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Syria: Hillary's lever to topple Russia


In <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3301">An Ocean of Misdirection</a>, <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3300">Vote Hillary or we’re all gonna die!</a>, <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3302">The left's answer: blame everything on the Russians</a> and <a href="{app}view_article.php?id=3303">Trigger-happy: Hillary Clinton vs. the World</a>, I tried to organize my thoughts about the upcoming election, with dubious success. In this article, I focus more on the direct danger that a Clinton administration may be for the world, especially with her expressed intent in Syria. <h>Killing to Cure</h> <img attachment="tr160729.gif" align="right" caption="Ted Rall: July 29th, 2016">The article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Diana Johnstone">The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War</a> is a good place to start, with a wealth of background on the war in Syria. <bq>In effect, the U.S. Air Force acted as air cover for the Islamic fanatics [...] This was not only a violation of the cease-fire painstakingly worked out by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. It was an open military aggression by the United States on the territory of a sovereign state. [...]</bq> The article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Dennis Kucinich">War or Peace?</a> concurs: <bq>A US attempt to impose a no-fly zone in Syria would, as Secretary Clinton once cautioned a Goldman Sachs audience, “kill a lot of Syrians,” and, according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dunford, lead to a war with Russia. If the US has not been invited into a country to establish a “no-fly zone” such an action is, in fact, an invasion, an act of war.</bq> Reassuringly, the article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Patrick Cockburn">Why a No-Fly Zone Will Not Solve the Crisis in Aleppo</a> doesn't think that even Hillary is reckless enough to try a no-fly zone, despite her oft-repeated support of the plan. <bq>The proposal put forward to shoot down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Eastern Aleppo in a bid to end the bombardment of this part of the city is wholly unrealistic. The West is not going to risk a war against a nuclear power and its Syrian ally in order to help the 250,000 to 275,000 civilians trapped there. <b>To pretend anything else is empty bombast detached from the realities on the ground.</b> The danger of such wild schemes is that they divert attention from more realistic plans to save the besieged from further suffering and death. (Emphasis added.)</bq> Unfortunately, the emphasized phrase---<iq>empty bombast detached from the realities on the ground</iq>---sounds just like standard U.S. foreign policy. <h>Massaging the Message</h> A follow-up article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Diana Johnstone">Destroying Syria: a Joint Criminal Enterprise</a> discusses how the U.S. is bending the story in Syria to suit its purposes. <bq>In this view, the rebels disappear. So do all their foreign backers, the Saudi money, the Wahhabi fanatics, the ISIS recruits from all over the world, the U.S. arms and French support. The war is only about the strange whim of a “dictator”, who amuses himself by bombing helpless children and blocking humanitarian aid. This view reduces the five-year war in Syria to the situation as it was portrayed in Libya, to justify the no-fly zone: nothing but a wicked dictator bombing his own people. For the public that likes to consume world events in fairy tale form, this all fits together. Sign a petition on your computer and save the children.</bq> <img attachment="tr161024.gif" align="left" caption="Ted Rall: October 24th, 2016">This is just how the future Clinton administration wants it. It's just how Libya was "handled". It's just how Iraq and Afghanistan were "handled". Simplify the story to one of pure evil to drum up support at home, then throw the U.S. military at it and sit back and profit. The war will eventually blow up in everyone's faces, but only after enormous benefits in personal power and wealth have been reaped. And the plan follows along on the path plowed by George W. Bush and Barack Obama in those other countries, to radicalize the Middle East in order to soften it up for takeover. <bq>The plain truth is that Syria is the victim of a long-planned Joint Criminal Enterprise to destroy the last independent secular Arab nationalist state in the Middle East, following the destruction of Iraq in 2003. While attributed to government repression of “peaceful protests” in 2011, the armed uprising had been planned for years and was supported by outside powers: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States and France, among others. The French motives remain mysterious, unless linked to those of Israel, which sees the destruction of Syria as a means to weaken its archrival in the region, Iran.</bq> As ever in the Middle East, U.S. interests are strongly tied to those of Israel---no matter how fanatical or self-destructive they might be for both countries. The obsession with Iran and Iraq and now Syria has more than a little to do with the increasingly militant Israel which, under Netanyahu, is more belligerent and confident in its power than ever. Once again, we have a black/white narrative with no room for the grays of reality (as described in <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3301">An Ocean of Misdirection</a>). Just like U.S. citizens were easily led to believe that Iraq was behind 9/11 and could attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons in 40 minutes---remember Condaleeza's mushroom cloud?---now we're riding to the rescue of Syrian innocents, fighting the dastardly evil of Assad and his puppet-master Putin. An op-ed <a href="" source="New York Review of Books" author="George Soros">On the Bombing of Aleppo</a> inadvertently lays bare the machinery of propaganda. <bq>Other articles in The New York Times and elsewhere have vividly depicted the suffering of the people of Aleppo and the heroic efforts of the doctors and civilians like White Helmets who are risking their lives to help them. <b>When the facts are fully established, Putin’s bombing of Aleppo will be viewed as among the modern world’s most egregious war crimes.</b> (Emphasis added.)</bq> <iq>When the facts are fully established.</iq> That is almost exactly right. Once the <i>right</i> facts have been distilled to form the <i>accepted</i> history, the American people will once again be primed to ride out to war. At least he's honest, even though he's probably unaware of it. Yes, by the time the NYT has fulfilled its propaganda mission, its reader will <i>view</i> Putin as Hitler. Setting it up for Hillary to tee it off. Why are these people so gung-ho for another World War? Or are they truly deluded that they can push Russia over so easily? Back to Johnstone: <bq>This works because most Americans just can’t believe that their government would do such things. Because normal ordinary people have good intentions and hate to see children killed, they imagine that their government must be the same. It is hard to overcome this comforting faith. It is more natural to believe that the criminals are wicked people in a country about which they really understand nothing.</bq> <h>The Real Target: Russia</h> <img attachment="tr160929.gif" align="right" caption="Ted Rall: September 30th, 2016"><a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Diana Johnstone">On Assad and Syria: a Reply to a Reader</a> continues by pointing out the utter cynicism at all levels in the media's focus on the children of Syria while at the same time ignoring the U.S. role in the area. Namely, that the U.S. is kinda sorta supporting both sides, being against ISIS because of <i>course</i> you have to be against ISIS but kinda for ISIS because the Russians and Assad are also fighting ISIS and we can't let the Russians win. (See <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3302">The left's answer: blame everything on the Russians</a> for a rundown of how bad the Russians are.) <bq>The root of the problem, as I say in my article, is a longstanding ambition by the United States and its allies to replace the Syrian Arab nationalist state with an obedient pro-Western clique, friendly to Israel. Since that seems out of reach at the present, the strategy is simply to keep the war going as long as possible, deepening the chaos, until nobody much is left except the exiles in London being groomed by Western powers to win rigged elections.</bq> <bq>By dragging out the war, more and more children will die, as well as adults, whose lives are also worth something. But it is interesting that humanitarian propaganda focuses only on children, as if realizing that most Westerners are totally indifferent to the massive deaths.</bq> The Obama administration's handling of Syria has led to a morass that is killing thousands and leaving millions more without homes. If the U.S. would just team up with Russia to kill off ISIS---stabilizing Assad in the process---it would be a sub-optimal achievement, but still better than what's happening now. It could possibly staunch the bleeding, though there are no guarantees. Instead, they dither. But there's a method to the seeming incompetence. Johnstone is a longtime chronicler of Clinton, with her recent book <i>Queen of Chaos</i> and continues to comment in the article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Diane Johnstone">Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell</a>. She makes a credible case there that <iq>[Hillary] wants to achieve regime change in Russia.</iq> Furthermore, <bq>She enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon, and Congress is ready to go.</bq> The modern-day Curtis Le Mays will happily ignore the reality of war to get them some Rooskies. The American people are only too happy to ignore their economic misery at home to focus their blame on Russia, a comforting and familiar enemy. Citing Hillary Clinton herself from her Goldman speeches, the article <a href="" source="" author="Eric Schuler">Hillary Clinton and Syria: Stupidity or Something Worse?</a> reveals that Hillary is well-aware of the implications of her war-hawkishness. She knows what it means to try to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria. America has the power to do it and it furthers her personal agenda of what's best for America. Civilians will die in droves. She just doesn't care. Hell, she has Madeleine Albright as a role model, who also though that half a million Iraqi kids were a small price to pay for keeping Saddam Hussein cornered in Iraq. Here's Hillary herself, assuring her 1% sponsors that she's got it all under control. <bq>So we’re not as good as we used to be, but we still – we can still deliver, and we should have in my view been trying to do that so we would have better insight. [...] To have a no fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk – <b>you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.</b> So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians. (Emphasis added.)</bq> Clinton's proven that she will continue to be dangerous. She herself said that she would be. She's a war hawk. Hillary knows what will happen. But the tasty target of regime change in Russia---toppling terrible Putin and getting a pliant Yeltsin-like puppet back in there---is worth any price. <h>The Myth of the No-Fly Zone</h> A question that may bubble up in the mind of an America-firster is "could it work?" That is, if Hillary is elected and Hillary is so gung-ho to go at Russia to topple its regime, could that happen? Would Russia (with Putin at the helm, not Yeltsin) just tuck its tail between its legs and go home? Would Russia just accept America's fake apologies for downed planes and avoid further conflict? That doesn't sound too likely. I'm not willing to bet on it, even if Hillary and her merry band of interventionist/warriors is. Do you know what a no-fly zone over Syria means, exactly? It doesn't mean no planes can fly. It means that Syria itself is not allowed to fly planes. Nor can its allies. Only NATO is allowed to fly planes. For everyone's own good, of course, Syria has no air force of its own, to speak of. Their ally Russia does, though. Syria invited Russia to help them prosecute the war against the rebels, to help the legitimate, elected government end a civil war. I am for now ignoring what Assad has done to his own citizens because international law largely ignores it. Sovereign nation means that each nation decides what happens within its own borders. The UN security council decides which interventions are legitimate. The NATO intervention in Syria has only been approved by NATO. By what authority does NATO impose this sanction? None but the authority of violence. It's illegal. Even if the UN rubber-stamps it, it's illegal. Syria is embroiled in a very violent civil war. What right do we have to pick sides? And what if Russia doesn't back down? Are we really willing to risk WWIII to save face? Such an outcome is looking far more likely with Hillary at the helm than Trump. Trump's a terrible, terrible person, but Hillary's playing on a whole other level. She's a fanatic, imbued with a religious conviction that conceding any perceived ground against any perceived enemy or settling for less than the entirety of any possible hare-brained idea that enters Washington's head is insupportable. Once something's been proposed as an American goal, she will defend it to everyone's death. The article <a href="" source="CounterPunch" author="Pepe Escobar">Hillary Clinton’s Axis of Evil</a> discusses what might happen if Hillary and her crew provoke the hornet's nest further. <bq>The only serious question then is whether an out of control Pentagon will force the Russian Air Force – false flag and otherwise — to knock out US Air Force fighter jets [...] the question is whether the Pentagon will risk launching WWIII because “Aleppo is falling”. [...] <b>The US government is holding open a first-strike nuclear capacity against Russia. Hillary firmly supports it, as Trump made clear he “would not do first-strike”.</b></bq> Whereas everyone---even the supposedly most-loose cannon of all loose cannons Trump---has taken nukes off the table, official U.S. policy is that they are <i>always</i> on the table. Hillary certainly wouldn't take them off and neither would NSC chief Susan Rice and neither would U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power---none of whom has ever seen a target they couldn't deem ready for reaping/"saving" with their asinine <i>Responsibility to Protect</i><fn>. And then, maybe, BOOM goes the <del>dynamite</del>nuclear warhead. <h>PSA against Lesser-evil Voting</h> Forget hold-your-nose-and-vote. Forget lesser-evil-voting. Forget Chomsky's advice, which is always the same.<fn> It's not working anymore. Lesser-evil voting has gotten us to the bottom of the barrel, to these two candidates. A vote for Hillary is a vote to continue these crimes. Could Jill Stein stop them? Probably not. Would she try? Maybe. Maybe she would. She might at least say something negative about it, rather than trying to spin it positively, as a measure promoting our safety. Maybe that's the best we can hope for: get someone in office who lies to us <i>less</i>. <h>Turning the Tables</h> What if Russia decided---without stretching the comparison too far---that America is waging a war against blacks, using its own police army to murder them in large numbers? Can Russia invade America, to protect it from itself? For humanitarian reasons? It sounds ludicrous, right? But that's the right the U.S. and NATO claim in Syria...and Iraq...and the former Yugoslavia. We bomb everyone to save them from themselves. Hillary was right there for all of it. If NATO sets up a no-fly zone, then NATO planes (read: U.S planes.) will shoot down any Russian planes that dare to fly over Syria. That is the sum total of what Hillary means when she says no-fly zone. Either that or Russia will take its toys and go home with its tail between its legs, afraid to help its ally Syria try to save itself. That's what Hillary thinks. And she's supposed to be the foreign-policy genius. Apparently Putin is simultaneously an existential threat to America and also a whipped puppy who'll just fade into the background as soon as Hillary waves her strong pimp hand around. Laughable, but there you have it. This is what people believe when they back Hillary. They may not be aware of it, but that's the policy she's espoused. And Trump supposedly stands alone as a foreign-policy naif who will lead us into inadvertent war with his big mouth. Apparently we have plenty of people like that in the U.S. government already. It seems that he would fit right in. <h>Happy Israel == Happy Hillary</h> Israel's pretty happy with this situation, not coincidentally. High-level Israeli officials have expressed approval of how shitty things are going in Syria. The last remaining secular Arab nation has fallen apart completely and they don't get any refugees. Perfect. Iran is unhappy. Even better. Israel's happy, so Hillary gets money and support. Hillary hates Iran. She didn't come up with a treaty when she was Secretary of State. She's hinted that she'll work to dismantle what she considers to be a bullshit treaty full of concessions that Kerry agreed to. <h>Round and Round We Go</h> As I wrote in <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3301">An Ocean of Misdirection</a>, <iq>Reality, in its prosaic, tepid grays, has no place in this world of light and shadow.</iq> If one is almost ludicrously terrible (Trump), then the other (Clinton) must be saintly good. But that's not the case at all. Hillary is lying as well. About a lot of things. Just like her predecessors. They all lie to get into office. Think of all of Obama's biggest promises. Most politicians even admit it: they claim that they have to lie in order to get elected, but that then they'll show their true colors and then, my friend, we'll all roll up our sleeves and really fix this country. Sound familiar? And then they don't. And then all the usual suspects profit even more and all the usual worthless people suffer and die and 11/2 years from now the next presidential campaign starts. And we get to hear how Hillary dare not make too many waves---you see, that's the reason she hasn't even <i>looked</i> at a single progressive plank in her platform---else she'll spoil her chances for that all-important <i>second term</i>. If you could just have a little patience and see your way to voting for her <i>again</i>, well, my friend, that's when the sparks will really fly! That's when she'll spread her progressive wings and let loose with all sorts of policies that will cement her legacy as the most important person to stride the Earth since Mohammed himself. Of course, she'll unfortunately have to wait until the last six months of her second term to do it---like poor Obama, who's just so hamstrung by the process that he can't be as progressive as he told us all---so many times---that he is. It brings tears to my eyes just to imagine how beautiful it will all be, for everyone---the poor, the tired, those huddled masses, that wretched refuse. All of 'em comin' out on top! Only 71/2 more years, people, hang on just 71/2 more years. <hr> <ft>I refuse to use the equally asinine acronym they so adore.</ft> <ft>I love the guy to death, but his recommendation to vote for Hillary because Trump is "too dangerous" seems even more out of place this year than others.</ft> <ft>See <a href="" source="The Dilbert Blog" author="Scott Adams">Lie Detection and Scandals</a> for more fun analysis.</ft>