Big Lies Launch Lawless Wars

Stephen Lendman

No declaration of war exists. No legal authority. No national emergency. No existential or other threats. No enemies targeting America. No Security Council authorization. No congressional OK. No justifiable reason to wage war. No reason ever to do so except in self-defense if attacked. None occurred.

Obama's Iraq war III constitutes cold, calculated, premeditated naked aggression. It's lawless. It has no legal authority. The same holds for his three-and-a-half year proxy war on Syria. It was planned long before March 2011 hostilities began. It's now elevated to direct US intervention.

On Tuesday, US warplanes bombed multiple Syrian targets. Precise ones aren't clear. Multiple civilian deaths followed. At least three children died. Civilians suffer most in all wars. US and Israeli ones target them willfully. They're considered legitimate targets. They're murdered in cold blood. A local Raqqa resident said...

"...(t)here is an exodus out of (the city) as we speak. It started in the early hours of the day after the strikes. People are fleeing toward the countryside."

Around one-third of Syria's population already is internally or externally displaced. US bombing threatens thousands more. They're in the line of fire. They're in harm's way. As long as US bombing continues, not a square inch of Syria is safe. The entire country is vulnerable to attacks. Expect Washington to take full advantage. Expect Big Lies to conceal its objectives. They have nothing to do with degrading and destroying ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic state (IS). They have everything to do with advancing America's Imperium.


Syrian wars of proxy

As'ad AbuKhalil

The Syrian war is not only a proxy war. There is a strong internal dimension to the war in Syria but it has been obscured by various layers and dimensions of outside intervention and agendas. The Syrian regime wants to stay in power at any cost while there was certainly a civil popular opposition in Syria when the uprising first began. There are thousands of reasons for the Syrian people to protest against a family dictatorship that has controlled much of their lives since 1970 but the civil protest movement did not erupt by itself, the Western media narrative notwithstanding. Concurrent with the protest movement that erupted in 2011, Turkey and Gulf regimes had already set up armed rebel groups to help bring down a regime. The internal dimension of the war in Syria, however, is now probably marginal to the global and regional war raging in the country today. There are several proxy wars in Syria today and they can be summarized as follows:

1. The internal Wahhabi war: there is no war within Islam in Syria as Thomas Friedman and his ilk keep asserting. There has been a moderate and progressive strand of Islam in Syria and many of its elements have aligned themselves with the regime. And contrary to early claims made by the hired external opposition and its advocates in the West, there was never a moderate and progressive version of Islam among the rebel groups. How could that be the case when the sponsors of Syrian rebel Islam are Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia? Mufti Hassun (although he is an ally and perhaps a tool of the regime, and even the slain Sheikh al-Buti) is far more progressive than any of his adversaries on the other side, including Mu`adh al-Khatib who has railed in the past about the ills of social media, masturbation and Jews, and who praised al-Nusrah Front early on his tenure as leader of the Syrian National Council. The internal Wahhabi war is pitting the various Wahhabi parties in the region against each other. The Saudi regime, Qatari regime, al-Qa`idah (Nusrah Front) and ISIS: all four are Wahhabi and each is trying to dominate the field of the Wahhabi movement.


Obama Launches Naked Aggression on Syria

Stephen Lendman

It's no surprise. Obama's intentions were clear for weeks. Naked aggression is longstanding US policy. In his September 10 address, he said Washington was prepared to "conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes (against Islamic State terrorists) wherever they are." "That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq." Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said US Central Command has a plan to take "targeted actions against ISIS safe havens in Syria." Obama added another high crime against peace to his rap sheet. It overflows.

Attacking a country posing no threat to America constitutes a grave breach of international, constitutional and US statute laws. US-led airstrikes began at around 8:30 PM local time. Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed them, saying:

"US military and partner nation forces…undert(ook) military action against (Islamic State) terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time," he added. "The decision to conduct theses strikes was made (Monday) by the US Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief." "We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate," he said.


US launches air strikes inside Syria

Peter Symonds

The air strikes are an illegal act of war against a country that has never posed a threat to the U.S.

The US began a series of devastating and ongoing air strikes inside Syria early Tuesday, bombing the town of Raqqa and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets along the country’s border with Iraq. The attacks on ISIS are the pretext for stepping up the US-backed regime-change operation against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and mark the expansion of a reckless and illegal war that will have catastrophic consequences for the Middle East and beyond.

The new air war was announced in a brief statement by Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, who stated that “US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL [ISIS] terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.” Indifferent to public opinion, President Obama issued no statement and made no comment.

Details provided by unnamed US officials make clear that the air campaign inside Syria goes far beyond the scope of the air strikes in Iraq over the past six weeks. At least 20 targets have been hit within the first hours, using cruise missiles launched from US navy ships and precision-guided bombs fired from warplanes and drones. The strikes reportedly targeted ISIS command centres, weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings.


Obama marshals allies for war on Syria and Iraq

Peter Symonds

In the lead-up to this week’s UN General Assembly meetings, the Obama administration is engaged in an aggressive political campaign to justify and marshal support for the extension of its war in Iraq into Syria. Under the pretext of “degrading and destroying” Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, the US is engaged in an illegal war of aggression with the objective of ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Claims by American officials that Washington has the support of 40 countries cannot obscure the fact that this is another US war based on lies, and in flagrant breach of international law. US warplanes have carried out more than 160 air strikes inside Iraq after being invited to do so by its puppet regime in Baghdad, and its aircraft and drones have already carried out reconnaissance inside Syria. Washington has arrogated to itself the right to conduct air strikes inside Syria, despite the expressed opposition of the Syrian government.

Speaking on the ABC’s “This Week” program last night, US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, declared that the US had the “legal basis” for waging an air war on Syria and that there was “universal support” in the international community for attacking ISIS. In fact, Washington lacks even the fig-leaf of a UN resolution to legitimise its new war. When Obama chairs a special UN Security Council session on Wednesday, he is unlikely to seek a resolution supporting air strikes on Syria, as Russia would veto it.

Power made the absurd assertion that military aggression against Syria was justified because Iraq had requested it. “The Iraqis have appealed to the international community to come to their defence not only in Iraq, but also to go after safe havens in foreign countries. And what they mean of course is Syria. And they’re quite explicit about that,” she said. Such “requests” could be engineered to justify an aggressive war against any country in the world.


Naive? At a Jewish spiritual retreat center, I insist on talking about Gaza...

Lynne Lopez-Salzedo


Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (from its website)

This summer, I returned to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center to relax in the Connecticut woods, canoe on the lake and take part in the workshops that participant/leaders were offering. When I arrived late afternoon, the lake was shimmering in the sunlight, framed by tall trees. Up the hill lay the organic farm; to the right was the kitchen where fresh goat cheese was made and lacto fermented vegetables were put up. I made my way up to my cabin, unpacked my yoga togs, then set out for a walk in the woods. But even the quiet tranquility of the woods could not totally distract me from the terrible images of Gaza’s destruction that filled my thoughts.

I’d come for the ‘Mikvah’ retreat, named after the purifying ritual immersion in water which is an integral part of Jewish practice. The Center described the retreat as a ‘transformative experience’, where we could delve deep into spiritual practice and emerge refreshed and purified. Isabella Freedman, part of the Jewish Renewal movement, also welcomes other spiritual traditions and practices. I was here to teach a yoga meditation workshop. I’d also volunteered to lead some discussions on Israel/Gaza. Awful as Israel’s previous assaults on Gaza had been, there was something qualitatively worse about this latest war. How could anyone remain complacent as the images of murdered children and gutted homes flooded the media? As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz:


Alternative media success panics neocons

Kevin Barrett

A funny thing happened on the way to dystopia.

As Western mainstream media fall into the hands of lying billionaires, Zionists, and intelligence agencies (three categories with significant overlap) – and as neoconservatives script big media’s ignoble lies – a surging internet-based alternative media has arisen to challenge the elite’s false narratives. Thanks to alt-media, fewer and fewer people are buying the simplistic feel-good myths peddled by the mainstream.

While most old people still cling to the corporate media worldview, the young are skewing ever-harder toward alternative perspectives.

In Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum, for example, the London Daily Mirror reported that 71% of 16-17 year olds voted “yes” while those over 65 voted “no” by a 73%-27% margin.

Why does the vast majority of Scottish young people favor independence, while an equally crushing majority of old people opposes it? Short answer: Old people still believe BBC propaganda, while the young do not.


The Global Crisis: Food, Water and Fuel. Three Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy

Michel Chossudovsky


Famine in Ethiopia, June 2008

First published in 2008 - The sugar coated bullets of the “free market” are killing our children. The act to kill is unpremeditated. It is instrumented in a detached fashion through computer program trading on the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges, where the global prices of rice, wheat and corn are decided upon.

Poverty is not solely the result of policy failures at a national level. People in different countries are being impoverished simultaneously as a result of a global market mechanism. A small number of financial institutions and global corporations have the ability to determine, through market manipulation, the standard of living of millions of people around the World.

We are at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history. The process of global impoverishment unleashed at the outset of the 1980s debt crisis has reached a major turning point, leading to the simultaneous outbreak of famines in all major regions of the developing World.

There are many complex features underlying the global economic crisis pertaining to financial markets, the decline in production, the collapse of State institutions and the rapid development of a profit-driven war economy. What is rarely mentioned in this analysis, is how this global economic restructuring forcibly impinges on three fundamental necessities of life: food, water and fuel. The provision of food, water and fuel is a precondition of civilized society: they are necessary factors for the survival of the human species. In recent years, the prices of these three variables has increased dramatically at the global level, with devastating economic and social consequences.

These three essential goods or commodities, which in a real sense determine the reproduction of economic and social life on planet earth, are under the control of a small number of global corporations and financial institutions.


War, circus and injustice down under

John Pilger

There are times when farce and living caricature almost consume the cynicism and mendacity in the daily life of Australia's rulers. Across the front pages is a photograph of a resolute Tony Abbott with Indigenous children in Arnhem Land, in the remote north. "Domestic policy one day," says the caption, "focus on war the next."

Reminiscent of a vintage anthropologist, the prime minister grasps the head of an Indigenous child trying to shake his hand. He beams, as if incredulous at the success of his twin stunts: "running the nation" from a bushland tent on the Gove Peninsula while "taking the nation to war". Like any "reality" show, he is surrounded by cameras and manic attendants, who alert the nation to his principled and decisive acts.

But wait; the leader of all Australians must fly south to farewell the SAS, off on its latest heroic mission since its triumph in the civilian bloodfest of Afghanistan. "Pursuing sheer evil" sounds familiar; of course, an historic mercenary role is unmentionable, this time backing the latest US installed sectarian regime in Baghdad and re-branded ex Kurdish "terrorists", now guarding Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Hunt Oil et al.

No parliamentary debate is allowed; no fabricated invitation from foreigners in distress is necessary, as it was in Vietnam. Speed is the essence. What with US intelligence insisting there is no threat from Islamic State to America and presumably Australia, truth may deter the mission if time is lost. If this week's police and media show of "anti-terror" arrests in "the plot against Sydney" fails to arouse the suspicions of the nation, nothing will. That the unpopular Abbott's reckless war-making is are likely to be self-fulfilling, making Australians less safe, ought to in headlines, too. Remember the blowback of Bush's and Blair's wars.


Scotland's Referendum: Fair or Foul?

Stephen Lendman

Critics claim fraud at the polls. Suspicions are rife.

Rigged elections aren't new. In America, they go back to the beginning of the republic. Seventeenth century US politicians believed vote rigging was a necessary evil. They assumed opposition parties played dirty. Their strategy was fight fire with fire.

New York's Tammany Hall machine was notorious. It controlled Democrat party nominations for over a century. It bought off politicians, judges and ward captains. Vote suppression was standard practice.

Chicago machine politics works the same way. Under Richard J. Daley, it was notorious. He was an American pharaoh. He ran city government like a monarch. He wielded near-imperial power. When he died on December 26, 1976, Chicago columnist Mike Royko wrote: "If ever a man reflected a city, it was Richard J. Daley." He was "strong (and) hard-driving." He had "Texas-sized ambitions." He was "arrogant, crude, conniving, ruthless, suspicious, intolerant, raucous, hot-tempered, devious, big and powerful." He was Chicago.

Former Chicago alderman Paddy Bauler perhaps said it best: "Chicago ain't ready for reform," he explained. Chicago's tongue-in-cheek "Vote early and often" political motto goes back to Daley's early days and Al Capone. Ballots for registered dead voters at times are cast. Political analyst Dick Simpson calls Chicago the capital of public corruption. It's "a one-party system were Democrats control" city politics but govern like Republicans, said Simpson.

Voters are apathetic. They know the "fix is in." A tradition of corruption prevails. According to Simpson, it's long past time for Chicago "to become the land of Lincoln rather than the land of 'Where's Mine.' "


Perpetual Fear under Empire

Jacob G. Hornberger

Lots of Americans are extremely upset about ISIS. They’re not sleeping well, and they’re pacing the floors. They are convinced that ISIS is coming to get them, drag them from their homes, cart them away to some Arabian desert, and behead them.

There is something important to keep in mind about all this: This is the way of life under an empire, especially one whose foreign policy is based on hundreds of military bases in foreign countries, meddling in the political and economic affairs of other countries, support of and partnerships with foreign dictatorships, foreign aid, invasions, wars of aggression, occupations, kidnappings, torture, and other such things.

Once you realize that chaos, crises, conflicts, tensions, and wars are an inherent part of imperial life, you don’t tend to get so upset over the latest crisis. You instead say to yourself: Well, here we go again—another official enemy who is the gravest threat to “national security” in the history of the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto our governmental system after World War II. Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.


"Russia was always elected to be the enemy"

Ruth Schneider interviews Ray McGovern

On the eve of the NATO summit earlier this month, CIA veteran Ray McGovern, NSA whistleblower William Binney and five other intelligence colleagues sent an open letter to Angela Merkel, "briefing" her about the situation in Ukraine: reminding the German chancellor of the precedent of the Iraq War 12 years ago, they urge her not to trust the "fixed intelligence" presented by the US State Department and NATO officials. There is no evidence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As the civil war rages on killing hundreds of civilians and displacing thousands of others, the self-dubbed Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity point out that the US and NATO are stoking the flames of a new confrontation with Russia through shameless media propaganda, reminiscent of a time they know something about: the Cold War.

McGovern served as a CIA analyst under seven presidents from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush, and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Ronald Reagan's most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985. Fluent in German and Russian, he was stationed in West Germany as a CIA liaison officer.


"Islamic State": Pretext for US attack on Syria?

Kevin Barrett

According to the corporate media, the US is leading the fight against ISIL, the un-Islamic terror group posing as "Islamic State." Yet American leaders' words and actions raise questions about their real goals.

In his speech last week Obama said: "I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq." But then on Monday night, senior administration officials suggested that the real target of US intervention in Syria would be the government of President Bashar al-Assad – ISIL's number one enemy!

Last night's Associated Press story headlined "US would hit back against Assad attack" begins:

"The United States would retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad's air defenses if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country, senior Obama administration officials said Monday."

These "senior officials" delivered an explicit threat against Assad. They said that any Syrian attempt to enforce that nation's sovereignty would provoke US attacks on Syrian air defenses.

This is precisely the scenario desired by Zionist neoconservatives, who have spent years plotting to use the US Air Force to overthrow the government of Syria. These warmongers tried to trick the US into bombing Syria last year by staging the false-flag chemical weapons incident at al-Ghouta. They were stymied by Presidents Obama and Putin, who worked together to defuse the situation and avoid a potential World War III scenario.


The Hushed-Up Hitler Factor in Ukraine

Dovid Katz

Behind the Ukraine crisis is a revision of World War II history that seeks to honor eastern European collaborators with Hitler and the Holocaust by repackaging these rightists as anti-Soviet heroes, a reality shielded from the U.S. Public.

Would America support any type of Hitlerism in the course of the State Department’s effort to turn the anti-Russian political classes of Eastern Europe into paragons of PR perfection that may not be criticized, howsoever mildly?

It was frankly disconcerting to see Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, embracing the leader of Ukraine’s far right, anti-Semitic, pro-fascist Svoboda party last December. It was disturbing to learn of the neo-Nazi elements that provided the “muscle” for the actual Maidan takeover last February (BBC’s Newsnight was among the few major Western outlets to dare cover that openly).

Most disturbing of all has been the mainstream Western media’s almost Soviet-grade wall somehow erected against critical mention of the far-right component of Ukraine’s 2014 history, rendering any such thought as worthy of ridicule on New York Times opinion pages last spring. [Also] hilarious was the Times’s May 2014 publication of an (obviously ghost-written, State Department-scripted) op-ed by Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia V. Tymoshenko which quotes Churchill writing to Roosevelt, “Give us the tools, as we will finish the job,” rumbling on about “the just and open democracy that is America’s greatest bequest to the world.”


The belief in America’s good intentions...

William Blum

Talk given at a Teach-In on US Foreign Policy, American University, Washington, DC, September 6, 2014

Each of you I’m sure has met many people who support American foreign policy, with whom you’ve argued and argued. You point out one horror after another, from Vietnam to Iraq. From god-awful bombings and invasions to violations of international law and torture. And nothing helps. Nothing moves this person.

Now why is that? Are these people just stupid? I think a better answer is that they have certain preconceptions. Consciously or unconsciously, they have certain basic beliefs about the United States and its foreign policy, and if you don’t deal with these basic beliefs you may as well be talking to a stone wall.

The most basic of these basic beliefs, I think, is a deeply-held conviction that no matter what the United States does abroad, no matter how bad it may look, no matter what horror may result, the government of the United States means well. American leaders may make mistakes, they may blunder, they may lie, they may even on the odd occasion cause more harm than good, but they do mean well. Their intentions are always honorable, even noble. Of that the great majority of Americans are certain.

Frances Fitzgerald, in her famous study of American school textbooks, summarized the message of these books:

“The United States has been a kind of Salvation Army to the rest of the world: throughout history it had done little but dispense benefits to poor, ignorant, and diseased countries. The U.S. always acted in a disinterested fashion, always from the highest of motives; it gave, never took.”


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