Hillary and Her Harpies
by David Stockman, DailyReckoning:
This is starting to sound pretty ominous. The Washington War Party is coming unhinged and appears to be leaving no stone unturned when it comes to provoking Putin’s Russia and numerous others.
The recent collapse of cooperation in Syria — based on the false claim that Assad and his Russian allies are waging genocide in Aleppo — is only the latest example.
So now comes the U.S. Army’s chief of staff, General Mark Milley, doing his best imitation of Curtis LeMay in a recent speech dripping with bellicosity. While America has no industrial state enemy left on the planet that can even remotely challenge its economic might, technological superiority and overwhelming military power, General Milley unloaded a fusillade of bluster at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington DC:
“The strategic resolve of our nation, the United States, is being challenged and our alliances tested in ways that we haven’t faced in many, many decades,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the audience.
“I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm … the United States military — despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing — we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.”
That is rank nonsense. We are not being “tested” by anyone. To the contrary, Imperial Washington is provoking tensions and confrontations everywhere —from the South China Sea to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, the Black Sea, the Baltics and Ukraine — that have no bearing whatsoever on the safety and security of the citizens of Spokane WA, Topeka KS and Springfield MA.
Indeed, the clear and present danger to peace and freedom in the homeland lies not in the machinations of foreign capitals, but in the arrogant and bombastic groupthink that has overtaken the denizens of the Imperial City.
The latter is again on display in the full-throated fulminations about the siege of Aleppo being emitted by the Washington War Party and its trained poodles in the establishment media — most especially the New York Times.
We are told that the Russian Air Force and Assad’s military are targeting schools, hospitals and the 200,000 or so civilians of Eastern Aleppo for indiscriminate bombing and slaughter. It’s shades of Benghazi 2011 all over again — an incipient genocide that Washington must stop in the name of R2P (Responsibility to Protect).
No it’s not!
What is happening in Aleppo is a raging sectarian civil war and a proxy battleground for the regional political maneuvers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. They are none of America’s business and haven’t been since the so-called Arab spring uprising spread to Syria in 2011.
Indeed, Syria is a lawless, bombed-out, economically decimated failed state today owing to Washington’s heavy-handed intervention at the behest of the War Party’s bloody twin sisters. That is, the neocons and the R2P liberal interventionist claque around Hillary Clinton, including UN Ambassador Samantha Powers and National Security Council head Susan Rice.
We name names in this context for a reason. A nation of 22 million back in 2011, which had been reasonably stable in modern times under the authoritarian but secular rule of the Assad family, does not suddenly give rise to a human tsunami of 5 million refugees spilling all over the Mediterranean and Europe and to the reduction of virtually every one of its ancient cities and towns to rubble and rivers of blood on its own volition.
To the contrary, all of this mayhem was instigated by the War Party’s armchair warriors and the “indispensable” nation hegemonists in Washington. Literally billions in aid, weapons, munitions, training and logistics have flowed into Syria from all directions on the outside. And all of it was either financed by American taxpayers or by regional powers which have been armed and greenlighted by Washington.
The fact is, the Assad regime in Syria was from the same mold as the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Both arose out of military coups in the post-war period and espoused a secularist Arab nationalism. The aim was to stimulate economic progress and a renaissance of Arab culture under the leadership of a strong state and prodigious public sector, which in practice meant rule by economic bribery and heavy-handed police-state repression of dissent.
Still, it was the antithesis of jihadism and the religious fanaticism represented by the Wahhabism exported from Saudi Arabia, the various off-shoots of al-Qaeda and now the murderous caliphate established by ISIS in the Sunni lands of western Iraq and the Euphrates Valley of Syria.
The Assad regime in Syria, in fact, was the guardian of religious pluralism. The Assad family was from the minority Alawite branch of Shiite Islam, which was heavily concentrated in the northwest coastal provinces. Its coming to power broke a centuries old dominance of the majority Sunni population and was therefore welcomed by other minorities including Christians, Druze, Jews, Kurds, and countless more.
There is no denying that the rule of the Assad regime was harsh, but it was also absolutely par for the course among middle eastern governments before or since.
Of course, Saudi Arabia is the worst of all. You can be beheaded there for apostasy, infidelity, drug possession or insulting the king. Last year they chopped nearly 200 heads — even as the War Party claims Riyadh as an indispensable ally in the battle against the far less prodigious head-choppers of the Islamic State.
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