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Philip Giraldi

Never Let A Good Crisis Go to Waste

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It is astonishing how many observers of war in Ukraine who should know better have been inclined to take at face value the assertions of “sources” that clearly originate among the various governments that are involved in the conflict. Those leaders who are engaged in the inexorable march by the US and its allies to turn the Ukraine crisis into World War 3 surely have learned the lesson that managing the narrative of what is taking place is the greatest weapon that the war hawks have in their possession. One recalls how post-9/11 and leading up to the Iraq War the George W. Bush White House and the neocons in the Pentagon lied about nearly everything to convince the public that Saddam Hussein was a terrorist supporting megalomaniac armed with weapons of mass destruction, inevitably describing him as a man in some ways comparable to Adolf Hitler. Nevertheless, many observers of what was occurring were not fooled and there were large scale demonstrations in a number of cities prior to the invasion in March 2003, which, of course, were rarely reported in the mainstream media in order to control the message.

Iraq in some ways was a learning experience for those in government and also for those in the media who did the heavy lifting by propagating the deception to a largely unsuspecting public. What we are seeing now relating to Ukraine and Russia, however, makes the Iraq experience look like child’s play in terms of the sheer audacity of the alleged information that makes it, or does not make it, into the news. I note particularly the recent terrorist car bombing of Russian activist journalist Darya Dugina by a Ukrainian assassin made the news for roughly forty-eight hours before disappearing, but not before the lie that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was responsible was firmly planted in a number of places in the mainstream media.
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Dancing with the Politicians

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If the non-stop dancing duo Biden and Blinken is seriously seeking to validate its view that the United States of America is and should be the world’s hegemon, they are going about it the wrong way. They should be taking their lead from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky by turning their press conferences into entertainments with dancing bears and scantily clad chanteuses pirouetting and singing across the stage. They would benefit from recalling how Zelensky rose to power through his performances of comedy routines in which he would be prancing around on high heels with three colleagues who appeared to be mocking what might be construed as gay mannerisms to amuse the audience? Or perhaps the rather more outreperformance where Zelensky would play a piano with his penis

If one can remember all that it would most definitely help to understand the foreign policy that is somehow playing out in Ukraine, where Zelensky has transitioned into a serious, unsmiling guy who is adept at solicitations for money and weapons. His pleading has become a shameless full-time endeavor as he now appears on thousands of screens via video link all over the world, saturating the airwaves and dropping in on both major and minor gatherings. 

Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone recalls how he has appeared on “the Grammy Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, the World Economic Forum and probably the Bilderberg group as well, [while also] having meetings with celebrities like Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, and Bono and the Edge from U2. It’s as busy a PR tour as he could possibly have without having a discussion about the strategic importance of long-range artillery with Elmo on Sesame Street.”
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Producing New Enemies for No Reason Whatsoever

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A good friend of mine, learning of the impending visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, recalled Homer’s description of Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the towers of Ilium.” Well, Nancy ain’t no Helen of Troy, but she might nevertheless be in the business of launching warships and burning cities due to her bizarre interpretation of her foreign policy prerogatives as Speaker.

It is like watching a train wreck developing in slow motion. Witnessing the highly dangerous behavior of the Biden Administration and its acolytes in power like Pelosi, one feels compelled to ask whether the White House and Congress are now setting the stage for the elevation of China to the status of foreign enemy number one? Indeed, if one has been hanging around Washington for the past twenty-five years or so, it was hard to miss the often-surfaced bipartisan contention that China is America’s major over-the-horizon adversary, or even enemy, with its growing economy, its successful geopolitics, and its huge industrious population. I can still recall my shock at hearing Democratic Senator Jim Webb, an honorable and highly intelligent Iraq War critic, telling a conservative gathering in 2015 that the real future threat to the United States would be coming from China.

Fear of China, sometimes dubbed in racist language as the “Yellow Peril,” has a long tradition in the United States and in Europe. In the current context, the US government is certainly apprehensive about where the increasing rapprochement between China and Russia is going, summed up by Secretary of State Tony Blinken as “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” Ironically enough, that development stems from the inept US diplomacy exemplified by Blinken’s tunnel vision that most recently allowed a negotiable crisis to develop into a full-fledged war over Ukraine.
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Policing the World Is a Full-Time Job

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Every leader and top official now in power in the so-called Western World seems to have forgotten that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949 as an alliance that was ostensibly defensive in nature, intended to counter the expansion of Soviet style communism in Europe. That role continued to be the raison d’etre of the organization until communist governments themselves collapsed in both Russia and in the Eastern European states that collectively made up the Warsaw Pact during the 1990s. After that point, NATO no longer had any reason to exist at all as the alleged military threat posed by the Kremlin and its allies vanished virtually overnight.

But clever politicians were quick to put the alliance on life support instead of simply dismantling it. Lacking the threat posed by the Warsaw Pact, NATO was forced to come up with other reasons to maintain military forces at levels that could quickly be enhanced and placed on a wartime footing. Washington and London took the lead in this, citing the now shopworn defense of a “rules based international order” as well as of “democracy” and “freedom.” And fortunately for the national defense industries and the generals, it soon proved possible to find new enemies that provided justification for additional military spending. The first major engagement outside the obligations defined by the original treaty took place in Europe to be sure, but it was in the Balkans where of NATO during the 1995 Operation Deliberate Force. The war ended after the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Paris on December 14th 1995. Peace negotiations were finalized a week later but fighting resumed between Kosovo and Serbia in the following year, which led to another NATO intervention that eventually ended with the restoration of Kosovo’s autonomy and the deployment of NATO forces, which bombed the Serbs to compel their compliance with a draft cease fire agreement.

NATO also played a role improbably enough in the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which was justified by claiming that an Afghanistan free to set its own course would become a hotbed of terrorism which would inevitably impact on the United States and Europe. It was a paper-thin argument, but it was the best they could come up with at the time and it also eventually involved soldiers from additional friendly countries like Australia. As we have subsequently seen, however, it was all an argument without merit as Afghanistan became a money pit and a graveyard for thousands of locals and foreign soldiers. It is now again in the hands of the Taliban after a bungled withdrawal of US forces and the collapse of the puppet government in Kabul that Washington had installed.
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The All-American Lie Factory

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There are some things that I believe to be true about the anarchy that purports to be US foreign policy. First, and most important, I do not believe that any voter cast a ballot for Joe Biden because he or she wanted him to relentlessly pursue a needless conflict with Russia that could easily escalate into a nuclear war with unimaginable consequences for all parties. Biden has recently declared that the US will support Ukraine “until we win” and, as there are already tens of billions of dollars of weapons going to Ukraine plus American “advisers” on the ground, it constitutes a scenario in which American and Russian soldiers will soon likely be shooting at each other. The President of Serbia and columnists like Pat Buchanan and Tulsi Gabbard believe that we are already de facto in World War 3 and one has to wonder how the White House is getting away with ignoring the War Powers mandates in the US Constitution.

Second, I believe that the Russians approached the United States and its allies with some quite reasonable requests regarding their own national security given that a hostile military alliance was about to land on its doorsteps. The issues at stake were fully negotiable but the US refused to budge on anything and Russia felt compelled to take military action. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a good war. I categorically reject anyone invading anyone else unless there is a dire and immediate threat, but the onus on how the Ukraine situation developed the way it did is on Washington.

Third, I believe that the US and British governments in particularly have been relentlessly lying to the people and that the media in most of west is party to the dissemination of the lies to sustain the war effort against Russia in Ukraine. The lies include both the genesis and progress of the war and there has also been a sustained effort to demonize President Vladimir Putin and anything Russian, including food, drinks, the Russian language and culture and even professional athletes. The latest victim is a Tchaikovsky symphony banned in Canada.
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Joe Biden’s Secret War in Ukraine

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The White House keeps insisting that it will not directly involve American soldiers in the war in Ukraine, but it keeps taking steps that will inevitably lead to a large-scale open combat role for the US against Russia. Among the most recent moves to increase the pressure on the Kremlin, Biden revealed at a NATO summit meeting in Madrid on June 29th that the US will establish a permanent headquarters in Poland for the Fifth Army Corps, maintain an additional rotational brigade of thousands of troops in Romania and bolster other deployments in the Baltic states. Also, the number of US troops in Europe, currently approaching 100,000, will be increased. Biden also was pleased to learn that Turkey had been enticed to drop its objection to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

On the way to the NATO summit aboard Air Force One, Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan advised that “By the end of the summit what you will see is a more robust, more effective, more combat credible, more capable and more determined force posture to take account of a more acute and aggravated Russian threat.” Presumably Sullivan was reading from a prepared script, but the objective surely seemed to be to heighten tension with Moscow rather than attempt to reduce it and come to some kind of diplomatic settlement.
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Crime and Punishment

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Quite likely a majority of Americans would agree that it is wrong for the government or police to torture someone, though some would surely accept the “ticking time bomb” exemption, where a detainee is withholding information that could save many lives. It is in fact illegal to torture someone as well as it being morally wrong. Indeed, it could constitute a crime against humanity or a war crime depending on circumstances. The United States, which has signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture and is bound by it, has thereby accepted legal sanctions to back up the view that torture is never permissible. 

Under US law, torture committed by “government officials and their collaborators upon a person restrained by the government is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, and its fruits are inadmissible in all courts.” Given that background, one is astonished to learn that some in the government have not taken the obligation seriously. To be sure, the US has been quick to react when lower ranking officials, contractors and ordinary soldiers have reportedly been involved in torturing prisoners, as occurred with Abu Ghraib prior to 2004, but the higher one goes up the ladder of power the less do laws apply to even the most egregious misbehavior.

It has long been known that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in the wake of 9/11, resorted to torture in its overseas “black” prisons, but details of what took place and anything that would stand up in court as evidence has been difficult to discern as it has been easy for the Agency to shroud its more nefarious deeds through claims of protecting “states secrets.” But now some more details have emerged. The news that former Donald Trump appointed CIA Director Gina Haspel during her tour overseeing a prison in Thailand in 2002 personally observed at least one terrorist suspect being tortured by waterboarding, which simulates being drowned repeatedly until a confession is obtained. Waterboarding was used by the Japanese on prisoners of war in the Second World War and was subsequently considered to be torture, a war crime.
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Explain It to Me, Please

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So Honest Joe Biden is now going to give another $1.2 billion to the Ukrainians on top of the sixty or so billion that is already in the pipeline, but who’s counting, particularly as Congress refused to approve having an inspector general to monitor whose pockets will be lined. The money will be printed up without any collateral or “borrowed” and the American taxpayer will somehow have to bear the burden of this latest folly that is ipso facto driving much of the world into recession. And it will no doubt be blamed on Vladimir Putin, a process that is already well under way from president mumbles. But you have to wonder why no one has told Joe that the whole exercise in pushing much of the world towards a catastrophic war is a fool’s errand. But then again, the clowns that the president has surrounded himself with might not be very big on speaking the truth even if they know what that means.

Having followed the Ukraine problem since the United States and its poodles refused to negotiate seriously with Vladimir Putin in the real world, I have had to wonder what is wrong with Washington. We have had the ignorant and impulsive Donald Trump supported by a cast of characters that included the mentally unstable Mike Pompeo and John Bolton followed by Biden with the usual bunch of Democratic Party rejects. By that I mean deep thinkers about social issues who would not be able to run a hot dog stand if that were what they were forced to do to make a living. But they are real good at shouting “freedom” and “democracy” whenever questioned concerning their motives.

Indeed, opinion polls suggest that there is a great deal of unrest among middle and working class Americans who see a reversion to Jimmy Carter era financial instability, at that time caused by the oil embargo. Well, there is a new energy embargo in place brought about by the Biden Administration’s desire to wage proxy war to “weaken” Russia.
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Biden Rocks the Middle East

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That dwindling band of observers that continues to express concern over the catastrophe that constitutes United States foreign policy under President Joe Biden have come to realize how the Ukraine situation is being used as cover for interventions and other similar mischief in other parts of the world. Recent reporting, for example, reveals that the Biden Administration has decided “to reestablish a persistent US military presence in Somalia to enable a more effective fight against al-Shabaab” in spite of the fact that “there is absolutely no constitutional authority for President Biden to send troops into Somalia or drop bombs on Somalia.” Nor does al-Shabaab represent a threat to Americans or American interests.

To be sure, the emphasis on Ukraine has a certain cogency as it is particularly dangerous and could lead to nuclear devastation in a situation where intervention by the United States was not only unwarranted but also unresponsive to any actual national interest of threat. And escalate it will if the White House continues on its current path. Ukrainian government sources are now stating that the United States is preparing to destroy the Russian Black Sea fleet to end the blockade of Ukraine’s ports. The commander of US forces in Europe General Christopher Cavoli seems to be confirming that report when he refers to the preparation of “military options” to help export Ukrainian grain.

One might suggest that such a move could just be enough to start World War III and World War III would almost certainly turn nuclear very quickly. Some might consider that taking a deliberate step that would inevitably escalate into destruction of the entire planet as we know it just might be a foreign policy mistake on the part of the President Joe Biden Administration but I’m sure the chairborne warriors down at Foggy Bottom would disagree, pointing out that nothing would make old Vladimir Putin run and hide faster than a barrage of harpoon missiles imbibed with his breakfast tea.
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Biden Administration’s Ministry of Truth Stumbles

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Finally some good news – maybe! The Department of Homeland Security’s recently launched Disinformation Governance Board has gone into what has been described as the “pause” mode and its controversial Director Nina Jankowicz has resigned, citing “vile personal attacks and physical threats.” Its status will reportedly be reviewed over the next 75 days and it will likely be rolled out more quietly next time around and under a different name.

The Board was developed to counter what was held to be unfair criticism of policies being promoted by the government. Ironically, however, it has recently become clear that the White House itself has been doing much of the lying. It uses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other government agencies to spread false information, referred to as disinformation, to dupe the public into believing that there is something good and noble about America becoming heavily involved in the war in Ukraine, with all that entails. And, of course, since the evildoers must be excoriated as that drama is playing out, good old Russia fits in admirably, particularly as the Democrats still like to pretend that it was Moscow’s interference that defeated Hillary in 2016.

A lie is a lie, but it is the ultimate irony when a government that is caught lying on a regular basis sets up an inquisition that seeks to identify and take action against ordinary citizens who are accused of spreading “disinformation.” Of course, critics on the right immediately discerned that the disinformation will consist of anything that challenges the official government line on various issues, up to including pandemics, white supremacist domestic terrorism, aborting unwanted babies, and even the march to war. Although the inept President Joe Biden Administration can rightly be accused of elevating deceit to a steady diet of malapropisms, one can trace the rise of egregious lying by heads of state to the Gulf of Tonkin incident and, more recently, to the criminal deceptions carried out by the George W. Bush Administration. Those lies led to the invasion of Iraq, which cost trillions of dollars, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans, and which is still producing unrest in the region.
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