Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost his bid to become Turkey’s supreme leader in last month’s elections. So he’s taken the country to war to increase his popularity and improve his chances of victory in snap elections in November.
Turkish bombers continued to pound Kurdish positions in Northern Iraq early Thursday after killing an estimated 100 Kurds a day earlier. Erdogan broke off peace talks with the Kurdish militias and launched this latest assault after failing to win enough seats in Parliament to change the constitution. The ambitious Erdogan needed 330 deputies to make sweeping changes to the constitution that would give the president unlimited executive power making Erdogan de facto emperor of Turkey. His plan was frustrated by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) that won an unprecedented 13 percent of the vote. The HDP is determined to prevent Erdogan from realizing his dream of becoming Turkey’s imperial sultan . The current war against the Kurds in Syria and Iraq is designed to whip up nationalist sentiment in order to put Erdogan “over the top” in elections that could come as early as this Fall.
Here’s more from Huffington Post:
“Last month, only after losing his party’s parliamentary majority, President Erdogan realized that there are dangerous terrorists in neighboring Syria who are a threat to Turkey’s security … Rather than intending to fight ISIS terrorists or cooperate with United States military operations in Syria and Iraq, Erdogan’s real purpose is to consolidate his own hold on power and accomplish the following self-serving objectives:
1) Turkey’s President realizes that should his ruling party fail to form a coalition government by the end of August, he would be obliged to call a new round of parliamentary elections in November. Therefore, by taking bold actions against ISIS and Kurdish fighters, Erdogan hopes that Turkish voters would give his party the few extra seats needed to regain a majority in Parliament.
…The Turkish President’s self-serving fake war against terrorism could have the tragic consequence of escalating the violence throughout Turkey and neighboring countries. If Ankara is truly interested in countering the Jihadists, it should have done that long ago, instead of arming and abetting ISIS and other terror groups.” (Erdogan Is Pursuing Turkish Self-Interests, Under the Guise of Fighting ISIS, Harut Sassounian, Huffington Post)
Here’s more from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, David L. Phillips:
“Erdogan is angling for new elections. He is trying to discredit the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish party which received 13.1% of the votes and will be seated in parliament for the first time. Erdogan is furious with the HDP for its strong showing, which denied the AKP enough support to change the constitution and establish an executive imperial presidency. In retaliation, Erdogan is threatening to lift the parliamentary immunity of HDP legislators. He’s even intimated at closing the HDP for supporting the PKK.” (Turkey’s Dark Future, David L. Phillips, Huffington Post)
Are we saying that Erdogan has started a war with the Kurds with the sole intention of enhancing his own political power?
Yes, that’s exactly what we’re saying. This is a story about a power-hungry megalomaniac, not a struggle against Kurdish militias and certainly not a war against ISIS. In fact, Erdogan has been ISIS greatest friend as this blurb from the UK Independent points out:
“There is no doubt that ability to move backwards and forwards across the 550-mile long Syrian-Turkish border has been crucial to the growth of the jihadi movements in Syria since 2011. The thousands of foreign volunteers who have flooded into Syria have almost all come from Turkey. Even those unable to speak Turkish or Arabic have had little difficulty in making their way across. In many respects, Turkey has provided a safe sanctuary for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, playing a similar role as Pakistan does in support of providing safe haven for the Taliban in Afghanistan.” “A Syrian rebel offensive led by Jabhat al-Nusra was allegedly masterminded from an operational headquarters inside Turkey and was the outcome of a closer understanding between Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.” (Suruc suicide attack: Bombing shows Turkey is being sucked into the violence in Syria, Patrick Cockburn, Independent)
And then there’s this from the Front Page:
“Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s claim that “Turkey and AKP governments have never had any direct or indirect connection with any terrorist organization” flies in the face of last November’s report from the U.N. Security Council’s Analytical Support and Monitoring Team, which identifies Turkey as the primary route for weaponry smuggled to ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front.
The State Department’s briefing at the beginning of June also stated Turkey is the main route for more than 22,000 fighters who have flocked to Syria to join extremist organizations, mainly ISIL. There are numerous other sources” (Turkey into the Abyss, Robert Ellis, Front Page)
Erdogan has pulled out all the stops in his attempt to consolidate his power and become Turkey’s supreme leader, which is why he’s trying to have pro-Kurdish members of parliament (HDP) stripped of immunity and prosecuted as criminals under Turkey’s stringent terrorism laws. (So far, more than 1,300 mostly Kurdish nationalist supporters and leftists have been swept up in a massive government dragnet since the bombing in Suruc two weeks ago. None of these people have yet been charged with a crime. The government has dropped all pretense that it is carrying out a war on ISIS. The roundup is clearly politically motivated.)
In an article that appeared in the Turkish daily, Hurriyet, statistician Emer Deliveli asks “Is Erdogan warmongering for political power?” Here’s what he says:
“After showing that “political stability indicators at an all-time low”, Deliveli says, “my analyses showed that, indeed, support for the AKP (Erdogan’s party) increased after episodes of rising political violence.”… “one cannot prove that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is warmongering for political power … However, both conspiracy theories are in fact variants of the same theme- Erdogan doing all it takes to become an all-powerful president. And when evidence piles up like this, one cannot help but think, “what if.” (Is Erdogan warmongering for political power?, Hurriyet)
Erdogan wouldn’t be the first leader to start a war to boost his popularity at home, or the last. But it’s a risky strategy all the same, especially since his erratic and self-serving policies have already alienated a broad cross-section of the electorate that used to comprise his base. Check out this blurb from Foreign Policy magazine:
“Erdogan’s weakness in perceiving and acting on the militant Islamist threat has not won him extra friends on the security-first right. His autocratic Islamist style is losing him support on the left. And as for the Kurdish vote, well, he can just forget about it. History has also shown that seemingly invincible leaders can be forced to go gently — or not so gently — into that good night. The mighty Ottomans, after all, did not last forever. There’s no reason why a neo-Ottoman would either.” (The Sultan of Swing’s Dangerous Gamble, Leela Jacinto, Foreign Policy)
The biggest threat facing Erdogan in the short-term is that the Turkish people will see what he’s up to and cast their ballots accordingly in the November elections. But that will require restraint on the part of the Kurdish militias who will have to silence their guns to win the support of the people.
The only way the Kurds can beat a power-drunk, right-wing fanatic like Erdogan, is by giving peace a chance. Until the votes are counted, that is.
With the approval vote in the United Nation Security Council of the P5 + 1 Iranian agreement, a smorgasbord of eager trading partners claw themselves out of the woodwork. The liquid black gold rush is on. With the rescinding of sanctions put into motion, over time the wheels of commerce will be put back on track. No matter what the U.S. Congress does, the flood from international trade will start making deals with Iran.
A sample of some of these activities follows:
“Multinational mobile phone companies, car makers and hospitality firms are seen as the most primed to benefit from the lifting of sanctions.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it sees Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as likely beneficiaries from Iranian foreign trade, which could increase to $200 billion by 2020 from $80 billion now.”
“Citi Research analyst Chris Wetherbee said the opening of Iran is a “net positive” for international tanker firms, because Iran’s aging fleet won’t be able to compete, and more energy supplies will be on the market.”
“All of the major banking institutions in the industrial world will try to finance and facilitate increased trade with Iran,” Christopher Whalen, senior managing director at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, told CNBC. “It’s a big country, (and) they are very Western-focused. Iranians are consumers of everything. You can anticipate anything from industrial equipment to consumer products will definitely be bought, and will definitely be financed.”
“Lower crude oil prices following the Iran nuclear deal will contribute positively to the Indian economy, across the oil and gas value chain barring domestic upstream players, India Ratings and Research has said.
A decline in oil prices could lower LNG (liquefied natural gas) prices and this is likely to benefit end-consumer industries such as fertilizer and petrochemicals, it said.”
“Now, with the prospect of sanctions on Iran lifting in the near future, Pakistan is hoping to become one of the early beneficiaries of a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers by finally completing the Iran-Pakistan pipeline.
But funding for the expensive project, expected to cost about $2 billion, is another problem for cash-strapped Pakistan. That is why it is trying to piggyback this project on another one funded mostly by its rich neighbor, China.
China will provide 85 percent of the $2 billion required to build a liquid natural gas terminal at Pakistan’s southern port city Gwadar. The project includes a 700 kilometer long pipeline to other areas of the country.”
“Washington will live to regret this decision as its once greatest allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt and even Turkey, start to feel as though they were betrayed by the United States.
Looking to counter what the Gulf Arabs perceive as a genuine threat, logic dictates they are likely to turn to Russia for a fresh alliance and to help them counter the Iranian threat.”
“Trapped in isolation with outdated planes, Iran Air – a carrier dragged down by decades of economic restrictions – finally felt a gust of hope last week thanks to the international nuclear accord and a potential lifting of sanctions.
Once the deal is implemented, the Islamic republic will be able to replace its vintage aircraft, some of which are almost 30 years old.”
All these examples share in a common interest that comes from commerce. Nonetheless, buying and selling is seldom a strict barter arrangement. The banking system and currency conversion for payment and settlement becomes a necessary component. The lifting of sanctions is really reducible to reestablishing the financial clearing function.
While the creation of the BRICS trading block provides a workable competing opportunity for Iran to engage, the necessity to transact with Western companies becomes obvious.
Replacement of an airline fleet means buying from Western companies like Boeing and Airbus. Hoping that Russia or China would be able to construct an alternative is just not practical.
The Asian ship builders like South Korea may be looking for future tanker orders, since competitive fabrication companies are producing the most functional naval transports.
Finally, the consumer electronic sector sees the Iranian market as a prime target long restricted from all the gadgets that facilitate global communication.
The United States will lag behind most other countries from trading with Iran for a simple reason. Iranian unwelcoming attitudes towards America will translate into doing business with anyone but the Yankee devil, whenever possible.
While Iranian youth may be far more open to reinstituting commercial relations with America, the political regime holds fast to fighting the imperial globalization of Western corporatism.
In order to grease the gears of advantageous international commerce, the energy sector will still lead an Iranian economic reintegration. Marking the difference between mutually beneficial business transactions from corporatist exploration and plunder of natural resources, should be the task for going forward.
Set aside the politics of the neo-feudalism version of 21st colonialism and reopen the prospects of reducing tension and hatred by abolishing sanctions as a destructive tool for foreign policy.
All sincere parties benefit and profit from cordial business relations. Iran’s desire to have sanctions eliminated offers hope that better relationships and positive interaction can progress.
The overwhelming approval of foreign nations to break the embargo of NeoCon “axis of evil” propaganda demonstrates that promoting “good business” is preferable to detrimental isolation and damaging hostilities.
The proper standard to adopt was established by George Washington in his Farewell Address.
“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”
Sanctions violate “conventional rules of intercourse”. International affairs never remain constant. Notwithstanding, the wisdom of President Washington, the current political and economic culture is hell bent on breaking the rules for favorable commerce. Resumed trade with Iran will offer a positive opportunity to lower the antagonistic tension and restart rehabilitative dialogue.
“China is reaching deep within the world island in an attempt to thoroughly reshape the geopolitical fundamentals of global power…… Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment…….If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland, then quite possibly…. “the empire of the world would be in sight.”
— Alfred McCoy, The Geopolitics of American Global Decline, The Unz Review
“The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.”
— Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, “America’s Pacific Century”, Foreign Policy magazine.
June 23, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – “Counterpunch” – China’s meteoric rise has Washington worried, not because China is a threat to its neighbors or to US national security, but because China’s influence is expanding across the region. It’s creating the institutions it needs to finance its own development (AIIB and New BRICS Bank), it’s building the infrastructure needed to connect the continents with state-of-the-art high-speed rail (New Silk Road), and its attracting allies and trading partners who want to participate in its plan for growth and prosperity. This is why Washington is worried; it’s because China has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse that doesn’t conform to the neoliberal model of punitive austerity, pernicious privatization, and madcap asset inflation. China has slipped out of the empire’s orbit and charted its own course, which is why Washington wants to provoke Beijing over its negligible land reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Washington thinks it can succeed militarily where it has failed economically and politically. Case in point; check this out from Bloomberg News:
“The U.S. and Japan are conducting separate military drills with the Philippines near the disputed South China Sea,…The annual CARAT Philippines joint exercise started Monday off the east coast of Palawan island and will run until June 26, according to U.S. Navy spokesman Arlo Abrahamson. The Philippine and Japanese navies are holding drills around the same island through June 27, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force said last week.
The U.S. has backed Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines as tensions escalate with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, while Japan is providing patrol vessels to the Philippine coast guard….The drill includes a sea phase with the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth, diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard and a P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft and at least one Philippine frigate, according to the U.S. Navy….
Japan’s exercises with the Philippines will take place adjacent to the Spratly Islands, where China has created more than 2,000 acres of land in waters also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia. Japan will send a P-3C anti-submarine, maritime surveillance aircraft and 20 personnel.” (“U.S., Japan Join Philippines in Navy Drills Near South China Sea”, Bloomberg)
The “show of force” drills are designed to harass and intimidate China. They have no other purpose. The US wants to force China to succumb to its diktats, to abandon its commitment to new institutions, to open its markets to US corporations and Wall Street, and to allow the US a free-hand in writing trade rules. That’s what Washington really wants and that’s why the moderate Chuck Hagel was dumped for the combative Ashton Carter as Secretary of Defense. US powerbrokers wanted a scrappy taskmaster who’d bloody China’s nose and show them who’s boss. Carter fit the bill to a “T”, an icy bureaucratic leg-breaker who fancies himself the “smartest guy in the room”. Peter Lee provides an interesting insight on Carter in a recent blog-post at China Matters. He says:
“…assertive Ash Carter is not playing bad cop to Obama/Kerry’s good cop; he’s the whole show, which will delight fans of military control of foreign policy everywhere.”
We’re glad that others are beginning to see that the Pentagon has taken over US foreign policy. Carter is clearly calling the shots in Asia and Europe.
Lee seems to believe that Carter will outlast Obama’s time in office if Madame Clinton is elected president. Which is not surprising, since it was Clinton who first introduced “pivot” to the strategic lexicon in a speech she gave in 2010 titled “America’s Pacific Century”. Clinton’s presentation laid out the basic themes that would later become America’s “top priority”, the rebalancing of US power to the Asia Pacific. Here’s an excerpt from the speech that appeared in Foreign Policy magazine:
“As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region…
Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia…
The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia…and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.” (“America’s Pacific Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)
Repeat: “Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests…. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia.”
There it is in a nutshell. Having reduced the great American middle class to a lifeless, rotting corpse incapable of sustaining even meager demand or growth, US elites are packing the boats and heading for China, the shining corporate Valhalla on the hill. Clinton seems to think it should be pretty easy to penetrate these bustling Asian markets provided we back up our crackbrain aspirations with a strong dose of gunboat diplomacy–which is where Boss-man Carter comes in.
It’s worth noting that Clinton did not conjure up the pivot on her own, but was briefed on the theory by pivot mastermind Kurt M. Campbell. Campbell is Co-Founder and former CEO of the Center for a New American Security. According to the Center for a New American Security website: “From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, where he is widely credited as being a key architect of the “pivot to Asia.” In this capacity, Dr. Campbell advanced a comprehensive U.S. strategy that took him to every corner of the Asia-Pacific region where he was a tireless advocate for American interests, particularly the promotion of trade and investment.”
In a recent video interview with neocon Robert Kagan, Campbell regurgitates the same rhetoric that appears in Clinton’s speech. He opines: “Most of the history of the 21 century is going to be in the Asia Pacific region….It is in our best national interest to show that we are going to play a central role in that drama just as we have in the 20th century….(There is bipartisan)… recognition that our military presence is our ticket to the big game in the Asia Pacific.” (See entire interview here.)
There seems to be a growing consensus that the US military is the right tool for persuading China to cave in, but is it?
The last thing the Obama administration wants is a shooting war with China, mainly because China has the ability to strike back, and not just militarily either. Let me explain: According to political scientist Pang Zhongying, “The current relationship between China and the US is one that has never existed in the history of international relations…..The level of interdependence between China and the US is unprecedented in history. Before the 1970s, no one could possibly imagine or predict that these two countries would be interdependent to the extent of today. At that time, interdependence existed only between the US and Europe, or among the G7 at the most. The level of interdependence today did not exist between the US and China.”
In other words, the two countries need each other and are bound together in a complex web of economic and financial ties, including China’s massive holding of US debt which amounts to an eyewatering $1.3 trillion. This interdependence means that the US cannot abuse China in the same way it has Russia without putting itself at risk. So, while the US still maintains the dominant position economically and militarily, it can’t simply throw caution to the wind by imposing sanctions or escalating hostilities beyond a certain point without jeopardizing its own security. China knows this, which is why it will continue to pursue its own agenda aggressively while deflecting US belligerence and hostility as best as it can.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is still committed to “peaceful development”. US antagonism is just one of the many hurtles that China will have to overcome to actualize its plan for integrating the Eurasian landmass into the world’s largest and most prosperous trading bloc. Check out this excerpt from Alfred McCoy’s seminal piece “The Geopolitics of American Global Decline”:
“China’s leadership began collaborating with surrounding states on a massive project to integrate the country’s national rail network into a transcontinental grid. Starting in 2008, the Germans and Russians joined with the Chinese in launching the “Eurasian Land Bridge.” Two east-west routes, the old Trans-Siberian in the north and a new southern route along the ancient Silk Road through Kazakhstan are meant to bind all of Eurasia together….
In April, President Xi Jinping announced construction of that massive road-rail-pipeline corridor direct from western China to its new port at Gwadar, Pakistan, creating the logistics for future naval deployments in the energy-rich Arabian Sea….. By building the infrastructure for military bases in the South China and Arabian seas, Beijing is forging the future capacity to surgically and strategically impair U.S. military containment. …
In a decade or two….China will be ready to surgically slice through Washington’s continental encirclement at a few strategic points without having to confront the full global might of the U.S. military, potentially rendering the vast American armada of carriers, cruisers, drones, fighters, and submarines redundant….. If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland, then quite possibly…. “the empire of the world would be in sight.” (“The Geopolitics of American Global Decline”, Alfred McCoy, The Unz Review)
There it is, eh? The end of one empire and the beginning of another.
China’s leaders aren’t going to blow their big chance by getting sucked into a costly and pointless war with the United States. That’s ridiculous. They’re going to keep plugging away until the Silk Road becomes a reality.
In a stunning blow to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in over 13 years. By curtailing Erdogan’s power, the results of the general election held last Sunday (June 7) are likely – at long last – to have some positive repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Erdogan had hoped to obtain a two-thirds legislative supermajority, which would enable him to push through a new constitution that would create an executive presidency and make him de iure, as well asde facto, Turkey’s autocrat with sweeping powers which would have made the U.S. presidency look weak by comparison. His by now openly Islamist AKP, which has governed Turkey since February 2002, went along with his plan. In view of Erdogan’s victory in the presidential election less than a year ago with 52 percent of the vote in the first round, and the AKP’s ability to steadily increase its share of the vote in three consecutive elections, the party’s top brass initially assumed the AKP would be able to gain the 400 seats which Erdogan boldly promised at the beginning of the campaign. Some weeks later he lowered his expectations to 330 seats, the number necessary to hold a referendum on the constitutional amendment he wanted. In the final fortnight of the campaign he remained confident that the AKP would get at least 276 seats needed to form a single-party government for the fourth time.
Erdogan’s name was not on the ballot, but the election was widely perceived as a referendum on his proposed “Turkish-style presidency” – and he has overplayed his hand. Unprecedentedly high turnout of 86 percent included a significant number of former abstainees who were now motivated simply by the desire to stop Erdogan. After last Sunday’s fiasco, his overall power and even his authority in the AKP will no longer be absolute.
With 258 seats and 41 percent of the vote the AKP remains Turkey’s largest party by far, but it is now 18 mandates short of a simple majority in the 550-seat national assembly. In order to continue governing it has two options: to find a coalition partner among the three opposition parties which have crossed the (blatantly undemocratic) ten-percent threshold, or else to form a minority government with the tacit support of one of those three parties. If neither scenario works in the next 45 days, there will have to be a new election in three months’ time.
The secular-Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) remains the second largest force in Turkish politics, with 25 percent of the vote and 132 seats. Its social-democratic agenda is supported mainly by the urban middle class and by pro-European liberals who regard Erdogan as a calamity that must be stopped. It is therefore unlikely to consider a coalition with the AKP, let alone to provide passive support for a minority government. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu declared that the nation “stopped the rot” on Sunday, but also expressed his opposition to yet another election. He and his colleagues would like to form a broad coalition without the AKP, but the problem is that the other two opposition parties fundamentally disagree on several key issues at home and abroad.
Even less likely to help Erdogan and the AKP is the success story of this election, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which enters parliament for the first time with 80 seats and 13 percent of the vote. Its leader Selahattin Demirtas openly taunted Erdogan in his speech late on election night: “As of this hour, the debate about the presidency, the debate about dictatorship is over. Turkey averted a disaster at the brink. We prevented you from being the kind of president you wanted to be!” This mainly Kurdish party has successfully appealed to young Turks everywhere with its staunch opposition to AKP’s Islamist conservatism and with its advocacy of a radical social agenda which includes Western-style homosexual and women’s rights.
All this is anathema to the third opposition party, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – the home of the “Grey Wolves” of yore – which also has 80 seats, with just over 16 percent of the vote. It is opposed to practically everything the HDP stands for, Kurdish minority rights in particular. When the chips are down the Nationalist Movement Party is more likely to join an AKP-led coalition. Its price is likely to be Erdogan’s acceptance of a greatly curtailed presidential role, in accordance with the existing constitution, and his public commitment that he would not make another attempt to change the rules.
This may well be quietly welcomed by many AKP leaders who have grown weary Erdogan’s confrontational style and autocratic ways. Former president and party founder Abdullah Gul, who is known to resent Erdogan, may reenter the fray. There are many influential Turks of Islamist persuasion, within and without the AKP, who have not been adverse to the drift away from secularism at home and to the assertive pursuit of neo-Ottomanism abroad, but who believe that the power of “the Sultan” (as Erdogan is known among his friends and foes alike) needs to be curtailed. While they do not identify with the values and aspirations of the secular and liberal urban middle class which dominates the opposition, some religious conservatives will see the election result as an opportunity to persuade the “Sultan” that he needs to listen to the neglected pashas and viziers.
Erdogan was not the only reason for AKP’s poor showing. Turkey’s no longer growing economy and a weak lira have played a major role, as well as the government’s involvement in Syria, the growingmedia censorship, government corruption, and the typically Islamist disregard for the Kemalist legacy of women’s equality. Last but not least, Erdogan’s brazen involvement in the campaign process – in spite of the fact that the president of the republic is constitutionally required to remain politically neutral – may have cost cost the AKP a couple of percentage points.
Internationally, the election result and the ensuing weeks, perhaps months, of domestic political uncertainty will probably decrease Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, specifically its support for the hard-core jihadist Nusra Front. Most Turks, AKP supporters and Kemalists alike, are opposed to Erdogan’s support for the Syrian rebels and advocacy of foreign intervention, which is perceived as an “American,” rather than “Turkish” policy. If Turkey becomes less involved in Arab affairs in the period ahead, that will be good news for Syria’s beleaguered president Bashar al-Assad, the man who commands the only army in the field capable of opposing ISIS.
There was only an en passant reference to Syria at the end of my analysis of Erdogan’s defeat three days ago. This subject deserves closer scrutiny. His controversial policy vis-à-vis Damascus now appears to have been a major factor in his defeat, and Turkey’s likely fine-tuning of her posture in the months ahead may have major repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Turkey’s three opposition parties, the social-democratic, neoKemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), the sternly nationalist Action Party (MHP), and the predominantly Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) may not have much in common on social, cultural, ethnic and religious issues, but they all agree that Erdogan was mistaken in entering the Syrian fray. He did so by arming Islamic militants fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, by quietly allowing thousands of foreign jihadists to cross from Turkey into Iraq and Syria, and by enabling the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Jabhat al-Nusra – a hard-line jihadist fighting force if there ever was one – to become major players in the conflict. Turkey’s assistance to the latter group is a matter of well documented record.
It is now apparent that the ruling AKP performed poorly, in contrast to its earlier showing, in all provinces bordering Syria. and especially among the millions of Kurds disenchanted with Turkey’s failure to help their Syrian brethern in Kobani. As a reliable news source has noted,
The change of power structure in Turkey came precisely at a time when the new Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey partnership is changing the balances in the field against Assad’s regime. The double-pronged strategy of the partnership sought to arm and expand the territory dominated in the northern front of Idlib and Hatay and the southern front of Daara, Quneitra, Suwayda and Damascus via Jordan. The Turkish prong of this strategy is now up in the air.
Erdogan had agreed with the recently enthroned Saudi King Salman to supply weapons and training to al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch of Jabhat al-Nusra and the affiliated Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fateh), led by Ahrar al-Sha. These al-Qaeda affiliates are hard-core jihadists, of course, whose only claim to respectability (in the eyes of Washington’s “foreign policy community”) is the fact that they are anti-Bashar and not affiliated with ISIS. They are horrible people nevertheless, and designing them as “moderates” in the mainstream Western media simply serves the bipartisan neocon-neolib agenda of bringing down Assad – regardless of consequences for Syria’s Christians, for Syria itself, and for Israel’s vulnerable Golan frontier.
It is noteworthy that HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, speaking to CNN International, stated point blank that any coalition government would have to discontinue Turkey’s “support IS and other radical groups in the region.” Turkey’s eventual disengagement from Erdogan’s axis of evil with the worst purveyor of Islamic agenda in the world – Saudi Arabia – would be a long overdue ray of hope in the nightmarish Middle Eastern equation.
The Source and the Effect…
Power is a key element in the function of a culture. Its source and the way it is used or controlled determine success or failure.
I am not opposed to scientific advancement or to the comfort and efficiency mechanical and technical minds have provided to humanity. However, I am opposed to the deification of science and reason to the detriment of the peace and prosperity of the earth’s population.
We are born of woman but ultimately our physical bodies return to the earth as dust. We are tied to the earth for food and water and for the resources we use to create marvelous mechanical and technical devices. Seeds produce plants and plants sustain both human and animal life. Without food and water everything would die – humans, animals, plants, and insects.
Designed to rule the earth and all lower forms of life, we are equipped to find water, produce food and reproduce ourselves. Our minds are capable of creating a proper government over the creation. However, we have a defect that prevents us from properly administering dominion. Instead of accepting the reality that we are created beings made to live under the authority of our Creator we choose to use our godlike qualities in a quest for unaccountable individual control. We seek to be like God exerting unauthorized power over ourselves and others. This defect is the cause of murder, mayhem, and tyranny rather than justice and peace.
We arrived into a world already in existence and a society developed by previous tenants. Helpless at birth we were fed and nurtured into childhood and on until we are able to care for ourselves. Rather than being humbly thankful for the gift of life we often rebel against source of life and act as if we are beholden to nothing and our existence authorizes us to bring power over it all.
Because we have refused to live under the authority of our Creator, who is our legitimate sovereign, we have allowed power to flow to the state which has now become our sovereign and is accruing absolute power. We are unwilling to live under the rule of the One True God preferring the rule of our fellows whose evil dominion will begin to teach us the true nature of our fellow human beings.
Through several thousand years of human history the world population has been relatively small and our home on the earth was taken for granted. Now that the world population has grown exponentially we are beginning to be concerned about its ability to sustain us. We are even beginning to think we have outgrown our birthplace and must seek additional living quarters elsewhere in the universe.
The Industrial Revolution removed most of us from our land and employed us as cogs in the mass production of products that provide comfort and leisure. Instead of working to supply food for our families on our own land we sold our land and moved to cities where we traded the independence and pride of ownership for easier work and leisure.
We now work for money instead of food and are subject to the manipulation of the value of the money and the availability of work itself. Our destiny is in the hands of massive corporations that want to use us as units of production but do not want to know us or care about our welfare. Children, welcomed as assets in the agrarian society, are now liabilities and our culture is no longer producing babies in quantities that replace the dead putting its continued existence in jeopardy.
Under the auspices of science with no consideration for the ancillary results we have delved into subjects that may be outside our permissions. We are using our finite minds to tinker with the basic units of life hoping to affect the qualities of the embryo by modifying the DNA that controls it. Others of us are working at producing robots that can act as human beings by making independent decisions and carrying them out.
As demography warns us that we are in danger of becoming a minority population in a land we and our ancestors founded and developed we ignore the warning, fail to make adjustments, and continue to support small families, abortion, and same sex unions
We are created beings constructed for obedience and humility. Contrived, illogical theories of evolution provide the arrogance of autonomy and we begin to act like gods. All humility evaporates and we begin to fight for control over our fellow human beings. We, to whom life was a gift, who had nothing to do with our existence, seek to act as sovereign lords with the right to determine right and wrong and to live as kings in gifted space.
“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Prov. 16:18) American exceptionalism and national pride have run its course and a stumble is imminent.
Paul Craig Roberts points out that the boasting about winning WWII is not only impolite but totally wrong. Russia through tremendous sacrifice of lives and property defeated Germany and Eisenhower invaded Europe after the war had been won. Roberts claims the U. S. has not won a war since defeating the Japanese and that was more a technical achievement than a military victory. .
Pastor Chuck Baldwin says that America has been a captive nation for more than a Century; controlled by a cabal of foreign bankers whose identity cannot be verified. The Federal Reserve removed control of the nation from the people allowing bankers to control our government through manipulation of elections. No one can win an election to a Federal Government position without supporting neo-Israel. The neocons have gained enough power over policies to force the American people to finance their wars and their quest for world domination.
The United States of America is indeed a puppet nation inhabited by an insouciant people that are too lazy and gullible to discern reality and fight for righteousness. While our people have been busy with their jobs and the enjoyment of a hedonistic lifestyle the basic unit of civilization has been dismantled and replaced by unreasonable and unnatural arrangements ineptly described as families; two men are a family, two women are a family, a woman and a child are a family, and a man and a child are a family – an individual and a dog may soon qualify. The conventional family composed of a married man and woman with children has been arbitrarily dismantled by powerful individuals who seek to certify deviant lifestyles.
“America and the World” is a 2008 book containing an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft moderated by David Ignatious. Brzezinski and Scowcroft have been long time advisers to U. S. presidents and other leaders. On page 242 Brzezinski made this statement. “The president (George W. Bush) said in his latest State of the Union message that the defining character of the Twenty-First Century is going to be the struggle against terrorism. This is an absurd statement – first of all it is 2008, so we still have 92 years to run. To define the essence of this century so early on is premature. What Brent and I are doing today is trying to grope our way towards a more complex and sophisticated definition of the challenges of the century, and to say how, in that context, an American national policy that combines power with principle Is the right response.”
Brzezinski and Scowcroft are globalists but they seem to cling to the old fashioned idea of adhering to principles. On the following page Scowcroft says the when he was in graduate school the bible for students of international politics was a book by Hans Morgenthau entitled “Politics Among Nations”. He describes the book this way: “international politics is a struggle for power and that power is the only thing that matters”.
In 2003 I wrote an article entitled “Judeo-Christian Decadence” (Read it here) it describes the education of many of the Bush II advisors who studied under University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss The Strauss philosophy lacked principles. It was Machiavellian, elitist, deceptive, and esoteric. Out of it came the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neocon document that recommended growing our armaments and sending our armed forces into the world to exert American hegemony. It was enthusiastically accepted by the Bush II Administration and has continued to exert heavy influence on our foreign policy. Read about it here. (Note that current presidential candidate Jeb Bush was one of the authors.)
Writing about the cabal that is controlling our world is a conjecture at best but it appears that the recommendations of men like Brzezinski and Scowcroft have lost their influence being replaced by the brutal power and shrewd deception of the neocon cabal.
PNAC was the guiding light of the George W. Bush Administration. It developed the War on Terror and the ruse that America was in danger from Middle Eastern Muslim nations. Brzezinski called the idea “absurd”.
When the true ruler of the universe is ignored and individual sovereignty begins to create chaos power begins to flow to government. When government becomes the sovereign the next step is a new world order. To some a world order is an advancement that would stop war and bring peace. To others it is considered a fulfillment of destiny for a superior group of people whose elite status entitles them to world hegemony. This group of neocons whose power came to the fore during the Bush II Administration is in the process of destroying the United States of America by using it in their quest for world tyranny.
The new power brokers are not bound by principle. Their conduct is both deceptive and cold blooded. It is characterized by massive propaganda, outright lies, deception, cruel retaliation, and the use of power over law. Their attempts to destroy the United States has had considerable success during the Twentieth Century and now that their hegemony is almost absolute they have accelerated their efforts during the decade and a half of the new era.
Efforts to bring the world order into existence peacefully using power and principle have been replaced by mass murder, lethal bombers, drones, and assassins. With the traitorous help of our own elected representatives they have engaged us in an endless war against a nebulous enemy called “Terrorists”. By propagandizing the lie that we are in danger they have used our armies to invade nations that could never be a threat to United States creating death and chaos among hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
Instituting unnecessary foreign wars and obligating the American people with massive debt without their approval can ultimately result in an aroused citizenry – even in an insouciant people. So the government has passed mountains of restrictive law that could remove all of our rights and bring on a grinding tyranny. . John Whitehead writes about it here.
Concentrations of power are dangerous. During the late Middle Ages an accumulation of power in the Catholic Church produced a gross distortion of the character of the God it claimed to represent. Murder, adultery, fornication, and conspiracy were evident in the hierarchy and cupidity resulted in a lucrative business in the sale of indulgences which not only distorted the essence of the Gospel but elevated an arrogant church into the sin of being like God. Human beings in control of the church were offering forgiveness of sin in exchange for money.
Absolute power results in similar travesties whether vested in kings, in governments, churches, or private homes. Those who exercise such power revert to the original sin of being like God. They claim dominion over life and death and demand that their edicts are carried out under the threat of death. The church had elevated itself into the wicked position of claiming its word was the Word of God. To defy the church was heresy and heresy was punished with death.
The position of the Catholic Church during the middle ages was similar to that of the United States government under President Barak Obama. Our government seeks to prosecute Edward Snowden for revealing to the people a criminal invasion of the privacy of its citizens in defiance to the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution, the law of the land. Just as the Catholic Church reserves the right to act as a god by forgiving sin, our government is claims the right to overrule our Constitution by blatant invasions of our privacy. When exposed, evil being done under the cover of darkness bites like a rattlesnake!
The reformation began by publishing the Bible in languages that the people could understand and using it to preach the gospel and to point to the errors of Rome. In that era many people were blest to receive Biblical truths and began to follow a Reformed Christianity.
The Bible was purposely kept from the people allowing the Catholic Church to become humanistic without accountability. It was access to the Bible that brought about the Reformation. Reformers claimed the Word of God should govern the world – the Catholic Church claims that since it collated and put together the Bible, it is subject to the Church allowing the church to tinker with the Word of God.. Protestant Reformers believed.l the church should be subject to God and His Law along with all else.
Attempts to reform flagrant errors in the Catholic Church – errors both human and theological – resulted in charges of heresy and sentences of death. There were similarities in the tyrannical governments of Stalin and Hitler. Tyranny is a humanistic evil that echoes the Biblical record of the sin of Adam. Instead of seeing themselves as created beings in need of the wisdom of the Creator men beguiled by the Devil see themselves as god and with the chaos and cruelty of Godlessness they produce murder and mayhem.
The Church refused to correct it errors and critics were burned at the stake. There is no Biblical support for Papal infallibility, for Baptismal conversion, for confessional forgiveness of sin, for worship and prayer to Mary or to any of the dead icons. The original church of Jesus Christ continues as a sizeable world force but it is secular, a supporter of the world order, and promoter of heretical, humanistic theology. Read here.
People who cling to sinful doctrines are often intellectually lazy and unwilling to join the perennial battle against evil by accepting the responsibility of supporting righteousness. It is easier to maintain the status quo even if it is evil.
Tyranny is the destiny of nations that are too lazy to fight on the side of righteousness.
As right becomes wrong and good becomes bad, as the social structure of our once peaceful and prosperous nation is destroyed, and strife is purposely created, as the press promotes animosity between races and denigrates the basic religion of our nation, as Hollywood desecrates morality and promotes violence, as our elected officials respond to illegitimate power and choose to believe the existence of ghostly dangers, as the generals who lead our armies accept fantasies and order them carried out, as laws are encoded that destroy our liberty and create a police state, as the legality of our Constitution is ignored, as we amass a debt that will enslave our children for generations, as our armies murder thousands of innocent civilians, as our churches become social clubs and fail to address immorality, as Satan dances gleefully in our nation’s capital our citizens go about their daily tasks as if nothing is amiss. That is what Paul Craig Roberts means by “insouciant”.
Hard times are coming. Death and destruction are hovering over us. We are a rogue nation that has created the ire of a large portion of the world and we will reap what we have sown. That is our destiny. Our people have had access to the truth for decades but have preferred their intractable ignorance to the truth that could have set them free. We have earned it, we deserve what is coming.
Absolute power is vested in God – legitimate human power is a derivative!
Their precious young minds and our precious young minds…
She was a redheaded rebel, the singer in the family, a trash-talking, tattooed 21-year-old wrapped up in a hip-hop dream of becoming Holland’s Eminem. Then Betsy found Allah. After her sudden conversion to Islam last summer, Betsy began dressing in full Muslim robes. By January, the once-agnostic Dutch woman, raised in a home where the only sign of religion was a dusty Bible on a shelf, began defending homegrown terrorists. … Denis Cuspert, a German hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg who converted in 2010 and later joined The Islamic State [ISIS], delivers a rap-like chant portraying the path to jihad as a chance for empowerment, spiritual fulfillment, vengeance and adventure. … ‘The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you,’ says a Swedish convert to Islam in a video. ‘It is the fastest way to paradise.’ (1)
Tales told many times in recent years, all over Europe, at times in the United States. Parents and authorities are deeply distressed and perplexed. How can young people raised in the West – the freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled West – join the Islamic State and support the public cutting off of the heads of breathing, living human beings? Each of us in our own way are lost souls searching for answers to the awful mysteries of life. But THIS? What life-quest does The Islamic State satisfy that our beloved West can’t satisfy? ISIS is unique in the world in making US foreign policy look good. The Defense Department and the State Department have special task forces studying the new enemy; the latter regularly puts out videos to counteract the many Islamic State videos.
I hope those researching the question look inwardly as well as at ISIS. How do young people raised in the West – the same West we know and love – coldly machine-gun to death more than a dozen Iraqis, men, women, children, reporters, absolutely in cold blood, in the video made famous by Chelsea Manning; but this of course is nothing compared to Fallujah with its two-headed babies, even three-headed, an eye in the middle of the forehead. The Islamic State has done nothing compared to what the United States did to the people of Fallujah. Can anyone name a horror in all of history more gruesome? Yes, there are some, but not many; and much of Fallujah was personally executed by nice, clean-cut, freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled made-in America young men.
Here’s US Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, in his memoir, April 6, 2004, the time of Fallujah, in video teleconference with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly,” said Powell. “There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” Then Bush spoke: “At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone. At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out. Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. … There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!” (2)
“Years from now when America looks out on a democratic Middle East, growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima” in World War II. – George W. Bush, 2006 (3)
Well, George, it’s either that or Fallujah was one of the key reasons for the rise of ISIS.
My point here is not that United States foreign policy is as barbaric and depraved as The Islamic State. It’s not. Most of the time. I simply hope to make it a bit easier to understand the enemy by seeing ourselves without the stars in our eyes. And I haven’t even mentioned what the United States has led the world in for over a century – torture.
The ever-fascinating and ever-revealing subject of ideology
Jeb Bush has gotten himself into trouble because, like all politicians running for office, he is unable to give simple honest answers to simple straightforward questions, for fear of offending one or another segment of the population. How refreshing it would be to have a politician say only what s/he actually believes, even if it’s as stupid as usual.
The brother of the previous president has been asked repeatedly: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” At first his answer was “yes”, then at times “I don’t know”, even “no” at least once, or he’s refused to answer at all. Clearly he’s been guessing about which reply would win him points with the most people, or which would lose him the least.
This caused a minor uproar, even among conservatives. Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham was moved to make a rare rational remark: “You can’t still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you.”
Such discussions always leave out a critical point. Why did millions of Americans, and even more millions abroad, march against the war in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, before it began? What did they know that the Bush brothers and countless other politicians didn’t know? It was clear to the protesters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were habitual liars, that they couldn’t care less about the people of Iraq, that the defenseless people of that ancient civilization were going to be bombed to hell; most of the protesters knew something about the bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan; and they knew about napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, etc. Those who marched knew that the impending war was something a moral person could not support; and that it was totally illegal, a textbook case of a “war of aggression”; one didn’t have to be an expert in international law to know this.
Didn’t the Brothers Bush, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war in the Senate), et al know about any of these things? Of course they did. They just didn’t care enough; supporting the empire’s domination and expansion was a given, and remains so; no US politician gets very far – certainly not to the White House – questioning the right of American Exceptionalism to impose itself upon humanity (for humanity’s sake of course).
Consider the darlings du jour of the American Left, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They very seldom speak out critically about US foreign policy or even the military budget. The anti-war/anti-imperialist segment of the American left need to put proper pressure on the two senators.
Mr. Sanders should also be asked why he routinely refers to himself as a “democratic socialist”. Why not just “socialist”? It’s likely a legacy of the Cold War. I think that he and other political figures who use the term are, consciously or unconsciously, trying to disassociate themselves from communism, the Soviet Union, Marxism, etc., all those things that are not good for you. (The word “socialist” once connoted furtive men with European accents, sinister facial hair, and bombs.)
It would be delightful to hear Sanders openly declare that he is simply a “socialist”. Socialism can be democratic; indeed, a lot more so than capitalism, particularly concerning the distribution of wealth and all the ramifications of that. Presented here are some relevant thoughts on these issues, from myself and others:
It’s only the socialists who maintain as a bedrock principle: People before Profit, which can serve as a very concise definition of socialism, an ideology anathema to the Right and libertarians, who fervently believe, against all evidence, in the rationality of a free market. I personally favor the idea of a centralized, planned economy. (Oh my God, a damn Commie!) Modern society is much too complex and technical to leave its operation in the hands of libertarians, communitarians, or anarchists seeking to return to a “community” or “village” level.
“Washington has always regarded democratic socialism as a greater challenge than totalitarian Communism, which was easy to vilify and made for a handy enemy. In the 1960s and ’70s, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of economic nationalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the world views.” – Naomi Klein
“If it is true, as often said, that most socialist regimes turn out to be dictatorships, that is largely because a dictatorship is much harder to overthrow or subvert than a democracy.” – Jean Bricmont, Belgian author of “Humanitarian Imperialism” (2006)
Without a proclaimed socialist vision, radical change becomes too many different things for too many different individuals and groups.
“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.” – Martin Luther King
The United States is so fearful of the word “socialism” that it changed the “social sciences” to the “behavioral sciences”.
If for no other reason than to save the environment, the world needs to abandon the capitalist system. Every day, in every spot on earth, in a multitude of ways, corporations are faced with a choice: to optimize profits or to do what’s best for the planet.
The great majority of people in any society work for a salary. They don’t need to be motivated by the profit motive. It’s not in anyone’s genes. Virtually everybody, if given the choice, would prefer to work at jobs where the main motivations are to help others, improve the quality of life of society, and provide themselves with meaningful and satisfying work. It’s not natural to be primarily motivated by trying to win or steal “customers” from other people, no holds barred, survival of the fittest or the least honest.
And what about this thing called “democracy”, or “majority rule”? Many millions marched against the invasion of Iraq before it began. I don’t know of a single soul who marched in favor of it, although I’m sure there must have been someone somewhere. That lucky soul was the one they listened to.
Finally, the question being asked of Jeb Bush and others is not the best one. They’re asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” A more important question would be: “Knowing what we knew then, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” And the answer should be “no”, because we knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction. This is very well documented, from diverse sources, international and Iraqi, including Saddam himself and his chief lieutenants.
The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale Of Propaganda
“When an American warplane accidentally struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign …”
These words appeared in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015 as part of a story about US drone warfare and how an American drone attack in Pakistan in January had accidentally killed two Western aid workers. The Post felt no need to document the Belgrade incident, or explain it any further. Almost anyone who follows international news halfway seriously knows about this famous “accident” of May 7, 1999. The only problem is that the story is pure propaganda.
Three people inside the Chinese embassy were killed and Washington apologized profusely to Beijing, blaming outdated maps among other problems. However, two well-documented and very convincing reports in The Observer of London in October and November of that year, based on NATO and US military and intelligence sources, revealed that the embassy had been purposely targeted after NATO discovered that it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The Chinese were doing this after NATO planes had successfully silenced the Yugoslav government’s own transmitters. (5) The story of how the US mainstream media covered up the real story behind the embassy bombing is absolutely embarrassing. (6)
Over and above the military need, there may have been a political purpose served. China, then as now, was clearly the principal barrier to US hegemony in Asia, if not elsewhere. The bombing of the embassy was perhaps Washington’s charming way of telling Beijing that this is only a small sample of what can happen to you if you have any ideas of resisting or competing with the American juggernaut. Since an American bombing campaign over Belgrade was already being carried out, Washington was able to have a much better than usual “plausible denial” for the embassy bombing. The opportunity may have been irresistible to American leaders. The chance might never come again.
All of US/NATO’s other bombing “mistakes” in Yugoslavia were typically followed by their spokesman telling the world: “We regret the loss of life.” These same words were used by the IRA in Northern Ireland on a number of occasions over the years following one of their bombings which appeared to have struck the wrong target. But their actions were invariably called “terrorist”.
Undoubtedly, the US media will be writing of the “accidental” American bombing of the Chinese embassy as long as the empire exists and China does not become a member of NATO.
1) Washington Post, May 7, 2015
2) Ricardo Sanchez, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (2008), pages 349-350
3) Associated Press, November 11, 2006
4) William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, pp. 61-2
5) The Observer (London), October 17, 1999 (“Nato bombed Chinese deliberately”), and November 28, 1999 (“Truth behind America’s raid on Belgrade”)
6) Extra! Update (magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], New York), December 1999; appeared first as solitary article October 22, 1999 (“U.S. Media Overlook Expose on Chinese Embassy Bombing”)
In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, dated September 23, 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” By any definition that Jefferson could have envisioned, today’s political correctness can only be regarded as “tyranny over the mind of man.” Forget freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, or freedom of privacy, political correctness demands that we don’t even have freedom of thought or opinion.
If one does not have the freedom to live in good conscience with his own sense of morality, he or she is indeed the most enslaved of creatures. Listen to Jefferson again, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
Forcing men to pay taxes “for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors” is indeed sinful and tyrannical enough. But to compel a man to actively PARTICIPATE in ideas he disbelieves and abhors is even more so. And, that, my friends, is exactly what modern political correctness forces us to do–or at least tries to force us to do. Political correctness attempts to strip us of our own sense of right and wrong. It is not only tyranny of conduct and behavior; it is tyranny of the mind and heart.
For example, if someone says something critical of Israel, they are labeled “anti-Semitic.” If they say something critical of the homosexual lifestyle, they are labeled “anti-gay.” If they say something critical of the practices and policies of our politicians, they are labeled “anti-government.” And if they say something critical of Roman theology, they are labeled “anti-Catholic.”
There are only two things that it is politically correct to be “anti” about: it is perfectly acceptable to be “anti-Christian” or “anti-Muslim.” Not only is it politically correct to be “anti-Christian” or “anti-Muslim,” it is all but REQUIRED that one be “anti-Christian” or “anti-Muslim.” One risks personal friendship and professional employment if he or she is NOT “anti-Christian” or “anti-Muslim.”
For the record, I am none of the above. I am not anti-Semitic; I am not anti-gay; I am not anti-government; I am not anti-Catholic; I am not anti-Christian; and I am not anti-Muslim. About the only thing I am “anti” is this: I am “anti-TYRANNY.”
And tyranny can come in many shapes and forms. There are tyrannical Jews, tyrannical homosexuals, tyrannical politicians, tyrannical Catholics, tyrannical Muslims, and tyrannical Christians. Because there are those from any of the above groups who are tyrannical doesn’t mean that EVERYONE in those groups is tyrannical. When I resist the ACT of tyranny by someone–or a group of someones–of a certain label doesn’t mean I am “anti” everyone who wears that same label.
But I absolutely will not be intimidated by name-calling when I resist what is obviously an act of tyranny, regardless of the label the tyrant wraps himself in.
To illustrate: I firmly believe that God has established marriage as being between a man and a woman. That does NOT mean I am against homosexuals having the same civil rights as everyone else, because I believe that ALL Americans enjoy the same protections under the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, all Americans have the right to enter into civil contracts with one another. But civil union is NOT the same as Holy Matrimony, which can be–and has been–defined ONLY by our Creator. Marriage is defined by both divine and Natural Law.
Any attempt to force me to participate in a so-called “marriage” between same sex couples violates my moral conscience and is, by definition, an act of tyranny. And by Nature, I cannot submit to such an act. I cannot and will not.
I wonder what all of the good Romans 13 pastors across America are going to do as civil authorities attempt to force them to marry same sex couples. This has already happened in one Idaho city. The city of Coeur d’Alene is threatening to incarcerate and heavily fine ministers and others who refuse to officiate over the marriage ceremonies of same sex couples. And as homosexual marriage becomes more and more vogue, Christian ministers across the country are going to be forced to come face to face with their own religious convictions–something many of them have not done for quite a spell. What will they do?
We know what many, if not most, of them will do. They will comply. They are like the pastors of Nazi Germany who taught their flocks to obey the government no matter what and who justified their cowardice and heresy with the misinterpretation of Romans 13. This is the same misinterpretation of that chapter that pastors are regurgitating today.
I highly encourage every reader who attends church to make a point of asking your pastor this Sunday what he will do when the civil authorities of his city or State demand that he marry same sex couples, because this demand is surely coming. Of course, how the pastor responds will then collapse a heavy weight of responsibility on the shoulders of parishioners won’t it (which is why many Christians will simply not bother to even broach the topic with their pastor)?
Do you see how political correctness has become tyrannical? Political correctness demands that we accept a Police State in the name of the “war on terror.” Political correctness demands that we say NOTHING critical of the state of Israel, even when it attacks a U.S. naval vessel and kills dozens of American sailors and Marines. Political correctness demands that we fight unconstitutional wars of aggression against Muslim people who have committed NO act of aggression against us. Political correctness demands that we dare not criticize neocon foreign policy in Washington, D.C. Political correctness demands that Christianity be held up to every form of ridicule and mockery. And now political correctness demands that people violate their own deeply-held religious and moral convictions. Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America’s founders must be turning over in their graves.
Concerning marriage specifically, in my opinion the state has absolutely no authority or responsibility defining, regulating, or controlling marriage. The state had little or no authority regarding marriage until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For the church to allow itself be joined to the state is the unholiest of unions.
This latest attempt of civil authorities to define and regulate marriage should serve notice to everyone, especially Christians, that it is probably time to completely abandon civil marriages altogether and take it back to the individuals, families, and churches, where it rightly has always belonged.
Political correctness is not merely an expression of opinion: it is the denial of anyone else to hold a differing opinion–or even personally-held moral and religious convictions. It is exactly what Thomas Jefferson detested and personally opposed: it is “tyranny over the mind of man.”
Can one imagine how difficult it was for America’s founders to actually make the decision to separate from Great Britain? England was the Motherland. The Crown was the central government. For all of their lives, the government of Great Britain was the only government they had ever known. The history of England was their history. Not only that, these men had never experienced any other system of government. Neither was there history to guide them. A monarchical form of government was all they knew. The “divine right of kings” was inculcated into their hearts and minds via virtually every established institution, including the Church, from the time they were born.
The Magna Carta had paved the highway of philosophy for the acceptance of self-government and individual liberty, but it was hardly practiced. King John signed the charter under extreme duress and then spent the rest of his reign in bloody retaliation against those who had pressed him to accept it. For over five hundred years, the Magna Carta lay as a noble idea but with little practical application. The Enlightenment philosophers wrote and theorized much about the principles contained in the Great Charter, but, again, until America’s founding generation came on the scene, nothing much of substance had been achieved. It was America’s Founding Fathers and founding generation that took the principles of the Magna Carta and the Enlightenment philosophers and actually used those principles to birth a new nation.
But how did they come to such a decision? Imagine the consternation. Imagine the inner conflicts. Communities were divided. Friends were divided. Families were divided. Brothers were divided. Parents and children and husbands and wives were divided. Yet, make the decision, they did. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause. They obtained liberty and independence for their posterity–at great cost.
Granted, the decision to separate from the British Crown was not made overnight. Thomas Jefferson explained the process of reasoning behind the separation in the Declaration of Independence. Hear him:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”
How could Jefferson have been any clearer? He and the rest of America’s founders were convinced of “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
Noah Webster’s Dictionary Of The English Language (1828) defines “design” as verb: “To project; to form in idea, as a scheme.” And as noun: “A scheme or plan in the mind.” And, “Purpose; intention; aim; implying a scheme or plan in the mind.”
Hence, America’s founders were convinced of a scheme, a plan, and an intention in the minds of those within the British Crown to “reduce them under absolute Despotism.” Yes, friends, America’s founders were convinced there was a CONSPIRACY within the hearts and minds of the British government to enslave them. Hear Jefferson again:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design…”
When abuses and usurpations which pursue invariably the “same Object” continue unabated over a long period of time, this is NOT an act of happenstance; it is by “design.” Somewhere along the line, the eyes of America’s founders were opened to the conspiracy within the British government to enslave them. Once their eyes were opened to the conspiracy, the rest, as we say, is history.
I submit that what we have in America today are basically two groups of people: those whose eyes are opened to conspiracy, and those who eyes are blind to conspiracy. This is exactly as it was in 1775 and 1776. Christian or unchurched, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, if one is blind to the conspiracy to “reduce [us] under absolute Despotism,” one cannot truly comprehend the real danger or the real war.
And, sadly, it appears that most people today do NOT see the CONSPIRACY. All they see is Republican and Democrat; conservative and liberal; right and left; Christian and Muslim; religious and secular; FOX News and CNN, etc. Until Americans awaken to the same “design” that our founders awakened to, they will not be able to obtain a solution to our country’s malaise, as they are blind to the real enemy.
Mind you, not everyone in the British government in 1775 had it in mind to enslave the Colonists. Not every British soldier, not every British magistrate, not every British agent had a personal goal to enslave the colonies. They were just following orders; their eyes were blind to the plans and objects of those who were orchestrating the conspiracy. And, of course, those within the colonies who supported the British Crown were, likewise, blind to the conspiracy. Thank God, enough of our forebears were enlightened to the design of the Crown to be willing to cast it off.
I will say it plainly: there is a design (conspiracy) within Washington, D.C., and its allies to reduce us under absolute despotism.
Come on, folks, think: when has it mattered to a tinker’s dam which party controlled the White House or Congress? No matter which party is in charge, the central government in D.C. continues to get bigger and bigger and more and more oppressive. Regardless of whether the President is a Democrat or Republican, NOTHING changes in regards to America’s foreign policies or our economic policies. Regardless of party, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) dominates our foreign policies and the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) dominates our economic policies. Regardless of party, an American Police State and surveillance society continue to mushroom, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continue to exert more and more control over the American citizenry, and states and communities continue to fall under the heel of federal overreach.
Both parties in Washington, D.C., are led by warmongering zealots who use war, not only to enrich themselves, but also to carry out their preconceived plans of perpetual war for the purpose of paving the way for international bankers to control the world’s economies and for the purpose of subjecting the American citizenry to greater and greater infringements of their liberties.
In this regard, militant Islam is but a tool of the globalists. As long as Americans think that Islam is our enemy, they are blind to who the real enemy is. Our enemy is NOT Islam; our enemy is the cabal of globalists who are manipulating militant Islamists. The same people (the CFR and their fellow travelers) who took one of our strongest allies in the Middle East (Iran) and turned it into one our (supposed) greatest enemies are the same ones who are manipulating all of the wars of the Middle East, as well as bringing Russia and China to the brink of global conflict.
I submit the conspiracy of the British Crown has returned; and what used to be an indefatigable, recalcitrant, and vigilant independent republic (the United States) has become little more than a puppet of the old European monarchy. What the Crown could not accomplish through military force, it has accomplished through international banking.
The Federal Reserve wields absolute control over U.S. economic policy, and yet, no one really knows exactly who all of the members of the FRB even are. One thing is known, many (if not most) of them are NOT even U.S. citizens. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, foreign bankers have been controlling U.S. financial policy for the better part of a century.
In like fashion, the CFR virtually controls U.S. foreign policy. And the goal of the CFR is the reduction of national sovereignty and the rise of global government. Listen to Admiral Chester Ward.
Rear Admiral Chester Ward, who was the Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 1956-1960 and a former member of the CFR, but withdrew from the organization after realizing what they were all about, warned the American people about the dangers of this and similar organizations (such as the Trilateral Commission). He said, “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups have one objective in common–they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States. A second clique of international members in the CFR . . . comprises the Wall Street international bankers and their key agents. Primarily, they want the world banking monopoly from whatever power ends up in the control of global government.”
Admiral Ward also said, “The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all-powerful, one world government.”
Now, observe that the administrations of both Republican and Democrat presidents are littered with CFR members. Under President George H.W. Bush, CFR members comprised 20% of his cabinet; under President Bill Clinton, CFR members comprised 34% of his cabinet; under President G.W. Bush, CFR members comprised 22% of his cabinet; and under President Barack Obama, CFR members comprise 36% of his cabinet. And these figures do not take into account how many CFR members are scattered throughout the national news media.
Can one imagine how people would react if twenty or thirty percent of a given presidential administration’s cabinet members were from, say, the Christian Coalition–or, even the ACLU. If the Christian Coalition had that many members in a presidential administration, people on the left would be screaming bloody murder. And if the ACLU had that many members in a presidential administration, people on the right would be screaming bloody murder. As it is, the CFR DOES have that many members in EVERY presidential administration and no one from the right or the left even says “boo.” It’s because they (from both left and right) are blind to the conspiracy.
These international conspirators can be found in London, Brussels, Washington, D.C., New York City, Tel Aviv, etc. In terms of U.S. foreign policy, these conspirators completely control the neocon agenda. That doesn’t mean that every politician who embraces the neocon foreign policy agenda is him or herself aware of the conspiracy. In the same way, not every federal officer within the DHS is aware of the conspiracy. Not every soldier who is fighting these perpetual wars of aggression is aware of the conspiracy. But as with many in the old British monarchy, they are the pawns of the conspirators.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, et al., were only able to declare and fight for independence and liberty after they understood that they were dealing with “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
Until the American people, including our State legislators, governors, city mayors, councilmen, county sheriffs, district attorneys, congressmen, senators, pastors, educators, journalists, etc., awaken to the conspiracy that seeks to enslave us, we will never have the sagacity and strength of will to properly resist it. This means that many of the current battles in which good people are engaged merely play into the designs of those who seek our enslavement. We can’t win the war until we know who the real enemy is.
P.S. On Sunday, April 19 of this year, I delivered the famous sermon of Pastor Jonas Clark that was originally delivered on April 19, 1776, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Battle of Lexington. Pastor Clark was the pastor of the men who fought that historic battle, which began America’s War for Independence. Obviously, this message was delivered just a couple of months before our Declaration of Independence was signed. I preached this message word-for-word. And I tried to deliver it with the same zeal and passion in which it was originally preached.
The vast majority of today’s Christians NEVER hear a message that remotely resembles the kind of sermons that the pastors of Colonial America delivered. And since April 19 fell on Sunday this year, I delivered Jonas Clark’s powerful message regarding the Battle of Lexington and American liberty so people could listen to the kind of preaching that Christians in Colonial America heard routinely. Pastor Clark entitled his message, “The Fate of Blood-Thirsty Oppressors and God’s Tender Care of His Distressed People.”
My delivery of this awesome message is on DVD. I offer this DVD to my readers in the hope that many of you will purchase copies of the DVD and let your friends, relatives, fellow Christians, pastor, etc., hear true Colonial American preaching. Again, this is word-for-word the message of Jonas Clark delivered on April 19, 1776, concerning the Battle of Lexington Green and America’s fight for liberty.
I have never heard anyone deliver Rev. Clark’s famous message. As far as I know, this is the only verbatim recording of this historic message in existence–preached with the same kind of passion and fervor as it was said Pastor Clark delivered it.
To order my delivery of Jonas Clark’s message, go here:
Saudi Arabia has been dominating the Middle Eastern news recently. Its bombing of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, supported by Washington, and its ambivalent stand on ISIS, concealed in Washington, should raise questions about the nature and long-term ambitions of the desert kingdom. On those key issues there is an apparent conspiracy of silence in the American mainstream media and the policy-making community.
Saudi Arabia, the most authentically Muslim country in the world, is a polity based on a set of religious, legal, and political assumptions rooted in mainstream Sunni Islam. To understand its pernicious role in the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, and to grasp the magnitude of its ongoing threat to America’s long-term strategic interests and security, we should start with the early history of that strange and unpleasant place.
MUHAMMAD IBN ABD AL-WAHHAB was born in central Arabia over three centuries ago, but his legacy is alive and well. Wahhab was a zealous Muslim revivalist who lived in the period of the Ottoman Empire’s early decline. He felt that Islam in general, and Arabia in particular, needed to be spiritually and literally re-purified and returned to the true tenets of the faith. Like Islam’s prophet he married a wealthy woman much older than himself, whose inheritance enabled him to engage in theological and political pursuits. His Sharia training, combined with a brief encounter with suffism – which he rejected – produced a powerful mix. From the suffis he took the concept of a fraternal religious order, but rejected initiation rituals and music in any form. He also condemned the decorations of mosques, however non-representational, and sinful frivolities such as smoking tobacco. This Muslim anabaptist rejected veneration of saints and sites and objects connected with them, and gave rise to a movement that sees itself as the guardian of true Islamic values. His ideas were espoused in the Book of Unity which gave rise to the name of the movement, al-Muwahhidun, or Unitarians.
By the middle of the 18th century Wahhab, like Muhammad eleven centuries earlier, found a politically powerful backer for his cause. In 1744 he struck a partnership with Muhammad ibn-Saud, leader of a powerful clan in central Arabia, and moved to his “capital,” the semi-nomadic settlement of ad-Dir’yah (Riyadh). Since that time the fortunes of the Wahhabis and the Ibn Said family have been intertwined. Under ibn-Saud’s successor Abdul-Aziz, the Wahhabis struck out of their desert base at Najd with the fury unseen in a millennium. In what looked for a while like the repetition of Muhammad’s and the Four Caliphs’ phenomenal early success a millennium earlier, they temporarily captured Mecca and Medina, marched into Mesopotamia – forcing the Ottoman governor to negotiate humiliating terms – and invaded Syria.
This was an unacceptable challenge to the Sultan, the heir to the caliphate and “protector of the holy places.” In 1811 he obtained the agreement of Ali Pasha, Egypt’s de facto autonomous ruler following Napoleon’s withdrawal, to launch a campaign against the Wahhabis. After seven years they were routed. Later in the century, however, the sect revived under Faysal to provide the focus of Arab resistance to the Ottoman Empire, which they considered degenerate and corrupt.
In 1902 a daring and bellicose prince of the ibn-Saud family, named after Abdul-Aziz “the warrior,” returned from exile with 40 horsemen and took control of Riyadh. He exploited the terminal weakness of the Ottoman Empire, soon to be embroiled in revolution and beset by external threats to its crumbling empire in the Balkans and Libya. Fired by the spirit of Wahhabism, Abdul Aziz embarked on a campaign to recover control over the whole of Arabia. In 1912 the Wahhabi revival prompted the founding of a religious settlement at Artawiyah, 300 miles north of Riyadh, under the auspices of theIkhwan, the Brotherhood. This was a stern Arabian variety of Plymouth, a Muslim New Jerusalem in which people were dragged from their homes and whipped for failing to attend Friday prayers.
IN THE CHAOTIC YEARS after the demise of the Ottoman Empire the Ikhwan proved to be an able and fanatical fighting force, securing victory for Ibn Saud, their leader and the founder of the present royal dynasty. In 1925 they carried out Ibn Saud’s order that all revered burial sites in Mecca and Medina be destroyed, including the “heavenly orchard” in Medina, where relatives and many early companions of Muhammad were buried. In 1926 they proclaimed Abdul-Aziz the King of Hejaz. Within a decade he had united the rest of Arabia and imposed the Wahhabist view of the world, man, law, and Allah, on most of the peninsula.
It is incorrect to say that the Wahhabi movement is to Islam what Puritanism is to Christianity, however. While Puritans could be regarded as Christianity’s Islamicists sui generis with their desire to turn Christianity into a druly scriptural, literalist theocracy, Wahhabism is unmistakably “mainstream” in its demand for the return to the original glory of the early Islamic Ummah. Their iconoclastic zeal notwithstanding, the Wahhabis were no more extreme or violent than the models for Islam – the “prophet” and his companions – have been in all ages and to this day.
THE HEIRS OF ABDUL WAHHAB are still heading the Saudi religious establishment. They resisted the introduction of “heathen” contraptions such as radio, cars, and television, and relented only when the King promised to use those suspect mediums to promote the faith. They stopped the importation of all alcohol, previously sold to foreigners (1952), and banned women driving motor vehicles (1957). The Kuran and Sunna are formally the country’s constitution and the source of its legal code. The original sources of Islamic orthodoxy – the Kuran and Hadith – provide ample and detailed evidence that Saudi Arabia is as close as we can get to an Islamic state and society. The State Department report on human rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia published 15 years ago offers an accurate glimpse of that vision in action:
Freedom of religion does not exist. Islam is the official religion and all citizens must be Muslims. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concepts of separation of religion and state, and such separation does not exist. Under Shari’a conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. Public apostasy is a crime punishable by death -if the accused does not recant. Islamic religious education is mandatory in public schools at all levels. All children receive religious instruction… Citizens do not have the right to change their government. The Council of Senior Islamic Scholars… reviews the Government’s public policies for compliance with Shari’a. The Government [views] Islamic law as the only necessary guide to protect human rights. There is legal and systemic discrimination based on sex and religion.
Nothing has changed since: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world. While the Saudis continue to build mosques all over the world, tens of thousands of Christians among the millions of foreign workers from Asia, Europe and America must worship in secret, if at all. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public display of their beliefs. The Saudi religious police, known as the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, continues to routinely intimidate, abuse, and detain citizens and foreigners. In 2002 they pushed girls escaping from burning school buildings back into the inferno and certain death because they did not have their heads properly covered. Its detainees are routinely subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and torture. Punishments include flogging, amputation, and public execution by beheading, stoning, or firing squad – over 50 were performed so far this year.
Women are second class citizens: according to the CIA world factbook, 82.2% of females are literate, in comparison to 90.8% literacy rates in males. The testimony of one man equals that of two women, and female parties to court proceedings must deputize male relatives to speak on their behalf. Women are not admitted to a hospital for medical treatment (often for wounds resulting from domestic violence) without the consent of a male relative. In public a woman is expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and to cover her head and face. Daughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers. Women must demonstrate Sharia-specified grounds for divorce, but men may divorce them without giving any cause. In addition women must not drive cars, must not be driven except by an employee, or husband, or a close relative, and even then must not occupy the front seat. Women may study abroad if accompanied by a spouse or an immediate male relative. Women may own a businesses, but they must deputize a male relative to represent it.
Political detainees commonly are held incommunicado in special prisons during the initial phase of an investigation, which may last weeks or months, without access to lawyers. Defendants usually appear without an attorney before a judge, who determines guilt or innocence in accordance with Shari’a standards. Most trials are closed, and crimes against Muslims receive harsher penalties than those against non-Muslims. A sentence may be changed at any stage of review, except for punishments stipulated by the Koran.
The only expanding industry in Saudi Arabia is that of Islamic obscurantism. Some examples are grotesque: in 1966 the Vice-President of the Islamic University of Medina complained that Copernican theory was being taught at Riyadh University; it has been banned ever since. Three hundred years after the Christian theologians had to concede that the Earth went around the Sun, the geocentric theory was reaffirmed in the centers of Saudi learning. Segregation of the sexes at schools is set at age nine, which is the age for girls to start to wear the veil.
The opinions of the ullema are the only internal check and balance on the ruling family. Five Saudi Islamic universities produce thousands of clerics, many more than will ever be hired to work in the country’s mosques. Thousands end up spreading and promoting Wahhabism abroad. The King of the Saudis remains their Imam. He and the Wahhabi religious establishment see it as their sacred duty and purpose to evangelize the world. The petro-dollar windfall has paid for the construction of some ten thousand mosques and “Islamic centers” in the United States and other parts of the world. All along, needless to say, no churches (let alone synagogues) can be built in Saudi Arabia, and all non-Muslim religious practice is strictly forbidden.
What is America’s greatest threat? Some would say it is illegal immigration. Some would say the Muslim people. Some would say homosexual marriage. Some would say ISIS. But none of these are America’s greatest threat.
At the expense of sounding preachy, America’s greatest threat is GOD. Rightly did Benjamin Franklin say, “God governs in the affairs of men.” And, rightly did Thomas Jefferson say, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Amen.
But the understanding of the Natural Law principles by which God governs in the affairs of men and upon which His justice and judgment are predicated is mostly lost to this generation of Americans–including America’s pastors and Christians.
The life of Old Testament Israel’s King David affords many illustrations of the principles that God has ordained for nations and governments. As a personal note, King David is my very favorite Bible character. My appetite for studying his life is insatiable. Unquestionably, he is one of the three greatest men of the Old Testament (Abraham and Moses are the other two). I can even say that David is my hero. With all of his faults and failures, God yet inspired the New Testament writer to say that David was “a man after mine own heart.” He is a man after my heart, as well.
As with others in the Bible, Holy Writ is not shy about recording the misdeeds of God’s servants, including King David. This is intended for our own “learning.” We should earnestly seek to mimic the goodness of these men and avoid their sins. Perhaps no man of antiquity demonstrates the polar extremes of success and failure more so than David.
To my non-Christian friends, please bear with me: this column has an extremely relevant message to what is happening in our country.
When almost everybody broaches the subject of King David’s failures, they almost always go immediately to the story of Bathsheba and Uriah. But, at the risk of inducing the ire of my fellow Christians, that was NOT David’s greatest failure. It might have been his greatest personal failure as a MAN, but it was not his greatest failure as a KING. In fact, the vast majority of pastors and Christians have completely overlooked David’s greatest failure. I dare say that the vast majority of you Christian folks who are reading this column right now have NEVER heard a message from the life of David regarding this tragic failure in David’s life and the implication it has for our country today.
I preached a message last Sunday on this very subject to the people of Liberty Fellowship. You can find it here:
The failure to which I speak resulted in the deaths of 70,000 men in the nation of Israel. (That is at least seven times more than were killed in the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah.) This was the single greatest plague that God inflicted upon Old Testament Israel. Think about the inference of that fact for a few minutes.
Again, Jefferson rightly said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” God’s justice didn’t sleep in David’s time; and it is not sleeping in our time, either.
The story is recorded in II Samuel 24. The chapter begins with these words, “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.”
As a result of God’s anger toward the people of Israel, he allowed their leader’s heart to be overcome with an awful motivation. And, remember, this leader was King David: the man after God’s own heart.
Ladies and gentlemen, America’s problem is NOT Barack Obama, Muslims, liberals, etc. Our problem is US. WE are the problem. God’s anger against the people (especially the Christian people) of this country has caused Him to give us evil leaders such as George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid (and Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, should either of them be elected).
The evil motivation to which King David succumbed is the same evil motivation that America’s leaders are succumbing to today; and it portends America’s GREATEST threat.
The above-referenced chapter records how David unlawfully numbered the people of Israel, the prophet’s warning against it, King David’s repentance, and God’s judgment upon the nation. But, again, most pastors and Christians have completely overlooked this episode in David’s life–and the significance of this crime to our nation today. As a result, America is teetering on the precipice of the same plague.
To help readers understand the terrible significance of David’s sin, I here quote the famous scholars Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown commentary on the Bible published in 1871. This is the commentary that famed English pastor Charles Spurgeon said is the one commentary a minister should possess, if he could possess but one. They write:
“The act of numbering the people was not in itself sinful; for Moses did it by the express authority of God. But David acted not only independently of such order or sanction, but from motives unworthy of the delegated king of Israel; from pride and vainglory; from self-confidence and distrust of God; and, above all, from ambitious designs of conquest, in furtherance of which he was determined to force the people into military service, and to ascertain whether he could muster an army sufficient for the magnitude of the enterprises he contemplated. It was a breach of the constitution, an infringement of the liberties of the people, and opposed to that divine policy which required that Israel should continue a separate people.”
Notice, this great sin of David included “ambitious designs of conquest.” The legal name for this sin is “The Crime of Aggression.” It is so grievous a sin, that God plagued Israel with the deaths of 70,000 men. And only David’s awakening to this crime, and his humility in repenting of it, saved the nation from the deaths of untold more. Plus, this is David’s last recorded act; he died soon after.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Crime of Aggression is currently America’s greatest threat. Many of the lesser threats against our country (ISIS, for example) are the result of this great crime. And since it is extremely doubtful that any U.S. presidential candidate (with the exception of maybe Rand Paul) would issue a national “repentance” of the neocons’ wars of aggression around the world, the same Death Angel that stood with sword drawn above Israel is doubtless standing above the United States as we speak.
Make no mistake about it: the neocons are governing America’s foreign policy regardless of which political party is in control of the White House and Congress. And they have been in complete control ever since George H.W. Bush was President. And the vast majority of our congressmen and senators, as well as those who will be running for POTUS in 2016, are in lock-step, I mean LOCK-STEP, with the neocon agenda regarding foreign policy. And, sadly, so are most Christians and conservatives. It is also no hyperbole to say that FOX News is totally and absolutely nothing more than a propaganda ministry for the neocon foreign policy agenda.
To help put this issue in perspective, and to try and further help readers to understand the seriousness of what I am saying, I want to quote some excerpts from an attorney who is attempting to stop the neocons’ Crime of Aggression via legal action and restore justice (GOD’S justice, I might add) to American government. I’m sure almost no one has heard anything about this case. The propaganda media is even more expert at NOT reporting news as they are propagandizing the news they do report.
Listen to attorney Inder Comar. He titles these remarks, “Saleh V Bush And Precedent For The Crime Of Aggression”:
“First, some brief background about the case. In 2013, my client [Sundus Shaker Saleh], who is an Iraqi refugee, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, California, in the Northern District of California, which is a federal court, alleging the crime of aggression. The defendants in that case are the six highest ranking Bush administration officials: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. So she is suing them in a civil case for her damages as a victim of the war, in much the same way that she would sue anybody for any cause of action.
“To make it very simple, if George Bush had hit her in a car, for example, there would be no controversy that she could sue him if she were injured. It’s a similar type of claim that we’re making: his conduct and his actions caused her monetary damage and under the American system, she has a right to seek her tort damages, her tort relief.
“The basis of the lawsuit in the United States is a very old law dating from 1789, the first year of our republic, known as the Alien Tort Claims Act. The first Congress in the United States passed this law to permit non-U.S. citizens–non-Americans–the ability to go to the United States courthouse and file claims against anybody for violations of international law. So you have to allege violations of international law in order to use this law.
“For about 200 years, people have used this law for piracy cases, for example. More recently, in the 1970s and 1980s, people started to use the Alien Tort Claims Act for claims of torture or for claims of crimes against humanity.
“In this case, we’ve alleged the ‘supreme crime,’ the crime of aggression, as Ms. Saleh’s international law claim. What this suggests is that just as you could pursue a pirate under this law, or just as you could pursue a torturer under this law, you must be able to pursue those who commit the ‘supreme crime’–the crime of aggression. In this case, she’s pursuing the six people who caused the Iraq War. As we know from Nuremberg, you don’t get to sue the soldiers who committed the aggression: they’re not responsible. The people who are responsible are the leaders who caused the aggression. And those are the people who are giving the orders, who are planning and executing these crimes.
“We filed the lawsuit. The United States Department of Justice headed by President Obama moved to immunize these defendants soon thereafter. They requested that the federal court immunize them under domestic law, on the basis that these defendants were acting under the scope of their valid employment when they planned and waged the Iraq War.
“We fought that certification for more than a year and a half. But unfortunately, in December of last year, the District Court agreed that they were immune and immunized these defendants from further proceedings. We’ve since appealed that order, and right now that case is on appeal in the Federal Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.
“At the end of next month, we’re due to submit a brief arguing a very specific point of law on appeal: whether or not a domestic immunity applies to allegations of aggression.
“Now for those of you who are familiar with Nuremberg, you may recall that this was the exact defense–or one of the defenses–raised by the German defendants. They argued that everything they had done was valid under German law and, as a result, they couldn’t be held guilty for something like aggression.
“One of the things that we’ll be raising in our brief next month is that that issue was decided already at Nuremberg: domestic defendants do not get to raise that as a defense.
“What I’d like to offer are some thoughts as to how we can take this battle now on the offensive and go into courthouses, go find venues where we can try and do our best. Ultimately, I think, we can convince judges that this is the law—and to not follow it would not only upset Nuremberg, it would validate the defenses made by the Nazi defendants, who argued that this type of law could never exist, that everything they did was completely legitimate, that they were simply following orders.
“If those things don’t give you a chill, they ought to, because these are the exact defenses that the government is making in my case: that everything these defendants did was valid, that the court shouldn’t scrutinize war making, because war making is outside the scope of what the sovereign can be liable for.”
See the complete address here:
Folks, I hope you understand the significance of this case. For all intents and purposes, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, et al., are behaving EXACTLY as did Germany’s National Socialists (Nazis). If the U.S. government prevails in this case, it will mean that the Nazis’ defense at Nuremberg was RIGHT, and that the allied courts were WRONG to indict them.
Ask yourself, why would Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain viciously attack Rand Paul’s foreign policy like they have? Graham and McCain went on national television last week and said that Rand’s foreign policy was WORSE than Barack Obama’s. Why would Republicans laud a liberal Democrat above a fellow Republican, not once, but over and over? Why? Because these men are governed by the same neocon (Nazi-like) agenda. Rand Paul is not. Democrat and Republican mean NOTHING. As long as he or she allows him or herself to be controlled by the neocon foreign policy, he or she will receive the approbation and support of the governing establishment. And, while what I am about to say is NOT an official endorsement, the ONLY candidate for President who, so far, is not willing to grovel before the neocon foreign policy agenda is Rand Paul. You can bet that the political and media establishments will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to keep Rand from obtaining the Republican nomination, because, to them, IT’S ALL ABOUT MAINTAINING NEOCON CONTROL OF AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY.
(The pressure on Rand Paul to capitulate his policy of non-aggression is massive. It will be a miracle if he can maintain his convictions on this matter. His dad, Ron Paul, was able to do it. I hope Rand can. I am earnestly praying for him.)
The Crime of Aggression was the crime that King David was guilty of planning in his heart in II Samuel 24. It was the crime that caused a divine plague of 70,000 deaths and the end of David’s reign. It is the same crime that the vast majority of America’s leaders are currently guilty of. And it is the same sin that a seeming majority of America’s pastors and Christians are willing to tolerate and support.
Someone must see the Angel with sword drawn standing above America. Someone must be willing to call out our leaders for these crimes–as King David’s personal chaplain was willing to do to him. This is one reason why King David was such a great man: not because he never failed, but, because the times when he did fail, he was willing to repent and take personal responsibility for his failure. And, remember, David’s failure upon which we are currently focused was predicated upon the fact that God was angry with THE PEOPLE.
You can bet we are going to see NO REPENTANCE from the vast majority of America’s political leaders or from the vast majority of those who want to be our next President. If the pastors of America don’t call out the crimes of our nation’s leaders, who will?
Right now, there is an attorney in the Ninth Circuit who is trying to do it. For the most part, he is a voice in the wilderness. And, no, I know nothing of his personal faith. It doesn’t matter. This is a matter of Natural Law. This is a matter of national justice. And law and justice apply equally to ALL PEOPLE.
No wonder that King David’s last words were: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (II Sam. 23:3)
People who love justice and who have the fear of God in their hearts are the kinds of people spiritually qualified to be a nation’s leaders. Right now, the vast majority of our leaders have neither. And their almost universal endorsement of The Crime of Aggression proves it.
But, be not deceived: this national crime is bringing America to the brink of divine judgment, the likes of which this country has never seen. It happened to David’s Israel; it happened to Caesar’s Rome; it happened to Hitler’s Germany; and it will happen to Bush/Clinton/Obama/Boehner/
“It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.” -Micah Zenko, Putting Iran’s Nuclear Program in Context, Council on Foreign Relations
It always helps to start with the truth, and in Iran’s case, the truth is quite simple. Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it’s never been caught diverting nuclear fuel for other purposes. Iran has pursued nuclear technology for peaceful purposes alone.
These are the facts. They may not jibe with the lies propagated in the western media, but they are the facts all the same. Iran is not guilty of anything. It’s merely a victim of Washington’s power-crazy attempt to control vital resources in the Middle East and enhance Israel’s regional hegemony. That’s what’s really going on. It’s all geopolitics. It has nothing to do with nukes.
Media coverage of the so called nuclear negotiations in Laussanne and now in Vienna has focused maniacally on the number of centrifuges, IAEA monitoring programs, uranium enrichment capability, and myriad other arcane topics that are meant to divert attention from the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and no interest in developing one. By poring over the details of these issues in excruciating detail, the reader is left feeling that Iran must be hiding something and therefore must pose a real threat to US national security. But of course that’s precisely what the authors of these articles hope to achieve, they want to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and get people to believe something that is transparently false.. The fact is, Iran is not doing anything underhanded or illegal. They are merely demanding that their right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the NPT be respected. Iran will not allow itself to be bullied by the US or treated like a second class citizen. Iran has behaved honorably from the beginning, which is a helluva a lot more than can be said of the US.
The media doesn’t want to discuss the “additional protocols” that Iran accepted in order to build confidence among members on the United Nations, because then people would realize that Iran has gone the extra mile many times in the past only to be slapped with more spurious accusations of noncompliance or foul play. But where’s the evidence of noncompliance or foul play? There isn’t any. It’s all just fear-mongering speculation and vitriolic BS spewed by the dissembling media. There’s not a word of truth to any of it.
The media’s latest scam centers on the term “breakout time”, which refers to the amount of time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon if it was so inclined, which it isn’t.
“Breakout time” is the new propaganda buzzword reiterated thousands of times in the media suggesting that Tehran is just hours away from building an atomic weapon that it will immediately use to annihilate Israel. It’s a ridiculous fairy tale that assumes that–since the US is a rouge-homicidal state that goes around bombing the bejesus out of anything that moves–that other states are bound to behave the same if given half a chance. This is wrong on many levels. First of all, Iran doesn’t want nukes and, secondly, leaders in other countries are not power-mad megalomaniacs whose only joy in life is reducing broad swathes of the planet to smoldering rubble. That behavior is particular to US leaders alone. Others don’t suffer from the same sociopathic disorder.
The nuclear issue has nothing to do Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program. That’s just a smokescreen. The real problem is that Iran is a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy. Washington doesn’t like independent nations. Washington likes nations that shut up and do what they’re told. Nations that refuse to take orders are Washington’s enemies, they’re placed on a hit list. And that’s where the sanctions come into play. Sanctions are the way that Washington weakens its enemies before bombing them to kingdom come. They’re the stick the US uses to beat its rivals into submission.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that something very strange is going on. The US has done an about-face and changed its policy towards Iran. It’s a shocking development. The US has maintained the same savage policy towards Cuba for 60 years without changing a thing. Whether the policy works or not, has never mattered; what matters is inflicting maximum pain on the people Washington’s doesn’t like. So why the sudden change with Iran? Why is Obama trying to reach an agreement with a country that US elites openly despise?
And, keep in mind, that what Obama’s doing is extremely unpopular with many powerful groups; the congress, the media, Israel and even high ranking officials in his own State Department. Could it be that the powerbrokers who pull Obama’s strings and tell him what to do have suddenly seen the light and want to open a new era of reconciliation and friendship with Iran?
Of course not. No one believes that. The only reason Obama would strike a deal with Iran is because the US wants something in return. And the US does want something in return. The US wants a substitute for Russian gas flowing to the Europe so it can destroy Russia economically and implement its strategic plan to spread US power across Asia so US mega-corporations can maintain their dominant position in the global economy. Obama is playing nice with Iran so he can pivot to Asia as easily as possible.
So how plausible is it for Iran to replace Russian gas in the lucrative EU market?
Check out this clip from an article written in 2014 that anticipated the very scenario we see developing today, that is, the US trying to prevent an integrated EU-Russian free trade zone that would dwarf the US GDP and leave the exceptional nation to face years of precipitous decline. The article is titled “EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas”:
The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw, while those with top gas supplier Russia grow colder…
“Iran is far towards the top of our priorities for mid-term measures that will help reduce our reliance on Russian gas supplies,” the source said. “Iran’s gas could come to Europe quite easily and politically there is a clear rapprochement between Tehran and the West.”….
While sanctioned itself, Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia and is a potential alternative given talks between Tehran and the West to reach a deal over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear programme.
“High potential for gas production, domestic energy sector reforms that are underway, and ongoing normalization of its relationship with the West make Iran a credible alternative to Russia,” said a paper prepared for the European parliament…
“Given Russia’s current strategy politically, which is one of confrontation with Europe, I see the EU having little choice but to find alternative gas supplies,” he added…
“Iran’s interest to deliver gas to Europe is very big. Parts of Iran’s economical and political elite as well as Western companies are preparing for an end of the sanctions,” said Frank Umbach, energy research director at King’s College in London…
Iran has long lobbied to build a designated pipeline that would connect its huge South Pars gas field with European customers – the so-called Persian Pipeline.
“It’s an extremely ambitious project,” Handjani said. “Even if half of it gets built it would be major accomplishment for both Europe and Iran.”…
Independent feasibility studies show that if sanctions were to be eased and investments started soon, Iran could supply 10-20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to Turkey and Europe by the early 2020s.
(EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas, euractiv.com)
This is why Obama wants to ease sanctions; it’s because he needs to find an alternate source of gas for Europe while he prosecutes his war on Russia. Defeating Russia has become Washington’s top strategic priority. The United States is willing to risk everything –even nuclear war– to maintain its stranglehold on global power and to extend its hegemony into the next century.
“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests…..We must, however, be mindful that…Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”
“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”
-THE GRAND CHESSBOARD – American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 30, Basic Books, 1997
The Laussanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Laussanne shows that Washington still thinks that the greatest threat to its dominance is the further economic integration of Russia and Europe, a massive two-continent free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok that would eventually dwarf dwindling US GDP while decisively shifting the balance of global power to Asia. To counter that threat, the Obama administration toppled the elected government of Ukraine in a violent coup, launched a speculative attack on the ruble, forced down global oil prices, and is presently arming and training neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukrainian army. Washington has done everything in its power to undermine relations between the EU and Russia risking even nuclear war in its effort to separate the natural trading partners and to strategically situate itself in a location where it can control the flow of vital resources from East to West.
Laussanne was about strategic priorities not nukes. The Obama administration realizes that if it can’t find an alternate source of gas for Europe, then its blockade of Russia will fail and the EU-Russia alliance will grow stronger. And if the EU-Russia alliance grows stronger, then US attempts to extend its tentacles into Asia and become a major player in the world’s most prosperous region will also fail leaving Washington to face a dismal future in which the steady erosion of its power and prestige is a near certainty. This is from an article titled “Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan”:
“If Washington removes energy sanctions on Iran…then a new geopolitical configuration will emerge in the region. Connecting with Nabucco will be enough for Iran to fully supply Europe with gas…
Iran takes the floor with inexhaustible oil and gas reserves and as a key transit country. Iran disposes of the 10% of the reported global oil reserves and is the second country in the world after Russia with its natural gas reserves (15%). The official representatives of Iran do not hide that they strive to enter the European market of oil and gas, as in the olden days. Let’s remember that the deputy Minister of Oil in Iran, Ali Majedi, offered to revive project of Nabucco pipeline during his European tour and said that his country is ready to supply gas to Europe through it…
“Some months earlier the same Ali Majedi reported sensational news: ‘two invited European delegations’ discussed the potential routes of Iranian gas supply to Europe,” the article reads.” … It is also noted that the West quite materially reacted to the possibility of the Iranian gas to join Nabucco.” (Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan, Panorama)
So, is this the plan, to provide “energy security” to Europe by replacing Russian gas with Iranian gas?
It sure looks like it. But that suggests that the sanctions really had nothing to do with Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program but were merely used to humiliate Iran while keeping as much of its oil and gas offline until western-backed multinationals could get their greasy mitts on it.
Indeed, that’s exactly how the sanctions were used even though the nuclear issue was a transparent fake from the get go. Get a load of this from the New York Times:
“Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” (U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb, James Risen, New York Times, February 24, 2012)
See? The entire US intelligence establishment has been saying the same thing from the onset: No Iranian nukes. Nor has Iran ever been caught diverting nuclear fuel to other purposes. Never. Also, as nuclear weapons physicist, Gordon Prather stated many times before his death, “After almost three years of go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has — or ever had — a nuclear weapons program.”
The inspectors were on the ground for three freaking years. They interviewed everyone and went wherever they wanted. They searched every cave and hideaway, every nook and cranny, and they found nothing.
Get it? No nukes, not now, not ever. Period.
The case against Iran is built on propaganda, brainwashing and bullshit, in that order. But, still, that doesn’t tell us why the US is suddenly changing course. For that, we turn to an article from The Brookings Institute titled “Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter” which sums it up quite well. Here’s a clip:
“At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Proponents of the deal believe that the best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to seek to integrate Iran into the regional order, even while remaining wary of its ambitions. A nuclear deal is an important first step in that regard, but its details matter little because the ultimate goal is to change Iranian intentions rather destroy Iranian capability.” (Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter, Brookings)
Notice how carefully the author avoids mentioning Israel by name although he alludes to “the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies”. Does he think he’s talking to idiots?
But his point is well taken; the real issue is not “Iranian capability”, but “Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East”. In other words, the nuclear issue is baloney. What Washington doesn’t like is that Iran has an independent foreign policy that conflicts with the US goal of controlling the Middle East. That’s what’s really going on. Washington wants a compliant Iran that clicks its heals and does what its told.
The problem is, the strategy hasn’t worked and now the US is embroiled in a confrontation with Moscow that is a higher priority than the Middle East project. (The split between US elites on this matter has been interesting to watch, with the Obama-Brzezinski crowd on one side and the McCain-neocon crowd on the other.) This is why the author thinks that easing sanctions and integrating Iran into the predominantly US system would be the preferable remedy for at least the short term.
Repeat: “The best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to integrate Iran into the regional order.” In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em. Iran is going to be given enough freedom to fulfill its role within the imperial order, that is, to provide gas to Europe in order to inflict more economic pain on Russia. Isn’t that what’s going on?
But what effect will that have on Iran-Russia relations? Will it poison the well and turn one ally against the other?
Probably not, mainly because the ties between Iran and Russia are growing stronger by the day. Check this out from the Unz Review by Philip Giraldi:
“Moscow and Tehran are moving towards a de-facto strategic partnership, which can be easily seen by the two groundbreaking announcements from earlier this week. It’s now been confirmed by the Russian government that the rumored oil-for-goods program between Russia and Iran is actually a real policy that’s already been implemented, showing that Moscow has wasted no time in trying to court the Iranian market after the proto-deal was agreed to a week earlier. Providing goods in exchange for resources is a strategic decision that creates valuable return customers in Iran, who will then be in need of maintenance and spare parts for their products. It’s also a sign of deep friendship between the two Caspian neighbors and sets the groundwork for the tentative North-South economic corridor between Russia and India via Iran.” (A Shifting Narrative on Iran, Unz Review)
But here’s the glitch: Iran can’t just turn on the spigot and start pumping gas to Europe. It doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take massive pipeline and infrastructure upgrades that could take years to develop. That means there will be plenty of hefty contracts awarded to friends of Tehran –mostly Russian and Chinese–who will perform their tasks without interfering in domestic politics. Check this out from Pepe Escobar:
“Russia and China are deeply committed to integrating Iran into their Eurasian vision. Iran may finally be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming summer summit in Russia. That implies a full-fledged security/commercial/political partnership involving Russia, China, Iran and most Central Asian ’stans’.
Iran is already a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); that means financing for an array of New Silk Road-related projects bound to benefit the Iranian economy. AIIB funding will certainly merge with loans and other assistance for infrastructure development related to the Chinese-established Silk Road Fund…” (Russia, China, Iran: In sync, Pepe Escobar, Russia Today)
Get the picture? Eurasian integration is already done-deal and there’s nothing the US can do to stop it.
Washington needs to rethink its approach. Stop the meddling and antagonism, rebuild relations through trade and mutual trust, and accept the inevitability of imperial decline.
Asia’s star is rising just as America’s is setting. Deal with it.
“The interventions of US imperialism, with the direct collaboration of the Saudi monarchy, have plunged the entire Middle East into chaos and bloodshed—from the destruction of Iraq, to the transformation of Libya into a militia-ravaged “failed state,” to the ongoing carnage inflicted upon Syria … This predatory imperialist offensive threatens to ignite a region-wide conflagration, even as Washington deliberately ratchets up military tensions with both Russia and China. The threat of these separate conflicts coalescing into a third world war grows by the day.”
— Bill Van Auken, Obama’s criminal war against Yemen, WSWS
“Will the reactionary rulers of Saudi Arabia manage to break the legitimate hopes and enthusiastic dreams burning in the hearts of thousands of young people of the Arabian Peninsula? Never!”
— Gamal Abd al-Nasser, President of Egypt 1956 to 1970
In its ongoing effort to prevent the rise of “any popularly supported government in the region”, the US has joined Saudi Arabia’s savage war of annihilation against Yemen’s northern tribal rebels, the Houthis. The Pentagon has expedited the delivery of bombs, ammunition and guidance systems to assist the Saudi-led campaign and is providing logistical support to maximize the impact of its bombing raids. The US has also set up a “joint fusion center”, provided “aerial re-fueling platforms” and “advanced US-made weaponry” with the explicit intention of suppressing a militant group that overthrew the US-backed puppet government in the capital of Sanaa in the fall of 2014. The level of coordination between the makeshift Arab coalition (The Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC) and the US suggests that Washington is not only fully aware that food depots, water facilities, refugee camps and critical civilian infrastructure are being deliberately targeted and destroyed, but that the White House has given the green light to actions that will inevitably lead to widespread famine and social collapse. Here’s a little background from an article in The National:
“Yemen Economic Corporation, one of Yemen’s largest food storage centres, was destroyed by three coalition missile strikes in Hodeidah last Tuesday, according to the Houthi-controlled defence ministry. The corporation had enough food for the entire country. The government’s military food storage centre in Hodeidah was also targeted and destroyed on Tuesday, according to the defence ministry.
Also in Hodeidah, country’s second largest dairy plant was hit by five Saudi missiles on Wednesday, killing at least 29 people, mostly employees, and injuring dozens of others.” (Yemeni civilians struggle to get by amid conflict, The National)
This is from Channel News Asia:
DUBAI: Warships from the Saudi-led coalition have blocked a vessel carrying more than 47,000 tonnes of wheat from entering a Yemeni port, demanding United Nations guarantees that the cargo would not go to military personnel, shipping sources said on Thursday.” (Saudi-led coalition bars wheat ship from entering Yemen port – sources, Channel News Asia)
This is from WSWS:
“Airstrikes as well as fighting on the ground has knocked out electrical infrastructure, cutting off power in many urban areas and stopping the operation of crucial pumps that supply Yemen’s cities with drinking water. “We’re worried that this system will break down shortly; Aden is a dry, hot place, and without water people will really suffer,” UNICEF representative Harneis told reporters…
The no-fly zone and blockade enforced by Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners has effectively blocked the delivery of medical aid and supplies for the last two weeks, exacerbating the developing crisis.” WSWS
Live reports on the ground confirm that food depots have been bombed across the country; ” in Asr (west) hit as well as Urdhi complex (center) & Noqum (east).
This is how America fights its wars, by precipitating massive humanitarian crises that help it to achieve its political objectives. If that isn’t terrorism, then what is?
Here’s more from the Washington Post:
“As tons of desperately needed medical supplies await clearance to be flown into Yemen, aid workers warned Tuesday of an unfolding humanitarian crisis, saying at least 560 people, including dozens of children, have been killed, mostly in a Saudi-led air campaign and battles between Shiite rebels and forces loyal to the embattled president. More than 1,700 people have been wounded and another 100,000 have fled their homes as fighting intensified over the past three weeks, the World Health Organization said.” (560 dead amid fears of humanitarian collapse in Yemen, Washington Post)
The Saudis launched this latest aggression invoking the thinnest of pretexts, that it wanted to “restore the legitimate government” and protect the “Yemeni constitution and elections.” As CNN’s Ali Alahmed sardonically quipped:
“The need to protect constitutions and elections is a rather strange message from the representative of an absolute monarchy … The kingdom’s real motives seem clear if one looks at Saudi monarchy’s history of not allowing regional competition of any kind, while consistently combating efforts to build democratic governments that empower the people…
The Saudi goal is simple: Prevent the rise of any popularly supported government in the region that seeks self-determination. And the excuse of “resisting Iran’s influence,” meanwhile, appears to be nothing but sectarian bluster.” (What Saudi Arabia wants in Yemen, CNN)
While we agree with Alahmed’s basic thesis, we think the rule applies more to the United States than Saudi Arabia. After all, it’s the US that has gone from one country to the next, toppling governments, installing puppets, and spreading anarchy wherever it goes. Whatever role the Saudis might have played in Washington’s grand plan to redraw the map of the Middle East and project US tentacles into Eurasia, it is quite small by comparison. It’s the US that refuses to allow an independent government to emerge in a region that it’s committed to control. And it’s the US that is facilitating the attacks on innocent Yemenis by providing the bombs, weaponry and logistical support to the reactionary Saudi leadership. Check this out from Gregory Johnson at Buzzfeed:
“A consensus appears to be building in Riyadh, Cairo, and Islamabad toward inserting ground troops into the conflict in Yemen. One Egyptian military official told BuzzFeed News the decision had already been made. “Ground forces will enter the war,” the official said on condition of anonymity in order to discuss classified military operations.
The timing of such a move, which would be a significant escalation in the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, is still being discussed. But the Egyptian military source said it could happen as soon as “two or three days.” (Ground Forces Seen Joining Bloody War In Yemen, Buzzfeed)
So after two weeks of nonstop bombing, the coalition is now planning to intensify the conflict by putting boots on the ground. But that will only prolong the hostilities and plunge the country deeper into crisis. It will also increase the risk of Houthi retaliation, which appears to already be taking place. According to Al Arabiya English, fighting broke out in the Southern Saudi city of Narjan on April 11. (#BREAKING Asiri: Houthi militias are amassing close to the Saudi-Yemeni border… #BREAKING: Asiri: clashes reported near the Saudi city of Najran)
While no one expects the Houthis to invade their northern neighbor, there are some analysts who think the monarchy has taken on more than it can chew and will eventually suffer blowback from its incursion. One such critic is Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the Lebanese paramilitary organization Hezbollah. In a recent interview, Nasrallah suggested that the Houthis have the means to curtail vital energy supplies, strike a blow against Saudi Arabia, and send financial markets tumbling at the same time. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“There is now a demand on the Yemeni leaders… who have not taken the decision to close (the strategic Strait) of Bab al-Mandeb, which they could do at any time. (It is only 20 kilometres-large, they are quite capable of it.) And they could also hit targets inside Saudi Arabia with missiles, or even enter the interior of Saudi Arabia, although they have not yet made this decision, so far … There is currently a Yemeni popular demand: “Let us go to Saudi Arabia.” Leadership thus far has not taken such a decision. I wanted to indicate this.”…
Nasrallah again: “I am absolutely certain that Saudi Arabia will undergo a major defeat. And its defeat will impact its internal situation, the royal family … and the entire region.” (“Hassan Nasrallah: The war in Yemen announces the end of the House of Saud”, The Vineyard of the Saker)
So the Houthis could close the Bab Al Mandeb straits and prevent millions of barrels of oil from getting to market? That changes the calculus entirely. How would that effect Washington’s plan to crash Russia’s economy with plunging oil prices? How would it impact global stock markets which are already jittery over the Fed’s projected rate hikes? What effect would it have on al Nusra, ISIS and other Al Qaeda-linked groups that would then seek to launch similar attacks against critical energy infrastructure as the best way to achieve their aims?
There are things the Houthis can do to discourage Saudi aggression. They can take matters into their own hands and strike where it hurts most. Washington is so convinced of its own invincibility, that no one has even thought of this. Without the slightest hesitation, the Obama troupe has embroiled a key ally in bloody conflagration that could backfire and seriously undermine US interests in the region. Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of US power in the Middle East, but it is also its Achilles heel. By supporting the attack on the Houthis instead of seeking a political solution, Washington has strengthened Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which poses the greatest single threat to the monarchy. As Nasrallah notes: “they (the US and SA) protect Al Qaeda and Daesh in Yemen, and more, they drop them weapons by air. This is an achievement? This goes against the interests of Saudi Arabia.”
Indeed, it does. Al Qaeda has much greater ability to infiltrate Saudi Arabia and either launch terrorist attacks or foment popular revolution. The Houthis present no such security threat, they’re only interest is to maintain their own sovereignty, borders, and independent foreign policy. A 2003 article in the Atlantic by CIA Bureau Chief Robert Baer titled “The Fall of the House of Saud” provides a window into Riyadh’s vulnerabilities and draws the ominous conclusion that the kingdom’s days are numbered. Here’s a clip from the article:
“Saudi oil is controlled by an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, dysfunctional, and out-of-touch royal family that is hated by the people it rules and by the nations that surround its kingdom…
Signs of impending disaster are everywhere, but the House of Saud has chosen to pray that the moment of reckoning will not come soon—and the United States has chosen to look away. So nothing changes: the royal family continues to exhaust the Saudi treasury, buying more and more arms and funneling more and more “charity” money to the jihadists, all in a desperate and self-destructive effort to protect itself.
The most vulnerable point and the most spectacular target in the Saudi oil system is the Abqaiq complex—the world’s largest oil-processing facility, which sits about twenty-four miles inland from the northern end of the Gulf of Bahrain. All petroleum originating in the south is pumped to Abqaiq for processing. For the first two months after a moderate to severe attack on Abqaiq, production there would slow from an average of 6.8 million barrels a day to one million barrels, a loss equivalent to one third of America’s daily consumption of crude oil. For seven months following the attack, daily production would remain as much as four million barrels below normal—a reduction roughly equal to what all of the opec partners were able to effect during their 1973 embargo…
I served for twenty-one years with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, and during all my years there I accepted on faith my government’s easy assumption that the money the House of Saud was dumping into weaponry and national security meant that the family’s armed forces and bodyguards could keep its members—and their oil—safe … I no longer believe this … sometime soon, one way or another, the House of Saud is coming down.” (The Fall of the House of Saud, Robert Baer, The Atlantic)
Neither the United States nor Saudi Arabia have any right to interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs or to install their own political puppets to head the government. That is the right of the Yemeni people. And while the current process of regime change might be messy and violent, the Houthi rebels better represent the interests of the indigenous population than anyone in Riyadh or Washington. The Saudi-US war is merely aimed at controlling the outcome so Yemen remains within the imperial grip. As Nasrallah says, “The real goal of the war is to retain control and domination of Yemen (but) the Yemeni people will not put up with this aggression and humiliation. They will fight to defend their dignity, their existence, their families, and their territory. And they will be victorious.”
Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands.
The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many early neocons—including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter—belonged to the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that their successors, including Joshua Muravchik and Carl Gershman, came to neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally Manichean psychology that underlies both. [Half a century] later the dominant strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical militarism and “inverted socialist internationalism.”
Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and German National Socialism. Today’s neoconservatives share with Stalin and Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S. foreign policy-making community.
Certain important differences remain, notably the neoconservatives’ hostility not only to Nazi race-theory but even to the most benign understanding of national or ethnic coherence. On the surface, there are also glaring differences in economics. However, the neoconservative glorification of the free market is mere rhetoric, designed to placate the businessmen who fund them, than reality. In fact, the neoconservatives favor not free enterprise but a kind of state capitalism—within the context of the global apparatus of the World Bank and the IMF—that Hitler would have appreciated.
Some form of gradual but irreversible and desirable withering away of the state is a key tenet of the Trotskyite theoretical outlook. The neoconservatives, by contrast, are statists par excellence. Their core belief—that society can be managed by the state in both its political and economic life—is equally at odds with the traditional conservative outlook and with the non-Stalinist Left. In this important respect the neoconservatives are much closer to Stalinism and National Socialism.
They do not want to abolish the state; they want to control it—especially if the state they control is capable of controlling all others. They are not “patriotic” in any conventional sense of the term and do not identify themselves with the real and historic America but see the United States merely as the host organism for the exercise of their Will to Power. Whereas the American political tradition has been fixated on the dangers of centralized state power, on the desirability of limited government and non-intervention in foreign affairs, the neoconservatives exalt and worship state power, and want America to become a hyper-state in order to be an effective global hegemon. Even when they support local government it is on the grounds that it is more efficient and responsive to the demands of the Empire, not on constitutional grounds.
The neoconservative view of America as a hybrid, “imagined” nation had an ardent supporter eight decades ago: in Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler argued for a new, tightly centralized Germany by invoking the example of the United States and the triumph of the Union over states’ rights. He concluded that “National Socialism, as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.”
Hitler was going to make a new Germany the way he imagined it, or else destroy it. In the same vein the Weekly Standard writers are “patriots” only insofar as the America they imagine is a pliable tool of their global design. Their relentless pursuit of an American Empire overseas is coupled by their deliberate domestic transformation of the United States’ federal government into a Leviathan unbound by constitutional restraints. The lines they inserted into President Bush’s State of the Union address [in January 2004] aptly summarized their Messianic obsessions: the call of history has come to the right country, we exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for the liberty of strangers, we know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation: “The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.”
Such megalomania is light years away from a patriotic appreciation of one’s nation. A psychotic quest for power and dominance is the driving force, and the “nationalist” discourse its justification. The reality is visible in ultimate distress: Towards the end of the Second World War Josef Goebbels welcomed the Allied bombing for its destruction of the old bourgeois cuckoo-clock and marzipan Germany of the feudal principalities. Driven by the same impulse, Bill Kristol’s “national greatness” psychosis seeks to sweep away the old localized, decentralized America of bingo parlors and little league games.
Most heirs of the Trotskyite Left are internationalists and one-world globalists, whereas all neoconservatives are unabashed imperialists. The former advocate “multilateralism,” in the form of an emerging “international community” controlled by the United Nations or through a gradual transfer of sovereign prerogatives to regional groupings exemplified by the European Union. By contrast the neoconservative urge for uninhibited physical control of other lands and peoples bears resemblance to the New European Order of [the early 1940’s], or to the “Socialist Community” that succeeded it in Eastern Europe. Even when they demand wars to export democracy, the term “democracy” is used as an ideological concept. It does not signify broad participation of informed citizens in the business of governance, but it denotes the desirable social and political content of ostensibly popular decisions . . .
Whereas the Trotskyite Left is predominantly anti-militarist, the neoconservatives are enthusiastically militarist in a manner reminiscent of German and Soviet totalitarianism. Their strategic doctrine, promulgated into official policy [in September 2002], calls for an indefinite and massive military build-up unconnected to any identifiable military threat to the United States. Their scribes demand ‘citizen involvement,’ in effect, militarization of the populace, but the traditional ‘citizen soldier’ concept is reversed . . .
The neoconservative mindset is apocalyptic (which is a Nazi and Stalinist trait), rather than utopian (which characterizes the Trotskyite Left). The replacement of the Soviet threat with the more amorphous “terrorism” reflects the doomsday revolutionary mentality that can never rest. New missions and new wars will have to be engineered, and pretexts manufactured, with the same subtlety that characterized the “attack” on the German radio station at Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939. Even the tools for the enforcement of domestic acquiescence are not dissimilar: the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the Reichstag fire. Echoing the revolutionary dynamism and the historicist Messianism equally common to fascists and communists, Michael Ledeen wrote that “creative destruction” is America’s eternal mission, both at home and abroad, and the reason America’s “enemies” hate it: “They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
The neoconservatives’ mendacity apparent in the misrepresentation of the Iraqi crisis to the American people recalls the Goebbelsian “hypodermic needle approach” to communication, in which the communicator’s objective was to “inject” his ideas into the minds of the target population . . . [which] is echoed in our time by the Straussian dictum that perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is necessary because they need to be led, and they need to be told what is good for them. On this, at least, Trotsky, Stalin, and Hitler would all agree. (As Hitler had said, “The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble.”) In the Straussian-neoconservative mindset, those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.
That mindset is America’s enemy. It is the greatest threat to the constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same eschatological dream, the End of History devoid of God. They are in pursuit of Power for its own sake—thus sinning against God and man—and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.
For two months this summer, the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will conduct Realistic Military Training (RMT) Operation Jade Helm 15 (JH 15) in seven Southwestern U.S. states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Military spokesmen say the operation is merely a standard training exercise designed to prepare Special Forces troops for warfare overseas.
According to the London Daily Mail, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said, “‘This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.’”
Units participating in the operation include Army Green Berets, Navy SEALS, USAF Special Operations Command, USMC Special Operations Command, USMC Expeditionary Units, Army 82nd Airborne Division, and Interagency Partners (whatever and whoever that is). Over 1,200 troops will participate. For purposes of the exercise, the states of Utah and Texas, and parts of southern California, are designated as “hostile.” Local mayors and county commissions have been notified of the operation and have already signed off on it.
To be sure, the U.S. military often conducts off-base exercises; there is nothing new about that. However, this operation might be the largest off-base training exercise on the U.S. mainland. It is certainly one of the most aggressive.
In this exercise, Special Forces troops will practice all sorts of activities including extractions, searches and seizures, urban camouflage, etc. According to the Houston Chronicle, “[A]mong the planned exercises, soldiers will attempt to operate undetected among civilian populations.
“Residents, in turn, will be asked to report suspicious activity in order to gauge the effectiveness of the soldiers.”
See the London Daily Mail report here:
According to USSOCOM, the exercises will only be conducted between 11pm and 4am. Pray tell, how difficult will it be for Special Forces troops (the best of the best) to operate undetected and “blend in” during the middle of the night? That part of the military’s description makes no sense to me at all.
We already have millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on mass media advertising that tells people, “If you see something, say something.” Now we are going to “practice” reporting “suspicious activity”? Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when such an idea would have been considered abhorrent by the American people as resembling Nazi Germany or Red Russia too much. Then again, most of our World War II generation has passed, hasn’t it?
The Internet is abuzz with speculation that these exercises are not designed to prepare U.S. troops for overseas operations, but are actually designed to prepare U.S. troops for aggressive operations against the American citizenry.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, ever since 9/11, our federal government has targeted America’s homeland for all sorts of surveillance, spying, snooping, etc. The National Security Agency (NSA) routinely collects virtually all electronic communications, telephonic transmissions, etc., from the entire American citizenry. The U.S. Congress and federal courts have become nothing more than rubber stamps for an executive branch of government determined to know the most intimate details of every person in the nation. The United States now has the dubious distinction of being the most spied-on country in the history of the world.
For the first time in U.S. history, we have U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), a full active military division (3rd Infantry Division) assigned to the Continental United States. We have the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has turned our local and State police agencies into miniature military units, and has armed them with all sorts of military weaponry and equipment–including some of the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering equipment in the world.
The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, NDAA, etc., authorize the federal government to basically treat the U.S. citizenry as “enemy combatants.” As far as the passage of these laws is concerned, we Americans have already lost our right to trial by jury, habeas corpus, the right to have an attorney, the right to a speedy trial, the right to be secure in our persons, houses, effects, etc. Martial Law may not be the experience of most U.S. citizens YET, but understand that the laws are already in place for such an event.
The whole idea of practicing “extractions” (a nice word for kidnappings) in U.S. cities sends chills up my spine. Using the aforementioned laws, this kind of activity has already been made “legal” in this country. So, first we have laws authorizing such activity, and now our military troops are practicing doing it? Please tell me, again, how we have nothing to worry about.
Folks, please take a look at what is happening in this country: our local and State police are being militarized; we have ubiquitous laws being proposed and passed (by both major parties) denying the Bill of Rights; we have Twentynine Palms Marine Corps surveys asking Marines if they would turn their guns on the U.S. citizenry; we have repeated attempted gun confiscation coming from Washington, D.C.; we have hundreds of military field-grade officers being dismissed because of their loyalty to the U.S. Constitution; we have a federal foreign policy that seems hell-bent on inciting most every country in the world against us, while practically giving a red-carpet invitation for any would-be terrorist to waltz across our southern border; we have a CIA that gives some of the most powerful weapons in the world to just about any third-world resistance group (including elements of Al Qaeda and, believe it or not, ISIS) that comes along (The U.S. government is far and away the largest gun dealer in the world!), while its sister government organizations, such as the ATF, think we Americans can’t be trusted with .223 ammunition; we have Democrat and Republican presidential administrations alike that use the IRS as a political mafia against people with dissenting opinions; we have a national news media that has become nothing more than a propaganda ministry for the federal government; we have politicians from both parties in Washington, D.C., that can only be described as blood-thirsty war-mongers; we have politicians at the local and State levels who seem determined to turn their communities into a Police State (and some Homeowner Associations are even more Naziesque than the federal government); and, for the most part, we have an apostate, cowardly church pulpit that is doing its dead-level best to turn the Christian people of America into sheepish servants of the state.
I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE GOOD REASON TO BE A LITTLE PARANOID.
I posted a few preliminary thoughts on my Facebook page regarding this subject before writing this column. Here are a few comments from my Facebook followers:
James: “Jade Helm. Jade is blue. Helm is German for helmet. Blue Helmet. UN blue helmets?”
Jeanie: “Their supposed reasons for this exercise [don’t] make sense. They won’t be blending in with civilians in third world countries. The only purpose I can see is to use force against us one day.”
Mark: “Pastor, just because we are a bit paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out to get us.”
Lou: “‘Blending in.’ LOL.”
Jason: “The exercise itself is not a direct danger. It is, however, practice to [acclimate] soldiers and citizens to military action in their neighborhoods.”
And, of course, there is this kind of response from Terry: “Worry? No! We should worry about you.” [Meaning, yours truly.]
I invite readers to “Like” my Facebook page. I often post comments on my Facebook page that do not make it into my column. Go to my Facebook page at:
I realize it is extremely difficult for Americans to believe that their own government could actually turn against them. And, I’m sure that many people will tell me that to think otherwise is alarmist and extremist. But, isn’t that exactly what the citizens of every country overtaken by its own government said? “That can’t happen here,” have been the last words of millions.
The fact is, the vast majority of us cannot know what the true intention of Operation Jade Helm might really be–and that includes the military personnel who are commanding it and participating in it. I am convinced of this much: the federal government–and its propaganda ministry in the national news media–almost NEVER tells us the truth. Of that much, I am absolutely certain.
The saga of continuous deployment and a garrison empire is a long and sad state of affairs. Using the trumped up fright that America’s enemies are geared up to bomb malls and sporting venues, builds a phony fear that the only response to combat the threat is to wage continuous foreign campaigns. What put such sophistry to rest are the facts that such uninterrupted carnage just feeds the fields of growing hostility towards America. If the War on Terror was winnable, why not start by stopping the War of Terror that is the center piece of aggressive projection of bellicose power.
The militarist over at Red States warns that Obama is gumming up the works. In the article, Obama’s AUMF is Actually a DUMF the horror that placing a limit on the use of expansionist support deeply offends the warmongers. Folks, their positions are not a fair or representative reflection of true and traditional conservative foreign policy.
“The AUMF proposed by Obama, on the other hand, explicitly repeals the 2002 AUMF and furthermore explicitly states that ground troops cannot be used, as they can be used (and have been used by Obama) under the 2002 AUMF. It furthermore contains an automatic three year expiration, which is not contained in the currently active AUMF.
In other words, this is not even fairly called an Authorization for the Use of Military Force. It’s actually a Deauthorization for the Use of Military Force. Republicans in Congress should start referring to it as the DUMF (pronounced DUMB-f) so that people will be reminded what sort of person would be convinced that Obama takes confronting the threat of ISIS seriously.”
In order to have a sound and constitutional approach to safeguarding the Republic, the first step is to be honest with ourselves. The preservation of the sole superpower mantra is far more dangerous than any suicide bomber. Yet, the internationalists will never be content until they manufacture or invent a new advocacy to keep the full spectrum dominance machine rolling along. Such a mind-set and way of thinking is psychotic.
For those who hope the Obama administration is actually operating on a more balanced level; don’t believe that spin for a minute. The essential reality is that there are only two positions in gauging foreign policy. The first is the bipartisan establishment agreement that “Politics Stops at the Water’s Edge”. Even the Council on Foreign Relations admits in the essay, American Foreign Policy Is Already Post-Partisan the following.
“Yet how deep is the partisan divide over the place of multilateralism in U.S. foreign policy? To explore this question, in the past year we sent a survey to foreign policy professionals: 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, who had served in a mid-level or higher foreign policy position in the Clinton, Bush, or Obama administrations, or on Capitol Hill. The respondents included 23 Democrats and 20 Republicans.
The results of our study reveal that the parties are not as divided about multilateralism as the conventional wisdom suggests. First, strong majorities of both Republican and Democratic respondents said they believed that working closely with other nations serves U.S. interests and makes the country’s foreign policy more effective. Second, foreign policy leaders from both parties agreed that international economic institutions and free trade agreements are valuable, and that working with regional and global multilateral organizations such as NATO and the UN is important.”
Such a response is expected from the echo chamber for the New World Order.
The second perspective accepts the wisdom of the historic and guarded non-interventionism approach to foreign affairs. Based upon power politics exponents, who are in control of government agencies and influence institutions, their defiance for a reason and true national security, attacks such advocates for halting the unending cycle as domestic terrorists. The recent BATR RealPolitik Newsletter, Israel Owns Congress, illustrates a significant factor behind the driving pressure that exports violence from the Nefarious Warrior Organism. Yes this fitting description for the New World Order characterizes the essence of the establishment.
Daniel Larison writes in the American Conservative, Paul and the Right’s Ideological Enforcers.
“Michael Brendan Dougherty comments on the silly reaction of some “pro-Israel” hard-liners to Rand Paul’s insufficiently zealous applause for Netanyahu:
“And I understand the suspicion. If I ever exerted myself so frantically on behalf of a cause, if lobbying for it required investing so many millions of dollars, and if maintaining party discipline on it required “brutal” ad drops on congressional obscurities, I would worry that some of the response I sought was perfunctory and insincere. The sonnets you receive don’t sound as sweet. The applause seems forced. Almost like they are faking it.”
Unfortunately, this ludicrous ideological policing seems to work only too well. Paul’s response in the last two days has been to reaffirm how enthusiastically “pro-Israel” he really is. Even though the fixation on the intensity of his clapping at Tuesday’s disgraceful spectacle ought to have made clear that he will never be able to do or say (or clap) enough to satisfy his party’s hard-liners, he made sure to emphasize his “pro-Israel” bona fides by talking up his co-sponsorship of Corker’s Iran bill and the number of times (50) he has joined in standing ovations for Netanyahu. We can already hear the hard-liners’ response: “He gave only 50 standing ovations? He should have given at least 70.”
This goes to the heart of the establishment’s primacy principle, American adventurism benefits Israel First interests. The reason the United States is engulfed in perpetual war is to keep the power elites in control. The permanent war of terror has the domestic public as the target. Why is this so? Plainly speaking, the globalists who have completed their takeover of the apparatus of governance have eliminated even the semblance of the rule by law.
In the Ron Paul video from a GOP Presidential debate, Let Iran Have Nukes. No Sanctions, No War, you heard for the last time a common sense and prudent approach to counter the NeoCon and NewLib mantra of continual threat of war or actual combat.
Stopping the interventionism of the foreign policy establishment like in their Ukrainian coup d’état, would require a total repudiation of the entire power structure that perverts the body politic. The lawlessness, that is the staple of the Obama administration, just made a pivot in rhetoric from the “Mission Accomplished” absurdity under Bush.
All the time the same drum beat to a truly global conflict marches on because the fundamental axioms upon which, rest the internationalist system, is based has proven beyond any reasonable doubt, to be false and deadly.
We live under a reign of terror from our own illegitimate authorities. The domestic police state is a reflection of tactics used and perfected in Iraq. The creation of ISIL was achieved by western intelligence. The need for a new enemy becomes obvious when the old one turns out to be a phony menace.
If Obama would really sunset the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, it might be the only worthwhile initiative of his years in office. However, in order to judge the feasibility and sincerity of his intentions, one might need to access the private emails of the former Secretary of State. Fat chance! Dragging out the goods from the heroine of culture concealment brings back all the memories of the former Klinton era.
That’s the way the guardians of the establishment work. Brew up mind numbing scandals, while the existential global tragedies of designed world domination, are ignored. The ease upon whom the war of terror is sold to the public is dreadful.
Listing all the transgressions upon lawful restrains, imposed on the country since the 911 Wag the Dog scenarios, would take a book. How long will repeating the same strategy of failure continue to get favorable support? As long as confused conservatives accept that the bogyman is overseas and are not able to focus on the architects of treason at home, the NWO will just waltz its way to the symphony they compose.
The absence of the formerly vocal anti-war movement in the way the Viet Nam war galvanized is a great regret. Adopting a non-interventionist doctrine should not be a left-right dichotomy. It needs to become a unified and committed cause that each citizen will actively adopt.
The pathetic peer pressure used on a Rand Paul to become an Israel-First supporter needs to be condemned. If it was not for the internationalist and globalist lobby, our troops could and should be stationed on our own borders.
Perpetual war to justify a permanent war of terror will destroy all that was once unique about America. The fifth column and systemic treason that passes as “PC” policy, is the enemy. Waking up is not enough. The blowback coming must be against the establishment. In order for the nation to rise from the ashes of destruction, the public needs to defeat the reign of terror conducted in our name.