Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

I stand with Tulsi Gabbard against the dirty, stupid wars that do more harm than good, and which are bleeding our country dry.

UN Report on NW Syria School and Hospital Bombings

The United Nations recently completed their investigation of what had been reported in the press as the “wholesale slaughter of innocents” in northwest Syria. Of the seven incidents, the UN Board determined that only one had actually resulted in civilian deaths, and the evidence suggested that either opposition rebels or al-Qaeda affiliates were to blame.

Martyr Akram Ali Ibrahim Al-Ahmad Secondary School in Madiq Castle, Governorate of Hama, on 28 April 2019.

No deaths.

Rakaya Primary Health Care Centre in Rakaya Sijneh, Governorate of Idlib, on 3 May 2019.

No deaths.

Kafr Nabutha Primary Health Care Centre and Surgical Unit in Kafr Nabutha, Governorate of Hama, on 7 May 2019.

No deaths.

Deaths and injuries occurring at, Nayrab Palestine Refugee Camp in Aleppo, Governorate of Aleppo, on 14 May 2019.

11 persons were killed, and several people were injured. “The Board found that it was probable that the strike was carried out either by armed opposition groups or by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, noting that the vast majority of the evidence provided to it was to that effect.”

As-Suqylabiyah National Hospital in As-Suqylabiyah, Governorate of Hama, on 26 May 2019.

No deaths.

Kafr Nobol Surgical Hospital in Kafr Nobol, Governorate of Idlib, on 4 July 2019.

No deaths.

Ariha Protection Centre in Ariha, Governorate of Idlib, on 28 July 2019.

No deaths.

Source: ReliefWeb.

Of course there may be retaliation…

Asian News International just Tweeted a comment from President Trump that has a lot of people mistakenly believing that he just threatened India with retaliations if they don’t send us hydroxychloroquine.

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The comment was taken out of context. He was answering a reporter’s question about retaliations against America, in response to our own ban of exports.

Reporter:

“Are you worried about retaliation to your decision to ban export of medical goods, like India’s Prime Minister Modi’s decision to not export hydroxychloroquine to the United States and other countries?”

Trump:

“I don’t like that decision, if that’s… I don’t… I didn’t hear that that was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries. I spoke to him yesterday. We had a very good talk, and we’ll see whether or not that’s his… I would be surprised if he would because, you know, India does very well with the United States. For many years they’ve been taking advantage of the Unites States on trade. So I would be very surprised if that were his decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning…”

Buried lede: On Sunday, April 5th, PM Modi told President Trump that India would be sending hydroxychloroquine to America.

All Risk And No Reward

What are these “regime change wars” that Tulsi Gabbard keeps talking about? I didn’t realize until recently that a lot of people don’t really understand what regime change wars even are.

Regime Change War is what we call it when our country triggers a society into overthrowing their own government. It hurts a lot of people, costs us lots of money, and contrary to what the powers-that-be hope, we usually get nothing out of it.

In military strategy we call this, “All risk, and no reward.” Also known as: Stupid Wars.

Professor Bacevich lecture on Forever War.

We usually start this rubbish by declaring that a society isn’t democratic enough, then decidedly set out to help them become more democratic. Turns out – we have not been able to help a single nation be as democratic as we would like them to be. Hence: “Forever War”.

It is a failed foreign policy. There are people who have been warning about this for years, but they keep getting demonized, and their message drowned out. Why? Possibly because there are rich and powerful people who grow even more powerful and even richer, as long as we keep doing it. Our tax dollars go to them. The arms industry, the private contractors we hire to help us nation-build, and disaster capitalists often posing as philanthropists. Disaster capitalists like the Clinton Global Initiative.

It’s really fricken gross when you look into the structure and dynamics of these of regime change wars. Horrifying, even. The disaster capitalist side of it is the grossest, in my opinion. There’s this sick pattern of creating humanitarian crisis (usually through sanctions), so they can collect our tax dollars to go fix what we broke.

MEGA THREAD: Read more…

Most of it isn’t even sanctioned by our congress, or our official government. It’s all pretty shady, and it needs to end. It is turning us, as a nation, into the Baddies. We aren’t even acting like the world’s police, like most Americans think we are. We are more like arsonists, putting out our own fires.

Related Post: The Progressive International: Lipstick on a Pig.

Tulsi Gabbard is Radioactive

James Scaminaci III recently commented on Twitter that, “Nobody, save Naomi Allen, takes Gabbard seriously.” I assume he means nobody in academia, and he couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the most respected academic voices in US foreign policy are taking Tulsi Gabbard seriously. People like, Robert Kennedy Jr. (Professor Emeritus at Pace University).

David Bromwich (Sterling Professor of English at Yale University) has a history of defending Tulsi against the biased media, and recently praised Tulsi for criticizing US hegemony. He also described her in his latest book, American Breakdown: The Trump Years and How They Befell Us, as the only person on Capital Hill who genuinely wants to (and could) end the dirty wars.

She is also taken seriously enough to serve on the Council of Advisors for the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University of America, alongside Andrew Bacevich (Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University), who recently commented that Tulsi holds important and legitimate views on US foreign policy.

Professor Bacevich is right about something else: Tulsi Gabbard has become a bit radioactive, and speaking well of her is the quickest way to get yourself blacklisted in political circles. He would know about such things. And so would Professor Bromwich. As critics of US foreign policy, they’re both a bit radioactive themselves.

With Kennedy, Bromwich, and Bacevich… I think I’m in good company.

Related Post: All Risk and No Reward: A Primer on Regime-Change War

The Progressive International: Lipstick on a Pig

I really wish that people would stop acting like Tulsi Gabbard resigned her DNC co-chair position for Bernie’s sake. She did not do it for him. She did it to protest nomination rigging, and she later joined Bernie’s campaign to bring issues of war and peace into the public debate.

Tulsi Gabbard gave Bernie Sanders an endorsement. He gave her a platform on war and peace.

At the time, Bernie’s foreign policy platform focused on one single issue: His 2002 vote against the Iraq AUMF. Back then, his apparent disinterest in militarism had many convinced that he would not pursue wars of intervention.

All Risk and No Reward: A Primer on Regime-Change-Wars.

Since then, however, he has taken the time to articulate his vision… revealing that he really is no different than the others. Bernie’s Progressive Internationalism is a continuation of the same failed foreign policy that has kept us in a perpetual state of war. Bernie now stands with the War Party that Tulsi Gabbard is fighting against. They are not on the same team.

A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front

Even more shocking: Bernie’s longstanding deal with the War Party exposed. #BomberBernie

The candidates like to pretend that Progressive Internationalism is a new thing. But it really isn’t. It is the Clinton Doctrine…

Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy

Tulsi is the only one offering us a new foreign policy. Everyone else, pushing this really-not-really-new idea, is tricking us into agreeing to more perpetual wars of intervention… under the guise of humanitarianism.

“Humanitarian” war is a lie.

Bill Clinton recruited to lead the Progressive Policy Institute

Lipstick on a Pig…

Neoconservatism is making a comeback — and not among the Republicans who have made it famous but in the Democratic Party.

Beware the Global Do-Gooder Democrats.

By the way: Disaster capitalism is big money. And the Clinton Global Initiative is its most prominent broker. Talk about huge conflicts of interest.

Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe

This page was updated on 26JAN2020: Added comments about Bernie’s 2016 campaign.

Notes on Syria

Someone messaged me to say, in response to this, that I should write about how Assad is a good leader, and about how the US is illegally trying to overthrow him for oil.

Uh… no. I shouldn’t. Because that isn’t my position.

I really can’t say what, if any, ulterior motives our government might have for fomenting or supporting civil war in Syria. I can only speak to what they have publicly declared as their justification. I think this is the only productive way to have this debate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even be talking about Syria anymore.

When I hear about chemical weapons being used in Syria it upsets me. I can’t help but feel that the whole of the civilized world needs to do something to stop these horrible atrocities from happening, and that we should punish those who commit them. Honestly, I often wish someone would just put a bullet in Assad’s head, and I have been one of those who has cheered on our government support for the SDF.

But… I remember when Obama announced we’d be sending arms to Syrian rebels. I remember saying, “This is a really bad idea. Didn’t we learn anything in Afghanistan?”

I remember having conversations about how, if we’re going to wage war, then it needed to be a proper war. And if we couldn’t wage proper war, then we shouldn’t do it at all. Because this irregular warfare thing we keep doing is fucking bullshit. Supply weapons to civilians? Without manpower? Those civilians would need real fighters. And if it wasn’t us, it would be Al Qaeda. And if Al Qaeda came to their aid… if Al Qaeda ended up being the ones who train them… they’d turn Syria into a recruitment ground. Al Qaeda’s ranks would grow… with our own weapons and money.

Turns out, this is exactly what ended up happening. But, anyway… sending our own troops to help fight that battle wouldn’t have been a good thing, either.

Speaking as a military veteran, I can tell you that while irregular warfare is shitty, directly fighting a civil war for someone else is even shittier. Because when we put boots on the ground in another country, it is never viewed by the people of that country as assistance, but rather, as an invasion… and we end up fighting innocent people… which is why so many of our combat vets are so fucked up in the head.

Furthermore, if we are going to put boots on the ground in another country to fight against that country’s government, we need to recognize that by doing so we are committing an act of war against that country… and such things should not be done without an official declaration of war. Not if we want to continue calling ourselves a civilized nation.

I say this because a civilized nation does not engage in war without proper justification, without a clear end-goal, without an exit strategy, and without the means to sue for peace. A civilized nation doesn’t start wars it cannot end.

Which raises the question: Do we have justification for declaring war on Syria? In actuality… we don’t. Because they have neither attacked, nor threatened the United States.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t do anything at all? I don’t think so. Syria is a member state of the United Nations and the Chemical Weapons Convention. There are mechanisms in place for dealing with these issues that don’t involve rogue military action. So why aren’t we using them?

One could argue that we don’t, because these mechanisms have proven to be ineffective. But… I think that, instead of disregarding these options,  our international leaders need to sit down and have a conversation about why they’re ineffective.

I have a feeling that we haven’t, thus far, because if we were to do so, our leaders would have to be honest about a few issues that none of them want to confront. But that’s just tough. For the sake of world peace–which should be their primary objective–the conversation needs to happen.

And while deliberating about what we can and should do about Syria in response to human rights violations, I think we really need to give careful consideration to the issue of whether that response should involve displacing Assad at all, and what that would ultimately mean.

Assad is a bastard, but he is only the face of what Westerners object to… which is the inherently brutal and ruthless nature of dictatorship itself. So… what most of us really mean when we say we need to get rid of Assad, is that we need to get rid of Syria’s system of dictatorship.

But what should it be replaced with? Many believe that if Syria’s dictatorship falls, it would automatically be replaced with democracy… but that isn’t how things work out in reality. It could happen. But only if it is born of the people’s own struggle and will for it. It has to be their fight. If your desire is for a democratic Syria, then the best thing to do, is let them struggle for that themselves.

And here’s something that a lot of Americans don’t realize. Assad may be a dictator, by our own stardards… but he is an elected one. Syria actually is already a democracy. It’s just not a liberal one like ours.

And so… if you are for intervention, then you need to get real and stop using “democracy” as a reason for it. And you must accept that it would likely lead to the election of a different dictator… or more likely, the propping up of theocracy, which is even more oppressive. And if democracy is your only reason, it may be time to rethink your position.

There is a small voice in military strategy that says, “The Middle East is not ready for freedom.” This is an extremely difficult idea for Westerners to grasp… because who in their right mind doesn’t want to be free? I, too, had a hard time understanding this. Until I started making friends with people from the region.

Recently, one of these friends very patiently told me about his sister in Syria, who calls every week… in tears. And he said to me, “Americans have a hard time understanding why we would want a dictator… even a cruel one… but these are the only guys who can suppress extremism and ensure secularism for us.”

This haunted my thoughts for weeks–and still does… especially since our own political culture is starting to lean toward this sort of illiberal, intolerant democracy.

False Flag Waving from Russia, in Syria

On 04 April 2017, the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria was devastated by a chemical attack. Contrary to popular opinion, the OPCW has not assigned blame for the incident. Their investigation is inconclusive. “The OPCW cannot and will not release information about an on-going investigation.”

21 December 2019 Note from Naomi: Please stop saying that new emails leaked by Wikileaks show that the OPCW lied to us about this attack. As I’ve been pointing out for years, the OPCW never assigned blame. They have always stated on their own website that their investigation is inconclusive. It’s the pundits and politicians who’ve been lying to us.

While America blamed Assad, Putin insisted the attack was a false flag staged by the United States. He also accused the United States of staging the April 21st attack against the Afghan National Army’s 209 Corps Military Headquarters in Mazar-e-Sharif (precursor to the US MOAB attack). But if anyone is staging false flags, the evidence points to Russia.

Containers (pictured above and here…) found at Al Shayrat Airfield the day after our military strike on April 6th look strikingly similar to storage containers pictured below and in this 2014 Russian article… captioned, “Public Relations Group of the Federal Office for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons”.

Worth nothing: The article is all about how the US had refused to abide by its agreement to help finance the destruction of chemical weapons and nuclear waste. While the agreement itself is not named in the article, the CWC that enabled the removal and destruction of chemical weapons from Syria included an agreement of US funding for such weapons.

Is it possible that the containers in both photographs are from the same chemical weapons batch? A recently published United Nations Report, confirms that the chemical weapon used in Khan Sheikhoun consisted of sarin and a hexamine additive… the same deadly combination found in chemical weapons used by Assad in the Ghouta region outside Damascus in 2013.

January 2018 Update: OPCW source confirms, chemical signature match between sarin chems used in 2013 and 2017 attacks.

Furthermore, while assumed to be Syrian operated, drones and aircraft associated with the chemical strike were actually Russian-made, and the airbase the strike was launched from was actually built by and for Russian operations in 2015.