http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/rss.aspx?blogid=4 Thu, 16 May 2019 00:10:16 GMT Thu, 16 May 2019 00:10:16 GMT Marco Rubio: Salesman for Neocon Total War on Iran Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/15/marco-rubio-salesman-for-neocon-total-war-on-iran/

Once again, Marco Rubio is trying to tell us Trump’s neocons are not interested in a war with Iran, despite the fact they have loudly and persistently called for one for two decades.
Rubio’s intelligence on a devious Iranian plan to kill Americans (in Iraq illegally and against the will of the Iraqi people) is nothing but horse feathers. 

It doesn’t get a passing grade in the effective use of propaganda. It is relatively easy to debunk everything they tell us. The first reaction to any corporate media news story should be skepticism. It should be assumed they are lying, especially about foreign policy directed by inveterate liars and accomplices in mass murder and other war crimes. 

Now we’re told Iran moved missiles into Iraq this week in response to threats by Bolton and Pompeo. In fact, it was almost a year ago Iran “transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq,” Reuters reported on August 31, 2018. 

“If Iran duplicates its formula from Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen by sending long-range missiles to Iraq, then future conflicts with Israel would likely include military action on Iraqi soil,” writes The Washington Institute, which is an AIPAC cutout

In July 2018, Seth J. Frantzman posted the “Arabic website Al-Jarida reported on July 21 that Israel will bomb Iraq and that it has obtained a list of Iranian targets.” Al-Jarida learned from informed sources that Israel has set a list of targets inside Iraqi territory, in preparation for hitting them, claiming that they were Iranian military sites used to transport weapons, equipment and elements to Syria. Israel has conducted numerous attacks on Syria, primarily conducted in Lebanese airspace in violation of international law.

Frantzman cites the source as saying the newspaper “obtained exclusive aerial photographs of the targets that Israel intends to hit, including border crossings with Iran…”
The sources pointed out that in recent years, Israel has frequently monitored Iranian attempts to create a land corridor from Tehran through Baghdad to Syrian territory, adding that some of these Iraqi positions now controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were under the control of the US military in Iraq.”
The part of this “land corridor” in Iraq has existed for centuries. Shia Muslims from Iran have taken a religious pilgrimage to holy sites in Najaf and Karbala (the main center of Shia scholarship) in Iraq. 

There are also major Shia religious sites in Baghdad. Lebanon is more than half Shia Muslim and home to Hezbollah, while Syria has a ruling Alawite minority led by the al-Assad family. Syria has a debt of gratitude to Iran and Russia for mostly eliminating the Saudi-US Salafist Islamic State threat. 

Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its capacity for psychotic viciousness by attacking the marginally-Shia (Zaidi sect) Houthi in Yemen. Intense centuries-long hatred of the Shia inspires murderous rage in the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and his family, the keeper of Islam’s most sacred holy sites. This is a particular sore spot for the Wahhabi Saudis because Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula. 

Marco Rubio has yet to tell us how going to war against Iran benefits the United States and the American people. All he can do—all any neocon can do—is talk in clichéd generalities about democracy and freedom for the Iranian people. It’s all cover for the real benefactor—Israel. 

Rubio is a creation of Sheldon Adelson, Normal Braman, Paul Singer, and Larry Ellison—all mega-donors to the cause of Israel in the United States. 

Back in 2015, Republican candidate Trump tweeted:
Fast-forward four years. Sheldon owns Trump. The Donald’s Orthodox Jewish (and good friend of Likudnik Bibi Netanyahu) son-in-law dictates policy for the administration. 

Jared Kushner’s influence shaped his father-in-law’s decisions to move the US embassy to Jerusalem while also signing off on the illegally annexed Golan Heights and the possible annexation of large areas of the West Bank set aside for Zionist settlers, all in direct violation of international law.

Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/15/marco-rubio-salesman-for-neocon-total-war-on-iran/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/15/marco-rubio-salesman-for-neocon-total-war-on-iran/ Thu, 16 May 2019 00:10:16 GMT
The Fanatic Running Trump’s Foreign Policy Daniel Larison http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/29/the-fanatic-running-trump-s-foreign-policy/

Dexter Filkins has written an extensive profile of John Bolton. The profile recounts many familiar stories from Bolton’s career, and it has a few interesting details I hadn’t read about before. Among many other things, it covers his ties to the MEK and the payment he has received from them for promoting their cause:
In Bolton’s financial disclosure, he listed a forty-thousand-dollar payment, for a speech that he gave, in 2016, to Mujahideen-e-Khalq, an Iranian exile group dedicated to overthrowing the government in Tehran. The M.E.K., which professes an eccentric variant of Islam, has been characterized by many experts as resembling a cult. From 1997 until 2012, the United States listed it as a terrorist group, owing to a campaign of bombings and assassinations that it led in Iran. Bolton’s association with the group apparently went back at least to that time. During the speech in 2016, he told the crowd, 'I just say again what I have been saying for ten years that I’ve been coming to this rally: the regime in Tehran needs to be overthrown at the earliest opportunity!'

Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a frequent critic of the regime, said that Bolton’s relationship with the group should have disqualified him from senior government jobs. 'Anyone who pimps himself out to the M.E.K. fails the litmus test for integrity,' he said.
As I have said before, Bolton’s long-running involvement with the MEK is one of the clearest indications we have that the National Security Advisor holds dangerous views and has appalling judgment. He was one of the earliest and most consistent supporters of the MEK even before they were removed from the government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, and he remained one of their biggest American advocates right up until he joined the Trump administration. While I’m sure they have paid him handsomely for all of his tedious speeches in favor of regime change, his fanatical anti-Iranian views make him a perfect fit for the group. If we had a remotely sane Iran policy debate, Bolton’s MEK ties would discredit everything he has to say about Iran. The fact that he has a major role in making US policy towards Iran when he was very recently getting paid by a cultish group that seeks regime change should alarm everyone regardless of their views on what US policy should be.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest at The American Conservative.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/29/the-fanatic-running-trump-s-foreign-policy/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/29/the-fanatic-running-trump-s-foreign-policy/ Mon, 29 Apr 2019 20:49:13 GMT
Pompeo Appoints Fox News Neocon as Spokesperson Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/04/pompeo-appoints-fox-news-neocon-as-spokesperson/ Ortagus is a deep insider with connections to both sides of the war party and its “creative destruction” directors on Wall Street and within prominent neocon “think tanks.” 

From Bezos’ propaganda mill, The Washington Post:
Ortagus has been a fixture of the GOP foreign policy establishment for more than a decade. She has served as a press officer at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a financial intelligence officer at the Treasury Department and an intelligence officer in the US Naval Reserve. She has also worked with several political campaigns, as well as a political action committee, and has experience working on Wall Street and in foreign policy consulting.
In addition to working with spooks and a federal agency that undermines elections and foments coups in foreign lands, Ortagus “served on the boards” at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a coven of warmongers run by Kimberly Kagan, wife of notorious neocon Frederick Kagan. 

ISW is funded by the death merchants—Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp, and others—and it pushes the concept of the indispensable nation engaged in forever war around the world, a conflict promoted in the name of “democracy,” which is code for mass murder campaigns waged by the financial elite in its quest for total domination and theft of everything valuable on planet Earth. 

Naturally, some folks over on the so-called “New Right” support the appointment of an ardent neocon—a former pretty face from Fox News—at the State Department, thus demonstrating they are little different than establishment Republicans, or for that matter Democrats. 
Jack’s photo of Ortagus in the jump seat of a fighter jet is appropriate. She will be covering up war crimes and pushing neocon propaganda on Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Russia, China, and North Korea. 

Trump’s now largely forgotten promise to bring home the troops and get out of the “nation-building” (creative destruction) business was swept into the dustbin of history soon after the election.

Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/04/pompeo-appoints-fox-news-neocon-as-spokesperson/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/april/04/pompeo-appoints-fox-news-neocon-as-spokesperson/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 19:17:08 GMT
Trump Blocks Bolton, Reverses New North Korea Sanctions 21st Century Wire http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/march/22/trump-blocks-bolton-reverses-new-north-korea-sanctions/

In a tweet on Friday, President Trump announced that “additional large-scale sanctions” by the US Treasury that had been added to already existing set of sanctions – were now off the table.

It is not clear yet why the President has seemingly undercut his National Security Adviser John Bolton, but it’s possible we could be witnessing a serious fissure in the internal workings of the White House power structure.

Prior to this, Bolton took to Twitter to crow about the harsh new sanctions on North Korea had described the treasury sanctions at the time as “important” and that “the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices.” After that announcement, North Korea suddenly withdrew from the inter-Korean liaison office located at the North Korean border city of Kaesong. The office is a recent diplomacy initiative which allows officials from North and South Korea to communicate on a regularly.

Trump then seemed to re-establish his authority over the situation, and quite possibly in a desperate bid to rescue a deteriorating peace deal with Pyongyang:
It is believed that the sanctions in question refer to the Treasury Department’s move to blacklist two China-based shipping companies for reportedly violating sanctions against North Korea.

Thus far, Pyongyang has made no comment on Washington’s sudden reverse pivot on the matter.

Antiwar.com reports…
Just one day after the Treasury Department announced new North Korea sanctions, centered on a pair of Chinese shipping companies, President Trump announced in a Tweet that he is ordering the withdrawal of those same sanctions.
The new sanctions were meant to be related to shipping companies buying North Korean coal in violation of US sanctions. The administration has yet to offer any clarity on why Trump overruled the Treasury Department on that matter.

A lot of the media is generally hostile to pursuing diplomacy with North Korea, and was quick to try to chalk this up as weakness on Trump’s part, and to suggest that his decision must have been arbitrary and not planned at all.

Yet that too is just a guess, because the administration is not very transparent on its decision-making process or its thinking behind such moves. It certainly is worth asking if this represents a split between Trump and the Treasury Department, however, or some broader disagreement into US-North Korea policy.

Reprinted with permission from 21st Century Wire.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/march/22/trump-blocks-bolton-reverses-new-north-korea-sanctions/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/march/22/trump-blocks-bolton-reverses-new-north-korea-sanctions/ Fri, 22 Mar 2019 23:19:11 GMT
Nikki Haley Named to Boeing Board - Lew Rockwell 'Sickened' Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/28/nikki-haley-named-to-boeing-board-lew-rockwell-sickened/ I guess she can bring more money to the military-industrial complex. I guess she's got enough connections that she can bring more contracts to Boeing, which is already immensely rich from killing people and destroying cities and civilizations. And maybe she's going to help them do more of that. Noting that Nikki Haley "hated Trump's guts" before he appointed her to be UN Ambassador, Rockwell lamented that President Trump seems determined to pick all these neocons who hated his guts and who may still hate his guts to top positions in his administration. To Rockwell it's "criminal" that someone like Nikki Haley can make so much money - directly and indirectly - from the American people by doing all the horrible things she's done. 

Watch Lew Rockwell's whole interview on RT:

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Trump’s Latest Neocon Adviser Assigned Task of Overthrowing Maduro in Venezuela Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/29/trump-s-latest-neocon-adviser-assigned-task-of-overthrowing-maduro-in-venezuela/

Donald Trump is no different than his predecessors. During the campaign, he said whatever he had to in order to get elected. He promised to close down the neocon foreign wars and also fight the “deep state” by draining the swamp. 

Obama also promised to end the neocon wars, but that was said with the same insincerity as his predecessor, George W. Bush, who said in 2000 he wasn’t into nation building and foreign entanglements. 

It is now obvious, with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s appointment of convicted criminal Elliott Abrams as his “point person” on Venezuela, that the neocons have taken full control of Trump’s foreign policy. 

“This crisis in Venezuela is deep and difficult and dangerous and I can’t wait to get to work on it,” said Abrams after Pompeo made the announcement.

Recall the role Mr. Abrams played during the Reagan years. He helped fund the Contras in Nicaragua and is linked to the 1982 El Mozote massacre of hundreds of civilians in El Salvador. It was later estimated by a UN truth commission that 85 percent of the abuses during the civil war in El Salvador were committed by military death squads assisted by the Reagan administration. 

Abrams has experience overthrowing governments not following the neoliberal master plan. In 2002, during the Bush neocon regime, Abrams worked on a failed Venezuelan coup. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was jailed. Supporters and a loyal military freed Chávez and likely saved him from what would later be known as the Gaddafi method of deposing disfavored leaders refusing to follow neoliberal strictures as pushed by the Council on Foreign Relations where Abrams is a senior fellow. 

Rex Tillerson wanted to bring Abrams on board at the State Department, but Trump wouldn’t go for it because Abrams opposed his election and was a prominent fixture of the Never Trump movement. Now that Tillerson is gone—after characterizing Trump as a moron, but for the wrong reason—and neocons Pompeo and Bolton are in place, we can conclude that the neocon takeover of the Trump administration is all but complete. The final act is impeaching or forcing Trump’s resignation so the more amenable (for neocons) Christian Zionist Mike Pence can sit on the ceremonial throne. 

“Next time, in 2020, we’ll have had 12 years of Obama and Clinton, Hillary will be in her mid-seventies, Trump will be gone, and a new generation of Republican leaders like Rubio and Cruz and Ryan and Cotton and Haley and Sasse will still be in their forties,” Abrams said in 2016. 

Trump will be left to fight off endless attacks by Democrats trying to unseat him. His major campaign promise—to build the wall—will go unrealized and he will go down as one of the more ineffective presidents in US history. 

Meanwhile, US foreign policy continues uninterrupted, never mind the minor turbulence of Trump declaring (again) that he will get US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. 

Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams are in control. The wars will continue, expand—adding Iran and Venezuela to the forever war roster—and the people will be left to stand on the sidelines, ill-informed and distracted by lesser staged events. 

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do,” said Karl Rove, the Bush administration fixer and former Nixon dirty trickster. 

It is unknown at this point what the neocon triumvirate—Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams—will do in regard to Venezuela. For now, the US has declared the “military option” (of murder and mayhem) is “on the table” in response to re-election of Nicholás Maduro. The heavy lifting will be left to the Lima Group—Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru—and these countries may be used to inflict a “humanitarian intervention” on the people of Venezuela. 

The Organization of American States has not backed the neocon and Lima Group effort to evict Maduro and return the oil-rich nation to the neoliberal orbit. It cites the OAS Charter of 1948. Article 19, Chapter IV states: “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”

For a large number of Trump supporters, making America Great Again means continuing the imperial objectives of the empire—installing preferred satraps (Juan Guaidó in Venezuela) or those tolerable to Wall Street and the Chicago School version of neoliberalism. 

The hypocrisy is palatable. Trump and his diehard supporters stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Democrat “Resistance” and the “liberal” media in regard to Venezuela. “It is revealing how the supposedly anti-Trump media have closed ranks and are marching in lockstep with the administration when it comes to overthrowing Washington’s official enemies. The media are not opposing Trump or tyranny; they are enabling it,” writes Alan MacLeod

There is very little pushback inside the United States over these grossly illegal and immoral interventions. The Trump faithful has demonstrated repeatedly there are few differences between them and the “libtards” when the issue is supporting the financial elite and their crimes. 

War becomes “humanitarian” when you put the right face on it. That’s why Obama got away with killing Gaddafi in Libya and destroying Syria while maintaining the empire’s footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Reagan, he excelled at manipulating the American public.

Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/29/trump-s-latest-neocon-adviser-assigned-task-of-overthrowing-maduro-in-venezuela/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/29/trump-s-latest-neocon-adviser-assigned-task-of-overthrowing-maduro-in-venezuela/ Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:23:38 GMT
Pompeo: US 'Absolutely Not' Getting Out of the Middle East Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/21/pompeo-us-absolutely-not-getting-out-of-the-middle-east/

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the United States is "absolutely not" getting out of the Middle East.

"We’re a force for good," Pompeo said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group according to The Hill. "The notion of get out doesn’t frankly – doesn’t capture what it is the Trump administration is intending to do. This is about protecting Americans, and we will do the things we need to do to protect America."

Pompeo reiterated that the decision to pull roughly 2,000 troops out of Syria is a "tactical" change that he insisted will not affect the U.S. mission in the region.

"We still have enormous reach there," he said. "We have the capability to do this. And most importantly, we have the direction from the commander, President Trump, to continue this fight. And even as we sit here today, even as we’re sitting in this room, the campaign in Syria against ISIS continues."

Reprinted with permission from TargetLiberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/21/pompeo-us-absolutely-not-getting-out-of-the-middle-east/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/21/pompeo-us-absolutely-not-getting-out-of-the-middle-east/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:55:17 GMT
After the Shutdown of 'The Weekly Standard' Neocons Grab Lefty Money to Stay Alive Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/11/after-the-shutdown-of-the-weekly-standard-neocons-grab-lefty-money-to-stay-alive/

The neocons are back in action with a new media outfit after the collapse of The Weekly Standard.

A new online news site, The Bulwark, was launched on Monday.

It features many neocons from the recently shut down TWS.

Charles Sykes, formerly a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, is editor-in-chief, Bill Kristol founder of  The Weekly Standard, is editor-at-large, a position he recently held at TWS.

Other TWS staff joining The Bulwark include Rachael Larimore, Jim Swift, Benjamin Parker, Hannah Yoest, Andrew Egger and Jonathan Last —along with new writers and new contributors who were not affiliated with TWS.

But here is the thing, The Bulwark is a project of the Defending Democracy Together Institute.

DDTI is a 501(c)(3) organization. It has been financed in part by left-wing mega-donor Pierre Omidyar. He has donated at least $600,000 in two grants via his 501(c)(4) group Democracy Fund Voice.

DDTI  was also awarded $150,000 from the left-leaning William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in September 2018. The grant was paid to the Institute through DonorsTrust.

In other words, ever the opportunists, the neocons have are now cozying up with the left to get sponsors to promote their "American exceptionalism," which is essentially a call for war everywhere on earth.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/11/after-the-shutdown-of-the-weekly-standard-neocons-grab-lefty-money-to-stay-alive/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/11/after-the-shutdown-of-the-weekly-standard-neocons-grab-lefty-money-to-stay-alive/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:02:33 GMT
Return of the Neocons Stephen Wertheim http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/08/return-of-the-neocons/

Two years ago, as Donald Trump ascended to the presidency, you might have thought that, if nothing else, neoconservatives had finally been put out to pasture. In the campaign, Trump had blasted the neocons’ signature policy, the war in Iraq, as a “big fat mistake,” and repudiated their ostensible program of turning nations into liberal democracies. He paid no political price with voters, and probably the opposite, as white evangelicals once drawn to George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” flocked to Trump in record numbers.

Even allowing for Trump’s opportunism and inconsistencies, his election victory appeared to deal a double blow to the neoconservative persuasion. It not only broke the neocons’ hold on the Republican Party, but also, in the same stroke, revealed that they lacked a popular constituency. There they were, free-floating pundits, alone and exposed—neither intellectually credible nor politically representative.

Why, given this development, would Republican politicians respond by once again seeking out the neocons’ counsel? Why, far less, would Democrats? And why would much of the news media, grappling with historic levels of public distrust, accept neoconservatives and neoconservatism as the baseline for foreign policy analysis?

Yet exactly this has happened. Today, neoconservatives are riding high once more, in the White House, on Capitol Hill, in the most prominent organs of opinion. The Weekly Standard may have shuttered, but anti-Trump neocons enjoy increasing influence in the center of the Republican and Democratic parties and in publications like The Atlantic and The Washington Post. Others, meanwhile—call them neo-neoconservatives, or post-neoconservatives—are busy making policy in the Trump administration. They’ve gone with Trump for good reason. Although he is repudiating the export of liberal democracy and degrading its practice at home, Trump is also reasserting the American right’s pugnacious antipathy to “globalism.” He is acting as many within the neocon firmament have long favored, positioning the United States against a vicious world and fetishizing brute force in response.

As a result, Trump has forced neoconservatives to decide, for the first time, whether they are more against “totalitarianism” or “globalism.” If anti-totalitarians take Trump to be perverting what they hold dear, anti-globalist neocons have found in Trump a kindred spirit and vehicle for power. Yet, even as they are fracturing, neocons are flourishing. They have bypassed the political wilderness and vaulted themselves to the vanguard on either side of the Trump divide. A new configuration of right-wing foreign policy is coming into view, and neocons are in the lead once more.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/08/return-of-the-neocons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/08/return-of-the-neocons/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:14:29 GMT
Neocons Rage: International (And Domestic) Support for Trump's Syria Pull-Out Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/01/neocons-rage-international-and-domestic-support-for-trumps-syria-pull-out/ undefined

The mainstream press coverage of President Trump's announcement that he would be removing US troops from Syria has been unanimously apocalyptic. Journos who until a few days ago couldn't care less about the Kurds (certainly not when US president after US president has used them as a cat's paw and then abandoned them to their fate), were all of a sudden up in arms warning about an impending slaughter with the blood dripping squarely onto Trump's hands. 

In fact, US weapons, training, and backing had carved out a de facto super-sized Kurd-controlled section of northern Syria which it does not take a geopolitical expert to understand would incense NATO ally Turkey. Why prop up the Kurds and in the process infuriate Erdogan? The US-led regime-change program simply did not have many other boots on the ground to turn to. After years of arming jihadists whose masks slipped quickly thereafter to reveal al-Qaeda or ISIS markings, the game was up for the "Assad must go" crowd and the only move left was to pretend that a proxy Kurd militia was something called the "Syrian Democratic Forces." When in fact it was nothing of the sort. It was simply the Kurds, rented by Washington.

And the bloodbath the media and neocons warned would come about should Trump dare reconsider another US forever war? More lies and bluster. The Kurds are re-considering their foolish refusal to partner more closely with the Syrian government against foreign-sponsored insurgencies. Just last week, they began negotiations with Damascus to reconcile and forestall a massive Turk incursion.

But the Kurds acting in their own best interest is a big problem for the neocons. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has given himself credit for slowing Trump's announced withdrawal from Syria, has gone on record claiming  it would be a "major disaster" if the Kurds in Syria aligned themselves with the Syrian (aka their own) government. To Graham and his neocon cohort, the US can never leave any war. Undeclared wars are just fine with them, but declared peace is a "major disaster."

Which brings us back to public opinion. With the neocons clogging up the airwaves with predictions of gloom and doom if the US ends its illegal occupation of Syria and with the mainstream media in its continuing Pravda-esque lock-step when it comes to the US global military empire, something quite remarkable has happened: the American people are happy that Trump plans to bring the troops home. According to a recent poll, more than half of Americans surveyed support the removal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

Overseas, support for President Trump's moves is also significant. The Baroness Caroline Cox of the UK House of Lords, has sent President Trump a letter, with former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, and on behalf of a network of "concerned parliamentarians, senior clerics, former ambassadors and academics," congratulating the president on his announced pull-out. 

The Baroness writes:

Your courage in doing the right thing, in the face of conflicting advice and an onslaught from ill-informed politicians, a blinkered media and brittle allies, commands respect. We salute you.
The letter continues with a call for the end of US sanctions on Syria, which, she writes "only hobble its economy, hamper refugee return, cause mass unemployment, hinder recovery and create conditions for a re-emergence of ISIS."

She warns Trump that there's nothing his critics (like Lindsey Graham) would like more than a resurgence of ISIS in the areas left by US troops so as to make Trump look wrong in withdrawing. An end of sanctions would help strengthen the Syrian government and better enable it to fight against ISIS. 

Let's hope President Trump heeds the wise counsel of very engaged experts like Baroness Cox. Perhaps next time Sen. Graham demands a meeting to harangue Trump on a troop pull-out he can beg off. Let Graham and Bolton stew in their own juices in some West Wing broom closet. Better yet...maybe Trump should consider some additional personnel changes...
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/01/neocons-rage-international-and-domestic-support-for-trumps-syria-pull-out/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/01/neocons-rage-international-and-domestic-support-for-trumps-syria-pull-out/ Tue, 01 Jan 2019 21:14:23 GMT
Good Riddance to The Weekly Standard Charles Goyette http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/15/good-riddance-to-the-weekly-standard/

I greet the demise of The Weekly Standard with great joy.

Just hours after Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution in October 2002, an opinion column in the Washington Post propagated  The Weekly Standard line that, “having explained why war is necessary,” a case that had been made with “an impressive clarity of presentation and lucidity of argument,” President Bush had become “a war leader.”

Despite the fawning description by war celebrant William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, it has now become apparent to most people that the war was not “necessary” but only elective and ruinous; that rather than “clear” and “lucid,” Bush’s arguments were merely transparent. Bush himself was more buffoonish warlord than war leader.

Kristol had begun lobbying for war with Iraq long before 9/11 created a pretext for the invasion. He had even urged President Clinton years earlier to make war on Iraq because of the “grave threat” Iraq posed. Iraq, he insisted before the war, was “past the finish line” in developing nuclear weapons. Furthermore, once the war was launched, Kristol said it would be “a two-month affair.”

Pieces from other Weekly Standard writers were equally unhinged. Senior Editor David Brooks, now a New York Times columnist, wrote that if we succeeded in deposing Saddam Hussein, “we will be a nation infused with confidence. We will have done a great thing for the world, and other great things will await.”

Kristol’s reverie about Bush’s war resolution bore a title both chilling and revealing: From Truth to Deception. He explained that defeating Saddam Hussein “will require the president, at times, to mislead rather than to clarify, to deceive rather than to explain.”

No such encouragement is needed in the Empire of Lies.

With war effusiveness splashed across its pages, it is little wonder that Vice President Cheney had 30 copies of The Weekly Standard delivered to the White House each week.

Speaking of Cheney, the forthcoming motion picture VICE features a stunning portrayal of Cheney by Christian Bale and a more realistic depiction of the former vice president than anything most Americans have seen.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/15/good-riddance-to-the-weekly-standard/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/15/good-riddance-to-the-weekly-standard/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 14:52:39 GMT
Melania Trump Kneecaps Top Bolton Aide Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/13/melania-trump-kneecaps-top-bolton-aide/

Hooray for First Lady Melania Trump! In a refreshingly - and shockingly - frank statement, the relatively quiet First Lady has issued a statement through her spokeswoman today making it clear that top National Security Council aide Mira Ricardel needs to hit the bricks. 

Ricardel, Deputy National Security Adviser under John Bolton, is said to have "berated people in meetings, yelled at professional staff, argued with the first lady and spread rumors about [Defense Secretary] Mattis." But denying NSC resources to the First Lady in support of Melania Trump's recent trip to Africa may have been the last straw. That and her tussling with the First Lady's staff over seating assignments on the Africa-bound plane.

According to, Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady's spokeswoman, "It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House."

In the Kremlinology of White House power watching, what is most interesting about this dust-up is that Ricardel is firmly in the Bolton wing and has repeatedly clashed with White House Chief of Staff Kelly and Defense Secretary Mattis. 

While it is currently unclear whether Ricardel has actually been fired, the reported move by the First Lady marks her most public foray into personnel issues. Is the First Lady looking out for President Trump's flank as second-tier neocon attack dogs nip at his ankles? We can only hope so!

What does that mean for the NSC's top dog? Might the days of John "Regime Change" Bolton be numbered as President Trump's National Security Advisor? We can only hope!

Last month Bolton's chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, unexpectedly resigned his position after just a couple of months on the job. Bolton has described Fleitz as "a longtime friend and adviser." Adding that, "he's been a valuable member of the National Security Council team."

Fleitz claimed that he decided to ditch his powerful position at the right hand of National Security Advisor Bolton because he was promised the top job at the relatively minor neoconservative think tank, Center for Security Policy. Insiders claim Fleitz's hardline neoconservative views, particularly his previously stated position  that Islamic Sharia was "creeping" worldwide, had been a political liability to the White House.

Why the move on Ricardel by Melania? The First Lady only became a permanent US resident two years after the neocons pushed President Clinton into an unprovoked attack on her native former Yugoslavia. Is it possible the quiet Melania has retained memories of what monsters they are and is now determined to rid the Trump Administration of those scheming murderers? We shouldn't slip too deeply into this fantasy, but if that is your intent, Madame First Lady, please allow us to provide you with our top ten pink slip recommendations...
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/13/melania-trump-kneecaps-top-bolton-aide/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/13/melania-trump-kneecaps-top-bolton-aide/ Tue, 13 Nov 2018 20:42:18 GMT
Digital Book Burners Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/digital-book-burners/

Jamie Fly, a former high-ranking Bush era neocon, believes you shouldn’t have the right to post on social media.

“Fly went on to complain that ‘all you need is an email’ to set up a Facebook or Twitter account, lamenting the sites’ accessibility to members of the general public. He predicted a long struggle on a global scale to fix the situation, and pointed out that to do so would require constant vigilance,” write Jeb Sprague and Max Blumenthal.

This attitude shouldn’t come as a surprise. Neocons believe they are a special breed, the chosen few of an intellectual crème de la crème, and the rest of us are merely bread and circus spectators on the sidelines as they forge our collective history (and increasingly possible ruin).

Fly is a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. He “served” in the National Security Council and the Defense Department during the Bush presidency. He also worked at the Claremont Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. Fly tutored presumptive presidential candidate Marco Rubio on foreign policy and he is the former director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a staunch neocon advocacy group founded by arch neocons William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor.

He is now a senior fellow and director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, an organization funded by the US government and NATO. The German Marshall Fund organized the Alliance for Securing Democracy and its Hamilton 68 effort to destroy alternative media under the false (and largely debunked) claim it is a cutout for Russia and Vladimir Putin who are, we are reminded daily, dedicated to destroying democracy and taking down the exceptional and indispensable nation.

Jamie Fly and his coconspirators Laura Rosenberger and J.M. Berger know the Russians aren’t responsible for thousands of alternate media websites and social media accounts. They know this phenomenon, which began with the birth of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s, is homespun and has absolutely nothing to do with Russia. It is their mission to make sure the establishment is free to promulgate its lies and war propaganda without counterbalance and the interruption of truth.

These folks are digital book burners on par with Nazis who burned books in Berlin on the Opernplatz in May of 1933. Like the Nazis, they want to silence those who counter the narrative. For the Nazis, the targets were communists, socialists, anarchists, and all who opposed fascism, while our new book burners—liquidators of heresy against the ruling elite—are focused on groups and individuals challenging the lies and half-truths of the state regardless of ideology.

For the elite, populism and nationalism represent a twin threat to the emerging globalist scheme of a one-world government and currency directed by a cadre of unelected bureaucrats and ideologues.

Donald Trump portrayed himself as a patriot and nationalist—Make America Great Again—however after the election the same old crowd of CFR operatives, Goldman Sachs alumni, and hardcore neocons staffed his administration, thus making the realization of his campaign promises virtually impossible.

The ruling elite, their functionaries and proxies have declared war on “alternative facts,” that is to say information contrary and even hostile to the narrative. While it is true the corporate media has lost some influence, it still projects a powerful influence on public opinion, especially in the current highly polarized political climate.

Fly and his digital book burning associates will not stop until the last vestiges of the alternative media are wiped out. This process is underway now with a number of popular alternative media websites losing significant traffic following removal from social media.

As Mr. Fly says, this is only the beginning. They will not stop until the challenge is defeated and the digital information landscape is once again completely in control of the psychopaths at the top and their well-paid minions pushing the idiotic lie that Putin and the Russians are responsible.

Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/digital-book-burners/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/digital-book-burners/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 17:03:46 GMT
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s New Regime Change Target: Saudi Arabia Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/sen-lindsey-graham-s-new-regime-change-target-saudi-arabia/ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has long been among the most vehement advocates of foreign intervention in the United States Senate, supporting US interventions for “regime changes” across the world. Now Saudi Arabia has joined the list of countries where Graham has demanded regime change. Interviewed Tuesday morning at the Fox News show Fox & Friends, Graham declared that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “has got to go.”

While proclaiming in the interview that he has been Saudi Arabia’s “biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate,” Graham says that bin Salman is “toxic” and a “wrecking ball” and had Jamal Khashoggi “murdered in a consulate in Turkey” earlier this month. So long as bin Salman is in charge in Saudi Arabia, Graham promises to refuse or “do business with” or visit Saudi Arabia. Graham also says in the interview that he will be pushing to “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.”

Watch Graham’s interview here:



Ron Paul Institute Chairman Ron Paul has a very different take on Saudi Arabia and its leader bin Salman. Interviewed Monday at Fox Business, Paul applied his consistent noninterventionist approach, declaring that the “proper policy” for the US government is neither to punish nor aid Saudi Arabia. Sanctions or other punishment imposed by the US are not justified, says Paul. Paul also declares in the interview, as he has often declared before, his opposition to the US policies of being “a close ally with Saudi Arabia” and providing military aid to Saudi Arabia for its ongoing war on Yemen — policies Graham has supported.

Watch Paul’s interview here:


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/sen-lindsey-graham-s-new-regime-change-target-saudi-arabia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/sen-lindsey-graham-s-new-regime-change-target-saudi-arabia/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:10:15 GMT
Max Boot: The Purists of NeverTrumpers Jack Kerwick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/13/max-boot-the-purists-of-nevertrumpers/

While there doubtless exists exceptions to the rule, the Trump era has made it painfully clear to those who are willing to look that, generally speaking, the left is devoid of principle.

For example, during George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, the American (and European) left was vociferously “anti-war.” Most Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq, but once Americans began to recognize the war for the unmitigated debacle that it was, Democrats, being the crassest of opportunists, not only turned against it; they led the left’s campaign of vilification against Bush.

Now, the Iraq War was indeed a conflagration, one for which every politician and media personality who used their influence to advocate on its behalf should be eternally apologetic. And GW Bush is as richly deserving of the judgment passed upon him by the American public near the end of his second term as any public figure has ever been (and I’m saying this as someone who has always voted Republican and who, to my eternal shame, supported Bush both in 2000 and 2004).

However, Bush and his war’s critics on the left have proven themselves to be unequivocal frauds.

Although “conservative” media personalities and the Republican bureaucrats and politicians for whom they had customarily run cover still speak as if Barack Obama was some kind of pacifist, the truth of the matter is that Obama enjoys the dubious distinction of having used the American military to wage war with more countries and over a longer period of time than any other president in the country’s history:

For eight (long) years, Obama dropped over 100,000 bombs on seven countries.

Yet the left’s “anti-war” stance evaporated overnight once Obama was elected to the presidency.

Now that Donald J. Trump has become the left’s chief villain of choice, Bush and virtually every one of the left’s Republican villains from yesteryear—i.e. those who are either “Never Trump” or who distance themselves from Trump—derive the same benefit that Obama reaped insofar as they now receive a pass for the crimes with which the left once charged them.

One Republican—or is it a former Republican?—who is particularly conspicuous in this regard is the man who once served as a foreign policy adviser for John McCain: Max Boot.

Boot, a neoconservative pundit who describes himself as a “military historian,” is every bit the war monger as was the man whose presidential aspirations he tirelessly endeavored—and failed—to realize. A one-time star of sorts of Big Conservatism, Boot’s voice could once be heard quite regularly on talk radio, Fox News, and in the pages of The Weekly Standard, Commentary, and other staples of neoconservative media.

Admittedly, though, his voice is not hard to miss, for it belongs to a chorus composed by his fellow ideological travelers, a chorus that, almost without exception, repeats a single song: the call for American hegemony over the planet.

Remarkably, Boot’s voice may have been the loudest. Even among this crowd, Boot’s crowd, of militarist zealots, Boot’s bellicosity proved itself second to none. This is no mean feat.

Boot was a tireless advocate for the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, short-term battles, by his lights, in the long-term neocon project to fundamentally remake the Middle East in the image of “Democracy.” Even after well over a million inhabitants of these Islamic countries were killed, nearly a million children orphaned, and hundreds of thousands more displaced, maimed, and traumatized, Boot was among those who turned his attention away from the bloody mess that he helped to create and toward Syria, the next Middle Eastern Islamic country upon which he wanted to unleash the full might of the American military.

Not only did Boot exercise his influence toward the end of bringing about the incalculable suffering and carnage of massive numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims. Thousands of American men, soldiers, died for the sake of prosecuting Boot’s crusade for global Democracy, a dream that has been a nightmare for the families of the deceased, as well as for the many more who survived Boot’s wars over there, but who struggle here daily with the varieties of psychological and physical trauma with which the pursuit of Boot’s utopia has burdened them.

This is all worth revisiting, for Boot is now as staunchly “Never Trump” as he has always been staunchly in favor of war. In fact, he is among those Never Trump neoconservatives, lifelong Republicans, who is calling for the defeat of the GOP next month. This is necessary, Boot insists, in order to “rescue” the party and the conservative movement from the ravages visited upon it by the President and…“white nationalism.”

Not long ago, Boot—who now writes for The Washington Post and who contributes to MSNBC—wrote that he had just discovered the myriad of ways in which has benefitted from his “privilege” as a white male. His immense arrogance aside, that Boot is the consummate virtue-signaler, ever eager to ingratiate himself to the militantly anti-Trump left, is readily obvious by the fact that in this confessionary essay, Boot doesn’t once so much as hint at the possibility that it is his white male “privilege” that blinded him to the death and devastation of legions of Islamic peoples of color that could result, and that did result, from pursuing his own ends.

Nor, of course, did Boot apologize for any of this mayhem.

And yet this is the same man who now assumes the moral high ground over those like President Trump and his millions of supporters who not only don’t have any of the blood that Boot and his comrades have on their hands, but who want a more peaceful and humble foreign policy.

Max Boot is at least as contemptible, and perhaps even more so, than his new friends on the anti-Trump left. They truly deserve one another.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/13/max-boot-the-purists-of-nevertrumpers/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/13/max-boot-the-purists-of-nevertrumpers/ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 12:45:02 GMT
Pompeo, Bolton To Headline Shady Anti-Iran Event During UNGA Eli Clifton and Derek Davison http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/25/pompeo-bolton-to-headline-shady-anti-iran-event-during-unga/

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are scheduled to deliver keynote addresses at United Against Nuclear Iran’s (UANI) annual “summit” during the United Nations General Assembly. This raises troubling red flags, to say the least, about the Trump administration’s Middle East policy and its ties to the most aggressive anti-Iran forces in the United States and in the region itself, including the ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain.

The Trump administration insists that the goal of its “maximum pressure” policy toward Iran is not to effect regime change but rather to change the “behavior” of the Iranian government. If that’s the case, then the decision to send two senior foreign policy officials to this UANI event is puzzling. According to the organization’s guest list, in attendance will be virtually every prominent official both in the United States and overseas who has pushed for a military confrontation with Iran—a veritable who’s who of warmongers.

Beyond that, the decision to send Pompeo and Bolton to this event may be deeply inappropriate. UANI’s murky financial ties include links to questionable businessmen and shadowy foreign actors with possible ties to the massive 1MDB corruption scandal in Malaysia under investigation by the US Justice Department.

Uniting for War

UANI was founded in 2008 to “inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons.” Its board, chaired by former US senator and ardent Iran hawk Joe Lieberman, includes a number of influential neoconservatives with well-known anti-Iran views, such as former Senator Mark Kirk, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Russell Mead of the hardline Hudson Institute. Bolton himself is a past UANI board member and received at least $165,000 in consulting fees from the group’s partner organization, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP). UANI stridently opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), going so far as to part ways with its then-president, arms control expert Gary Samore, after Samore (who remains on UANI’s board) came out in support of the final deal.

The US intelligence community, Israeli intelligence, and the International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly contradicted UANI’s contention that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Likewise, its claims that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks have never been proven. Nevertheless, UANI has been a reliable source of talking points on both fronts for anti-Iran policymakers in Washington. It has pushed for a comprehensive array of measures intended to isolate Iran internationally, weaken its economy, and increase the possibility of a US-Iran military confrontation.

Though UANI has become one of the most prominent organizations in the anti-Iran policy world, relatively little is known about its internal workings or its financing. Financial documents acquired by LobeLog reveal that trusts controlled by billionaire investor Thomas Kaplan contributed $843,000 to UANI in 2013, nearly half of the group’s $1.7 million revenue in that year. GOP and Trump megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelsonalso contributed $500,000 in 2013. (That same year Adelson suggested that the United States should fire an “atomic weapon” at Iran rather than negotiate.) UANI’s budget ballooned to almost $5.2 million in 2016, but the source of the group’s ongoing funding is largely shrouded in mystery.

Evidence suggests that UANI has an array of sketchy relationships with foreign intelligence agencies and financial interests. Many of the questions about UANI swirl around its convoluted relationship with precious metals speculator Kaplan.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the whole article here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/25/pompeo-bolton-to-headline-shady-anti-iran-event-during-unga/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/25/pompeo-bolton-to-headline-shady-anti-iran-event-during-unga/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:01:33 GMT
Republican Congressman Calls Syrian President Assad ‘the Butcher of Baghdad’ in War Geography Fail RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/

In a clumsy attempt to attack a non-interventionist congressional colleague, Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger got his war geography mixed up — referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad as “the Butcher of Baghdad”.

In an interview with CNN at the weekend, Kinzinger lashed out at his Democratic House colleague, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, for her controversial decision to meet with Assad in 2017, but ran into some geography trouble when trying to insult the Syrian president.
Kinzinger said that it was possible for Gabbard to be “against intervention” but “to meet with the Butcher of Baghdad is a whole other thing". Baghdad, of course, is the capital of Iraq, not Syria — but that didn’t seem to matter to Kinzinger or the CNN host, conservative political commentator S.E. Cupp, who seemed eager to condemn Gabbard herself, suggesting that the Hawaii congresswoman was “parroting Assad and Russian propaganda”  for pointing out that the US has taken the side of jihadist militants against Assad in the war-torn country.

During the interview, Kinzinger appealed for stronger US military intervention in Syria to protect the anti-Assad militants in Idlib. The Russian military has estimated that Idlib is about 70 percent controlled by various terrorist groups, including the Al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which were previously known as the Al-Nusra Front.

Ironically, Kinzinger should probably have known that Baghdad was not in Syria, given that he served in the US air force in both Iraq and Afghanistan during his military career.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump urged Russia and Syria not to launch any new offensive against the militant enclave, tweeting that Moscow and Damascus should not “recklessly attack” Idlib province and saying that it would be a “grave humanitarian mistake”.

Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:54:44 GMT
Neocons Plan: War in Syria, then Iran Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/
Regarding talk about the US taking military action in Syria in response to potential allegations of the use of chemical weapons — false flag or otherwise — in the country, Wilkerson comments that the war advocates are “looking for every excuse, any excuse, all excuses, to reopen US operations, major U.S. operations, against [President Bashar al-Assad] in Syria, always realizing that the ultimate target is Tehran.” Tehran is the capital of Iran.

Addressing previous allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syria government that were used to justify US military actions in the country, Wilkerson, who is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, states that he has seen “no proof” that Assad “ever used chemical weapons” and disparages the reputability of the White Helmets organization whose claims have been used to build support for US military actions in Syria.

Wilkerson further warns that the neoconservative agenda regarding war on Syria and Iran also threatens both conflict between the US and Russia and the long-term bogging down of US military forces in major conflict. Wilkerson states: “My serious concern is about the way [US National Security Advisor John Bolton] and others in their positions of power now are orchestrating a scenario whereby Donald Trump, for political reasons or whatever, can use force in a significant way against Assad and ultimately Iran, because Iran’s forces are there, and ultimately against Russia, because their forces are there in Syria, and this is most disquieting.” The neoconservatives’ military plan, argues Wilkerson, is “a recipe for” the US military being in the region for “the next generation” with significant force “mired even deeper in this morass” and with the “day after day” attrition of dollars and lives.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:14:43 GMT
The Neoconservative Comeback http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/

To those who are strongly opposed to Donald Trump, his present troubles no doubt resonate positively. The looming prospect of his successful removal from office through impeachment proceedings—or his just leaving as pressure for such proceedings builds—might even be such opponents’ fondest wish. But as Colin Powell used to say to me, “Be careful what you wish for…”

In this instance, such a warning has nothing to do with the line of succession and what Jane Mayer in The New Yorker called “The Danger of President Pence.” It has to do instead with the return of the Neoconservatives (Neocons) and only by extension, then, with a Pence or other caretaker presidency.

Because what is happening today, as Trump is preoccupied increasingly with the considerable, ever-growing challenges to him personally and to his presidency institutionally, is the reentry into critical positions in the government of these people, the people who gave America the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even those many of them who declared “Never Trump”—as arch-Neocon Eliot Cohen summed it up—are salivating at the prospect of carrying out their foreign and security policy while Trump essentially boils in his own corrupt juices.

Opening the Door

A vanguard, of course, is already in our government to beckon, comfort, and re-establish others of their type. John Bolton as national security advisor to the president leads this pack though he’s not, strictly speaking, a card-carrying Neocon. Bolton is, like Dick Cheney, an ultra-nationalist who finds the Neocon camp both a convenient hiding place from time to time and possessed of a set of views in which he dare not deny believing since they dovetail with his own purposes more often than not, and the Neocons muster a significant following. Moreover, the Neocons enjoy unfettered access to Israel’s right-wing government as a matter of course.

Nikki Haley at the United Nations, a true-blue Neocon, is almost as important as Bolton as she gives off the air of 2020 and replacing Trump as the new, duly-elected Republican president. To this point, Trump’s having exiled her to New York—as Barack Obama did finally with the war-loving Samantha Power—has not quelled her strident support of Israel (while women and children die in Gaza) or of Saudi Arabia (while thousands upon thousands die in Yemen) one iota.

Recently, one of the leaders of the pack of Neocons outside government, aptly enough a convicted felon (therefore fitting right in with the Trump team), Elliott Abrams, has written about this latent possibility in a very public manner. His screed might as well have been entitled, “Come back, come back. There is unparalleled mischief to be done.”

The very idea of such people being given another go at the ruination of the Republic ought to curdle our blood, rattle our bones, and give us immediate and effective pause. “Never again” is an appropriate battle cry because these people are certifiable. They have had as much to do with the almost 18 years of war in which the US finds itself inextricably enmeshed, with the brutal and bloody turmoil in the Middle East, and with the destruction of American credibility in the world, as any president, legislature, or special interest group.

Presently, their first and most identifiable target is the unfinished business—which they largely commenced—with Syria and Iran, Israel’s two most serious potential threats. If the Neocons got their way—and they are remarkably astute at getting their way—it would mean a reignited war in Syria and a new war with Iran, as well as increased support for the greatest state sponsor of terrorism on earth, Saudi Arabia. We would see all our efforts to halt US support for that country in the bloody and brutal war in Yemen prove fruitless, as well as a deeper fracturing in the Gulf Cooperation Council as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates press their vendetta against Qatar. As Turkey continues its efforts to shore up tiny Qatar, no doubt Neocon ire, already aimed directly at Ankara, will increase.

Overcoming the Blacklist

Who exactly are these should-be rejects who might be, or even now are, returning to key government positions?

Let’s start with Samantha Ravich whom Trump has recently appointed to be deputy chairman of the Intelligence Advisory Board.

It should be sufficient for any rational person to point out merely that Samantha worked for Dick Cheney when he was president, er, sorry, vice president. She handled Asian and Middle East Affairs, among other things, at a time when US Northeast Asia policy got so fouled up—largely at Cheney’s behest—that we let North Korea acquire nuclear weapons. (Did I point out that North Korea might be another country on the Neocon bucket list for war?)

That was also the time, folks will recall, that Iran moved from having a few centrifuges in its nuclear program to having more than 9,000. Cheney’s policy toward Iran was simply: “We do not speak to evil.” If we are to believe Peter Baker’s book (Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House), toward the end of the second Bush administration, when Cheney had been put in a closet, he—Cheney—was the only member of the National Security Council advocating for outright war with Iran. Thank God President Bush would have none of that war.

And coming from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, or FDD for short, Samantha’s credentials as a Neocon are impeccable. FDD, of course, is Israel’s frontispiece in Washington and, as an organization, never saw a war for Israel it did not like and for which it did not press. Its latest exploits have featured support for the UAE in its efforts to wrest control of al-Udeid Air Base (the largest USAF base in the region) away from Qatar, thus deepening the already quite-serious split in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the oldest US-backed security organization in the Persian Gulf.

And, as Abrams pointed out, Trump—or at least Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (who, as a long-time Christian Zionist and stridently anti-Iran member of Congress, has deferred to hard-line Neocons on Middle East policy)—has now breached Eliot Cohen’s dam by appointing Ambassador James Jeffrey, a former deputy national security adviser to George W. Bush and a veteran of the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) since 2012, to be the Special Envoy for Syria.

“Jeffrey’s appointment is important for another reason: he signed one of the anti-Trump letters in 2016 and is I believe the first person to have done so who got an administration post,” Abrams observed. “If this means that the blacklist is fraying, the president and the secretary of state will benefit greatly. They will have dozens more names to choose from in seeking top-notch advisers.”

Indeed, there is no doubt that more Neocons are waiting in the wings now that their intelligentsia component has sanctioned their return to government. Trump might indeed be forced to depart and thus his debilitating focus on his own peril would disappear with him. But the caretaker president who follows—Pence most likely—will have so many challenges to confront, so many lapses to fill, and so many disasters to try to repair, that focusing on preventing the re-entry into government of these people will not be a high priority even if the new President should want it to be.

Likewise, our largely gutless legislature, even if it were to find some courage and challenge some of the Neocon returnees through the confirmation process, could be circumvented, as there are ways around that process (Samantha Ravich’s appointment makes this quite clear). We have to recall that almost no one wanted John Bolton to be US Ambassador to the United Nations in George W. Bush’s second term—even in Congress—so the President used a recess appointment to get him there. Indeed, Abrams insisted that Jeffrey’s appointment could point the way; Special Envoys don’t require Senate confirmation.

Collective Amnesia

This whole business of a possible Neocon return in some ways reminds me painfully of the manner in which two key intelligence analysts, Robert Walpole and Larry Gershwin, were treated in late 2003. These two men were most responsible for the “intelligence” contained in Powell’s presentation on Iraq’s WMD to the United Nations in February 2003, along with the CIA Director, George Tenet, and the Deputy Director, John McLaughlin. Walpole and Gershwin were rewarded for their work, while McLaughlin is now a much-ballyhooed—and likely well-paid—TV consultant. Tenet is the only one who has had the good grace to stay mostly silent. Moreover, he probably did not get rich from his memoirs, At the Center of the Storm, and anyone watching his final address as Director in 2004 at Georgetown University, as I’ve done several times, has to muster a little sympathy for him and realize he got no real professional reward either.

The Neocons are never silent or far away or ashamed to speak out. Neither are they particularly desirous of nor do they even care about rewards. They are far more dangerous. They remind me of Leon Trotsky. In, of, and because of them, there is damage and destruction for the ages—damage and destruction at the end of which they are convinced the world will be alight with their ideology, a utopia, a heaven-on-earth, a world in which their second homeland, Israel, can be proud—and safe.

Gore Vidal once said we are “the United States of Amnesia”. Certainly in terms of the Neocons and colossal intelligence failures, we seem to be.

Col. Wilkerson is a Member of the Ron Paul Institute Board.

Reprinted with permission from LobeLog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:27:19 GMT
The Ron Paul Institute Take on John McCain Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/

Over the first five years of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s (RPI) existence, John McCain, the long-time Republican United States senator from Arizona, has often been a focus of the institute’s attention — though quite a bit less since his sickness removed him from much of his involvement in politics. This focus stems from McCain having been an exemplar in the US government of adherence to nearly the opposite agenda as the agenda supported by RPI Founder and Chairman Ron Paul.

While Ron Paul worked in the US House of Representatives and founded RPI to advocate for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home, McCain was advocating for war abroad and restraints on liberty at home.

As RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams commented in an article in the institute’s first year, McCain was “the Energizer Bunny of interventionism.” With McCain’s death Saturday, the US Senate lost a major advocate for expansive intervention abroad and at home. Yet, there are many individuals in the US government who can be expected to take up the slack.

Many glowing accounts of McCain are being promoted in the media in these days after his death. For some balance, take a look at these articles focused on McCain at the RPI website:

Five Minutes Five Issues: Drug Dogs, McCain’s Award, NZ Marijuana, Amazon Rejection, Crime Lab” by Adam Dick, October 22, 2017

McCain As Metaphor” by Justin Raimondo, October 19, 2017

McCain Hammers Tillerson On Human Rights: Why The Panic?” by Daniel McAdams, May 9, 2017

Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is 'Wrong' and Alone In The Senate” by Jonathan Turley, April 9, 2017

John McCain Blasts Trump White House for Allowing Assad to Stay in Power” by Alex Christoforou, March 31, 2017

McCain and Montenegro: The Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory” by Justin Raimondo, March 21, 2017

Sen. McCain Explodes: 'Rand Paul is Working for Putin!'” March 15, 2017

McCain in Munich: The War Party Fights Back” by Justin Raimondo, February 20, 2017

The McCain Malady” by Charles Goyette, January 30, 2017

McCain's $5 Trillion Military Budget: Will It Make America Great Again?” by Daniel McAdams, January 19, 2017

‘John McCain Passed Dossier to Make Trump Look Bad; Now He’s Trying to Save His Hide’” interview with Daniel McAdams, January 18, 2017

Did John McCain 'Launder' Dodgy Trump Intel Dossier?” by Daniel McAdams, January 11, 2017

Election 'Hack' - Do We Believe Snowden And Assange...Or McCain And Graham?” by Daniel McAdams, December 12, 2016

McCain to Trump: Don't You Dare Make Peace with Russia!” by Daniel McAdams, November 15, 2016

Senators McCain and Corker Use Faulty Geography to Support US Arming Saudi Arabia” by Adam Dick, September 22, 2016

McCain's Nightmare - Dr. Kelli Ward For US Senate” by Daniel McAdams, August 4, 2016

Sen. McCain Attacks Due Process, Votes No Guns for Americans on Watch List” by Daniel McAdams, June 23, 2016

Sen. McCain Furious Iran Treated US Sailors Well” by Daniel McAdams, January 13, 2016

John McCain Wants to Shoot Down Russian Planes” by Daniel McAdams, October 1, 2015

Ukraine's American Finance Minister Asks John McCain for Weapons” by Daniel McAdams, April 21, 2015

McCain to Israel: Go Rogue!” by Daniel McAdams, March 31, 2015

McCain Stands With ISIS?” by Daniel McAdams, March 9, 2015

Nuland's Neocon Lies and McCain's Agony - McAdams and Taylor Week in Review” interview with Daniel McAdams, March 7, 2015

McCain 'Troubled' by Iranian Help With ISIS” by Daniel McAdams, March 3, 2015

Sen. McCain: 'I'm Ashamed of America'” by Daniel McAdams, February 23, 2015

Lawrence Wilkerson: Resist 'Warmonger' John McCain’s Call to Arm Ukraine” by Adam Dick, February 11, 2015

McCain Seeks to Protect US-Backed Terrorists From Other US-Backed Terrorists?” October 22, 2014

McCain: 'Vote For Us and We'll Start Another Bigger War!'” October 22, 2014

Where Does John McCain Want to Attack?” by Chis Rossini, October 13, 2014

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Reject ‘Raving Maniac’ John McCain; Cooler Heads Can Create Ukraine Peace” by Adam Dick, July 21, 2014

No Nation Left Un-Invaded: Sen. McCain Would Put US Military Into Nigeria In 'A New York Minute'” by David Stockman, May 14, 2014

McCain's Eleven Point Plan For War” by Daniel McAdams, March 18, 2014

Is John McCain Running For The Ukrainian Parliament?” by Chris Rossini, March 16. 2014

McCain: Why Aren't We At War Already?” by Daniel McAdams, March 13, 2014

McCain: ‘It’s Tragic’ There’s No U.S. Military Option In Ukraine” by Daniel McAdams, March 8, 2014

McCain and Graham Go To Work Against Iran Agreement” by Daniel McAdams, January 14, 2014

McCain in Ukraine: What Is He Really Up To?” interview with Daniel McAdams, December 17, 2013

Sen. McCain, Interventionism's ‘Energizer Bunny’” by Daniel McAdams, December 17, 2013

 “Religious Tolerance of McCain's Syrian Allies” by Daniel McAdams, October 28, 2013

McCain Taken Down Over Support for Al-Qaeda” by Daniel McAdams, October 24, 2013

McCain's Moderates Join Al-Qaeda” by Daniel McAdams, September 26, 2013

Ron Paul Institute’s McAdams Talks Syria, Vladimir Putin and John McCain’s Assessment of the Rebels” interview with Daniel McAdams, September 23, 2013

McCain and Graham: Let's Do Syria...NOW!” by Chris Rossini, August 25, 2013

RPI's McAdams Talks McCain and Neocons With Scott Horton” interview with Daniel McAdams, August 7, 2013

McCain: 'Vote For Berlin Wall!'” by Adam Dick, June 27, 2013

McCain's 'Moving Experience'” by Chris Rossini, May 30, 2013

McCain Spends Memorial Day with Al-Qaeda Allies” by Daniel McAdams, May 27, 2013

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 21:47:19 GMT