October 20, 2014


Amazing insight into our new war in Iraq/Syria that you won't get from any news with ads. I really hope you will watch this video and see what news without corporate sponsors, including those who profit from war, is discussing. A few key tidbits:

Joe Biden claims that the conflict will be "a helluva long fight" if we're to best ISIS. In the same speech, he admits that ISIS poses no immediate threat to the US. But I'm glad that good ol' Joe can make us feel better about the fight using working class expressions like "helluva". That's the narrative they paint for us--Obama is the professorial elite prone to bouts of (gasp!) that awful diplomacy which prevents the US from jumping into another senseless war. Whoops! I meant "keeping the US strong."

So Obama and his crummy DOJ have changed the definition of "imminent" in imminent threat and in so doing, they continue the devilish work of George W. Bush. Hillary will be more of a hawk than Obama. And the enemy in this new war is unclear--like who is this new threat from the Khorasan group, which suddenly materialized when the US government needed to pull another threat out of a hat. The beheadings bugged us, but we still weren't sold on going back to war. So they eased us back into war with a new enemy--but with the same people we've been fighting for decades in Iraq. The real threat to the American people of endless, unpaid for wars is coming from it's government from both major political parties--not from ISIS or Khorasan.

JEREMY SCAHILL: "Well, you know, first of all, it’s sort of like the terrorist flavor of the month that we’re dealing with here. You know, first we had al-Qaeda as this huge global threat. Then it was ISIS. And then the Khorasan group was produced. And the thing is, almost no one in Syria had ever heard of the Khorasan group. In fact, my understanding is that it was a term that was sort of used in the U.S. intelligence community and actually isn’t the name of the people that they claim to be attacking.

And what the entire policy boils down to is that the Obama administration has, in a very Orwellian way, changed the definition of commonly understood terms—primarily, the term "imminent." They were saying that the Khorasan group represented an imminent threat to the United States. But we know from a leaked white paper, that was put out in advance of John Brennan’s confirmation to be the CIA director, that the Justice Department actually has officially changed the definition of the word "imminent" so that it does not need to involve an immediate threat against the United States, that it could be a perception that maybe one day these individuals could possibly attempt to plot—not even carry out—a terrorist attack against the United States. That flimsy justification has been used now to expand this war from Iraq to Syria, potentially beyond.

You know, the Obama administration, in engaging in this policy, is continuing a Bush administration outcome of the decision to invade Iraq. So, what am I saying here? What I’m saying is that the United States, through its policies, created the very threat that it claims to be fighting now, and in continuing this policy, what President Obama is doing is embracing the very lies that made the Cheney-Bush Iraq War possible. And in the process, he’s creating yet another generation of people in the Islamic world who are going to grow up in a society where they believe that their religion is being targeted, where they believe that the United States is a gratuitous enemy. And so, this is sort of an epic formula for blowback."

"If you actually look at who benefits from this war, beyond entities like ISIS, because they do benefit from this—every time we kill civilians in drone strikes, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula becomes stronger, in the sense that they have a greater propaganda movement that they can roll out—the war industry. You know, Lockheed Martin is making a killing off of the killing, every Tomahawk cruise missile that’s launched. You know, the next generation of drone aircraft is going to be coming out. They’re working on jet-propelled drones that are going to be able to stay in the air for a very long time. The war industry is in its twilight right now, under Mr. Transformative Presidency Barack Obama. His administration has been an incredibly great friend to the war industry. And outside of some small groups of loony bins that are in Syria and Iraq, the war industry is the greatest beneficiary of this policy."

"You know, the age that we’re living in now, where there’s this war on journalists abroad by every possible force, and then this war at home, where journalists are being surveilled—their sources are being threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act—the Obama administration is in league with some of the most ruthless violators of human rights in the world in a campaign against the press."

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama, the current president—possible presidential contenders, for example, are Hillary Clinton. You wrote Dirty Wars while she was secretary of state. What about her position on this?

JEREMY SCAHILL: I mean, Hillary Clinton is—I actually think, is more hawkish than Barack Obama, and Barack Obama has emerged as a pretty significant hawk in terms of his policies. He can talk all he wants about, you know, how he wants to change and reset relationships around the world; this has been a total militarized presidency. Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, acted as though she was also sort of secretary of defense. And her State Department was deeply involved with plotting covert action around the world, using the State Department as cover for CIA operations. And, you know, the Clintons, Bill and Hillary Clinton, are two of the most fierce projectors of the politics of the American empire, and they also have very close relationships with some of the most nefarious characters from the Bush family. So, you know, those two families together, the Bushes and the Clintons, it’s almost like a monarchy in this country. I mean, Jeb Bush very well may run. I mean, it’s unclear what—you know, George W. Bush said the other day that he’s putting pressure on his brother to try to run for president. But, you know, Hillary Clinton is a fierce neoliberal who believes in backing up the so-called "hidden hand of the free market" with merciless, iron-fisted military policies.