Friday, September 11, 2015

Cooked intelligence and other horrors

Note: The original version of this post gave Syrian Girl another chance on this blog. Big mistake. Obviously, she attracts the wrong crowd -- libertarians and reactionary revisionists, the kind of people who get their "history" from Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. So I've deleted that section of this post. I'm also deleting all comments -- including my own, just to be fair. No further comments will be allowed.

Let me add one further point. I'm fully aware of the first rule of politics: Anyone who claims to be neither right nor left -- or who claims to have transcended those distinctions -- is a right-winger. So don't think that you can bullshit Papa, kiddies. At this stage in life, I've heard it all before.

Don't kiss the cooks. Cooked intelligence created (or at least justified) the Iraq invasion. And here we go again...
More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.

The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.
But the complaint also goes beyond alleged altering of reports and accuses some senior leaders at CENTCOM of creating an unprofessional work environment. One person who knows the contents of the written complaint sent to the inspector general said it used the word “Stalinist” to describe the tone set by officials overseeing CENTCOM’s analysis.
The great unspoken truth, of course, is that this government has no intention of defeating ISIS. Not now. What the United States wants at this time is to drive ISIS out of Iraq and toward Damascus.

I do have one great fear: What if this story is spun in such a way as to justify American intervention in the region? Given the continuing neocon impetus to topple the governments of Syria and Iran, American intervention would be disastrous.

Case in point...

The blockade. This government should be doing everything it can to aid Bashar Assad in his fight against the combined forces of ISIS and Nusra. Instead, we are blocking Russian supplies from reaching Syria. As Robert Parry reports, this policy is utterly mad...
Does the U.S. government want the Islamic State and/or its fellow-travelers in Al Qaeda to take over Syria? As far as the State Department is concerned, that seems to be a risk worth taking as it moves to cut off Russia’s supply pipeline to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad — even as Sunni terrorist groups expand their grip on Syrian territory.

It appears that hardliners within the Obama administration have placed the neocon goal of “regime change” in Syria ahead of the extraordinary dangers that could come from the black flag of Sunni terrorism raised over the capital of Damascus. That would likely be accompanied by the Islamic State chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics” and/or Al Qaeda having a major Mideast capital from which to plot more attacks on the West.
Parry is telling a should-be-obvious truth. Alas, you'll never hear about this truth from pseudo-liberal "neocons in disguise" such as the vile Lina Sergie Attar. You won't hear about it from anyone who writes on foreign affairs for the NYT. This great unspeakable truth comes down to six words: If Assad falls, the Islamists win.  

There is no third choice. The so-called "moderate" rebels are few in number. Moreover, they have a disturbing tendency to switch sides or to hand their weaponry over to Al Qaeda and ISIS. The "moderates" are a fiction.
In explaining its nearly inexplicable behavior, the State Department even has adopted the silly neocon talking point which blames Assad and now Russia for creating the Islamic State, though the bloodthirsty group actually originated as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” in reaction to President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Then, backed by money and weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other U.S. “allies,” AQI moved into Syria with the goal of ousting Assad’s relatively secular government. AQI later took the name Islamic State (also known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). Yet, the State Department’s official position is that the Islamic State is Assad’s and Russia’s fault.
Amazing. Appalling. Absurd. And not at all amusing.

What we are seeing is a classic example of the Big Lie technique in action. The "Assad created ISIS" myth never had the slightest factual basis.

This myth turns history on its head. It's like saying that the Romans created the Zealots. It's like saying that Czar Alexander created Napoleon. It's like saying that the Hatfields created the McCoys. It's like saying that Jews created Hitler. It's like saying Jerry the Mouse created Tom the Cat. 

Now, I'm sure that there are trolls and propagandists who will make pseudo-scholarly arguments "proving" that Assad really did create ISIS. There are a lot of casuistry-addicts out there. Some of these addicts may even try to convince you that the Romans really did create the Zealots and that the Jews really did create Hitler.

As dear old Aleister Crowley once said: Never forget how easy it is to make a maniac's hell-broth of any proposition, however plain to common sense.

But if you have any lingering love at all for common sense, then you'll understand that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (with the quiet acquiescence of the neocons) are the parties responsible for bestowing ISIS on the world, and that they did so for the express purpose of toppling Assad. That's the truth. Don't let the trolls, the propagandists and the casuistry-addicts tell you otherwise.

The Hillary factor.
Let's go back to Parry:
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton joined in that growling on Wednesday at the Brookings Institution, which has become home to neocons such as Robert Kagan and a host of “liberal interventionists,” such as Michael O’Hanlon and Strobe Talbott.

Though she formally endorsed the nuclear agreement with Iran, former Secretary of State Clinton insulted both the Iranians and the Russians. Noting Russia’s support for the Syrian government, she urged increased punishment of Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin — aimed at forcing Russia to abandon the Assad regime.
There's nothing liberal about "liberal interventionism." That disgusting term was invented by certain Democrats who think that, without neocon lucre, they'll be clobbered in the upcoming elections. Hillary was getting some big neocon money until the recent revelations about her close relationship with Sidney Blumenthal -- father to Max Blumenthal, the enormously effective and brave critic of Israel. Unsurprisingly, she is now playing the "I'm a neocon too" game.

Which, I wonder, is the real Hillary?

On one hand, we have the Hillary who has befriended the Blumenthal family; on the other hand, we have the Hillary who sucks up to the thoroughly evil Kagan clan. Which face is true, and which one is the mask?
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I don't think Hillary's motive is money. I think she is an interventionist with militaristic tendencies. She has a record as both a senator and as Secretary of State And this is coming from a Hillary supporter.
This whole thing is doubly ridiculous since an international committee has determined that the US, UK, & France introduced chemical weapons to ISIS, trained them how to use them, and then manufactured the evidence against Assad
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