"Just because a lot of Important People keep repeating the same allegation doesn't make the allegation true or "well documented."...And skepticism should be raised even higher when there is a clear political motive for pushing a falsehood as truth."
8/5/17, "Neocons Leverage Trump-Hate for More Wars," Robert Parry, Consortium News
"Exclusive: The enactment of new sanctions against
Russia and Iran – with the support of nearly all Democrats and
Republicans in Congress – shows how the warmongering neocons again have
come out on top, reports Robert Parry."
"A savvy Washington observer once told me that the political reality
about the neoconservatives is that they alone couldn’t win you a single
precinct in the United States. But both Republicans and Democrats still
line up to gain neocon support or at least neocon acceptance.
Part of the reason for this paradox is the degree of dominance that
the neoconservatives have established in the national news media – as
op-ed writers and TV commentators– and the neocon ties to the Israel
Lobby that is famous for showering contributions on favored politicians
and on the opponents of those not favored.
Since the neocons’ emergence as big-time foreign policy players in the Reagan administration,
they also have demonstrated extraordinary resilience, receiving a
steady flow of money often through U.S. government-funded grants from
organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and through
donations from military contractors to hawkish neocon think tanks.
But neocons’ most astonishing success over the past year may have
been how they have pulled liberals and even some progressives into the
neocon strategies for war and more war, largely by exploiting the Left’s
disgust with President Trump.
People who would normally favor international cooperation toward
peaceful resolution of conflicts have joined the neocons in ratcheting
up global tensions and making progress toward peace far more difficult.
The provocative “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions
Act,” which imposes sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea while
tying President Trump’s hands in removing those penalties, passed the
Congress without a single Democrat voting no.
The only dissenting votes came from three Republican House members –
Justin Amash of Michigan, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, and Thomas Massie
of Kentucky – and from Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Independent
Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Senate.
In other words, every Democrat present for the vote adopted the
neocon position of escalating tensions with Russia and Iran. The new
sanctions appear to close off hopes for a détente with Russia and may
torpedo the nuclear agreement with Iran, which would put the
bomb-bomb-bomb option back on the table just where the neocons want it.
The Putin Obstacle
As for Russia, the neocons have viewed
President Vladimir Putin as a major obstacle to their plans at least
since 2013 when he helped President Obama come up with a compromise with
Syria that averted a U.S. military strike over dubious claims that the Syrian military was responsible for a sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.
Subsequent evidence indicated
that the sarin attack most likely was a provocation by Al Qaeda’s
Syrian affiliate to trick the U.S. military into entering the war on Al
While you might wonder why the U.S. government would even think about
taking actions that would benefit Al Qaeda, which lured the U.S. into
this Mideast quagmire in the first place by attacking on 9/11, the
answer is that Israel and the neocons – along with Saudi Arabia and
other Sunni-governed states – favored an Al Qaeda victory if that was
what was needed to shatter the so-called “Shiite crescent,” anchored in Iran and reaching through Syria to Lebanon.
Many neocons are, in effect, America’s Israeli agents and – since
Israel is now allied with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf states versus
Iran – the neocons exercise their media/political influence to
rationalize U.S. military strikes against Iran’s regional allies, i.e.,
Syria’s secular government of Bashar al-Assad.
For his part, Putin compounded his offense to the neocons by
facilitating Obama’s negotiations with Iran that imposed strict
constraints on Iran’s actions toward development of a nuclear bomb and
took U.S. war against Iran off the table. The neocons, Israel and Saudi
Arabia wanted the U.S. military to lead a bombing campaign against Iran
with the hope of crippling their regional adversary and possibly even
achieving “regime change” in Tehran.
It was in that time frame that NED’s neocon President Carl Gershman identified Ukraine as the “biggest prize” and an important step toward the even bigger prize of removing Putin in Russia.
Other U.S. government neocons, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, delivered the Ukraine “prize”
by supporting the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that overthrew the elected
government of Ukraine and unleashed anti-Russian nationalists (including
neo-Nazis) who began killing ethnic Russians in the south and east near
When Putin responded by allowing Crimeans to vote on secession from
Ukraine and reunification with Russia, the West – and especially the
neocon-dominated mainstream media – denounced the move as a “Russian
invasion.” Covertly, the Russians also helped ethnic Russians in eastern
Ukraine who defied the coup regime in Kiev and faced annihilation from
Ukrainian military forces, including the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which
literally displayed Swastikas and SS symbols. Putin’s assistance to
these embattled ethnic Russian Ukrainians became “Russian aggression.”
Many U.S. pundits and journalists – in the conservative, centrist and liberal media – were swept up by the various hysterias
over Syria, Iran and Russia – much as they had been a decade earlier
around the Iraq-WMD frenzy and the “responsibility to protect” (or R2P)
argument for the violent “regime change” in Libya in 2011. In all these
cases, the public debate was saturated with U.S. government and neocon
propaganda, much of it false.
But it worked. For instance, the neocons and their
liberal-interventionist sidekicks achieved extraordinary success in
seducing many American “peace activists” to support the “regime change”
war in Syria by sending sympathetic victims of the Syrian government on
Meanwhile, the major U.S. media essentially flacked for “moderate” Syrian rebels
who just happened to be fighting alongside Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate
and sharing their powerful U.S.-supplied weapons with the jihadists, all
the better to kill Syrian soldiers trying to protect the secular
government in Damascus.
As part of this propaganda process, the jihadists’ P.R. adjunct, known as the White Helmets,
phoned in anti-government atrocity stories to eager and credulous
Western journalists who didn’t dare visit the Al Qaeda-controlled zones
for fear of being beheaded.
Still, whenever the White Helmets or other “activists” accused the Syrian government of some unlikely chemical attack, the information was treated as gospel.
When United Nations investigators, who were under enormous pressure to
confirm the propaganda tales beloved in the West, uncovered evidence
that one of the alleged chlorine attacks was staged by the jihadists,
the mainstream U.S. media politely looked the other way and continued to
treat the chemical-weapons stories as credible.
Historian and journalist Stephen Kinzer has said, "Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press.” [Boston Globe, 2/18/2016]
But all these successes in the neocons’ “perception management” operations pale when compared to what the neocons have accomplished since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last November.
Fueled by the shock and disgust over the egotistical self-proclaimed
pussy-grabber ascending to the highest office in the land, many
Americans looked for both an excuse for explaining the outcome and a
strategy for removing Trump as quickly as possible. The answer to both
concerns became: blame Russia.
The evidence that Russia had “hacked our democracy” was very thin –
some private outfit called Crowdstrike found Cyrillic lettering and a
reference to the founder of the Soviet KGB in some of the metadata – but
that “incriminating evidence” contradicted Crowdstrike’s own notion of a crack Russian hacking operation that was almost impossible to trace.
So, even though the FBI failed to secure the Democratic National
Committee’s computers so the government could do its own forensic
analysis, President Obama assigned his intelligence chiefs, CIA Director
John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, to
come up with an assessment that could be used to blame Trump’s victory
on “Russian meddling.” Obama, of course, shared the revulsion over
Trump’s victory, since the real-estate mogul/reality-TV star had
famously launched his own political career by spreading the lie that
Obama was born in Kenya.
According to Clapper’s later congressional testimony, the analysts
for this job were “hand-picked” from the CIA, FBI and National Security
Agency and assigned to produce an “assessment” before Obama left office.
Their Jan. 6 report was remarkable in its lack of evidence and
the analysts themselves admitted that it fell far short of establishing
anything as fact. It amounted to a continuation of the “trust us”
approach that had dominated the anti-Russia themes for years.
Much of the thin report focused on complaints about Russia’s RT
network for covering the Occupy Wall Street protests and sponsoring a
2012 debate for third-party presidential candidates who had been
excluded from the Democratic-Republican debates between President Obama
and former Gov. Mitt Romney.
The absurdity of citing such examples in which RT contributed to the
public debate in America as proof of Russia attacking American democracy
should have been apparent to everyone, but the Russia-gate stampede had
begun and so instead of ridiculing the Jan. 6 report as an insult to
reason, its shaky Russia-did-it conclusions were embraced as
unassailable Truth, buttressed by the false claim that the assessment represented the consensus view of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.
So, for instance, we get the internal contradictions of a Friday column by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius who starts off by making a legitimate point about Washington groupthink.
“When all right-thinking people in the nation’s capital seem to agree
on something – as has been the case recently with legislation imposing
new sanctions on Russia – that may be a warning that the debate has
veered into an unthinking herd mentality,” Ignatius wrote as he
questioned the wisdom of overusing sanctions and tying the President’s
hands on when to remove sanctions.
But Ignatius failed to follow his own logic when it came to the core
groupthink about Russia “meddling” in the U.S. election. Despite the
thinness of the evidence, the certainty about Russia’s guilt is now
shared by “all right-thinking people” in Washington, who agree that this
point is beyond dispute despite the denials from both WikiLeaks, which
published the purloined Democratic emails, and the Russian government.
Ignatius seemed nervous that his mild deviation from the conventional
wisdom about the sanctions bill might risk his standing with the
Establishment, so he added:
“Don’t misunderstand me. In questioning congressional review of
sanctions, I’m not excusing Trump’s behavior. His non-response to
Russia’s well-documented meddling in the 2016 presidential election has
However, as usual for the U.S. mainstream media, Ignatius doesn’t
cite any of those documents. Presumably, he’s referring to the Jan. 6
assessment, which itself contained no real evidence to support its
opinion that Russia hacked into Democratic emails and gave them to
WikiLeaks for distribution.
skepticism should be raised even higher when there is a clear political
motive for pushing a falsehood as truth, as we should have learned from
President George W. Bush’s Iraq-WMD fallacies and from President Barack
Obama’s wild exaggerations about the need to intervene in Libya to
prevent a massacre of civilians.
But Washington neocons always start with a leg up because of their
easy access to the editorial pages of The New York Times and Washington
Post as well as their speed-dial relationships with producers at CNN and
other cable outlets.
Yet, the neocons have achieved perhaps their greatest success by
merging Cold War Russo-phobia with the Trump Derangement Syndrome to
enlist liberals and even progressives into the neocon drive for more
“regime change” wars.
There can be no doubt that the escalation of sanctions against Russia
and Iran will have the effect of escalating geopolitical tensions with
those two important countries and making war, even nuclear war, more
In Iran, hardliners are already telling President Hassan Rouhani, “We
told you so” that the U.S. government can’t be trusted in its promise
to remove – not increase – sanctions in compliance with the nuclear
And, Putin, who is actually one of the more pro-Western leaders in
Russia, faces attacks from his own hardliners who view him as naïve in
thinking that Russia would ever be accepted by the West. Even relative Kremlin moderates such as Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev, are citing Trump’s tail-between-his-legs signing of the
sanctions bill as proof that the U.S. establishment has blocked any hope
for a détente between Washington and Moscow.
In other words, the prospects for advancing the neocon agenda of more
“regime change” wars and coups have grown – and the neocons can claim
as their allies virtually the entire Democratic Party hierarchy which is
so eager to appease its angry #Resistance base that even the heightened
risk of nuclear war is being ignored."
Comment: What passes for Republican hierarchy wants to be rid of Trump worse than any Democrat does. It's important not to leave them out of this. The US doesn't have two parties, it has only one, the democrats. The GOP just runs interference for them. Meaning there are no checks and balances, nothing to protect Americans from all powerful government. Trump beating the GOP establishment in 2016 was a greater accomplishment than his beating the democrats. Trump had no political party behind him and certainly doesn't today. Likewise, half the country's voters-Trump voters--don't have a political party behind them. No one talks about this and it's central to Russia and everything else. The GOP E (which has exactly the same agenda as democrats starting with open borders) habitually ignores the will of Republican voters, had no intention of honoring the will of Trump voters, and has grabbed the Russia issue as tightly as anyone. It's even common to hear top people Trump appointed in his administration adamantly say Russia stole the election--which is obviously not the case. It's shocking that Trump allows them to remain in his employ. He doesn't even fight back. His compulsion for self-sabotage is his biggest problem right now.
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Former peaceniks are now murderous neocons. Russia became all purpose solution: Someone to blame for democrats losing in Nov. 2016 and a strategy for quickly removing Trump. Neocons emerged as players during Reagan admin. Today they're dominant across national news media-as op-ed writers and TV commentators. Hillary was their candidate-Robert Parry, Consortium News
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