Business As Usually for the US Empire Under Trump

Now I know it is shocking to read an article title such as this with a Republican in the White House. With all of Trump’s talk of trying not to get bogged down in Middle East conflicts and business of empire, he is doing a terrible job so far.

Save maybe his stance toward Russia, Trump’s administration is continuing to signal that not much is going to change in the next four years.

Starting with his first week in office, Mr. Trump signed off on the raid in Yemen without any intelligence which left civilians dead, including the young daughter of previously slain Anwar Al-Awlaki. This raid was a sloppy mess, producing no usable intel and included even a US casualty; the US Navy Seal Trump attempted to use as a political chess piece at his first speech to Congress.The target of the raid was not even killed, as in early March he released audio taunting the president.

Trump’s next Clinton-like idea came in the form of “safe zones” in Syria. An idea which much like Clinton’s “no-fly zone” would need to be administered over sovereign Syrian terrorist. All to help destabilize the hold the government has on it’s own country there.

Moving to this week, we see the rest of the policy coming into form. I previously wrote about the US airstrikes in Mosul that killed dozens of civilians. Well, that number is now in the HUNDREDS and has been confirmed by coalition forces. Any idea that Trump would be shifting policy in Iraq seemed to go out the window when the man that Trump defers to on all things military, General Mattis, stated that US troops will need to stay in Iraq “for years”. This will not be nation-building Mattis says, but just “stabilization”. We don’t know to pull out like that wimp Obama and create another vacuum for ISIS to fill…

As we move to the African continent, we are introduced to the great military mind US African Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser. This genius is petitioning the president to keep US forces in Libya to help combat ISIS, which has a presence of 200 total men in a country the size of the Northeast. This is to help “stabilize” the nation, and also to keep Russia from influencing the government there. Something that is supposed to the job of the United States.

Commander Walhauser also wants expanded presence in Somalia. Doubling down on the Syria-type engagement strategy here. Arming rebels, embedding US Special Forces, airstrikes and drones. This keeps the Marines off the ground and allows for some PR space back home.

As you can see from the laundry list of bad ideas, not much is going to change under Trump. Not that this is shocking to anyone. If anything, it helps to highlight how the empire works. No matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, the policy stays the same.

The only saving grace with Trump was supposed to be his views on Russia and NATO. But even that seems to just be window dressing. Yes, he is annoying our NATO and EU allies with his brash behavior during his meeting with German Chancellor Merkel and his applause for Brexit. But this isn’t keeping his underlings from moving the status quo forward.

Newly confirmed Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley can be found on video threatening sanctions on Russia unless they “give back” Crimea and “leave” Ukraine:

Lets not forget about the rouge-element within Congress in the form of John McCain. Sen. McCain has been cheer-leading for more NATO expansion in eastern Europe, including the welcoming of Montenegro into the alliance. A move that will surely be approved by Congress and the president, no matter what Rand Paul’s feelings are on the subject.

Sen. McCain has become the leading voice for Neo-Conservative, Liberal-Internationalist wing of Washington with Trump in office. Just this Friday, McCain spoke out in Brussels repeating his support for more EU and NATO cooperation in the region. Going as far as to say that the world “cries out for American and European leadership” and that “The New World Order is under enormous strain”. Music to my ears but disaster in McCain’s eyes.

As the Trump presidency continues to unfold, focus at least some of your attention away from the dumpster-fire which is domestic politics, and watch to see if there is any change in the foreign policy of the Empire.

The Reason Attacks Like London Will Not End Anytime Soon – 33 Civilians Dead in US Airstrike in Syira

My reaction to the attack in London today is sure to come with the comments I usually receive: “How can you blame the victim?!” “This is about their religion!” “So you are blaming the US (Britain)!?” Of course, that is not what I am doing. I have become a bit numb to the complete horror of these attacks. I do go directly to the idea of “Blowback” that was introduced by the CIA, and further introduced to me by Ron Paul.

While the mainstream media and extreme left will cover this attack as if it is an irrational attack by an individual from a small minority of an otherwise peaceful culture or religion, the radical viewpoint on this that will come both from the right and left will be to directly attribute this attack to he religion of Islam.

I reject both of these as stated earlier. As I wrote in my previous post, the rational explanation of why these types of attacks take place can be found in the daily news coming out of the Middle East.

I went over to Antiwar.com and read the following article posted today: “US Airstrike Kills 33 Civilians Sheltering in Syrian School“. The article covers the most recent idiotic military operation by the US in Syria. Ready for this? The US airdropped Kurdish fighters into ISIS-controlled Raqqa in an attempt to “liberate” the city. To clear the are for the airdrop, the US first provided airstrikes. One airstrike struck a school housing refugees, killing 33 people according to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The indifference in which we treat these massacres carried out by our governments lead to the lashing out of the violently oppressed. I won’t get into who the refugee crisis in Europe is directly related to the destruction of the refugees’ countries. A six year old can figure that out on their own.

On the surface this is a tragedy in its own right. But the response and reaction by the US military, media and Westerners alike is the real story. Responsibility is not taken for the airstrike, even denial is in the cards. CNN, FOX or MSNBC won’t touch this story.

Because of this, the everyday Westerner won’t have any reaction. There will be no hashtags or profile picture changes.

They will say that this is “the price of empire” or that this is just what happens in that part of world. Well, I can sadly say that attacks like the one in London is the real price of empire, and it too is just what happens in THAT part of the world.

Random Thoughts – Perception vs Rationality

As I sit here reading an article about Israeli airstrikes in the Golan Heights, a common thought enters my mind. All around me I find that perception out weighs rationality. Take this story for instance. On Friday, Israeli bombers entered sovereign Syrian airspace and bombed Syrian military positions. Israel responded by warning the Syrians that any more attempts to shoot down Israeli jets (over Syria) would be met with aggression. Israeli Defense Minster Avigdor Lieberman went as far as to say that the anti-aircraft weapons would be bombed “without the slightest hesitation“.

This post isn’t about Syria. And it’s surely not some anti-Israeli rant. I’m taking this example of a news story to demonstrate my earlier observation. See, when I read this story, I look at it without bias. Or at least I try not too. Do I have strong opinions? Sure. But those are set aside. All I see here is one gang with a white & blue flag deciding to attack the property of one of it’s neighboring gangs. I see an aggressor and a defender. That’s as far as a I take it. In a world that is so obviously gray, things like this are black and white.

When deciding what to feel about this piece of news I flesh out these simple truths. In this instance the government of Israeli violated the sovereign airspace of the government of Syria, dropping fire from the sky with no declaration of war. That’s it. Israeli is in the wrong. No matter what other information or past events lead up to this point.

Let’s back up. I say all this to make my point. This is a huge story in my little world. This story influences my day, my politics, my view on the world. I ignore any editorializing that may be done by the author (it is Antiwar.com after-all). This is how I’ve formed by opinions and viewpoints since before I can remember. “Think for yourself” has always been a freedom I’ve relished in exercising.

With the never-ending stream of stories and information coming at people on a daily basis, I see so many around me settling for others to do the deep thinking for them. They have viewpoints of their own. Their own emotions too. I’m not sitting here saying I’m special. Just that with the access to information, and a little critical thinking tools, I believe the world should be becoming more sober in its perceptive. More rational.

This story will be received differently by individuals all over the world. Are they Jewish? Are they Arab? Are they Zionist? Are they from the US? Do they watch CNN? Have they glanced over enough news headlines that they believe that “Syria = bad, Israel = good”? Why does this matter to them? These are questions I ask when I see the reactions of so many. Because I don’t understand where they are coming from.

In a world that is most definitely gray, when something can be stamped black or white..it should be. And we should feel relief in that.

Trust the New York Times & It’s Stable of Repeated Liars

Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com debunks the recent article by Michael Gordon at the NYT about the Russians violating a treaty with a 2008 cruise missile test:

“The missile tests took place in 2008, and at the time the Bush Administration did not make them an issue. It was only in 2014, when the Obama Administration was ratcheting up tensions with Russia, that the tests were raised as a “possible violation.” Media outlets took the reclassification of the missile by the Pentagon, removing their “experimental” label, to claim they must be deployed now, and that must be a violation too.”

So, the United States reclassifies a missile type, and now the Russians violate a treaty. Not only does Michael Gordon know this, he admits it in the bottom of the article. Of course, the article is posted, and is immediately shared and retweeted because it fits the Russia hysteria narrative.

This is the same Michael Gordon that somehow still has a job after helping to lie the US in war in Iraq in 2002-2003, by posting the same type of half-ass journalism.

Something Is Wrong With the Intelligence Community 

​When you have intelligence community members telling their friends that “he will die in jail” and Dennis Kucinich is warning that “something is going on with the intelligence community”, sober minds need to take control of the situation.

FYI Dennis Kucinich what I always considered a true progressive. The guy has been a beast since 08.

Glenn Greenwald Reminds Me That Actual Investigation Matters

In his most recent article, Greenwald correctly points out that if whistle-blowers do what these intelligence leaker did, Obama puts them in jail. He also points out that columnists at the NYT and Washington Post make careers out of repeating CIA and FBI anonymous sources without doing any journalistic investigation. 

Everyone should put their critical thinking hats on and understand there is a large percentage of Washington DC that does not want renewed relations with Russia. It flies in the face of the cold war they never stopped fighting and American hegemony abroad.
Greenwald already did his investigation on the evidence of Russian involvement still being peddled by the media back in January, when the sad excuse for an intelligence report came out.

Similarly reading actual journalism gives you the keen eye to smell bullshit.

To The FBI: Anyone is an Informant

This new series of articles at The Intercept based off a cache of FBI documents is really an interesting and terrifying read. The most recent article by Trevor Aaronson (author of The Terror Factory) breaks down the FBI’s authority to research anyone, citizen or not, on public and private servers, for 72 hours.

This might seem like a “duh” statement. But for all those out there that routinely brush off NSA/FBI spying powers by saying “I’m not hiding anything”, consider what this authority is used for. Aaronson shows that these 72 hours are used to find “dirt” that can be used to blackmail a person into working as an informant.

It’s one of the most important tools when building a terror plot that will eventually be stop by the heroes at the FBI. Viewers of the most recent season of the Showtime show “Homeland” will know what I’m talking that. That plot is based off a large percentage of the terror plots that have been foiled by the FBI since 9/11. In fact, Trevor Aaronson’s book, The Terror Factory, lays out this common practice. The article is worth your time. As is the full series over at The Intercept and Aaronson’s book.

 

Israeli Government Passes Law Legalizing Illegal West Bank Settlements 

Just another example of how the right-wing Israeli government continues to run an illegal occupation, colonization and slow-burn ethnic cleansing. From Mondoweiss.net:

“The legislation, referred to as the “Regularization Bill,” legalizes more than 4,000 settler outpost units under Israeli law, and has been dubbed the first step toward de facto annexation.”

Bayit Yehudi party MK Bezalel Smotrich, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the law was “a historic step toward the completion of a process that we plan to lead; the application of full Israeli sovereignty on all the cities and communities in Judea and Samaria,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

The law is in direct contravention with international law, which deems all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal.

US Military Has Overstayed It’s Welcome In Yemen

Yesterday the government of Yemen has decided to not allow any US “boots on the ground” moving forward. This takes place after a Navy Seal raid on Jan 29th that killed 14 “enemy combatants” along with dozens of cilivians and children. The raid was carried out with minor intelligence, continuing to provide extremist groups with more recruiting opportunities. 

The ban is not suprising for anyone who has followed the slaughter in Yemen bein carried out Saudi Arabia. The US has been carrying out its own black ops operation in the country for most of Obama’s years in office. The drone campaign in the rural part of the country helped Al Qaeda grow a foothold in the country. 

US officials have said this ban does not include the drone strikes, which is par the course for a Yemeni government that has no real power over not only it’s country, but the foreign powers fighting a proxy war within it.

Sources: 

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/02/07/yemen-withdraws-permission-for-us-ground-operations/
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/world/middleeast/yemen-special-operations-missions.html?_r=0&referer=

Stop Elliot Abrams

The Trump Administration is pondering the appointment of Elliot Abrams to the powerful position of Deputy Secretary of State. 

If you do not know who Elliot Abrams is, consider this. Dr. Ron Paul & his son Senator Rand Paul, along with the editors of Antiwar have blitzed social media warning against letting this guy quietly be confirmed.

From the Antiwar.com artitle on Abrams:

Abrams stands for everything the President said he opposes: regime change, globalism, hostility to Russia, endless wars on behalf of ungrateful “allies.”…..In addition, Abrams was indicted and convicted in the infamous “Contra-gate” scandal of the 1980s, when he collaborated in a plot to cover up paying ransom to Iran for the hostages they had taken.

Although he was pardoned by George HW Bush, this hardly alters his criminal status – and that’s the least of his crimes. During that same period he was instrumental in supporting not only the Nicaraguan contras, but also the terrorist “death squads” that wreaked devastation on El Salvador – a horrific phenomenon that led directly to the chaos that has turned that country into a killing field ruled by criminals.

Along with the summary above, the website also links to the White House and Congressional website to contact your Senators.