Category Archives: Donald Trump

Project Mayhem

In the brilliant but flawed David Fincher film Fight Club, based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, Tyler Durden’s (Brad Pitt) underground boxing club reconfigures itself into something called “Project Mayhem,” a skulking, surreptitious program to wreak havoc on the consumerist hive of corporate America. Typical projects included mandates to “destroy a piece of corporate art and trash a franchise coffee bar” in a single act and set skyscraper offices on fire to create a fiery smiley face when viewed from afar. Project Mayhem eventually has committee meetings for arson, assault, mischief, and misinformation. The overarching goal is to “break up civilization so [they] can make something better of the world.”

U.S. imperialism is Project Mayhem writ large—minus the populist conviction. The objectives are eerily similar: Washington’s imperialists, also called ‘globalists’, want to break up civilization so they can better exploit it. Arson (see Grenfell Tower), assault (see Iraq, Syria, and Libya), mischief (see color revolutions galore), and misinformation (see western media) all play key roles in the global vision of Project Mayhem. The ‘transnational cartel of capitalists, bankers, and landowners’ are monomaniacs, addicted to an ideology of full spectrum dominance. Planetary conquest, largely effected by despoiling the comparative calm in foreign lands, loosing mayhem on the streets, betrayal among elites, and environmental devastation in the soils. And like the Fight Club anarchists, but unlike the colonial empires, the globalists in recent years have had to shift their project underground, thanks to the quite visible wreckage of the Iraqi state, which has soured the public’s attitude toward humanitarian or pre-emptive wars. Better a covert CIA than a high-handed Raj.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has usefully called Project Mayhem an ongoing program of “managed chaos.” Since the Iraqi fiasco, the powers of the imperial north have been busily confecting fresh pathogens by which to infect the body politic of independent countries with the virus of imperialism. In parallel, the mainstream media have occasioned fresh storylines to justify the new lines of attack, invigorating a war-weary populace with a freshet of novel threats and lumbering ogres that must be vanquished to save western civilization. To paraphrase Paul Craig Roberts, the think tanks plan it, the media sells it, and the government does it.

Proxy armies, disinformation, and special forces

Today’s globalists have a historical precedent to help them glove their iron fist: In the aftermath of Vietnam, the country had no stomach for more imperial adventure. President Carter and his consigliore Zbigniew Brzezinski conceived of an ingenious plan to ensnare the reviled Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Brzezinski wanted to show Moscow what happens when an arrogant power bungles its way into some exotic Asian backwater. The U.S. certainly knew. The Carter administration, through backchannels and covert means, massively supported and expanded Islamic resistance to secular governance in Kabul. (Anything secular or quasi-nationalist during the Cold War was instantly branded as communist and targeted for destabilization by the paranoid clans of DC ideologues.) The Soviets took the bait and suffered their own Vietnam. Not surprisingly, the wanton jihadists we nurtured in Afghanistan have with the continual assistance of Saudi zealots bequeathed us new generations of battle-hardened terrorists spawned in the Afghan steppes.

President Obama, an astute observer of history, mimicked the Carter approach as he sanctioned a Syria strategy that flooded the secular nation with fierce and puritanical takfiri. Rather than invade with some gaudy Shock and Awe campaign designed to wow hearts and minds, Obama preferred to have his personal paramilitary, the CIA, organize and train terrorists that could be injected like a virus into Syria, on the sly. Saudi Arabia, always happy to fund extremism and any sort of violence that disturbs the cantankerous mullahs in Tehran, would pay the terrorists’ salaries. Turkey would fly them in from China and provide safe harbor for caravans of jihadists from Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, as would Washington lapdog Jordan. Israel would treat their wounded and occasionally act as Al Qaeda’s air force. The profiteering American defense industry would build the weapons that the Pentagon would then ship to the Saudis for distribution among the terrorists. The mainstream media and State Department press flacks would characterize the terrorists as “moderate rebels”. Even ISIS terrorists would be called “militants,” not unlike descriptions of progressive political movements in the U.S., such as Black Lives Matters or various Bernie Sanders contingents. (Israel’s Yinon Plan is the closest strategic footing for the current destabilizing tactics employed by Washington in the Middle East, though divide-and-conquers strategies date to Philip of Macedonia.)

The strategy has largely worked out for the imperialists, minus the lofty regime change goal. Syria has been dragged into a devastating half-decade of slaughter and strife. Some 500,000 people have died. More than six million have been internally displaced and nearly five million are externalized refugees. The Syrian state has been fractured. And it is likely that northeastern Syria will wind up as a jihadist launching pad–micromanaged by Washington–for continued harassment of Syria but also a staging ground for eastward actions aimed through northern Iraq at Iran, the ultimate regional prize.

To help direct these proxy forces, Mr. Obama boosted the use of Special Operations Forces (SOF) by some 125 percent during his tenure. But this clandestine dragnet of military trainers and highly-trained soldiers was globally cast and not limited to the Syrian theater. SOFs are now deployed in 70 percent of the world’s countries. Their ranks include commandos and officers from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Navy Seals, Army Green Berets, among other highly trained…militants. Lightning commandos assail Shabab cells in Somalia. Special ops commanders advise and embed with Kurds in Syria. SOFs interrogate Houthi rebels on ships off the coast of Yemen. These shadowy legates of Obama’s covert legacy conduct counterinsurgency ops in such remote locales as Mongolia, Laos, and Tajikistan.

Our Little Backyard

But having SOFs direct terrorist armies from embedded command centers isn’t the only form of destabilization promoted by the Obama administration. There are other means. Latin America provides a particularly instructive incubator for the one percent’s gang of neoliberals to experiment with vulnerable economies. Empire Files host Abby Martin recently traveled to Venezuela to report on the “opposition” campaign to unseat Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian successor, Nicolas Maduro, and derail the Chavistas’ efforts to turn Venezuela’s mixed economy into a proper socialist one. Martin’s interview with Venezuela’s Minister of Economic Planning, Ricardo Menéndez, sheds some valuable light on the covert tactics employed by Washington to destabilize the country.

Washington isn’t deploying commandos to have socialists ”removed from the battlefield,” like the clumsy Reaganite neocons of the Eighties did with their merciless Central American contra wars. Instead, it has used international finance, commodity supply chains and hoarding, the black market, commodity price deflation, and mobilizing splenetic one-percent activists to debilitate the Venezuelan economy. Desired effects include essential-goods shortages, hyperinflation, and street violence.

Though working to diversify, Venezuela’s economy is still built on oil revenues. Thanks in part to Washington’s quid pro quo with Riyadh to deflate oil prices, the Venezuelan economy has plummeted 87 percent since last year. Runaway inflation, negative economic growth (predicted to be over 5.8 percent in 2017), a 40 percent drop in imports last year, huge food scarcities, a self-induced exchange rate disaster, and violence in the streets. Western media blames most of this on overdependence on oil and on socialism, which Washington is keen to undermine.

Of course, in Venezuela most companies are still privately owned. Hugo Chavez never fully socialized the economy, but generated a mixed economy that prioritized the needs of the majority. According to Menéndez, from 1998 to 2012, this model helped double the country’s consumption metrics. The economic ministry also lifted wages to account for rises in the consumer price index. Menéndez gave an interesting clarification: the Venezuelan constitution permits the state and private sector to exist one alongside the other. What it rejects is monopoly capitalism which, of course, is the capitalism practiced by the one percent.

The numbers from the Chavez era are impressive. Social investment during the Bolivarian era has grown from 39 percent to 74 percent of the nation’s total revenue. Part of that is vocational and university education. The number of working class citizens to receive state-funded education during the Chavez-Maduro tenure jumped from 900,000 to more than 4M. The number of people with college degrees quadrupled, without the suffocating debt that American degree holders face. The government claims that primary education increased from a pool of 500,000 to 2.8M today, that some 4M children are enrolled in the school food program, which has doubled primary school enrollment from 45 percent of children to 90 percent. Additionally, social pensions for the elderly increased from 370,000 to 3.2M. The Maduro government has built 1.6M homes in just the last four years and sold them into the population at affordable prices.

Currency attacks, extraction smuggling, opposition funding, and sanctions

But those kinds of social metrics are precisely what the globalists do not want to see—cue the dread domino effect, by which neighboring nations find themselves ineluctably drawn into the demented web of socialist experimentation. So death to the regime must be administered by a thousand small cuts:

  • State Department funding of fund violent opposition parties like those of Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez, and numerous others; the street guarimbas, or violent protests, are inevitably blamed on the ‘authoritarian regime’ and also inevitably lead to crackdowns, as panicked federal forces resort to brutal violence themselves. The opposition refused to recognize the 2013 election outcomes despite zero evidence of fraud. They were effectively eschewing the ballot box, largely because they’d lost 15 of 16 elections since the Bolivarian Movement took power. Opposition, and its imperial backers, obviously see violence and destabilization as better path to power than the vote.
  • Not only this, but Washington, using its ages-old divide-and-conquer tactic, has rallied regional governments against Caracas. The deeply compromised Human Rights Watch is admonishing Brazil, of all countries, to advise Venezuela on human rights, one of the more farcical instances of the entire fraud.
  • Not only this, but the Trump administration is planning “a steady drumbeat of sanctions” against Venezuela, including unilateral asset freezes and travel bans, some of which are evidence-free.
  • Barack Obama’s repeated declarations during his presidency that Venezuela was a grave threat to the United States were an open threat to left-leaning governments in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Underscoring the apparent absurdity of these official pronouncements, Menéndez added that the Venezuelan army has not left the frontier since the time of Simon Bolivar. But Obama wasn’t talking about the military; he was signaling without say so that Chavez had turned Venezuela into an economic threat to the U.S. imperial project. Under Venezuelan influence, regional associations excluding the U.S. were formed, including ALBA, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, CELAC. Obama recognized Latin America was beginning to move past the neoliberal ideologies of the Washington Consensus and, as a trusty servant of the one percent, felt obliged to add Caracas to his hit list.

In Martin’s interview with Menéndez, he talked about financial tactics being employed by capitalist opposition to destabilize the country:

  • Bolivars are being physically removed from the country to produce inflation and debilitate the common consumer’s ability to make cash payments, something Menéndez calls “extraction smuggling.”
  • Not only is there an artificially induced shortage of cash, but there are consumer goods shortages as well. These are produced by denying supply chain access to base materials and by hoarding inventories. Menéndez notes that shortages tend to affect only critical lifestyle products like diapers, toilet paper, sanitary napkins for women, and so on, but not paper towels or other less crucial products. The government has tried to dodge this deliberate sabotage by producing a basket of essential goods and selling them directly into the population at considerable discounts from the inflated prices created by the induced shortages.
  • Likewise, international finance unavailable because the DC-backed opposition and the U.S. Treasury Department is advising international lenders to suspend making international financing available to the Maduro government–to Venezuela itself.

Perhaps Menéndez was fudging data and inventing stories just like our government and its supplicant media does. But there’s evidence for hoarding, deterring loans, and shortages of cash, though the latter also has plenty to do with the government’s mismanagement of the currency. But the economic war on Venezuela is real. Which is what Menéndez alluded to when he appeared to appeal directly to Washington, “Respect our sovereignty so we can apply our own model (of economic development).” But as the history of the region, in fact, the planet, shows, that is asking a lot of a global hegemon with planetary ambitions and an evangelical ideology hell-bent on planting the flag of its own model in every alien soil. Discrediting the media narrative that rationalizes predatory imperialism is essential, since it is media control that defangs democracy, sanding down its teeth to nubs that can neither bite nor chew. The hollowed infrastructures of the demos become vehicles of elite power. Yet they retain the mien of populism. This deceit, these conceits, must be opposed, win or lose. For, as author Chris Hedges said in Seattle two years ago, “Resistance is not about what we achieve, but what it allows us to become.” We are either servants of empire, however passive, or active dissidents, however outnumbered.

The Rise and Rise of the Regime Renovators (Another Splendid Little Coup)

It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave.

US Secretary of State John Hay, defining the Spanish-American War of 1898, in a letter to Theodore Roosevelt, July 27 of that year, the war ushering in America’s Imperial era and unequivocally heralding its hegemonic ambitions.

…I’ve seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate [people]….[We’re there] to conquer, not to redeem. It should be our pleasure and duty to make people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions their own way….I’m opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

Comments by Mark Twain, anti-imperialist, reflecting on the real objectives of America’s war with Spain.

War is the continuation of politics by other means…

Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general, military theorist

Politics is the continuation of war by other means…

—  Michel Foucault, French philosopher, social theorist

Synopsis

For those Americans au fait with their country’s fondness for engineering coups, ousting democratically elected leaders, and interfering in the political affairs of other nations – to all intents the perennial bedrock principle of U.S. foreign policy — Iran is a well-documented exemplar. Given the supreme ironies inherent in the political imbroglio in the U.S. attending Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, along with America’s resolve to seek once again regime change in Russia’s ally Iran, it’s timely we revisit this slice of history. Doing so presents us an opportunity to view the so-called ‘Russia-gate’ furore, the Iran regime change ambitions, and the increasingly bloody war in Syria –- itself an ally of both Russia and Iran — within a broader, more nuanced historical context. From there we might derive a more informed perspective on the contemporary geopolitical zeitgeist and the hegemonic forces that have fashioned it. And attending that deeper perspective should be a sure sign of the existential dangers for civilization and humanity at large of allowing our leaders in the West to continue down this path unchallenged, one that is as well-worn as it’s fraught with peril.

In Regime Change, We Trust

For those folks with the requisite sense of irony and historical perspective, many will be rolling their eyes at the rampant hysteria over the as yet evidence-free accusations of interference by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Which is to say, one of the manifest realities attending this latest Beltway blockbuster soap opera is that of America’s own track record of interference in the affairs of other countries, comprising as it does so many forms. I say “realities” rather than ironies here as “irony” almost by definition is infused with a measure of nuance and subtlety, neither of which could it be said are in abundance in this utterly contrived, self-serving political fracas. (For a further measure of just how “contrived” and “self-serving” it is, see herehere, here, and here.)

Insofar as Russia’s alleged meddling in U.S. politics goes and the animus that attends the hysteria, as Oliver Stone discovered during his recent appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert – itself hot on the heels of his much publicised four hour meet ‘n greet with Russian president Vladimir Putin wherein it was earlier raised – he was at pains to impress upon his host that Israel had a much bigger case to answer than did Russia.

Of course, Stone was on the money here. The unalloyed reality of the power and influence that Israel exerts within and across the morally and ethically desertified landscape that is the nation’s capital is a given, with the Middle East’s only ‘democratic’ settler-colonizer apartheid regime leaving few stones unturned – and exhibiting little discretion and subtlety but equal parts chutzpah and subterfuge — in how it wields then leverages that influence to its advantage and against the interests of its principal patron and benefactor.

But that’s clearly a narrative that doesn’t bode well in the Beltway at the best of times, and more rational, clear-eyed folks know the reasons why. For one, the corporate media, for the most part doesn’t entertain such verities. Even if they were inclined, the omnipotent Israel Lobby would cut them off at the knees. And for his part, the ever-smarmy Colbert, presumably aware which side his bread is buttered on, was reluctant to take Stone’s bait, much it seemed to his interviewee’s frustration.

Beyond just interfering in U.S. politics, along with the parent Empire la perfide Albion, one of America’s steadfast partners-in-crime in the regime renovation business are the ubiquitous and iniquitous Israelis, an observation underscored by Against our Better Judgment author Alison Weir on her blog If Americans Knew. Long targeted by Israel, for Weir, Iran especially provides an instructive example herein. With the Saudis as back-up, it is Israel — ably supported by its Praetorian Guard AIPAC and its ilk along with its shills in Congress – that’s been the hard-core driver of Washington’s seemingly irrational animus towards all things Iran. Along with underscoring Israel’s clout in Washington, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2015 Congressional dog ‘n pony show fiercely opposing the Iran Nuclear agreement then being negotiated by the Obama administration provides some of the best evidence for this.

And indeed, it’s another of Washington’s worst best-kept secrets that – the nuclear agreement aside — Iran remains a high priority on the ‘to do’ list for the Regime Renovators. (See also herehere, and here.) In addition to the relentless propaganda campaign pursued by Israel the aim of which is to paint Iran as the existential threat du jour, despite the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies and others in the know don’t support the allegations about its mythical nuclear weapons program, Weir had the following to say:

Israel and the U.S. deployed a computer virus against Iran in what’s been called the world’s first digital weapon. Iranian nuclear physicists [were] assassinated by Israel, and the U.S. instituted a blockade against Iran that caused food insecurity and mass suffering among the country’s civilians. (Such a blockade can be seen as an act of war.) Democratic Congressman and Israel partisan Brad Sherman admitted the objective of the sanctions: “Critics of sanctions argue that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that.”

Most folks then who don’t dine out on the McDonald’s (‘would you like lies with that?’) media diet that is the corporate news are as well aware of Uncle Sam’s recidivistic predisposition towards meddling in the affairs of other nations, engineering coups and colour revolutions, and ousting democratically elected leaders as they are of the bespoke misinformation and disinformation – the ‘real’ fake news – that’s tailored to suit the official narrative that goes with it.

Along with the ongoing Syrian War, the 2014 Ukraine coup is one of the most egregious, more recent examples of this, with again Stone’s confab avec Putin providing an alternative perspective on both counts. Yet even here the majority of Americans would attribute the Ukraine crisis to “Russian aggression” and the Syrian War largely to Bashar Assads ‘despotism’; it’s simply what they are told by the MSM, and insofar as they’re concerned [they] have little reason to doubt this. Much the same goes for the Iran WMD narrative, despite the fact that we’ve heard that one before with Iraq around fifteen years ago.

And all of this mayhem and chaos is premised on exporting freedom, democracy, justice, liberty, human rights, and the rule of law, all of the things that America is purportedly so accomplished in embracing on the home front, albeit more so in the breach than in the observance. What makes U.S. transgressions so much more brazen in this respect is the hypocritical, fraudulent and existentially dangerous nature of the umbrage and pique being directed towards countries like Iran, Syria and, especially Russia and China.

And what makes the righteous animus being served up to the latter nations in particular so frightening and so portentous is that it’s wholly reminiscent of the hegemonic mindset directed towards Germany by the high-minded mandarins of the British Empire in the two decades leading up to the War to End all Wars. By 1914, even for that small cohort of folks who might’ve smelt the imperial rat, it was too late, of course, for them and for so many others. In this few other imperially motivated gambits have been more consequential or more far-reaching across time and space, a conclusion we can safely draw with all the benefit one hundred plus years of hindsight brings.

As for today’s “cohort” of news consumers, it is much the same: Such awareness is embraced only by a small minority of people with most blissfully ignorant of their country’s inability or unwillingness to, well, mind its own bloody business. They are as equally oblivious to the economic, social, physical and political havoc, mayhem, and destruction it creates in the process, sometimes catastrophically so. Whilst the events of 9/11 might’ve otherwise provided a visceral reality check in this regard for most Americans of the blowback that frequently attends its own country’s meddling, very few would’ve been prepared or motivated to engage in any ‘cause and effect’ reflection therein, much less act in sync with that.

Yet we might opine here that given the frenzied state of America’s own internal affairs – to say nothing of the hysterical incoherence and farcical irrationality of the public discourse that has seemingly become a permanent fixture of U.S. political and media forums, the Russia-gate affair being all the evidence ones needs to underscore this – there’d be numerous benefits to be gained from doing just that. Minding its own “bloody business” that is.

And let there be no mistaking it, what an assuredly “bloody business” regime renovation is. For the ‘cognitive dissidents’ disbelieving or doubtful of the extent or measure of this geopolitical mischief, in a recent PressTV interview focusing on America’s history of interfering in Iran’s political affairs in particular, former NSA intelligence linguist Scott Rickard is one amongst many of his professional ilk who dispels such scepticism or uncertainty with unadorned veracity:

[Americans] have been probably one of the most notorious nations behind the United Kingdom in manipulating not only elections but also overthrowing governments around the world for decades.

As Rickard observes, to this day the U.S. continues nation-building in other states, sells weapons in massive scales, and pours bombs on other nations in order to ‘carry out its regime-change policy throughout the world.’ This, to say little of the proxy wars and false-flag events to which errant countries are subject (such as in Syria), psy-ops and the like (in Venezuela), and the economic sanctions frequently applied by Washington, of which both Russia and Iran to this day are also subjected to, and which themselves are often part of the arsenal used against countries not complying with Washington’s diktats. On the latter, it’s enough to recall how the sanctions imposed during the 90s against Iraq after the Gulf War under the Clinton administration played out. For confirmation of this, one only needs ask Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s then Secretary of State, who in a ‘Kissingeresque’ display of imperial hubris as pitiless as it was asthma-inducing, averred [that], “[yes, we think] it was worth it”.

To be sure then, Uncle Sam’s “track record’ in this respect is as well documented and [as] well known as it’s abhorred by most commentators in the alternative media space and their more enlightened readers. At the same time it’s one subject that doesn’t raise an eyebrow much less a mention from those in the mainstream media (MSM) universe, no matter how pertinent it might be to the narrative in hand. It’s another of what I’ve come to calling the ‘no-fly-zones’ of conventional political discourse and public debate. Given the degree of complicity of the corporate media in facilitating these coups, proxy wars, false-flag attacks, and colour revolutions, then camouflaging them as something entirely different from what they really represent is, whilst reprehensible and indefensible, understandable.

Kermit’s ‘Sesame Street’ Coup

Interestingly, Rickard’s remark was prompted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s most recent statements about the U.S. seeking regime change in Teheran as all but a matter of public policy with marginally less fervor than they are accusing Moscow of meddling in their own democratic processes in last year’s election.

Again, for those folks “in the know”, the very mention of the words “regime change” and “Iran” in the same breath will also summon pronto a profound sense of déjà vu. As with the little known 1975 Australian coup (the details of which to be unveiled in a future ‘episode’ of The Regime Renovators), it was Britain (MI6) and the U.S. (the CIA) in a tag team play that cut its teeth in a joint-venture partnership back in Iran in 1953.

Now the much-cited Iran experience is worthy of deeper exploration, if only because this exercise in regime change later turned out to be doubly ironic in a ‘reap what you sow’ kinda way, but not necessarily as the received wisdom would have us believe. We’ll return to this point shortly, but for context and perspective, the 1953 Iran adventure again begs for another trip down memory lane, especially given all the chatter about the U.S returning to the ‘scene of the crime’.

Placing to one side an early dress rehearsal in Syria in 1949, the 1953 Iran coup was the first post-War exercise in regime renovation upon the part of Anglo-American alliance — one which officially at least was only just admitted to by the CIA after decades of not so plausible denial – when they successfully conspired to relieve the democratically elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh from the burdens of power. The CIA and MI6 jointly embarked on a plan to stage a coup that would ensure that the West maintained control over the country’s vast oil reserves (shades of things to come). This coup is widely believed to have provided the ‘business model’ and the bravado for future coups by the CIA during the Cold War, including in Guatemala in 1954, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1961, and the ill-fated attempted coup in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs (BOP) in 1961, where the renovators’ business model came spectacularly unstuck.

In true CIA custom, in Iran not everything went according to plan. The man who would be Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, by all accounts something of a reluctant usurper, succumbed to ‘stage fright’ at the eleventh hour and did an unexpected runner to Italy. But the CIA quickly recovered its composure and schlepped their ‘under-study’ back in time for the opening night curtain raiser of the new regime. For both the CIA and the Shah, who went on to rule his country with an iron, bloody fist avec unerring American support for almost twenty-five years, in true show business fashion, everything was ‘all right on the night’; the Shah’s show went on to enjoy an extended run with generally positive reviews.

(That most of these “reviews” were written by the Iranian intelligence agency SAVAK, the Shah’s political and security muscle throughout his ‘regime’, is axiomatic, especially since writing was apparently one activity SAVAK agents both excelled at and enjoyed. Their torture manuals were as notorious for their meticulously detailed brutality as for their invention.)

Interestingly, the CIA’s Iranian operation was directed by none other than Kermit (Kim) Roosevelt, the grandson of former Republican president Teddy Roosevelt (he of the “walk softly, carry a big stick” fame), and a not too distant cousin of former Democratic president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). At the time Roosevelt was the senior spook in The Company’s Middle-East station (he’d been recruited by no less a personality than Frank “The Mighty Wurlitzer” Wisner), and was their point man on the ground in overseeing the Iranian adventure, dubbed Operation Ajax. Despite his name, for Teddy’s ‘grand-sprog’ this was no Sesame Street romp. No sirree, Bob! This was serious spy shit.

Notwithstanding the apparent success of the mission, the coup was to have profound, far-reaching, and plain scary, geopolitical, economic and national security consequences for the US and the West in general. For starters just ask Jimmy Carter for further confirmation of this, and for any still standing and in control of their metacognitive faculties, go from there president by president! (Although the execrable Albright sort of apologised to Iran in 2000 – possibly the closest thing to a mea culpa ever offered by the U.S. for their wayward imperial ways – it didn’t apparently count for much.)

Yet one of the most enlightening revelations about Kermit’s coup was the following. In his must-read book a Century of War, Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, F William Engdahl recounted the less familiar story that the demise of the Shah (aka the ‘Peacock Potentate’) was engineered by the same forces that brought him into power in the first place. As we know this went on to produce sizable blowback for the U.S. with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The much reviled Shah had for a variety of reasons outlived his usefulness, with the onset of the 1979 oil crisis presenting said forces both the ideal opportunity and pretext – albeit according to Engdahl, one largely manufactured in this case — to proceed to the next phase of their (ahem) Persian renovation project.

From this then we might safely deduce the subsequent ‘79 Revolution, the storming of the U.S. embassy in Teheran, along with the kidnapping of the embassy personnel (a world changing event by any measure), was not what many have deemed an organic — nor an entirely predictable — development for those who’d decided the Shah has passed his use by date. Moreover, the reality (there’s that word again) of ‘client-dictators’ overstaying their ‘welcome’ will be one familiar to ‘buffs’ of Uncle Sam’s regime change history, with the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2002, again on prefabricated pretexts and for not dissimilar reasons, providing a most consequential exemplar thereof.

According to the author, in 1978 President Carter named diplomat George Ball to head a White House task force under the direction of Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, the proud, now recently departed, father of Islamic terrorism and patron saint of jihadists. In doing so, Carter effectively gave Brzezinski the nod on opening another Pandora’s Box in the Greater Middle East, and as the Law of Moral Causation (trade name: ‘karma’) would have it, [this] brought about the president’s own political demise. As Engdahl explains it:

Ball recommended Washington drop support for the Shah and support the fundamentalist Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini…and the CIA led a coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power 25 years earlier. The coup against the Shah, like that against Mossadegh in 1953, was run by British and American intelligence, with the bombastic Brzezinski taking public ‘credit’ for getting rid of the ‘corrupt’ Shah, while the British characteristically remained safely in the background.

When You’re on a Good Thing (Stick to the Knitting)

Notwithstanding the blowback from the 1953 Iran coup and the later blowback from the removal of the Shah over a quarter century later, little has changed. The disastrous Bay of Pigs operation in 1961 and the subsequent, near catastrophic Cuban Missile Crisis the following year deriving from the failure of even that monumentally inept regime change manoeuvre evidently provided few lessons for the Renovators then or their political progeny since. At the same time it underscored in effect what had become the bedrock principle of American foreign policy and Great Power Projection. Which is to say, for its part the U.S. still engages in this tried and true, one-size-fits-all foreign policy gambit, bringing to mind that old adage ‘when you’re on a good thing, stick to it!’

Whilst the motivations for the Iranian coup were nominally economic (the government of the time was making noises about nationalizing the Iranian oil industry), there was also the strategic geopolitical considerations in the U.S. that Iran might come within the sphere of Soviet influence, thereby severely limiting the West’s hegemony in the region, an outcome one imagines would’ve delivered an unacceptable blow to America’s still incipient imperial id.

There was also a certain amount of fear that Iranian communists might gain control of the political situation, or even that the Soviets might overtake the country, either the stuff of American and British nightmares or over-egged paranoia. Certainly the Americans were never too keen on the Soviets crashing their party anywhere, especially so in this region. Like the British before them, the U.S. has always been quite territorial about other people’s territory, especially when said “territory” involved oil, or any other strategic commodity or geopolitical consideration. Whether this fear was rational given the reality at the time and the available intelligence is a subject many still debate.

As we’ve seen with this and so many others, the reasons for the coup were fueled less by the ostensibly lofty ideological concerns related to the Cold War (freedom versus tyranny anyone?) than they were to less lofty considerations such as greed, self-preservation and national pride and one or three other Deadly Imperial Sins. To be sure it seems reasonable to assume that the Soviets – cunning devils that they were – were ‘geeing’ the Iranians up to nationalize their oil industry in order to put the wind up the British and the Americans in turn. It’s clear now that the CIA and the British, along with their fellow travelers in the then (Harry) Truman administration in the years leading up to the coup, were leveraging the Cold War sentiment of the time in order to camouflage the real reasons for seeking regime change in Iran (shades of things.)

At all events, then president Truman evidently saw the Iranian plot coming from the bottom of the ‘too-risky’ basket and didn’t drag the chain on rejecting it. Whatever his achievements, for his part the former failed Missouri haberdasher was always going to be known as the man who nodded the dropping of the Big Ones on Japan, and rarely demurred in claiming the bragging rights. Now whether he was right or wrong in doing this is a ‘what-if’ moment for another time, but insofar as the Iran “moment” went, for this reason he might’ve had a keen eye on how said ‘mo’ in history might be judged. Either way, by deep-sixing the CIA’s plans we might surmise that in doing so it inspired his oft-quoted dictum ‘the buck stops here’. Because it only delayed the renovators’ momentum though, his ‘call’ was to no avail; said “buck” remained in play only as long as he was POTUS.

When Kermit (Kim) Roosevelt, became Republican president in 1953, all bets were off (or on, depending on your view) Ike was more simpatico than Truman to the Iran coup, and evidently got ‘jiggy’ with it without a lot of arm-twisting. This was especially after the plotters – principally Allen Dulles, the then CIA director, and his big brother Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was the Cabinet pitchman for the pro-coup team, played the ‘commie’ card with Ike. For his part the elder Dulles, who played a Richelieu-like role in U.S. affairs of the time, was once quoted as saying that “the USA doesn’t have friends, it has interests”, tantamount to a foreign policy positioning statement, and as we’ve seen one which these days – with the notable exception of Israel — still finds ample favour in and around the Beltway.

In any event, Ike didn’t just take the commie bait hook, line and sinker, by all accounts he swam upstream to chow down on it. With Joe McCarthy and his ilk riding high in the polls and anti-communist fervour at fever pitch, such was the temper of the Cold War times. It wasn’t the first time the ‘commie’ card was played in this game, and it certainly would not be the last; like the one-size-fits-all terrorist threat that followed the Cold War’s end, it was used as cover for a multitude of foreign policy sins and proved a remarkably flexible rationale for the various misadventures of the CIA’s on-going, flagship regime renovation program.

(Interestingly, like JFK was to do with Cuba eight years later, Ike inherited, and eventually agreed to, a CIA-inspired regime transition plot that was hatched during the previous administration, but for one reason or another never got off the ground, this being one of those spooky déjà vu moments in the overall narrative of The Company which is to say, when Ike came to power, the principal coup plot du jour was Iran. With JFK, it was Cuba. Needless to say, in a ‘same horse, different cowboy’ kinda way, it underscores how little changes from one administration to the next.)

Why Do they Hate US So Much? (What’s there Not to Like?)

As for the Iranian coup, it achieved the dubious distinction of being the first and best example of CIA intervention in the sovereign affairs of another country, an experiment that would be repeated over and over with wildly varying degrees of success (the measure of which depended as much on one’s definition of what “success” entailed in such matters as it did on one’s perspective on history and political inclinations). The coup not only ushered in almost three decades of despotic, oppressive rule by the Shah propped up by American arms, money and hand-holding. It belatedly ignited the fire of Islamic fundamentalism that itself provided the US with its next great foe after the Soviets eventually threw in the towel, leaving the Americans as the reigning superpower, much like Great Britain after Napolean’s 1815 defeat at Waterloo. That it also provided an answer to a question few people were asking themselves at the time, which was ‘why do they hate us so much?’, is axiomatic, and one which has since then become a recurring motif throughout the Grand American Narrative.

There are some other considerations vis a vis the Iranian coup. One is that it was Kermit Roosevelt – scion of one of America’s most famous political dynasties – who was a driving force behind the planning and execution of Ajax. In the process he contributed to one of the U.S.’s biggest foreign policy misadventures, eventually leading to one of its most disastrous national security crises. It’s uncertain what ‘grandpa’ Teddy or ‘cuzzin’ Franklin would’ve thought of the coup, and herein we can only guess. But the knowledge one of their kin had his fingerprints all over it, especially one which ushered in such dire, enduring consequences for the empire, would’ve possibly had at least one spinning furiously in his eternally designated bolthole.

Secondly, in using the ‘monstrous’ threat of communism as a pretext for the coup, the Americans ultimately created an even bigger monster (terrorism), although it was some time before the reality – if not the realisation – was to come home to roost for them and the rest of the world. (That this turned out to be a blessing in disguise is also a consideration we might address in future episode.) And for those who might wonder why the US became a pariah in Iran particularly, and in the Middle East generally, one might now begin to understand. To underscore this – the notoriously brutal, vicious, sadistic SAVAK – the Shah’s internal security, secret police and intelligence organization was both feared and hated in equal measure.

That SAVAK was like a franchise of the CIA was only part of the story, and on a ‘good day’ it would’ve rivaled the Stasi in East Germany, no mean feat apparently. In fact the Stasi was to the KGB what SAVAK was to the CIA in that both attempted to out-do their respective maestros. As with so many other regimes, juntas and assorted dictatorships, it was CIA (and Mossad) agents who midwifed the establishment of SAVAK, and trained their first generation of agents, including in surveillance, torture and interrogation techniques, and other security and intelligence trade craft. By all accounts, the CIA guys were very good teachers, or the SAVAK folk eager learners. Or both.

When they were eventually shut down, one of the most egregious examples of their sadistic savagery was to be found in their how-to manuals, handbooks and training videos highlighting techniques unique to torturing women. Readers can let their imaginations run wild here, but suffice it to say, the SAVAK spooks were indeed nasty, vile, brutal pieces of work. Iranians who survived the Shah’s wretched rule have long memories and it’s in large part because of the legacy of SAVAK. To this day, many of them understandably still have a huge hard-on for all things Uncle Sam (although surprisingly such animus to this day is more directed at the U.S. political establishment than at the American people, per se).

In any event, by 1979, the Shah’s standing with the long-suffering Iranian people was a train wreck just around the corner, and the anti-American vibe was at its most virulent. At this point, the U.S. left the Shah with his (ahem) plucked Persian peacock pecker swinging in the Mediterranean sea breeze. With little fanfare then, the despised potentate had his gold-leafed throne unceremoniously ‘pulled out’ from under his bling-laden ass which he then barely managed to haul out of Teheran just before the militant ‘mullahs’ surrounded him and presented their soon-to-be former leader with considerably less options than he was used to receiving, nearly all of which would’ve involved, at best, him getting a fleeting glimpse of Allah just outside jannah on his way to eternal damnation.

Following years then of rampant corruption, hubris, breathtaking extravagance, cronyism, human rights abuses, imperious contempt, political and religious oppression, kidnapping, torture, murder, culminating in increasingly deep-seated unpopularity, the Shah’s time had come, this being a pointer to the fate awaiting numerous other future CIA sponsored and US favoured tin-pot tyrants, deplorably demented despots, and cut-rate client-dictators, of whom there’s rarely been any shortage.

For his part, at the height of the crisis, the hapless Carter – who’d unwisely signed off on the hated Shah receiving medical treatment in the U.S. after a number of countries refused to accommodate his pleas for sanctuary — had his effigy burned in Tehran streets for his troubles. By the time the smoke coming out of the filmed wreckage on the six o’clock news of one of the Navy Rescue Team choppers that had crashed in the Iranian desert killing eight crewman after an audacious attempt to free the hostages went tragically wrong had cleared, the former Georgian peanut farmer turned Leader of the Free World was a lame duck, shit-out-of-luck, commander-in-chief. A Bay of Pigs Moment then? Almost certainly! But much worse, if one is inclined to measure “worse” by the blowback. And the BOP blowback was in itself considerable.

In announcing to the American public and the world at large the failure of the mission to free the hostages, Carter – according to the dictates of the unofficial Truman ‘doctrine’ vis a vis where the ‘buck’ stops – took responsibility for the disaster, and even used eerily similar wording to that of JFK when he publicly revealed the outcome of the BOP fiasco. From then on, The Gipper had Carter by the presidential short’n’curlies. In the view of many pundits at the time, the presidential election was ‘all over Rover’, well before a single vote was cast.

And though the Shah’s “ass” was no more with his death in a US hospital in mid-1980, it was ‘all over Rover’ for anyone else still standing. The Embassy ‘squatters’ in Tehran effectively held hostage Carter’s attempt to seek a second term, an outcome facilitated by Ronald Reagan’s campaign team engaging in treasonous back channel finagling with the new Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s henchmen to withhold release of the hostages until after the November presidential election. The objective herein was to preclude an “October Surprise” (an early release of the hostages) that would’ve guaranteed Carter’s re-election.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Burning Down the House (How to Roast a Pig)

With the Gipper’s inevitable victory then, it was one where not just America, but the rest of the world was never to be the same again. None of this is to suggest it ever is in these situations, of which there were few in this case anyway. The Iranian Revolution was more than a revolution then; it was a geopolitical tsunami that swamped a shit-load of people and nations in its wake. In so many respects, the waves are still rippling. And even at this point, one imagines the CIA struggled to understand that blowback of this kind was bad for business, and might continue to undermine its credibility, effectiveness, and morale if it persevered down this path.

As history would have it, this idea never really caught on though. For their part, the Islamic Revolutionaries and their ilk may or may not have had their own version of jihadist karma; if they did they doubtless weren’t averse to providing karma some earthly assistance in order for it to work its magic. The Hostage Crisis was ample evidence of that. And they (or at least their heirs apparent such as ISIS, Al Nusra, et al) still are apparently. That is, keen to give karma a helping hand where and whenever possible. Depending very much, of course, on who their paymaster(s) is/are. Allah be willing, of course!

In rounding things up herein, it is perhaps best to return to Bill Engdahl for some insight into the contemporary significance of the preceding narrative. In a recent interview wherein he addressed the developments taking place within and across the Greater Middle East, for him Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel wasn’t just about arms sales, shoring up their respective alliances, and reasserting America’s influence in the region. It was about, ‘setting events into motion in order to fundamentally alter the present balance of power in the entire Middle East to the greater advantage of the United States and US energy geopolitics.’ By any measure that’s a big call, and not just because it would seem that the U.S. has forfeited much of its prestige, influence, and power over the past decades of its political interventions, its wars of aggression (proxy, hybrid or direct), its bullying, imperious ways, and its unequivocal support of Israel, something that would be required in spades in order to achieve such lofty goals.

For Engdahl, Washington has already bitten off more than it can chew, without considering the ructions taking place between the Saudis, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates in their Mexican standoff with Qatar. This latter development clearly resulted from discussions during Trump’s visit and is one whose significance few observers should underestimate, at least without some understanding of the real backstory, an “understanding” which should include first and foremost the following question: Which country did Trump visit right after Saudi Arabia? The answer speaks volumes!

And with Turkey lining up with Iran – the latter already a key ally of Syria, the former a key player in the efforts to relieve Syrian President al-Assad of the burdens of power for the past five years — on the side of Qatar, the standoff is creating some very strange geopolitical bedfellows. None of us should be fooled by the rhetoric to be sure, because at the heart of these Middle East machinations and manoeuvres is energy – both oil and, now more so, gas — as it always has been. It’s certainly not — nor has it ever been — about freedom, democracy, liberty or any any of the usual bromides (perish the thought), or America’s presumed and oft-cited “responsibility to protect”.

When it comes to the geopolitical players involved in the Great Game du jour, Engdahl notes:

No political power has been more responsible for launching the recent undeclared gas wars than the corrupt Washington cabal that makes policy on behalf of deep state interests….The Trump Administration policy in the Middle East – and there is a clear policy, rest assured – might be compared to that of the ancient Chinese fable about the farmer who burnt down his house in order to roast a pig. In order to control the emerging world energy market around “low-CO2″ natural gas, Washington has targeted not only the world’s largest gas reserve country, Russia. She is now targeting Iran and Qatar.

Nor is the “Game” about combatting terrorism, per se, as terrorism has always served the interests of the major power players, an observation one will never hear uttered in mainstream media and political discourse. Of course, one of the official pretexts for the demands being placed on Doha by the Saudis and the other Gulf states is Qatar’s support for terrorism, accusations which emanating from either country are as fatuous and as hypocritical as it gets. On this point Engdahl had the following to say:

We must keep in mind that all serious terrorist organizations are state-sponsored. All [of them]. Whether DAESH or Al Nusra or Mujahideen in Afghanistan or Maute Group in [the] Philippines. The relevant question is which states sponsor which terrorists[?] Today NATO is the one most complicit in sponsoring terrorism as a weapon of their geopolitical designs. And within NATO the United States is sponsor number one, often using Saudi money and until recently, ironically, Qatari funds.

There should be no surprises here for students of Deep History, as these factors have been the driving forces of ‘full spectrum dominance’ geopolitics and geo-economics forever and a day, with the 1953 Iran narrative as we’ve seen providing hard-core evidence of this reality. It is also about the Regime Renovators pressing on regardless, which in this instance translates to isolating and then destroying Iran (a la Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria et al), Washington’s, Riyadh’s, and Tel Aviv’s common bête noir. Of course, these considerations are not mutually exclusive by any means. On the Saudi-Qatari standoff, he had the following to say:

Washington wanted to punish Qatar for seeking natural gas sales with China priced not in US dollars but in Renminbi. That…alarmed Washington, as Qatar is the world’s largest LNG exporter and most to Asia.

But it’s even much more complex than that. The shape-shifting allegiances, mercurial strategic loyalties, and ‘handshakes under the table’ make for unpredictable scenarios going forward to be sure. Herein Engdahl offers us a summation of situation and circumstance that’s as lucid as it is frightening. After noting that the ‘real story” behind the rise of so-called Islamic Terrorism is the increasingly desperate attempt of the Anglo-American Deep State to control the rise of Eurasia, especially of China in combination now with Russia, and increasingly with Iran and Central Asian republics as well as South Asian, he continues with the following:

Without understanding this, none of the recent events in the Middle East make sense. Washington strategists today foolishly believe if they get choke point control of all Middle East oil and gas, they can, as Henry Kissinger stated back in the 1970’s “control the oil and thus, control entire nations,” especially China and Russia and also Germany and Europe. Their strategy has failed but Washington…refuse[s] to see the reasons for their repeated failed wars. The hidden reality of American global power is that the American “giant” today is a bankrupt superpower, much like Great Britain after their Great Depression of 1873 up to 1914. Britain triggered a world war in 1914 to desperately try to retain their global power. They failed, for reasons I discuss in my Century of War book. Today for much the same reasons – allowing the power of US financial conglomerates [to] supersede the interests of the national industrial economy – America’s debt, national, private, corporate, is out of control. Reagan and Cheney were dead wrong. Debt does matter’

All of this translates to one simple reality. And at some point in the not too distant future, Russia and China will – not might, not maybe — attempt to call a halt to all of Uncle Sam’s shenanigans. And it’s reasonable to assume they won’t be on their ‘Pat Malone’, with Iran and Syria to be sure seeking also to finally square the ledger with the “Great Satan” and its Middle East proxies Israel and Saudi Arabia. By then it’ll be on for young and old. Of that we can be sure. History has always been and remains our most reliable guide in this respect. Of this we can also be just as certain. Well might we say then that another “splendid little war” is in the offing.

Be that as it may, it almost certainly will qualify as the War to End all Wars.

Costly Representation: The Georgia Congressional Election

Tom Price’s vacating of a Georgia congressional seat set the scene for exactly what is darkly wrong with US politics. In the sprawling kleptomanic entity known as USA Inc., with its distancing between the concept of representation and the money that backs it, a campaign for one congressional seat can cost tens of millions.

The Sixth Congressional District in Georgia was always set for an otherwise unwarranted degree of attention for its June 20 ballot. For one, it was a potential atmospheric “testing” of Trump-era politics, a taster as to how the administration had been going.  Mid-term elections are scheduled for 2018, and political pundits and strategists are attempting to take the temperature with usual clumsiness.

As ever, the Democrats, still suffering the withdrawal symptoms of a devastating electoral performance last November, gave another show of denial and misreading. The Republican Karen Handel prevailed over her Democrat opponent Jon Ossoff.  Those with an iota of political nous could hardly have been surprised.

The wet-behind-the-ears Ossoff had been primed as the man for the job of reversing the madly erratic Trump machine.  On the surface, he seemed absurd, a child-like option to topple adult consistency. But it was entirely appropriate about a party that had misunderstood its mission.  The tide, so went the hoodwinked narrative, would begin in Georgia.  Money poured into his electoral coffers, showing, yet again, the misguided assumption that finance is a substitute for strategy.

This left the New York Times to wonder whether the Democrats had missed it yet again, even if there was little chance that the seat would fall to Ossoff.  “So a party sorely demoralized in November is demoralized yet again – and left to wonder if the intense anti-Trump passion visible in protests, marches, money and new volunteers isn’t just some theatrical, symbolic, abstract thing.”

If anything, this electoral moment showed how the anti-Trump voice becomes inaudible at certain registers, an elusive sound (dare we say tweet?) that moves the invisible and stalks the unwary.  On the surface of scatter gun liberal criticism, the President resembles a populist in search of the next extremist cause, a dangerous buffoonish caricature who is bound to raid womb, America’s soul, and security.

But history shows that the political eccentric, bumbling clod, and in some cases, traditional fool, will do far better than an erudite charmer who believes in what might be termed “the better things in life” for his constituents. The comedian who runs for office and wins with a good-hearted streak is not that much different to the leering businessman with property, debts and younger spouse.

Even prior to Ossoff’s ludicrously dear campaign, costing over $23 million, a Democrat by the name of Rodney Stooksbury, with no financial machinery of note, let alone online or political presence, actually got more votes than Ossoff did against Handel. Price won in November, but found Stooksbury to be both a more formidable opponent and spectral.  “I was never able to get in touch with him.”

Talk spread that the candidate was a phantom, a figment of the Democratic party imagination.  “We were never able to find him,” explained Heather Smith, a Democratic official of Delkalb County, Georgia. “He’s like a ghost…. It’s absolutely concerning.”

Trump, hardly the sharpest tool in the kit, should be supplying wide targets and easy scores for opponents.  But opportunities to exploit are not being taken, and weaknesses are being converted into public relations triumphs.

His various platforms have stalled, if not fallen down altogether, in a polemically charged Congress. At most, the reality show demonstrates that perception, reinforced by constant self-references (the “America” and “Great” become synonymous with Trump), transforms fiction to fact.

Handel’s technique might become a model for GOP members in the elections next year.  The party’s relationship with its President is tooth aching in its torment. Trump parked his concocted allegiance in a spot that has proven less than convenient for the traditionalists.  The best thing, then, is to use Trump – at a distance, preferably with tongs.

Never utter his name unless necessity demands it.  Soften the extremism, while padding out the reactionary punch. Express disappointment at junctures to show an independent mind.  (In Handel’s case, disappointment at cuts in scientific and cancer research under the administration.)

Jim Galloway’s observations on a Sixth District debate was prescient: “the hour-long confrontation on WSB-TV: Both Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff would have us believe that President Donald Trump does not exist.”

Whatever Ossoff and Handel sought to chart out in the campaign, Trump remains far from invisible.  He is the face of an America in denial, but also in shock, where a toxic froth has risen to the surface, and shows little sign of abating. 

Media’s Propaganda War on Syria in Full Flow

If you wish to understand the degree to which a supposedly free western media are constructing a world of half-truths and deceptions to manipulate their audiences, keeping us uninformed and docile, then there could hardly be a better case study than their treatment of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

All of these highly competitive, for-profit, scoop-seeking media outlets separately took identical decisions: first to reject Hersh’s latest investigative report, and then to studiously ignore it once it was published in Germany last Sunday. They have continued to maintain an absolute radio silence on his revelations, even as over the past few days they have given a great deal of attention to two stories on the very issue Hersh’s investigation addresses.

These two stories, given such prominence in the western media, are clearly intended to serve as “spoilers” to his revelations, even though none of these publications have actually informed their readers of his original investigation. We are firmly in looking-glass territory.

So what did Hersh’s investigation reveal? His sources in the US intelligence establishment – people who have helped him break some of the most important stories of the past few decades, from the Mai Lai massacre by American soldiers during the Vietnam war to US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004 – told him the official narrative that Syria’s Bashar Assad had dropped deadly sarin gas on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 was incorrect. Instead, they said, a Syrian plane dropped a bomb on a meeting of jihadi fighters that triggered secondary explosions in a storage depot, releasing a toxic cloud of chemicals that killed civilians nearby.

It is an alternative narrative of these events that one might have assumed would be of intense interest to the media, given that Donald Trump approved a military strike on Syria based on the official narrative. Hersh’s version suggests that Trump acted against the intelligence advice he received from his own officials, in a highly dangerous move that not only grossly violated international law but might have dragged Assad’s main ally, Russia, into the fray. The Syrian arena has the potential to trigger a serious confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers.

But, in fact, the western media were supremely uninterested in the story. Hersh, once considered the journalist’s journalist, went hawking his investigation around the US and UK media to no avail. In the end, he could find a home for his revelations only in Germany, in the publication Welt am Sonntag.

There are a couple of possible, even if highly improbable, reasons all English-language publications ignored Hersh’s story. Maybe they had evidence that his inside intelligence was wrong. If so, they have yet to provide it. A rebuttal would require acknowledging Hersh’s story, and none seem willing to do that.

Or maybe the media thought it was old news and would no longer interest their readers. It would be difficult to sustain such an interpretation, but at least it has an air of plausibility – except for everything that has happened since Hersh published last Sunday.

His story has spawned two clear “spoiler” responses from those desperate to uphold the official narrative. Hersh’s revelations may have been entirely uninteresting to the western media, but strangely they have sent Washington into crisis mode. Of course, no US official has addressed Hersh’s investigation directly, which might have drawn attention to it and forced western media to reference it. Instead Washington has sought to deflect attention from Hersh’s alternative narrative and shore up the official one through misdirection. That alone should raise the alarm that we are being manipulated, not informed.

The first spoiler, made in the immediate wake of Hersh’s story, were statements from the Pentagon and White House warning that the US had evidence Assad was planning yet another chemical attack on his people and that Washington would respond extremely harshly if he did so.

Here is how the Guardian reported the US threats:

The US said on Tuesday that it had observed preparations for a possible chemical weapons attack at a Syrian air base allegedly involved in a sarin attack in April following a warning from the White House that the Syrian regime would ‘pay a heavy price’ for further use of the weapons.

And then on Friday, the second spoiler emerged. Two unnamed diplomats “confirmed” that a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had found that some of the victims from Khan Sheikhoun showed signs of poisoning by sarin or sarin-like substances.

There are obvious reasons to be mightily suspicious of these stories. The findings of the OPCW were already known and had been discussed for some time – there was absolutely nothing newsworthy about them.

There are also well-known problems with the findings. There was no “chain of custody” – neutral oversight – of the bodies that were presented to the organisation in Turkey. Any number of interested parties could have contaminated the bodies before they reached the OPCW. For that reason, the OPCW has not concluded that the Assad regime was responsible for the traces of sarin. In the world of real news, only such a finding – that Assad was responsible – should have made the OPCW report interesting again to the media.

Similarly, by going public with their threats against Assad, the Pentagon and White House did not increase the deterrence on Assad, making it less likely he would use gas in the future. That could have been achieved much more effectively with private warnings to the Russians, who have massive leverage over Assad. These new warnings were meant not for Assad but for western publics, to bolster the official narrative that Hersh’s investigation had thrown into doubt.

In fact, the US threats increase, rather than reduce, the chances of a new chemical weapons attack. Other, anti-Assad actors now have a strong incentive to use chemical weapons in false-flag operation to implicate Assad, knowing that the US has committed itself to intervention. On any reading, the US statements were reckless – or malicious – in the extreme and likely to bring about the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve.

But beyond this, there was something even more troubling about these two stories. That these official claims were published so unthinkingly in major outlets is bad enough. But what is unconscionable is the media’s continuing blackout of Hersh’s investigation when it speaks directly to the two latest news reports.

No serious journalist could write up either story, according to any accepted norms of journalistic practice, and not make reference to Hersh’s claims. They are absolutely relevant to these stories. In fact, more than that, the intelligence sources he cites are are not only relevant but are the sole reason these two stories have been suddenly propelled to the top of the news agenda.

Any publication that has covered either the White House-Pentagon threats or the rehashing of the OPCW report and has not mentioned Hersh’s revelations is writing nothing less than propaganda in service of a western foreign policy agenda trying to bring about the illegal overthrow the Syrian government. And so far that appears to include every single US and UK mainstream newspaper and TV station.

It Is the Presstitutes, Not Russia, Who Interfered in the US Presidential Election

Unlike Oliver Stone, who knew how to interview Vladimir Putin, Megyn Kelly did not. Thus, she made a fool of herself, which is par for her course.

Now the entire Western media has joined Megyn in foolishness, or so it appears from a RT report. James O’Keefe has senior CNN producer John Bonifield on video telling O’Keefe that CNN’s anti Russian reporting is purely for ratings: “It’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof.” CNN’s Bonifield is reported to go on to say that “our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments.”

And, of course, the American people, the European peoples, and the US and European governments are being conditioned by the “Russia did it” storyline to distrust Russia and to accept whatever dangerous and irresponsible policy toward Russia that Washington comes up with next.

Is the anti-Russian propaganda driven by ratings as Bonifield is reported to claim, or are ratings the neoconservatives and military/security complex’s cover for media disinformation that increases tensions between the superpowers and prepares the ground for nuclear war?

RT acknowledges that the entire story could be just another piece of false news, which is all that the Western media is known for.

Nevertheless, what we do know is that the fake news reporting pertains to Russia’s alleged interference in the US presidential election. Allegedly, Trump was elected by Putin’s interference in the election. This claim is absurd, but if you are Megyn Kelly you lack the IQ to see that. Instead, presstitutes turn a nonsense story into a real story despite the absence of any evidence.

Who actually interfered in the US presidential election, Putin or the presstitutes themselves? The answer is clear and obvious. It was the presstitutes, who were out to get Trump from day one of the presidential campaign. It is CIA director John Brennan, who did everything in his power to brand Trump some sort of Russian agent. It is FBI director Comey who did likewise by continuing to “investigate” what he knew was a non-event. We now have a former FBI director playing the role of special prosecutor investigating Trump for “obstruction of justice” when there is no evidence of a crime to be obstructed! What we are witnessing is the ongoing interference in the presidential election, an interference that not only makes a mockery of democracy but also of the rule of law.

The presstitutes not only interfered in the presidential election; they are now interfering with democracy itself. They are seeking to overturn the people’s choice by discrediting the President of the United States and those who elected him. The Democratic Party is a part of this attack on American democracy. It is the DNC that insists that a Putin/Trump conspiracy stole the presidency from Hillary. The Democrats’ position is that it is too risky to permit the American people—the “deplorables”— to vote. The Democratic Party’s line is that if you let Americans vote, they will elect a Putin stooge and America will be ruled by Russia.

Many wonder why Trump doesn’t use the power of the office of the presidency to indict the hit squad that is out to get him. There is no doubt that a jury of deplorables would indict Brennan, Comey, Megyn Kelly and the rest. On the other hand, perhaps Trump’s view is that the Republican Party cannot afford to go down with him, and, therefore, as he is politically protected by the Republican majority, the best strategy is to let the Democrats and the presstitutes destroy themselves in the eyes of flyover America.

What our survival as Americans depends on is the Russians’ view of this conflict between a US President who intended to reduce the tensions between the nuclear powers and those determined to increase the tensions. The Russian high command has already announced its conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. It is not possible to imagine a more dangerous conclusion. So far, no one in Washington or any Western government has made an effort to reassure Russia that no such attack is being prepared. Instead, the calls are for more punishment of Russia and more tension.

This most extraordinary of failures demonstrates the complete separation of the West from reality.

It is difficult to imagine a more extreme danger than for the insouciant West to convince Russia that the West is incapable of rational behavior. But that is precisely what the West is doing.

Healthcare Through Hippocrates

“Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free”.  From a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath.

A hallmark achievement of Obamacare (ACA), recognized by advocates and detractors alike, the law provided 20 million previously uninsured Americans much needed healthcare coverage.  With a simple majority vote, Senate Republicans can basically repeal Obamacare, in so doing eliminating all accompanying progress.  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 22 million people will lose coverage by 2026, saving the federal government $320 billion in the process.  For context, imagine the entire state of Florida uninsured, as for the dollar figure, $240 billion was spent fighting the war on terror in 2008 alone.

“I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.” Modern Hippocratic Oath

Presumably, democracies function on core principles which are periodically examined, and if necessary, amended to improve both functionality and equality within a given society.  Recognizing legislative successes of Obamacare, increased insurance access for one, as well as failures, private insurers withdrawing from the marketplace or lack of cost containment are critical to improving healthcare policy for all Americans.  Rather than eliminating any and all advances of Obamacare, a healthier, more practical approach would be to build and improve upon them.

“I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure” Modern Oath

Indisputable amongst legislatures and private citizens, costs for drugs, medical procedures as well as insurance premiums, copayments and deductibles are increasing.  Legislation must now focus on these issues.  Mandating insurance providers to pay for yearly well visits is a good start, enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices, creating price transparency, financing high risk pools, amongst other initiatives, should further improve upon existing policy.

“I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.” Modern Oath

Often misquoted from the original Hippocratic Oath, the saying “First, do no harm”, ought to serve not merely as a synopsis for medical practice, but as a basis for governance.  Legislators are, in fact, members of society, holding power and pronouncements which directly impact millions of Americans.  President Trump referred to the original House version of his party’s healthcare bill as “mean” and asked the senate to make “a bill with heart”.  Reading, and more importantly, following the Hippocratic Oath, can help them in doing so.

“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” Modern Oath.

From Clintons to Goldman Sachs, the Winners Take All

And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense? Does that make sense?

From the criminally insane leader to his insane captives, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday [6/21/17], as Trump was stumping for the health (sic) care (sic-sic) death bill the Republicans are pushing with the blessings of the kleptocracy that is the millionaire-billionaire class (sic). That’s us, folks, poor people – looking at a cool 150 million of us in the USA, or maybe even more! He wants zero voice or self-agency from us poor, huddled tired masses!

Lately, I’ve been thinking hard about the law of time, and how fractured we are as Western Nuclear-tipped Civilization, leagues away from any sort of humane equilibrium, which if we look at white society, something the white race has been disconnected to for thousands of years, and how Western (civilization) time has warped everything, from how we live and work, and how we fornicate and defecate, how we treat our families, neighbors, the earth.  Easy to wander into philosophical and extraterrestrial thought — how we have pushed the 13 moons and 20 sequence tied to the Mayan calendar into a broken system of 12 (months) and 60 (seconds and minutes):

Jose Arguelles knew this number was the key to the tzolkin, the 13 x 20 (= 260) “time matrix” upon which the Mayan calendar is based. Utilizing Oliver Reiser’s hypothesis of the psi field as a kind of DNA thought belt located in the radiation field, while finding the design key to place the DNA in the Tzolkin matrix, Arguelles was able to unlock a great system of codes underlying the programs governing the historical manifestation of civilization and its imminent transformation into a stage of galactic civilization and consciousness – the noosphere made manifest.

In Projects Prometheus and Krishna, Appendix II to his fascinating synthesis, Oliver Reiser takes full cognizance of the contribution of Vladimir Vernadsky and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Reiser cites Vernadsky’s calling attention to the process of social synthesis, “whereby mankind become a single totality in the life of the Earth, and the psychozoic era of the earth’s biosphere be transformed into the noosphere.” Taking account of the sequence of spherical shells constituting the whole system earth – the barysphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere – he writes, “Now, at long last, the processes of cultural evolution have generated another envelope, superimposed on the biosphere, i.e., a ‘sheet of humanized and socialized matter,’ which is the noosphere.”1

This discussion of the noosphere now seems new agey, especially in a time of tweets and intellectual retardants not only escaping all the orifices of the man in orange-glow-worm toxicity, but by followers, who would dare laugh with or validate this horror of a man’s premise that he only believes the rich are human enough to be in the corridors of both power and the economy. All those eggheads ratcheting up the nerve gas formulas, the smart bombs, the drone-enhanced surveillance, and the nuclear tipped nightmare missiles of this class of people. America, the business (sic) mentality (dog eat dog, let all businesses rule) tied to everything the digital kings serve us, the workers, trapped in their ever-expanding Excel Spreadsheets and microprocessor gulags.

Collective consciousness, hmm. Looking for an alternative form of energizing positive thought and conscience? Hmm, pretty out of the mainstream Kick Ass Now, Shoot First, Ask Questions Never thinking that has captured this Wonder Woman endless bang-bang shit that serves as hog sty consumption.

It’s the same thinking and attitude toward the poor, that is, those on the other side of strap pulling the gunny sack of gold – neoliberal, liberal, highfalutin new rich, Hollywood syphilitics, Democrats, Politically Correctives, Corrosive Corporate Media and the Mindless Mush Heads of the Suburbs. They bullshit their ways to Sundance or this or that crappy TED Talk/conference, but in the end, they too do not want your local ex-con, ex-druggie, ex-offender, current-homeless, continual recovery bloke and gal anywhere near the chambers of control over their shit-storm companies and non-profits and higher and lower educational institutions.

These people — Trump or ClintonX2, GatesX2 or Any X/Y/Z Philanthropist — never-ever bring the poor and disposed and dispossessed and down-trodden and diseased and disheveled and drunk and drugged and deranged to the table. Instead, we have these insane people — like every white mutated soul roaming the corridors of power, politics, military, industry, the press, medicine, psychology, and entertainment – propping up their bullshit superficiality and absurd self-absorption. They speak for “those people,” the “other ones,” anyone “not of our caliber-pedigree-upbringing-educational/economic standard.”

Is this one of the most blatantly rich/sick (monetarily) administration ever, and those yahoos in Iowa or Georgia or you name it anywhere U-S-A chanting, U.S.A. . . . U.S.A., like the maniacs they are in real time, is it the most corrosive? This battlefield today of missing IQ elites and this idiocracy ruling the people, is it so new, so unnerving today in 2017? Just go back, young man, young woman, and see that road show of lying, bombing, stealing, killing, thieving presidents, tall, squat, square jawed and flabby.

This is a country of vapidity and false valor. Hokum’s and hussies. Whores and pimps groveling for one elite after another elite/chosen peoples. Surface to Air Delight in Every Bombs Bursting in Depleted Uranium-Coated Air.

So, when I think hard about how wicked this economy has always been, and how blood-sucking the people running the little shows – bureaucracies – and then the big engines of pollution and garbage – corporations – ARE, I understand there has to be another field of alternative forms of thinking and communicating, whether it’s telepathy or collective consciousness. Anything but this hocus-pocus marketing crap of the Freudian nephew creation (Bernays).

How many people have poo-pooed the harmonic convergence or the concept of universal disharmonics? How many know we are living in this out of sync globe, with faulty mathematics and broken time-clock chronology, so misaligned from and with the universe it’s obvious for anyone with a brain and heart to see and feel — while the pestilence of nuclear-biological-propaganda wars shapes our out of balance closed system, a cosmic disorder that has over millennial created these Caesars and Mammon worshipers, these Trumps and Carnegies, these weapons of cultural destruction, slavery and the Sixth Mass Extinction.

Trump, Obama, Dell, Zuckerberg, Hitler, Mussolini, Rothschild, Pharaoh, Emir, Ford, Genghis Khan, Rabi, Pope, Minister, General, Admiral, Queen, King – these are the culmination of out of whack thinking, breathing, living and dying. Can we really admonish this warped mind, the missing link of a Trump, his racist-sexist-war monger-slum landlord- little big Mafioso-perverted version of misanthropy? Is he not the culmination of the hard soil that grows no love — the caliche planted by generations of bankers and ministers of pain, by the land thieves and empire seekers, all those twisted people who occupy the political pigsties of the world? From the Old World to this Genocidal New World.

Ahh, the real law is the law of time and the principles of a noosphere where humanity can merge with the energy of the biosphere to attain a new consciousness, one that had already been ebbing and flowing in different cultures and native tribes way before the mutated white race flogged the earth with his/her/its out of synchronicity superstition and clock of horrors which have continually shaped white civilization around the black ideas of war is peace, truth is lies, death is life.

I see the hollow hearts of America, the industrialists and digital kings, those hearts ticking in numeric derivative sequence as Artificial Intelligence shapes the future of this plagued world. These manipulators, and the technocrats and patent lawyers, all are living off the flesh of other worldly beasts.

This is a story of stories – social worker now, and my journey begins each day and never ends, as one life is layered upon the layers of my soul, and then another set of circumstances overcomes, and then the entire field of Maya corn is planted over and over in my worst nightmares.

I am working with biological and foster parents. Let it be known that most of the bastards (sperm donors) and receptacles (women) have millions of years in hell to pay for the germination and gestation and incubation and unholy labor and daily abuse of their offspring – beaten, starved, pimped out, sexually assaulted, raped, bridled and chained to these adults’ ectoplasm of sin-shame-salaciousness.

It takes more than a village to re-raise a village or a child. These horror stories are like white lightning in the soul of their DNA, and my youth are struggling, whipped by PTSD and acquired traumatic developmental delays/disorders/ disabilities.

I was with one of my youth today at the end of a shift when it struck me how plagued and maladjusted these captains of industry and so-called leaders really are. I am a social worker for young people in the clutches of foster care, where most are wards of the state, held into place with the fences that are guardian parents and the grips which define many levels of bureaucracy.

Two months ago, I was servicing older homeless people – addicts, ex-felons, sex offenders, the mentally harassed, one day at a time adults. Many of my friends’ stories at the last non-profit are tied into abuse at a very young age – fathers and mothers, stepparents and siblings, strangers and family members raping, beating, humiliating, denigrating and plying youth with drugs and prostitution and minute-by-minute consternation and condemnation.

You don’t wake up one morning and say, “I want to be addicted to meth, and I want all my teeth to fall out in 15 years, and I want all my possessions stolen, and want my life to be welded to a turnstile of constant court-jail-prison-fines-restitution homelessness.” So, most of my peeps a few months ago in another job with another non-profit tie into what the hell went wrong in a child’s life that brought him or her to the streets, to gangs, to the pipe and cooker, to the gun and the knife, to the abuse and the violence, and to the sexual assaults and criminality?

Try a big bad daddy and mommy and slew of wrong people at the right time of development.

Every day the clock ticks in disharmony, and the pigs juggle botulism balls and masquerade as officials and servants of the public when, in fact, they are worse than heroin-coke-booze-gambling-sex addicts all rolled up into one scabby man or emaciated woman. These pigs run the show, and we have to react to their presence in the cultural ether, and the noosphere, with so much potential, is being short-circuited by the millions blathering on TV, the millions holding seances with their millions of bucks in their 10,000 square-foot well-appointed elite prisons working on project after project to addict the next and the next generation to their flaccid Facebook and Amazon dot com worlds.

That we even sit on thumbs and let the latest baboon president, Trump, say what he says . . . .

  • 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
  • “It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on ‘The Apprentice’ were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal.” — HowToGetRich, 2004
  • “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991
  • When a lawyer facing Trump in 2011 asked for a break to pump breast milk for her infant daughter, The Donald reacted very poorly.“He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re  disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” attorney Elizabeth Beck told CNN. Trump’s attorney does not dispute that his client called Beck “disgusting.”
  • “My favorite part [of ‘PulpFiction’] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: ‘Bitch be cool.’ I love those lines.” — TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, 2005
  • “I have black guys counting my money. … I hate it,” Trump told John R. O’Donnell, the former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, according O’Donnell’s account in his 1991 book Trumped! “The only guys I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes all day.” Trump, according to O’Donnell, went on to say, “‘Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.”
  • Speaking to Time magazine for a profile published in January 1989, Trump was asked to give an estimate of his total wealth. “Who the f knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days?” he asked in response, using a racial slur for the Japanese.

Khizr Khan, the father of the late Army Captain Humayun Khan, spoke out against Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and disregard for civil liberties at the Democratic National Convention on July 28. It became the most memorable moment of the convention.

“Let me ask you, have you even read the U.S. Constitution?” Khan asked Trump before pulling a copy of the document from his jacket pocket and holding it up. “I will gladly lend you my copy.”

Khan’s wife, Ghazala, who wears a head scarf, stood at his side during the speech but did not speak.

In response to the devastating speech, Trump seized on Ghazala Khan’s silence to imply that she was forbidden from speaking due to the couple’s Islamic faith.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News that first appeared on July 30.

Ghazala Khan explained in an op-ed in The Washington Post the following day that she could not speak because of her grief.

“Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could?” she wrote. “Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?”

. . . . and that we even validate his big bellied thugs chanting U/S/A, this Ugly Sick America, USA, sick and ugly America, while we hunker down and hold chins to sternums, well, this is the reaction of the Rachel Maddow-loving Har-Har-Har Liberals, a la Stewart and Colbert.

I’ve seen enough of the lambasting, the entertaining us to death, the Facebook billion flickers of foolishness, and the endless swill and sewage that is an America high on corporate sodium pentothal.

Many Americans of the white persuasion ARE the evil seeds or evil breeders of this Trump World, where money, meanness, madness, and tossing grenades at every crowd possible to get a rise out of them is the daily blue chip special served up in their corridors of shame and horror they call families.

  1. Cosmic Humanism, p. 557

Are There any Limits to U.S. Hypocrisy?

Having ordered the attack on the al-Shayrat air field near the western Syrian city of Homs, U.S. President Donald Trump knew that the Syrian government hadn’t used any chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun. At the same time the current U.S. administration was making every effort to develop an information campaign against Damascus.

This was reported by Welt am Sonntag, a German Sunday newspaper. An American investigative journalist and political writer Seymour Hersh stressed that actually the Syrian Air Force had targeted a two-story building, where extremists from various terrorist groups held meetings. According to Hersh, a bomb, dropped by the Syrian aircraft in Khan Shaykhun, caused a number of detonations. The explosion led to the formation of a cloud of noxious vapour. Washington was knowledgeable about that.

The attack became an ideal occasion for the U.S. to make further accusations against Damascus. After a short time, the world media started to spread staged footage and photos from Khan Shaykhun. Those materials showed injured people, who were allegedly dying in a suspected sarin chemical attack.

Permanent representatives of a number of Western countries to the UN also made every effort to put all responsibility for the incident on the Syrian government, headed by President Bashar al-Assad. Thus, Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, at a Security Council meeting even showed photos, allegedly proving the ‘crimes’ of the Syrian authorities against Syrians.

In addition, the U.S., France, Britain proposed the UN SC draft several resolutions on the Syrian gas attack. The documents were aimed to provide an international investigation with flight plans and logs, the names of all helicopter squadron commanders and to provide access to air bases where investigators believe attacks using chemicals were launched.

It also should be mentioned that despite Syria’s readiness to cooperate with the specialists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an official investigation into the incident in Khan Shaykhun has not been launched yet. Moreover, Western countries continue to expand sanctions against Syria to escalate the economic situation in the country and drag it into an endless war.

Seymour Hersh, referring to information received from a senior adviser in the U.S. intelligence services, reported that Washington had no evidence that the Syrian Army used sarin gas. The CIA also informed the White House that no poisonous substances were found in the al-Shayrat air field, and al-Assad had no reason to commit political suicide.

According to many Syrian experts, it is possible that the world will soon become aware of the United States’ participation in other major scandals and incidents in Syria.

Time for Another False Flag Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

— Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, June 26, 2017

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.

— George  Bush, Sept. 17, 2002

The White House statement raises a number of questions. Who has identified the “potential preparations”? No reference is given, not even a source agency.  Does the information come from intelligence sources? Apparently the Pentagon had not even been informed. What is “potential information” and how does it compare with real information?

Of course, the White House has its own direct sources.  The Syrian opposition groups who met with John Kerry, Michael Ratney and Jon Finer at the UN in September, 2016 are tight with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, and would be happy to provide a pretext for another US strike on Syria. No real evidence is required, but they would be happy to fabricate it nonetheless.

Can anyone cite a case of the use, or even the alleged use, of chemical weapons in Syria that has been to the strategic advantage of the Syrian government or its forces? The fact is that every incident has been to their disadvantage, and invariably a pretext for US intervention.  Why then, would they use it, especially when they hadn’t done so before Obama drew his famous “red line”?

To the contrary, when British intelligence analyzed traces of the gas, they found it to be inconsistent with samples of Syrian government stocks. Furthermore, Turkish sources have reported the delivery of chemical weapons to opposition fighters. Distinguished MIT researchers Lloyd and Postol demonstrated definitively that the 2013 CW attack in Ghouta could not have come from Syrian government forces.

Similarly, Postol demonstrated multiple inconsistencies in the reports of the April 4, 2017 Khan Sheikhoun attack.  More recently, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh uncovered the inside story on that attack, to the effect that US Defense Department sources knew that there were no chemical weapons used in the Syrian Air Force bombing attack on Khan Sheikhoun, and that to the extent that toxic gases caused casualties in that attack, it was the result of what the al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham fighters had stored at the site or had deployed as a false flag event, for the purpose of precipitating US intervention.

Postol warned at the time that without proper corroboration of Syrian government culpability, a US attack would motivate the terrorist constructors of the false flag to replicate more such incidents.  In this context, the White House statement, based solely on vague allegations, can be interpreted as the start to a manipulation of public perception, so that an upcoming false flag event can appear to be a corroboration of the initial suspicions.

Such are the workings of what military and security forces call “securocratic wars” and specifically “security-based framing”.  This is jargon for what used to be called propaganda, but which is now an integrated part of military and security planning for the control of public perception.1

There is plenty of reason for the White House to welcome such a pretext to attack Syria again.  The approval ratings for the Trump Administration have never been higher, nor the press more approving, than when US warships fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s Shu’ayrat Air Field two days after the Khan Sheikhoun attack.  Given the unpopularity and failure of Trump’s domestic initiatives, it is easy to see how he might be tempted to employ similar death and destruction to boost his image again.

Of course, such actions risk a dangerous confrontation with Russia on the Syrian battlefield.  Russia has already threatened to target US aircraft and has suspended coordination of flights over the shooting down of a Syrian jet fighter. But Trump is not averse to risk.  We should therefore not be surprised to see another false flag killing of innocents blamed on the Syrian military in order to embroil the US further in an illegal war where we don’t belong.

  1. Halper, War Against the People, chapter 3.

Hersh’s New Syrian Revelations Buried From View

Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the man who exposed the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the US military’s abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, is probably the most influential journalist of the modern era, with the possible exception of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the pair who exposed Watergate.

For decades, Hersh has drawn on his extensive contacts within the US security establishment to bring us the story behind the official story, and to disclose facts that have often proved deeply discomfiting to those in power and exploded the self-serving, fairy-tale narratives the public were expected to passively accept as news. His stature among journalists was such that, in a sea of corporate media misinformation, he enjoyed a small island of freedom at the elite, and influential, outlet of the New Yorker.

Paradoxically, over the past decade, as social media has created a more democratic platform for information dissemination, the corporate media has grown ever more fearful of a truly independent figure like Hersh. The potential reach of his stories could now be enormously magnified by social media. As a result, he has been increasingly marginalised and his work denigrated. By denying him the credibility of a “respectable” mainstream platform, he can be dismissed for the first time in his career as a crank and charlatan. A purveyor of fake news.

Nonetheless, despite struggling to find an outlet for his recent work, he has continued to scrutinise western foreign policy, this time in relation to Syria. The official western narrative has painted a picture of a psychotic Syrian president, Bashar Assad, who is assumed to be so irrational and self-destructive he intermittently uses chemical weapons against his own people. He does so, not only for no obvious purpose but at moments when such attacks are likely to do his regime untold damage. Notably, two sarin gas attacks have supposedly occurred when Assad was making strong diplomatic or military headway, and when the Islamic extremists of Al-Qaeda and ISIS – his chief opponents – were on the back foot and in desperate need of outside intervention.

Dangerous monsters

Hersh’s investigations have not only undermined evidence-free claims being promoted in the west to destabilise Assad’s goverment but threatened a wider US policy seeking to “remake the Middle East”. His work has challenged a political and corporate media consensus that portrays Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Assad’s main ally against the extremist Islamic forces fighting in Syria, as another dangerous monster the West needs to bring into line.

For all these reasons, Hersh has found himself increasingly friendless. The New Yorker refused to publish his Syria investigations. Instead, he had to cross the Atlantic to find a home at the prestigious but far less prominent London Review of Books.

Back in 2013 his contacts within the security and intelligence establishments revealed that the assumption Assad had ordered the use of sarin gas in Ghouta, outside Damascus, failed to stand up to scrutiny. Even Barack Obama’s national intelligence director, James Clapper, was forced to admit privately that Assad’s guilt was “not a slam dunk”, even as the media widely portrayed it as precisely that. Hersh’s work helped stymie efforts at the time to promote a western military attack to bring down the Syrian government.

His latest investigation questions whether Assad was responsible for another alleged gas attack – this one at Khan Sheikhoun in April. Again a consensual western narrative was quickly constructed after social media showed dozens of Syrians dead, apparently following the dropping of a bomb by Syrian aircraft. For the first time in his presidency, Donald Trump received wall-to-wall praise for launching a military strike on Syria in response, even though, as Hersh documents, he had no evidence on which to base such an attack, one that gravely violated international law.

Hersh’s new investigation was paid for by the London Review of Books, which declined to publish it. This is almost as disturbing as the events in question.

What is emerging is a media blackout so strong that even the London Review of Books is running scared. Instead, Hersh’s story appeared yesterday in a German publication, Welt am Sonntag. Welt is an award-winning newspaper, no less serious than the New Yorker or the LRB. But significantly Hersh is being forced to publish ever further from the centres of power whose misinformation his investigations are challenging.

Imagine how effective Woodward and Bernstein would have been in bringing down Richard Nixon had they been able to publish their Watergate investigations only in the French media. That is the situation we have reached now with Hersh’s efforts to scrutinise the west’s self-serving claims about Syria.

US-Russian cooperation

As for the substance of Hersh’s investigation, he finds that Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in April “despite having been warned by the US intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.”

In fact, Hersh reveals that, contrary to the popular narrative, the Syrian strike on a jihadist meeting place in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 was closely coordinated beforehand between Russian and US intelligence agencies. The US were well apprised of what would happen and tracked the events.

Hersh’s sources in the intelligence establishment point out that these close contacts occurred for two reasons. First, there is a process known as “deconfliction”, designed to avoid collisions or accidental encounters between the US, Syrian and Russian militaries, especially in the case of their supersonic jets. The Russians therefore supplied US intelligence with precise details of that day’s attack beforehand. But in this case, the coordination also occurred because the Russians wanted to warn the US to keep away a CIA asset, who had penetrated the jihadist group, from that day’s meeting.

“This was not a chemical weapons strike,” a senior adviser to the US intelligence community told Hersh. “That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon … would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear.”

According to US intelligence, Hersh reports, the Syrian air force was able to target the site using a large, conventional bomb supplied by the Russians. But if Assad did not use a chemical warhead, why did many people apparently die at Khan Sheikhoun from inhalation of toxic gas?

The US intelligence community, says Hersh, believes the bomb triggered secondary explosions in a storage depot in the building’s basement that included propane gas, fertilisers, insecticides as well as “rockets, weapons and ammunition, … [and] chlorine-based decontaminants for cleansing the bodies of the dead before burial”. These explosions created a toxic cloud that was trapped close to the ground by the dense early morning air.

Medecins Sans Frontieres found patients it treated “smelled of bleach, suggesting that they had been exposed to chlorine.” Sarin is odourless.

Hersh concludes that:

The evidence suggested that there was more than one chemical responsible for the symptoms observed, which would not have been the case if the Syrian Air Force – as opposition activists insisted – had dropped a sarin bomb, which has no percussive or ignition power to trigger secondary explosions. The range of symptoms is, however, consistent with the release of a mixture of chemicals, including chlorine and the organophosphates used in many fertilizers, which can cause neurotoxic effects similar to those of sarin.

Political suicide

Hersh’s main intelligence source makes an important contextual point you won’t hear anywhere in the corporate media:

What doesn’t occur to most Americans is if there had been a Syrian nerve gas attack authorized by Bashar [Assad], the Russians would be 10 times as upset as anyone in the West. Russia’s strategy against ISIS, which involves getting American cooperation, would have been destroyed and Bashar would be responsible for pissing off Russia, with unknown consequences for him. Bashar would do that? When he’s on the verge of winning the war? Are you kidding me?

When US national security officials planning Trump’s “retaliation” asked the CIA what they knew of events in Khan Sheikhoun, according to Hersh’s source, the CIA told them “there was no residual delivery for sarin at Sheyrat [the airfield from which the Syrian bombers had taken off] and Assad had no motive to commit political suicide.”

The source continues:

No one knew the provenance of the photographs [of the attack’s victims]. We didn’t know who the children were or how they got hurt. Sarin actually is very easy to detect because it penetrates paint, and all one would have to do is get a paint sample. We knew there was a [toxic] cloud and we knew it hurt people. But you cannot jump from there to certainty that Assad had hidden sarin from the UN because he wanted to use it in Khan Sheikhoun.

Trump, under political pressure and highly emotional by nature, ignored the evidence. Hersh’s source says:

The president saw the photographs of poisoned little girls and said it was an Assad atrocity. It’s typical of human nature. You jump to the conclusion you want. Intelligence analysts do not argue with a president. They’re not going to tell the president, ‘if you interpret the data this way, I quit’.

Although Republicans, Democrats and the entire media rallied to Trump’s side for the first time, those speaking to Hersh have apparently done so out of fear of what may happen next time.

The danger with Trump’s “retaliatory” strike, based on zero evidence of a chemical weapons attack, is that it could have killed Russian soldiers and dragged Putin into a highly dangerous confrontation with the US. Also, the intelligence community fears that the media have promoted a false narrative that suggests not only that a sarin attack took place, but paints Russia as a co-conspirator and implies that a UN team did not, in fact, oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile back in 2013-14. That would allow Assad’s opponents to claim in the future, at a convenient time, yet another unsubstantiated sarin gas attack by the Syrian government.

Hersh concludes with words from his source that should strike fear into us all:

The issue is, what if there’s another false-flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys [Islamist groups] are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.

UPDATE:

As was to be expected, there has been a backlash against Hersh’s investigation. If one thing is clear about the Khan Sheikhoun incident, it is that, in the absence of an independent investigation, there is still no decisive physical evidence to settle yet what happened one way or another. Therefore, our job as observers should be to keep a critical distance and weigh other relevant issues, such as context and probability.

So let us set aside for a moment the specifics of what happened on April 4 and concentrate instead on what Hersh’s critics must concede if they are to argue that Assad used sarin gas against the people of Khan Sheikhoun.

1. That Assad is so crazed and self-destructive – or at the very least so totally incapable of controlling his senior commanders, who must themselves be crazed and self-destructive – that he has on several occasions ordered the use of chemical weapons against civilians. And he has chosen to do it at the worst possible moments for his own and his regime’s survival, and when such attacks were entirely unnecessary.

2. That Putin is equally deranged and so willing to risk an end-of-times conflagration with the US that he has on more than one occasion either sanctioned or turned a blind eye to the use of sarin by Assad’s regime. And he has done nothing to penalise Assad afterwards, when things went wrong.

3. That Hersh has decided to jettison all the investigatory skills he has amassed over many decades as a journalist to accept at face value any unsubstantiated rumours his long-established contacts in the security services have thrown his way. And he has done so without regard to the damage that will do to his reputation and his journalistic legacy.

4. That a significant number of US intelligence officials, those Hersh has known and worked with over a long period of time, have decided recently to spin an elaborate web of lies no one wants to print, either in the hope of damaging Hersh in some collective act of revenge against him, or in the hope of permanently discrediting their own intelligence services.

Critics do not simply have to believe one of these four points. They must maintain the absolute veracity of all four of them.