Friday, September 16, 2016

Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria – POLITICO



Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria – POLITICO

In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the Islamic world against our country. As we focus on the rise of the Islamic State and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology. Instead we should examine the more complex rationales of history and oil — and how they often point the finger of blame back at our own shores.
America’s unsavory record of violent interventions in Syria — little-known to the American people yet well-known to Syrians — sowed fertile ground for the violent Islamic jihadism that now complicates any effective response by our government to address the challenge of ISIL. So long as the American public and policymakers are unaware of this past, further interventions are likely only to compound the crisis. Secretary of State John Kerry this week announced a “provisional” ceasefire in Syria. But since U.S. leverage and prestige within Syria is minimal — and the ceasefire doesn’t include key combatants such as Islamic State and al Nusra — it’s bound to be a shaky truce at best. Similarly President Obama’s stepped-up military intervention in Libya — U.S. airstrikes targeted an Islamic State training camp last week — is likely to strengthen rather than weaken the radicals. As the New York Times reported in a December 8, 2015, front-page story, Islamic State political leaders and strategic planners are working to provoke an American military intervention. They know from experience this will flood their ranks with volunteer fighters, drown the voices of moderation and unify the Islamic world against America.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Truth and Duterte in media crosshairs – Asia Times

Truth and Duterte in media crosshairs – Asia Times

Judging by the spate of attacks on Duterte in the Western press and veiled criticism from some of the Manila papers, it looks like Duterte’s insufficient loyalty to the pivot vision may result in his downfall.  Indeed, with the Duterte-US split deepening, his removal may become a strategic imperative for America.
Serial misreporting on Asian affairs is the price the media pays for loyally supporting the US pivot to Asia.  It’s also a sign that, after a brief US government dalliance with feisty Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, the skids are probably getting greased for his removal.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte attends the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
As an appetizer, consider “Stairgate” i.e. the kerfuffle over the non-appearance of the fancy stairs that would have allowed President Obama to deplane in suitable imperial fashion from the front of Air Force One in Hangzhou for the G20 meeting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Article: The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing | OpEdNews

Article: The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing | OpEdNews



Arguably, the nuttiest neoconservative idea -- among a long list of nutty ideas -- has been to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia by weakening its economy, isolating it from Europe, pushing NATO up to its borders, demonizing its leadership, and sponsoring anti-government political activists inside Russia to promote "regime change."
This breathtakingly dangerous strategy has been formulated and implemented with little serious debate inside the United States as the major mainstream news media and the neocons' liberal-interventionist sidekicks have fallen in line much as they did during the run-up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Except with Russia, the risks are even greater -- conceivably, a nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet. Yet, despite those stakes, there has been a cavalier -- even goofy -- attitude in the U.S. political/media mainstream about undertaking this new "regime change" project aimed at Moscow.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Article: Fooled Again | OpEdNews

Article: Fooled Again | OpEdNews

The naive hopes of Bernie Sanders' supporters -- to build a grass-roots political movement, change the Democratic Party from within and push Hillary Clinton to the left -- have failed. Clinton, aware that the liberal class and the left are not going to mount genuine resistance, is running as Mitt Romney in drag. The corporate elites across the political spectrum, Republican and Democrat, have gleefully united to anoint her president. All that remains of Sanders' "revolution" is a 501(c)(4) designed to raise money, including from wealthy, anonymous donors, to ensure that he will be a senator for life. Great historical events happen twice, as Karl Marx quipped, first as tragedy and then as farce.