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Archive for the ‘WWIII’ Category

Barrel Bomb: the Cataclysmic Close of Campaign 2016

NOVEMBER 3, 2016  by CHRIS FLOYD

Well, here we are: at the bottom of the barrel under forty feet of slag. In a few days’ time, we’ll know our fate: the five-alarm fire of Trump Rule (oh, how those police unions are chomping at the bit!) or the Clinton Age of Hyper-War (oh, how those neocons are chomping at the bit!). In either case, the entrenched coagulation of corporate interests and war profiteers that have strangled the peace, prosperity and prospects of the American people will not be budged an inch. The change that people are so desperately hungry for — so hungry that that some of them might well elect an Establishment insider whose sinister clowning makes him appear to be a ‘rebel’ — will not come. Thus their bitterness will grow deeper, more sour, erupting more and more often in physical violence: from militarized police against protestors, from Trump-empowered racists (if he wins or loses), from extremist militias, from angry, maddened people on every side. And of course there will be more — much more — of the horrific, never-ending, globe-spanning violence of the bipartisan Terror War that churns on and on, no matter who is sitting temporarily in the White House.

There’s no use in pretending that’s not what we face. But there’s also no use in pretending that this situation is somehow sui generis, some terribly unlucky conflation of unforeseen circumstances coming together at this particular time. It is in fact the culmination and embodiment of the deliberate choices of the most powerful forces in society: the choices to enrich themselves beyond all reason and extend their military and economic dominance over the earth.

It doesn’t matter that many if not most of the practitioners and functionaries of this system “believe” in its rightness. It doesn’t matter that brutal neoliberal nostrums and extremist imperial notions have become religious dogmas for those who see themselves as the “meritocracy.” It doesn’t matter if the leaders and factotums genuinely believe in the “exceptionalism” they preach or if they are cynical power-seekers. It doesn’t matter if they actually believe their rapacious financial machinations are reflections of the “natural law” of the “the market” that will eventually benefit all, or if they know themselves to be what they really are: ugly souls disfigured by greed. The end result has been the same: a long series of deliberate choices by a bipartisan elite that have hollowed out the lives and communities and futures of millions of Americans, and created a living hell of war, ruin and hatred over much of the earth.

This is a system that has delegitimized itself, a system that has undermined its own institutions. Through its own actions, it has rotted out the foundations of trust and reason which once upheld it. Some might say, “Oh, but there’s been a decades-long, concentrated effort by right-wing billionaires and corporate forces to foment ideological and religious extremism to undermine the legitimacy of secular government, which might restrict their profiteering or let more people have a share in power.” And that’s true. But it’s been accompanied at every step by the collusion and cowardice of the putative opposition. The so-called New Democrats, exemplified by the Clintons, jettisoned concern for the common good to embrace “centrist” and “technocratic” policies: i.e., to adopt the neoliberal dogma that unbridled pursuit of private profit by a connected elites will somehow, someday, lead to general prosperity. The idea that the party should fight to improve the lives of ordinary people in the here and now, to fight for their quality of life in a genuine, substantive way, came to be seen as old-hat, a quaint and fusty notion of has-beens and dreamers who didn’t understand the way the world really worked. A true, savvy “moderate” knows you must compromise every ideal, show yourself to be a willing and avid servant of the monied interests and the militarists, in order to gain power so you can … make a few cosmetic changes around the edges, a few little social improvements here and there (but only — of course! — in “partnership” with private interests), but never, ever challenge the system at its core.

This is the only deal in town: outright, unvarnished right-wing rule, or simpering, cowardly “moderate” management of a violent, rapacious system. That’s been the choice on offer since 1976. That’s the choice on offer today. The only difference is that the system has metastasized to a monstrous degree over the years: lacking any genuine opposition, the system has grown more violent, more rapacious.
Establishment collusion — and Democratic cowardice — finally and completely degraded and delegitimized the American electoral process 16 years ago, when the Supreme Court — with two members who had direct family ties to the Bush campaign — stopped a recount that would have resulted in the actual winner of the election to take office. This outrageous action was accepted by every single organ and institution of the American system. (With the momentary exception of the Black Congressional Caucus, whose members tried, in vain, to get a single Democratic senator to challenge the result.) Instead, Americans were encouraged to applaud the fact that power had changed hands “without tanks in the street.” That is, we were to celebrate that an actual coup d’etat had taken place before our eyes without the slightest show of resistance.

Once in place, the coup regime — staffed at the highest levels by extremists who a year before had publicly called for a vast militarization of American policy and society, even if the public had to be “galvanized” by “a new Pearl Harbor” — led the nation into a disastrous war based on false pretenses, a vast crime that not only killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people but has led directly to unbridled turmoil, extremism, conflict and corruption around the world. The elite-supported coup regime instituted torture programs and death squads, and launched an orgy of war profiteering unprecedented in world history. The regime then presided over the worst economic collapse in generations.

Not a single member of the regime was ever tried — or even investigated, at even the most preliminary level — for a single crime committed during its time in power. There were no high-profile Congressional investigations into the hideous carnage and ruin and instability they wrought; not even a “Chilcot Commission” into the origins of the war, as the UK belatedly launched. Instead the regime’s leaders and top factotums were heaped with honors and wealth. Today their endorsement is eagerly sought — and gained — by the “progressive” Democratic candidate for president.

In 2008, the desperate electorate turned to a figure presented to them as an outsider who would at last bring real change. He had the trappings of difference — a black man with a Muslim name, who spoke eloquently of peace and social justice, who most people thought was far to the left but voted for him anyway. But Barack Obama was of course a meritocratic “centrist” to his core. Riding an enormous wave of popularity, and a strong Congressional majority, he proceeded to … bail out Wall Street fraudsters and finaglers with tax money and create a health care system based on the plan of a rightwing think-tank that prioritized corporate profit — and probably killed the chance for a genuinely public health care system for generations, if not for good. He also doubled down on the Terror War, expanding it to more countries, extended Bush’s death squads, helped destroy nations like Libya and Yemen (thus spawning more chaos and terror), expanded illegal surveillance of the populace (and the world) to an extent beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi or KGB. And after saving Big Money from itself and securing the guaranteed profits of the healthcare-insurance corporate complex, he spent most of his time on the domestic front trying to strike a “grand bargain” with Republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Again, all hopes of any real change were thwarted. So now the nation swings from being ready to embrace a perceived leftist to the brink of voting in a bellicose rightist as it seeks the genuine change no one will give them. Of course, after the scorched-earth tactics of bipartisan neoliberalism and the inevitable moral degradation and brutalization that comes from year after year after year of vicious aggressive war, the choice for Trump is more nihilistic. It’s as if people believe positive change is no longer possible — so let’s tear everything down and see what happens. (This is the actual, open philosophy of the Breitbart gang, who are now directing Trump’s campaign.)

Even if Clinton wins, this nihilism will still be rampant. And given that she happily embodies the bipartisan Establishment now roundly despised on all sides for its many depredations, the nihilism will grow even worse — especially as she has given no indication whatsoever that she will even try to make substantive changes in the neoliberal-militarist system that is strangling us. Quite the contrary.
So yes, this has been a campaign like no other — but mostly because it has brought the systematic decay of the Republic into the sharpest possible relief, and has shown, more clearly than before, that the neoliberal-militarist ascendency offers no hope for a better life, a better world; indeed, that it offers nothing at all — except more violence, more bitterness, more ruin, more degradation for us all.
Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire by MIKE WHITNEY

    NOVEMBER 24, 2015
  1. Email
  2. On Tuesday, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that was carrying out military operations against jihadi groups in Northern Syria. The downing of the Su-24 fighter jet is part of a broader plan by the administration of Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan to topple the secular government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and to establish “safe zones” on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. Erdogan needs the safe zones to provide a sanctuary for the militant extremists who are the footsoldiers in his war against Syria. The downing of the Russian fighter is a desperate attempt by Erdogan to incite a reaction from Russia that will draw either NATO or the United States deeper into a conflict which has dragged on for 4 and a half years and killed 250,000 people.
    Unlike the Obama administration, that has been willing to arm and train jihadi groups to conduct its proxy-war against Assad in Syria, Erdogan is a true believer, a committed Islamist who has done everything in his power to roll back democracy in Turkey, to establish one-man rule, to destroy the independent judiciary, to silence the free press, and to establish a conservative and intolerant Islamic state. Erdogan is what many would call a “Koolaid drinker”, a man who believes that his support for disparate and vicious terrorist groups that have decimated Syria, laid its civilian infrastructure to waste, and displaced more than half the population is “God’s work”. Make no mistake, the Turkish government is the modern-day Caliphate. The fact that its government officials dress in nicely-tailored suits rather than black pajamas, is merely a way to divert attention from their extreme fanaticism and their covert support for liver-eating fundamentalist savages.
    In the seven weeks since Russia began military operations in Syria, nearly all of the gains of the US-Turkey-Saudi-Qatar jihadi coalition have been wiped out. The decisive battle took place more than a week ago at Kuweris airbase east of Aleppo. This was the tipping point for the war although the imminent fall of Aleppo is bound to attract more notoriety. It’s clear now that the Russian-led coalition is winning the war, has foiled US attempt to remove Assad, and that the bulk of the foreign mercenaries will either be killed or captured. The Obama administration realizes that the current phase of the war is hopeless and has started to implement a fallback plan to control territory in E Syria that is critical for future pipeline corridors. In contrast, the Turkish government is completely unwilling to accept the fact that its plan has failed which is why it has embarked on this risky strategy to draw either NATO or Washington deeper into the fray. Check this out from a Tuesday battlefield report from South Front:
    “The Syrian forces backed up by the Russian warplanes, pushed back the militant groups from nearly 200 kilometers of land in the coastal province of Lattakia, military sources said Monday. On Sunday, the Syrian army and popular forces purged the terrorists and advanced to areas near the Turkish borders. The ground reports argue that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took control of Zahia heights, 2km from the joint borders with Turkey.”
    Can you see what’s going on? The Russian-led coalition is closing in on the Syria-Turkish border which will put an end to Erdogan’s dream of toppling Assad or continuing to fuel the war with terrorists that are provided a safe haven on Syrian soil. This is why the Su-24 fighter was shot down on Tuesday. It is a desperate attempt to salvage the failed strategy of toppling a secular government and replacing it with friendly Islamic extremists who hew to Erdogan’s twisted worldview.
    By the way, readers should take a minute and review the video of the “moderate” headchoppers that the US supports in Syria paying special attention to their moderate treatment of prisoners. The Russian pilot was captured by these “freedom fighters”, shot twice in the chest and then his clothes were ripped off so he could be moderately photographed. These are the fine fellows that Uncle Sam would like to see in Damascus heading the government because, as we all know, “Assad has lost legitimacy.” (See here.)
    For the last three days, I have been following a fast-evolving plan by the Turkish Terrorist Government (TTG) to create a false flag operation that would draw either the US or NATO deeper into the war in Syria reversing Obama’s recent commitment NOT to deploy ground troops to the warzone. On Saturday, Turkish newspapers reported that 1,500 Syrian Turkmen had fled to the Turkish border for safety. The reasons that were given were that the Russian warplanes were bombing areas where ISIS was not located. True, ISIS is not located in these Turkmen villages by the border; rather the barbarians that you see in the video are located there. These men belong to the jihadi groups that that have been funded, armed and trained by Turkey and the US and who are fighting to topple Assad. Reasonable people who would like to see an end to terrorism, should feel supportive of Putin’s efforts to annihilate these monsters. Instead, the Turkish government has been trying to make the case that Russia is bombing innocent civilians. Now check out this story (from Monday) in Turkey’s leading newspaper Hurriyet:
    “Turkey has called for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, according to Prime Ministry sources, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saying his government will “not hesitate” to take the required measures on Syrian soil to protect the Turkmen people…
    Turkey is in discussions with the United States and Russia over the bombing of the villages and has sent a letter to Britain, the current holder of the U.N. Security Council’s presidency, asking for the subject to be taken up, sources from Davutoğlu’s office told Reuters on Nov. 23…
    Speaking to reporters late on Nov. 22, Davutoğlu recalled that he was engaged in constant contact with both Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan over the weekend concerning alleged Russian air raids on Turkmen villages near the Syrian-Turkish border. Sources, meanwhile, told Reuters that Davutoğlu had consulted on the intelligence dimension of the issue with Akar and Fidan.
    “Our security forces have been instructed to retaliate against any development that would threaten Turkey’s border security,” the prime minister said. “If there is an attack that would lead to an intense influx of refugees to Turkey, required measures would be taken both inside Syria and Turkey,” he added.
    “Looking at background of these attacks, in a region where very clearly there is no element of Deash (ISIS), where there is no terrorist element, first Russian airplanes come and then with support from foreign fighters.
    “We will also take the required measures diplomatically for the protection of our brothers and sisters in the place where they are located and for the protection of their human rights in the face of any threat,” he also stated.” (Turkey urges UN to act to protect Turkmens in Syria, Hurriyet)
    So is the Turkish PM correct in saying the Russians are bombing the Turkmen civilians forcing them to flee from their homes. Not according to Turkmen leader Ali Türkmani. Here’s what he said:
    “There is a perception operation that is being waged over the Turkmens. The regime will of course attempt to maintain its territorial integrity. As such, threats from al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are being targeted [by Russian air strikes]. It’s not correct to say the Turkmens are being targeted.”
    So civilians are not being targeted, but the Turkish government is supplying weapons and ammo to the terrorists as this article in the Turkish Daily Zaman proves:
    “Several trucks bound for Syria were stopped at the beginning of last year by Turkish gendarmerie forces upon instructions by a prosecutor. It turned out they contained weapons.
    The AK Party government claimed for months that the trucks only included humanitarian aid, but a report published by the Cumhuriyet daily in May last year revealed that the trucks contained weapons.
    According to the daily’s report, a truck, which is thought to be one of many, contained 1,000 artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy machine gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells.
    The government was accused of sending the weapons to radical Islamist groups in Syria, but Davutoğlu swore in June that the trucks were bound for Turkmens. In contrast, Turkmens had earlier denied receiving any weapons from Turkey.” (Turkey calls on UN Security Council to convene for Turkmens in Syria, Today’s Zaman)
    So what is the game-plan here? What is Turkey really up to?
    Well, first of all, they are trying to set up a safe zone on sovereign Syrian territory so they can continue to spread terror across Syria. Check out this clip from the Daily Sabah and you’ll see how these Turkmen radicals who are allies of Ankara are seizing villages to create the safe zone:
    “Syrian opposition groups supported by Turkish and US warplanes took control of two Turkmen towns in Northern Syria early Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported….The operation was supported by six Turkish F-16s, four US F-15s and an AC-130 joined the offensive along with three drones.
    Security sources added that this success in the fight against DAESH that can be defined as the first step for the creation of a DAESH-free zone in Northern Syria….
    Speaking about Turkey’s stance on the recent developments in Northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a live broadcast on Wednesday that declaring no-fly and safe zones is crucial to resolve the Syrian Crisis….Erdoğan further stated that Turkey will continue to carry out anti-terror operations until concrete results are achieved and peace is restored.” (First step for the safe zone in N. Syria: opposition groups take two Turkmen towns from DAESH, Daily Sabah)
    Whether you call it an ISIS-free zone or not is irrelevant. The fact is, the Turkish government (with US air support) is trying to annex Syrian territory for its own nefarious purposes. That much is clear.
    The downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter fits perfectly with the way in which the Turkish government has been ratcheting up tensions on the border, using its jihadi allies to seize Syrian territory, and trying to incite a violent reaction that will force greater NATO or US involvement. I seriously doubt that Putin is gullible enough to take the bait and overreact to this obvious and pathetic provocation in Ankara. He will exact his pound of flesh at some other time, a time of his own choosing.
    MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.
    More articles by:MIKE WHITNEY
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Warhawks: U.S. Officially in "Proxy War" with Russia, Putin Is the New Hitler

Warhawks: U.S. Officially in “Proxy War” with Russia, Putin Is the New Hitler

The irony of this whole thing is that Putin has more reason to defend Syria against ISIS than any other Western nation because Russia’s borders and Russia’s interests are closer to the mark. Anglo-American interests merely lie on dollars and cents, but Russia due to its close proximity has a stronger case in  its right to wipe out ISIS.
Alternatively, the US launched this so-called war on Terror. In doing so, it opened the door for any Nation who feels threatened to launch such a war, not only within its borders but outside of its borders as well. The US and it’s allies in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar and Egypt have all done the bidding of the West in adding their resources in this so-called War on Terror. But now that Russia wants to get into the act, they flip the switch and throw blame at Russia for doing exactly what the US and its allies have felt was their right and that is bomb foreign people in foreign countries half way around the world.

To me, the reality is, them fat folks who don’t fight on the front lines, want to instigate another confrontation to CYA, a lose, lose strategy of suicide. To hell with the soldiers, their families and loved ones, to hell with the infrastructure of Syria, to hell with the immigrant crisis, to hell with the US deficit and its inability to channel these billions into the American economy, tell hell with it all! The US can not stand to be upstaged by somebody ELSE trying to be the world’s next super power.

Reminds me of the old “QuickDraw McGraw” cartoon and what he would say whenever Baba Louie had an idea. He would retort, “Baba Louie, I’ll do the thinnin around here and doooonnnnn’t you for get IT!!”

@ 3:12 “I’ll do the thinning around here, and doooon’t you forget it!”

Quickdraw McGraw – 6 Gun Spook

Baba Looey to the Rescue
Quick Draw McGraw was a cartoon horse with a red cowboy hat and a blue scarf. He played a sheriff in the wild, wild, West. The character was voiced by the inimitable Daws Butler.
His sidekick and deputy, Baba Looey, was a donkey whose accent reminded one of Ricky Ricardo of I Love Lucy fame. His name was spun off Ricardo’s famous song, Baba Lu.
As sheriff, Quick Draw made the decisions. Baba Looey, though often more reasoned, would be told when trying to interject a cogent idea, “I’ll do the thinning around here, and doooon’t you forget it!” Of course, Baba Looey was always right, and Quick Draw saved the day, in spite of himself.
Walking on two feet, like a human, Quick Draw had hoof-like hands, modified with fingers so he could hold his gun. He was so human-like, he even rode his own horse. Viewers were treated to the unlikely spectacle of a horse on a horse.
In another “persona,” Quick Draw could don a mask and become El-Kabong, a Zorro parody. As El-Kabong, he would subdue bandits by bashing them over the head with his guitar while simultaneously yelling,”KABONG!!!! His instrument never survived.
Toonopedia has a website with more information on Hanna-Barbera’s Quick Draw McGraw.

    Before Putin Showed Up, 11 Other Countries Were Already Bombing Syria

    OCTOBER 12, 2015
    Russia has struck over 110 ISIS targets in Syria in just two weeks. Over 40% of the Islamic State’s infrastructure has reportedly been destroyed already.
    We lost track somewhere (sadly), but it was recently noted by Putin that, by the time Russia showed up and started systematically destroying ISIS in short order, there were already 11 other countries bombing Syria.
    Eleven other countries…
    In fact, it has been over a year since America started an airstrike campaign over there.
    What does that tell you?
    It hardly needs to be pointed out how blatantly obvious it is that, regardless of how many billions the American people were told just had to be spent “fighting the terrorists” over there, this was never for one hot second about the West actually stopping ISIS.
    The only way that lie works is if the Western coalition is the most inept terror rescue team ever invented in the history of time.
    Further, instead of applauding Putin’s timely and efficient intervention in Syria, the West is protesting Russia’s involvement and bombing of terrorists.
    It’s as if they want the terrorists to win, isn’t it? If Assad gets deposed, then what? The terrorists take over? Yeah, that worked really well in Libya, Iraq, Egypt…
    Meanwhile, NATO has dusted off and thoroughly updated its Cold War plans like giddy children at Christmas. Sure took them long enough to get their pretext to drag Russia into war, didn’t it?
    Melissa Dykes (formerly Melton) is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

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