Archive | January 27th, 2017

S A A Repels Large-Scale ISIS Advance On Khanaser-Aleppo Road

NOVANEWS

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…from SouthFront

On January 26, the ISIS terrorist group made a fierce attempt to cut off a supply line to the government held city of Aleppo near Khanaser. Initially ISIS units seized a few villages and even came close to cutting off the road, but pro-government forces, backed up by Russian warplanes, repelled the ISIS push and kept control over this vital supply line.

According to local sources, government forces are set to launch a counter-offensive in the area as soon as they regroup and gain reinforcements.

The ISIS attack was an attempt to ease military pressure which the terrorist group faces near al-Bab.

Government troops liberated another village – Madiuna – southeast of the ISIS stronghold.

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Syrian War Report

NOVANEWS

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Syrian War Report – January 27, 2017: 2,600 Militants Laid Arms In Wadi Barada

Trump Announces “Cowboy Unilaterialism,” in Bush II Mideast Ploy

…from SouthFront

Over 2,600 militants have laid down arms in the Wadi Barada area near Damascus. Those who refused to do this are leaving to the Idlib province with their families. However, some Jabhat Fatah al-Sham units are still hiding in the mountains area. Soon the whole region will be controlled by government forces.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have liberated from ISIS the village of Madiuna and the hill of Mashrifah southwest of the ISIS-stronghold of al-Bab in the province of Aleppo. Government forces are now further developing momentum south of Al-Bab.

Meanwhile, Turkish militant groups, backed by the Turkish Armed Forces, retook Amiyah and Seflaniye from ISIS.

Government troops have recaptured from ISIS two hills north of the Tiyas Airbase in the province of Homs. The army continues to expand a buffer zone near the airbase.

US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon and State Department to develop a plan of creating a series of “safe zones” for refugees fleeing violence in Syria. According to reports, the plan has to be ready within 90 days.

The decision pursues 3 main goals:

  1. To decrease Ankara’s involvement into the cooperation with Russia and Iran, and into the so-called “Astana format”. Turkey has been seeking to set up such zones in Syria for a long time, but it didn’t have support from the US.
  2. To increase a US influence in Syria. Washington is the only power, excluding Russia and Iran, which can guarantee a creation of such zones.
  3. To show a positive involvement into the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The problem is that a closer cooperation with Turkey is almost not possible while Washington supports the Kurdish YPG and its advance on Raqqa. Furthermore, Moscow and Tehran oppose the US idea to set up safe zones in Syria.

In any case, Trump’s administration shows that it’s going to implement an active policy in the Middle East.

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Will Trump apply the “America First” principle to the Nazi regime?

NOVANEWS
Will Trump apply the “America First” principle to the Israeli regime?

If Trump wants to be “the president of a safe country,” then he has to protect America from a bloodthirsty country that has devoured innocent men, women and children in the Middle East.

Dear Trump: “America First” or Israel First? The answer to that question will make a profound statement about you personally.
It has been reported that Trump is trying to develop a series of “safe zones” in Syria in order to make things easier for the people who are currently suffering in the region.[1] Trump rightly thinks that the Syrian war has created total disaster in Europe as well. He said:

“I’ll absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people. I think that Europe has made a tremendous mistake by allowing these millions of people to go into Germany and various other countries. And all you have to do is take a look. It’s… it’s a disaster what’s happening over there. I don’t want that to happen here [the US].”[2]

Sure, Europe has certainly made a categorical error, but what fueled that error? Was the six-trillion dollar war an accident? Or was there a specific entity that actually lit the fire in the region?

You see, Trump does not want to go that far because the answer will inexorably lead him to the Israeli regime, which Trump himself has vowed to support.

The Syrian war could have ended overnight if serious politicians in Washington has manned up and told the Israeli regime that they would no longer support their essentially Talmudic maneuvering.

And here again Trump’s “America First” is a room full of smoke precisely because Trump does not want to criticize or challenge the Israeli regime, the very entity that seeks perpetual wars all over the Middle East. If Trump wants to be “the president of a safe country,” then he has to protect America from a bloodthirsty country that has devoured innocent men, women and children in the Middle East.

The Trump administration has recently stopped “hundreds of millions of dollars in assets that the Obama administration previously authorized for the Palestinians in President Obama’s final days in office.”[3]

The money was supposed to be sent to places like the West Bank and Gaza in order to help the largely poor and dehumanized population there. Ari Lieberman of the Neocon magazine FrontPage quickly put out a ridiculous article saying that Obama sends $221 million to terrorist-funding Palestinian Authority.” David Horowitz, the founder of the same magazine, has just come out and declared that Obama is an anti-Semite.

We can ignore people like Lieberman and Horowitz because they will never get to the heart of the issue. The central question that neither Trump nor Lieberman will ever answer in a rational fashion is that we are pouring at least $3 billion every single year to Israel! Is this really helping the “America First” principle? And who’s going to stop that diabolical enterprise?

It has also been reported that if the UN recognizes a Palestinian State, the Trump administration will cut their funding by 40 percent.[4] If Trump wants to reduce the amount of money we spend in the Middle East, fine.

But how again can he look at reasonable people in the eye and continue to pour at least $3 billion to the state of Israel each year? How can the Israeli regime continue to steal lands while Trump is being completely silent? The Gaza water shortage is still a disaster,[5] and as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe would have argued, it is “the biggest prison on earth.” Nothing has been said about this.


Now Trump is marshalling a bogus argument with respect to the Iraq war and the oil. “We should’ve kept the oil when we got out,” he said.

“And, you know, it’s very interesting, had we taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS because they fuel themselves with the oil. That’s where they got the money. They got the money […] when we left, we left Iraq, which wasn’t a government.

“We created a vacuum and ISIS formed. But had we taken the oil something else very good would’ve happened. They would not have been able to fuel their rather unbelievable drive to destroy large portions of the world,”[6]

He’s got to be kidding. What we are seeing here is that Trump is implicitly articulating some of the unspoken premises of the capitalist system, which always seeks to feast on other people’s wealth and labor. Trump said: “If we took the oil you wouldn’t have ISIS. And we would have had wealth. We have spent right now $6 trillion in the Middle East. And our country is falling apart.”

Yes, the war in Iraq will cost more than six trillion dollars, but you’re going to balance that diabolical equation by taking the oil? Was the oil yours in the first place? Did you work for it? Was it your labor that put it there? Did the Iraqis create the war in order for them to face the consequences? Or did our predecessors try to kill innocent lives to get the oil and to protect Israel?

Trump’s statement here goes to the heart of the problem with the capitalist system, whose apologists proclaim that capitalism is just economic exchange when in reality it is a system in which the rich and the powerful get to suspend the moral and political law and prey on other people’s labor.

Trump should also understand that cheap labor, which the capitalist system supports, is also part of the huge migration in the US. The CEOs of big companies would prefer to pay migrant workers minimum wage instead of paying decent Americans a living wage. As history has shown us, nations cannot survive without a living wage. (Henry Ford obviously understood that.)

This does not mean that everyone in a nation will get the same amount of money, but it does rule out the predatory nature of the capitalist oligarchy, which always seeks cheap labor and gives the worker a wage out of which he can never support a family. This form of predatory vice always kills economic progress and even nations. As E. Michael Jones points out,

“The trajectory of free market capitalism replicated itself with uncanny regularity in every society which valued usury over human labor.

“In ancient Greece as in medieval Florence, unrestrained appetite led to slave rebellions like the Ciompi uprising in Florence, which, once crushed, led to ‘an aristocracy of money and of wealth, which prepared the way for the decline of the Greek states.’”[7]

Jones is right on target when he deconstructs the capitalist system this way:

“There is nothing reasonable about ‘economic rationality’ which seeks, on the one hand, only to get the highest possible wage for the lowest possible effort, or on the other hand, to get the greatest possible effort for the lowest possible wage.

“In other words, there is no rationality in doing business routinely with the view to getting the most that is possible while giving the least that it is possible in return.

“Depriving the worker of a living wage inevitably concentrates wealth in the hands of the few. It makes it impossible for the worker to save, and, moreover, some even have to borrow in order to make ends meet.

“The rich then inevitably get involved in lending to them at interest, and this further concentrates wealth in their hands until society collapses because lending money at interest to someone who can’t even pay back the principle is automatically going to lead to greater wealth for the rich.”[8]


Will he challenge the Israeli Mafia?

Trump reminds me of the looting of Church property that took place after the Reformation. The late economist and historian R. H. Tawney, author of Religion and the Rise of Capitalism: A Historical Study, said of that event: “The upstart aristocracy of the future had their teeth in the carcass, and, having tasted blood, they were not to be whipped off by a sermon.”[9]

It seems that Trump has already tasted blood, and it appears that he is not going to be whipped off by any reasonable deal with the Palestinian.

If Trump aspires to make a difference in the Middle East, he needs to get down to business and ask the Israeli regime to abide by the moral and political order. Unless he does that, Trump’s foreign policy and “America First” will continued to be littered with contradictions. And we all know that internal contradictions are sign of a failing system. As my dear friend Mark Dankof told me a few days ago, Trump:

“must not allow the Israeli Lobby and the militarist element in the National Security establishment to derail P5+1. He must stop the support of illegal settlements in Occupied Territories and this idiotic talk of relocating the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

“His recent rhetoric about ‘rebuilding the military’ in the context of a Trillion Dollar National Security Establishment and a $21 trillion dollar debt is unsettling. The Flynn, Pompeo, Mattis, and Haley appointments are of concern to me, especially the last three. His pick for American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a dangerous man.”

Trump’s “America First” is not anti-Semitic, as one idiot in the LA Times has perversely articulated.[10] Trump’s America first is pro-Israel. And if people want to be serious, “America First” was neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Palestinian.

If writers in the LA Times do not want to insult history, they will find out that nearly all the Founding Fathers upheld some kind of “America First.” George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, among others, would have taken issues with Trump for not applying “America First” to the nation of Israel.

In short, Trump has a great opportunity to make a difference. He has witnessed the disastrous nature of perpetual wars and the capitalist system, and he certainly cannot deny the historical fact that Israel has been one of the main villains in this perennial conflict. He seems to understand the Syrian situation. But will he go all the way?

Only time will tell.


[1] Carlo Muñoz, “Trump eyes ‘safe zones’ in Syria despite fears of deeper U.S. involvement in war,” Washington Times, January 25, 2017.

[2] “Trump says he’ll order ‘safe zones’ for Syria, regrets not ‘taking’ oil out of Iraq,” Russia Today, January 26, 2017.

[3] “Trump’s State Department Freezes Obama’s $221 Million Payout to Palestinians,” Sputnik News, January 27, 2017.

[4] Nathan Guttman, “Trump May Cut Funding to UN If It Recognizes Palestinian State,” Jewish Daily Forward, January 26, 2017; see also Michael Wilner and Tovah Lazaroff, “Trump will threaten UN bodies over Palestinian Membership,” Jerusalem Post, January 25, 2017.

[5] “Gaza’s water shortage worsening, no easy solutions seen,” Daily Times (Pakistan), January 27, 2017.

[6] “Trump says he’ll order ‘safe zones’ for Syria, regrets not ‘taking’ oil out of Iraq,” Russia Today, January 26, 2017.

[7] E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2014), 43.

[8] Ibid., 44-45.

[9] Quoted in ibid., 375.

[10] Brian Bennett, “’America First,’ a phrase with a loaded anti-Semitic and isolationist history,” LA Times, January 20, 2017.

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War in Lebanon Coming to a Theatre Near You

NOVANEWS

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Two weeks ago, word went out.  Israel informed the US and Britain, other nations as well, that Turkey even though a NATO member, has to be disarmed.  Turkey is out of ammunition, something Erdogan’s enemies in the army and defense organizations saw to.  Turkey can’t move against al Bab, their tanks are fueled but disarmed, their artillery silent.  A game is afoot.The question will be not if there will be war under the neocon takeover of America but where.  With announcements of Trump instituting the Hillary threatened “no fly zones” in Syria, ostensibly to protect hated Syrian refugees and to protect the “moderate head choppers” from Assad and Russia, all campaign rhetoric is gone.

This isn’t unilaterialism, it is submission.  Is this why there are moves afoot in Congress to take the US out of the UN?  Is this why NATO is under attack and now even that magical relationship with Russia is on the rocks, a baby aborted only hours before its birth.

War is coming in Lebanon, Netanyahu, under siege by multiple corruption scandals isn’t just at the eleventh hour of his career, or even the thirteenth. The war, ostensibly is going to be against Hezbollah and it won’t be a secret to anyone that Netanyahu is going to sacrifice 200 Israeli tanks and their crews to save himself from a prison sentence.

However, his ambitions lie further afield – Israel’s real prize has always been, not Syria, not Greater Israel, not the empty expanses of sand nor the oil that lies beneath. The Romans knew it, even the Greeks knew it – the centre of the universe is the Anatolian peninsula.

All roads lead to and through Turkey. Oil and gas pipelines, a massive arms industry, an educated and capable population, Europe’s food supply and what had once been the keystone for NATO to block Russia’s expansion.

Let’s take a moment out and discuss Israel realistically.  This is a nation that has never suffered an attack by ISIS or any of the al Qaeda groups.  We note that here because it is telling in light of President Trump’s statements to Egypt’s Sisis in support of Syria’s Assad.

Within minutes, Netanyahu blew a fuse, preparing a message for Trump to be delivered by “go-between” Rudi Giuliani, reputed by some to have helped Saudi Arabia and Israel cover up the real nature of the 9/11 attacks, as FBI investigation documents leaked to VT reveal.  Anyway, back to Assad and on to the war in Lebanon:

If Assad is fighting terrorism “heroically” as Trump says, he is also fighting Israel for if one fights ISIS or al Nusra  or whatever they are calling themselves these days, ignoring that these groups are Israeli supplied and even commanded ignores reality.

For those who have access to classified intel, classified by Syria and Iraq, not the made-up American stuff, lies to be leaked or to deceive a military long since in its dotage, so much becomes clear.  Israelis have died fighting for ISIS, 84 one day alone, May 2-3, 2013 off Latakia, Syria when a Dolphin submarine that picked up intelligence teams involved in Sarin gas attacks in Syria was destroyed by a homing torpedo dropped by a Syrian helicopter.  This is real, it happened, it was reported and then quickly scrubbed from the news.

What is fed the public is something else, a public led around by CNN’s fake news or the newer “alternative facts,” which news agencies are told they are prohibited from calling “lies.”  Who “prohibits” news agencies?

To understand Lebanon, you must accept the reality of Israel even to the point of, and this is difficult in a world of lies and bizarre conspiracy theories, looking at events like those that took place in Paris in 2015, the infamous “Charlie Hebdo” false flag street theatre.  When Netanyahu hijacked the memorial walk a few days later, the video of bloodless high powered close range executions and steel core bullets that left concrete untouched became obvious:

Cameras at ground level portray Netanyahu leading millions in memorial march, Paris 2015

Here is another shot from the event itself, which upon examination by ballistics experts, was deigned to be staged with fairly dangerous blanks.  This is a video still taken at the moment of an “execution” of a police officer, perhaps the most hideous staged video event in history:


French police official Herlic Fredou, who took exception at this “crime scene” and other irregularities decided to kill himself before making this public in a press conference.

We only bring this up now because we aren’t going to allow real events to be buried under the sludge of the alt-right’s continual flow of garbage which is orchestrated in Tel Aviv.

In another timely event, we turn to things we will discuss below.  Here we find the Turkish Army, one of the most powerful in the world, having their German built Leopard tanks handed over to ISIS, “captured” as it were, and getting their tails kicked by a ragtag gang of, what we repute to be Israeli led terrorists.

Problem being is that the Turkish Army, long infiltrated by Gulenites allied to Israel, is handing over its weapons to ISIS and even destroying its own ammunition stockpiles while Israel blocks this NATO nation from buying artillery and tank rounds to continue their newfound war against real terrorism.

It’s Turkey that is being targeted, why the coup attempt and why Trump is being pulled in opposite directions, serving Israel while faced with the possibility of being forced to walk away from his promise to destroy ISIS, an Israeli run organization.

As Jim W. Dean so often says, “You just can’t make this ‘stuff’ up.”

Now the stakes are higher, much higher. The deal between Russia, Turkey and Syria has made Trump’s slavish friendship to Netanyahu inconsequential; there will never be an American military presence to defend Israel. Trump’s own policies and rhetoric, such as they are, has made that a redline for impeachment, even among the onetime party faithful, Congresses bought-and-paid-for ‘Israel-firsters’.

Gulen is Netanyahu’s Boy

As Erdogan began to take note that Gulen’s American tenure was far more about Mossad than CIA, the Israeli press began a clumsy and far too obvious smear campaign against Gulen, intended to deceive Erdogan. Gulen has been a prime Israeli asset in the following ways:

  • His followers in the Turkish Army, co-trained with Israel for years, were not only behind the failed 2016 coup attempt, they continue to sabotage Turkish military operations against ISIS in Syria.
  • More Gulenites in the Turkish Army, and they still control key logistic, intelligence and command functions, despite Erdogan’s purge, are behind the recent infighting in the Idlib province of Syria which has seen the FSA attacked by former Al-Qaeda ‘rebels’. Weapons and jihadis still freely transit Turkey.
  • Idlib is important because it is the anvil on which the alliance between Hezbollah and Damascus may be rent asunder. Israel wants to draw Hezbollah into a war in Lebanon, the precursor for this plan has been Israel’s continual negotiations with Moscow to deny Hezbollah air defences and their continual attacks on any suspected Hezbollah air defence systems within Syria, even inside the city of Damascus.

Israel is on Russia’s shitlist, Netanyahu’s only leverage with Russia now is through Trump, Israel’s role in running the day-to-day war against Syria and Iraq, building the now splintered Turkey-Qatar-Saudi alliance against Iran, will have new life under Trump. Trump’s real power to end Russian sanctions or even recognise Crimea as Russian or to gut NATO on Russia’s behalf as General Flynn has suggested, emanates not from a desire for a global partnership, but something far more sinister.

As long as Russia is in Syria and allied with Turkey and Iran, with Qatar, the Gulf States and even Saudi Arabia re-assessing their anti-Iranian stances, Israel’s fate sits in the hands of Mr. Putin. Mr Putin’s fate balances on the edge of a knife as well, with Russia’s flagging economy hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles.

Thus we return to the hypothesis of Preston James – a multi-generational Khazarian Mafia which may well now control the White House, the American House of Representatives (but not Senate) and the United States Supreme Court. Spineless and easy-controlled grocery clerk general ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, under the thumb of America’s real ‘Taliban Madman’ General Jerry Boykin, give Israel and Netanyahu the ability to wield American military power against any enemy, even the United States.

The upcoming war in Lebanon, which we are tying to prevent through this article, we admit that agenda, yes we would “prevent a war” if possible, is the last play Israel has.  Trump can’t really bail them out, no matter the fact that Trump’s son in law is a fanatic Zionist and now listed among Trump’s prime advisors, being essentially the same pack of Neocon’s that aided Bush globalist ambitions to destroy the Middle East and American economy at the same time.

What should have been announced, America reopening the Damascus embassy, closed only temporarily, has been shelved for that other embassy, the one that can’t legally be put in Jerusalem, that if done, makes American a pariah criminal state, recognizing occupied territory as part of a Jewish only state, violation of the Geneva Convention.

With no vision, no plan, no position in the world of its own under no leadership whatsoever, all that is left, as the mind numbing ignorance of those taking power have made clear, is Armageddon, pushing forward Israel’s ambitions, letting them control the oil, the pipelines, to destabilize Turkey and the Caucasus, and push India and Pakistan into nuclear conflict, something Israel has had at the top of its agenda now since Netanyahu appeared on the scene.

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Barack Obama’s Betrayal

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Barack Obama rode into office on a wave of enthusiasm encapsulated in the hopeful slogan ‘Yes We Can’. Soon, reality set in and forced the administration to deal with the influence exerted by the deep state. A mythological monster with five heads, it essentially includes Wall Street, large industrial corporations, the intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA, NRO, etc.), the military (war industry), and the mainstream media (large publishing groups and television).

Among the major merits of Obama, especially during his first administration, we can include a strong inclination not to tarnish his presidential legacy with disastrous wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. This commitment has outlined and defined to an enormous extent the United States’ engagement strategies in the international arena.

Another significant factor is seen in the efforts to regulate and define more precisely the parameters of the highly speculative finance that led to the financial crisis of 2008. The power of a president is very limited compared to the powerful entity that is the Fed. In this sense, the small efforts to limit the power of large financial and banking groups were immediately scuttled, forcing Obama to follow the leadership of Greenspan and the monetary policy decided by the Fed. This was the first huge betrayal of the people’s mandate.

Finally, the repeated spy scandals related to the NSA and other intelligence agencies have forced Obama to adopt rhetoric aimed at containing the unlimited power of the intelligence agencies. But in practice, the outgoing administration has done the exact opposite by greatly increasing the powers of government agencies with the intention of pursuing the new president’s war strategy. Another huge betrayal of the electorate.

Retracing the pivotal points of the outgoing administration, it is easy to understand that of the five conglomerates of power, three of them – the media, Wall Street, and the intelligence agencies — have been granted a free hand in the exercise of their powers.

This can be easily seen in the decisions the President took over eight years. Nevertheless, it is difficult to establish with certainty the degree to which Obama had to submit to certain branches of the deep state in order to implement certain strategies. For Obama, the work of democratic evangelism (stemming from the concept of American exceptionalism), has always been a matter of priority for him, together with the need to favor certain areas of the deep state.

When looked at this way, it is easy to understand why spy agencies, the media and the world of financial speculation have enjoyed a free hand during the Obama administration. The outgoing president has focused on three main objectives during his presidency: to advance the role of the United States in the world; a domestic recovery of the economy; and the renunciation of wars involving ground troops. While clear goals, they are nevertheless incompatible, especially when seen in the light of the history of American foreign policy (preserving the unipolar world led by the US)

To succeed in this aim it is necessary to have the strong backing of the major financial institutions, national and international, in order to organize economic destabilization and financial terrorism against nations deemed hostile. The intelligence agencies were also relied upon to effect the type of aggression favored by the Obama administration, which relied on soft power (the Arab spring, color revolution, influence the vote). In all this, the media apparatus played a key role by boosting political propaganda that involved classic techniques (lack of information, distorted news, altered perception of reality, omissions) to win the support of Western populations for regime-change operations in North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Obama’s military strategy of avoiding direct military intervention at all costs greatly annoyed the military-industrial complex as well as large industrial corporations (in the petroleum, agriculture and construction fields). The bombing, the land invasion, the resulting occupation and destruction of the infrastructure of a country are great stimulants for generating contracts that are regularly awarded to US private companies (Iraq provides a prime example). The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. This war machine thereby increases its earnings through perpetual wars, occupation and weapons that employ new technologies as a result of multi-million-dollar contracts.

Other major problems are still manifesting themselves around the world as a result of the weaponization of human rights, deployed over the past decade by the Obama administration as a pretext for bombing nations and supporting violent revolutions that have untold destruction in their wake. Obama’s foreign policy has only exacerbated global tensions, merely signifying a change in methods and means. This is the third massive betrayal of his electoral mandate.

Obama’s impact on the domestic front, a clear manifestation of a strategy based on the use of intelligence and the mainstream media, has seen an exponential increase in the power of the intelligence agencies, magnified by the repeated scandals revealed by Snowden. The same can be said about the credibility of the press with the massaging of news to favor a certain type of interpretation of reality.

Finally, of course, the saving of the too-big-to-fail banks has produced disastrous results for the financial and economic system. The Fed’s power (now languishing at a zero interest rate but still with its magical ability to print money out of thin air seemingly indefinitely), combined with financial speculation, the media’s distortion of news, and the unfettered freedom enjoyed by the intelligence agencies, bequeaths to the new president a country with an unstable economy that is hugging zero growth, and a foreign policy that has been disastrous for the United States and the rest of the world.

One of Obama’s few merits has been to halt large-scale military interventions, to the chagrin of the more interventionist elements of the deep state. In Syria, the failure of the 2013 invasion has been a sore point between Obama and the deep state, serving to undermine the credibility of the former president up to the last day of his residence in the White House.

In Iraq, the need to signal an important departure from Bush necessitated a forced withdrawal of US troops, as a result promoting the rise of Daesh. That Obama decided this strategy autonomously, or that it was betrayed by the intelligence apparatus (creators of Daesh at Camp Bucca), changes little. Obama’s political strategy has necessarily had to grant specific powers of autonomy to the intelligence apparatus, in the process betraying the mandate granted him by citizens. Obama has given weapons and funding to Daesh and elements linked to Al Qaeda, providing continued cooperation with other regional players (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey) to destabilize the entire area of the Middle Eastern and North Africa. This represents the fourth colossal betrayal of the electoral mandate.

The perpetual conflict between the deep state and Obama reached its heights on the matter Ukraine. The strong neoconservative pressure to escalate tensions in the east of the country met with little success. In spite of the intelligence apparatus always providing assistance to Kiev in its ‘anti-terrorist operation’ as well as in information warfare (MH17?), the Ukrainian military has never been armed by the West to the extent that it would like.

One of the major contradictions between the Eurasian and the Atlantic areas has been the misinterpretation of the two major actors. In Russia (but also often in other Middle Eastern nations), Obama was seen as an extremist who was setting into motion the steps that would lead to World War Three. Likewise, Putin was viewed in the same light by the Atlantic. This wrong perception of reality has often led to misunderstanding and a lack of trust that is difficult to overcome. The crisis in Ukraine has been the perfect example of the greatest danger that looms in terms of confrontation between nuclear powers. In Russia, Putin has been criticized for not intervening massively in Ukraine, while Obama has been harshly criticized both in Europe and back at home for not backing Kiev with all means necessary. It has been the moderation of both Putin and Obama in volatile contexts, especially in Syria and in Ukraine, that has prevented their respective hawks from escalating things.

In conclusion, Obama has often preferred to use alternative methods, no less harmful, to in some way impose his own vision on international politics. Some of his actions were done under duress, while others would have stemmed from his own initiative. Sanctions on Russia, drone operations, the intensification of patrols in the South China Sea, support for Saudi actions in Yemen through arms sales, the bank bailout following the financial crisis, and the continuation of Guantanamo fall into this category. These events, given to placate the five-headed monster known as the deep state, have tarnished Obama’s reputation. These were choices that Obama was in one way or another forced to take in order to prevent an open war with the various entities of the deep state. In other words, he has bent to the will of the powers that be without a fight, preferring instead to adapt to the situation in order to obtain some concessions.

Obama has in domestic and foreign policy certainly been a president in some ways worse than Bush. But it should be recognized that he limited the potential for destructive nuclear war, especially when taking into account the wishes of certain elements of Washington’s power elite. The main accusation that can be levelled on Obama is the failure to be faithful to even the most basic promises expressed during the election campaign. With the slogan ‘Yes We Can’ Obama promised a change in approach to US problems. But instead of fighting the establishment with a revolution from within, he preferred to come to terms with it in order to advance the role of the United States in the world simply by changing approach. He chose alliances and plot lines to advance his future biography (the contentious relationship with Israel regarding settlements, the withdrawal from Iraq, and the embargo with Cuba), but it has never come into direct conflict with important elements of the deep state. Israel can be seen as an isolated exception.

The consequences of this approach have generated catastrophic effects that we see every day in different areas of the globe. The American and European people are experiencing an existential crisis, with loss of faith in the media; the spy agencies are considered oppressive and intrusive, having eliminated privacy, thereby no longer enjoying the trust of the public; the military-industrial complex produces outdated and inefficient hardware involving stratospheric production costs driven by greed and corruption; large corporate groups are suffering the effects of a trade war (a problematic relationship with the value of oil); and such trade agreements as TTIP and TTP have failed.

Obama, while presenting himself as a transformative candidate in 2008 and 2012, continued in the tradition of American exceptionalism, the chosen people of God with the mission of instructing the world on how to conduct itself. The consequences are there for all to see. Iran, China and Russia, which have greatly gained confidence and consideration than the United States because of their devoid of exceptionalism approach.

The failure of Obama to live up to the expectations he created have added to the negative legacy of his presidency, making it overall one of the worst presidencies in US history. Seen in this light, Donald Trump’s election should not be seen as too much of a surprise, Trump’s arrival representing a bigger disruption than Obama’s, a repetition of the same electoral mechanism that led to the triumph of Obama in 2008 at the end of the Bush presidency. Trump was carried into office on a slogan that promised to put the United States at the center of the national and global project, then openly defying the interests of the five-headed monster of the deep state. There are indeed surprising similarities in this respect to the election campaign of the now former president.

Similarly, it is likely that Trump will decide to ally with certain factions of the deep state while declaring war on the remaining elements, thereby advancing this faction’s as well as his own strategic vision of the future of the country. This approach bears eerie similarity to the initial intentions shown by Obama. The basic problem remains intrinsically linked to the personal feeling of the US president, who often feels himself appointed as a moral and spiritual guide of the whole globe and not just the United States. In this case, the result will be the same as that of the last eight years, with the continuing growth of the role of China, Russia and Iran in the international arena. The Obama era ended with a paradoxical ‘No You Can’t!’ that rebuffed the initial ‘Yes We Can’. Trump will have to be careful not to undergo a similar transformation that ends up transforming the slogan from ‘Make America Great Again’ to the more realistic ‘Make Eurasia Great Again’.

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Will Washington’s New Pro-Moscow, Anti-Beijing Gang Drive a Wedge Through the BRICS in 2017?

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The weeks following an underwhelming Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) mid-September summit in Goa and the United States presidential election in November have unveiled ever-widening contradictions.

Thanks to blatant corruption, presidential delegitimation has reached unprecedented levels in both Brazil and South Africa; while ruling-party religious degeneracy in India also included an extraordinary bout of local currency mismanagement; and sudden new foreign-policy divergences may wreak havoc in China and Russia.

The BRICS bloc’s relations could well destabilize to the breaking point.

Washington Wedge

Even before the next major world recession arrives, probably within two years, the inexorable rise of intra-bloc conflict will be apparent at the September 2017 BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. Most obviously, the Brasilia, Moscow and New Delhi regimes are shifting toward Washington while those in Pretoria and Beijing are spouting well-worn anti-imperialist rhetoric, just as Donald Trump and his unhappy mix of populists, paleo-conservatives, neo-conservatives and neoliberals take power on January 20.

We should have been more concerned about these power relations much earlier. For more than a decade, Washington militarists and their academic allies (like Keir Lieber and Daryl Press) have believed that “the United States now stands on the cusp of nuclear primacy… [having] the ability to disarm the nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a nuclear first strike.” Such men are further empowered by Trump’s Christmas-time threat to any opponent that he would engage in “an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Obama Legacy

In spite of regular promises to disarm the nukes, outgoing president Barack Obama’s recent recommitment to a new generation of precision-guided mini-warheads will not only cost more than $1-trillion over the next three decades, but also makes their use “more thinkable,” according to one of his top strategists.

And in several other ways Obama’s legacy set the stage for the worst of Trump’s coming policies: economically empowering the top 1% at the expense of the vast majority, continuation of a belligerent foreign policy, promotion of corporate interests across the world, denial of civil liberties especially to refugees and prisoners, and construction of a vast surveillance capacity by Washington’s deep state.

Still, while each of these dangerous elephants trample the grass underfoot, there are a few surviving blades – the subject of a coming essay. Only grassroots initiatives offer encouragement for a bottom-up anti-imperial afterlife following the top-down imperial, inter-imperial and sub-imperial follies of 2017. The main point of the pages ahead, though, is that whether in Washington or BRICS capitals, the wedge may well work but the broader right-wing agenda will fail.

Tensions in Taiwan

To illustrate the insanity ahead, one ‘country’ seems poised to centrally play at least a symbolic role: Taiwan. In late December, Solly Msimanga – the centre-right mayor of South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, elected just four months earlier – visited Taipei to seek out trade and investment opportunities, following an invitation from his counterpart in Taiwan’s capital.

The prior municipal political establishment became as wild-eyed-angry about this trip as were Chinese elites about the December 2 congratulatory phone call Trump happily took from Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen. Reflecting an unusual global sensibility, the African National Congress (ANC) branch that had ruled the city for the prior two decades furiously complained that Msimanga’s trip “exposed the conspiracy against BRICS countries… We are without doubt characterizing this trip as treason” (sic).

The national Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, reiterated that Msimanga “was advised against undertaking this trip. The SA government respects the One China policy.” Actually, Monyela’s unit has its own Taipei Liaison Office which promotes cooperation in biomedicine and auto electronics. Likewise the Taiwanese have Liaison Offices in Pretoria and Cape Town.

Indeed dating to 1996 when Taiwan held its first-ever democratic presidential election, Nelson Mandela had committed to recognize a government which “supported us during the later phase of the struggle… It is not easy for me to be assisted by a country, and once I come to power, say ‘I have no relations with you’. I haven’t got that type of immorality, and I will not do it.” The ‘support’ was merely a bribe: in 1993-94, Taipei officials donated $20-million to the ANC for its election campaign, a U-turn after a long history of the pro-U.S. military regime’s collaboration with apartheid. (Mandela similarly celebrated Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1997, after receiving his taxpayers’ similarly generous donations.)

Always exhibiting his deal-making instincts, Trump had replied to critics, “I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy, unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.” (Washington had recognized One China since 1979, as had the UN General Assembly since 1971.)

One reasonable response from Taiwan was a request not to be used as a bargaining chip. Complained a “very annoyed” researcher, June Lin from the Taipei-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs, “Trump tried to be free and easy, but he is very specific about the exchange deal: ‘Who cares? Unless you give me A and B and C, or I won’t give a damn.’”

A Chinese state mouthpiece, the Global Timesthreatened that if Trump “openly abandons the One China policy, there will be a real storm. At that point, what need does mainland China have for prioritising peaceful unification with Taiwan over retaking the island by military force?”

War is one scenario but an economic blockade is more likely, given Taiwan’s reliance on China, especially sending world-leading semi-conductors to the desperately dependent West via eastern mainland China’s high-tech assembly facilities. One Beijing official told Reuters, “We can just cut them off economically. No more direct flights, no more trade. Nothing. Taiwan would not last long. There would be no need for war.”

Moreover, if Trump continued to be – as the Global Times put it – “as ignorant of diplomacy as a child,” then China would aid (unspecified) anti-U.S. forces. “This inexperienced president-elect probably has no knowledge of what he’s talking about. He has overestimated the U.S. capability of dominating the world and fails to understand the limitation of U.S. powers in the current era.”

If Trump is merely an ignorant conman, as seems the case, he nevertheless has a potent instinct for divide-and-rule rhetorical flair, confirmed by his support in the U.S. white working class. Trump’s economic localization slogan “Buy American and Hire American” may, in turn, combine with his geopolitical deal-making to become a major wedge between the BRICS. For behind the resurgent inter-imperial sentiments lie vast economic contradictions that now appear beyond the capacity of multilateral capitalist regulation to resolve.

Rightwing or Leftwing Localization?

Beijing will certainly face worsening problems with Trump, given the latter’s propensity to blame trade competition – specifically, subsidised Chinese exports and currency devaluation, as well as alleged Chinese commercial computer hacking – for U.S. deindustrialization. Advised by the notorious Sinophobe economist Peter Navarro, Trump’s answer is a series of localization-oriented policies that will allegedly benefit U.S. manufacturing industry by increasing protection from foreign imports with what may be a 45% tariff on China and 10% on goods from other overseas sources.

Centre-left economist Joseph Stiglitz warns against Trumponomics, in part because of the lack of redistribution that might make such high import tariffs feasible: “Higher interest rates will undercut construction jobs and increase the value of the dollar, leading to larger trade deficits and fewer manufacturing jobs – just the opposite of what Trump promised. Meanwhile, his tax policies will be of limited benefit to middle-class and working families – and will be more than offset by cutbacks in healthcare, education, and social programs.”

A trade war is just as likely an outcome, reminiscent of the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 which is credited with contributing to the Great Depression. Like that period, the major question is in which direction populist sentiments channel working-class politics, rightwards or leftwards. (A coming essay considers the left option.)

Momentum in most sites is enjoyed by right-wing leaders: the U.S. (Trump), Britain (UK Independence Party and Brexit supporters), France (National Front led by Marine le Pen), Germany (Alternative for Germany) and the Netherlands (Party of Freedom led by Geert Wilders), with the latter three holding elections in 2017, along with Italy whose Five Star Movement (led by comedian Beppe Grillo) also has right-populist support.

If this tendency continues to prevail, we can expect the widespread emergence of what is often termed a ‘fascist’ regime: when the populist sentiments of working-class people are revealed as nativist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, ablist and anti-ecological, when imperialist and militaristic sentiments are acted upon, and when the socio-cultural agenda of the right is conjoined with corporate power to take control of the state.

In the period 2017-20, the dominant alignment appears to be a combination of far-right socio-cultural politics with mega-corporate interests, at least in the USA. (In Britain, the City of London’s financial-corporate agenda conflicts more explicitly with the far-right’s Brexit strategy.) It became clear immediately after the election that Wall Street’s giddy investors expect military, financial and fossil fuel industry stocks to prosper far more than any others, as the Dow Jones index hit a new record.

Trump promises to lower corporate taxes from 35 to 15% and rapidly inject what might be called ‘dirty Keynesian’ spending on airports and private transport infrastructure, heralding a new boom in U.S. state debt. Along with the Federal Reserve’s rise in interest rates, this in turn will at least initially draw more of the world’s liquid capital back into the U.S. economy, similar to the 2008-09 and post-2013 shifts of funds that debilitated all the BRICS currencies aside from the Chinese yuan.

New Alliances Loom as Several BRICS Continue to Crumble

With Trump’s election and the resulting rearrangement of geopolitical alliances and economic uncertainty, the BRICS will be under increasing pressure on several fronts. One winner may well be the Russian economy, as a result of loosening sanctions and the higher oil prices that will likely result from the December 2016 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreement. At rock bottom in February 2016, the price per barrel had fallen to $27, but by year’s end it was $55, giving some prospect of relief to the Russian economy.

Nevertheless, as the world becomes more geopolitically dynamic and economically dangerous – what with ongoing Chinese overcapacity, unprecedented global corporate debt while profit rates continue falling, worsening stagnation and rising financial meltdown risks emanating from weak European banks such as Germany’s Deutsche as well as several Italian banks – the political coherence of the BRICS bloc is in question.

Trump’s election heralded a period ahead in which the BRICS’ dubious claim to building a counter-hegemonic world politics will falter even faster. Two leaders – Brazil’s Michel Temer and India’s Narendra Modi – have strong ideological affinities as conservative nationalists.

Temer’s government, installed in May, has come under intense pressure because of ongoing popular delegitimation of his constitutional-coup regime, in part from unions which had supported the predecessor Workers Party. Temer’s closest allies (e.g., Renan Calheiros and Eduardo Cunha, who arranged former president Dilma Rousseff’s downfall in the Congress, and six of his cabinet ministers) were repeatedly exposed as far more corrupt than the prior president, thanks in part to plea bargain confessions by 77 officials of the Odebrecht construction companies involved in political bribery.

In December, Temer’s government imposed a new 20-year austerity regime that is certain to generate a coming period of unrest. Temer’s two 2016 trips to Asia – to appear with the G20 and especially with other BRICS leaders at the Goa summit – represent one means of distraction from such troubles.

In India, six weeks before hosting the 2016 summit, Modi suffered a strike of an estimated 180 million workers demanding both higher wages and an end to his neoliberal (austerity-oriented, pro-corporate) economic policies. Although his Hindu nationalism assures a strong base, Modi soon became even more unpopular with the non-sectarian working class and poor (amongst others) due to his chaotic banning of large currency notes (500 and 1000 rupees) that make up 86% of the money in circulation. This left many rural areas virtually without cash and hence without economic activity, and banks were compelled to restrict funds withdrawals to small daily amounts.

Modi also attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to use the Goa summit for intense (albeit unsuccessful) ‘anti-terrorist’ lobbying. The economic and political links that China and Russia have built with the Pakistani government – as it has progressively delinked from Washington in the wake of the 2011 Osama bin Laden execution – remain more attractive than remaining in India’s favour within the South Asian rivalry.

A third leader, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, seems to require BRICS anti-imperialist myth-making to shore up his internal legitimation, as part of the ANC’s so-called “talk left, walk right“ tendency. For example, in November 2016 Zuma explained BRICS to party activists in the provincial city of Pietermaritzburg: “It is a small group but very powerful. [The West] did not like BRICS. China is going to be number one economy leader… [Western countries] want to dismantle this BRICS. We have had seven votes of no confidence in South Africa. In Brazil, the president was removed.”

The following week in Parliament, Zuma was asked by an opposition Member of Parliament which countries he meant, and he replied, “I’ve forgotten the names of these countries. How can he think I’m going to remember here? Heh heh heh heh!,” he chuckled.

It is evident that Zuma will continue to use the BRICS as a foil for such defensive sentiments, even though his government’s initial endorsement of the NATO bombing of Libya in 2011 was the most egregious case of the BRICS’ geopolitical role in Africa, against the African Union’s wishes (and to be fair, Pretoria did reverse course and opposed further intervention). Behind the scenes, U.S. journalist Nick Turse has identified the Pentagon’s “war fighting combatant command” in dozens of African states, mainly directing local proxies.

It soon transpired that there was a blunt division of labour at work between Washington and its deputy sheriff in Pretoria. At the conclusion of his 2014 meeting with Obama as part of a U.S.-Africa heads-of-state summit, Zuma identified a chilling conclusion: “There had been a good relationship already between Africa and the U.S. but this summit has reshaped it and has taken it to another level… We secured a buy-in from the U.S. for Africa’s peace and security initiatives… As President Obama said, the boots must be African.”

The theatrical aspects of BRICS will continue, apparently designed in part for the local consumption of constituencies who want to see their leaders standing tall internationally in part because of rising local problems. But the most dynamic and contradictory terrain of BRICS to consider is their role in global geopolitics.

BRICS Play the Global Game

Armed conflicts and extreme tensions certainly affect the BRICS directly and in their immediate regions: Syria, Ukraine, Poland, Pakistan, the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea. In addition, global power balances are adjusting because of dramatic 2016 shifts of leadership loyalties from West to East in Turkey and the Philippines encouraged by Russia and China, respectively.

Meanwhile, the last two years have witnessed major armed (including civil) conflicts continuing in Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Mexico and northern and central Africa. Aside from extremist groups such as the Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, the main belligerent bloc of states catalysing violence in the world today is centred on Washington.

World military spending, 2015. [Source: Bank of America.]

The most dangerous such state network continues to feature Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Middle East (the latter two of which split favours in funding both Islamic extremists and the Clinton Foundation). Misery, displacement, refugees and brutal repression are evident, as a result, from Palestine to Syria to Yemen, while the Pentagon and State Department are themselves directly responsible for infinitely destructive chaos in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Vladimir Putin’s decision to defend Syria’s corrupt, dictatorial Bashar al-Assad regime in turn led to extensive war crimes against civilians such as bombing East Aleppo.

Beyond the Middle East, it is always tempting for Western powers to provoke incursions in the BRICS’ regional sites of accumulation and geopolitical influence. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) conflicts with Russia in Georgia, the Ukraine, Poland, Syria and Turkey, and the U.S. Navy with China in the South China Sea, have been most important in recent years. The U.S. dominates world military spending, with $610-billion in direct outlays in 2014 (and myriad other related expenses maintaining Washington’s control such as U.S. AID). But four of the five BRICS also spent vast amounts on arms: $385-billion in 2015 (of which 55% was China).

There are various other sites of contestation, e.g. over Washington’s (and its ‘five eyes’ allies’) capacity to tap communications and computers through the internet. After revealing the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) snooping capacity in 2013, whistle-blower Edward Snowden has an apparently safe Moscow exile, after fears of extradition to the U.S. or worse. A few months later, Rousseff cancelled the first visit by a Brazilian head of state to Washington in 40 years, as a way to protest Snowden’s revelation that the NSA was tapping her phone.

In this context of split loyalties, two quite unpredictable processes are in play at the time of writing, centering on Russian and Chinese relations with Washington. First, in Russia, Putin was accused by Obama and by the defeated candidate Hillary Clinton of assisting Trump to win the November 2016 election through email hacking, a matter that may be clarified in January if U.S. intelligence agencies manage to prove the case. But these agencies failed repeatedly on prior occasions, and on December 29 even Obama failed to offer conclusive evidenceof wrongdoing when he expelled three dozen Russian diplomats accused of spying.

At the time of writing, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange still denied he had access to leaked emails from any direct Russian source. A former British ambassador, Craig Murray, claims mid-2016 Democratic National Committee leaks were given to him by an internal Democratic Party whistle-blower, to pass to Assange. Another election email scandal involved the hacking of Clinton’s campaign chairperson, John Podesta, whose security advisor admitted that he accidentally made Podesta vulnerable in a phishing scam designed to acquire his password.

Putin responded to Obama’s late-2016 attacks merely with scorn, saying he would await the presidential transition, and was immediately congratulated by Trump. Putin not only recently bragged, “Of course the U.S. has more missiles, submarines and aircraft carriers, but what we say is that we are stronger than any aggressor, and this is the case.”

Yet Putin’s critics remind that the Russian government is being successfully prosecuted for widespread doping of Olympic athletes, a charge once denied but now confessed. Given Putin’s hatred of the U.S. State Department – for valid reasons, such as its role in the Ukrainian regime change in 2014 and destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen in recent years – there is no question that he both favoured the election of Trump and had the spy-craft capacity to make an intervention.

Putin also enjoys alliances with several far-rightwing allies in Europe and he anticipates a dramatic adjustment in the Western balance of forces thanks in part to Trump’s prolific personal business interlocks with Russia. Benefits to Putin will begin with the relaxation of sanctions associated with Russia’s 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian (former Soviet) province of Crimea, recognition of Moscow’s sphere of influence in the ex-Soviet Union, and potentially also a rising oil price.

One dilemma for the Trump administration is that his own party and the Democratic Party have been conditioned to despise Putin for more than a decade. But Trump surprised the establishment with the appointment to the position of Secretary of State of the pro-Russian ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson. There could be a resurrected $500 dollar Siberian oil deal for ExxonMobil – whose implementation was interrupted in 2015 – if Washington soon ends U.S. sanctions against Russia, as is widely anticipated.

As Guardian columnist Julian Borger reports, powerful critics believe Trump’s “opaque ties with Russia and his glaring conflicts of interest represent existential threats to U.S. democracy. Trump is giving the nod to Tillerson, the recipient of Moscow’s Order of Friendship, as a slaughter is underway in Aleppo, likely to be one of the worst war crimes of the century so far, in which Russia is complicit.”

Moscow’s Sputnik news expects mediation by Henry Kissinger to mutual advantage. But this is dangerous, warns former Reagan Administration official Paul Craig Roberts: “Kissinger, who was my colleague at the Center for Strategic and International studies for a dozen years, is aware of the pro-American elites inside Russia, and he is at work creating for them a ‘China threat’ that they can use in their effort to lead Russia into the arms of the West. If this effort is successful, Russia’s sovereignty will be eroded exactly as has the sovereignty of every other country allied with the USA.”

Already before Trump enters the White House, Beijing’s Xi Jinping is in greater conflict with Washington than at any time since China-U.S. frictions of the early-2000s. On the other hand, U.S. capital is extremely exposed in China through direct investment, supplier relations, R&D contracts and consumer markets. And Beijing still owns more than $1.3-trillion in Treasury Bills, although that holding has not increased since 2012.

Geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea began rising in 2011 with Obama’s “pivot to Asia.” This meant, according to journalist John Pilger, “that almost two-thirds of U.S. naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one U.S. strategist, ‘the perfect noose’.”

In addition, Eurasia is a testing ground because of increasing investments in Chinese infrastructure (perhaps amounting to $160-billion) in the former Silk Road – now ‘One Belt, One Road’ – to be funded by the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), centering on Russian-Chinese energy cooperation.

One Belt, One Road

Still, this picture of the BRICS and U.S. imperialism remains fuzzy given Trump’s mercurial character, ruthless pragmatism, exceptionally thin skin, crude bullying behaviour and ability to polarise his own society and the world. Obama’s last moves as president include a few attempts to at least briefly Trump-proof his legacy: demonising Russia, banning oil drilling and opening new environmental reserves in vulnerable sites, condemning Israel’s West Bank colonization, and protecting Planned Parenthood abortion facilities.

There is no question, though, that Trump’s most extreme threats to global geopolitics, economics, society and environment will be carried out by a Cabinet and lieutenants who represent the most regressive characteristics of U.S. capitalism. Trump’s top layer of government can be termed ‘4G’, as it contains:

  • gazillionaires – his Cabinet is worth $15-billion, by far the most tycoon-infested in U.S. history, including a top labour official opposed to a living wage;
  • generals – three veterans of the failed campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan hold key security roles that had once been reserved for civilians;
  • gas-guzzlers – four lead officials in climate-related portfolios including the Secretary of State are loyal representatives of the oil, gas, coal and pipeline industries; and
  • GoldmanSachs – Trump’s Treasury Secretary, main economic advisor and lead political counsel were once executives of the Wall Street investment bank, responsible for so much global economic damage over the past decade due to predatory financing practices.

Must there be either an inter-imperialist conflict of elites that could lead to nuclear confrontation, debilitating trade wars or further juvenile insults as passions continue to rise on the one hand; or on the other, a new alliance of U.S. and Russian elites that will codify a lucrative intra-imperial division of the world’s spoils including fossil-fuel exploitation and resulting climate change that will quickly spiral beyond repair?

The False Hope of BRICS Top-Down Resistance

One other option is a rational approach from the BRICS countries’ leaders. Reflecting how difficult this will be, however, former South African president Thabo Mbeki expressed Africa’s desire for a reformed United Nations when speaking directly to Putin in Finland last October: “The matter of the reform of the Security Council becomes important in that respect… It needs changing. It’s difficult. Russia is a permanent member that might be one of the obstacles to changing it, I don’t know.”

Neither Moscow nor Beijing will nominate Brazil, India and South Africa for permanent seats (along with Japan and Germany), for fear of diluting their own Security Council power and especially their veto. The lack of space for Africa in the UN may mean, according to threatsmade by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in September, a formal boycott of the body by the continent starting in September 2017. And another vehicle for Third World advocacy, the Non-Aligned Movement, was considered increasingly irrelevant when in September 2016 Modi did not even show up at a Caracas summit, notwithstanding India’s formative role in its 1955 founding at Bandung.

Likewise, the BRICS leaders’ self-interest prevents genuine transformation of other multilateral institutions: in the last round of ‘reforms’ of the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – all consummated in December 2015 – there can be no question that Africa was the loser, as the BRICS’ neoliberal negotiators ran roughshod over the poorest countries.

Moreover, last August, the BRICS’ representatives at the Bretton Woods Institutions endorsed five-year contract extensions for World Bank and IMF leaders Jim Yong Kim (from the U.S.) and Christine Lagarde (from France). They even confirmed Lagarde’s reign in mid-December the same day a Paris court found her guilty of criminal negligence when, serving as the French finance minister, she made a huge taxpayer payout to a tycoon who in 2007 had given financial support to her Conservative Party.

And hope for the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement to serve as an emergency funding alternative to the IMF remains foiled by the provision that after borrowing 30% of the quota, a desperate debtor country must then get an IMF structural adjustment policy. And the BRICS New Development Bank’s potential role as an alternative to the World Bank appeared self-sabotaged last September when a cozypartnership was agreed that entails project co-financing and staff secondments.

In 2014, Obama agreed with The Economist editor interviewing him about “the key issue, whether China ends up inside that [multilateral financial] system or challenging it. That’s the really big issue of our times, I think.” He replied, “It is. And I think it’s important for the United States and Europe to continue to welcome China as a full partner in these international norms.”

The philosophy of subordinated incorporation – sub-imperialism for short – became too difficult for Obama himself to sustain, when in 2015 he dogmatically (and unsuccessfully) discouraged AIIB membership by fellow Western powers and the Bretton Woods Institutions. It was his most humiliating international defeat. But when it came to intensified trade liberalization in the WTO, recapitalization of the IMF under neoliberal rule, and destruction of the binding emissions reductions targets on Western powers that characterized the Kyoto Protocol, Obama’s strategy of bringing China and the other BRICS inside was much more successful.

In sum, looked at from above, the BRICS leaders regularly suffer status quo assimilation when it comes to global governance partnership, but they fracture when it comes to their own internecine competition or when failing to offer unified challenges to multilateral institutional leadership. And this inconsistency is what leaves the bloc wide open to a potential Trump wedge in 2017.

With this in mind, Immanuel Wallerstein argues that Trump “is using the Nixon technique in reverse. Nixon made a deal with China in order to weaken Russia. Trump is making a deal with Russia in order to weaken China.” Wallerstein doubts its efficacy simply because Beijing and Moscow are pursuing their own separate interests effectively already: “This policy seemed to work for Nixon. Will it work for Trump? I don’t think so, because the world of 2017 is quite different from the world of 1973.”

The main difference may be the more advanced stage of economic stagnation and desperation, a topic I will take up another time. But on the left, the kinds of dashed hopes so many activists harbored at that time are also worth recalling, for they included (sometimes in partial or very contradictory ways) sustained improvements in European social democracy and the U.S. Great Society, rising Third World revolutions sometimes accompanied by Northern solidarity, the onward march of the Soviet Union and East Bloc, the Chinese “New Man,” the feminist and black power struggles, radical environmentalism, liberation of humanity from capitalist alienation and exploitation, the casting off of outmoded sexual mores and gender norms, and the end of statist domination.

Today, with the world’s progressive, democratic forces hunkering down on so many fronts, nevertheless a ripeness within so many societies’ resistance politics reflects a much broader, deeper capacity to link up than ever before: within the BRICS, the U.S. and internationally. As Pilger concludes his recent film about Washington’s latest war-mongering, “We don’t have to accept the word of those who conjure up threats and false enemies to justify the business and profit of war. We have to recognize there is another superpower, and that is us, ordinary people everywhere.” •

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on Will Washington’s New Pro-Moscow, Anti-Beijing Gang Drive a Wedge Through the BRICS in 2017?

Syrian Army Repels Large-Scale ISIS Advance On Khanaser-Aleppo Road

NOVANEWS
Free Syrian Army members raise their weapons as they chant "Allahu akbar" during combat training at Sarmada near Idlib province

On January 26, the ISIS terrorist group made a fierce attempt to cut off a supply line to the government held city of Aleppo near Khanaser. Initially ISIS units seized a few villages and even came close to cutting off the road, but pro-government forces, backed up by Russian warplanes, repelled the ISIS push and kept control over this vital supply line.

According to local sources, government forces are set to launch a counter-offensive in the area as soon as they regroup and gain reinforcements.

The ISIS attack was an attempt to ease military pressure which the terrorist group faces near al-Bab.

Government troops liberated another village – Madiuna – southeast of the ISIS stronghold.

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Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America

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religion

This article was first published May 1, 2013. 

Terrorism Is a Real Threat … But the Threat to the U.S. from Muslim Terrorists Has Been Exaggerated

An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims.

Princeton University’s Loon Watch compiled the following chart from the FBI’s data:

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI DatabaseTerrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI Database

According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%).  These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion.  These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.

(Loon Watch also notes that less than 1% of terror attacks in Europe were carried out by Muslims.)

U.S. News and World Report noted in February of this year:

Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Muslim-American suspects or perpetrators in these or other attempted attacks fit no demographic profile—only 51 of more than 200 are of Arabic ethnicity. In 2012, all but one of the nine Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered were halted in early stages. That one, an attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, caused no casualties.

Wired reported the same month:

Since 9/11, [Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and National Security] and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.

Law enforcement, including “informants and undercover agents,” were involved in “almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012,” the Triangle team finds. That’s in keeping with the FBI’s recent practice of using undercover or double agents to encourage would-be terrorists to act on their violent desires and arresting them when they do — a practice critics say comes perilously close to entrapment. A difference in 2012 observed by Triangle: with the exception of the Arizona attack, all the alleged plots involving U.S. Muslims were “discovered and disrupted at an early stage,” while in the past three years, law enforcement often observed the incubating terror initiatives “after weapons or explosives had already been gathered.”

The sample of Muslim Americans turning to terror is “vanishingly small,” Kurzman tells Danger Room. Measuring the U.S. Muslim population is a famously inexact science, since census data don’t track religion, but rather “country of origin,” which researchers attempt to use as a proxy. There are somewhere between 1.7 million and seven million American Muslims, by most estimates, and Kurzman says he operates off a model that presumes the lower end, a bit over 2 million. That’s less a rate of involvement in terrorism of less than 10 per million, down from a 2003 high of 40 per million, as detailed in the chart above.

Yet the scrutiny by law enforcement and homeland security on American Muslims has not similarly abated. The FBI tracks “geomaps” of areas where Muslims live and work, regardless of their involvement in any crime. The Patriot Act and other post-9/11 restrictions on government surveillance remain in place. The Department of Homeland Security just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 2011, President Obama ordered the entire federal national-security apparatus to get rid of counterterrorism training material that instructed agents to focus on Islam itself, rather than specific terrorist groups.

Kurzman doesn’t deny that law enforcement plays a role in disrupting and deterring homegrown U.S. Muslim terrorism. His research holds it out as a possible explanation for the decline. But he remains surprised by the disconnect between the scale of the terrorism problem and the scale — and expense — of the government’s response.

“Until public opinion starts to recognize the scale of the problem has been lower than we feared, my sense is that public officials are not going to change their policies,” Kurzman says. “Counterterrorism policies have involved surveillance — not just of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans, and the fear of terrorism has justified intrusions on American privacy and civil liberties all over the internet and other aspects of our lives. I think the implications here are not just for how we treat a religious minority in the U.S., but also how we treat the rights & liberties of everyone.”

We agree. And so do most Americans. Indeed – as we’ve previously documented – you’re more likely to die from brain-eating parasites, alcoholism, obesity, medical errors, risky sexual behavior or just about anything other than terrorism.

Kurzman told the Young Turks in February that Islamic terrorism “doesn’t even count for 1 percent” of the 180,000 murders in the US since 9/11.

While the Boston marathon bombings were horrific, a top terrorism expert says that the Boston attack was more like Columbine than 9/11, and that the bombers are “murderers not terrorists”.  The overwhelming majority of mass shootings were by non-Muslims.  (This is true in Europe, as well as in the U.S.)

However you classify them – murder or terrorism – the Boston bombings occurred after all of the statistical analysis set forth above. Moreover, different groups have different agendas about how to classify the perpetrators  (For example, liberal Mother Jones and conservative Breitbart disagree on how many of the perpetrators of terror attacks can  properly be classified as right wing extremists.)

So we decided to look at the most current statistics for ourselves, to do an objective numerical count not driven by any agenda.

Specifically, we reviewed all of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil as documented by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2012). Global Terrorism Database, as retrieved from http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd.

The START Global Terrorism Database spans from 1970 through 2012 (and will be updated from year-to-year), and – as of this writing – includes 104,000 terrorist incidents.  As such, it is the most comprehensive open-source database open to the public.

We counted up the number of terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims.  We excluded attacks by groups which are obviously not Muslims, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Medellin Drug Cartel, Irish Republican Army, Anti-Castro Group, Mormon extremists, Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation, Jewish Defense League, May 19 Communist Order, Chicano Liberation Front, Jewish Armed Resistance, American Indian Movement, Gay Liberation Front, Aryan Nation, Jewish Action Movement, National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, or Fourth Reich Skinheads.

We counted attacks by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Black American Moslems, or anyone who even remotely sounded Muslim … for example anyone from Palestine, Lebanon or any other Arab or Muslim country, or any name including anything sounding remotely Arabic or Indonesian (like “Al” anything or “Jamaat” anything).

If we weren’t sure what the person’s affiliation was, we looked up the name of the group to determine whether it could in any way be connected to Muslims.

Based on our review of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil contained within the START database, we determined that approximately 60 were carried out by Muslims.

In other words, approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.*  This is a tiny proportion of all attacks.

(We determined that approximately 118 of the terror attacks – or 4.9% – were carried out by Jewish groups such as Jewish Armed Resistance, the Jewish Defense League, Jewish Action Movement, United Jewish Underground and Thunder of Zion. This is almost twice the percentage of Islamic attacks within the United States.  If we look at worldwide attacks – instead of just attacks on U.S. soil – Sunni Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism.  However: 1. Muslims are also the main victims of terror attacks worldwide; and 2. the U.S. backs the most radical types of Sunnis over more moderate Muslims and Arab secularists.)

Moreover, another study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – called ”Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States” – found:

Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethnonationalist/separatist agendas, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percent were motivated byreligious beliefs. In addition, 11 percent of the perpetrator groups were classified as extreme right-wing, and 22 percent were categorized as extreme left-wing.

Preliminary findings from PPT-US data between 1970 and 2011 also illustrate a distinct shift in the dominant ideologies of these terrorist groups over time, with the proportion of emerging ethnonationalist/separatist terrorist groups declining and the proportion of religious terrorist groups increasing. However, while terrorist groups with religious ideologies represent 40 percent of all emergent groups from 2000-2011 (two out of five), they only account for seven percent of groups over time.

Similarly, a third study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Religion found that religion alone is not a key factor in determining which terrorists want to use weapons of mass destruction:

The available empirical data show that there is not a significant relationship between terrorist organizations’ pursuit of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) weapons and the mere possession of a religious ideology, according to a new quantitative study by START researchers Victor Asal, Gary Ackerman and Karl Rethemeyer.

Therefore, Muslims are not more likely than other groups to want to use WMDs.

* The Boston marathon bombing was not included in this analysis, as START has not yet updated its database to include 2013 terrorist attacks.  3 people died in the Boston attack.  While tragic, we are confident that non-Musliims killed more than 3 during this same period.

We are not experts in terrorism analysis.  We would therefore defer to people like Kurzman on the exact number.  However, every quantitative analysis of terrorism in the U.S. we have read shows that the percent of terror attacks carried out by Muslims is far less than 10%.

Postscript: State-sponsored terrorism is beyond the scope of this discussion, and was not included in our statistical analysis.  Specifically, the following arguments are beyond the scope of this discussion, as we are focusing solely on non-state terrorism:

  • Arguments by  University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole that deaths from 20th century wars could be labeled Christian terrorism

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America

America is “Hard-wired” to Globalism

NOVANEWS

This America, Beacon on the Hill, Will Survive This Challenge

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This is a globalized world. There is no changing this fact. There is no changing “climate science”. There is no changing the will of the people to be fair, when fairness commands it. There is no changing the slow-moving ascent of multiculturalism, racial integration and sexual equality; and no replacement for secular Democracy. Mr. Trump and the Republicans think it all can be unraveled with the stroke of a pen.

The masters of delusion might have convinced almost half of voters, but the other half will carry the torch into the future. The Women’s March in Washington and countless American cities proved their numbers don’t lie.

America is “hard-wired” to globalism. Banking, trade, markets and supply-chains are globally intertwined. Money flows between continents each millisecond. Multinationals are citizens in each country with allegiance to none. Finance capitalism displaced industrial capitalism decades ago. China and America are economically interdependent. Should China fail, she will take America with her.

Soon, younger generations will identify themselves with global initiatives and stand by them in their respective nations. Half of Americans know this and wish to be members of a progressive, humane world community and not transfixed by fogged rear-view mirrors. And Mr. Trump, as Nation writer John Feffer sees him, “has as a wrecking ball, and ‘internationalism’ is written all over it.”

If America abandons its international role – while admitting her many past missteps, failures and hypocrisies – the vacuum left will be filled by the next Empire. Mr. Trump has indirectly invited it to enter.

At the Davos World Economic Forum in late January, Chinese President Xi had underscored Beijing’s future role in global affairs in light of Trump’s inward turn. Xi likened Trump’s “America First” protectionism to “locking oneself in a dark room” in the hopes of protecting oneself from danger, but in so doing, cutting off all “light and air”.

On January 20, it took exactly six hours after the transfer of power from Mr. Obama to Trump for Europe to react. “Assault on Europe” was the lead headline at Germany’s largest magazine Der Spiegel, followed by Commentary, “Defending Western Values: Time for an International Front Against Trump.”

Deutsche Welle opinion mirrored those of Europe’s foreign ministers, “… all in all, it was clear again this week that after Donald Trump’s inauguration as 45th president of the USA, Europe can no longer rely on Washington.”

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post noted, “His emphasis on nationalism will warm the hearts of many who feel left out, but leave cold those Americans who are convinced that in a globalized world a simplistic psychology of ‘America First’ will wind up leaving America Second.”

His inauguration speech was prehistoric, continued the Post. “It looked back in anger, as if America was nothing more than one huge downside and the only way to go now was up – and only Trump knew how to access the elevators.”

“Trump’s supporters can blame outside forces for their feelings of economic insecurity,” wrote Dominic Rushe at UK’s Guardian, “but it is people like Trump and his cabinet, set to be the richest in history, who have been the main beneficiary of the economic forces that have reshaped America.”

Toronto Globe and Mail’s Elizabeth Renzetti noted on inauguration day, presidents always took the high road – not Donald Trump. Trump’s speech was “astonishingly dark and menacing, free of any of the poetry or joy that his 44 predecessors had summoned to inspire their citizens,” she wrote.

“Eighty years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used his second inaugural address to ask, ‘Have we found our happy valley?’ No, Mr. Trump answered: We’re on the road to hell, and I’m the one who can save you from it.”

“America is a magnificent project, held aloft by optimism and resilience,” Renzetti gracefully concluded. “For more than two hundred years its presidents have marveled at the delicacy and value of the entity that’s been put in their hands. They admit to trembling at the terrible responsibility. They don’t start by saying the thing is broken, or at least they didn’t until today. If they did, it would suggest that it is not the country that’s broken, but the person doing the speaking.”

At his last press conference, President Obama spoke of his daughters. They “appreciated the fact that this is a big, complicated country, and democracy is messy … But if you’re engaged and you’re involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country, and there’s a core decency to this country, and that they got to be a part of lifting that up.”

This America, beacon on the hill, will survive this challenge.

If not, America will be a 3,000-mile wide island between two oceans, and the world will pivot together toward the next world leader, for better or worse.

 

Notes:

  1. John Feffer, “Donald Trump’s Strategy? Destroy the International Community in Order to Save It.”, The Nation, January 24, 2017.https://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trumps-strategy-destroy-the-international-community-in-order-to-save-it/
  2. Noah Barkin and Elizabeth Piper, “In Davos, Xi makes case for Chinese leadership role,” Reuters, January 18, 2017.http://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-meeting-china-idUSKBN15118V
  3. “Assault on Europe: Donald Trump and the New World Order,” Spiegel Online, January 20, 2017.http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-inauguration-signals-new-world-order-a-1130916.html
  4. Ullrich Fichtner, “Defending Western Values: Time for an International Front Against Trump,” Spiegel Online, January 20, 2016.http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/commentary-an-international-front-against-trump-a-1130905.html
  5. Max Hofmann, “Opinion: Europe needs to worry less about Trump,” Deutsche Welle, January 20, 2017.http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-europe-needs-to-worry-less-about-trump/a-37217635
  6. Tom Plate, “Trump comes up short – for better and for worse,” South China Morning Post, January 21, 2017.
  7. “What you need to know about Trump’s first speech as president,” Guardian, January 20, 2017.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/20/donald-trump-inauguration-speech-analysis
  8. Elizabeth Renzetti, “On inauguration day, presidents always took the high road. Not Donald Trump,” Globe and Mail, January 20, 2017.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/on-inauguration-day-presidents-always-took-the-high-road-not-donald-trump/article33690064/
  9. “Remarks by the President in Final Press Conference,” White House Archives, January 18, 2017.https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/18/remarks-president-final-press-conference

Posted in USAComments Off on America is “Hard-wired” to Globalism

Trump Bans Muslims from Entering the United States, Launches “Holy War against Radical Islam”

NOVANEWS
 
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Trump’s Executive Order to ban Muslims from entering the US, will have devastating consequences both in the US and internationally.

It also has a bearing on America’s military agenda in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In his inauguration speech, President Donald Trump called for  the “civilized world” to unite “against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

It is worth noting that Trump’s Executive Order to ban Muslims coincides with the confirmation of Rep. Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA.  Pompeo is a Tea Party Republican, member of the House Intelligence Committee, with little experience in the practice of  US intelligence. 

Pompeo favors the reinstatement of “waterboarding, among other torture techniques”. He views Muslims as a threat to Christianity and Western civilization. He is identified as “a radical Christian extremist” who believes that the “global war on terrorism” (GWOT) constitutes a “war between Islam and Christianity”.

In other words, he is a firm support of the “global war on terrorism” (GWOT) doctrine, under the banner of a “holy war against Islam”.

GWOT is “On the Table” of the Trump Administration as an instrument of US intelligence. (Amply documented Al Qaeda and ISIS are “intelligence assets” i.e. constructs of the CIA. In turn, Al Qaeda and ISIS affiliated terrorists in Syria and Iraq are the foot-soldiers of US-NATO).

To put it bluntly,  both Trump and CIA Director Pompeo firmly believe in their own counter-terrorism propaganda. Continuity is ensured. The mainstay of US intelligence ops. using “Islamic terrorists” as instruments of destabilization and destruction prevails. Of relevance, the ban on Muslims entering the US is also part of a Homeland Security agenda.

It is therefore unlikely that there will be a major shift under a Trump administration in regards to America’s military agenda in the Middle East. According to Reuters: ”President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders starting on Wednesday that include a temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries”. These countries are identified as “terror prone” nations, despite the fact that the US is covertly supporting terrorism in these countries.

Sectarian profiling prevails in regards to immigration. The ban does not apply to Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq:

Trump is expected to order a multi-month ban on allowing refugees into the United States except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place.

Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.

The border security measures could include directing the construction of a border wall with Mexico and other actions to reduce the number of illegal immigrants living inside the United States.

Both Trump and his nominee for Attorney general, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, (yet to be confirmed by the US Senate) have said  ”they would focus the restrictions on countries whose migrants could pose a threat, rather than placing a ban on people who follow a specific religion”. Yet the executive order does not seem to make that distinction:

Other measures may include directing all agencies to finish work on a biometric identification system for non-citizens entering and exiting the United States and a crackdown on immigrants fraudulently receiving government benefits, according to the congressional aides and immigration experts.

To restrict illegal immigration, Trump has promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to deport illegal migrants living inside the United States.Reuters, Emphasis added)

Michel Chossudovsky 

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump Bans Muslims from Entering the United States, Launches “Holy War against Radical Islam”

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