Part 1 here,
Part 2 here
Part 3 here
Stephen F Cohen at TheNation
‘Words Are Also Deeds’: Unverified Stories and the Growing Risk of War With Russia
The US narratives for which there are as of yet no facts could lead to direct military conflict between Washington and Moscow.
.....The Russian adage “words are also deeds” is proving true, it seems. Trump’s missile attack on Russia’s ally Syria, despite its ramifying dangers, may have had a domestic political purpose—to debunk the narrative that is crippling his presidency, that he is somehow “Putin’s puppet.” If so, Cohen adds, the American mainstream media, which has promoted this narrative for months, is deeply complicit. Meanwhile, the Kremlin, which watches closely as these narratives unfold politically in Washington, has become deeply alarmed, resorting to its own fraught words. The No. 2 leader, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, declared that US-Russian relations have been “ruined,” a statement Cohen does not recall any previous Soviet or post-Soviet leader ever having made. Medvedev added that the two nuclear superpowers are at “the brink” of war. Considering that Medvedev is regarded as the leading pro-Western figure in Putin’s inner circle, imagine what the other side—state patriots, or nationalists, as they are called—is telling Putin. Still more, the Kremlin is saying that Trump’s missile attack on Syria crossed Russia’s “red lines,” with all the warfare implications that term has in Washington as well. And flatly declaring the mysterious use of chemical weapons in Syria a “provocation,” Putin himself warned that forces in Washington were planning more such “provocations” and military strikes. In short, while the Kremlin does not want and will not start a war with the United States, it is preparing for the possibility.
Cohen and Batchelor ended their broadcast as Trump’s new secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had just arrived in Moscow, before his talks with .......
Ines San Martin at CruxNow
Syrian nun honored by U.S. says Assad is ‘not a dictator’
Salesian Sister Carolin Tahhan Fachakh, from Syria, told reporters she doubts Syrian president ordered a chemical attack against civilians, and called the decision from the Trump administration to bomb an air base a "step back from peace." On March 29 she received the International Woman of Courage Award from first lady Melania Trump....
Jason Ditz at Antiwar
US Sending Troops to Somalia; First Time In 24 Years
In October 1993, during the Battle of Mogadishu (the Black Hawk Down incident), 18 US soldiers were killed and 73 wounded, with a pair of Black Hawk helicopters shot down. The US responded by ceasing military operations, and within a few months had withdrawn all troops from Somalia. Today, they are headed back.
The new deployment, which US African Command (AFRICOM) is presented as a simple training operation, will be the first time US ground troops are officially deployed to Somalia, though of course the US has had some special forces present on the ground on and off, conducting occasional operations and spotting for US airstrikes.
AFRICOM also insists the new deployment was at the request of the Somali government, though indications in recent weeks has indicated that military officials have been pushing for an escalation of US intervention in the country at any rate, aimed at fighting al-Shabaab...
John Rohn Hall at DissidentVoice
Pipelines, Tomahawks, and The Syrian Gulf of Tonkin
Right off the bat, you may have realized that The Gulf of Tonkin is nowhere near Syria. But if you’re familiar with The Gulf of Tonkin Incident from 1964, in which the American public was duped by its government into believing that its Navy was fired upon by North Vietnam forces – a lie which resulted in the deaths of 58,000+ U.S. Military Boys, and several untold, uncounted, superfluous millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians – you too may be doubting the official U.S. Government/MSM story about a recent sarin gas war crime, which allegedly took place in Syria. The built-in lie-detector in the pit of my stomach has been flying off the charts, as Lester Holt and his multi-network cadres in lies and deceit carefully recite the C.I.A.-issued song and dance, nightly, in four part harmony, each wearing his best ‘serious’ face, and with feeling: “The attack on Syrian civilians in Idlib was carried out by the Assad Regime and Russia.”…or words to that effect. Over and over and over and over again, ad infinitum, to the extent that it begins to interfere with all the important stuff: Namely sports, car thefts, kidnappings, and more localized murders Did I mention that no proof is ever offered?
And now Don Trump tells invites “all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed” in Syria. Pretty funny stuff, Don, considering the U.S.A. NEVER intervenes in the affairs of other countries for “humanitarian” reasons. When the Tomahawk Missiles are flying, they are not following a trail of blood and death nor truth and justice…their path follows the money. Syria; nothing but a thimbleful of semen in the 20-year-old wet-dreams of Cheney and his gang of thieves and thugs at The Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Far from being fired to end the slaughter and bloodshed, U.S. Tomahawk Missiles are out to complete the transformation of Syria into a pile of death and debris. Like Afghanistan, like Iraq, and like Libya. Wars are no longer waged with winning in mind. If you break it, you own it…and the U.S. Military’s goal is to break Syria and gain control of its strategic location, its oil, and its gas. To own it, my friends.....
#cdnpoli #tcot #TOpoli Almost all Engdahl said about Trump has so far come to pass, so this can't be pooh-poohed. https://t.co/FOgIiB5ZD6— MariaS Nunes (@Dodocanspell) April 16, 2017
Jonathan Marshall at ConsortiumNews
The Trump administration’s growing use of military force in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen
has neoconservative hawks rooting for armed confrontation with what they view as the root of all evil in the Middle East: Iran.
Many of these armchair warriors recently cheered President Trump’s decision to take on the Assad regime — and Moscow — by firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missile at a Syrian air base alleged to be the source of a chemical weapons attack. But they urged him to do more.
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol tweeted, “Punishing Assad for use of chemical weapons is good. Regime change in Iran is the prize.”
Kristol co-founded the infamous Project on the New American Century in 1997 to promote American “global hegemony” and “challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values.” It began lobbying for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as early as 1998, but always kept Iran in its sights as well.
With Saddam dead and Syria’s Assad stripped of much of his power, Iran is now at the center of neocon crosshairs. Kristol linked his recent tweet to a Washington Post column by two stalwart advocates of ousting the mullahs in Tehran: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh.
Titled “How Trump Can Help Cripple the Iranian Regime,” their article called for putting the nuclear arms deal with Iran at risk in order to “stoke the volcano under Tehran and to challenge the regime.” The centerpiece of their bizarre argument was that the Iranian people would gratefully welcome the United States imposing “crippling sanctions” to destroy their economy in the name of “human rights.”
The authors were vague as to the details, but suggested that Iran’s ruling clerics would quickly succumb to a “popular rebellion” by “Iranian dissidents,” particularly if the United States sent “more American troops [to] both Syria and Iraq” to reinforce its message.........
From Real News network
Daniel Larison at AmericanConservative
The Disgusting U.S. Support for the War on Yemen
The Pentagon is pushing for increased U.S. support for an attack on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah, despite the fact that this would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the country and hasten the onset of famine:
During the meeting on Thursday, convened at the request of aid agencies, a Pentagon official tried to ease those concerns by floating the possibility that the operation could be “clean” and result in the Saudis taking full control of the port in “four to six weeks.”
But aid groups view that forecast as wildly optimistic and fear the Pentagon is attempting to understate the complexity of the mission in order to win support for it inside the Trump administration.
It’s unclear where that four-to-six–week figure came from. One senior Pentagon official who wasn’t present at the meeting told BuzzFeed News that such expectations were unrealistic — and that retaking the port “could take months.” [bold mine-DL]
The Saudi-led coalition has already brought Yemen to the brink of famine, and according to the World Food Program there is famine in some parts of the country right now. The U.S. has aided and abetted the coalition in wrecking and starving Yemen for over two years, and helping them with this proposed assault would compound the error of supporting the intervention in the most destructive way at the worst possible moment. Aiding an attack on the port would be tantamount to being an accomplice in causing the massive loss of life that would result from an even more severe disruption of aid and food deliveries. Many thousands of innocent civilians would perish as a direct result of the proposed attack, and that isn’t even counting the civilians that would be killed by coalition bombs and shelling in the operation itself. Helping the coalition launch this attack would represent a cruel escalation of U.S. backing for an indefensible war, and doing this would advance no U.S. interests while more deeply implicating our government in the heinous crimes of the coalition.
The danger is that the Trump administration seems much more willing to indulge the Saudis and their allies in their Yemen campaign:.........