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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

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Tag: Building Seven WTC

February 7, 2018
Paul Craig Roberts

9/11 was the neoconservatives’ “New Pearl Harbor,” the excuse the neoconservatives said they needed to launch Washington’s invasions of the Middle East. As General Wesley Clark told us, the plan was seven countries in five years. The plan had nothing to do with “weapons of mass destruction,” Osama bin Laden, “bringing democracy to dictatorships,” “liberating women,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” “Iranian nukes,” or any of the blatant lies concocted by the neoconservatives and fed to an obedient presstitute media and accepted by a gullible public.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill Reminds Us That the Invasion of Iraq Was on the Menu 8 Months Prior to 9/11, the Alleged Excuse for the Invasion. From a review of Suskind’s book:

The book, “The Price of Loyalty”, written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind, is an alarming insider account of the way the Bush White House is run, based on a series of interviews with former administration officials, most notably [former Treasury Secretary Paul] O’Neill, who got the axe a little over a year ago because of his opposition to Bush’s policy on tax-cuts. In the book, O’Neill raises some harsh criticisms of the Bush administration. Among his most powerful charges is a claim that the Bush administration was planning to invade Iraq within days of taking office.

Appearing in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night to promote Suskind’s book, O’Neill sharply criticized the Bush administration:
“O’Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate. At cabinet meetings, he says the president was ‘like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection,’ forcing top officials to act ‘on little more than hunches about what the president might think.’

… And what happened at President Bush’s very first National Security Council meeting is one of O’Neill’s most startling revelations. ‘From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,’ says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic ‘A’ 10 days after the inauguration – eight months before Sept. 11.

… ‘It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’’ says O’Neill. ‘For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.’”

Less than 24 hours after O’Neill made his critical remarks on CBS, the Treasury Department said it is looking into how a Treasury document marked “secret” came to appear on the show. Although Treasury officials have been very careful not to use the word “investigation”, the quick move looks like retaliation. Treasury spokesman Rob Nichols said the department’s request for a probe should not be viewed as a way to strike back at O’Neill. “This is standard operating procedure,” he said. Still, the fact that the administration was so quick in calling for a probe into the matter is in odd contrast with the slow pace another investigation — the one into who outed former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame as a CIA operative.

Dear Readers: This is one of the most important articles I have written, along with this one: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/02/nuclear-posture-review/. If the Russiagate conspiracy against Trump and American democracy goes unpunished, accountable government in the United States will cease to exist. US security agencies have long been involved in coups against foreign governments. Now they are involved in one against America. There is great danger that Republicans are so worshipful of “national security” and so determined to protect the reputation of the US government that they will give a pass to the high officials who participated in a conspiracy against the United States. As for President Trump, he lacks a government that he can count on and is threatened by the military/security complex. The conspiracy could easily be whitewashed as merely a case of the FBI and DOJ not following proper procedures, with the media’s participation in the conspiracy being dismissed with mea culpas of “sloppy reporting.”

Will The Conspiracy Against Trump and American Democracy Go Unpunished?

by Paul Craig Roberts
February 5, 2018

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The American people do not realize the seriousness of the Russiagate conspiracy against them and President Trump. Polls indicate that a large majority of the public do not believe that Trump conspired with Putin to steal the presidential election, and are tired of hearing the media prostitutes repeat the absurd story day after day. On its face the story makes no sense whatsoever. Moreover, the leaked emails are real, not fabricated. The emails show exactly what Hillary and the DNC did. The public knows that these transgressions were pushed out of news sight by the false story of a Trump/Putin conspiracy. The fact that the entirety of the US print and TV media served in a highly partisan political way to bury a true and disturbing story with a fake news story—Russiagate—is one reason some polls show that only 6% of Americans trust the mainstream media. All polls show that large majorities of independents, Republicans, and youth distrust the mainstream media. In some polls about half of Democrats trust the media, and that is because the media is servant to Democratic Party interests.

Russiagate is a dagger aimed at the heart of American governmental institutions. A conspiracy involving top officials of the Obama Department of Justice, FBI, and other “security” agencies was formed together with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, the purpose of which was to defeat Trump in the presidential election and, failing that, to remove Trump from office or to discredit him to the point that he would be reduced to a mere figurehead. This conspiracy has the full backing of the entirely of the mainstream media.

In other words, it was a coup not only against Donald Trump but also against American democracy and the outcome of a presidential election.

There is no doubt whatsoever about this. The facts are publicly available in the declassified Top Secret Memorandum Opinion and Order of the FISA Court—https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf and in the declassified report from the House Intelligence Committee—given by the presstitutes the misleading name of the “Nunes Memo,” as if it is Nunes’ personal opinion and not the findings of months of work by an oversight committee of Congress— https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4365354-370598711-House-Intelligence-Committee-Report-on.html?embed=true&responsive=false&sidebar=false .

All of this information has been posted on my website for some time. If you have difficulty following my explanation, former US Attorney Joe DiGenova explains the felony actions by the FBI and Obama Justice (sic) Department here: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-21/brazen-plot-exonerate-hillary-clinton-and-frame-trump-unraveling-says-former-fed

Briefly, the National Security Agency discovered that the FBI and DOJ were abusing the surveillance system. As a favor of one security agency to another, NSA Director Adm. Rogers permitted the FBI and DOJ to rush to the FISA Court and confess their transgressions before the NSA informed the Court. The FBI and DOJ pretended that their deception of the Court in order to obtain surveillance warrants for highly partisan political purposes was not due to their intent but to procedural mistakes. The FBI and DOJ told the Court that they were tightening up procedures so that this would not happen again. The FISA Court Memorandum and Order clearly states:

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court.”

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by William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt
February 05, 2018
Antiwar.com
Originally posted at TomDispatch

The groundwork is already laid for America’s next war(s) in the Middle East and, in the process, one of the last relatively undamaged areas of Syria (at least before the Turkish military began to pound it with air strikes and artillery, then moving in tanks) is about to be added to the rubble of the region. The damage that began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 could now spread to yet another country, Turkey, already filled with Syrian refugees but relatively unscathed so far. At the moment, an autocratic Turkish president, angry over American backing for Kurdish forces in northern Syria and jockeying for popularity in his own country, is potentially repeating on a small scale the American blunder of 2003. He’s blithely invading Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Syria, assuming that all will go splendidly, while President Trump’s military finds itself, as it has so many times in these years, between a rock and a hard place.

The U.S. has approximately 2,000 troops in northern Syria and, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only recently announced, they are slated to stay there not just until the last ISIS fighter is wiped off the face of the Earth, but possibly until the end of time (a decision for which the Trump administration naturally has no congressional sanction). Washington’s latest stated goal: to support Kurdish fighters in the region and play a role in undermining both Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and its Iranian backers. (Good luck with that!) Those troops now find themselves caught between NATO ally Turkey (which has let Washington use a key military base against ISIS) and American-trained and -armed leftist Syrian Kurds, who have done most of the hard fighting (and dying) against the Islamic State “caliphate.” The Turks, who consider those Kurds “terrorists” (and backers of longtime Kurdish insurgents in Turkey), are angrily demanding that all U.S. troops immediately and unconditionally leave the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Manbij before they move in militarily (a demand already rejected by the head of U.S. Central Command). And oh, yes, the remnants of ISIS, driven back and no longer a “caliphate” or much of anything else, are still fighting.

So much for Donald Trump’s “victory” in Syria. While no one can possibly know what will come of all this, as with so much else in American war-making over these last 17 years, it’s reasonable to assume that it won’t be good, or peaceable, or end particularly well, or possibly at all. Count on one thing: you won’t soon read about an American military unchallenged and victorious in a Syria brought to order. Quite the opposite: if recent years are any indication, the damage will only spread, more civilians will die, more homes will be destroyed, more populations will be uprooted, and embittered locals, angry at the U.S. among other participants in this mayhem, will be primed to join yet newer terror groups.

TomDispatch regular and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel William Astore looks at this now eerily familiar process of American war-making, twenty-first-century style, and suggests what kinds of damage it’s already done, not just in distant lands, but here at home and what we, the people (formerly, “We, the People”), might consider doing about it. ~ Tom

Our Enemy, Ourselves
Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War

By William J. Astore

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

As a student of history, I was warned to avoid the notion of inevitability. Still, given such data points and others like them, is there anything more predictable in this country’s future than incessant warfare without a true victory in sight? Indeed, the last clear-cut American victory, the last true “mission accomplished” moment in a war of any significance, came in 1945 with the end of World War II.

Yet the lack of clear victories since then seems to faze no one in Washington. In this century, presidents have regularly boasted that the U.S. military is the finest fighting force in human history, while no less regularly demanding that the most powerful military in today’s world be “rebuilt” and funded at ever more staggering levels. Indeed, while on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised he’d invest so much in the military that it would become “so big and so strong and so great, and it will be so powerful that I don’t think we’re ever going to have to use it.”

As soon as he took office, however, he promptly appointed a set of generals to key positions in his government, stored the mothballs, and went back to war. Here, then, is a brief rundown of the first year of his presidency in war terms.

In 2017, Afghanistan saw a mini-surge of roughly 4,000 additional U.S. troops (with more to come), a major spike in air strikes, and an onslaught of munitions of all sorts, including MOAB (the mother of all bombs), the never-before-used largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, as well as precision weapons fired by B-52s against suspected Taliban drug laboratories. By the Air Force’s own count, 4,361 weapons were “released” in Afghanistan in 2017 compared to 1,337 in 2016. Despite this commitment of warriors and weapons, the Afghan war remains – according to American commanders putting the best possible light on the situation – “stalemated,” with that country’s capital Kabul currently under siege.

How about Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State? U.S.-led coalition forces have launched more than 10,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since Donald Trump became president, unleashing 39,577 weapons in 2017. (The figure for 2016 was 30,743.) The “caliphate” is now gone and ISIS deflated but not defeated, since you can’t extinguish an ideology solely with bombs. Meanwhile, along the Syrian-Turkish border a new conflict seems to be heating up between American-backed Kurdish forces and NATO ally Turkey.

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By Greg Hunter
January 31, 2018 In
USA Watchdog.com

Financial writer Bill Holter thinks revelations from the so-called Washington D.C. swamp are going to intensify in 2018. Holter explains, “I would call what’s coming a tsunami of truth. . . . I think it’s going to affect the mood of the country. It is going to enrage some people. I think it will scare some people. It will definitely affect capital flows. There is a debate about arresting people and perp walks, whether that would be good or bad for confidence. It’s my opinion it would initially be bad for confidence because there are so many people (that would be criminally charged) it would blow their minds. It’s beyond anything that they even thought of. So, I think confidence would initially break, but longer term, it is good for confidence because it will be a sign that the rule of law is coming back to the United States.”

Holter contends the politics of crooked Washington D.C. have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar. Holter says, “One reason I think the dollars has been weak since the beginning of 2017 is there were an awful lot of truth bombs that hit last year. There is more truth with this four page memo from Congress that was just voted to be released. Foreigners are looking at the dollar with high skepticism because all of this ‘truth’ points to a very crooked, fraudulent and corrupt nation. Do you really want your assets in that system and denominated in that currency? I think the answer is no, and that’s one of the reasons you are seeing the huge devaluation of the dollar. . . . In 2017, my theme was that was the year of the truth bomb, and in 2018, I believe the theme will end up being the year that truth finally mattered.”

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January 30, 2018
by Darius Shahtahmasebi
The Antimedia.org

On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 activists in the peace, environment, and social justice movements to launch a new initiative known as the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, the Nation reported.

In a series of panels that lasted over two days, the conference attendees highlighted the horrors of American foreign policy despite the fact Martin Luther King warned against these horrors over 50 years ago, a fitting reminder to heed the warnings of Dr. King.

According to the panel, the U.S. has over 800 formal military bases in 80 countries, “a number that could exceed 1,000 if you count troops stationed at embassies and missions and so-called ‘lily-pond’ bases, with some 138,000 soldiers stationed around the globe,” the Nation notes.

According to David Vine, author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Overseas Harm America and the World, maintaining bases and troops overseas cost $85 to $100 billion in 2014, while the total for bases and troops in war zones was between $160 billion and $200 billion.

The Nation also highlighted Vine’s claim that only some 11 other countries have bases in foreign countries, around 70 altogether. Russia is believed to have at least 26 bases in nine countries. They are mainly in former Soviet states, as well as Syria and Vietnam. The U.K., France, and Turkey have around four to ten bases each, and a handful of global bases are occupied by India, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. This might all change in the years to come, however, as China may be looking to build bases of its own in the Middle East.

Once the U.S. establishes itself militarily in a nation, it rarely leaves. Consider that after the defeat of Germany in World War II, the U.S. never left the country. It has maintained its bases there ever since. Germany’s Ramstein base is now the “hub” for America’s global drone assassination program throughout the Middle East.

The British spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has been using a base in North Yorkshire called Menwith Hill to assist with America’s targeted killings in the Middle East, using an unknown number of employees.

This is but one example of how American bases overseas can be used to commit mass suffering in the Middle East, and the effects of these bases on the local populations are far too many to document.

For example, in Okinawa, Japan, the U.S. was suspected of housing and burying Agent Orange at its unpopular base in Futenma. Protests are not uncommon, with a specific sit-in protest lasting more than 5,000 consecutive days, as reported by the Japan Times at the end of last year. Rapes, theft, assaults, and murders committed by U.S. personnel there are all rather common.

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Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth
By Ted Walter
Jan. 30, 2018

Even more important to demolition deniers than their newfound ability to claim one fire-induced collapse is the severe damage that would be done to their ideology if they had to accept the Plasco incident as a demolition.

On January 19, 2018, the one-year anniversary of the Plasco Building collapse in Iran, the website Gizmodo published an article by structural engineer Alex Weinberg titled “Why 9/11 Truthers Are Obsessed with the Plasco High-Rise Fire in Tehran.”

Plasco book no spine 200pxThe focus of Weinberg’s article was the response of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) — the organization I work for — to the destruction of Tehran’s first-ever, iconic high-rise. At around 8:00 AM that day, the upper floors caught fire and burned for a little over three hours before a series of explosions rocked the building. The structure then completely collapsed to the ground, tragically claiming the lives of sixteen firefighters and six civilians.

The day after, we issued a statement, based on our analysis of the available videos, urging the Iranian government to investigate the possible use of explosives. One month later, after compiling more evidence, we published a report recommending that investigators consider explosives and incendiaries as the primary hypothesis for the building’s destruction. Our purpose was “to help the people of Iran in their effort to understand the cause of this tragic incident.”

Fast-forward one year later to the first anniversary. Within an hour after we released a video to bring attention to the issue (the video is available in English and Farsi), Alex Weinberg’s hate-fest of an article was published. I use the term “hate-fest” not only because the article is unabashedly derisive and dehumanizing, but because Weinberg openly admitted his disdain of “9/11 conspiracy theorists” in an article he penned on the sixth anniversary of 9/11, in which he wrote:

“To them, airplane collisions could not have toppled the Twin Towers, and something else must have led to the unprecedented destruction. Let me just say that I take deep offense at this idea. Conservative commentators often deride 9/11 conspiracy theorists for their lack of patriotism or compassion or whatever, but I think this is a far too easy way of thinking. Instead, I hate them for the much more substantiative sin of being stupid and loud. To me — a structural engineering student and longtime supporter of skyscrapers and skyscraper-related causes — they might as well be protesting against evolutionary theory or the abstract notion of time.”

Weinberg’s stated reason for hating “9/11 conspiracy theorists” is odd when you consider that many of the architects and engineers who’ve signed the petition of AE911Truth did so because they view the official account of the World Trade Center’s destruction as an affront to their profession. Three skyscrapers collapsed completely and catastrophically in one day, killing more than 2,500 people, ostensibly under design load conditions (that is, conditions the structures were designed to withstand). Proving that the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7 did not actually collapse from fire would therefore absolve the building professions of negligence, or at least that is how some members of these professions see it. In reality, it seems that Weinberg’s hatred is borne out of something much deeper than his love of skyscrapers.

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True believer Mike Pence could be a whole lot worse

Philip Giraldi
January 30, 2018
The Unz Review

When President Donald Trump traveled to Davos last week, the second foreign head of government he met with was Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. When the expected groveling before Bibi was concluded the rest of the world learned that Trump is right on board the Netanyahu bandwagon when it comes to making sure that the Palestinians somehow disappear. Trump flat-out lied in asserting that “I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace,” a line that comes straight out of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs playbook, but drew a frown from Bibi when he suggested there might actually have to be some concessions from both sides to reach an agreement. Netanyahu does not do concessions.

President Trump, who has no coherent Middle Eastern policy apart from abject deference to Israel, was particularly miffed because the Palestinians had “disrespected” Mike Pence on his visit to the region earlier in the week. They had refused to meet with the U.S. Vice President over the issue of Israel’s claimed sovereignty in all of Jerusalem, which the Administration endorsed and claims to have “taken off the [negotiating] table.”

In response to the Palestinian affront, Trump threatened to cut any aid going to Ramallah unless its leaders get their pathetic asses back to participate in U.S. brokered negotiations where everyone can sit around and talk while the Israelis systematically devour what is left of the West Bank. “That money is on the table and that money’s not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace,” he said. Someone should have told The Donald that U.S. assistance goes largely to pay and train a Palestinian police force that works hand-in-hand with the Israeli occupiers to prevent attacks on Israelis. But hey, being president means you never have to say you’re sorry when you screw things up.

Trump has already cut in half the money going to United Nations relief efforts helping Palestinian refugees, many of whom still live in camps seventy years after the Jews stole their homes. Donald Trump is right of course. Why throw money at ragheads when you can instead suck up to the infinitely more powerful and wealthy world Jewry that the sly and slimy Netanyahu claims to represent?

Meanwhile back at home multiple moves are underway to get rid of Trump, ranging from declaring him mentally incompetent to impeachment for perjury or for lack of good manners. I would like to see him go due to his sheer fecklessness, particularly if he can take Mattis, McMaster, Pompeo, Tillerson and Haley with him. But there is a serious fly in the ointment, namely what would come next? The answer is President Mike Pence.

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January 28, 2018
Paul Craig Roberts

Peter Jenkins, a former British ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, expresses concerns about the decisions of France, Germany, and the UK to appease President Trump on fixing “flaws” in the Iranian nuclear agreement. http://lobelog.com/europe-dont-go-all-wobbly-on-the-jcpoa/ It is worth a read to see that the European governments are still Washington’s toadies despite the “hate Trump” attitude that allegedly prevails among Washington’s European vassals.

Readers need to understand that there are no flaws in the agreement. The allegation of “flaws” is an Israeli orchestration in order to resurrect the attacks on Iran that the nuclear agreement terminated. What Trump is doing is appeasing Israel. Israel doesn’t want Iran to have long range missiles, non-nuclear ones, that enhance Iran’s defensive posture. More importantly, Israel does not want to lose the nuclear weapons charge that Israel invented and hoped to use to have the US military destabilize Iran a la Iraq and Libya. Israel’s problem with Syria and Iran is that both countries support Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that has twice driven the vaunted Israeli army out of southern Lebanon, territory Israel wants to occupy for the water resources. If Israel, armed as it is with the American Zionist Neoconservatives who control US foreign policy, can resurrect the Western attack on Iran, Israel can perhaps pressure Iran to abandon Hezbollah and Lebanon to Israel.

Americans are so totally brainwashed by Israeli propaganda that there is no public restraint on Washington serving Israel’s interest. And that is what Trump is doing. The tough guy is nothing but a panderer for Israel.

What is going on has nothing whatsoever to do with the Iranian nuclear or missile program. It has to do with Israel’s use of US power, including the intimidation power over Europe, to remove Iran as a constraint on Israeli expansion.

Of course, the UK diplomat probably knows this, but he also knows that he cannot say it without being read out of his career as an “anti-semite.”

Along with the entire the military-industrial complex.

By Andrew J. Bacevich
January 24, 2018
The American Conservative

Here’s what we can say about the Trump administration’s just-released National Defense Strategy: it’s not a strategy and its subject is not defense.

Bearing the imprimatur of Pentagon chief James Mattis, the NDS—at least the unclassified summary that we citizens are permitted to see—is in essence a brief for increasing the size of the U.S. military budget. Implicit in the document is this proposition: more spending will make the armed forces of the United States “stronger” and the United States “safer.” Simply put, the NDS is all about funneling more bucks to the Pentagon.

Remarkably, the NDS advances this argument while resolutely avoiding any discussion of what Americans have gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended pursuant to the past 16-plus years of continuous war—as if past performance should have no bearing on the future allocation of resources.

Try this thought experiment. The hapless Cleveland Browns went winless this year. How might Browns fans react if the team’s management were to propose hiking ticket prices next season? Think they might raise a ruckus?

The Pentagon has not recorded many more wins than the Browns of late. Yet a trust-us-we-know-what-we’re-doing attitude permeates the NDS. And amazingly, it’s almost certain that Mattis will get whatever additional money he wants.

The NDS contains several extraordinary statements. Yet none top this one: “Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy.”

What exactly is this supposed to mean? To atrophy is to waste away. Muscles atrophy from non-use, from too much sitting around and too little exercise.

Whatever else one can say about the United States military, it has not suffered from too much sitting around and too little exercise. If anything, the reverse is true. Under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump, U.S. forces have been constantly on the go. I’m prepared to argue that no nation in recorded history has ever deployed its troops to more places than has the United States since 2001. American bombs and missiles have rained down on a remarkable array of countries. We’ve killed an astonishing number of people.

To what effect? In Washington, the question goes not only unanswered but unasked.

Despite all this extraordinary activism, the NDS tells us we’re in big trouble. The global “security environment” has become “more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory.” What the NDS refers to as a “long-standing rules-based international order” is coming undone. In short, things are bad and they’re getting worse by the minute.

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Philip Giraldi
January 23, 2018
The Unz Review

The Donald Trump administration is planning to install a 30,000 strong armed “security force” in northern Syria along the borders with Turkey and Iraq. This presumably will tie together and support the remaining rag-tags of allegedly pro-democracy rebels and will fit in with existing and proposed U.S. bases. The maneuver is part of a broader plan to restructure Syria to suit the usual crop of neocon geniuses in Washington that have slithered their way back into the White House and National Security Council, to include renewed demands that the country’s President Bashar al-Assad “must go,” reiterated by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last Wednesday. He said “But let us be clear: The United States will maintain a military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring ISIS cannot re-emerge.” Tillerson also claimed that remaining in Syria would prevent Iran from “reinforcing” its position inside Syria and would enable the eventual ouster of al-Assad, but he has also denied that Washington was creating a border force at all, yet another indication of the dysfunction in the White House.

A plan pulled together in Washington by people who should know better but seemingly don’t is hardly a blueprint for success, particularly as there is no path to anything approximating “victory” and no exit strategy. The Syrians have not been asked if they approve of an arrangement that will be put in place in their sovereign territory and the Turks have already bombed targets and sent troops and allied militias into the Afrin region, also a U.S. supported Kurdish enclave on the border. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated clearly that Ankara will disrupt any U.S. devised border arrangement. From the Turkish point of view the border security force, which reportedly will largely consist of Kurdish militiamen, will inevitably work in cooperation with the Kurdish terrorist group PKK which is active on the Turkish side of the border, in seeking to create an autonomous Kurdish state, which Turkey reasonably enough regards as an existential threat.

And then there is one other little complication, which is that the United States presence in Syria is completely illegal both under international law and under the U.S. government’s War Powers Act. Syria is a sovereign state with a recognized government and there is no U.N. or Congressional mandate that permits Washington to station its soldiers, Marines and airmen within the country’s borders. The argument that the recent Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF) permitted the activity because groups linked to al-Qaeda were active there and the local government was unable to expel them is only thinly credible as the U.S. has also attacked Syrian Army forces and the militiamen linked to Syria’s ally Iran. That constitutes a war crime.

Trump can under the War Powers Act take military action to counter an imminent threat, which was never the case from Syria in any event, but after 60 days he has to cease or desist or go to Congress for authorization up to and possibly including a declaration of war. The military offensive against Syria began under President Barack Obama and it is far beyond that two-month window already, so egregiously in violation that some Congressmen are actually beginning to take notice. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia has demanded that no military initiatives in Syria be undertaken without a Senate vote. He said on Thursday that“I am deeply alarmed that yet again, the Trump administration continues to raise the risk of unnecessary war, disconnected from any firm policy objectives and core national security interests. To be clear, neither the 2001 or 2002 AUMFs provide authority to target Assad or Iranian proxies in Syria, and it is unacceptable for this action to be taken absent a vote and approval of Congress.”

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