Although he had stiff competition Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd won this week’s Oscar for supporting functionary of the the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT).
It is a "complex" with a complex bereft of soul or compassion in its overweening lust to profiteer on tension and war. In the case of Ukraine, U.S. and NATO profiteers are willing to fight to the last Ukrainian, and even to risk war with Russia in the process.
Why would provocateurs like Chuck Todd want to edge us closer to war with Russia; cui bono? The beneficiary is the MICIMATT. Please take a minute to ponder the entity identified by each letter. Note also that I put MEDIA in all caps. That is because the media are the fulcrum, the cornerstone – the sine qua non.
The MICIMATT cannot do its profiteering without the media. When President Eisenhower warned of the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex) he noted pointedly that the only antidote to its dangerous accretion of power would be "a well informed citizenry". We ain’t got one.
Todd Playing With Chemicals – Again
On Meet the Press yesterday, Todd repeatedly asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg whether chemical weapons might change the Western calculus on intervention in Ukraine. Todd: "Is a No-fly Zone forever off the table or would the use of chemical weapons make NATO rethink." And two minutes later, "Russia’s use of chemical weapons, would that be considered, though, an escalation on his [presumably Putin’s] part that would make NATO rethink?"
It may be hard to believe that Stoltenberg was unprepared to give some some sort of answer to this obvious question, but he is only good at regurgitating what he has memorized. Yesterday, in the absence of instructions from Washington, he appeared nonplused and gave a non-response. To which Todd replied condescendingly, "It does sound as though you don’t have an answer yet."
Throwing Out Bait for a ‘Red Line’
Todd’s grilling of Stoltenberg on what might cause NATO to impose a No-fly Zone over Ukraine, or escalate in some other way, is part and parcel of what the middle "M" in MICIMATT is assigned to do these days – to keep the pot boiling and turn up the heat as necessary. Those not irredeemably brainwashed by Establishment media deem it reckless to risk war with Russia. But they are not fixated on the dollar figure on the corporate bottom line. The more tension, the better for Raytheon and Lockheed and the other mega corporations that actually own the media. (Also yesterday, on CNN’s State of the Union, US UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told Jake Tapper that if Russia uses chemical weapons, "we will respond aggressively.")
An Accomplished False-Flag Precursor
It was less than ten years ago, but one hopes that then-Vice President Joe Biden was made aware of the interesting role Chuck Todd played in baiting a trap for President Barack Obama. The idea was to trick the president into launching an open war against Syria based on a false-flag chemical attack blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
At the very end of an impromptu press conference on Aug. 20, 2012, NBC’s Todd primed the mousetrap with some cheese, asking about the reluctance Obama had expressed regarding engaging US armed forces in Syria. Were there no conditions under which Obama might change his calculus? Obama answered:
"I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement … But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel. It concerns us. … We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
Hillary’s Unseen Hand
This was the answer pushed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her neocon advisers, who had made no secret of their determination to topple Bashar al-Assad, one way or another. The Washington Post account of the press conference suggests that White House staffers had been blind-sided and were trying to put the best face on it.
Then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, "I didn’t know it [the red line] was coming." Goldberg added that Vice President Joe Biden had repeatedly warned Obama against drawing a red line on chemical weapons, fearing that it would one day have to be enforced.
Ten days before Obama’s impromptu press conference, Clinton had met with her Turkish counterpart in Istanbul and emphasized the need to jointly plan ways to assist the rebels fighting to topple Assad – including possibly implementing a no-fly zone.
Long story short, on August 21, 2013, almost exactly a year after Chuck Todd’s trap-laying, there was a false-flag chemical attack at Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, which then-Secretary of State John Kerry blamed on President Assad, while adducing no intelligence to support that allegation. Fortunately, President Vladimir Putin got the Syrians to destroy their chemical weapon stocks, pulling Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire. Kerry, the neocons, and Israel were embarrassed and incensed; they did not get their war on Syria. For more on this please see "When Putin Bailed Out Obama" and "How War on Syria Lost Its Way (see subhead: "Morose at CNN").
Chuck Todd and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield are hardly the only ones warning of/predicting a Russian chemical attack in Ukraine. My guess is that a false-flag event blamed on Russia is likely in the next week or so.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).