Archive | February 16th, 2017

Dysfunction in the US White House

NOVANEWS

By Lawrence Davidson

Dysfunction

There is something both horrifying and fascinating about the behaviour of President Donald Trump, as we watch him fail to cope with – or perhaps even recognise – the differences between the no-holds-barred world he created for his campaign and the much more polite and temperate world expected of leaders of a constitutional government.

As a result, the present White House appears to be a dysfunctional place. Apparently neither Trump, nor most of his staff, have considered that there are real differences, different rules of behaviour, between private and public life. Maintaining the model of the abusive boss, the know-it-all chief executive (Trump’s preferred modus operandi), has, in quick order, proved both inappropriate and self-defeating. Here then are some of the consequences:

  • The president has refused to stop being the avaricious businessman and relinquish control of his assets. As a result, he will soon be facing an increasing number of lawsuits brought by various ethics organisations charging that his refusal to place his holdings in a blind trust violates the “emoluments clause” of the constitution. The contention is that this can only lead to “scandal, corruption and illegitimacy”.
  • The rush to impose a ban on immigration into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries – imposed by executive order within 10 days of inauguration – proved a sloppy piece of work. Trump simply assumed public opinion to be on his side and that that opinion could stand in for legal legitimacy. It didn’t work. The ban caused chaos and hardship, and quickly the courts temporarily set it aside as unconstitutional. The Justice Department lawyers, who had largely been kept out of the loop by the White House, did not have evidence that there was any real danger, historically or immediate, from immigrants of the countries cited in the ban. Pending a “total rewrite” or an appeal to the Supreme Court, Trump’s immigration ban is at a dead end.
  • In the meantime, Trump has, in a manner that has become typical for him, attempted to delegitimise judicial opposition – opposition that anyone who is constitutionally savvy knows is solidly lawful. Hence his “so-called judge” statement. It may be an indication of the president’s enduring immaturity that he believes that anyone who stands in his way is a target for bullying and slander. And, indeed, in the private sphere where Trump has been able to use his money to make his own rules, this tactic, apparently, did sometimes work. So, as if by habit, he has carried it over to the public sphere, where it is completely out of place and only makes him look childish. Except to those adoring fans who were so visible on the campaign trail, his loose verbiage also makes Trump look like a “loser”. Trump’s own nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, has described the president’s bad-mouthing the appeals court judge who suspended the immigration ban as “disheartening” and “discouraging”.

There is one other point that is to be made about this “so-called judge” episode. It has turned the judge involved, James Robart (who is himself a “mainstream” Republican), into a potential target for violence. Having used abusive language throughout his campaign and seen the emotions it aroused, Trump is very likely to be aware that he is risking incitement to violence.

  • There are many other moments of Trumpian bluster, such as his yelling at the Australian prime minister during an official phone call, or his threatening to send troops across the Mexican border during a call to the president of Mexico. All of this might reinforce his image as a tough guy, but in the political and diplomatic world that now holds him in a spotlight, he starts to remind people of other past cases of bullies in power, most of whom happen to be fascists of the 1920s and 1930s.

A shift in protest personnel

As a result of Trump’s bravado, there has been a rapid shift in public activism from the right to what in the US passes for the “left”. Just as is the case with the populist Republicans, there is a segment of the Democratic Party base that feels disenfranchised. Some of them tried to do something about this by backing Bernie Sanders. But that was unsuccessful. However, with Trump’s victory, right-wing populism abated, and almost immediately, it was replaced by the inchoate mass of “left” populists you see hitting the streets today. It is the Sanders folks plus a whole array of special interest groups who feel very threatened by an empowered right. There is no reason to believe that the anti-Trump array is going to be intimidated and give up. Indeed, the left activists’ challenge is to coalesce into a real united front.

That should be made easier if Trump stays true to form, lurching from one outrageous move to another. And all the signs point down that road. The “so-called president” has ratcheted up his deportation efforts, allowing individual immigration officials discretion to go after any immigrant without proper documentation no matter of what age or the length of time they have been here. This is the equivalent of giving an army open-ended marching orders, and it is bound to result in abuses of power. He has begun his wall project for the southern border – an effort modelled after Israel’s infamous and illegal “separation” (aka apartheid) wall”. He has begun the gutting of environmental and consumer safety regulations, a move which will poison the air and water for the sake of greater corporate profit. He has started to deregulate the banks – a strategy that, historically, has always eventually led to economic crisis. And, of course, attacking abortion and LGBT rights is also on his agenda. There is enough here to keep millions agitated for at least the next four years.

Opportunities and risks

Thus, even though we are still early in his administration, there is no sign that anyone can control the president’s addiction to gaffes. He is an immature, thin-skinned egotist, and in the end, this may well cost the Republicans dearly.

However, one does have to give President Trump his due. He has a really exceptional ability to stir up the American political scene. For progressives such agitation creates opportunities and risks. There is now an opportunity for a truly united front of progressives that can reform the Democratic Party and give us, in the near term, a viable alternative to the manic chief executive and right-wing radicals now occupying the White House. On the other hand, there is the risk that the apparatchiks who now control the Democratic Party will misread their situation. They might well fail to understand the meaning of the Tea Party movement’s capture of the Republican Party, and resist meaningful reform of their own party. If they can get away with this, it will leave the progressives without a political home. That will make reclaiming a progressive future much harder and the reign of the right much longer. We will have to wait and see.

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Trump: Flynn Treated Unfairly By “Fake Media”, Leaking Is “A Criminal Act”

NOVANEWS
 
Flynn

With just a day passing since General Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor, Trump, in a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed some remorse for how things played out with Flynn saying he was “treated very, very unfairly by the ‘fake’ media” and the intelligence community that continues to commit “criminal acts” in leaking intelligence reports.

 General Flynn is a wonderful man.  I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the ‘fake’ media.

Papers are being leaked, things are being leaked.  It’s a criminal action, criminal act.  People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.

I think it’s very unfair what’s happened with General Flynn and the documents and papers that were illegally leaked.

Here is the full clip from moments ago:

 

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The Resignation of Michael Flynn

NOVANEWS

 

Michael_Flynn1

It takes little these days for the darkened air of the Kremlin to have an impact on the politics of other countries. Across continents, it has become a tenured dark eminence with President Vladimir Putin on his irrepressible steed: Where will it strike next? His impact is often alleged, it is almost never quantifiable, but the influence, after a time, is that of a person who believes in witchdoctors.

The latest toxicology report about Russia’s influence in US diplomacy came in the form of revelations about prior conduct of the now resigned national security advisor, General Michael Flynn. The Washington Post had found Flynn to have been a touch naughty: chatting to the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak about sanctions prior to Trump taking office. (Suspicions were already alerted on January 12 by the CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.)

The chat, taking place in the wake of President Barack Obama’s December 29 order expelling 35 Russians suspected of espionage, supposedly involved assurances to the ambassador (the point “adversary” is repeatedly used in the accounts) on movement on the sanctions regime. This was a situation made saucier by a false (alt-fact?) recounting of the episode with colleagues, including the Vice President, Mike Pence. Pence, it would seem, had been left high and dry on the record.

The chat could well have also taken place in relaxed circumstances. Flynn was vacationing at in the Dominican Republic. His tongue, relaxed in the wake both sun, sand and victory, seemed to wag. It was the sort of casual wagging that piqued the interest of some officials, some of whom sported their fair share of loose tongues.

Prior to the Post’s publication, Acting Attorney-General Sally Yates, one of the first casualties of the Trump silence-or-be-fired regime, claimed that Flynn had misled administration officials on the subject of communicating with the Russian envoy. In doing so, he “was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.” That particular information was relayed to White House counsel Donald McGahn, though what happened with that bit of gold is unclear.

A few hours prior to Flynn’s resignation, Trump’s managing confidant Kellyanne Conway was telling MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki that the president had full confidence in the director. For Trump, political realities are hardened business realities. Nothing else matters.

Such confidence was not sufficient to keep Flynn in his position. As full blown magician and White House spokesman Sean Spicer explained, the President was satisfied that there was no legal situation to speak of. “We got to a point not based on a legal issue but based on a trust issue.”

Trust being the operative word, one which seems to have done a remarkable vanishing act since the election last November. Not even Obama’s staff were particularly keen in shedding light on Russia with the Trump transition team.

An unnamed (of course) administration official cited by the Washington Post noted how they decided “not to share with them certain things about Russia. We just thought, who knew? Would that information be safe?”[1] Even the announcement to impose another round of sanctions on Russia for its purported electoral meddling was kept quiet for the most part from the Trump team.

Trumpland is a wildly confusing place, with officials flying blind from the moment they choose to check their briefs. “Three weeks into the Trump administration,” asserts the New York Times, “council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make a policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls.”

Trump, the entertainer who inhabits the White House, is finding how his slant on the cult of America First remains both inconsistent and distracting. Dealing with Russia remains a dangerous business in a political sense, even if some politicians have avoided the charge of illegality, notably on Flynn’s behaviour.

The Flynn incident will also make matters difficult for Trump’s attempts to revise Washington’s firm stance towards Moscow. For one, his more sympathetic approach to sanctions and Moscow will be fettered, if not boxed altogether. GOP representatives and senators are hardly going to mellow.

This latest turn of events reveals how the administration is fast becoming a sieve of delightful disclosures. As Glenn Greenwald has noted, the leaking of signals intelligence tends to be one of the gravest felonies, with the perpetrator facing up to 10 years in prison and a stiff fine.[2] On this occasion, the anti-whistleblowing brigades have been silent as the tomb.

As for Trump’s own reading of this debacle, a tweet will do. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N. Korea etc.?”[3] Members of the Twattersphere will be waiting.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Resignation of Michael Flynn

The Neocons and the “Deep State” have Neutered the Trump Presidency, It’s Over Folks!

NOVANEWS
 
Flynn

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA.  My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn.  Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation.  Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world.  That he was not.  However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy.  For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed.  Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council.  Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House.  Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests.  That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.

The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

And Trump accepted this resignation.

Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians.  And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back.  Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen.  But I still had hope.  I wanted to hope.  I felt that it was my duty to hope.

But now Trump has betrayed us all.

Remember how Obama showed his true face when he hypocritically denounced his friend and pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.?  Today, Trump has shown us his true face.  Instead of refusing Flynn’s resignation and instead of firing those who dared cook up these ridiculous accusations against Flynn, Trump accepted the resignation.  This is not only an act of abject cowardice, it is also an amazingly stupid and self-defeating betrayal because now Trump will be alone, completely alone, facing the likes of Mattis and Pence – hard Cold Warrior types, ideological to the core, folks who want war and simply don’t care about reality.

Again, Flynn was not my hero.  But he was, by all accounts, Trump’s hero.  And Trump betrayed him.

The consequences of this will be immense.  For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the ‘deep state’ only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be.  Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him.  The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again.

It’s over, folks, the deep state has won.

From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy, the errand boy of the Israel lobby.  Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him ‘an idiot‘.

The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh.  The Russians won’t – they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster.  Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight.

The EU leaders will, of course, celebrate.  Trump was nowhere the scary bogeyman they feared.  Turns out that he is a doormat – very good for the EU.

Where does all this leave us – the millions of anonymous ‘deplorables’ who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?

I think that we were right in our hopes because that is all we had – hopes.  No expectations, just hopes.  But now we objectively have very little reasons left to hope.  For one thing, the Washington ‘swamp’ will not be drained.  If anything, the swamp has triumphed.  We can only find some degree of solace in two undeniable facts:

  1. Hillary would have been far worse than any version of a Trump Presidency.
  2. In order to defeat Trump, the US deep state has had to terribly weaken the US and the AngloZionist Empire.  Just like Erdogan’ purges have left the Turkish military in shambles, the anti-Trump ‘color revolution’ has inflicted terrible damage on the reputation, authority and even credibility of the USA.

The first one is obvious.  So let me clarify the second one.  In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka “the basket of deplorables”) the Neocons have had to show they true face.

By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people.  In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left.  And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce.  So yes, the Neocons have won.  But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

Trump, for all his faults, did favor the US, as a country, over the global Empire.  Trump was also acutely aware that ‘more of the same’ was not an option.  He wanted policies commensurate with the actual capabilities of the USA.  With Flynn gone and the Neocons back in full control – this is over.  Now we are going to be right back to ideology over reality.

Trump probably could have made America, well, maybe not “great again”, but at least stronger, a major world power which could negotiate and use its leverage to get the best deal possible from the others.  That’s over now.  With Trump broken, Russia and China will go right back to their pre-Trump stance: a firm resistance backed by a willingness and capability to confront and defeat the USA at any level.

I am quite sure that nobody today is celebrating in the Kremlin.  Putin, Lavrov and the others surely understand exactly what happened.  It is as if Khodorkovsy would have succeeded in breaking Putin in 2003.  In fact, I have to credit Russian analysts who for several weeks already have been comparing Trump to Yanukovich, who also was elected by a majority of the people and who failed to show the resolve needed to stop the ‘color revolution’ started against him.  But if Trump is the new Yanukovich, will the US become the next Ukraine?

Flynn was very much the cornerstone of the hoped-for Trump foreign policy.  There was a real chance that he would reign in the huge, bloated and all-powerful three letter agencies and that he would focus US power against the real enemy of the West: the Wahabis.  With Flynn gone, this entire conceptual edifice has now come down.  We are going to be left with the likes of Mattis and his anti-Iranian statements.  Clowns who only impress other clowns.

Today Neocon victory is a huge event and it will probably be completely misrepresented by the official media.  Ironically, Trump supporters will also try minimize it all.  But the reality is that barring a most unlikely last-minute miracle, it’s over for Trump and the hopes of millions of people in the USA and the rest of the world who had hoped that the Neocons could be booted out of power by means of a peaceful election.  That is clearly not going to happen.

I see very dark clouds on the horizon.

The Saker

UPDATE1: Just to stress an important point: the disaster is not so much that Flynn is out but what Trump’s caving in to the Neocon tells us about Trump’s character (or lack thereof).  Ask yourself – after what happened to Flynn, would you stick your neck out for Trump?

UPDATE2: Just as predicted – the Neocons are celebrating and, of course, doubling-down:

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Dangerous Crossroads: Trump Declares War on Russia, New Cold War will Continue Until Moscow Complies

NOVANEWS
 
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U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral.

One of these two conditions would actually be impossible, even if it weren’t, in addition, immoral. For Vladimir Putin to agree to either of these two conditions, would not only be a violation of his often-expressed basic viewpoint, but it would also cause the vast majority of Russians to despise him — because they respect him for his consistent advocacy of that very viewpoint. He has never wavered from it. The support of Russians for that viewpoint is virtually universal. (This article will explain the viewpoint.)

TRUMP’S DEMAND #1: “RETURN CRIMEA”

In order to understand the Russian perspective on the first of these two issues (which any American must understand who wants to understand the astounding stupidity of Mr. Trump’s position on this matter), which is the issue of Crimea (which had for hundreds of years been part of Russia, but was then suddenly and arbitrarily transferred to Ukraine in 1954 by the Soviet dictator — and the U.S. now demands that his dictat regarding Crimea must be restored), two videos are essential for anyone to see, and here they are:

The first video below  (and no one should read any further here who hasn’t seen that video or at least the first twelve minutes of it, because it’s crucial) shows the U.S.-engineered coup that violently overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine in February 2014, under the cover of ‘a democratic revolution’, which was actually nothing of the sort, and which had instead started being planned in the U.S. State Department by no later than 2011, and started being organized inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev by no later than 1 March 2013. The head of the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, has rightly called it “the most blatant coup in history”.

The second video below shows the massacre of Crimeans who were escaping from Kiev during the Ukrainian coup, on 20 February 2014, and which massacre came to be known quickly in Crimea, as “the Pogrom of Korsun,” which was the town where the fascists whom the Obama regime had hired were able to trap the escapees and kill many of them. That’s the incident which — occurring during the coup in Ukraine — stirred enormous fear by Crimeans of the rabid hatred toward them by the U.S.-installed regime.

Finally on the issue of Crimea, all of the Western-sponsored polls that were taken of Crimeans both before and after the plebiscite on 16 March 2014 (which was just weeks after Obama overthrew the Ukrainian President for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted) showed over 90% support by Crimeans for Crimea’s return to being again a part of Russia. Everyone agrees that there was far more than 50% support for that, among the Crimeans. Furthermore, even Barack Obama accepted the basic universal principle of the right of self-determination of peoples when it pertained to Catalans in Spain, and Scotch in UK, and neither he nor anyone else has ever been able to make any credible case for applying it there and generally, but not in Crimea — especially under these circumstances.

So, on the first issue, Trump’s demand that Putin force the residents of Crimea to become subjects of the coup-regime that Obama had just established in Ukraine, it won’t be fulfilled — and it shouldn’t be fulfilled. Obama instituted the sanctions against Russia on the basis of what he called Putin’s “conquest of land” (referring to Crimea), but Russians see it instead as Russia’s standing steadfast for, and protecting, in what was historically and culturally a part of Russia not a part of Ukraine, the right of self-determination of peoples — especially after the country of which their land had been a part for the immediately prior 60 years (Ukraine), had been conquered three weeks earlier, via a bloody coup by a foreign power, and, moreover, this was a foreign power whom Crimeans loathed. Putin will not accept Trump’s demand. Nor should he.

TRUMP’S DEMAND #2: END THE UKRAINE-v.-DONBASS WAR

The way that this demand was stated on February 14th was “deescalate violence in the Ukraine,” referring to Ukraine’s invasions of its own former Donbass region, which broke away from the Obama-installed Ukrainian regime shortly after Crimea did, but which Putin (after having already suffered so much — sanctions, etc. — from allowing the Crimeans to become Russians again) refused to allow into the Russian Federation, and only offered military and humanitarian assistance to protect themselves so that not all of the roughly five million residents there would flee across the border into Russia.

Donbass had voted 90% for the Ukrainian President that Obama illegally replaced in his coup.

Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin, had established the Minsk negotiations and agreements, to end the hottest phase of the (Obama-caused) war between Ukraine and Donbass; and a crucial part of the Minsk-2 agreement was that Ukraine would allow the residents of Donbass a certain minimal degree of autonomy within Ukraine, as part of a new Ukrainian Federation, but Ukraine’s Rada or parliament refuses to do that, refuses to allow it, and the United States and its allies blame the residents of Donbass for that refusal by their enemies, and blame the Donbassers for the continued war, or, as Trump’s press secretary referred to it on February 14th, “violence in the Ukraine.” He’s demanding that Donbass stop the war, when Donbass is being constantly attacked by a Ukrainian regime that refuses even to fulfill a fundamental provision of the peace agreement that Hollande, Merkel, and Putin, had arranged, and that both Ukraine and Donbass signed. (Note: even Hollande and Merkel weren’t able to get the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Obama, to so much as participate in this effort for peace.)

A demand like that — for the victim to stop the fight — is impossible to fulfill. It’s like, in World War II, blaming the United States, Soviet Union, and UK, for their war against Germany, Italy, and Japan. It is a cockeyed demand, which requires only cockeyed credulous believers, for it to be taken seriously.

The way that Sean Spicer, President Trump’s press spokesperson, put this demand in his February 14th press conference, was:

President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.  At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russia.

To some people, that combination sounds idiotic. In any event, it’s not merely unrealistic; it is downright impossible. It’s not seeking peace with Russia; it is instead reasserting war against Russia.

Spicer said, with evident pride: “The President has been incredibly tough on Russia.”

A reporter at the press conference challenged that statement: “To me it seems, and I think to a lot of Americans it seems that this President has not been tough on Russia.” Spicer answered by referring to the statement that America’s new U.N. Representative, Nikki Haley, had made. She said at the U.N. on February 2nd:

I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. … The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military intervention. Until Russia and the separatists it supports respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, this crisis will continue. … The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.

So, Spicer said that,

with respect to Russia, I think the comments that Ambassador Haley made at the U.N. were extremely forceful and very clear that until —

Q    That was an announcement from Haley, not the President.

MR. SPICER:  She speaks for the President.  I speak for the President.  All of us in this administration.  And so all of the actions and all of the words in this administration are on behalf and at the direction of this President.  So I don’t think we could be any clearer on the President’s commitment.

Trump is continuing Obama’s war against Russia, although he had not given America’s voters to expect anything of the kind. Some voters (this writer is one) had voted for him because Trump alleged that he strongly disagreed with his opponent Hillary Clinton about that — he outright lied to the voters, on the most important thing of all. He applied mental coercion — deceit — in order to win. But as it turns out, he’s not really opposed at all to Obama’s coup in Ukraine. Perhaps he is so stupid that he’s not even aware that it was a coup, instead of a ‘democratic revolution’ (the cover-story). Maybe he’s so stupid, that he believes Obama’s lies.

At least Hillary Clinton was honest enough to make clear that she was going to continue Obama’s policies (only worse). But she was so stupid that she couldn’t even beat Donald Trump.

Anyway, all of that is water over the damn, now.

Initially, it had seemed that the only way in which Trump was aiming to satisfy the U.S. aristocracy (owners of the military-industrial complex, among other things) about increasing the ‘defense’ budget, was going to be a buildup against Iran; but, now, that war might end up playing second fiddle.

The war with Russia can only escalate, unless or until President Trump reverses course and states publicly, and provides to the American people and the world, the clear evidence of, his predecessor’s perfidy, both in Ukraine, and in Syria. Unless and until he comes clean, and admits that the problem between the U.S. and Russia isn’t Putin, but instead Obama, it will continue escalating, right up to World War III; and here is why:

When it escalates to a traditional hot war, either in Ukraine or in Syria, the side that’s losing that traditional war will have only one way to avoid defeat: a sudden unannounced nuclear all-out blitz attack against the other side. A nuclear war will last less than 30 minutes. The side that attacks first will suffer the less damage, because it will have knocked out some of the other side’s retaliatory missiles and bombs. If Donald Trump were intelligent, then one could assume that he knows this. He’s not, so he doesn’t. He plods on, toward mutual nuclear annihilation. Perhaps, like Hillary Clinton, he believes that the U.S. has ‘Nuclear Primacy’ and so will ‘win’.

It’s all so stupid. But, even worse, it’s evil. And I’m not talking about Russia or Putin here. The real problem — on this ultimate issue, of avoiding a nuclear winter — is my own country: the United States of America. To call this a ‘democracy’ is not merely a lie; it is a bad joke. The American public are not to blame for this evil. The American aristocracy are. It’s an oligarchy gone mad.

Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’. Instead, he’s feeding the alligators.

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Trump Decapitates the Trump Decapitates the Russia Peace Initiative Peace Initiative

NOVANEWS
trump_putin

Trump folds under totalizing corporate media and war-state pressures today.  The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn decapitates his presidency’s peace initiative with Russia after years of campaigning for it.

General Flynn is not another Trump slob. He is the most advanced military intelligence authority in the US today. He is the former Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency with a higher budget than the CIA. He knows the Middle East and Afghanistan civil wars and terrorist operations by direct experience in combat arms, conventional, special operations and top intelligence assignments, including the senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Most importantly, Gen. Flynn is opposed to the Russia-is-the-Enemy war party that rules the US on corporate media, big money, government, and dark-state levels.

As one may tell from his face and words, Flynn is the flinty opposite of the war-monger mentality ruling Washington and Wall Street, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and so on through the neo-con and neo-liberal propagandists and spooks holding the bi-partisan establishment together in the greatest looting operation by far that the world has ever seen – the US corporate war state.

The US Corporate War State Destroys on All levels   

Yet the US corporate-war state is deeper and wider than the ‘military-industrial establishment’ of legend. For it effectively controls the media, military-services, covert intelligence and advisory positions and not just military industry. And it does so towards one ruling goal – perpetual US war on the designated enemy which Eisenhower’s famous concept does not comprehend.

The US corporate war state is also more visibly institutionalized than the language of ‘deep state’ now popular on the Left denotes. It operates on every level of instituted US power with no accountability beyond itself, from US President lies to the mass murders on the ground.

The US corporate war state is very roughly what Trump ran against as presidential candidate which earned him the support of libertarian and other critical intelligentsia in America.

Hard-rock General Michael Flynn was the key to this initiative

He was Trump’s primary source of intelligence on alliance with Russia in the war against terrorismwhich Flynn knew and agreed was US permitted and made.

Now he is eliminated by the US corporate war state operating on every plane of attack within America itself and its business-military satellites like Canada next door.

None of this is reported in official society. Only what is falsely used against Flynn’s position of knowledge by acquaintance is reported. This is the modus operandi of the Beast. Flynn was not rogue but only rational on Russia and the war against terrorism. He led thinking at the front of the US ‘intelligence community’ in his insistence that Russia should be an ally not an enemy to eliminate the terrorist threat featuring ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other mutating names and outfits.

He knew that all were orchestrated by covert US direction.

I saw Flynn speak directly only once on an RT program now scrubbed from the Google search engine. The moment of his elimination has been long prepared down to the internet erasure of his advanced position on Russia.

What stood out was Flynn’s very reasonable and dialogical commitment to protect the US and the civilian world against the territory-holding terrorism rampaging around Syria, Iraq, the Middle East in general and Afghanistan.

General Flynn emphasized the very real and sophisticated ‘Islamic’ terrorist apparatus was out of control. He opposed all the Russia-and-Putin bashing instead of intelligent cooperation with Russia in defeating ISIS. He knew that this all stood in the way of achieving the goal the Obama administration claimed.

When the British interviewer of General Flynn kept suggesting that the US was in fact itself the dark sponsor of the many-faced Jihadi terrorism, Flynn tacitly accepted the fact and moved onto stopping it – just what he was about to lead on before he was eliminated today.

The pervasive operations of the US corporate war state show mordant touches of absolute power ruling absolutely even against a presidential vote.

It is the Valentine’s Day massacre of the knowing man in the President’s circle. Take out this intelligence behind him, and what is left? Nothing that knows what it is doing or can make military peace with Russia to eliminate the global terrorists crossing borders everywhere to sow chaos and fear ready to bow to the US-led global corporate war state.

The billionaire front man is untouchable by the same code of absolute US money power raping the living world as its freedom.

The Cover Up Already Achieved 

All we are likely to see now after the elimination of the Flynn brains behind Trump is post-mortem rubbish justifying accusations of his being in league with the Russians.  We will come to know he was increasingly ostracized and baited as ‘loving the Russians’. All will be rationalized as inevitable by the commercial mass media and the established ‘intelligence community’. All attacks with no ground in law will be continued.

The rising complete frenzy of the permanent- war establishment on Trump’s only wise choice of primary adviser will be discharged with glee over the days to come.

The war-mascot McCain and company will glow. The now published elimination of the heretic against war on Russia will be triumphally celebrated. No evidence reporting Flynn’s real position will ever be allowed into any level of public meaning.

What is most revealing is that former Defense Intelligence Director Michael Flynn’s actions in engagement with Russia Today TV and officials in the Russian government were completely manufactured into threat to the US by the corporate media and establishment operatives. There is no fault under law even alleged.

Everything General Flynn did with Russia media and officials was perfectly legal under US and international law. Nothing unlawful of any sort whatever was planned, or ever charged throughout the entire McCarthyite witch-hunt on him.

But all is now suddenly completed in Flynn’s destruction as National Security Advisor with all corporate media cheering it on. Making peace with Russia to end global terrorism is the anathema that cannot be tolerated in the US and EU corporate states and satellites. It calls into question the transnational Big Game of Blood and Treasure they are ruled by as their ‘freedom’.

Amnesia Rules

What is perhaps most alarming is the complete amnesia of the US corporate media, war state functionaries and the whole gang of Ronald Reagan’s totally heinous precedents of enemy dealings in the Iran-US Hostages-Weapons-Drugs-Contra deals which brought him the Presidency against Jimmy Carter and later launched his war-criminal counter-revolution against tiny Nicaragua’s liberation as a “clear and present danger to the United States of America”. All of this is erased from the ruling group-mind and its creatures.

Perhaps there is an upside. Perhaps Trump, a Reagan wannabe, has now sufficiently betrayed his country, international peace, working people and humanity’s common life interests to be treated better by the US corporate war state and media he boasted he would bring to heel.

Now as always, the mass media feed on visual spectacle and inane speculations which never come to the truth or real forces at work, but only market the products they mass sell including Trump’s market logo.

The Untold Costs of Destroying US-Russia Alliance against Fascist World Terror

No-one yet seems to notice the fateful collapse of the most promising initiative since FDR for US peace and cooperation with Russia.

This is predictable. Russia-the-Enemy is the cornerstone of US foreign policy throughout the post-FDR years for a monstrously lucrative reason.  Without the manufactured enemy of Russia, the trillions of public dollars going to the endless pork-barrel profits of the US corporate war state could not be justified. The non-stop US threat and dark-state destabilizations would be at a greater risk of public detection than ever before.

This was why it was so crucial that a new Enemy be formed as the USSR collapsed in 1991. It was Saddam Hussein in Iraq next to Russia that filled the bill, and the endless bombing to destroy its socialized infrastructures and others ever since followed as necessary to “humanitarian intervention” and “the security of the Free World”.

The new seas of oil in Iraq came into sight for plunder just as the Russia ‘evil empire’ was going down and a new enemy had to be produced again and again till now. This nice open door to ever more US-led corporate looting of socialized economies while Russia was safely in the hands of a corrupt US-installed drunk to privatize everything in sight for liquid assets abroad might have gone on for decades after 1991. But a new Enemy stopped the advancing US-led social ruin and plunder. .

Russia elected a very popular and very smart leader of Russia after its Fall. This situation is reduced to the Enemy called “Putin” who is evil by definition. He is the new pretext which must, as always, be manufactured to hoodwink the public into supporting the US war machine for guaranteed rich profits to big American corporations, while simultaneously prying open resources for transnational corporate free-booting across the world with “no obstacles to free movement of capital and commodities across borders” .

There has been no real threat to America since the CIA was formed in 1947 except what is constructed to justify more US spending on war making and threats far exceeding the rest of the world put together. Peace with Russia would end this fabulous booty game with no end of private profits for the US few.

This is why an independent Russia is predictably warred ad hominem against Putin. He is the Evil One now. For he stands effectively against full spectrum US-corporate control of the world for 1% profit which is spreading ever further East through the former USSR – the real “Asia pivot” in motion now.  For the US presidency to make friends with Russia risks everything so long in play.

The US corporate war-state control of the world’s wealth would be re-set to neutral.  Cooperation with Russia would take away the pretexts for war and resource control moving East from Ukraine and Israel to Afghanistan to the encirclement if China.

There would be no long-conditioned hate of Russia to propel more imperial wars for ever more riches for the US richest. Even global terrorism by Islamic jihadis and ISIS would be eliminated by such cooperation, as DIA Director Michael Flynn knew when he was appointed National Security Adviser.

So who, if General Flynn is directing, can the Enemy be to justify the US wars East if he is allowed to guide the US President?  Iran is not enough. Flynn must be destroyed as NSA.

And so he is, with no evident notice of the fatal meaning for the future of the world.

Yet what about Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who has a working relationship with Russia and Putin? He is only interested in the great oil-and-gas fields of Russia in his long-term job as CEO of Exxon, the world’s most powerful oil company and profit-maximizer before all else. He will continue as such, but with greater power to squeeze Russia as US Secretary of State.

Then what about China as the designated Enemy of US instead of Russia?

War on China is already in preparation with a US-led military noose around it in warship and bomber capacities with nearby allied states and armed forces under US control. But in fact China’s increasingly well-armed and huge army cannot be warred against successfully today. Moreover, it is already into the global corporate market with ever less social control of the rich, the only ‘free world’ the US supports.

The Fatal Valentine’s Day None Notices

On the day NSA Flynn’s firing is announced, February 14, 2017, the return to normality of war relations with Russia is happily greeted if noticed. It is passed over by the usual corporate media distractions. The peace offensive with Russia guided by General Michael Flynn has been terminated with him, and no-one seen in public regrets the return of the Cold War.

The blood on the floor is drowned out by the news of the assassination of Kim Jon-Un’s half brother, another Enemy story returned to the front burner. The White House meeting with the charismatic PM Trudeau of Canada the day before, the biggest story in Canada and objectively the US, is completely silenced in the US media to finish the elimination of NSA Flynn.

Ever more strutting by Republicans claiming concern about ‘America’s protection’, Congressional investigations going into high gear, the media wondering about the dark motives of the sacrificial Flynn, all together distract all attention.

The historic international US peace initiative with Russia led by NSA Flynn is erased from the record, and the meaning is reversed into dark Kremlin machinations.

One sees nearly 70 years of the Enemy-as-Russia reborn in the new US presidency so long promising the opposite. One sees the old pretext for US corporate-war-state pillage of the public purse and the life-world returning fully armed. All is incarnated in the dream-like sequence of cameras and talking about everything but the real meaning.

No-one says so. But the killing of the NSA appointment of Intelligence-General Flynn who knows the score on the ground is disastrous. It stops any way beyond the US corporate war state pumping over two billion dollars a day out of the US public Treasury. Peace with Russia is decapitated at its primary source. The global cancer system of perpetual war and hollowing out of life support systems across the world continues with no detection or remission.

But it is Valentine’s Day for the people. These are not coincidences, but morbid jokes on everybody who thinks they can do anything about it. Recall “9-11” as the day of the world emergency call – attack on the US by the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings in New York. It had a ready-made cover story that violated the laws of physics, but was immediately blamed on the new designated enemy before any evidence was in.

Recall too 30 years earlier the mysteriously re-routed Korean Airways Flight .007 being shot down over Russian airspace to blame the Soviet Union for an inhuman act of war on innocent lives of other peoples.

There is a sick impunity and swagger to the mass-murderous lies, as with the Nazi regime with which the US industrial and banking complex collaborated and US-NATO intelligence drew 70% of their data (from the US Fort Hunt Treaty with the Nazi generals to use against Russia after the war with Germany was officially over). Here too Russia’s fathomless natural resources were the target and cultural genocide the method. We are dealing with a very deep and long pathological trend.

Yet the diabolical stories of the Enemy to justify US-led war-criminal aggressions for diminishing natural wealth   and armed-market control never end. No publicly funded attack by America on any perceived threat occurs without a false cover story for it, now focused on taking Ukraine-Russia piece by piece with NATO as cover and allies as vassals.

The US-led eco-genocides of Iraq, Libya and Syria with immense natural and strategic resources under national public control had one thing in common across their US-led military devastations. All of them followed US-led corporate media and dark-state fabrication of pretext stories, and all local peoples lost their rich resources and social infrastructures as well as their peaceful lives.

Dispossessing Russia to enrich the US-led alliance of plunder as peace is kept of sight. The facts are unspeakable in the Western press. After the US-led neo-Nazi violent coup in Ukraine has succeeded in blaming Putin and Russia for defending against US-NATO roll further into Russia heartland, and after the elimination of the NSA Flynn who led peace with Russia to end the ISIL mass-murder and enslavement machine, the US state still leads the eco-genocidal pattern, with the egomaniac Trump losing his nerve under the pressures of the ruling money-war party controlling the corporate media and a bipartisan bought Congress..

The history of the US since 1945 is punctuated by all-points propaganda campaigns to justify the wars following from them. Is it happening again after all the brave Trump talk of setting a new course away from the disastrous foreign wars and global trade treaties oppressing the people?

The effective assassination of the peacemaker with Russia, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, after a totalizing McCarthyite smear with no legal reason is a dark turn of world affairs. Russia with a far smaller population than Brazil, a poor majority, and ground down by the never-ceasing US-orchestrated attacks is not a threat to anyone but its invaders, who are already bombing Russia-speaking Ukraine once Russia’s province .

Brazil itself has had its social democratic government overthrown by Wall-Street led machinations, as well described by Michel Chossudovsky in Global Research.

The uprising Trump movement against Washington wars has now been decapitated in its most significant advance towards an end to global terrorism by international peace with Russia.

Intelligent cooperation of civil society across borders against mindless mass killing and endless borderless private profit from it has been reversed by the money-war party running the US and now the Trump White House too.

The least we can do is know it.

Posted in USA, RussiaComments Off on Trump Decapitates the Trump Decapitates the Russia Peace Initiative Peace Initiative

The Flynn Defenestration by US Intelligence Will Hamper Trump’s Foreign Policy. US- Russia Relations on Hold

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Donald Trump,Michael Flynn,Joseph Dunford

Trump’s National Security Advisor Flynn resigned after only three weeks in office. While I am certainly no fan of Flynn or of Trump I find this defenestration a dangerous event. It will hamper any big change in U.S. foreign policy that Trump may envision.

The resignation followed a highly orchestrated campaign against Flynn by intelligence officials, the media and some people within the White House.

After the election and Trump’s unexpected win the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia and sent Russian embassy officials back to Moscow. This move was intended to blockade a Trump policy of better relations with Russia. Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador and, as a direct result, the Russian’s did not respond tit for tat for the sanctions and expulsions. This was an absolutely positive move and in full accordance with announced Trump policies. Henry Kissinger made a similar move and visited the Russian embassy weeks before he became Nixon’s NSC. During the 2012 election Obama made a similar “deal” with the Russians in a comparable situation:

President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

Despite tens or hundreds of claimed White House leaks in the media I am still not sure what really happened next. Trump’s enemies and some intelligence officials accused Flynn of lying about the phone calls with the Russian ambassador. It is unclear what the alleged lies really are and especially why they should matter. Obfuscation is part of any White House business. If Flynn had secretly talked with the Israeli ambassador (which he probably did) no one would have attacked him.

So why was Flynn really under pressure and why didn’t Trump back him? It would have been easy for Trump to say: “I ordered Flynn to do that. Obama did similar. In both cases it was a GREAT success. USA! USA! USA!” Nobody would have been able to further attack Flynn over the issue after such a protective move.

But Trump, completely against his style, held his mouth and did nothing. What else happened in the White House that let him refrain from backing Flynn?

Sure, the real beef other people have with Flynn is not about Russia but other issues, like his plans to reform the intelligence services. But by throwing Flynn out like this Trump opened himself to further attacks.

As it looks now a rather small gang of current and former intelligence officials – with the help of the anti-Trump media – leaked Flynn out of his office. They will not stop there.

Now blood is in the street and the hyenas will lust for more. The Trump magic is broken. He has shown vulnerability. Now they will go after their next target within the Trump administration and then the next and the next until they have Trump isolated and by the balls. He just invited them to proceed. All major foreign policy moves he planned will be hampered. The detente with Russia has probably ended before it even started.

There is another, overlooked country where Flynn’s position as NSC influenced policy decisions. Flynn had at times lobbied for Turkey and good relations with the Erdogan government. Even on the very day of the presidential election an op-ed of his damning Erdogan’s enemy Gülen and lauding Turkey was published.

After Trump was inaugurated and again talked of no-fly-zones the Turkish president Erdogan made another of his famous 180 degree turns.

Erdogan had wanted a no-fly-zones (aka a Turkish protectorate) in Syria from the very beginning of the war. The Obama administration would not give him one and in the later years shunned him. Erdogan turned to Russia but was told that he would have to limit his ambitions in Syria: no no-fly-zone, no Turkish march to Manbij or Raqqa. Erdogan agreed. But after Trump talked of new sanctions  and Flynn was installed as NSC Erdogan again changed his position. He is now again calling for a no-fly-zone and is again promising to conquer Manbij (held by Kurds) and Raqqa (held by the Islamic State). (Any such attempt would be hopeless. The Turkish army and its Islamist proxy forces have tried to conquer the much smaller Al-Bab, held by the Islamic State, for over four month now and still fail at it.)

The Russian’s will have taken note of such unreliable behavior. One wonders how Erdogan now feels as his lobbyist in a top position of the Trump administration is gone. If the Trump administration now acts against his plans will he creep back to Putin and ask for forgiveness? Would that be accepted?

Flynn is no big loss for the world, the U.S. or the Trump administration. But Trump has now lost the initiative. He long managed to set the media agenda for the day by this or that “outrageous” tweet or remark. Now this advantage has been taken away from him over some nonsense allegations and his lack of backing for one of his top people.

He will soon rue the day he let this happen.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Flynn Defenestration by US Intelligence Will Hamper Trump’s Foreign Policy. US- Russia Relations on Hold

The CIA’s Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse: New Declassified CIA Memo

CIA

A newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse at a time when Hafez al-Assad’s government was embroiled in a covert “dirty war” with Israel and the West, and in the midst of a diplomatic crisis which marked an unprecedented level of isolation for Syria.

The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria.

The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents.

A “severely restricted” report

The memo’s cover letter, drafted by the CIA’s Director of Global Issues (the report itself was prepared by the division’s Foreign Subversion and Instability Center), introduces the purpose of presenting “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.”

It further curiously warns that, “Because the analysis out of context is susceptible to misunderstanding, external distribution has been severely restricted.” The report’s narrowed distribution list (sent to specific named national security heads, not entire agencies) indicates that it was considered at the highest levels of the Reagan administration.

The coming sectarian war for Syria

The intelligence report’s contents contain some striking passages which seem remarkably consistent with events as they unfolded decades later at the start of the Syrian war in 2011:

Although we judge that fear of reprisals and organizational problems make a second Sunni challenge unlikely, an excessive government reaction to minor outbreaks of Sunni dissidence might trigger large-scale unrest. In most instances the regime would have the resources to crush a Sunni opposition movement, but we believe widespread violence among the populace could stimulate large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or munity, setting the stage for civil war. [pg.2]

The “second Sunni challenge” is a reference to the Syrian government’s prior long running war against a Muslim Brotherhood insurgency which culminated in the 1982 Hama Massacre. While downplaying the nationalist and pluralistic composition of the ruling Ba’ath party, the report envisions a renewal and exploitation of sectarian fault lines pitting Syria’s Sunni population against its Alawite leadership:

Sunnis make up 60 percent of the Syrian officer corps but are concentrated in junior officer ranks; enlisted men are predominantly Sunni conscripts. We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime. [pg.12]

Regime change and the Muslim Brotherhood

The possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood spearheading another future armed insurgency leading to regime change is given extensive focus. While the document’s tone suggests this as a long term future scenario (especially considering the Brotherhood suffered overwhelming defeat and went completely underground in Syria by the mid-1980’s), it is considered one of the top three “most likely” drivers of regime change (the other scenarios include “Succession Power Struggle” and “Military Reverses Spark a Coup”).

The potential for revival of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “militant faction” is introduced in the following:

Although the Muslim Brotherhood’s suppression drastically reduced armed dissidence, we judge a significant potential still exists for another Sunni opposition movement. In part the Brotherhood’s role was to exploit and orchestrate opposition activity by other organized groups… These groups still exist, and under proper leadership they could coalesce into a large movement… …young professionals who formed the base of support for the militant faction of the Muslim Brotherhood; and remnants of the Brotherhood itself who could become leaders in a new Sunni opposition movement… [pp.13-14]

The Brotherhood’s role is seen as escalating the potential for initially small Sunni protest movements to morph into violent sectarian civil war:

Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain–keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence… Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups…

Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community leaders as well as on those engaged in protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protestors inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis. [pp.19-20]

The CIA report describes the final phase of an evolving sectarian war which witnesses the influx of fighters and weapons from neighboring countries. Consistent with a 1983 secret report that called for a US covert operation to utilize then US-allied Iraq as a base of attack on Syria, the 1986 analysis says, “Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war”:

A general campaign of Alawi violence against Sunnis might push even moderate Sunnis to join the opposition. Remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood–some returning from exile in Iraq–could provide a core of leadership for the movement. Although the regime has the resources to crush such a venture, we believe brutal attacks on Sunni civilians might prompt large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or stage mutinies in support of dissidents, and Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war. [pp.20-21]

A Sunni regime serving Western economic interests

While the document is primarily a theoretical exploration projecting scenarios of Syrian regime weakening and collapse (its purpose is analysis and not necessarily policy), the authors admit of its “purposefully provocative” nature (see PREFACE) and closes with a list desired outcomes. One provocative outcome describes a pliant “Sunni regime” serving US economic interests:

In our view, US interests would be best served by a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates. Business moderates would see a strong need for Western aid and investment to build Syria’s private economy, thus opening the way for stronger ties to Western governments. [pg. 24]

Ironically, the Syrian government would accuse the United States and its allies of covert subversion within Syria after a string of domestic bombings created diplomatic tensions during the mid-1980’s.

Dirty tricks and diplomacy in the 1980’s

According to Patrick Seale’s landmark book, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East, 1986 was a year that marked Syria’s greatest isolation among world powers as multiple diplomatic crises and terror events put Syria more and more out in the cold.

The year included “the Hindawi affair”a Syrian intelligence sponsored attempt to hijack and bomb an El Al flight to Tel Avivand may or may not have involved Nezar Hindawi working as a double agent on behalf of Israel. The foiled plot brought down international condemnation on Syria and lives on as one of the more famous and bizarre terror conspiracies in history. Not only were Syria and Israel once again generally on the brink of war in 1986, but a string of “dirty tricks” tactics were being utilized by Syria and its regional enemies to shape diplomatic outcomes primarily in Lebanon and Jordan.

In March and April of 1986 (months prior to the distribution of the CIA memo), a string of still largely unexplained car bombs rocked Damascus and at least 5 towns throughout Syria, leaving over 200 civilians dead in the most significant wave of attacks since the earlier ’79-’82 war with the Muslim Brotherhood (also see BBC News recount the attacks).

Patrick Seale’s book speculates of the bombings that, “It may not have been unconnected that in late 1985 the NSC’s Colonel Oliver North and Amiram Nir, Peres’s counter-terrorism expert, set up a dirty tricks outfit to strike back at the alleged sponsors of Middle East terrorism.”*

Consistency with future WikiLeaks files

The casual reader of Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change will immediately recognize a strategic thinking on Syria that looks much the same as what is revealed in national security memos produced decades later in the run up to the current war in Syria.

When US cables or intelligence papers talk regime change in Syria they usually strategize in terms of exploiting sectarian fault lines. In a sense, this is the US national security bureaucracy’s fall-back approach to Syria.

One well-known example is contained in a December 2006 State Dept. cable sent from the US embassy in Syria (subsequently released by WikiLeaks). The cable’s stated purpose is to explore Syrian regime vulnerabilities and weaknesses to exploit (in similar fashion to the 1986 CIA memo):

PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business.

Another section of the 2006 cable explains precisely the same scenario laid out in the 1986 memo in describing the increased “possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction” on the part of the regime.:

ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING: The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like [former Vice President Abdul Halim] Khaddam and [younger brother of Hafez] Rif’at Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime’s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.

And ironically, Rif’at Asad and Khaddam are both mentioned extensively in the 1986 memo as key players during a speculative future “Succession Power Struggle.” [p.15]

An Islamic State in Damascus?

While the 1986 CIA report makes a case in its concluding paragraph for “a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates” in Syria, the authors acknowledge that the collapse of the Ba’ath state could actually usher in the worst of all possible outcomes for Washington and the region: “religious zealots” might seek to establish “an Islamic Republic”. The words take on a new and special importance now, after the rise of ISIS:

Although Syria’s secular traditions would make it extremely difficult for religious zealots to establish an Islamic Republic, should they succeed they would likely deepen hostilities with Israel and provide support and sanctuary to terrorists groups. [pg.24]

What continues to unfold in Syria has apparently surpassed even the worst case scenarios of intelligence planners in the 1980’s. Tinkering with regime change has proven itself to be the most dangerous of all games.

*Seale, Patrick. Asad of Syria : the struggle for the Middle East (Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, 1989)p.474.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on The CIA’s Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse: New Declassified CIA Memo

Lawsuit Against George W. Bush Et Al for Iraq War Crimes

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Lawsuit Against George W. Bush Et Al for Iraq War Crimes, Dismissed By California Court of Appeals: Law Allows all Government Employees to Commit Break International Laws and “Commit Heinous Acts”

 

Bush-war-crimes

A federal appeals court has rejected an Iraqi woman’s lawsuit holding the George W. Bush administration accountable for their war of aggression against the nation of Iraq.

The key passage from the article from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Without deciding whether the war was legal, the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a 1988 law shields federal employees at all levels for suits for actions they performed in service to the government, even if they violated US or international law.

“‘ The actions that (Bush administration officials) took in connection with the Iraq War were part of their official duties’, Judge Susan Graber said in the 3-0 ruling, released Friday.

“In upholding a federal judge’s dismissal of the suit, she said that the 1988 law, known as the Westfall Act, ‘covered even heinous acts’, such as federal marshals’ fatal beating of a shackled prisoner.”

The article is presented below, in its entirety.

Here is additional information on the Westfall Act, which not surprisingly, is a product of the Reagan-Bush era.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/2679

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfall_Act

Any individual can commit atrocities of any magnitude, if they are government employees, and do so with absolute immunity from law suits.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The political criminal in America enjoys the power to corrupt absolutely.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Appeals-court-rejects-woman-s-suit-over-Iraq-War-10929853.php

Appeals court rejects woman’s suit over Iraq War

By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

February 13, 2017

A federal appeals court in San Francisco has rejected a woman’s attempt to hold former President George W. Bush and his top officials to account for their alleged “war of aggression” in her native Iraq, saying federal employees can’t be sued for carrying out their job duties.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, who fled with four of her children when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and is now a refugee abroad, filed the suit in San Francisco in 2013 against Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration officials. Saying the war was based on fabricated claims of weapons of mass destruction and violated international law, she sought damages on behalf of all innocent Iraqi civilians who suffered harm.

Without deciding whether the war was legal, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a 1988 law shields federal employees at all levels from suits for actions they performed in service to the government, even if they violated U.S. or international law.

“The actions that (Bush administration officials) took in connection with the Iraq War were part of their official duties,” Judge Susan Graber said in the 3-0 ruling, released Friday.

In upholding a federal judge’s dismissal of the suit, she said the 1988 law, known as the Westfall Act, “covered even heinous acts,” such as federal marshals’ fatal beating of a shackled prisoner.

The law allows a federal official to be sued for actions based on personal motives, Graber said, “if, for instance, he used the leverage of his office to benefit a spouse’s business.” It also allows Saleh to sue the U.S. government rather than individual defendants. But her lawyer, Inder Comar of San Francisco, said Monday that a suit against the government would be futile because the Supreme Court has barred damages for injuries suffered in foreign countries.

“The U.S. has signed all these treaties, the U.N. Charter, the tribunals set up after World War II to litigate allegations of aggression” against Nazi leaders, Comar said. “We can’t immunize people from things we told the international community we believed in. But the court said that’s exactly what we did.”

Saleh, an art instructor who belonged to a Christian sect, escaped with her children to Jordan after the war started and is now a refugee in an undisclosed country, Comar said.

Her suit alleged that Bush and his top aides, particularly Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, were planning a war in Iraq even before Bush took office in 2001 and therefore were not carrying out their job duties when they launched the war. The court disagreed.

“What took place in the late 1990s was not planning, but only advocacy,” Graber said, since the Bush administration was not yet in office. Otherwise, she said, an elected official who carried out a campaign promise “could be considered to be acting outside the scope of her employment” and unprotected by the Westfall Act.

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Post Slavery Feminist Thought and the Pan-African Struggle (1892-1927): From Anna J. Cooper to Addie W. Hunton

NOVANEWS
 
Anna Julia Cooper

By the 1880s the post-slavery institutionalization of national oppression and economic exploitation of people of African descent was well underway in the United States.

Although a series of presidential orders, constitutional amendments and legislative measures enacted during 1862-1875 sought to breakdown the legal basis for the enslavement of African people, these actions were restricted by the entrenched interests of both the militarily defeated Southern planters and the emerging Northern industrialists, the two factions of the American ruling class which fought bitterly between 1861-65 for dominance over the economic system which would determine the future of society for the remaining decades of the 19th century.

President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated at the conclusion of the Civil War in April 1865, had no definitive plan for a post-slavery reconstruction of republican democracy as it related to African people. The Emancipation Proclamation was essentially a war document designed to undermine the political and economic basis of the South and its secessionist aims designed to preserve slavery as a system of exploitation, oppression and social containment.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1865 declared that involuntary servitude was prohibited unless carried out against people who are incarcerated. Nonetheless, state laws passed by the planter class in the readmitted Confederate states were designed to reinstitute slavery just the same through the mass criminalization and imprisonment of African labor power.

In 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed by Congress ostensibly to grant Africans the rights of citizenship through the application of due process, equal treatment under the legal system and access to public facilities. Later in 1870, the 15th Amendment was drafted and passed to enshrine the right to vote for African men as well as to hold public office.

In a general sense the process of the reversal of the gains of Federal Reconstruction began in the aftermath of the 1876 elections where a split within the electorate created the necessity for the Hayes-Tilden Compromise. The Republican Party candidate Rutherford B. Hayes was allowed to take the presidential office in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.

Consequently, a process of re-enslavement in fact continued throughout the 1880s to the beginning of the 20th century. Africans resisted the imposition of the black codes and other pseudo-legalistic forms of racial dominance. In response the whites established work camps through penal administration and extra-legal methods such as economic sanctions and lynching.

The Philosophical and Educational Contributions of African American Women

It has been reported that Anna Julia Haywood was born into slavery on August 10, 1858 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her mother, Hannah Stanley Haywood, was an African woman. The identity of her father was never clear due to the legacy of slavery and the exploitation of African women. Many white slave owners, male members of their families and employees routinely sexually assaulted and exploited African women. The paternity of these offspring was often denied by the perpetrators. These children of African women were subjected to the same degree of discrimination and repression as others who were not of mixed ancestry.

The mother of Anna J. Haywood was said to have been illiterate and therefore encouraged learning for her daughter. By the age of nine, Haywood was attending the St. Augustine’s College, an institution designed for former enslaved Africans. She studied in the fields of math, Greek and philosophy. Overcoming gender barriers, she persisted in excelling in the curriculum exclusively designed for males.

Haywood academic achievements landed her a position as a teacher at the school. She would later marry another instructor named George Cooper, a teacher of Greek and the second African American in North Carolina to be ordained as an Episcopal minister. Haywood took a leave of absence from the education profession for two years until her husband died suddenly.

Returning to her academic pursuits, she would study at Oberlin College in Ohio earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1884. Three years later in 1887, Cooper completed a master’s degree and returned to teaching math, Greek, Latin and science. She also became a renowned public speaker.

It was in 1892 that Cooper would produce her seminal work entitled “A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South.” The book is considered a milestone in African women’s social and political philosophy.

Undergirding the thesis laid out in the text is the belief that African American women are most capable of achieving higher levels of education. In addition, the education of women and their involvement in public life would make a monumental contribution to not only African American communities but U.S. society as a whole. The harnessing and unleashing of the enlightened power of women would transform historical processes leading to greater awareness of human potentialities.

A chapter in this book entitled “Higher Education of Women”, asserts

“Now I claim that it is the prevalence of the Higher Education among women, the making it a common everyday affair for women to reason and think and express their thought, the training and stimulus which enable and encourage women to administer to the world the bread it needs as well as the sugar it cries for; in short it is the transmitting the potential forces of her soul into dynamic factors that has given symmetry and completeness to the world’s agencies. So only could it be consummated that Mercy, the lesson she teaches, and Truth, the task man has set himself, should meet together: that righteousness, or rightness, man’s ideal,–and peace, its necessary ‘other half,’ should kiss each other.” (Cooper, p. 57)

Nonetheless, the woman question in the U.S. is linked with the problems of racism and national oppression. The African American woman faces discrimination on the basis of national origin as well as gender and social class.

Cooper surmises in “The Voice from the South” on the issue of racial oppression:

“We would not deprecate the fact, then, that America has a Race Problem. It is guaranty of the perpetuity and progress of her institutions, and insures the breadth of her culture and the symmetry of her development. More than all, let us not disparage the factor which the Negro is appointed to contribute to that problem. America needs the Negro for ballast if for nothing else. His tropical warmth and spontaneous emotionalism may form no unseemly counterpart to the cold and calculating Anglo-Saxon. And then his instinct for law and order, his inborn respect for authority, his inaptitude for rioting and anarchy, his gentleness and cheerfulness as a laborer, and his deep-rooted faith in God will prove indispensable and invaluable elements in a nation menaced as America is by anarchy, socialism, communism, and skepticism poured in with all the jail birds from the continents of Europe and Asia. I believe with our own Dr. Crummell that ‘the Almighty does not preserve, rescue, and build up a lowly people merely for ignoble ends.’ And the historian of American civilization will yet congratulate this country that she has had a Race Problem and that descendants of the black race furnished one of its largest factors.” (pp. 173-4)

Laying the groundwork for broader intervention in the international situation, Cooper later addressed the World Congress of Representative Women in May 1893. The event was held in conjunction with the World Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World Fair). There were 81 meetings held on the conditions of women spoken to by 500 women from 27 different countries.

This World’s Congress of Representative Women was organized, funded and publicized through the women’s branch of the World’s Congress Auxiliary. This section of the Chicago gathering was directed by the President of the Women’s Auxiliary Bertha Honoré Palmer, the wife of wealthy Chicago retailer Potter Palmer. The men’s section of the Auxiliary ran seventeen departments and convened over 100 panels including discussions related to political, social and technical affairs. The women’s division organized one phase of the event. Out of all the congresses activities held by men at the World’s Columbian Exposition, the World’s Congress of Representative Women attained the largest attendance.

A number of leading African American women presented papers at the Congress of Representative Women including Hallie Quinn Brown, who was born in Pittsburg in 1849 to free African parents. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Wilberforce University in Ohio. Brown later went on to teach and administer at Allen University in South Carolina and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. She would become a professor at Wilberforce.

Brown was a leading force in the founding of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC). The organization grew out of a merger of other similar groups concerned with women’s suffrage, an end to lynching and the end of racial oppression.

Other African American women presenters were Fannie Barrier Williams, born in 1855 in New York State. Barrier Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from Brockport College, a division of the State University. Despite her educational achievements for the period, she was subjected to severe racial discrimination.

Barrier Williams was an advocate for the social and political advancement of African American people through community activism, professional achievement and the acquisition of the vote for women. She would marry S. Laing Williams, an attorney, and they later settled in the city of Chicago.

At the World Congress of Representative Women in Chicago, Williams presented a paper entitled “The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States Since the Emancipation Proclamation.” She also delivered a paper to the World Parliament of Religions entitled “What Can Religion Further Do to Advance the condition of the American Negro?”

In the address to the World Parliament of Religions, she decried the segregation of churches and spoke on the ability of sacred institutions to bring about change within American society.

She was a co-founder of the National League of Colored Women, which eventually became the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC).

Fanny Jackson Coppin also spoke at the gathering. She was born into slavery in 1837 in Washington, D.C. and later attended Oberlin College where she became an educator. Later she would be employed as a teacher in Philadelphia where she instructed in Greek, Latin and mathematics.

Another African American woman who spoke at the 1893 World Congress was Sarah Jane Woodson Early. She was born as a free African in 1825 in Ohio where her parents had settled after being liberated from slavery. She was educated at Oberlin College and later taught at Wilberforce, becoming the first African person to teach at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Woodson Early’s paper delivered at the Chicago Congress was entitled “The Organized Efforts of the Colored Women of the South to Improve Their Condition.” In previous years Early held the position as national superintendent (1888–1892) of the African American section of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She delivered over 100 lectures in five states. The public speaker authored a biographical sketch of her husband’s life focusing on his liberation from enslavement making a contribution to a number of such narratives published after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Finally, in relationship to the World Congress of Representative Women, a paper presented by Frances E.W. Harper entitled “Woman’s Political Future”, was one of the most notable. Born in 1825 in Baltimore, Harper was a published poet even during the era of antebellum slavery. She was born a free African but pursued a career of advocacy for the abolition of involuntary servitude and women’s suffrage.

Her speech was indicative of some within the women’s movement including African Americans who also spoke in favor of the need for literacy as a prerequisite to access to the ballot. She was as well an official in the WCTU. The notion of literacy and voting rights would become controversial during the proceeding decades of the 20th century since this was one mechanism utilized to deny the vote to millions of African Americans in the South.

The Reason Why: Interventions by Ida B. Wells and the Role of Oppositional Politics

Although many of the references to educational achievement, economic self-reliance, sobriety, and religious adherence, suggests that the influence of western bourgeois values informed the thinking and organizational approaches to the leading African American women intellectuals and activists, however what must be taken into consideration is the contradiction of the overall social conditions created by the failure of Reconstruction during the previous decades.

A profit-driven system of institutional racism and national oppression required the super-exploitation of the African people. They were systematically denied access to education, adequate wages, quality housing and opportunities within the labor market. The criminalization of the rural and urban communities across the U.S. represented through law-enforcement key aspects of the repressive mechanism which served the capitalist system.

Knowing and acknowledging that there would be in all likelihood no assistance from the federal government and the corporations in regard to alleviating the social conditions of the masses of workers and farmers, African Americans out of necessity were compelled to create their own institutions to foster social reproduction and to ensure survival. Consequently, there was a strong emphasis on self-improvement through education, personal discipline and the adoption of what was perceived societal norms during this period in history.

Nonetheless, the anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells would expose the fallacy of the myths of the “criminally-driven over-sexed” Black man who was a threat to the “sanctity of white womanhood.” When Wells wrote in an editorial for her paper the Free Speech and Headlight that in many cases white women sought social relations with African American men she was subjected to threats and the destruction of her offices in Memphis in 1893.

Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 as an enslaved African child, Wells parents instilled in her a sense of pride and yearning for education. Her parents died in the late 1870s during the yellow fever epidemic which hit northern Mississippi and Southwest Tennessee.

Wells went to Memphis to live with relatives and became a school teacher in the Shelby County school system. She would file a lawsuit against the Chesapeake, Ohio Railroad Company in 1884 for discrimination after being ejected from a train in Woodstock, Tennessee because she refused to move out of the lady’s coach. Prevailing in the lower courts and winning a judgement, the railroad line appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court which ruled in favor of Chesapeake, Ohio, overturning the settlement won earlier by Wells.

In later years Wells became well known as a public school teacher and newspaper editor. She was eventually relieved of her duties with the school system after criticizing the inferior education provided to African American students.

Wells had protested the lynching of three African American men in Memphis in 1892 whom were guilty of only defending themselves against a lawless white racist mob. A subsequent boycott of the street car services, white-owned businesses and a mass exodus of Black people from Memphis to Oklahoma, served to create the conditions as well for Wells to be driven out of the city.

Wells intervened in opposing the terms under which the Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago. African American organizations, churches and newspapers had called for a boycott of the World’s Fair in 1893. The community was demanding positions on the board of directors and planning committees designing the project. These legitimate requests were rejected by the ruling class interests involved in the project. Eventually some concessions were made although many remained dissatisfied and refused to attend.

Prior to the beginning of the Chicago World’s Fair, a document was edited and published by Wells with the majority contributions written by her along with other sections by Frederick Douglass, Ferdinand L. Barnett and I. Garland Penn. This attack on the World’s Fair was released as a pamphlet entitled “The Reason Why: The Colored American is not in the World’s Columbian Exposition, the Afro-American’s Contribution to Columbian Literature.”

In the preface to The Reason Why, Wells notes that: “Columbia has bidden the civilized world to join with her in celebrating the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, and the invitation has been accepted. At Jackson Park are shown exhibits of her natural resources, and her progress in the arts and sciences, which would best illustrate her moral greatness has been ignored. The exhibit of the progress made by a race in 25 years of freedom as against 250 years of slavery, would have been the greatest tribute to the greatness and progressiveness of American institutions which could have been shown the world. The colored people of this great Republic number eight millions – more than one-tenth the whole population of the United States. They were among the earliest settlers of this continent, landing at Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 in a slave ship, before the Puritans, who landed at Plymouth in 1620.

They have contributed a large share to American prosperity and civilization. The labor of one-half of this country has always been, and is still being done through them. The first credit this country had in its trade with foreign nations was created by productions resulting from their labor. The wealth created by their industry has made it possible for them to make the most of their progress in education, art, science, industry and invention.”

Wells continues saying:

“Those visiting the World’s Columbian Exposition who know these facts, especially foreigners will naturally ask: Why are not the colored people, who constitute so large an element of the American population, and who have contributed so much to American greatness, more visibly Present and better represented in this World’s Exposition? Why are they not taking part in this glorious celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of their country? Are they so dull and stupid as to feel no interest in this great event? As far as possible, this exhibition has been published.”

Throughout the pages of this pamphlet, documented proof of the exclusion, exploitation and repression of the African American people are laid out for examination. Wells had returned from a speaking tour of England, Wales and Scotland in 1893 while the World’s Fair was already underway. It appears in the existing evidence that Wells did not address the participants of the Columbian Exposition. However, through the publication of the document her voice was heard loud and clear.

In highlighting the dangerous situation facing the African American people, Wells recounted many extra-judicial mob killings throughout the U.S. She writes on the March 1892 atrocities against the three men which were never punished by the courts.

Taken directly from chapter four entitled “Lynch Law”, Wells says: “A lynching equally as cold-blooded took place in Memphis, Tennessee, March, 1892. Three young colored men in an altercation at their place of business, fired on white men in self-defense. They were imprisoned for three days, then taken out by the mob and horribly shot to death. Thomas Moss, Will Stewart and Calvin McDowell, were energetic business men who had built up a flourishing grocery business. Their business had prospered and that of a rival white grocer named Barrett had declined. Barrett led the attack on their grocery which resulted in the wounding of three white men. For this cause were three innocent men barbarously lynched, and their families left without protectors. Memphis is one of the leading cities of Tennessee, a town of seventy-five thousand inhabitants! No effort whatever was made to punish the murderers of these three men.

It counted for nothing that the victims of this outrage were three of the best known young men of a population of thirty thousand colored people of Memphis. They were the officers of the company which conducted the grocery: Moss being the President, Stewart the Secretary of the Company and McDowell the Manager. Moss was in the Civil Service of the United States as a carrier, and all three were men of splendid reputation for honesty, integrity and sobriety. But their murderers, though well-known, have never been counted, were not even troubled with a preliminary examination.”

Douglass although submitting an article for The Reason Why, was in attendance and delivered an address. Within those aspects of the Exposition which focused on the affairs of African people some administrative control was relinquished. The formerly self-emancipated enslaved African turned abolitionist and propagandist in opposition to slavery as early as the 1840s, Douglass, was placed as the administrator over the Colored American Day.

Despite the concessions related to Douglass, an article on this opposition to the Columbian Exposition written by Christopher Robert Reed of Roosevelt University in 1999 emphasizes the role of Wells and others recounting: “Nonetheless, some prominent African Americans declined to appear, such as the renowned coloratura soprano, Sissieretta Jones, known as the Black Patti. Whether it was a matter of contractual misunderstanding or support for the boycott, she nonetheless canceled her appearance. Ida B. Wells stayed away from the celebration but retroactively reversed her assessment both of the propriety of staging the event and of its value to racial progress. Originally motivated by a whimsical impulse, it appeared she responded to favorable white newspaper accounts to the event, especially in the Inter Ocean, by later seeking out Douglass at the Haytian Pavilion. There, she apologized to the “grand old man” for placing her youthful exuberance before the qualities of racial leadership he had displayed in deciding to participate. African Methodist Episcopal Bishops Benjamin Arnett and Henry McNeal Turner absented themselves from the event while two of the organizing committee’s vice presidents also avoided the event. Former U. S. Representative John Mercer Langston skipped the event after having urged Chicago audiences previously that they should follow his lead.”

The Chicago Congress on Africa in 1893

During the course of the time in which the Columbia Exposition was being held, there was another historical gathering which took place known as the Chicago Congress on Africa. This gathering is referred to by some as the First Pan-African Conference or Congress in world history. The event took place in several areas of the city of Chicago including venues associated with the Exposition and others which were not.

It was during this period that the rise of colonialism in Africa was intensifying at a rapid rate. Just nine years before the Berlin Conference was held in Germany which divided the continent up as political spheres of economic influence by Europe and the U.S.

The impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade from the 15th through the second half of the 19th centuries had set the stage for the rise of colonialism in Africa, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. However, there was a long time commitment among African Americans to either repatriate to the continent or to play some role in its reconstruction from slavery and colonialism.

This was reflected in the mass outpouring surrounding the Chicago Congress on Africa. Reed illustrates:

“From August 14, 1893, to August 21, 1893 probably the largest number of African American participants in a world’s fair event assembled as part of the Congress on Africa, or as it was sometimes referred to, the Congress on African Ethnology, or the Congress on the Negro. Its eight-day length included a citywide Sunday session that entered the sanctuaries and pulpits of scores of churches, so thousands of interested church congregants listened to information on the status of the global African population. Identified fully for what it was, the Congress on Africa combined the intellectual with the ideological, religious, philosophical and scientific to formulate an agenda facilitating, in effect, a dualistic American African public policy on the status of continental and Diaspora Africans.”

Well known political figures such as Edward Wilmot Blyden, a repatriated African born in the Caribbean and living in Liberia, along with Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been anticipated to attend and present papers, however neither appeared at the gathering. Nevertheless, there were papers delivered on “The African in America”; “Liberia as a Factor in the Progress of the Negro Race”; and a very challenging presentation entitled “What Do American Negroes Owe to Their Kin Beyond the Sea.”

Bishop Henry McNeal Turner of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was joined with Bishop Alexander Walters of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) and Alexander Crummell of the Episcopal Church. Turner during the Chicago Congress advanced the notions of the African origins of humanity and civilization.

He also strongly advocated for the repatriation of Africans to the continent as a means of exercising self-determination and nation-building. Turner had stated several months prior to the Congress that France was enhancing its territorial ambitions towards Africa, particularly Liberia, being a major factor in the colonization of the continent.

This Congress provided the impetus for another Pan-African Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia two years later in 1895. This gathering was sponsored by the Steward Missionary Foundation for Africa of the Gammon Theological Seminary. This meeting was attended by John Henry Smyth, who was the minister resident and consul general to Liberia.

In his paper presented to the Atlanta conference, Smyth emphasized that:

“European contact has brought in its train not merely the sacrifice, amid unspeakable horrors, of the lives and liberties of twenty million Negroes for the American market alone, but political disintegration, social anarchy, moral and physical debasements.”

Two years after the Atlanta meeting, the African Association (AA) was formed in Britain on September 24, 1897 led by Barrister Henry Sylvester Williams, who was born in Trinidad. Minkah Makalani of Rutgers University wrote of the AA noting:

“[T]he Trinidadian barrister Henry Sylvester Williams began thinking about a political movement organized around a series of conferences that would draw representatives of the ‘African race from all the parts of the world.’ In September 1897, Williams established the African Association (AA) to ‘encourage a feeling of unity [and] facilitate friendly intercourse among Africans,’ and ‘promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent, wholly or in part, in British Colonies and other place, especially in Africa.’ Based in London, the AA published studies, news reports, and appeals to ‘Imperial and local governments.’ The AA’s leadership came from throughout the African diaspora: Rev. H. Mason Joseph of Antigua served as chairman; T. J. Thompson of Sierra Leone was deputy chairman, while the South African woman A. V. Kinloch was treasurer. As honorary secretary, Williams quickly directed the African Association into politics. In October of that year, he submitted a petition to Joseph Chamberlain, secretary of state for the colonies, to include a clause in the Rhodesian constitution to protect native Africans’ interests, respect their customs, create industrial schools, and teach “a simple and true Christianity.” News of the African Association’s lobbying British government and members of parliament on behalf of Africans spread throughout the continent and served as the basis for enthusiastic response from Africans toward the organization.”

Alice Kinloch and Addie B. Hutton: Pan-African Congresses From 1900-1927

Inns of Court law students Henry Sylvester Williams of Trinidad and Thomas John Thompson of Sierra Leone are often recognized as the principal organizers of the Pan-African Conference held in London during July 1900. This conference, which is also characterized as the First Pan-African Congress, was attended by Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, the Harvard graduate in history who wrote his Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard in 1896 on the Suppression of the African Slave Trade.

However, the formation of the African Association (AA) which organized the Pan-African Conference of July 1900, was encouraged by the work of a South African woman, Alice V. Kinloch, originally from Natal. It is possible that Kinloch traveled to Britain in 1895 with her mixed race husband Edmund, the offspring of a Scottish man and his Zulu wife. Edmund Kinloch had worked in the mining industry in South Africa.

In 1897, Kinloch met H.R. Fox Bourne, the Secretary of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) and was invited to deliver a lecture on the conditions of African workers in the mining industry in South Africa. A series of lectures were given in early May 1897 and attended by a large audiences’ at the Central Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Friends’ Meeting House in York, and in Manchester. (David Killingray, South African Historical Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 3, Aug. 2012)

The theme for these discussions was “The Ill treatment of the Natives throughout South Africa, but principally on the Compound System as Obtains throughout the Mining Districts.” Mrs. Kinloch addressed a meeting in Newcastle on May 3, in York on May 4, and the following day in Manchester.

At the Newcastle-upon-Tyne gathering a resolution was passed emphasizing: “that this meeting having heard the statements of the present position from Mrs. Kinloch and Mr. Fox Bourne, calls upon Her Majesty’s Government to take such action as shall effectually stop the cruel and violent measures by which the native races in South Africa and elsewhere are being deprived of their lands and liberty.” Later the same year, Kinloch was invited by Jane Cobden Onwin to address the Writer’s Club in London, where her address, “Are South African Diamonds Worth their Cost?,” was eventually published as a pamphlet by the Labour Press in Manchester under the authorship of A.V. Alexander, her maiden name.

Williams in his correspondence to Harriette Colenso, written in June 1899, he conveys that “The Association is the result of Mrs. Kinloch’s work in England and the feeling that as British subjects we ought to be heard in our own affairs.” After the convening of the Pan-African Conference in 1900, the following year, Williams returned to Trinidad and Emmanuel Lazare, who introduced Williams at a public meeting in Port of Spain, recounted Kinloch’s pivotal role in the founding of the AA.

In an article published in the Quaker weekly, Alice Kinloch acknowledged that

“with some men of my race in this country, I have formed a society for the benefit of our people in Africa … I think the time has come for us to bear some of our responsibilities, and in so doing we will help the Aborigines’ Protection Society. I am trying to educate people in this country in regard to the iniquitous laws made for blacks in South Africa.”

Alice and Edmund Kinloch returned to South Africa in February 1898 and therefore were not present for the Pan-African Conference of 1900. Coming out of the London gathering was a further consolidation of the AA, which changed its name to the Pan-African Association (PAA). The organization published a short-lived journal called The Pan-African.

Two women who did present papers at the 1900 Pan-African Conference were Anna Julia Cooper whose topic was “The Negro Problem in America.” Another woman, Anna H. Jones of Missouri, was a leader in the State chapter of the NACWC. She delivered a paper on “The Preservation of Racial Equality.”

Williams returned to Britain to complete his examinations and was qualified as a lawyer. He practiced in the Cape Colony of South Africa during 1903-1905, becoming the first person of African descent under the colonial system to be admitted to the bar. Having taken a position against the racist colonial system, Williams was eventually banned from practicing law in South Africa and went back to live in Britain where he became involved in electoral politics.

He died in1911 in Trinidad at the relatively young age of 42. Williams’ death would place a damper on the development of the Pan-African Movement. Nevertheless as result of the rise of industrialization and the mass migration it fostered, African people were dislocated and dispersed into many other areas of the world.

The advent of World War I would spark a renewed sense of national consciousness and internationalism. In 1919, following the conclusion of the War and the negotiations surrounding the Treaty of Versailles, DuBois and others reactivated the Pan-African struggle through the convening of the Pan-African Congress in Paris.

Addie Waites Hunton was a central figure in the development of the Pan-African Movement during this period. She was born in 1866 in Norfolk, Virginia to Jesse and Adeline Waites.

Waites earned a high school diploma at the Boston Latin School and in 1889 became the first African American woman to graduate from Spencerian College of Commerce in Philadelphia.

She would marry William Alpheus Hunton, Sr. in 1893. Hunton was a pioneer in the Young Men’s Christian Association’s (YMCA) work among Africans in the U.S.

The family moved to Atlanta, Georgia after their marriage, where Addie worked as a secretary at Clark College. Later in the aftermath of the 1906 race terror leveled against the African American community, the Huntons relocated to New York City. Between the years of 1906-1910, Addie Hunton worked as a staff organizer for the NACWC. In addition, she was a proponent of women’s suffrage advocating in the campaign for the ratification of the 19th amendment which granted the right to vote to white women. Hunton urged leaders in the white women’s movement to also support the abolition of disenfranchisement of African people as a whole in the U.S.

During the U.S. involvement in World War I, which came late towards the end of the imperialist conflagration, Hunt along with Kathryn Johnson, served on behalf of the YMCA in Paris, assisting the hundreds of thousands of African American troops deployed there. Hunton and Johnson published a book about their observations and experiences in France entitled “Two Colored Women With the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) released in 1920.

This book provides first-hand accounts of the horrendous conditions that the African American troops were subjected to during their terms of service in France. There was widespread discrimination by the U.S. armed forces where Black soldiers were routinely denied food, medical treatment and access to public accommodations.

Hunton attended the Pan-African Congress organized by W.E.B. Du Bois in Paris. The event has been labelled the Second Congress by historians. Du Bois requested the intervention of a Senegalese parliamentarian for the French assembly Blaise Diagne in order for the gathering to be held.

According to Du Bois:

“Diagne secured the consent of Clemenceau to our holding a Pan-African Congress, but we then encountered the opposition of most of the countries in the world to allowing delegates to attend. Few could come from Africa; passports were refused to American Negroes and English whites. The Congress therefore, which met in 1919, was confined to those representatives of African groups who happened to be stationed in Paris for various reasons. This Congress represented Africa partially. Of the fifty-seven delegates from fifteen countries, nine were from African countries with twelve delegates. Of the remaining delegates, sixteen were from the United States and twenty-one from the West Indies.” (Andrew G. Paschal, Editor, A W.E.B. Du Bois Reader, 1971, p. 242)

In addition to the participation of Addie W. Hunton, another African American woman, Ida Gibbs Hunt, the daughter of a U.S. diplomat who had been stationed in Madagascar, delivered a paper at the 1919 Congress. Ida Alexander Gibbs was born November 16, 1862 in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

Gibbs later attended and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1884. She became an instructor at the M Street High School in Washington, D.C. Gibbs retired from teaching after marrying career diplomat William Henry Hunt in 1904.

Although she traveled with her husband in his diplomatic assignments, she continued the activism in the areas of civil rights, women’s affairs and Pan-Africanism. An entry on the Black Past website notes: “In 1905, she joined a handful of black women in founding the first Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Washington, D.C. for African Americans. She participated in the Niagara Movement, the Femmes de France, the Bethel Literary Society, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Washington Welfare Association, the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom, and the Red Cross.” (http://www.blackpast.org/aah/hunt-ida-alexander-gibbs-1862-1957)

This same biography continues saying:

“While traveling abroad with her husband, Ida Gibbs Hunt published various articles and wrote reviews on literary and cultural themes. She also wrote and gave speeches in support of peace, women’s suffrage, and civil rights for African Americans. She was able to promote her ideals internationally, an influence no doubt from her husband and father who had been diplomats. Ida Hunt was the assistant secretary for the Second Pan-African Congress in Paris in 1919. She delivered a paper entitled “The Coloured Races and the League of Nations” at the Third Pan-African Congress in London in 1923 and co-chaired the Conference’s Executive Committee with W.E.B. DuBois. Ida Gibbs Hunt died in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 19, 1957.”

1919 was a tumultuous year in the U.S. as it relates to race relations. A series of race riots occurred with the largest and most deadly being in Chicago, Illinois. African American troops who had served in France were not about to suffer the same indignations as their ancestors. Out of the 1919 disturbances came a plethora of political, cultural and literary outpourings popularly known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican-born Pan-African propagandist and organizer, established his headquarters in New York City after coming to the U.S. in 1916. By 1920, his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) had gained the membership and support of millions throughout the U.S. the Caribbean and Central America.

In 1921, Du Bois sought to organize another Pan-African Congress, known as the second, through a succession of meetings in London, Brussels and Paris. The editor of the Crisis Magazine of the NAACP, worked to build a broader representation for the movement. He would invite people from various geo-political regions of the world to the meetings that did convene in England, Belgium and France during August and September of that year.

At the meeting there were 113 delegates who attended, forty-one of which originated from the African continent, thirty-five from the U.S., twenty-four living in Europe and seven more with Caribbean nationalities. Much emphasis was placed on condemning the atrocities committed by the Belgian colonial authorities in Congo where millions were slaughtered during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

By 1923, Addie W. Hunton had focused her attention on the world peace movement seeing a direct link between the ending of imperialist war and national liberation of the colonial territories as well as the African American people. A secretariat was established in Paris in the aftermath of the 1921 Congress which gained limited success. By 1923, the funding for the Pan-African Movement was largely carried out by the International Women’s Circle for Peace and Foreign Relations which made it possible for Du Bois to travel to London and Lisbon for the holding of the Third Pan-African Congress.

Du Bois sought to hold another Pan-African Congress, considered the fourth, in 1925. However, the venture gained insufficient support for it to be realized. The Circle for Peace and Foreign Relations took up the cause in 1925 pledging to raise the funds for the convening of the Fourth Congress in New York City in August 1927.

Du Bois was forced to admit in 1955 that: “In 1927, American Negro women revived the Congress idea and a fourth Pan-African Congress was held in New York. Thirteen countries were represented, but direct African participation lagged. There were two hundred eight delegates from twenty-two American states and ten foreign countries. Africa was sparsely represented by representatives from the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, Chief Amoah II of the Gold Coast, and Anthropologist like Herskovits, then at Columbia, and Mensching of Germany and John Vandercook were on the program.” (Du Bois taken from Pan-Africanism: A Mission in My Life, 1955)

In an article published by the New York Amsterdam News on August 23, it reported: “For the afternoon the Congress considered African Missions, with Coralie Franklin Cook in the chair. Helen Curtis gave the principal address, in which the missionary opportunities were stressed. She believes that the responsibility of Africa’s redemption rests with the Negro race in America. She pleaded that hard economic opportunities and climatic conditions as arresting agents of the native’s progress. She thought that the churches carrying on missionary labors ought to be diligent in sending supplies and money promptly and ought to pay the workers’ living wage.”

The Congress was convened on August 21, 1927 and lasted until the August 24. There was an impressive list of members, hosts and speakers for the event.

Proceedings were held in several churches throughout the city. Thousands were in attendance over the course of four days. Although there were 208 official delegates, mass participation at the venues were estimated at 5,000 people. This was the largest of such Pan-African gathering since the New York UNIA-ACL Convention of 1920 and the Chicago Congress on Africa held in 1893.

Delegates to the Fourth Pan-African Congress passed resolutions and made demands on the imperialist powers. The gathering reaffirmed the manifestos of the previously held Congresses.

The Congress once again upheld the rights of Africans to land, universal suffrage, and quality education. Delegates called for all Africans to be recognized “as civilized men despite differences of birth, race or color.” The participants rejected the U.S. occupation of Haiti as well as the continuing white minority rule in South Africa. They demanded genuine liberation and sovereignty for Egypt, emphasizing that imperialism was incompatible with democracy.

There was support given to the League Against Imperialism and Colonial Oppression which had held a conference in Belgium earlier that year in February. The resolution was motivated by Richard B. Moore, then a lead organizer in the Communist Party in the U.S. The League Against Imperialism and Colonial Oppression was aligned with the Communist International based in Moscow of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and was headed by German Communist Willi Muzenberg.

Conclusion

It would be another eighteen years before the Fifth Pan-African Congress was held in Manchester, England in October 1945. This event ushered in a new phase of anti-colonial militancy leading to the advances in the national independence movements of the late 1940s through the 1970s.

Nonetheless, interest in continental affairs among African Americans and Caribbean Africans would continue during the 1930s, particularly as a result of the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935. Both Communist and Nationalist organizations in the U.S. advocated against the role of Italy in Abyssinia leading to a rebellion in Harlem.

In Britain, C.L.R. James along with George Padmore and Amy Ashwood Garvey, would establish the International African Service Bureau (IASB) in the late 1930s. In the U.S., the Council on African Affairs (CAA) was formed by Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Max Yergan in 1937. Later, William Alpheus Hunton, Jr., the son of Addie W. Hunton, became the executive secretary of the CAA in 1943, working full time for African liberation until the mid-1950s when the CAA was dissolved due to government repression. Hunton would spend several months in prison for refusing to turn over documents to the government seeking to prove that the organization was a front for the Communist Party.

Hunton, who held a Ph.D from New York University, resigned from his academic career at Howard University to devote his complete attention to African solidarity work beginning in 1943. Prompted by the Rand Miners’ strike of 1946, thousands of people were mobilized for a rally at Madison Square Garden in New York in support of the African workers.

In 1957, he published his classic work, “Decision in Africa: Sources of the Current Conflict”, which prefigured the academic work of Walter Rodney of Guyana, whose “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, published in 1972 in Tanzania, had a tremendous impact on the overall perspectives of African revolutionaries in relationship to imperialism.

Hunton left the U.S. in 1960 to settle in Guinea-Conakry under the leadership of President Ahmed Sekou Toure, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG). Later he would move to Ghana under the leadership of President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of the Convention People’s Party (CPP). He joined W.E.B. Du Bois, who had become a citizen of the country, in establishing the Encyclopedia Africana Project in 1962. Hunton left Ghana after the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. State Department engineered coup against the CPP government in February 1966. He died in Zambia in 1970.

Women played an instrumental role in both the formation of the Pan-African Movement from the late 19th century through the national liberation struggles of the middle to late 20th century. In Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Guinea, Algeria, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other states, women were at the forefront of the independence efforts in the areas of mass mobilization, political education, armed struggle and national reconstruction.

In the U.S., it was the activities of women such as Mamie Till Mobley, Rosa L. Parks, Jo Ann Robinson, Ella Baker, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer, Septima Clark, Gloria Richardson, among many others, who provided the social impetus for the reemergence of the Civil Rights and Black Power struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. Since the 1960s and 1970s, consciousness related to the essential role of women in popular movements and intellectual culture has grown immensely.

This review of the philosophical and political contributions of women as it relates to the organizational origins of Pan-Africanism from the 1890s to the conclusion of the 1920s provides a glimpse of the significance of these issues. Much more work is needed by scholars, journalists and activists in uncovering and exposing this important history to wider audiences including emerging generations of revolutionaries within the western industrialized states and the broader world.

Posted in USAComments Off on Post Slavery Feminist Thought and the Pan-African Struggle (1892-1927): From Anna J. Cooper to Addie W. Hunton

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