U.S.-Israel Military Juggernaut Grows

From Alaska to the Negev Desert, cooperation between Israeli and American militaries is putting U.S. troops in harm’s way.

By Philip Giraldi

The increasing ties between the Israeli and American militaries have gone virtually unnoticed in the U.S. media apart from reports about the $3.1 billion in military assistance that Tel Aviv receives each year. The United States has just completed the largest ever joint military exercises with Israel, even though there is no bilateral defense agreement or treaty between the two countries.

Scenarios in the exercises had American soldiers defending Israel by fighting Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians in a mock-up Arab village.

Upon conclusion of the Juniper Cobra exercises, Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard Clark observed that American soldiers should be prepared to die for the Jewish state, adding that they would probably be under the command of an Israeli Air Force general, who subsequently advised that “I am sure . . . we will find U.S. troops on the ground . . . to defend the state of Israel.”

But Washington’s more serious commitment to Israel derives from the recent opening of a U.S. permanent installation at Mashabim Air Base in the Negev desert. The American facility is a base within a base, surrounded by the Israeli Air Force and operating “under Israeli military directives.” It is a shell facility with a few airmen who could be reinforced if Israel goes to war. Together with billions of dollars-worth of U.S. military equipment that is pre-positioned in Israel and can be used by the Israelis as needed, it is all about supporting Israeli war-making and has nothing to do with American security or defense interests.

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Overseas military bases normally serve two functions. The first and foremost should be to defend the United States from attack originating with a foreign power, serving in effect as a forward defense. That is basically what the U.S. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar does, as it enables surveillance and both first and retaliatory strike capability in what has become a volatile region. Major American bases in Germany and elsewhere in Europe similarly have considerable defensive and offensive capabilities, making them a forward based deterrent against attack.

More often, however, the existence of Washington’s military installations overseas is to serve as token presences, guarantors that the United States will become involved in the war if an ally is attacked. As no one seriously wants to confront U.S. power directly, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines serve as a deterrent, making an offensive action by an antagonist pretty much unthinkable.

That issue of deterrence is why there are American soldiers in Poland and the Baltic States and the real reason why 30,000 troops remain in South Korea. It also assumes that Russia is a hostile and expansionistic power, which is debatable, though the potential truculence of North Korea is better established.

Israel, as is so often the case, does not neatly fit into either rationale for having an American overseas military base, but there has been virtually no pushback either from Congress or the media over what can be construed as a highly risky initiative. The Mashabim military base can be reinforced as needed, but reinforced for what? The United States has far more capable units throughout the region and the U.S. base could not play any significant role if serious fighting were to break out.

If the Israeli base were to be attacked by either Iran or Hezbollah rockets, however, that would mean that the United States would also be considered to be under attack and would respond in kind. So that means that the American presence is to guarantee that any attacker would understand that striking at Israel is the same as striking at the United States, which would be a deterrent. But there is something wrong with that formulation. In the cases of Europe and South Korea, the United States has formal agreements that define how Washington would respond to attacks on its allies within the framework of what is a defensive not an offensive alliance. And those countries are formal allies with established borders, which is not the case with Israel.

There is nothing to prevent Israel from attacking Iran or Hezbollah, producing a retaliatory response, and expecting that the U.S. would suddenly appear to do the real fighting. In fact, given Israel’s history of aggression against its neighbors that is precisely what very well might happen. America has de facto given up its sovereign right to declare war and handed it over to Israel.

And there’s more. The most recent largely unreported news about Israeli-American military engagement comes from the island of Kodiak off the coast of Alaska, where Israel will be testing its new Arrow 3 missile system, which was largely funded by the United States, so it can be deployed in Israel. A reported 62 shipping containers have been turned into sleeping quarters for Israeli soldiers, who will be operating out of the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, where the tests will take place.

The reason given for Israel’s need to begin testing its missiles in the United States is that the Arrow 3 is an exo-atmospheric missile, which flies into outer space coming back down to hit its target. The Mediterranean Sea is apparently too small an area to test such a missile, which has a range of 1,500 miles that includes all of Europe as well as much of Western Asia and North Africa.

Arrow 3 would also give Israel an anti-satellite weapon, allowing it to join only the U.S., Russia, and China with that military capability.

The question that the Pentagon should be asking is, “Who is Israel targeting with its new weapon system and why?” The missile clearly has offensive capabilities that go way beyond Israel’s neighborhood and far in excess of any legitimate defense needs.

The blank check given to Israel is not just in the form of money and an unlimited flow of U.S.-made military equipment. It also consists of an unwillingness to challenge anything that Israel wants, including creating the conditions whereby the United States will be willy-nilly involved in a war initiated by a feckless Benjamin Netanyahu.

And the U.S. has wound up funding and testing a missile that someday might be used against it and which, incidentally, competes with similar products made by American defense contractors, costing jobs here at home.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Resisting Zionist Censorship

Courageous Jews are risking much to protest censorship by the Zionist Power Configuration, as sociologist James Petras calls the core of pro-Israel, Zionist power. A recent conference included a panel that featured several of these truth-tellers.

By Kevin Barrett

As sociologist James Petras has pointed out, the 52 major Jewish American organizations (MJAO) are monolithically pro-Israel. They form the core of what Petras calls the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC): “The ideological influence of the Israel Fifth Column is concentrated on a single issue: Defending Israel and its crimes against humanity.”

According to Petras, the ZPC’s commanding heights include hundreds of billionaires and millionaires, who finance its political and media operations. Below them, national and state-wide networks “influence the nomination and financing of all candidates, elected officials, and the composition of editorial boards of the major media outlets.”

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Below these networks, at the local level, “every major and minor U.S. city has local Zionist-councils that use their influence to intimidate local professional, business, political, and media groups into ensuring that critics are censored and Israel’s war crimes are covered up.”

It takes guts to stand up to the ZPC. The ZPC, Petras explains, is in the habit of “blacklisting critics, contacting their places of employment and demanding they be fired,” tactics that can escalate into “threatening phone calls and unwelcome ‘visits’.” In rare instances, the Jewish Defense League, an FBI-designated terrorist group that functions as the armed wing of the ZPC, has been known to conduct fire-bombings and murders.

Against this Zionist goliath, a smattering of Jewish Davids are beginning to rise up. I recently hosted a panel discussion with three of them: Gilad Atzmon,* Alan Sabrosky, and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel. Along with former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the five of us made up the panel for “Zionism: Deconstructing the Power Paradigm,” the final segment of a conference entitled Deep Truth: Visionaries Speak Out. Videos from the conference are online at noliesradio.org/deeptruth.

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Atzmon jokes that he can’t decide whether to be an ex-Jew or a self-hating Jew. Born in Israel, Atzmon served in the IDF but was repelled by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. He emigrated to London and became one of Europe’s greatest jazz saxophonists—as well as an author and noted critic of Jewish power, which he defines as “the power to silence criticism of Jewish power.” Endlessly slandered and vilified by the global ZPC, Atzmon has been banned from speaking more times than he can count—and has even suffered physical attacks. Yet he soldiers on, driven by the same spirit of feisty stubbornness that helped him wake up at an ungodly hour every morning to practice his saxophone and eventually become a great musician.

Alan Sabrosky, the former director of studies of the Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, says, “I express my Jewish ethnicity through cuisine, not foreign policy.” In other words, he is a patriotic American, who likes Jewish food and doesn’t give a hoot about Israel.

In 2010, Sabrosky made alternative media headlines by coming on my radio show and announcing that: “I have had long conversations over the last two weeks with contacts at the Army War College and Marine Corps headquarters, and I’ve made it absolutely clear in both cases that it is 100% certain that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Period. The Zionists are playing this as an all-or-nothing exercise. If they lose this one, they’re done.”

Naturally the ZPC’s thought-police outfit, the Anti-Defamation League, has accused Sabrosky of promoting “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

The sheer terror Sabrosky’s name elicits among the ZPC elite was displayed on May 9, 2016 in the Kansas City Public Library. Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, a patriotic American truth activist from a Jewish-Mexican background, was arrested, along with librarian Steve Woolfolk, by trained-in-Israel off-duty cops. His crime? Asking an uncomfortable question during the Q&A after a speech by Dennis Ross, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel. Rothe-Kushel’s question alluded to Israel’s role in 9/11. Shortly after Rothe-Kushel mentioned the name “Alan Sabrosky” the security guards grabbed Rothe-Kushel, then brutalized librarian Woolfolk for disputing the arrest.

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Recognizing that quickly dropping charges would amount to an implicit admission of guilt, a serious disadvantage in case of eventual litigation, the D.A. pressed charges against Woolfolk and Rothe-Kushel—and lost.

On April 26 of this year, Rothe-Kushel filed a lawsuit against the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, two of its employees, and one of its security guards. Also named in the lawsuit is an employee of the Truman Library Institute, along with Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith, five members of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, two Kansas City police detectives and a sergeant.

Rothe-Kushel identifies as a Jew and practices the religion of Judaism, identifying with its prophetic “speak truth to power” tradition. Sabrosky rarely thinks about being Jewish. Atzmon isn’t sure he’s still a Jew.

Whatever they call themselves, these guys are freedom fighters and heroes.

* Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? is available from the AFP Online Store, here.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.




Was Venezuelan President Assassinated?

Venezuela’s current president, Nicolas Maduro, and others allege the United States poisoned his country’s late firebrand socialist leader Hugo Chavez. Though this may seem questionable, scientists have admitted nano-weapons are now capable of delivering illnesses “ranging from stroke to respiratory failure to AIDS.”

By S. T. Patrick

“I don’t want to die. . . . Please don’t let me die,” were the final words of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2013. Shortly after his death, the Venezuelan presidential guard confirmed the cause of death as a heart attack after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. The state funeral had barely come to a close, however, when rumors of assassination began spreading among Venezuelan diplomats. How close were those rumors to reality? There is real evidence that Chavez was murdered.

Nicolas Maduro, who served as vice president under Chavez, publicly commented on the allegations of assassination as Chavez suffered through his waning days.

“We have no doubt that Commandant Chávez was attacked with this illness; we have not a single doubt,” Maduro said. “The established enemies of our land specifically tried to harm the health of our leader.”

Maduro compared the illness of Chavez to that of former Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat. In 2004, Arafat died one month after coming down with “flu-like” symptoms. Supporters and Palestinian leaders floated the idea that Arafat was medically poisoned by operatives of the Israeli Mossad.

Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!

It is not a fanciful assertion that Chavez could have been targeted for assassination by the international community that controls the world’s most powerful institutions. As president of an oil-rich nation with the largest reserves outside of the Middle East, he enacted a plethora of initiatives aimed at enriching Venezuelans at the expense of globalists.

After having paid its debts five years early, Chavez in 2007 declared that he was severing ties with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He no longer wanted associations with institutions “dominated by U.S. imperialism.”

When the Spanish owner of the Banco de Venezuela attempted to sell the privatized bank to a group of investors in 2008, Chavez nationalized it “to put (the bank) at the service of Venezuela.”

Within three years of Chavez’s death, the internationalists had already encroached into Venezuela in ways that would never have been allowed by Chavez. By 2016, Venezuela’s state bank had entered into negotiations with Deutsche Bank AG. The deal with Germany’s banking power house enabled gold swaps and changes to Venezuela’s foreign reserves.

The international community might as well face that they are addicted to oil, a factor that makes literal and covert control of Venezuela very attractive to the world’s militaristic billionaire class. Petroleum accounts for over 50% of revenue and 70% of exports in Venezuela.

William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, described the vehemence with which the U.S. military-industrial complex disdained Chavez.

“There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run ‘United States, Inc.’ wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez,” Blum wrote. “He was worse than (Chilean President Salvador) Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about U.S. imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-U.S.-Empire blocs.”

Chavez had seen three other leftist leaders contract cancer in Latin America. But when Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced she had cancer in 2011, Chavez wondered aloud whether or not the cancer was random.

“Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer, and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” Chavez asked.

Maduro, who was elected president following Chavez’s death, remained steadfast in his pro-assassination beliefs as he adjusted to the robust necessities of Venezuelan leadership.

“We will seek the truth,” Maduro said. “We have the intuition that our Commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way.”

By 2016, scientists were admitting that nano-weapons were capable of transporting disease-provoking nanoparticles that can carry illnesses ranging from stroke to respiratory failure to AIDS.

S. T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




NATO’s Middle East Despot Tightens His Grip on Turkey

Turkey’s president is taking steps toward ensuring he rules the country for the foreseeable future. With an indefinite state of emergency in place, many of his political opponents in prison, and 98% of the media in his hands, it seems this former parliamentary representative democratic republic is well on its way to becoming a dictatorship.

By Richard Walker

The NATO leadership will soon have a Middle East despot in its ranks when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses his control over all elements of governmental power to ensure he remains for the foreseeable future president of a country increasingly dominated by staunch Islamic principles.

In April this year, he reset the presidential and national elections scheduled for November 2019 to June 24, 2018 in a move calculated to exploit and consolidate his hold on the Turkish system, including the military, intelligence agencies, police, and judiciary. With many of his political opponents in prison, and 98% of the media in his hands, he plans to rule unchallenged. It is the classic strategy of a budding dictator, say his enemies.

Since July 15, 2016, when elements of his armed forces staged an abortive coup against him, he has arrested tens of thousands of members of the opposition, confining many to jail and political trials. Today, unknown numbers of people remain behind bars. They include civil servants, soldiers, judges, journalists, and university professors. Many have been accused of supporting an American-based cleric, Fetullah Gulen, who was once an Erdogan political ally. Erdogan has demanded Gulen’s extradition to Turkey, alleging he and his supporters in Turkey were behind the coup. So far, the Trump administration has refused to hand him over, creating a widening political gulf between Ankara and Washington.

MidEast Chess Board

Erdogan has used his power to transform Turkey from a secular state to an Islamic one. He has accused the U.S. of playing a role in the coup. Days after he crushed it, he had his military seize control of the massive U.S. military base at Incirlik. Unknown to members of Congress, it held nuclear weapons intended for use in a war with Russia. They have since been moved out of Turkey. Some sources believe they may have been relocated to bases in Europe. The Pentagon has denied reports that it has plans to scale down the U.S. military presence in Turkey, but some believe the process has already begun at Incirlik.

Erdogan was always a man with grand ambitions to dominate the Middle East, but the Turkish economy never performed up to his expectations. It is suspected he has called these snap elections because he knows the economy will continue to underperform over the next year. He hopes by then to have unfettered control of the reins of power.

Until 2016, sharing a border with Russia did not make him feel comfortable, but Russian leader Vladimir Putin has managed to convince him that Washington has no defined Middle East policy and Turkey’s interests are better served being close to Russia, China, Iraq, and Iran. Even Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper recognized the closeness of Turkey and Russia. Moscow has privately suggested that it will mediate a deal with his nemesis in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, permitting Turkey to ensure the Syrian Kurds do not become a problem on its border. Lately, Erdogan warned Washington that its alliance with the Syrian Kurds risks placing American forces in the firing line. It is a threat the Pentagon cannot dismiss.

As a leader who plans to elevate his status as a defender of Muslims in the region, he has cleverly adopted a confrontational tone with Israel over its slaughter of Palestinians. He has branded Netanyahu a terrorist and fascist and has labeled EU nations his enemies.

But it is in the political sphere in Turkey that he has proven to be astute and decisive. In the wake of the coup, he declared a state of emergency and then extended it indefinitely. When the parliamentary and presidential elections are over on June 24, political measures he has already inserted into the law will ensure that only a super majority in parliament will be able to force an investigation of him. That will insulate him legally and politically.

His argument for altering the balance of political power in Turkey is that giving him executive control is vital to preventing coups, led in the past by secular nationalists within the military who he claims were part of the deep state. He has gutted the intelligence services to ensure there are only committed Muslims in the upper echelons. He has either jailed or sacked senior military figures suspected of not being willing to commit to a loyalty pledge to him. Despite his efforts to eliminate threats, a deep state remains deeply embedded in the DNA of the country.

Whatever the future holds, there will be continuing erosion of Turkey’s attachment to NATO and Europe. In the late 1990s, Turkey had hoped to become a member of the EU, but the hope was dashed by fierce opposition from France, Germany, and Britain. At the core of their opposition was a fear that admitting Turkey would be akin to opening up Europe to a massive Muslim influx that would be dangerous and destabilizing. Erdogan has not forgiven the EU, and his resentment extends to NATO and the U.S.

Some security experts fear that Turkey will become a growing threat in the region. Some point to the anomaly that Turkey is on track to get America’s newest strike fighter, the F-35, while it installs the latest Russian S-400 missile shield that does not integrate with NATO’s own missile system.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.




Iraq War About Oil or Israel?

A new book by oil consultant Gary Vogler proves the U.S. waged war on Iraq to save Israel’s failing economy. “Neocons pushed so hard for war in large part because they intended to loot Iraqi oil on behalf of Israel.”

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

My 2008 book Questioning the War on Terror asked whether the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a resource war or a Zionist war.

At that time, liberals and leftists regularly accused President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of going to war for oil. “No blood for oil” was their protest chant.

It was obvious from day one that Iraq’s immense energy wealth had something to do with “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” but as sociologist James Petras has pointed out, the big oil companies were actually against the war. They would have preferred peace and stability—and Saddam Hussein was willing to give away the store if America would only take yes for an answer, as Susan Lindauer explains in her book Extreme Prejudice.

Petras, Stephen Sniegoski, and many others—including ex-CIA analysts Bill and Kathleen Christison in their 2003 article “Too Many Smoking Guns to Ignore: Israel, American Jews, and the War on Iraq”—have marshalled strong evidence that the Iraq invasion was about Israel, not oil.

The architects of the Iraq war were all Zionist neoconservatives. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained in April 2003 that the war on Iraq was “the war the neoconservatives wanted. . . . I could give you the names of 25 people who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.”

Iraq was one of the “seven countries in five years” targeted for destruction after 9/11, according to Gen. Wesley Clark. All seven were enemies of Israel. None posed any threat to the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose first reaction to the 9/11 attacks was “it’s very good,” still felt that way in 2008: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Netanyahu insisted, according to a report in the April 16, 2008 edition of Israeli daily Ha’aretz.

9/11 and the subsequent American war against Muslim countries helped Israel in numerous ways. Besides “taking out” Israel’s enemies and balkanizing the Middle East in accordance with the Oded Yinon plan, the 9/11 wars also saved the Israeli economy, which in 2001 was on the brink of total collapse. As Naomi Klein writes in The Shock Doctrine (pp. 434-441), Israel was crushed by the dot-com crash, with 300 Israeli tech firms going bankrupt. During the run-up to 9/11, the Israeli government slashed social services to the bone and transferred all of its resources into “a slew of start-ups . . . specializing in everything from ‘search and nail’ data mining, to surveillance cameras, to terrorist profiling. When the market for these services and devices exploded in the years after Sept. 11, the Israeli state openly embraced a new national economic vision: The growth provided by the dot-com bubble would be replaced with a homeland security boom.”

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Another way 9/11 and the 9/11 wars were designed to save Israel’s failing economy was recently revealed by oil consultant Gary Vogler. In his book Iraq and the Politics of Oil: An Insider’s Perspective. Vogler explains that the neocons pushed so hard for war in large part because they intended to loot Iraqi oil on behalf of Israel. As Douglas Feith’s former law partner Mark Zell explained, the neocons believed the boastful promises of wannabe puppet dictator Ahmed Chalabi:

“He said he would end Iraq’s boycott of trade with Israel and would allow Israeli companies to do business there. He said the new Iraqi government would agree to rebuild the pipeline from Mosul in the northern Iraqi oil fields to Haifa.”

As it turned out, the Mosul to Haifa pipeline was a non-starter. But Chalabi did succeed in stealing Iraqi oil and passing it to Israel at bargain basement rates, by forcing Iraq, against the wishes of almost all Iraqis, to sell oil to convicted swindler Marc Rich’s company Glencore, which has provided almost all of Israel’s oil since 1973.

And though Vogler doesn’t discuss ISIS and Kurdish black market oil sales to Israel, it appears that these and other methods have been used to leverage Iraqi oil to pump up Israel’s failing economy, which only survives thanks to trillions of dollars of tribute coughed up by American taxpayers.

Vogler ends his book with a warning: “The costs to the United States for invading Iraq were huge” (4,489 U.S. troops killed and 32,223 injured, over 134,000 Iraqi civilians and 150 reporters killed, 2.8 million refugees, $2 trillion wasted) “We cannot allow another group, such as the neocons, to push our country into a costly and unnecessary Middle Eastern war as they did in Iraq.”

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.




Trump’s Bold Historic Gamble

The Singapore Summit has been a historical success, despite the naysayers who tried to prevent it from happening. Now Pat Buchanan asks whether Kim Jong Un will agree to what he’s being asked to do. 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

President Donald Trump appears to belong to what might be called the Benjamin Disraeli school of diplomacy.

The British prime minister once counseled, “Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.”

At his Singapore summit, Trump smartly saluted a North Korean general and then lavished praise on Kim Jong Un as a “strong guy” with a “good personality” and a “great negotiator.” “He’s funny, and . . . very, very smart . . . and a very strategic kind of a guy. . . . His country does love him.”

Predictably, Trump is being scourged for this.

Yet, during his trip to Peking in 1972, Richard Nixon did not confront Chairman Mao on his history of massacres and murder, though Nixon’s visit came in the midst of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a nationwide pogrom.

MidEast Chess Board

Nor did Churchill or FDR at their wartime summits confront their ally Stalin for his legendary crimes against humanity. Both gushed over “Uncle Joe.”

Still, if the Trump-Kim camaraderie goes south and the crisis of 2017, when war seemed possible, returns, Trump, as he concedes, will be charged with naivety for having placed his trust in such a tyrant.

Yet, to Trump’s credit, we are surely at a better place than we were a year ago when Kim was testing hydrogen bombs and ICBMs, and he and Trump were trading threats and insults in what seemed the prelude to a new Korean War.

Whatever one may think of his diplomacy, Trump has, for now, lifted the specter of nuclear war from the Korean peninsula and begun a negotiating process that could lead to tolerable coexistence.

The central questions to emerge from the summit are these: What does Kim want, and what is he willing to pay for it?

Transparently, he does not want a war with the United States. That black cloud has passed over.

Second, Kim and North Korea have emerged from their isolation in as dramatic a fashion as did Mao’s China in 1972.

In 2018, the North was invited to the Seoul Olympics. Kim met twice with South Korea’s president and twice with China’s Xi Jinping. Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister stopped by. And Kim had a face-to-face summit with a U.S. president, something his grandfather and father never came close to achieving.

It is unlikely Kim will be retreating back into the cloisters of the Hermit Kingdom after being courted by the world’s foremost powers.

 

 

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What does Trump have on offer to induce Kim to end the lifetime of hostility? It is a long menu of what Kim can expect if he will surrender his nuclear weapons and dismantle the factories and facilities that produce them.

Among the benefits proffered: recognition of his dynasty and U.S. security guarantees, an end of sanctions, foreign investment, a peace treaty signed by the United States to replace the 65-year-old armistice and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Korean peninsula.

Trump has already attended to one of Kim’s complaints. The joint military exercises we have conducted annually with South Korea for decades have been declared by Trump to be “war games” and “very provocative” and have been suspended.

What is being asked of Kim in return?

He must provide an inventory of all nuclear weapons and where they are hidden, surrender them all, dismantle his plutonium and uranium production plants, and shut down his testing sites, all under the watch of U.S.-approved inspectors.

He must renounce any and all nuclear weapons forever, and accept a regime of international inspections that would guarantee he never cheats on that commitment.

Here is where the crunch comes. Kim is being told that he must give up the weapons whose very possession by him are the reason why the world powers are paying him heed.

As leader of a country with a per capita income smaller than Haiti’s, Kim is being told he must surrender the weapons that placed him and North Korea in the world’s most exclusive club, to which only eight other nations belong: the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel.

Will Kim, whose nuclear weapons have enabled him to strut on the world stage and trade insults with the president of the United States, give them up to become the leader of a poor backward nation, with half the population of South Korea and not even 4% of the economy of the South?

Will he give up his most reliable deterrent against an attack by the United States or China?

In the Kim-Trump relationship, this is where the rubber meets the road. Kim has seen how Americans treat nations—like Gadhafi’s Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, and Iran — that decline to develop or surrender the kind of weapons his country took decades to plan, test, produce and deploy.

Should Kim give up his nukes, what U.S. president would fly halfway around the world to meet him one-to-one?

Hence the crucial question: Will he ever really give them up?

 


On June 12, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement at the conclusion of their historic summit in Singapore. Here’s what it says, according to a photo of Trump’s signed document:

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit—the first in history—was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level

DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.




U.S. Sabotages Peace Efforts

Vladimir Putin’s attempts to foster global amity are being thwarted by U.S. warmongers while the presstitute media misrepresents “the destruction of peace agreements as necessary actions to protect Americans and the world from rogue states.”

By Paul Craig Roberts

The Trump regime has sabotaged Vladimir Putin’s peace efforts in Syria, Iran, Ukraine, and North Korea. In the interest of peace Putin has avoided responding to U.S. and Israeli provocations in Syria. Putin went so far as to invite the war criminal and genocidal maniac Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russia for the celebration of Russia’s victory over Germany in World War II. Netanyahu accepted, but showed Putin who is boss by ordering illegal Israeli military attacks on Syrian army positions just prior to his departure for Russia.

Washington rewarded Putin’s peace efforts by occupying with U.S. and French troops the part of Syria still held by Washington’s mercenaries sent to overthrow Assad and by re-supplying the Muslim extremists Washington is using against Assad’s secular government. With U.S. and French troops present, Putin has halted the offensive to clear all of Syria of the foreign invaders. If Americans or French are killed, Putin knows that the demonization of Russia will reach a new high pitch and Washington will use it to counteract Europe’s dissatisfaction with Washington. The box into which Putin has been put by the Russian government’s misjudgment of U.S. and Israeli intentions allows continuing U.S.-led attacks on Syrian military positions.

Previously Putin blocked the planned U.S. invasion of Syria by arranging for all of Syria’s chemical weapons to be turned over to the West for destruction. The official chemical weapons inspection agency certified that Syria is devoid of chemical weapons. Putin’s reward is that U.S. government officials, the entirety of the U.S. media, and Washington’s British and French vassals have consistently blamed Syria for false-flag chemical attacks, and in the case of Douma a fake-news chemical attack that has been certified not to have taken place, on Assad.

The Trump regime has also sabotaged Putin’s peace effort in Iran. Putin brought the fake “Iranian nuke” crisis orchestrated by Washington and its presstitute media to an end by working out a multi-nation agreement that Iran would not produce weapons-grade nuclear material or enrich uranium beyond the low level used for nuclear energy. Official agencies certify that Iran has kept the agreement, but, despite the established facts, Washington and its presstitute media continue to  allege that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Trump, at the insistence of Netanyahu, has pulled the U.S. out of the multi-nation agreement signed by Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany. Trump is re-imposing even harsher sanctions against Iran that heavily impact and harm European businesses.

The rest of the signatories to the Iran agreement say that they intend to continue with the agreement, and Trump has threatened the UK, France, and Germany with sanctions if they stick with the agreement that they signed in good faith.

China and Russia worked to reconcile North and South Korea and secured North Korea’s agreement to stop nuclear weapons tests. Peace between the Koreas was taking shape, but Trump has sabotaged this peace effort as well.

The presstitute media, a.k.a. Washington’s propaganda ministry, has misrepresented the destruction of peace agreements as necessary actions to protect Americans and the world from rogue states, but Israel is the only other government that agrees with Washington.

Now that Washington and Israel have sabotaged Putin’s diplomacy, Putin’s hope is that the result will isolate Washington from Washington’s European and British vassal states rather than isolate Russia, Syria, Iran, and North Korea from the rest of the world. There is much evidence that European leaders have had their fill of being treated as Washington’s slaves. Possibly they will throw off Washington’s control. On the other hand, except for France under DeGaulle, no European country has had an independent foreign or economic policy in 75 years. Moreover, European leaders are accustomed to relying on Washington providing their comfortable retirements, like Tony Blair’s $50 million, and European business interests would be harmed if Trump cuts them off from U.S. markets. How real a European revolt is remains to be seen.

There are great risks to Russia of relying on Europe’s revolt as Washington uses the time to regain what was lost in Syria to Putin’s initiative. In effect, Russia might be throwing away the victory in Syria. While the Russian government waits to see if the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes apart, Washington is organizing the jihadists Washington used against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and Assad to prepare an offensive against Russia and China through former Soviet central Asian republics such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

A report by Andrey Afanasyev published at “Information Clearing House” claims “Special Service’s Agent: Attack on Russia Is Being Prepared.” I have checked out this story with Russian sources. What I learned is that Washington’s plan to use its jihadists to begin destabilizing Russia and China surfaced in Russia in the [recent] 7th Moscow International Conference on Security. Currently, Sergei Shoigu, the Russian minister of defense, is in Uzbekistan evaluating the situation with military and political leaders there.

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The Russian government, the state TV channels, and establishment press are sitting on the information. Apparently, the Russian government doesn’t want this information out, as it could undermine public support for the peace agenda that the government favors. However, reports have been published in Russian news outlets Tsargrad, NewsFront, and Fergana.

Israel’s interest in the Middle East is expansion, which is inconsistent with peace. Israel needs conflict and the destabilization of Syria and Iran, Hezbollah’s suppliers, so that Israel can seize southern Lebanon. The American neoconservatives who are firmly entrenched in the Trump regime are de facto Israeli agents. Moreover, they are committed to American hegemony, which requires the overthrow of independent governments.

Putin is betting that Washington’s pursuit of hegemony in the Middle East will cost Washington hegemony in Europe. If Putin does not win this bet, he had better be prepared for the war that Washington, D.C. and Israel are aiming directly at Russia.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S.Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was associate editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He has been a professor of economics in six universities and is the author of numerous books available at www.AmericanFreePress.net.




Supporters of Iranian Nuclear Deal Targeted by Trump

Donald Trump has long opposed the Iran nuclear deal. Now it’s been revealed his representatives hired a private Israeli intelligence firm to try to destroy the deal as it was being negotiated by discrediting representatives of the Obama administration working on it.

By John Friend

Representatives of President Donald Trump contracted private Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube to help orchestrate a “black-ops” campaign against key individuals who were involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, it has been revealed. The president has long lambasted the agreement, calling it “defective at its core.”

In May of last year, reports The Guardian, advisers connected to President Trump hired private investigators from Israel, some of whom were former Mossad agents, to dig into the private lives of at least two former Obama administration officials who were instrumental in securing the Iran nuclear deal: Ben Rhodes, a national security adviser to Obama, and Colin Kahl, a deputy assistant to Obama. Rhodes and Kahl were both closely involved in the negotiations leading up to the agreement with the Iranian government, which has long been demonized by Israel and Zionist war hawks in America. The private Israeli intelligence operatives were contracted by people close to Trump in an elaborate effort to undermine the Iran deal and discredit those involved in negotiating it, namely Rhodes and Kahl.

“The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it,” an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the shady campaign explained to The Guardian.

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Despite the fact that international inspectors say Iran has lived up to an agreement that it significantly scale back its nuclear program, Trump still withdrew the U.S. from the deal in early May, claiming that it didn’t go far enough. Trump and his pro-Israel backers contend that Iran should not have the right to defend itself militarily should Israel or the United States threaten it.

“These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it,” Jack Straw, a former British foreign secretary who was also involved in negotiations with the Iranian government, stated following the scandalous revelations.

The private investigators contracted by Trump’s aides were tasked with investigating the personal relationships of Rhodes and Kahl, including any contact they had with pro-Iranian lobbyists. They also attempted to discover whether or not Rhodes and Kahl, among other Obama officials, personally benefited from the Iranian deal and investigated their contacts in the mass media.

It has not yet been revealed to what extent the Israeli investigators went in their campaign and what eventually became of it.

Rhodes and Kahl were apparently unaware of the campaign leveled against them but were not surprised to learn of it following mainstream reports of its existence.

“I was not aware, though sadly am not surprised,” Rhodes stated following reports outlining the shady tactics. “I would say that digging up dirt on someone for carrying out their professional responsibilities in their positions as White House officials is a chillingly authoritarian thing to do.”

This news comes as Israel and pro-Israel partisans in the U.S. mass media and federal government increase their deceptive public relations campaign against Iran. In late April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a special presentation to much fanfare purportedly documenting the intrigues of the Iranian government, who he claims continues to pursue a secret nuclear weapons program. The truth of the matter, however, was that Netanyahu was touting documents from nearly two decades ago purportedly showing Iran was interested in pursuing nuclear weapons. The nuclear agreement signed between Iran, Europe, Russia, China, and the U.S. allowed unprecedented checks from international investigators, who have repeatedly confirmed that Iran is living up to its end of the deal.

Netanyahu appears to have major influence over the Trump administration, as both political leaders have increased their hostile rhetoric toward the Islamic Republic in an attempt to demonize the Iranians.

John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.




Is Israel Helping Saudi Arabia Develop Nukes?

By AFP Staff

Is the radical Israeli government helping the Saudis build nuclear weapons? According to a new report in the online news and commentary website “Middle East Monitor,” an Israeli writer is blowing the whistle on a secret deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia to sell detailed information on how to build a nuke.

“This information should shock us,” Ami Dor-on wrote in a whistle-blowing column posted online at the “News One” website, “as we see the world is changing for the worse, following the race for the possession of nuclear weapons that pass right over our heads in the Middle East.”

Dor-on claims that the Saudi push to go nuclear stems from concerns that Iran is building its own arsenal, despite the fact that objective nuclear scientists along with U.S. intelligence agencies contend Iran abandoned its nuclear weapon program back in the early 2000s. Also, the Saudis believe that President Donald Trump’s closeness to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu means the U.S. will not move to block the deal.

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In the 1960s, Israel stole nuclear technology from the United States and other countries in order to develop its own arsenal. AFP writer and editor Michael Collins Piper, who passed away in 2016, documented the thefts in his book The Golem: Israel’s Nuclear Hell Bomb and the Road to Global Armageddon. Piper also argues in Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, the book he is perhaps best known for, that President John F. Kennedy objected to Israel’s theft of U.S. nuclear secrets. As a result of that, the Israelis, with the help of organized crime and other elements, orchestrated Kennedy’s assassination.

For years, Israeli officials tried to cover up the fact that it has a nuclear arsenal of as many as 400 missiles. Long considered to be one of the worst kept secrets in the Middle East, Israel’s nuclear weapons have been acknowledged by multiple Israeli leaders as well as the Pentagon.

The Saudis have long sought to develop nukes, according to multiple reports. It is well known that the Saudis helped the Pakistanis steal nuclear secrets so the country could develop its own bombs.

More recently, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, while visiting the U.S., asked the Trump administration for permission to begin enriching uranium to weapons-grade so that it could begin its own nuclear program.

A nuclear race in the Middle East should be a concern for world powers, including the U.S., Russia, and China.

Up until Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Iran, Iran had been barred from enriching uranium to create its own weapons. Much has been made about Iran secretly having a nuclear program hidden away in military sites such as Parchin. In 2015, however, nuclear inspectors entered Parchin to quietly conduct inspections alongside the Iranians. Iran has promised to abide by the deal despite the U.S. rejecting it.

A nuclear-free world is in everyone’s interests and is something that all countries should back.




Bilderberg Officially Announces Topics, Attendees

Early in the morning on June 5, the shadowy globalist group known as Bilderberg officially released the location of its 2018 gathering as well as the list of its attendees.

By AFP Staff

In advance of its annual gathering June 8-10, Bilderberg posted to its website a list of topics on its agenda as well as the attendees who will be there when the shadowy globalist group gathers this upcoming weekend.

Every year, behind locked and guarded doors, 120-140 of the western world’s most powerful business executives, bankers, financial speculators, bureaucrats, and politicians gather together in secret at a five-star resort somewhere in Europe or North America to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—and figure out ways to profit off of them.

This year, Bilderberg picked Turin, Italy for its meeting location. AFP exposed the secret meeting site months ago, but Bilderberg only officially confirmed this on June 5, in an official press release. The global group has not identified what resort it bought out to host the meeting, but early reports indicate it will likely be the NH Torino Lingotto Congress hotel in Turin. AFP attempted to book a room for the weekend of June 8-10, but the entire resort was booked solid, a good indication that this will be the place.

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To no one’s real surprise, a press release by the Bilderberg group identified the key topics of the confab, which will include U.S. politics in the age of President Donald Trump as well as the rise of populism.

Specifically, Bilderberg listed the following topics on its website:

  • Populism in Europe
  • The inequality challenge
  • The future of work
  • Artificial intelligence
  • The U.S. before midterms
  • Free trade
  • U.S. world leadership
  • Russia
  • Quantum computing
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran
  • The “post-truth” world
  • Current events

“As of today, 128 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia, and the media has been invited,” Bilderberg’s press release noted.

Regular attendees of Bilderberg will be there this year, including Henry Kissinger, Robert Rubin, and Lawrence Summers. Of note, however, is that James H. Baker from the Pentagon will be attending as well as PayPal founder and noted conservative libertarian Peter Thiel.

The full list of attendees can be found here.

In its press release, Bilderberg teased readers by acknowledging that attendees follow so-called “Chatham House rules,” meaning they are forbidden from discussing what transpires at the event. Only recently, however, has Bilderberg come out of the closet officially. For years, the group was deadly serious about maintaining its secrecy, enforcing a strict blackout on reports in the mainstream media.




A Trump Doctrine for Singapore and Beyond

The upcoming Singapore Summit offers an opportunity to significantly decrease the world’s threat of nuclear disaster and end decades of “frozen conflict” on the Korean Peninsula. Buchanan suggests President Trump would do best to have a backup plan to include some concessions, as will be expected by Kim, and to not push the typical John Bolton war mongering “all-or-nothing” mantra if he wishes to succeed. 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back.

The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled.

But Pyongyang had other objections.

Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a “Libyan model” for the North’s disarmament, referring to Moammar Gadhafi’s surrender of all his weapons of mass destruction in 2004. The U.S. was invited into Libya to pick them up and cart them off, whereupon sanctions were lifted.

As Libya was subsequently attacked by NATO and Gadhafi lynched, North Korea denounced Bolton and all this talk of the “Libyan model” of unilateral disarmament.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Singapore, may be inhibiting.

What was predictable and predicted has come to pass.

Kingdom Identity

If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton’s demand for “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization,” and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves.

At Singapore, both sides will have demands, and both will have to offer concessions, if there is to be a deal.

What does Kim Jong Un want?

An end to U.S. and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, U.S. recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of U.S. bases and troops.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea’s borders to trade and travel.

As for his nuclear weapons and the facilities to produce them, these are Kim’s crown jewels. These brought him to the attention of the world and the Americans to the table. These are why President Trump is flying 10,000 miles to meet and talk with him.

And, unlike Gadhafi, Kim is not going to give them up.

Assuming the summit comes off June 12, this is the reality Trump will face in Singapore: a North Korea willing to halt the testing of nukes and ICBMs and to engage diplomatically and economically.

As for having Americans come into his country, pick up his nuclear weapons, remove them, and begin intrusive inspections to ensure he has neither nuclear bombs nor the means to produce, deliver or hide them, that would be tantamount to a surrender by Kim.

Trump is not going to get that. And if he adopts a Bolton policy of “all or nothing,” he is likely to get nothing at all.

Yet, thanks to Trump’s threats and refusal to accept a “frozen conflict” on the Korean peninsula, the makings of a real deal are present, if Trump does not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

For there is nothing North Korea is likely to demand that cannot be granted, as long as the security of South Korea is assured to the degree that it can be assured, while living alongside a nuclear-armed North.

Hence, when Kim cavils or balks in Singapore, as he almost surely will, at any demand for a pre-emptive surrender of his nuclear arsenal, Trump should have a fallback position.

If we cannot have everything we want, what can we live with?

Moreover, while we are running a risk today, an intransigent North Korea that walks out would be running a risk as well.

A collapse in talks between Kim and the United States and Kim and South Korea would raise the possibility that he and his Chinese patrons could face an East Asia Cold War where South Korea and Japan also have acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

In the last analysis, the United States should be willing to accept both the concessions to the North that the South is willing to make and the risks from the North that the South is willing to take.

For, ultimately, they are the one who are going to have to live on the same peninsula with Kim and his nukes.

Trump ran on a foreign policy that may fairly be described as a Trump Doctrine: In the post-post-Cold War era, the United States will start looking out for America first.

This does not mean isolationism or the abandonment of our allies. It does mean a review and reassessment of all the guarantees we have issued to go to war on behalf of other countries, and the eventual transfer of responsibility for the defense of our friends over to our friends.

In the future, the U.S. will stop futilely imploring allies to do more for their own defense and will begin telling them that their defense is primarily their own responsibility. Our allies must cease to be our dependents.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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No Evidence of Chemical Attack

Evidence and eyewitness testimony presented to the International Criminal Court demonstrates the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, blamed on al-Assad, never happened. Didn’t hear that on U.S. mainstream media? That’s why you’re reading American Free Press.

By John Friend

More evidence and eyewitness testimony has been presented regarding the alleged “chemical attack” purportedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in early April demonstrating that the entire narrative—concocted largely by the Syrian “White Helmets” and other forces hostile to the Syrian government—was and remains fake news designed to justify Western military intervention in the region.

In late April, eyewitnesses and survivors of the events that unfolded in Douma, a suburb of Damascus in the Eastern Ghouta region that has been the scene of a power struggle between armed terrorist groups attempting to overthrow Assad—many of which are backed by Western military and intelligence agencies—and the Syrian military, presented testimony at The Hague that undermined the narrative blindly disseminated by the Western media and political establishment.

“We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital,” Hassan Diab, an 11-year-old resident of Douma who was present during the purported “chemical attack,” explained to reporters at The Hague. “We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me.”

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Douma and the entire Eastern Ghouta region are known for their extensive underground tunnel systems, which are used to transport goods, people, and weapons in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Following an extensive bombing campaign carried out by the Syrian military on rebel and terrorist-held areas in Douma, many local residents experienced respiratory problems including smoke inhalation. Syrian “White Helmets” insisted a chemical attack had taken place and began filming the residents who were seeking medical treatment at the hospital. The “White Helmets”—anti-Assad so-called medical aid workers backed by the West—began shouting that a chemical attack had taken place and began spraying residents at the hospital with water hoses, causing chaos and panic and implanting a false narrative that a chemical attack had indeed taken place.

“There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care. They were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water,” Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator at a medical emergency center in Douma that treated local residents, explained to reporters at The Hague. “The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually. That happened for about an hour. We provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

The traumatic footage that emerged from Douma, captured and released exclusively by the “White Helmets” and other groups hostile to the Syrian regime, was presented uncritically by the Western press and blindly accepted by virtually the entire Western political establishment, including President Donald Trump’s administration, resulting in U.S.-led airstrikes on Syrian targets.

Halil al-Jaish and Muwaffak Nasrim, medical workers in Douma, also testified at The Hague, insisting that none of the patients they assisted showed any legitimate signs of exposure to chemical weapons. All of the patients, the medical workers explained, showed signs of respiratory problems, including smoke inhalation and dust asphyxiation, as a direct result of the Syrian military strikes in the area targeting rebel forces.

Russian Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, the chief of the main operational directorate of the Russian General Staff, announced that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found no evidence that chemical weapons were stored or manufactured at the Barzeh research center in Damascus, which was targeted by airstrikes in the aftermath of the alleged “chemical attack” in Douma.

“Immediately after the attacks, many people who worked at these destroyed facilities and just bystanders without any protective equipment visited them,” Rudskoy explained. “None of them got poisoned with toxic agents.” Had chemical weapons actually been stored or manufactured at this research facility, those who worked there and lived in the area would surely have been exposed to toxic chemical agents.

Rudskoy also stated that the Syrian air defense systems, which were sold to the Syrian regime by the Russians, performed spectacularly, destroying 46 of the cruise missiles launched by the U.S., the UK, and France during the recent airstrikes.

Meanwhile, in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated that the U.S. will expand its role in Syria, leading to conflicting policies espoused by the Trump administration. Trump has often indicated he wishes to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, stating recently U.S. forces would be “coming home relatively soon,” but that America would leave a “strong and lasting footprint” in the embattled country.

“Right now we are not withdrawing,” Mattis told Congress. “We are continuing the fight. We are going to expand it and bring in more regional support. This is the biggest shift we’re making right now.”

John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.




Trump’s Foreign Policy Scorecard

While President Trump’s “strategy of tension,” as described by French President Emmanuel Macron, appears to be effective with North Korea, though calling it a strategy at all, says Phil Giraldi, is questionable given the administration dysfunction. On other fronts, including Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, Trump is failing miserably on his foreign policy scorecard.

By Philip Giraldi

As Donald Trump is currently embarking on a 90-day agenda that has major foreign policy implications for the Koreas and Iran in particular, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on what has been accomplished, or otherwise, in his first 15 months in office.

French President Emmanuel Macron, having recently completed a state visit to Washington, reportedly has described the Trump program as “a strategy of tension,” which seeks to make adversaries uncertain of what the next step by the United States will be in an effort to obtain concessions that might not otherwise be likely.

It might be argued that the “strategy of tension” has worked with regard to North Korea, which might be considering détente with Seoul as an alternative to an attack by the United States. And Trump might even be right when he declares that previous U.S. presidents failed in their duty to strike a deal with Pyongyang. North Korea has long sought an end to the Korean War, which is still in armistice status, but its “unacceptable” condition has been that it should include a pledge of non-aggression from Washington, which successive administrations have refused to agree to lest their hands be tied if the North were to again become aggressive. And it would be conditional on the U.S. withdrawing its forces from the peninsula, knowing that once they are gone they will never return, so some might regard the North Korean overtures as little more than a trick to force the United States to depart before resuming business as usual by the hardline communist state.

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Even giving Trump credit for positive developments in Korea, however, it is far from clear that it was part of some kind of strategy, as the White House team has been largely dysfunctional while the president’s grasp of the niceties of international interrelations appears to be minimal.

Iran is another clear case where “tension” is being applied to compel the Iranians to give up their ballistic missile developments to supplement their participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to downgrade their nuclear energy program. The decision on whether the United States will withdraw from the agreement will likely be made in the next 10 days [this article was originally published in last week’s AFP Issue 19 & 20, before Trump’s decision on Iran was announced–Ed.], and the signs coming out of White House meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron are unfavorable regarding continued U.S. participation. Iran will likely dig in its heels, and there is a real possibility that it will consider a nuclear weapons program plus a functional delivery system to defend itself against the U.S. and nuclear armed Israel. There will be no coercion of Iran, which will actually fight hard using all its resources to resist an American effort at regime change.

And then there are Afghanistan and Syria. Afghanistan consists of doubling down on the mistakes made in that country since 2001, in the unfortunate belief that they can be corrected. Afghanistan will require some kind of settlement with the Taliban, which currently de facto controls more than half of the country, and which will have to become a partner in government like it or not. As the country is not a vital interest to the United States, extrication of U.S. forces after arranging for some kind of governing formula is the appropriate solution. Taking whatever steps are necessary to escape from a quagmire is acceptable.

Syria is Trump’s reversion to the same bad policies that resulted in Iraq, leading to the creation of ISIS among other consequences, not to mention a cost estimated to be $5 trillion. Syria, like Iraq, is a neocon exercise in delusion. Israel wanted Iraq to become a weakened state divided into ethnic and religious groups, a situation that still prevails in a country that is Shi’a dominated yet contains powerful Sunni and Kurdish regions that challenge the reinstatement of a national identity. Israel also wants the same for Syria, and the United States is complying by trying to create separate security zones that will not only include a large part of the country to the east along the Euphrates River and also to the north, but will also incorporate Syria’s oil production region, sharply diminishing the central government’s income. The formula will not work even though Israel and many in Washington are pushing hard for it.

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The fundamental problem is that the United States under Trump persists in believing, as did the former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that the U.S. is the “essential nation” that is able to “see far” and provide leadership for the rest of the world. This kind of thinking is bollocks, as the British are accustomed to saying. The United States foreign policy is driven by special interests, the most prominent of which is Israel and its supporters, in its attempt to remake the Middle East. Can anyone doubt at this point that the world, as well as the United States itself, would be far better off now if it had not invaded in Afghanistan and decided to stay there to fix it, if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003, and if the Bush and Obama administrations had not been driven by hubris to continue the process in Syria, a drama without any end in sight?

So on balance, Trump might actually deserve an “A” on North Korea, if it turns out that his form of intervention actually brought about some kind of resolution to a problem that has been festering for 65 years. But he deserves a “D” on Afghanistan, which is a classic case of democracy-building gone crazy and an “F” for both Syria and Iran, which are reflective of Israeli desires rather than actual American interests.

There is still time to fix what is going wrong, but it depends on an understanding of what “America first” should actually mean, which is that the demands of hegemonistic foreign clients should no longer guide U.S. policy. Israel should be told that if it wants to attack Iran it should go right ahead, but it should not expect the United States of America to be joining in the effort.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Iranians Have Kept Up Their End of the Nuclear Bargain

By all accounts, Iran has kept up its end of the JCPOA bargain, and most of the world is imploring Donald Trump to leave it alone, and not withdraw from the plan. The president knows “that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.” Indeed, much is at stake. . . . 

By Richard Walker

According to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, Iran has honored its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA, but a stroke of President Donald Trump’s pen could signal its end or lead to a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from it.

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Such an outcome was first promised by Trump as an election pledge, even though he knew that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and France, which also signed the JCPOA to end Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, might well choose to stick with the deal and encourage Iran to do so, too. The EU has called on all sides to ensure the deal is protected. EU chief Federica Mogherini has pleaded with Washington to preserve it for the sake of security, arguing that it is working as planned. Her view is supported by most experts who believe the deal, which took two years to negotiate, represents a major diplomatic achievement. The White House disagrees, claiming it has been a disaster and that the Iranians have been cheating. IAEA inspectors who have conducted strict inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites have shown that claims of cheating have been bogus. The inspections have been the most thorough and strict ever undertaken by the IAEA.

Forgotten in the media coverage of ongoing threats by Trump to scrap the deal is the fact that it was supported in 2015 by a UN Security Council vote of 15-0. That confirms those determined to jettison it would have to overturn a majority UN Security Council vote. China and Russia will not let that happen.

Hair Tissue Mineral Testing

On April 27, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it was encouraging all signatories to the JCPOA to “honor and safeguard it.” That followed a similar commitment from the Kremlin with a spokesman pointing out that the deal was a product of “meticulous and intense diplomacy,” and there is no alternative to it. One of the interesting elements of the Kremlin statement was its insistence that Iran’s “stance” on the JCPOA was critical in any consideration of it. In other words, those like Trump or France’s Macron who mused about negotiating a new arrangement could not do so without Iranian approval. Such an approval will not be forthcoming. Iran’s leaders have said they will not allow a word of the nuclear deal to be altered.

Lost in much of the media speculation about the future of the deal is that Iran has kept its commitments even though it has not benefited that much financially, given all the hype in the West about what the deal would do for its economy. That can be explained in part by Trump’s public threats to wreck the deal, a move that has dissuaded international banks and companies from doing business with Tehran.

From the day it was negotiated, the deal was threatened by Netanyahu and his backers on Capitol Hill. It was also vehemently opposed by the Saudis, who have Trump’s ear. Some Israeli intelligence chiefs, however, have disagreed with Netanyahu, pointing out that the Iranians have honored their side of the bargain, thereby making it impossible for them to build a nuclear weapon for at least 20 years.

In a move not mentioned in Congress or in the mainstream media, The Jerusalem Post recently lambasted Trump for his stance on the deal in language that was startling.

“This reality is clear, even to former critics of the deal. Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is not backed up with fact: There is no case in which unilateral withdrawal serves U.S. interests,” reported the Post.

Those familiar with Middle East politics know that White House opposition to the nuclear pact is ultimately aimed at weakening Iran’s influence in the region. It is a strategy applauded by Israel and the Saudis. Russia, Iran’s ally, is watching events carefully and has been negotiating secretly with Iran to boost its missile defenses.

North Korea will no doubt have been studying the Iran issue, wondering if it could ever trust Washington to be a reliable broker in a nuclear deal. However, if North Korea were to give up its nukes, it would continue to pose a major threat to its neighbors because of its massive arsenal of short-range missiles that could obliterate South Korea and strike Japan. The issue of that arsenal does not appear to have been on Washington’s agenda.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.




Beware the Ides of May

May is shaping up to be a dangerous month for America and the world, as President Trump decides whether to kill the Iran and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians walks in the Great Return March back to their stolen homes.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

The Ides of March—March 15—was a bad day for Caesar. But this year, it is May 15 that portends trouble for the empire and the world. Consider the events lining up for that week.

On May 12, President Donald Trump is expected to kill the Iran nuclear deal, ratcheting up Middle East tensions to the breaking point. If Trump does kill the deal, as French President Macron says he will, the Iranians will undoubtedly pull out and start enriching uranium again, as is their right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran is a signatory in good standing of the NPT, unlike the rogue state of Israel with its hundreds of nuclear weapons. When Iran follows Trump out of the nuclear deal, Israel will start screaming, “Bomb Iran!” And Trump, who listens to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, may or may not be able to resist being led by the nose into yet another huge, unwinnable Zionist war.

Another monumental Mideast provocation will follow two days later: the opening of the U.S. embassy in occupied Jerusalem. This move would be Trump’s open declaration of war on the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. Jerusalem has been administered by Muslims essentially ever since Islam existed. It is in many ways the true spiritual capital of the Islamic world. Every Muslim on Earth worthy of the name would willingly die to defend Jerusalem from the Zionists.

If the U.S. endorses the Zionist claim to Jerusalem by opening an embassy there, America will suddenly be considered a legitimate target by billions of people—including many Christians, who correctly recognize Zionism as Antichrist.

The CIA in Iran
From AFP: The history of U.S./Iran conflict

Then the following day, May 15, the Palestinians’ Great Return March will culminate with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian concentration-camp inmates trying to walk, unarmed except with bolt cutters to snip the barbed wire, back to their stolen homes. The genocidal Zionists will undoubtedly massacre hundreds or even thousands of unarmed people, as they are in the habit of doing. The Zionists have already shot many dozens of people dead and wounded more than 5,000 for the crime of congregating to protest too close to the border.

This series of three massive provocations leading up to May 15 will pit Israel and the nations it secretly controls against the Palestinians and their billions of supporters all over the world. The Palestinians’ major state supporter, Iran, has dozens of military installations in Syria, as well as a battle-hardened ally, Hezbollah, next door in Lebanon. Russia, a supporter of Iran and a major force in Syria, risks being drawn into this imminent conflict.

What makes this situation especially dangerous is that the War Party seems to actually want to draw the Russians in. After a recent fake gassing in Douma, Syria on April 7, the neoconservatives—including National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—as well as a great many liberal armchair warriors, were pushing Trump to bomb Syria in a major way—a way that would have killed Russian troops and forced the Russians to sink the U.S. ships that sent the missiles, as Russian leader Vladimir Putin has promised to do.

The psychopaths pushing for World War III would like nothing better than a “new New Pearl Harbor”—9/11 being the old New Pearl Harbor. They know that getting the Russian military to sink U.S. ships is a great way to rally the American people for war. The false flaggers blew up the USS Maine in 1898, orchestrated the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, orchestrated the treasonous Pearl Harbor eight-point-plan in 1941, plotted to sink ships in Operation Northwoods (1962), and staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964.

Will they do it again come mid-May?

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.