Friday , October 18 2019
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Philip Giraldi



Articles by Philip Giraldi

Sanctioning Away Free Speech: Americans Meet With Iranians at Their Peril

6 days ago

The issue of the United States waging what seems to be a global war by way of sanctions rarely surfaces in the western media. The argument being made by the White House is that sanctions are capable of putting maximum pressure on a rogue regime without the necessity of having to go to war and actually kill people, but the reality is that while economic warfare may seem to be more benign than bombing and shooting the reality is that thousands of people die anyway, whether through starvation or inability to obtain medicines. It is often noted that 500,000 Iraqi children died in the 1990s due to sanctions imposed by the Bill Clinton White House and current estimates of deaths in Syria, Iran and Venezuela number in the tens of

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How Israel Controls Its Narrative

13 days ago

It is interesting to note how the Israel Lobby is able to manage and contain the commentary of groups in America that might normally be critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the United States. A recent article by Professor Andrew Bacevich entitled “President Trump, Please End the American Era in the Middle East” is a good example of how self-censorship by authors works. The piece appeared as one of Bacevich’s regular weekly contributions to The American Conservative website under the rubric “Realism and Restraint.”
The article particularly focused on the foreign policy pronouncements of Bret Stephens, the resident neocon who writes for The New York Times. Stephens, per Bacevich, has been urging constant war in the Middle East

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Trump Administration Provides New Evidence for a Saudi Connection to 9/11

14 days ago

The debate over what actually occurred on 9/11 and, more to the point, who might have been behind it, continues to preoccupy many observers worldwide. There is considerable legitimate concern that the commission that reviewed the incident engaged in a cover-up designed either to excuse a catastrophic failure on the part of the United States’ national security apparatus, or even connivance of federal agencies in the attack itself. And then there is the issue of possible foreign government involvement. The roles of the Saudi Arabian, Israeli and Pakistani governments and security services has never been adequately investigated in spite of the fact that all three countries had clear involvement with the mostly Saudi individuals who

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Trump Frees Himself From Bolton – But Robert O’Brien Will Be Just as Bad

21 days ago

After months of rumors, John Bolton was finally fired from the White House but the post mortem on why it took so long to remove him continues, with the punditry and media trying to understand exactly what happened and why. Perhaps the most complete explanation for what occurred came from President Donald Trump himself shortly after the fact. He said, in some impromptu comments, that his national security advisor had “…made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong Un. That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gadhafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”
Trump has a point in that Bolton was clearly suggesting that North Korea get rid of

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Israel Spies and Spies and Spies

September 18, 2019

Here we go again! Israel is caught red handed spying against the United States and everyone in Congress is silent, as are nearly all the mainstream media which failed to report the story. And the federal government itself, quick to persecute a Russian woman who tried to join the NRA, concedes that the White House and Justice Department have done absolutely nothing to either rebuke or punish the Israeli perpetrators. One senior intelligence official commented that “I’m not aware of any accountability at all.”
Only President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual personalized fashion, which was that the report was “hard to believe,” that “I don’t think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with

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Trump Foreign Policy as Theater of the Absurd

September 12, 2019

One might be forgiven for thinking that the foreign policy of the United States is some kind of theatrical performance, like a comic opera, with new characters appearing on stage willy-nilly and then being driven off after committing an incredible faux pas only to be replaced by even more grotesquely clownish figures. Unfortunately, while the musical chairs and plot twists contrived by a Goldoni or Moliere generally have a cheerful ending, the same cannot be said about what has been taking place in the White House.
The latest White House somewhat unexpected departure was that of ex-real estate lawyer Jason Greenblatt, who has been hanging around for over two years putting together the Deal of the Century for the Middle East. The

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Now It’s Official: US Visa Can Be Denied If You (Or Even Your Friends)

September 6, 2019

There have been several interesting developments in the United States government’s war on free speech and privacy. First of all, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which is responsible for actual entry of travelers into the country, has now declared that it can legally access phones and computers at ports of entry to determine if there is any subversive content which might impact on national security. “Subversive content” is, of course, subjective, but those seeking entry can be turned back based on how a border control agent perceives what he is perusing on electronic media.
Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of the procedure is completely legal, particularly as it applies to

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Israel’s Many Wars

September 5, 2019

Two years ago I wrote an article entitled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” Though I made clear in the piece that I was writing about specific, identifiable Jews who fund and staff the think-tanks and foundations that make up the Israel Lobby, I was immediately fired by the Editor of The American Conservative (TAC) magazine and website, a timid little man who had been trying to get rid of me for some time. He evidently wished to do so because I did not share his “restraint” in my allusions to Jewish power in the United States and was particularly incensed over my suggestion that when Zionist propagandists like Bill Kristol appear on television the network should be required to display a warning label under the picture

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Lying for Israel

August 31, 2019

It is not often that one hears anything like the truth in today’s Washington, a city where the art of dissimulation has reached new heights among both Democrats and Republicans. Everyone who has not been asleep like Rip Van Winkle for the past twenty years knows that the most powerful foreign lobby operating in the United States is that of the state of Israel. Indeed, by some measures it just might be the most powerful lobby period, given the fact that it has now succeeded in extending its tentacles into state and local levels with its largely successful campaigns to punish criticism or boycotting of Israel while also infiltrating boards of education to require Holocaust education and textbooks that reflect favorably on the

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Does Israel Interfere in American Elections?

August 28, 2019

Does anyone remember what the Mueller investigation was all about? It was to determine whether the team surrounding candidate and then president-elect Donald Trump had colluded with a foreign power, presumed to be Russia. It did not discover any such collaboration to get Trump elected president, but it did discover a foreign nation that had directly intervened with key players surrounding president-elect Trump to get them to do it a favor. That country was Israel, but somehow the media never quite managed to pull it all together even if leading public intellectual Noam Chomsky was able to, saying “…if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the

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Lindsey Graham’s Blank Check

August 23, 2019

Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another. On July 5, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged his country’s complete support for whatever response Austria-Hungary would choose to make against Serbia after the June 28th assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist during an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia. This fatal error went down in history as Germany’s carte blanche or “blank check,” assurance to Austria that led directly to WW I.
In September 1939, World War II began when Great Britain and France came to the assistance of Poland after the German Army invaded, fulfilling a “guarantee” made in March of that year. What was a

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Punishing the World With Sanctions

August 17, 2019

Sanctions are economic warfare, pure and simple. As an alternative to a direct military attack on a country that is deemed to be misbehaving they are certainly preferable, but no one should be under any illusions regarding what they actually represent. They are war by other means and they are also illegal unless authorized by a supra-national authority like the United Nations Security Council, which was set up after World War II to create a framework that inter alia would enable putting pressure on a rogue regime without going to war. At least that was the idea, but the sanctions regimes recently put in place unilaterally and without any international authority by the United States have had a remarkable tendency to escalate

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No Accountability in Washington

July 29, 2019

Government that actually serves the interests of the people who are governed has two essential characteristics: first, it must be transparent in terms of how it debates and develops policies and second, it has to be accountable when it fails in its mandate and ceases to be responsive to the needs of the electorate. Over the past twenty years one might reasonably argue that Washington has become less a “of the people, by the people and for the people” and increasingly a model of how special interests can use money to corrupt government. The recent story about how serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein avoided any serious punishment by virtue of his wealth and his political connections, including to both ex-president Bill Clinton and to

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The Death of Privacy

July 12, 2019

It is discouraging to note just how the United States has been taking on the attributes of a police state since 9/11. Stories of police raids on people’s homes gone wrong are frequently in the news. In one recent incident, a heavily armed SWAT team was sent to a St. Louis county home. The armed officers entered the building without knocking, shot the family dog and forced the family members to kneel on the floor where they were able to watch their pet struggle and then die. The policemen then informed the family that they were there over failure to pay the gas bill. Animal rights groups report that the shooting of pets by police has become routine in many jurisdictions because the officers claim that they feel threatened.
Indeed,

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Goodbye, Dollar

July 5, 2019

Over the past two years, the White House has initiated trade disputes, insulted allies and enemies alike, and withdrawn from or refused to ratify multinational treaties and agreements. It has also expanded the reach of its unilaterally imposed rules, forcing other nations to abide by its demands or face economic sanctions. While the stated Trump Administration intention has been to enter into new arrangements more favorable to the United States, the end result has been quite different, creating a broad consensus within the international community that Washington is unstable, not a reliable partner and cannot be trusted. This sentiment has, in turn, resulted in conversations among foreign governments regarding how to circumvent

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Who Won the Debate?

July 3, 2019

Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is a country of immigrants. On the following day the mainstream media anointed Elizabeth Warren as the winner based on the coherency of her message even though she said little that differed from what was being presented by most of the others on the stage. She just said it better, more articulately.
The New York Times’ coverage was typical, praising Warren for her grasp of the issues and her ability to present the

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How To Start an Unnecessary War

June 26, 2019

I confess to being mystified by those Americans who lean conservative, like myself, who continue to think that President Donald J. Trump is somehow doing a good job. To be sure, the economy continues to add mostly low paying jobs but claims that the new tax law benefits the middle class are a bit hard to swallow as the elimination of a whole category of deductions for state and local taxes means that I and many other middle-income types will be paying more. And there are whole policy-categories where the Trump record is appalling, to include the federal deficit, trade disputes that are alienating friends and allies, and sheer obstinate idiocy regarding the environment and climate change. Meanwhile, the president’s unrelenting

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June Madness Strikes Washington

June 21, 2019

It has been a lively June so far in light of Washington’s apparent zeal to remake the world in its own image. There is considerable buzz among those networking in ex- or current government circles that the White House is preparing to “do something” about Iran. The recent incidents involving alleged attacks on Norwegian and Japanese tankers in the Gulf of Oman were immediately attributed to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with so little regard for evidence that even the compliant American media was left gasping. In its initial coverage of the story The New York Times inevitably echoed the administration’s claims, but if one went to the readers’ comments on the story fully 90% of those bothering to express an opinion decided

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Tulsi Gabbard Pushes No War Agenda

June 7, 2019

Voters looking ahead to 2020 are being bombarded with soundbites from the twenty plus Democratic would-be candidates. That Joe Biden is apparently leading the pack according to opinion polls should come as no surprise as he stands for nothing apart from being the Establishment favorite who will tirelessly work to support the status quo.
The most interesting candidate is undoubtedly Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a fourth term Congresswoman from Hawaii, where she was born and raised. She is also the real deal on national security, having been-there and done-it through service as an officer with the Hawaiian National Guard on a combat deployment in Iraq. Though in Congress full time, she still performs her Guard duty.
Tulsi’s

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Washington’s Mighty Warriors

May 31, 2019

Remember Shakespeare’s line “he jests at scars that never felt a wound?” That epithet could have been written with National Security Advisor John Bolton in mind. Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass. He is now credibly believed to be the driving force behind the punishment being meted out to Venezuela and, far more dangerously, of the creeping escalation that is taking place in the Middle East that is seeking to draw Iran into a misstep that would lead to war. Bolton, who has received the “Defender of Israel” award, has long been an outspoken advocate for attacking Iran and now he has the

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Trump’s Murderous Sanctions, His Open Border

May 17, 2019

Remaining promoters of the concept of Donald Trump as President of the United States cite the fact that he has started no new shooting wars while Russiagate has turned out to be a flop and the economy seems to be doing well. He also seems serious about leaving Syria and Afghanistan, though those initiatives are currently on hold pending the approval of his consigliere “Defender of Israel” award winner John Bolton.
The Trump supporters however choose to ignore that the president has been unable to secure the southern border, which was a significant campaign pledge, and has initiated a series of trade and economic wars supplemented by a heavy dose of sanctions that have possibly killed more people and destroyed more American jobs

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Pompeo Lies, Cheats, and Steals

May 3, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently recounted to an audience at Texas A&M University that when he was head of the Central Intelligence Agency he was responsible for “lying, cheating and stealing” to benefit the United States. “Like we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”
The Secretary made the comment with a grin, noting that when he was a cadet at West Point he subscribed to the Academy honor code, which stated that “You will not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.” The largely student audience clearly appreciated and irony and laughed and applauded, though it is not clear what they made of the “glory of the American experiment.” The normally humorless Pompeo was

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Jared Kushner, Not Maria Butina

April 27, 2019

Maria Butina is in jail for doing nothing while Jared Kushner, who needed a godfathered security clearance due to his close Israeli ties, struts through the White House as senior advisor to the president.
The Mueller Special Counsel inquiry is far from over even though a final report on its findings has been issued. Although the investigation had a mandate to explore all aspects of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election, from the start the focus was on the possibility that some members of the Trump campaign had colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the election to favor the GOP candidate. Even though that could not be demonstrated, many prominent Trump critics, to include Laurence Tribe of the

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The Conspiracy Against Trump

April 24, 2019

The real “deplorable” in today’s United States is the continuation of a foreign policy based on endless aggression to maintain Washington’s military dominance in parts of the world where Americans have no conceivable interest. Many voters backed Donald J. Trump because he committed himself to changing all that, but, unfortunately, he has reneged on his promise, instead heightening tension with major powers Russia and China while also threatening Iran and Venezuela on an almost daily basis. Now Cuba is in the crosshairs because it is allegedly assisting Venezuela. One might reasonably ask if America in its seemingly enduring role as the world’s most feared bully will ever cease and desist, but the more practical question might be

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Rumors of War

April 20, 2019

It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless

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What Monroe Doctrine?

April 8, 2019

Because there is a presidential election coming up next year, the Donald Trump Administration appears to be looking for a country that it can attack and destroy in order to prove its toughness and willingness to go all the way in support of alleged American interests. It is a version of the old neocon doctrine attributed to Michael Ledeen, the belief that every once in a while, it is necessary to pick out some crappy little country and throw it against the wall just to demonstrate that the United States means business.
“Meaning business” is a tactic whereby the adversary surrenders immediately in fear of the possible consequences, but there are a couple of problems with that thinking. The first is that an opponent who can resist

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God, Not the Russians, Elected Trump

April 1, 2019

Governments that pride themselves on being either democratic or republican in nature claim that they are empowered by the will of the people, but the sad reality is that most regimes come to power based on promises that they have no intention of honoring after the election is over. In the United States we have seen President Donald Trump quite plausibly enjoy a margin of victory that was due to his pledges to end America’s involvement in senseless Middle Eastern wars and to mend relations with Russia. Neither has occurred, quite the contrary, with a serious threat that war with Iran on behalf of Israel is imminent and a relationship with Moscow that is worse than it was in the latter phases of the Cold War. Whether all of that is

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The Trump Phenom

March 20, 2019

President Donald Trump is frequently seen through the prism of an American media that despises him and wants to discredit him so that he can either be impeached soon or defeated in 2020. To a certain extent the foreign media has picked up on that depiction of Trump, emphasizing his boorish qualities and narcissism while neglecting what he has or has not accomplished while in office. To be sure there have been major missteps which have driven the Europeans and others crazy, including the withdrawal from the international climate treaty and the nuclear agreement with Iran, but Trump, to his credit, has also recognized the futility of Washington’s Asian wars and is serious in his intent to reduce the American footprint in places

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Attacking Iran

February 27, 2019

Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.
There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S.,

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What If They Started a War

February 23, 2019

The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably leads to one’s downfall when that conceit proves to be based on false principles.
Pompeo was in Warsaw for a “summit” arranged by the US State Department in partnership with the Polish government to discuss with representatives of sixty nations what to do about the fractious situation in the Middle East. In advance, he promised that the meeting would “deliver really good outcomes.” The

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