10/22/16

Where America Stands In The World With Trump Or Hillary In Office

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Crossposted from Right Wing News

I’m sure you will be shocked that I disagree with both sides here. The AP has an article out showing where Trump stands versus Clinton on foreign and world affairs. The US should not impose solutions on foreign interactions, but if we are already involved or it is in our best interests nationally, then yes, we should be involved. Since 9/11, I have said that we made a strategic error by going after Iraq and then Afghanistan. We should have gone after the real culprits… Iran and Saudi Arabia. That never happened. What did ensue is never ending warfare actions against barbarians more comfortable living as goats. It’s a losing scenario which the Russians also found out the hard way.

That’s not to say I think we can’t wipe out ISIS. I believe we can. The question is… are we willing to absorb the collateral damage? Because that is what it would take. A clean slate. It is the way of war.

Donald Trump is what I call an isolationist… a nationalist. He believes in protectionism. Trump says our allies should contribute monetarily to us defending them or should have to defend themselves. I agree they should have to contribute… but regardless, there are parts of the world we cannot just walk away from. Because what happens to our allies directly affects us as a nation and will surely come to our doorstep. If you let a maniacal leader take over the world except for the US, then pretty soon, the US will fall as well. That’s why we have alliances. We are stronger together in battle.

america

From Breitbart:

WASHINGTON (AP) — THE ISSUE: How should America use its influence in a world where being a superpower doesn’t get you what it once did? As instability and human tragedy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have shown, the U.S. alone cannot impose solutions or force the surrender of adversaries like the Islamic State group, which cannot be deterred by the threat of nuclear attack.

___

WHERE THEY STAND

Donald Trump says his approach is defined by the phrase “America First.” He says, for example, that if allies in Europe and Asia won’t pay the full cost of U.S. contributions to their defense, then the U.S. should let them defend themselves. He is sour on “international unions that tie us up and bring America down.”

Hillary Clinton takes the view that America benefits from a wide network of alliances, both for security and for economic strength. She says she would work to widen and strengthen that network. She criticizes a “go-it-alone” approach for the U.S. and asserts that international partnerships are “a unique source of America’s strength.”

Clinton is a socialist/communist. She is an elitist/globalist. She believes there should be no borders and one huge world economy. This philosophy, if imposed on the US, is deadly and never, ever works. It ends in strife, death and war. Clinton is not a war hawk… she is for sale to the highest bidder. She puts herself first and the nation second.

Obama has been a monstrous failure in Iraq and Syria. His slap and tickle approach to ISIS has not worked and has in fact strengthened the enemy. Before Obama became involved, Iraq was more or less stable… so was Afghanistan. Not any more. Now tribal Jihadists have formed a Caliphate and pretty much terrorize as they please. Assad has launched a third chemical attack on his own people with the aid of Russia and Iran. I’m not sure we should be in Syria at all, but if we are there, should we be letting thousands die so horribly? Trump says he will wipe out ISIS, but I have not seen a credible plan for that. Clinton would simply talk them to death.

Trump says he stands against the Iran deal, but the last time I heard anything on it, he said he would keep it in place and go to the negotiating table with them. Huge mistake. The deal should be scrapped immediately. You do not conduct diplomacy with an avowed enemy of the US, especially for nuclear weapons. War with the mullahs is a foregone conclusion, regardless of what Clinton bloviates.

NATO is a necessary entity. We should not however bear the majority of the cost as we do. Trump is wrong when he intimates that NATO is no longer necessary. Russia is as big a threat today, if not more, than during Reagan’s administration. Trump’s friendliness with Putin is beyond troubling and he has stooges for the Kremlin surrounding him. We cannot afford to do away with NATO, but we can negotiate a better deal for the US. And we should all be prepping for war… a war that is in fact already here. Clinton gives lip service to NATO, but her only real concern is what she would get from our allies, not a true security alliance.

We should not go it alone and Clinton is right that there is strength in numbers. But there is weakness in global socialism, which is her shtick. We are in the beginning salvos of World War III. We should be strengthening our military and forging as many alliances as we can. Neither candidate knows much at all about foreign policy or the military. This is why Russia, China and Iran are beginning to make their moves against us. Without a strong leader, we invite war.

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07/26/16

Warning to Donald Trump: Get real on Russian threat, or lose to Hillary

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

The Democrats plan to exploit Donald Trump’s seeming admiration for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and his lukewarm support for NATO as a stick to beat him with in the upcoming Presidential race.

Clinton

Two existential threats to America

While largely ignored by most of Trump’s base, their candidate’s perceived naivete regarding Putin and his entourage of pro-Russian acolytes (Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page), is set to become a major campaign liability. Incredibly, Hillary Clinton, as far left as Bernie Sanders, if truth be told, plans to run to the right of Trump on foreign policy. Trump and the Republican Party will be backed into a pro-Putin corner that will be very difficult to break out of. Talk about irony.

Wesley Clark, a retired Army general, former Democratic presidential candidate and affiliate of the leftist Center for American Progress, thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin wants GOP nominee Donald Trump to win the presidency.

Clark said in a statement for VoteVets, a Democratic/leftist veterans’ group:

“Here’s what Putin probably wants longer term: the break-up of NATO, the pullback of the EU, takeover of Ukraine, dominance over Georgia, re-establishment of Russian control over Eastern Europe and greater Russian influence worldwide,” 

“And what does Trump suggest for his foreign policy? Conditional support for NATO, pulling America back behind walls, withdrawing forward-deployed deterrent forces, abandoning allies and encouraging the proliferation of nuclear weapons,” … “Is there any doubt that Putin might really like us to elect Donald Trump?”

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made it clear on Monday that WikiLeaks‘ recent dump of Democratic Party emails was no accident:

“Given Donald Trump’s well-known admiration for Putin and his belittling of NATO, the Russians have both the means and the motive to engage in a hack of the DNC and the dump of its emails prior to the Democratic convention…”

This site has been warning for months that Donald Trump’s softness on Russia and unsupportive statements on NATO would become a campaign issue. How did it come to this…a Republican nominee is being attacked by socialist Democrats over his softness towards a neo-Stalinist dictator?

To have any chance of victory in November, Donald Trump needs to fire all his pro-Russia advisers and start treating both Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin as the existential threats to America that they undoubtedly are.

Thanks to the Washington Examiner.

Read More:

07/25/16

The Trump-Sanders Coalition

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Trump

You know the terms “left” and “right” are losing meaning when left-wing websites are praising the Republican presidential candidate and attacking the Democrat, and Russia seems to be intervening in favor of the GOP.

The Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA), which has been pulling for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race, has sent out an advisory entitled, “What Trump is Right About: NATO.” On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton’s pick for her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), has been depicted by the same group as a creature of Wall Street.

The IPA is not alone. Journalism Professor Jeff Cohen, co-founder of RootsAction.org and communications coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network, has been quoted as saying that Kaine is a “corporatist,” or stooge of Big Business. Cohen’s colleague, Norman Solomon, calls Kaine a puppet of the “oligarchy.”

At the same time, WikiLeaks has released an email database from the Democratic National Committee, demonstrating that the DNC intervened in the primary contest against Sanders and in favor of Clinton. Since Russian hackers obtained the DNC emails, it means that Moscow wants to cause mischief on the Democratic side just as Hillary is getting the presidential nomination this week in Philadelphia.

An explanation for this interesting series of events may be found in the IPA news release on Trump and NATO, quoting Professor David N. Gibbs as saying that “Trump’s recent criticisms of the NATO alliance are reasonable.” He adds, “Trump is right to question NATO’s value in promoting U.S. security, and also to raise the issue of the enormous financial cost of this alliance to the U.S. taxpayer.” Gibbs has appeared on RT, the Russia Today propaganda channel.

Trump’s pro-Russian outlook has caused great consternation among conservatives who see the Vladimir Putin regime as the aggressor in Europe and interfering in the Middle East. Trump’s allies vetoed tough language in the Republican platform urging heavy weapons for Ukraine to fight Russian aggression. Instead, the Trump forces inserted language about providing “appropriate assistance” to Ukraine.

By contrast, the Democratic platform is tough on Russia and attacks Trump’s position on NATO. It says, “Russia is engaging in destabilizing actions along its borders, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and attempting to recreate spheres of influence that undermine American interests. It is also propping up the Assad regime in Syria, which is brutally attacking its own citizens. Donald Trump would overturn more than 50 years of American foreign policy by abandoning NATO partners — 44 countries who help us fight terrorism every day — and embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin instead. We believe in strong alliances and will deter Russian aggression, build European resilience, and protect our NATO allies.”

These words sound great, except for the fact that, as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton had an opportunity to be tough with the Russians and blew it. Her Russian reset led to the invasion of Ukraine. It also masked the uranium deal highlighted in the movie “Clinton Cash,” based on the book, a deal in which the Russians bought 20 percent of America’s uranium production as millions of dollars flowed to the Clinton Foundation and hundreds of thousands of dollars went to Bill Clinton personally.

Has Hillary Clinton changed her mind on Russia? That’s what the platform would suggest. If so, it would be a big opening for Trump to pounce on her flip-flops. But he hasn’t done so. Instead, he refuses to take on Russian aggression in Europe or the Middle East.

In his speech, however, Trump openly appealed to Sanders supporters, saying they “will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and wealth.”

Trump’s appeal to Sanders supporters is based on trade. But it appears that his pro-Russian foreign policy has some appeal to them as well. If the Sanders supporters perceive Hillary Clinton to be a hawk on foreign policy, as Sanders himself suggested during the campaign, it’s possible they could either sit out the race or vote for the New York billionaire.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

06/30/16

Who’s Behind the Bloodbath in Turkey?

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Turkey

Apologists for Vladimir Putin, including his propaganda channel Russia Today (RT), have been telling us for months that Turkey has been facilitating and even funding the global Islamic terrorist group ISIS. But the carnage at the Istanbul, Turkey, airport, apparently carried out by ISIS, demonstrates this is a big lie. ISIS is doing Russia’s dirty work in targeting the only Muslim and Middle Eastern country that is a member of NATO.

This would not have been the first time that ISIS had attacked Turkey. In fact, a suicide bomber who struck a busy tourist area in central Istanbul on Saturday, March 19 was also an ISIS terrorist.

But there’s also the possibility that the PKK, the Kurdish terrorist organization also known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, was behind the attack. The PKK has killed thousands of people in Turkey, and has bombed or attacked the country’s tourism industry, hospitals and businesses.

Incredibly, in a scandal that could turn into another Benghazi, it has been confirmed that President Obama’s administration is arming the Democratic Union Party (PYD)—a branch of the PKK—supposedly to fight ISIS. But the PYD’s increasing consolidation of power in northern Syria could pose a military threat to Turkey.

Turkey, a long-time NATO member, is caught in the middle between ISIS and the PKK, while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Obama’s support for the PYD is helping to create a “sea of blood” in the region.

In addition to sponsoring International Coalition military attacks on ISIS from its own Incirlik Airbase, Turkey is the only Muslim country that belongs to NATO. Since the days of the old Soviet Union, Russia has hated NATO and has wanted to see it abolished. During the Cold War, American nuclear weapons were deployed in Turkey to counter the Soviet/Russian threat.

The timing of this terrorist attack was significant. The NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government in Warsaw, Poland is scheduled to begin on July 8.

If it turns out that another terrorist group carried out the attack, such as the PKK, that would not be surprising either. Turkish President Erdogan has directly accused Russia of providing anti-aircraft weaponry and rockets to the PKK. “At this moment, terrorists are using anti-aircraft guns and missiles supplied by Russia,” Erdogan recently said. “The separatist terrorist organization is equipped with these weapons. They have been transferred to them via Syria and Iraq.” These charges followed revelations that the PKK used a Russian-made shoulder-launched missile to down a Turkish helicopter.

Retired Turkish diplomat Murat Bilhan, who served in Moscow, noted, “The PKK had an office in Russia and from time to time it received assistance and support from Russia in the 1990s; Russia never considered PKK as a terrorist organization.”

Indeed, the PKK was another one of the “liberation movements” started by the old Soviet intelligence service, the KGB.

Turkish commentator Burhanettin Duran noted that Obama’s support for the PYD “continues to strain ties between Turkey and the United States.” He added, “A recent visit to Kobani by U.S. special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS (DAESH), Brett McGurk, where he accepted gifts from a former PKK member who now serves in the PYD leadership, took the crisis to the next level…To make matters worse, State Department spokesman John Kirby stated at least twice that the United States would continue working with the PYD, which the U.S. does not consider to be a terrorist group.” He went on to say that McGurk offered “to protect Turkey against the PKK,” but that he “came out in favor of strengthening the PYD’s armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) even after President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an openly asked the administration to choose between Turkey and the PYD.”

The New York Times has been slow to acknowledge the scandal that is developing with another Obama administration policy in the Middle East. However, the paper did run astory in February that Turkish President Erdogan “called into question the American commitment to fighting terrorist groups in Syria and cited Washington’s failure to recognize a Syrian Kurdish rebel group as a terrorist organization.” That group was the PYD. “Are you on our side or the side of the terrorist PYD and PKK organizations?” Erdogan asked.

At the State Department’s daily press briefing on February 8, spokesman John Kirby said, “…we don’t, as you know, recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization. We recognize that the Turks do, and I understand that. Even the best of friends aren’t going to agree on everything.”

During testimony before a Senate panel, Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said “yes” when asked by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) whether the PYD and its militia force, the YPG, were aligned with the PKK. The Reuters news agency noted that Graham had said, “We are arming people inside of Syria who are aligned with a terrorist group: That is the finding of the Turkish government.”

Isn’t that a variation of the pro-terrorist policy that led to the Benghazi massacre?


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

06/10/16

Trump Seen as Vehicle to Destroy GOP

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Trump

While showing an image of Donald Trump as a wrecking ball, veteran leftist operative Webster Tarpley told the recent Left Forum in New York City, “If we play this right, he can destroy the Republican Party.” The comments, delivered at the major left-wing gathering of the year, reflect the belief among “progressive” activists that the Donald J. Trump candidacy can be used to destroy the Republican Party and usher in a major period of Democratic Party rule, under the increasing influence of an openly socialist faction.

“This party must be destroyed,” Tarpley said, referring to the Republicans.

Tarpley’s analysis of the political scene takes on additional significance as we see evidence of communists and Mexican nationals protesting outside Trump rallies and assaulting Trump supporters. Tarpley’s audience was the Left Forum, which is described as “the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public.” The theme for this year’s event was “Rage, Rebellion, Revolution: Organizing Our Power.”

Those participating included the Democratic Socialists of America (which supported Barack Obama and now Bernie Sanders), the Southern Poverty Law Center, representatives of the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, the “Exonerate Ethel Rosenberg” campaign, CodePink, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Workers World Party, the Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and the Greek Communist Party.

A former operative in the movement led by Lyndon H. LaRouche, an aging Marxist ideologue who served time in prison on fraud charges, Tarpley is viewed by the left as an expert on the class struggle that defines the evolution of the American political system. He has been a prominent figure in the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, which blames unnamed U.S. officials for carrying out the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He is today associated with the Tax Wall Street Party, a group backing the Sanders proposal to raise taxes on financial transactions in order to finance a socialist super state.

Drawing on historical sources and stories about turmoil in the Trump campaign and the GOP, Tarpley predicted that Trump’s candidacy will divide the Republicans and result in one of its factions merely surviving as a regional party based in the Deep South, rural areas, and the intermountain West. However, he said the party itself has become so dependent on “aging white men,” a shrinking percentage of the electorate, that it may be “demographically doomed” in the long term.

Tarpley, who thinks Sanders has not gone far enough to the left, believes opposing Trump and calling him a fascist is a smart organizing tactic by the left. In his talk, “Destroy the GOP—Split the Dems,” Tarpley describes the Sanders campaign and associated groups as “New Deal Democrats,” as opposed to the “Wall Street Democrats” backing Hillary Clinton. Eventually, if everything goes according to plan, the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party will take control in a “progressive realignment,” and a “new progressive coalition” could emerge and dominate American politics for decades.

“Trump is the trigger” for this dramatic series of developments, he told the leftist conference, and it means the Republican Party could go “extinct,” since it is perceived as being hostile to the new immigrants who have flooded into the country. He is predicting a complete political realignment for the period 2016 to 2046.

However, left unsaid in his presentation is whether after Mrs. Clinton is presumably done with her first term as president, she could be challenged for another term by the Sanders wing of the party, possibly represented at that time by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

But the idea that Warren is somehow against the interests of Wall Street and finance capital is, of course, complete nonsense. She ran for the Senate with the support of hedge fund billionaire George Soros and other big money liberals.

While Tarpley is not a supporter of Mrs. Clinton or President Obama, he gives Obama, a skilled Marxist-trained operative, enormous credit for assembling a winning coalition in the presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. He explained, “2008 was a watershed election, and in retrospect that will become more obvious than it is now.” He said Obama had ushered in “a new phase” of politics that has put tremendous pressure on the Republican Party to generate support from enough of the electorate to survive as a national political entity.

“That future is what you have to keep your eyes on,” he emphasized. “That’s where you have to get. It means a crushing defeat for Trump, if we can do it.”

At the same time, Tarpley acknowledged that Trump supporters have “legitimate economic beefs,” based on the declining standard of living, and the fact that “deindustrialization” has harmed the middle class by destroying millions of factory jobs. But the Republican ideology is “in crisis,” as factions of the party disagree over the benefits of free trade and solutions to other economic problems. Other major Republican donors have libertarian tendencies that threaten the GOP coalition as well, he stated.

While the demise of the Republican Party may seem like wishful thinking, Tarpley outlined a political scenario that is plausible to outside experts and which could mean that the GOP would meet the fate of other political parties in American history—such as the Federalists, Whigs, and Know-Nothings — “by breaking apart” and losing the presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court in the process.

Tarpley’s predictions about Trump’s negative impact on the Republican Party came just a few weeks before Trump unleashed a series of attacks on a “Mexican” judge, who was actually born in the United States, prompting more concern from current and former Republican officials that the Trump presidential campaign could jeopardize Republicans prospects in November.

The destruction of the GOP also means the defeat of what Tarpley called the “neocon warmongers,” defined as those who favor U.S. military intervention against radical regimes and terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Continuing the pro-Russian bent that has long characterized the LaRouche movement, Tarpley favors the destruction of NATO. He was a speaker at the “No to War, No to NATO,” conference in Rome, Italy, which also included a representative of the old Soviet front, the U.S. Peace Council. Tarpley then participated in a forum on “good relations with the Russian Federation” held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

While Trump has been critical of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and has questioned the need for NATO, a one-time anti-Soviet alliance, these positions were not of any interest or concern to Tarpley. Instead, Trump was viewed as an opportunity to divide and weaken the Republican Party.

With the Republican Party out of the way, the activists making up the Left Forum would be able to consolidate their power in the Democratic Party and move it even further to the left, in terms of more socialism at home and more accommodation of “anti-imperialist” and “anti-capitalist” forces abroad.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

05/4/16

Generals Warn of Russian Aggression As Trump Cozies Up To Putin

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

generals

While Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is talking about cooperation with Russia, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that one of America’s top generals, NATO Supreme commander General Philip Breedlove, is saying that the United States and its allies have to immediately address Russian military aggression.

“We see that Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership but has chosen a path of belligerence,” Breedlove is quoted by the paper as saying. “We need to readdress where we’re heading.” Breedlove is retiring as NATO supreme commander and commander of U.S. European Command.

By contrast, Trump recently gave a foreign policy address that completely ignored Russian aggression in Ukraine, leading to a warm reception in Moscow for the Republican candidate.

Continue reading

03/31/16

Trump’s Russia adviser Carter Page: Globalist entrepreneur with ties to Russian intelligence-dominated company

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has hired a Russian adviser with ties to a former Eastern Bloc oligarch and Russian intelligence infiltrated energy company, Gazprom.

Carter Page

Carter Page

The hire in question is a globe-trotting 44 year-old American investment banker Carter Page, who has built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company.

Page’s resume includes a stint in the U.S. Naval Academy, working in arms control at the Pentagon and a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Over his career, he’s earned three graduate degrees, including a PhD from SOAS University of London.

In 2000, Page moved into investment banking, getting a job at Merrill Lynch’s capital-markets group in London. After impressing a colleague with his relationship with Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian billionaire, Page was sent to help open the firm’s Moscow office in 2004.

One of the Ukraine’s richest men, Victor Pinchuk is the son-in-law of  former pro-Russian Ukrainian President and longtime Communist Party boss, Leonid Kuchma.

Read more here…

03/31/16

Donald Trump’s Anti-NATO Campaign Feeds “Red Russia”

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

Analyst Toby Westerman examines Donald Trump’s anti-NATO views and how a Trump Administration would turn Europe over to Vladimir Putin. Westerman, author of “Lies, Terror, and the Rise of the Neo-Communist Empire: Origins and Directions,” says that Trump, a real estate mogul, doesn’t seem to understand that a Russian nuclear or conventional attack will occur on the territory of our allies. “They stand to lose more than money,” he says. “I’m ashamed that an American leader (Trump) would talk that way.” He adds, “Our allies are being surrounded. And Trump wants to cut and run.” Westerman and host Cliff Kincaid also discuss the “Red Jihad” attacks in Brussels, Belgium, where NATO is based. It looks like a Trump presidency would resemble the Barack Obama policy of surrendering to “Red Russia” and its client states, including Cuba. Westerman says that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seem to be “security risks.”

03/23/16

No, Ted Cruz did not blame Donald Trump for #BrusselsAttacks

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

trump cruz battle

In the wake of the horrific Islamic terror attack in Brussels, Belgium that claimed the lives of 30 people, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz made the point that now is not the time to abandon NATO, despite comments to that effect made by Donald Trump reported just yesterday.

Brussels is where NATO is headquartered, and is also significant for being the capital of the European Union. Without NATO, Europe will be left virtually defenseless against Russian military aggression. 

The Washington Post delved into Donald Trump’s “unabashedly noninterventionist” foreign policy strategy yesterday. Trump questioned the wisdom of U.S. involvement in NATO, which he said “may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington.”

Trump was quoted as saying,

“NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”

Not surprisingly, Vladimir Putin also wants NATO to go away.

Read more here…

12/17/15

Moscow’s Five-Star Treatment of a Three-Star Army General

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

This is a special report from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism

Before he left for Moscow to speak at a Russia Today (RT) conference, the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) inked a deal to write a book about how to defeat America’s enemies in the Middle East. The title of the forthcoming book by Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) is, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.

But Flynn’s attendance at the RT “gala celebration,” including a special seat at the head table at the anniversary dinner, suggests that this retired officer, who attained a three-star rank during a 33-year Army career, views Russia as a potential U.S. ally in the war on terror.

In announcing his new book, Flynn said, “I am writing this book for two reasons: first, to show that the war is being waged against us by enemies this administration has forbidden us to describe: radical Islamists. Second, to lay out a winning strategy that is not passively relying on technology and drone attacks to do the job. We could lose this war; in fact, right now we are losing. The Field of Fight will give my view on how to win.”

We need military officials willing to fight and win. But Flynn’s participation in the RT anniversary celebration raises questions about what the DIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies know, or think they know, about the Russian role in global conflict and RT’s role in propaganda and disinformation.

What we can say for sure at this point is that it was not an accident that the former head of the DIA showed up in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a TV channel that serves the interests of Moscow’s intelligence establishment. Flynn was right in the middle of the “Field of Fight,” and he must surely have known what he was getting into. It’s not called KGB-TV for nothing.

RT’s Disinformation Themes

In trying to attract and confuse an American audience, RT regularly features Marxist and radical commentators in the U.S. such as Noam Chomsky, Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and 9/11 “inside job” advocate and radio host Alex Jones. It is preferable for the Russians to use foreigners, especially Americans, to make their propaganda points. Flynn is probably the most important American ever snared in RT’s web. He has added propaganda value because of his impressive background and years of service in the U.S. Army.

The RT conference was held at a time when the Russian regime was determined to divert global attention away from its military intervention on behalf of its long-time client state of Syria. Research analyst Hugo Spaulding of the Institute for the Study of War notes that Russia’s current air campaign in Syria “is focused on targeting Syrian armed opposition groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rather than ISIS.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights reportsthat Russian military strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians during the course of bombing hospitals, bakeries, and markets. The result has been increasing refugee flows into Turkey and Europe.

RT, however, promotes a different version of reality, a “false narrative,” as Spaulding calls it. Indeed, that is the purpose of RT—to whitewash military aggression by the Russian state and focus attention on what the United States and its allies are supposedly doing in the world.

“Russian Air Force destroys 29 ISIS camps in Syria in 24 hours,” was the headline over a typical RT story about Syria. The channel portrays Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke to the RT 10th anniversary dinner, as a devout Christian fighting radical Islam.

However, Russia’s open war on the ethnic Turkmen fighting the Assad regime in Syria was something that NATO member Turkey could not ignore. The Turkish shoot-down of a Russian war plane flying through Turkey’s airspace became major news and the first incident in a developing confrontation that shows no sign of ending. RT immediately went to work claiming that Turkey was benefiting from ISIS oil. The U.S. Treasury Department countered with evidence showing that Syria’s Assad is buying ISIS oil through a Russian agent.

The Honey Trap

In addition to using Americans as props and pawns, RT relies heavily on glitzy graphics and beautiful women as anchors and correspondents to promote its propaganda. RT knows what it’s doing, having run a story titled, “From Russia with lust: Femme fatal Anna Chapman, to Russian mail-order brides, to our very own RT correspondents. Americans are infatuated with Russian women!”

It is noteworthy that RT openly cited Chapman, a sexy Russian spy who was seducing an unnamed cabinet official in the Obama administration in an effort to obtain classified information. She was caught, pleaded guilty, and was expelled from the U.S. in 2010. However, she returned to Russia and was honored with an award by none other than Vladimir Putin himself.  Chapman had reportedly tried to seduce NSA defector Edward Snowden.

One of RT’s attractive female anchors, Sophie Shevardnadze, the granddaughter of former Soviet bureaucrat Eduard Shevardnadze, was tasked with interviewing Flynn during the conference, which was held at Moscow’s historic five-star luxuryMetropol Hotel. Flynn appeared on a special edition of her RT show, Sophie & Co, where he appeared grateful for the opportunity, saying, “…thank you so much for inviting me and having me here.”

In her interview with Flynn, Shevardnadze did not disappoint, echoing the Russian line on the Middle East by blaming the U.S. and its allies for conflict and violence. Rather than attack Putin’s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, Flynn responded by saying that the U.S. and Russia have “to move forward” together.  Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 2012 to April 2014, said on RT that “…in order for us to not move to a greater level of conflict between the great nations of the world, we have to come to grips of how do we work together, how do we take interests, interests that are converging. So we have a whole set of converging interests that we are seeing right now, and unless we understand it, we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to make tactical mistakes that are going to lead to strategic consequences.”

He claimed that Russia has faced terrorism from Muslims within, as if Russia, like the U.S., is a victim of radical Islam. He said, “…there are some in this country that know this enemy from having dealt with it in Chechnya and Dagestan and other places. This is a very, very deadly enemy that we’re facing, and it’s not just hundreds or thousands, these numbers are much greater.”

In fact, as veteran Moscow correspondent David Satter and others have documented, what sometimes appears to be Islamic terrorism in Russia can be carried out with the approval—or even at the direction of—the Kremlin, in order to justify greater repression by the Putin regime. For example, the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that served to solidify Vladimir Putin’s control of the country, and justify the war against the former Soviet republic of Chechnya, wereproven to be the work of agents of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, a successor to the old KGB.

Moscow’s Role in Terrorism

Could Moscow in fact be behind much of the conflict in the Middle East, including the rise of ISIS? If Flynn has rejected this theory out of hand, it wouldn’t be the first time in history that the U.S. intelligence community failed to understand and appreciate Moscow’s role in international terrorism.

Flynn’s announced co-author, or collaborator, on his new book, Michael Ledeen, has a deep understanding of the Middle East, knowledge of how the old Soviet Union operated, and how remnants of that regime guide Russian foreign policy today. Ledeen worked as a consultant to the National Security Council, Department of State, and Department of Defense during the Reagan administration, when Soviet involvement in global terrorism was highlighted and exposed.

Ledeen’s 2003 book, The War Against the Terror Masters, describes the impact of communist disinformation and deception in the conduct of foreign policy.

Ledeen wrote about the discovery of Soviet moles in the CIA, such as Aldrich Ames and Harold Nicholson, and the discovery of one such mole in the FBI, Robert Hanssen. Ledeen writes, “The discovery that Soviet moles had been at work at the highest levels of the American intelligence community had particular importance in our efforts to combat the terror masters. Agency [CIA] analysts had long insisted that there was no conclusive evidence of Soviet involvement in international terrorism. One now had to wonder if that conclusion had been fed to us through the KGB moles in our midst.” Ledeen writes about how the intelligence community ignored inside information provided by Soviet defectors, such as theMitrokhin documents, which exposed the nature of Soviet-backed international terrorism, as well as the identities of “thousands of foreign agents—Western politicians, journalists, movie makers, military officers, and diplomats.”

Soviet KGB operations continued after the “collapse” of the Soviet Union in the hands of its successor agencies, the FSB and SVR. The book Comrade J examines the activities of Russian master spy, Sergei Tretyakov, who handled all Russian intelligence operations against the U.S. while serving under cover from 1995 to 2000 at Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Since intelligence operations continued as if nothing had happened, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, why isn’t it reasonable to assume that the Russians maintained contacts with international terrorist groups?

To his credit, Flynn has been very critical of the role of Russia’s close ally in the Middle East—Iran. In June 2015 testimony, after his retirement, he cited Iranian cooperation with North Korea, China and Russia, and pointed with alarm to the “resurgence of Russian and Chinese influence” in the Middle East. He said Russian assistance to Iran was a part of the problem, noting that “After all, the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr is Russian-built, the two countries work very closely together in Syria, and Russia is providing Iran with an effective antiaircraft system that could be deployed against any aircraft seeking to destroy the nuclear program.”

However, in the RT interview with Sophie Shevardnadze, Flynn’s criticism of Iran was couched in terms of getting all of the Arab and Muslim countries in the region to behave. He merely said “…Iran cannot continue to go the way it’s going” because it was contributing to the conflict.

The Birth of RT

The Russians have gotten far more sophisticated, especially in the field of global propaganda and information. But the reality of what is happening behind the scenes came to public attention when two RT employees, Elizabeth Wahl and Sara Firth, resigned in disgust at the propaganda that they were ordered to spew on the air. For example, the Russian managers ordered “news” that was designed todepict the Ukrainian government in a bad light and mask Russian military interference in that country, including the shoot-down and destruction of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was carrying almost 300 people.

Putin at RT 10th 2

At the RT anniversary dinner on Thursday night, Putin made no mention of those embarrassing resignations. Instead he presented the channel as a free and independent news entity featuring “creative” people who are serving the global public interest. He said to his audience (including Lt. Gen. Flynn), “You compete on the same playing field as international news giants, and are already beating them according to many parameters. In some regions of the world, you have higher ratings than traditional news organizations that have long been operating in the international information market.”

The speech was laughable, considering the Kremlin funding and control of the channel. Yet, it was posted on the president of Russia’s website, along with photographs of the affair. Moscow is obviously proud of what it has accomplished, with the cooperation of foreigners who appear on the channel and give it credibility.

The participation of a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the event was a major coup for RT. Film and photos of his participation will help the Russians in their ongoing propaganda campaign to depict the state-funded entity as simply a respectable source of alternative news and opinion that offers different views.

Showing the continuity between the old Soviet Union and Russia, former Soviet President Gorbachev was in attendance at the Thursday night dinner. He “congratulated RT and expressed his admiration for the network,” the channel reported. Outside the event, Gorbachev called the channel a “big success.”

The Case of Edward Snowden

Flynn’s attendance at the RT conference was shocking not only because Putin is an evil ruler whose regime murders opposition figures and truly independent journalists, but because Flynn was critical in the past about the damage done by NSA defector Edward Snowden, who escaped to Russia and now lives under Putin’s protection.

Flynn said in January 2014 that Snowden’s disclosures have caused “grave damage to our national security.” He added that “the greatest cost” of his disclosures will be “the cost in human lives on tomorrow’s battlefield or in someplace where we will put our military forces…when we ask them to go into harm’s way.”

It appears that the information stolen by Snowden has contributed significantly to the advances of the enemies and adversaries of the United States. Since his defection, Russia conducted a surprise invasion of Ukraine; Communist China mounted a series of cyber warfare attacks; and ISIS has gained ground in the Middle East and around the world. The bloody terrorist assaults in Paris and San Bernardino were carried out by plotters who clearly benefitted from Snowden’s revelations and were careful to plan their attacks using encrypted communications apps, such as Telegram, which was developed by a Russian, Pavel Durov.

RT has consistently portrayed Snowden as a whistleblower, and ran what was apparently intended as a humorous promotional ad in connection with the 10th anniversary celebration. It imagined that the NSA defector would return to the U.S. and be elected U.S. president. The ad shows an elderly Barack Obama in the year 2035 complaining about RT’s “propaganda.”

Snowden apparently wasn’t at the RT celebration, but former Russia Today TV star, Julian Assange, appeared via videotape from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was interviewed by the well-known American “progressive” commentator, Thom Hartmann, who is paid by Moscow to host an RT show that appeals to liberals and left-wingers. Incredibly, the issue being discussed was the “right to privacy”—a right that doesn’t exist in Russia itself. Assange was the recipient of massive leaks from former U.S. Army analyst Bradley Manning, who is becoming a woman named Chelsea while serving a prison term for espionage.

Obama’s Support for Terrorism

One issue raised in RT’s interview of Flynn was a heavily-censored 2012 DIA memo that has been interpreted by many as confirmation that the U.S. and some of its allies had armed the terrorist groups in the Middle East that eventually became ISIS. According to the memo, these groups were seen as effective in countering the Russia/Iran/Syria axis in the area. The memo also described China as backing the Syrian regime.

Flynn’s criticism of this policy since he left the DIA has been made in different venues, including in interviews with Al Jazeera and Der Spiegel. As Flynn has correctly indicated, it is apparent that Obama’s policy in the Middle East has been a disaster. The Benghazi terrorist attacks in Libya, which cost the lives of four Americans, came to pass after the U.S. “switched sides in the war on terror,” as areport from the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has demonstrated. But just as the Obama administration must be held accountable for arming terrorists, so too must the role of the Putin regime in fostering terrorism be exposed.

In addition to the evidence of an FSB role in domestic terrorism, a defector from the Russian intelligence agency has just confirmed Russia’s role in creating ISIS by recruiting former members of Saddam Hussein’s security services. The former FSB officer told Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko that “the Russian special services believed that if a terrorist organization was set up as an alternative to Al-Qaeda and it created problems for the United States as Donbas does for Ukraine now, it would be quite good.” Donbas is the name for the region of Ukraine that has been the staging area for terrorists from Russia, organized by the FSB, to seize territory and undermine Ukraine’s central government. Once again, Russia has demonstrated its commitment to global conflict rather than peace and reconciliation.

The FSB defector said that in order to create ISIS, the Russians selected former officers of the Iraqi army and members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. All of them had graduated from Moscow-based “educational institutions,” he said, referring to the time when the Saddam Hussein regime was in a close alliance with the Soviet Union. The overthrow of the Saddam regime was a huge blow to Russian influence in the Middle East. Iran and the Assad regime are the only firm Russian allies left in the region.

Russians Fighting for Terrorist Groups

The Daily Beast ran an article, “Russians Are Joining ISIS in Droves.” But the idea advanced by The Daily Beast that these terrorists are a threat to Russia is not borne out by the evidence. It seems like they are more of a threat to the rest of the world, especially the United States. In what could be seen as an observation or a threat, Putin himself publicly acknowledged that there are an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Russians fighting for ISIS. By contrast, FBI Director James Comey has estimated that approximately 250 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS. These potential terrorists are believed to be threats to America.

On December 3rd, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin, a Russian national and former Russian army tank commander, had been sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison for conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers and bring down an American helicopter, as well as for “conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and several other charges relating to an attack that he led against U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan in November 2009.”

It is telling that the U.S., not the Russian authorities, prosecuted him. Perhaps the U.S. was reluctant to turn him over to Moscow. This is reminiscent of the case of the Russian arms dealer and former Soviet military officer Viktor Bout, the legendary “Merchant of Death” who is serving a 25-year sentence in U.S. federal prison. Bout was lured out of Russia, where he was living openly, and arrested in a sting operation in Thailand by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Some of the weapons Bout was selling were for communist Colombian terrorists to use against Americans.

RT has covered the Bout case relentlessly, always in a manner critical of the United States for apprehending and prosecuting him. RT has even highlighted how Bout’s wife has set up The Road Home Foundation to facilitate the return to Russia of Bout and other Russians convicted of crimes abroad.

In another sensational case, the Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by two brothers from Russia, but the Russian connection was immediately discounted on the ground that the Russians had reportedly warned U.S. authorities about the bombers’ travels back and forth to the old Soviet Union. Curiously, RT ran claims by their mother back in Russia that the terrorists were “set up” by the FBI.

It is indeed strange how a Russian connection seems to surface in some of these most sensational terrorism cases.

In the more recent San Bernardino attack, we have a case of two Russian beautiesmarried to Muslim men. A Russian blonde beauty had married into the terrorist’s family, and another Russian woman had married Enrique Marquez, a convert to Islam who bought the weapons used in the massacre.

Nuclear Jihad?

In his June 2015 testimony, Flynn acknowledged that the U.S. intelligence community has had a “mixed” record in one important area—“tracking clandestine nuclear weapons programs.” In this context, it is significant that in his December 9 testimony to Congress, FBI director James Comey made a passing reference to how the bureau had disrupted “a nuclear threat in Moldova,” an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic. There is much more to the story and it directly involves the criminal regime in Moscow.

The story came to light in October, when the Associated Press disclosed that “gangs with suspected Russian connections” had tried on several occasions to “sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists.” AP said the latest known case came in February this year, “when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium—enough to contaminate several city blocks—and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State group.”

In a follow-up report, the Center for Public Integrity said the nuclear material in the various cases “appeared to have the same origin—a restricted military installation in Russia.” It added that “no one in the West knows exactly who has this nuclear explosive material, and where they may be.”

The group concluded, “It’s a mystery that so far has stumped America’s best spying efforts, in no small measure because the government of Russian president Vladimir Putin has refused to provide needed information on the case—or even to acknowledge that some of the country’s nuclear explosive materials are missing.”

Don’t look for RT to get to the bottom of this.