“Fool me once, shame on you; but fool me twice, shame on me.”
Ancient proverb, (sometimes attributed to an Italian, Russian or Chinese proverb)
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
Ernst F. Schumacher (1911-1977) (in ‘Small is Beautiful’, an essay, in The Radical Humanist, Aug. 1973, p. 22).
“The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong to a certain group of people or to a religion or a nation.”
James Morcan (1978- ) (in ‘The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy’, 2014).
“Almost all wars begin with false flag operations.”
Larry Chin, (in ‘False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood’, Global Research, Dec. 27, 2014).
Another terrible war crime against Syrian civilians has taken place in Syria, on top of multiple war crimes committed in that country torn apart by six years of a civil war marked by foreign interventions. On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, a chemical attack killed more than 70 people, including women and children. No neutral official investigation has yet taken place, but two versions of events have surfaced.
The first version, advanced by the American Trump administration and other Western governments, and seemingly the only version retained by most Western media, points to a bombing by the Syrian government at Khan Cheikhoun, in the Idlib province, as the culprit. The fact that a Syrian plane was seemingly involved would support this version. However, what benefit would the Assad regime gain from such a crime is less than obvious.
The second version, advanced by the Russian Putin government and by other analysts is that a bomb launched by a Syrian plane would have accidentally hit a depot of chemical weapons in the rebel-held territory and caused the carnage. Islamist rebels would have exploited the accident to stage a very effective mediated coup against the Assad regime. In the absence of conclusive physical evidence, the ‘Cui Bono’ argument (‘who benefits’) could be used to support that version.
It is good to recall that a similar war crime, among many others, took place at Ghouta, in the Damascus suburb, on August 31, 2013. In that case, it was strongly suspected that the horrific chemical attacks, which killed hundreds of people, including many children, was likely a criminal ‘false flag operation’, staged by Al Qaeda rebels anxious to provoke U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene militarily on their side in the Syrian conflict. A ‘false flag operation’ is defined as “a horrific, staged event, — blamed on a political enemy — and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security.”
International law is being more and more discarded in favor of international anarchy
It is a sad fact that in totalitarian states, but also in our so-called democracies, it seems that wars of aggression are now based and sold with official lies and fraudulent fabrications in order to fool the people. Warmongers in government know that people do not like wars, especially illegal wars of aggression, against countries that have not attacked them. That is why their first choice is to attempt to drag the people along with lies and false pretexts for war, and by dehumanizing any potential enemy through crude propaganda.
Historically, there have been numerous instances when a ‘false flag operation’ was used to justify a “humanitarian” military intervention against a country or a regime. (Let us also remember that under the United Nations Charter, which is the foundation of international law, no country has a right to attack another one, no matter the pretext used, except in self-defense.)
Suffice here to recall two famous cases.
Case No. 1
Indeed, there are many historical precedents. Of course, the most recent one is George W. Bush administration’s use of a pretext to launch a so-called “pre-emptive” war of aggression against Iraq, pretending that there were chemical “weapons of mass destruction” in that country. It asserted that such WMDs posed a threat to neighboring countries and to the U.S. — It turned out that not only this act of international military aggression was illegal, but also that it was a lie, a pure fabrication, since no such weapons were discovered after the U.S.-led military invasion of Iraq.
Case No. 2
On February 15, 1898, the battleship USS Maine, on a friendly visit to Cuba, caught fire and sank in the Havana Harbor, seemingly because of an internal explosion of one of its torpedoes aboard. A purely American-run investigation concluded, however, that the explosion was not a terrible internal accident, but was caused externally by a naval mine in the harbor.
Republican President William McKinley (1843-1901), pushed by influential New York newspapers, (the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers), accused the colonial government of Spain, in Cuba, of being responsible for the explosion and used that pretext to issue an ultimatum to Spain. The U.S Congress declared war against Spain on April 20, 1898. — That was the beginning of the Spanish-American War, which ended up with the U.S. occupying Cuba, Porto Rico, the Island of Guam and the Philippines.
Donald Trump’s new conversion to war
Politicians in disfavor can also find in foreign wars a way to improve their domestic political status. Indeed, if circumstances permit, what does an ambitious politician do, when facing a falling popularity at home? Chances are that he may be tempted to find a pretext to start a war, any war, and without any regard to international law.
It might seem bizarre that President Donald Trump has completely reversed his position regarding U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict. But he is languishing in the polls, and even the Republican-controlled Congress is distancing itself from the White House. What better way, especially in the United States where wars abroad are a rallying point, to move the attention from domestic affairs to foreign affairs?
Whatever the motive behind the move, President Trump’s hasty decision to resort to an act of war in bombing the country of Syria, on Friday morning, April 7, has been met with hurrahs by many members of Congress. The American people may be more divided on the issue, but it can reasonably be expected that in the coming weeks Trump’s popularity, presently around 35 percent, will rise under the general approval that he will surely receive from the concentrated American media. He also is likely to receive a more positive collaboration from Congress for his more controversial domestic agenda.
It may be sad to say, but in the United States, the quickest road to popularity for a politician in difficulty, at least initially, is to launch a war abroad. For example, President George W. Bush’s popularity went from around 50 percent to more than 90 percent when he initiated his war against Iraq in 2002-2003. At the end of his second term, however, his approval rating had fallen below 30 percent. [For a description of the period, see my book The New American Empire, 2004.]
The unfolding of events in the Middle East would seem to reinforce my personal assessment of last February that an unpredictable President Donald Trump risks becoming “a threat to American Democracy and an agent of chaos in the world”, and even more so now that Congressional Democrats seem ready to jump on his war bandwagon (as they did with President George W. Bush).
Originally published on 2017-04-08
About the author: Economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, and of “The New American Empire”.
Source: Global Research
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of ...
Their anxiety about the future of NATO, recently on full display again when the American president was in Europe, could not be bettered as a measure of the incapacity of Europe’s top politicians to guide their continent and represent its populations. Through its provocations of Moscow, NATO systematically helps increase the risk of a military confrontation. By thus sabotaging its declared purpose of preserving collective security for the countries on either side of the Atlantic, it erases its fundamental reason for being and right to exist.
Grasping these facts ought be enough to fuel moves aimed at quickly doing away with ...
How does the West get away with its pretense of being an alliance of great democracies in which government is the servant of the people?Nowhere in the West, except possibly Hungary and Austria, does government serve the people.Who do the Western governments serve? Washington serves Israel, the military/security complex, Wall Street, the big banks, and the fossil fuel corporations.The entirety of the rest of the West serves Washington.Nowhere in the West do the people count. The American working class, betrayed by the Democrats who sent their jobs to Asia, elected Donald Trump and the American people were promptly dismissed by ...
US President Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch imperialist and expansionist, engineered the illegal dismemberment of Colombia in 1903.The illegal US dismemberment and annexation of Serbian territory, the detachment, and dismemberment of Kosovo in 2008, parallels what occurred when the US illegally dismembered Columbia in 1903 in order to construct the Panama Canal.Outrage, shock, and uproar followed Roosevelt’s illegal detachment of Panama from Columbia in 1903. Many American leaders were outraged at the illegality, cynicism, and immorality of the dismemberment of Columbia.In the March 2, 1912 New York Times article “Hit at Roosevelt in Panama Inquiry; Senate Calls on Taft for All Records ...
What we are seeing today in the fight over birth control is a revival of a very old, and very dangerous kind of Catholicism. It is not one supported or practiced by most Rank and File Catholics. It is a kind of Catholicism which has done irreparable harm. It is a kind of Catholicism unfit for existence in the modern world.
It was the underpinning of the regimes of Mussolini in Italy, The National Catholicism of Francisco Franco, in Spain; The Parti Rexiste in Belgium; The Irish Blueshirts; The Croatian Ustaše, the Nazi puppet government in Croatia, and ultimately, was the ...
The international community is accustomed to the so-called “checkbook diplomacy” that has been used by China and Taiwan to pilfer each other’s diplomatic allies by exchanging diplomatic recognition for generous financial assistance packages. However, this same battle for diplomatic recognition and de-recognition is being played out between Serbia and its breakaway province of Kosovo. The United States and much of NATO has not only granted Kosovo diplomatic recognition over the objection of Serbia but has also pressured other countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence. This process has hit a major stumbling block amid charges from various parties that fake diplomatic letters ...
The Great Financial Crisis, the Occupy Wall Street rising, Wikileaks and Snowden exposure, imperialist interventions in Iraq-Libya-Syria, the economic-political developments in Greece, and the on-going string of revelations in the US politics take away all ambiguities related to democracy, development and state. With broad and fundamental connections and character the incidents and processes – parts of democracy and development – being witnessed by the contemporary world are significant with far-reaching implications, and helpful to comprehend issues of democracy, development and state.
No ambiguity: Ambiguous and confusing narratives of democracy and development are vigorously sold in markets despite the reality of repeated ...
Noel Malcolm – Kosovo – A Short History
A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans
Historical Institute of the Serbian Academy of
Sciences and Art
Response to the Book of Noel Malcolm
Kosovo – A Short History
Milorad Ekmecic, Academician
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Historiography By the Garb Only
Reading, from necessity, the books by some Western, particularly American scholars, dealing with the past of the Serbs and the Balkans, I recall the impressions that are in my memory, for some reason, related to the socially committed painter Georg Grosz. Today the flashes of those recollections of my college ...
On March 24th, 1999, NATO launched its 78-day round the clock aerial assault on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Over a thousand NATO warplanes delivered over 2,000 airstrikes in nearly 40,000 sorties, dropping over 20,000 bombs over the former Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilian men, women, and children, as well as upwards of a thousand Yugoslav soldiers and police.   NATO employed weapons considered criminal by international law such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs.   
The popular narrative is that is that the Western powers dropped these bombs ...
Like most Englishmen, I grew up with a natural dislike of “abroad” and a belief in the inferiority of all foreign things. I think it took me five visits to France before I began to regret leaving that lovely country rather than to rejoice at my return to our safe and familiar island.
It often strikes me as quite funny that I spent so much of my life as a foreign correspondent, a profession for which I am so unfitted. When I went to live in Moscow in 1990, I felt that I had somehow betrayed my native soil. (I was ...
Since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the nineties, its former constituent republics have been mired in a state of perpetual conflict.Nowhere is this more apparent than the contested state of Kosovo.In 1998, Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo i Metohija began a campaign of attacks, with the express objective of creating a unified, ethnically homogenous, Greater Albanian state. Spearheaded by an organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which is widely regarded by many nations, including the United States, as a terrorist organization, ethnic Albanian militants attacked Serbian security forces, and terrorized civilians in a brutally violent ...
The Balkans have returned to the forefront of European geopolitics as a result of the New Cold War, with the US and Russia facing off in a proxy war over the planned Balkan Stream pipeline through the region. The geopolitical circumstances have evolved since the 1990s, when all of the former Yugoslavia was lumped together as the Western Balkans. In order to accommodate for the changing strategic reality in the region, it’s necessary to carve the Central Balkans out of the idea of the former, and the new division of the Balkans into Western, Central, and Eastern regions simplifies the ...
World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering.
The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized ...
Since terrorism’s tragedy is again in the news, it is timely to revisit perhaps one of the biggest acts of terrorism in modern history – the illegal invasion and destruction – ongoing – of Iraq.
March 20th marked the thirteenth anniversary of an action resulting in the equivalent of a Paris, Brussels, London 7th July 2005, often multiple times daily in Iraq ever since. As for 11th September 2001, there has frequently been that death toll and heart break every several weeks, also ongoing.
America and Britain have arguably engaged in and generated the legacy of one of the longest recorded attacks ...
Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of America’s deadliest terrorist organization: the Klu Klux Klan.
Since September 11, extremists associated with various far-right wing ideologies, including the KKK and Jewish extremists, have killed far more people in the United States than extremists motivated by radical Islam.
One centuries’ old example of US government double standards when it comes to terrorism, is the infamous Klu Klux Klan. The Klan has terrorized and killed far more Americans than Islamic terrorists ever have; and despite being America’s oldest terrorist organization, the US government does not officially consider the KKK a terrorist organization, classifying ...
According to Inside Syria Media Center military sources in Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), SDF-Kurds will join the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as “Northern Syria Protection units” after the establishment of the federal system in Syria.
A Rojava official and the joint chief of defense in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), Rezan Gilo stated that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have no problem joining the Syrian army if a federal state is awarded in northern Syria (Kurdish autonomous territories as part of the federal Syria). They are now in process of considering the possibility of joining the SAA.
“There is no problem for our ...
There is very bad news for the US’ policymakers: Russia is back!After the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia, both weakened and isolated, was becoming a less popular area of studying and dealing with in comparison before the end of the Cold War. Global imperialists in Washington strongly believed that after 1991 Russia was simply “finished” or, better to say, they “finished” the game with Russia as Moscow was not anymore the capital of a Great Power state which had an important influence in global politics and international relations. In other words, the American warmongers in Washington thought ...
In July 1974 the US-controlled Athens military junta organized a coup d’état in Cyprus and an assassination attempt against the President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios. Everything was executed in exactly the same way as it had been a year before in Santiago Chile. (Cyprus is an island of great strategic importance, now a member of EU and Eurozone. 82% of his population are Greek by nationality and 18% Turkish Cypriots. The country obtained its independence from Britain in 1960, after one of the most successful national-liberation struggles after the 2nd World War).
Unlike Salvador Allende, Makarios escaped death and with him ...
On March 11, 2006, President Slobodan Milosevic died in a NATO prison.
No one has been held accountable for his death. In the 10 years since the end of his lonely struggle to defend himself and his country against the false charges invented by the NATO powers, the only country to demand a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death came from Russia when Foreign Minister, Serge Lavrov, stated that Russia did not accept the Hague tribunal’s denial of responsibility and demanded that an impartial and international investigation be conducted. Instead, The NATO tribunal made its own investigation, known as ...
There are 3 Apartheid Israel-related centenaries this week, namely (1) the victorious 31 October 1917 charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba that led to conquest of Palestine by Britain and massive famine, (2) the nefarious and racist UK Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 that gave Palestine to Zionists as a Jewish Homeland as an inducement to help keep Russia in WW1, and (3) commencement of the Palestine Genocide (2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since WW1).
History ignored yields history repeated and genocide ignored yields genocide repeated . Anniversaries are useful ...
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
Ending NATO, a Monstrous Institution
The Myth of Western Democracy
Fomenting Illegal “Independence” and “Revolutions” in Kosovo and Panama
Opus Dei: Neofascism Within the Catholic Church
De-Recognition of Kosovo: US Tries to Stem the Tide
The Ambiguity: The Case of Democracy
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written With an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (Second Part)
NATO & the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia
The Continued Conflict in Kosovo: The Outright “Criminalization” of the Pristina Government
New Strategic Calculus for the Balkans
The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II
Iraq Invasion – Anniversary of the Biggest Terrorist Attack in Modern History
The Ku Klux Klan: America’s Long History of Accepting White Terrorist Organizations
Kurdish Intentions to Join SAA: Secret Deal against the U.S.?
Importance of Russia in Global Politics
Killing a Republic – Kissinger and Cyprus
The “Extrajudicial” Assassination of Slobodan Milosevic in 2006
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement