Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 10, 2019

Pompeo's Middle East Speech - A Blustering Promise Of Less U.S. Involvement

Today Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, visited Egypt. He held a somewhat delusional speech at the American University in Cairo. It is headlined:

A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East:

There is little in the speech that supports the headline. It starts with blustering:

[B]ecause I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.

We need to acknowledge that truth, because if we don’t, we make bad choices – now and in the future.

Pompeo blames Obama for the trouble the "force of good" caused:

Remember: It was here, here in this city, that another American stood before you.

He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology. He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East. He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed, quote, “a new beginning,” end of quote. The results of these misjudgments have been dire.

In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it.
...
The good news. The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real new beginning.

It follows a list of false claims and fake history:

For those who fret about the use of American power, remember this: America has always been, and always will be, a liberating force, not an occupying power. We’ve never dreamed of domination in the Middle East.

Pompeo ignores the still valid Carter doctrine which demands exclusive U.S. domination of the Middle East: "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

When the mission is over, when the job is complete, America leaves. Today in Iraq, at the government’s invitation, we have approximately 5,000 troops where there were once 166,000. We once had tens of thousands of U.S. military stationed – personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia. Now that number is a tiny fraction.

In 2011 the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rejected to sign a Status of Force agreement that would have given U.S. troops in Iraq special rights. In consequence the U.S. had to retreat from Iraq. A few troops came back to fight the Islamic State which Obama let grow to eject Maliki. Those troops will too have to leave. After the 1991 war against Iraq, Saudi Arabia came under pressure from radical Islamists to kick the many U.S. troops out of the country. Several thousand sill stayed. After the Kohbar tower bombing in 1996 the rest had to go too. In both cases the retreat was not voluntarily.

The speech goes on with a long passage of bashing Iran and lauding Israel. Pompeo says that the Trump administration wishes to establish the 'Middle East Strategic Alliance', an Arab NATO that allies with Israel. A pipe dream born out of sheer ignorance that is destined to fail.

We’re also seeing remarkable change. New bonds are taking root that were unimaginable until very recently. Who could’ve believed a few years ago that an Israeli prime minister would visit Muscat?

Israel's then Prime Minister Rabin visited Oman in 1994. Two years later then Prime Minister Shimon Peres followed. So yeah, a lot of people could have believed that. None of them though believes that a 'Middle East Strategic Alliance' will ever be more than a talking point.

The speech then comes to the core of Trump's thinking and policy:

Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. [...] But as President Trump has said, we’re looking to our partners to do more, and in this effort we will do so going forward together.

For our part, airstrikes in the region will continue as targets arise.
...
And as the fighting continues, we will continue to assist our partners in efforts to guard borders, prosecute terrorists, screen travelers, assist refugees, and more. But “assist” is the key phrase.

Those who want to fight Iran down to the last U.S. soldier, i.e. Israel and Saudi Arabia, will not like to hear that. Under Trump the U.S. will not do the bleeding in their fight.

On Syria:

Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. [...] President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria. We always do and now is the time, but this isn’t a change of mission.
...
In Syria, the United States will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot, and work through the UN-led process to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people. There will be no U.S. reconstruction assistance for areas of Syria held by Assad until Iran and its proxy forces withdraw and until we see irreversible progress towards a political resolution.

That is a revocation of John Bolton's plan to stay in Syria to defend the Kurds from a Turkish invasion or for whatever other reason. Indeed the Syrian Kurds are not mentioned at all in Pompeo's speech. They will surely take note of that.

There is also no mention of human rights, Khashoggi, freedom, or Palestinian statehood.

The speech ends as it started, with praising "America’s innate goodness".

Daniel Larison calls the speech Pompeo’s Exercise in Arrogant Self-Congratulation. That fits well.

For the people and the rulers in the Middle East the speech offers nothing. They are told that they are on their own. The U.S. will not longer play the "shinning city upon a hill" and it will no longer do the fighting for other interests. It wants purely transactional relations but with as little physical involvement as possible.

There is a lot of support for Israel in the speech and an equal amount of bashing Iran. But there is no promise that the U.S. is willing to do more than verbal grandstanding and to keep up the ineffective 'squeezing' of Iran.

Overall Pompeo's speech was directed more at a U.S. audience that to a Middle Eastern public. Iran hawks, evangelicals and President Trump will love it. Liberal interventionists and neo-conservatives will criticize it. 

While the speech points into a direction that more isolationist forces in the U.S. will support, it does not guarantee that the real policies will follow it. Even if Trump wants to go into a direction of less U.S. involvement, there are other forces in his administration which try to push him into new conflicts.

Under these circumstances it is nothing more that one data point that shows what might be.

Posted by b on January 10, 2019 at 02:50 PM | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

The U.S. will not longer play the "shinning city upon a hill"

You almost got it there -- the appropriate spelling of the term is:

"The sinning city of the shills."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 11, 2019 2:17:43 PM | 101

Blue @ 59, Yul @ 72:

Thanks for the information. That will be something to keep in mind the next time Pompeo, Bolton or anyone else in Trump's administration hops out to the Middle East and makes a speech at some small private venue. Ditto for UK Defence Secretary Gavin Wilkinson or any of his European equivalents.

I recall having a similar sort of experience when I went to see a speech by Noam Chomsky at the Sydney Opera House some years ago: about half the people attending were high school students (you could tell because they were in uniform and were in large groups). The speech was unedifying as well - I can't even remember what Chomsky spoke about - and lasted much less than the hour it was supposed to cover. The atmosphere reeked of hero worship. I was glad to get out of the place when the hour was over.

I don't have much love for Chomsky's opinions these days either.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 11, 2019 2:27:08 PM | 102

@ xLemming who wrote:
"
And to those in our studio audience, please don't let the likes of Pompeo & other charlatans dissuade you from exploring "the Truth, the Way & the Life"...
"

I agree that Pompeo does not reflect "Christian fruit", to use your metaphor.

I also agree with the path that China is taking towards all religions (from what I have read). China is saying that you can practice your religion all you want, just don't come near any form of our government with it. China is now a reason and logic led system instead of the faith based Western system that has got us to this insane point.

To the posting matter, I would add another GO READ to the Saker link that karlof1 provided above which gives a context for Pompeos speech.

What I want to add to the Saker posting is the perspective I keep hammering on here, America and Americans are being thrown under the bus here while the real perps (global private finance) are frantically looking for another host for empire.

I encourage readers to expand your context for what you are seeing happen to include the level of the real folks behind the curtain of empire that is not America.

It is way past time to take the blinders of faith off and see the realities of how the West is, and has been controlled for centuries, by those that own the levers of global private finance and everything else now.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 3:15:19 PM | 103

@ psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 3:15:19 PM | 103

While I agree that that it is madness and disastrous to give a small number of private individuals or their corporations effective sovereign power over finance writ large, here are a few other points, obvious I suppose, but perhaps still worthy of bearing mind, lest you - or even the issue itself - become perceived as 'a one trick pony', which I certainly don't take you for.

Private domination of finance enabled private individuals or their proxies to gain sometimes effective sovereignty over, or a dominating or inordinate and unbalanced influence over, communications, education, politics, science, technological developments, energy systems, matters of war and peace and military policy, food quantity and quality, medicine and health, and more. That is, a modern species of globe straddling oligarchic power was established, based as you imply on private control of finance.

Within that list, and including control of finance, I think that the control or dominating influence over communications writ large is also a basic problem. Money, writ large, can be seen as a subset of communication, which determines much of how we understand the world, much of what we think. The money system as a thought form.

A basic task then, perhaps the preliminary task, is to create a communications in which the public interest supersedes oligarchic interests. And that in my opinion is what many places on the Internet are attempting, and b's Moon of Alabama being an exemplar.

Please don't take this as in any way a criticism of your frequent and necessary reminders re private vs public financing.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 11, 2019 3:57:35 PM | 104

Zionists are waging war against Syria again this evening. I hope the retaliation is well targeted and very destructive. The Zionist Settler State is a wart that must be removed from the body so the body can heal and prosper. There is really no other alternative.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11, 2019 5:04:15 PM | 105

The new flashpoint is Iran's planned space launch which USA says is essentially a ballistic missile test.

U.S. warns Iran on space launches, Tehran rejects concerns

“The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk,” Pompeo said in a statement.

US troops will almost certainly still be in Syria when Iran conducts it's three (3) space launches (planned for early February).

Frictions caused by Iran's launch may change the Syrian 'pull out' calculus. "Protect the Kurds!" may be eclipsed by anti-Iranian imperatives. When you're an Empire, there's always SOME REASON to stay in a strategic location. USA has remained in Western Europe (as US-led NATO), Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 11, 2019 5:12:16 PM | 106

@89 karlof1

Yes, utterly brilliant article with Saker giving the venue to Orlov for his measure of the US's position along his "5 stages of collapse". Supremely recommended. It's at Unz Review also, and I don't feel lucky enough to link to either site right now.

The article reminds me of that famous observation that "there's a lot of ruin in a nation." So true, and it takes a long time to destroy a country - although Saker's push E1 and push E2 are a nice touch as a corollary: slowly at first then all at once.

I guess I will hazard a link after all, since yours worked:
Placing the USA on a collapse continuum - with Dmitry Orlov


Posted by: Grieved | Jan 11, 2019 5:12:58 PM | 107

@Jen
Thanks for the humour in comparing Bolton to Chomsky.
Please, if you can, see if the Chomsky event is on Youtube, and provide a link here.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 11, 2019 5:16:35 PM | 108

Give a small group of guys 2 billion and year and they will let you bloviate all day if that is what it takes. What a putrid mess. The decline of the US Empire is in full swing.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 11, 2019 5:18:04 PM | 109

Robert Snefjella @104--

Historically, those controlling finance had extraordinary access to Position/Place within government and societal organization. Thus they accrued power well beyond what ought to be considered reasonable/responsible. The US Constitution provides an excellent example of how that "privilege" was institutionalized and entrenched a "natural aristocracy" such that they've become immune to removal from the halls of government and instituted ruinous policies that only they profit from. If we look at the history Michael Hudson and his group uncovered and published about, the Creditor Class is close to 100% responsible for most human suffering for the past 3,000 years at least. Every attempt in the West at Leveling the situation has failed in the longrun--From Moses, to Jesus, to Muhammad, to Puritan Levelers, to French Sans Culottes, to Parisian Communists, to Russian Peasants, to German Socialists, and I'm sure I missed a few.

If humanity is ever to form a functional global society, a massive Leveling must occur with Merit finally replacing Place as the determining factor for leadership. Maybe that ideal's unobtainable, but that doesn't mean it's not required if humanity's to improve the foul condition it's in currently.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11, 2019 5:26:46 PM | 110

@103 psychohistorian - "take the blinders of faith off and see the realities of how the West is, and has been controlled for centuries.."

I found that my recent closer study of China forced me to acknowledge these realities more clearly. You can't study its history of China's last few centuries without coming face-to-face with the racist, greed-driven and dead-hearted imperialism of the west. The sheer scale of the century of humiliation, addicting not just a nation but one the size of China, to opium for more than a hundred years - counts as one of the largest war crimes in the history of the world, and that's saying a lot. It took an entire culture of imperialism to sustain that and other colonial thefts through the several centuries.

I'm inclined to your view, by the way, that the US is being thrown under the bus, while the powers behind nations are looking for other hosts. You persuaded me somewhere along the line, and this conditions my thinking now. This is what makes China and Russia so interesting, because they are each an entirely separate civilization, and it is not clear at all how deep into their souls the tentacles of these powers have been able to penetrate, or what hold they may gain as global affairs unfold. The future seems very much not to have occurred yet.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 11, 2019 5:27:02 PM | 111

Grieved @111--

"... it is not clear at all how deep into their souls the tentacles of these powers have been able to penetrate,..."

Russia obtained a partial Leveling via the USSR, but was then attacked upon its collapse. Fortunately, Putin was able to repel the attackers, right the ship of state, and resume the Russian culture's developmental direction by logically looking to its Eastern roots. China was able to Level its situation, but its meteoric rise has reminded Xi and the CPC of what it revolted against, and they've moved to try and mitigate wealth disparity for the fundamental and logical reason of maintaining social harmony. China nor Russia objects to foreign partners, but they aren't allowed majority control of anything. True, both had no choice but to use the US organized international monetary system at first, but the war waged on both by the USA has forced them to devise their own international monetary structure to which they are slowly converting.

At root, however as I've mentioned quite often, is the different philosophical outlook on what's desirable--Zerosum vs Win-Win. Zerosum burned down Rome and its doing it again to Rome's children. For millennia, Win-Win powered humanity, was mostly lost, suffered many defeats in trying to become reestablished as I wrote about above, and has again been adopted as The Dao.

Pompeo's degrees are a fraud--he didn't learn a damned thing about anything that really matters--like why Nero's Rome burned.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11, 2019 5:49:54 PM | 112

@106 Jackrabbit "US troops will almost certainly still be in Syria when Iran conducts it's three (3) space launches (planned for early February)."

No, they will be well on the way to vacating the premises.
The pre-positioning of equipment has already begun, and once that's done the troops will follow:
https://www.apnews.com/89288a2b8f274eb7897733078960df56

Apparently what is holding this up isn't any nonsense being spouted by Bolton or Pompeo ("We Don't Take Orders From Bolton") but by the need to position the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge so that it can provide a ready-response during the vulnerable period of troop withdrawal.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-military-prepares-for-syria-pullout-amid-uncertainty-11547156824

It's already happening, Jackrabbit. There is no holdup, it is just that Trump didn't fully understand the logistics.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 11, 2019 6:43:42 PM | 113

@ karlof1 #89

I looked through that link with Orlov, and for the most part was impressed with what I saw. But there were some weird things there as well.

At present half the households within the US speak a language other than English at home, and a fair share of the rest speak dialects of English that are not mutually intelligible with the standard North American English dialect of broadcast television and university lecturers.

So far as I know, that's simply nonsense.

The fact that Trump, like the Ottoman worthies, stocks his harem with East European women, lends an eerie touch.

Two of Trump's three wives came from Eastern Europe. This is supposed to be relevant in any way? Again, I don't think so.

They proceeded to flood the entire world with oil (US oil production was in full flush then) and with machines that burned it.

Again, more nonsense.

Those proud, conquering, virile Yanks who met and fraternized with the Red Army at the River Elbe on April 25, 1945—where are they? Haven’t they devolved into a sad little subethnos of effeminate, porn-addicted overgrown boys who shave their pubic hair and need written permission to have sex without fear of being charged with rape?

Orlov has had some experiences which make his viewpoints well worth reading. Perhaps living through the Collapse of the USSR has also left him warped in a number of ways. That last 'quote' was some mighty strange stuff!

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 11, 2019 7:12:34 PM | 114

As I have tried to tell, US, Israel will keep attacking, and now they did it again.
Is this the "weak" Israel people talked about just a week ago?

‘Israeli jets’ target Damascus airport warehouse, ‘most’ missiles intercepted – Syrian media
https://www.rt.com/news/448622-syria-air-defense-damascus/

What did I say, what did I say..

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 11, 2019 7:21:36 PM | 115

I'll take deplorables with pitchforks any day over a bunch of effete sniveling leftists.

Posted by: morongobill

Your use of the term in the above sentence only exposes your simple mind and Fox News kool aid drinking habits. Follow the rest of the lemmings off the cliff. When you some of intelligent to say other than sweeping generalizations. I will listen.

Posted by: rattlemullet | Jan 11, 2019 7:30:26 PM | 116

@ Yeah, Right | Jan 11, 2019 6:43:42 PM | 114
This caught my eye--
the need to position the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge so that it can provide a ready-response

This assault ship with a thousand seven hundred Marines is now in "position" in the Persian Gulf as shown here (Navy calls it "Arabian Gulf.")
wiki: Kearsarge is capable of amphibious assault, advance force and special purpose operations, as well as non-combatant evacuation and other humanitarian missions.
So the assault ship Kearsarge is in "position" about a thousand miles from the evacuation in NE Syria, by my reckoning. . . I suppose they know what they're doing on "ready response."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 8:13:08 PM | 117

@ psychohistorian & Grieved
the US is being thrown under the bus

I don't normally engage in philosophy discussions because I'm not good in the liberal arts, but it seems to me that the "US" is mostly corporations. So how do Ford, Lockheed and Amazon get thrown under the bus?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 8:24:23 PM | 118

@ karlof1 | Jan 11, 2019 5:49:54 PM | 112
Pompeo's degrees are a fraud--he didn't learn a damned thing about anything that really matters
Yes.
People should have tuned out right at the beginning: "[B]ecause I’m a military man by training . ."
As we know, training is not education, and so the fact that Pompeo was trained and not educated, and he brought it up, means that he is saying in effect: If you're smart, you'll tune me out right now.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 8:29:47 PM | 119

Yeah, Right @114: It's already happening, Jackrabbit. There is no holdup ...

- That's Great! Except ...

There was a holdup.

- The full extent of the "happening" is still unclear:

> Timing of the 'pull out' is still unclear 2 weeks? 2 months? 2 years?

> Hand over to whom? It seems that USA prefers to hand over to the Turks - as originally arranged with Erdogan. In which case, the Kurds will join with SAA. But Turks say they MUST invade to eliminate "terrorists". Might Turkey and SAA engage in a shooting war? Would USA re-enter Syria if Turks are losing? What about French and UK presence? Would they really stay? Will USA supply them? For how long?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 11, 2019 8:37:56 PM | 120

@118 "So the assault ship Kearsarge is in "position" about a thousand miles from the evacuation in NE Syria..."

I was wondering about that too. Getting it up the Tigris will be a major challenge. It's barely navigable past Basra.

Posted by: dh | Jan 11, 2019 8:42:06 PM | 121

@Zachary Smith | Jan 11, 2019 7:12:34 PM | 115

I have often appreciated the Saker and Orlov, but in this case I too noticed some strange stuff, but went into companionable mode and wondered if there was a spot of inebriation involved that lent itself to flights of hyperbole, and began to reinterpret such stuff as exaggeration trying to make the point:

So your first quote was adjusted in my friendly mind as 'there are many millions of people here who don't speak English at home'

and your second as an example of 'acquired taste humor' attempt by Orlov, which in my experience has a flight pattern like that of a lead balloon, 'Trump has a Sultanesque disproportionate liking for
hotties from Eastern Europe'

and your third as [perhaps indicating a memory fart breakdown by Orlov?] confusing Rockefeller the progenitor and the model T Ford with post second world war American prodigious industrial output and pride of accomplishment, which fainted upon Sputnik....

and your fourth as Orlov taking a derisive shot at heated society-enveloping 'tempest in teapots in the bigger picture' identity politics, or some such.

Clearly as I read the piece I was not a disinterested party, but conspired with my 'friends' to allow them their oddities.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 11, 2019 8:58:04 PM | 122

US Officials Deny Start Of Troops Withdrawal From Syria

In a new confusing development, U.S. officials told the New York Times on January 11 that the U.S. has withdrawn no troops from Syria. According to the report, only some units of military qeuipment have been withdrawn.

The officials went on to reveal that the number of American troops in Syria might actually increase in the coming days in order to support the final push against the remaining ISIS fighters in the Euphrates Valley.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 11, 2019 8:59:10 PM | 123

@ 124
It isn't confusing at all. A withdrawal in its initial stages is not a troop withdrawal. The troops are involved in preparing the equipment for withdrawal, and they go later.
Regarding the number of US troops in Syria, and troop movements, we will never have the correct numbers. But we're probably not alone in that regard. I doubt that the Pentagon Puzzle Palace knows. Any belief that people related to the military always known everything at every time is overrated. Call it the fog of war.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 9:16:44 PM | 124

@ Don Bacon with the question about who I am referring to when I write about folks getting thrown under the bus.

I wrote America and Americans....let me take them one at a time.

America that I am referring to here is the dream of the founding fathers that I was taught in school. Things like the original motto of Out of many, One and concepts like freedom from religion, equality of opportunity, etc. While I am corrected by karlof1 about the baked in elitism in some of the founding documents , I do believe that some of US history reflects the American dream. And that is what I see being thrown under the bus by the parasite of empire that corrupted the best of intentions to what we have now.

Americans, in spite of what Mitt Romney would have you believe, are not corporations that you referred to in your question about who is getting thrown under the bus. Americans are having their money and pensions/Social Security depreciated such that they will suffer significant loss of financial security when the music stops. Many state and municipal governments will suffer as well because of ill-gotten debt and general dollar deflation.

The corporations that you refer to on the other hand are multinational, are currently structured to rape Americans rather than provide useful services to them at a fair profit. Did any Americans ask/vote for the throw-away/consumptive products being sold to them by the media? Corporations started out being licensed to operate within specific jurisdictions to produce specific regulated products....we have the opposite now. There is a video I say on a CD years ago about the history of corporations that I encourage folks to find and watch....I will go look for a link

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 9:28:02 PM | 125

Here's some news that will be of interest on these threads:

2020 Campaign

Posted by: Circe | Jan 11, 2019 9:41:19 PM | 126

NY Times article cited @124 says 'pull out' is expected to take 4-6 months. Doesn't cite any source for that timetable.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 11, 2019 9:44:31 PM | 127

@124 Jackrabbit. I was going to respond but Don beat me to it. The equipment is packed up and shipped out first, precisely because it is heavy and an adult male is not.


But once the equipment begins shipping out then the soldiers are certain to follow, unless you want to see GIs patrolling the streets in their underpants.

That's also why there is a momentary surge of troops - the Special Forces of soldiers are vulnerable during the withdrawal, so other troops move up to provide cover for them and to deter any adventurism.

Don, the USS Kearsage isn't there to fly troops into Syria. It's there as a contingency if covering troops already in Iraq and/or Jordan have to move up in greater numbers than expectedexpected

Get it? Troops in Iraq move up in support, which *may* require her marines to be flown in to "backfill" for those troops.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 11, 2019 9:48:10 PM | 128

Here is the link about the video I saw years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y

That is the link to the first free part but the 2nd free part is more specific to the history of corporations

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 9:48:51 PM | 129

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 9:28:02 PM | 126

Those things the founding fathers wrote were written in a completely different historical time: feudalism was still very present in many regions of Europe, and the colonial system was still at its apex. What they were stating was against an even bigger and reactionary empire (the UK): they were the little guys at the time.

And, as a non-American, I must admit that the founding fathers were nothing special intellectually: when much, they quoted Locke. They were nothing special.

The USA doesn't have a history of contributing to humanist thinking. Most of the founding fathers' revolutionary writings were pretty much done over taxes, (freedom of trade for the Thirteen). Behind all that freedom, equality talk, you can clearly see the yeomans, the quakers and the landgraves advocating for tax exemptions. In fact, pretty much every significant local conflict the USA has engaged into involved taxes (including the most famous of them, the War of Secession).

The big difference -- and that's a very big difference -- is that the founding fathers were advocating for tax exemptions in the context of British absolute colonial rule; in the colonial system, tax exemptions for the colonies was revolutionary. Right-wingers advocating for tax breaks nowadays is a completely ridicule spectacle: it is an anachronism, an idea out of time.

The problem with the USA nowadays is that the American people made a sinister pact with their bourgeoisie (i.e. the multinationals, big corporations): they turn their eye to the exploitation of the rest of the world, provide the Army with cannon fodder in exchange of consumerism (abundance of merchandise). The American people will support WWIII if their leaders promise them to keep the material abundance.

Posted by: vk | Jan 11, 2019 9:49:12 PM | 130

@ Yeah, Right
Thanks for that. I "get it." Thanks for asking.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 10:40:33 PM | 131

@ psychohistorian | Jan 11, 2019 9:28:02 PM | 126

What caught my attention is that the US is being thrown under the bus.

Again, it seems to me that the "US" is mostly corporations. So how do Ford, Lockheed and Amazon get thrown under the bus? was my question.

Your first point is that "America that I am referring to here is the dream of the founding fathers. . ."

But my point is that America is largely corporations and how do they get thrown under the bus. I mentioned Ford, Lockheed and Amazon. I know that corporations more or less own the country, but I didn't totally mean that in a pejorative sense. I just bought a Ford, and I love it. Living in a remote area, I regularly use Amazon for items and supplies, and I love their service. Lockheed, not so much. There are small corporations in the area that I shop at and utilize, and they too are fine. I had a corporation myself once that I enjoyed and made a lot of money at. That's part of "the dream of the founding fathers" you mention.

So how is "the US is being thrown under the bus" when the real US is mostly corporations is my question.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 11:02:54 PM | 132

DB@133 asked; "Again, it seems to me that the "US" is mostly corporations. So how do Ford, Lockheed and Amazon get thrown under the bus? was my question."

Those Corporations you speak of, are the puppeteers who decide U$ foreign policy, so, they never get thrown under the bus..

Posted by: ben | Jan 11, 2019 11:28:21 PM | 133

@ vk | Jan 11, 2019 9:49:12 PM | 131
The USA doesn't have a history of contributing to humanist thinking.
Correct, the US was established by and for wealthy white males. It hasn't changed much.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 11:37:59 PM | 134

BJD @ 108:

I think this may be the speech:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmRhboeF-kA

I remember Mary Kostakidis being the host but I thought the presentation had been much shorter - Chomsky had been about 15 minutes late.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 11, 2019 11:40:33 PM | 135

@ Jen | Jan 11, 2019 2:27:08 PM | 102/136
I don't have much love for Chomsky's opinions these days either.

When I think of Chomsky, and his books I've read, I think of the facts that he has presented, many of which I wasn't familiar with, dealing with events in many countries. Any opinions he has had are secondary. So I value his writing.

But you think of him only in terms of his opinions. Why is that? (Actually I value your opinions, and your facts more.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 11:57:30 PM | 136

@ Don Bacon who confused what Grieved wrote with what I wrote.

Go back and read my words and Grieved's.
I wrote and defended America and Americans not the US as Grieved wrote.

I am happy for you that your American dream has worked well for you. Are you one of those that expects everyone to be able to do what you have done?.... I assume you got where you are with absolutely no help from family, etc.

Do you think that the West controlled by those that own private finance is the way society should be organized and motivated?
It reads like you do.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 12, 2019 12:39:00 AM | 137

Pompeo's weirdness suggests that he's watched "Hollywood's" Lars And The Real Girl a few too many times. Lars is a quiet and pious young fellow who lives alone in a converted garage beside the home of his brother and sister-in-law. Women find Lars attractive but Lars prefers to keep his distance. His brother and sister-in-law know Lars is strange but harmless. His bro has decided to be tolerant and his sister-in-law, a delightfully likeable and pleasant young woman, encourages Lars to socialise a bit more and is genuinely concerned for his well-being.

One day Lars orders a customised life-like female mannequin as a live-in companion. When the mannequin is delivered, Lars dresses and spruces her up and goes next door to suggest to his sister-in-law that she invite Lars and his Brazilian girl friend over for dinner - explaining that "she's very quiet, doesn't speak much English and is confined to a wheel chair." Sister-in-law gladly extends the invitation for tomorrow night.

When Lars and girl-friend arrive for dinner his bro hits the roof and tells wifey that this is the last straw. She calms him down, somewhat, begs his forbearance, and they sit down to dinner with hubby rolling his eyes at regular intervals. Lars minimises the effect of girl-friend not eating much by cutting up food and loading forks for her - and eating the portions himself.

Sister-in-law suggests taking girl-friend along to the doctor for a check-up and reminds hubby that the doctor is also a psychologist. There is unanimous agreement to this plan and dinner proceeds normally - meaning that when Lars wants to fill in a detail of girl-friend's background he begins the snippet with "You know, you're not gonna believe this, but she..."
.....
Mike Pompeo has a pretty good grip on entertaining an audience by conjuring up Lars-type scenarios, but in future he should try to remember that such performances should ALWAYS be preceded by the segue...
"You know, you're not gonna believe this, but..."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12, 2019 2:53:06 AM | 138

Circe @127

Great news! The one person that both the Democratic and Republican establishments really don't even want to see stand for President. Tulsi Gabbard for President!

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12, 2019 4:19:12 AM | 139

@140 lol. Real change is possible. Yes we can!

Posted by: radiator | Jan 12, 2019 5:54:07 AM | 140

All the hot air expended here on will it or won't it, leave Syria has been demolished in one para by BHADRAKUMAR:

Suffice to say, the current discourses regarding Trump and Syria stem from what one can only call a tunnel vision. The ‘big picture’ remains elusive unless the ramifications of the NATO Mission in Iraq are properly understood. Reports suggest that the US is stepping up deployments to Iraq. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just made “surprise visits” to Erbil and Baghdad. He was plainly dismissive that "there's no contradiction whatsoever" in the shifting US strategy on Syria. Simply put, Trump hopes to expand the scope of the Syrian war by bringing Iraq into it and drawing the western alliance system into the enterprise.
- Is Trump Starting His Own War, Finally? https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/01/12/is-trump-starting-his-own-war-finally.html

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 12, 2019 6:09:25 AM | 141

Illuminati assassination plan for people on Earth in 2019

You make a comment or use a picture on:

YouTube
Twitter
GAB
Snapchat
etc.

Then they indicate how smart you are. How critical you are of these Freemasons-Illuminati (level 32/33 Freemasons).

A computer first first use an "algorithm" to indicate your "intelligence" and "threat" level.

Once the "algorithm" has indicated you as a person of special interests then they will put an AGENT on you to monitor you and make a file on you. What does this person do and what is important to him/her?

Then they start to ISOLATE you. This takes 1-4 weeks. Everywhere you make comments you think they SHOW UP but they do not.

The moment you figure out they do not show up they start to use agents to talk to you.

They will use hundreds of fake accounts to keep talking to you. I blocked 2000 YouTube accounts in 1 month and they still kept talking to me to fool me that my comments to the outside world were visible.

Now they start to put extra spyware on Windows and you Internet Cable Router. Then they also start to REROUTE ALL your internet traffic. So even if you use a TOR browser you are still fooled by these Illuminati and their agents.

They use your MOUSE and KEYBOARD activity (and probably webcam) to see if you are BEHIND your PC. So you can get keyboard and mouse speed problems and also PC speed problems. Moment you figure this out they start to TWEAK with it to a point you no longer see it. I saw IT ALL THE TIME.

Once you are to SMART and to much a THREAT to them they make a plan to LURE you to a hotel room for assassination.

First they use Mossad honey traps for this to lure you to Israel/USA/UK.

If that fails then they try to LURE you with money.

If that fails in the end they check for month's and month's what is important to you.

So if you leave an emotional comment below a song they will eventually use JK Rowling to dress like Kate Blanch at premiere Fantastic Beasts 2 and look like Willeke Alberti.

Then JK Rowling will use her DISGUISE Twitter accounts to tell you she wants a CHILD from you and that she wants your help with the Lumos charity.

Then JK Rowling assists them to LURE you to a hotel-room somewhere in Amsterdam for assassination.

They monitor people through:

Google search
Google web browser
Windows operating system
Cable Modem Router

They use this 24-7 to spy on you when you are someone like me. Of course they also monitor your PHONE and your MONEY transactions.

They also monitor all the websites you leave messages behind and then prepare to block you there, digital assassination.

Syrian Perspective is also compromised!
ZeroHedge is also compromised!

Copy this text and spread it around!

Posted by: Thucidides | Jan 12, 2019 6:19:54 AM | 142

Don Bacon @ 137:

My remark @ 102 was made in the context of the comment about my having attended a speech Chomsky made at the Sydney Opera House several years ago, where it seemed about half the audience was made up of schoolkids bussed there by their teachers, and the other half mostly of women aged 50+ years. The atmosphere in the venue seemed excessively worshipful, like a pop concert (only more subdued). Being female myself, I thought, hmm, perhaps MoA commenters might think I was there for the same reason the kids and the older women were there: because in their eyes he could do no wrong.

What I've read of Chomsky's writing in the past, especially those works he co-authored with someone else, has been good. But Chomsky's current opinion on issues like the Syrian war - on which he seems unaware that any evidence linking the Syrian government to CW attacks in Ghouta in 2013, Khan Sheykhoun in 2017 and Douma in 2018 is flimsy, fake (in the case of Douma) or hasn't been demonstrated to be fact, and that Russia is not the only country assisting Syria in ridding its territory of ISIS and their allies - seems so naive given his reputation and the work he would have undertaken in the past on which that reputation is built, that I start to wonder if Chomsky hasn't been snatched by aliens recently and had his brain replaced.

Even after acknowledging that MIT professor Theodore Postol criticised the White House report alleging that Damascus was responsible for the Khan Sheykhoun CW attack in 2017, Chomsky goes on to state (in this interview conducted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!) that there can be no doubt that the Syrian government was capable of such a criminal act:
"Chomsky on Syria: We Must Help Fleeing Refugees & Pursue Diplomatic Settlement"
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/26/chomsky_on_syria_we_must_help

Theodore Postol's criticism of the White House report
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_Vs2rjE9TdwR2F3NFFVWDExMnc/view

Posted by: Jen | Jan 12, 2019 6:30:51 AM | 143

Relevant to the topic, see new data on war monger party politics in U$A:

"But what’s happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he’s willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives, even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Instituteand has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. By far the most influential liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents, while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a “national security liberal” who was “all about counterterrorism”)."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-11/democratic-elites-reunite-neocons-partys-voters-are-becoming-far-more-militaristic

Posted by: slit | Jan 12, 2019 7:43:47 AM | 144

Chomsky cant be trusted these days no,

Chomsky: US should stay in Syria to protect the Kurds
https://www.reddit.com/r/samharris/comments/a8ca18/noam_chomsky_says_us_should_stay_in_syria_to/

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 12, 2019 7:49:22 AM | 145


Chomsky as 9/11 gatekeeper

“One of the most prominent gatekeepers of 9/11 truth is Noam Chomsky.

In this article I will analyse two videos of Chomsky speaking about 9/11. What can be observed is that Chomsky consistently avoids discussing hard evidence, exempting himself with the spurious claim that he has insufficient technical expertise to make a judgement, and takes refuge in fallacious argument which falls into two categories:

(1) strawman (arguing against a misstated or invented argument from the other side) and

(2) argumentum ad speculum (arguing an hypothesis after the fact which may well be contrary to the facts but, in any case, avoids dealing with the actual facts). At core, Chomsky is being dishonest.”


https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/11/analysis-of-the-sophistry-of-noam-chomsky-on-911/

Posted by: fdz | Jan 12, 2019 8:09:25 AM | 146

Jen | Jan 12, 2019 6:30:51 AM | 144

Jen, the bottom line with Chomsky is that he is firstly, a Zionist and secondly, an anti-communist.

When the USSR imploded in 1991, I read a piece in the Village Voice by Chomsky in which moaned that the end of the USSR meant that there was no force on the planet to resist the predations of the USA! This, in spite of his history of attacking the USSR for all kinds of reasons, some valid but most not, in my opinion.

And his calls for a 'no-fly' zone over Syria (and I believe he supported one over Libya) reveal his real thoughts on the Empire's actions. In a word, he's your typical western liberal, his writings on language notwithstanding.

So as far as Chomsky is concerned, the USSR (the Russians) are useful to curb the 'excesses' of the Empire but please don't call me a socialist!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 12, 2019 8:34:24 AM | 147

@Jen (136)

So this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmRhboeF-kA is described by you as:

a. a speech
b. lasted much less than the hour it was supposed to cover

That indicates a certain carefree attitude on your behalf as to facts.
That you "don't have much love for Chomsky's opinions these days" is therefore no surprise.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 12, 2019 8:36:46 AM | 148

Bhadrakumar's article (Wm Bowles @142)is interesting. But unconvincing. NATO is in no position to engage in a massive new Middle Eastern adventure with the obvious purpose of overthrowing the government of Iran.
The Us could certainly replace the current Iraqi government, they have shown that they can do that, but if they do so they will provoke an insurgency that will keep all their current forces, and as many more that NATO can fly in, occupied to the extent that they will have no chance of 'extending the war in Syria.' On the contrary they will be happy not to have Syria, as well, to deal with.
One point that Bhadrakumar does not make is that NATO is not actually in the pink of condition right now. Turkey, for example, is hardly to be relied on as the striking force in this fantasy war against Iraq. And the four leading NATO powers-Germany, France, the UK and Italy are all in crises which make it impossible for them to get on boards with any US scheme in Iraq. Or Iran.
Not even Israel's cries for help- against Hamas and Hezbollah, temptingly tiny though such targets are-is likely to bring NATO into a new war in Iraq.

Talking of links provided: the Saker piece was a disappointment too. All this theory about the Collapse of Empires is getting very predictable. And, like most theories, it tends to distract the theorist and his followers from reality. The reality is that the US attempt to extend its power to global hegemony was always a wild dream, and not least because the US had reached its position of power largely by accident, its rivals all having committed suicide or placed themselves under its protection in wartime. Geopolitically the US is rather like "W" of fond recollection- 'a man born on Third Base, who fancied that he had hit a triple.'
The US in 1945, (armed with a nuclear weapon put together by foreign scientists, pursuing the plan of Tube Alloys) was in a very desirable position, the perfect basis for building its power further. But, instead of pursuing wise policies it became the Global bully, making enemies wherever it failed to make slaves, until geography began to catch up to it: the geography that has saved it from invasion and makes it peripheral to the Earth Island. Given the chance to come good on its promises to help the Russian people, who had almost drowned in seas of Crocodile Tears shed by sympathisers in the west, become prosperous and sovereign, it picked their pockets, robbed their graveyards and initiated the rule of alcoholics and kleptocrats, causing the biggest demographic disaster in centuries, far worse than the Stalinist Collectivisation campaigns.
And now, US imperial decline is again clearly being caused not by any mysterious process that puts Dmitry Orlov in mind of Gibbon etc, the 'feminisation' of the American male or the neglect of traditional religious duties, but by corruption and stupidity in a Washington in which two schools of highly trained idiots and thieves compete over the products of the people and the dregs of nature's bounty.

If anyone wants to read a really good article about what is going on in the world, by an American, this, by Diane Johnstone is a good one:
https://www.unz.com/article/french-democracy-dead-or-alive/
Bhadrakumar should take a look at it, the French army is needed elsewhere, it won't be going to Iraq any time soon, nor will the British either.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 12, 2019 9:31:27 AM | 149

In his dotage Chomsky's all over the place with his opinions. All I need to know is that he's a Democrat shill. Like many other fake "radicals", he might sometimes talk a good game at a symposium, but come every kangaroo election he not only tells people to demean themselves by voting, but tells them to vote Democrat.

He even admits it's evil to do so, the so-called "lesser evil". (Meanwhile only the narcissism of extremely small differences can see any difference at all between the two factions of the Corporate One-Party, the War One-Party, the Eco-Destruction One-Party, etc.) Well, sorry Chompy. Not being evil myself at all, I can't support evil the way you can.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 12, 2019 9:35:30 AM | 150

bevin @ 150

Bully indeed. Eisenhower used the threat of nuclear destruction and Dulles handled the corporate pleasing covert side (i.e. Guatemala and Iran) (Devil's Chessboard)

Kennedy was a threat to this by not being on board with the warmongers against Cuba, Russia and Vietnam. Similar to Trump's stand today in Syria.

Probably even more important are Russia's and China's hypersonic and electronic weapons which can now outdo the US military threat.

I think this was already demonstrated in Syria in April 2018 when the US backed down and lost by being thoughouly outgunned. Luckily this was done artfully by being painted instead of being destroyed but the message was sent and received.

Now let Tulsi Gabbard and AOC institute reforms on the domestic front. :)

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 12, 2019 9:55:51 AM | 151

@ Jen | Jan 12, 2019 6:30:51 AM | 144
Thanks. I haven't read Chomsky lately. My general outlook on the subject is that opinions are a dime a dozen, but facts are precious.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 10:01:54 AM | 152

@ William Bowles | Jan 12, 2019 6:09:25 AM | 142
Bhadrakumar has an excellent batting average, but he whiffed on "the NATO Mission in Iraq" which doesn't exist.
Trump hopes to expand the scope of the Syrian war by bringing Iraq into it
There's no evidence of that. In fact Iraq is moving to evict the US military again, as they did in 2008/2011. Iraqis don't like the terrible actions of the US military in Iraq against the citizens f that country, and they don't want to be occupied further, beyond the ISIS thing.

Lawrence Korb recently wrote an excellent article on Iraqi attitudes about the US military including:

It was not Obama’s idea to withdraw all our troops from Iraq in 2011 – he was actually implementing the agreement that President George W. Bush. . .There was virtually no support among the elected officials or the Iraqi people for the Americans to continue to occupy the country after the end of 2011. . .here

The main local area military forces in Iraq are the Shi'ite militias, trained and equipped by Iran. (They probably don't have Iranian boots, to get around the Pompeo threat.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 10:19:05 AM | 153

bevin says:

And now, US imperial decline is again clearly being caused not by any mysterious process that puts Dmitry Orlov in mind of Gibbon etc,...

if you contend that the basis for Orlov's theory is some kind of mysterious process, you either don't read Orlov, or you don't read very well in general, including karlof1's linked article. stupidity in Washington, and elsewhere, has been one of the cornerstones of his thesis for years.

from the article you're disappointed with, here's Dmitry:

That said, most people in the US seem blind to the nature of their overlords in a way that the French, with their Jillettes Jaunes movement (just as an example) are definitely not

Posted by: john | Jan 12, 2019 10:50:02 AM | 154

As this thread seems to devolving into ‘collapse’ discussion (Saker - Orlov), plus see vid. about UK in last open thread, let’s talk about GB.

Some months past I posted it was sure fire the UK would crash out of the EU. Gave some reasons, and posted one link to GB energy use. Since, I have digested some nos., and the situation is far worse than I suspected then.

Measures quoted here are ‘averages’ so merely indicative, as ‘inequality’ is not treated. — 2015 nos. World Bank. except if stated.

Kg of oil equiv. p.p., p.y. in thousands (> K). The nos. are simply boiled down to create a readable ‘score.’

The best proxy or ‘real’ measure for ‘economic activity’ because it is material, and not ‘funny money c.o. banksters.’ Absolute values aren’t treated because of various difficulties; yet we *can* use them for *very* rough comparisons.

First, for scale, the TOP - UAE, at peak, 1996, 12.6K. (!) -> USA 6.8K - KSA 6.9K
——————————
Finland 5.9, Norway 5.8, Sweden 5.1, (Denmark left out), Holland, 4.2, Belgium, 4.6. Yes, ‘rich lands.’ The UK would seem to belong in there, though far less cold than Norway for ex. (> needing/using less energy.)

UK 2.8.

Considerably less than Germany, 3.8, France 3.6, the two countries in the EU one might consider it ‘roughly equal’ to in ‘economic terms.’ The UK, after the loss of N. Sea F F plus coal ‘closings’ (due to negligible / nil return, enviro damage, green legislation, no workers, whatever.. btw UK coal now comes for 50% from Russia!) is typical of the periphery of the EU.

Spain 2.5, Italy 2.4, Portugal 2.1, and Greece 2.1. - very much warmer countries.

GB had two peaks, to illustrate the amplitude of the downturn: 1979: 3.8, 1996: 3.8

.. now reduced to 2.8 - excruciating, more than a 1/4 of E pp lost. A worker / co. / biz in production (agri, manufacturing of planes, cars, roads, energy transformation, transport, machines, clothes, dried flowers, .. n’ cute mug souvenirs) had, in 2015, only between 3/4 and 2/3 of the energy available in comparison to 1996! *On average*…of course what has happened is that many/some of the enterprises have kept/augmented their energy share/use, while others have lost. (Hungry children, sheep farmers..)

Such nos. are of course well known by all clued-in pol actors, but kept from the public. Orlov might call it the 1st stage of collapse? (Ok, but that latest piece of his wasn’t terrific, see critical comments above, also imho he has drawn the similarities/diffs between USSR and Pax Americana too far, rethoric is stretched, strained.)

Other nos. about GB are even more dire.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 12, 2019 10:50:40 AM | 155

kennedy was not a threat to anything, kennedy took the world to the brink of nuclear war in cuba, tried to get castro assassinated, launched the bay of pigs, ran on a platform to the right of nixon on foreign policy, escalated the american military presence in vietnam, and was a great friend of joe mccarthy.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12, 2019 10:57:04 AM | 156

pretzelattack 156
JFK's "Secret Societies" speech has been used to say he was against everything from the Illuminati to the Masons to whatever/whoever. But if you read or listen to the whole thing in context, it's obvious he was talking about pro-communist groups in the US. People tend to gloss over JFK serving on HUAC and asking the classic question "who lost China?"

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 12, 2019 11:16:51 AM | 157

@pretzelattack | Jan 12, 2019 10:57:04 AM | 156

Among many other problems with your brief post, there seems to be a contradiction between the claims that "kennedy was not a threat to anything" and "kennedy took the world to the brink of nuclear war in cuba".

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 12, 2019 11:33:19 AM | 158

When is a 'pull out' NOT a 'pull out'?

A lengthy 'pull out' means more time for neocon mischief that could reverse the decision. Especially with Iran's planned space launch (which USA sees as balistic missile testing).

Furthermore, it appears to me that the intention is to retain the territory. US SDF proxies will remain plus France and UK say they want to stay. US special forces might also remain and/or enter Syria as necessary.

What's missing (for now) is the declaration of a No-fly Zone (NFZ). That declaration is not needed as long as US troops remain but would be needed if US+allies want to retain the territory.

The Kurds are a wild card that is addressed by a Turk intervention. As long as the Kurds remain 'on side', they could avoid that intervention. At the moment, it looks as though the Kurds have failed the loyalty test so the Turks have a green light.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12, 2019 11:35:09 AM | 159

Israel fires missiles at Damascus airport

"Two areas hosting military positions of Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have been targeted," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

These were near the airport and around the Kisweh area south of Damascus, the observatory said. In an earlier report, SANA had spoken of Syrian air defence batteries attacking "enemy targets".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to let Tehran entrench itself militarily in the war-torn country.

The last Israeli attack reported by the state media was on December 25, when a missile attack wounded three Syrian soldiers.

Why is it the SOHR always pretends to know what Israeli targets in Syria hold and why is SOHR always quoted in the Israeli press when attacks by Israel occur? My excerpt is from AJ but I noticed that the Israeli press always use them as a source.

Israel will continue to to use operatives to gain intelligence and destabilize, provoke Syria with repeated attacks, try to trigger expanded confrontation and attempt false flag to get boots on the ground enforcing a no-fly zone. That is their goal, that is the KSA's goal and that is Trump's goal. Despite pretending an exit, Trump is 100% with the Zionist state achieving this outcome.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 12, 2019 11:37:24 AM | 160

On Chompski; Is this a speech given by a Zionist?

https://chomsky.info/20141014/

Posted by: ben | Jan 12, 2019 11:57:19 AM | 161

Russ @ 151
"In his dotage Chomsky's all over the place with his opinions." There seems to be a big difference between what he says about Syria these days and what he used to talk about up to the early 2000s. I'm reading "Understanding Power" now and it sounds like a completely different guy.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 12, 2019 11:58:15 AM | 162

@ pretzelattack | Jan 12, 2019 10:57:04 AM | 156
--a bunch of baloney on JFK -- he
>diplomatically and deftly handled the Cuban missile crisis, giving up something to get something.
>inherited the Eisenhower Bay of Pigs operation, but curtailed it and later disciplined the Joint Chiefs by installing General Maxwell Taylor as his military advisor.
>had only 15,000 advisors in Vietnam when he was assassinated, and his refusal to escalate may have led to his demise.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 11:58:24 AM | 163

@ Circe | Jan 12, 2019 11:37:24 AM | 160
Despite pretending an exit . .(Syria)

Exit is happening; read the news. The US military has broken its ties with the Kurds and there's nothing for them to do there on the ground (aerial bombing of ISIS continues, supposedly, maybe).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 12:02:22 PM | 164

@ bevin with the Dianne Johnstone link about the Yellow Vest movement in France....Thanks!

I agree that it is a better rant on our times than the Saker article by Orlov. I am happy to read that the people of France are actively engaged in their concerns with the government unlike the complacency of the US public these days. I hung out a yellow vest off my front porch for a few days early on in support but found that none I engaged with knew anything about the Yellow Vest protest in France.....sigh I guess when you are continually told you are the best/exceptional country and you have faith in those that tell you such things, you stop looking outside to see what may be happening in other parts of the world

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 12, 2019 12:06:24 PM | 165

On February 13 and 14 the U.S. will host an anti-Iran summit in Poland. It's obvious that the effort will be to rally NATO and the GCC against Iran and maybe raise the issue of the formation of MESA, the Arab NATO.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-summit-idUSKCN1P518O

Trump is mobilizing Europe and the GCC against Iran. Maybe, that's why he's putting Syria on pause. Trump's target has always been Iran and he's ensuring the Zionist Neocon agenda same as his predecessors. Trump is no different from Bush, Obama or Hillary. In fact he's taking the Empire closer than ever to absolute global domination.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 12, 2019 12:08:08 PM | 166

@163 Don Bacon

JFK was all of that and much more also. He was opposed to Israel's Dimona development of nuclear weapons, and he was friendly to Egypt's Nasser and supported the right of return of Palestinian refugees. He would presumably have opposed Israel's great expansion of territory in 1967. Of all the enemies against him, none was greater than Israel. Mossad is almost never mentioned in all the theories about the assassination, it gets scrubbed clean from the record while the CIA is promoted as the most likely perpetrator. Robert Kennedy's death bears similar characteristics of Israel as the cause.

There's a good piece on this by Laurent Guyénot from last year:
Did Israel Kill the Kennedys?


Posted by: Grieved | Jan 12, 2019 12:14:37 PM | 167

@164 DB

Can you please tell me what is the difference between moving, for now, from regime change efforts in Syria to regime change in Iran??? It's just an evolving different strategy to achieve the same damn Neocon goal!!

So because the risk in Syria is confronting Russia, the Empire, with Trump in charge is moving instead directly against Iran! They thought the road to Tehran was through Syria, but because Russia got involved in Syria, they're taking the direct approach. What's the difference? The goal was always Iran. Syria is small potatoes compared to Iran rich in oil and gas. Syria will be contained by Israel and KSA, while Iran is moved into the Empire's immediate crosshairs. Try and spin that to protect your precious Trump!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 12, 2019 12:29:27 PM | 168

The upcoming futile anti-Iran summit in Poland will be a gift to Iran and to other countries who have earned Washington's disfavor (e.g. China). Iran, as it has been doing for fifty years, is demonstrating that US pressure can be successfully resisted, as in Syria. Iran's most recent diplomatic success is its growing friendship with India, a country being strongly courted (unsuccessfully) by the US. . details here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 12:37:34 PM | 169

@ Circe | Jan 12, 2019 12:29:27 PM | 168
difference between moving, for now, from regime change efforts in Syria to regime change in Iran
There are many reports that Trump will try to negotiate with Iran, not use military force against it. . .here . . Anyhow the US won't invade Iran, for reasons we have covered here previously. Iran has been in Washington's sights ever since the revolution forty years ago, successfully resisted by Iran as a model for other countries like China and Russia.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 12:47:51 PM | 170

I guess Poland's the new go-to place for demented imperial conferences. First the Big Coal-sponsored COP24, now this conclave to get their fake stories straight on why exactly they want to destroy Iran. Both conferences with basically suicidal agendas. And the capper is they hold them right next door to Russia, as an implied threat.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 12, 2019 12:53:15 PM | 171

psychohistorian says:

I agree that it is a better rant on our times than the Saker article by Orlov

i wouldn't consider either article a rant, or that they had much of anything in common.

anyhoo, one thing i did learn from the Johnstone piece is that the CIR (Citizens’ Initiative Referendum) exists in Switzerland, Italy and California. wikipedia says Switzerland, Italy, and New Zealand, but, whatever…

i suppose in my blissful ignorance here in Italy i just kinda assumed that it was more prevalent, you know, being like the most effective channel for democracy and all…

oh, there's that old refrain from mr. Twain…

If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it

Posted by: john | Jan 12, 2019 1:39:12 PM | 172

re: voting
It took almost a hundred years for voting to be mentioned in the Constitution, Amendment XV, but the responsibility for the conduct of voting stayed with the states where gerrymandering, voter exclusion and third-party discouragement have been finely developed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 2:01:58 PM | 173


@ 135

(((Don Bacon))): “the US was established by and for wealthy white males. It hasn't changed much”

I’m Don Bacon, Jr, and that’s my Dad, Don Bacon, Sr, speaking

Truer words were never spoken

Dad taught me there’s no signs anywhere in the USA of any semitic influence.

None

Not in banking, not the Federal Reserve.... Not at Goldman Sachs or anywhere on Wall Street

No signs of kosher influence over the media (dominated 100 percent by wealthy white males), no signs of kosher influence in promoting the wars for Israel, nope, nothing to see, folks

No semitic influence in Hollywood, just degenerate white males, and certainly no signs of kosher influence in the pornography or child-porn business….

Dad taught me there’s no kosher or semitic influence anywhere in the USA, that it's completely controlled by evil white males, acting alone

Here’s a photo of Don Bacon, whose real name is Al Goldstein, which would make my real name Al Goldstein, Jr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Goldstein#/media/File:Al_Goldstein.jpg

Posted by: Don Bacon Junior | Jan 12, 2019 2:37:49 PM | 174

Circe | Jan 12, 2019 11:37:24 AM | 161\

SOHR is funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, that's why.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 12, 2019 2:45:16 PM | 175

BJD @ 149:

Ah, found this link on Noam Chomsky's session at the Sydney Opera House (as it had been originally proposed):
https://www.mapw.org.au/events/q-a-session-with-noam-chomsky/

The duration of the session was intended to be 90 minutes but Chomsky had been 15 minutes late in arriving so he only spoke for about 75 minutes. It was a Q&A session as well. I remember more the fact that Chomsky was talking at a level that went over the heads of most of the audience, many of whom most likely had no understanding of who he was or what he'd done beyond what they'd been told by their teachers.

I can afford to have a carefree attitude about remembering technical details of Chomsky's talks because for me his current role is to distract and lead people away from discovering facts for themselves. He represents the limits of dissent allowed by The Powers That Be. I should think what he actually says and whether he cares about his audience's ability to understand what he says count for much more.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 12, 2019 2:50:51 PM | 176

ben | Jan 12, 2019 11:57:19 AM | 162

That's one, long speech by Chomsky but at the end of it all, he's just saying that the answer is the two-state solution, even as he admits it's already dead in the water (and that was 2014, when he made the speech).

So, I see nothing in the speech that contradicts me calling him a Zionist as believes in the existence of the state of Israel.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 12, 2019 2:52:28 PM | 177

I might as well share my 2¢ regarding Chomsky, posted in another forum the other day:
___________________________________________

FWIW, I respect and admire Chomsky's work and career, but when he's off, he's way off. Recently, when asked about the situation in Syria, he began with, "Well, the first point to bear in mind … is that Assad is a horrible war criminal. The bulk of the atrocities, which are enormous, are his responsibility. There’s no justifying Assad."

I regret that I can't remember the source, but someone wisely remarked of Chomsky that "brilliant minds produce brilliant rationalizations". I call them "Chomsky Bubbles".

They're fairly distinctive "lapses", as if an entirely different "voice" is thinking and speaking. I think we all know people who are intelligent, perceptive, and insightful, but on certain subjects seem to lose it-- it's like they become a different person.

To me (and others), Chomsky's takes on JFK [both his administration and assassination] and 9/11, and his lesser-evilist "strategic voting" doublethink, are "Chomsky Bubble" positions.

Posted by: Ort | Jan 12, 2019 4:34:04 PM | 178

At this point I ought to confess I never actually read the crap speech of the fat #1 Graduate of West Point. That seems to have been a mistake.

Magic Mike Does Cairo

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has just (10/1) given a speech at the American University in Cairo. It is essentially, to borrow the words of The Bard, a tale told by a Christian Zionist idiot, full of imperial sound and fury, signifying God-only-knows-what in the years ahead. Since Pompeo is a little shaky on historical context, not to mention the most basic understanding of modern Western history - "In World War II, American GIs helped free North America from Nazi occupation" - I couldn't help but comment and quip as the spirit moved me. These gems, btw, are but excerpts, albeit in chronological order:

The #1 West Point business is overrated. There is a web site for such critters, and the only name there I'd say deserves any special honors is that of James B. McPherson.

Pompeo belongs to quite another group - among them Douglas MacArthur. Another #1, this gentleman kept being promoted despite his screwups in the Philippines and New Guinea. Pompous Pompeo has had that kind of luck as well.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 12, 2019 4:59:57 PM | 179

Ort

That Syrian government have warcriminals cannot be denied though but other than that I agree with you on Chomsky.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 12, 2019 5:45:48 PM | 180

@179 ort... that is basically how i see it... and to take up zanons commennt - that israel gov't have war criminals cannot be denied... funny how it only comes up with syria while with israel is skipped right over... i see some double standards on a regular basis from people and posters...

Posted by: james | Jan 12, 2019 6:17:22 PM | 181

I recall Trump saying we are pulling our troops out of Syria and on to the next phase

Trump claims? ... saying that troop withdrawal marked the start of the “next phase” in the struggle with Isis, ...

What is "the next phase" ?

My thoughts are Iran.

Posted by: arby | Jan 12, 2019 6:38:00 PM | 182

reply to
Posted by: Thucidides | Jan 12, 2019 6:19:54 AM | 143
Some of your experience, although not all of it, is mirrored by Jim Stone at 82.221.129.208

Posted by: frances | Jan 12, 2019 7:59:25 PM | 183

...
>(JFK)had only 15,000 advisors in Vietnam when he was assassinated, and his refusal to escalate may have led to his demise.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2019 11:58:24 AM | 164

The main problem with so many of the "Who killed JFK?" lines of speculation is that they're all plausible. For example Sergei Khrushchev (US resident) says that Nikita was motivated to install Nukes in Cuba in response to AmeriKKKa's installallation of Nukes in Eastern Europe. That was so obviously an anti-Russia Swamp gambit that it's not even debatable.

Sergei K also states that at the beginning of the Space Race, which Russia was winning, Nikita K proposed to Kennedy that Russia and USA combine their talents and expenses and work together. Kennedy initially rejected that offer but later indicated a willingness to discuss it. According to Sergei K, Kennedy was assassinated soon after and Johnson never followed up on the concept.

It seems extremely likely that The Swamp, which owns the M-IC Gravy Train, and plenty of US politicians, had Kennedy killed for putting the Gravy Train at risk by suggesting that AmeriKKKa implement friendly cooperation with The Swamp's most-feared and powerful fake enemy. The arms and Nuke arsenal build-up Gravy Train could have evaporated overnight...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12, 2019 11:35:09 PM | 184

james

Israel? I responded to Ort's comment by Chomsky where he mentioned Syria. He didnt mention Israel at all.

Here you have Chomsky talk about Israeli warcrimes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vazj5YQIPfw

Also, double standards? Its you who deny warcrimes in one place but eagerly push it otherwhere.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13, 2019 4:19:15 AM | 185

For those claiming Syria dont need S300:

Israel: We bomb Syria almost every day

The outgoing IDF chief of staff has acknowledged that Israel has been bombing Syria on a “near-daily” basis for years, in a massive military campaign allegedly aimed at degrading Tehran’s supposed military buildup in the region.

https://www.rt.com/news/448685-israel-syria-strikes-eizenkot/

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13, 2019 9:26:10 AM | 186

D. Johnstone on the Yellow Vests was v good. (thx)

She is always worth reading. I was pleased to note that she credits the F ‘oligarchy’ for jacking Macron into the Prez. seat, vs. ‘banksters’. Imho if Macron was any use Rothschild’s would have hung onto him :) ha ha.

She quotes the tax on diesel + petrol but misses a well-known fact which would have fit her discourse: kerosene, or jet fuel, is not taxed, afaik, *at all*, anywhere in the world, following an international accord. (The YV know this.) Which partly explains the ‘cheap flights’ prevalent today. Some have tried to mute the effect / gather revenues, by proposing an airport tax, which does not violate the accord. As Chirac and Lula did. (Several countries implemented it, wiki poor but some info)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_tax_on_airplane_tickets

Macron is carted about in petrol engine chauffered cars, + airplanes. Little / no tax. While the district travelling nurse, the single mom, has to pay diesel tax ..(see Johnstone), such blatant hypocrisy can drive ppl to extremes.

Another good round up article re. the Y V, diff. slant: Serge Halimi, Le Monde Diplo (eng):

https://mondediplo.com/2019/01/01gilets-jaunes-rise

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 13, 2019 9:46:27 AM | 187

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12, 2019 11:35:09 PM | 185

Yes, thanks, so many questions and so few answers, by design. JFK and the US-installed president of "South Vietnam" assassinated in the same month. . . Martin, Bobby and John. . .etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13, 2019 11:04:07 AM | 188

@ Noirette with the follow up on the subsidy to the jet fuel world

While I agree with the blatant hypocrisy of transportations subsidy for the rich and WAR, just taxing petrol equitably is not going to fix our problems.

I was curious that you did not comment on the part about the referendum. I agree with the capability expressed in principle but think that making global finance public instead of private will get us better underlying incentives for organization and structure than forcing change bottom up from referendum. Your thoughts?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 13, 2019 11:17:35 AM | 189

Don Bacon

That Israel have attacked Syria past years, I do not believe anyone claim - what would be the reason to doubt or even deny and thus cover up constant assaults by Israel?
Considering 100 or 1000 attacks. Do you, as you claimed just past weeks, that Syria dont need any more defense against Israel?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13, 2019 12:30:30 PM | 190

@186 zanon.. that's right you didn't mention anything about israels war criminals.. i did... i get sick of folks like yourself constantly talking about syrian gov't war criminals and skipping over israel gov't war criminals... the bigger war criminals are the ones in israel..

Posted by: james | Jan 13, 2019 12:53:55 PM | 191

james

No? I didnt mention russian, american, british or any other nation warcrimes because the topic was Israel.
But I am glad that you finally admit that Syria has commited warcrimes.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13, 2019 2:19:03 PM | 192

I was curious that you did not comment on the part about the referendum. I agree with the capability expressed in principle but think that making global finance public instead of private will get us better underlying incentives for organization and structure than forcing change bottom up from referendum. psychohistorian @ 190.

The Yellow Vests are clamoring for instoring a “RIC” - referendum d’ initiative citoyenne (self-explanatory.) On the side of the ppl, how to disagree or caution?

Representative Republics (France, GB) have a certain kind of top-down control that can’t tolerate - what the PTB think of as opinion polls - having any weight never mind leading to legislation. (Brexit for ex - the vote was offered in a complex web of duplicitous politicking, Cameron, etc. The result was catastrophic and continues so - note I am v. anti-EU.) The F have an ex. next door, Switz. that practices at every level - communal, cantonal, Federal, a whole panoply of ‘citizen initiative rights’ which ‘works’ more or less, but within a completely different pol. landscape, system, country.

The Y V proposal / demand? for RICs is an attempt, looking at exs. around, to wrest some control away from the PTB. (As was Brexit in England for ex.) Some thingie added on to the existing pol system. The present F PTB in place can never, will never, accept it. Except maybe in some controlled small measure about trivial social issues such as gay marriage, headgear of women, tax on soda or hamburgers, etc. (See the growing repression by the Macron Gvmt.)

So, it will take much more, a second, later uprising, to figure out how opposition can be implemented effectively.

Of course all banks should be nationalised but imho the F are not ready to go there. (To make it short.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 14, 2019 1:20:01 PM | 193

A necessary correction to an error in the 2nd paragraph of my JFK coincidence theory comment @ #185 which begins "Sergei K also states..."

The source for the info is Part 4, MOON, of the BBC's doco series The Planets from 1999 - before the beginning of the Fake War On Terror.

In that par I stated that "Nikita K proposed to Kennedy that Russia and USA combine their talents and expenses and work together. Kennedy initially rejected that offer but later indicated a willingness to discuss it."
However, that's wrong.

Having now reviewed my copy of the doco (better late than never?) I've discovered that, according to Sergei Khrushchev, JFK suggested to Nikita Khrushchev, in June 1961, that Russia and USA pool their resources and make the Moon exploration a joint project. But Nikita K rejected the offer due to fears for Russia's military security (after WWII AmeriKKKa raced in and grabbed Von Braun and all the V2 rockets they could find then destroyed the stuff they couldn't steal including the factory to prevent Russia from accessing V2 technology).

JFK tried again in the Autumn of 1963 and according to Sergei K "this time my father was ready to accept but soon after, JFK was assassinated and the new President never repeated the offer."
.........
It's not QED but it is persuasive evidence that JFK was bumped off for daring to even dream of cooperating with The Swamp's Favourite Fake Enemy, and gateway to the M-IC Gravy Train.
.........
What makes The Planets appealing to me as a source for plausible scuttlebutt, is that it was made at a time when it was quite OK to natter about the Brits at Jodrell Bank radio telescope falling over themselves to help the Ruskies by tracking a Russian rocket heading for the Moon, and confirming that it had indeed reached the Moon.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 15, 2019 12:22:47 AM | 194

« previous page

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Working...