Philip Giraldi: All American Lie Factory

Source: https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-all-american-lie-factory/

[This article is derived from a speech I made at the July 23rd Peace and Freedom Rally in Kingston New York]

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

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

Third, I believe that the US and British governments in particularly have been relentlessly lying to the people and that the media in most of west is party to the dissemination of the lies to sustain the war effort against Russia in Ukraine. The lies include both the genesis and progress of the war and there has also been a sustained effort to demonize President Vladimir Putin and anything Russian, including food, drinks, the Russian language and culture and even professional athletes. The latest victim is a Tchaikovsky symphony banned in Canada. Putin is being personally blamed for inflation, food shortages and energy problems which more properly are the fault of the Washington-led ill-thought-out reaction to him. There is considerable irony in the fact that Biden is giving Ukraine $1.7 billion for healthcare, while healthcare in the US is generally considered among the poorest in the developed world.

I believe that Russia is winning the war comfortably and Ukraine will be forced to give up territory while the American taxpayer gets the bill for the reckless spending policies, currently totaling more than $60 billion, while also looking forward to runaway inflation, energy shortages, and, in a worst-case scenario, a possible collapse of the dollar.

All of the above and the politics behind it has led me to believe that the United States, assisted by some of its allies, has become addicted to war as an excuse for domestic failures as well as a replacement for diplomacy to settle international disputes. The White House hypocritically describes its role as “global leadership” or maintaining a “rules based international order” or even defending “democracy against authoritarianism.” But at the same time the Biden Administration has just completed a fiasco evacuation that ended a twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan. Not having learned anything from Afghanistan, there are now US troops illegally present in Syria and Iraq and Washington is conniving to attack Iran over false claims made by Israel that the Iranians are developing a nuclear weapon. Neither Syria nor Iraq nor Iran in any way threaten the United States, just as the Russians did not threaten Americans prior to a regime change intervention in Ukraine starting in 2014, when the US arranged the overthrow of a government that was friendly to Moscow. The US has also begun to energize NATO to start looking at steps to take to confront the alleged Chinese threat.

The toll coming from constant warfare and fearmongering has also enabled a steady erosion of the liberties that Americans once enjoyed, including free speech and freedom to associate. I would like to discuss what the ordinary concerned citizen can do to cut through all the lies surrounding what is currently taking place, which might well be described as the most aggressive propaganda campaign the world has ever seen, far more extensive than the lying and dissimulation by the White House and Pentagon officials that preceded the disastrous Iraq war. It is an information plus propaganda war that sustains the actual fighting on the ground, and it is in some senses far more dangerous as it seeks to involve more countries in the carnage while also creating a global threat perception that will be used to justify further military interventions.

Part of the problem is that the US government is awash with bad information that it does not know how to manage so it makes it hard to identify anything that might actually be true. Back in my time as an intelligence officer operating overseas, there were a number of short cuts that were used to categorize and evaluate information. For example, if one were hanging out in a local bar and overheard two apparent government officials discussing something of interest that might be happening in the next week, one might report it to Washington with a source description FNU/LNU, which stood for “first name unknown” and “last name unknown.” In other words, it was unverifiable hearsay coming from two individuals who could not be identified. As such it was pretty much worthless, but it clogged up the system and invited speculation.

My personal favorite, however, was the more precise source descriptions developed by military intelligence using an alphabet letter followed by a number in a sequence running from A-1 to F-6. At the top of an intelligence report there would be an assessment of the source, or agent. A-1 meant a piece of information that was both credible and had been confirmed by other sources and that was also produced by an agent that had actual access to the information in question. At the other end of the scale, an F-6 was information that was dubious produced by a source that appeared to have no actual access to the information.

By that standard, we Americans have been fed a lot of largely fabricated F-6 “fake information” coming from both the government and the media to justify the Ukraine disaster. Here is how you can spot it. If it is a newspaper or magazine article skim all the way down the text until you reach a point towards the end where the sourcing of the information is generally hidden. If it is attributed to a named individual who indeed indisputably had direct access to the information it would at least suggest that the reporting contains a kernel of truth. But that is almost never the case, and one normally sees the source described as an “anonymous source” or a “government official” or even, in many cases, there is no source attribution at all. That generally means that the information conveyed in the reporting is completely unreliable and should be considered the product of a fabricator or a government and media propaganda mill. When a story is written by a journalist who claims to be on the scene it is also important to check out whether he or she is actually on site or working from a pool operating safely in Poland to produce the reporting. Yahoo News takes the prize in spreading propaganda as it currently reproduces press releases originating with the Ukrainian government and posts them as if they are unbiased reporting on what is taking place on the ground.

Another trick to making fake news look real is to route it through a third country. When I was in Turkey we in CIA never placed a story in the media there directly. Instead, a journalist on our payroll in France would do the story and the Turkish media would pick it up, believing that because it had appeared in Paris it must be true even though it was not. Currently, I have noted that a lot of apparently MI-6 produced fake stories on Ukraine have been appearing in the British media, most notably the Telegraph and Guardian. They are then replayed in the US media and elsewhere to validate stories that are essentially fabricated.

Television and radio media is even worse than print media as it almost never identifies the sources for the stories that it carries. So my advice is to be skeptical of what you read or hear regarding wars and rumors of wars. The war party is bipartisan in the United States and it is just itching to seize the opportunity to get a new venture going, and they are oblivious to the fact that they might in the process be about to destroy the world as we know it. We must expose their lies and unite and fight to make sure that they can’t get away with it!

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

US Foreign Policy Adrift: Why Washington No Longer Calls the Shots – from Anti-War Blog

Original: Article Here

Jonah Goldberg and Michael Ledeen have much in common. They are both writers and also cheerleaders for military interventions and, often, for frivolous wars. Writing in the conservative rag, The National Review, months before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Goldberg paraphrased a statement which he attributed to Ledeen with reference to the interventionist US foreign policy.

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,” Goldberg wrote, quoting Ledeen.

Those like Ledeen, the neoconservative intellectual henchman type, often get away with this kind of provocative rhetoric for various reasons. American intelligentsias, especially those who are close to the center of power in Washington DC, perceive war and military intervention as the foundation and baseline of their foreign policy analysis. The utterances of such statements are usually conveyed within friendly media and intellectual platforms, where equally hawkish, belligerent audiences cheer and laugh at the warmongering muses. In the case of Ledeen, the receptive audience was the hardline, neoconservative, pro-Israel American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Predictably, AEI was one of the loudest voices urging for a war and invasion of Iraq prior to that calamitous decision by the George W. Bush Administration, which was enacted in March 2003.

Neoconservatism, unlike what the etymology of the name may suggest, was not necessarily confined to conservative political circles. Think tanks, newspapers and media networks that purport – or are perceived – to express liberal and even progressive thought today, like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, have dedicated much time and space to promoting an American invasion of Iraq as the first step of a complete US geostrategic military hegemony in the Middle East.

Like the National Review, these media networks also provided unhindered space to so-called neoconservative intellectuals who molded American foreign policy based on some strange mix between their twisted take on ethics and morality and the need for the US to ensure its global dominance throughout the 21st century. Of course, the neocons’ love affair with Israel has served as the common denominator among all individuals affiliated with this intellectual cult.

The main – and inconsequential – difference between Ledeen, for example, and those like Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, is that the former is brazen and blunt, while the latter is delusional and manipulative. For his part, Friedman also supported the Iraq war, but only to bring “democracy” to the Middle East and to fight “terrorism.” The pretense “war on terror,” though misleading if not outright fabricated, was the overriding American motto in its invasion of Iraq and, earlier, Afghanistan. This mantra was readily utilized whenever Washington needed to “pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall.”

Even those who genuinely supported the war based on concocted intelligence – that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction, or the equally fallacious notion that Saddam and Al-Qaeda cooperated in any way – must, by now, realize that the entire American discourse prior to the war had no basis in reality. Unfortunately, war enthusiasts are not a rational bunch. Therefore, neither they, nor their “intellectuals,” should be expected to possess the moral integrity in shouldering the responsibility for the Iraq invasion and its horrific consequences.

If, indeed, the US wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan were meant to fight and uproot terror, how is it possible that, in June 2014, an erstwhile unknown group calling itself the “Islamic State” (IS), managed to flourish, occupy and usurp massive swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territories and resource under the watchful eye of the US military? If the other war objective was bringing stability and democracy to the Middle East, why did many years of US “state-building” efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, leave behind nothing but weak, shattered armies and festering corruption?

Two important events have summoned up these thoughts: US President Joe Biden’s “historic” trip to Cornwall, UK, in June, to attend the 47th G7 summit and, two weeks later, the death of Donald Rumsfeld, who is widely depicted as “the architect of the Iraq war.” The tone struck by Biden throughout his G7 meetings is that “America is back,” another American coinage similar to the earlier phrase, the “great reset” – meaning that Washington is ready to reclaim its global role that had been betrayed by the chaotic policies of former President Donald Trump.

The newest phrase – “America is back” – appears to suggest that the decision to restore the US’ uncontested global leadership is, more or less, an exclusively American decision. Moreover, the term is not entirely new. In his first speech to a global audience at the Munich Security Conference on February 19, Biden repeated the phrase several times with obvious emphasis.

“America is back. I speak today as President of the United States, at the very start of my administration and I am sending a clear message to the world: America is back,” Biden said, adding that “the transatlantic alliance is back and we are not looking backward, we are looking forward together.”

Platitudes and wishful thinking aside, the US cannot possibly return to a previous geopolitical standing, simply because Biden has made an executive decision to “reset” his country’s traditional relationships with Europe – or anywhere else, either. Biden’s actual mission is to merely whitewash and restore his country’s tarnished reputation, marred not only by Trump, but also by years of fruitless wars, a crisis of democracy at home and abroad and an impending financial crisis resulting from the US’ mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately for Washington, while it hopes to “look forward” to the future, other countries have already staked claims to parts of the world where the US has been forced to retreat, following two decades of a rudderless strategy that is fueled by the belief that firepower alone is sufficient to keep America aloft forever.

Though Biden was received warmly by his European hosts, Europe is likely to proceed cautiously. The continent’s geostrategic interests do not fall entirely in the American camp, as was once the case. Other new factors and power players have emerged in recent years. China is now the European bloc’s largest trade partner and Biden’s scare tactics warning of Chinese global dominance have not, seemingly, impressed the Europeans as the Americans had hoped. Following Britain’s unceremonious exit from the EU bloc, the latter urgently needs to keep its share of the global economy as large as possible. The limping US economy will hardly make the substantial deficit felt in Europe. Namely, the China-EU relationship is here to stay – and grow.

There is something else that makes the Europeans wary of whatever murky political doctrine Biden is promoting: dangerous American military adventurism.

The US and Europe are the foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which, since its inception in 1949, was almost exclusively used by the US to assert its global dominance, first in the Korean Peninsula in 1950, then everywhere else.

Following the September 11 attacks, Washington used its hegemony over NATO to invoke Article 5 of its Charter, that of collective defense. The consequences were dire, as NATO members, along with the US, were embroiled in their longest wars ever, military conflicts that had no consistent strategy, let alone measurable goals. Now, as the US licks its wounds as it leaves Afghanistan, NATO members, too, are leaving the devastated country without a single achievement worth celebrating. Similar scenarios are transpiring in Iraq and Syria, too.

Rumsfeld’s death on June 29, at the age of 88, should serve as a wake-up call to American allies if they truly wish to avoid the pitfalls and recklessness of the past. While much of the US corporate media commemorated the death of a brutish war criminal with amiable noncommittal language, some blamed him almost entirely for the Iraq fiasco. It is as if a single man had bent the will of the West-dominated international community to invade, pillage, torture and destroy entire countries. If so, then Rumsfeld’s death should usher in an exciting new dawn of collective peace, prosperity and security. This is not the case.

Rationalizing his decision to leave Afghanistan in a speech to the nation in April 2021, Biden did not accept, on behalf of his country, responsibility over that horrific war. Instead, he spoke of the need to fight the “terror threat” in “many places,” instead of keeping “thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country.”

Indeed, a close reading of Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan – a process which began under Trump – suggests that the difference between US foreign policy under Biden is only tactically different from the policies of George W. Bush when he launched his “preemptive wars” under the command of Rumsfeld. Namely, though the geopolitical map may have shifted, the US appetite for war remains insatiable.

Shackled with a legacy of unnecessary, fruitless and immoral wars, yet with no actual “forward” strategy, the US, arguably for the first time since the inception of NATO in the aftermath of World War II, has no decipherable foreign policy doctrine. Even if such a doctrine exists, it can only be materialized through alliances whose relationships are constructed on trust and confidence. Despite the EU’s courteous reception of Biden in Cornwall, trust in Washington is at an all-time low.

Even if it is accepted, without any argument, that America is, indeed, back, considering the vastly changing geopolitical spheres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Biden’s assertion should, ultimately, make no difference.