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  • Last Days of Pompey

    Last Days of Pompey

    by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.

     

    What follows here will surely surprise my loyal readers, who expect detailed argumentation and are not put off by 3,000 or even 5,000 words to get to a conclusion. For the same reason, detractors who complain of my long-winded style may take heart.

    However that may be, I do not offer a bed-time story today but a shock to the system.

    The overriding issue of war or peace, survival of mankind or its utter destruction, is now being decided in Washington and NYC without so much as a ‘by your leave’ for the rest of us. 

    Will Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford prevail in warning Trump against any action that will bring a kinetic response from the world’s other nuclear super power. Or will ‘Mad Dog’ Secretary of Defense Matthis win out in pressing Donald Trump to test the Russians’ bluff on their red lines in Syria?  Will the US launch missiles against Damascus or against Iran, as I suggested yesterday as an alternative scenario?  Or will it support Poroshenko in launching a massive attack on Donetsk, as the Russians appear to expect judging by their just putting their entire military on war alert?

     

    Donald Trump has announced very clearly that he will be authorizing some kind of retribution to the CIA-faked chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Goutha in the coming 24 to 48 hours. 

     

    So, here we are at Judgment Day, and there surely will not be one soul out on Pennsylvania Avenue to raise an anti-war placard. The tattered remains of the American peace movement is rotten to the core.  Even Daniel Ellsberg has been suckered into joining the buffoon Noam Chomsky in a cake-walk demo in NYC under the sponsorship of the American Friends Service Committee, once the paragon of pacificism and today just another social action group promoting racial equality.  Uncle Joe Gerson sent out invitations to participate in that theater of the absurd last night.

     

    The anti-war movement was a Leftist movement, and we all know where the Left is today, along with the Progressives.  In denial and Russia-bashing.

     

    To anyone watching the UN Security Council "debate" last night it is crystal clear we are in the last days before all hell breaks out. The wall of mutual contempt between Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya and US Ambassador Nikki Haley was on full display. Nebenzya took to pieces the entire argumentation of the US side regarding Douma and the ‘chemical attack.’ He detailed the rebel caches of chemical weapons and equipment for their manufacture that Russian troops have found in recently liberated territory of Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere. He spoke about the past provocations of faked chemical attacks including the one used to justify the US cruise missile launches on the Syrian air base at Sheirat a year ago. He linked the US training and support for terrorists in fabrication of chemical arms to the faked nerve agent attack on the Skripals in the UK, which he described as a vaudeville act. He heaped scorn on Haley for her denying Russia the status of “friend,”  saying that the US has no friends, only sycophants, whereas Russia has genuine friends, and seeks nothing more in relations with the United States than civilized discourse.  In response to this unprecedented denunciation of the USA and its policies of global hegemony, we heard from Nikki Haley the familiar story of how the UN Security Council could now either adopt a US resolution condemning the Assad regime, in effect, or  admit its total irrelevance while the US continued on its own unilateral path to resolving the Syrian question.

     

    So, ladies and gents, open the champagne.  Last days of Pompey?  I was just there last week and I saw the future, not the past.

     

    © Gilbert Doctorow, 2018

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    Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, Does the United States Have a Future? was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review  http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/    For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg

     

  • The Saker’s “Grim View”

    The Saker’s “Grim View”

    by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.

     

    In an article posted on this morning’s Russia Insider entitled “Russia is Ready for War. Mood on Prime-time TV is Grim,” the Saker sets out a list of conclusions he found watching Russian television, presumably last night (https://russia-insider.com/en/russia-ready-war-mood-prime-time-tv-grim/ri23019).

     

     The program he watched seems not to be cited, though it is a safe guess it was Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov.

     

    I salute The Saker for being one of the mighty few colleagues in alternative news, not to mention mainstream news, who actually follows what the Russians are saying at the source: on their television programs directed at the domestic audience

     

    At the same time, while acknowledging the airing of the views he sets out in his essay, he has intentionally skewed his article to promote the negativism he brought with him to the write-up.  My own take-away from that program was diametrically opposite: to find great encouragement that the US generals, especially Chairman  of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford, are not the OK Corral shoot-out boys some of us would like to paint them, even if one, Secretary of Defense  Matthis, may be clueless.

    What I heard on the Solovyov program is that the US military know precisely the positions of Russian cruisers, submarines, aircraft and missiles in the Middle East region, that is to say, they understand that the Russians are on a war footing and fully prepared to execute the deadly counter strike promised by General Gerasimov several weeks ago if the US dares to cross the Russian red lines and launch a strike against Damascus or other locations where Russia has its armed forces embedded with the Syrians.  The US generals, unlike the US politicians and media and US administration, is risk-averse if the outcome may be catastrophic.  Accordingly, the strike Trump has promised to “avenge” the utterly phony chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, will have another vector, most likely to strike against Iran, which Trump held up as the co-supporters of “Animal” Assad.

    Why Iran?  Well, that falls entirely in line with Trump’s anti-Iranian stance in general and it will test the alliance between Russia, Turkey and Iran whose presidents last week reconfirmed their commitment to a jointly managed final political and military settlement in Syria.  Indeed, there is no alliance between Russia and Iran, and the US can proceed as it sees fit in attacking Iran, subject of course, to Teheran’s ability and readiness attack US bases and armed detachments in its region in response.

    I do not say that this alternative reading of the likely evolution of the Great Power confrontation in the Middle East is a happy one.  But it remains at the level of proxies and does not take us over the precipice to WWIII, as Saker’s and most other Western commentators in alternative media would have us believe.

     

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    © Gilbert Doctorow, 2018

          * * * *

    Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, Does the United States Have a Future? was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review  http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/    For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg

  • Nicolas Sarkozy: Crime and Punishment?

    The relationship between Sarkozy and Gaddafi fits the pattern of the old mafia joke: “You’re my friend. I kill you for nothing.”

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