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The Biggest Threat to US National Security Is the US Government

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures, it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata”.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


A dictatorship does not represent the public but only the aristocracy that, behind the scenes, controls the government.

Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote:

The Government’s program for bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks on the United States… In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program…

The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty…

In sum, the Fourth Amendment does not bar the Government’s bulk collection of telephony metadata under this program.

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures (such as seizures of all of this private information from everyone), it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata” (collection of both phone numbers in each phone conversation from and/or to anyone in the United States), because a “critical national security need [“preventing terrorist attacks on the United States”] outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

As a consequence, for each American, the US federal Government knows everyone whom you call, and who calls you — it knows all of your phone-contacts — and it does so because everything in the US Constitution can be overridden by any “critical national security need” such as “preventing terrorist attacks” such as occurred on 9/11, which attacks hadn’t at all been enabled by the then-existing lack of such police-state measures here. Kavanaugh’s opinion simply ignored that fact — didn’t even discuss it. Instead of that’s having produced the ‘intelligence failure’, the US Government — especially the US President — prior to 9/11, had refused to allow its agents to inform the US President of the actionable information that they had found and that they were struggling to get to him prior to the attacks. Bush didn’t want to know, until the attacks had already occurred. He demanded deniability.

As regards the reason why this police-state procedure which Kavanaugh backs is needed now, after 9/11 — though it had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (except for the latter’s having served in far-right-wingers’ propaganda such as Kavanaugh’s opinion, as being the alleged excuse for the ‘intelligence failure’), and though martial law hasn’t yet even been declared in the US — no one has publicly said anything. But is it really “reasonable” that the Government permanently stores all of this telephone-data from everyone, even if a given citizen does not, and in many instances doesn’t get to see it even on the phone-bill? Who actually benefits from this? It’s a severe situation that isn’t seriously being publicly discussed; such discussion is effectively banned in at least all of the major ’news’ media (which pretend to be concerned about protecting citizens’ most-basic rights — and not only about their own).

Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the US Supreme Court by a President who has threatened to go to war against Russia if Russia follows through with its announced plan to exterminate the Al-Qaeda-led forces in the only province of Syria that is at least 90% in favor of Al Qaeda and/or of ISIS — the province that is well over 90% jihadists and their pre-war supporters; it’s by far the most-jihadist province in all of Syria. Consequently, this alleged opposition to “Radical Islamic Terrorism” on the part of candidate and now US President Donald Trump, the President who appointed Judge Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land, is entirely and blatantly fakeTrump and his allies support Al Qaeda in Syria, just as Obama did.

Three nations have been prominently alleged to have been the secret cause of the 9/11 attacks. One of them is Shiite Iran, which is the only Government that is accused by the US Government, and which the US Government has fined billions of dollars as having been the cause of the 9/11 attacks, even though there’s no credible evidence that Iran had planned those attacks, nor that Iran had financed either the planning or the execution of those attacks. Iran is instead a Government which the US Government had controlled during 1953-1979 and whose US-installed regime of torture became overthrown in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution against the US-installed Iranian regime, at which time both the fundamentalist-Sunni Sauds — the royal family who own Saudi Arabia — and the fundamentalist-Jewish aristocracy who control Israel, declared Iran to be an “existential threat” against themselves; and the US Government has both of those Governments as allies to overthrow this post-US-stooge Government of Iran.

In 1996, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud and his friend FBI Director Louis Freeh managed to blame the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia not on the fundamentalist-Sunni US-and-Saudi-created Al Qaeda, which were widely thought to have done it, but instead on Iran, which both the US and Saudi Governments hated; and the retiring Freeh then recommended Robert Mueller to replace himself, and the retiring Robert Mueller recommended James Comey to replace himself, and thus all three FBI Directors endorsed the Saudi accusation against Iran, that Iran was behind the Khobar Towers bombing, even though no reliable evidence has yet been supplied that Iran had had anything at all to do with it. Mueller himself had a long history as the aristocracy’s master of cover-ups designed to misdirect blame either sideways or else downward but always away from the actual culprits and especially away from the culprits at the very top of the given criminal or traitorous operation. He’s the master of ‘investigative’ deception, serving the aristocracy, not the public. Wherever there are aristocratic conflicts to be resolved by lawyers, it’s almost never good guys versus bad guys but almost always monsters versus monsters. The US and its allies are simply bullies who lie, psychopathically.

All recent US Presidents say that “Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism”, even though (other than against Israel) all or nearly all Islamic terrorism has been perpetrated by fundamentalist Sunnis (such as Saudis), and virtually none by any Shiites at all.

Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable. Israel (like the Sauds) is an enemy of the American people, but (unlike the Sauds) it didn’t cause 9/11. Osama bin Laden’s financial bagman, when asked where the money came from to pay the “salaries” of all Al Qaeda members, said “Without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing” of Al Qaeda.

The evidence is overwhelming that the Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks and that George W. Bush and some of his friends were also involved in it but were careful to make sure they had deniability — ignorance of the advance details — so as not to be able to be nailed for their advance involvement in the arrangements that had been made for the attacks. Bush, of course, relied on a close staff that included not only FBI director Mueller but Brett Kavanaugh, the current Supreme Court nominee by Donald Trump — and Trump had been elected after a Presidential campaign in which he had pretended to loathe the Bushes and their — and Obama’s — policies. Trump overturns the least-bad of Obama’s policies, but is otherwise simply an even bolder fascist than those two Presidents had been.

This is entirely a bipartisan matter — the same US aristocracy controls all American political Parties that have any chance of ruling the nation. For example, the opinion by Judge Kavanaugh was the only opinion that was published from any of the 11 judges though the ruling by the Court was unanimous. Among the ten other judges was the Chief Judge, Merrick Garland, whom President Obama subsequently appointed to the US Supreme Court and the Republicans blocked from being considered by the full Senate. President Obama was a defendant in this particular case, and all 11 judges on it ruled in his favor. If the Chief Judge had been the lone one to rule against him, then perhaps the Chief Judge (Garland) would not have been appointed (exactly four months later, on 16 March 2016) by the President to the Supreme Court. Garland was rejected by the Republicans because the President who appointed him labeled himself with the competing brand. The minor differences between US Supreme Court judges nowadays are the differences that separate the two political brands, not actually differences in basic beliefs or values, though the propaganda by the competing brands pretends to basic differences between them. Anyone who opposes the existing secret rule by the aristocracy won’t even be appointed, much less confirmed. This is today’s American ‘democracy’.

So, clearly, just as the US regime and its ‘news’ media had lied to say that Saddam Hussein needed to be eliminated because he possessed and was building up “WMD” and even nuclear weapons; and just as Muammar Qaddafi was similarly slaughtered on the basis of US-and-allied lies; and just as those and other US invasions — such as in Syria and in Yemen — have made America and the world vastly worse-off except for the US weapons-makers such as Lockheed Martin and the other US ‘Defense’ Department’s contractors and the US extraction firms such as ExxonMobil and Halliburton which gained new sources of lands to strip of their natural resources by means of such military invasions, the biggest threat to US national security is the US Government itself — and especially its military, which spends around half of the entire world’s military budget each year.

As part of this growing US police-state, every phone call that anyone in the US participates in is information that this regime has (since 9/11) been collecting on that individual. We are all ‘national security’ suspects, now. The US Government isn’t only the chief enemy of Iraqis, and of Libyans, and of Syrians, and of Iranians, and of Yemenis, and of Afghans, and of Russians, and of Chinese, etc.; it is also the chief enemy of the American people (though it doesn’t cause us hell like it causes the residents in those target-countries). And it is the chief enemy of Europeans, too. More recently, the US Government has, in effect, even declared economic war against Europe.

President Barack Obama said, and repeated many times, that the United States is “the one indispensable nation” — meaning that all others are “dispensable.” Adolf Hitler had said essentially the same thing about Germany; and, like recent US Presidents, he acted accordingly. Today’s US Government is the enemy of FDR’s US Government, and is not only the enemy of America’s Founders, in these and so many other basic matters. Today’s America is the fascist United States Government. All “dispensable” countries deal with that top fascist one, in whatever way the given nation’s aristocracy chooses to deal with it. Most aristocracies choose to share, however they can, in the Empire’s (the US aristocracy’s) loot from this military, propaganda, and extraction, system. But some other “dispensable” nations resist the US aristocracy. And some others are quiet, on the sidelines, for as long as they can be there, to avoid their becoming targets themselves. Dealing with such a bully is difficult for everyone.

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Clem KadidlehopperBilly ShearsThe MaestroeddingGuy Recent comment authors
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Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That’s easily fixed, throw away your stupid “smart” phones and go back to paper mail. Let’s see them try and read EVERY letter of the BILLIONS that would go through the mailing system every day.

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That and the fact I am about to stop using a cellular phone, or even a land line, for that matter.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Bush knew 9.11 was coming down and he let them do it. Planning went in place while we watched the President Bill impeachment. This appointment is Kav’s reward for helping to pull it off. Hilda was promised the Presidency but that didn’t work out too well 2X.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Author and I soooo disagree on Israel participation. Planning all went into place while we watched the President infidelity show with the Jewess Monica. Patraeus was assigned to Jewess Paula to make sure he didn’t have a late night talk with wifey….and show a conscience.

Guy
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Guy

“Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable.” I beg to differ.There is evidence that the mossad was involved and at the very least knew about the event about to happen .The dancing Israelis , the fake moving van ,of which the owners disappeared so mysteriously and conveniently .The so called art students , etc. No hard proof yes , but plenty… Read more »

Billy Shears
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Billy Shears

Guy, I am w you. There is PLENTY of evidence to that effect; before and after the event. And, guilty parties are put away every day on circumstantial evidence alone. If the gubmint was actually interested in the truth, the WTC complex would have been treated as a crime scene and there would have been an actual criminal investigation instead of the sham that was perpetrated on the world.

edding
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edding

Kavanaugh’s opinion disregards the fact that Bill Binney the former top technical director at the NSA and his team had designed a program that was in fact much better at meeting the national security needs of the country cited by Kavanaugh, while also protecting the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure- and if Kavanaugh had considered it, it would have become clear that the dragnet program that Kavanaugh upheld was in fact UNREASONABLE. The NSA under General Hayden not only refused to use Binney’s program, in order to outsource the procurement at a multiple of the cost of… Read more »

The Maestro
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The Maestro

His interpretation is the absolute antithesis of the 4th amendment, IMHO, folks. I don’t see words except in “special needs of the government” anywhere in the 4th amendment. I love how these types cherry pick which words to use when quoting the BOR. Just another statist in a black robe helping to pave the road to tyranny. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place… Read more »

Clem Kadidlehopper
Guest
Clem Kadidlehopper

Well why would the State Fascists that run the US Government get Trump elected if he wasn’t one of them. NO one is getting in, unless he’s a qualified Fascist! The Jesuits will set to that with their Georgetown graduates running the CIA and State Department as well as the other 16 US Intel agenices. That’s like doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Cheney, Clinton, Bush, Obummer, and now Mr. Trumpet are all on the same band wagon, but the essence of the story is that those who know them and those who control them, know it.… Read more »

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The mainstream media does not want you to think [Video]

It is difficult to tell if recent reports like this really represent a realization for the media, but this interview rings true nonetheless.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Several recent stories on Fox, Breitbart, and here on The Duran all address the increasingly obvious bias of the mainstream media with regard to news reporting. We discussed on The Duran how Chris Wallace of Fox News refused to hear details from White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller about why the recently declared National Emergency is in fact legitimate.

This piece revealed that the media is very actively trying to control and direct what information they want the public to hear, rather than truly reporting the news, or interviewing people to get their takes on things, and to perhaps fully interview all sides in a controversy and then let the American public decide for themselves what to think.

This used to exist in more gentlemanly debate programs in some fashion, such as with the TV debate program Point Counterpoint, but now, the bias of the reporter or of the network is the primary operator in determining the outcome of the interview, rather than the information that is available about the story.

This has helped create a news and information culture in the United States that is truly insane. As examples, consider these paraphrased headlines, all occurring within the last few years:

All of these are probably familiar to most readers. Many of them are still repeated and acted on as if they were real. But the articles we linked to behind most of these ledes are examples of the disproof, usually 100% disproof, of these. They are hoaxes, or reports built on circumstantial evidence without any proof, or in the worst cases, pure slander and propaganda.

One reporter for CBS news, 60 Minutes anchor Lara Logan, discussed this in an interview with retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, for his own podcast program, which was picked up by the MediaIte website. The video of her interview is quite lengthy but starting at about 02:14:00 there is a particular segment that the MediaIte writers called to attention. We include this segment in the video.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: The video is unrestricted in regards to language and there is some profanity. Parents, please listen first before letting your children watch this video.

A major point Mrs Logan makes here is that 85% of the employ of the mainstream media in the USA consist of registered Democrats. She also speaks forcefully against the use of stereotypes, and suggests the best place to start is actual facts. This means that most journalists are coming into this work with a bias, which is not set aside for the sake of the facts of the story.

Probably the most key point comes at 2:18:20 in the video is how Lara Logan is taught the way to discern whether or not someone in journalism is lying to you:

“Someone very smart told me a long time ago, that, ‘how do you know you are being lied to?’, ‘how do you know you are being manipulated?’, ‘how do you know there is something not right with the coverage?’, when they simplify it all, and there is no gray. There is no gray. It’s all one way.

“Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it is probably not. Something is wrong.”

Lara Logan then pointed out the comparison of the mainstream media’s constant negative coverage of President Trump against the reality of his work, that, regardless of one’s own personal bias, it does not match that everything the President does is bad. She also highlighted the point that one’s personal views should not come into how to report a news story.

Yet in our days, it not only comes into the story, it drives the narrative for which the story just becomes an example of “proof” that the narrative is “true.” 

Tucker Carlson talked vividly about the same characteristic on his program Monday night on Fox News.

He points out that the 3,000 yearly shooting in Chicago get very little news coverage, but that is because these are not as “useful” as the Jussie Smollett story is.

This is an example of using an event or a person’s actions to satisfy a politically biased propaganda narrative, rather than report the news.

This is not occasional, as the list of news headlines given above show. This is a constant practice across most of the mainstream media. Probably no one who gives interviews on the major networks is exempt, for even Mr. Carlson often resorts to cornering tactics when interviewing liberals in an apparent attempt to make the liberal look ridiculous and the point of view he espouses to look vindicated through that ridiculousness.

While this is emotionally invigorating for the Carlson fan who wants to see him “eviscerate” the liberal, it is very bad journalism. In fact, it is not journalism at all; it is sensationalism in a nasty sense.

It also insults the viewer, perhaps without them knowing it, because such reporting is the same as telling the viewer “WE ARE IN CONTROL!” and that the viewer must simply go along with the narrative given.

It is very bad when what should be information reporting, policy discussion, or debate becomes infected with this. Ideas, the product of (hopefully) rational and discursive reasoning, are pushed aside by pure emotion and mass sensationalism. Put metaphorically, it is the new look of bread and circuses, keeping the masses entertained while anything else might be happening.

Sometimes the motive for this is not so sinister. After all, we have a 24 hour news cycle now. In the 1970’s we didn’t. And in those times, the calibre of news reported was much higher. Reporting was far more careful. The Pulitzer Prize winners  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did their incredible exposé on the doings of President Richard Nixon under the directorship of the Washington Post editor, which demanded triple-checking of everything, making sure that all information was factual, accurate and genuine. While the story was indeed sensational, more importantly, it was true.

Now we have a lot of sensation, but very little to zero truth. As an example, every one of the ledes linked above is not proven to be true, in fact the truth in many of these stories is the opposite of what the headline says.

This would not be much of a problem if the media lies were not absorbed and reacted on by their readers, listeners and viewers. But the fact is that there are a significant number of consumers of mainstream media news that do react to it. The Covington High School incident showed this in perhaps the most frightening way, with open calls for violence against teenagers and high school students, requested by professionals, people that are supposed to be adults, such as Kathy Griffin, Reza Aslan, and GQ writer Nathaniel Friedman, who called for these kids to be “doxxed”, which as we reported, is an action that can be deadly.

We are in the times where the love of many has gone cold, and all is about expediency and selfishness. While there are a few outlets and a few journalists that still retain interest in recording and disseminating the truth, the reality is that most of what is out there is tainted by the drive for attention and sensationalism.

The media that engages in such behavior is actually hurting people, rather than informing and helping them.

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Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Fortunately the world today is very different from that of 2003, Washington’s decrees are less effective in determining the world order. But in spite of this new, more balanced division of power amongst several powers, Washington appears ever more aggressive towards allies and enemies alike, regardless of which US president is in office.

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States. To succeed in this endeavor, they use a hybrid strategy involving diplomacy, military support to allies, and economic guarantees to countries under Washington’s attack.

The United States considers the whole planet its playground. Its military and political doctrine is based on the concept of liberal hegemony, as explained by political scientist John Mearsheimer. This imperialistic attitude has, over time, created a coordinated and semi-official front of countries resisting this liberal hegemony. The recent events in Venezuela indicate why cooperation between these counter-hegemonic countries is essential to accelerating the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar reality, where the damage US imperialism is able to bring about is diminished.

Moscow and Beijing lead the world by hindering Washington

Moscow and Beijing, following a complex relationship from the period of the Cold War, have managed to achieve a confluence of interests in their grand objectives over the coming years. The understanding they have come to mainly revolves around stemming the chaos Washington has unleashed on the world.

The guiding principle of the US military-intelligence apparatus is that if a country cannot be controlled (such as Iraq following the 2003 invasion), then it has to be destroyed in order to save it from falling into Sino-Russian camp. This is what the United States has attempted to do with Syria, and what it intends to do with Venezuela.

The Middle East is an area that has drawn global attention for some time, with Washington clearly interested in supporting its Israeli and Saudi allies in the region. Israel pursues a foreign policy aimed at dismantling the Iranian and Syrian states. Saudi Arabia also pursues a similar strategy against Iran and Syria, in addition to fueling a rift within the Arab world stemming from its differences with Qatar.

The foreign-policy decisions of Israel and Saudi Arabia have been supported by Washington for decades, for two very specific reasons: the influence of the Israel lobby in the US, and the need to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries sell oil in US dollars, thereby preserving the role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

The US dollar remaining the global reserve currency is essential to Washington being able to maintain her role as superpower and is crucial to her hybrid strategy against her geopolitical rivals. Sanctions are a good example of how Washington uses the global financial and economic system, based on the US dollar, as a weapon against her enemies. In the case of the Middle East, Iran is the main target, with sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from trading on foreign banking systems. Washington has vetoed Syria’s ability to procure contracts to reconstruct the country, with European companies being threatened that they risk no longer being able to work in the US if they accept to work in Syria.

Beijing and Moscow have a clear diplomatic strategy, jointly rejecting countless motions advanced by the US, the UK and France at the United Nations Security Council condemning Iran and Syria. On the military front, Russia continues her presence in Syria. China’s economic efforts, although not yet fully visible in Syria and Iran, will be the essential part of reviving these countries destroyed by years of war inflicted by Washington and her allies.

China and Russia’s containment strategy in the Middle East aims to defend Syria and Iran diplomatically using international law, something that is continuously ridden roughshod over by the US and her regional allies. Russia’s military action has been crucial to curbing and defeating the inhuman aggression launched against Syria, and has also drawn a red line that Israel cannot cross in its efforts to attack Iran. The defeat of the United States in Syria has created an encouraging precedent for the rest of the world. Washington has been forced to abandon the original plans to getting rid of Assad.

Syria will be remembered in the future as the beginning of the multipolar revolution, whereby the United States was contained in military-conventional terms as a result of the coordinated actions of China and Russia.

China’s economic contribution provides for such urgent needs as the supply of food, government loans, and medicines to countries under Washington’s economic siege. So long as the global financial system remains anchored to the US dollar, Washington remains able to cause a lot of pain to countries refusing to obey her diktats.

The effectiveness of economic sanctions varies from country to country. The Russian Federation used sanctions imposed by the West as an impetus to obtain a complete, or almost autonomous, refinancing of its main foreign debt, as well as to producing at home what had previously been imported from abroad. Russia’s long-term strategy is to open up to China and other Asian countries as the main market for imports and exports, reducing contacts with the Europeans if countries like France and Germany continue in their hostility towards the Russian Federation.

Thanks to Chinese investments, together with planned projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the hegemony of the US dollar is under threat in the medium to long term. The Chinese initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, energy, rail, road and technology connections among dozens of countries, added to the continuing need for oil, will drive ever-increasing consumption of oil in Asia that is currently paid for in US dollars.

Moscow is in a privileged position, enjoying good relations with all the major producers of oil and LNG, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, and including Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria. Moscow’s good relations with Riyadh are ultimately aimed at the creation of an OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia.

Particular attention should be given to the situation in Venezuela, one of the most important countries in OPEC. Riyadh sent to Caracas in recent weeks a tanker carrying two million barrels of oil, and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has taken a neutral stance regarding Venezuela, maintaining a predictable balance between Washington and Caracas.

These joint initiatives, led by Moscow and Beijing, are aimed at reducing the use of the US dollar by countries that are involved in the BRI and adhere to the OPEC+ format. This diversification away from the US dollar, to cover financial transactions between countries involving investment, oil and LNG, will see the progressive abandonment of the US dollar as a result of agreements that increasingly do away with the dollar.

For the moment, Riyadh does not seem intent on losing US military protection. But recent events to do with Khashoggi, as well as the failure to list Saudi Aramco on the New York or London stock exchanges, have severely undermined the confidence of the Saudi royal family in her American allies. The meeting between Putin and MBS at the G20 in Bueno Aires seemed to signal a clear message to Washington as well as the future of the US dollar.

Moscow and Beijing’s military, economic and diplomatic efforts see their culmination in the Astana process. Turkey is one of the principle countries behind the aggression against Syria; but Moscow and Tehran have incorporated it into the process of containing the regional chaos spawned by the United States. Thanks to timely agreements in Syria known as “deconfliction zones”, Damascus has advanced, city by city, to clear the country of the terrorists financed by Washington, Riyadh and Ankara.

Qatar, an economic guarantor of Turkey, which in return offers military protection to Doha, is also moving away from the Israeli-Saudi camp as a result of Sino-Russian efforts in the energy, diplomatic and military fields. Doha’s move has also been because of the fratricidal diplomatic-economic war launched by Riyadh against Doha, being yet another example of the contagious effect of the chaos created by Washington, especially on US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Washington loses military influence in the region thanks to the presence of Moscow, and this leads traditional US allies like Turkey and Qatar to gravitate towards a field composed essentially of the countries opposed to Washington.

Washington’s military and diplomatic defeat in the region will in the long run make it possible to change the economic structure of the Middle East. A multipolar reality will prevail, where regional powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will feel compelled to interact economically with the whole Eurasian continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The basic principle for Moscow and Beijing is the use of military, economic and diplomatic means to contain the United States in its unceasing drive to kill, steal and destroy.

From the Middle East to Asia

Beijing has focussed in Asia on the diplomatic field, facilitating talks between North and South Korea, accelerating the internal dialogue on the peninsula, thereby excluding external actors like the United States (who only have the intention of sabotaging the talks). Beijing’s military component has also played an important role, although never used directly as the Russian Federation did in Syria. Washington’s options vis-a-vis the Korean peninsular were strongly limited by the fact that bordering the DPRK were huge nuclear and conventional forces, that is to say, the deterrence offered by Russia and China. The combined military power of the DPRK, Russia and China made any hypothetical invasion and bombing of Pyongyang an impractical option for the United States.

As in the past, the economic lifeline extended to Pyongyang by Moscow and Beijing proved to be decisive in limiting the effects of the embargo and the complete financial war that Washington had declared on North Korea. Beijing and Moscow’s skilled diplomatic work with Seoul produced an effect similar to that of Turkey in the Middle East, with South Korea slowly seeming to drift towards the multipolar world offered by Russia and China, with important economic implications and prospects for unification of the peninsula.

Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.

The United States seems to be losing its imperialistic mojo most significantly in Asia and the Middle East, not only militarily but also diplomatically and economically.

The situation is different in Europe and Venezuela, two geographical areas where Washington still enjoys greater geopolitical weight than in Asia and the Middle East. In both cases, the effectiveness of the two Sino-Russian resistance – in military, economic and diplomatic terms – is more limited, for different reasons. This situation, in line with the principle of America First and the return to the Monroe doctrine, will be the subject of the next article.

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Nearly assassinated by his own fighters, al-Baghdadi and his caliphate on its last legs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 178.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how the Islamic State has been rapidly losing territory over the last two years in Syria and Iraq, due to efforts by Russian and Syrian forces, as well as the US and their Kurdish allies.

The jihadist caliphate has lost most of its forces and resources, leading it to go into hiding.

Al-Masdar News is reporting that Daesh* leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly attacked in a village near Hajin by some of the terrorist organisation’s foreign fighters in an apparent coup attempt, The Guardian reported, citing anonymous intelligence sources. Baghdadi reportedly survived the alleged coup attempt, with his bodyguards taking him into hiding in the nearby desert.

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Meanwhile European leaders are shocked at US President Trump’s ISIS ultimatum. Via Zerohedge

After President Trump’s provocative tweets on Sunday wherein he urged European countries to “take back” and prosecute some 800 ISIS foreign fighters as US forces withdraw from Syria, or else “we will be forced to release them,” the message has been met with shock, confusion and indifference in Europe. Trump had warned the terrorists could subsequently “permeate Europe”.

Possibly the most pathetic and somewhat ironic response came from Denmark, where a spokesperson for Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Copenhagen won’t take back Danish Islamic State foreign fighters to stand trial in the country, according to the German Press Agency DPA“We are talking about the most dangerous people in the world. We should not take them back,” the spokesperson stressed, and added that the war in Syria is ongoing, making the US president’s statement premature.

Germany’s response was also interesting, given a government official framed ISIS fighters’ ability to return as a “right”.  A spokeswoman for Germany’s interior ministry said, “In principle, all German citizens and those suspected of having fought for so-called Islamic State have the right to return.” She even added that German ISIS fighters have “consular access” — as if the terrorists would walk right up to some embassy window in Turkey or Beirut!

Noting that the Iraqi government has also of late contacted Germany to transport foreign fighters to their home country for trial, she added, “But in Syria, the German government cannot guarantee legal and consular duties for jailed German citizens due to the armed conflict there.”

France, for its part, has already agreed to repatriate over 130 French Islamic State members as part of a deal reached in January with US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are holding them, after which they will go through the French legal system. However, French Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez still insisted that the west’s Kurdish allies would never merely let ISIS terrorists walk out their battlefield prisons free.

“It’s the Kurds who hold them and we have every confidence in their ability to keep them,” Nuñez told French broadcaster BFMTV on Sunday. “Anyway, if these individuals return to the national territory, they all have ongoing judicial proceedings, they will all be put on trial, and incarcerated,” he said, in comments which appeared to leave it up to others to make happen.

And representing the Belgian government, Justice Minister Koen Geens charged Trump with blindsiding his European allies with the demand, which included Trump underscoring that it is “time for others to step up and do the job” before it’s too late. “It would have been nice for friendly nations to have these kinds of questions raised through the usual diplomatic channels rather than a tweet in the middle of the night,” Geens said during a broadcast interview on Sunday, according to the AFP.

Meanwhile in the UK the issue has recently become politically explosive as debate over so-called British jihadist bride Shamima Begum continues. The now 19-year old joined Islamic State in 2015 after fleeing the UK when she was just 15. She’s now given birth in a Syrian refugee camp and is demanding safe return to Britain for fear that she and her child could die in the camp, so near the war zone.

Conservatives in Britain, such as Interior Minister Sajid Javid have argued that “dangerous individuals” coming back to the UK from battlefields in the Middle East should be stripped of their British citizenship. He said this option has already been “so far exercises more than 100 times,” otherwise he also advocates prosecution of apprehended returning suspects “regardless of their age and gender.”

Identified as French nationals fighting within ISIS’ ranks, via Khaama press news agency

The UN has estimated that in total up to 42,000 foreign fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria to join IS — which appears a very conservative estimate — and which includes about 900 from Germany and 850 from Britain.

SDF leaders have previously complained about the “lack the capacity” for mass incarceration of ISIS terrorists and the inability to have proper battlefield trials for them. Recent estimates have put the number of ISIS militants in US-SDF battlefield jails at over 1000, though Trump put the number at 800 in his tweet.

However, even once they do return to Europe it’s unclear the extent to which they’ll be properly prosecuted and locked in prison by European authorities.

For example, another fresh controversy that lately erupted in Britain involved a 29-year old UK woman who traveled to join ISIS, and was convicted for membership in a terrorist group upon her return to Britain. She was jailed on a six year sentence in 2016, but is now already walking free a mere less than three years after her conviction.

 

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