Jonathan Cook (COUNTERPUNCH) points out:
Finally, it is worth noting that Syria has become a hugely divisive issue on the left, as Libya did before it. It has made the left all but powerless to advance any kind of critique of western imperialism and its current round of violent interference in the Middle East.
The spirit that spurred the global marches in 2003 against the attack on Iraq has dissipated. The left’s confusion allowed Libya to be torn to shreds on the pretext of a non-existent threat to Benghazi. And now Syria is being wrecked by proxy wars in which the west is a central, if largely veiled actor.
None of this is accidental. The US has long had a plan to destabilise and break apart the Middle East – sometimes referred to by officials as “remaking” it – to better control the region’s resources. And hand in glove with this plan are efforts to destabilise and break apart those who should be dissenting from the latest bouts of western imperialism.
Monday, Bill Van Auken (WSWS) explained:
A full week has passed since the publication by a major German newspaper of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s thoroughgoing debunking of the false claim of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on April 4. The supposed atrocity by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was used to justify the April 6 US cruise missile strike on the al-Shayat air base. At least nine civilians, including four children, died when 59 Tomahawk missiles rained down on the base in western Syria.
Since the German daily Die Welt published Hersh’s article, titled “Trump’s Red Line,” on June 25, its contents have been subjected to a total blackout by the major newspapers and broadcast and cable news networks in the United States.
Hersh’s account makes clear that, not only was there no objective evidence to back up Washington’s charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the fact that there was no such attack was known to the US military and intelligence apparatus even before the cruise missile strike was ordered.
“The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives,” Hersh wrote. “Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all US, allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.”
And Ava and C.I., in their look at the cesspool that is our media, pointed out:
Did the media, in the recent presidential campaign coverage, press the candidates to address poverty?
Did they demand answers for how to end wars?
They don't care.
They're not part of the people.
Part of the reason Seymour Hersh is a legend is because he is something so rare: a reporter trying to tell the truth.
They don't get rewarded, people like Sy Hersh.
They struggle to get their stories out.
It's not a US outlet that's published Hersh's latest investigation.
Despite these and so many more realities, last week the criticism was of Donald Trump.
There was no attempt at self-reflection, there was no self-critique.
That alone said a great deal about the media.
It also made clear that in the sewer of what passes for journalism, Mika is the overflowing toilet.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, press whoring continues, the Canadian government of Trudeau proves to be just as whorish as Stephen Harper's, and much more.
Iraq Declares The End Of of IsisInd.pn/2sFlYzv
ISIS is no more in Iraq, explains Bethan McKernan.
Is it the pretentious name?
ISIS isn't over.
It's not even been routed out of Mosul -- as Bethan admits in paragraph eight:
Now Isis clings on to just a handful of neighbourhoods in the winding streets of Mosul’s Old City, although Iraqi forces have forced them into an area less than one kilometre squared on the West bank of the Tigris River.
Maybe it's plagiarism?
Because Bethan, in Beirut, not England, files a report that reads a hell of a lot like AP's report published late last night.
Of course, AP's Susannah George could note the reality in paragraph one:
Iraq's prime minister on Tuesday congratulated his fighters on "the big victory in Mosul" — even as fighting with Islamic State militants continued in Mosul's Old City neighborhood where Iraqi forces are about 250 meters from the Tigris River and facing increasingly fierce resistance.
XINHUA points out, "Iraqi military commanders said Wednesday that about 300 Islamic State (IS) militants remained holed up in a small area in Mosul's Old City, amid fierce clashes in the western side of Mosul."
It's day 255 of The Mosul Slog and it's still slogging along.
Saturday on ALJAZEERA's INSIDE STORY, the topic of ISIS in Mosul was addressed. Here's an excerpt of an exchange between host Jane Dutton and journalist Judit Neurink.
Judit Neurink: . . . [W]e should remember that there are still quite a few pockets where ISIS still is active -- a number of towns, some country sides, there are still attacks. ISIS has lost about two-thirds of its territories and four million people are now free but there are still a lot of people that are living under the occupation. And I don't see big celebrations. I see in Mosul a city that is slowly trying to get back on its feet. I see people that are very sad about all the losses -- their family members, their houses, their jobs. And it's going to take a lot of money and trouble to get people and the town back to normal. This is going to take years.
Jane Dutton: You've studied ISIL, the philosophy , the thinking of the group, Judit, a lot. I'm jusst wondering what can be done to correct some of the damage caused by them? The psychological impact that they've had on people, how deep has their indoctrination gone?
Judit Neurink: Well the problem is really, uhm, the young people. Uhm, quite a few teenagers have been in the training camps, have been in the schools and have been indoctrinated by ISIS. And if you look at the suicide bombers of the last days -- both on the east side of the river and on the west side where the battle is still going on in small pockets -- these were all teenagers. These were the people that ISIS was keeping as its future cubs -- the cubs of the Caliphate. They are now all being used in the battle. And some of them have gone underground. Some of them, people don't even recognize as a danger, they think, "Oh, they are -- they are --" They have a pity for these young people that have been abused and indoctrinated by ISIS. So one of the main things really also is to recognize the danger which is with them and not so much, I think, with the families of ISIL and at the moment in Mosul right now people are mainly targeting those family members that had someone in the organization which means that whole families are persecuted, are sent out of town, are all victimized and that's going to be a danger for later on: Frustrated people might again play a role later on in radicalization.
ALJAZEERA offered much more thought than ABC in the United States which featured a report by Ian Pannell on WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.
If prisoners stepping down a sloping surface and being kicked by authorities while they do does it for you, you were in hog heaven watching Pannell's report.
And if you have no qualms about children being used as pawns, you really must have loved it.
I thought the b.s. of the little girl popping up two weeks ago looking for a thuggy general was bad enough but there was Ian using a young boy in what has to be the broadcast news equivalent of pedophilia.
All around, throughout the report, you saw women with dour faces, walking past Ian's camera, not wanting to make contact with him. But we were supposed to embrace the message of the child he used as a pawn?
As the people of Mosul emerge from victimization, there's bottom feeder Pannell eager to prey on them. And you wonder why so many of us will never respect the sleazy and unethical press?
Stop using young children to pimp your wars, you dirty whores.
But all sorts of things are used to pimp wars.
The Yazidis -- known as devil worshipers -- were used to pimp the current wave and get more US troops back into Iraq.
At the same time, they didn't use them in other countries.
For example, in June of 2014, Barack Obama was using the Yazidis to sell more war on Iraq.
But in Australia, at the same time, the group didn't even rate a peep when Australia's ABC explored further war on June 24, 2014:
JAMES BARTOLD: A violent group has taken over the north of Iraq. They're called ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They're Islamist extremists, and they have taken over from Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They oppose the government and anyone who supports them. They've taken over some Iraqi cities, forced half a million people to flee their homes, and lots of people have been killed. Things are so bad, Iraq's president has asked the US to step in again and both Australia and the US say something needs to be done to stop the situation getting worse. But people are divided about what that help should look like.
Some people want the US and Australia to send troops back into Iraq. They say because we helped the country become what it is now it's our responsibility to make sure things don't spiral out of control there. Some also say we should go in because ISIS is really dangerous. Going in might help stop them before they can hurt any other countries.But on the other side of the argument, some people say Iraq is still facing many of the same problems it was before we invaded the first time. They say that going in last time didn’t achieve much despite the amount of money that was spent and the lives that were lost. So why go in again? They also say that Iraq should be left to sort out its own problems without the help of western troops. Finally, there are some people in the middle that suggest we should help Iraq fight against ISIS by providing air strikes but not risk the lives of troops on the ground.
In the US, Barack used the lie of concern for the Yazidis to start the latest wave of the Iraq War. Why? Because it made him look caring and allowed liars to pretend that they were humanitarian and not disgusting thugs of war.
The Yazidis were a prop -- a willing prop that would go on to hire one of the most conservative US p.r. firms to represent them.
And this was obvious by the fact that Barack was going to save them but never did and they remained trapped for years on that mountain.
Check the archives, we didn't call for war.
We said if he was that concerned, he could drop food on the mountain.
But he didn't rush to save them because saving them was never the point.
The point was always to continue the Iraq War.
Roger Jordan (WSWS) reports on the efforts of Canada and big boy pants wearer Justy Trudeau to get their spoils of war:
Without a parliamentary debate, let alone a vote, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government announced last Thursday the extension and expansion of Canada’s involvement in the US-led Mideast war. The decision means that up to 850 Canadian military personnel will continue to operate in Iraq and Kuwait until the end of March 2019, assisting Washington in its reckless drive to secure unbridled dominance over the energy-rich Middle East.
The new deployment gives Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance the latitude to decide the composition of the 850-strong military force that will operate in the region. The military will also be able to determine where the forces operate and with whom. Some 200 Special Forces troops, scores of war-planning and intelligence personnel, 50 medical staff, and hundreds of members of the Royal Canadian Air Force have been engaged in the conflict since the Liberals’ March 2016 expansion of the Middle East intervention the Stephen Harper-led Conservative government launched in September 2014.
The deployment includes surveillance and refueling aircraft that operate over Syria as well as Iraq and military helicopters. A Hercules transport plane is now to be added.
Canada’s role in the latest US-led war in the Middle East is aimed both at strengthening its alliance with Washington, far and away its most important economic and military-security partner, and ensuring Ottawa has a “seat at the table” in the reordering of the region.
While touted as a war against ISIS, the current war arises out of the series of wars that US imperialism has waged in the Middle East since 1991 and has as its principal aim the overthrow of Syria’s Russian- and Iranian-backed regime.
Poor Justin, I haven't seen such blatant whoring since his drunken mother was trying to get Keith and Mick to double team her while she followed the Rolling Stones around like a drugged out groupie.
On the campaign front, Justin Raimondo (ANTIWAR.COM) focuses on a new study of the 2016 election:
What hasn’t emerged from the shock and horror of the elites, however, is a reasonably convincing explanation for the Trump victory: the storied “deplorables,” as Mrs. Clinton described them, rose up in rebellion against the coastal elites and delivered them a blow from which they are still reeling. Disdained, forgotten, and left behind, these rural not-college-educated near-the-poverty-line voters, who had traditionally voted Democratic, deserted the party – but why?
No real explanation has been forthcoming. Hillary tells us it was due, in part, to “sexism,” and the rest was a dark conspiracy by Vladimir Putin and James Comey. More objective observers attribute the switch to the relentless emphasis by the Democrats on identity politics, which seems convincing until one examines the actual statistics down to the county level in those key states – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – that gave the party of Trump the keys to the White House.
Francis Shen, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, and Douglas Kriner, who teaches political science at Boston University, have done just that, and their conclusion is stunning – and vitally important to those of us who want to understand what the current relation of political forces means for the anti-interventionist movement. They write:
“With so much post-election analysis, it is surprising that no one has pointed to the possibility that inequalities in wartime sacrifice might have tipped the election. Put simply: perhaps the small slice of America that is fighting and dying for the nation’s security is tired of its political leaders ignoring this disproportionate burden. To investigate this possibility, we conducted an analysis of the 2016 Presidential election returns. In previous research, we’ve shown that communities with higher casualty rates are also communities from more rural, less wealthy, and less educated parts of the country. In both 2004 and 2006, voters in these communities became more likely to vote against politicians perceived as orchestrating the conflicts in which their friends and neighbors died.
“The data analysis presented in this working paper finds that in the 2016 election Trump spoke to this part of America. Even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump. Indeed, our results suggest that if three states key to Trump’s victory – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – had suffered even a modestly lower casualty rate, all three could have flipped from red to blue and sent Hillary Clinton to the White House.”While the Trump campaign’s foreign policy pronouncements often veered into bombastic belligerence – “We’re going to bomb the hell out of ISIS!” – the candidate also ventured into territory previously alien to GOP presidential nominees. He denounced the Iraq war – “They lied. There were no weapons of mass destruction and they knew there were none” – and forswore the “regime change” foreign policy that produced the bloody disasters in Libya and Syria well as Iraq. His “America First” theme evoked the “isolationist” sentiment that is anathema to the Washington elites – and is the default position of the average American. And yet he did not take the reflexively anti-military position so beloved by peaceniks of the left: he praised our veterans at every opportunity and railed against their neglect by a government that used and abused them.
In an election that gave Trump a razor-thin victory in three key states, this is what gave him the margin of victory.
Over in England, War Hawk Tony Blair sweats again.
SHOCKWAVE: UK's most senior judges to review Blair's immunity over Iraq.
Tony Blair's immunity from prosecution over the Iraq War is to be reviewed by Lord Chief Justice
Tony's online mistress John Rentoul would be crying right now but he's too busy beating up on a new born baby.
MP Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomes sixth child - named Sixtus
Jacob Rees-Moog is a politician which makes him fair game.
His newborn son, however, is not fair game.
John Rentoul is one year away from sixty.
So he should know better than to mock a child.
John Rentoul Retweeted
2045 Sixtus Rees-Mogg arrives at Westminster for his maiden speech.
But then, if he had brains, John Rentoul wouldn't have spent the last years crotch worshiping Tony Blair from afar.
Ten years ago today the skies darkened, and the country has been grey and miserable ever since. Tony Blair stood down as PM 27 June 2007.
The only thing possibly worse than War Hawks? The presstitutes that enable them.
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: When does the truth emerge?
- TV: MSNBC, the sewer as soap opera
- That whorish media (Ava and C.I.)
- Jim's World
- Trump dies in office
- Tweet of the week
- They brought it on themselves
- This edition's playlist
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