“Change you can believe in” disappeared in the early days of the Obama regime as the same Washington insiders filled the new government’s ranks. David Brooks sung the praises of those who made change impossible: “the best of the Washington insiders, Achievetrons who got double 800s on their SATs.”
Eight years later Donald Trump was specific about the changes he intended, the two most important being normalized relations with Russia and the return home of the middle class jobs and associated state and local tax base that US corporations had moved offshore to foreign locations. But Trump’s government quickly became home to corporate polluters, Wall Street executives, defense contractors, and Russophobic generals.
Obama’s disappointed supporters held firm to their conviction that their man would set the agenda and not the Washington insiders who occupied his government. Trump’s disheartened deplorables are currently finding refuge in this same conviction. But it looks like we will not get the good part from Trump, only the bad part of more pollution and more damage to the social safety net.
Those who agree about this disagree over the explanation. Some insist that Trump, not Hillary, was the establishment’s choice from the beginning and that the fierce opposition to Trump played out in the press and on the airwaves was only an orchestration to convince flyover America that Trump stood for them. My view is different. Trump threatened the power and budget of the military/security complex and the profits of Wall Street before he had an organization and a team in place to impose his agenda. Unlike Michael Corleone, Trump was rash.
Consequently, the CIA, FBI, NSA, Democrats, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and the presstitute media boxed Trump in by portraying him in collusion with Russian President Putin to steal the election from Hillary. Marches worldwide were instantly choreographed, and there were constant and escalating accusations portraying Trump and his associates as puppets on Putin’s string. Lists were made of Internet media sites that took exception to Washington’s wars and dangerous provocations of Russia, China, and Iran.
The attack on Trump seems to have succeeded. Trump lost his National Security Adviser who favored normalized relations with Russia. Trump was forced to prove he was not working for Putin by appointing a Russophobe as National Security Adviser. Trump backed off from an early meeting with Putin to reduce the tensions in the relationship caused by the past three US presidents.
The CIA won the fight by creating an atmosphere hostile to any thought that Russia is not a dangerous adversary and the main threat that the US faces. In other words, a preference for reduced tensions between nuclear powers has become evidence that one is a Russian agent or Putin’s dupe.
The CIA’s victory means that the prospect of nuclear Armageddon remains on the table, but the budget of the military/security complex is safe and rising. Is this an acceptable trade-off for you?
I was astonished to see the liberal/ progressive/ left line up with the CIA against peace and with globalism and Identity Politics against the working class. The liberal /progressive /left has turned against heterosexual white males and transformed the working class from a victim group into alleged victimizers of women, blacks, homosexuals, and Muslim refugees. The American left has degenerated into the Identity Politics that originated with Zionism. (See for example the article by Eric Draitser, the host of CounterPunch Radio.)
The political left, once a force for peace, has transitioned into a force for war, as war is the likely outcome of the high level of tension that now exists between the US and Russia. By helping the CIA handicap President Trump and prevent him from reducing these tensions, the liberal/progressive/left has responsibility for the impending danger.
These tensions are very dangerous. They have resulted in high-readiness nuclear alert postures, which together with short warning times, false signals of incoming missiles and distrust, create a dangerous strategic nuclear situation.
It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia (and China) that the US is preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike against them. But that is what Washington is doing when it puts anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s border and tells the Russians the lie that the missiles are there to protect Europe from Iranian ICBMs. The entire world knows that Iran does not have nukes or ICBMs. All Washington’s lie does is to make the purpose of the missiles obvious to the Russians.
The continuous anti-Russian propaganda issuing from Washington, NATO and the despicable Western presstitutes has the purpose of orchestrating a Russian Threat and preventing a reduction of tensions between the nuclear powers. The demonization of Russia’s president and the clearly false charges against Russia, such as interference in the US presidential election, invasion of Ukraine, reconstruction of the Soviet empire—are understood by the Russians as a propaganda campaign to prepare Western populations for a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Russia. The conventional NATO forces conducting military exercises and deployed on Russia’s border are understood by the Russians as being too small and lacking in strength to be of any consequence. They are merely an orchestration to emphasize the Russian Threat for insouciant Western populations. The Russian government understands that all of this is preparation for an attack on Russia. Just as Saddam Hussein, Gadaffi, and Assad were demonized by US government officials, now it is Putin. The dangerous situation could not be more obvious.
Yet Hillary supporters are completely blind to what is occurring in front of their noses, as is the liberal/progressive/left, the idiot EU governments, and the Western presstitute media. As President Putin himself has stated,
“no one listens to us when we point out the impending danger.”
As environmentally damaging as a pipeline can be, it is nothing compared to nuclear war. In the opposition to Trump, emotion has prevailed over reason and hate has prevailed over judgment. The consequences for life on earth will be dire.
Just as the CIA is indifferent to the threat to life on earth that the agency’s orchestration of the Russian Threat presents, and the liberal/progressive/left is too absorbed in hatred of Trump to comprehend that it is enabling the march to nuclear war, the Trump forces are enabling another catastrophic/apocalyptic threat by dismissing global warning as a hoax. That the obvious, observable melting of Arctic ice can be dismissed as a plot against capitalism by left-wing scientists demonstrates a detachment from reality that is difficult to fathom. For whatever reason the ice is melting, the consequence is the sudden enormous release of life-destroying methane into the atmosphere. As far as I am aware, the dire consequences of massive methane release are not controversial.
For a world that sees itself as based on science, it is amazing how uninfluential scientists are. They warn of the consequences of nuclear war, and Western governments continue escalating tensions between nuclear powers. Scientists warn of the consequences of global warming, and the polluting economic interests and their supporters cry “hoax.”
Read Dahr Jamail’s report on the latest published scientific report on the likelihood of a sudden and gigantic release of methane, and then go read the report itself. This is not the fake news that you get from the New York Times, BBC, CNN, Washington Post, Le Monde, MSNBC and the rest of the presstitutes. This report is peer-reviewed scientific opinion based on the known facts at hand.
What is known among scientists as the Artic “Methane Time Bomb” has been studied intensely. Scientists believe that a 50-gigaton “burp” of methane could be released in a brief period of time from the melting of the Arctic ice. This would be the sudden addition to the atmosphere of ten times the amount of methane currently in the atmosphere. Scientists equate this to an increase in carbon dioxide of 1,000 gigatons.
In other words, based on our existing scientific knowledge, life on earth depends on the Arctic ice not melting. But it is melting.
With the two apocalyptic scenarios described in this article both possibly close at hand, why is the liberal/progressive/left concerned with tranny toilet facilities and the freedom of Muslims to immigrate to Europe and the US? Is this the way they distract themselves from the real threatening issues?
Why are the timber companies cutting down forests and why are the remaining rain forests being massacred when it is trees that absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen?
Why is there intense commercial farming of beef and pork when the methane release from the vast numbers of animals is extraordinary and a factor in the rising temperatures that are melting the Arctic ice?
The answer is that profit-seeking has only short-term motivations, and the profits come mainly from the external costs imposed on third parties and the environment. The effort to control what economists call externalities requires thoughtful and determined regulation. Yet, the Trump administration declares regulation to be a hindrance to business. In other words, regulation interferes with the ability of capitalism to generate profits by externalizing its costs, and, thereby, regulation must be abolished.
We have reached the point where the externalities of economic activity and the externalities of the military/security complex’s need for a Russian threat are on the verge of bringing life on Earth to an end.
The idiocy of Identity Politics is that the ideology has no idea that we are all victims of the real victimizers—the US military/security complex and a carbon-based life style.
Considering the dire circumstances, it really doesn’t matter if more Muslim refugees, whose countries and prospects we have destroyed with our wars of hegemony and who may be seeking revenge for what they have suffered, are admitted to the West. The danger of being run over on a London bridge or at a German bus stop by a Muslim seeking revenge is miniscule compared to thermo-nuclear war and catastrophic changes in the biosphere.
But don’t expect any intelligent awareness from any Western government or from any member of the Western presstitute media. Truth is the last thing that interests these purveyors of fake news. They are interested in manufacturing fake threats, not confronting real ones.
What these hyper-criminals are doing is murdering planet Earth.
Copyright © Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Global Research, 2017
US Imposed Syria Sanctions Hit Children’s Cancer Treatment at Damascus Children’s Hospital
Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse
Damascus: In the cancer ward at Damascus Children’s Hospital, doctors are struggling with a critical shortage of specialist drugs to treat their young patients — and it’s not just due to the general chaos of the Syrian civil war.
Local and World Health Organisation (WHO) officials also blame Western sanctions for severely restricting pharmaceutical imports, even though medical supplies are largely exempt from measures imposed by the United States and European Union.
Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse. Fewer than half of the country’s hospitals are fully functioning and numbers of doctors have dived.
The result is tumbling life expectancy — even after accounting for the hundreds of thousands directly killed in the fighting — and soaring deaths in pregnancy and childbirth.
On top of this, cuts in health spending by the government that is fighting a hugely expensive war, a drastic fall in the Syrian currency and indirect effects of the sanctions are all deepening the misery of patients who need foreign-made drugs.
Children suffering from cancer at Damascus Children’s Hospital. Image credit: Reuters
For families with sick children, the situation is dire.
At the children’s hospital in government-held Damascus, the waiting room outside the cancer ward was crowded with relatives, many of whom had brought clothes, mattresses and blankets in case they had to spend long periods far from their homes outside the city.
One of them was Naim Der Moussa, 55, who has been living in Damascus for a year to secure regular treatment for his 10-year-old daughter Wa’ad. They left his wife and six other children behind in the eastern city of Deir Al Zor, where government forces are besieged by Daesh.
“My daughter was first diagnosed with kidney cancer and treated,” he said. “Now cancer has been found also in her lungs.”
Before the conflict, Syria produced 90 per cent of the medicines it needed but anti-cancer drugs were among those where it traditionally relied on imports.
Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO representative in Syria, said medicine imports have been hit by significant cuts in the government’s health budget since the war began in 2011 plus a 90 per cent drop in the value of the Syrian pound, which has made some pharmaceuticals prohibitively expensive.
However, a lack of cash is not the only reason why supplies of cancer drugs are falling far short of increasing demand.
“The impact of economic sanctions imposed on Syria heavily affected the procurement of some specific medicine including anti-cancer medicines,” said Hoff. The sanctions were preventing many international pharmaceutical companies from dealing with the Syrian authorities as well as hindering foreign banks in handling payments for imported drugs, she added.
The United States and EU have imposed a range of measures targeted both at the government and some of the many armed groups operating in the country.
Washington has banned the export or sale of goods and services to Syria from the United States or by US citizens.
The EU has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and an arms embargo, with sanctions also targeting financial ties with Syrian institutions, buying oil and gas from the country or investing in its energy industry.
President Bashar Al Assad has partly blamed the sanctions for turning many Syrians into refugees, often heading to Europe.
Both the US and EU regimes include exemptions for medicines and other humanitarian supplies. However, by clamping down on financial transactions and barring much business with the Syrian government, the sanctions are indirectly affecting trade in pharmaceuticals.
Many drugs companies have erred on the side of caution, avoiding any business with Syria for fear of inadvertently falling foul of the sanctions.
The US State Department said the Treasury had authorised services in support of humanitarian activities in Syria, adding that there were legal ways to bring medicine into the country.
The EU also rejected criticism of its sanctions.
“Such measures are not aimed at the civilian population,” an EU spokeswoman said. “EU sanctions do not apply to key sectors of the Syrian economy such as food and medicine.”
She acknowledged firms had increasingly pulled out of business with Syria but said this was also due to other reasons, including “security, reputation, commercial motivation, anti-money laundering measures” and the presence of militant groups.
The WHO brings essential medicines and medical supplies into Syria, procuring generic drugs from approved sources in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Branded US products cannot be imported due to the sanctions situation, Hoff said.
With funds from Kuwait, the WHO has delivered life-saving medicine to more than 16,000 cancer patients, of whom thousands are children with leukaemia.
Syrian girl Rahma sits on a bed as she receives treatment for cancer at Damascus Children’s Hospital. Image Credit:Reuters
But this does not meet demand. Besides cancer medication, there are critical shortages of insulin, anaesthetics, specific antibiotics needed for intensive care, serums, intravenous fluids and other blood products and vaccines, Hoff said.
The overall collapse in Syrian health care has contributed to a drop in life expectancy to 60 years for men and 70 for women in 2014, from 72 and 75 respectively in 2009. Only 44 per cent of hospitals are now fully functioning and more than a quarter aren’t working at all, the WHO said.
By 2014, the number of doctors in Syria had dropped to 1.3 per 1,000 people, less than half the level in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon.
Against this deterioration, Damascus Children’s Hospital has also come under increasing pressure. Cancer units in the provincial cities of Aleppo and Latakia were both put out of service in fighting earlier in the war.
Now about 200 children visit the Damascus hospital every week, with more than 70 per cent from outside the capital, according to its head, Maher Haddad.
The weight of demand has delayed treatment for dozens of sick children by 15-20 days, affecting their prospects, overall health and response to medication, he added.
Haddad also singled out the sanctions. Pharmex, the state-owned company that buys drugs for government-funded hospitals across Syria, was able to provide only 5-10 per cent of the cancer medication that is required, he told Reuters.
“Most of the cancer medicines are imported. Pharmex used to import the stock of medicines that public hospitals need. But it has not been able to do so largely because of the economic sanctions, I believe,” he said.
His hospital has only 36 free beds, with 17 of those allocated to children with cancer.
In the waiting room, a woman who identified herself only by her first name Nawal, said she travels from the Qalamoun area north of Damascus every fortnight with her 14-year-old daughter who requires chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia.
“We don’t have hospitals or charities in Qalamoun. Free treatment is offered only at the Children’s Hospital in Damascus,” Nawal said.
One private charity, Basma, is trying to help out by funding cancer drugs for poor families. The proportion of patients who need assistance has risen from about 30 per cent to nearly 80 per cent since the war began, executive manager Rima Salem said.
Salem finds the delays in treatment worrying.
“A child with cancer might die waiting for his turn to get treatment,” she said.
Operation Mosul: A Medieval Massacre
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described it this way weeks after US-led terror-bombing and Iraqi ground operations began last October – long before the worst horrors ongoing now.
US-orchestrated operations are being conducted under “conditions of absolute information blockade,” Zakharova explained.
Nothing was done to protect, evacuate or otherwise help civilians. They’ve been on their own in harm’s way without humanitarian or any other type aid or consideration for their welfare and safety since last October.
Hundreds of thousands remain trapped in the city. Others getting out risk their lives to do it – as endangered by US terror-bombing as ISIS fighters.
In the battle for Aleppo, Russia and Syria established humanitarian corridors – without aid from the UN or other countries. Great care was taken to avoid civilian casualties, why liberating the city entirely took so long.
Moscow ceased aerial operations in October 2016 to protect civilians, long before the battle for Aleppo was won in late December.
The West and supportive media disgracefully portrayed a heroic Leningrad-type liberation as naked aggression.
They’re largely silent on the rape and destruction of Mosul. What’s reported falsely portrays liberation. Nothing about US terror-bombing mass murder. An orchestrated coverup of reality continues.
No help was provided for desperate city civilians, tapped in harm’s way. In months of fighting, likely thousands were massacred, countless others injured, hundreds of thousands displaced – by indiscriminate US terror-bombing and ground artillery fire.
Western media are complicit by silence with rare exceptions. On March 23, London’s Independent cited local media sources, saying Thursday airstrikes on Mosul caused “230” civilian deaths.
“A correspondent for Rudaw, a Kurdish news agency operating in northern Iraq, said that 137 people – most believed to be civilians – died when a bomb hit a single building in al-Jadida, in the western side of the city on Thursday.”
“Another 100 were killed nearby. Some of the dead were taking shelter inside the homes,” according to Kurdish journalist Hevidar Ahmed, reporting from the scene of the massacre.
RT reported over 130 civilians massacred overnight in Mosul from US terror-bombing. The death toll could be much higher. Bodies are being pulled from rubble, a slow, arduous task.
According to a local eyewitness,
“(t)he entire neighborhood was fleeing because of missiles that hit, so people had taken refuge here.”
“I didn’t know if it was a shelter. I didn’t know we couldn’t go there. My entire family is inside, 27 people. We pulled only one of them out and don’t know about the rest. Yes, he was dead.”
Civilians suffer most in all wars. Contempt for their agony and trauma in Mosul and other US war theaters compounds their desperation.
Surviving is a daily struggle. Many don’t make it. Others are scarred for life.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Copyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2017