6:17 AM
Reply to  Admin2

“You really have a big problem with ethnically profiling people, you know. You can’t see individuals, you see religion, colour, creed.”

In terms of ‘Karma’, or ‘What goes around comes around’, it’s not so long since Donald Rumsfeld ventured to advise ordinary Iraqis that, in effect, they bore responsiblity for their own misfortunes because they had failed to oust Saddam.

Racism and its ‘civilized’ offspring Xenophobia are instincts deeply embedded in the human genome by clear, reactive* species and social survival. *They are not the product of thought but the result of ‘natural selection’: literal survival.

Every week there are press reports of massive leaks of personally compromising information from various commercial and governmental databases. Every next day thousands of commentaries advise followers of the rudiments of what is clearly ineffectual ‘online safety’. Every day after that millions of concerned citizens commit yet more personally compromising information to yet more commercial and governmental databases.

Every year there are examples of the vicious expression of rasicist and/or xenophobic violence within disparate communities or nations that had previously ‘peacefully co-existed’. Every year after that there is much confusion and concern and many commissions of enquiry and/or retribution amongst intra- and international politicians and judiciaries. Every year after that there are yet more examples of the vicious expression of rasicist and/or xenophobic violence within other disparate communities or nations that had previously ‘peacefully co-existed’.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

‘Washing out the Words of it’ is the job of the Moving Eraser which, in the service of Feeling Good, moves right along right behind it.

The function of a globalized society is not to pursue perennialy futile attempts to stop individuals expressing the socio-psychological consequences of their phenotypes but to organize society’s rewards and constraints such that egregious, publicly evident manifestations of racism and xenophobia cannot ‘legitimately’ occur while respecting the pre-rational roots of their existence in all or a large proportion of the total population.

The alternative is to breed them out (eugenics), engineer them out (CRISPR), or to persecute, even unto death, those in whom personal expression of the associated traits of pre-rational racial or xenophobic intolerance is most genetically or epigenetically rendered dominant, along with those who cynically manipulate such expression in others for personal or social gain. Take your pick. At this point in time you can’t have ‘free speech’ if the phenotypical assholes amongst us can’t defecate.

paul
paul
Jun 23, 2020 12:27 AM
Reply to  Admin2

Those lofty sentiments must be a great comfort to the parents of starving children in Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, DPRK, Iran.

Admin2
Admin
Admin2
Jun 23, 2020 2:23 AM
Reply to  paul

That’s not a counterargument. That’s a strawman argument, suggesting that respect for the lives of innocent US civilians and respect for the lives of starving Iraqi children are somehow mutually exclusive. Simplistic and naive. You are wasting your energy, turning yourself into a racist caricature, constantly undermining otherwise very valid posts which we can’t publish due to our Comment Policy. Do you enjoy being utterly self-defeating?

Aldous Hexley
Aldous Hexley
Jun 21, 2020 4:34 PM
Reply to  paul

Is this the same Paul I’ve been reading elsewhere in these threads?
 
Too bad when rage and hatred take over like this, a sort of embryonic holocaust, the human beast snarling with teeth bared. Paul here is offering the same mentality that ascribes to plucking babies from mothers on the spike ends of bayonets. Other sentiments here, the generalized, “thick as shit” et al, are more of the same. The beast gets off on its savagery. Scapegoating is easier than thinking.
 
I’m an immigrant American and have lived here many years off and on and can say ordinary Americans, the sheeple, most of them, are not political at all. You’d expect they might be, given its history and its constitution and amendments and all that, but they’re not. And this denseness has only gotten worse in my experience here.
 
Flags fly from porches everywhere, in classrooms, on holidays the streets are lined with flags every few feet, every sporting context requires patriotic music in the vein of “land of the free home of the brave” and when Kaepernick takes a knee instead of standing with hand on heart for the national anthem he is excoriated as some kind of traitor, I’m sure a lot of people said he should be shot. It’s this kind of indoctrinated “we’re always right” sentiment, thickly layered, that mostly I think pertains to the “political” nature of the average not particularly well-off American. It’s ignorance and being too busy to reflect much on things.
 
I too had the same snarling beast attitude toward all Germans for much of my life because of my experiences as a child in Britain circa 1940. I was generalizing in this same stupid way, with a life-long prejudice. Most Americans I meet now are decent people, caring and friendly, but when it comes to politics it’s basically impossible to have a discussion. Even ones I have thought quite intelligent cannot deal with the current set of in-your-face contradictions with the virus thing. The most absurd, even comical, behaviors are now in place like some kind of patriotic ballet.
 
I have lost acquaintances over this and must keep conversation to how you doin’? kind of levels. Most I’m sure would not support (or know much about–an acquaintance recently, for example, snarling at me on where I was getting my information, said piously his main sources were CNN and NPR)–they would not support or know much about hideous foreign policy or domestic brutality, nor the imbalanced nature of the economy and rapacious greed at the top. A lot of them are suffering from this greed fiasco run amok. Hundreds of thousands now homeless.
 
As an old fuck now I see anger as violence. I try to restrain it. I am just as much a beast of my angers as ever however, so it’s a constant work. It certainly isn’t going to solve anything.
 
 

snuffleupagus
snuffleupagus
Jun 20, 2020 5:18 PM

this article has the subject tag “imperialilsm”. not surprisingly, it is the only one on this website so identified, whereas there are numerous articles with the competing tag “imperialism”.

snuffleupagus
snuffleupagus
Jun 21, 2020 1:48 AM
Reply to  snuffleupagus

I guess the downvoter is somebody who thinks that the subject of “imperialilsm” needs to be more widely discussed.

Aldous Hexley
Aldous Hexley
Jun 20, 2020 5:03 PM

Thanks for the link to M. Hudson in note 6 (article from early January, 2020). Helpful on understanding assassination of Soleimani and others.
 
https://michael-hudson.com/2020/01/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/
 
(I haven’t seen verification of this lately, but I believe Iraq gave the US 12 months to remove troops.)
 
Excerpt
 
 

The message is that the assassination of General Soleimani was to protect us. As Donald Trump and various military spokesmen have said, he had killed Americans – and now they must be planning an enormous attack that will injure and kill many more innocent Americans. That stance has become America’s posture in the world: weak and threatened, requiring a strong defense – in the form of a strong offense.

But what is Iran’s actual interest? If it is indeed to undercut U.S. dollar and oil strategy, the first policy must be to get U.S. military forces out of the Near East, including U.S. occupation of its oil fields. It turns out that President Trump’s rash act has acted as a catalyst, bringing about just the opposite of what he wanted. On January 5 the Iraqi parliament met to insist that the United States leave. General Suleimani was an invited guest, not an Iranian invader. It is U.S. troops that are in Iraq in violation of international law. If they leave, Trump and the neocons lose control of oil – and also of their ability to interfere with Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese mutual defense.

 

James
James
Jun 22, 2020 5:50 AM
Reply to  Aldous Hexley

Trouble is the UN is a joke completely controlled by the USA. How is it possible if there was a fully functioning United Nations that the USA could invade & stay in Syria? –Or anywhere else they have invade & stayed without being invited ?
 
The USA is the mother of all Terrorist Nations. It’s annoying & frustrating that Russia doesn’t throw down the gauntlet & physically force them out of Syria for a start. I’m beginning to doubt Putin’s intentions. What could USA do? They haven’t enough troops close by & if they ramped it up all their unprotected bases could be subjected to Rocket attacks. They’re COWARDS & would fold as they have elsewhere.

Edwige
Edwige
Jun 20, 2020 4:26 PM

A figure whose role in all this ought to be better understand (at least here in the UK) is Gene Sharp. Sharp sounds like a good guy – he loved Gandhi, went to prison for protesting against conscription in the Korean War and played a part in organising the marches on Aldermaston.
 
Hang on though…. dig a little deeper and this architect of non-violence looks altogether less benign. It was Sharp who listed sanctions (more cuddly sounding than ‘blockade’) as a means of non-violence. This must be a surprise to the thousands who starved to death as a result. It was Sharp who never seemed to have a problem with a US client state (like Saudi Arabia).
 
Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institution has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy and had directors from the Ford Foundation and the Rand Corporation. Sharp’s Oxford doctorate was funded by DARPA. The famous quote that Sharp was “the Clausewitz of nonviolent warfare” came from none other than Radio Free Europe. This is exactly how the CIA operate according to Frances Stonor Saunders in ‘Who Paid the Piper?’ – one part of controlled culture bigs up another part disguising that it’s a co-ordinated action.
 
Does someone really hold a position at Harvard for years if they are genuinely independent? It’s a bit like how has Chomsky held tenure at MIT all these years if he’s not controlled opposition? By the way, Chomsky has been vociferous in his support for Sharp.
 
Maybe not every colour revolution can be totally blamed on Sharp – but denials that he wrote the playbook for them look altogether far too modest.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 6:38 AM
Reply to  Edwige

It’s a bit like how has Chomsky held tenure at MIT all these years if he’s not controlled opposition?

https://www.aaup.org/report/1940-statement-principles-academic-freedom-and-tenure

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 20, 2020 3:46 PM

The people of Syria and Iraq have asked the war racketeers and criminal imperialists that illegally occupy their countries to leave. Yet the war criminals still remain, in violation of international law and treaty, mass murdering the residents and stealing the resources of those countries. “It is almost as if those criminals have no respect or regard for the rights of others.”
 
Other nations and peoples not yet under the jackboot of those psychopath thugs should take note of what awaits them.
 
 
https://twitter.com/conciousness777/status/1213496674473185281/photo/3

Voz a0db
Voz a0db
Jun 20, 2020 3:40 PM

Anyone wants to try “voting” to see if we can CHANGE this?!

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 20, 2020 6:00 PM
Reply to  Voz a0db

Again, we have to remind ourselves of what people knew a very long time ago:
“It’s not the votes that count; it’s who counts the votes” [Napoleon/Stalin]
“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it” [Mark Twain]

1of7billion
1of7billion
Jun 20, 2020 2:08 PM

We’ve all heard by now that Black Lives Matter, but apparently not very much brown ones – or Middle Eastern/Muslim ones, generally speaking – according to this article.

There’s no doubt the bad guys and girls are doing the same stuff bad guys and girls have been doing all throughout history – using whatever power they’ve got to dominate whoever they can.

The difference today is that the masses, the ordinary people, are becoming more aware of it.

The other huge difference is that the technology today makes such domination so much easier, which has really been the case since radio technology was invented, and photography and the internal combustion engine.

It’s no coincidence that since we’ve had modern technology of that kind, so since the beginning of the 20th century mostly, we’ve had the two most enormous and quickly implemented wars in human history, WW1 and WW2.

Armaments can be moved around the world quickly, messages can be sent around the world quickly, news can be sent around the world quickly, true or false, and the public can be shown a Hollywood style version of reality that convinces them with pictures or authoritative speakers that the story they are being told is true.

The point being, that the public is almost never in any position to check, so as long as the carnage is not happening in public sight, then nobody knows it exists unless the media tells them.

But now, there has been a new development, which the powers-that-be are not necessarily in control of, which is the Internet, to which ordinary people all over the world can contribute and communicate via, so can create their own news.

As this is so recent, it has of course taken the powers-that-be time to realise the dangers to them, by allowing the public to effectively create its own news and journalism, of which of course this website is one of many examples of that, and one so significant that at least some mainstream journalists like Peter Hitchens are taking notice of it, and even linking to its articles at times.

So of course the various powers-that-be are trying to clamp down on this freedom of information, but it’s tricky, because they also want to use the same channels of information to spread their own propaganda, and the Internet is to a large degree accountable, so that efforts to suppress videos of talks or interviews expressing “anti-establishment views” may be “outed”, and threaten the reputation of those running and owning them like YouTube.

The world ultimately is a battle between those who want freedom for everyone, and those who only want freedom for themselves, as part of “the chosen few” who get to live like kings and queens, and princess and princesses, while everybody else gets to serve them like some class of slave.

Bearing in mind of course that it’s not possible to have a modern world with all its conveniences like clean water on tap and easily available food and medical help and so on, if we don’t to some extent all serve one another, to the degree we are capable of that, by use of our brain and brawn and skills and abilities.

The problem as always being this minority who want to be always served, and almost never do any serving, except self-serving.

Our real problem in the West is we’re supposed to be living in democracies, but actually there isn’t a lot of real democracy, because the politicians also are mostly serving themselves, and even the media who are supposed to be reporting on them and exposing their lies, corruption and hypocrisy are doing so also.

It’s absolutely staggering to read the Guardian’s “begging support messages”:

“Devoid of the humility and inclusivity we so desperately need, leaders are gambling with public health, safety and the future of younger generations. Lacking in honesty and transparency, poor at crisis management, and given to narcissism, our leaders unapologetically prioritise serving themselves over the people they were elected to serve.”

Let’s try it again substituting the word “journalists” for “leaders.”

“Devoid of the humility and inclusivity we so desperately need, journalists are gambling with public health, safety and the future of younger generations. Lacking in honesty and transparency, poor at crisis management, and given to narcissism, our journalists unapologetically prioritise serving themselves over the people they were [weren’t] elected to serve.”

Until we get real journalism and real democracy, the horrors and shameless power games of the powers-that-be will continue, and get ever worse.

Clearly, because the system as it stands won’t give us real journalism or democracy, we are going to have to find ways to create both those things for ourselves.

Howard
Howard
Jun 20, 2020 5:21 PM
Reply to  1of7billion

If only enough people wanted the things you mention, the elites – like the “two little kings playing a game/they gave a war and nobody came” from the old Monkees song “Zor And Zam” – would indeed stand alone. But it’s just not that way in the real world. People willingly let themselves be dumbed down by even obvious propaganda because they’re always looking for the angle.
 
“What’s in it for me?” might as well be tattooed at birth on almost every human baby’s forehead. No matter how bad things get, people still try to find that “silver lining”: What’s in it for me?

1of7billion
1of7billion
Jun 20, 2020 6:28 PM
Reply to  Howard

Thanks for the reply Howard
 
“If only enough people wanted the things you mention”
 
I think they do, but the problem right now is most people don’t have a voice.
 
In 1945 the British people defied the propaganda machine and elite opinion that thought Winston Churchill was a shoe-in for next PM after his war heroics, but instead the public elected Attlee who brought in the welfare state and pensions and free health care and free university education for all.
 
Democracy currently isn’t working very well as there is no real opposition any more in the UK, but the Brexit vote, which again showed the public demanding to be heard, and opposed the establishment machine which believed it could control how the public voted, was really the beginning of democracy in the UK in modern times, as was the Trump vote in the US.
 
That’s not to say Trump is right about everything, but just that the people opposed the establishment globalisation plan to destroy all nations and impose multiculturalism and PC values upon them whether they liked it or not, as they did also with the Brexit vote in the UK.
 
What I feel is most important is that we realise that given the awful state of the world, we can’t expect a mess like this to be sorted out overnight.
 
The war between oppressed and oppressors has been going on through all history, and it’s only in the modern era that humans have had any pretentions to justice and freedom for all.
 
Despite all moans, the life of most people in the West is still fairly comfortable, so the people who are really oppressed are the people in parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who because they lack the relative freedom that we have, are more and more demanding it in every way, which is what is causing the mass immigration to the West from those places, as they want the freedom from most injustice and abject poverty that most Westerners already have.
 
When Westerners talk about being poor, they mostly mean they cannot afford to buy a house, not that they are homeless, and can’t afford to buy good quality food, not that they are starving.
 
The point being therefore, that the Western leaders are mostly doing the bad stuff to other nations, not to their own people, so naturally a lot of people in the West are not yet that concerned about it as it doesn’t personally affect them, as you say.
 
But it is beginning to affect Western countries badly now, because of the mass immigration which is coming from all the places the Western leaders are oppressing either directly or indirectly, hence the Brexit vote and the election of President Trump.
 
So it may not be a popular policy for now, but in the end, the Western public is going to have to realise that the only thing that will stop this effective mass invasion of their nations by the poor, opressed and dispossessed from other countries and continents, is to improve the lives of these people, so they will be more inclined to stay where they are.
 
Which will require both of stopping our governments attacking them militarily, and giving them a better deal economically, such that the wealth of the world is shared out more fairly, and these currently oppressed people of these usually far away nations will cease to want to come here, as it is also becoming increasingly clear to them, that they are not guaranteed to get a fair deal when they do come to Western nations.
 
The media and government can bleat “black (or brown) lives matter” as much as they like, but if the only jobs available for most of the immigrants are some kind of slave or dangerous labour, like being security guards or prostitutes, an increasing number of immigrants will realise that immigration to the West is not any kind of a guaranteed and lasting solution to their problems.
 
And that the real solution is for Western governments or indeed other major powers like China to cease to interfere in their nations, in this empire-in-disguise fashion, and let them develop their own democracies and justice systems, and own economies.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jun 20, 2020 2:00 PM

Thanks Philip. Syria, yet another on a long list of countries targeted by the psychopaths in Washington, that goes right back in time to the period of the Monroe Doctrine.
The criminality, and breathtaking arrogance of people like Pompeo, Bolton, Clinton, Trump, Obama, Reagan, Rumsfeld, Cheney; All of them…. knows no bounds.
And with this Caesar bullshit, many innocent Syrian men, women and children will be added to the millions upon millions of victims of the greatest Terrorist State the world has known.
And the large majority in the allegedly civilised, apparently rules based West could not give a flying rats tinker. They wouldn’t even think about Syria or Palestine or Libya.
A lot of them are probably too busy snitching on their neighbours anyway, and writing letters to the ‘authorities’ demanding we’re all locked down even further.

Penny
Penny
Jun 20, 2020 1:37 PM

The entire piece misses the main point of what is occurring with and around Syria.
It’s a limited hangout piece at best. Disinfo at the worse.
The inclusion of Stephen Gowan makes me consider the latter-

One has to think bigger about what is really going on.
Impeding China
Impeding Russia
Death knell to Turkey- eye to balkanization
Syria- a big chunk to Israel 2.0 aka Kurdistan. Israel’s hearts desire. Keeping Golan
Balkanzing Iran
It’s called a regional remake, including North Africa (Saudi/Yemem) and these are it’s birthpangs- I’ve written about this for years

Condoleeza Rice explicitly stated this so many years ago

The inclusion of ‘racism’ is so on point to black lives matter/antifa and their new destabilization zone this piece gave me the impression it was simultaneously reinforcing that narrative.

It’s about control first
Control second and
Control third

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Jun 21, 2020 9:09 AM
Reply to  Penny

I’m puzzled by this response, Penny. Not sure what you have against Gowans, still less why you would assume that my inclusion of a quote from him, against which you make not one specific criticism, – makes my entire piece “disinfo”. Care to elaborate? What do you see in the passage I quote – IMO a succinct and precise setting out of different reasons why a powerful capitalism might wish to dominate a country not blessed with vast natural wealth – that supports your extraordinary conclusion?
 
More extraordinary still is why you feel the need to tell me, in your somewhat purple finale, that this is all about control. I agree. Doesn’t the Escobar passage make this clear? As It happens, after OffGuardian had already accepted my piece, I added one further footnote, which includes these words:
 

… for the USA – self sufficient in oil – controlling its production and (as with pipeline aspects of the war on Syria) distribution is not about securing a vital resource. It is about (a) direct profits and (b) dominating the world through the ability to turn off supply to disobedient states.

Penny
Penny
Jun 21, 2020 6:27 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Phillip I explained why I had reservations about this piece

“The entire piece misses the main point of what is occurring with and around Syria.”

Which raises questions from my perspective
I further explained what is going on from the birth pangs perspective which is not broached at all in your oped. And yet is the crux of the situation

As for Gowans- I’m under no obligation to agree with your assessment of him or his analysis. I’ve found him to be questionable more often then not. I draw my own conclusions.

“The inclusion of Stephen Gowan makes me consider the latter- ”

Again, my opinion. One I’m quite free to have and express as equally as you are to have your opinion.

If you added the extra footnote after this was published then it either wasn’t present or I missed it’s presence.?

The ‘racism’ argument is tired. It feeds identity politics. I’m quite confident it doesn’t matter what group of persons stands in the way of the garnering of control . Race isn’t the real issue in these situations, other then in how it can be wielded for unnecessary argumentation. To pit one against the other.

Control and domination are the heart of the matter. And that is what matters.
Which is why I stayed on that point. Which is the crux of the matter.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 7:01 AM
Reply to  Penny

“Which is why I stayed on that point.”

No, you didn’t. You stRayed at least once into the ‘controlled opposition’ and ‘limited hangout’ territory of dogwhistle unfalsifiability and bullshit tinfoilery that BTL commentators around here have used to denigrate, at one time or another, literally everybody. No point of directional reference ultimately equals no way anywhere.

Penny
Penny
Jun 22, 2020 9:50 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

An author that actually broaches the real reason for the situation in Syria, in my opinion.
 
https://ahtribune.com/world/4239-ignore-the-modern-day-oppressors.html
 
<b>”Elsewhere in the Middle East, US and British occupation forces still remain in northern Syria and Iraq; with the air forces of both countries on hand to help carve out a Kurdish ethnostate in line with the 1982 Tel Aviv-authored Oded Yinon plan, intended to balkanise Arab states hostile to Israel.”</b>
 
Ignoring this reality and playing identity politics etc., does a great disservice to those looking for something closer to truth. Much closer to the truth then is being offered.
 
Birth pangs… of the new middle east and north africa
changing the reality on the ground
 

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Jun 22, 2020 11:52 PM
Reply to  Penny

Elsewhere in the Middle East, US and British occupation forces still remain in northern Syria and Iraq … to help carve out a Kurdish ethnostate … to balkanise Arab states hostile to Israel

 
Other than the reductionism of the last three words of this (there are good reasons why, regardless of Israel’s needs, the West seeks to balkanise Syria) I agree. In fact I address the subject in my post, The Kurds in Syria. It also featured here on OffGuardian.
 

Ignoring this reality and playing identity politics etc., does a great disservice to those looking for something closer to truth.

 
I agree on this too. That’s why I don’t do either. I’ve addressed the “ignoring this reality” part. You can see my views on identity politics in my post, Identity Politics.
 
So I ask myself, what on earth is Penny so worked up about that he or she draws conclusions wholly unwarranted in what I’ve written?
 
Then I remind myself it’s a trifling question, so this’ll be my final comment on the matter. Over and decidedly out.

Penny
Penny
Jun 23, 2020 8:02 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Phillip Roddis and your “The Kurds in Syria” piece from your blog..and here at Off Guardian. 
This comment went into moderation, so I’ll leave it here as well
 
You make the error of calling them “syrian kurds” most of Syria’s actual indigenous, kurdish population fled when ISIS came to town. ISIS is the the oppisame of the USrael remake coin
The other issue I have is talking about them as if they are a cohesive people.
That’s never been true.
The Kurds in Syria are the PKK. That has already and on many occasions been acknowledged and admitted.
I’ve written about the role of the Usrael Kurds in Syria since 2014.
And have read vastly more then I’ve written.
 
I read your comment at the Guardian-
quoting your additional information
“[1] Racism was necessary to the West’s affluence.”
 
Not at all. It wouldn’t have mattered to the elites who was located where on the grand chessboard. Control. Access or Denial to resources. Geopolitical struggles. Profit. Reshaping a region to assert imperial goals aren’t about racism.
It’s simple strategic control- everything else is irrelevant (that’s my opinion)
 
These identity politic ideas are sold by, mostly the left, so they can portray the imperialists in a certain light, while the right takes a different tact. None of which really matters.Control is all that matters- Control.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jun 22, 2020 6:48 AM
Reply to  Penny

“It’s a limited hangout piece at best.”

What, only the foreskin?

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 20, 2020 12:43 PM

UK Column News summary from June 19th, 2020, broadcast. The headlines: “Second Wave” hysteria grows as UK government stockpiles Corona vaccine prior to testing or approval.
 
Must have a Vaccine — “In the long run the best way to defeat this virus is of course to develop a vaccine” – an assertion without evidence by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. UKC fact check: “There has never been a human coronavirus vaccine in history and the flu vaccine is ineffective at best.”
 
Must stockpile an Untested Vaccine — Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has struck a deal to produce the Oxford University-developed vaccine should “the science come off” according to UK health secretary Matt Hancock. Who can say fait accompli. The “Imperial” vaccine is also being tested on humans, skipping the usual step of testing on animals, before approval. Is their intention to save lives or make profits?
 
Must demonize cheap HydroxyChloroquine – HCL is out of patent, in the public domain and cheap. Thus the pharma companies cannot profit from it. Tests were ‘rigged’ to show HCL is of ‘no use’. Its benefits are well known to be at the preventive stage — so the tests mendaciously focused instead on the already dangerously ill, giving them high HCL doses to no avail.
Great article by The Hydroxychloroquine Scandal by Iain Davies https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/the-hydroxychloroquine-scandal
 
Must fear the Second Wave – Media full of a ‘Second Wave’ of cases. “Not deaths, but cases. So we’ve gone from a measure that, with all the chicanery, still has some meaning, to a measure that’s meaningless.” – UKC
Basing a ’second wave’ on cases is highly unreliable says Oxford University’s Dr Sunetra Gupta, since a) coronavirus is very common b) more testing = more cases = more asymptomatics = the more immunity found = lower death rate… “It sounds counter intuitive to a hysterical mob but it’s actually true,” says Patrick Henningsen of 21stCenturyWire.
 
Contact Tracing Ultimate Fail — NHS Contact Tracing app collapses because UK Gov didn’t realize Apple iPhones turn off Bluetooth (‘always on’ not available for third-party apps) so bureaucrats blame Apple for not ‘cooperating’.
 
Face Mask Fiasco — Mask voodoo remains totally inconclusive according to the journal, Physics of Fluids https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0015044
 
Education Standards Slashed Further — Children have missed half a year of education which they will never make up. Fear not! Teachers are inventing grades for imaginary exams. Remarkable, since children were never at risk from Coronavirus.


richard
richard
Jun 20, 2020 2:16 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Thanks for the info

Mike Ellwood (Oxon, UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon, UK)
Jun 20, 2020 10:38 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Agree with most of this, but I remain a hydroxychloroquine sceptic.
 
https://infectiousmyth.podbean.com/e/the-infectious-myth-dangers-of-chloroquine-and-hydroxychloroquine-with-remington-nevin/
 
https://quinism.org
 
Like I’ve said several times, why risk a potentially toxic (at least for some people) drug, when vitamin C is completely non-toxic, and vitamin D is nowhere near as toxic*, even in high doses, as some sources have claimed. The combination of vitamins C and D in sufficient doses could be at least as effective as hydroxychloroquine, if not more so.
 
 
*Quote from Andrew W Saul’s site on vitamin D:
 
 

It is instructive to note that as far back as 1939, some truly enormous doses of vitamin D were in fact found to be far less deadly than one might expect. In several countries, most infants, including preemies, survived 200,000 to as many as 600,000 units of vitamin D given in a single injected or oral dose. These are incredibly high quantities, especially when they are considered in relation to a premature infant’s body weight. (13) Pregnant women have likewise been given two huge oral doses of vitamin D (600,000 IU) during the 7th and 8th months. (14)

In 2003, vitamin D’s safety margins appear pretty much unchanged. This year, the British Medical Journal published a double-blind controlled trial of 100,000 IU vitamin D3 given orally to over 2,000 elderly patients once every four months, for five years. The authors reported, in addition to greatly reduced fracture rates, that the high-dose therapy was “without adverse effects in men and women.” (15)

 

 

Nixon Scraypes
Nixon Scraypes
Jun 20, 2020 12:31 PM

Such a shame the explanation at the bottom of the bald eagle picture robbed it of it’s cutting force.

George Mc
George Mc
Jun 20, 2020 4:54 PM
Reply to  Nixon Scraypes

I’m afraid you have to spell everything out on social media. If the explanation at the bottom had been left out, the image would be circulated on the US MSM as a lesson on how nice American eagles really do save fish and many in the population would believe it.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Jun 21, 2020 9:56 AM
Reply to  Nixon Scraypes

I agree with both Nixon and George on this. Yes, a second caption is needed for the reason George gives. But it needn’t have been so heavy handed. Simply omitting the first two words, “THIS IS”, would improve things. As would replacing “THE MEDIA” with “‘OUR’ MEDIA” or “WESTERN MEDIA”.

Nixon Scraypes
Nixon Scraypes
Jun 21, 2020 10:28 AM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

No,no,no! I’ve got my best pedant hat on today. I hardly ever wear it,honest,so it’s very shiny and authoritative. Never announce a joke is the first law of humour. The more it’s expected, the less funny it is, this is forensically provable. The exception that proves the rule is the personal catchphrase, inevitable,corny, but makes you laugh because it is such a blatant flouting of the rule. The second rule is~ never explain a joke afterwards. The more you do it,the more you dilute it. It’s the surprise of the sudden twist of meaning that engenders laughter,in this case ironic. Not the moronic herd haw,haw, of the painfully obvious,which I’m being,so I’ll shut up,my credibility in tatters.

gordon
gordon
Jun 20, 2020 12:11 PM

i was sad to see dr assad allow in the un allow in who maybe he had little choice i do not know.
ancient tribes ancient people pure uncontaminated dna
biblical age old groups rounded up and vaccinated 8-10 shots each babies children adults.
 
i was sad when i heard that dr assad’s wife made a choice for not cancer cure by employing the cut,chemical and radiation options for non treatment of cancer.
 
do the royal families of the world do chemo i think not
 
 
aleppo has one of the greatest seed banks in the world food is the medicine
 
the sanctions death rates in iraq where because of a programmed scripted reliance on big pharma,big agro chemical foreign based.
the who and the world bank do not like self sufficient countries or people
anyone standing in the way gets snuffed out
 
you are what you eat
dr assad
god has provided a pharmacy of herbs,roots and leaves even twigs.
the more bitter the better
enema mentioned in the bible
 
vit d and c
 
syria is classic general sir frank kitson slow country take down
british ideas concepts taken up by usa and israel
 
all plotted in talking shops like chatham house brookings
what what
 
 

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 20, 2020 10:44 AM

“Direct rule… has largely gone. Now we have the arm’s length – market discipline… ”
 
Princes of the Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy” shows how the market is used to shape Asian society, and how regulation is used to steal cash flow and profits.
 
Americans, even New Dealers, have no problem implementing fascist policies, completing the work of the 1930s dictatorships, so long as the Americans are in control, as the history of Japan shows.
 
The eagle is always watching its prey, however. As the economy evolves and opportunities develop, the Imperium swoops just like the photo above, to seize the loot, using the international institutions as fronts (the IMF, World Bank, UN).


Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 20, 2020 11:44 AM
Reply to  Moneycircus

The question is who are ‘the Americans’?
 
The Japanese economy was inflated deliberately in the 1980s and crashed in 1991, after which the recession was prolonged deliberately, to bring about political, economic and social change.

“The system changes fundamentally only if there is a crisis. The Central Bank proposed that monetary policy should be used to provoke a crisis sufficiently large to overcome the vested interests in the Ministry of Finance, politicians and corporate Japan.

Every system has groups that benefit from it and hence have no desire to change it. There is no country in the world that has changed its social, economic and political system without a crisis. It is the crisis that convinces citizens and interest groups of the need for change. How do you create a crisis. The easiest way is to create a bubble because that way no-one stops you.” — Prof Richard A. Werner, author Princes of the Yen.

This policy was implemented by a generation of Japanese economists educated in the U.S. The eagle pounced, demanding Japan deregulate (sell) off its insurance and banking sector, and actually threatened to impose trade sanctions — the U.S. demanded deregulation and threatened sanctions in order to ‘help’ the Japanese during their recession.
 
Sound familiar – watch and share. Don’t let the banking talk put you off.
 
Who is behind this thing we call ‘the Americans’? So willing to implement fascist policies of regimes they had fought just months before? Then so willing to crash the system. ‘The Americans’ are manipulated. By whom – cui bono?
 
The answer is in front of you. This ying and yang of interests. They work together but you are told they are sworn enemies. The fascists and the bankers.
 
This is so relevant to what is happening now. Debt is used to pump up economies and crash them, so that you work to create value, someone buys it up cheap.
 
Then you work like a good ant to rebuild your wealth, and someone crashes it again, and buys it up cheap. And again, and again.
 
This is happening now. Watch from 18:30 https://youtu.be/p5Ac7ap_MAY?t=1108
 
“It seemed far too ambitions… a wholesale revolution of all parts of the Japanese political, economical and social system… The report was clear about what it wanted but it was silent about how this would be achieved. The only clue was…fiscal and monetary policy have a significant part to play.”
 
Under cover of Covid, the monetary reset is exactly what is happening now, along with a social, economic and political revolution.
 

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 20, 2020 1:14 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

So why did the Japanese success model need to be reformed? It was a manufacturing miracle. It sold more than it imported, running a consistent balance of trade.

It was claimed that to end the recession and improve performance Japan would have to shift from welfare capitalism to shareholder capitalism. It is unclear why a country that had run a consistent balance of trade surplus would have to change its economic system to become more competitive.” — Prof Richard A. Werner, author Princes of the Yen.

After creating a crisis, the Western-aligned Bank of Japan went through the motions of trying different policies, pushing the nation to the conclusion that since nothing works, Japan’s economic system itself must be to blame so we’d better get rid of it.
 
It forced the nation’s banks to foreclose on corporations, driving many to bankruptcy. Unemployment rose, along with wealth disparities, as did suicides and violent crime.

“While destroying the high growth model, I am building a model that suits the new era” – Toshihiko Fukui, Governor, Bank of Japan.

After the collapse of Japan, the U.S. Treasury turned its attention to the Asian Tigers. Although countries like Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia could easily finance their own corporations, the U.S., the IMF and the World Trade Organization demanded deregulation, opening markets to borrowing from abroad.
 
Once corporations were indebted to overseas loans, the foreign exchange rate was manipulated to the level where suddenly the corporations couldn’t repay the loans. The Asian Tigers asked Japan for a bailout. The U.S. refused to let Japan lend money – even though Japan had greater forex reserves than the IMF. Washington insisted that only the IMF could rescue the Tigers, and Washington would set the terms.
 
Those were: gimme your banks or your life.
 
Once they called in the IMF, they knew what that meant. The Central Banks would be made independent. The Bank of England had been made independent in 1997, the Bank of Japan in 1998, the Asian Tigers were next.
 
Asian Tiger section of Princes of the Yen: https://youtu.be/p5Ac7ap_MAY?t=4415

Nixon Scraypes
Nixon Scraypes
Jun 20, 2020 6:16 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Have you seen Werner’s other videos? They’re very informative.

Calamity Jane
Calamity Jane
Jun 20, 2020 6:29 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Good point Moneycircus ” America” is very much controlled by foreigners.
And the central banksters have power over corporate govts. A digital currency would provide them with more control.And they are the ones making the most off the COVID scam with increased borrowing from most govts.
https://templeton01436.blogspot.com/2017/03/proof-that-usa-is-controlled-by-foreign.html?showComment=1592520752336#c2571889021180564493
and
https://eyreinternational.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/the-new-world-order-part-1/
 

crispy
crispy
Jun 20, 2020 10:09 AM

I think Vanessa Bealy admitted in a moment of honesty that Assad had tortured people

Then she got back on message,and continued to mangle her vagina with a dildo shaped like Assad

Oh and Roddis,you’re a cunt 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Admin1
Admin
Admin1
Jun 20, 2020 4:03 PM
Reply to  crispy

Louis, this post is abusive and disgusting. We have no choice but to put your alter ego on pre-mod, and we are leaving this here to illustrate why.

George Mc
George Mc
Jun 20, 2020 4:48 PM
Reply to  Admin1

Is this really Louis P? Jeez! What a nutter!

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 20, 2020 6:09 PM
Reply to  Admin1

I think he just wants to be banned, so he can claim that OffG is no better than the Graun with regard to censorship.
My personal view is that one should regard this specimen in the same light as an alcoholic who is determined to kill himself by drinking 5 bottles of vodka a day and rejects any suggestion of rehab.
Ultimately, we just have to let him do it. Ban him. He’s under age. Or think of it as removing mildew from an otherwise sound building. Nobody needs mildew. Nobody.

crispy
crispy
Jun 20, 2020 11:34 PM
Reply to  Admin1

Come off Admin 1, you actually think its funny,why else publish it?

Admin2
Admin
Admin2
Jun 21, 2020 1:28 AM
Reply to  crispy

Louis, actually it feels a little more serious than funny. You seem to be driven by a self-destructive urge to seriously undermine yourself right now. It’s not pleasant to watch. Quite apart from your extremely belligerent stance toward OffG BTL, you’ve been breaking our comment policy and trolling abuse under multiple monikers. I can’t help but think you’ve been begging to be banned for a while. Come to think of it, Crispy has asked us to ban him multiple times, before we knew it was you. This is fast becoming something which doesn’t feel appropriate to play out in public; however, due to the nature of your duplicity and how long this has been going on, it seems only fair to our readers BTL to make a matter of public record what has been taking place here. Saying this, I think we’ll have to flag as spam any future contributions from Crispy. Had I realised the situation earlier I would gladly have heeded your previous pleas and avoided this awkward situation – it is not my desire to publicly humiliate anyone. I’m sure you’ll have no objections to my doing this. With regret, Admin2

crispy
crispy
Jun 21, 2020 8:09 AM
Reply to  Admin2

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

paul
paul
Jun 20, 2020 8:17 PM
Reply to  crispy

Three lines. Pocket another three shekels.

lundiel
lundiel
Jun 20, 2020 9:33 AM

“One, it helps that, thanks to a previous apex predator, English is the world’s lingua franca. The advantage is incalculable as the hard propaganda of news delivery, and the soft propaganda of the entertainment industries, paint a nuanced but – as the final credits roll – ultimately glowing picture of Uncle Sam.”
How true, and not by accident is it that most Hollywood blockbusters feature an English villain.

Grafter
Grafter
Jun 20, 2020 11:13 AM
Reply to  lundiel

Yep it’s quite sickening how Hollywood produces a never ending stream of triumphant good guy heroes who endorse the malign intentions of their psychopathic rulers. For more vomit inducing narratives along these lines try Netflix.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Jun 21, 2020 9:30 AM
Reply to  lundiel

It’s not always crude. The US version of House of Cards was, for once, played darker than the British version. In the main it’s intelligently observed and nuanced, like other drama series – Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul – which enjoy a vast canvas, and use a studio system of not one or two writers but teams whose members are not over worked, to explore unusual depth and subtlety of character. But when it comes to a visit by the Russian leader – unmistakeably Putin – even a series as classy as H of C descends to clunky caricature, most glaringly showing the Russia Ape groping the First Lady.
 
In a way it’s like the Guardian and liberal media in general. By telling us inconvenient truths on small to medium matters, it accrues ‘credibility capital’ it can then spend on the really big lies, those vital to our ruling classes. None more vital than the ‘right’ to wage war – hot or cold, direct or by proxy – in our name.