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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

It's time to reject the myth of "American Exceptionalism," and embrace a multi-polar world order.

Writing for American foreign affairs journal, The National Interest, former US National Intelligence Council officials, Mathew Burrows and Roger George call upon long overlooked NCI research reports which warn our country would be wise to soon accept we are becoming more and more one nation among equals and less and less the master of the world. Is it really smart to pretend our country is above the rules others must obey? A call to correct the direction of our foreign policy sounds like very good advice. It's time to end the unending wars, the wholesale death and the unbridled expense required to maintain an ever-growing hegemony over the world.

Snow falls on monuments at the F. D. R. Memorial, Washington D. C (AFP)

Preparing for New Reality: Will US Be a Trendsetter in Multipolar World?

Whether one likes it or not, by 2025 the international system will be a multipolar one, and Washington should prepare itself for the new reality, former National Intelligence Council (NIC) officials Mathew Burrows and Roger George underscore, citing NIC's Global Trends 2025 report published in November 2008.

"The United States will have greater impact on how the international system evolves over the next 15-20 years than any other international actor, but it will have less power in a multipolar world than it has enjoyed for many decades," the report read. "A world of relatively few conflicts with other major powers would smooth the way toward development of a multipolar system in which the US is 'first' among equals," it added.

In 2008 many US senior officials turned a deaf ear to the NIC's prognosis, regarding it as just another worst-case "guesstimate," Burrows and George note in their article for The National Interest. They refer to US presidential candidates that sound as if the United States never left "the unipolar moment."

"The challenge now is to alter our mind-set, which seems trapped in the amber of America's 'exceptionalist' tradition and 'indispensable' role," the intelligence analysts warn.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160120/1033444658/will-washington-be-trendsetter-in-multipolar-world.html

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:49 PM (2 replies)

Think Tank calls for U. S. to force Russia into an agreement with Turkey

The conservative-oriented intelligence firm, Stratfor (often referred to as a "Shadow CIA" because of many former intelligence agency people who work for it) has released a new report which calls for increased U. S. "pressure" on Russia to compromise with Turkish ambitions concerning bordering areas of Northern Syria and Kurdish Iraq. Basically these arguments suggest that the Russian Federation is so weakened now from our economic sanctions that by stationing more troops in Eastern Europe, increasing support for Ukraine's hard line on its breakaway regions and sending greater American naval forces into the Black Sea, the West will be able to make Russia abandon its ally Syria and allow Turkey's expansionist dreams to be realized. How this rather dubiously likely outcome would be all that good for the United States is not made very clear.

Vice President Biden meets with Turkish President Erdogan in Istanbul, Nov. 2014.

'Shadow CIA' Explains How US Can 'Force' Moscow to Negotiate With Ankara

If the US wants to destroy the threat of Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) terrorism in the Middle East once and for all, "the discussion begins and ends with Turkey," Stratfor suggests. Specifically, Washington will have to attempt to force Russia to the negotiating table with Turkey on managing the Syrian crisis, using the veiled threat of increasing NATO's presence in the Black Sea.

"The United States is already working with predominantly Kurdish rebel factions east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria and with Iraqi forces along the Iraq-Syria border to try to strangle the Islamic State in Raqqah. But the United States needs a lot of assistance from Turkey west of the Euphrates to tie the noose. Turkey," Stratfor notes, "is prepared to commit ground troops to an operation in northern Syria – especially after last week's suicide bombing."

However, the think tank cautions, "the chief complication is Russia. Following the November downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish forces, Russia's air defense buildup in Syria, paired with a direct threat to shoot down any aerial targets that could threaten Russian aircraft in Syria, has complicated Turkey's military planning." And maybe that's for the best. Perhaps Stratfor's strategic brainstorming hasn't left much time to check the news, but the reality on the ground, as Syrian Kurdish commanders on the frontline in the fight against Daesh have repeatedly complained, is that Turkish army and intelligence operations in their country seemed to have focused all their their energies on attacking Kurdish forces and providing support for 'moderate' rebels including al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham, instead of fighting Daesh.


In other words, Stratfor seems to argue, Washington could force Moscow to compromise on Syria by threatening a buildup in the Black Sea. But with Turkey already demonstrating what such a 'compromise' would entail (i.e. attacks against Syrian Kurds and support for anti-Assad rebels), the only question the think tank should be asking itself is: How likely is Russia to abandon its regional ally for the sake of a flimsy verbal guarantee from a Western military alliance which has broken almost every promise it has ever made to Moscow?


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160120/1033418702/turkey-russia-us-stratfor-analysis.html

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Jan 20, 2016, 11:41 AM (0 replies)

Marine veteran criticizes Pentagon's, "Corrupt, insane and ambitious true believers."

We have not truly succeeded in any of our military interventions or occupations since the classic failure of the Vietnam War. The reason for this, in the opinion of Vietnam veteran and senior editor of Veterans Today, Gordon Duff, is that our generals have consistently chosen to support the wrong side in all of those conflicts. Perhaps one may object that generals don't run our foreign policy. Mr. Duff, who has been a military insider for decades, argues that to believe they don't is simply wishful thinking.

An American officer administers the re-enlistment oath to a solider in Qalat Afghanistan, July 2015.

Always on the Wrong Side: US Vet Questions Military's Muddled Loyalties

Gordon Duff, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War and a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, has recently been very critical of the US military and its top commanders. The reason for his frustration is the incompetence and the either intentional or deliberate delusion of the country’s top military commanders.

For a better understanding of what is going on in the US military, Duff recalled his personal military experience while serving in Vietnam. “I served in the US military in Vietnam, in a Marine special operations unit. There was a general consensus that America was clearly on the wrong side in Vietnam,” he recalls in his article for the New Eastern Outlook website. “The South Vietnamese government was brutal, corrupt and illegal based on the Paris peace accords of 1954 and everyone knew it,” he says.

Let’s wind the clock forward to Reagan’s first year in office, the author suggests. “I was at a meeting in Miami between former members of the Garde Nationale, the Nazi death squads of the Somoza regime in Nicaragua and the US Army’s advisory group operating in Honduras.” The US “backed” contras fighting in Nicaragua were actually 100% paid mercenaries, much like ISIS (Daesh), trained, armed and led by Americans, he recalls. “I sat with maps in front of me showing infiltration routes into Nicaragua while our “Garde” friends passed on lists of those to be killed, all communists they said. The lists included teachers, nurses and, in more than one instance, personal grudges. The Americans in the room were lapping it up.”


“If you stop someone in the Pentagon and ask them when Russia invaded the Ukraine and how many tank divisions are there, waiting to attack Western Europe, they will have an answer. That answer won’t be; “Are you friggin’ nuts.” They will take out their phones and show you photos of the Russian tanks, photos long proven to have been a decade old, long exposed as a hoax.” The author suggests that those advocating the chaos were from “secret societies and organized crime” and not the Soviet Union, something that President Kennedy rightfully pointed out long ago prior to being murdered. “Do this, ask someone in the American military how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Do it, please. Then you will understand how much I have understated here,” he urges.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/us/20160118/1033319430/us-military-trust.html

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Jan 19, 2016, 09:10 AM (113 replies)

Syrian conflict is just one part of a broader Middle Eastern "War for Oil."

The Syrian civil war, American-German historian and foreign policy consultant F. William Engdahl explains, is part of an effort by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (joining forces after a fashion) to gain control of Iraqi and Syrian oil resources. Opposed to this power grab, Engdahl adds, are not only the potential victim states whose oil is at stake but also their regional ally, Iran, and to a less overt extent, Syrian ally, the Russian Federation.

Saudi Army troops, 2016 (AFP)

Syrian Chessboard: A Prologue to a New Phase of the 'War for Oil'?

The world is about to be dragged into a new oil war in the Middle East, American-German researcher, historian and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl predicts. "It is on one level, a Saudi war to redraw the national borders of the infamous Anglo-French Sykes-Picot carve up of the bankrupt Ottoman Turkish Empire of 1916. This war has as its foolish goal bringing the oil fields and pipeline routes of Iraq and Syria, and perhaps more of the region, under direct Saudi control, with Qatar and Erdogan's Turkey as Riyadh's partners in crime. Unfortunately, as in all wars, there will be no winners," Engdahl writes in his piece for New Eastern Outlook.

Who will play this "four-dimensional" chess? According to the author, there are at least four groups of actors. The first group consists of the Wahhabi Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under King Salman, the Erdogan regime, Qatar and their numerous Islamist proxies including Daesh and al-Qaeda affiliates.

The second group comprises Syria under the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Shiite Iran and their allies in the region. The third actor is Netanyahu's Israel which pursues its own interests despite it has recently concluded "public strategic alliances" with both Ankara and Riyadh. The last but not the least, is the group of the US-led NATO powers, which have their own vested interests in the ongoing geopolitical game, according to the researcher. Engdahl notes that Russia's involvement in the Syrian crisis has obviously brought the "game" to a new level: Syria has obtained an opportunity to preserve its sovereignty due to Moscow's support.

"Erdogan's Turkish military and most especially his Turkish intelligence, MIT, headed by close crony, Hakan Fidan, is playing a key role in the planned Saudi-Turk-Qatari coalitions move to destroy the regime of Assad and at the same time seize control for them of the rich oil fields of Iraq between Mosul and Kirkuk," the researcher underscores.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160113/1033063125/syrian-crisis-prologue-to-war-for-oil.html

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Jan 13, 2016, 12:57 PM (2 replies)

Those whose jobs depend on maintaining, "The military/industrial/congressional complex."

The Russian Federation has become an all-consuming boogeyman for many Pentagon and intelligence service employees charged with advising the U. S. government in regard to foreign policy. Russia is an international competitor with the United States in the fields of commerce and political influence, but is that really a valid reason to roundly demonize her leadership and put our national military on a nearly paranoid footing, with sky-high expectations of some kind of a Cold War style "sneak attack" from the implacable, though illusionary, "Russian Empire?" In the article quoted below, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi offers a imminently plausible explanation for this wide-spread logical disconnect.

The Pentagon.

Sabotage: US Officials 'Distort Image of Russia' to Keep Their Own Jobs

A whole array of US experts and officials create and use Russia's hostile image in order to hold down their jobs, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, who is now executive director of the Council for the National Interest, said in his article published by the opinion journal American Conservative. He said that when in Moscow, he often met ordinary Russians who asked him why Washington hates Russians so much and "why does the American press seemingly have nothing good to say about them?" Giraldi admitted that he eventually failed give a clear-cut answer, even though he tried to attribute the problem to the political situation in Russia.

Touching upon the negative stance on Russia, Giraldi acknowledged that "there are many older Americans entrenched in the media and government as well as in the plentitude of think tanks who will always regard Russia as the enemy. And then there are the more cunning types who always need the threat of an enemy to keep their well-paid jobs in the government itself and also within the punditry, both of which rely on the health and well-being of the military-industrial-congressional complex," he said.

He also wondered why those in the White House and the US media fail to realize the fact that "a good relationship with Russia is indispensable."

Giraldi touted Russia as a good partner in Syria and a driving force to hold current talks on resolving the Syrian gridlock. In addition, Russia "has consistently been a reliable ally against terrorism, in recognition of its own vulnerability to ISIS and other Islamic militants, One does not have to love Mother Russia or Vladimir Putin to appreciate that it is in America's interest to develop a cooperative relationship based on shared interests," Giraldi pointed out.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/world/20160110/1032897666/united-states-russia-image.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sun Jan 10, 2016, 08:06 AM (60 replies)

Research concludes the Maidan Square snipers were anti-government militants.

When, in early 2014, unarmed demonstrators and even government riot police in Maidan Square were being shot and killed by snipers, Western sources, without bothering to investigate, immediately accepted that the murders had to have been ordered by President Yanukovych's crowd control officials. This was despite undisputed video of snipers firing from windows high in several buildings occupied by anti-government protesters. The West was in no mood to accommodate suggestions anyone else might be at fault. The Ukrainian government was corrupt and evil, the logic seemed to go, so of course they had to be guilty! Now, however, unbiased examination of the evidence has concluded that was just not the case.

Fire and smoke shroud Maidan Square, February, 2014 (Sputnik)

Study Proves Maidan Snipers Were Western-Backed Opposition’s False Flag

A study of the February 20, 2014 “Snipers’ massacre” in Kiev, where scores of protesters were killed by shots fired from surrounding buildings, has proved that it was carried out by Western-backed opposition groups. The research found that the Berkut special police force, which was loyal to the Ukrainian government, was not responsible, contrary to the narrative which was created by the post-Maidan coup government in Kiev, and consequently accepted by Western governments and media.

Ivan Katchanovski, a teacher of political science at the University of Ottawa, studied eyewitness reports, estimates of ballistic trajectories, 30 gigabytes of security forces’ radio intercepts, 5,000 photos and 1,500 videos and broadcast recordings of the protesters’ deaths.

“This academic investigation concludes that the massacre was a false flag operation, which was rationally planned and carried out with a goal of the overthrow of the government and seizure of power,” wrote Katchanovski in his study, called ‘The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine.’

“It found various evidence of the involvement of an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. Concealed shooters and spotters were located in at least 20 Maidan-controlled buildings or areas.”


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160103/1032633643/study-maidan-deaths-false-flag.html

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Jan 5, 2016, 08:59 AM (115 replies)

All for the sake of winning an argument over religion.

Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric for calling on the kingdom to allow his sect freedom to worship. Violent Iranian radicals tried to burn down the Saudi embassy in retaliation. The Saudis, in turn, have broken off diplomatic relations with Iran and expelled her diplomats from the kingdom. Now the Saudi foreign minister has announced his country will go to the United Nations Security Council to call for punishment of the Iranian government. Unless these heightened sectarian tensions are somehow defused (and quickly) there is a good chance we may see a full-blown religious war spread across the entire Middle East.

Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir (AFP)

Saudi-Iranian Conflict Threatens to Explode Into Region-Wide Sectarian War

The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shia cleric is escalating, threatening to turn the region's ongoing conflicts into wars of religion, warns Russian Middle East expert Vladimir Ahmedov.

On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that "divine vengeance will befall Saudi politicians" for "the unjustly spilled blood" of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, executed by the Saudis on Saturday. Considered a terrorist by Saudi authorities for his criticism of the government, calls for free elections and demands that authorities respect Saudi Shias' rights, al-Nimr's execution sparked outrage and an escalation of diplomatic tensions across the Middle East, but only a cautious criticism from Riyadh's allies in Washington and Brussels.

The cleric was killed along with 46 others in the country's largest mass execution in decades, sparking anger and violent protests in Shia areas of Saudi Arabia, as well as Bahrain, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Pakistan, and Iran, where protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in the Iranian capital and attempted to set the building on fire.


In Syria, Iran has offered the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, embattled by over five years of war, political, economic and military assistance against a coalition of Saudi, Turkish and Qatari-funded jihadist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the al-Nusra Front and Daesh (ISIL/ISIS). Furthermore, in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has formed a military coalition to try to crush the Shia tribesmen known as the Houthis, who overthrew the government of Saudi-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi last year. Accusing the coreligionists of being a proxy for Iran (claims which both the Houthis and Tehran have denied), Riyadh launched a military campaign, including a naval blockade, prompting criticism that the intervention has caused a 'humanitarian catastrophe'.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160103/1032641113/saudi-execution-nimr-iran.html



Posted by another_liberal | Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:37 PM (27 replies)

Turkish President Eardogan admires Hiltler's style of government.

"Stranger than fiction" is the heading I would file this one under. Controversial Turkish President Eardogan has publicly come out as admiring the way Germany's most reviled national leader ran the German government in "an efficient, unitary presidential system." Along with being appalled by his pro-fascist and anti-democratic sentiments, one is moved to wonder if the President has anyone at all advising him in regard to the realm of public relations!

Turkey's President Eardogan gestures for effect (AP)

A Great Deal Becomes Clear – Russian Foreign Ministry on Erdogan’s Comments

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words about the efficiency of the German presidential system under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, saying that “a great deal now becomes clear, in fact.”

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler was an example of an efficient presidential system, according to Reuters. A great deal now becomes clear, in fact,” said Maria Zakharova on her page in Facebook

The comment comes after the Turkish media reported on Friday that the Turkish leader had said that Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler was an example of a presidential system which was able to maintain the unitary nature of the state.

"Yes, there are no reasons not to have presidential system in an unitary state. There are such examples in the world and there have been such examples in the past. When you look at Hitler's Germany, you will see it," Erdogan told reporters, as quoted by the online news portal T24, when asked if the presidential system was able to maintain the unitary structure of the state.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160102/1032593783/zakharova-erdogan-hitler-comments.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:33 AM (3 replies)

Impossible for Ukrainian authorities to end their civil war.

Why is it so difficult for the opposing sides of Ukraine's bitter and devastating civil war to finally implement conditions of the long ago agree to Minsk II peace accords? According to a number of experts on the Ukrainian situation, the hold-up is almost totally due to the limited options available to those who currently hold power in Kiev.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko sticks a Ukrainian decal on a Humvee given by the United States as military aid to Ukraine, March, 2015 (AFP)

Ending Ukraine's Civil War: Why Kiev Can't Risk Fulfilling Its Promises

The leaders of the Normandy Quartet (Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France) recently agreed to extend the implementation of the Minsk accords, drafted to restore peace in eastern Ukraine, into 2016. What does the extension mean, what are its prospects, and why do authorities in Kiev seem to have such a hard time fulfilling their obligations? On December 30, the leaders of the so-called Normandy Quartet on Ukrainian Reconciliation spoke by phone, agreeing to extend the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass, which expired on December 31, for another year.


Among Minsk II's main stumbling blocks are the points on the search for a political settlement, specifically the prospects for local elections in the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Negotiations "on modalities of conducting local elections," conducted within the framework of the political sub-group of the Contact Group, have resulted in deadlock, with elections previously set for October and since carried over to February looking more and more unlikely to take place.


Speaking to the newspaper, Rostislav Ischenko, a Ukrainian political expert and president of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting, recalled that "talk on the inevitable resumption of hostilities in the Donbass has been heard since the Minsk II agreement was first reached." The reality, the analyst suggests, "is not so much that Minsk II is at an impasse, but that the Minsk agreements were from the beginning simply not feasible for Ukrainian authorities. The fact is that if they were implemented, the current Ukrainian government would lose control of the country, and would have to leave office. Furthermore," Ischenko recalls, "Ukraine is home to battalions, which in the case of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements will be guaranteed to find themselves in prison or in the grave. It's clear that they too are doing everything they can to ensure that the agreements are not met – and this is a force consisting of tens of thousands of armed men."

Asked why the agreement was signed, if Kiev had no intention of fulfilling it, the expert explained that Ukrainian leaders "had expected that they would be allowed not to fulfill Minsk II, while Russia would be pressured to do so. But it soon became clear that everything had turned out in a completely different way, and from that moment Ukrainian authorities have been looking for ways to disrupt the agreements."


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160101/1032576602/ukraine-civil-war-minsk-agreements-analysis.html

Posted by another_liberal | Fri Jan 1, 2016, 09:30 AM (77 replies)

Turkish human rights record will keep it out of the European Union

Anyone who reads the international news about such things knows that Turkish President Erdogan's recent big victory at the polls was immediately preceded by a crackdown on (and arrests of) many of his political opponents, especially journalists. While that alone would raise eyebrows in EU human rights circles, the current mass, violent arrests of anti-government demonstrators and the Turkish military occupation of parts of Northwestern Iraq only further diminish Turkey's hopes to soon become a member state of the European Union.

Police use pepper spray against demonstrators during a protest over the arrest of journalists in Ankara, Turkey, November 27, 2015 (Reuters)

'No human rights policy discount for Turkey' declares top German civil liberties official

Turkey must improve its human rights record before it can justify admission to the EU, claims Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner Christoph Strässer, adding that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the situation in the country has "deteriorated" drastically.

Asked whether the EU will make any concessions for Ankara's membership, Strässer replied: “This concern drives me. There can be no human rights policy discount for Turkey. We must not be generous towards Turkey just because presently we cooperate more with it. The EU must stick to its crystal-clear strict rules with respect to human rights and press freedom,” he told Germany's N24 news website. Turkey first sought EU membership back in 1987, but its bid has made little progress since then, with key issues like fundamental freedoms and the future of Cyprus proving to be major obstacles.

“It seems to me that Turkey is trying to use the situation in Syria and its geopolitical tussle with Russia in order to bring this potential EU membership back on the agenda,” journalist Bryan MacDonald noted, sharing his opinion on Turkish membership in the EU with RT. “However, I think it is ‘pie in the sky’ - it is just kind words they are getting from the EU because they are useful to NATO and the EU at the moment. I don’t see any possibility that 80 million Turks who are Muslims in a largely Christian EU will ever be allowed to join the organization,” he added.


Erdogan’s regime used “state security” as an excuse to cover up its smuggling of arms into Syria and persecute the journalists who revealed it, the imprisoned editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, wrote in the Guardian on Tuesday. “Turkey’s regime not only smuggled guns into Syria, it used ‘state security’ as an excuse to imprison the journalists who reported it,” Dundar wrote.


Read more at: https://www.rt.com/news/327533-germany-turkey-eu-membership/

Posted by another_liberal | Thu Dec 31, 2015, 01:41 PM (5 replies)
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