Tuesday, April 11, 2017

America's fascist corporate-military junta takes shape By The Wayne Madsen Report

America's fascist corporate-military junta takes shape
By The Wayne Madsen Report
The United States elected what was believed to be a Trump administration that would reject Obama-era "regime change" wars, entangling global alliances, and targeted sanctions on nations. America will get none of this under a Trump White House that has seen power concentrated among five men who use Donald Trump as a logo -- a political version of "Ronald McDonald" or the "Stay Puff Marshmallow Man" -- representing their neocon policies. The Trump administration is maintaining a regime change war against Syria, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN ambassador Nikki Haley both cheer leading with shouts that the days of the "Assad regime" are numbered.

Tillerson is now part of a Trump administration neocon-military cabal that is shaping Trump's foreign policy, much to the delight of Republican war-mongering neocons like Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio. However, Tillerson is not wielding the greatest amount of power inside the cabal. That distinction goes to National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, who seeks to project a "tough guy" image by using two initials, like the fictional Texas oilman "J. R." Ewing and his non-fictional counterpart "H.L." Hunt, for his name. Herbert McMaster, a Philadelphia native, is a typical neocon, but one with a more dangerous streak: historical revisionism.

In his 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty, McMaster castigates President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara for not listening to the generals in Vietnam who wanted an all-out war to ultimately defeat the Vietcong in South Vietnam and militarily defeat North Vietnam. That's easy for McMaster to conclude from his arm chair and the luxury that he was still shitting in his diapers during the Vietnam War. The actual mistake in Vietnam was not a failure to listen to the generals -- Johnson and McNamara did way too much of that -- but in failing to carry out President John F. Kennedy's wish and withdrawal all U.S. troops from South Vietnam by the end of 1964.

McMaster's foolish belief that the Vietnam War could have been "won" by America fails to take into account China and the Soviet Union, neither of which was about to see U.S. troops parading victoriously through the streets of Hanoi and Haiphong. McMaster's myopic vision of unbridled American military superiority -- no matter the costs -- is already steering the United States into some dangerous waters in the Middle East, East Asia, and elsewhere.

McMaster's theory that the U.S. could have defeated both the Vietcong and North Vietnam shows an individual who harbors extremely dangerous thoughts about the extent of U.S. military power and a tendency toward brinkmanship. But there should be no surprise since McMaster is an understudy of the now-disgraced General David Petraeus.

As with his lavish praise for Petraeus, McCain also licks the boots of McMaster. After Trump chose McMaster as his National Security Adviser, McCain said, "I have had the honor of knowing [McMaster] for many years, and he is a man of genuine intellect, character, and ability." That is because McMaster, like Petraeus, is a veteran not so much of battles but of globalist think tanks. McMaster served as a senior researcher for the Bilderberg Group-linked International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the neocon Hoover Institution at Stanford University. God help the United States with McMaster now calling the shots on U.S. military policy as the United States nears showdowns with Russia and Iran over Syria, China over the South China Sea, and North Korea.

Another key member of the neocon cabal is Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner is Israel's Mossad's "eyes and ears" within the Trump White House. His father, ex-federal convict Charles Kushner, is a longtime Mossad asset who helped arrange for the Israeli gay "honeypot" blackmail operation directed at New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. The honey pot, Golan Cipel, was able to have McGreevey appoint him as head of homeland security for the state of New Jersey, a key position that enabled Israel to destroy evidence held by New Jersey law enforcement agencies on Israel's involvement in helping to carry out the 9/11 attack.

Now, Charles Kushner's son stands ready to commit more acts of treason as Trump's "senior advisor to the president." Kushner recently accompanied Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford on a trip to Iraq. In Iraq, senior U.S. and Iraqi military commanders briefed Kushner and Dunford on counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) activities in Iraq. Undoubtedly, this information eventually ended up in the hands of the Netanyahu government in Israel, a government that helped to create and continues to nurture ISIL.

It was Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, who reportedly weighed heavily on Trump to believe the "intelligence" that Assad "gassed his own people" at Khan Sheikoun. The Trump neocon cabal even resurrected Assad's alleged use of "barrel bombs" against rebel forces in Syria. "Gas" and "barrel bombs" are neocon bullet points that are constantly used by the usual talking head suspects on television. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the neocons used similar phrases, including "WMDs" and Saddam "gassing his own people" in a propaganda blitz engineered largely in Tel Aviv.

Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump, receives a gift from Iraqi Minister of Defense Erfan al-Hiyali at the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. Jared Kushner (center) was pictured walking in a blazer and flak jacket during a visit to Iraq.
Left: Kushner receives a gift from Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad on April 3, 2017. Right: Kushner bedecked in his "combat" uniform, consisting of a flak jacket over a blue blazer.
The fourth member of the Trump foreign policy-making cabal is Defense Secretary James Mattis. Mattis has an intelligence pedigree. His mother, who was born in Canada and came to the United States as a child, served with U.S. Army Military Intelligence in South Africa during World War II. The primary intelligence target for the U.S. was South Africa's pro-Nazi movement, the anti-British Ossewabrandwag, which carried out acts of sabotage against military forces loyal to Prime Minister Jan Smuts, who joined the Allies against the Axis.

While chief of the U.S. Central Command, Mattis was not trusted by senior Obama administration officials because of the general's eagerness to engage in an armed conflict with Iran. It is easy to see why the neocon hive within Team Trump wanted Mattis at the Pentagon. Not only Syria, Russia, China, and North Korea are in the Trump neocon gun sights, but also Iran. Mattis was key in hammering out deals that saw billions of dollars in military hardware, including advanced war planes, being sold by the Trump administration to Saudi Arabia and its puppet client state, Bahrain.

The Trump Five cabal's fifth man is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who wore a pair of $500 Stubbs-Wootton bedroom slippers, embroidered with the Commerce Department insignia, to Trump's February address before a joint session of Congress. Ross is known as the "king of leveraged buyouts," who specialized in buying up bankrupted companies. An alum of N. M. Rothschild & Sons in New York and a trustee of the globalist Brookings Institution, Ross learned how to cut corners, even at the expense of safety of employees. The Sago, West Virginia mine that in 2006 collapsed after a gas explosion, which killed 12 miners, was owned by Ross's company, International Coal Group.

Ross did absolutely nothing after 12 roof collapses in the Sago mine during 2005, and 208 safety violations recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor during the same year, including 21 incidents involving the buildup of toxic gasses. It is too bad that Mr. Trump and his cabal do not show the same level of concern for the gassing of West Virginia coal miners by Wilbur Ross as they do for Assad's dubiously-alleged Sarin gassing of Syrian villagers.

 Trump's neocons shout "Remember Khan Sheikoun!" How about "Remember Sago?"

The emerging Hillary Donald Trumpton administration By The Wayne Madsen Report

The emerging Hillary Donald Trumpton administration
By The Wayne Madsen Report
The Electoral College elected Donald Trump president even though Hillary Rodham Clinton received 3 million more popular votes. But Hillary supporters should cheer up because President Trump is now instituting some of the same foreign and tax policies so vigorously opposed by Trump's "America First" and libertarian base.

Trump's Tomahawk cruise missile attack on Syria over unproven allegations that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad "gassed his own people," -- an echo of a neocon propaganda refrain that demonized Saddam Hussein -- have been followed by Trump policies that match exactly those of Barack Obama and advocated by Mrs. Clinton. These include calling for "regime change" in Syria, proposing increased economic sanctions against Russia over Syria and Ukraine/Crimea, threatening a military confrontation with China over the South China Sea, and something not even considered by Obama or Clinton: use of nuclear weapons against North Korea.

Trump's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the war-mongering CNN over the weekend that 
regime change in Syria was "inevitable." While Haley has adopted the very same interventionist policies of her two Obama administration predecessors, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, Trump's ambassadors in Serbia and Macedonia have been encouraging George Soros-financed protesters to take to the streets in opposition to the Russia-friendly presidents of both nations. In both Serbia and Macedonia, Trump's Soros-friendly ambassadors, Kyle Scott and Jess Baily, respectively, are demanding the governments to adhere to European Union directives on changing their governments and freezing out Russia.
Image result for Donald trump hillary clinton morph
Donald Trump has morphed into Hillary Donald Trumpton.

In Ecuador, Trump's ambassador Linda Jewell has been working with opposition groups to question the victory of progressive presidential candidate Lenin Moreno over a Wall Street stooge, Guillermo Lasso. The Trump administration has also given support to the proto-fascist president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, in his attempt to imprison opposition leaders fighting against Macri's banker-directed austerity measures. Macri, the former mayor of Buenos Aires, and Trump have cooperated on Trump Organization real estate projects in Buenos Aires.

Trump is now being lauded by the corporate-military media complex for his attack on Syria. Trump has appointed several alums to senior White House positions from the Council on Foreign Relations, Heritage Foundation, Brookings Institution, and Center for Strategic and International Studies to his White House team. These individuals, all having excellent neocon street credentials, include National Security Adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster; his assistants Dina Powell, Lisa Curtis, and anti-Russian polemicist Fiona Hill; and presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka -- a neo-Nazi Hungarian-American by way of London.

Stand by for the "Trump Tax"

Trump is also signaling his support for a "border adjustment tax" being proposed by congressional Republicans. A "BAT" is nothing more than a halfway house to a "VAT," or "value added tax." Although a BAT is directly imposed on U.S. companies importing goods they manufacture in foreign nations, the border tax is passed by the affected companies on to consumers.

A BAT will drive up the cost of clothing, electronics, and certain food items. In fact, the Trump administration wants to go further than the BAT with a VAT, a national sales tax that would be applied not merely to imported goods but also to domestically-produced products and services. A VAT is widely seen as severely impacting low and medium income earners. Moreover, the VAT being considered by Trump is not in lieu of the national income tax but in addition to it. Mrs. Clinton and her Democratic loyalists, most notably Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), have long proposed a VAT, with some exemptions on the poor and middle class. However, there are no exceptions or exemptions with the Trump VAT. Low and middle income households would have to shell out more money for staples while they would see no increase in salaries.

A VAT will also result in more intrusive baggage searches at U.S. Customs entry posts. Travelers deemed to be bypassing the VAT by buying clothing, electronics, and small luxury items at duty free shops or in inexpensive countries abroad will face confiscatory duties and fines assessed at Customs stations. Even clothing removed by travelers from store packaging with tags removed, but still showing folded creases, may land travelers in hot water with Customs and Border Protection agents. Travelers may also be required to show agents documented proof that their smart phones, laptops, and expensive watches and jewelry were purchased within the United States. Lying to agents about foreign purchases would very likely result in their confiscation by the federal government. The Koch Brothers, suspecting the BAT is a transition to a VAT, are due to run TV ads across the nation in opposition to the border tax. It is indeed, a case of hell freezing over when the Kochs are absolutely correct with their ads opposing the BAT. Of course, for Trump's billionaire pals, who enter the United States in private jets and yachts, the customs rules will be much looser, if they are enforced at all.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

U.S. cruise missiles are far from "precision-guided" By The Wayne Madsen Report

 U.S. cruise missiles are far from "precision-guided" 
By The Wayne Madsen Report

The Pentagon is claiming that the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles it fired on the Shayrat airbase in Homs province, Syria were precision-guided from the moment they left their launchers on two U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers, the USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross (DDG-71), on station in the eastern Mediterranean. The Pentagon also claimed that the cruise missiles did not target an area of the base that was being used by Russian forces that were conducting anti-Islamic State operations in Palmyra, 50 miles away, with helicopter gunships. It is also known that Iranian military advisers were bivouacked at the Shayrat base. The Pentagon insisted that it "minimized casualties among third-country nationals," typical DoD language meant to indicate that it could not rule out casualties among Russians, Iranians, members of Lebanese Hezbollah, or Iraqi Shi'as who may have been at the base at the time of the attack.

The Tomahawks used in the attack were manufactured by Raytheon and were armed with 1000-pound conventional warheads. Raytheon and its bought-and-paid for members of Congress and media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and MS-NBC, claim the Tomahawk is "precision-guided," a Pentagon meme used to avoid accusations of collateral civilian casualties resulting from U.S. cruise missile attacks. These missiles are anything but "precision-guided," a term that, like "military intelligence," is misused by the Pentagon.

During the 1991 Desert Storm operations against Iraq, 288 Tomahawks were fired from U.S. Navy ships and submarines in the Persian Gulf. One, targeting the Zafraniyah Nuclear Fabrication Facility outside of Baghdad, crashed into the Al Rasheed Hotel in downtown Baghdad, killing two civilians.

In June 1993, 23 Tomahawks were fired into downtown Baghdad as the result of a phony story about former President George H. W. Bush being targeted by Iraqi agents in an assassination plot during his visit to Kuwait. Although the story was false, the Tomahawks, said to have been targeted on Iraqi Intelligence headquarters, struck three civilian homes, killing nine civilians.

In 1995, During NATO's Operation Deliberate Force, the USS Normandy, a cruiser, fired 13 Tomahawks at Bosnian Serb communications facilities near Banja Luka. Instead of striking communications facilities only, the Tomahawks destroyed water treatment facilities and power plants, killing a number of civilians.

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile -crop.jpg
The Pentagon's much-prized Tomahawk "precision-guided" cruise missile has killed thousands of civilians in "collateral damage."

On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered 79 missiles fired on targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. While there was no indication that Operation Infinite Reach interfered with Al Qaeda's ability to bomb U.S. embassies, as what had just occurred in Kenya and Tanzania and was used as justification for the attack, 13 of the cruise missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, killing a civilian guard. As far as the attack on a supposed Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan was concerned, Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden revealed that a "few camels and chickens" died in the attack.

In early December 1998, Clinton authorized 415 Tomahawks to be fired on Iraqi targets in Operation Desert Fox. Targets included were six Iraqi presidential palaces, a number of Republican Guard Barracks, and the Ministry of Defense. Critics claimed the attack was conducted to draw away the public's attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal surrounding Clinton. The "precision-guided" attack on only "military" targets, resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, including those at the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in central Baghdad, at Baghdad Museum of Natural History and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and at another university in northern Iraq, and at an oil installation in Basra.

In early 1999, 218 Tomahawks were fired against Serbia and Montenegro in Operation Allied Force. Some 528 civilians were killed by the "precision-guided" missiles, including 201 in Serbia, 5 in Vojvodina, and 8 in Montenegro. The civilian dead included rescue and medical personnel. Among the civilian targets were cross-Danube bridges (including the Marshal Tito bridge in Novi Sad), civilian buses and trains, police stations, factories, the Belgrade Heating Plant, civilian semi-trucks, the Yugoslav Radio and Television headquarters in Belgrade, the Pathology building of the Nis Medical Center, the Nis central market, a Nis car dealership, the "Nis Express" parking garage, and the Dubrava penitentiary complex in Kosovo. NATO Commander General Wesley Clark spent most of the time during press briefings "apologizing" for "collateral damage" from his precision-guided munitions. In May 1999, other U.S. "precision-guided" munitions, "smart bombs," dropped by B-2 bombers and which, were supposedly targeted the Yugoslav Federal Supply and Procurement directorate, hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade instead. Three Chinese journalists were killed at the embassy.

U.S. "precision-guided" munitions struck the Chinese embassy in 1999, killing three Chinese journalists. Will Donald Trump boast about U.S. "precision guided" weapons technology used against Shayrat airbase in Syria while talking to visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Florida?

On October 7, 2001, 50 Tomahawks were fired into Afghanistan in the initial stages of Operation Enduring Freedom. Some 76 civilians were reportedly killed by the cruise missiles. In 2003, more than 803 Tomahawks were fired into Iraq. A number of targets were civilian in nature and thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed by the cruise missiles. In March 2008, two Tomahawks were fired into Somalia, killing six civilians. In December 2009, two Tomahawks were fired into Abyan province Yemen, killing 21 children and 14 women. In March 2011, 124 Tomahawks were fired into Libya. Hundreds of civilians were killed in the attacks.

In 2011, America's precision-guided missiles struck the Tripoli home of Muammar Qaddafi, killing children. NATO insisted the home was a "command-and-control" center. Really, with an advanced foosball table at the ready? WMR's editor saw, first-hand, the ridiculous by-product of the Pentagon's "smart weapons" in the hands of dumb commanders-in-chief and flag officers.

This 26-year old Libyan civilian was severely injured when a U.S. precision-guided missile hit his home in Tadjoura, west of Tripoli. Still unconscious, he was not aware that the attack killed two members of his family.

On September 24, 2014, 14 Tomahawks were fired into Syria by the USS Arleigh Burke and the USS Philippine Sea. At least seven civilians were killed in the village of Kafr Deryan in northern Idlib province. On October 13, 2016, five Tomahawks were launched into northern Yemen from the USS Nitze. Civilian deaths were reported in the barrage.

Neocons in the U.S. Congress praised the most recent Tomahawk attack on Syria, as did the Wahhabist Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the Islamist dictatorship of Turkey. The Trump administration has gone full neocon, with national security decisions now being made by Trump's cadre of military interventionists, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser General H. R. McMaster, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo, National Security Council deputies K.T. McFarland and Dina Powell, staff advisers Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller, and White House economics adviser and Goldman Sachs alum Gary Cohn.