A U.S. diplomat met three times with military officers in #Venezuela plotting a coup against Nicolas Maduro; he refused to give the officers even an indication of support, let alone the communications devices they needed to bring off their conspiracy. nyti.ms/2QfP2G2
Some saw #Venezuela's military as a means of stabilizing the situation, allowing practical things like aid deliveries. Others "saw considerable risk in building bridges with leaders of a military that...ha[ve] become a pillar of the cocaine trade and human rights abuses." #pt
There's nothing to complain about in the U.S. gathering intelligence by establishing communications with mutinous officers in #Venezuela. The question is whether Maduro is considered a threat: if he is, then do what's necessary to bring him down. If not, leave it for Venezuelans.
After #Turkey launched airstrikes against the #PKK in Iraq and Syria on 25 April 2017, the U.S. attended one of the bases in Syria to signal solidarity with PKK. The PKK made sure that the U.S. military was photographed with Shahin, one of PKK's most-wanted men.
If you imagine a U.S. General meeting with Naim Qassem, the deputy of #Hizballah, to plan anti-terrorist operations that leave Hizballah controlling most of the Israeli border, then picture #Israel's reaction; you have some idea what this does to #Turkey.
More details on the schism between the Hazimis and lesser-extremists in #IS: Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, an Azeri commanded and Hazimi, blames the caliph's insufficiently stern position on takfir for the loss of land and men last year. chechensinsyria.com/?p=26129
According to Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, the caliph reversed the May 2017 expansion by the Delegated Committee of the takfir ruling after his wife had a dream in which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and Abu Muhammad al-Furqan came to his house and ignored him. #pt
The caliph reversed the May 2017 takfir ruling by a deft institutional manoeuvre: he invited its author, Ismail al-Ithawi (Abu Zayd al-Iraqi), to a meeting in August 2017 and threatened to kill him if he didn't reverse himself. #pt
Whatever the truth of Woodward's stuff, Mattis used his influence in April to work Trump down from a strike package that would have targeted the Asad regime itself and also killed some of the Russian and Iranian forces that abet its criminality. This was a disastrous mistake.
This is the reaction you want a Western leader to have:
After Assad gassed the kids again in April 2017, Trump said: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them."
After suppressing an attempt by the #PLO to overthrow the monarchy in 1970-1, #Jordan disavowed all claims on the West Bank in 1988, seemingly ending hopes for what had long seemed the most viable solution: a federal state spanning the River Jordan. axios.com/jared-kushner-…
Jordan wasn't just renouncing territorial ambitions: it was putting up a firewall against what the East Bank elite, not unreasonably, regard as a dire internal threat, should a settlement on such terms come about. Hard to see why Amman would reverse now.
FBI was trying to "flip" oligarchs around Putin, notably Oleg Deripaska. It failed. Key question: was Christopher Steele, an intermediary, intentionally representing Deripaska's interests to the Americans? Securing visas, trying to clear OD's name, etc. nytimes.com/2018/09/01/us/…
The @NYTimes story is effectively the DoJ/FBI response to the revelations of how closely DoJ's Bruce Ohr was working with Christopher Steele as he compiled opposition research for Mrs. Clinton ("The Dossier"), which was then used at the FISC. This has happened frequently.
The possibility that this @NYTimes story on the FBI trying to turn Putinist oligarchs is misinformation to cover missteps with Steele in 2016 is almost more comforting. Because the plan as described seems designed to allow Russian spies to play games with the U.S. Intel system.
After the horrific 1968-74 period, Ernesto Geisel ('74-9), was regarded as one of the more benevolent rulers during the military dictatorship (1964-85) in #Brazil. Documents show he was aware of summary executions of subversives, as was CIA and Kissinger. theguardian.com/world/2018/may…
The CIA had detected the plans for the 1964 coup in #Brazil, and had contact with some conspirators. But the CIA did *not* instigate the coup, and did not provide money or direction for the plot. >>
>> What the U.S. did do in #Brazil in 1964—unknown to the coup plotters—was prepare, vaguely, to intervene if the coup triggered a civil war to ensure the Communists did not prevail. As it was, the coup encountered little resistance. nyti.ms/2PaQ7xB
We mock Owen Jones for silence now #Venezuela has ended as socialism always does, but having just read a Leftist argument that #China's internment of Muslims is invented by USG fronts like @HRW, the "corporate media", and "reactionary" oppositionists, OJ's looking quite good.
As a side note: I simply do not know where to start with the accusation that @HRW has an "excessively disproportionate focus on designated enemies of Washington". Whatever criticisms of HRW one might have, that one seems completely delusional.
Amazing what one can learn from Western Leftists who are back to defending #China. For example, there is a species of "imprisoned hard-right neoconservative Chinese dissident". Naturally, he is also a "hardcore libertarian" at the same time. And fully deserves to be in the GULAG.
21 August 1968: The Warsaw Pact [USSR, Bulgaria, GDR, Hungary, and Poland] invade Czechoslovakia, where a reformist leader had taken power in January and in April a reformist government took office, intent on "socialism with a human face". Moscow regarded this as a mortal threat.
Yuri Andropov, the KGB chief, advocated invading Czechoslovakia from early in the "crisis". The KGB made innovative use of Illegals, all of them posing as Westerners, to try to kidnap leading Czech reformists and to disseminate active measures to discredit the Prague Spring.
The KGB line was that "Rightists" and "imperialists" were preparing a coup in Czechoslovakia, hence the need for a preemptive invasion. Stories of American arms caches were disseminated. This despite solid information that the US had nothing to do with the Czech reformists.
Twenty years ago, on 7 August 1998, al-Qaeda blew up the U.S. Embassies on Kenya and Tanzania, massacring 200+ people, most of them in Kenya. This was al-Qaeda's entry into the world stage as a serious terrorist menace.
On this anniversary of al-Qaeda's assault on the U.S.'s East African Embassies, it is worth remembering that later investigation found al-Qaeda was enabled to do this by training #Iran provided to them.
#Saudi Arabia says #Canada's statement on the arrest of activists in the Kingdom is an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs, expels the Canadian ambassador and freezes all future trade. bbc.in/2vs6crl
"In her first public response to Saudi Arabia's actions, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday: 'Let me be very clear ... Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights'." aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/s…
A column from me in The @NYPost: in Britain we saw the consequences of Labour's "pas d’ennemis à gauche" (no enemies on the Left) stance; if the Democrats don't start isolating their radicals there's no reason it can't go the same way. nyp.st/2LOdKi7
Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader "despite a massive smear campaign by Britain’s Zio-establishment", said David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. "It’s a really good ... when people are beginning to recognise Zionist power". thetimes.co.uk/article/former…
Not convinced this from Corbyn in The @Guardian will assuage the doubts. He doubles down on the changes Labour made to the IHRA definition of antisemitism; all about ensuring free speech (to criticise #Israel), you see. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
More carefully written than usual but also still somewhat misleading: in both My Lai and Abu Ghraib, Hersh wrote of atrocities that the US military was already in the process of punishing. He just added sensationalism and used the events for political warfare to assist the enemy.
The @Independent chose to pressure Seymour Hersh in a manner last seen with the NKVD ...
In Dec. 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur requested that the authority for the use of tactical nuclear weapons be handed to him as battlefield commander. All indicators are he planned to use them in areas of North Korea and Red China. Truman refused and fired him in April 1951.
(It's not entirely clear what MacArthur proposed to hit with nuclear weapons in Korea and China: he did at some point publicly deny he ever intended their use. Other documents suggest he wanted to create a line of nuclear fallout to sever the Korean Peninsula from China.)
What MacArthur had got right, strategically, which Truman and the State Department had not, was that Communist China was not simply a satellite of the Soviet Union but its own entity, and an American attack on the Peking regime was not akin to an attack on the Soviets.
Our partner force in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK is further formalizing its close relationship with the #Asad/#Iran system and mulling joint offensive operations against a #NATO member. So that's all going well. reut.rs/2LD074A
As @Reuters notes: our partner in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK, a paragon of liberalism and Western values, "indefinitely postponed" the final stage of an election that was already a Soviet-style sham, excluding thousands of Arabs and run under conditions of suffocating autocracy.
Be interesting to see if the U.S. responds publicly to the #SDF/#PKK's suggestion it will help in #Asad-#Iran-#Russia's proposed campaign of mass-slaughter in Idlib and in joint attacks on NATO's #Turkey.
One highly doubts it; the PKK has literally got away with murder so far.
#Turkey should heed Pompeo and release Andrew Brunson. It's wrong; the case has been hopelessly tainted with politics. It's also self-defeating. Holding him hits on a raw nerve in the U.S. and makes achieving Ankara's own objectives more difficult.
Turkey's suggestion that Andrew Brunson is being held as a hostage to be traded for Fethullah Gulen has exacerbated what was already a politicized prosecution. It was an aggressively stupid thing to do: inter alia, strikes at a part of American politics that Trump cannot ignore.
Noam Chomsky making the case that Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam and the Communist-ruled areas of South Vietnam have wonderful systems of village democracy alongside some admitted authoritarian unpleasantness.
Buckley's response that this is "utter nonsense" covers it quite well.
Even by Noam Chomsky's standards, this argument that Red China had forms of democracy that even America did not is incredible.
As William Buckley notes, concentration camps also developed forms of democracy among the prisoners; the idea such conditions are laudable is obscene.
This kind of thing gets a pass: a good word about life expectancy in Red China, or the hospitals in Castro's Cuba. Anyone who defended Franco or Pinochet by reference to their economic records would find a somewhat different reaction. So it goes.
The reboot of 'Firing Line' is not working: it was never conceived as an interview show but a contest of ideas; the new host lacks William F. Buckley's worldview, forensic approach to argument, and killer instinct when someone says something fatuous. warondrivel.com/firing-line-re…
This clip is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with the 'New Firing Line': it doesn't matter about the politics; the host allows Ocasio-Cortez a soft landing when she gets herself caught up in contradiction and exposes her ignorance. Buckley would never have allowed that.
Here's a clip from a 1971 'Firing Line' episode where William Buckley catches John Kerry making a silly point about the #Vietnam War. It's this kind of thing that the rebooted 'Firing Line' avoids, but which was central to the original.
Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 Dec. 2013, would have been 100-years-old today. He oversaw the transition from apartheid to majority rule in South Africa, gaining a near-saintly reputation. But his legacy, and that of his party, the African National Congress, is more complicated.
The Soviet Union before the Second World War had little knowledge of Africa. One of its few focuses was South Africa, the most developed state, and the #ANC from its foundations was tied up with the slavishly pro-Soviet #SACP and more directly with Soviet intelligence.
By the 1930s, the Soviets lost interest in revolution in Africa, though retained its #ANC assets. In the 1960s, the U.S.S.R. moved to try to win the Cold War in the Third World. It provided money and other support to the ANC, plus encouraging a virtual merger with the SACP.
17 July 1965: Pham Ngoc Thao was killed in prison in South Vietnam.
From 1962, Thao oversaw the Strategic Hamlet Program, designed to counter the Communists at the level it mattered: the local villages.
Problem: he was an agent of North Vietnam, so he sabotaged the program.
With the Strategic Hamlet Program, a classic COIN concept, Pham Ngoc Thao was supposed to separate the rural population of RVN from the Communist guerrillas. But Thao, a DRV agent, implemented it in a way that maximally alienated the population, opening space for the Communists.
The failure of South Vietnam's Strategic Hamlet Program (COIN) b/c of the Communist spy Pham Ngoc Thao helped set in motion downfall of Ngo Dinh Diem [one of the worst mistakes of the war] and the turn to more conventional tactics using ever-increasing numbers of US troops. #pt
16 July 1918: Tsar Nicholas II and the rest of the Imperial family, his wife and five children, including little Alexei who was in his father's arms, were murdered by the Bolsheviks, shot and stabbed in the basement of the house in Siberia where the Romanovs had been imprisoned.
The Bolshevik coup was eight-months-old when they massacred the Romanovs. The Whites were still resisting this new and worse form of despotism, but the outside intervention was half-hearted (see
#Putin's opening to this press conference suggests the takeover of southern #Syria by Asad/Iran is a model of U.S.-Russia cooperation that should be expanded, and flatters Trump that his summit with Kim [which Putin very much liked the look of] resolved the Korean Peninsula.
On #Ukraine, Putin hints broadly that the U.S. agrees with him that Kyiv's intransigence prevented Minsk's implementation, and then carefully lets it be known Trump brought up the election meddling, an assist to Trump politically, before of course dismissing it.
Trump frames engagement around U.S.-Russian co-operation in WW2, notes that unfortunate Cold War business, then says: "Our relationship has never been worse ... that changed as of about four hours ago." Says he is being politically brave to do what's right. Lambastes media + Dems