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The Tortured Politics Behind The Persian Gulf Crisis – Analysis


By Conn Hallinan*

The splintering of the powerful Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) into warring camps—with Qatar, supported by Turkey and Iran, on one side, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), supported by Egypt, on the other—has less to do with disagreements over foreign policy and religion than with internal political and economic developments in the Middle East. The ostensible rationale the GCC gave on June 4 for breaking relations with Qatar and placing the tiny country under a blockade is that Doha is aiding “terrorist’ organizations. The real reasons are considerably more complex, particularly among the major players.

Middle East journalist Patrick Cockburn once described the Syrian civil war as a three-dimensional chess game with five players and no rules. In the case of the Qatar crisis, the players have doubled and abandoned the symmetry of the chessboard for “Go,” Mahjong, and Bridge.

Tensions among members of the GCC are longstanding. In the case of Qatar, they date back to 1995, when the father of the current ruler, Emir Tamin Al Thani, shoved his own father out of power. According Simon Henderson to of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Saudi Arabia and the UAE “regarded the family coup as a dangerous precedent to Gulf ruling families” and tried to organize a counter coup. The coup was exposed, however, and called off.

Riyadh is demanding that Qatar sever relations with Iran—an improbable outcome given that the two countries share a natural gas field in the Persian Gulf—and end Doha’s cozy ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, if there is any entity in the Middle East that the Saudis hate—and fear—more than Iran, it is the Brotherhood. Riyadh was instrumental in the 2013 overthrow of the Brotherhood government in Egypt and has allied itself with the Israelis to marginalize Hamas, the Palestinian version of the Brotherhood that dominates Gaza.

But fault lines in the GCC do not run only between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. Oman, at the Gulf’s mouth, has always marched to its own drummer, maintaining close ties with Saudi Arabia’s regional nemesis, Iran, and refusing to go along with Riyadh’s war against the Houthi in Yemen. Kuwait has also balked at Saudi dominance of the GCC, has refused to join the blockade against Doha, and is trying to play mediator in the current crisis.

The siege of Qatar was launched shortly after Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, when the Saudi’s put on a show for the U.S. President that was over the top even by the monarchy’s standards. Wooed with massive billboards and garish sword dances, Trump soaked up the Saudi’s view of the Middle East, attacked Iran as a supporter of terrorism and apparently green-lighted the blockade of Qatar. He even tried to take credit for it.

Saudi Arabia, backed by Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE, along with a cast of minor players, made 13 demands on Doha that it could only meet by abandoning its sovereignty. They range from the impossible—end all contacts with Iran—to the improbable—close the Turkish base—to the unlikely—dismantle the popular and lucrative media giant, Al Jazeera. The “terrorists” Doha is accused of supporting are the Brotherhood, which the Saudi’s and the Egyptians consider a terrorist organization, an opinion not shared by the U.S. or the European Union.

On the surface this is about Sunni Saudi Arabia vs. Shiite Iran, but while religious differences do play an important role in recruiting and motivating some of the players, this is not a battle over a schism in Islam. Most importantly, it is not about “terrorism,” since many of the countries involved are up to their elbows in supporting extremist organizations. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s reactionary Wahhabi interpretation of Islam is the root ideology for groups like the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, and all the parties are backing a variety of extremists in Syria and Libya’s civil wars.

The attack on Qatar is part of Saudi Arabia’s aggressive new foreign policy that is being led by Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman. Since being declared “monarch-in-waiting” by King Salman Al Saud, Mohammed has launched a disastrous war in Yemen that has killed more than 10,000 civilians, sparked a country-wide cholera epidemic, and drains at least $700 million a month from Saudi Arabia’s treasury. Given the depressed price for oil and a growing population—70 percent of which is under 30 and much of it unemployed—it is not a cost the monarchy can continue sustain, especially with the Saudi economy falling into recession.

Underlying the Saudi’s new-found aggression is fear. First, fear that the kind of Islamic governance modeled by the Muslim Brotherhood poses a threat to the absolutism of the Gulf monarchs. Fear that Iran’s nuclear pact with the U.S., the EU and the UN is allowing Tehran to break out of its economic isolation and turn itself into a rival power center in the Middle East. And fear that anything but a united front by the GCC—led by Riyadh—will encourage the House of Saud’s internal and external critics.

So far, the attempt to blockade Qatar has been more an annoyance than a serious threat to Doha. Turkey and Iran are pouring supplies into Qatar, and the Turks are deploying up to 1,000 troops at a base near the capital. There are also some 10,000 U.S. troops at Qatar’s Al Udeid Airfield, Washington’s largest base in the Middle East and one central to the war on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Any invasion aimed at overthrowing the Qatar regime risks a clash with Turkey and the U.S.

While Egypt is part of the anti-Qatari alliance—the Egyptians are angry at Doha for not supporting Cairo’s side in the Libyan civil war, and the Egyptian regime also hates the Brotherhood—it is hardly an enthusiastic ally. Saudi Arabia keeps Egypt’s economy afloat, and so long as the Riyadh keeps writing checks, Cairo is on board. But Egypt is keeping the Yemen war at arm’s length—it flat out refused to contribute troops and is not comfortable with Saudi Arabia’s version of Islam. Cairo is currently in a nasty fight with its own Wahhabist-inspired extremists. Egypt also maintains diplomatic relations with Iran.

Besides the UAE, the other Saud allies don’t count for much in this fight. Sudan will send troops—if Riyadh pays for them—but not very many. Bahrain is on board, but only because the Saudi and UAE armies are sitting on local Shiite opposition. Yemen and Libya are part of the anti-Qatar alliance, but both are essentially failed states. And while the Maldives is a nice place to vacation, it doesn’t have a lot of weight to throw around.

On the other hand, long-time Saudi ally Pakistan has made it clear it is not part of this blockade, nor will it break with Qatar or downgrade relations with Iran. When Riyadh asked for Pakistan troops in Yemen, the national parliament voted unanimously to have nothing to do with Riyadh’s jihad on the poorest country in the Middle East.

The largely Muslim nations of Malaysia and Indonesia are also maintaining relations with Qatar, and Saudi ally Morocco offered to send food to Doha. In brief, it is not clear who is more isolated here.

While President Trump supports the Saudis, his Defense Department and State Department are working to resolve the crisis.  U.S. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson just finished a trip to the Gulf in an effort to end the blockade, and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee is threatening to hold up arms sales to Riyadh unless the dispute is resolved. The latter is no minor threat. Saudi Arabia would have serious difficulties carrying out the war in Yemen without U.S. weaponry.

And the reverse of the coin?

Doha’s allies have a variety of agendas, not all of which mesh.

Iran has correct, but hardly warm, relations with Qatar. Both countries need to cooperate to exploit the South Pars gas field, and Tehran appreciated that Doha was always a reluctant member of the anti-Iran coalition, telling the U.S. it could not use Qatari bases to attack Iran.

Iran is certainly interested in anything that divides the GCC. The Iranians would also like Qatar to invest in upgrading Iran’s energy industry and maybe cutting them in on the $177 billion in construction projects that Doha is lining up in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup Games. Also, some 30,000 Iranians live in Qatar.

Figuring out Turkey these days can reduce one to reading tea leaves.

On one hand, Ankara’s support for Qatar seems obvious. Qatar backs the Brotherhood, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party is a Turkish variety of the Brotherhood, albeit one focused more on power than ideology. Erdogan was a strong supporter of the Egyptian Brotherhood and relations between Cairo and Ankara went into the deep freeze when Egypt’s military overthrew the Islamist organization.

Qatar is also an important source of finances for Ankara, whose fragile economy needs every bit of help it can get. Turkey’s large construction industry would like to land some of the multi-billion construction contracts the World Cup games will generate. Turkish construction projects in Qatar already amount to $13.7 billion.

On the other hand, Turkey is also trying to woo Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies for their investments. Erdogan even joined in the GCC’s attacks on Iran last spring, accusing Tehran of “Persian nationalist expansion,” a comment that distressed Turkey’s business community. As the sanctions on Iran ease, Turkish firms see that country’s big, well-educated population as a potential gold mine.

The Turkish President has since turned down the anti-Iran rhetoric, and Ankara and Tehran have been consulting over the Qatar crisis. The first supportive phone call Erdogan took during the attempted coup last year was from Qatar’s emir, and the prickly Turkish President has not forgotten that some other GCC members were silent for several days. Erdogan recently suggested that the UAE had a hand in the coup.

Is this personal for Turkey’s president? No, but Erdogan is the Middle East leader who most resembles Donald Trump: he shoots from the hip and holds grudges. The difference is that he is far smarter and better informed than the U.S. President and knows when to cut his losses.

His apology to the Russians after shooting down one of their fighter-bombers is a case in point. Erdogan first threatened Moscow with war, but eventually trotted off to St. Petersburg, hat in hand, to make nice with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And after hinting that the Americans were behind the 2016 coup, he recently met with Tillerson in Istanbul to smooth things out.  Turkey recognizes that it will need Moscow and Washington to settle the war in Syria.

The Russians have been carefully neutral, consulted with Turkey and Iran, and have called on all parties to peacefully resolve their differences.

There is not likely to be a quick end to the Qatar crisis, because Saudi Arabia keeps doubling down on one disastrous foreign policy decision after another, including breaking up the Arab world’s only viable economic bloc. But there are developments in the region that may eventually force Riyadh to back off.

The Syrian War looks like it is headed for a solution, although the outcome is anything but certain. The Yemen War has reached crisis proportions—the UN describes it as the number one human emergency on the globe—and pressure is growing for the U.S. and Britain to wind down their support for the Saudi alliance. And Iran is slowly but steadily reclaiming its role as a leading force in the Middle East and Central Asia.

There is much that could go wrong. There could be a disastrous war with Iran, currently being pushed by Saudi Arabia, Israel and neo-conservatives in the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. and Turkey could fall out over Syria.  The Middle East is an easy place to get into trouble. But if there are dangers, so too are there possibilities, and from those springs hope.

*Foreign Policy In Focuc columnist Conn Hallinan can be read at and

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One thought on “The Tortured Politics Behind The Persian Gulf Crisis – Analysis

  • Avatar
    July 29, 2017 at 10:19 am

    How pathetic that the global military industrial has enslaved inhabitants of the blue planet. Pray we will rise to the challenge and fight for justice withe weapon of truth.
    Thanks for meeting with a grandmother and her grandson yesterday. This meant a lot to us. We talked about NAWAPA and Glass-Steagall standards of banking but the complicated story of the attack on the presidency was too much for me then so here is a run down on Russia-gate I want you to have now.

    The issue that concerns us today is that of “Russia-gate”.
    We have heard so often and so much said about the irrefutable
    supposed evidence that Donald Trump was placed in the White House
    by the machinations of Vladimir Putin, that it’s almost taken as
    a given. Everyone assumes it happened; in fact, it was written
    into the Russian sanctions bill that just passed the House and
    the Senate as an assumption that we know Vladimir Putin put Trump
    into office. That Putin ordered an influence campaign on the US
    election. It’s not true.
    This week, on Monday, a group called the Veteran
    Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS released a memo
    called “Was Russian Hacking an Inside Job?” In it, they demolish
    the central claim of the entire Russia-gate story. That central
    claim is that Russian hackers were involved in getting material
    from the Democratic National Committee; material that was very
    embarrassing towards Hillary Clinton, and releasing it via
    Wikileaks. This hinges on the central character of the internet
    persona known as Guccifer 2.0; which that intelligence committee
    assessment which came out January 6, 2017 at the very end of the
    Obama administration. This is the report that everybody has been
    citing that supposedly that all of the intelligence agencies
    agree with this assessment. It’s not true. Only a hand-picked
    group of intelligence agencies were involved in that assessment
    at all, and their assessment is not unanimous. That central
    evidence factor is what we’re going to be talking about today in
    terms of this VIPS memo.
    We had the good fortune to be able to interview one of the
    founding members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for
    Sanity, Ray McGovern; who is a former very top level analyst at
    the CIA, who during his career had prepared Presidential daily
    briefs for the President and spoke to us last night. We asked
    him if he could lay out what the implications are of the memo
    that they put forward, and here’s what he had to say:

    RAY McGOVERN: The 12th of June, 15th of June? As soon as
    they learned that Julian Assange had emails related to Hillary
    Clinton, what are you going to do? Well, as I reconstruct it,
    what we do is, we say “It’s from the Russians.” So, Crowdstrike
    — which was working for the DNC — announces “There’s malware,
    and we think it was the Russians.” Then immediately, the same
    day, Guccifer says “Yeah, yeah! We did it, and we’re working for
    Julian Assange.”
    Now the idea, of course, this is how we interpret it; the
    idea was since Julian Assange was going to come out with emails
    God knows when, maybe he’d do it right before the Democratic
    National Convention. My God, that would be awful. So, we’ll say
    he got it from the Russians, and that way we can divert attention
    from what’s in the emails; because God knows how much he’s got
    there, he might be able to show that we stole the nomination from
    Bernie Sanders. It’s probably in there, you know? So, let’s do
    this little preemptive move; let’s — in June here, before he
    ever gets this stuff out; before — Julian doesn’t adulterate
    these things, what he does is array them in searchable form —
    it’s going to take a while. So, we have a little time, about six
    weeks or so; they didn’t know how long, but let’s do it right
    away. So, when Julian Assange comes out with this, they’re all
    set to say, “Ah ha! It was the Russians hacking.”
    Now this was a magnificent — I remember the old movie or
    book {Magnificent Obsession}; this was magnificent diversion.
    Because as soon as Julian Assange outed with the emails related
    to Hillary Clinton — that was on the 22nd of July — three days
    before the Democratic National Convention began; they were
    prepared. They were prepared to say “Ah ha! Russia did it;
    Russia did it!” You can see them sort of sitting around a table.
    Here’s Hillary saying “My God! What are we going to do? What
    will Bernie say? He’s already said he’d acquiesce, but what will
    he say now?” Somebody says, “I know what we do. We’ll blame the
    Russians.” “But it wasn’t the Russians, it was Julian Assange.”
    “That’s all right. We’ll say that Julian Assange was working for
    the Russians.” “Yeah, but what’s the rationale?” “Oh, come on!
    The Russians want Trump to win, because Trump has said nice
    things about Putin; this is going to be easy to prove. Anybody
    got any better ideas?” “OK, let’s go with that.” It worked

    ROSS: So, there’s the context for this. Just to offer this
    chronology for our viewers, because this has become so shrouded
    in the mists of time that it’s sort of hard to take the pieces of
    it apart. To repeat, in June Julian Assange — the Wikileaks
    founder — announced that he had received material from the DNC
    and that he was going to be releasing it. Within a matter of
    days, the DNC’s IT firm Crowdstrike comes out to announce that
    they have proof that Russia had hacked their computers. Also, an
    internet hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 appears out of
    nowhere, says that he is the hacker behind the DNC; he got into
    their system, and he says “I’ll prove it. Here’s some of the
    material that I stole.” In June, documents were released by this
    Guccifer person that included the most obvious ham-fisted fake
    clues you’ve ever seen. These documents were deliberately
    altered in order to incorporate — in Cyrillic — “Felix
    Edmundovich” as the document’s last editor. Now, Felix
    Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky was the founder of the Soviet secret
    police. You might think that if Russian hackers are doing
    something, they might not be so obvious as to label themselves on
    their computers with that name; it’s just an obvious fake clue to
    be found. Additional proof supposedly came up in Guccifer 2.0
    trying to hide his persona, pretending to be Romanian while not
    really speaking Romanian; so that people could say “Ah ha! He’s
    hiding his identity. We found these total clues” — really red
    herrings — “these Russian names inside the documents. The
    documents were set to the language of Russian. Ah ha! This is
    Now what it really means is that those documents were
    artificially altered. That’s what the Veteran Intelligence
    Professionals for Sanity go through in this memorandum called
    “Was the Russian Hack an Inside Job?” That memo is available in
    the video description here, as well as linked on the LaRouche PAC
    website. So, as Mr. McGovern said, following this a large
    release of documents came from Guccifer sometime in September.
    These documents, according to forensic analysis that’s been
    reviewed by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity,
    reveals that the documents were not hacked; but they were leaked,
    they were copied. The rate of data transmission, the rate of the
    file creation indicates a speed that exceeds what you would
    possibly be able to get over the internet if you had hacked into
    a computer and then pulled the files out. They reason then that
    this indicates that these files were simply copied, and then put
    out tainted with this Guccifer 2.0 persona to give a sense of
    Russian involvement in the hacking. The fact of the matter is
    that no evidence whatsoever has ever been presented that can show
    where Wikileaks got their material. The founder of Wikileaks,
    Julian Assange, said this was a leak, it was not a hack; it
    didn’t come from Russia, it didn’t come from a Russian state
    actor. It was a leak. As Mr. McGovern said, there were plenty
    of people in the DNC who weren’t very happy about the way that
    the primary elections were handled. There is plenty of motive
    for a leak to put out the truth about how the DNC had operated.
    But on top of this fabricated evidence, we now have a
    situation where this anti-Russian hysteria is phenomenal. Just
    yesterday, we had the passage of an anti-Russia sanctions bill
    through the House and through the Senate. This bill, HR3364,
    takes as a given that Russia hacked the US elections, imposes
    very strong sanctions in a variety of cases, and forbids the
    President from changing them. In other words, takes away the
    ability of the President — in this case, President Trump — to
    initiate foreign policy; which is frankly part of the President’s
    job. That’s the way we work in this country.
    So, one of the most shocking things about all of this, is
    that this supposed act by Russia, which has been called an act of
    war by numerous members of Congress. People say that because of
    this, Donald Trump should be impeached; this has been said by
    members of Congress. For something of this magnitude, an act of
    war leading to sanctions and the potential break-out of conflict
    with the world’s most powerful nuclear power besides ourselves,
    surely a good investigation would have been done. Well, it
    wasn’t. As a matter of fact, after the DNC computers were
    hacked, who investigated them? After they were supposedly
    hacked, who investigated them? Not the FBI. A private firm —
    Crowdstrike — with political ties that make its findings very
    Now, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity ended
    their memo by questioning who is Guccifer 2.0. They say, “Maybe
    you should ask the FBI.” So, I asked Ray McGovern, “Why might we
    want to ask the FBI?”

    McGOVERN: After it was revealed that the DNC had been
    “hacked” so to speak, normally what would happen in that case,
    unless I’m sadly mistaken, would be that the FBI would be invited
    in to take a look and see who did this. Or, the DNC would say
    “Would you please come in here and see who did this?” But you
    know what? Neither seemed to be very interested in looking at
    that. So, with all due respect, and not much is due, really;
    James Comey is guilty of malfeasance, not just misfeasance.
    People crying that this is an act of war, and he sits back and
    says “I don’t want to send my technicians in there.” Why? Well,
    I can tell you why. It seems to me that when you’re an
    intelligence analyst, you have this kind of bent to connect dots;
    that’s what we call an all-source analyst. You look not only at
    the technical details, the forensics now that we have them, but
    what was going on outside; what you learn from the newspapers.
    And we know from that, that the CIA with the help of the NSA, had
    developed — it took them 15 years — an incredible capability.

    ROSS: That capability that McGovern is referring to, is what was
    revealed in March under the program of Vault 7 which was released
    from Wikileaks. One aspect of that was called the Marble
    Framework; something developed by the CIA that made it possible
    to obfuscate the origins of cyber attacks. In other words, the
    CIA had spent a tremendous amount of effort — Mr. McGovern
    estimates billions of dollars being spent — to develop the
    ability to perform hacks, and then to be able to attribute them
    to other nations, to other actors. He says that this Marble
    Framework allowed the CIA to deliberately plant fake evidence of
    Russian involvement. They had Cyrillic text that could be
    inserted; in other words, it would be possible to make it look as
    though attackers were coming from Russia. Now the question would
    be, has this been investigated? Has Trump taken up with his
    intelligence agencies, an investigation to find out if these
    types of capabilities used? Mr. McGovern says that it was
    revealed that they were used in 2016. Was this their use? An
    investigation would be able to show [that].
    This also raises the question why the animosity towards
    Russia? Is this a cynical campaign ploy by the Democrats to get
    over an election that they lost and try to impeach Trump to try
    and take back control of the country? Or what else is at play
    here? Why would this sanctions bill pass so unanimously, with
    only three House members voting against it, and only two
    Senators? Well, we asked Ray McGovern what he thought about

    McGOVERN: It’s coming mostly from the Democrats, curiously
    enough. And initially, as I tried to explain before, it was an
    attempt to blacken the Russians to help Hillary become elected.
    Then, when she wasn’t elected, “Whoops! We can still use this
    stuff.” How can we use it? To show that Hillary didn’t lose the
    election; it couldn’t have been that she was not such a good
    candidate, or that nobody trusted her. “It’s the Russians!” So,
    most Americans now believe — according to the polls — that this
    fellow Trump who we have as President now, is there because of
    Vladimir Putin helping him become elected. That’s bad! That’s
    really bad.
    What’s the objective now? Well, the objective is not only
    to de-legitimize Trump, but to keep the tensions stoked with
    Russia so that there can be no real détente; so that we can
    blacken the Russians and say “Oh, look!”

    ROSS: Now, the other objective, or the other incident that
    caused all of this Russia hysteria, was what occurred in Ukraine;
    where a coup carried out in 2014 overthrew the elected President
    of Ukraine and instituted a new government. United States
    involvement in this coup was as apparent as anything; it was
    clear as day. Those of us who were watching saw on YouTube the
    videos of covering the audio recordings of American officials
    planning out what the new Ukrainian government would be. We had
    Victoria Nuland involved in helping to set up a new government in
    Ukraine. As a result of that entire process, came the rejoining
    of Crimea back to Russia. This has been used as a way of saying
    “We will never have peace with Russia until Russia returns Crimea
    to Ukraine” — which will absolutely never happen — “the
    sanctions will continue. Russia is everybody’s enemy.”
    Keeping that in mind, that it was US interference in Ukraine
    that created the conditions for destabilization in the eastern
    part of Ukraine, leading eventually to Crimea’s rejoining with
    Russia, we can ask ourselves “Where is this going if this process
    isn’t stopped?” Here’s what Mr. McGovern had to say about that:

    McGOVERN: Put all this together, you’ve got a synthetic;
    you’ve got a kind of an artificial construct of Vladimir Putin as
    the Devil Incarnate. The whole press does this meme, and
    everybody catches on — especially the Democrats — and it’s the
    oddest thing I’ve ever seen. So, here’s Donald Trump. He wants
    to go and talk to Putin. Everybody says “Oh, this is really
    bad.” He does talk to Putin; and what happens? They get a
    ceasefire agreement! It’s not the whole thing, but a little
    slice of Syria. Does that get reported in the press? No, maybe
    an inside page.

    ROSS: They say it’s giving in to Russia.

    McGOVERN: So, if any of us have any interest in stopping the
    carnage in Syria, which we should; we should applaud Trump or any
    other effort to work with the other forces in play. Not only the
    Russians, but the Syrians, the Turks, and the Iranians. If we
    don’t have a common aim against ISIS, what do we have a common
    aim against?
    So, the backbiting — and what’s going to be interesting
    right now; Trump this week decided no more support, no more arms
    or money for the so-called “moderate” rebels. The rebels that
    the US has supported in Syria. That’s big! That’s the CIA’s
    bag; that’s billions of dollars invested in that. What’s going
    to happen? Well, Trump has taken on the CIA on that issue. And
    what I’m recalling now is nobody’s been around in Washington as
    long as Senator Chuck Schumer, the ranking Democrat in the
    Senate. He had an interview with Rachel Maddow —

    RACHEL MADDOW: He’s taking these shots and antagonisms —


    MADDOW: — taunting to the intelligence agencies.

    SCHUMER: Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence
    community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.

    McGOVERN: Rachel Maddow says, “Oh, we’re going to go to
    break. Gimme the mic!” If it were you, wouldn’t you say, “Are
    you saying that the President of the United States should be
    afraid of the intelligence community?” Of course, that’s what he
    was saying. So, why do I refer to that? The jury is out. He’s
    taken them on a little bit. Whether he’ll take them on on the
    Russian hack, well I don’t know. Maybe Pompeo is afraid to ask
    these guys; or maybe he’s afraid to ask. If he’s afraid, will he
    be following the example of his predecessor? Because Obama was
    deathly afraid of John Brennan; that’s why he defended him when
    Brennan hacked into the Senate computers. That’s why he tried to
    prevent the publication of the memo from the Senate on CIA
    torture; because it showed that Brennan and the others had been
    lying through their teeth about the effectiveness of torture
    techniques. So Obama was very much defending himself or
    defending them, ultimately to defend themselves. So, whether
    Schumer is right, we’re likely to see sooner rather than later.

    ROSS: We’ll find out sooner rather than later based on how
    the President and how the American population responds to this
    pressure. Think for a minute in your mind: What would it mean
    if Trump were thrown out of office based on what we know to be a
    fabrication, a lie created by the intelligence agencies? A lie
    saying that Vladimir Putin put him in office? If the President
    of the United States can be removed from office based on nonsense
    created by the intelligence agencies, do we have elected
    government in the United States? I think that that’s the
    question that we need to take up in a very urgent way by getting
    out the explosive news about this memo coming from the Veteran
    Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

    DIANE SARE: We are going to ask everybody watching this
    program to mobilize to break this story. I first want to address
    some of the questions that people may raise: “Of course we know
    the Russians didn’t hack the election. I voted for Trump; and I
    wasn’t told to vote for Trump by Vladimir Putin. So, what’s new
    about this?” Or people say, “We’re used to being lied to all the
    time. Why does this make a difference?”
    First I just want to say a little bit about who some of
    these people are. In case you missed it, Ray McGovern is a
    former US Army and former CIA intelligence; I believe he is
    fluent in Russian and has a great deal of knowledge on this.
    Bill Binney, who is the co-author of this report, is the former
    NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military
    Analysis, the co-founder of NSA Signals Intelligence Automation
    Research Center — that is the data-mining. But he designed in
    part the technology to be able to spy on everyone; he knows this
    very well. The expert who did the forensics on these so-called
    hacks which turned out to be a leak, is someone named Skip
    Holden; who’s a retired IBM Program Manager for Information
    Technology. He’s the one who looked at this, who came to the
    conclusion — as has been reported earlier — that there was no
    hack. That what happened was that 1976MB of data were copied in
    only 87 seconds; which cannot be done over the internet. That
    cannot be done through cyberspace, but only by using some kind of
    thumb drive or USB port, some kind of storage device that is
    actually inserted into the computer to copy this data. And that
    this was done by someone operating in the Eastern time zone; so
    an insider. Then this was blamed on Russia.
    The point is, we have in hand in this report by a group of
    certified experts, proof, the documentation that this thing is a
    [inaud; 23:49] fraud from the beginning. That is extremely
    important. We discovered when going to the Congress yesterday,
    four LaRouche PAC organizers took about 1000 copies of the VIPS
    report to Congress and discovered that nobody there had heard
    anything about this; which is outrageous. You might remember
    before the elections that President Obama and others had promised
    there was going to be a classified briefing from the Congress,
    presenting the alleged proofs that the Russians were hacking into
    the Democratic Party and sabotaging the elections; and then such
    briefing never occurred. There never was any evidence presented.
    I just want to take a step back for a second, because on the
    other hand, to understand this. When Lyndon LaRouche heard about
    Comey’s testimony and the story about Russia, he said “The people
    pushing this want thermonuclear war. If they succeed, we’re
    going to have thermonuclear war with Russia.” I’d like to remind
    people that what happened in Ukraine was the direct result of a
    deliberate policy, as Jason said. You remember it was economic,
    in terms of whether Ukraine was going to orient economically
    towards Russia or Europe. They were put in a position where they
    were allegedly being forced to choose one or the other; as
    opposed to working with both. So, a false crisis was created in
    order to bring in virtual actual Nazis. We can just show one
    picture [Fig. 1], the first one which I think has their Svoboda
    party, which looks like swastika armbands. They violently
    overthrew the government with $5 billion laundered through the US
    State Department; largely from George Soros. Victoria Nuland,
    who was under Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. In other
    words, we were provoking war with Russia; deliberately moving
    NATO eastward, putting Nazis — actual supporters of Hitler and
    Stephan Bandera — in power in Ukraine on Russia’s border. Why?
    Because the trans-Atlantic system is on the brink of total
    disintegration. The British Empire, this empire monarchy, is in
    its final agony; it will not survive. They’ve printed trillions
    of dollars, they’ve bailed out the banks time and again, they’ve
    created a gigantic bubble; it’s going down. Therefore, there is
    a push to expand the ability to loot and to either bluff or
    directly have what they think could be a limited nuclear war
    with Russia.
    The same thing in Syria. People may remember, Hillary
    Clinton was proposing a no-fly zone over Syria so that we could
    shoot down Russian planes in defense of ISIS. As Ray McGovern
    mentioned in the interview, one of the positive developments of
    the Trump Presidency — a very significant one — is he met with
    Putin, got a ceasefire; and we are no longer arming the so-called
    “moderate” groups who are running around chopping people’s heads
    off and filming it. It’s a huge breakthrough.
    So, I just want to underscore that the fact that we have in
    our hands, by a group of highly competent professionals, the
    proof that the entire story about Russia hacking the elections
    was a fraud, is critical. What Jason described about this new
    round of sanctions against Russia, which is based on crimes that
    were never committed. Russia did not start the violence in
    Ukraine; that was launched under Victoria Nuland with funding
    from George Soros and the State Department. It’s a bunch of
    Nazis. They did not illegally annex Crimea. The people of
    Crimea, who are predominantly Russian and Russian speaking, held
    a referendum where they voted to leave Ukraine so they wouldn’t
    be burned to death in buildings for speaking Russian; which is
    what these Nazis did to people in Odessa, for example. There was
    a legitimate vote in Crimea; and there was no hack of the DNC
    The evidence that came out, as Putin said “Why are people so
    concerned? You should be concerned that what was leaked was
    actually true”; which was that the Hillary Clinton campaign had
    ripped off Bernie Sanders in every imaginable way, and there was
    nothing honest or upfront about the way she conducted her
    campaign. People suspected it, and that was then proven. People
    remember that Wasserman-Schultz had to resign.
    The point is, we have this in hand; and what we are asking
    you to do is several things. One, obviously the Congress should
    stop being a bunch of sold-out, gutless wonders, and they should
    hold hearings with the actual evidence. That is, Ray McGovern,
    Bill Binney, Skip Holden; they should be invited to testify in
    hearings in the Congress. You can call into the Congressional
    switchboard, which is (202) 224-3121. You can see on the screen
    the petition [Fig. 2] being circulated by the LaRouche Political
    Action Committee. Everybody should sign the petition, but you
    should also circulate it on social media. As I mentioned, what
    we discovered in Washington is that no one had even heard of this
    report. We have to change the so-called narrative; that’s one
    thing that we’ve run into in DC. Everyone talks about narrative
    this, narrative that, as if there’s no such thing as truth.
    Well, the narrative right now is that somehow Vladimir Putin is
    responsible for every evil that’s occurred on the planet in the
    last 10 years at least; and that therefore, we should impose
    sanctions on Russia and even risk a war with that country. This
    is completely insane; it is not true. The truth of the matter is
    that there is a New Paradigm which is being led by China; which
    the US can join with China and Russia. It has the potential, as
    President Trump has expressed his intent to make American great
    again. The way we make America great again, is by collaborating
    with China, with Russia to go back to a Hamiltonian system of
    political economy.
    So, our job, as Mrs. LaRouche put it, is we have to get the
    truth out on this story. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals
    for Sanity — VIPS — have given us a weapon. She said, “You
    know the phenomenon where people are marching across a bridge at
    such a frequency that the footsteps resonate with the
    construction of the bridge; and it creates a vibration that
    causes the bridge itself to collapse. What we want to do with
    this mobilization is break the back of this lie.” The American
    people have been lied to for a very long time. We were lied to
    about the Kennedy assassination with devastating consequences to
    our republic. We were lied to about 9/11; we were lied to about
    the Saudi and British role in 9/11 explicitly. We are now being
    lied to about the election; and these lies could have the
    consequence of running a coup d’etat against a legitimately
    elected leader and putting us on a trajectory for World War III.
    We can break the back of this by circulating this report.
    So, I would urge people to take the material from the
    LaRouche PAC website, get it out on your Facebook accounts, send
    it out through Twitter. Call the White House and urge President
    Trump to appoint special counsel to launch a Presidential
    investigation of what happened in the DNC computers. That we
    have evidence that someone, as Ray McGovern asked, What does the
    CIA know about this? What does Brennan know about this? What
    does the FBI know about this? Who was it who went into the DNC
    computer and tried to make it look like Russia had done this?
    President Trump, as President of the United States, has a
    legitimate right to demand such an investigation. You should
    call the White House and demand this. Call your Congressman and
    say “Have you read the report from the Veteran Intelligence
    Professionals for Sanity? Have you read that report? Don’t you
    think there should be hearings? We have to investigate this.”
    Get this out to all of your friends; it’s absolutely urgent.
    Because when we break the back of this, then we can transform the
    So, I would just say that it is very important that people
    take action. The LaRouche PAC website will be the center of this
    mobilization; giving you the ammunition that you need and the
    resources that you need to get to your elected officials.

    ROSS: Absolutely! And that ammunition is available for you
    right here. In the video description you’ll find a link to the
    Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memo —
    russia-hack-evidence/. The full interview with Ray McGovern
    will be available on our website over the weekend; we’ll be
    posting it soon.
    I just wanted to bring up one more aspect of this in terms
    of the coup. Diane had brought up John Brennan. Well, John
    Brennan, at the Aspen Security Forum just a couple of days ago,
    had said that if Trump fires Robert Mueller, the special
    investigator, that the intelligence agencies should refuse to go
    along with it. In essence, he’s calling for a coup against the
    President based on a political decision that he might make. So,
    ask yourself: Do you want to have a government? Or do you want
    to have John Brennan and other non-elected people dictating and
    determining policy in a way that is to the absolute detriment of
    our nation? If this isn’t removed, the opportunity to work with
    Russia, to work with China, and to work towards a better future
    as Diane had mentioned, will simply be impossible. So, get that
    memo out; make sure everybody you know reads it. It’s absolutely
    dynamite and it definitively puts to rest the whole Russia-gate
    nonsense. It’ll be great to move on from that, won’t it?


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