Author: Systematic

Those Magical, Fantastical Russians vs. U.S. Empire

Glen Ford in Black Agenda Report: “This induced ‘state of emergency’ is designed to prepare the American public, politically and psychologically, to maintain the momentum of the U.S. imperial offensive in the world.” The only people that can make Russiagate fade away are the ones that invented it in the first place: the spooks, Wall Street Democrats and institutional servants of capital that gathered in Hillary Clinton’s overstuffed campaign tent, last year, to plot the next moves of a beleaguered U.S. empire. Although a Bernie Sanders’ upset in 2016 had always been a statistical impossibility, Donald Trump’s capture of the Republican Party machinery had destabilized the duopoly political system at a time of great stress for U.S. imperialism. The previous year, the Russian military had set up shop in Syria, blocking U.S.-backed jihadists from ousting the secular, Arab nationalist government of Bashar al Assad. It was Vladimir Putin’s answer to the global military offensive launched by Barack Obama in 2011, with NATO’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, followed immediately by the jihadist push into …

Syria declares victory over Islamic State

A Syrian army soldier removes an Islamic State flag from the historic ruins of Palmyra.   Reuters reports: BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year, hardline reign in the in the region. The army and its allies are still fighting Islamic State in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria, near the border with Iraq, the army said. But the capture of the town ends Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across Iraq and Syria and in which millions suffered under its hardline, repressive strictures. Yet after ferocious defensive battles in its most important cities this year, where its fighters bled for every house and street, its final collapse has come with lightning speed. Instead of a battle to the death as they mounted a last stand in the Euphrates valley towns and villages near the …

NYT Laments ‘Forever Wars’ Its Editorials Helped Create

Marine Corps jets flew over the pyramids of Egypt during a military exercise in 1999. Credit Staff Sgt. Jim Varhegyi/United States Air Force Adam Johnson in FAIR: Corporate media have a long history of lamenting wars they themselves helped sell the American public, but it’s rare so many wars and so much hypocrisy are distilled into one editorial. On Monday, the New York Times (10/22/17) lamented the expansion of America’s “forever wars” overseas, without once noting that every war mentioned is one the editorial board has itself endorsed, while failing to oppose any of the “engagements” touched on in the editorial. The Times began by noting the sheer scope of US military reach: “The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories…. American forces are actively engaged not only in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen that have dominated the news, but also in Niger and Somalia, both recently the scene of …

Syrian Victory Will Reshape the Middle East and Recalibrate Global Hegemony

A Syrian Arab Army soldier soldier celebrates the lifting of the three year long siege of Dier ez-Zor by ISIS. Alastair Crooke* in Consortium News: Plainly, Syria’s success – notwithstanding the caution of President Bashar al-Assad in saying that signs of success are not success itself – in resisting, against the odds, all attempts to fell the state suggest that a tipping point in the geopolitics of the region has occurred. We have written before how the Syria outcome dwarfs that of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, significant though the result of that war was, too. Both events taken together have brought America’s unipolar moment in the Middle East to an end (though not globally, since the U.S. still retains its necklace of military bases across the region). The successes have corroded badly, the reputation of the Gulf States and have discredited fired-up Sunni jihadism as a “go-to” political tool for Saudi Arabia and its Western backers. But, aside from the geopolitics, the Syria outcome has created a physical connectivity and contiguity that has not existed for some …

Pepe Escobar: The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Pepe Escobar in Asia Times: What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally. The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy. Now, losing all its battles from Syria to Yemen, losing regional influence to both Iran and Turkey, indebted, vulnerable and paranoid, the House of Saud has also to confront the ghost of a possible coup in Riyadh against …

Chris Hedges: The End of Empire

Chris Hedges in TruthDig: The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too. The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence …

Syria: Breaking the ISIS siege of Deir ez-Zor was “a historic day”

  Screencap from the video below […] RT:  The siege of Deir ez-Zor has now been broken, and the Syrian president has congratulated the country’s military. How big a victory is this? What is the strategic or symbolic importance? Ammar Waqqaf: This is in Syrian terms a historic day. There are many aspects to why this is hugely significant. The first aspect is that there is a group of Syrians, a segment of the Syrian population, who refused to say at a certain moment in time when all the omens said something different – that the government in Damascus is going to collapse imminently and so on. They refused to succumb to the incoming forces of Islamic fanatics, unlike other places. They stuck with their government, and they stuck with their army, and now their suffering has been vindicated. This marks a huge shift in the whole set of choices that have been made by various segments of the Syrian population throughout this crisis. Another aspect of significance is that the government of President Bashar …

Video: In Syria, Deir ez-Zor civilians celebrate imminent lifting of IS blockade (updated)

RT reports: Encouraged by reports that the lifting of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) blockade of Deir ez-Zor was days away, defenders of the city celebrated the news on Sunday night, as footage from inside the city shows. The video was reportedly shot in the Jura district of the city, which has been besieged by the Islamic State terrorist group since 2014.Syrian government forces are advancing from several directions to break the blockade of the provincial capital, with the Russian Air Force supporting the offensive from the air. Related: Mohammed Ibrahim Samra, the governor of Deir ez-Zor has stated that the Syrian Arab Army is 24 to 48 hours away from storming the gates of Deir ez-Zor city which for years has been besieged by ISIS. Furthermore, Deir ez-Zor has subsumed the role as the major ISIS stronghold in Syria as fighters continue to flee the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa. While the United States and its Kurdish proxies who lead the SDF are struggling to break into Raqqa city, which is being held …

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

C.J. Hopkins in Counterpunch: Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president … that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns. Fortunately, thanks to the Nazis …

Spectator: Iran is our natural ally, not Saudi Arabia

Photo from Women in Iran are too hip to handle – even with strict religious dress laws in Metro John R. Bradsley in The Spectator: The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya’s entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions. More than a dozen Shia, including a three-year-old boy, were killed. Hundreds of young men were rounded up. At least 500 homes were flattened, and 8,000 residents were forcibly removed from those that remained. Saudi soldiers recorded themselves dancing and singing amid the rubble of the town’s once-beautiful old city. They stomped on a …

Homage to Syria

Aidan O’Brien in Counterpunch: A strange thing happened the other week. The US president officially ordered the CIA to halt it’s war against Syria. So it wasn’t global warming then, or “Assad” or neoliberalism, it wasn’t even a civil war. The war maker in Syria was the CIA. Of course, the CIA will unofficially continue it’s war against Syria. But we can savour for a moment the truth. And an “official CIA defeat”. And why only savour? Why not rejoice? Because this momentous “victory” may be the turning point in the century old Western assault on the Muslim people. What many call the “arc of resistance” (Shiite and Secular) has now solidified, while the Western imperial offensive has faltered. US general Wesley Clark gave the game away years ago when he revealed US intentions in the Middle East after 9/11: seven countries were to be invaded (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran). France’s ex-foreign minister Roland Dumas also gave the game away when he revealed that the British State (a definite CIA asset) …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

Russia Slowly but Surely Putting an End to the American Empire

A russian soldier on a humanitarian mission in Syria. A Darius Shahtahmasebi op-ed in AntiMedia: Over the past few weeks, some dramatic stories and a potential nuclear war have taken the media’s attention away from the non-story that is the Russiagate-election scandal. But as attention veers away from the Russian hacking narrative, why are genuine stories regarding Russia’s actual influence in the world almost completely ignored? Russia is slowly but surely nabbing small but significant pieces of the American empire. Not only did Russia foil the U.S. military establishment’s plan to dominate Syria by inserting its military in the country and setting up a quasi-no-fly-zone of its own, but Russia is also acquiring pieces of the global chessboard through other means. Let’s start backward. Washington’s violent, stalwart ally and regional power player Saudi Arabia has been cozying up to Russia over the course of the year amid Russia’s demonstrable successes in Syria. As Al-Jazeera explains: “In late May, then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman went to Russia to discuss with President Vladimir Putin the oil market and the situation in Syria. The visit came just three weeks before Crown Prince Mohammed …

US Pundits, Politicians Tacitly Admitting They Lied About Russia

An anti-Trump, anti-Russia demonstration  in the US. Caitlin Johnstone writes in Medium: It has been nearly three weeks since The Nation pushed an explosive memo from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity into mainstream consciousness with an article detailing the evidence that the DNC leaks last year could not have been the result of a Russian hack. By continuing to ignore it, the US intelligence community and all the pundits and politicians who have advanced the Russian hacking narrative are tacitly admitting that they lied. The report is unequivocal. Not only could Russian hackers not have obtained the DNC emails in the way they are alleged to have obtained them, but metadata was in fact manipulated to implicate Russia in the leak. Since publication of the viral Nation article, even more evidence has come to light showing that a hack is far more improbable even than originally suspected. This means that there is currently more publicly-available evidence indicating that Russia did not hack the DNC than there is that it did. These earth-shattering revelations have …

VIDEOS: Is ISIS finished?

Al Masdar news reports: BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – According to at least one ISIS member who very recently surrendered himself to pro-government forces, the terrorist group to which he belonged is “finished.” This confession, captured by pro-government media, came about during a very brief and sombre conversation between a Hezbollah reporter and an elderly ISIS militant (who had surrendered earlier on) near the Zumrani crossing point in the western Qalamoun region of Syria. In the footage below, the Hezbollah reporter holding the camera asks “why did you surrender?” In response, the ISIS fighter simply replies “because we’re finished.” The video emerges at a time when some pro-government sources are reporting that over fifty (50) ISIS militants in western Qalamoun have surrendered themselves to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) amid an ongoing pro-government offensive against the terrorist group throughout the region. See also Iran’s Press TV debate on the subject of the defeat of Daesh. A ten year war of attrition. That is how long most high-ranking U-S army officials estimated it would take to …

An Odd Terrorism

A van hit pedestrians in Barcelona ‘terror attack’ on July 18 causing fourteen dead and dozens of injured among the pedestrians in the area.   Maxim Bushmin writes in Novorossia Today: The terrorist attack in Barcelona leads us to think that behind all of these attacks that we have observed for some years in Europe, there is a hidden “white” connection. Judge for yourselves by dismissing everything told by the media… Paris, Nice, Berlin, London, Barcelona… These are all iconic cities. The centers of European life. There are always a lot of people around. There are many places in those cities which attract high numbers of people. In such places the system of counter-terrorism is relatively weak. Despite all these factors, the scope of the terrorist attacks in question is quite limited. The number of victims is relatively low, but the media impact is very large. If one studies this phenomenon, we come to the conclusion that the organizers of these attacks did not intend to kill the maximum number of “infidels”. Quite the contrary, …

Pepe Escobar: And the winners in the post-Daesh era are… (updated)

Syrians walk past Aleppo’s citadel as life returns to normal after the expulsion of Jihadi terrorist groups by the Syrian army and its allies Russia and Iran. Photo from the #believe_in_aleppo hashtag in Twitter. An excerpt from Pepe Escobar’s latest article in Asia Times: […] Mesopotamia and the Levant, in the post-Daesh era, are indeed unrecognizable compared to the state of play in the early 2010s. The facts on the ground in the Syrian war theater are stark. While the Beltway was blinded by regime change, Moscow swooped in and with a small expeditionary force turned the Middle East game upside down. While Russian jets fully coordinated with an array of forces on the ground, Russian diplomacy ended up closing down all manner of war fronts and imposing ceasefires or de-escalation zones. A New Syrian Army (NSA?), instead of those walking dead FSA, is now fully battle-tested, in both conventional and guerrilla warfare, and with morale extremely high to the point that Hezbollah now needs to deploy only a few of its officers to coordinate …

Why have over 600,000 Syrian refugees returned to an evil dictator who only wants to kill them?

A girl is seen at a damaged site in Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, Syria. © Omar Sanadiki / Reuters   Caitlin Johnstone in Medium, via SottNet: Al Jazeera, not often known to rock the establishment boat when it comes to the official narrative about Syria, has published an interesting new report on some recent findings of the International Organization for Migration. According to IOM, nearly 603,000 Syrian refugees returned to their homes in Syria between January and July of 2017. And, naturally, those hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians who are returning home are all returning to areas that are securely protected from the bloodthirsty tyrant Bashar al-Assad by the Freedom Fighters and Moderate Rebels who oppose him, right? They’d never willfully return to an area ruled by a sadistic dictator who routinely drops barrel bombs on his own people for no reason and kills children with poison gas, would they? Well yes, if you believe the things that the western mass media have been saying about Assad, they would. IOM reports that of those …

North Korea: Will World War III Kick Off This Week?

Neil Clark writes in RT Will World War III kick off this week because of the bellicose actions of a buffoonish leader with a dodgy hair-cut and his sinister nuclear-armed warmongering rogue state?  Or, can Donald Trump and the US be deterred? Of course, in State Department-friendly Western media, it’s North Korea and its leadership who are routinely portrayed as the nut jobs. But you don’t have to carry a torch for the North Korean government or be a card-carrying member of the Kim Jong-un Appreciation Society to acknowledge that the country’s leadership has actually been behaving very rationally. Because recent history tells us that the best way to deter an attack from the US and its allies is not to disarm, dress up as John Lennon and make statements about how much you desire peace, but to do the exact opposite. The crisis on the Korean Peninsula is due to the actions of a rogue state ruled by madmen with nukes. This rogue state is of course the USA. https://t.co/A0JynTPlSy — John Wight (@JohnWight1) …

The de-Putin-Nazification of America

by C.J. Hopkins, from Counterpunch via <a href="http://&#8221; target=”_blank”>The Unz Review Sometime circa late July, as the hundreds of thousands of de facto vassals that cater to the needs of New York City’s simulated aristocracy were navigating the sweltering hell that subway system has recently become, approximately one hundred miles to the east, deep in the heart of Resistance territory, where villas rent for up to a million a month, members of the notorious Bridgehampton Cell of the Neoliberal Liberation Army were gathered in one of their luxury safehouses, vetting the latest leading candidate for the coveted position of “resistance leader. California Senator Kamala Harris, multimillionaire woman of the people, and friend of rapacious banks like OneWest, must have impressed the Bridgehampton Cell, because their comrades in corporate-owned media immediately launched a propaganda campaign to get the word out to the American people (who’ve been suffering under occupation for going on the last seven months) that the Senator and her affluent backers represent their last best hope of overthrowing the Trumpian Reich and saving the …