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Friday, October 16, 2015

Listen to this Outrageous Bullshit Artist and Fraud, Fox “Expert” Wayne Simmons

Fox News gets suckered: 11 outrageous lies by their “terror analyst” who was actually a con man 

For 13 years, Fox News presented Wayne Simmons as a CIA officer. He's now indicted as a fraud. Let's recap his lies 

Fox News gets suckered: 11 outrageous lies by their "terror analyst" who was actually a con manWayne Simmons  (Credit: Fox News)
Surprise: One of Fox News’ most popular so-called “terror analysts” was actually a con man.
Con artist Wayne Simmons created an elaborate life story. It is fake. He identified as a CIA outside paramilitary special operations officer. He wasn’t. He wrote a book claiming he worked in the CIA for 27 years. He didn’t.
Fox News took him at his word. So did the U.S. government. Simmons worked as a subcontractor for the government multiple times, and was even invited to train at an Army facility. He ended up receiving security clearance and served as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel overseas. So much for background checks.
Simmons’ website is chock-full of articles, media appearances, and “patriot pictures.” He even has a page devoted to patented credit card technology called HADRiAN he claims to have created with a Delaware company that is actually in New Jersey.
To say Wayne Simmons is a suspicious character would be to engage in understatement. The feds could tell. A federal grand jury indicted him on numerous counts of fraud and making false statements.
This doesn’t undo the damage Simmons has already done, however. For what is even more disturbing than the fact that he deceived the media and the government for this long is the fact that Simmons used his faux-authority to spread ludicrous and jingoist right-wing propaganda.
For 13 years, Simmons ceaselessly spewed unsubstantiated opinions on Fox News, under the facade of being a CIA veteran and “national security and terrorism expert.”
The following are just 11 of the preposterous things Fox favorite Wayne Simmons — a snake oil salesman who peddles odious lies and fear — proposed and claimed:
Racial profiling
In 2011, Simmons insisted on Fox News that the U.S. government should racially profile people from Muslim-majority countries. Calling himself a “pro-profiler,” Simmons proclaimed “I am just adamant about profiling, and we need to do it.”
When Senator John McCain proposed, in Fox’s words, “banning some immigrants from radical countries,” Simmons replied “I think it’s a great idea; should have been done years ago.”
Muslim paramilitary camps
Simmons claimed on Fox News in early 2015 that there are “at least 19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States,” where Muslims are being trained to carry out terrorist attacks on Americans. As a source, he cited Islamophobic right-wing propaganda outlet the Clarion Project.
While spreading flagrantly false rumors about supposed “no-go zones” in Europe in which non-Muslims are not allowed to enter, Simmons warned viewers “We are in a global war, a global war against Islamic jihad.”
Assassinating democratically elected leaders
Simmons called for the U.S. government to assassinate democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 2005. “If a stray bullet from a hunter in Kentucky should find its way between this guy’s eyes, no American should lose any sleep over it,” Simmons quipped.
Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes egged him on. “Do you want him dead?” Colmes asked, referring to Chávez — who was democratically elected numerous times and was, by far, the most popular leader in Venezuela’s history. “Absolutely,” Simmons replied. “He should have been killed a long time ago… It doesn’t matter to me who kills this guy. He’s to go.” Simmons even went so far, at the nudging of Hannity and Colmes, to compare the Venezuelan president to Hitler.
Executing ‘traitors’
Simmons frequently called for bloodletting on air. On Fox News in 2005, he asserted that American “traitors” should be executed by “firing squad.”
Fox host Alan Colmes asked “You want America to have firing squads?” Simmons replied “You doggone right I do, for traitors, that’s absolutely what they should have.”
Whistleblowers as ‘terrorists’
On Fox’s Freedom Watch in 2010, Simmons called whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks “a terrorist organization.” Simmons accused WikiLeaks of “hiding behind” the First Amendment in order “to come against the national security of the United States.”
The Fox host characterized WikiLeaks and those who leaked to it as “threats to America.” He also introduced the con man saying “Wayne Simmons, you are a former intelligence agent of the USA who risked his life for national security and other laudable purposes; you also took an oath to uphold the Constitution.”
Hidden WMDs
When weapons of mass destruction weren’t found in Iraq, Simmons happily went on Fox in 2007 to claim they could have been hidden in other Middle Eastern countries, namely in Syria or Lebanon.
Simmons was still riffing on this groundless ruse in 2013. He told Fox News that there was a “very high probability” that the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had hidden WMDs in Syria.
Mass surveillance
Simmons always came out to bat for mass surveillance. When, in 2006, the FBI admitted that a supposed terrorist plot to attack NFL stadiums was a “hoax,” Simmons claimed on Fox News that this was “the perfect example of the president’s Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program, how vital they are. Without them, we cannot, as the president wants us to do, pre-emptively strike the terrorists.”
The other guest on the program at the time, Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the right-wing Center for Security Policy think tank, fearmongered about so-called “Islamofascists,” who he insisted “are determined to kill as many of us as they can.” In a sigh of relief, Fox News host Neil Cavuto declared “We dodged a bullet here, or presumably a hoaxed bullet, but still.”
‘9/11s unabated’
In 2005, on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Simmons claimed that if “the Democrats come into power in the United States and re-employ their vision of defense for this country, we will have 9/11s unabated.”
“This will absolutely be proven to be fact,” Simmons insisted. “That’s not maybe,” he warned.
Anti-war ‘psy-ops’
When Democratic Congressman John Murtha criticized the Iraq War in 2006, Simmons said a “psy-ops, or a psychological operation, in and by itself, can decimate the enemy if it’s run correctly. The problem is Murtha’s running a psy-op against his own people and against his own military.”
Media controlled by al-Qaeda
“The terrorists know that they have the press and they have the ACLU in their pocket” Simmons stated on Fox News in 2005. He maintained that news outlets like The New York Times and The LA Times, along with NGOs like the ACLU, were helping terrorist groups by reporting on or criticizing the U.S. government’s illegal torture program.
White House conspiracies
In 2011, Simmons was invited on Fox to discuss U.S. military involvement in Pakistan. Fox introduced Simmons as a “former CIA operative who knows the area well,” and asked the con artist to comment on military policy. Naturally, Simmons insisted that the Obama administration — which for years had conducted a covert drone war there that left thousands of people dead, including hundreds of civilians — was not being aggressive enough.
Conspiracy-theory style, Simmons speculated that the White House had ordered General Petraeus to downplay the threat of terrorism in Pakistan in order to “help soft sell the eventual withdrawal.”
‘Terrorism “experts”‘
For 13 years, Simmons always came out with guns blazing in defense of conservative causes. There are bound to be countless more examples of the con man giving credence to baseless right-wing myths.
Wayne Simmons is a paragon of the fraudulent “terrorism expert.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that there are essentially no official standards in the U.S. media by which “counter-terrorism” pundits’ purported “expertise” is measured; they must simply ignore facts, blame Muslims, and trumpet U.S. propaganda. Simmons fulfills each of these preconditions and more.
The question everyone should now be asking is how many more Wayne Simmons are out there?
Ben Norton is a politics staff writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.



  1. Never heard of the guy and I watch Fox when I can.

    Maybe Fox took the US Government's word on the guy.

    I LIKE his ideas on profiling, though.

    Racial profiling
    In 2011, Simmons insisted on Fox News that the U.S. government should racially profile people from Muslim-majority countries. Calling himself a “pro-profiler,” Simmons proclaimed “I am just adamant about profiling, and we need to do it.”
    When Senator John McCain proposed, in Fox’s words, “banning some immigrants from radical countries,” Simmons replied “I think it’s a great idea; should have been done years ago.”

    The term however should be theological or religious profiling, not racial, that is to say, we should profile for those whose book insists they kill us all.

    If you don't agree with this, sleep on.......

    Put Deuce's 4 million beloved Syrians in Philly if they are foolishly allowed in.....

    Put a few hundred thousand over in Quirk's suburban neighborhood outside Detroit too.....

    Has anyone been following the mess the moslem immigrants are making in Germany ?

    You ought to read about it before buying into the idea we ought to allow them to come here.

    In Sweden, one of the favorite pastimes of the moslem immigrants is raping Swedish women.

    The numbers of Swedish women raped by moslem immigrants are astounding.

    Look it up sometime.

    You can start here:

    Muslims say Swedish women are asking to be raped ~ …

    Several witnesses claim that the 21 year old has said that he hates Swedish women. Some Muslim immigrants ... number of rape charges in their ... Swedish women …
    23% of Swedish Women Will be Raped by Nonwhite Immigrants …

    ... mainly due to immigration from Muslim ... culture is through violent rape of local women. Sweden now has the ... of all Swedish women will be raped at some ...
    1 in 4 Swedish Women Will Be Raped as Sexual Assaults ...

    Statistics now suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will be raped. Sweden now has the second highest number of ... higher as Muslim immigrants continue ...
    Britannia: Swedish woman raped to death by illegal …

    Jan 07, 2014 · ... are overwhelmingly perpetrated by Muslim immigrants. ... Swedish women reported being raped by Muslim ... The number of rapes is up 16% ...

    Crazy Ass Bernie Sanders wrote that women like to be gang raped. I wonder how Bernie would like a good sodomizing by a bunch of moslems....perhaps he would change his mind......

    1. Bernie is also on record now saying women should stay home with the kids.....

    2. A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.

      A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.
      The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their “revolutionary” political meeting.

      Crazy Ass Bernie Sanders

    3. .

      Daily Stormer?


      Bobo has expanded his reading list.

      From Wiki,

      The Daily Stormer is an American Neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website.[1][2] Its editor is Andrew Anglin.

      Anglin founded The Daily Stormer on July 4, 2013, at the age of 28, deciding to write a faster-paced website than his previous one, Total Fascism, which had launched in the previous year...


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .


      We have seen the garbage that originates there. Many times unfortunately.


    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. .

      A man is known by what he chooses to read.


    8. .

      And I'm sure those sites to their share of 'profiling'.


    9. .

      As a public service, I pulled a couple of my posts that discussed the websites ( 14 Words and South End Patriot) Farmer Bob suggested we

      Look it up sometime.

      You can start here:

      The posts included reference to the links Farmer Bob offered and even though I put up a warning note, I felt it safer to pull my posts rather than have someone inadvertently go to one of these skin-head, neo-nazi, white supremecist sites and end up on a terror watch list somewhere.


  2. .

    Wayne Simmons?

    We don't need no stinkin' Simmons.

    We gots Farmer Bob. Same level of expertise and way cheaper.


    1. Good Night, Shit Spinner.

      Idaho Vandals at Troy, Alabama tomorrow !


    2. Meanwhile, you can go to Deuce's favorite news source, MSNBC, and see this -

      October 17, 2015
      MSNBC uses 'the map that lies' about Israel
      By Thomas Lifson

      Omri Ceren asks , “@MSNBC have you actually lost your minds?” over the left wing network’s posting of a series of maps originally distributed by years ago by pro-Palestinian groups. The maps alleged depict the loss of land by Palestinians.

      For a comprehensive debunking of the map, see this essay by the Elder of Zion dating from 2012, dubbing it “the map that lies.”

      A more accurate depiction is this, also 3 years old:


      Hat tip: Lauri Regan


      Tomorrow, in my continuing efforts to salvage something for the reputation for this joint, (yes, I can be that kind) I shall post a long article by Henry Kissinger on the situation in the mid-east, now in total Obama collapse, as he affirms.

    3. .

      Meanwhile, you can go to Deuce's favorite news source, MSNBC, and see this -

      In pushing this lie, Farmer Bob inadvertently demonstrates he has not learned his lesson yet by referencing his favorite source American Thinker

      A man can be known by what he reads.


    4. Bob is known by what he posts and that is why he is known as a simple close minded bigot who is just not at all smart.

    5. Ash, by the same standard you are known as a moslem apologist, who never can find anything wrong with any islamic terrorist or act, That makes you a simple closed minded bigot that is just not at all smart too...

    6. shSat Oct 17, 11:36:00 AM EDT
      And you just make shit up and spout it as if it were truth. There is no credibility in anything you post WiO. Between the lies and self contradictory posts it becomes just comedy. For example just just yesterday you blithely stated that the west bank was part of Israel.

    7. American Thinker is a good site. I defend it.

      Shit Spinner called it a 'racist' site. This is false. It is a canard.

      I put up a list of all the black and other types of contributors.

      Ash is illiterate, a product of the modern education system, and doesn't read at all.

      Shit Spinner is smart enough, he just doesn't get 'out' enough, spending his days drinking and driving around looking at the sights of Detroit.

      There isn't one of you turds who had ever heard of the monomyth until Uncle Bob tried, futilely, to introduce you to it.

      Shall we talk Shakespeare, Roethke, Whitman, Twain, Hemingway.......?

      Deuce is smart enough too, but has drunk the moslem and democratic party poison....and his attempts at 'Biblical criticism' are a true embarrassment to contemplate.....

  3. He is very confident in his smug cocoon of unabashed ignorance, a classic case of not knowing what he doesn’t know but with a startling conviction of opinion and is self inoculated against any sense or understanding of irony in anything that he posts.

    1. Sounds like you and your hatred of Israel and Zionism....

    2. And you just make shit up and spout it as if it were truth. There is no credibility in anything you post WiO. Between the lies and self contradictory posts it becomes just comedy. For example just just yesterday you blithely stated that the west bank was part of Israel.

  4. Overlooked 'Headline' of the Week:

    No Increase in Social Security Benefits in 2016.

    Zero Increase in Prices

    "Inflation:" Zero.

  5. Replies
    1. Summary of Key Findings

      According to new data derived from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS),
      median annual household income in August 2015 was $55,794, 1.1 percent (or $615)
      higher than the July 2015 median of $55,179. The median in August was at its highest
      level since the official end of the great recession in June 2009. The Sentier Household
      Income Index for August 2015 was 97.3 (January 2000 = 100).

      These findings come from a report issued today by Sentier Research, titled “Household
      Income Trends: August 2015,” which presents monthly trends in household income from
      January 2000 to August 2015.

      This most recent increase in median annual household income continues the generally
      upward trend in income that has been evident since the low point in our household
      income series that occurred in August 2011. Median income in August 2015 ($55,794)
      was 5.0 percent higher than in August 2014 ($53,157), and 7.6 percent higher than in
      August 2011 ($51,835).

      The period since August 2011 has been marked by an uneven,
      but generally upward trend in the level of real median annual household income. Many of
      the month-to-month changes in median income during this period have not been
      statistically significant. However, the cumulative effect of the various month-to-month
      changes since August 2011 resulted in the income improvement noted above. (See Figure
      1 at the back of this report.)
      According to Gordon Green of Sentier Research, “The 1.1 percent increase in median
      household income between July and August 2015 is one of the largest month-to-month
      increases in income during the post-recessionary period.

      We have now recaptured all of
      the income losses that have occurred since June 2009, when the Great Recession ended.

      However, median household income is still 1.5 percent lower than December 2007, when
      the Great Recession began and 2.7 percent below the level in January 2000.”

      Sentier Research - Press Release

    2. Note: These figures are compiled using the CPI.

      If you converted them to the PCE Index, which the Federal Reserve uses (they consider it more accurate,) we would, almost certainly, be at a new all-time high for Household Income.

  6. According to Pollster, there is still no sign of a turn back to establishment Republicans. In fact, the triumvirate of crazy — Trump/Carson/Cruz — has about three times as much support as the combination of Bush, Rubio, and Kasich. It’s amazing.

    But why don’t GOP voters realize that these are crazy people? Maybe because the things they say aren’t all that different from what supposedly reasonable Republicans say.

    A case in point: The Donald has just come out with a monetary conspiracy theory: the reason the Fed hasn’t raised rates has nothing to do with low inflation and global headwinds, Janet Yellen is just doing Obama a political favor. Crazy, right?

    But how different is this, really, from Paul Ryan and John Taylor claiming that quantitative easing wasn’t a good-faith effort to support a weak economy, but an attempt to “bail out fiscal policy”, preventing the fiscal crisis Obama’s policies were supposed to produce?

    The difference between establishment Republicans and the likes of Trump, in other words, isn’t so much the substance of what they say as the tone; we’re supposed to consider Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan moderate because they insinuate their conspiracy theories rather than bellowing them and talk voodoo economics with a straight face. But why should we be surprised if the GOP base doesn’t see why this makes them more plausible?

    PK - NYT

  7. .

    This article won't change any minds but it does give some interesting stats,

    What Could Raising Taxes on the 1% Do? Surprising Amounts

    By PATRICIA COHENOCT. 16, 2015 (NYT)

    But what could a tax-the-rich plan actually achieve? As it turns out, quite a lot, experts say. Given the gains that have flowed to those at the tip of the income pyramid in recent decades, several economists have been making the case that the government could raise large amounts of revenue exclusively from this small group, while still allowing them to take home a majority of their income...

    The top 1 percent on average already pay roughly a third of their incomes to the federal government, according to a Treasury Department analysis that takes into account the entire menu of taxes — including income tax, payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security, estate and gift taxes, excise and custom duties as well as investors’ share of corporate taxes. The tax bite on the top 0.1 percent is a bit higher. Most of those taxpayers insist they are already paying more than enough.

    By comparison, the band of taxpayers right below them, in the 95th to 99th percentile, pay on average about $1 out of every $4. Those in the bottom half pay less than $1 out of every $10...



    1. {...}

      To get the most accurate picture possible, throw in all the scraps of income, from the most obvious (like wages, interest and dividends) to the least (like employer contributions to health plans, overseas earnings and growth in retirement accounts). According to that measure — used by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution — the top 1 percent includes about 1.13 million households earning an average income of $2.1 million.

      Raising their total tax burden to, say, 40 percent would generate about $157 billion in revenue the first year. Increasing it to 45 percent brings in a whopping $276 billion. Even taking account of state and local taxes, the average household in this group would still take home at least $1 million a year.

      Continue reading the main story

      If the tax increase were limited to just the 115,000 households in the top 0.1 percent, with an average income of $9.4 million, a 40 percent tax rate would produce $55 billion in extra revenue in its first year.

      That would more than cover, for example, the estimated $47 billion cost of eliminating undergraduate tuition at all the country’s four-year public colleges and universities, as Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed, or Mrs. Clinton’s cheaper plan for a debt-free college degree, with money left over to help fund universal prekindergarten.

      A tax rate of 45 percent on this select group raises $109 billion, more than enough to pay for the first year of a new $2,500 child tax credit introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida.

      Move a rung down the ladder and expand the contribution of those in the 95th to 99th percentile — who earn on average $405,000. Raising their total tax rate to 30 percent from a quarter of their total yearly income would generate an additional $86 billion. That’s enough to cover the cost over eight years of repealing the so-called Cadillac Tax on high-cost health plans, which Senator Sanders and Mrs. Clinton have endorsed...



    2. {...}

      A 35 percent share produces $176 billion — roughly the amount that the Federal Highway Administration has estimated is needed each year to improve conditions significantly on major urban highways.

      Alternatively, those tax increases could be used to help reduce government borrowing: Some combination of those raises could go a long way toward wiping out this year’s estimated federal deficit of $426 billion.

      “Most economists today would agree that raising taxes modestly would bring in more revenue” without doing any serious damage to the economy, said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center. The big question is how much is too much, because at some point, higher tax rates would discourage extra investment and work...

      And that is the problem. Laffer became a rock star during the Reagan year's by drawing a simple normal curve on a napkin and calling it insight. Of course, the problem is that he was never able to tell us what the optimal point on the curve was (that point where positive growth and taxes just start to approach a downturn). No one else has been able to either.

      The article goes on explain how the rich have gotten richer while the middle has taken it in the ass. But it ends up with a statement of the obvious, why we are unlikely to see any significant changes in the tax code.

      Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said maneuvering any tax overhaul “through that gauntlet of special interests is a herculean task.”


  8. Pick one hundred of the best O-6 rank officers, send them to Camp David for 30 days and have them come up with $100 billion in saving that they could enact if promoted to O-7, without reducing legitimate defense. Include shuttering 3/4 of all overseas military basis and retiring 200 existing general officers.

    1. .

      Look at the F-35 program.


    2. .

      You can't just look at the on-budget military expense though even with sequestration (which will likely be removed with this years budget) it is huge.

      But start adding in off-budget items, special appropriations, black-ops operations, expenses for past wars (healthcare, disability, etc), and probably other things I haven't mentioned and we are likely approaching a $ trillion a year, at least we were when both Iraq and Afghanistan were going strong.


  9. .

    And it's not just the military...

    GAO: U.S. Government Gave Away $125 Billion In Questionable Benefits Last Year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agencies set a new record for improper payments last year, shelling out $125 billion in questionable benefits after years of declines.

    The payments included tax credits for families that didn't qualify, Medicare payments for treatments that might not have been necessary, and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working.

    Improper payments increased by $19 billion over the previous year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments, as well as payments made without proper documentation.

    While the errors were spread among 22 federal agencies, three programs stood out: Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Together, the three programs accounted for more than $93 billion in improper payments...


  10. .

    This is the one reason I still am a little reluctant to raise taxes, anything we give them will be wasted, on unnecessary wars, fraud and abuse, bridges to nowhere, lax oversight and control on government contracts, payoffs to political doners, etc. etc. etc.


    1. Raise taxes on Souls R Us ?


      Your tax evasion skills are so fine tuned now not even the IRS, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security combined could track your income flow down, or actually find you and your accounts.

      Besides, 99% of your income is in untraceable cash.

  11. Obama's mideast policy in two pictures:



    A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse
    With Russia in Syria, a geopolitical structure that lasted four decades is
    in shambles. The U.S. needs a new strategy and priorities.
    Syrians in Damascus thank Vladimir Putin for aiding the Assad regime, Oct.
    13. ENLARGE
    Syrians in Damascus thank Vladimir Putin for aiding the Assad regime, Oct.
    13. Photo: SANA/Associated Press
    By Henry A. Kissinger
    Oct. 16, 2015 7:18 p.m. ET

    The debate about whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran
    regarding its nuclear program stabilized the Middle East’s strategic
    framework had barely begun when the region’s geopolitical framework
    collapsed. Russia’s unilateral military action in Syria is the latest
    symptom of the disintegration of the American role in stabilizing the
    Middle East order that emerged from the Arab-Israeli war of 1973.

    In the aftermath of that conflict, Egypt abandoned its military ties with
    the Soviet Union and joined an American-backed negotiating process that
    produced peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan, a
    United Nations-supervised disengagement agreement between Israel and
    Syria, which has been observed for over four decades (even by the parties
    of the Syrian civil war), and international support of Lebanon’s sovereign
    territorial integrity. Later, Saddam Hussein’s war to incorporate Kuwait
    into Iraq was defeated by an international coalition under U.S.
    leadership. American forces led the war against terror in Iraq and
    Afghanistan. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States were
    our allies in all these efforts. The Russian military presence disappeared
    from the region.

    That geopolitical pattern is now in shambles. Four states in the region
    have ceased to function as sovereign. Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq have
    become targets for nonstate movements seeking to impose their rule. Over
    large swaths in Iraq and Syria, an ideologically radical religious army
    has declared itself the Islamic State (also called ISIS or ISIL) as an
    unrelenting foe of established world order. It seeks to replace the
    international system’s multiplicity of states with a caliphate, a single
    Islamic empire governed by Shariah law.

    1. ISIS’ claim has given the millennium-old split between the Shiite and
      Sunni sects of Islam an apocalyptic dimension. The remaining Sunni states
      feel threatened by both the religious fervor of ISIS as well as by Shiite
      Iran, potentially the most powerful state in the region. Iran compounds
      its menace by presenting itself in a dual capacity. On one level, Iran
      acts as a legitimate Westphalian state conducting traditional diplomacy,
      even invoking the safeguards of the international system. At the same
      time, it organizes and guides nonstate actors seeking regional hegemony
      based on jihadist principles: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria; Hamas in
      Gaza; the Houthis in Yemen.

      Thus the Sunni Middle East risks engulfment by four concurrent sources:
      Shiite-governed Iran and its legacy of Persian imperialism; ideologically
      and religiously radical movements striving to overthrow prevalent
      political structures; conflicts within each state between ethnic and
      religious groups arbitrarily assembled after World War I into (now
      collapsing) states; and domestic pressures stemming from detrimental
      political, social and economic domestic policies.

      The fate of Syria provides a vivid illustration: What started as a Sunni
      revolt against the Alawite (a Shiite offshoot) autocrat Bashar Assad
      fractured the state into its component religious and ethnic groups, with
      nonstate militias supporting each warring party, and outside powers
      pursuing their own strategic interests. Iran supports the Assad regime as
      the linchpin of an Iranian historic dominance stretching from Tehran to
      the Mediterranean. The Gulf States insist on the overthrow of Mr. Assad to
      thwart Shiite Iranian designs, which they fear more than Islamic State.
      They seek the defeat of ISIS while avoiding an Iranian victory. This
      ambivalence has been deepened by the nuclear deal, which in the Sunni
      Middle East is widely interpreted as tacit American acquiescence in
      Iranian hegemony.

      These conflicting trends, compounded by America’s retreat from the region,
      have enabled Russia to engage in military operations deep in the Middle
      East, a deployment unprecedented in Russian history. Russia’s principal
      concern is that the Assad regime’s collapse could reproduce the chaos of
      Libya, bring ISIS into power in Damascus, and turn all of Syria into a
      haven for terrorist operations, reaching into Muslim regions inside
      Russia’s southern border in the Caucasus and elsewhere.

      On the surface, Russia’s intervention serves Iran’s policy of sustaining
      the Shiite element in Syria. In a deeper sense, Russia’s purposes do not
      require the indefinite continuation of Mr. Assad’s rule. It is a classic
      balance-of-power maneuver to divert the Sunni Muslim terrorist threat from
      Russia’s southern border region. It is a geopolitical, not an ideological,
      challenge and should be dealt with on that level. Whatever the motivation,
      Russian forces in the region—and their participation in combat
      operations—produce a challenge that American Middle East policy has not
      encountered in at least four decades.

    2. American policy has sought to straddle the motivations of all parties and
      is therefore on the verge of losing the ability to shape events. The U.S.
      is now opposed to, or at odds in some way or another with, all parties in
      the region: with Egypt on human rights; with Saudi Arabia over Yemen; with
      each of the Syrian parties over different objectives. The U.S. proclaims
      the determination to remove Mr. Assad but has been unwilling to generate
      effective leverage—political or military—to achieve that aim. Nor has the
      U.S. put forward an alternative political structure to replace Mr. Assad
      should his departure somehow be realized.

      Russia, Iran, ISIS and various terrorist organizations have moved into
      this vacuum: Russia and Iran to sustain Mr. Assad; Tehran to foster
      imperial and jihadist designs. The Sunni states of the Persian Gulf,
      Jordan and Egypt, faced with the absence of an alternative political
      structure, favor the American objective but fear the consequence of
      turning Syria into another Libya.

      American policy on Iran has moved to the center of its Middle East policy.
      The administration has insisted that it will take a stand against jihadist
      and imperialist designs by Iran and that it will deal sternly with
      violations of the nuclear agreement. But it seems also passionately
      committed to the quest for bringing about a reversal of the hostile,
      aggressive dimension of Iranian policy through historic evolution
      bolstered by negotiation.

      The prevailing U.S. policy toward Iran is often compared by its advocates
      to the Nixon administration’s opening to China, which contributed, despite
      some domestic opposition, to the ultimate transformation of the Soviet
      Union and the end of the Cold War. The comparison is not apt. The opening
      to China in 1971 was based on the mutual recognition by both parties that
      the prevention of Russian hegemony in Eurasia was in their common
      interest. And 42 Soviet divisions lining the Sino-Soviet border reinforced
      that conviction. No comparable strategic agreement exists between
      Washington and Tehran. On the contrary, in the immediate aftermath of the
      nuclear accord, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the
      U.S. as the “Great Satan” and rejected negotiations with America about
      nonnuclear matters. Completing his geopolitical diagnosis, Mr. Khamenei
      also predicted that Israel would no longer exist in 25 years.

      Forty-five years ago, the expectations of China and the U.S. were
      symmetrical. The expectations underlying the nuclear agreement with Iran
      are not. Tehran will gain its principal objectives at the beginning of the
      implementation of the accord. America’s benefits reside in a promise of
      Iranian conduct over a period of time. The opening to China was based on
      an immediate and observable adjustment in Chinese policy, not on an
      expectation of a fundamental change in China’s domestic system. The
      optimistic hypothesis on Iran postulates that Tehran’s revolutionary
      fervor will dissipate as its economic and cultural interactions with the
      outside world increase.

    3. American policy runs the risk of feeding suspicion rather than abating it.
      Its challenge is that two rigid and apocalyptic blocs are confronting each
      other: a Sunni bloc consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf
      States; and the Shiite bloc comprising Iran, the Shiite sector of Iraq
      with Baghdad as its capital, the Shiite south of Lebanon under Hezbollah
      control facing Israel, and the Houthi portion of Yemen, completing the
      encirclement of the Sunni world. In these circumstances, the traditional
      adage that the enemy of your enemy can be treated as your friend no longer
      applies. For in the contemporary Middle East, it is likely that the enemy
      of your enemy remains your enemy.

      A great deal depends on how the parties interpret recent events. Can the
      disillusionment of some of our Sunni allies be mitigated? How will Iran’s
      leaders interpret the nuclear accord once implemented—as a near-escape
      from potential disaster counseling a more moderate course, returning Iran
      to an international order? Or as a victory in which they have achieved
      their essential aims against the opposition of the U.N. Security Council,
      having ignored American threats and, hence, as an incentive to continue
      Tehran’s dual approach as both a legitimate state and a nonstate movement
      challenging the international order?

      Two-power systems are prone to confrontation, as was demonstrated in
      Europe in the run-up to World War I. Even with traditional weapons
      technology, to sustain a balance of power between two rigid blocs requires
      an extraordinary ability to assess the real and potential balance of
      forces, to understand the accumulation of nuances that might affect this
      balance, and to act decisively to restore it whenever it deviates from
      equilibrium—qualities not heretofore demanded of an America sheltered
      behind two great oceans.

      But the current crisis is taking place in a world of nontraditional
      nuclear and cyber technology. As competing regional powers strive for
      comparable threshold capacity, the nonproliferation regime in the Middle
      East may crumble. If nuclear weapons become established, a catastrophic
      outcome is nearly inevitable. A strategy of pre-emption is inherent in the
      nuclear technology. The U.S. must be determined to prevent such an outcome
      and apply the principle of nonproliferation to all nuclear aspirants in
      the region.

      Too much of our public debate deals with tactical expedients. What we need
      is a strategic concept and to establish priorities on the following

      • So long as ISIS survives and remains in control of a geographically
      defined territory, it will compound all Middle East tensions. Threatening
      all sides and projecting its goals beyond the region, it freezes existing
      positions or tempts outside efforts to achieve imperial jihadist designs.
      The destruction of ISIS is more urgent than the overthrow of Bashar Assad,
      who has already lost over half of the area he once controlled. Making sure
      that this territory does not become a permanent terrorist haven must have
      precedence. The current inconclusive U.S. military effort risks serving as
      a recruitment vehicle for ISIS as having stood up to American might.

    4. • The U.S. has already acquiesced in a Russian military role. Painful as
      this is to the architects of the 1973 system, attention in the Middle East
      must remain focused on essentials. And there exist compatible objectives.
      In a choice among strategies, it is preferable for ISIS-held territory to
      be reconquered either by moderate Sunni forces or outside powers than by
      Iranian jihadist or imperial forces. For Russia, limiting its military
      role to the anti-ISIS campaign may avoid a return to Cold War conditions
      with the U.S.

      • The reconquered territories should be restored to the local Sunni rule
      that existed there before the disintegration of both Iraqi and Syrian
      sovereignty. The sovereign states of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as
      Egypt and Jordan, should play a principal role in that evolution. After
      the resolution of its constitutional crisis, Turkey could contribute
      creatively to such a process.

      • As the terrorist region is being dismantled and brought under nonradical
      political control, the future of the Syrian state should be dealt with
      concurrently. A federal structure could then be built between the Alawite
      and Sunni portions. If the Alawite regions become part of a Syrian federal
      system, a context will exist for the role of Mr. Assad, which reduces the
      risks of genocide or chaos leading to terrorist triumph.

      • The U.S. role in such a Middle East would be to implement the military
      assurances in the traditional Sunni states that the administration
      promised during the debate on the Iranian nuclear agreement, and which its
      critics have demanded.

      • In this context, Iran’s role can be critical. The U.S. should be
      prepared for a dialogue with an Iran returning to its role as a
      Westphalian state within its established borders.

      The U.S. must decide for itself the role it will play in the 21st century;
      the Middle East will be our most immediate—and perhaps most severe—test.
      At question is not the strength of American arms but rather American
      resolve in understanding and mastering a new world.

      Mr. Kissinger served as national-security adviser and secretary of state
      under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

  12. What Mr. Kissinger is saying here is that O'bozo and the Democrats have really REALLY screwed the USA and Western pooch and we've hell to pay to get out of this fix.