Wrongful Rhetoric And Trump’s Strategy On Iran

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By Kathy Kelly for VCNV – Mordechai Vanunu was imprisoned in Israel for eighteen years because he blew the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. He felt he had “an obligation to tell the people of Israel what was going on behind their backs” at a supposed nuclear research facility which was actually producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. His punishment for breaking the silence about Israel’s capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons included eleven years of solitary confinement. Yesterday, reading about President Donald Trump’s new strategy on Iran, Vanunu’s long isolation and sacrificial commitment to truth-telling came to mind. Donald Trump promised to “deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.” But it is Israel, which possesses an estimated 80 nuclear warheads, with fissile material for up to 200, which poses the major nuclear threat in the region. And Israel is allied to the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal: the United States. Israel doesn’t acknowledge its nuclear arsenal publicly, nor does Israel allow weapons inspectors into its nuclear weapons facilities. Along with India and Pakistan, Israel refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. And it has used conventional weapons in numerous destabilizing wars which include aerial bombing of Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank. Vanunu, designated by Daniel Ellsberg as the “the pre-eminent hero of the nuclear era,” helped many people envision nations in the region making progress toward a nuclear weapons-free Middle East.

Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

Report demands massive expansion of military-industrial complex to maintain global ‘access to resources’

By Nafeez Ahmed for Medium – An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing”, leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs. The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism. The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling. Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence”, the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority”. Danger comes not just from great power rivals like Russia and China, both portrayed as rapidly growing threats to American interests, but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events. These will erupt not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, potentially undermining trust in incumbent governments for the foreseeable future.

Former US Intelligence Officers Scathingly Critique Trump’s So-Called Foreign Policy

Former Army officer and CIA analyst Ray McGovern speaks at the Witness Against Torture protest in Arlington, Virginia, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Justin Norman)

By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – While Donald Trump delighted in launching 59 cruise missiles toward Syria while eating chocolate cake at one of his resorts, Syrians, as they have for years of living under conditions of extreme violence, feared the worst. The devastatingly bloody conflict in Syria, which the US has already been involved in for years, has left nearly 500,000 dead and nearly 2 million injured. That means that more than 1 out of every 10 Syrians has been killed or wounded, and more than 85 percent of the country is living in poverty. According to the UN, more than 6 million Syrians are displaced within their own country, and nearly 5 million have fled the country altogether and are now refugees. As the Trump administration appears poised to become increasingly involved in Syria and the greater Middle East, what is life like under the bombs? “It is a day-to-day kind of life where nothing is guaranteed and everything is unexpected,” Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni, who lives in Homs, told Truthout, emphasizing that securing day-to-day amenities is a struggle. “There is little room for anything normal.”

Contacts With Russian Embassy

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Jack Matlock – Our press seems to be in a feeding frenzy regarding contacts that President Trump’s supporters had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and with other Russian diplomats. The assumption seems to be that there was something sinister about these contacts, just because they were with Russian diplomats. As one who spent a 35-year diplomatic career working to open up the Soviet Union and to make communication between our diplomats and ordinary citizens a normal practice, I find the attitude of much of our political establishment and of some of our once respected media outlets quite incomprehensible. What in the world is wrong with consulting a foreign embassy about ways to improve relations?

Israel Interferes In US Politics And It’s Never A Scandal

Bangladesh Israel Palestinian Protest

By Philip Weiss for Mondoweiss – I completely believe that Donald Trump was in bed with the Russians before the election and the campaign may well have intrigued with Vladimir Putin with respect to Wikileaks and that helped defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe that because that’s how the world works; because a lot of very smart people in the liberal establishment believe it; and because the New York Times and Washington Post are documenting some of it, with the fervor of Watergate. Maybe it will bring the liar in chief down some day and end this short national nightmare. I certainly hope so. But there are two large exceptions to the Russian conspiracy. The first is that it is good policy for the United States to be talking to Russia. If Clinton were president today, there might be dogfights over Damascus.

A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

ukraine bloody flag

By James DiEugenio for Consortium News -It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it. Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it. A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.

Organized Campaigns Hit At Trump’s Foreign Policy Plans

President Donald Trump signs Executive Orders in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Jan. 27. Olivier Douliery / EPA

By Moon Of Alabama for Information Clearing House – February 13, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Moon Of Alabama” – At the end of his administration Obama implemented a series of anti-Russian moves. The most obvious was the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats over unfounded allegation of Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Other moves included thelaunching of an Ukrainian offense against the Russian supported resistance in the east Ukraine. These moves were designed to impede the incoming Trump administration in its announced plans towards more friendly relations with Russia. The incoming Trump administration countered Obama’s sanction move. Its designated National Security Advisor Flynn phoned up the Russian ambassador in Washington.

Understanding Russian Foreign Policy Today

View of the Moscow Kremlin from the Moscow River, February 2016.
Arthur Bondar

By Raymond Smith for AFSA – I assume we would all agree that each country has its own national interests, which sometimes conflict with the national interests of other countries. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. Satisfactorily resolved conflicts can improve relations, create expectations about how future conflicts will be resolved and decrease the likelihood that countries will consider resorting to violence. A diplomat’s primary responsibility is to advance his or her own country’s interests. In doing that, they are in a unique position to contribute to the satisfactory resolution of conflicts by helping their leaders understand how the other country sees its interests.

As Israel Prospers, Obama Set To Give Billions More In Aid

Abir Sultan/AP

By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – FOR ALL THE chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

Former U.S. Diplomats Decry U.S.-Backed Saudi War In Yemen

Mohammed Hawais/AFP/Getty Images)

By Alex Emmons and Zaid Jilani for The Intercept – SAUDI ARABIA AND the other Arab states that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been brutally bombing Yemen for more than a year, hoping to drive Houthi rebels out of the capital they overran in 2014 and restore Saudi-backed President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The United States has forcefully backed the Saudi-led war. In addition to sharing intelligence, the U.S. has sold tens of billions of dollars in munitions to the Saudis since the war began.

Fidel Castro Makes Rare Appearance At Cuban Communist Congress

Cuba's former President Fidel Castro (L) sits next to his brother and Cuba's President Raul Castro at the seventh Cuban Communist Party congress, April 19, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – Leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz made a rare public appearance during the closure of the seventh Congress of the Communist Party Tuesday morning, where President Raul Castro Ruz was also in attendance. “This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room,” said Fidel Castro. “I appreciate the invitation and the honor to speak in front of you,” he said. “The Cuban people will be victorious.”

Does The US Have An Actual Plan In Syria, Iraq, Or Yemen?

The flag of the Knights of Justice Brigade; an anti-government, Free Syrian Army group active in the Syrian Civil War By MrPenguin20 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dan Wright for Shadow Proof – The literal DC turf war in Syria continues to rage between the CIA and the Department of Defense. The Los Angeles Times reported the fighting between a CIA-backed Syrian rebel group, Fursan al Haq, and the Pentagon-backed Kurds has intensified in the last two months. The CIA operates part of its Syria program out of Turkey, where it provides Fursan Al Haq and others Saudi anti-tank missiles and other arms. The Kurds receive support from the Department of Defense to fight ISIS.

Human Rights Watch: The Empire’s Human Rights Group

Executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth. (photo: Reuters)

By Staff of Tele Sur – In its 2016 World report, Human Rights Watch shows how deeply it shares the U.S. government’s concern about its declining influence in Latin America. Executive director Ken Roth does not see the U.S. and its EU allies as the most abusive and dangerous states in the world – something the ongoing destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan should make clear to anyone. In Latin America, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost due to U.S. backed coups and “counterinsurgency” in the past half century – all motivated by the U.S. government’s efforts to maintain a dominant role in the region.

The Empire Files: Examining the Syria War Chessboard

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By Abby Martin for Tele Sur – The war in Syria is an unparalleled crisis. It has gone far beyond an internal political struggle, and is marked by a complex array of forces that the U.S. Empire hopes to command: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and more. To simplify this web of enemies and friends, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and author of several books.

Historic New Harpers Article Exposes Who Controls America

Money congress sold

By Eric Zuesse for ICH – December 18, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – There can be little doubt now: America’s decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world is due to the American government’s secret under-the-table crucial ongoing assistance to those groups, and this American-government support has intentionally encouraged recent terrorist events especially in Syria, Libya, and other countries that had been allied with Russia — but which might be flipped ‘our’ way, by those jihadists. In such countries (America’s ‘enemies’), the U.S. government calls the jihadist groups ‘moderates’ and ‘pro-democracy.’