Sunday, 19 February 2017

Yes, Trump is Dangerous, But the Unelected DeepState Trying to Overthrow Him Is Far Worse

Source: Matt Agorist

View image on Twitter
There is a proverbial shit storm brewing in Washington D.C. right now and it is separate from the one created by President Donald Trump. Since Trump took office, his executive orders have enraged Americans from coast to coast. While some of them were beneficial like ending the US involvement in TPP, others, like the travel ban, have caused unnecessary turmoil for innocent people. However, all those orders were conducted in the open and for all Americans to see — unlike the soft coup being carried out against Trump in secret by the deep state.

As Jay Syrmopolous pointed out last week, giving a clear admission of a soft coup in progress, John Schindler, a former professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, who spent nearly a decade with the super-secret National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer — and who still maintains deep connections to the intelligence community — readily admitted that senior elements of the intelligence community (IC) are engaging in treason against Trump.

While there is no textbook definition of what the deep state is, Glenn Greenwald recently summed it up perfectly, when he said the deep state, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads.

It is important to note that pointing out the deep state attacking Trump, does not make someone ‘pro-Trump.’ For decades, the behind the scenes government has used this two-party system to create divide we see right now and use it to foster distraction to make society think there is a chance they can affect change.
As we are seeing right now, those who challenge the status quo (even if that challenge is idiotic, bigoted, and tyrannical) will find themselves on the receiving end of the shadow government’s ominous power. Sadly, because Trump is such a divisive and outspoken president, people are welcoming the unelected and secret power structure exerting their influence over the democratic process — overtly.
No matter how much you hate Donald Trump, the idea of a secret and unelected government forcing change without the public’s consent behind the scenes should shock the conscience. However, Trump’s public opposition is dangerously embracing this soft coup — in spite of the fact they ostensibly espouse the democratic process.
In a recent interview with Democracy Now, co-founder of The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald explained why this support of the deep state is misled and outright ominous.
“What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

NGOs Fabricating Evidence Against Syria

By Tim Hayward | February 18, 2017
Last week, Amnesty International published a report that was severely criticised for literally fabricating evidence to support implausible accusations against the Syrian government.[1]  The report included a project of ‘Forensic Architecture’ that served in guiding the imagination as to the horrors that might be perpetrated in a building used for torture and execution. Computerised modelling of this kind may have its uses, but it clearly has limitations when it comes to determining who may have done what in a building. A computer can only simulate on the basis of inputs. The inputs come from elsewhere, and they may or may not be reliable or appropriately detailed.[2]
This week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced that they too have been commissioning  research in Forensic Architecture. This might seem a strange thing for an organisation of doctors to be doing.  Still, their ostensible concern is that the bombing of hospitals – something contrary to the law of war and human morality – should not go unrecorded nor, ultimately, unpunished. An added difficulty is that ‘often, the only real redress available to MSF is to publicly denounce perpetrators of bombings in the hope that the damage to their image will incite them to modify their practices.’ Denunciations may have little enough effect, particularly when even the grounds for them is uncertain. Where there is a known threat of danger to the staff running a hospital, MSF prudently does not even attempt to operate.  The organisation does sometimes offer support of some kind to medics who do work in war zones, however, like the province of Idlib in Syria.
Just over a year ago, the MSF-supported Ma’arat Al Numan hospital in Idlib province was hit by an airstrike. At the time, ‘Dr Mego Terzian, president of MSF’s French section, publicly accused the Russian-Syrian coalition of being responsible for the bombings – a conviction based on an analysis of the context, the military forces present and testimonies from Syrian civilians (some known to MSF for some time) who were at the scene.’ However, the accusation sparked ‘much heated debate within the MSF Movement. On what grounds is MSF accusing Russia and Syria? How reliable are the witness statements it is using to support its allegations?’ (See also my recent article on How We Were Misled About Syria by MSF.)
Now, MSF tells us, ‘The Forensic Architecture team has conducted an investigation based on videos and photographs circulating on social media, taken by medical personnel, activists and ordinary citizens.’
And?
‘While their investigation does not provide solid evidence, it does confirm MSF’s conviction as to the responsibility of Syrian and Russian forces in the bombing of the hospital in Ma’arat Al Numan.’
So, no evidence, and yet a confirmation of a ‘conviction’?
I think perhaps the research team promoting this new use of computerised modelling should make clear the limitations of its proper use. The recent case of Amnesty International appealing to the same source of non-evidence highlights an overreach that the researchers now risk seeming complicit in. The timing of the release of these dramatic pieces of non-evidence hardly looks accidental to any serious observer. Do the people at Forensic Architecture really want to be seen as partners in a continued drive to destabilise the Middle East?
As for MSF, and this goes for Amnesty International too, their publications on Syria sometimes read like the worst kind of tabloid journalism. Exaggerated headline claims backed up by no supporting evidence, and with crucial caveats, if included at all, tucked away where they are unlikely to register with any but the most cautious readers.
Is there something going on in the direction of those organisations that is not quite what ordinary supporters among the public believe?
[1] On the fabrication see Tony Cartalucci. The report was critically analysed by Rick Sterling as well as Moon of Alabama. The former UK Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, who had earlier visited the prison in question, stated the report ‘would not stand scrutiny’. A former prisoner there, who remains an opponent of Assad, stated that while atrocious things certainly occurred, the scale of Amnesty’s claims was preposterous. Further critical discussions are cited here.
[2] MSF say, ‘Investigations use amateur photographs and video footage to help reconstruct the “crime scene”‘. Specifically, they add, ‘Using cartography, image analysis, and legal and architectural expertise, research agency Forensic Architecture collects and analyses images taken of a crime committed by a State to establish the facts and ascertain who was responsible.’ An obvious question concerns the difference between establishing the facts of physical changes undergone by a structure and attributing responsibility for causing them, since the latter challenge necessarily involves input of extra-architectural data.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

There’s a Deep State in America?!



February 18, 2017
There’s a Deep State in America?!
Imagine my surprise when, on my flight back from San Francisco to New York, that’s what my trusty New York Times revealed to me.
My first thought was: I can’t believe how this horrible Donald Trump has set up a Deep State in less than a month?!
Surely Russia was involved in its formation.
Then again, I strangely find myself thinking a lot about Russia these days. I’ll admit it – when my morning breakfast was late it fleetingly occurred to me that the Kremlin was behind this slowdown in my hotel room service.
Putting that aside, I was immediately relieved when by the 3rd paragraph our nation’s paper of record had put to rest my fears of an unprecedented formation of a US Deep State with, “Not quite, experts say….”
Whew.
I just don’t put anything past the evil capabilities of the Donald!
Reading the article I was surprised to find that the Deep State isn’t what I thought it was – apparently it’s only when the government leaks information to the media?
That’s funny, because one time on the SF-NYC “Job Creator Red-eye” I sat next to an Egyptian guy. Of course I was worried, at first, but I found out it he was a Coptic Christian, so that put me at ease. Who even knew they had those?!
This Egyptian told me about his country’s Deep State, and it sounded really bad:
He said that they colluded with “some Western countries” – he didn’t say which and looked kind of uncomfortable as he said it, for some reason – to stop that great Tahrir Square Revolution which was to guarantee that Israel would be safe.
“Mr. Gypsy” said that the Egyptian version of the Deep State was that their military controlled the economy, and that they bribed, imprisoned and killed people to keep their grip on the economy and control over foreign policy.
It sounded pretty bad.
I told him I was happy that Washington was supporting Al-Sisi’s military takeover with billions in aid, and that he didn’t have to thank me personally for that.
A “military” intertwined with the “economy”…I must admit, it did make me think.
Of Russia! I’m nearly certain that Putin created something similar over thereafter he banned elections, so why even verify it with some research?!
But this Egyptian must not have known what he was talking about, because the New York Times article didn’t say anything about the economy?
What they said was:
“Mr. Trump, apparently seeking to cut the intelligence community, State Department, and other agencies out of the policy-making process almost entirely, may have triggered a conflict whose escalation we are seeing in the rising number of leaks.”
Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking.”
Trump was clearly trying to cut public officials out of the democratic process, and they had no choice but to resort to these “illegal” leaks!
I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t get elected to be a CIA spy or NSA agent, but somebody up top is and…well, I don’t know if they did the leaks…and I don’t know if the leaks are really true or not…but I’m telling you – we have to get Donald out NOW!
Anything that’s bad for Trump must be good. It’s really that simple, so case closed.
“We’re in a world now where the president is playing to the edge of his powers, and I think there are real concerns about the constitutional implications of some of the actions he’s taken,” said somebody who must be totally objective and perfect because why else would the New York Times choose them?
If there’s one thing Obama never, ever, ever did it was to expand his executive authority in ways unbeseeming to the presidential authority.
If Obama had done that, I would have been in the streets, you can bet! Trust me: I have my anti-Trump “pussy hat” in my closet and ready for the next protest!
Don’t bring up “drones”! You’ll just remind me of this guy at work nobody understands – Fazlollah “Lefty” Bittermani – he’s always doing that!
Between you and me, his last name ends in a vowel, so…you know….he may have certain sympathies. That guy really cheeses me off!
What Lefty doesn’t realize is that we are at war – not with Russia, yet – but with – not Muslims – but with…certain people, let’s just say. And the president has the right to fight war however he wants.
But when it comes to waging diplomacy the president must be restricted as much as possible!
We refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat until the Russians give back the Donbass to the Crimeans! This is simply a question of our humanitarian rights!
Trump is trying to make a liar out of not just Hillary, but of Sylvester Stallone and “Rocky IV” – even when the Russians cheat they are still supposed to lose to the Americans!
Was I back on Russia again? I don’t know…I’m like, obsessed with them, or something?
Back to the New York Times, which always reassures me when contradictions confuse me. Just after that last quote they wrote this:
That has forced officials in agencies to ask how far they will go themselves. As each side begins to perceive itself as under attack and the other as making dangerous power-grabs, it will justify more and more extreme behavior.
So clearly, these officials are justified more and more in extreme behavior…because it’s Trump!
I really wish we had some of these great, extreme officials during the Dubya era, but why bring up ancient history?
One thing is certain: During just four weeks in office Trump has clearly destroyed the culture and future of the United States and must be impeached. These officials – even if they are unelected – should absolutely not be listening to their elected leader!
Why? Well just read the next paragraph, another unassailable analyst of the Times:
“In President Trump, you have a president whose behavior shocks even more than the content of his policies.”
Yes! Behavior, not content!
I was telling my son this recently: He came in 19th place in a recent science competition (but out of 24!), and he was upset that his blue ribbon wasn’t an actual trophy.
I told him, “Son, I’m going to buy you that trophy because your behavior was correct, even if you totally screwed up measuring the contents of your volcano experiment, and it exploded and burned the girl next to you.”
I think the girl was Russian, anyway. She was certainly shocked.
Anyway, the Times goes on to say that now this dangerous Trump wants to appoint someone to review our intelligence agencies. Astounding, the gall of this man! I really think he’s psychologically insane.
“It looks, sounds and feels like a political witch hunt,” said Analyst #1 (the White one, not the Egyptian one). “It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire.”
It certainly does!
What else do you call our top elected official trying to find out what work is being illegally done in secret with taxpayer money?
I am certain this is something Putin would do with his KGB.
And that’s why Russia is not free – because the KGB cannot operate freely to undermine Putin’s attempts at diplomacy!
Don’t tell me I’m wrong, comrade!
“Mr. Flynn, in his short tenure, exemplified the breakdown between the president’s inner circle and career civil servants. He kept the National Security Council largely shut out of policy-making and sought sweeping changes in foreign policy.”
This is the US, not the USSR! Our career bureaucrats need to be in charge, not our elected officials!
Trump simply cannot make sweeping changes to foreign policy – even if he was democratically elected on that mandate – because career civil servants should run the show!
The next paragraph:
“For concerned government officials, leaks may have become one of the few remaining means by which to influence not just Mr. Flynn’s policy initiatives but the threat he seemed to pose to their place in democracy.”
Democracy is bureaucracy!
You vote for a person, they appoint an official, the person you voted for gets voted out of office, but the appointed official stays forever and amasses power – democracy!
I tried to explain this to that Egyptian guy, but he said,
“Then what’s the point of demonstrating and facing down gun barrels if the people can’t demand change?”
I kept telling him:
“But Israel is fine these days? Tahrir worked out great!”
He didn’t get it.
Anyway, Egypt is not the country who is threatening American democracy, and I don’t have to tell you who is, because I’ve just taken that pill that helps me with my compulsive psychological issues.
The Times continued:
Even if each individual leak is justifiable, as insubordination becomes more sustained and overt, it inches deeper into the gray zone of counter-democratic activities.
I already had the feeling that every anti-Trump leaks was justifiable, and that we are still many, many inches away from counter-democracy, so thanks Gray Lady! I almost had to take that other pill for my anxiety!
And “insubordination” is clearly justified because, as I said, in 4 weeks Trump has already proven himself to be a new Hitler! Don’t get me started on Steve Bannon!
“I don’t think you can say in advance what inappropriate deep-state activity would look like, because we haven’t seen this before,” said Analyst #1.
Exactly – this is a totally new day, and this was all appropriate deep-state activity. We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world, much less America.
I told this to Lefty back at work and he started ranting about Kennedy. I totally did not see what Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to do with this, but who can fathom what goes on in the mind of a Fazlollah?
The main thing is that we get Trump before he does damage to free trade, because my corporation and all businesses are totally helpless against the government.
They have no influence at all…unlike Egypt.
“There, ‘the deep state is not official institutions rebelling,’ he said, but rather ‘shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions.’”
We all know that there is absolutely nothing like this which is happening in America.
And that’s why the idea of business being involved in America’s Deep State did not appear until the 7th-to-last paragraph. I almost didn’t read that far!
And that’s why the New York Times finished on this heartening note:
“This war between the intelligence community and the White House is bad for the intelligence community, bad for the White House, and bad for the nation’s security.”
See? Our so-called Deep State has nothing to do with business. The New York Times is right next to Wall Street, so they would surely know, right?
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make a call to the Pentagon for my work.
No, I’m in defense contracting or anything, but the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer…hard to work around them in the United States!
And the profit margins – wow!
I’m so glad our owners had a personal contact in there.
Frankly, I thought the New York Times’ headline was a bit too alarmist: “As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America”.
But I’m glad they immediately put those fears to rest.
With that content, I would have run a headline like: “Internal leaks justified as Trump could affect share prices”.
I think that would have been more accurate.
Frankly I’m a bit surprised such a non-story could bump Russia off the front page?
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Big Bad Russia vs Poor Little NATO: A Disinformation Primer (VIDEO)

NATO officials make it sound like Russia has encircled the globe with military bases. Welcome to our upside down garbage-world!
Everyone feels bad for NATO and its Napoleon complex.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has even rolled out the red carpet for NATO. Poor little guy just needs some encouragement and positive reinforcement. Don’t mind the S-400s. Make yourself at home!
But apparently Washington’s “defensive alliance” demands pity and sympathy from the entire world. After all, look at how Russia rudely placed its country right next to all of NATO’s defensive military outposts.
Big bad Russia is being so mean to little ol’ NATO
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Trump dreams vs Trump reality – hopes still permitted!

February 19, 2017
Trump dreams vs Trump reality – hopes still permitted!
This article was written for the Unz Review 
For a lot of Trump supporters the past week has been a painful one. Whether we chose to react with abject panic or pretended like nothing happened, something did happen and it was something big: the Tree Letter Agencies pulled-off a de facto coup against Donald Trump by forcing him to fire his most important foreign policy advisor and the man who had dared to declare that he wanted to reform the bloated and largely ineffective US intelligence community.
There is no way of putting a brave face on what happened. Not only because it showed that Trump is not loyal to those who are loyal to him, but because this episode pretty much killed what I would call the “Trump dream”. I chose my words carefully here. I speak of “Trump dream” as opposed to the Trump reality. Let me explain.
The “Trump dream”
When Trump won the elections the spectrum of hopes about his actions was very wide. It ranged from “Trump will forever reshape the international system, end the Empire and bring peace and prosperity to the USA” to “he will never be as bad as Hillary no matter what he does”. On that spectrum, here is what I would list as the key elements of the “Trump dream”:
  1. Draining the swamp: kicking the Neocons down to the basement they crawled out of 24 years ago, reforming the US intelligence community, possibly even dissolving the CIA or, at the very least, subordinating it, and the JCS, to the President.
  2. Making peace with Russia and negotiate a “grand bargain” which would clearly spell out how the USA and Russia would act towards each other and jointly against common threats. At the very least, this would imply an agreement on the Ukraine and Syria.
  3. Work with Russia to create a new European security system which would keep NATO as a political organization, but which would “dilute it” into a new security framework ranging from Portugal to the Ural mountains and which would include a 21st century version of the Conventional Forces Europe treaty.
  4. Stop pouring billions of dollars into the Empire and redirect the immense resources currently wasted on war, aggression and subversion back into the United States and their decaying infrastructure, medical care, education, small business, etc. Until now, the main profitable sectors of the US economy were either the military-industrial complex or finance. The hope was that Trump would kick-start the “real” economy: the production of goods and services.
  5. End what I would call the “dictatorship of the minorities” and replace it with a restoration of the sovereignty of the majority of the American people over their country. The “Rachel Maddows” who used to be the “ideological masters” of the AngloZionist regime would be gently ushered towards the doors and replaced by people most Americans could identify with.
  6. Law and order would be restored to the USA and the uncontrolled flow of immigrants would finally be regulated at least to some degree.
  7. Last, but most definitely not least, Trump would not act on this stupid, counter-productive and self-defeating Iran-bashing and China-bashing rhetoric. Remember – what I am listing here is not a realistic evaluation of what Trump might do once in power, but what I deliberately called the “Trump dream” with emphasis on the second word. Sure, there might be those who wanted Trump to deliver on his threats and possibly even start a war with Iran or China, but I have not met them. (Then again, these are not people I like to be around). Again, this is my, subjective and personal outline of what I think many (most?) Trump supporters were dreaming about, nothing more.
Following the past week, I would say that, for the most part, this dream is now over, especially points 1,2,3 and 5, points 6 and 7 are on life support and only 4 is having of chills and a runny nose but might still live.
They key, of course, is point 1: draining the swamp. In other words, wrestling the power away from the Neocons and the US ‘deep state’ and putting it back where it belongs: in the hands of a President with a mandate of a majority of the American people. That is, alas, the biggest loss we all suffered last week: the man who was supposed to drain the swamp got a humiliating smack-down by a deep state drunk on its own infinite chutzpah. The biggest deal is not that Flynn was sacked, although that is a big deal, but the fact that the deep state forced Trump into publicly betraying Flynn and sacking him instead of those who were involved in this palace coup (including Pence himself).
What the deep state demonstrated this week is that everybody in the Executive Branch serves not at the pleasure of the President, but at the pleasure of the deep state, including probably Donald Trump himself.
By terminating Trump’s #2 the Neocons have now shown the world that everybody else (#3, #4, etc.) and possibly #1 are all here only to the extend that they, the Neocons, let them. I am personally convinced that unless Donald Trump finds in himself the courage to mount a major counter-attack, the Neocons will find a way of kicking him out out the White House before his term ends. That is typically their style: sending “messages” and “making an example”.
If Trump “behaves” they might, possibly, let him do a little of points #6 (law and order) and #4 (redirecting some money to the US homeland). As for point #7 (Iran and China bashing), that is the only part of his program which they will enthusiastically support (thereby also ending the dream of him not acting on that crazy nonsense).
So yeah, this is bad, and barring a miracle, the dream is really over.
However, let’s put that right back in perspective.
The Trump reality
If the *dream* is over, that is hardly a reason to become despondent or to claim that supporting Trump was a mistake. Please always keep in mind what the alternative was: Hillary Clinton.
One of my favorite Russian commentators, Ruslan Ostashko, brilliantly put it when he said:
Not a single rational person was expecting Trump to display true friendship or love for Russia or an immediate recognition of Crimea (as part of Russia). Our joy at the election of Trump was linked to a single factor: with Clinton we would had no chances, none at all, to agree on anything. If Clinton was now sitting in the White House we would not be discussing the issue of the recognition of Crimea or the future of US sanctions. We would be trying to guess when the nuclear war would start, we would be studying our bomb shelter maps, how to use a Geiger counter, and how to count the correct dosage for iodine tablets.
He is absolutely right, of course. This is also exactly what I wrote on November 9thfollowing the election:
So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that “Trump won” because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won’t do that.
I never was a “Trump dreamer”. I was merely a Trump *hoper* meaning that I had hopes that Trump would not only be better than Hillary, but that he might deliver on, at least, some of his “dream” message.
But if the choice is the Neocons humiliating Trump or thermonuclear war – then I pick the former, with gratitude.
Furthermore, however unpleasant this thought might be to many Americans, it is an undeniable fact that the United States are currently the host upon which the AngloZionist parasite feeds and which this parasite uses to try to subjugate the entire planet.
What is happening now is that the Neocons and the deep state have succeeded in re-taking control of their host, but only at the cost of a major weakening of that host. And that is objectively good for our planet. Just as the coup in Turkey ended up gutting the military and security services and dramatically curtailing their ability to influence the events in Syria (this is, in part, why Erdogan is now playing ball with the Russians and the Iranians), the ongoing color revolution against Trump is gutting the power of the American host and, thus, of the AngloZionist parasite. For one thing, the entire political establishment is so deeply involved in the struggle for power inside the USA, that very little bureaucratic energy is left to deal with anything else. Furthermore, in political terms, the “indispensable nation” and “city upon the hill” are now the laughingstock of the planet. The next time around some State Department propagandist starts regurgitating the usual chunk of propaganda prolefeed about democracy, human right and fair elections he will be greeted with a hysterical laughter and screams of “physician, heal thyself!!”. And, frankly, God only knows where this process might lead us next. I, for one, would absolutely not exclude the possibility of civil war in the USA. And before that statement gets greeted with jeers and the usual set of ad hominems, let me remind you that I predicted the civil war in the Ukraine when almost everybody else was in total denial (see: The gates of Hell are opening for the Ukraine, written on Nov 20th, 2013). At this point in time, I am not predicting a civil war in the USA, but I am saying that it has become a real possibility.
Civil war or not, all the Neocons and the deep state are doing is accelerating the inevitable collapse of the USA as a world hegemon. True, Trump could not have prevented it, but he could have negotiated it, using the still immense power of the USA to get the best possible deal from the other big actors. If a person falls off a skyscraper, there is no way of preventing him of hitting the ground – but whether he has a parachute or not will make a huge difference to him on how he will land. That is what Trump could have done – making a “descent on the breaks” as the Russians expression goes. The skills to make that happen are straightforward: realism, willingness to negotiate, ability to understand the other guy, the courage to give up that which is not sustainable, etc. That is the exact skillset that the Neocons totally lack. What they can do is double-down, then double-down again, and then double-down some more. And that kind of maniacal attitude always leads to catastrophe.
Whatever may be the case, the big story for the foreseeable future will be the infighting inside the US deep state. Why infighting? Because Trump is also part of the deep state, he did just suddenly pop out of nowhere ex nihilo, he had, and still has, powerful backers. That’s the, comparatively speaking, the good news. The bad news is that the faction of the deep state which is backing Trump appears to be the weaker one. And Trump himself is not exactly a knight in shining armor, to put it mildly. Still, if we imagine that by some aggregate measure of power the anti-Trump forces inside the deep state are, oh, 70% and the Trump supporters are therefore 30%, the infighting between the 70% and the 30% will leave very little energy to either party to deal with Russia, China or Iran.
It is a sweet irony that the big proponents of divide et impera did just that to themselves, is it not?
Conclusion
It is way too early to become despondent. Yes, the “Trump dream” is probably over, it was beautiful as long as it lasted, but now the “Trump reality” is taking center stage and we all need to learn how to operate in this new context. We need to carefully and systematically study this new reality and carefully parse it for all the risk and opportunities it presents us with. And there are a lot of great opportunities, along with very real risks, to be discovered. Just the fact that the leaders of the Empire have turned against each other is a God sent blessing! Let’s use that to the max.
Coincidence or not, but the Duran is reporting that the Chairman of the JCS, General Joe Dunford, and General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian military’s General Staff have met in Baku. This is the first such meeting since January 2014 and it took place in a “cordial atmosphere”. In fact, Dunford reassured Gerasimov that there are in fact no plans to deploy US ground troops to Syria (there are, of course, already several thousand US troops on the ground in Syria, both sides know that, but both sides also know what Dunford is referring to: regular armed forces).
Can you imagine such a meeting under Hillary?
What happened is really simple. With the election of Trump, the Neocons suffered a crushing defeat and it took them less than a month to regroup castrate Trump. This is bad and the “Trump dream” is over. But we – the resistance to Empire, as still in very good shape. After all, Trump was never *our* candidate, he was the candidate of the part of the deep state which we, opponents of the US deep state in toto, supported as a lesser evil: and we were right – he was and he still is the lesser evil. Furthermore, the party which really lost the most is the Trump-supporting part of the deep state, and they now enough power left (10, 30 or 45 percent – that does not really matter) to regroup and fight back. And if/when they do fight back, we still have to give them our support simply because that is the moral and pragmatic thing to do. Right now, Trump looks like Yanukovich, true. But I think that he is also a far smarter and much more honorable person than Yanukovich. Call me naïve, but my gut feeling is that Trump cares for the USA and that he wants to do the right thing. I might be wrong, of course. But at least so far I do not see the clear signs of the total rot and corruption which Yanukovich has all over his face. Furthermore, Trump appears to be learning. That is very important. In his latest press conference Trump finally finally showed some real guts and counter-attacked the media, very effectively I would say. And remember how fast Trump learned from his first defeat in the debate against Hillary? Trump might be a fast learner and if that is really the case, then he might learn some most useful lessons from the entire Flynn debacle.
Hopes still permitted 🙂
So hopes are still permitted. Not expectations – those are always bad. But reasonable, reality-compatible hopes. Like all humans, politicians change. If the Neocons don’t succeed in impeaching him, Trump might still end up kicking some ass, so to speak. And if they do impeach him, they will further weaken the Empire. So, all in all, I would say that while we had a very bad week we are still on good shape.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Iran and Hezbollah respond to Donald Trump

February 18, 2017
Iran and Hezbollah respond to Donald Trump
Since his election campaign, Donald Trump has not hidden his fierce hostility to the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, calling it the worst of the agreements in history and promising to dismantle it. On February 2, 2017, following a conventional ballistic missile test by Iran that did not contravene the agreement, Trump said in a Tweet that Iran, as a dissipated student, had been “formally warned” and should be “grateful” for the “horrible” deal with Tehran by the Obama administration. On February 3, new US sanctions were announced by the US Treasury Department. And on February 6, in an interview, Trump declared Iran the “number one terrorist state”.
Sayed Ali Khamenei never concealed the fact that he considered the diplomatic efforts of the Rouhani administration vain, convinced that the United States were not sincere in their approach and would renounce their commitments. Iran had already denounced several times violations of the letter and spirit of the agreement by the United States under Obama, and is now threatened with new sanctions and even aggression, which can only strengthen a nation that has been submitted to 38 years of international and unsuccessful wars aimed at destroying the Islamic Republic, and is now a regional power that cannot be ignored. Tehran, which in addition to its traditional allies, Syria and Hezbollah, now has two major strategic allies, Russia and China, has responded with its own sanctions against the United States, and by a message of the Supreme Leader.
As for Hezbollah, which also became a first-class armed force after its victories against Israel and against the Daech nebula in Syria, it certainly constituted, with Iran, the main subject of discussion of the meeting between Trump and Netanyahu on February 15. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah also wanted to send a small message to Donald Trump before its holding.
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Sayed Ali Khamenei : Trump Reveals the True Nature of America (video)
Speech by Sayed Hali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, on February 7, 2017 
The meeting was held on the occasion of the historic pledge of allegiance of Air Force officers to Imam Khomeini on the eve of the triumph of the Islamic Revolution.
Transcript : 
[…] A Quranic ayah in holy Sura Noor says, “Their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water.” Like a mirage, a thirsty individual mistakes a piece of dry land for water. Later on when he gets closer, he sees that there is nothing: “Until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: But he finds God ever with him” [The Holy Quran, 24: 39]. He sees that there is nothing. Pinning one’s hope on shaitans is like this. Pinning one’s hope on materialistic and satanic powers is like this.
Employing reason and adopting a reasonable approach on different matters – matters related to diplomacy, management of domestic affairs in the country, resource provision, knowledge, industry and other such areas – is a necessary task, but trusting shaitans and trusting those individuals who are opposed to the essence of your existence is a grave mistake.  A power that cannot endure and accept the essence of the Islamic Republic’s existence and the essence of Islamic power cannot be trusted and relied on: “Like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water.”
This is a statement that each and every one of us should keep in mind forever. Each and every person among the people of Iran should keep this in mind. You should try and work hard, you should show innovation, you should bring your real and God-given power to the arena and you should move forward with reliance on God and on His assistance and then God will help. However, if you sit and wait for Shaitan – the Great Shaitan – to come and help, then the ayah “Like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water” will come true because no good comes from Shaitan.
Now, the gentleman that has recently taken office in the United States says that we should be grateful to America and to Obama administration. Why should we be grateful? We are not grateful at all. He was part of the same system that imposed those heavy sanctions on the people of Iran with the purpose of paralyzing the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation. They hoped to paralyze us. Of course, their hope was not fulfilled and it will never be fulfilled because no enemy can paralyze Iran. He says that we should be grateful, but this is not the case and we are not grateful at all. Why should we be grateful? Because of sanctions? Because of creating DAESH? Because of setting fire to the region? They set Syria on fire. They set Iraq on fire. Why should we be grateful? Should we be grateful because of supporting the fitna that they created during the elections of the year 1388 [2009]?
On the one hand, he wrote a letter to me expressing his respect, kindness and cooperation and on the other hand, he supported the seditionists openly saying to them that they had stood behind them, thus revealing their intention to provoke fitna in the country. This is the true face of hypocrisy. He was wearing that velvet glove to cover his iron fist. I have spoken about this many times.
We do not thank them at all. We know what they have done. We know what they were doing. He says that we should thank Obama and that we should be afraid of him [Donald Trump]! We are not afraid of you either! On the 22nd of Bahman [February 11th], the people will respond to these threats and statements on the streets. They will show what position the people of Iran adopt in the face of threats. We are not afraid of anyone’s threats either.
Yes, we thank to the mister who has taken office recently. We thank him because he saved us the trouble of revealing the true nature of America. What we having been saying repeatedly in the past 30-plus years – about political corruption, economic corruption, moral corruption and social corruption in the ruling apparatus of America – was fully displayed and manifested by that mister as he revealed the naked truth about America during and after the elections. In the present time too, he is showing the truth about America with the things that he is doing. He is showing what American human rights means- they put handcuffs on a five-year-old kid- this is their human rights!
The people of Iran have found their path. The people of Iran are pushing their movement forward and taking this path with logic, reason and reliance on God and they are doing so at great speed and in a self-confident manner. Today, the people of Iran trust themselves. Our youth are working with self-confidence. Our academic organizations and institutes are filled with new thoughts in the area of science. The same is true of the area of infrastructure and various other areas. Today, rationality is the first important issue in the country. However, it is accompanied by reliance on and trust in Allah the Exalted. We know that the people of Iran will surely achieve victory on this path and that they will attain their ideal results and desires.
God’s mercy be upon our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) who clarified the truths about these matters for the people of Iran during the 10 years of his blessed life in the beginning of the Revolution. You should look at Imam’s (r.a.) speeches. He identified the friends and the enemies. He knew who the people of Iran were and he identified the goals. The reason why Imam (r.a.) said over and over again that we should not trust Shaitan and the enemy and the reason why he said that we should beware of trusting the enemy was that he knew the enemy. Of course, we used to make these statements, but today they are on the screen and everyone is watching it. The behavior of that gentleman reveals what the true nature of America is and of the comments that they make about human rights, philanthropy and other such matters. This is what we can obtain from this situation and from deliberating on Imam’s (r.a.) statements.
I hope that the Lord of the worlds bestows success on you. I hope that by Allah’s favor, you youth will be prepared so that you can carry out the great task that befalls you. Your generation should carry out a great task. The generation before you accomplished great tasks, but there are other important tasks that you should accomplish. I hope that you will prepare yourselves with reliance on Allah the Exalted and that you will deliver this duty – which you have held in trust – to future generations.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
Hasan Nasrallah: Trump must be thanked for his bluntness and stupidity (video)
Speech of Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on February 12, 2017, during the funeral of Cheikh Hussein ‘Obaid
Lastly – on Thursday [February 16], if God keeps us alive, we will speak specifically about the regional situation, but allow me only to say a word to all those who have declared and written in the last weeks… (I have seen many statements) that Hezbollah is worried, that Hezbollah is intimidated, that Hezbollah is frightened. What is it about, friends? Trump took power. Yes, Trump is here. So what? What’s new?
The new, as said His Eminence the Guide Sayed Khamenei, may God prolong his noble life. What changes is that before, there was someone who had put on his face a veil of hypocrisy [Obama]. A veil of hypocrisy. He speaks to you in a convivial way, he sends you his greetings for your holidays, but what does he do? He imposes sanctions on you, he wages an international war against you, he makes thousands strikes that have killed thousands of civilians, he supports and becomes involved in wars like the one against Yemen where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, wounded, starved and besieged. He supports despotic regimes such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. He does all (evil) and creates Daech for you, so that it may sully your religion, your Prophet, your Qur’an, that it may shed your blood, take your women captive, demolish your society and your countries. But he’s jovial, and your heart is supposed to burn for him because his skin is black.
The new positive thing is that now there is someone who has put hypocrisy aside, and who says – and that is why His Eminence the Imam Leader [Khamenei] said, we should thank Trump because he revealed again the true face of the racist, cruel, criminal, murderous American government, which spills blood, represses liberties, seizes the wealth of others, plots unceasingly against the oppressed peoples.
Thank you! We are not sorry, we are grateful to Trump. Because since he took power, the real face of the American administration has been revealed, and the peoples whose discernment has been obscured and misled can finally understand it.
As for fear, it is something long gone (for Hezbollah). To all those who write, discourse, think, analyze, I say [in the name] of the white hair of Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid, one of the great founders of Hezbollah in 1982 : We were here in 1982, and we are now in 2017. In 1982, we were only a handful of oppressed believers, fearing at any time to be captured by our opponents [Cf. Quran, VIII, 26]. The invincible Israeli army occupied half of Lebanon. 100,000 Israeli officers and soldiers were in Lebanon. 25,000 US, French, British and Italian officers and soldiers were in Lebanon [along with Israel]. There were the internal problems in Lebanon, the battleship New Jersey and others in the sea… And we were only a handful, we and the other members of the factions and resistant parties. And we were not afraid. We were not worried. We did not hesitate. Our cause was clear and certain. And after, after, after, George Bush came, with the armies again, with the battleships, aggressing countries, pushing Israel to war against us, but we were not worried nor frightened nor hesitant. We had the certainty that God would grant us victory.
This victory that God promised us in His Book, and which Imam Khomeini promised us, to Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid, to Sayed Abbas, to the House of the brothers [founders of Hezbollah], when they went to see the Imam at the beginning of the creation of the movement, and he confirmed to them that the choice of the Resistance was the only one, and told them not to count on anyone, to expect nothing from whoever in the world, nor from us [Iran], but to rely on God and on yourselves, carry out the tasks that are incumbent on you.
And on that day, as the documents testify, on that day, when many in the Arab and Islamic world considered Lebanon to have entered the Israeli era, Imam Khomeini told the 9 [Hezbollah] people, including Sayed Abbas al-Musawi (former Secretary General of Hezbollah) and Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid: “If you resist, I see victory engraved on your foreheads.”
This victory was achieved in 1985 (Israeli withdrawal in southern Lebanon), in 2000, in 2006, and is being realized today in Syria, in Iraq, and it will be realized in Yemen, God willing. Neither Trump nor his father nor his grandfather, neither George Bush, nor his father, nor his grandfather, or any of these racists, can infringe upon the courage, will, determination or faith of any of our children, so what about our men (adults) and our elders ?
That is why we are not at all worried but very optimistic, because when the White House is inhabited by a fool who (openly) displays his stupidity, this is the beginning of liberation for the oppressed in the world.
May God have mercy on our great and dear Sheikh, whose sad loss we regret, and may He make him dwell in His vast paradise, and raise him up with the martyrs, and let the peace of God be upon you all, His Mercy and His Blessings.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!