Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Washington's Aleppo Strategy Failed

Washington's Aleppo Strategy Failed

by Stephen Lendman

Since WW II, America lost every war it waged. Its only success was destroying nations and murdering millions. 

Imagine that legacy for current and future historians to address. Imagine how few will do it accurately and honorably.

Imagine a nation glorifying wars in the name of peace. Historians Charles Beard and Gore Vidal called them "perpetual war(s) for perpetual peace."

Historian Harry Elmer Barnes addressed the same issue, saying:

"If trends continue....we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace." 

"Such an era could only culminate in a third world war which might well, as Arnold J. Toynbee has suggested, leave only the pygmies in remote jungles, or even the apes and ants, to carry on 'the cultural traditions' of mankind."

Wars to end all future ones is popular fiction. Woodrow Wilson wanted war and got it. So did Roosevelt, Truman, and other US presidents. 

Wars and violence define America. They're normal, commonplace, and unending. Peace, tranquility, and security are illusions. So are democratic values and rule of law principles.

Pacifism in America is considered sissy and unpatriotic. Wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Patriotism means supporting them. It's also about advancing the nation's imperium at the expense of vital homeland needs and security. 

Imagine what's coming if this madness isn't stopped. Nothing in prospect looks promising. Media scoundrels promote war. They cheerlead it. They glorify what they should condemn.

Syria now is ground zero. Washington planned war years ago. At issue is establishing another vassal state. America wants unchallenged global hegemony. 

New World Order strategy set the tone. One nation after another is ravaged. War profiteers cash in hugely. The longer conflicts rage, the fatter their bottom lines. 

Their business model depends on death and destruction. Imagine making a living that way. Profits rise with body counts.

Dozens die daily in Syria. Western death squads target civilians. Thousands of foreign killers show no mercy. America fights all its direct and proxy wars this way. Down and dirty define them.

Aleppo is Syria's ground zero. The "mother of all battles" continues. Washington wants the city transformed into Syria's Benghazi. State security forces are prevailing. They foiled America's best laid plans.

On July 31, SANA state media headlined "Infiltration Attempts from Lebanon and Jordan failed, Authorities Hunt Terrorists in Aleppo, Damascus Countryside, Homs, Deir Ezzor and Idleb," saying:

Terrorists trying to enter Syria were routed. Scores were killed or injured. Heavy losses were inflicted in other areas. Security forces are prevailing in Aleppo.

On July 30, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "The bid for Syria's first safe haven in Aleppo region is thwarted," saying:

Washington's grand scheme failed. "Assad forces were again rooting out and liquidating rebel forces in Aleppo as they did in Damascus days earlier."

It's taking longer because efforts are made to protect architectural and historic sites. Minimizing civilian casualties is also prioritized.

Aleppo is Syria's largest city and commercial hub. It's also noted for its beauty. Its history goes back thousands of years. Militant held areas were retaken. Fighting continues in parts of the city and surrounding areas.

On July 30, "Saudi and Qatari intelligence officers (were) forced to admit" defeat. Security forces "smashed their plan for a safe haven in the Aleppo area."

Militant leaders expressed frustration. They called for international intervention. They're no match for Syrian military superiority.

Plans were for establishing a transitional government. At issue was replicating Benghazi. Days earlier, Hillary Clinton boasted about "more and more territory being taken. It will eventually result in a safe haven inside Syria."

Plans A and B failed. DF's Washington sources say Obama officials now weigh more direct involvement. Perhaps they plan shock and awe and sending in marines. It's doubtful Obama will go that far pre-election. Anything is possible later on no matter which party prevails.

DF said mainly "splinter rebel group" fighters battle in Aleppo. Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi leads them. They're a "radical Islamic militia calling itself 'Banner of Islam.' " They're largely Al Qaeda-connected. They're from Iraq and Libya.

Syria's Foreign Ministry sent identical letters to current Security Council president (Colombia's) Nestor Osorio Londono and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

It said foreign terrorists are murdering civilians, "particularly in Damascus and Aleppo." Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey admit supplying weapons.

Gangs infest neighborhoods. Civilians are used as human shields. People are forced from their homes at gunpoint. Assad loyalists are murdered.

Nations claiming concern about ending bloodshed "never made any calls for terrorist groups to end their armed operations and join the political process requested by the UN and approved by Syria...."

Hypocritical Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Ankara, Doha, and Riyadh voices grow louder. They accuse Syria for death squad crimes.

UN Charter principles were trashed. Majority Security Council members want war, not peace. Syria is committed to diplomatic and political solutions. Its pleas fall on deaf ears.

Conflict persists. Body counts mount. Civilians suffer most. Washington bears most responsibility. Turkey's Hurriyat daily headlined "US and Turkey to 'accelerate' Syria transition: White House," saying:

Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed by phone. A statement followed saying this "would include (Assad's) departure....and be responsive to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people."

Imperial arrogance ignores their interests, needs and welfare. Most Syrians support Assad. International law prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. Washington spurns it repeatedly.

On July 31, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined "US green-lights more supplies to Syrian opposition," saying:

US officials stopped of admitting involvement in supplying weapons and munitions. Items mentioned included communications equipment and other non-lethal supplies.

At the same time, Russia Today headlined "Panetta and Israel to discuss war plans against Iran?" saying:

Israeli officials denied reports about Washington "provid(ing) them with a contingency plan in case of a showdown with Iran."

US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon "briefed Israeli authorities on an American-penned contingency plan earlier this month."

On July 30, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta began a week-long Middle East tour. Syria and Iran top his agenda. Enlisting greater support for Washington's imperium is prioritized.

Toppling Assad comes first. Saber rattling against Iran continues. The usual "all options are on the table" are repeated. 

On August 1, Panetta meets with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Imperial warlords will discuss their next moves. War tops their agenda. Both countries prioritize it. Together they threaten humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


Capitalism Failed

Capitalism Failed

by Stephen Lendman

Economic/financial systems dependent on wars and predation eventually self-destruct. Western capitalism is no exception.

Money power runs things. War profiteering is policy. Ordinary people have no say. Exploiting them for profit is prioritized. Divisions between rich and poor grow. By some measures they're unprecedented.

Money power in private hands and democracy can't co-exist. Banking giants transformed Western societies into vehicles for wealth extraction. Corrupt politicians facilitate their criminality. In return, they're rewarded handsomely.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote about "The Collapsing US Economy and the End of the World." Can societies survive Washington's hubris, he asked?

Federal policy destroys people politically, militarily and economically. Few benefit at the expense of most others. Washington grows more "isolated and despised." Europe "is on the ropes" and sinking.

Wars rage endlessly. Victories are elusive. Options perhaps are down to "the elimination of life on earth. Is this Washington's program," asked Roberts. 

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said what good are nuclear weapons if you don't use them. Roberts quoted neocon warmonger Bill Kristol saying the same thing.

Formerly he served as vice president Dan Quale's chief of staff. He's now a Fox News regular. He and others like him want to blow up the world to exploit it. 

These types run America and Western societies. They also conspire with bankers to steal us blind. John Kozy is a Progressive Radio News Hour regular. His latest article headlined "How the Economy Works; the Necessity of Crime."

Forget about love. Money and fraud make the world go round. Roberts explained in discussing libor and other grand schemes. Kozy said "(w)hether people benefit or are injured is never an economic concern." They're "irrelevant."

Commercial enterprises commit crimes. Growth depends on it. So does GDP. Economies are disconnected from people and their welfare. Money made by stealing it or destroying things works better than by operating honestly.

Western economies are "totally immoral." Kozy quoted a financial advisor saying:

"As investors, we absolutely must not let our political beliefs, the news media, or anything else stand in the way of our quest to grow our hard-earned money into (more of it for) lasting wealth."

Who cares what harm befalls others in the process. They're externality burdens for them to bear. At the same time, chickens are coming home to roost. Years of economic/financial excess head closer to day of reckoning payback. 

Troubled EU economies look worse off now than in decades. Money power in private hands bears full responsibility. They're heading societies off a cliff. Proposed fixes work short-term. Greater problems result.

Unvarnished reality looks dire. Economic numbers heading south show it. Markit Economics provides independent data. Its composite economic index showed contracting activity for six consecutive months. In July, its manufacturing component hit a three-year low.

Markets rise on hopes and prayers. Central bank rhetoric and bravado substitute for sound policies. Economic reality looks bleak. 

Powerhouse Germany got a credit warning. Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) looks increasingly like a failed experiment.

From inception, the euro was a disaster waiting to happen. Dissolution appears just a matter of time. Existential reality shows breakup draws closer.

Trouble also looms in America. One analyst said it wins first prize in the ugly contest. Europe ranks last. Nomura's chief European economist Jacques Cailloux asked:

"What can they do and what would bring about a sustained turnaround in market confidence? There I struggle to find something that would really be convincing."

Regardless of up and down market swings, a secular bear market in equities persists. Two ECB LTROs (Long-Term Recovery Organization) bought little time and nothing else.

ECB president Mario Draghi claims he has more tricks up his sleeve. One analyst said he's throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

Monetary policy is a blunt tool. Structural insolvency issues persist. Central bank intervention is short-lived. Core problems remain unaddressed.

European credit crunch issues cause more problems. Germany's done heavy lifting for the continent. Cross-border lending by its banks fell nearly 20% in the past seven months. It's back to 2005 levels.

Deposits keep leaving Greece, Portugal and Spain for safer locations. At the same time, European banking faces a trillion euros worth of bad loans. Today's numbers are 9% greater year-over-year. Overall, 2.5 trillion euros are non-performing.

Solutions call for more debt. Fires aren't extinguished by throwing fuel on them. Central bankers and politicians avoid responsible actions. Existential moments await all poorly run economies.

Progressive Radio News Hour (PRNH) regular Jack Rasmus predicts economies will head south ahead. America's stagnating economy remains weak. Recovery is an illusion.

The economy needs growth above 2.5% to create jobs. Dismal numbers reported are overstated. Jobs are lost, says Rasmus. Tax cuts don't create them. Neither do corporate handouts. Ahead things look worse. 

These type policies have "zero impact on the economy and job creation," says Rasmus. Claiming otherwise is a myth. Policy-makers and media scoundrels repeat it ad nauseam.

US economic data are grim. Consumer and business spending slowed. Auto sales fell dramatically. Total retail sales fell three straight months in Q II. 

Services consumption recorded its lowest growth in two years. Rasmus said consumer spending was driven largely by rising credit card, auto, and education debt. It's unrelated to real disposable income. It's falling. 

Manufacturing strength is ebbing. Durable goods spending declined sharply. US exports grew more slowly than imports. GDP took a hit. 

State and local government spending keeps declining. So does domestic federal spending. During hard times, it's a prescription for trouble. Spending cuts, layoffs and higher household taxes assure greater problems later on.

Rasmus sums up US economic woes, saying:

In 11 post-1947 recessions, state and local government spending increased. Net private sector job creation averaged 350,000 for six consecutive months. Housing led recovery.

For the past four years, the opposite occurred. No effective jobs program exists. Continuing housing foreclosures harm millions. State, and local government spending heads south. So does domestic federal spending. 

Obama betrayed Americans. His alleged economic recovery program was illusory. Ahead things look worse. In Europe they're dire. Draghi promised help. Some observers think he's bluffing. Others don't trust him.

On July 30, Der Spiegel headlined "ECB Divided over Efforts to Save Euro," saying:

Analysts called Draghi promising to do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro" another "platitude coming from a politician." Short covering sent markets higher. Expect europhia to be short-lived.

"(E)xperts at the central banks of the euro zone’s 17 member states had no idea what to do with the news. Draghi’s remark was not the result of any resolutions, and even members of the ECB Governing Council admitted that they had heard nothing of such plans until then."

"A crisis of nerves" persists. Numerous euro summits produced failure. Previous ECB interventions bought time. Nothing else was accomplished. What sounds promising when announced, in fact, shows weakness.

Germany's Bundesbank called Draghi's proposal "problematic." If he backs up his words with intervention, "the climate in Europe's monetary authority could sink to a new low."

Northern European creditor countries fear he's willing to sacrifice sacrosanct monetary principles. Debtor periphery ones think the Bundesbank secretly plans returning to deutsche mark stability.

Commerzbank chief economist Jorg Kramer believes Draghi "exceeded his scope of responsibility." Maneuvering lost him credibility. Resistance against him grows. Everything he tried failed. Repeating what doesn't work shows ineptitude. Maybe his days are numbered.

Sovereign debt buying can't bring lasting market relief or resolve deep-seated structural problems. Draghi's fighting symptoms, not underlying causes. Economic trouble grows. 

The longer real solutions are delayed, the worse things get. What's intended to maintain monetary union may end up dissolving it. Force-fed austerity hastens it. 

Resolving crisis conditions responsibly isn't even discussed. It's a recipe for disaster. Only its timing is unknown.

On July 31, the Financial Times headlined "Time for something different from the ECB," saying:

After becoming president last November, Draghi said the "security markets program" his predecessor launched was seriously flawed.

"ECB hardliners (said) the bank compromised its political independence by wheeling-and-dealing with eurozone governments."

Something different is needed. "The ECB is responsible for the effective implementation of its monetary policy. But, with eurozone interest rates diverging so much, that is clearly not happening."

Draghi left key questions unanswered. "Will the ECB overcome the 'seniority' problem of a revamped bond-buying program by finally taking losses on its Greek bonds?" 

"How will he keep the (leery) Bundesbank on side, or at least prevent it undermining the credibility of any ECB intervention?" 

"Will it somehow try to distinguish between 'convertibility' premiums and other factors driving up bond yields?"

Draghi's bravado gave no answers. He's been ECB president since last November. Formerly he was vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, governor of the Bank of Italy, Italian executive director at the World Bank, and Financial Stability Board (FSB) chairman.

Established in 2009, the FSB advanced the ball closer to global monetary control. It lets banking giants consolidate power and run world economies. Draghi ran it until appointed ECB president. 

Now he's wrecking Europe. Perhaps Germany will return to deutsche marks and France reissue francs. Doing so might be a step in the right direction to stop him.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Major Media Admit Presence of Foreign Militants in Syria

Major Media Admit Presence of Foreign Militants in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Syria's conflict isn't an uprising, revolution or civil war. It's lawless Western aggression. It targets an independent government and its people. Doing so violates fundamental international law.

Washington planned it years ago. It wants puppet leaders installed. It's Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya 2.0. America destroys nations to control and plunder them. 

War on humanity is waged for unchallenged global dominance. Syria is ground zero. Other targeted states come later.

Proxy death squads are used. They're heavily armed, trained and directed. They reign terror on Syrian civilians. They've murdered thousands of noncombatant men, women and children. 

At issue is ravaging and intimidating Syria to submission. Foreign militants show no mercy. Their presence has been well known all along. Media scoundrels now admit it. At the same time, their framing deceives more than explains.

On July 29, The New York Times headlined "As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role," saying:

"....Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance."

Fact check

Militants are largely imported, not homegrown. Many are Al Qaeda affiliated. They're brought in from regional countries. Most Syrian regime opponents deplore violence. They want reforms, not war.

The Times said more recently "larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant(s push) an agenda based on jihad."

At the same time, it claimed "no significant presence of foreign combatants of any stripe in Syria...." It cited an unnamed "activist" saying around 1,000 of 50,000 fighters involved are foreigners. It added that many of them aren't "jihadists."

It tiptoed toward admitting that what Assad said all long is true. It suggested that "Salafist groups" and other Islamic radicals "now receive most foreign financing."

It stopped short of explaining that Syria was lawlessly invaded. It's waging defensive liberating battles. International law legitimizes them. No nation would stand aside and let foreign invaders ravage and control their country.

On July 26, Time magazine headlined "TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria's Rebels," saying:

Al Qaeda's flag is prominently displayed. "At this stage, they remain a minor player in the conflict. (T)heir role may grow exponentially."

In May, Time asked "Is al-Qaeda Intervening in the Conflict?" saying:

"It's hardly a revelation (to imagine) criminal and extremist elements looking to profit from the disintegration of order. Instability....is a petri dish for radicals."

US strategy depends on violence and instability. Peace and calm defeat Washington's agenda. Time magazine, The New York Times, and other media scoundrels suppress information readers most need to know. Instead they're fed managed news misinformation garbage.

Other major media also admitted the presence of foreign militants in Syria. They include AFP, Der Spiegel, London Telegraph, UK Sunday Times, South Africa's News 24, and various lesser known publications. 

BBC says they're involved but play a minor role. BBC runs cover for imperial Britain. It has to. It's state operated, funded and controlled. It produces propaganda. Real news, information and analysis are verboten. 

Qatar's Al Jazeera operates the same way. They and other media scoundrels mock legitimate journalism.

On July 30, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined "Jihadists with 'British accents' fighting Syria's Assad," saying:

"Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans and UK photographer John Cantlie were attacked by anti-Assad troops when crossing the Syrian border from Turkey last week."

Their captors weren't Syrians. They came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chechnya, and elsewhere. Many of them spoke English. Some did "with recognizable" British accents.

Russia Today reported the same story. It said what happened shows that "Syria has become a magnet for radical Islamists, who are there either as mercenaries or because of ideology."

Hard core extremists among them want regional countries transformed into Islamic caliphates. Syria is the region's only independent secular state. 

Its people alone should decide how they'll be governed. Free, fair and open elections are now held. Independent candidates and parties opposing Assad participate. 

In contrast, despots run regional monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, other Gulf states, Jordan, and Morocco. Washington extends support. They're valued imperial allies. 

So is Israel. Like America, its democracy mocks the real thing. Both countries deplore it. They don't tolerate it at home or abroad. They wage wars to prevent it. They want unchallenged hegemonic control.

They're involved in Syria's conflict. Aleppo currently is ground zero. On July 29, SANA state media headlined "Armed Forces Clear Neighborhoods in Aleppo and Damascus Countryside from Terrorist Groups," saying:

Syrian forces "cleared Saladin neighborhood in Aleppo city from armed terrorist group."

"An official source told SANA that the armed forces inflicted very heavy losses on the terrorists, some of them non-Syrians of Arab and foreign nationalities, adding that fleeing terrorists are being pursued and that their hideouts are being raided, with the terrorists being arrested or eliminated."

Insurgents take refugee in civilian neighborhoods. They use human shields for protection. Doing so slows efforts to eliminate them. Nonetheless, they're being routed. Order is being restored to Damascus. Pockets of resistance continue.

Expect Aleppo to be liberated. Syrian forces are prevailing. They're cleansing terrorist held areas. US officials express frustration. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta equates defeating them with Assad losing "all legitimacy."

Saying so makes him look more buffoon-like than in charge of US imperial wars. An unidentified Syrian military officer told Reuters late Sunday that (i)n a few days safety and security will return to....Aleppo."

Saladin and Hamdaniya neighborhoods were freed. Security forces routed terrorists trying to enter Syria from Turkey.

Reuters quoted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem saying "(t)oday I tell you, Syria is stronger....In less than a week (terrorists) were defeated" in Damascus. "So they moved on to Aleppo, and I assure you their plots will fail."

Voltaire Network's Thierry Meyssan asked "Who is fighting in Syria?"

Armed groups modeled on the Contras are used. They don't "defend democracy, they fight against it." 

"The FSA (Free Syrian Army) program is to end the secular regime installed by the Baath, the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party) and the Communist Party in favor of a pure religious Sunni regime."

Washington's rhetorical support for "democratic transition" is sham cover for long-planned imperial control.

Foreign mercenaries are used. They're involved for love, money, ideology, or a combination of two or more. They're "thugs and habitual criminals." 

They're "lured by easy money." They're paid "seven times the average wage." Other fighters "fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya," Iraq and Libya.

They're more mercenary than jihadist. They include Al Qaeda affiliated elements. Many are based in Turkey. They're fighting "under the label of Free Syrian Army." They're NATO "auxiliaries." They're headquartered on its Incirlik, Turkey base.

"Hard core Islamists formed their own organizations or joined Al Qaeda." Qatar or Saudi Arabia control them. They're "de facto" CIA assets.

In Nicaragua, Contras were CIA-connected. Syrian militants have a similar relationship.

"In May 2012, Miami Cuban Contras organized counter-revolutionary guerrilla war training seminars for their Syrian counterparts." Tactics used earlier are employed now.

They include targeting Assad loyalists, murdering civilians, economic sabotage, "derailing passenger trains, car bombs at popular sites, and killing religious, political and military leaders."

The great majority of Syrians oppose them. The longer conflict persists, the greater Assad's support grows. People need state security forces for protection. Without them they're defenseless.

Syria's army is a conscript people's force. They're not used for political repression. Assad also authorized neighborhood militias. They're armed for self-defense. Syria's military supervises them.

Washington's war on Syria isn't about liberation, instituting democracy, and concern for human rights. It's to establish another regional puppet regime. It's for imperial dominance. 

It's willing to destroy nations and slaughter their people to control them. Then on to more targets.

Washington threatens humanity. Stopping its carnage matters most. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


CIA Calls Israel Main US Regional Spy Threat

CIA Calls Israel Main US Regional Spy Threat

by Stephen Lendman

On July 28, AP reported it. Anonymous sources were cited. The CIA's Tel Aviv station chief discovered "sensitive equipment he used (at home) to communicate with" headquarters personnel in Langley, VA was compromised.

He told his superiors. It happened to Washington's previous station chief. It wasn't coincidental. It showed allies spy on each other. Israeli intelligence spies on its US counterparts.

A CIA official in Israel discovered "the food in (his) refrigerator had been rearranged." Washington blames Israel's security services for these incidents. It shows what's well known but ignored publicly.

Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev claims "Israel does not spy on the United States of America."

He lied. Israel spies every day in every way it thinks it can get away with. Before 9/11, the FBI uncovered a massive US-based spy ring. Israel ran it. It remains active.

In the process, it betrays America. Numerous Israeli citizens are involved. They have close ties to foreign military, criminal and intelligence sources. They reportedly breached US law enforcement wiretaps earlier.

In 2011, former CIA counterintelligence specialist/military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi accused Israel of stealing everything it gets its hands on. It includes military and industrial secrets.

"The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable," he said. "Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report." 

It's called "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage." In 2005, it said:

"Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States." 

"These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry."

Proprietary commercial and industrial information is also stolen. Israel recruits spies. They use electronic methods. They hack into computers for information. 

Washington's Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally."

The Pentagon accused Israel of "actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States. An Israeli citizen working in the US who has access to proprietary information is likely to be a target of such espionage."

FBI whistleblower John Cole said Justice Department officials ordered dozens of Israeli espionage cases dropped. At issue was political pressure.

Washington gives Israel billions of dollars annually in aid, the latest weapons and technology, and numerous other special privileges. In return, it steals US state and civilian secrets.

Despite close US/Israeli ties, "US national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat."

AP stopped short of explaining how Israel menaces regional and global nations. It's nuclear armed and dangerous. It has stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

In his 1991 book, "The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy," Seymour Hersh explained its strategy to launch a massive nuclear counterattack if survival is threatened. Other analysts say the same thing.

AP focused on compromised intelligence. It said Israel was also "implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush."

"The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division." It oversees regional spying. It protects national secrets from spies. It believes other regional states pose less of an intelligence threat than Israel.

It uses highly sophisticated professional services. In terms of technical capability and human resources, it rivals America's best. It has access to the highest US political, military, and intelligence sources.

Despite close ties, disagreements exist. Former CIA officer Joseph Wippl called it "a complicated relationship. They have their interests. We have our(s). For the US, it's a balancing act."

Other countries closely watch how "Washington characterizes its relationship with Israel." Ahead of November elections, expect nary a discouraging word to be heard openly.

Mitt Romney hyperbole claims otherwise. He criticized Obama's "shabby treatment." Appealing to Jewish voters, he said Israelis "deserve better."

On July 30, Haaretz called his Jerusalem speech his "voice but Netanyahu's words." A select, "extremely friendly," audience was underwhelmed. 

One observer said this happens "when a weak American leader is forced to make unnecessarily controversial remarks in order to project a sense of strength he or she doesn't naturally exude."

His weakness masquerades as strength. Obama's essentially the same, but he delivers his lines better. Both men, their handlers, and hangers on infuriate Palestinians and others by spurning them.

Earlier this year, Obama said Washington and Israel "never had closer military and intelligence cooperation." Israeli Washington spokesman Lior Weintraub affirmed his country's close ties to America.

He called AP's report false, saying:

"Israel's intelligence and security agencies maintain close, broad and continuous cooperation with their U.S. counterparts."

"They are our partners in confronting many mutual challenges. Any suggestion otherwise is baseless and contrary to the spirit and practice of the security cooperation between our two countries."

CIA officials declined comment. Tensions remain strained. The National Security Agency (NSA) keeps close tabs on Israel. Reagan's "trust but verify" comment applies.

Washington's mindful of Israel's belligerence. It doesn't want to be caught napping if it attacks a neighbor without its knowledge.

Matthew Aid wrote "The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency." He said America began spying on Israel before 1948. Hebrew linguists now monitor intercepted communications.

Israel isn't Washington's most trusted ally. Select others have that distinction. They include Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. They share intelligence and agree not to spy on each other.

Israel has "second-tier" status. It's called "Friends on Friends," it comes from the phrase "Friends don't spy on Friends." The arrangement dates back decades. 

Israel's Mossad and Shin Bet are "suspected of recruiting US officials and trying to steal American secrets."

Earlier, two female CIA officers were fired for having unreported Israeli contacts. One admitted a relationship with an Israeli Foreign Ministry official. 

Jonathan Pollard's case is well known. In 1987, he was convicted of spying for Israel. He got life in prison. Israel wants him released. Netanyahu applies pressure. Disingenuously he called Israel's action "wrong and wholly unacceptable."

CIA officials wonder how many more Pollards now spy today. They're wary.

Former US Naval Criminal Investigative Service official Ronald Olive said a task force was formed to learn what Pollard took. Israel was uncooperative. Little was revealed. It represented "a speck in the sand."

In 2008, former Army mechanical engineer Ben-Ami Kadish pled guilty to giving Israel classified information in the 1980s. 

In 2006, a former Defense Department analyst got 12 years in prison for supplying Israel and two pro-Israeli lobbyists with state secrets.

The CIA ranks world intelligence agencies on their willingness to help America's war on terror. Earlier, Israel "fell below Libya." With friends like these, who needs enemies.

Israel gets virtually anything it wants from Washington. At times in return it's cooperative. Other times it offers little. Sometime friends aren't reliable. Those in need are friends indeed.

Obama claims an "unshakable commitment to Israel." It's not reciprocated in kind.

CIA officials "still bristle over the disappearance of a Syrian scientist who during the Bush administration was the CIA's only spy inside Syria's military program to develop chemical and biological weapons." 

He gave the agency "extraordinary information about pathogens used in the program." Former US officials confirmed it.

Although the agency "never formally concluded that Israel was responsible, CIA officials complained" about Israelis leaking "information to pressure Syria to abandon the program."

Its officials learned "who had access to the sensitive information and eventually identified the scientist as a traitor. Before he disappeared and was presumed killed," he told his CIA contact that "Syrian Military Intelligence" fingered him.

On July 29, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "An ill wind blows between US and Israeli intelligence over attack on Iran," saying:

Tensions between two allies heightened over AP saying the CIA considers Israel its main regional counterintelligence threat.

DF claims leaked information AP reported came ahead of Romney's Israeli visit. At issue was deterring him from using it "to review Jonathan Pollard's life sentence" if elected. At the CIA's behest, all previous presidents refused.

DF also said it relates to CIA agents looking for any information relating to Israel potentially attacking Iran's nuclear facilities unilaterally.

DF's Washington sources say watch out for October. It's mentioned as a possible strike month. Obama officials allegedly want Israel restrained but aren't sure they can do it.

On July 14, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon visited Israel. He learned that Netanyahu is close to decision day on Iran. He hasn't yet picked a date. Whether it's so or bluster isn't known. Israeli saber rattling is notorious. So is America's.

Anything made public raises suspicions. Aggressors don't warn targets about imminent attacks and name likely dates. On August 1, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta heads to Israel.

He won't learn more than other administration officials before him. Netanyahu is tight-lipped. DF's Western intelligence sources say the CIA maintains an extensive network of operatives in Israel. As a result, tensions between the two allies remain strained.

Will Israel unilaterally attack Iran? Don't bet on it. Its history suggests otherwise. Going to war needs US approval. 

Circumventing its paymaster partner risks trouble. One day what joined both nations together could turn the relationship asunder. 

Harming Washington's regional interests could trigger it. Israel may be aggressive, but it's not stupid. On issues as important as war, both nations are partnered on which way they'll go.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


Progressive Radio News Hour Guests for August 2, 4 and 5, 2012

The Progressive Radio News Hour Guests for August 2, 4, and 5, 2012

Thursday, August 2 at 10AM US Central time: Mohammad Marandi 

Marandi is an Associate Professor at the University of Tehran. He also chairs their North American studies department.

Discussion will focus on Iran, Syria and other Middle East issues.

Saturday, August 4 at noon US Central time: Rodney Shakespeare

Shakespeare is a Professor of Binary Economics at Trisakti University, Britain where he teaches postgraduate Islamic Economics and Finance.

He's also a qualifed UK Barrister, co-founder of the Global Justice Movement, and distinguished writer, scholar and lecturer, particularly at Islamic conferences on money, the real economy, and social and economic justice.

Major world and national issues will be discussed.

Sunday, August 5 at noon US Central time: Cynthia McKinney

Doing the right thing is costly. McKinney twice lost her congressional seat for supporting Palestinian rights, socially progressive policies and peace.

In 2008, she was the Green Party presidential candidate. Imagine America with her at the helm with a supportive Congress. Instead of permanent wars and homeland repression, we'd have model society peace, equity and justice.

McKinney edited and contributed to a new book titled, "The Illegal War on Libya." It's a must read to understand why Washington planned and led NATO's war.

Discussion will focus on the book.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Permanent War: Official US Policy

Permanent War: Official US Policy

by Stephen Lendman

Nations don’t wage permanent wars and survive. Imagine one calling itself a democracy trying.

Washington spends more on militarism and imperial wars than the rest of the world combined. At the same time, vital domestic needs go begging.

America lives by the sword. One day it'll perish by it. Perhaps so will humanity. 

The more wars it wages and longer they continue, the faster homeland and international support erodes.

What can't go on forever won't. Since 9/11 alone, Paul Craig Roberts says "11 years of failure" hasn't deterred America's rage to fight. 

"(T)he same Washington con artists who have produced a decade of bloodshed and destruction to no worthwhile effect are now preparing more wars doomed to failure." 

"More ambitious than ever, Washington, now arrayed against Iran, is lining up against Russia and China as well."

Out-of-control militarism is happening at a time the "government (is) deep in debt with a broken economy and a broken financial system."

Add "drowning in hubris," hypocrisy, psychopathic hegemony disorder, and contempt for human life, democratic values, and rule of law principles. 

No nation caused more harm to more people than any other in history by a wide margin. Unless stopped, perhaps it'll exceed the worst of all others combined.

In the meantime, one nation after another is ravaged. Syrians are battling to survive. US proxy killers murder them. The battle for Aleppo rages. More on what's known below.

Washington upped the stakes. "Swarming" strategy is used. In the 1990s, RAND Corporation developed it. It replicates communication patterns and movements of bees and other insects. US proxy death squads employ it. 

It erupted in Damascus and Aleppo. RAND researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt's 1997 "Swarming & The Future of Conflict" revealed the strategy. It's used in conflicts and color revolutions.

Battlefield information, cyberwar, communications, and other IT techniques are weapons of war. In Syria, so are insurgent concentrations. Combined, they're 21st century equivalents of blitzkrieg. 

They involve irregular methods of conflict. They include terror, crime, and other militant activities. Swarming combines known techniques. 

It strikes from all directions. Its effectiveness depends on deploying units able to interconnect using state-of-the-art communication technology. 

It works on battlefields, in color revolutions, and other type coups. It was used in Libya's conflict. It's now in play in Syria. 

Swarming in Damascus was routed. Aleppo now is ground zero. Syrian forces are determined to prevail. Odds are they will. Even heavily armed and directed on the ground, insurgents are outgunned and outmatched.

Syrians know the stakes. At issue is survival. Responsible leadership demands no efforts spared. Washington enlisted killer hoards invaded Syria. 

Routing them is prioritized. Assad's military has the capability to do it. If NATO forces intervene, all bets are off. Full-scale war changes things. 

Robert Fisk is no Bashar Assad fan. He deplores imperialism more. On July 29 he headlined "Syrian wars of lies and hypocrisy," saying:

"Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war of such cowardice and such mean morality, of such false rhetoric and such public humiliation?"

"I'm referring to the utter lies and mendacity of our masters and our own public opinion....in response to the slaughter, a vicious pantomime more worthy of Swiftian satire than Tolstoy or Shakespeare."

Fisk adds that while Washington rhetoric preaches democracy, it's allied with the region's most brutal despots. The "big truth," he says, is that US leaders don't give a damn about "human rights or the right to life or the death of Syrian babies."

On July 24, Patrick Seale headlined "The Destruction of Syria," saying:

"Once one of the most solid states in the Middle East and a key pivot of the regional power structure, Syria is now facing wholesale destruction." 

"The consequences of the unfolding drama are likely to be disastrous for Syria’s territorial integrity, for the well-being of its population, for regional peace, and for the interests of external powers deeply involved in the crisis."

The entire region may become embroiled in conflict, he adds. What's ongoing now isn't new. Throughout Assad's tenure and earlier, Washington and Israel conspired "to bring down the so-called 'resistance axis' of Tehran-Damascus-Hizbollah...."

It dares challenge US/Israeli regional dominance. "There can be no military solution to the Syria crisis," Seale stresses. The longer fighting persists, the greater the chance for regional conflict and beyond.

Hegemons should be careful what they wish for. It may bring consequences far outweighing benefits achieved. At the same time, humanity always ends up losing. It has no say about imperial adventurism.

Fighting rages in Aleppo. On July 29, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses in Aleppo, Lattakia, Homs, Deir Ezzor and Hama," saying:

Clashes continue in and around Aleppo and other cities. "A source told SANA that the authorities inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists and confiscated weapons and ammo."

Lebanon's al-Manar TV cited Syrian analyst Salim Harba. He says insurgents "are receiving painful blows."

Al-Manar also reported Blackwater elements "involved in security operations and murders. (They're) active at the Syrian border, especially in northern Lebanon and Turkey."

They're training insurgents to fight. They're directing them inside Syria.

The Syrian daily, al-Watan, calls Aleppo fighting "the mother of all battles." Fierce clashes continue. Insurgents "are using advanced European and Turkish arms." They include thermal rockets and anti-aircraft missiles.

Al-Watan says fighting may continue for some time. Thousands of insurgents are involved. They're from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Afghanistan, and other regional countries.

Aleppo witnesses say real war is raging. "(H)undreds of militants are falling one after another." Syrian forces "cleanse(d) areas close to Aleppo."

On July 29, Russia Today headlined "Aleppo blame game: Conflicting reports from the ground in Syria," saying:

Violent clashes continue. Media scoundrels and dubious sources claim "the Syrian regime is gearing for a 'massacre....' "

Al-Khabar TV reporter Sarkis Kassargian told RT:

"Last night, rebels attacked government buildings and police and intelligence centers in Aleppo. But they didn’t succeed to control any of those places. Attacks and clashes then occurred, but the Syrian army was acting in defense."

Insurgents control Al Hadi and Al Saher neighborhoods. Despite heavy fighting, residents aren't "fleeing the city in droves."

"Right now, there is no movement from government forces. Some families and residents in Aleppo are leaving the city, but most people are just moving to safer areas within the area, such as a local school and university."

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov defended Assad, saying:

"How can one expect that the Syrian government will say, 'Yes go ahead, overthrow me.' "

"Our Western partners, together with some of Syria's neighbors, are essentially encouraging, supporting and directing an armed struggle against the regime."

Security analyst Charles Shoebridge told RT:

"The Syrian government is responding in a way that any government would do if faced with a situation of urban warfare."

On July 28, Voice of Russia (VOA) headlined "Syria ahead of decisive battle," saying:

Syria sent reinforcements to Aleppo. Washington is silent about insurgent violence. Other Western and regional countries don't condemn them. America is the lead sponsor of regional terrorism.

Insurgents want Aleppo transformed into Syria's Benghazi. City residents largely support Assad. They say "militants have been instilling terror taking people hostage and using them as human shields."

Turkey is Washington's lead attack dog. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has internal opposition. Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemel Kilicdaroglu calls Turkey "a country in trouble."

"We do not want our people to pay the price for Western interests. We do not want Turkey to be dragged into the swamp....(W)e do not want war."

"We were supposed to be the (regional) game-maker." (Instead) we ended up being played. We tried to warn them on the consequences of sectarian fighting in Syria. We were expelled for doing so....Turkey does not deserve to be a proxy country."

Along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, other Gulf states, Libya, and Jordan, Turkey is that and more. Regional states may get more than they bargained for. 

Destroying Syria assures consequences. Perhaps they're next. Protests rock Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Others hit Egypt, Tunisia, Oman and the United Arab Emirites. 

Yemeni unrest continues. Syria's conflict risks an unstable regional eruption. Palestine may see a third Intifada. 

People denied basic rights only hold back so long. Brutal monarchies and other regional despots now taste their own medicine. Maybe a bucket full is coming. It's long overdue.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.