Regime change advocates, neocon beltway hawks, and all the usual armchair warrior zero-skin-in-the-game think tank interventionistas are in continued meltdown mode after Trump confirmed plans to withdraw American forces – some 2000+ troops and personnel – from Syria. On Friday the president told senior White House aides that US forces will be exiting Syria after public comments made earlier.
In statements carried by Reuters, Trump said, “Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out. We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.” As we noted last week, the timing of Trump’s dramatic Syria turn corresponded with news of an American soldier killed in Manbij in northern Syria (killed likely by an IED alongside a British coalition soldier overnight last Thursday).
Perhaps to be expected, the weekend editorials and cable news pundit shows reacted in disbelief and horror – with charges of “chaos” at the Trump White House over Syria policy, and claims that “ISIS will come back” if America leaves. Nevermind the fact that Trump himself while on the campaign trail in 2016 stated in public speeches and in a tweet (and linking to a declassified intelligence memo) that US support to jihadists in Syria under President Obama is precisely what fueled the rise of ISIS in the first place.
CNN, for example, painted a picture of mass revolt among the ranks of military officers and career State Department officials, asserting that, “Any decision by Trump to pull out of Syria would also go against the current military assessment, a fact that left some national security officials concerned about the impact of a withdrawal, another senior administration official told CNN.”
No, there’s no “chaos” when it comes to Syria policy at the White House –Trump is doing exactly what he pledged to do while previously on the campaign trail, and he’s further continuing what he started when he nixed the CIA’s regime change program last summer.
But it’s funny and very telling how brazenly honest interventionistas and deep state bureaucrats suddenly become in their motives whenever Trump speaks truth on Syria. Consider prominent Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, who the day after Trump’s announcement of leaving Syria lamented while quoting a pro-regime change activist, “We took the oil. We’ve got to keep the oil.”
That’s right, the mask of pseudo-humanitarian high-minded noble ideals comes off (the Josh Rogins of the world care nothing about actual Syrians), and we learn that it’s actually all about…
Oil! Oil! Oil! Iran! Iran! Iran!
No more pretense and the slick language of R2P military intervention for the sake saving civilians in Syria… Rogin’s op-ed is aptly titled, In Syria, we ‘took the oil.’ Now Trump wants to give it to Iran.
Rogin, like other interventionistas, has no more cards to play, thus we find these straightforward admissions in his column:
Perhaps he would back off his urge to cut and run if he knew that the United States and its partners control almost all of the oil. And if the United States leaves, that oil will likely fall into the hands of Iran…
Control over oil is the only influence we have in Syria today…
“We have this 30 percent slice of Syria, which is probably where 90 percent of the pre-war oil production took place,” said David Adesnik, director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “This is leverage.”
Astoundingly, these words are still being published 15 years after the myriad lies of the Iraq invasion …no shame, no regrets. And a host of other mainstream journalists in New York and DC greeted Rogin’s column as “refreshing” and respectable “essential reading” (as if it’s not the same pro-regime-change script which has dominated talking points for years)….
So it’s not only his conclusions, but every assumption of Rogin and his ilk concerning the Middle East is simply dead wrong. But at the very least these moments serve to remind us of what morally corrupt failures the Washington class of inverventionistas have been, and that it’s certainly not their own skin in the game when they argue for “taking action” whether in Syria or other parts of the world (the establishment political and pundit class is all too willing to send the sons of others to die in foreign quagmires with dubious aims).
Finally, it should be noted that Josh Rogin published his piece the same day Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar died in Syria (identified by the Department of Defense on Saturday). Rogin is ultimately arguing that more Americans must stay in harm’s way for “control over oil… the only influence we have in Syria today.”
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With that, we’ll leave off with the following excerpted wisdom from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Skin in the Game:
“What you had historically is warmongers were warriors. And he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword… Now suddenly–and that’s only recent–we developed all these weapons and technologies and stuff like that, so you can have people cause wars and not be exposed. And not only that, but as was Bill Kristol… he’s a prime example.
The people who caused the war in Iraq… absolutely no cost to them. Or a cost that’s very small, very tiny reputational cost… And then after they cause a war in Iraq–and of course we have a disaster–they will intervene again… in Libya and of course in Syria.
What happens with these people is that given that there is no skin in the game, there’s no learning… In the real world, these people should be dead, because basically, if you cause a disaster… so many of them would be… pruned out that way instead of letting others die.”
“Slums” combine two socioeconomic factors, poverty and population density, which provide both the motivation and part of the means by which to detach from the dominant system and create robust, diversified, self-sustaining sub-economies which largely bypass the taxation and loan interest payments which have bought some time for the peasants in the face of the oligarchs’ steadily improving technologies of mass murder. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2015/06/brzezinski-it-is-infinitely-easier-to-kill-a-million-people-than-to-control-them/
Up to now much of the social and economic networking which would naturally lead to such sub-economies in the USA has been forestalled by food monopolization ( e.g. the war on lemonade stands, home gardens and raw milk, licensing of egg producers etc ) tunnel vision (TV), the deliberate destruction of the family http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2014/02/the-war-on-empathy-love-and-family/ and govt drug running http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/05/the-cia-and-the-crack-cocaine-epidemic/ but it seems Henry Ford’s business model has run its course and no self-respecting disaster capitalist can afford to rest on his laurels. The golden egg-laying goose is scheduled for an appointment in the kitchen.
Political control of populations is inversely related to their level of social networking, and rising impoverishment is forcing more people to turn off their TV and discover their neighbors. Of course, our satanic overlords have anticipated and prepared for this inevitable consequence of their wholesale looting of the economy. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/03/censored-ben-franklin-on-the-real-cause-of-the-american-revolution/
Naturally, as national boundaries dissolve and our autistic military planners discover the parallels between iraqi and american slums, you can be sure the war on such demographics will be coming to a city near you.
The destruction of social networks constitutes a lobotomy of the human social “mind”, a reflection of the empathic impairment of the social engineers who pursue it.
The Pentagon Plans for a New Hundred Years’ War
Duane Schattle doesn’t mince words. “The cities are the problem,” he says. A retired Marine infantry lieutenant colonel who worked on urban warfare issues at the Pentagon in the late 1990s, he now serves as director of the Joint Urban Operations Office at U.S. Joint Forces Command. He sees the war in the streets of Iraq’s cities as the prototype for tomorrow’s battlespace. “This is the next fight,” he warns. “The future of warfare is what we see now.”
He isn’t alone. “We think urban is the future,” says James Lasswell, a retired colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. “Everything worth fighting for is in the urban environment.” And Wayne Michael Hall, a retired Army brigadier general and the senior intelligence advisor in Schattle’s operation, has a similar assessment, “We will be fighting in urban terrain for the next hundred years.”
Last month, in a hotel nestled behind a medical complex in Washington, D.C., Schattle, Lasswell, and Hall, along with Pentagon power-brokers, active duty and retired U.S. military personnel, foreign coalition partners, representatives of big and small defense contractors, and academics who support their work gathered for a “Joint Urban Operations, 2007” conference. Some had served in Iraq or Afghanistan; others were involved in designing strategy, tactics, and concepts, or in creating new weaponry and equipment, for the urban wars in those countries. And here, in this hotel conference center, they’re talking about military technologies of a sort you’ve only seen in James Cameron’s 2000-2002 television series Dark Angel.
I’m the oddity in this room of largely besuited defense contractors, military retirees, and camouflage-fatigue-clad military men at a conference focused on strategies for battling it out in the labyrinthine warrens of what urbanologist Mike Davis calls “the planet of slums.” The hulking guy who plops down next to me as the meeting begins is a caricature of just the attendee you might imagine would be at such a meeting. “I sell guns,” he says right off. Over the course of the conference, this representative of one of the world’s best known weapons manufacturers will suggest that members of the media be shot to avoid bad press and he’ll call a local tour guide he met in Vietnam a “bastard” for explaining just how his people thwarted U.S. efforts to kill them. But he’s an exception. Almost everyone else seems to be a master of serene anodyne-speak. Even the camo-clad guys seem somehow more academic than warlike.
In his tour de force book Planet of Slums, Davis observes, “The Pentagon’s best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or Department of State types fear to go. [T]hey now assert that the ‘feral, failed cities’ of the Third World — especially their slum outskirts — will be the distinctive battlespace of the twenty-first century.” Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, “is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor.”
But the mostly male conference-goers planning for a multi-generational struggle against the global South’s slums aren’t a gang of urban warfare cowboys talking non-stop death and destruction; and they don’t look particularly bellicose either, as they munch on chocolate-chip cookies during our afternoon snack breaks in a room where cold cuts and brochures for the Rapid Wall Breaching Kit — which allows users to blast a man-sized hole in the side of any building — are carefully laid out on the tables. Instead, these mild-mannered men speak about combat restraint, “less than lethal weaponry,” precision targeting, and (harking back to the Vietnam War) “winning hearts and minds.”…
A specific goal of DARPA, as a slide in deputy chief Leheny’s presentation made clear, is to “make a foreign city as familiar as the soldier’s backyard.” This would be done through the deployment of intrusive sensor, UAV, and mapping technologies. In fact, there were few imaginable technologies, even ones that not so long ago inhabited the wildest frontiers of science fiction, that weren’t being considered for the 100-year battle these men are convinced is ahead of us in the planet’s city streets. The only thing not evidently open to discussion was the basic wisdom of planning to occupy foreign cities for a century to come. Even among the most thoughtful of these often brainy participants, there wasn’t a nod toward, or a question asked of, the essential guiding principle of the conference itself.
With their surprisingly bloodless language, antiseptic PowerPoint presentations, and calm tones, these men — only one woman spoke — are still planning Iraq-style wars of tomorrow. What makes this chilling is not only that they envision a future of endless urban warfare, but that they have the power to drive such a war-fighting doctrine into that future; that they have the power to mold strategy and advance weaponry that can, in the end, lock Americans into policies that are unlikely to make it beyond these conference-room doors, no less into public debate, before they are unleashed.
These men may be mapping out the next hundred years for urban populations in cities across the planet. At the conference, at least, which ones exactly seemed beside the point. Who could know, after all, whether in, say, 2045, the target would be Mumbai, Lagos, or Karachi — though one speaker did offhandedly mention Jakarta, Indonesia, a city of nine million today, as a future possibility.
Along with the lack of even a hint of skepticism about the basic premise of the conference went a fundamental belief that being fought to a standstill by a ragtag insurgency in Iraq was an issue to be addressed by merely rewriting familiar tactics, strategy, and doctrine and throwing multi-billions more in taxpayer dollars — in the form of endless new technologies — at the problem. In fact, listening to the presentations in that conference room, with its rows of white-shrouded tables in front of a small stage, it would not have been hard to believe that the U.S. had defeated North Korea, had won in Vietnam, had never rushed out of Beirut or fled Mogadishu, or hadn’t spent markedly more time failing to achieve victory in Afghanistan than it did fighting the First and Second World Wars combined.
To the rest of the world, at least, it’s clear enough that the Pentagon knows how to redden city streets in the developing world, just not win wars there; but in Washington — by the evidence of this “Joint Urban Operations, 2007” conference — it matters little. Advised, outfitted, and educated by these mild-mannered men who sipped sodas and noshed on burnt egg rolls between presentations, the Pentagon has evidently decided to prepare for 100 years more of the same: war against various outposts of a restless, oppressed population of slum-dwellers one billion strong and growing at an estimated rate of 25 million a year. All of these UO experts are preparing for an endless struggle that history suggests they can’t win, but that is guaranteed to lead to large-scale destruction, destabilization, and death. Unsurprisingly, the civilians of the cities that they plan to occupy, whether living in Karachi, Jakarta, or Baghdad, have no say in the matter. No one thought to invite any of them to the conference.
Nick Turse is the associate editor and research director of Tomdispatch.com. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, the Village Voice, and regularly for Tomdispatch.com. His first book, The Complex, an exploration of the new military-corporate complex in America, is due out in the American Empire Project Series by Metropolitan Books in 2008. His new website NickTurse.com (up only in rudimentary form) will fully launch in the coming months.
Copyright 2007 Nick Turse
The idea isn’t to “win the war”, it is to perpetuate it indefinitely.
The history of bioweapons research in the United States is a history of illicit–and illegal–human experiments.
From the Cold War to the War on Terror, successive American administrations have turned a blind eye on dubious research rightly characterized as having “a little of the Buchenwald touch.”
While the phrase may have come from the files of the Atomic Energy Commission as Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome revealed in her 1999 book, The Plutonium Files, an investigation into secret American medical experiments at the dawn of the nuclear age, it is as relevant today as the United States pours billions of dollars into work on some of the most dangerous pathogens known to exist in nature.
That Cold War securocrats were more than a little concerned with a comparison to unethical Nazi experiments is hardly surprising. After all, with the defeat of the Axis powers came the triumphalist myth-making that America had fought a “good war” and had liberated humanity from the scourge of fascist barbarism.
Never mind that many of America’s leading corporations, from General Motors to IBM and from Standard Oil to Chase National Bank, were sympathizers and active collaborators with the Third Reich prior to and even during World War II, as documented by investigative journalists Charles Higham in Trading With The Enemy, and Edwin Black in IBM and the Holocaust. Like much else in American history, these were dirty little secrets best left alone.
Soon enough however, these erstwhile democrats would come to view themselves as mandarins of a new, expanding American Empire for whom everything was permitted. In this context, the recruitment of top German and Japanese scientists who had conducted grisly “medical” experiments whilst waging biological war against China and the Soviet Union would be free of any moralizing or political wavering.
As the Cold War grew hotter and hotter, America’s political leadership viewed “former” Nazis and the architects of Japan’s Imperial project not as war criminals but allies in a new undertaking: the global roll-back of socialism and the destruction of the Soviet Union by any means necessary.
This tradition is alive and well in 21st century America. With the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax mailings as a pretext for an aggressive militarist posture, the national security state is ramping-up research for the production of genetically-modified organisms for deployment as new, frightening weapons of war.
According to congressional testimony by Dr. Alan M. Pearson, Director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Control Program at the Washington D.C.-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, with very little in the way of effective oversight or accountability, tens of billions of dollars “have been appropriated for bioweapons-related research and development activities.” Pearson reveals that approximately $1.7 billion “has been appropriated for the construction on new high containment facilities for bioweapons-related research.”
By high containment facilities I mean facilities that are designed for work with agents that may cause serious or potentially lethal disease through exposure to aerosols (called Biosafety Level 3 or BSL-3 facilities) and facilities that are designed for work with agents that pose a “high individual risk of life-threatening disease, which may be transmitted via the aerosol route and for which there is no available vaccine or therapy” (called Biosafety Level 4 or BSL-4 facilities).
Prior to 2002, there were three significant BSL-4 facilities in the United States. Today twelve are in operation, under construction, or in the planning stage. When completed, there will be in excess of 150,000 square feet of BSL-4 laboratory space (as much space as three football fields). The number of BSL-3 labs is also clearly growing, but ascertaining the amount of growth is difficult in the absence of accurate baseline information. There are at least 600 such facilities in the US. (Alan M. Pearson, Testimony, “Germs, Viruses, and Secrets: The Silent Proliferation of Bio-Laboratories in the United States,” House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, October 2007)…
What’s the difference between reflexive authoritarianism and overt totalitarianism? Time. It seems Elizabeth Warren is well on her way.
Interesting coincidence that medical insurance companies are cultivating antibiotic-resistance in a US-developed bioweapon which was somehow released on the east coast. And now this lab with a history of outbreaks has been moved to kansas.
This is the way satanists often operate, they create the conditions needed for others to carry out their plans, whether through incompetence, greed, rage or some other mechanism, without being aware of the plan. ( legal and financial immunity for predatory lenders, http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/03/fox-fired-glenn-beck-after-he-exposed-the-federal-reserve/ , atrocity-inducing conditions in iraq http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2011/10/sniping-us-soldiers-in-iraq-an-inside-job/ ) Social destabilization is a fertilizer for the disaster capitalism business model. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2014/02/the-war-on-empathy-love-and-family/ The last thing a disaster capitalist wants is social stability. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2018/03/how-the-empires-child-abusers-censored-revolutionary-research-into-causes-of-violence/ http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/05/the-cia-and-the-crack-cocaine-epidemic/
That’s what money can buy. Paranoia you say? You’re not paying attention.
Insurers Accused of Conspiring to Deny Lyme Disease Coverage
Twenty-eight people claim in a federal antitrust lawsuit that Lyme disease victims are being forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment because health insurers are denying coverage with bogus guidelines established by their paid consultants, who falsely say the disease can always be cured with a month of antibiotics.
Suffering from migraine headaches, an irregular heartbeat, hearing problems and nerve pain, lead plaintiff Lisa Torrey says in the lawsuit filed Friday in Texarkana, Texas federal court that she visited 36 doctors, some of whom misdiagnosed her with multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia and said her symptoms “were all in her head,” before she was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease….
Torrey – represented by lead attorney Eugene Egdorf with Shrader & Associates in Houston – lays part of the blame for her lack of health insurance coverage on the Infectious Diseases Society of America, or IDSA, a medical association whose 11,000 members research diseases and lead panel discussions about them. IDSA also develops clinical practice guidelines.
Torrey claims in her lawsuit that several major health insurers decided in the 1990s that treating Lyme disease was too expensive and bad for their bottom lines, so they paid IDSA-affiliated doctors – who were researching, not treating, Lyme disease – to establish arbitrary guidelines in 2000 that said the disease could be treated with 28 days of antibiotics.
“These doctors knew that short term antibiotics of twenty-eight days failed to treat up to 40 percent of patients with Lyme disease. This means more than 100,000 Lyme disease patients every year would be untreated if the IDSA guidelines were followed,” the lawsuit states….
Jul 8, 2007VVH-TV News Chief Investigative Reporter Karl Grossman interviews author Long Island native and lawyer Michael Christopher Carroll about his work “Lab 257”. This work takes us on a shocking journey inside the notorious Plum Island biological research facility. Carroll spent five years researching this highly detailed and powerful account of the secretive government installation that sits just off the coast of some of New York’s prime real estate, an installation that has had its share of meltdowns, mishaps and downright scary security breaches, including two known releases of deadly viruses into the air.Owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Plum Island lies just off the coast of the North Fork of Long Island. This otherwise uninhabited, woodsy island has a long history of controversy and secrecy, as Carroll so intricately details, and just may have put the millions of residents of the Tri-State area in utter danger of exposure to fatal animal diseases, including Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, and even anthrax, time and time again.Lab 257 is a wake-up call to people to be more aware of what goes on in their own backyards. Labs like these exist all over the country, some more visible than others. Shoring up our crumbling biological research labs and accounting for the hundreds of vials of deadly viruses and microbes might be a better use of our time, our taxes and our energy. Plum Island, and its history of danger to millions of citizens, is proof of that indeed.VVH-TV News attempted to have an interview with officials from the Department of Homeland Security but were denied.