Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Endless Wars, Rigged Elections, Washington Terrified By Putin-Erdogan Meeting, Tokyo Vows 'Firm' Response To Beijing

US Public Support for Washington's 'Perpetual' Wars Finally Wanes

Wheatcroft calls attention to the fact that currently the US has neither benevolent political actors, nor true friends in the Middle East.

"If the unilateral intervention of the previous administration was a total failure, and if the alternative policies followed under Obama have been met with very limited success, might it not be time to fundamentally to reassess the American role as a would-be but not very successful global superpower?" the English writer asks.

He poses yet another question of whether US foreign policy mistakes prompted Americans to support Donald Trump, who is calling to diminish overseas military campaigns and shift the focus to the US' domestic issues.
US conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan echoes Wheatcroft in his Tuesday article for the American Conservative.

Behind the war guarantees America has issued to scores of nations in Europe, the Mideast and Asia since 1949, the bedrock of public support that existed during the Cold War has crumbled," he writes.

In this context Obama's "red line" in Syria has become a sort of litmus test: back in 2013 when the US President claimed that his "red line" against the use of chemical weapons in Syria had been allegedly crossed, he found out that "he had no public backing for air and missile strikes on the Assad regime."
"We have been at war since 2001. And as one looks at the ruins of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and adds up the thousands dead and wounded and trillions sunk and lost, can anyone say our War Party has served us well?" Buchanan asks.

A professor from Princeton University and a graduate student just proved electronic voting machines in the U.S. remain astonishingly vulnerable to hackers — and they did it in under eight minutes.
In fact, Professor Andrew Appel and grad student Alex Halderman took just seven minutes to break into the authentic Sequoia AVC Advantage electronic voting machine Appel purchased for $82 online — one of the oldest models, but still in use Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia, Politico reported.
After Halderman picked the hulking, 250-pound machine’s lock in seven seconds flat, Appel wrested its four ROM chips from a circuit board — an easy feat, considering the chips weren’t soldered in place.
Once freed, Appel could facilely replace the ROM chips with his own version “of modified firmware that could throw off the machine’s results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter,” Politico’s Ben Wofford explained.
Appel and a team of other so-called cyber-academics have hacked into various models of electronic voting machines in order to prove to the public the equipment is ridiculously bereft of security. Together with Ed Felten, Appel and a group of Princeton students “relentlessly hacked one voting machine after another … reprogramming one popular machine to play Pac-Man; infecting popular models with self-duplicating malware; [and] discovering keys to voting machine locks that could be ordered on eBay.”

Ankara has recently changed its rhetorics on the downing of Russia’s aircraft over Syria in November. According to the new version, Washington took part in the downing of Su-24, that was organized with the help of the Gulen movement. We are being told that one of the Turkish pilots involved has shown his true face when he agreed to bomb Ankara on the night of July 16.
However, the loss of Turkey as a NATO outpost in the Mediterranean is hardly an acceptable development for both the EU and the US. For this reason Turkey has recently been visited by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, which hasn’t lost all hopes to make friends with Ankara yet again.

But we must not forget that Ankara’s abrupt turn towards Russia occurred when Turkey recognized that it was being prepared for the “future US president and her wars.” Turkey was the last state that was to be brought down by US intelligence services in order to collapse the whole region. It is not surprising that the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak Daily is convinced that “Ankara has grabbed America by the throat … and now it tightens the grip. “

The upcoming talks of the Russian and Turkish leaders will be held in the situation when politics has overcome economics. If Turkey shows its desire to change its stance on Syria and the fight against terrorism, Russia will cooperate with it, there can be no doubt about it. And if Ankara takes a more adequate negotiation position, we can await the creation of a geopolitical alliance.

So the White House and the West has every reason to be afraid of the upcoming meeting between Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin.

In the wake of the Hague’s recent ruling on the South China Sea, tensions between Japan and China over another long-lasting territorial dispute in the East China Sea have increased dramatically, with both parties claiming rights to the Senkaku/Diaoyudao Islands and surrounding waters.

On Monday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga accused Beijing of 14 violations throughout the past weekend of what Tokyo considers its sovereign territory, vowing a “firm,” but “calm” response to the Chinese side.
Suga said that Japan’s Coast Guard will work with other national agencies to respond to developments. The Japanese Defense Minister, Tomomi Inada, also added that air raids over Chinese vessels will be conducted.
The incidents led to a tense diplomatic exchange between the countries. Japan’s foreign ministry summoned Chinese diplomats on Saturday, calling the crossings an “unacceptable” act that raises tensions. The same day Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying issued a response on the government site, claiming Beijing has sovereignty over the islands and surrounding waters.

Vladimir Putin may be on the cusp of a pivotal victory in Syria’s civil war that would make it much harder for the U.S. to achieve its stated goal of ousting Bashar al-Assad without a major military escalation.
Assad’s troops, backed by Russian air power, are bearing down on rebels entrenched in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city before fighting erupted in 2011. Reclaiming Syria’s commercial capital would give Assad control over all major population centers and cement his hold on a contiguous swath of land from Turkey to Jordan that makes up almost half of the country.
“Russia will stick to its guns in Syria and show the whole world we are right,” Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the defense committee in the upper house of parliament, said by phone from Moscow. Driving the last rebel groups out of Aleppo within a few months is now “quite realistic,” he said. 

Serious question: How many political obituaries have these people written about Mr. Trump since he descended into the fetid American political swamp on a glass escalator last summer?
But this time they really mean it!
Yeah, these people are about as credible and reliable as President Obama drawing red lines in Iran or Syria.
And just as we are learning that women and children in Syria were gassed with chlorine that may or may not have been funded with $400 million in laundered ransom cash President Obama had flown into Tehran in an unmarked cargo plane, the American political media was seized with the notion that somehow Donald Trump is crazy.
Well, if gassing children and sending my hard-earned tax money to the world’s largest theocratic sponsor of terrorism is sane, then please tell me where the hell the line for crazy is!
Since the beginning, politicos have wagged about how Mr. Trump lacks the “temperament” to be president. That is a code word for he isn’t “one of us.”
These people are mostly country club types, and it is the same thing they used to say about those people they didn’t want in their country clubs. Strange last name. Talks funny. Most unusual hair. Wrong church. Wrong color.
But, once again, Donald Trump — amid all the smug ridicule — outsmarted them all. He pulled off yet another Media Houdini Act — and they are all too stupid to even know it!

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