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We are all 9/11 victims now

Millions the world over have suffered from the wars, terrorism and curtailment of liberty that have formed central elements of American foreign and domestic policy since 9/11. One Belt–One Road which was launched in 2013, by contrast, offers the world an escape route from the ominous cloud of post-9/11 American hegemony.

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September the 11th, 2001 was a dark day for the United States and since then, this darkness has enveloped the world like an ominous cloud, leaving behind it a seemingly perpetual trail of blood that shows no signs of abating.

Like previous American tragedies, most notably the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy, few Americans or indeed individuals in the wider world still believe the official state narrative about what happened on 9/11. The precedent set by the discredited Warren Commission Report on JFK’s demise, indicates that those seeking answers and justice in respect of 9/11 may have to wait all too long before getting the answers they deserve.

What is clear however, is that the aftermath of the events of 9/11, continues to haunt the world.

On 9/11, even in corners of the world that were generally opposed to American hegemonic power, there were generally outpourings of sympathy for the victims of a horrific event.  This included sympathy from Russia, a country which subsequently erected a large memorial to the 9/11 victims which still stands in New York, but which receives almost no recognition in the media.The demonization of Russia in the US media in the years following 9/11 does not accurately reflect Russia’s steadfast solidarity that Russia showed the United States after 9/11.

While 9/11 could have been an isolated tragedy used to create a more united definition of terrorism by responsible world powers, it instead became the consummate excuse for the United States to wage illegal, deadly and counterproductive war abroad while strangling the individual liberties of Americans in the land of their birth.

Illegal NATO War on Yugoslavia 

In many ways, the US response to 9/11 was all too foreseeable. In this sense the concept of ‘9/11’ did not begin in 2001 but on the 23rd of March 1999. On that day, NATO launched unilateral,illegal airstrikes on Yugoslavia. In the process of the illegal war, the US destroyed civilian homes, civilians as they drove in their cities, hospitals, orphanages, a civilian television station and the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. It was a brazen act of criminality in which US General Wesley Clarke ordered his troops to fire on Russian peacekeepers at Pristina Airport. It was only a refusal of a UK General to execute the order that prevented what could have been a war between Russia and the United States.

NATO’s destruction of civilian targets in Belgrade

Adding insult to supreme injury, the US actions in Yugoslavia were fought on behalf of the terrorist group KLA, an organisation which fostered radical Sunni supremacist ideology and a group whose puppet regime in occupied Kosovo and Metohija, now includes a stead stream of ISIS fighters in their most concentrated numbers anywhere in Europe.

It was in 1999, that the then British Prime Minister Anthony Blair articulated a new doctrine of warfare during a lengthy speech in Chicago, a doctrine which retrospectively ought to be called the ‘9/11 doctrine’. Blair who in many ways masterminded the war on Yugoslavia, articulated a belief that western countries were in a unique, virtually divine position to make war abroad in order to push a unilateral agenda which western leaders tended to self-define as universally moral.

‘9/11 doctrine’ author Anthony Blair, former British Prime Minister

Before George W. Bush was even an internationally household name, Anthony Blair had declared 9/11 over the embers of a smouldering Yugoslavia.

Afghanistan

Shortly after 9/11, George W. Bush ordered the bombing of Afghanistan in order to remove the Taliban from power, who had ruled the South Asian country since 1996. This was the beginning of the longest war in American history, one which continues to rage and one in which the Taliban are widely perceived as the faction likely to ultimately win, even 16 years after Bush’s original seemingly temporary regime change war against them.

A US Marine stands in Afghanistan, the only war in US history in which both fathers and sons will soon see combat action in the same war.

The irony that the US funded Mujaheddin war against Afghanistan and its Soviet ally in the 1980s, helped bring the Taliban to power was an irony of history seemingly lost on many in the US after 9/11.

While the Taliban were certainly far from an angelic group, they objectively had nothing to do with 9/11 and nor did any Afghan. Furthermore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban regime) offered to effectively hand al-Qaeda elements living in Afghanistan over, so that their culpability in 9/11 could be explored in a court of law.

Alexander Mercouris recently wrote the following in The Duran,

“In 2001 the great majority of Taliban commanders, and the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan’s Muslim clergy, were appalled at the way Al-Qaeda deceived them and abused their hospitality by using Afghanistan without their knowledge or permission as a base from which to launch terrorist attacks against the US.

Afghanistan’s Muslim clergy – the ulema – asked Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan immediately, and there is no doubt that that was what most Taliban commanders also wanted.  Several of them actually contacted the US via Pakistan and told the US as much.

The Taliban’s leader – Mullah Mohammed Omar – was reluctant to hand Osama bin Laden over to the US,  Osama being Omar’s personal friend, and Omar being influenced by Osama’s personal assurances that he had not been involved in the 9/11 attacks.

However under intense pressure from his commanders and from Afghanistan’s Muslim clergy Omar eventually relented and made it known that he would accept the ‘guidance’ of the ulema, with the caveat that Osama should leave Afghanistan ‘voluntarily’ ‘of his own accord’ for trial before an Islamic court in some other Muslim country.

Given a little patience the deal that could have been done is plain to see.

Osama and his followers would have had no option but to leave Afghanistan ‘voluntarily’ if Omar and the Taliban had withdrawn their protection and told them it was their ‘wish’ to see them go.

As soon as Osama and his followers left Afghanistan they would have been arrested by the authorities of whatever Muslim country they had gone to.  In 2001 that would undoubtedly have been Pakistan.

Since Osama and his followers would in effect have been publicly expelled from Afghanistan there would have been no question of them going to ground or entering Pakistan in secret.  On the contrary their transfer from Afghanistan to Pakistan would undoubtedly have been negotiated by the Taliban and the Pakistani authorities”.

Instead Afghanistan went from an effective hermit state into a perpetually failed state which it remains to this day.

But the war on Afghanistan was merely a prelude to something even bigger, something the American leaders were already planning prior to the war on Afghanistan.

The War on Iraq 

The United States was once a steadfast ally of Saddam Hussein, even though prior to that time, Iraq had generally been close to the Soviet Union. During the 1980s, the United States and her allies handsomely armed Saddam Hussein and encouraged Iraq’s war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988 and in 1990, it was the US and its other allies who invaded Iraq.

While the Iraqi President was not removed after 1990, Iraq was subject to crippling sanctions during the 1990s and yet another US bombing campaign in 1998.

But it was in 2003 that the US compiled the most absurd list of false claims against Iraq and its President which paved the war for the most infamous 9/11 war to date.

The following false claims were made about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq by the US and UK in 2003.

George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell lies to the UN Security Council about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction

–Iraq was responsible for 9/11

This was an abject falsehood. Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’athist regime was a sworn enemy of both Sunni terrorists like al-Qaeda and theocratic Shi’a governments like that of Revolutionary Iran. Since 1966, Iraq and Syria were effectively enemies after a split in the Ba’athist leadership.

–Iraq specially harboured al-Qaeda 

There was not a single al-Qaeda element in Iraq prior to 2003, but there have been many in Iraq since and there still are.

–Iraq had weapons of mass destruction 

UN weapons inspector Hans Blix warned the US not to make such unverified claims and that instead, inspectors should continue their investigation. In the event, they were not given that opportunity and not a single weapon of mass destruction was ever discovered on Iraqi soil.

–Iraq strike Europe with weapons of mass destruction in 30 minutes 

No such delivery systems existed.

–Iraq is a dictatorship 

Iraq was one of the most secular and pluralistic countries in the Middle East. After 2003, secularism effectively died in Iraq. Since 2003, Iraq’s literacy rates have gone down, women’s rights have been lessened, food has become more scarce, housing has been destroyed and Iraq’s safety went from virtually absolute to a hive of terrorists groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The war in Iraq has killed over a million people and the death toll continues to this day as disenfranchised Sunni regions which once were secular and stable have become hotbeds of al-Qaeda and the child of al-Qaeda known as ISIS or Daesh.

From Arab Spring to ISIS Winter 

In 2008, Barack Obama won a US election on a message of “hope and change”. This was in large part, a reference to George W. Bush’s war in Iraq which by 2008, most Americans including future President Donald Trump, openly regarded as a disaster.

Barack Obama’s winning campaign poster

While Obama campaigned on a ticket of peace, he merely shifted US aggressive policies from a war on Ba’athist Iraq, to a war on a large number of Arab and Muslim countries whose government did not march in lock-step with US geo-strategic interests.

Invoking the ‘9/11 doctrine’ of Anthony Blair, Obama withdrew support for long-time US ally, the flawed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a miscalculation which in-turn unleashed the banned Muslim Brotherhood on Egypt. This ushered in an era of Sunni extremism that continues to haunt Egypt’s minorities, particularly Christians, even as secular rule has once again been restored.

Later in 2011, the United States coined the term Arab Spring, as a by-word for largely Sunni extremist terrorist threatening secular or Shi’a governments.

Like Saddam Hussein before him, Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi was on good terms with the United States beginning in 2003 when he agreed to forgo his weapons programme in return for the opening up of business opportunities with the US and its allies.

However, shortly before 2011, Gaddafi was set to create a pan-Africa Dinar backed by gold, a move which as Wikileaks revelled was a prime motivation for the US war on Libya.

The ‘9/11 doctrine’ was invoked and the Hillary Clinton authored war on Libya saw the secular revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi replaced by rival governments and terrorist organisations, a process which has turned the wealthiest country in Africa into a failed state built on top of the world’s largest terrorist training camp.

It was also in 2011, that the US began funding Sunni extremists in Syria, in order to foment ‘regime change’ against the secular Ba’athist government in Syria which happens to be led by a man who is an Alawite Muslim, a branch of Shi’ism.

Into these battlefronts against both secularists and Shi’as, groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda flowed in. George W. Bush’s war, supposedly against al-Qaeda, had become Obama and Clinton’s war for al-Qaeda and their clones.

Meanwhile, the so-called Arab Spring wasn’t allowed to blossom in Bahrain where the US supported a pro-Saudi regime in its violent crushing of Shi’a demonstrators.

In reality, there was no Arab Spring, there was merely an ISIS winter.

A barbaric ISIS beheading in occupied Syria

The Death of Liberty 

Ordinary Americans have also suffered because of the post-9/11 realities forced upon them by increasingly tyrannical leaders.

Shortly after 9/11, the US Congress passed the Patriot Act which allowed for indefinite detention without trial, paved the way for the opening of a gruesome concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay which continues to operate, turned once welcoming US airports into weaponised fortresses, limited financial liberty for ordinary Americans and created an atmosphere where free speech whether political, comedic/satirical or simply ordinary conversation began to become increasingly censored.

Even innocent pop songs were not safe from the post-9/11 dictatorial mindset.

READ MORE: How western elites conspire to kill free speech–The Clear Channel Memorandum

Meanwhile, Muslims became increasingly victimised for things they did not do, while others who adopted a similar anti-free speech mindset, though in the cause of a different narrative, slammed anyone questioning more about the nature of security in the modern world as ‘Islamophobic’.

It was a lose-lose situation, except if you were Benjamin Netanyahu who said of 9/11,

“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq”.

Throughout this period, Congressman Dr. Ron Paul warned against endless wars overseas and war on liberty in America, only to be shunned by the mainstream of both the Republican and Democratic parties, even as his popularity among ordinary Americans continues to grow.

Ron Paul ran for President of the United States twice in the post-911 era. His voice for peace was unique among a crowded field of pro-war candidates

From 9/11 darkness to the sunlit uplands of One Belt–One Road 

While must of the world still suffers from America’s endless 9/11, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

During the period between 2001 and the present day, US power has declined while Russia and China have risen to once again become two superpowers who can shape the world using a vision that is antithetical to the endless 9/11 doctrine.

While in 2011, it looked as though Ba’athist Syria would fall to the likes of al-Qaeda and ISIS, thanks largely to Russian assistance of its Syrian ally and thanks to the fortitude of the Syrian Arab Army, secular Syria’s victory against Wahhabi terrorism is now assured.This in turn has assured the rights of religious and ethnic minorities against ISIS terrorists and was as assuring the rights of women in Syria.

 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets his ally in the real war against terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin

Likewise, in 2013 China announced One Belt–One Road, the most far-sighted trading and commerce initiative in modern history.

China’s New Silk Road seeks to link the flourishing economies of East Asia with South East Asia, South Asia, Eurasia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe in an effort which will utilise modern commerce to create new opportunities for prosperity in parts of the world that have been left behind by the American financial monolith.

Crucially, One Belt–One Road differs from the American way of doing business insofar as it does not make any requirements on societies to change their long standing socio-economic traditions. Likewise One Belt–One Road makes no demands on partner nations to change their internal styles and methods of governance.

China’s One Belt–One Road

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes world leaders to the 2017 One Belt–One Road Forum in Beijing

One Belt–One Road is a truly modern initiative based on mutual respect–working towards a goal of mutual prosperity, which in turn offers the world a chance to achieve greater peace among people and nations.

While One Belt–One Road is still very young, it is a testament to the fact that there is an escape route from American hegemonic power which continues to be haunted by the spectre of 9/11.

CONCLUSION

Since 9/11, not only have China and Russia rebelled against US hegemonic power, but so too have many in the west. The election of Donald Trump is a testament to the fact that many people in the west are hungry for something new, even if Trump may prove to be anything but the answer.

People the world over want the 9/11 epoch to end so that the tears may dry, the wars might end, the money might be spent in more positive ways and so that with or without a clear explanation about what really happens on 9-11-2001, the victims from New York to Baghdad, Aleppo to Paris, might find that which all men and women deserve: peace.

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seby
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seby

Yep, I don’t think people were expecting bush the III with tRump, but that’s what they got. Hopeless.

tapatio
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tapatio

Donny Drumpf is more like Dubya Bush when he was a stumblebum drunk.

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Note this statement “China’s New Silk Road seeks to link the flourishing economies of East Asia with South East Asia, South Asia, Eurasia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe”. What exactly does the writer mean by the word “Eurasia”? He has already mentioned Asia – three times. He ends up referring to “Europe”. So — what’s this other place called “Eurasia”. The word, Eurasia, is a contraction of two others, Europe and Asia. Note the one country missing here? It has a name. It’s not called “Eurasia” – it’s name is Russia. This “Eurasia” for Russia is a highly pernicious,… Read more »

Brian De Paolo
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Brian De Paolo

why won’t Russia want this…it opens the door to various markets…both Russia and China want sovereign states and sovereign money…backed by commodities….unilateral co-operation, thats all they talk about…a united front of independent states….that road is the main artery…eventually all nations will hook up to this road and concept in that area….its a great step forward for mankind….IMHO…Russia is even suggesting a road under the Bering Straight right down to Mexico …..

tapatio
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tapatio

EURASIA………the geographic/NON-political continent. EURASIA…….the birthplace of the alliance of Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Brazil and MORE nations (BRICS) to build a MULTIlateral world and END the fascist empire of Zio-USA.

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

You need to learning how our brains use words tapatio. How we put perceptions into place. This phrase is pushing the European paradigm [i.e. we are the cradle of civilisation and we are it’s leader] over the much accepted idea through out Europe, that “Slavs” are “lesser beings” and not really belonging to us. The entire concept is entirely arbitrary, i.e. it has no basis in sort of physical reality, nor is it “organic” in that it has grown naturally over time from the actions and choices of the people and how they live their lives. A small group of… Read more »

tapatio
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tapatio

“Eurasia” is nothing but a physical geographic descriptor – just like Middle East or Central America. It has no political or cultural value. But, “Europe” and “Asia” are political/cultural names that have been applied to the SINGLE physical continent of Eurasia. Russia is and will be Russia, just as China, Vietnam, Iran, Peru and most other countries will remain uniquely individual. They may be introverted (isolationist), like Russia or extroverted. What they can NOT be allowed to be is predatory/expansive, like the US and Israel. As to your question about Russia being the only country in “Eurasia”………….in a way that… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

You are wrong, sorry. But you are. It is not a “physical geographic descriptor”. If it was it would not have been so arbitrary in it’s history. However it has no geological, geographic nor organic stem. It’s just the opinions of a few self impressed individuals.

tapatio
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tapatio

Whatever.

Simon
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Simon

Dear Isabella, always love your comments but I have never understood your repeated objection to the term Eurasia. I’d offer two meanings; 1. Geographically it is a correction of the historical ‘mistake’ of naming Europe as a continent – whereas it is really a peninsula of Asia. I’ve been to several points on the ‘demarcation’ between Europe and Asia, and other than a sign post they are utterly underwhelming. With the one exception of the Bosphorous. 2. Politically/culturally it is used to describe countries that straddle, or combine elements of both Europe and Asia. Eurasia is not only Russia. The… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

The term “Eurasia” is wrong, pernicious, and dangerous Simon. I’m in the process of putting a piece together on it now. Do you know, I have 3 times in only the last few days, read a comment which said of something that it included “Europe, Asia and Eurasia”. The name “Russia” was not mentioned.
Surely you can see the danger here Simon.

john vieira
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john vieira

Leaning your way.

TravelAbout
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TravelAbout

Excellent article but I disagree with the title. Every single organization and person who supported these actions (the Elites, Deep State, Israel, neo-cons, etc) are NOT victims but rather inflictors.

Guy
Member
Guy

When the world wakes up to the scam that was perpetrated on us on the day of 9/11 ,it will definitely be a game changer . I do have a hard time visualizing this wake up , as many refuse to even look at the possibility that we were all lied to.It is just too horrid a thought for some to even contemplate as it would upset their mindset too much.But such an exposure of the truth needs to happen .I applaud the concept of the new silk road by China and backed by the BRICS nations .It so very… Read more »

Ray Comeau
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Ray Comeau

Thank You Guy. I agree with you 100%.

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

Would you believe this recent 07-SEP article in Veterans Today?:
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/09/07/911case/
I so want to believe this is for real.

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud
Guy
Member
Guy

Just started reading David Ray Griffin’s new book . I also read Rebecca Roth’s book .

Guy
Member
Guy

Just came across this video this morning.

Carolyn Kellum Colson
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Carolyn Kellum Colson

The USA has been fighting immoral wars as long as I’ve been alive (53 years.) JFK was egged-on to accelerate our presence in Vietnam before I was born and the escalation of U.S. imperialism has continued unabated. When we weren’t actually involved in a war, the CIA was busy orchestrating violent regime changes. Millions of us hoped the election of Trump was a way to stop U.S. meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries. There were 3 GOP candidates acceptable to the Deep State – Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio & Jeb Bush. Hillary Clinton was the only Democrat candidate acceptable… Read more »

Ray Comeau
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Ray Comeau

David Ray Griffin has written a book . The Title is: Bush and Cheney How They Ruined America and The World. It is an excellent book full of facts and figures and takes the defense of 9-11 to task. It is a must read, and should generate a ground swell of support for some brave souls to demand an independent assessment of 9-11 which I suggest would result in the arrest of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld , and many more of that Administration. I believe that is the only way we are going to survive the USA endless wars, and start… Read more »

Guy
Member
Guy

Just received it Ray and sitting on my night table waiting for a read as so many other books in line.I have read much about 9/11 and learned more from Alternative media from the get go .So I am waiting to see if I can glean some more information from David Ray Griffin that I had missed.

Cheers.

Ray Joseph Cormier
Guest

In December 1998, Former US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, US Undersecretary of Defence John Deutch and Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, colluded together to write this in Foreign Affairs Journal, A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history.… Read more »

Brian G
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Brian G

Very good article Adam but one point you may not be aware of Osama was in Pakistan on September 10th
which shows the timeline of the article by Alex Mercouris to be incorrect..

http://www.globalresearch.ca/where-was-osama-bin-laden-on-september-10-2001-one-day-before-911-he-was-in-a-pakistani-military-hospital/5607143

Penrose
Guest
Penrose

When do the war crimes trials start? The Clintons, Bush, Obama and their henchmen in the docket at The Hague with the smirks gone. America won’t give them up? Then try them in absentia. The Hague too much under the American thumb to proceed? Then someone write a book/make a movie about it. Call it American War Criminals. Should be a best seller.

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Airline wars heat up, as industry undergoes massive disruption (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 145.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the global commercial airline industry, which is undergoing massive changes, as competition creeps in from Russia and China.

Reuters reports that Boeing Co’s legal troubles grew as a new lawsuit accused the company of defrauding shareholders by concealing safety deficiencies in its 737 MAX planes before two fatal crashes led to their worldwide grounding.

The proposed class action filed in Chicago federal court seeks damages for alleged securities fraud violations, after Boeing’s market value tumbled by $34 billion within two weeks of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.

*****

According to the complaint, Boeing “effectively put profitability and growth ahead of airplane safety and honesty” by rushing the 737 MAX to market to compete with Airbus SE, while leaving out “extra” or “optional” features designed to prevent the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

It also said Boeing’s statements about its growth prospects and the 737 MAX were undermined by its alleged conflict of interest from retaining broad authority from federal regulators to assess the plane’s safety.

*****

Boeing said on Tuesday that aircraft orders in the first quarter fell to 95 from 180 a year earlier, with no orders for the 737 MAX following the worldwide grounding.

On April 5, it said it planned to cut monthly 737 production to 42 planes from 52, and was making progress on a 737 MAX software update to prevent further accidents.

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Via Zerohedge…

Step aside (fading) trade war with China: there is a new aggressor – at least according to the US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer – in town.

In a statement on the USTR’s website published late on Monday, the US fair trade agency announced that under Section 301 of the Trade Act, it was proposing a list of EU products to be covered by additional duties. And as justification for the incremental import taxes, the USTR said that it was in response to EU aircraft subsidies, specifically to Europea’s aerospace giant, Airbus, which “have caused adverse effects to the United States” and which the USTR estimates cause $11 billion in harm to the US each year

One can’t help but notice that the latest shot across the bow in the simmering trade war with Europe comes as i) Trump is reportedly preparing to fold in his trade war with China, punting enforcement to whoever is president in 2025, and ii) comes just as Boeing has found itself scrambling to preserve orders as the world has put its orderbook for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes on hold, which prompted Boeing to cut 737 production by 20% on Friday.

While the first may be purely a coincidence, the second – which is expected to not only slam Boeing’s financials for Q1 and Q2, but may also adversely impact US GDP – had at least some impact on the decision to proceed with these tariffs at this moment.

We now await Europe’s angry response to what is Trump’s latest salvo in what is once again a global trade war. And, paradoxically, we also expect this news to send stocks blasting higher as, taking a page from the US-China trade book, every day algos will price in imminent “US-European trade deal optimism.”

Below the full statement from the USTR (link):

USTR Proposes Products for Tariff Countermeasures in Response to Harm Caused by EU Aircraft Subsidies

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has found repeatedly that European Union (EU) subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States.  Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) begins its process under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to identify products of the EU to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies.

USTR is releasing for public comment a preliminary list of EU products to be covered by additional duties.  USTR estimates the harm from the EU subsidies as $11 billion in trade each year.  The amount is subject to an arbitration at the WTO, the result of which is expected to be issued this summer.

“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The Administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  “Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft.  When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted.”

In line with U.S. law, the preliminary list contains a number of products in the civil aviation sector, including Airbus aircraft.  Once the WTO arbitrator issues its report on the value of countermeasures, USTR will announce a final product list covering a level of trade commensurate with the adverse effects determined to exist.

Background

After many years of seeking unsuccessfully to convince the EU and four of its member States (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom) to cease their subsidization of Airbus, the United States brought a WTO challenge to EU subsidies in 2004. In 2011, the WTO found that the EU provided Airbus $18 billion in subsidized financing from 1968 to 2006.  In particular, the WTO found that European “launch aid” subsidies were instrumental in permitting Airbus to launch every model of its large civil aircraft, causing Boeing to lose sales of more than 300 aircraft and market share throughout the world.

In response, the EU removed two minor subsidies, but left most of them unchanged.  The EU also granted Airbus more than $5 billion in new subsidized “launch aid” financing for the A350 XWB.  The United States requested establishment of a compliance panel in March 2012 to address the EU’s failure to remove its old subsidies, as well as the new subsidies and their adverse effects.  That process came to a close with the issuance of an appellate report in May 2018 finding that EU subsidies to high-value, twin-aisle aircraft have caused serious prejudice to U.S. interests.  The report found that billions of dollars in launch aid to the A350 XWB and A380 cause significant lost sales to Boeing 787 and 747 aircraft, as well as lost market share for Boeing very large aircraft in the EU, Australia, China, Korea, Singapore, and UAE markets.

Based on the appellate report, the United States requested authority to impose countermeasures worth $11.2 billion per year, commensurate with the adverse effects caused by EU subsidies.  The EU challenged that estimate, and a WTO arbitrator is currently evaluating those claims

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Mueller report takes ‘Russian meddling’ for granted, offers no actual evidence

RT

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Via RT…


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ report has cleared Donald Trump of ‘collusion’ charges but maintains that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. Yet concrete evidence of that is nowhere to be seen.

The report by Mueller and his team, made public on Thursday by the US Department of Justice, exonerates not just Trump but all Americans of any “collusion” with Russia, “obliterating” the Russiagate conspiracy theory, as journalist Glenn Greenwald put it.

However, it asserts that Russian “interference” in the election did happen, and says it consisted of a campaign on social media as well as Russian military intelligence (repeatedly referred to by its old, Soviet-era name, GRU) “hacking” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the DNC, and the private email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta.

As evidence of this, the report basically offers nothing but Mueller’s indictment of “GRU agents,” delivered on the eve of the Helsinki Summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in what was surely a cosmic coincidence.

Indictments are not evidence, however, but allegations. Any time it looks like the report might be bringing up proof, it ends up being redacted, ostensibly to protect sources and methods, and out of concern it might cause “harm to an ongoing matter.”

‘Active measures’ on social media

Mueller’s report leads with the claim that the Internet Research Agency (IRA) ran an “active measures” campaign of social media influence. Citing Facebook and Twitter estimates, the report says this consisted of 470 Facebook accounts that made 80,000 posts that may have been seen by up to 126 million people, between January 2015 and August 2017 (almost a year after the election), and 3,814 Twitter accounts that “may have been” in contact with about 1.4 million people.

Those numbers may seem substantial but, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter pointed out in November 2018, they should be regarded against the background of 33 trillion Facebook posts made during the same period.

According to Mueller, the IRA mind-controlled the American electorate by spending “approximately $100,000” on Facebook ads, hiring someone to walk around New York City “dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask,” and getting Trump campaign affiliates to promote “dozens of tweets, posts, and other political content created by the IRA.” Dozens!

Meanwhile, the key evidence against IRA’s alleged boss Evgeny Prigozhin is that he “appeared together in public photographs” with Putin.

Alleged hacking & release

The report claims that the GRU hacked their way into 29 DCCC computers and another 30 DNC computers, and downloaded data using software called “X-Tunnel.” It is unclear how Mueller’s investigators claim to know this, as the report makes no mention of them or FBI actually examining DNC or DCCC computers. Presumably they took the word of CrowdStrike, the Democrats’ private contractor, for it.

However obtained, the documents were published first through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 – which the report claims are “fictitious online personas” created by the GRU – and later through WikiLeaks. What is Mueller’s proof that these two entities were “GRU” cutouts? In a word, this:

That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.(p. 43)

However, the report acknowledges that the “first known contact” between Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks was on September 15, 2016 – months after the DNC and DCCC documents were published! Here we do get actual evidence: direct messages on Twitter obtained by investigators. Behold, these “spies” are so good, they don’t even talk – and when they do, they use unsecured channels.

Mueller notably claims “it is clear that the stolen DNC and Podesta documents were transferred from the GRU to WikiLeaks” (the rest of that sentence is redacted), but the report clearly implies the investigators do not actually know how. On page 47, the report says Mueller “cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.”

Strangely, the report accuses WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange of making “public statements apparently designed to obscure the source” of the materials (p.48), notably the offer of a reward for finding the murderer of DNC staffer Seth Rich – even though this can be read as corroborating the intermediaries theory, and Assange never actually said Rich was his source.

The rest of Mueller’s report goes on to discuss the Trump campaign’s contacts with anyone even remotely Russian and to create torturous constructions that the president had “obstructed” justice by basically defending himself from charges of being a Russian agent – neither of which resulted in any indictments, however. But the central premise that the 22-month investigation, breathless media coverage, and the 448-page report are based on – that Russia somehow meddled in the 2016 election – remains unproven.

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Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless Russia.

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public. When 9/11 arrived, the country was ready to lash out at the rest of the world. President George W. Bush growled that “There’s a new sheriff in town and you are either with us or against us.” Afghanistan followed, then Iraq, and, in a spirit of bipartisanship, the Democrats came up with Libya and the first serious engagement in Syria. In its current manifestation, one finds a United States that threatens Iran on a nearly weekly basis and tears up arms control agreements with Russia while also maintaining deployments of US forces in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and places like Mali. Scattered across the globe are 800 American military bases while Washington’s principal enemies du jour Russia and China have, respectively, only one and none.

Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either the geographical United States or a vital interest. Venezuela is being threatened with invasion primarily because it is in the western hemisphere and therefore subject to Washington’s claimed proconsular authority. Last Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told the United Nations Security Council that the White House will remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power, preferably using diplomacy and sanctions, but “all options are on the table.” Pence warned that Russia and other friends of Maduro need to leave now or face the consequences.

The development of the United States as a hostile and somewhat unpredictable force has not gone unnoticed. Russia has accepted that war is coming no matter what it does in dealing with Trump and is upgrading its forces. By some estimates, its army is better equipped and more combat ready than is that of the United States, which spends nearly ten times as much on “defense.”

Iran is also upgrading its defensive capabilities, which are formidable. Now that Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran, has placed a series of increasingly punitive sanctions on the country, and, most recently, has declared a part of the Iranian military to be a “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore subject to attack by US forces at any time, it is clear that war will be the next step. In three weeks, the United States will seek to enforce a global ban on any purchases of Iranian oil. A number of countries, including US nominal ally Turkey, have said they will ignore the ban and it will be interesting to see what the US Navy intends to do to enforce it. Or what Iran will do to break the blockade.

But even given all of the horrific decisions being made in the White House, there is one organization that is far crazier and possibly even more dangerous. That is the United States Congress, which is, not surprisingly, a legislative body that is viewed positively by only 18 per cent of the American people.

A current bill originally entitled the “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,” is numbered S-1189. It has been introduced in the Senate which will “…require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.” The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and is co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

The current version of the bill was introduced on April 11th and it is by no means clear what kind of support it might actually have, but the fact that it actually has surfaced at all should be disturbing to anyone who believes it is in the world’s best interest to avoid direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia.

In a a press release by Gardner, who has long been pushing to have Russia listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, a February version of the bill is described as “…comprehensive legislation [that] seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait. The legislation establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the US government to address Kremlin aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination. The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote. It also increases sanctions pressure on Moscow for its interference in democratic processes abroad and continued aggression against Ukraine.”

The February version of the bill included Menendez, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as co-sponsors, suggesting that provoking war is truly bipartisan in today’s Washington.

Each Senator co-sponsor contributed a personal comment to the press release. Gardner observed that “Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.” Menendez noted that “President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress” while Graham added that “Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia. He should cease and desist meddling in the US electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.” Cardin contributed “Congress continues to take the lead in defending US national security against continuing Russian aggression against democratic institutions at home and abroad” and Shaheen observed that “This legislation builds on previous efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its bellicose behavior against the United States and its determination to destabilize our global world order.”

The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are. The Senators also ignore the fact that the designation of presumed Kremlin surrogate forces as “foreign terrorist organizations” is equivalent to a declaration of war against them by the US military, while hypocritically calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is bad enough, as it is demonstrably untrue. But the real damage comes from the existence of the bill itself. It will solidify support for hardliners on both sides, guaranteeing that there will be no rapprochement between Washington and Moscow for the foreseeable future, a development that is bad for everyone involved. Whether it can be characterized as an unintended consequence of unwise decision making or perhaps something more sinister involving a deeply corrupted congress and administration remains to be determined.

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