Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today's Links

1--The Deep State is the State


The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government.  It is the US state itself.  Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism.  It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies.  The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions.  Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance.   Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the “deep state” as we understand it, a broader understanding of the “deep state” places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date.  In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century.

... there are disagreements over policies, priorities, direction, and personnel.  The only certainty is that all of its members agree on the need to maintain the supremacy of US capital in the world. ...

When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other.  Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state.  Instead, it is the Left’s job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself.

2--Washington's Proxy Warriors--ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra (ISIS in Syria) and like-minded groups are US creations


A 2012 DIA document states the West will facilitate the rise of ISIS “to isolate the Syrian regime.” 
Former CIA contractor Steven Kelly said Washington
“created ISIL for the sake of Israel,” along with assuring “never-ending war in the Middle East” to make the Jewish state the dominant regional power and provide a “constant flow of orders for weapons from the military-industrial complex at home…” 

On Sunday, Fars News quoted Iranian armed forces deputy chief of staff General Mostafa Izadi saying: 
“We possess documents and information showing the direct supports by the US imperialism for this highly disgusting stream (ISIS) in the region which has destroyed the Islamic countries and created a wave of massacres and clashes.” 


3--Putin, Ukraine and What Americans Know


4--Putin: US responsible for global terrorism


Regarding the origins of modern Islamist terrorism, Putin said: “Al Qaeda is not the result of our activities. It’s the result of the activities of our American friends. It all started during the Soviet war in Afghanistan [in the 1980s] when the American intelligence officers provided support to different forms of Islamic fundamentalism, helping them to fight the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
“So the Americans themselves nurtured both Al Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden. But it all spun out of control. And it always happens. And our partners in the United States should have known about that. So they’re to blame.”

Stone noted how President Reagan’s CIA Director William Casey sought to exploit Islamic fundamentalism to destabilize Muslim parts of the Soviet Union and to achieve regime change in Moscow.

Putin added: “Those ideas are still alive. And when those problems in Chechnya and the Caucasus emerged [after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991], the Americans, unfortunately, supported those processes. We [Russians] assumed the Cold War was over, that we had transparent relations, with the rest of the world, with Europe and the U.S. And we certainly counted on support, but instead, we witnessed that the American Intelligence services supported terrorists.

“I’m going to say something very important, I believe. We had a very confident opinion back then, that our American partners in words were talking about support to Russia, the need to cooperate, including fighting terrorism, but in reality they were using those terrorists to destabilize the internal political situation in Russia.”

5--Russia warns Washington-"Don't attack Syrian troops again"

6--The Seth Rich conundrum


7--When Stone asked about the “annexation,” Putin responded: “We were not the ones to annex Crimea. The citizens of Crimea decided to join Russia. The legitimate parliament of Crimea, which was elected based on the Ukrainian legislation, announced a referendum. The Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, voted to join Russia.


8--The Profiling Project looks for clues to murder of Seth Rich


A group of students is aiming to solve the murder of a former Democratic National Committee employee, whose killing has become an online sensation and fodder for conspiracy theorists.
The Profiling Project

9--The Putin Interviews


10--What is in Trump’s $200 billion infrastructure plan?


Trump’s infrastructure plan was released late last month as part of his proposed 2018 budget. The vague proposal, which according to his administration will be worked out in detail by the fall of this year, will lead to the mass sell-off of public infrastructure throughout the country while simultaneously slashing the transportation budget.

The plan earmarks $200 billion over 10 years. Though there are no details yet, a Trump administration memo suggests that the bulk of the money will be given to states and local governments as incentives for privatizing public infrastructure.

Moreover, more than $200 billion will simultaneously be cut from the transportation budget. This will likely hurt, among other programs, Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, potentially shutting it down, and TIGER, a program that gives state grants to fund infrastructure projects

11--The Sessions hearing: Another anti-Russian diversion while the social counterrevolution in America deepens


The Democrats will likely vote against the repeal of Obamacare and issue many protestations. But they are doing nothing to actually oppose the destruction of health coverage for tens of millions of people.
Instead, the Democrats are redoubling their efforts to push the Trump administration even further to the right on foreign policy, toward a more confrontational anti-Russian stance that brings with it the real danger of a war with nuclear weapons....

“The Democrats are not calling for hearings on the assault on health care, the attack on immigrant workers, the elevation of far-right nationalist forces within the administration, or war plans against North Korea, Iran and China.”....

The three-hour appearance by Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee was perhaps the most flagrant example of the efforts of official Washington and the corporate media to divert the attention of the American people from the frontal assault by the Trump administration on the democratic rights and social conditions of working people.

With the administration arresting and deporting thousands of immigrants, many of them facing imminent death in the Middle East and Central America, and the US Senate in the final stages of dismantling health coverage for tens of millions of people, the entire focus of the Democratic Party and the media is on escalating tensions between the United States and Russia and seeking to whip up an anti-Russian war fever.

12--Marching toward a wider war in the Middle East


The Pentagon is using the base to train so-called rebels, ostensibly to fight ISIS, but in reality to turn against the Syrian regime. It has unilaterally declared a 34-mile radius surrounding the base a “deconfliction zone,” using this as the pretext for launching three separate airstrikes—the latest on June 8—against militias aligned with the Damascus government. It also recently shot down what it claimed was an armed drone operated by pro-regime forces.

Meanwhile, in the US-backed siege of ISIS-controlled Raqqa to the north, Washington’s Kurdish-dominated proxy ground forces have deliberately left ISIS an escape route to the south so that its fighters can join in the attack on the government-held half of Deir ez-Zor, a city of 200,000 in eastern Syria....

W]hat is really at stake are even larger issues. Will the Syrian government re-establish control of the country all the way to its eastern borders? Will the desert straddling the Syrian-Iraqi border remain a no man’s land ripe for militant control? If not, who will dominate there—forces aligned with Iran, Russia or the United States?”
One would never suspect that what is being described is a sovereign country. The US operation in Syria and Iraq is emerging clearly as the axis of a new imperialist carve-up of the Middle East after a quarter century of US wars that have laid waste to much of the region and left the rickety nation-state system imposed by the former colonial powers in shambles. Just as with earlier such colonial carve-ups, the resulting antagonisms pave the way toward world war.
“With all these forces on a collision course, several recent escalations have raised fears of a direct confrontation between the United States and Iran, or even Russia,” the Times notes....

The logic of the US intervention in Syria points toward a marked escalation of US military force to reverse the tactical defeats the Pentagon has suffered on the Iraqi-Syrian border. That such an offensive may provoke a direct military confrontation with “Iran, or even Russia” will not be unwelcome to dominant layers within the US ruling establishment that see war as the essential instrument for reversing the protracted decline of US capitalism’s global hegemony.

In a blow to the unfolding US war strategy, pro-regime forces have fought their way east to the Iraqi border between the US base at al-Tanf and the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal on the Euphrates river. The Pentagon had claimed that its aim is to prepare the “rebels” it is training to take the town from ISIS. This would serve to consolidate US domination of the border area, opening the way for a drive up the Euphrates and ultimately the partition of Syria in preparation for an all-out war for regime change...


Barnard’s article indicates that the Pentagon and the CIA view the crusade against ISIS as a sideshow, a useful pretext for pursuing US imperialist interests in Syria and throughout the region. The battle against the Islamist militia, itself the product of the succession of US wars from Iraq to Libya and Syria, is being eclipsed, she writes, by a conflict in southeastern Syria “with far more geopolitical import and risk.”

Barnard refers to this unfolding military confrontation as the “21st-century version of the Great Game,” a telling historical reference to the protracted rivalry between British imperialism and the Russian empire for dominance over Central Asia. Precisely such predatory aims are involved in Syria, where Washington seeks to overthrow the Assad regime and replace it with a puppet government, as a means of isolating and preparing for war against Iran, which it sees as a rival for hegemony in the energy-rich and strategically vital regions of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia

13--Beyond Raqqa, an Even Bigger Battle to Defeat ISIS and Control Syria Looms


American-backed forces have begun an assault on Raqqa, the Islamic State’s hub in northern Syria, and signs are that they could capture the long-sought target with relative ease. Yet the militant group’s commanders, who have already withdrawn their toughest forces from the city, and most everyone else in Syria’s multifaceted war are looking ahead to an even more decisive battle in the south.
There, a complex confrontation is unfolding, with far more geopolitical import and risk. The Islamic State is expected to make its last stand not in Raqqa but in an area that encompasses the borders with Iraq and Jordan and much of Syria’s modest oil reserves, making it important in stabilizing Syria and influencing its neighboring countries.
Whoever lays claim to the sparsely populated area in this 21st-century version of the Great Game not only will take credit for seizing what is likely to be the Islamic State’s last patch of a territorial caliphate in Syria, but also will play an important role in determining Syria’s future and the postwar dynamics of the region.

14--Syrian Army, Russian Air Force spoil ISIS plans to overrun Deir Ezzor city


However, SAA forces under the command of Major General Issam Zahreddine could be liberated before the end of the year after government forces overran the highway town of Arak and the nearby T3 Airbase in eastern Homs earlier today, thus bringing them ever closer to lifting the siege of Deir Ezzor.


15--Iran leader blast Washington for creating ISIS



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