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The death of M.A.D. – When Nuclear Winter is no Deterrent – Schizophrenic US-Nato provocations in the Levant have made total war with Russia a near certainty

Thursday, October 6, 2016 12:55
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blogdog oct 7 2016 urgent anti war action required – Russia cannot save our civilization from destruction forced on free humanity by oppressive and deranged leadership: 

Russian Brass have patiently argued for decades that US Nato missile shield elements encroaching on Russian territory are seen as a direct threat to Russias nuclear deterrence.

These systems seem to make delusional American military planners believe that if a first strike nuclear attack were to be launched against the Russian federation by US-Nato forces that their extensive land and sea based antimissile batteries could pick off most of Russias retaliatory capability during the most critical launch faze, making an unthinkable war seem somehow tenable.

The fundamental balance of military power (Mutually Assured Destruction) has slowly lost its meaning in recent years and an unthinkable war against the federation seems near imminent, even in the face of the still unprecedented destructive capability of the Russian navy and air force.

Russian military planners have attempted to keep pace with this trend and have maintained and built up up a strong deterrence platform, however, several red lines have been crossed with us ongoing efforts to take the Russian leased deep water port in Tartus, Syria, as well as the Russian naval port in Sevastopol that would service Russian nuclear submarines in a total war scenario assuring the deterrence of mutually assured destruction.

Us efforts to take these ports, deny Russian use of the airbase in Latakia, Syria, ongoing sanctions, warmongering rhetoric, and continued expansion of Us-Nato sheild elements and Nato forces in Russo-centric post soviet states have put American and Russian military planners into a total war trajectory, and as Putin has warned repeatedly over the red line in Syria, continued USA action (by proxy or otherwise) can only lead to a world war 3 scenario.


This video is clips from Valdai Forum 2015 – World between War and Peace and current discussions of the event. searchhttp://blogdogcicle.blogspot.ca/searc… That link youl find much more on this important conference, an absolute must see conference in entirety for anyone still trying to figure out whats going on. Part of the conference can also be viewed straight off youtube at this link-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFZRr…

(part of an old post pasted below (http://blogdogcicle.blogspot.ca/2013/…) for Context) 

(post also continues further below with important supporting articles as seen on global research dated Oct 6-7 2016)

Alexander Clackson: US interventions and NATO expansion:

While Russia has been adhering to international law and showing complete lack of aggression over the last 14 years, the US and NATO have been doing the opposite. US alone has intervened in the following countries: Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Philippines, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Georgia, Haiti, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Pakistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Libya, Uganda, Jordan, Chad, Mali, Turkey. NATO, meanwhile, has been involved in the Bosnia and Herzegovina intervention, Kosovo intervention, the Afghanistan War and most recently the Libyan intervention; with the latter two being complete disasters that have the left the countries in shambles and anarchy.


In addition, NATO has broken its promise to Russia. Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly agreed to allow German reunification within NATO after being promised that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.” Instead, in 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the organization, despite NATO claiming that it had no plans to expand after the end of the Cold War. Another expansion came with the accession of seven Central and Eastern European countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. These nations were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague summit, and joined NATO on 29 March 2004, shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. Most recently, Albania and Croatia joined on 1 April 2009, shortly before the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit. Future expansion is currently a topic of debate in many countries. Cyprus and Macedonia are stalled from accession by, respectively, Turkey and Greece, pending the resolution of disputes between them. Other countries which have a stated goal of eventually joining include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Georgia.

Russia’s worries justified
Putin rightly feels worried that NATO is on a mission to encircle Russia and the recent EU and US involvement in Ukraine only exacerbates those worries. Given the hostility that Russia faces on a daily basis from Western politicians and the media, is it really a surprise that Russia vehemently opposes any Western-backed government in Ukraine, especially following a dubious revolution, financed by the US?
Russia is used to receiving negative press ever since President Putin came to power in 2000 and made it his priority to protect the Russian national interest and not allow the West to go on an interventionist spree. But the latest attacks on Russia are not only incorrect and hypocritical, but also illustrate the desire of the Western powers to discredit and vilify Russia for its own geopolitical objectives. However, the events of the last decade clearly illustrate that it is the West that has been aggressive and interventionist, and it is NATO that has a plan to create an empire, not Russia.


Alexander Clackson is the founder of Global Political Insight, a political media and research organization. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations. Alexander works as a political consultant and frequently contributes to think-tank and media outlets

Follow this link for voluminous evidence detailing NATOS Genocidal March to Armageddon 
http://blogdogcicle.blogspot.ca/searc…

Video: US Considers Military Strikes on Syria Government Forces

By South Front

Global Research, October 06, 2016

South Front 5 October 2016

Region: Middle East & North Africa

Theme: Militarization and WMD, US NATO War Agenda

In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

Russian and Syrian warplanes have delivered massive air strikes on the joint terrorist forces in the province of Hama. Positions and manpower of the US-backed Ahrar al-Sham militant group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) and Jund al-Aqsa (recently designated by the US as a terrorist group) near Kafr Zita, Tal Abyad and Al-Sathiyat were hit. Local sources say that air raids resulted in destruction of high number of military equipment and ammunition belonging to the terrorist forces.

The air raids also helped the government forces to repel the terrorists’ advance on Al-Sathiyat. Various sources report that the pro-government forces lost from 8 to 15 fighters in these clashes.

US military strikes against the Syrian government is at the top of the agenda today at the White House, when top national security officials in the Obama administration are set to discuss options for the coalition in Syria, The Washington Post daily reported. The US officials are going to push forward so-called “limited military strikes” in order to, according to the official version, prevent violations of the cease-fire by the Assad government and disrupt his ability to continue committing war crimes against civilians in Aleppo and, for sure, to push it back to the negotiating table.

The options under consideration reportedly include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships. The report says the idea is supported by the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One proposed way to do so without a UN Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment.

This approach also explains the coalition’s actions against the Syrian army outside Deir Ezzor in September when over 60 pro-government fighters were killed and over 100 injured in air strikes lately called an accident by US officials. Now, there are little doubts that it was likely an intended move to damage the government forces fighting with ISIS in the area.

The same threat forces Moscow to deploy an additional battery of the air defense system S-300 to the Russian Navy’s logistic facility in Tartus. The information was confirmed by Defense Ministry spokesman. Igor Konashenkov said the system will provide protection for the facility and Russian ships off Syria’s shores. Nonetheless, it’s clear that it will also strengthen the Russian air defense shield over the government-controlled areas of Syria.

The original source of this article is South Front

Copyright © South Front, South Front, 2016

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff Want to Join Aleppo Battle on the Jihadi Side, in Support of Al Qaeda

By Russia Insider

Global Research, October 06, 2016

Russia Insider 5 October 2016

Region: Middle East & North Africa, USA

Theme: 9/11 & ‘War on Terrorism’, Intelligence, US NATO War Agenda

In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

There won’t be a direct US military intervention against Assad under Obama. Obama turned back from plunging the US into what was clearly going to be an unpopular adventure after the false flag Ghouta chemical attack in 2013. He certainly isn’t going to roll the dice at the height of election season and with the Democratic candidate just barely edging out the Republican Trump.

Moreover, we’ve now learned that this time around even Secretary of State John Kerry – who was one of the main proponents of bombing in 2013 – is against it. The Washington Post:

This time around, Kerry has not favored using U.S. military force against the Assad regime, two administration officials said. He now prefers continued diplomacy with Russia, even in the face of what he says is Moscow’s willingness to “turn a blind eye” to, if not participate directly, in war crimes in Aleppo.

But just so you don’t think this means there are now fewer utter morons running around DC; since renewed brainstorming on Syria begun in the Obama administration last week the Joint Chiefs of Staff have joined the CIA in backing the US entering the Syrian civil war on the side of the Islamist rebels:

The CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represented in the Deputies Committee meeting by Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva, expressed support for such “kinetic” options, the official said. That marked an increase of support for striking Assad compared with the last time such options were considered.

Even these clowns understand this would be blatantly illegal, but not to worry, they have a solution for it:

The options under consideration, which remain classified, include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships, an administration official who is part of the discussions told me.

One proposed way to get around the White House’s long-standing objection to striking the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment, the official said.

This proposal — raining down cruise missiles without taking responsibility for them — happens to be the exact same hare-brained scheme Kerry was banding about in 2013, and even he has since grown out of it.

Funny how the US on the one hand is talking up its bombs as a fitting instruments of its virtuous foreign policy but on the other hand would actually be reluctant to carry out this virtuous bombing out in the open. If the campaign is a virtuous one why the apparent shame?

And just so you know, the reason why Assad has to be bombed is counter-terrorism:

“There’s an increased mood in support of kinetic actions against the regime,” one senior administration official said.

“The CIA and the Joint Staff have said that the fall of Aleppo would undermine America’s counterterrorism goals in Syria.”

That’s right. Should the jihadis allied and intermingled with al-Qaeda be driven from Syria’s Aleppo city this will set back “America’s counterterrorism goals in Syria”. For America’s “counter-terrorism” goals in Syria to keep a strong foundation terrorist sympathizers have to remain in control of half of Syria’s largest city. Somebody has read their Orwell well.

The original source of this article is Russia Insider

Copyright © Russia Insider, Russia Insider, 2016

Beating the Drums for War with Russia. CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon Convene at the White House

By Bill Van Auken

Global Research, October 06, 2016

World Socialist Web Site 6 October 2016

Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU, USA

Theme: Intelligence, US NATO War Agenda

In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

On September 30, the World Socialist Web Site warned: “It is evident… that the question of whether an escalation of the US intervention in Syria can wait until after the US election of November 8 has become the subject of heated debate within the US ruling establishment.”

It has taken barely a week for this assessment to find decisive confirmation. It has been fully established that the Obama administration is holding precisely such a debate.

On Wednesday, the so-called Principals Committee, consisting of the secretaries of defense and state, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA director, as well as top presidential security aides, convened at the White House to consider proposals to attack Syrian government forces with cruise missiles as well as other acts of military aggression.

Both the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are reportedly in favor of such an escalation, which carries with it the real prospect of a direct armed confrontation between the US and Russia, the world’s two largest nuclear powers.

Reflecting the growing support within sections of the US establishment for a far wider war, key sections of the media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, have weighed in on the side of those within the military and intelligence apparatus advocating a new eruption of American militarism.

Among the most explicit examples is an opinion column by John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, published in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. McCain indicts the Syrian government and its ally, Russia, for having “slaughtered countless civilians” through “relentless, indiscriminate bombing.” This is being written by an individual who was one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the “shock and awe” war in Iraq that cost over 1 million Iraqi lives.

The Republican senator writes: “The US and its coalition partners must issue an ultimatum to [Syrian President] Assad–stop flying or lose your aircraft–and be prepared to follow through. If Russia continues its indiscriminate bombing, we should make clear that we will take steps to hold its aircraft at greater risk.”

McCain also calls for the creation of “safe zones” for Syrian civilians protected by the US military and “more robust military assistance” to the so-called “rebels.” He acknowledges that this strategy “will undoubtedly entail greater costs,” but provides no specific indication as to the nature of these costs or who will pay them. McCain does not even hint at the catastrophic global implications of a military confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

Similarly, in an editorial Wednesday, the Washington Post asserts that Washington’s policy has failed in Syria because the US has “refused to use military pressure against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.” The newspaper complains that the Obama administration’s failure to carry out a more direct military intervention in Syria has resulted in “the shrinking of US influence, to Russia’s gain,” and approvingly cites CIA and Pentagon proposals for cruise missile attacks and the provision of more sophisticated weaponry to the “rebels.”

Finally, the New York Times published a front-page lead article Wednesday warning that Russia was using the period between now and the January 2017 inauguration of the next US president as a “window of opportunity” to “move aggressively” in providing military support for the Syrian government. The article favorably reports proposals for US air strikes and goes on to cite unnamed US officials as arguing that Washington could turn Syria into a “quagmire” for Russia, “particularly if the Arab states that support the rebels supply them with antiaircraft weapons and Islamic terrorists decide to retaliate by attacking Russian cities.”

This passage echoes an earlier warning from the top US State Department spokesman that the response of Islamist forces to Russia’s military actions in Syria could “include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities.”

The implications are unmistakable. Washington exerts overwhelming operational influence over the Islamist militias that have constituted the principal fighting force in the five-year-old, CIA-orchestrated war for regime change in Syria. Just as it directed them to attack the government in Damascus, it could order them to do the same in Moscow.

The article is supplemented by an opinion piece by Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, who writes in his signature bully boy style, “Isn’t it time we give Putin a dose of his own medicine?”

While acknowledging that a military confrontation with Russia poses the direct threat of nuclear war, he declares, “But we also cannot just keep turning the other cheek” in regard to “Putin’s behavior in Syria and Ukraine.” He denounces Russia for “mercilessly bombing civilians in Aleppo” and twice charges Russian President Vladimir Putin with violating “basic civilized norms.”

Even from a columnist who has established the gold standard for cynicism and deceit, Friedman’s invocation of “basic civilized norms” leaves one somewhat slack-jawed.

There is not a single war of aggression launched by US imperialism for which he has failed to serve as a fanatical cheerleader. The same man who today laments the Russian bombing of east Aleppo in 1999 wrote in response to the US bombing of Serbia: “It should be lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted… [W]e will set your country back by pulverizing you.”

Less than four years later he played the same role in relation to Iraq, declaring before the 2003 invasion that he had no problem with “a war for oil,” and writing afterwards that the US had attacked Iraq “for one simple reason: because we could…”

Such are the civilized norms observed by the man from the Times .

Underlying the frenzied support for military escalation in Syria is the fact that the various terrorist organizations Washington has used as its proxy forces–including those directly affiliated to Al Qaeda–are on the verge of a complete debacle in Aleppo, threatening a strategic defeat in the five-and-a-half-year war to bring down Assad, an ally of Russia and Iran, and install a US puppet government in Damascus.

Such an outcome would represent a serious reversal for the policy pursued by US imperialism for the last quarter century, in the wake of the Moscow Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union. Washington saw this development as opening an unobstructed path to its pursuit of global hegemony. It adopted the policy of exploiting its military supremacy as a means of offsetting the decline in its global economic position.

The element of hysteria in response to Moscow’s actions in Syria stems from the fact that both Russia and China are beginning to frustrate this policy.

The media’s lurid claims of Russian aggression notwithstanding, there is no question that in Syria, as in Ukraine and the South China Sea, it is US imperialism that is the aggressor, provoking defensive reactions from both Russia and China. That, however, does not impart any progressive content to the policies being pursued by the Russian government. If Putin could get a deal with Washington that preserved the interests of both his government and those of US imperialism, he would sign it in a minute.

Unable to do so, and in the face of growing economic crisis and signs of social unrest at home, Putin has resorted to the promotion of Russian nationalism and an increasing reliance on the residual military power he inherited from the Soviet Union.

In the past few days, the Russian government has ordered the deployment of additional surface-to-air missile batteries to Syria and suspended an agreement with Washington for the destruction of weapons-grade plutonium. At the same time, pro-government Russian newspapers have warned of the threat a third world war and the government has launched a major civil defense exercise in preparation for just such an eventuality.

A policy of national defense by a regime that represents the interests of Russia’s capitalist oligarchy can only fuel the drive to world war. The masses of Russian working people confront the ultimate consequence of the Stalinist liquidation of the USSR in the form of a growing threat of nuclear holocaust.

.

The only force that can prevent a new world war is the international working class, organized independently and mobilized in a struggle against capitalism, the source of war. This requires the building of an international socialist leadership, and there is no time to lose.

We urge all of our readers to attend the November 5 emergency conference in Detroit, “Socialism vs. Capitalism & War,” as a critical step in this fight. Visit the conference web site and register today!

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site

Copyright © Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site, 2016

Official Washington’s New ‘Group Think’ for War with Syria-Russia

By Robert Parry

Global Research, October 06, 2016

Consortiumnews 5 October 2016

Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU, USA

Theme: Intelligence, US NATO War Agenda

In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

Not since the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has Official Washington’s political/punditry class clamored more single-mindedly – and openly – for the U.S. government to commit a gross violation of international law, now urging a major military assault on the government of Syria while also escalating tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

And, like the frenzied war fever of 2002-2003, today’s lawless consensus is operating on a mix of selective, dubious and false information – while excluding from the public debate voices that might dare challenge the prevailing “group think.” It’s as if nothing was learned from the previous disaster in Iraq.

For Americans who may find those two points hard to believe, they should remember that the United States and Saudi Arabia went in 50/50 with billions of dollars to finance the jihadist mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, viewing these religious fanatics as a useful “tip of the spear” to kill Soviet troops who were defending the leftist secular regime then governing in Kabul.Most notably, there are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told: one, U.S. regional “allies” have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011 and, two, the claim about “moderate” Syrian rebels is a fraud; the “moderates” have served essentially as a P.R. cut-out for the U.S. and its “allies” to supply Al Qaeda and its allies with sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.

That exercise in U.S.-Saudi realpolitik gave birth to the modern jihadist movement, bringing together a network of foreign jihadists, led by Saudi Arabia’s Osama bin Laden (which morphed into Al Qaeda), with Afghan/Pakistani extremists who evolved into the Taliban.

Though U.S. officials eventually came to fear this Frankenstein monster that they had helped create, Saudi intelligence continued to work with Al Qaeda and its affiliates, using them as a kind of international paramilitary force to punish Saudi enemies, particularly Shiite-dominated governments, from Iran to Syria to now Iraq.

The Saudis also began collaborating with Israel, which shared Riyadh’s view that Iran and the “Shiite crescent” represented a strategic threat. Between Saudi money and Israeli political clout, the two countries could fend off occasional fits of U.S. anger, even to the point of getting the U.S. government to hide a 29-page chapter about Saudi financing for the 9/11 hijackers from the congressional 9/11 report for a dozen years.

For the past five years, the principal target of this powerful coalition has been Syria, with President Obama occasionally joining in – as he did in authorizing “covert” CIA and Pentagon programs to arm “moderate” rebels – and occasionally bowing out – as he did in resisting pressure to bomb the Syrian military after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

In summer 2014, when Al Qaeda’s spin-off, the Islamic State, began beheading Western hostages, Obama authorized bombing inside Syria but only against the Islamic State, which also had overrun large sections of Iraq and threatened the Shiite-dominated regime in Baghdad. (Obama’s bombing inside Syria was not authorized by the Syrian government so it was illegal under international law but Syria didn’t press the point as long as the U.S. coalition was attacking forces regarded as terrorists.)

New U.S. Hysteria

This more complex reality is completely missing in the new round of political/press hysteria in the United States. The neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks only talk about stopping the “barbarism” of the Syrian government and its Russian allies as they try to finally wipe out Al Qaeda’s jihadists and their “moderate” allies holed up in eastern Aleppo.

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

This new “group think” has prevented Americans from looking at the Syrian situation with more nuance and objectivity. Indeed, if you mix in some of the other facts, the on-the-ground reality could be seen as the U.S. and its “allies” stoking the fire in Syria for five years and, now, as the Syrian military and Russian air power take drastic measures to finally get the blaze under some control, the U.S. government may bomb the firefighters and destroy their equipment.Many of these calls for a U.S. military intervention against the Syrian government (and the Russians) are coming from the same advocates for war who created the misguided consensus for invading Iraq in 2002-2003, voices such as Sen. John McCain, Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. And, much like the Iraq example, these esteemed opinion-leaders pile up their propaganda arguments in a one-sided fashion designed to silence the few voices that dare raise doubts.

Beyond the illegality of that action, how the U.S. military intervention is supposed to fix things in Syria is never discussed. By strengthening Al Qaeda and its “moderate” front men, the prospects for a longer and bloodier conflict are increased, not decreased.

The long-held neocon dream of a Syrian “regime change” – even if it could be accomplished – would only open the gates of Damascus to a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its spinoff, the Islamic State. How that would make life better for the Syrian people is another never addressed question. There is simply the pretense that somehow, magically, the “moderate” rebels would prevail, though they are only an auxiliary to Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.

The “group think” also doesn’t permit in the inconvenient truth that the recent collapse of the U.S.-Russia limited cease-fire was driven by the fact that the “moderate” rebels are so intertwined with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front – which recently underwent a cosmetic name change to the Levant (or Syria) Conquest Front – that the rebels can’t or won’t separate themselves.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets have sought to bury this reality because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative of the U.S. fulfilling its commitments under the partial cease-fire agreement and blaming its collapse entirely on the Russians and their dastardly behavior.

One outlier in this propaganda barrage, ironically, has been Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, which published a serious article on this key topic on Sept. 29. It said, “Some of Syria’s largest rebel factions are doubling down on their alliance with an al Qaeda-linked group, despite a U.S. warning to split from the extremists or risk being targeted in airstrikes.

“The rebel gambit is complicating American counterterrorism efforts in the country at a time the U.S. is contemplating cooperation with Russia to fight extremist groups. It comes after a U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire collapsed last week and the Syrian regime and its Russian allies immediately unleashed a devastating offensive against rebel-held parts of Aleppo city that brought harsh international condemnation. …

“The two powers have been considering jointly targeting Islamic State and the Syria Conquest Front — formerly known as the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front — a group that is deeply intermingled with armed opposition groups of all stripes across Syria’s battlefields. The U.S. has also threatened to attack any rebels providing front-line support to the group. …

“Some rebel groups already aligned with Syria Conquest Front responded by renewing their alliance. But others, such as Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former Central Intelligence Agency-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo, said in recent days that they were joining a broader alliance that is dominated by the Front. A second, smaller rebel group also joined that alliance, which is known as Jaish al-Fateh and includes another major Islamist rebel force, Ahrar al-Sham. …

“In a call with Mr. Kerry on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Syrian rebels ‘refused to follow the U.S.-Russian agreement…but instead merged with [Nusra Front].’”

Misleading the American People

So, isn’t that point relevant to understanding what is occurring in eastern Aleppo, an area essentially under the control of Al Qaeda terrorists? As horrible as war is, there is more than a whiff of hypocrisy when politicians and pundits, who cheered the U.S. Marines’ destruction of Fallujah during the Iraq occupation and who support driving the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul, wax indignantly in outrage when the Syrian military seeks to remove Al Qaeda terrorists from one of its own cities.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

For instance, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, who repeatedly wrote as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMDs, is still today the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, urging a new U.S. war on Syria. The Times’ Friedman, who was infamously wrong about the Iraq War and pretty much everything else, is still considered a premier American columnist who is courted to make high-profile public appearances.There is also the issue of why writers who helped mislead the American people and the world into the catastrophe of the Iraq War were never held accountable and are now in position to whip up more war fever over Syria, Ukraine and Russia. Far from being held accountable, the propagandists who justified the criminal invasion of Iraq have been rewarded with plum assignments and golden careers.

Now, Friedman wants to escalate tensions with nuclear-armed Russia, apparently with the sloppily thought-through mission of imposing another “regime change,” this time in Moscow. As unnerving as a nuclear showdown with Russia should be, Friedman starts his Wednesday column by fabricating a news item about a leak that supposedly revealed that Putin “owns $30 billion in property, hotels and factories across Russia and Europe, all disguised by front organizations and accounting charades.”

After going on for several paragraphs with his fake “news,” Friedman admits that “I made it up.” Ha-ha, so clever! Then, however, he cites what he claims is real news about Russia, including the dubious prosecutorial “report” blaming the Russians for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down on July 17, 2014. That “report” – actually a series of videos – had serious evidentiary gaps, logical problems and obvious bias, since it was driven largely by Ukraine’s notorious SBU intelligence service which the United Nations has accused of covering up torture.

But to Friedman, the allegations blaming Russia for the shoot-down were unassailable. He writes, “a Dutch-led investigation adduced irrefutable video evidence that Putin’s government not only trucked in the missile system used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane flying over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 civilians onboard, but also returned it to Russia the same night and then engaged in an elaborate cover-up.”

It might be noted that some of that “irrefutable video evidence” came in the form of computer-generated images of an alleged Russian Buk missile battery traveling down darkened Ukrainian roads, very persuasive scenes, much like Secretary of State Colin Powell showing computer-generated images of Iraq’s “mobile chemical weapons labs” in 2003, labs that didn’t exist.

It also might be remembered that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was also accused of mounting “an elaborate cover-up” of his WMD stockpiles, that also didn’t exist. The point being that slick presentations, which rely mostly on assertions and allude to untested evidence, aren’t always accurate. Skepticism is not only a sign of journalistic professionalism but is necessary to avoid horrible misjudgments, especially on questions of war and peace.

Blaming Russia for Everything

But Friedman just plunges ahead, also asserting that on Sept. 19, Russia bombed a U.N. relief convoy heading for Aleppo. In this case, Friedman cites U.S. intelligence officials who say that “almost certainly” Russia did it, although I had been told that some CIA analysts feared the attack was launched by Al Qaeda’s chief Syrian ally, Ahrar al-Sham, using a U.S.-made TOW missile. The United Nations also withdrew its initial assertion that the attack was an airstrike (although Friedman leaves that fact out, too).

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

The problem with propagandists like Friedman is that they ignore the illegal actions of the United States, including mounting military attacks on countries without United Nations’ authority or without the justification of self-defense, in other words, outside the realm of international law. It’s also illegal to supply weapons to terrorists, as has been occurring in Syria both directly by Saudi Arabia and other U.S. “allies” and indirectly by U.S. covert operations giving arms to “moderates” who then turn them over to Al Qaeda.This is not to say that the Russians are innocent in these terrible incidents. Further evidence might convincingly prove that they are guilty – and, if they are, accountability should be assessed as appropriate. Horrible errors happen in war, such as the U.S. airstrike that killed some 62 Syrian soldiers in eastern Syria on Sept. 17 as they were fighting off an attack by Islamic State militants.

While putting on blinders regarding U.S. violations of international law and their human consequences, such as the Syrian refugee flow, the sanctimonious Friedman bizarrely blames Putin for this human suffering, too.

Friedman cites a scholar named Robert Litwak in claiming that “Putin’s departure from standard great-power competition — encouraging a flood of refugees and attacking the legitimacy of our political system — ‘is leading to shifts in global politics that could have revolutionary consequences, even if Putin is not motivated by revolutionary ideology.’”

Friedman’s solution to this highly questionable if not imaginary problem is to increase the pain on Putin and Russia, saying “it’s now clear that we have underestimated the pressure needed to produce effective engagement, and we’re going to have to step it up. This is not just about the politics of Syria and Ukraine anymore. It’s now also about America, Europe, basic civilized norms and the integrity of our democratic institutions.”

While it’s always tempting to dismiss Friedman as a nitwit, the sad reality is that he is an influential nitwit who helps shape “elite” American public opinion. He is now contributing to a new “group think” that is even more dangerous than the one he helped construct in 2002-2003 regarding the Iraq War.

Today, this new “group think,” which — like the Iraq one — is based on a false or selective reading of the facts, could lead to a nuclear war that could end life on the planet.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Do We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia?” and “Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

Diplomacy must not fail. Time runs short. Can Nuclear Armageddon be avoided, or will it be imposed by warmongers bent on world domination. (Apocalypse Conspiracy 2013 – Illuminati World War III) – Planned and executed by shadowy multi-generational fascists bent on world domination and genocidal depopulation, the wars surrounding Israel and nuclear Armageddon are being scripted to usher in a totalitarian one world government for the western and European oligarchy, and elite bankster class. The film paints a very bleak picture of the state of world affairs with few glimmers of hope, however viable options are presented, and the brutal truth is revealed on such issues as Syria, Iran, Russia, China, DPRK, Missile Defense, Depleted Uranium Munitions, Israel and Palestine, past wars, economic slavery, and the march to WW3. Watch full video herehttp://blogdogcicle.blogspot.ca/2013/… 
Many relevant war article links found here: http://blogdogcicle.blogspot.ca/2013/…

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