August 16, 2013 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Life Under Pinochet

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Roger Plant joined Amnesty International in 1972 to cover the organization’s work on Latin America. A few months after Pinochet took power by force, he went to Chile to document the arbitrary detentions, torture and disappearances. The result was a groundbreaking report that helped shine a light on the reality of life in the Latin-American country.

As a young researcher, Roger Plant had only been working for Amnesty International for less than a year when Augusto Pinochet launched his coupe d’état in 1973. With his feet barely under the desk it was a baptism of fire – a seminal moment that would eventually define his career.

“The day of the coup I was in London. I was at home when I was called and we rushed into immediate action. I remember very quickly contacting the various Chilean friends and contacts trying to get a picture together of what was happening,” he explained.

A few months later, he was sat on a plane at London’s Heathrow airport bound for Santiago de Chile via New York. Following a phone conversation with Amnesty International’s General Secretary, the late Martin Ennals, he was still unsure if he would be allowed into the country.

“Martin Ennals wanted us to go as soon as we could. I remember at Heathrow airport there was a message for me and I called Martin and he said ‘Roger, we heard from the Foreign Minister that the delegation will not be allowed to enter Chile, you will never be able to go ahead.” I got on the plane slightly disturbed and when I got to New York I contacted Martin and he said ‘I’m glad to say that the Chileans have changed their minds and you will be allowed in after all.’”

This was the first visit to monitor the illegal detentions, torture and disappearances that were taking place in the Latin-American country under General Pinochet’s brutal regime.

Entering unfriendly territory

But entering a country in the midst of a human rights crisis, as thousands of social activists, dissidents, teachers, lawyers and trade unionists were being rounded up, detained, tortured and disappeared was no simple task.

As part of a team of three, Roger crossed Santiago’s airport doors with Frank Newman, a law professor in the University of California, and Judge Bruce Sandler, presiding Judge of the Supreme Court of Orange County, California.

While the Chilean authorities had agreed to the visit, it was to be strictly controlled. The security services would try to prevent the team from gaining access to the very places that they wanted to see. Those centres that would later become renowned for the abuses that defined Pinochet’s 17 year rule. Roger and his colleagues gave their minders the slip.

“It was a terrible situation. Within a couple of days I was inside the National Stadium, which was by then being emptied,” Roger recalls.

“They tried very hard not to let us go. We [were] ‘guided’ by some Chilean government officials but I remember getting away from them and being able talk to some of the political prisoners. It was a very strange situation. On the one hand, there can be a great deal of control, but on the other there can be a certain amount of chaos in a situation like that.

Victims and abusers Over an eight day visit, the Amnesty International delegates met with dozens of torture survivors, relatives of activists who had been detained, and even government officials who tried to justify the abuses that were taking place.

“I remember being shown some very severe signs of torture. I was given a list of people [who had been detained] that we circulated as quickly as we could afterwards. It was all very quick because we were running around getting as much information as we could but knowing that the military was going to be coming along, pushing you, stopping you, moving you along as quickly as possible.”

“It was a mix of talking to some very brave people who were working directly with the political prisoners and talking to some of the government officials like the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice. And we were also talking to a number of the diplomats who were also doing everything they could to intervene on behalf of those who were at risk.”

The accounts they received from activists and government representatives were completely opposed.

“It was extremely depressing to meet with the entire general council of the Bar Association which was absolutely denying everything, justifying everything. And as we found out over 90% of the prisoners and prisons were under the control of the Ministries of Defence and Interior. So, what you had was a façade of justice.”

The report Roger returned to London after eight days in Chile to write one of the first reports that documented the shocking abuses taking place under Pinochet’s rule.

The document included dozens of testimonies of arbitrary detentions, torture and disappearances and sparked a global call for action. It catapulted an international campaign to help those at risk.

“Pinochet was getting a fair amount of support in the US at that time but everything in Chile was completely overwhelmed by the military who were keeping a state of siege . There was no rule of law whatsoever – it was just a façade.”

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/life-under-pinochet-i-remember-being-shown-some-very-severe-signs-torture-2013-08-14

American consumers of conservative media like Fox News distrust climate scientists and don’t believe the planet is warming

A new study published in the journal Public Understanding of Science (PDF available here) surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 Americans in 2008 and 2011 about their media consumption and beliefs about climate change.

The results suggest that conservative media consumption (specifically Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) decreases viewer trust in scientists, which in turn decreases belief that global warming is happening.  In contrast, consumption of non-conservative media (specifically ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) increases consumer trust in scientists, and in turn belief that global warming is happening.

The study also examined previous research on this issue and concluded that the conservative media creates distrust in scientists through five main methods:

1) Presenting contrarian scientists as “objective” experts while presenting mainstream scientists as self-interested or biased.

2) Denigrating scientific institutions and peer-reviewed journals.

3) Equating peer-reviewed research with a politically liberal opinion.

4) Accusing climate scientists of manipulating data to fund research projects.

5) Characterizing climate science as a religion.

Media Matters provides examples of Fox News engaging in all five of these tactics.  One prime example involves contrarian meteorologist Joe Bastardi, a frequent climate misinformation guest on Fox News who Rolling Stone awarded the #1 dumbest thing ever said about global warming for claiming that CO2 “literally” cannot cause warming because it doesn’t “mix well in the atmosphere.”

In reality we’ve known for nearly 190 years that rising CO2 causes global warming, and we know for certain it’s well-mixed throughout the atmosphere, as illustrated by measurements from around the world.

The results of this study can be compared to the PhD research done by my Skeptical Science colleague John Cook, at the University of Queensland.  Cook surveyed representative samples of Australians and Americans regarding their political ideologies and the effect of consensus on their acceptance of human-caused global warming.  After being shown evidence of the consensus on human-caused global warming, Australian acceptance of this scientific reality grew across the political spectrum, but especially among conservatives.

In the American sample, acceptance grew for most political groups, but especially among political liberals.  In the American sample, there was also a small and extremely politically conservative group who actually became more likely to reject human-caused global warming in response to evidence of the expert consensus. Cook presented his data at the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference on Climate Science Communication, shown in the video below at the 10-minute mark.

Cook’s result appears consistent with the new study published in Public Understanding of Science, which found that exposure to conservative media decreases trust in climate scientists. In short, Fox News and other conservative media outlets plant the notion that climate scientists are somehow faking evidence for human-caused global warming.  This makes viewers less trusting of climate scientists and less likely to accept that global warming is happening.

With conservatives tending to get their information from conservative media sources, this is increasing the political polarization on the subject of climate change.  However, with the real-world effects of climate change constantly becoming more difficult to deny, this is not a sustainable situation.  Eventually reality must break in, and there are signs that this is beginning to happen.

A growing number of American conservatives are demanding that the Republican Party stop denying the problem and begin participating in crafting the solution.  For example, the list of conservatives supporting a revenue-neutral carbon tax continues to grow:

51 percent of Republican votersArt Laffer, economic advisor to Ronald Reagan – Greg Mankiw, economic advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney – George Shultz, Reagan’s Secretary of State – Gary Becker, Nobel Laureate in economics – Bob Inglis, former Republican Congressman from South Carolina – A staffer for a House Republican William Ruckelshaus, EPA Administrator under Nixon and Reagan – Lee Thomas, EPA Administrator under Reagan – William Reilly, EPA Administrator under George H.W. Bush – Christine Todd Whitman, EPA Administrator under George W. Bush

The list goes on.  Moreover, 73 percent of young voters under the age of 35 associate denial of global warming with words like “ignorant,” “out-of-touch” or “crazy,” including 53 percent of young Republicans.  Climate solutions are also growing in popularity due to their real-world success, with British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax enjoying 64 percent support, and California’s carbon cap and trade system experiencing 67 percent support.

The question now is how long the Republican Party’s global warming denial and obstruction of climate solutions can last in the face of these growing numbers of Americans (including Republicans) demanding climate solutions.  Climate misinformation from Fox News and other conservative media outlets may be stemming the tide against climate denial, but the tide is rising, both literally and figuratively.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/aug/08/global-warming-denial-fox-news

Photo: Insurgent suspects are led away by US forces. Some of those held in Iraqi custody suffered appalling abuse, the war logs reveal. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.

The new logs detail how:

• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.

• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee’s apparent death.

As recently as December the Americans were passed a video apparently showing Iraqi army officers executing a prisoner in Tal Afar, northern Iraq. The log states: “The footage shows approximately 12 Iraqi army soldiers. Ten IA soldiers were talking to one another while two soldiers held the detainee. The detainee had his hands bound … The footage shows the IA soldiers moving the detainee into the street, pushing him to the ground, punching him and shooting him.”

The report named at least one perpetrator and was passed to coalition forces. But the logs reveal that the coalition has a formal policy of ignoring such allegations. They record “no investigation is necessary” and simply pass reports to the same Iraqi units implicated in the violence. By contrast all allegations involving coalition forces are subject to formal inquiries. Some cases of alleged abuse by UK and US troops are also detailed in the logs.

In two Iraqi cases postmortems revealed evidence of death by torture. On 27 August 2009 a US medical officer found “bruises and burns as well as visible injuries to the head, arm, torso, legs and neck” on the body of one man claimed by police to have killed himself. On 3 December 2008 another detainee, said by police to have died of “bad kidneys”, was found to have “evidence of some type of unknown surgical procedure on [his] abdomen“.

A Pentagon spokesman told the New York Times this week that under its procedure, when reports of Iraqi abuse were received the US military “notifies the responsible government of Iraq agency or ministry for investigation and follow-up”.

The logs also illustrate the readiness of US forces to unleash lethal force. In one chilling incident they detail how an Apache helicopter gunship gunned down two men in February 2007.

The suspected insurgents had been trying to surrender but a lawyer back at base told the pilots: “You cannot surrender to an aircraft.” The Apache, callsign Crazyhorse 18, was the same unit and helicopter based at Camp Taji outside Baghdad that later that year, in July, mistakenly killed two Reuters employees and wounded two children in the streets of Baghdad.

Iraq Body Count, the London-based group that monitors civilian casualties, says it has identified around 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths from the data contained in the leaked war logs.

Although US generals have claimed their army does not carry out body counts and British ministers still say no official statistics exist, the war logs show these claims are untrue. The field reports purport to identify all civilian and insurgent casualties, as well as numbers of coalition forces wounded and killed in action. They give a total of more than 109,000 violent deaths from all causes between 2004 and the end of 2009.

This includes 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as “enemy” and 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces. Another 3,771 dead US and allied soldiers complete the body count.

No fewer than 31,780 of these deaths are attributed to improvised roadside bombs (IEDs) planted by insurgents. The other major recorded tally is of 34,814 victims of sectarian killings, recorded as murders in the logs.

However, the US figures appear to be unreliable in respect of civilian deaths caused by their own military activities. For example, in Falluja, the site of two major urban battles in 2004, no civilian deaths are recorded. Yet Iraq Body Count monitors identified more than 1,200 civilians who died during the fighting.

Phil Shiner, human rights specialist at Public Interest Lawyers, plans to use material from the logs in court to try to force the UK to hold a public inquiry into the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians.

He also plans to sue the British government over its failure to stop the abuse and torture of detainees by Iraqi forces. The coalition’s formal policy of not investigating such allegations is “simply not permissible”, he says.

Shiner is already pursuing a series of legal actions for former detainees allegedly killed or tortured by British forces in Iraq.

WikiLeaks says it is posting online the entire set of 400,000 Iraq field reports – in defiance of the Pentagon.

The whistleblowing activists say they have deleted all names from the documents that might result in reprisals. They were accused by the US military of possibly having “blood on their hands” over the previous Afghan release by redacting too few names. But the military recently conceded that no harm had been identified.

Condemning this fresh leak, however, the Pentagon said: “This security breach could very well get our troops and those they are fighting with killed. Our enemies will mine this information looking for insights into how we operate, cultivate sources and react in combat situations, even the capability of our equipment.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-military-leaks

Photo: Nazi Members of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) marching down the Luitpoldhain with their banners at the Nuremberg Rally to mark the Sixth Nazi Party Congress on September 9, 1934. (FPG/Archive Photos/Getty)

Mad that our government lied about the NSA spying program? That’s nothing. In 1945, it lied about recruiting Nazis as spies—and the truth lay hidden for decades. By Richard Rashke

When James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June about the National Security Agency’s top-secret program to spy on U.S. citizens, he did Americans a favor. He reminded us that government officials habitually lie, then hide behind the shield of national security. They get away with their deception for years, if not decades.

One of the biggest U.S. whoppers began in May 1945, just three days after Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces. It lay buried in classified documents until the mid-1980s.

When the Allies began trying Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg in late 1945, Americans were proud of their country. What we didn’t suspect, however, was that the U.S. military-intelligence complex was simultaneously obstructing that very same justice system.

On May 10 of that year, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) sent a top-secret, 10,000-word directive to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander in chief of the Allied Forces in Western Europe. In it, the JCS ordered Eisenhower to “search out and arrest … all persons who have participated in the planning or carrying out [of] Nazi enterprises involving or resulting in atrocities or war crimes.” The JCS went on to direct Eisenhower not to grant any “special consideration” to those arrested for war crimes.

Nothing could have been clearer or tougher.

Then JCS took it all back in an 18-word sentence tacked onto the directive like an afterthought: “In your discretion, you may make such exceptions as you deem advisable for intelligence or other military reasons.” The loophole was approved by the White House and the departments of State and War. Often overlooked by historians, the JCS directive applied not only to the U.S., but to its British and French allies as well. In effect, the JCS granted the U.S., British, and French military-intelligence complexes the pick of the Nazi litter.

Therein lies the deception. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was trying Nazi war criminals by day, while America and its allies were secretly hiring them by night. Why they did so was clearly pragmatic.

A year before the war ended, Allied scientists and industrial leaders secretly gathered in London to compile a list of German and Austrian scientists whom they planned to interrogate and possibly hire. The problem was that most of them were either members of the Nazi Party, belonged to Nazi organizations, or headed Nazi-controlled projects, some of which employed slave laborers.

Nuremberg defined as war criminals those who had held important positions in Nazi-controlled industries and war-related research projects, as well as those like rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, who employed forced laborers.

How could the White House sell a program to Americans involving nearly 2,000 men who had worked for the Nazi regime?

At the same time, the Allies realized that their fellow wartime ally, the Soviet Union, would soon become their peacetime enemy. The Allies panicked. They didn’t even know the location of vital USSR factories, ammunition dumps, and military installations. And they didn’t have reliable spy rings operating in the Soviet satellite countries.

Eisenhower moved quickly to solve the spy problem for the U.S. Setting in motion a schizophrenic policy, he ordered the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) to find, investigate, and hand over suspected Nazi war criminals to Nuremberg for prosecution. At the same time, he commissioned the CIC to hire the most promising. The CIC recruitment program, codenamed Operation Daisy, is still classified.

The employment of German and Austrian scientists in America (Project Paperclip) presented President Harry Truman with a public relations headache. How could the White House sell a program to Americans involving nearly 2,000 men who had worked for the Nazi regime? The solution was simple. Tell another lie.

In August 1946, the Department of State submitted to President Truman for his approval a policy statement titled “Interim exploitation of German and Austrian specialists in the United States.” Adopted by the White House, the 200-word statement contained one sentence dealing with Nazis: “The War Department should be responsible … for excluding from the program persons with Nazi or militaristic records.”

By abdicating to the military, the White House and Department of State distanced themselves from future allegations that they had welcomed Nazi war criminals to America. “Don’t blame us,” they could later argue. “Blame the military for disobeying our clear policy.”

The subsequent chain of events shows that the White House policy was a faux policy. The government knowingly allowed the military-intelligence complex to repeatedly disregard its directive. But in order to bring Nazi war criminals and collaborators into the country, the military-intelligence complex had to circumvent strict regulations that made them ineligible for U.S. visas. According to recently declassified documents, which I reviewed while researching my book, Useful Enemies, the military-intelligence complex encouraged its hires to lie on their visa applications about their wartime activities, created false biographies for them, and hid behind the archetypal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/02/america-s-secret-government-program-to-hire-nazi-war-criminals.html

I have argued that what has just happened in Egypt is a bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, conducted by a military junta responsible for a coup that is not a coup, under the guise of an Egyptian “war on terror”. Yet this newspeak gambit – which easily could have been written at the White House – is just part of the picture.

Amid a thick fog of spin and competing agendas, a startling fact stands out. A poll only 10 days ago by the Egyptian Center for Media Studies and Public Opinion had already shown that 69% were against the July 3 military coup orchestrated by the Pinochet-esque Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

So the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath cannot possibly be considered legitimate – unless for a privileged coterie of Mubarakists (the so-called fulool), a bunch of corrupt oligarchs and the military-controlled Egyptian “deep state”.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government led by Mohamed Morsi may have been utterly incompetent – trying to rewrite the Egyptian constitution; inciting hardcore fundamentalists; and bowing in debasement in front of the International Monetary Fund. But it should not be forgotten this was coupled with permanent, all-out sabotage by the “deep state”.

It’s true that Egypt was – and remains – on the brink of total economic collapse; the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath only followed a change in the signature on the checks, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia (and the United Arab Emirates). As Spengler has demonstrated on this site (see Islam’s civil war moves to Egypt, Asia Times Online, July 8, 2013), Egypt will remain a banana republic without the bananas and dependent on foreigners to eat any. The economic disaster won’t go away – not to mention the MB’s cosmic resentment.

The winners, as it stands, are the House of Saud/Israel/Pentagon axis. How did they pull it off?

When in doubt, call Bandar

In theory, Washington had been in (relative) control of both the MB and Sisi’s Army. So on the surface this is a win-win situation. Essentially, Washington hawks are pro-Sisi’s Army, while “liberal imperialists” are pro-MB; the perfect cover, because the MB is Islamic, indigenous, populist, economically neoliberal, it wants to work with the International Monetary Fund, and has not threatened Israel.

The MB was not exactly a problem for either Washington and Tel Aviv; after all ambitious ally Qatar was there as a go-between. Qatar’s foreign policy, as everyone knows, boils down to cheerleading the MB everywhere.

So Morsi must have crossed a pretty serious red line. It could have been his call for Sunni Egyptians to join a jihad against the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria (although that’s formally in tune with Barack Obama’s “Assad must go” policy). Arguably, it was his push to install some sort of jihadi paradise from the Sinai all the way to Gaza. The Sinai, for all practical purposes, is run by Israel. So that points to a green light for the coup from both the Pentagon and Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv is totally at ease with Sisi’s Army and the flush Saudi supporters of the military junta. The only thing that matters to Israel is that Sisi’s Army will uphold the Camp David agreements. The MB, on the other hand, might entertain other ideas in the near future.

For the House of Saud, though, this was never a win-win situation. The MB in power in Egypt was anathema. In this fateful triangle – Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh – what remains to be established is who was been the most cunning in the wag the dog department.

That’s where the Incredibly Disappearing Qatar act fits in. The rise and (sudden) fall of Qatar from the foreign policy limelight is strictly linked to the current leadership vacuum in the heart of the Pentagon’s self-defined “arc of instability”. Qatar was, at best, an extra in a blockbuster – considering the yo-yo drifts of the Obama administration and that Russia and China are just playing a waiting game.

Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, the emir who ended up deposing himself, clearly overreached not only in Syria but also in Iraq; he was financing not only MB outfits but also hardcore jihadis across the desert. There’s no conclusive proof because no one in either Doha or Washington is talking, but the emir was certainly “invited” to depose himself. And not by accident the Syrian “rebel” racket was entirely taken over by the House of Saud, via the spectacularly resurfaced Bandar Bush, aka Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

So the winners once again were the Saudis – as the Obama administration was calculating that both the MB and the al-Qaeda nebulae would then fade into oblivion in Syria. That remains to be seen; it’s possible that Egypt from now on may attract a lot of jihadis from Syria. Still, they would remain in MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa).

As for Sisi, he was clever enough to seize the “terror” theme and pre-emptively equate MB with al-Qaeda in Egypt, thus setting the scene for the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath. The bottom line is that a case can be made that the Obama administration has in fact subcontracted most of its Middle East policy to the House of Saud.

Pick your axis

Only two days before the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey was in Israel getting cozy with General Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing the proverbial “threats that could emanate out of the region – globally and to the homeland – and how we can continue to work together to make both of our countries more secure”. It’s unthinkable they did not discuss how they would profit from the imminent bloodbath that is not a bloodbath.

At the same time, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon bombastically announced a new “axis of evil”; Iran, Syria and Lebanon. That implies Tehran, Damascus and, significantly, Beirut as a whole (not only the predominantly Shi’ite southern suburbs). Ya’alon explicitly told Dempsey it was “forbidden” for them to win the civil war in Syria.

Considering that the Central Intelligence Agency itself has deemed the civil war in Syria as a “top threat” to US national security in case al-Qaeda-style outfits and copycats take over in an eventual post-Assad situation; and at the same time Washington is extremely reluctant to stop “leading from behind”, a case can be made that Israel may be entertaining another invasion of Lebanon. An always alert Sheikh Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, has already been talking about the possibility.

Then Dempsey went to Jordan – which already holds around 1,000 US troops, F-16s with crews, and an array of Patriot missiles. The spin is that the Pentagon is helping Amman with “border control techniques” as in one of those favorite Pentagon acronyms, ISR (“intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance”).

That’s just spin. Most of all Dempsey went to survey the progress of the recent batch of anti-tank missiles, bought by – who else – the Saudis and supplied by the CIA, via Jordan, to (in theory) selected “good rebels” in southern Syria. Those “rebels”, by the way, were trained by US Special Forces inside Jordan. Obviously Damascus will be preparing a counterpunch to this offensive by the American/Saudi/Jordanian axis.

Pick your evil

There’s hardly any “American credibility” left in the Middle East – apart from puppet entities like Jordan and selected elites in the feudal Gulf, that “democratic” realm of corruption, mercenaries and imported proletariats treated like cattle.

It hardly helps that US Secretary of State John Kerry has recommended Robert Ford, the former US ambassador to Syria, as the next US ambassador to Egypt.

Perception is everything. Informed opinion all across the Middle East immediately identifies Ford as a creepy death squad facilitator. His CV prior to Syria – where he legitimized the “rebels” – is matchless; sidekick to sinister John Negroponte promoting the “Salvador Option” in Iraq in 2004. The “Salvador Option” is code for US-sponsored death squads, a tactic first applied in El Salvador (by Negroponte) in the 1980s (causing at least 75,000 deaths) but with deep origins in Latin America in the late 1960s throughout the 1970s.

Sisi will keep playing his game according to his own master plan – bolstering the narrative myth that the Egyptian army defends the nation and its institutions when in fact defending its immense socio-economic privileges. Forget about civilian oversight. And forget about any possible independent political party – or movement – in Egypt.

As for Washington, MB or “deep state”, even a civil war in Egypt – Arabs killing Arabs, divide and rule ad infinitum – that’s fine, as long as there is no threat to Israel.

With Israel possibly mulling another invasion of Lebanon; the Kerry “peace process” an excuse for more settlements in Palestine; Bandar Bush back practicing the dark arts; the pre-empting of any possible solution to the Iranian nuclear dossier; Egypt in civil war; Syria and also Iraq bleeding to death, what’s left is the certified proliferation of all kinds of axes, and all kinds of evil.

———————

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-04-160813.html