All posts filed under: United States

Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For

Now, and for many decades past, the American public has displayed far higher confidence and trust in “The Military” than in any other “Institution” (including than churches, schools, the Presidency, the police, courts — any). And yet — according to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense — many billions, and sometimes even trillions, of dollars, in the Department’s periodic financial reports, are not documented.

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn’t even built on trading-blocs. In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said: In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly. It goes on to observe: Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and …

Palestine is Still the Issue

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green. They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

By Ray McGovern via Information Clearing House The U.S. mainstream media remains obsessed over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in last fall’s election, but the real test of bilateral cooperation may come on the cease-fire in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. July 09, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out? These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart. But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines …

The Economic Motive for America’s Current Wars

Russia has long been the chief seller of energy — mainly gas and oil — in the world’s largest energy-market: the EU, or Europe. This means that U.S.-based energy companies, such as Exxon and Halliburton, aren’t the ones who dominate in supplying oil, gas, pipelines, and other energy-supplying needs, to the consumers and businesses in the world’s largest energy-market: Europe.

Trump Has Been Continuing Obama’s Syria-Policy

by Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama’s publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria’s government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th “Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There”, and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia’s demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama’s publicly stated Syria-policy. As also will be shown here, Obama’s publicly stated policy — to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad — was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 …

Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States

by John Staunton, via Global Research The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security,and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies. UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. Fair enough. That approach cuts out the middleman though, those Americans desperate for any kind of work but, through no fault of their own, are not behind prison bars and employable by UNICORE/FPI. Sure, it seems a heartless statement and there are any number of angles to take on why the USA is the world’s number one incarcerator: Capitalism, racism, social and political injustice, a pay-as-you-go legal system, bone-headed policy …

Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria

Late on Monday the 19th, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

Nuclear Weapons Ban? What Needs to be Banned Is U.S. Arrogance

by Diana Johnstone, from Global Research In a context of almost total indifference, marked by outright hostility, representatives of over a hundred of the world’s least powerful countries are currently opening another three-week session of United Nations talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. Very few people even know this is happening. Ban nuclear weapons? Ho hum… Let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about Russian hacking instead, or the rights of trans-sexuals to use the toilet of their choice, or even about something really important: climate change. But wait a minute. The damage to human society, and to “the planet”, from the projected rise of a few degrees of global temperature, while commonly described as apocalyptic, would be minor compared to the results of all-out nuclear war. More to the point, the degree of human responsibility in climate change is more disputed among serious scientists than the public is aware, due to the role of such contributing factors as solar variations. But the degree of human responsibility for nuclear weapons is …

The US takes Syria’s Al-Qaeda off Terror Watch-lists

by Nauman Sadiq According to a recent report [1] by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year. The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles. The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that …

What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say?

by Philip Giraldi from UNZ Review The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan’s public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with: Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump. The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign: reviewed intelligence that showed ‘contacts and interaction’ between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign.” Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: “Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides”. The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the …

Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup?

The whole Comey/Russophobia issue continues to spiral past propaganda, past delusion and into total madness. Social media is boiling with neoliberals telling each other Trump is a “new Nixon” for sacking Comey. The WaPo suggests a Russian photographer smuggled a bug into the Oval Office. Fox TV host Julie Roginsky tells viewers Russia is invading countries and “forcing” the inhabitants to speak Russian, and will soon be America’s “new overlords.” Ex-Tory MP Louise Mensch thinks the only way to stop that happening is to do “precision bombing raids” (on Moscow presumably). What is the root of this dangerous folie en masse? In an article at Defend Democracy, Robert Parry posits this as evidence the intelligence agencies are now de facto kingmakers, who have created the Russia-gate and Comey issues in a bid to both discredit and manipulate Trump, just as they promoted the investigation of Clinton’s email irregularities to destroy her chance of the Presidency. President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday reflected a growing concern inside the White House that the …

“The regime will be there” – U.S. Concedes Raqqa…and the Syrian East?

from Moon of Alabama A new Wall Street Journal piece, primarily about the ISIS held city of Raqqa on the Euphrates, casts doubt on long term U.S. plans for such an occupation. Its core quote: “We won’t be in Raqqa in 2020, but the regime will be there.” There were already doubts that a big U.S. move in east-Syria was really going to happen. Jordan opposes any such move. While the U.S. and Jordan have trained, equipped and paid Syrian “rebels” to hold a zone of control in south-west Syria, little preparations have been seen for a large move in the south-east. The U.S. has so far vetted and trained at most 2,000 local Arab fighters in the area. Fewer are ready to go. Even with U.S. special forces embedded with them these forces are way too small to take an ISIS defended city or to capture or to hold a significant area. At least ten to twenty thousand troops would be needed (likely more) for such an endeavor. The current force is probably only …

Sauron Rules in Washington

by Paul Craig Roberts “The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.” Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point? The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage. Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision. The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would …

American Democracy: A Dead Man Walking

by Paul Craig Roberts Trump’s “sell-out,” as it is called, coming on top of Obama’s eight-year “sell-out,” is instructive. We have now had a Democratic president who sold out the people who elected him and a Republican president who has done the same thing. This is a very interesting point, the meaning of which most people miss. But not Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. At the Valdai discussion club, Putin summed up Western democracy, which I paraphrase as follows: In the West, voters cannot change policies through elections, because the ruling elites control whoever is elected. Elections give the appearance of democracy, but voting does not change the policies that favor war and the elites. Therefore, the will of the people is impotent. People are experiencing that they and their votes have no influence on the conduct of affairs of the country. This makes them afraid, frusrated, and angry, a combination of emotions that is dangerous to the ruling elite, who in response organize the powers of the state against the people, while urging them with …

The US Aggression on Syria and the Principles of a “Just War”

by Prof. Vladislav Sotirovic The US military forces committed a classical example of the aggression on one sovereign and independent state on April 6th, 2017 by bombing the territory of Syrian Arab Republic with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Killing civilians who are proclaimed, as usual, as “collateral damage”. A formal excuse for the aggression was based, as many times before (from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya), on traditional political false flags and mainstream media fake news used by the US propaganda machinery to sanction the Pentagon’s hegemonic policy of the Pax Americana. The Fundamental Dilemma The fundamental dilemma is why the US administrations of Obama & Trump were and are supporting different kinds of the Islamic fundamentalist jihad organizations in Syria and the Mideast regardless on the fact that they are called by the White House as “moderate terrorists”? A terrorist is simply a terrorist and there is no any difference between “moderate” or “hardcore” terrorist if the first term can exist at all from both logical and moral reasons. It is already known that …

Requiem for the suicided: Vince Foster

Who was Vince Foster? What was his relationship to Hillary Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas? What was he working on in the Clinton White House? And what secrets did he take to his grave? NOTES The Clinton Body Count Snopes Takes on the Clinton Body Count Bill Clinton’s Rise to Power The Star Report on the Death of Vince Foster “Summary of conclusions “ from the Foster Report Death of VF on WhatReallyHappened.com Death of Vince Foster Testimony of Eyewitness Patrick Knowlton The FBI Documents from their interview with Lisa Foster Crime Scene Photo from Foster Death showing the Black Gun in his Hand “Factual Summary” from the Foster Report CBS Evening News July 26 1995 Details, analysis & images of the Vince Foster “suicide note” Memo links First Lady to Handling of Suicide Note Hillary Clinton’s Fingerprints Among Those Found on Papers Argument from incredulity Miguel Rodriguez Resignation Letter from Starr Foster inquiry Ronald Kessler on Coast to Coast – Secrets of the FBI Requiem for a Dream – Clint Mansell …

Mad-Dog Mattis Going Rabid

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Monday, April 25th, the AP headlined, “US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban” and reported that U.S. Pentagon chief James “Mad Dog” Mattis was accusing Russia of violating the sovereignty of unnamed nation(s) and was supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan — the very same group that the U.S. back in 1979 had begun arming in Pakistan so that the Taliban would invade Afghanistan and lure Soviet forces into Afghanistan, so as to make the Soviets “bleed” there, as the U.S. itself had bled in its Vietnam War. The U.S. National Security Advisor at that time went to Pakistan and rallied the Taliban there by saying “Your cause is right, and God is on your side!” (see above video). Mattis was also quoted in this news-report as saying, “We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries.” The United States has, in fact, invaded Syria — routinely violating the sovereignty of …

MIT Professor says White House claims of Syrian chemical attack “cannot be true”

Theodore Postol, Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, has made some preliminary responses to the four-page report by the Trump Administration on the Syrian “chemical attack”. We reproduce his findings in part below. See the document in full here A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. Dear Larry: I am responding to your distribution of what I understand is a White House statement claiming intelligence findings about the nerve agent attack on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. My understanding from your note is that this White House intelligence summary was released to you sometime on April 11, 2017. I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, …