The Great Withdrawal – Activist Post

the-great-withdrawal-–-activist-post

21-06-20 06:46:00,

By James Corbett

An extraordinary thing happened this week: Taro Kono, Japan’s Defense Minister, got up and announced that the Japanese government would be halting its plan to deploy a new, multi-billion dollar missile defense system. Tokyo had committed itself to buy the Aegis Ashore system from the fine folks at Lockheed Martin back in 2017, a.k.a. the height of the hysteria over North Korea’s missile provocations. But Kono has put the plans “on hold” indefinitely, citing budget and schedule overruns.

What makes this announcement so unusual is that it took everyone by surprise. Not just the governors of the prefectures where the system was to be sited—who, according to Kyodo News were only informed about the change in plans in a last-minute phone call—but even the US government, which Nikkei Asian Review reports was not informed of the decision ahead of time.

What? Japan scrapping a multi-billion dollar defense deal with a key US contractor without warning? What’s going on here?

To those who don’t follow geopolitics and military matters in the Asia-Pacific, this may not sound like the most extraordinary thing to happen in 2020—and, to be fair, given the year we’re living through perhaps it isn’t. But the Japan-US military alliance has been the backbone of the security order in the Asia-Pacific since the end of the Second World War, and the idea of Japan making such a monumental decision unilaterally without even informing their American counterparts beforehand would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. Yet here we are.

In fact, it’s not just the Asia-Pacific. From Europe to the Middle East to South America, there is an extraordinary change that is taking place, one that is seeing US power and influence waning around the world. So is the post-WWII era of “Pax Americana” truly over? And, if so, what does that mean for the future of global geopolitics?

Join James for this week’s edition of The Corbett Report Subscriber as he examines the waves of troop drawdowns and withdrawals that the US is engaging in right now, the waning of American influence around the world,

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UAE Withdrawal from Yemen. Turning Point. Did the Ansar Allah Just Win the Yemeni War? – Global Research

uae-withdrawal-from-yemen-turning-point.-did-the-ansar-allah-just-win-the-yemeni-war?-–-global-research

02-08-19 08:59:00,

The announcement that the UAE is in the process of a large-scale military drawdown in Yemen has been met with rapturous applause by the Ansar Allah’s supporters who believe that this unofficially acknowledges their victory in the conflict, but these celebrations are premature because the vast majority of the country’s territory still remains outside of the armed group’s grasp even if most of its people reside in their region, and the most politically realistic solution to the war entails the institutionalization of the state’s deep divisions via the implementation of a “federal” model that de-facto restores the Old Cold War-era independence of North and South Yemen. 

A Turning Point 

Decision makers the world over are talking about the implications of the large-scale military drawdown that the UAE recently announced is presently underway in Yemen, with the prevailing notion being that this unofficially acknowledges the Ansar Allah’s (“Houthis’”) victory in the conflict. It’s true that this development is very significant for the armed group because it all but precludes the commencement of any more offensives against the territory under its control, which could potentially lead to the stabilization of the front lines and the beginning of a global aid campaign to relieve the suffering that millions of people are experiencing in what has previously been recognized as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. In fact, the UAE probably wouldn’t have done this had they and their Saudi allies succeeded in taking the strategic Ansar Allah-held port of Hodeidah, the failure of which set into motion the subsequent events that led to its decision to withdraw most of its forces from Yemen.

The Ansar Allah And The STC

The Ansar Allah might have begun as a rural peripheral rebellion among the religious minorities of Yemen’s northern mountainous region but it’s since evolved into a much more inclusive movement that convincingly has the trappings of a national liberation one, especially after allying with the Yemeni Army in seeking the expulsion of all foreign forces from the country. By comparison, the “internationally recognized” government of President Hadi enjoys close to no domestic support whatsoever and has basically functioned as little more than an excuse to justify the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention against the Ansar Allah.

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The US Syria Withdrawal and the Myth of the Islamic State’s “Return” | New Eastern Outlook

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06-02-19 10:47:00,

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At face value – the notion that the US occupation of Syria is key to preventing the return of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) to Syrian territory is unconvincing. 

Regions west of the Euphrates River where ISIS had previously thrived have since been permanently taken back by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian and Iranian allies – quite obviously without any support from the United States – and in fact – despite Washington’s best efforts to hamper Damascus’ security operations.

Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies have demonstrated that ISIS can be permanently defeated. With ISIS supply lines running out of NATO-territory in Turkey and from across the Jordanian and Iraqi border cut off – Syrian forces have managed to sustainably suppress the terrorist organization’s efforts to reestablish itself west of the Euphrates.

The very fact that ISIS persists in the sole region of the country currently under US occupation raises many questions about not only the sincerity or lack thereof of Washington’s efforts to confront and defeat ISIS – but over whether or not Washington is deliberately sustaining the terrorist organization’s fighting capacity specifically to serve as a pretext for America’s continued – and illegal – occupation of Syrian territory.

The US Department of Defense Says It Best 

A recent report (entire PDF version here) published by the US Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General himself would claim:

According to the DoD, while U.S.-backed Syrian forces have continued the fight to retake the remaining ISIS strongholds in Syria, ISIS remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that “could likely resurge in Syria” absent continued counterterrorism pressure. According to the DoD, ISIS is still able to coordinate offensives and counter-offensives, as well as operate as a decentralized insurgency.

The report also claims:

Currently, ISIS is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria, but absent sustained [counterterrorism] pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria within six to twelve months and regain limited territory in the [Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV)].  

By “continued counterterrorism pressure,” the report specifically means continued US occupation of both Syria and Iraq as well as continued military and political support for proxy militants the US is using to augment its occupation in Syria.

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US Withdrawal from NATO Would Benefit Americans Most of All – Global Research

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21-01-19 12:06:00,

Alleged discussions between US President Donald Trump and his aides about a US withdrawal from NATO have been making headlines recently.

The New York Times in an article titled, “Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia,” would claim:

There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years. 

Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

And while the division or dissolving of NATO most certainly would benefit Russia – removing a malignant and aggressive rogue institution from its borders and the toxic atmosphere of perpetual confrontation it creates – it would also most certainly benefit each and every NATO member many times more.

Despite the many myths surrounding NATO’s role in “protecting” its individual members, nothing has undermined the security of NATO member states more than NATO itself.

The Myth of NATO’s Purpose 

The reality-show that is American politics has increasingly depended on institutionalized reverse psychology – where a notion that fundamentally appeals to Americans of all political persuasions is passed through “Trump” to create automatic and irrational aversion in at least some segments of the public.

A US withdrawal from an expensive, antiquated, and repeatedly abused military alliance allegedly created to keep in check a Soviet Union that no longer exists is one such universal notion. To polarize debate around the otherwise clear-cut benefits of reducing or dissolving America’s role in NATO, “Trump’s” alleged desire to withdraw from the alliance has been emphasized, and specifically within the context of “Trump” being an alleged agent of “Russian” influence.

But the truth of NATO’s actual purpose and the very real threats it poses to global peace and stability is independent of one’s like or dislike of US President Donald Trump.

Far from confronting a Soviet – or now “Russian” threat – NATO instead is used to leverage and abuse Europe’s collective political and military power to augment US wars of aggression far beyond the North Atlantic where NATO was supposedly created to protect.

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US Withdrawal from NATO Would Benefit Americans Most of All | New Eastern Outlook

us-withdrawal-from-nato-would-benefit-americans-most-of-all-new-eastern-outlook

19-01-19 08:57:00,

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Alleged discussions between US President Donald Trump and his aides about a US withdrawal from NATO have been making headlines recently.

The New York Times in an article titled, “Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia,” would claim:

There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years. 

Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

And while the division or dissolving of NATO most certainly would benefit Russia – removing a malignant and aggressive rogue institution from its borders and the toxic atmosphere of perpetual confrontation it creates – it would also most certainly benefit each and every NATO member many times more.

Despite the many myths surrounding NATO’s role in “protecting” its individual members, nothing has undermined the security of NATO member states more than NATO itself.

The Myth of NATO’s Purpose 

The reality-show that is American politics has increasingly depended on institutionalized reverse psychology – where a notion that fundamentally appeals to Americans of all political persuasions is passed through “Trump” to create automatic and irrational aversion in at least some segments of the public.

A US withdrawal from an expensive, antiquated, and repeatedly abused military alliance allegedly created to keep in check a Soviet Union that no longer exists is one such universal notion. To polarize debate around the otherwise clear-cut benefits of reducing or dissolving America’s role in NATO, “Trump’s” alleged desire to withdraw from the alliance has been emphasized, and specifically within the context of “Trump” being an alleged agent of “Russian” influence.

But the truth of NATO’s actual purpose and the very real threats it poses to global peace and stability is independent of one’s like or dislike of US President Donald Trump.

Far from confronting a Soviet – or now “Russian” threat – NATO instead is used to leverage and abuse Europe’s collective political and military power to augment US wars of aggression far beyond the North Atlantic where NATO was supposedly created to protect.

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US withdrawal opens the question of the Coalition’s war crimes

us-withdrawal-opens-the-question-of-the-coalitions-war-crimes

02-01-19 10:39:00,

Following the announcement that the US was withdrawing its troops from Northern Syria, Syrian and Russian experts have declared that at long last it would be possible to draw up an accurate evaluation of the war crimes perpetrated by the Coalition.

This alliance is formed of 74 States, and includes France and the United Kingdom among them. Notably, the Alliance has bombarded Raqqa under a carpet of bombs killing almost all the inhabitants of this city which was under Daesh occupation.

The Coalition would also have abstained from providing rations and the necessary medical care to refugees in Camp Rukban, provoking an alarmingly high number of deaths. Several witnesses assure that before leaving, US soldiers burned a large number of cadavres there.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

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US Withdrawal From Syria Paves Way for Israeli Strikes | New Eastern Outlook

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25-12-18 04:51:00,

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The US suddenly and unexpectedly announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria after years of illegally occupying the country. The US presence aimed at ousting the Syrian government, boosting militant groups the US and its partners have armed and backed since the 2011 conflict started, and denying Damascus access to its own resources, particularly oil concentrated east of the Euphrates River.

The US occupation of Syria is only one part of a much larger, decades-long campaign of achieving, maintaining, and expanding US hegemony across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia – as well as the ultimate goal of encircling and containing both Russia and China.

A genuine withdrawal from the Syrian conflict would signal a seismic shift in US foreign policy and mark an irreversible decline in American hegemony.

It is difficult to believe such a seismic shift could happen, and so suddenly.

It is also a shift not founded in US foreign policy or fact.

There are several key possibilities to consider:

  • A US withdrawal paves way for unilateral Israeli strikes;
  • It also paves the way for an expanded Turkish incursion;
  • US troops won’t be on the ground as targets in the immediate aftermath of any wider conflict Israel or Turkey provokes;
  • US troops can re-enter theater with renewed pretext to fight Damascus directly in defense of allies Israel or Turkey and;
  • US troops can re-enter theater along the better formed and protected front Turkey seeks to create.

The above possibilities are drawn not from speculation, but from multiple US policy papers spanning decades.

US Withdrawal From Syria Removes Obstructions to Escalation, Not Peace 

US policymakers have drawn up plans for years regarding US primacy in the Middle East. In the 2009 policy paper published by corporate-financier funded think tank – the Brookings Institution – the use of US proxies like Israel to carry out major attacks on Iran were given its own chapter.

However, the only obstruction to this option was the necessity of Israeli warplanes to fly over either US-ally Jordan or US-occupied Iraq.

The report would claim under a chapter titled, “Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike” (.pdf) that (emphasis added):

An Israeli air campaign against Iran would have a number of very important differences from an American campaign.

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Does US Withdrawal from another Nuclear Treaty Really Benefit Russia? | New Eastern Outlook

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30-10-18 06:53:00,

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No. Obviously Russia does not benefit from the scrapping of yet another treaty designed to prevent a nuclear exchange amid a war with the United States.

Yet, as an attempt to frame blatant US provocations as somehow “Russia’s fault,” a narrative has begun circulating – claiming that not only does the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty somehow benefit Russia – it was via Russia’s “puppet” – US President Donald Trump – that saw the treaty scrapped.

Spreading this scurrilous narrative are political provocateurs like former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who has re-branded himself recently as a prominent anti-Trump voice – feeding into and feeding off of America’s false left-right political paradigm.

In one post on social media, McFaul would claim:

Why can’t Trump leverage his close personal relationship with Putin to get Russia to abide by the INF Treaty?

In other posts, he would recommend followers to read commentary published by US corporate-financier funded think tank – the Brookings Institution – on how the US withdrawal “helps Russia and hurts US.”

The commentary – penned by former US ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer – admitted that no evidence has been made public of supposed “Russian violations.” It also admits that America’s European allies – those who would be in range of Russian intermediate range missiles if deployed – have not raised a “stink” with the Kremlin, publicly or privately.

But Pifer claims that the US has no missiles to match those supposedly being developed by Russia, and even if it did, the US would have no where to place them – claiming that NATO, Japan, and South Korea would not allow the US to place such systems on their shores. This, he and McFaul suggest, is why the US’ withdrawal from the treaty “benefits” Russia by granting it a monopoly over intermediate range missiles.

Washington’s Other Withdrawals Prove Otherwise 

Yet the US has already withdrawn from treaties and twisted the arms of allies to allow newly developed missile systems to be deployed on their shores.

In the aftermath of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from another Cold War-era agreement – the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty scrapped by US President George Bush Jr.

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INF Treaty Withdrawal: Does Trump Believe The Reagan Mythology? | New Eastern Outlook

INF Treaty Withdrawal: Does Trump Believe The Reagan Mythology? | New Eastern Outlook

28-10-18 07:22:00,

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As Trump dramatically pulls out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, while sending John Bolton to Moscow to negotiate a new agreement regarding the production of nuclear weapons, it appears that false narratives about the Cold War’s conclusion could be influencing White House foreign policy.

It is clear that Trump seeks to present himself as a new Reagan to the elderly, red state, FOX news audience. Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” was intentionally lifted from Reagan’s war-chest of campaign slogans, presented as “Let’s Make America Great Again” in 1980. Now, it looks as if Trump is “escalating the arms race” in order “defeat the Russians,” further fulfilling his image as the new “gipper.”

On FOX News, Right-Wing Talk Radio, and other Republican-aligned sections of US media, Ronald Reagan is treated as an immortal hero and icon. The religious and military obsessed neoconservative right-wing has canonized him to the point that one almost expects to see graphics of Reagan adjusted to include halos, or to see FOX news anchors cross themselves after uttering his name. Endless radio and TV segments in the right-wing media sphere have been dedicated to memorializing the man who held the US Presidency from 1981 to 1989.

The mythology perpetuated about the Reagan Presidency is that, while cowardly democrats had negotiated with the Soviet leaders and called for de-escalating the arms race, Reagan escalated the drive to build nuclear weapons. Reagan’s escalation of the arms race is said to have forced the Soviets to increase military spending, causing economic problems in the USSR. The heroic POTUS is said to have beat his chest with thunderous “tear down that wall” speeches, blasted the USSR as an “evil empire,” and eventually forced the Communists to surrender through his sheer strength, boldness, and refusal to compromise.

The problem is that the Republican narrative regarding the Cold War is largely inaccurate. While pressure to increase military spending certainly played a role in placing economic pressure on the Soviet Union, the USSR was destroyed by a political, not fiscal crisis. The political crisis that destroyed the USSR was mainly influenced by liberal soft-power policies from the US government not militarism and threats.

Manipulating Discontent & Alienation

After the Russian Revolution of 1917,

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