#45 Breaking the Cycle “A New Clean Break”

 The Cycle – It’s In Plain Sight

Washington’s policy ideas industry, the think-tank, have budgets that range from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $80 million, a significant industry in the D.C. economy. The over 400 think-tanks, more than of any city in the world, are homes to the top policymakers in America. These “lobbyist” directly affect the way legislation and governmental policy are written and established. They are “shadow government” hiding in plain sight.

Their members are interviewed and quoted every day in the mainstream media, but these think-tank “superstar” slants are never identified. The bios of the “experts,” the politics of their funders (wealthy donors with strings attached to their donations) and the positions they take can be quite revealing.

Think tanks generally claim their mission is to expand public knowledge but the truth is that their end game is to influence the making of laws and governmental policies towards certain ideological positions.

The Diplomat – Think Tank – Diplomat Cycle

Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), is a think-tank that is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, in their book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, describe WINEP as “part of the core” of the Israel Lobby and go on to say;

“Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks.”

So, when a 2018 WINEP report on Syria promoted and urged the Trump Administration to keep US boots on the ground and enforce a no-fly/no-drive zone, in other words, seize Syria’s land, airspace and roads to “help Israel” most of Washington insiders shrug.

“…the Trump administration [to] couple a no-fly/no-drive zone and a small residual ground presence in the northeast with intensified sanctions against the Assad regime’s Iranian patron. In doing so, Washington can support local efforts to stabilize the area, encourage Gulf partners to ‘put skin in the game, drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran, and help Israel avoid all-out war.”

Think-Tanker to Diplomat

When the author of these 2018 reports, Ambassador James Jeffrey, became the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq, in the Trump Administration, somebody needs to connect the dots. Jeffrey served as acting National Security Adviser for the Bush Administration in 2007 and 2008, Ambassador to Turkey from 2008 until 2010 and Ambassador to Iraq from 2010 to 2012.

Jeffrey, in August 2018, argued that the Syrian terrorists were, “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator” and that “We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014.”

Diplomat as a Think-Tanker

In a February 5th the State Department press briefing,  Jeffrey expounded upon his questionable narratives. Ambassador James Jeffrey continued to cite “evidence” that is false, distorted or inflated. When he said that;

“we’re not asking for regime change per se, we’re not asking for the Russians to leave, we’re asking…Syria to behave as a normal, decent country that doesn’t force half its population to flee, doesn’t use chemical weapons dozens of times against its civilians, doesn’t drop barrel bombs, doesn’t create a refugee crisis that almost toppled governments in Europe, does not allow terrorists such as HTS and particularly Daesh/ISIS emerge and flourish in much of Syria. Those are the things that that regime has done, and the international community cannot accept that.”

What the international community should not accept is the lies that men like Jeffrey recite. The only bit of truth in his erroneous narrative is that Washington is not asking regime change, they are demanding it thought sanction.  The rest is pretty much script for its misinformation of propaganda.

Creation of Terrorist and Refugees

The terrorists were created when the United States invaded Iraq, destroyed its government and then cut loose all of the experienced Sunni military and police forces. Then Washington undermining the legitimate Syria government by supporting, funding and training of the “moderate terrorist.” It is the factions that grew out of this toxic environment (U.S. created) become terrorists, like Daesh/ISIS that emerged as the opposition to Syria’s governmental forces. The war between Daesh/ISIS and government forces destroyed many cities and communities in Syria thus creating the refugee crisis.

Chemical Attacks

Recent reporting from whistleblowers that worked at the OPCW claim the use of chemical weapons appears to been staged by the rebel groups as attempts to further discredit Assad and fuel more aggressive U.S. military retaliation.

Guest vs Invaders

Russia and Iran were invited into Syria as allies of its legitimate government under Assad. The United States is in Syria illegally as a proxy for Israel and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is behaving criminally by “protecting the oil fields” and stealing its production. The legitimate Syrian government is seeking to recover its territory from the terrorists and the U.S.

Ambassador James Jeffrey’s revealed his concerns for al-Qaeda members, “We’re very, very worried about this. First of all, the significance of Idlib – that’s where we’ve had chemical weapons attacks in the past… And we’re seeing not just the Russians but the Iranians and Hizballah actively involved in supporting the Syrian offensive… You see the problems right now in Idlib. This is a dangerous conflict. It needs to be brought to an end. Russia needs to change its policies”

Really, even if Russians, Iranians and Hizballah are in Idlib to support the legitimate Syrian sovereignty against al-Nusra terrorists, occupying its city, that is their business, not ours. It certainly is one giant step from the 9/11 attack, executed by al-Qaeda members to supporting the same groups in Syria.

Ambassador James Jeffrey maintains that Russia, Syria and Iran need to change their policies. Maybe the United States must change its policies and get out of Syria and Iraq and stop fighting proxy wars for “allies” like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Diplomats Back to Think-Tanks

A New Clean Break calls for Washington to break the Washington/Think-tank connection. Remove, from government, the think-tank “superstars” that lobby for other nations or corporations over the general welfare of its citizens. Advisors like James Jeffrey and David Wurmser need to be returned back into their think-tank pasture.

The Washington/Think-tank connection is endless; Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administration personnel make a very comfortable living on the think-tank/diplomat carousel. It includes names like Cheney,  Bolton, Wolfowitz, Podesta, Daschle, Albright, Bannon and Sessions. The golden rings are not limited to politicians because Generals and Admirals can reach for them too!Britt-Bowker-Jake-Habor-and-the-brass-ring-1.jpg

#44 Anti-BDS Legislation “I pledge allegiance,” to Israel?

Israel has deprived the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of their rights since the war of 1967. 

Gaza is a prison camp under a long-standing Israeli blockade, punctuated ever few years by full-blow military assault. Peaceful protesters in Gaza have been shot by Israeli military snipers from outside the prison fence, killing hundreds and wounding tens of thousands. Israeli hardline Zionist refer to actions such as these as just “mowing the lawn.”

The Palestinians in the West Bank have no rights and are subject to military surveillance and Jewish-only settlements and roads, as well as a separation wall that snakes through the territory. It is naked apartheid in that Jews have full rights while Palestinians are treated like nonpersons.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is a Palestinian-led movement that supports the advancement of freedom, justice and equality. The notion that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity, specifically in Israel. It is not so radical to believe that they should have the same rights as Israelis. Why even here, in the US, we allow Asians, Latinos, Arabs and Africans to have the same rights as Caucasians.

BOYCOTTS involve withdrawing support from Israel’s apartheid regime, complicit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions, and from all Israeli and international companies engaged in violations of Palestinian human rights. 

DIVESTMENT campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from the State of Israel and all Israeli and international companies that sustain Israeli apartheid.

SANCTIONS campaigns pressure governments to fulfill their legal obligations to end Israeli apartheid, and not aid or assist its maintenance, by banning business with illegal Israeli settlements, ending military trade and free-trade agreements, as well as suspending Israel’s membership in international forums such as UN bodies and FIFA. 

The BDS movement is voluntary and selective for all those that choose to participate. I do not completely agree with the Sanction part of this movement. However, I do think that the $3.8 billion that Israel receives annually, in military appropriation, from the U.S. should be eliminated.

Currently, there are twenty-seven states have enacted anti-BDS laws or executive orders that prohibit state agencies and state-financed entities, such as colleges, from doing business with any person or firm that participates in BDS.

The absurdity of this legislation has recently come to fruition. Journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin and the state of Georgia had an incident over her allegiance to the Israeli government. Martin explained; “After I was scheduled to give keynote speech [about the media, not about BDS] at an upcoming @GeorgiaSouthern [University] conference, organizers said I must comply w/ Georgia’s anti-BDS law and sign a contractual pledge to not boycott Israel. I refused & my talk was canceled.”

Some of us may remember another situation involving a Texas public school educator’s allegiance to Israel. When in 2018, Bahia Amawi, a Houston-based children’s speech pathologist who worked with autistic, speech-impaired and other developmentally disabled children, lost her job after she refused to sign a similar document. Amawi had been at her job for nine years previously without a problem.

In this Texas case, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), managed to overturn every Texas boycott law on the grounds of their unconstitutionality and she is now free to return to work. Quoting a previous case, federal district Judge Robert Pitman ruled that the Texas anti-BDS law “threatens to suppress unpopular ideas” and “manipulate the public debate” on Israel and Palestine “through coercion rather than persuasion.” Judge Pitman added: “the First Amendment does not allow.”

All States exist from the taxes that everyone is forced to pay without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or sex. Therefore, before the law, discrimination is wrong and a principle of equality must be followed. States, or any tax-financed entities, can not discriminate in hiring or contracting, particularly with conditions that infringe upon the right to free speech, like advocating BDS or peaceful action such as boycotting.

* The states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

https://original.antiwar.com/srichman/2020/02/16/anti-bds-laws-violate-our-freedom/

#43 – Million Here, Million There, Pretty Soon We’re Talking “Real People”

What was the end game for the Trump administration’s reckless actions in Iraq. You remember those tit-for-tat killings in late December and early January. Those provocations could easily have, and still may, result in a war with Iran.  Who benefits from a U.S. – Iranian war?

When the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official, Qassem Soleimani, it openly killed a member of Iran’s government, a country with which the U.S. was not at war.  This is unusual enough, but the crime was committed in Iraq, a country with which both the US and Iran have a “working” relationship. These U.S. actions appeared to be aimed toward war. Diabolical, insane or just part of a larger plan. 

Upon the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, most of the immediate propaganda reasons were dispelled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s justification, that Soleimani was in Iraq planning an “imminent” mass killing of Americans or Trump claiming that it didn’t matter whether there was an imminent threat: Soleimani was a “bad guy” so he deserved to be assassinated. The real reason was to provoke Iran into a response that would have justified a “hugely” retaliation.

Evidence shattered the Trump administration lies. Soleimani was in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. We also know now that they lied about the “imminent threat” because the killing of Soleimani was planned in June of 2019.

The planning of Qassem Soleimani leads to yet another of the Bush administrations retreads. David Wurmser, a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration, wrote several memos to then-national security adviser John Bolton in May and June of 2019. In the documents, according to Bloomberg, Wurmser argued that aggressive action by the U.S. – such as the killing of Soleimani — would, in Wurmser’s words, “rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival.”

I mention Wurmser because just recently the White House acknowledged that Wurmser is now serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration. According to Bloomberg News, Wurmser helped make the case for the drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani. The neoconservatives in the Bush Administration, like Wurmser, Bolton and Abrams, oddly enough keep on reappearing. Their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven disastrous for U.S. interests. Why do the U.S. citizens have to tolerate these warmongers? 

In the mid-1990s Wurmser worked for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank greatly influenced by AIPAC. In 1996, he was one of the main thinkers behind a policy document titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” that was prepared by an Israeli think tank for then-incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in 1996. 

The paper called for Israel to engage in preemptive attacks on its perceived foes and a “focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.” Then in 1999, Wurmser wrote a book titled “Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein,” In which Wurmser said, “the menace from Saddam’s Iraq will continue to grow” if the U.S. did not remove him from power.

After 9/11, Wurmser’s promoted the idea the U.S. had to respond to Al Qaeda by, as the 9/11 Commission later put it, hitting a “non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq.” Wurmser was the senior adviser to Bolton, then-undersecretary at the State Department, together they  became the vociferous champions of a regime change war with Iraq. Wurmser and Bolton got what they wanted when the U.S. led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.

Rest assured, with Wurmser in the ear of Trump we can expect more Soleimani moments considering that he has stated, if the U.S. failed to “trigger a fundamental change in behavior” by Iran’s leaders that America might “have to think seriously about going directly into Iran.”

Wurmser already shares the responsibility for hundreds of thousand deaths and the lives of millions that have been blighted by the Iraqi War. A million in Iraq, a million in Afghanistan what’s another million in Iran, pretty soon we’ll be talking “real people.”

#42 “Cute Little Nukes” Coming to Your Part of the World

Donald Trump instructed then-Defense Secretary James Mattis to devise a nuclear deterrence strategy that would be “appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats.” The upshot was a sub-launched low-yield nuke that could strike Iran or North Korea in just ten or fifteen minutes as opposed to the eleven hours it would take a stealth bomber to deliver a nuclear payload from its home base in Missouri. Who could wait when a mini-holocaust was finally at hand?

The Nuclear Posture Review of February 2018 was produced by the Office Of The Secretary Of Defense. Secretary of Defense James Mattis oversaw the report and published initiative for a new Nuclear Posture. A policy to “enhance deterrence by denying potential adversaries any mistaken confidence that limited nuclear employment can provide a useful advantage over the United States and its allies.”

James Mattis used the Russia-phobia narrative combined with scare tactic to advance the low-yield nuclear weapons into the U.S. military’s toolbox. Mattis’ nuclear solution to the “Russian strategic imperative” was backed up by statements like;

“Russia’s belief that limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield weapons”

“Russian statements on this evolving nuclear weapons doctrine appear to lower the threshold for Moscow’s first-use of nuclear weapons”

“Russia demonstrates its perception of the advantage these systems provide through numerous exercises and statements”

“Moscow’s perception that its greater number and variety of non-strategic nuclear systems provide a coercive advantage”

To justify the low-yield initiative, Mattis’ 2018 report went on to say, ‘… the United States will enhance the flexibility and range of its tailored deterrence options. To be clear, this is not intended to, nor does it enable, “nuclear war-fighting.”’ That is reassuring, giving the military more nuclear options to deter a nuclear war is like giving a junkie more drugs to prevent an overdose.

Mattis further justified, “… to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression. It will raise the nuclear threshold and help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear employment less likely.” So, there you have it, that is why we need those “cute little nukes.”

Today, two years later we have US Navy vessels with those “cute little nukes” on board. The technical name “nuclear-tipped SLBM, submarine-launched ballistic missile” or W76-2.  In a Tuesday statement, undersecretary of defense for policy John Rood confirmed that the Navy has fielded the weapon to “strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon… and demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment…” Sound familiar?

The deployment of the W76-2, a low-yield variant of the nuclear warhead traditionally used on the Trident missile, was first reported Jan. 29 by the Federation of American Scientists (FSA). The first to move out with the new weapon was the USS Tennessee (SSBN-734), deploying from Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia at the end of 2019, FAS reported.

Low-yield means somewhere around five kilotons, or roughly one-third the destructive power of the “Little Boy” nuclear bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in the final days of World War II, killing tens of thousands of people.

Atomically speaking, this is hardly more than a firecracker. However, nuclear devices dwarf conventional weapons. Take for example the record-setting GBU-43/B MOAB (“Mother of all bombs”) that the US dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex in Afghanistan in 2017. A 2003 test of the MOAB prototype created a mushroom cloud visible from twenty miles away. To put this result in perspective, a low-yield five-kiloton bomb is 500 times greater than the MOAB.

In January 2019, when the low-yield nuclear warheads began rolling off the line the Democrats vowed to block their deployment. Recently Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, from Senate floor, said, “I maintain that this is one weapon that will not add to our national security but would only increase the risk of miscalculation with dire consequences.”

Clearly, at one time the House of Representatives agreed with Sen. Reed because the original version of the 2020 defense bill prohibited deployment of the modified warhead. Strangely enough, that verbiage got lost. 

What happened between January 2019 and today that may have diverted these “honorable” men and women in Congress? Russia-gate, Ukraine-gate and Impeachment come to mind, after all, bipartisan political games can be very distracting. The final 2020 defense budget passed in December with massive Democratic support and by the way it contained a line item allowing the W76-2 program to go forward.

Thank you Congress! You are always looking out for us! WTFU

#41 “twas the night”

I Love the Smell of “Primary Season” 

Every four years after the excitement of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Super Bowl we enter into the primary season. The primary season is like a child’s Christmas. The child asks for stuff and a jolly old man is expected to reciprocate but only if good behavior is demonstrated. Well for the most part, the voters have been on good behavior; they “pay” their taxes, they obey the laws (mostly) and pay homage to the governmental God. 

Maybe this year the Democratic Party will give them what they ask for, a candidate for peace, liberty, justice and freedom would be nice. However, last weeks Iowa “circus” brought to mind a childhood musing.

“With visions of sugar plums dancing in my head,

I had just settled my brain for a long winter’s nap,

When out in Iowa there arose such a clatter,

I tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and her tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Hill.

With a wink of her eye and a twist of her head

soon gave me to know I had something to dread.”

I thought this Democratic Party’s gift would be; blame China, Russia or Iran for hacking into the 2020 elections, thus nullifying the results and turning the presidential election over to the Electoral College or House of Representatives. Probably more in line with the US Constitution than what we learn in school or the primary hoax.

For all you tin-foil hat crazy conspiracy minded nuts, I’ve got another one.  How about the Democratic Party pre-empting a selection process, delegitimizing Iowa voters and exposing the true nature for the duopoly’s primary system facade. 

Those rascal Dems inserted another layer into an already flawed caucus process under the guise of protecting the American democracy from foreign hacks. By introducing an untested app, written by a company named Shadow, providing very little training, financed by one of the candidates, it was practically guaranteed to fail in the Iowa caucus.

Connecting Dots Or Is It “Bots”

Did I say “fail”? This particular “failure” enabled a temporary freeze at 62% of votes being acknowledged. By coincidence, Mayor Pete was in the lead with more than 1/3 of the votes not accounted for. The Iowa Democratic caucus results were intentionally withheld based upon Shadow’s app failure. Again, coincidently Shadow was financed by the self proclaimed winner, Mayor Pete. Buttigieg’s campaign had donated at least $42,500 to the makers of Shadow.

The connection does not end with finances. Tara McGowan, the CEO of its parent company, is married to a senior Buttigieg strategist. A number of senior members of Shadow’s team, including the CEO, Gerard Niemira, COO James Hickey, CTO Krista Davis and Product Manager Ahna Rao all helped to run Hillary Clinton’s 2016 primary bid.

More interesting connections between Buttigieg and Clinton are apparent when the funding and the data security for McGowan’s Company connects heavyweights like Reid Hoffman, Dmitri Mehlhorn, Seth Klarman and Robby Mook. The message is loud and clear that there is a new sheriff in town and this one has a powerful posse. Hillary could make Debbie Wasserman Schultz look like a schoolgirl.  

Why Iowa?

The major benefit that an Iowa victory provides is the “bump” in the national polls. When Bernie, the legitimate winner, was denied the victory speech it provided an opportunity for “the chosen” to declare victory and thus illegitimately reaping the only benefit that the Iowa caucus offers. After all what is of more value for the Democrat Party the old Caucasian farmers votes or getting rid of Bernie? 

There are two democrats running for president that do not represent the status quo of the security state.  Looking at the democratic party’s treatment of Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders, it becomes clear that the Hillary gang has declared war on these two candidates. Hillary is hiding nothing, its full throttle, just Syria and Libya revisited.   

Democrat and Republican Corporations Scam 

Technically this really is not fraud, it’s business as usually. In 2016, the Democratic National Congress (DNC) rigged the election in favor of Clinton, preventing Sanders from becoming the nominee. It argued in court that they were under no legal obligation to provide the public with a clean election and it was its right under the First Amendment to put its thumb on the scale for Clinton. Words like “impartial” and “evenhanded,” as used in the DNC charter, it said, could not be interpreted by a court of law.

The Primary Pasture 

Let’s call this facade off and cut out this corrupt vetting selection exercise that we call primaries. Primaries are a system created by the duopoly of the Democratic and Republican corporation where candidates are pre-selected to maintain status quo. The two corporate giants conduct these exercises to placate the voters into believing that they are an active participant in a democracy. Maybe they should consult with Bolivia, Venezuela or maybe North Korea to see how real “fake” democracies work. 

These dog and pony shows only help the plutocrats select a pliable candidates that has charm enough that voters can tolerate. They give us these Trojan horses so they can continue with their nefarious agenda. When a candidate beats the system the neutering process goes “Full Monty”. (Russia-gate, impeachment, RFK treatment, what ever it takes) 

Shepherding  of Votes

Either case it is not in the best interest of its citizens. Issues like homelessness, opioids, decaying infrastructure, global warming and medical costs get lip service while Washington fights its war on global terrorism. “Fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” what a joke. Substitute Russia, Iran or China for “terrorism” and pretty soon we are talking about a $738 billion defense budget. I’m so tired of keeping up with Washington’s “enemy of the week.”   

Washington’s non-elected elite are too powerful, elections are for show and with each presidential election more blatant acts of shepherding votes become obvious. This is why in a two party system we end up with only one choice, who is the lesser of the two evils.

Washington will repair the damage done in Iowa by buying their loyalty back; higher ethanol requirements, increased farm subsidies and more military contracts. Now those are bipartisan issues we all support. Thanks Santa!

“But I heard them exclaim, as they drove out of sight

Happy primary season to all, and to all a good night.”