112 thoughts on “The UK, USA and Middle East Conflict

  • mauisurfer

    trying to watch this, very difficult, the sound stumbles, mutters, then bombs away deafening
    hopefully someone will transcribe this, so that it can be read in a thoughtful painless manner

  • giyane

    Dear Craig

    Thank you for mentioning the “nutters” from among USUKIS jihadist pawns and for informing us that they have been around in a mercenary capacity for centuries. Thanks also for clarifying the revolving door between New Labour and privatised “aid”. Yugh!

    You give a good testimonial to UK parliamentarians and civil servants who operate inside the expediences of crazy imperialism. You have done the same for their equivalents in the US in the past. I’m sure a US psychologist could assist in calibrating the relative foamingness of Blair and Cameron to Obama and John McCain.

    Thanks for giving us a laugh at all their expenses, after being barbecued by their Imperial High-on-crack-cocaine-nesses. It made me feel a little better about the bonkers world we live in.

  • rodmundo

    It appears Seymour Hersh is alive and well, Craig. He was interviewed 2 days ago on the Intercept.

  • Dave

    Brexit has been portrayed as “racist” with Leave voters wanting to turn the clock back to a white Britain. I think its “anti-racist” rather than “racist” to oppose immigration, but wanting to turn the clock back isn’t untrue and how far probably depends on the age of the voter. But in reality I’m sure most Leave voters just want their country and accept it as it is and just don’t want things to get worse and of course many immigrants share that opinion.

    Put another way those who want UK independence are loyal to an institution called Britain and accept all the different parts and peoples of UK are part of that (outside EU) and the figures show most immigrants want to be loyal to UK as their new home, despite the divisive politically correct propaganda of NWO.

    This matters because it paves the way for a one state solution and peace in Palestine/Israel. That is Trump identified/managed a divide within the Elders between globalists and nationalists that helped him win. Trump’s call for the capital of Israel to move to Jerusalem makes sense in a one state solution, because its also the capital of Palestine. If Israel covers the entire area of the Holy Land then that’s a victory for the nationalists, but if everyone then becomes a citizen of the one state that becomes a victory for Palestine.

    And on the basis that many “Israel” voters are just like “British” voters, not religious but just instinctively patriotic to their country, then many will settle for their country being independent as it is. This will alarm those who want an exclusive state, but they betrayed themselves over that by failing to make peace when a two state solution was possible. And I think the Palestinians who resisted a one state solution for so long will settle for a multi-state as a fait accompli as we do in UK and everywhere.

  • Palestinian Sympathizer

    Arguably the mother of all fake news thats conned us over the last 50 years is “israel wants peace” – a cursory glance at the shrinkage of Gaza and the WB since 1948 would shatter that fake khazi narrative in anyone with an 80+IQ.

    • Dave

      Don’t disagree but the old guard are dying off and suddenly an opportunity arrives for a settlement and things are resolved when priorities change due to a change of leadership.

    • Habbabkuk

      It seems that the West Bank could have become a Palestinian state had the Kingdom of Jordan not assumed jurisdiction over it between 1948/9 and 1967.

      • Palestinian Sympathizer

        They should give you a medal for being a deflecting purveyor of alternative fact. Remember Sharons 8 years of pre-punishment before being sent to Hell !

        • Habbabkuk

          Fact – but not alternative.

          I suppose you will agree that there was no Palestinian State in the West Bank before 1967? If so, was was the status of the West Bank between 1948/9 and 1967? Who was in charge?

    • Jeremy Poynton

      or indeed that Hamas wants peace. If there were peace, they would have no power, would they?

    • craig Post author

      Vanessa yes of course I am aware of your great work. What I meant to convey (and I haven’t looked back at what I actually said) was that the mainstream media journos writing about rebel held Aleppo had not been there and indeed could not go there as the rebels they were supporting would kill them.

      • Vanessa Beeley

        Thank you Craig. In response to the claims I am not independent because I “appear” on RT and Press TV, I challenge the BBC or Channel 4 on many occasions to actually give a platform to voices other than those affiliated with Nusra Front terrorists or their extremist faction allies. I make no apology for using those terms, perhaps I can reduce to extremist “moderates” for those of a delicate disposition who cannot stomach the mythical “revolution” comprising criminal and extremist entities paid an awful lot of money by the Sauds and co, and armed by the US Coalition, to foment sectarian violence inside Syria. I also make no apology for meeting with President Assad with the US Peace Council for two hours and for reporting my findings. I am entitled to an opinion but eventually my opinion is of no importance as the main premise for protesting intervention in Syria, is its violation of International Law that defends, as sacrasanct, the sovereignty of any nation and the right of its people, to self determination. The “Assad is a brutal dictator” line is a tired one and despised by the majority of the Syrian people, even unarmed opposition who never wanted to kill their country to achieve reform…do a Google search prior to 2009 or read David Lesch’s The New Lion of Damascus..to know exactly how President Assad was viewed before he refused to toe the NATO state line. I spent 3 months last year in Syria, including much of that time in Aleppo. Craig is right, where were the BBC and Channel 4 during the liberation..nowhere to be seen because the testimony of the civilians released from Nusra Front dominated occupation, was destined to demolish their firewall of lies that had in reality ensured the continued incarceration and abject suffering of those civilians for almost five years. I can testify to the huge efforts made by the Syrian state to secure supply of food, water, electricity, fuel to all citizens even in the terrorist held areas and despite the fact that under US supervision, ISIS and other extremist factions had deliberately taken control of all main infrastructure early on in the conflict. This ensured that the Syrian government is forced to negotiate with and effectively finance the terrorist factions in order to provide for their people, already crippled by the US EU economic sanctions that only affect government held areas that house around 80-90% of the Syrian population, including the internally displaced ( 6.3 million). I would also point out that were any of these extremist factions to conduct attacks in Europe, they would be called, quite rightly, “terrorists”..somehow when Ahrar al Sham or Nour Al Din Zinki behead, massacre, kidnap, abuse, torture, ethnically cleanse Syrians, there is a hesitation to call them “terrorists”..instead we are told they must be called “rebels” or “freedom fighters”. I uphold the majority of the Syrian people’s right to determine them “terrorists”, they are living through this hell and they do not differentiate between the non existing “moderates” and the majority “terrorists.” I have the testimony of a 13 year old boy in Hanano, East Aleppo who told us in 2012 the so called “moderate” Free Syrian Army executed his two baby brothers, aged 7 and 8 because their father was in the SAA. This is not an isolated narrative. May I suggest anyone who is maintaining that there are any moderates left, goes to Syria and tries to find them..I am sure Idlib would welcome them with open arms (literally) Good luck with your search. Stephen Gowans dismantles the Assad myths in his excellent article: https://thewallwillfall.org/2017/01/06/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt-stephen-gowans/

      • Jeremy Poynton

        I listened to Lyse Doucet covering the retaking of East Aleppo. From Beirut. She said she got her reports from “activists” (a saintly breed, according to the BBC) but at no point did she note that she could not confirm or deny anything she said. Without Ms. Beeley and Ms. Bartlett, and Syrian commentators on Twitter, one would have no idea what was happening in Syria. For example, when did the BBC report that the only Chlorine factory in Syria had been in the hands of extremists for a long time; no, the meme that Assad – hugely popular in Syria then and now – was launching chemical attacks on his own supporters was propagated far and wide.

        If you want a target, go for our governments, and for the BBC and their likes.

      • Lamia

        Being honest and having morals has nothing to do with independence, each and every journalist who was part of the lies about Syria has our blood on his hands. At least she reported from Syria, other MSM took their news from AlQaeda.

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Independent? What does that even mean. Beeley is often on MSM channel RT. And Press TV. Even Paul Rand’s channel. Beeley is associate editor of 21st Century Wire which has been opaque about it’s funding since it was set up to deny climate change (source).

      In the video she links to, Beeley says the “genetically modified terrorists” are all mass murderers, all torturers, all rapists and all abusers of their own children. Now I hate religous facism as much as the next person but this language, such hyperbole, such flattening of nuance, has long descended into stupidity and propaganda. Moments before, without irony, Beeley had railed against the MSM for “dehumanising” Syrians.

      Beeley went as a guest of the regime and wrote this fawning drivel about the murdering dynastic dictator (source):

      Meeting President Bashar Al Assad and listening to his wise and pertinent analysis of events in Syria and globally were a wake up call for us.

      Yuk.

      Well done for exposing the machinations of NATO imperialism. Shame to be an apologist for brutal dictatorship at the same time.

        • craig Post author

          Phil and Habbakuk, as usual you comment without bothering to read or watch all of what you are commenting on. You would otherwise have seen that I condemn the Assad regime quite roundly, and have to defend tis attitude in the subsequent q and a. But don’t let that stand in the way of your prejudice.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Craig

            Sorry to contradict your ego but I replied to Beeley and only discussed Beeley. My comment doesn’t mention you or reference you. You have misread.

            You are correct I haven’t watched your talk but to be honest I would have assumed you condemn Assad’s regime.

          • Brian

            The ‘Assad regime ‘ is really the Syrian government which is supported by most Syrians . Most Syrians live in Syria unlike foreigner who’s knowledge of Syria is derived from msm

        • Habbabkuk

          Craig

          And as usual, you’re not reading carefully. I agreed with Phil’s comment, which recounted a numbers of facts – facts – about Mz Beeley. I wasn’t commenting on your talk.

      • Louis Shawcross

        Syria is being invaded. What would any country do in this situation? Any country would defend itself. This is what Assad is doing and has been doing. Was the UK a brutal dictatorship when the RUC had the “shoot-to-kill” policy in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s? They have had elections in Syria and Assad won. Does that mean that Cameron was a dictator and Teresa May is a dictator now? I wonder, Phil?, who you are working for? Do you work for the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), for example?

    • RobG

      Vanessa, I don’t want to be part of various arguements here.

      I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you for what you do.

  • Chris Rogers

    Managed to watch, listen and catch the questions. Was impressed with the original enquiry that CM keeps referring to Assad legitimate government as a ‘regime’, this despite his Pro Indy chat clearly stating that if the UN and Int. Community accept a nations independence, and hence its government, then said government is legitimate – if another ‘free & fair’ election were to be help in Syria tomorrow Assad would win, if only out of fear by the electorate to keep the hand choppers out (See Egypt as classic example). Apart from that gripe glad to see CM making much of Seymour Hersh’s work, which whilst studying Kissinger’s US foreign policy at Uni was considered ‘must read’, and this was in the mid-90s. Sad that the US and its hanger-ons in Europe are doing the House of Saud’s bidding – wonder what the Kippers make of all this?

    • michael norton

      Much of the trouble in Syria can be put at the door of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the Sultan of Turkey.
      Saint Theresa is visiting this horrible person, today.

      • michael norton

        Hatay Province was given by the French to Turkey, yet, traditionally in was part of Syria.
        Hatay Province is where Turkey started The Free Syria Army.
        It was from Hatay Province that the @[email protected] war in Syria began.
        Turkey is wanting to steal more land from Syria.
        As Craig says, Turkish armed forces are in northern Syria carrying out aggressive actions.

        Hatay Province, is from where the Turkish jet brought down the Russian jet.
        Turkomen / Turkish fighters then killed some of the crew and rescue party, in Syria.

        • michael norton

          Also the only “part” of Turkey, which is touched by the Golden Triangle of Hydrocarbons, in the Eastern Mediterranean,
          is Hatay Province.

      • giyane

        Erdogan is not the sultan of Turkey. He acts sometimes like he would like to be one of the great psychopathic sultans of the Ottoman Empire, but happily that era is over and the megalomania, harems and torture cells of its sultans is finished.

  • Brianfujisan

    Another Great Talk, couple of hiccups with sound,and the feed stopping, well done.

    Vanessa Mentioned that Some Very brave Journalists were in Aleppo, Including Herself, and Eva Bartlett..

    Eva will be Live later today..Should be interesting –

    What really happened in Aleppo in Syria at the end of 2016?

    Eva Bartlett will be speaking in Montreal,

    Saturday January 28, 4 PM – 7 PM

    Delta Hotels by Marriott Montreal

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-truth-on-syria-canadian-journalist-eva-bartlett-in-montreal/5570651

  • Anne Brown

    That was a fascinating and illuminating talk Craig .I too(Aubreys comment) would love a transcript.Would that be a possiblity?

  • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

    Nice to see more of the realities of what the war against Syria entailed, even if, par for the course, is always a little late. However, I would also like to add a very good resource for people wanting to discover more about the Syrian question.

    The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t
    By Stephen Gowans

    A review of press reports in the weeks immediately preceding and following the mid-March 2011 outbreak of riots in Daraa—usually recognised as the beginning of the uprising—offers no indication that Syria was in the grips of a revolutionary distemper, whether anti-neo-liberal or otherwise. On the contrary, reporters representing Time magazine and the New York Times referred to the government as having broad support, of critics conceding that Assad was popular, and of Syrians exhibiting little interest in protest. At the same time, they described the unrest as a series of riots involving hundreds, and not thousands or tens of thousands of people, guided by a largely Islamist agenda and exhibiting a violent character.

    https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Ah, I see. It wasn’t fully reported in two US newspapers* and doesn’t confirm your worldview. Therefore it cannot be true.

      *Of course the rest of the time those US newspapers are the bastard lying mouth pieces of imperialism. But not in this respect.

      • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

        Fathoming your point in context is hard. However, I will have a stab at deciphering it. I read the short blurb and went no further. Spending half an hour reading is far too much of an effort, so I will soundbite back a retort in place of actual debate of presented analysis of the conflict. I will also not take into consideration any of the other information available, such as the analysis by Seymour Hersh, Robert F Kennedy JR, Robert Parry, Eva Bartlett, Gary Brecher, John Pilger or even Craig Murray. Of course, I could also be mistaken, as it was an unnoted reply, so could even be a separate comment.

        • Phil the ex-frog

          I suspect you understood my point well but chose to ignore it and instead post a boilerplate put down whilst trying to move the goalposts. And that call to authority!

          The story you peddle has Assad as a much loved leader attacked by NATO because he is some sort of threat to global injustice. This is bollocks. He is a dictator of a regime with security forces long practiced in enforcing decades of ’emergency laws’ resulting in imprisonment without trial and torture (source source). Syrian political prisons have long overflowed. Oh, with a slight respite when Bashar’s uncle went in and massacred hundreds in their cells (source).

          https://theintercept.com/2016/10/26/syria-yassin-al-haj-saleh-interview/

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            I see so you peddle the secondary model, dictator, other. The story I peddle is that of an obfuscated conflict of energy assets, geopolitical manoeuvring which includes China’s needs in the Middle East, Russia in protecting warm ports and their knowledge that ISIS is a major problem in our world.

            It is easy for Western Powers to create a picture of an ‘Evil Dictator’ and then pass that context on to Bashar al-Assad. The doctor educated in England and never thought he would be President of Syria. As Western people, the culture and realities of life are so far removed we cannot understand the minds of what America call ‘Dictators.’ If we look at Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya, they are far worse now than they ever were under the rule of the “Dictators, that just “had to go.”

            Syria had thirty years of rule under Hafez al-Assad, despite the fact he did transform the country into a peaceful country, where face-covering veils are banned in Universities, where 97% of the people attended school. Where Western people could go on holiday, without fear of being kidnapped or blown up. Granted he ruled with what some may call a ‘Russian Iron Fist of old.’ Now, with a country power structure used to governing a country a certain way, a reformist Bashar al-Assad cannot perform radical transformations overnight. That it exacerbated when the country has been at war for five years now, and that war was greatly incubated by the USA and without a doubt prolonged by the USA and allies.

            If you think about Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan in today’s context rampant with brutal Wahhabist ideology that is the Syria Hafez al-Assad took control of. He turned Syria into the safest country in the Middle East, where Christians and Muslims lived in peace. Yes, he was brutal at times, and the people of Syria were given no party apart from the Ba’ath Party. However, when you look at Saudi Arabia today still hacking the heads off of women in the town square and exporting Wahhabism throughout the Middle East, maybe Hafez al-Assad was not that bad.

            While I appreciate the skip down memory lane of his (father) it provides a limited context to today’s troubles.

            “- According to the former commander-in-chief of NATO, General Wesley Clark, immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the US government began planning the regime change in seven countries considered by the US as an opponent, including Afghanistan, Iraq , Libya and also Syria. In order to reach this goal, the US has created the basic conditions since 2005. This included not only numerous media propaganda campaigns against the Assad regime, but also the financing and training of an army of jihadists, which the United States, together with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel, operated from. Firmed The far-reaching military forces of this opposition were the Al-Qaeda network and the radical-Islamic al-Nusra Front, which had previously been classified by the US as “terror organisations”. These troops were to be used for the overthrow of the governments in Damascus and Tehran, as the renowned journalist and Pulitzer prize-winner Seymour Hersh already revealed in 2007.” http://www.nachdenkseiten.de/upload/pdf/170126-erklaerung-wiss-Beirat-zu-syrien-3Fassung.pdf

            Unless you have something remotely pertinent to the conflict, anything but trying to use a straw about terrible dictators. Then indeed, you have nothing to the benefit of this discussion.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            How We Were Misled About Syria: Amnesty International

            As a decades-long supporter, I never thought to check the reliability of its reporting. Only on seeing the organisation last year relaying messages from the infamous White Helmets did questions arise for me.[1] Having since discovered a problem about the witness testimonies provided by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), I felt a need to look more closely at Amnesty International’s reporting.[2] Amnesty had been influential in forming public moral judgements about the rights and wrongs of the war in Syria.
            https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/amnesty-internationals-war-crimes-in-syria/

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Oh spare me. What dull predictable lefty waffle. Really. You only thought to recently question Amnesty? Jesus you have a shock if you take a look at HRW. However, you need to learn to assess information. Sure NGOs conspire with the state but that does not mean everything by the NGO is a CIA lie.

            You accuse me of supporting Nato’s military adventures. You are wrong. I fully condemn NATO imperialism. What I ridicule, what disgusts me, is the insistence that anyone who is in confrontation with NATO must be the bee’s knees. In your desperation to throw everything and anything at those who oppress the best you embrace those who oppress elsewhere because you mistake their cause as yours. The Syrians are but fodder in your keyboard battle against NATO imperialism.

            I bet you also like to post links to articles that argue Putin is not an elitist. Go on, sure you do.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            I see, so what you have now resorted to, is playing the man, as the ball has become lost in the field. I am not quite sure what ‘lefty waffle’ is, is that similar to ‘alt-facts’ or any other label those without the means of knowledge peddle as a placeholder for the inability to provide coherent debate? I only mentioned Amnesty as you decided to use it as a source, so bit moot in your point really. Let’s have a look and see if you have scrambled any point together.

            “You accuse me of supporting Nato’s military adventures.”

            (Where did I do that, you openly peddled a house of straw in dictatorship) As though that is some method of discounting the realities of the conflict, which indeed, was an irrelevant emotive fueled, swath of irrelevancy. Despite the fact, there were no accusations of NATO support.

            “You accuse me of supporting Nato’s military adventures. You are wrong. I fully condemn NATO imperialism. What I ridicule, what disgusts me, is the insistence that anyone who is in confrontation with NATO must be the bee’s knees.”

            Again, more accusations, but no factual foundation. I believe I mentioned, cultural disconnect while putting conflict within a context of a far worse situation with ‘dictators that had to go,’ So no, no mention of Assad being the ‘bee’s knees.’

            “I bet you also like to post links to articles that argue Putin is not an elitist. Go on, sure you do.”

            So a final throwaway comment that serves as a pointless accusation, that seems to be your modus operandi.

            So the end result, is not a single point, just a terrible usage of ad hominem fallacy while trying your hand with a little non-sequitur for good measure.

            I will leave you with a few words from the inner US operations bubble.

            US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria

            “Nobody believes in it. You’re like, ‘F*ck this,’” a former Green Beret says of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian militias. “Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis. No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘F*ck it, who cares?”

            https://goo.gl/j6RjaU

            Enjoy the weekend.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            My aching sides. I’ve just ploughed through your comment and this stood out.

            look at Saudi Arabia today still hacking the heads off of women in the town square and exporting Wahhabism throughout the Middle East, maybe Hafez al-Assad was not that bad.

            So, a dynastic dictatorship that imprisons without trial, executes opposition and massacres the imprisoned is OK and deserves your support because it doesn’t behead in public. You really said that. And something about westerners going on holiday without fear. Excuse me while I laugh/vomit.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            Despite you are talking about a former Ruler, as indeed, Bashar closed most of the prisons. You also do not provide any context. While the smallest infringement in today’s Saudi will find the harshest of penalties, in Hafez case it was predominantly fundamental Islamists. (the people Obama et al., has bombed the crap out of) We know the brutalities of the Assad regime. However, using a historical premise as some kind of justification for destroying a country, arming radical fundamentalists, resulting in the killing of thousands of innocent lives, is somehow slightly telling about how you think.

            We know Hafez could be brutal

            Hafez al-Assad was not all peace and love with the help of the USSR he built a formidable army, and he did not tolerate any dissenting opinion in his country. Having an extensive secret police service, he ruled in a Stasi kind of spying context. Political opposition was met with arrest, imprisonment often without trial, torture and executions were not uncommon. In 1982 the “Muslim Brotherhood” staged a rebellion in Hamāh. Assad quashed the uprising with excessive force; some 20,000 people died, and he almost destroyed the city of Hamāh.

            Alas, it is not justification for the war (against) Syria today.

            “Our policy of arming the opposition to Assad was unsuccessful and actually having a negative impact,’ the former JCS adviser said. ‘The Joint Chiefs believed that Assad should not be replaced by fundamentalists. The administration’s policy was contradictory. They wanted Assad to go but the opposition was dominated by extremists. So who was going to replace him? To say Assad’s got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It’s the “anybody else is better” issue that the JCS had with Obama’s policy.’ The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.

            Germany, Israel and Russia were in contact with the Syrian army, and able to exercise some influence over Assad’s decisions – it was through them that US intelligence would be shared. Each had its reasons for co-operating with Assad: Germany feared what might happen among its own population of six million Muslims if Islamic State expanded; Israel was concerned with border security; Russia had an alliance of very long standing with Syria, and was worried by the threat to its only naval base on the Mediterranean, at Tartus. ‘We weren’t intent on deviating from Obama’s stated policies,’ the adviser said. ‘But sharing our assessments via the military-to-military relationships with other countries could prove productive. It was clear that Assad needed better tactical intelligence and operational advice. The JCS concluded that if those needs were met, the overall fight against Islamist terrorism would be enhanced. Obama didn’t know, but Obama doesn’t know what the JCS does in every circumstance and that’s true of all presidents.”

            It is somewhat telling that behind the scenes forces, also see that the mindset like you have, was incredible, wrong.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Blah, blah, blah…

            Alas, it is not justification for the war (against) Syria today.

            I never said it was. I condemn NATO imperialism. I condemn religious fascism. I condemn murderous dictator dynasties.

            It is you contorting to defend murderous dictator dynasties.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            (oops formatting error)

            Blah, blah, blah…

            Alas, it is not justification for the war (against) Syria today.

            I never said it was. I condemn NATO imperialism. I condemn religious fascism. I condemn murderous dictator dynasties.

            It is you contorting to defend murderous dictator dynasties.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            So you just don’t have a point, a position, anything at all really. It sounds like you are just what I term a moral high ground troll. They will attack any position trying to use a morality standing in place of an actual rebuttal. It is not accepted in University as a valid form of debate or thought, and indeed it is not valid here.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Oh dear oh dear. Now you call me a troll with no position. And you whine about me playing the man. Desperate stuff.

            I absolutely have a position which includes opposing oppression as a matter of consistent principle. You on the other hand merely choose a favoured oppressor. Which happens to be someone who cannot threaten you with imprisonment or execution. How convenient.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            You say you do not support despots, a fair statement. However, people went to war against Syria, this is extensively documented. It is also well documented that the US and allies armed, funded, and trained rebel groups, and terrorist groups. One one side you have a hegemonic global power that has waged war throughout the world. On the other, a smaller actor, a country under threat and the reality of fundamentalism taking over. In turn, a problem for all of us. So now you have a quandary do you support the aggressor, the hegemonic tyrant, or the being oppressed, attacked. You say you do not support any. However, the conflict is real, it happened, so being vanilla, is no position.

            Obama’s term dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He attacked the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

            Or as Oliver Stone put it, when talking about his new television series, The Untold History of the United States: “American exceptionalism has to be driven out of our curriculums,” ‘We’re Not Under Threat. We Are the Threat’ “We’ve destabilised the entire region, created chaos. And then we blame ISIS for the chaos we created,” referring to the Islamic State (IS) group that now rules swathes of Iraq and Syria.

            We know pretty much beyond a shadow of a doubt it was the US/Allies that created the Syrian conflict. So you are stuck between an aggressor and a defender.

            That is the reality

          • Brian

            Syrias president Assad is a much loved leader : go to Syria and find out like vanessa Beeley Eva Bartlett tim Anderson Carla Ortiz and others have done rather than pontificate from your bedroom

      • bevin

        ” I fully condemn NATO imperialism. What I ridicule, what disgusts me, is the insistence that anyone who is in confrontation with NATO must be the bee’s knees. In your desperation to throw everything and anything at those who oppress the best you embrace those who oppress elsewhere because you mistake their cause as yours. The Syrians are but fodder in your keyboard battle against NATO imperialism.”

        It seems to me clear that what Padraig is doing is to engage with the pro NATO arguments, item by item. When NATO says “Assad is a brutal dictator, therefore we are justified in hiring wahhabi mercenaries, arming them, providing them with bases in neighbouring ‘allied’ countries and letting the make me merry, in their own weird way (cutting of kids’ heads, selling women into slavery, massacring villages at a time)…”

        You say “Of course you are right: Assad is a merciless dictator heading a corrupt neo-liberal kleptocracy, so I condemn both him and NATO.”
        It is the old “neither Riyadh nor Damascus ” line. And it is getting very mouldy.

        The fact is simply this: NATO governments have no business impinging on the sovereignty of any countries, least of all their former colonial possessions. It matters not at all whether Assad is a ‘brutal dictator’ , an ‘enlightened democrat’ or a man whose political balancing act includes making efforts to keep the major interests and sects content that he could be a lot worse, like most of the neighbours.
        What matters is that Syrians should be left to determine their own destiny and that we should do all we can to put an end to ouyr governments’ neo-colonial habit of trying to establish puppet regimes and using the Syrian people as fodder for, in the final analysis Phil the Ex Frog’s keyboard campaigns.

        When Imperialism is on the rampage, as it has been in Syria these past five years, you are either with it, which is to say with your own government, or on the side of its victims. As to whether the Syrian people want Assad, I suspect that they want him much more now than they ever have done in the past. And if they want to get rid of him my guess is that their first move won’t be to invite Al Qaeda to do it for them, if only because to hire Al Qaeda one has to talk to the US government. And they, invariably, insist on conditions which preclude popular choice of a replacement government.

        In fact what you are doing is recycling irrelevant gossip, regarding Assad and the baathists, in order to assure the imperialists that, while you disapprove of them, you are not siding with their victim.
        You go further though: you never argue against the imperialist position, you may not like it but your only interest is to correct those who oppose it from the wrong tactical perspective.
        In other words you are a (Schactmanite?) sectarian pretending to be a revolutionary. You are much in the same position as Dr Livingstone, justifying the invasion of Africa on the grounds that slavery must be stamped out, or the Raj on the grounds that it put an to satee, or invading Afghanistan in order to help girls get an education.
        Well, a plague on your house. And NATO’s too.

        • Phil the ex-frog

          Bevin

          Perhaps you missed it when I clearly said I objected to US imperialism or perhaps I was a little too succinct for a man of your preferred word count. Whichever, please stop demanding I join your endless chorus of repeating the bleeding obvious.

          And of course, the Syrian people would turn to Assad when faced with religious fascists backed by foreign governments. Again, you state the fucking obvious. I never said any different.

          In your devout lefty rant you seem to have lost sight, if you ever had it, of what I objected to: which was the suggestion that the Syrian people were perfectly content with murderous dictatorship before all this war kicked off. Jeez it even got to the suggestion that at least the Assad dictatorship doesn’t behead publicly like the Saudis. Such orientalism. Do I take from your not repeatedly objecting that you agree with this? Of course not.

          You choose to cheer the least successful oppressor if you like. You choose to cheer the fire from the frying pan. I dream of something better than the real politik trap set by those who would subjugate us.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            I should know better than to keep banging my head against a striking wall of belief over fact; however, I am somewhat tenacious. When we are trying to decipher history, we look at a wide variety of informational points to draw a map of understanding. That tends to be why historians are somewhat sticklers for small details. Some people use sociocultural understanding to help build that map. For example, protest groups rarely begin as an organic movement, they in almost all cases have a controlling mechanism. It does not matter if we look at the French Revolution, the Peasants Revolt, et cetera. You will of course, always find disgruntled people in a population, in all and modern democracies from Australia to the UK. You cannot make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. What do we know about Syria, well, quite a bit actually. We know in comparison to other States it was the safest region for Western travel. We know it had one of the highest participation rates in education, for men and women, It was also one of the few States where Christianity lived with Islam.

            We look at what external actors have been up to in a historical frame. What do we find, well, we find years of attempts to overthrow actors not willing to work to the wants of Western actors? Since the end of WWII, we find the CIA/MI6 hard at work in the Middle East. (It is why Whabbism became an issue.) 1947, 1948, 1949, 1957, are all core dates of CIA/MI6 tried to instigate coup’s, back rebel groups, infiltrate electoral processes. We find between 2006-2011 the US State Department had once again been financing rebel opposition groups.

            When we fast forward to the multiple sources insinuating that the uprising was more of a financed rebel group than an organic led want of change, it is far more plausible for that to be correct. Especially when we look at the mood in the country for the coming of power of Bashar.

            Syria’s youth look to Bashar
            “We feel more in contact with him,” says Omar.
            Unemployment stands at 20%`
            “He has a Western education, he’s intervened a lot with the people – we have high hopes.

            Bashar al-Assad: The Shy Young Doctor at Syria’s Helm
            Bashar al-Assad, the soft-spoken younger brother, an ophthalmologist by training, kept out of the limelight. He was a gangly bachelor and computer buff whose personal blueprint for life appeared to include nothing more public than running a quiet medical practice.

            I can keep going all day, and it takes me mere minutes to write these entries. As with all due respect, sociocultural/history/geopolitics is kind of my main area of academic interest. So in short, you can have your ‘beliefs’ but at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just not their own facts.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Pádraig

            Again, a call to authority! This time your academic authority! How funny. An academic historian lecturing about his certainty of his facts over a recent quagmire. How doubly funny. One funny for each of the two US newspapers you presented as proof of your facts.

            Unfortunately I cannot respond again today. You take this as a sure sign of the brilliance of your argument obviously proven by the lack of report in Time magazine.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            You do not dispel any presented commentary, all you do is complain about a couple of newspaper sources, which are simply to highlight some of the sentiments that were in the country. I have looked over a couple of threads and can see this is a common approach to your interaction here. You don’t actually offer rebuttal only scorn at other posters, so what is your interest in commenting? I do wonder if I was correct in my first guess of the type of socialised fishbowl commentator that you are.

            Enjoy your Sunday.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Pádraig

            You mistake verbosity for argument, presuming no one has the time to go through your long posts to notice you haven’t presented the case you claim. You have the fever, “I can keep going all day”. I wonder if you know that you argue the same line as members of well known Trotkyist groups are told.

            You claim to be an academic historian who has the certain facts about an ongoing complex war. Hilarious. Credible reports of political oppression, secret police and prison massacres are to you “irrelevant gossip”.

            You are a disgusting apologists for murderous dictatorship. You exemplify the deluded left. No wonder we are fucked.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            “You mistake verbosity for argument, presuming no one has the time to go through your long posts to notice you haven’t presented the case you claim. ”

            Once again all you have done is play the man. At no time do you offer a differing interpretation of the events that took place.

            “You have the fever, “I can keep going all day”. I wonder if you know that you argue the same line as members of well known Trotkyist groups are told.”

            Another throwaway comment – or a deductive fallacy – you seem to be collecting fallacies, maybe it is your hobby, who knows.

            “You claim to be an academic historian who has the certain facts about an ongoing complex war. Hilarious.

            No, I said, “sociocultural/history/geopolitics is kind of my main area of academic interest.” I did not say I was a historian, once again you are drawing an ill-formed conclusion.

            “Credible reports of political oppression, secret police and prison massacres are to you “irrelevant gossip”

            Still raising events that have no bearing on the conflict

            “You are a disgusting apologists for murderous dictatorship. You exemplify the deluded left. No wonder we are fucked.”

            You finish with yet another sprawl of ad hominem fallacy and yet again non-sequitur fallacy. With a final squirt of verbal diarrhoea displaying zero insight.

            “We are fucked”

            No doubt a comment of our current political upheavals, all due to 30+ years of neoliberalism, financial insecurity, austerity politics, increased inequality, terrible sociocultural integration policy giving legs to the rise of populism.

            I think you need to take a few moments for some introspection, as it is indeed you, my man, that has no debate in your rhetoric. An empty shirt, stuffed with straw.

            I find you a terrible bore and quite the fool.

          • Phil Ex-Frog

            all due to 30+ years of neoliberalism

            LOL. Yeah, OK you were just parroting the trot line. It seems you are a liberal.

            You think that all our woes, the endless wars, the oppression and poverty is brand new. The result of neo liberalism. Fucking hilarious. How has your superior academic intellect failed to notice that the endless wars, the poverty, the oppression preceded the neo-liberalism you blame? Do you think there was a different unrelated cause before neo-liberalism? May I suggest you consider there might be a deeper cause common between neo-liberalism and the strive ridden centuries before it.

            Your inability to see the bigger picture explains why you fixate on opposing imperialism at all costs. You actually believe imperialism is the problem rather than the sharp edge of the problem. And so you endlessly contort to defend dictatorship.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            What I am not sure if you know or take into consideration is the shift in Western global financial policy. From 1945 through to 1975, Governments concentrated on the full employment model or Keynesian economics. You may or may not have heard of the Lucas Critique. It states that economic policy is open to gaming; there is always a sector that will use to suit their needs. In the case of the Keynesian model, Unions & Employers will and did leverage the system. (which is where Thatcher famously snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared book, and slammed it on the table. “This is what we believe,” she said. A political revolution that would sweep the world had begun. The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek.” The ideology was neoliberalism.

            Neoliberalism stretches Adam Smith’s idea of rational self-interest and competition about as far as it can be stretched, stating that “only the mechanism by which the free market determines prices allows the optimal organisation of the means of production and leads to the maximal satisfaction of human needs”. In a nutshell, it places individuals as consumers at the bottom of the food chain with corporations their rightful rulers.

            So with the Unions and the employers gaining much more influence than the desired creating a rise in inflation which in turn did no favours for the creditor class or the financial sector. So they decided to take on the ideas of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek who in 1938 had coined the term ‘neoliberalism.’ What would become known as ‘Thatcherism.’ It was a programme of deregulating the banks, globalising the labour market, (no longer could you use your strike action as your job could just be offshored, and it was) “Maybe you remember the famous Pink Floyd song, Post War Dream. “If it wasn’t for the nips being so good at building ships the yards would still be open on the Clyde Oh Maggie Maggie what are we to do?” – Selling off or privatising state based systems, creating an integrated global economy. Reagan, Thatcher, and Hawke all ran with this. People have realised that for the past thirty years from 1985 onwards, massive amounts of money has been made, but these have all been passed upwards to an infinitesimally small number of people.

            Globalisation has, for example, helped Asia, and others to some extent you discount the terrible effects across broad demographics of people and communities. Compounding the effects of neoliberalism ideology is on a macroeconomic level successive Governments have targeted inflation. What we see play out as in the time of Keynesian Policy is another representation of the Lucas Critique. We now have a situation in which 3 trillion euros have been dumped into the money supply through quantitative easing, and it has not caused inflation. When banks have been bailed out, basically taken over by the Government, however, the debt, saddled to the people in Austerity politics. Exacerbate this with the downward pressure on labour markets through a single currency, and you have all you need to create depressed markets and very depressed people. It is why if we look to America, the Rust Belt, it is very much a financial position that gave Trump ears and votes. (Regardless if he can actually do anything about it.) In Europe, it has become Germany, versus the rest of the Eurozone.

            Putnam would call it the decline of Social Capital, I prefer the term Demographic Rust. I highlight the problems that started with neoliberalism, how our Western World though thirty plus years of broken economic policy has delivered inequality, financial crisis and an erosion of institutional trust.

            Inequality is where the rust starts then it spreads like cancer; it begins eating away at our community structures. Crime, substance abuse, marriage breakdown, marrying later, racism and bigotry, these are just a few of adverse outcomes from inequality, lack of financial stability, an outlook to a not so bright future.

            Let the market decide, the catchphrase of many neoliberal capitalists has resulted in financial market crashes, gross inequality, and the rise of right-wing populism.

            A recent study by Funke et al., a statistical analysis from 1870 to 2014 of how we respond to financial crisis found that political parties of the far-right increased their vote base by 30%. When we start to look at thirty plus years of economic policy, as introduced by Thatcher in the UK, Regan in the US and Hawke in Australia, we begin to draw a picture of compounding problems. By analysing historical data can provide us with a much better methodology for understanding how to avoid the worst parts of history. We know inequality is a breeding ground of social disease. By looking at the data, we see a rise in inequality and financial strain increases crime, substance abuse; it eats away at our communities interconnecting fibres. That is how we are better able to use history, not as this looks like this part of history rather these are the incubators that brought about these specific manifestations within our countries and communities.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Pádraig

            OK enough. I have enjoyed our exchange but it has been the dickwaving I try to avoid around here these days. My mistake.

            I’m going to take a punt. Have you studied any Marxian economics? If not, or if only a little, may I recommend you do. I am not a Marxist (whatever that may mean to you) but I do suggest his economic ideas may better inform your perspective than anything else you can now add to your arsenal. Anyone who references Smith had better understand Marx.

            Don’t take my word. Listen to a proper economist. Richard Wolff is an excellent teacher of Marxian economics. As Wolff says, economics is the lesson to make capitalism look good.

            TV interview (30m): How capitalism is killing itself
            https://youtu.be/6P97r9Ci5Kg

            Introduction Marxian economics (1:33)
            https://youtu.be/T9Whccunka4

            Advanced Marxian economics 1 (1:43)
            https://youtu.be/WGYdZo3mw00

            Apologies if you have read and understood Capital.

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            More irrelevancy –

            No debate, no understanding what we know. Just a duck shove to Marxism economic theory. I expected to find more informed people in this socialised fishbowl. However, it looks like you can run across the same numpties as anywhere else.

            I am quite aware how capitalism is eating itself. I am no fan of YouTube video’s, to be honest, however, know the work of Richard Wolff quite well. These days I am much more of a fan of Mark Blyth head of Political Economics at Brown. Can I suggest you read Austerity: History of a dangerous idea. The City: London and the Global Power of Finance – Tony Norfield: Living in the End Times: by Slavoj Zizek and just for good measure: How Will Capitalism End?: Essays on a Failing System by Wolfgang Streeck

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            In your case, not a sense.

            Every one of your posts has been somewhat playing the man, that has been close to the entire engagement you have offered. I can see, through other threads, it is a constant. So thanks for spending a few days trolling me, somewhat a wonderful introduction to commenting on Craig’s site. However, you really are about as interesting as The Clap. I have been civil, patient, but that is now threadbare, I would appreciate no more of your empty rhetoric.

          • Brian

            Before the was began in 2011, Syria was a peaceful country and one of safest in world : where then was PHIL the dills ‘murderous dictatorship ‘?

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Pádraig

            You whine about playing the man as you play the man. You cry troll after days of empty academic verbosity clearly not understanding what troll means. Hilarious.

            So what about todays revelations about Syria? Former detainees, guards, judges, lawyers all witness to rape, starvation, torture and thousands of murdered prisoners. A devout apologists like you will simply not believe it. Amnesty lie! The UN lie! No, don’t let the oppression of real people get in the way of your fevered orientalist hypocrisy. At least it’s not as bad as Saudi Arabia you really said. Bashar is not like his dad your cry laid hollow.

            Pádraig,you contort to defend oppression because it’s not in harmony with US oppression. That’s all it takes to get your support. From the comfort of safety you have preferred oppressive states to defend. You have your favourite war criminals. You disgust me.

            https://www.democracynow.org/2016/2/9/headlines/un_panel_finds_extermination_of_prisoners_in_syria

            http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/human-slaughterhouse-mass-hangings-and-extermination-at-saydnaya-prison-syria

            https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/detention-in-syria/

          • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            The Syrian government was supposed to have first “gassed its own people”. However, it was an al-Qaeda aided by Turkey.

            Then it was supposed to be starving 275,000 thousand anti-government civilians in east Aleppo. Except, the people in question were not allowed to leave by rebels, numbered perhaps 60,000, and actually rejoiced once the Syrian army broke through last December.

            So now obviously another big lie is needed to fill in the void and sustain the warmongering, interventionist ambitions of the west. Not to fear. The warmongering, pro-interventionist Amnesty International (they were singing to the tune of Bomb, Bomb Libya in 2011) is doing just that. It has published an 80-page report (hey if it’s 80 pages long it must be authoritative!) alleging that since 2011 the Syrian government has secretly killed between 5,000 and 13,000 (!) people in just one of its prisons and then dumped the bodies in various mass graves. AI’s evidence? Some “witnesses” scooped up from Turkey’s refugee camps who claim were housed in the prison and some satellite imagery worthy of Colin Powell.

            Think about it. If you’re someone who won’t flinch at killing 13,000 people why would you leave behind witnesses? And how come these witnesses only popped up now when the mass killing has supposed to have been going since 2011?

            AI explicitly claims Assad has been dumping bodies in mass graves, but its imagery shows nothing of the sort. Instead, it gives us images of small cemeteries which have added a considerable number of individual graves in a short span of time. This is utterly bizarre. Why would somebody who has slaughtered 13,000 people bothered to dig them individual graves in consecrated ground? And why would somebody who is trying to hide 13,000 bodies bury them in a cemetery — the one place where dead bodies are usually found? Is it really so surprising that an existing military cemetery would grow faster in a time of war? There really isn’t a more obvious and likely explanation for that than “Assad must be executing thousands of people”? Naturally, Syrian political prisons are a terrible place — the one in question is where Assad tortured people for the CIA — but 13,000?! Give us a break! [link](https://goo.gl/YgZ8Gb “l”)

            Amnesty be honest, who paid you to push this crap?

            What is missing so often is do people apply even basic critical though before swallowing the bluster. Amnesty as has been exposed more than a few times, is an NGO that bends to the will of the hegemonic State.

            Is
            the source credible?
            the source involved in any scandal/untruthfulness?
            the secondary sources credible?
            there a political motivation?
            there finance behind it?

            Who
            benefits from this?
            is this harmful to?
            makes decisions about this?

            What
            are the strengths/weaknesses?
            is another perspective?
            is another alternative?
            would be a counter argument?

            How
            does this disrupt things?
            are people influenced by this?
            do we know the truth about this?
            do we cross reference the information?
            do we validate the information?

  • giyane

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military

    This is a review of Seymour Hersh’s book. In it he explains that, since the breakdown of the USSR, Russian military and US military exchange information on a large scale. In fact the Great Game, which is described as between the West and Russia, either was always or has recently become a game between USUKIS European nations, Oil petrochracies, Russia on the one side and Islam on the other. All politics is lies, and nothing but lies.

    The fact that Muslim nations for 30 years have been carved up and destroyed one by one tells us more about the onjectives of the great game than the garbage of politicans and the media. Craig reminds us that Russia in relatively recent times colonised the Muslim -stans and Chechnya in Central Asia. There is a commonality of purpose between the Russian Empire and the USUKIS Empire.

    Obama’s exercises of NATO troops on the Russian border, Gorbachev moaning about war, Trump’s sacking of all his US ambassadors. All batshit. By their fruit ye shall know them. The unity of their purpose if to attack Islam, starting with the CIA’s main asset, chief apostate Osama bin Laden, night-club groover and blarney poo-er.

    • bevin

      ” Trump’s sacking of all his US ambassadors..”
      I believe that it was a perfect lt normal ‘clear out’ of political appointees. They all do it. Though some, for example, Obama who want continuity with the policies they have pretended to oppose keep a lot of them on. Which explains why many of the neo-cons, such as Victoria Nuland, began to think that they were Civil servants, permanently posted.
      By the way I think that there were significant differences between Bolshevik attitudes to Islam and those of the imperialists, what do you think? Was it all talk?

      • Republicofscotland

        “I believe that it was a perfect lt normal ‘clear out’ of political appointees. They all do it. ”

        ________

        Bevin.

        Not necessarily, those experienced ambassadors, and staff at the State department, will take at least six months to replace, according to a US spokesperson speaking to the British media.

        Staying on American politics and especially the GOP, eminent professor Richard Dawkins, was flabbergasted (as am I ) to find out that all but one Republican POTUS candidate doesn’t believe in evolution.

        https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3c2_1485533763

        Do they actually believe that evolution did not take place, or are they agreeing with electorate to curry favour. If so what does that say about the US electorate?

      • lysias

        Times of Israel said the other day that Nuland is one of those who have been forced to clear out. Good riddance.

      • RobG

        It’s normal with the State Department, but totally unprecedented with ambassadors. No President has ever done this before.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The fact that Muslim nations for 30 years have been carved up and destroyed one by one tells us more about the onjectives of the great game”

      _______

      Giyane.

      Trump has decided to block immigrants and refugees from a list of countries that he’s drawn up most have been bombed and attacked by the US, and its proxy armies, and left in a dilapidated state.

      Trump is also setting up and publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants in the US. Most crimes are committed by illegal immigrants but human rights groups claim there will be no distinction between the two, a immigrant crime (illegal or not) is still a immigrant crime.

      Even more worringly, Trump has tried to gag many US scientific organisations, including NASA from making public statements, especially online incase they disagree with Trump’s views, on the world or they contradict his opinions.

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/15054327.Mhairi_Black__Trump_lies_but_the_true_damage_in_his_policies_is_plain_to_see/

      • giyane

        RoS

        If , like me , you don’t have a TV you can still observe political discord by buying a fish tank and stocking it with tropical fish. In this bubble, no that can’t be right we are the ones in the bubble, not the fish, play and aggression can be observed at close hand. The yellow ones will play tag for hours on end, finally resorting to splashing the surface by flipping their tails. The alpha primes nip the scales of the smaller ones.

        I have enough visual imagination to be able to see a computer generated model aka Jurassic Park of Pres.Trump, PM May and BBC Kuhnesberg drinking tea at the white house in my head. Apart from the present difficulty that my wife always bursts into laughter when I pronounce Kuehnsberg’s name.

        Nipping, by Trump, and nagging by Kuhnesberg and May are merely part of breaking down the ‘others” will to survive. Crossing a political border is a political act and will incur political chastisement.

        Nevertheless, the main thrust of Donald Trump’s policy so far is that the alternative government of the CIA with its neo-con, Zionist, aggression in the Middle East has damaged the US’ standing in the world and will now be dismantled. An alternative mainstream US vision in which international law, respect for Israel and cleaning up their own back yard are prioritised, will come into being which is in my opinion no bad thing.

      • Jeremy Poynton

        Obama drew up the list.
        Obama in 2011 banned Iraqi refugees for the same reasons as Trump.

        It’s now what Trump is doing. It’s WHO is doing it.

        As you have just demonstrated

        Quod Erat Demonstrandum

  • giyane

    Craig mentioned Raqqa, giving some detail which indicates he has friends inside Kurdish political Islam.
    I was impressed by the ridiculousness and confusion described, with no-one knowing whose side anybody else was on. Let me clarify from what I understand.

    The Kurdish Regional Government, the Kurdish CIA political Islam parties, including Mulla Krekar from the CIA’s Ansar al Islam, now fighting for Israel against Assad in Qureitra, and USUKIS all met in Jordan in 2013 to transform the Daesh who were being trained by Israel inside Jordan, into a fighting force.

    Daesh crossed through Turkey and Mosul’s general was bribed, supposedly by the apostate Sauds, to abandon all the new equipment Baghdad had bought for Ieaq’s defence to the invaders. Thousands of Sunni soldiers were massacred in this operation, which leads on to the conclusion that Daesh has nothing whatsoever to do with Sunni Islam.

    The Kurdish Regional Government takes about $1,000,000 per month in oil receipts and spends none of that money on its administration responsibilities in Kurdistan. The KRG not only financially supports Daesh, it also openly transports Daesh recruits through its safe zone airports, to the war zones of Mosul. This is with the full agreement and logistical support of the CIA’s political Islam, who receive big cash receipts from the Saudi apo-state.

    In Kurdistan house prices are crashing, because only the CIA Saudi funded Daesh Qaida have any money.
    Thousands are leaving the country, heading to Istanbul and Europe, because they can see that Kurdistan’s traditional moderate Sunni Islam and traditions will very soon be hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood’s and Saudi takfiri’s aggressive Islam.

    The KRG claim that the Iranian-backed government which the US put in power in Baghdad to replace Saddam did not honour its agreements to share the wealth and power of Iraq with the Kurds. That is a lie. Kurdistan was offered a reversal of the British carving up of its territory in 1919 by the USUKIS neo-cons if they isolated the Shi’ a in Baghdad who were fully ready to continue with the funding arrangements for Kurdistan that had been in place under Saddam.

    In other words Kurdistan was forced by the CIA to participate in the further cutting up into small fragments of Iraq, by the bribe of increasing their territory in the original Kurdistan. Kurdistan gained Kirkuk, and its citizens had to defend themselves against the Islamic State which their own government had put in place to serve Obama’s deal.

    Ex-president Barzani posing with some Peshmerga from his own party looks fine on TV. But Barzani has diverted all of the oil wealth of Kurdistan to the neo-con plan to create a militant army, John McCain’s caliphate. Talk about eating your own vomit, the endless cycle of USUKIS using mujahideen to create terror in the Muslim lands.

    The end result of the USUKIS EU Russian and Saudi coalition’s machinations is that even in Saudi Arabia where the imams are under tightest control, the scholars are plotting to overthrow their government’s apostate rule. In Syria it will never be possible for the CIA’s gangsters to take over the theological power and in elections Assad will be rewarded for defending Syria from the coalition of disbelievers even though Assad is himself from the Kurdish disbelievers who are Alalevis, that the French originally put into power.

    Events in the Middle East are supercharged with political un-Islamic, un-ethical deceit. This creates a backlash, which unfortunately trails the political machinations by a number of years, in which ordinary Sunnis will never allow their apostate betrayers from within their own community, nor the neo-cons ever to come to power.

    Syria and Saudi Arabia will chuck political Islam on the pile of chicken muck. Kurdistan will remain a place that is controlled by Israel, as it has been for 4,700 years from the time of Isaiah and Habbabkuk. Nobody will ever know which side the Kurdish are fighting on until the time of Qiyamat.

  • lysias

    Today’s Washington Post says Fillon has said he will drop out of the presidential race if he were to become the object of a formal criminal investigation. Makes me wonder if the charges have been aired because powers that be fear Fillon would be too easy for Marine Le Pen to beat.

    • Habbabkuk

      Given that the charges were “aired” before M Fillon said what the Washington Post has apparently reported, your post would seem to imply a conspiracy between “powers that be” and M Fillon.

      ‘Twas about time for another conspiracy theory.

      Keep ’em coming! 🙂

      • Why be ordinary?

        Actually, Fillon is the candidate most likely to squeeze Mme Le Pen by fishing in the same waters. If you want a conspiracy, start with the fact that, like a good Gaullist he’s keen on a good relationship with Russia.

        • RobG

          Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not out of the presidential race, and folks in the anglo world have to understand that the media in the franco world is just as much corporate controlled bias/rubbish as in the anglo world, if not more so.

          Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not standing under the banner of any political party. He’s standing as the head of a mass movement in France, a mass movement the like of which has never been seen in modern French history.

          Mélenchon is presently running about fourth in the opinion polls, opinion polls that are a complete joke because they are paid for by the Establishment and the media.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the BBC unchained Laura Kussenberg, she questioned Donald Trump.

    Kussenberg asked the POTUS,

    “Mr president you’ve said before torture works, you’ve praised Russia, you’ve said you want to ban Muslims from coming to America. You’ve suggested there should be punishments for abortions, for many people in Britain, those sound like alarming beliefs.”

    Trump replied,

    “This was your choice of a question?” (aimed at Theresa May) who laughed awkwardly.

    Trump the added, “There goes the special relationship.”

  • Republicofscotland

    None of the US papers put Theresa May’s visit to the White House on their front page. A sign of the insignificance of Britain across the pond.

    While the British newspapers didn’t hesitate to lead with the Prime Minister’s first meeting with President Trump, the US public saw May’s kowtowing visit as the non – event that it is.

    But, but what about the “Special” relationship?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-trump-visit-newspapers-american-press-insignificance-a7550686.html

    • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

      Not covering it in the US will be more about domestic politics and not wanting any positivity in the US media about Trump. The campaign in the US to paint Trump (rightly or wrongly) as the Devil incarnate is strong being polite.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The campaign in the US to paint Trump (rightly or wrongly) as the Devil incarnate is strong being polite.”

        _______

        Oh I don’t know Trump appears to be digging a hole all by himself, on immigration, abortion, torture (reactivating black sites) and oh yes there’s the wall as well.

        • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

          “Oh I don’t know Trump appears to be digging a hole all by himself, on immigration, abortion, torture (reactivating black sites) and oh yes there’s the wall as well.”
          —————–

          I am a fan of being diplomatic, even when faced with the reality of watching the implosion of US politics. To be fair, I was just not in the mood for any possible Trumpism trumpets to come hooting along.

          • Republicofscotland

            That’s alright Padraig, I sometimes feel that way myself, over Scottish independence, and the naesayers. ?

  • Republicofscotland

    How much more embarrassing can the unionist Judas party, known as the Labour branch office in Scotland get.

    It has been revealed that Labour in Scotland are so toxic that, they had to pay £8000 to buy likes on Facebook during last years Scottish election.

    £500 pounds was also paid to Facebook to make its leader Kezia Dugdale, and her Facebook page appear more popular than it actually is.

    https://www.pressreader.com

    • michael norton

      Scotland’s police facing £190 million black hole following years of financial incompetence
      all the fault of the English, no doubt.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/22/scotlands-police-facing-190-million-black-hole-following-years/
      Scotland’s police service is facing a financial black hole of almost £190 million by the end of the decade following “unacceptable” financial leadership ever since it was created, according to a damning report by the country’s spending watchdog.

      Caroline Gardner, the Auditor General for Scotland, said it was “unacceptable” that Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), its funding body, had displayed such financial incompetence for three years running.

      Shamefully incompetent, good job Police Scotland are not running Scotland.

      • michael norton

        Is all of Scotland run shambolically?

        The reported capped a difficult end to Ms Sturgeon’s SNP government, following other official assessments that have raised deep-seated problems with the NHS and education system.

        Ms Davidson said: “Police Scotland was established on the grounds it would lead to financial efficiencies, but instead the force’s financial future has never looked so bleak.

        “There’s little transparency, we don’t know where £1 billion of funding is going, and now a damning report revealing all of this is only published a couple of hours before parliament closes.”

        Ms Dugdale said the police service is in “crisis”, adding: “Rather than having a force that is committed to keeping our communities safe, we have one that is desperately trying to balance the books.”

        Is there no accountability,
        in the trams, the schools, the police, the health service?

        • Republicofscotland

          “Is there no accountability,
          in the trams, the schools, the police, the health service?”

          Norton.

          The NHS in Scotland is the best performing of the Home nations, but you know this already for I have told you on umpteen occasions.

          As for the “Trams Saga” the shambolic contract was run from Edinburgh under a Labour/Tory adminstration. It has been left to the Scottish government (SNP) to clean the mess up, and carry out a investigation into the Tory/Labour fiasco.

          I do wish you’d do some research before commenting.

  • michael norton

    This is so shocking.
    Ministry of Truth
    Britain has agreed a £100m defence deal to help develop fighter jets for the Turkish air force.

    The announcement came as UK Prime Minister Theresa May met the Turkish president and prime minister in Ankara.

    Mrs May said the defence agreement “underlines once again that Britain is a great, global, trading nation”.

    She said the UK would enhance trade relations with Turkey, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would increase trade to $20bn (£16bn).

    The defence agreement between BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries is for the Turkish Fighter Programme.

    —-
    So Erdogan will fight Syria / Kurds with British jets.
    We should have nothing to do with Turkey.

  • Mark Golding

    Britain has a despicable, vile and shameful policy of extra judicial assassinations of British citizens without trial in a foreign country outside of war. Sadly this wretched form of execution is all about an ‘imperial’ Britain projecting power into the Middle East and absolutely nothing to do with defending Britain or so called ‘self-defense’ from an ‘IMMINENT’ act of terrorism and also how can these murders be ‘proportionate’ or commensurate to a non-event, a pseudo-event that may or may not transpire. I capitalise the word ‘imminent’ because the British public have understood that word was used to justify Britain’s adventure into the sovereign country of Iraq that posed no threat British citizens or assets anytime..

    In fact I myself have gained the certitude these ‘cut-outs’ are young innocent British A grade Muslim kids on a top secret ‘kill list’ Britain participated in drawing up (after a so-called Joint Prioritised Effects List (JPEL) was compiled), who travel to the Middle East and are involved in intelligence operations to validate the use of ‘Reaper’ drones operating from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. These drones are mostly used to spy on government forces positions and knock out government/allied command posts, training areas, hospitals, schools, wireless aerials and power stations.

    http://www.reprieve.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016_04_09-PUB-Britains-Kill-List.pdf

    • giyane

      David Cameron refused to tell us who his 70,000 moderate rebels were. They were ” B ” grade UK Muslim kids with UK values and a love of Islam. The ” A ” grade ones are presumably the ones who have discovered from our 300 years of shared history that working for the British is not a good idea for Islam.The ‘ b’ graders are now co-existing dangerously in Idlib with the neo-cons nutter who kill journalists in Syria. I’m not sure which hit list I’d rather be on, the UK kill list or the nutter’s list of ‘ein’ i.e. spies or journalists I’m already on.

  • Kathryn Sherman

    Craig,
    Like Trump, you need to update your “image” icon a few years or decades.

    I want to watch your livestream on Syria/Iraq but must await being in a place where I can do by wireless rather than use this month’s allotment of cellular data. But I have questions from what I watched and comments that I read:

    How does SNP feel about Trump being in Scotland opening his golf course June 23rd and celebrating Brexit even though Scotland overwhelmingly voted against Brexit. By Trump math if you discounted those votes from Scotland and No. Ireland, as which he undoubtedly would attribute to gnomes or something, but where he happens to own golf resorts, Brexit would have won very BIGLY. His “investments” in these luxury golf courses were by his account so important to Scotland that he wrote to your First Minister more than a decade ago threatening to withhold the beneficence of his investments if Scotland continued to develop wind energy. Apparently said First Minister considered the economic development potential of those golf courses important enough to overrule local objections to Trump’s plans to bulldoze 4000 year old dunes to create a vista for his golfers. The central govt Trumped local decisions. My understanding is, however, that in court, to High Court, Trump did not prevail to keep off- or nearshore industrial wind turbines away in aesthetic grounds.

    Please do not get me wrong, there are cases in Scotland where human rights and pre-existing property rights are violated by industrial wind energy, and in one case, proclaimed so by EU Human Rights Commission.

    So Scotland and SNP is in a bind, and all of us are left trying to sort through Alt.Facts and Fake News, especially when people such as yourself denigrate traditional news organizations, rather than identifying the questions that mainstream media should be asking.

    Trump loves numbers and would say 50 people or 150 people at SNP Club — forget about it. You might ask how many people weee at the Scottish golf resort ribbon cutting. You might say “sovereignty” does not include billionaire investors, even when their mum came from Scottish isles dictating to us, especially when your visit to her homestead was way shorter than an hour – same as his visit to Ben Carson’s home was short and just a media event.

    I hope you will identify goals of Independence for the next referendum: Stay with EU?? If so why? Leave England – ditto about why. I am not buying PM May’s vision of the newly confident global Britain in alliance with US, but that really is not my business. International institutions that Trump seems to want to upend are my business.

    Confussed, distraught, coastal USA citizen who worked a few blocks south of UN and admires one of the women who helped make it whag it can and should be.

  • Arthur

    Question. Did I hear right Craig saying that Scotland could become independent without holding a referendum, if so, how.?

  • michael norton

    Very good news

    Syria regains Damascus water supply plant

    Ministry of Truth

    State television said the national flag was now flying over the pumping facility in the Wadi Barada region.

    Activists monitoring the conflict say the army entered the area as part of a deal under which the rebels will either lay down their weapons or be evacuated.

    The water supply was cut on 23 December by the state-run Damascus Water Authority, which blamed the rebels saying they had contaminated the flow with diesel.

    —-

    It does look with the return of Aleppo to the Syrian Government side, that some level of normality is returning to some parts of Syria.

    Anyone know what has happened to the story of
    The White Helmets?

    It is almost as if they never existed?

  • michael norton

    Turkey at it again, always trying to take advantage, a very dangerous country.

    A Turkish Navy ship with top military commanders on board engaged in a brief but tense standoff with Greek gunboats near disputed islets in the Aegean Sea, adding to renewed tensions between NATO allies Turkey and Greece.

    On Sunday, a Turkish warship carrying Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, as well as army, navy, and air force commanders sailed past the uninhabited rocky islets of Imia – known as Kardak in Turkey – in the Aegean Sea, Daily Sabah reported.
    https://www.rt.com/news/375567-greece-turkey-warships-standoff/
    Greek coast guard vessels and a navy gunboat were scrambled to deal with what was viewed by the Greek military as a violation of their territory. The vessels shadowed the Turkish warship, demanding it to leave the area. A few minutes later, the Turkish vessel complied and no further incident was reported.

    Located several miles from the Turkish coast and claimed by both Ankara and Athens, the islets are at the heart of a long-lasting territorial dispute. While the islets’ status remains undetermined, EU-backed Athens and warned Turkey to refrain from the use of force to resolve the dispute.

    Greek diplomats believe the Turks deliberately provoked the incident in response to a decision by the Greek Supreme Court, which ruled last week against the extradition of eight Turkish service members who had fled to Greece after the failed July coup, according to Kathimerini.

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