Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 21, 2015

U.S. Intelligence Predicted: U.S. Support For Rebels in Syria Would Lead To Fall of Ramadi

Three new news items provide that the Obama administration, as well as Turkey and other countries, have knowingly created the current situation in Syria and Iraq. They knew that their support of the opposition which from the beginning included Al Qaeda would likely lead to the creation of an Islamic State. The administration was warned as early as August 2012 that this would then lead to the fall of Mosul and Ramadi to an Al Qaeda entity.

Thanks to Brad Hoff for pointing in the comments here to the Defense Intelligence Agency reports from August and October 2012 about the war on Syria. The DIA was the one U.S. intelligence agency that got the Iraq WMD case right but its appraisals, for example that the famous "aluminum tubes" were ordered by Iraq to build mortar tubes, were suppressed by the Bush administration. The now published heavily redacted DIA reports were released after Freedom Of Information Act litigation by the conservative Judicial Watch.

One report is mostly concerned with the attack on U.S personal in Benghazi in Libya on September 11 2012. My first analytic post on the issue was on September 12 2012 and it was headlined: U.S. Ambo in Benghazi Killed In AQ Operation. The Obama administration long denied that the attack was an obviously planned AQ operation and that it was related, as I wrote, to arms smuggling from Benghazi to Syrian "rebels". The released DIA report dated October 2012 confirms my take from a day after the attack. It includes this:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

These weapons were shipped on Turkish vessels. A few hours before he was killed the U.S. ambassador met the with a Turkish diplomat likely to coordinate more such weapon shipments.

Another released DIA document written in August 2012 and also highly redacted explains that Al Qaeda was, from the beginning, a big part of the Syrian "revolution". It foresees and warns of the creation of an Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Some quotes (emph. added):

3 B: AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning ...
3 C: AQI conducted a number of operations in Syrian cities under the name of Jaish al-Nusra ...

These are the moderate rebels and activists the main stream media wrote and is still writing about. More from the report:

8 C: If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

The "supporting powers" are earlier listed (in 7 B) as:

western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey

The DIA warns that the creation of such an Salafist principality would have "dire consequences" for Iraq and would possibly lead to the creation of an Islamic State and:

create the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi

These DIA folks really earned their salary.

The Obama administration, together with other supporter of the Syrian "opposition", knew that AQ was a large part of that "opposition" from the very beginning. The U.S. and others wanted a Salafist principality in east Syria to cut Syria and Lebanon off from a land route to Iran. It was warned that such a principality would create havoc in Iraq and to the return of AQ in Iraq (today the Islamic State) to Mosul and Ramadi. As this scenario was predicted and followed directly from the situation the U.S. and its partners wanted to achieve we do no longer have to wonder why the U.S. was so reluctant to prevent the fall of Ramadi. It is part of the plan.

Steve Chovanek at Reports From Underground investigates the recent fall of Palmyra to the Islamic State and finds that it is The Result of US-Coalition Ramping up Aid to Extremists. Steve draws from several reports (I had also mentioned here) and finds:

The Obama administration recently approves the shipment of heavy weaponry to the Syrian opposition after long hesitation, the US-led operation rooms in Turkey and Jordan openly encourage working with al-Qaeda to defeat Assad’s army, and the new Saudi King Salman, whose country is the main funder of ISIS, openly has ramped up support to Islamists in Syria, all the while al-Qaeda makes recent gains in the northwest and south, while ISIS makes its gains in the eastern region of Palmyra.

All just one big coincidence? I think not…

I agree that there is obviously some plan behind the seemingly coordinated advances of Al-Qaeda in Syria under the name Jabhat al-Nusra or now also as Army of Conquest and the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Not only the facts but also the DIA report point to such a plan.

The third item of interest is a Reuters report that picks up on news that had so far only been locally reported in Turkey: Exclusive: Turkish intelligence helped ship arms to Syrian Islamist rebel areas:

Testimony from gendarmerie officers in court documents reviewed by Reuters allege that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells were carried in trucks accompanied by state intelligence agency (MIT) officials more than a year ago to parts of Syria under Islamist control.

With the publishing of the DIA reports, of reports on active military Turkish support for Al Qaeda Islamists and of pieces that admit the U.S. support for the current Al-Qaeda offense in Syria the Obama administration will probably come under some pressure to change course. The fall of Sirte in Libya to the Islamic State may add to the pile. The Obama administration could at least be pressed to refrain from further supporting Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.

But the Obama administration is notoriously difficult to shame and when in doubt always chooses the worst alternative. The best we can hope for is that information like above gets spread further around and will over time drain support for such policies.

Posted by b on May 21, 2015 at 16:11 UTC | Permalink


If Obama was serious about fighting ISIL, he would pressure Turkey to halt the flow of Jihadis and armaments accords the border with Syria. This is the ONLY way to defeat ISIL.

Posted by: Vollin | May 21 2015 16:40 utc | 1

If the Turkish military doesn't act soon to depose Erdogan, it will be too late for them. maybe it's already too late to prevent Turkey's slide from responsible nation to Medieval failed state. Erdogan is a Morsi wannabe.

Posted by: A | May 21 2015 16:50 utc | 2

In an interview with a non-MSM pundit during Monday's RT News broadcast, the pundit fingered JaN as Obama's conduit for IS arms. The US supplies weapons to Obama's (moderate) JaN rebels who then sell them to IS.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 21 2015 17:07 utc | 3

You can rest assured that the MSM will bury this deep, just as they buried the Hersh story. But we do know now what paperbacks UbL had on his shelf...

Posted by: chuckvw | May 21 2015 17:18 utc | 4

Talking about Predictions...

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Tomorrow's News Today, 19-5-2015
(Writing History Before It Happens)

The premise is headlines we're certain to see in the future.

My favourite..
8. Toddler kills mother [father, brother, sister] in [Idaho, Cleveland, Albuquerque, or state or city of your choice] with family gun:
Statistically, death-by-toddler is a greater danger to Americans living in “the homeland” than death by terrorist,

(Comment wouldn't PREVIEW so I deleted the TomDispatch article link)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 21 2015 18:02 utc | 5

Is this a deflection ploy, or legit?
The Libyan crisis was a direct problem for Europe as it caused an oil supply disruption, and Obama seemed to have a follow-along attitude over the whole affair IMHO.

Was the idea to ship the crisis to Syria emerged in the meantime of the NATO campaign, or was this a designed, mechanized reaction to an Arab Spring type event ?

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 21 2015 18:23 utc | 6

Thanks b.

I guess the U.S. "training" of the Iraqi army in corruption and incompetence - and not actual defence - was the plan all along. Since far superior numbers and equipment by the Iraqis military, and yet still suffering endless defeats due to military incompetence and corruption, imo is the biggest reason for the success of ISIL in Iraq. The US's real training of war, was reserved for ISIL and Al Qaeda, who train their soldiers ( even without the US is help ) in about six months for combat.

After all these years The Iraqi government still relies on Shia militias to do their real fighting, that's insane.

" supportive powers " says it all doesn't it. Supportive of the Empire in a war of domination.

I'm really glad commenters here are condemning the despicable actions of the Turkish government. Turkey has been essential in establishing a terrorist jihadi caliphate in its own plans for hegemony at the expense of millions of innocent lives. Fucking disgraceful. Humanity already has way too many enemies, and the Turkish MIC wants to rise up the evil charts.

Posted by: tom | May 21 2015 18:31 utc | 7

I get the sense that these moves -- ISIS in Ramadi and Palmyra, the Nusra-led Islamic coalition push south in Idlib with the goal of pressuring the coastal areas where Syrian support is concentrated -- are centrally coordinated. Who could provide this kind of coordination if not the CIA in its Turkish nerve center?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 21 2015 18:33 utc | 8

That's so little retaliation has happened or is sought after by the U.S. administration, against the murder of its own embassador in Libya, shows that All humans - including one of their own higher-ups - are sacrifice-able even when killed by jihadis, in its plans for war and domination.

Posted by: tom | May 21 2015 18:45 utc | 9

I forgot to add, that since these terrorist jihadi proxies are we central for domination plans in Syria and Iraq, that's exactly why are not calling for action against the embassador said killers. ISIL and Al Qaeda's PR needs to be protected for destroying regimes not friendly to the US across the Middle East.

Posted by: tom | May 21 2015 18:50 utc | 10

F me. Sorry about my poor spelling and sentence construction everyone. Naturally not good at it, and it's 4:50 AM here in Australia

Posted by: tom | May 21 2015 18:52 utc | 11

thanks b..

isis - made in saudi arabia, and supported by the usa, turkey and israel - what a line up of countries determined to support isis in order to topple assad.. there will be no acknowledgement of any of this in the msm.. how about the continued mash up in yemen? another ugly byproduct with many of the same ugly characters..

@3 j-nus sells it to isis.. same deal.

@8 mike.. cia coordinating from inside turkey for this obvious end result - same made in the usa bullshit for sure.. hey - you are either for us, or against us.. what a pathetic cast of characters..

Posted by: james | May 21 2015 19:11 utc | 12

Thanks b for all your work deciphering the plans of the empire of evil. Guess your keen eyes are back on track and on target.

Until yesterday, RT News had an interview with (Danny Kelly?) someone commenting on the US "bombing" of IS, guessing it will take 10-15 years to take back Ramadi at the sporadic, intermittent, inconsistent way the US bombing takes place in Anbar province. On the other hand, Iran is well informed that if IS triumphs in Iraq and Syria, they are next, and the recent visit by Iran's MoD to Iraq highlights that concern, with Iran offering unfettered aid to Iraq in battling IS. Would that mean "boots on the ground" if Iran sees Iraq in danger of falling? Same with Syria? That is yet to be seen. What was clear was Iran's full commitment to Iraq after the fall of Ramadi. The Iraqi PM was in Russia yesterday requesting help from the Russians, who have a lot to teach the Iraqis about fighting taqfiris. Russia Insider published yesterday a video series called "President" about Putin's presidency, and video #3 or 4 (don't remember exactly) deals with Chechnya. The narrative by Putin et al looks like a general essay of what is happening now to Iraq and Syria. It is worth to watch the entire series (8 videos) which shed light on contemporary Russian history and world events. Iraq's big mistake was to allow the US into the fight, since the real role of the US is to do damage control, exploiting Iraq's ethnic and religious contradictions to minimize the damage to IS, while pretending to have the intention to fight their bastard children. FarsNews published an op/ed piece call "Ramadi: Devil's something" which launches an scathing attack on Iraq's body politics, blaming them for the fall of Ramadi. Sorry about not posting links, I am drive-by posting from my iPad.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 21 2015 19:50 utc | 13


Erdogan is a Morsi wannabe.

Right on, just that he already surpassed Morsi, securing his position by purging the Turkish army from any potential opposition, which idiot Morsi by-passed assuming Egyptian army was ready to support his intentions to become the tyrant of an "Islamic" state.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 21 2015 20:03 utc | 14

Lame stream press and others might be wrong on Palmyra

Posted by: jo6pac | May 21 2015 20:05 utc | 15

The latest offensives by the taqfiris in Iraq and Syria, the increased military aid from the usual suspects, and the fall of Idlib, Ramadi, Palmyra, all happened in the context of the bombing of Yemen. Wonder if b can shed some light and connect some dots between Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Why would the profligate Saudis open another front while getting busier with Iraq and Syria? Is their Yemen offensive part of a "Greater KSA" lebensraum, marginal to Iraq and Syria? Where does the Yemen offensive fit vis-a-vis Iraq and Syria? Cui bono? What are the interests of the empire in supporting the degenerate Saudis? Too many questions, so little time.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 21 2015 20:20 utc | 16

Lone Wolf @ 14. I think you sum up the U.S. role in Iraq aptly -- damage control for the jihadis. The problem after Ramadi is that Abadi can no longer sideline the Popular Mobilization Forces without his own Dawa Party replacing him as prime minister.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 21 2015 20:22 utc | 17


Thanks for the link, and the good news. Everybody has been talking about Palmyra having fallen to the vermin, while I was reading other reports from Syria denying it. Your link clarifies the situation.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 21 2015 20:32 utc | 18

TEHRAN (FNA)- Informed sources at the Iranian embassy in Damascus rejected Israeli media reports alleging that the mission has come under attack by al-Nusrah Front terrorist group.

The reports released by the Zionist regime's media on the al-Nusrah Front's terrorist attack on the embassy building are not true, an informed source told FNA on Thursday.

The Israeli military website, DEBKA file, had earlier reported that a powerful explosion struck the Iranian embassy in Damascus Wednesday night, May 20.

The website also reported “heavy casualties” and serious damage to the embassy compound.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 21 2015 20:33 utc | 19

Meanwhile, Sisi is caught with his hand in the Libyan cookie jar...!

New leak alleges plan for Egypt and UAE to arm Libya campaign

Posted by: CTuttle | May 21 2015 20:33 utc | 20

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Army's Ground Force started massive wargames, codenamed Beit al-Moqaddas 27, in the Western parts of the country on Thursday.

The exercises started following an order by Ground Force Commander Lieutenant General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan in Kermanshah region this morning.

Different infantry, armored, artillery, rapid reaction, rangers and airforce units are participating in the massive wargames which is due to be held in three different geographical regions of the country for one week.

According to Pourdastan, in addition to using new equipment and weapons and their assessment, the troops are due to test advanced tactics specifically designed for fighting against proxy wars.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 21 2015 20:40 utc | 21

Thank you b. And Brad. But we knew what was up for months, if not years - although having the actual documents does resoundingly corroborate our very worst fears and conclusions.

Will we American zc's ever admit that Barack the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama is the CIA's first successful Manchurian Candidate as POTUS? Since 21 January 2009 he has, and continues to, work for the CIA's perceived interests of the TNCs along every dimension of governance and necessarily against the interests of us Americans - and the human population of the world at large - at the same time.

' But the Obama administration is notoriously difficult to shame and when in doubt always chooses the worst alternative. The best we can hope for is that information like above gets spread further around and will over time drain support for such policies. '

We American zc's are notoriously difficult to awake and when in doubt we always turn over and catch 40 more winks. The best we can hope for is the collapse of our economy when the music stops ... before WW III ensues, in accord with the CIA's and their Potemkin POTUS' earnest best efforts and plans.

Posted by: jfl | May 21 2015 21:16 utc | 22

jfl, what does zc mean? Not zip code, surely; What?

Posted by: okie farmer | May 21 2015 21:58 utc | 23

@Mike Maloney@17

(...)The problem after Ramadi is that Abadi can no longer sideline the Popular Mobilization Forces without his own Dawa Party replacing him as prime minister.

Mike, mind to elaborate why it would be a problem? You mean for Abadi himself, or for his relations with the US? Using the PMF would have been the order of the day if he wants to save his head, he can't be a PM without it. My impression about Abadi he's been sitting on the fence, playing a half-game with the US, the other half with Iran. The Iranians have been waiting in the wings for a situation such as the current one, to step in and take on the taqfiris more directly. The military exercises on their Western border speak volumes about their focus and intentions. What's your take on Abadi, and why do you think using the PMF would be a problem for him? With whom? Thanks.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 21 2015 23:58 utc | 24

Can b or someone please clarify something? If the US and Turkey were shipping arms to Syrian rebels early on (which is surely true) and were working with Al Qaeda in Lybia and Syria back then (which also makes seems likely), why did Al Qaeda attack the US consulate in Benghazi?

Posted by: Sigil | May 22 2015 0:22 utc | 25

Long and timely article, I am only posting the part concerning Syria, follow the link for the Ukraine.

Inside source: Putin will not abandon Syria or Ukraine

Once again, probably for a hundredth time we hear that Putin will betray someone. They said, he will betray Novorossia, but this has not happened, then the same tune was heard about Syria. Generally speaking, it's not news about Syria at all. These talks hasn't stopped, but each time nothing happens.

It's time to once and for all clarify whether he will or will not betray them and if the Americans will start bombing Syria. So far we have said that bombing Assad is impossible, now, we're ready to say more and reveal the cards of what we believe will happen in Syria.


Firstly, I want to say to those who want to hear the answer to this question once and for all, that there is no such answer, because there are different circumstances. What if Assad will be gone tomorrow and one of his officials will head the fight, and then it turns out that he himself, killed Assad. Will the Russian President support his fight? The point is - the situation is fluid, and we should go from facts on the ground. But let's break this down. We can define three more or less distinguished parties in the Syrian conflict: Assad, ISIS and the Syrian opposition, supported by the US.

As you know, a fight always involves two sides, and the third tries to incite them, so that they, God forbid, don't reconcile and charge together against the third party. In this case, each side wants to be the third party, which is not involved in the fight. In our present story, there are only two such parties — Assad and the Syrian opposition. ISIS is not content with sitting on the sidelines. ISIS wants to conquer territory, it can't wait, and while things are not great, ISIS wants to capture as much as possible in this situation. But the opposition would love the Islamists to break Assad's neck and then the United States could mercilessly bomb these Islamists, and only when everything is prepared, invite the Syrian opposition to rule over Syria. Those who plan such operations should realize that those who win with foreign bayonets, will not hold on to power. Assad would also like the main fighting to be between the Islamists and the opposition. This is exactly what is happening and will continue. As you know, the most brutal fighting is internal. That is, figuratively speaking, some species of the same breed compete against each other to secure the prey, and then move a step up from their own species. In our situation there are two sides — the challengers and the President. The "challenger" species consists of two members - opposition and ISIS. They will have the internal struggle. Each of them expects to win, and after becoming the sole winner, then move on Assad.

Syria does not border Saudi Arabia directly, but only through Jordan or Iraq, and it's a completely different side from the events that are now taking place between SA and Yemen. This will essentially be a second front against the Saudi army. This second front the Saudis need exactly the same as Hitler needed his second front. The results will be devastating. In this situation, the Saudi capons are not at all looking forward to it, and they feel that this time the bell is ringing for them.

All of this has implications for the global oil prices. Whatever the U.S. does the oil prices will go up. Even if they just bomb Yemen, the price will rise, as military actions sometimes bring surprises and the risks are very high. It will affect not only oil prices, but also political preferences, political stability and so on.

For Europe this operation will definitely backfire as did the previous one. In this case we are talking about Libya. In this case, of course, the EU did not just sat in a puddle [a Russian saying], but fell into crap up to ears. What is happening with refugees from Libya defies description. However, it is quite fair, that the citizens of a destroyed country are fleeing to Europe, where nobody bombed anyone, and on the contrary, they bombed Lybia! Today after shattering the country into broken shards, the EU has to take all these refugees. We have already heard what Merkel said about Ebola and even blaimed WHO for being too slow. Meanwhile Sarkozy is nowhere to be heard and is hiding in dark corners, hiding his eyes from those condemning him, whom there are many. Sarkozy managed to elude prosecution for his "military activities" in the last presidential cadence, but Hollande is generally a nasty centipede. Nevertheless, Libya is destroyed and its hydrocarbons are looted by American companies.(...)

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 22 2015 1:47 utc | 26

Perhaps I'm thick-headed, but I just don't understand why AQ would select the Benghazi station for attack when it was playing a pivotal role in the transport of weapons to syria to al nusra then to AQ.

I believe the intelligence report states the truth and I'm not second-guessing it, just trying to figure it out.

Can someone offer an explanation? Thanks.

Posted by: sleepy | May 22 2015 3:04 utc | 27

A couple of years ago I watched an interview featuring an expert on the global petroleum industry. It was his contention that much of the conflict occurring throughout the oil-rich countries of the ME was very profitable for major oil countries and their Wall street "comrades" in regard to how increased conflict would translate in higher oil prices, and bigger profits. I can't recall for certain whether he said that these oil industry giants were directly orchestrating much of the chaos now happening; but I came away with the conclusion that whatever it takes to increase profits is fair game.

Posted by: bjmaclac | May 22 2015 3:10 utc | 28

I recall vaguely that one of the msn outlets reported that Al qaeda was involved in the Benghazi consulate attack but after a vigorous denial by the WH they then retracted the claim. At the time it seemed to me that they had made a pretty convincing case that a seasoned Islamic jihadist group had done the attack though they lacked direct evidence that the group had been officially sanctioned by Al qaeda. How does one of these groups receive official sanction anyway?

In any case it was clear to me that within the first week of the uprising against Khadaffi that the militants were combat trained forces and the case for a spontaneous people's uprising was pure lying propaganda. US intelligence obviously knew more than I did. In fact ambassador Stevens very likely knew his killers (having arranged for arming them in the beginning) and was in Benghazi to try to convince them to return their arms so they could be sent to Syria to support the "people's" uprising there. They disagreed obviously.

The lies the obvious lies. If we had a legitimate opposition party in this country they could have thoroughly discredited the Obama admin (especially Hillary) over the Benghazi consulate fiasco. Instead the Republicans went on and on about a bunch of bogus issues that were easily answered by the admin.

Well thanks b. You have been on this story from the beginning and perhaps in another year or two we will hear some mea culpa's from the NYTimes etc about how they failed, yet again, to inform the American people in a timely manner.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 22 2015 3:14 utc | 29

Sleepy: You are a presumably rational mind attempting to "mirror" the mind of an AQ commander or someone in the west directly or indirectly influencing or attempting to influence such a scorpion. That will never function. Their minds are the opposite of yours. They are driven by waves of murderous emotionalism (AQ) or unfathomable satanism (western "controllers". The object is to breed more scorpions for deployment against Russia and China (and allies such as Syria). So what if some of the scorpions kill one or two of your own?? It's "ALL GOOD!!": Terrific recruiting propaganda (striking a blow against the "Great Satan" (not really, just a few of their expendables.......) Look at the Big Picture: The scorpions are breeding, the chaos is spreading! It's "All Good!!" John S

Posted by: John S | May 22 2015 3:50 utc | 30

Sigil: You are a presumably rational mind attempting to "mirror" the mind of an AQ commander or someone in the west directly or indirectly influencing or attempting to influence such a scorpion. That will never function. Their minds are the opposite of yours. They are driven by waves of murderous emotionalism (AQ) or unfathomable satanism (western "controllers". The object is to breed more scorpions for deployment against Russia and China (and allies such as Syria). So what if some of the scorpions kill one or two of your own?? It's "ALL GOOD!!": Terrific recruiting propaganda (striking a blow against the "Great Satan" (not really, just a few of their expendables.......) Look at the Big Picture: The scorpions are breeding, the chaos is spreading! It's "All Good!!"

Posted by: John S | May 22 2015 3:53 utc | 31

tom @ 11: Thoughts count here more than spelling. Not to worry.

Posted by: ben | May 22 2015 5:35 utc | 32


Zombified Cogs [on the wheels of the imperial killing machine]. I read it in a post of Margaret Kimberley's at Black Agenda Report ...

Freedom Rider: American Hell for Yemen

The U.S.-spawned whirlwind of carnage and destruction has wrecked the societies of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, yet most Americans feel themselves blameless. “The people, the corporate media and the political system all accept that their government has the right to intervene in the affairs of other nations and that it is always right and moral in its claims.” They behave like zombified cogs in an imperial death machine.

... and it resonated. Fifteen going on twenty years after the onset of the New American Century ... and its still going on. Seems an apt description of us impotent Americans. Rufus liked it so much that I keep using it out of deference to him.

Posted by: jfl | May 22 2015 5:49 utc | 33

As soon as the Egyptian and Tunisian leftists became too vocal in the demonstrations and expressed clearly the roadmaps they wanted for the society and the economy, the Gulfies pressed the button "stop that mess and get rid of our archenemies qaddafi and Assad for us"
In the middle of a financial crisis the West said yes. Qatar had been in bed with France and the Uk who had to convi ce Italy they would not let it down afterwards. As for Turkey it is probably the Us which was ordered to promess them a big piece of the pie. Italy , Turkey ,and Egypt have lost billions in the fall of Qaddafi (bilateral exchanges for the 1st and migrant workers for 2nd and 3 rd)
Conveniently the geographical location of libya was the perfect spot from where one could pressure and influence events in egypt and tunisia

Posted by: Mina | May 22 2015 8:34 utc | 34

in re 33 -- Oh yeah, I like your zombie cop-out. It's a nice stick to beat you with. Metaphorically, of course.

I find it patronizing and defeatist, an excuse for passivity masquerading as moral and intellectual superiority. It smacks of the worst of the condescension of the "ineffectual left."

And objectively, doesn't it replicate the message that the bourgeoisie sends? Resistance is useless, and you will be punished. But please save us the bother, go along, and piss and moan all you like if reconciles you to your fate.

By ignoring movements here and throughout the world, it distorts the reality of mass discontent -- McDonald's workers, Baltimore, sharp hostility of working America to the Fast Track/TPP, Novorossiya, Zapatistas, Die Linke, the Bolivarian experiment, etc.

I was called "anti-labor" for some reason when I earlier reported on the Millenial's approval for socialism. As a card-carrying trade unionist and long-time socialist aktiv who works on the shop floor, that really ticked me off. If the system were confident about the replication of compliant labor power, we would not be seeing NSA mass surveillance.

So it didn't so much resonate as annoy. I don't recall anyone here picking up the ball and running with it (I forget who I cribbed "ineffecual left" from, that resonated, thanks again).

Since you consistently produce far too much glib bull-shit to easily track and refute, I found it a convenient stand in. But if you do manage to come up with a different catch phrase, I'll be all over that one, too, jfool.

And perhaps most important, it's a good excuse for snarky video links.

So Turn Away from the path of complicity in your own subjugation. And from trying to pull the rest of us on to it.

Turn turn away
From the sound of your own voice
Calling no one, just a silence

Resistance is not futile. "Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 22 2015 11:45 utc | 35

27;It seemed to me that it could have been Khadafi loyalists who attacked Stevens,but if it was Islamists,it just means there are many heads on the hydra,and they are always not coordinated.They all hate US,despite their collusion.
Todays Indy says its Assads fault for Palmyra falling,Sheesh.

Posted by: dahoit | May 22 2015 13:31 utc | 36

@25 Al Qaeda and ISIS like every organization over the size of two have multiple actors. I haven't followed Benghazi at all because the gun runner Stevens experienced his comeuppance and whatever outrages Republicans just doesn't concern me. In the case of Libya, western governments were recruiting and encouraging all kinds of people to join the fight with no kind of colony control.

How many U.S. soldiers would quit if they had to deal with World War II conditions? The answer is so many the U.S. won't operate without a TGIFridays on standby. Many of the underlings joined to fight Americans and Israel, not work together regardless of connections between their leaders and the MIC. Militants frag leaders who betray the cause all the time, and there are more believers in (insert particular group) than moles with an escape plan to Northern Virginia.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | May 22 2015 13:52 utc | 37

In the meantime in the Ukraine, chickens are coming home to roost...the neo-Nazi useful idiots with their Nietzschean tunnel vision thought turning back the clock of history was a matter of will, went full speed ahead in their phony "Glory to Ukraine" bs trip pushed by their Western puppeteers, to find themselves sinking in a quagmire of their own making. Chess and judo master Putin was watching and waiting for the Ukrainians to drown in their own excretions, before throwing them a rescue tube on his own terms, which they and their puppeteer masters were forced to accept. Now they have come to terms with the Russian position on the Association Agreement with the EU, because neither Eurostan nor the Ukies have a choice: they are bankrupt.

EU Prepares to Abandon Ukraine

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 22 2015 15:26 utc | 38
The Islamic State (IS) group says it was behind a suicide bombing on a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia that killed at least 10 people.

The attack in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province is the first to be claimed by the Saudi branch of IS, which was formally established last November.

The claim was posted on Twitter with an image of the bomber by an account that is a reliable source on the group.

IS has previously threatened to attack Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
A doctor at the hospital told the BBC that at least 10 people were killed and about 70 injured, "some very critically".
Television pictures of the bombing showed shattered glass and debris inside the mosque, where scores were said to have been praying.

A spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry said the bomber detonated a suicide belt inside the mosque, causing a number of people to be "martyred or wounded".

"Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime," the official said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 22 2015 17:29 utc | 39

Amazing...when you cut it down, the AmeriKan administration is arming and training open terrorist armies to attack and destabilize a sovereign state (after already doing a number on Libya...and poor, poor Iraq) and no one save Russia has anything to say about how wrong that is. Talk about the wrong cabal getting the upper hand and convincing people who should know better that this is somehow a noble endeavor. And they still got the nerve to stand up there and tell everyone "we're the good guys?" Look at your allies, skumbags, and be judged by the company you keep and your heinous crimes against humanity.
Doing SaudiIsraelia's work ensures a free pass from all the USSA and western least those who value their jobs and their precious access.

Posted by: farflungstar | May 22 2015 17:39 utc | 40


Give it a rest Rufus. My intent is to keep our absolute ineffectiveness before us in order that we may do what it takes to remedy it. It hasn't and won't remedy itself.

Posted by: jfl | May 22 2015 19:36 utc | 41

Straight from the horse's mouth...the straight skinny...

Head of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate Accuses the West of Creating a Transnational 'Islamist' Terror Network

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 22 2015 19:40 utc | 42


That's right

When it's a bit clearer to people/ journalists generally who aren't frothing US imperialists , that the US's role in expanding terrorism is obvious, that's when The self lying cowardly doctrine of "lesser evilism" in kicks, to further deform and warp an already politically immoral mind.
That lesser evilism can and has transformed in some if not most of those willing and doubtless minds, thinking that Al Qaeda and ISIL as being thought of less evil, that Assad, Iran, Shia militias, Hezbollah etc, because that what the "good guys" told them to think.

The other side being that, even though here in Australia where the media has been more so exposing ISIL for their heinous terrorism and warcrimes, much more then the fear campaign against Assad, Hezbollah or Iran, most people/journalists are despicably happy or indifferent or resigned to seeing Arabs and Muslims killing each other and Will never bother asking how much the US and Europe and their allies helped all that. Its lose/lose for political; ethics, morality, empathy and consciousness.

The most dominant foreign policy idenity and PR since 2001, has been the "war on terror". The fact that a jihadi caliphate has been established during the war on terror ( more like the 'war by terror' in the US empire ) had without even a hint of public thinking that the war of terror is a complete failure because of the establishment of a caliphate, shows how it seems that nothing is going to stop this horror show.

Posted by: tom | May 22 2015 20:26 utc | 43

Also relevant: This recent report about how the Gulf states flooded newly democratic Tunisia with $$$ in 2011 with aim of recruiting Tunisians to go fight *in Syria*:

Posted by: Helena Cobban | May 22 2015 20:44 utc | 44

in re 41 --

Give it a rest Rufus. My intent is to keep our absolute ineffectiveness before us in order that we may do what it takes to remedy it.

And my intent is to keep reminding you that that is patronizing bullshit. I don't need petulant reminders of bad things are, with "abandon all hope" as an overtone. And frankly I would think few if any of the regulars here need such "reminders."

And like I said, it's a substitute for chasing down all your glib word salads that distort past, present, and future. Like that "all historians" riff, which conflates Roosevelt and Churchill with Ford and Jos. Kennedy, JFK's father. "All historians" rarely agree with anything. Sure, lots of political figures in Europe and America found Hitler a useful force of anti-Bolshevism. Churchill was strongly anti-communist, but to his credit. he never had any use for Hitler.

I fail to understand how one goes instantaneously from "absolute ineffectiveness" to fundamental change.

Bad history and bad analysis make for bad programs and, worst of all, bad action. I always bag my limit on them all. But frankly all I see is bad history and analysis, I see no program or action, apart from a vague, voluntaristic idealism. I mean philosophical idealism, vs. historical materialism. I don't doubt your noble intentions, I strongly question your ignoble means.

So lay off the zombie cog riff, jfool, and I'll let you chatter on -- largely -- in peace.

Zombie cop-out, zombie co-dependency, zombie condescension, zombie claptrap. Zzzzz.....

Sadly, as there ain't no rest for the wicked, I just gotta keep on keeping on.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 22 2015 21:57 utc | 45

This is the smoking gun evidence of a traitorous and wildly dangerous US Middle East policy.

Of course such documents exist regarding Ukraine - probably something aloing the lines of supporting nazi-OUN elements would lead to a partition of the country and a civli war. They just haven't come out yet (hopefully Hillary Clinton's emails will contain some correspondence with neocon Nuland).

I'm not optimistic enough to think this would change anything, though it certainly is a bold warning that the only possible policy at this point is an "about face". The media will not pick this up. The people will not learn of it until, perhaps, a few "conspiracy theorists" bring these facts up following the next massive terror attack on US soil.

Posted by: guest77 | May 22 2015 22:45 utc | 46

For those wondering why the attack on the facility outside Benhgazi (it was not a Consulate or Embassy), Paula Broadwell's revelation (the reason Petraeus was canned) gives the answer: the CIA safe-house in the city proper had taken militia members prisoner and the attack was made in an attempt to free them.

For your viewing pleasure:

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2015 22:49 utc | 47

Try again: the Broadwell video


In case the link doesn't show (again) here is the html:

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2015 22:51 utc | 48

Full Disclosure: Daily Beast article explains includes a supposition that Broadwell was repeating an erroneous news report, along with this CIA denial:

“The CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless.”

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2015 23:02 utc | 49

@jfl and @rufus

While Americans bear some responsibility, the knowing actions/inactions of corrupt leaders are FAR more grievous an offense to humanity than the inaction of ordinary people. And the efforts by those leaders to mislead, misdirect, and otherwise deter dissent is indirect proof that Americans would not approve of what is done in their name.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2015 23:19 utc | 50


Ooo, jfool. Again. Gee, rufus. And I thought you were such a nice guy, too. You may be able to kill the messenger - you seem to be rallying all "the regulars here" into a lynch mob, good luck with that - but not the message.


The facts are the aggressions have been going on since the turn of the millennium, big time. And they show no signs of letting up but of increasing. The only people in position to do anything about that are us, the American people. And we haven't done, yet.

Posted by: jfl | May 22 2015 23:51 utc | 51


I think the Occupy Movement created a moniker that is much more appropriate for you than 'zc': 'the 1%', comprising string-pullers, rulers, and their family, friends, associates, lackeys, influencers, etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 23 2015 0:14 utc | 52

Lebanon is an important part of this equation. While it has not been one of the main planners or funders of the assault on Syria, powerful factions in its governance and population have contributed support for the Syrian insurgency from the beginning. Further, Lebanon is part of the ongoing targeting by Israel and American neocons (as well as bribery by Saudi funding and Western promises to bolster its economy).

1) Lebanese March 14 leaders (like Saad Hariri and Okab Sakr) were deeply involved in trafficing arms from Libya to Turkey for Syrian rebels as early as 2011 (google Okab Sakr at al-akhbar english).

2) The Special Tribunal for Lebanon charade that initially tried framing Syria (for the death of Rafik Hariri), then Hezbollah is still trying to find an enemy of Israel to frame. Currently, it is attacking one of the few independent (non-Saudi funded) press outlets in Lebanon, the editor of al-Akhbar for exposing relevant information.

3) A group of Zionist congresscritters (led by Elliot Engel, surprise, surprise) like those who pushed through the Syria Accountability Act in 2003 are trying to push through similar legislation about Lebanon. If passed, the provisions of this act may further curtail the options of the presidency about not only Lebanon, but also Syria and Iran, just as Obama is shaking off some of the current restrictions by securing an Iran deal.

4) Israel and Saudi Arabia are throwing out every obstacle they can possibly muster to block, distract or erode Obama's push for a deal with Iran. Israel is afraid that once Obama gets the Iran issue nailed down, he'll start a serious push on Palestine. They hope that if they can drag him down long enough, his window of opportunity will pass. The Saudis just want to keep their fundy clerics happy enough that they don't critique the family corruption, their problem children busy in someone else's backyard and their uppity shiites and guest/slave workers from thinking they have any chance of a better life.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 23 2015 0:59 utc | 53


That's some narrative Rusty. I'm struck by your underlying assumption of Obama as benevolent leader facing off against Israel and Saudi Arabia. What makes you think that Obama wants a deal that they would not agree to? What makes you think that Obama is not a neocon himself? What makes you think that your duplicitous hero is not just playing a part in a Kabuki play? Did you forget his:

- droning weddings?
- turning a no-fly-zone in Libya into a bombing campaign?
- Intention to bomb Syria on trumped up evidence?
- Covert and overt support for Syrian rebel extremists?
- Apparent unwillingness to 'get tough' with ISIS and those that support ISIS?
- supporting the coup government in Ukraine?
- support for CIA (no accountability for torture and rendition) and NSA (Clapper remains)?
- support for Saudi war on Yeman?

When has he NOT supported the neocons? In fact, he has always qualified his remarks regarding the Iranian talks by saying that the peace deal has to be acceptable to US allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia).

And why is the US so worked up about Russia sending the S-300 (probably the S-400 now) to Iran if they are planning for peace deal? That's a purely defensive weapon. Could it be that the neocons want to be certain that they have an offensive option? Bonus question: if Israel doesn't sign-on to the Agreement (if there is one) then wouldn't they still be free to attack Iran? Wouldn't they be more likely to do so if the environmental effects could be minimized (by greatly reducing the number of centrifuges)?

How likely is it that Iran knows whats up and pretended agrement only to get the S-300/S-400? Are the players being played? Mmmm.... Did Kerry convince Putin not sell the S-300/S-400 to Iran? Probably not (See comment above about 'no sellout').

So again, just what makes you think that there will be a peace deal? Because Obama?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 23 2015 1:46 utc | 54

in re 51 --

Glad to see my little nickname resonates. If the shoe fits....

I was a pretty nice guy, until your "anti-labor" crack. You never did have the courage or decency to either support or retract that slur.

Don't worry, many people mistake my affability for being a push over. Like the English say, I bend the stick in the other direction when provoked. You drop the f-bomb constantly, it loses its effect. Think of it as a little rhetorical chiaroscuro.

And like I keep telling you, I don't need your "message." I get the impression that most folks here have already got it as well.

I do rather like to have evidence for my point of view. Courtesy of Alternet, Why Some Kids Go to Prison for No Reason and Some Kids Go to College No Matter How Badly They Act, a cogent observation from sociologist Alice Goffman. I believe her observation applies beyond just the criminalization of minority youth.

If the problem is worse that what you imagined, there is perhaps also more cause for hope. That’s because for the first time in 40 years, we’re entering a moment in which real change may be possible, where momentum is starting to build to reverse our great social experiment in punishment and find a better way forward. A more human way forward.

To cite a few examples, I certainly couldn't have imagined a move by McDonald's workers for a $15 min. wage and unions. Public outrage served a role in stiffening congresscritter spines against our Laureate's "line in the sand" ploy in Syria. And as I've said before, the protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York against police brutality and impunity show some spirit.

The problems are far older and deeper than you imagine. You might recall this posting from the Jacobin, I believe it was part of the post you somehow though "anti-labor."

The destruction of the CPUSA and labor radicalism in the Cold War, re-created by the Reagan counter-revolution (after the brief interlude of SDS and the New Left) and accelerated by the destruction of the Union (deeply flawed, but a counterweight that kept capital somewhat honest) had their desired effect. But the underlying conditions that supported the mandatory purchase of social peace have long since faded.

The demoralization and marginalization of the left wrought by nearly 70 years of "Friendly Fascism" will take more than hectoring to overcome. That phrase may be a little broad and glib, but one matches one's material to the audience.

Don't I recall Comrade Ulyanov saying something about the tribune of the people patiently explaining? I'm usually exceptionally patient.

Had you any concrete plan or even a single, concrete, practical action to overcome the inertia of decades, I would take you more seriously. I like that old Second International standard, endorsed by Rosa Luxembourg, of the mass general strike myself. Like the Wobblies said, if we workers spit together, the bosses would drown. That kind of unity takes solid organizing work on the ground (I've done my share, largely back in the 80' and 90's, but I try and keep my hand in), not some rhetorical silver bullet.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 3:14 utc | 55

jackrabbit at 50 & 52 -- Very good points. How could I have forgotten Occupy? Mrs. M tried to work with them locally, but she found them disorganized and unfocused here in the Delaware Valley. We both went to the big trade union demo on Wall Street held not long after. We bumped in Trumka and his posse near Battery Park afterwards, gave 'em a shout-out.

The first immediate step -- Little Red Songbook everyone, There is Power in a Union. It's got a good beat, and you can chase scabs to it. I'm AFT myself (a former adjunct, I still teach a bit part-time). Don't mourn, organize!

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 3:27 utc | 56

"People Live Here"--Donbass documentary shown at Cannes Film Festival

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 23 2015 3:52 utc | 57

Wahhabis go nuclear — literally

(...)ISIS/ISIL/Daesh invested in a lot of strategic planning to take Ramadi. The symbolism is far-reaching; a major defeat not only for Baghdad but also for the “leading from behind” Empire of Chaos, even though a clueless Barack Obama insists “we are not losing” the fight against the Caliphate.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi is finally starting to get the picture. He met with leaders of key Shi’ite militias — who will have to do the heavy lifting crossing the Euphrates and trying to retake Ramadi before the Caliphate goons decide to advance towards holy Karbala, which holds the tomb of Imam Hussein, the martyred grandson of Prophet Muhammad. It’s a race against time because ISIS/ISIL/Daesh may also try to control nearby Iraqi military bases and weapons depots.

As for Sunni tribal sheikhs around Ramadi willing to fight the Caliphate, they were — and remain — fuming because they never received promised weaponry from Baghdad. Besides, no one knows why the Iraqi Army on site did not get air support; helicopter gunships would have turned scores of Caliphate goons into minced meat.

Al-Abadi finally acted by removing his early ban for the Shi’ite militias to operate in hardcore Sunni Anbar province; they did that in the first place obeying a command by revered Ayatollah Sistani.

Meanwhile, the head of the Badr Corps and overall commander of the Shi’ite militas, Hadi al-Ameri, is sure that taking back Ramadi is easier than campaigning north of Baghdad in Salahuddin province — where the militias, alongside the Iraqi Army, recaptured Tikrit and Beiji from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. In both cases, Empire of Chaos bombing played a minimal role.

Al-Abadi also met with Iranian defense minister, Brig. Gen. Husain Dehqan, in Baghdad; he stressed both Iran and Iraq are fighting (Sunni) terrorist extremism; and crucially, he said, “we do not support the war on Yemen,” which puts Baghdad in direct conflict with Riyadh.

It gets even better; al-Abadi has gone to Moscow, where he hopes to get plenty of support — and weapons. After all, ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is crammed with Chechens. Moscow wants the Caliphate smashed; as it thrives, there is a direct threat of a jihadi renewal in Chechnya.

So now the stage is set for the Battle of Ramadi — remixed; Shi’ite militias plus Sunni tribals, the odd American adviser, and discreet help from Iran and Russia, against Caliphate goons, many of them mercenaries, lavishly supported by assorted wealthy Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia and across the Gulf. As far as the Empire of Chaos goes, Divide and Rule remains the sweetest game in town.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 23 2015 4:00 utc | 58

Thanks for this excellent post. The Us, Turkey and Saudi arabia are responsable of the possible destruction of Palmyra...

Posted by: guy | May 23 2015 4:11 utc | 59


I'll have to save this comment for future reference to see if it is prophetic or pathetic.

I wonder if al-Ameri has found the Hashid Force fighters who have urban warfare training he asked for when his 20,000 untrained forces at Tikrit were stalled for a month by 300 urban warriors from the IS.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 23 2015 5:20 utc | 60

Can anyone here weigh in on what kind of situation we'll have if ISIS takes Baghdad, or at least a part of it? First, is it possible? If it's possible, is it likely? And what would be the aftermath? Would Iraq completely collapse? Would oil prices shoot up? Would there be ground forces deployed from the U.S. or other countries?

It sounds like ISIS is planning to hit Baghdad but is taking its time, consolidating and slowing building its gains. Seems they're now coming up on the moment they attack.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23 2015 8:44 utc | 61


Besides, no one knows why the Iraqi Army on site did not get air support; helicopter gunships would have turned scores of Caliphate goons into minced meat.

No one knows ... that's Pepe's tongue in his cheek. The ISIS/ISIL/Saesh is the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's army, that's why.

And the whole first part of the article is about the Saudis getting nuclear weapons from Pakistan. Pepe dismissed that ...

Islamabad would be extremely foolish to jeopardize its relationship with Beijing by providing a nuclear weapon which would be used to threaten a non-nuclear neighbor — Iran — that not only is a Chinese strategic ally but will play a key role into easing Pakistan’s energy problems, via the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline, partly financed by — who else — Beijing.

... but as long as we're speculating freely why not look to Israel for Saudi nukes?

Amos Yadlin; if Iran had a bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”

Wouldn't Israel love to see the Saudis nuke Iran for them ... and suffer the consequences. Worked great on 9/11. Why not redux? They can swear up and down on a stack of bibles that it was a Pakistani bomb. The US will cover their ass. Just like 9/11.

Why the only thing for the US/Israel to do in the case of a Saudi bomb exploding in Iran would be to depose the 'mad Saudi king' ... and take over the Saudi oilfields to ensure 'stability' in the region and the world, just as George XLI did in Iraq twenty-five years ago. Only this time the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will keep it.

Posted by: jfl | May 23 2015 11:18 utc | 62

37;I thought for sure it was Zionist conquered.sheesh,what do I know.
UN conference on nuclear free ME stopped,Obomba calls Egypt the bad guys for pointing out Israel has the bomb.

Posted by: dahoit | May 23 2015 14:20 utc | 63

Thanks, b, for this post.

Posted by: MRW | May 23 2015 15:03 utc | 64


Obama benevolent? He's a politician -- as is Assad, as is Putin. In America, people who aspire to higher office don't even make it to the primaries without making promises to major donors. Some politicians are bought and paid for, others tie themselves down in some areas so that they can attempt to accomplish something in others, others buck the system and get redistricted out of a seat. Certainly, there is a long list of reasons that Obama's presidency has been more than a disappointment (even so, I still think that Hillary's presidency would have been and could still become even worse).

On the rare occasions that Obama has made efforts to resolve conflicts in the Middle East, especially related to Palestine and Iran, the timid in his own party have abandoned him and the callous, like Schumer and Engel, have joined the Republicans in attacking him. The major reason that most Democratic politicians have acted against their President and the wishes of the majority of party members is because of pressure from AIPAC and major Zionist donors. Money talks in American politics; corporations are people; campaign donations are free speech.

In 2003, over 400 members of Congress and 95 Senators voted for the Syria Accountability Act (with the exception of politicians like Kucinich, Conyers, Rangel and Robert Byrd). They did not pass such a vote (with truly onerous requirements, drafted by AIPAC) because of their adoration for Israel or their fear that Syria was or had been a threat to America. Engel is leading the charge once again on a (AIPAC-backed) bill that targets Hezbollah and any country or person who can be remotely smeared as affiliated. Just a few days ago, the NYT's scribe parroted Israeli leaders' claims that Hezbollah is bent on attacking them and has hidden its missiles among civilians -- so don't go blaming Israel if any day now they should be forced to slaughter thousands more Lebanese civilians.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 24 2015 1:12 utc | 65

Rusty @65

Lame Excuses.

A second term President has a lot of lee-way. He could speak out. He doesn't. Instead he spouts the neocon exceptionalism like a true believer.

And its not just foreign policy. We see the same duplicity in domestic affairs. He talks about 'fat cats' while he lines their pockets - he broke his campaign pledge to tax 'carried interest' and refused to prosecute banks for the GFC. His pics for Regulators (e.g. Attorney General, Head of SEC, etc.) have been terrible.

He has been one of the worst presidents for civil rights while he apes Martin Luther King's legacy. He said he would have "the most transparent" Administration ever but the Press have said he is the worst ever. He has given NSA free reign ("if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"; lies to Congress by DNI Clapper and Gen. Alexander) and refused to hold the CIA accountable over rendition and torture ("we tortured some folks"). He has continued the practice of signing statements - breaking yet another campaign pledge.

His IRS targeted tea-party conservatives, he got Susan Rice to lie about the Benghazi attack so that he could be re-elected (this is now clear because there were warnings 10 days before). He himself blatently lied about Obamacare (if you like your Doctor, you can keep your doctor) and promised a public option that never materialized.

Now he is pushing Obamatrade. A 'trade bill' that would destroy US sovereignty.


No doubt you know all of the above. But you choose to make excuses.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 24 2015 3:52 utc | 66

Good ol' Seymour Hersh:

The strategy was first revealed as far back as 2007 in Seymour Hersh’s article “The Redirection", which revealed how Bush administration officials were working with the Saudis to channel billions of dollars to sectarian death squads whose role would be to “throw bombs… at Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran and at the Syrians,” in the memorable words of one US official.

Excellent overview by Dan Glazebrook.

Posted by: fairleft | May 24 2015 4:35 utc | 67

Haha, wow. Everyone's in a feisty mood tonight.

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 4:54 utc | 68

rufus magister @45

I agree, give it a rest. If you have real optimism, report it. Yeah, zombie is an exaggeration, but there's something real there too. Everyone here experiences the mass "see no evil" phenomenon among our friends in the U.S. or in most Western or West-dominated countries. What we got here is direct support of Al Qaeda by the US government, reported by its own DIA, and even that is being ignored by the media and also by the vast majority of my friends and relatives. Paranoia among the American people about 'the Muslims' is a million times more common than recognition that the US government is the US's leading doer and supporter of terrorism, and our biggest allies Israel and Saudi Arabia up next. You're gonna lay all that on the media? People can't put two and two together?

Finally, hell yes, there is grounds for optimism in the $15 movement, and the BDS movement too. But weigh that stuff rationally, against the more ample grounds for pessimism.

And include in your pessimism, not optimism, mass events that identity politics 'leaders' and the corporate media very easily and effectively make into reinforcements for the memes of the divide-and-rule wings of the Democratic Party. Like f#cking 'Baltimore':

He described how he and some Bloods members stood in front of stores that they knew were black-owned business, to protect them from looting and vandalism. He said they made sure no black youths, or reporters, were injured by rioters.

Instead, he said, they pointed the rioters toward Chinese- and Arab-owned stores.

Posted by: fairleft | May 24 2015 5:08 utc | 69

"Informed sources at the Iranian embassy in Damascus rejected Israeli media reports alleging that the mission has come under attack by al-Nusrah Front terrorist group."

Not sure if someone else posted this as well, but the Russian Embassy also took some mortar fire over the last few days:

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 6:49 utc | 70

jub was here,today and tomorrow windy hot weather fire warning

Posted by: mcohen | May 24 2015 12:00 utc | 71

Fairleft at 69 --

As I noted, it's not really up to me. A walk-back of the casual, unsupported "anti-labor" crack would be a great help.

The phrase in question strikes me as blaming the victim, as well as a signifier of the casual, hypocritical and patronizing air of intellectual and moral superiority assumed "pwogwessives" of the "ineffectual left."

I referenced "the regulars" to show the awareness here. I think few if any deny the problem, I think folks vary as to exact causes and prognosis. The re-education campaign is mine alone.

I think you would agree that it takes time and energy to sort out fact from fiction, especially since the press foreseen by the Founders (and other democratic theorists) as the means no longer does the job. It used to be small cos. exposing the malefactors of great wealth. They're gone. Corporate network news is now openly a profit center, not a public service.

You add in the difficulties of making a living in a de-industrializing industrial power, and piecing together the truth is a luxury far too can afford.

In creating change, one has to take the long view. I've always taken this card from Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies to heart: "Not building a wall, but making a brick." Or if I might trot out a classic cliche -- let's not put the cart before the horse, teamsters.

My idea of general strike is probably not an workable tactic presently. My own Transitional Program would include -- a vast expansion of all legislative bodies, at all levels, local, state, federal. Legislators would come from multi-member districts, with proportional representation. Too many to buy, manipulate, etc. Gerrymandering to protect incumbents would end; existing political boundaries (counties, wards, towns, boroughs, states, etc.) would be used and the exact no. of members adjusted in accord with the census.

The big question -- economic democracy, aka "workers control of the means of production." Creative work needs to be done here. A revitalized labor movement would be a good start, achieved in part by an end to "right to work for less" laws and making union representation easier by card check (the Zombie-in-Chief promised us that, didn't he; ah, the good tsar hampered by the bad boyars).

I'm saddened but not surprised to hear of the direction towards Chinese and Arab stores. Apart from the racism used to divide the working class, there are economic factors as well.

These inner-city stores are often the only services in these neighborhoods. They are understandably the scene of shoplifting and robberies. This often produces hostility by the owners, who don't want to loose their stock, businesses, or lives, towards the patrons.

And of course since many of the customers are not criminals but the working, minority or immigrant poor, they resent that resentment. The high prices that many charge (often of necessity) are also a sore spot.

The banksters, speculators, and politicians whose policies create and exploit the ghettos are far away in comfortable suburbs or well-protected, gentrified urban enclaves, so sadly, the anger gets misdirected.

I got to thinking about a more appropriate metaphor. Zombies don't really generate a lot of compassion, you know?

Helplessness is a learned behavior, which our system does much to reinforce. I think "Beat Down Dogs" is a little more suitable metaphor.

I might allow there are also overtones to the "rescue" meme, but it's a little more compassionate. A little Tenderness goes a long way towards making a human connection.

"I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience." -- Martin Luther.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 14:44 utc | 72


Glazebrook is too clever by half trying to project the 'death squad' brand onto Sunni insurgents when the definition only applies to the Shia militias such as al-Sadr's and others. The ethnic cleansing and murder during the removal of Sunnis from Baghdad is the most reported case of this fact. The Shia death squads attacked, kidnapped, tortured and murdered civilians to terrorize and displace the remaining Sunni civilians from their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 24 2015 15:30 utc | 73

Wayoutwest @73

You hit on something that made me a little uncomfortable with the article. The Sunni extremist armies backed by the the West and the Gulf monarchies are armies, not death squads. On the other hand, after they are victorious they routinely and with maximum transparency kill hundreds of Shias or 'collaborators' in death squad fashion.

Anyway, I'm against any and all death squads. I don't think you are, so crawl back into your hole.

Posted by: fairleft | May 24 2015 16:10 utc | 74

rufus magister @72

jfl's "anti-labor" crack is apparently from some old thread, so that apparently influenced you to go (it seemed to me) overboard about the semantics of zc. Anyway, I appreciate you, jfl, and jfl's Black Agenda Report link for that matter, and it's dispiriting to see you two fight.

Forward movement and analysis is generally better than psychologizing the various contributors here ... but hey, if somebody attacks you, you should defend yourself and maybe attack back ... probably on that thread only though.

Posted by: fairleft | May 24 2015 16:23 utc | 75

Wayoutwest @ 73

and is that the only thing you gleaned from Glazebrook's article?

your usual sectarian smear hides behind your usual smarmy, semantic drivel, while the DIA report officially exposes your permeant baying for Shiite blood as being in obeisance to Empire. so, way to go, pal.

Posted by: john | May 24 2015 17:46 utc | 76

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