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On the Brink of Nuclear War: A Conversation with F. William Engdahl

April 7, 2016

Interview With F. William Engdahl
Exclusive Interview: Jerry Robinson is joined by historian and economic researcher, F. William Engdahl, to discuss the current chaotic conditions across the Middle East and Russia’s recent decision to pull out of Syria in the fight against ISIS. Listen to this in-depth discussion using the player above, or read the full transcript below.

Read the full interview transcript below.

Interview Transcript

Jerry Robinson, Host: Joining us on the line today is F. William Engdahl. He is a prolific and award-winning geopolitical analyst, author, and lecturer. He has been researching and writing about the world political scene for more than 30 years, and his latest book is entitled, “The Lost Hegemon: Whom The Gods Would Destroy”. William, it’s great to have you back on Follow The Money Radio.

F. William Engdahl: It’s good to be here, Jerry.

JR: Well, we are living in very interesting times. The Chinese proverb is certainly true in our day. We’re looking right now at Sykes-Picot. The Sykes-Picot agreement back in the World War I era. It just seems to be blowing up in Europe’s face. We have all kinds of tensions in the Middle East now with Saudi Arabia. Of course, what’s happened latest in Syria with Russia. Why don’t you talk a little bit about what you’ve been writing about with Russia’s recent withdrawal from Syria? What’s your take on this? What’s happening?

FWE: Well, it caught everybody in the West pretty much by surprise just as the peace talks in Geneva are beginning, but I think you have to put it together with a couple of other factors that are in the background right now. One is the opening of the first foreign office of the Syrian Kurds anyplace in the world in Moscow last month, and since then there has been very little coming out of those corridors. But, there’s a 200 year, two century long positive relationship between the Syrian Kurds, or the Kurds overall, and Russia. It’s gone through various twists and turns, the Cold War, World War I or the Sykes-Picot period as you mentioned, but that relationship, I won’t call it a friendship, but that relationship has held until the present day. Russia urged the Kurds, these pro-Syrian Kurds in Syria, to be included in the Geneva talks. The US, through Turkey, made sure that that didn’t happen. At the same time the US is playing a double game with the Syrian Kurds by encouraging them in the fight against ISIS which is provoking Turkey. And, I think we see the beginnings of a real double cross, dirty play between Washington and Turkey to try to get some kind of military action in motion that would allow Washington to step in as the great peacemaker and balkanize Syria in the way that the Brookings Institution laid out several years ago where you would have a Kurdish region of Syria, you would have an Alawite region of Syria, you would have a Sunni region of Syria, and then a mish mosh in the middle around Damascus, and that would allow outside players to manipulate oil and gas pipelines as they see fit. So, I think that’s the Washington agenda. I think the Russian agenda, Putin’s agenda, is quite different. He has recognized the Kurds in a very strong way by providing military support in the Kurdish forces’ militia against ISIS, a very effective assault against ISIS. So, I think Putin’s idea is to go out at the peak, we’ve made a good effort and so forth, but they’re not leaving Syria. This is very important to stress. They have said quite clearly that they will keep their bases in Tarsus and Lattakia. That’s a permanent presence on the invitation of the Damascus government. That’s been a Russian base on the Mediterranean for decades. I think the other thing is that Russia wants to come in and work with the Syrian government on exploiting the huge gas reserves in the offshore of the eastern Mediterranean of Syria similar to what Israel has discovered and similar to what Cyprus has discovered in the last three or four years. Syria, also, undoubtedly, has part of that enormous gas play. We’ve come, in about three weeks, from the brink, and I wrote about this, from the brink of nuclear war by miscalculation. Tactical nuclear war is still nuclear war. The US Air Force has tactical nuclear bombers stationed very close to the Syrian border in Turkey. Turkey is a NATO country. The thing was just poised with the Saudi Air Force city in Poseidon, and it’s ready to launch bombing strikes. They don’t have any military worth the name except an Air Force. It was extremely precarious for Russia. I said this in an interview on Russian television in Moscow two weeks ago. I said this is highly dangerous. Everybody in this Syrian game is playing a deception game, lying to everybody else and pursuing their agenda. There will be no lasting peace in Syria. I detailed in my book, “The Lost Hegemon”, the more than 50 year history of the incestrous relationship or “the marriage made in hell” as I call it, between the CIA, US intelligence, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which came out of Egypt, and was brought by the CIA in the 50s into Saudi Arabia where they fused the radical political activism and assassination squads of the Muslim Brotherhood with the ultra-feudalistic strain of Islam that you have in Saudi Arabia. And, that with Saudi oil money, spread this Muslim Brotherhood network throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan, all of the Sunni world over the last 40 years. The book documents the incredible story of how this evolved, and it went from the Mujahideen in Afghanistan who were Saudi financed. The Saudi Director of Intelligence sent a trusted agent by the name of Osama Bin Laden to Pakistan to work with Paki intelligence and recruit, and to be the training center or the base, and Al Qaeda translated from Arabic means “the base”. That was used by the CIA to arm the Mujahideen, the crazies, in Afghanistan, against the Soviet Red Army. It lasted eight years, and was the most expensive covert op in the history of the CIA, an eight year war that ultimately ended in the Soviets leaving Afghanistan. And then the CIA brought the same crazy Mujahideen terrorists into Azerbaijan as the Soviet Union was collapsing, and then into Chechnya in Soviet Russian Federation, the Soviet Union has collapsed by then, to simply stir up and make as much trouble for Russia as possible around the pipelines in through Russia on to the world oil market. They did a fairly good job of sabotaging that. And, then they brought them into Bosnia during the Yugoslavs’ civil war or the Yugoslav wars to be jihadists against the Serbs and blame everything on the Serbs, of course, as the bad guys, just as the US is now blaming everything on Putin. And, yet, they depend on Putin for certain very important things. So, right now, that development in the Kurdish part of Syria is potentially the fuse or the trigger for what could be a dramatic explosion, a huge loss for Turkey, and an excuse for US boots on the ground sent by Obama for the first time in the five years of this war in Syria to establish an Iraqi network, an Iraqi style network of bases as they did in Iraq after 2003.

JR: That’s all we need right now, isn’t it? You’re listening to the voice of F. William Engdahl. He is the author of “The Lost Hegemon: Whom The Gods Would Destroy”. There’s a picture of the American flag in tatters on the cover of your book, William, and you’ve studied America’s rise to dominance in the global economy in the post World War II era, but we are increasingly witnessing the breakdown of this new American economic order. Dollar supremacy is also failing as other nations attempt to rise. Of course, you’ve written a book about this with a specific emphasis upon the Islamic infiltration of America, and America’s infiltration of Islam. During our final moments, talk about some of the most pressing and real risks that Americans face today. We hear a lot of different threats on the news. From your analysis, you don’t live in America, you live in Germany. If you lived in America, what would you be concerned about right now?

FWE: Well, I would be concerned about the prospect of either a Clinton or a Donald Trump getting anywhere near the White House. I have a gut feeling that neither one of them, ironically enough, are going to do that. But, if you talk about a choice, the lesser of two evils, we don’t have it in this particular election. It’s Hell 1, Hillary Clinton, and Hell 2, Donald Trump, and I go into that in recent articles on my website Some very influential patriarchs, American oligarchs, want to simply create madness in the American population, and bring in a Mussolini style, I don’t know a better term for it, fascism, total control by the corporations, and that was the Mussolini model of the trade unions, of the state institutions, and of the people. So, that is what, if you want to look at Donald Trump in a true light, call him Mussolini with a pompadour. And, Hillary Clinton is not a bit better. She lies and cheats her way, is involved in dirty tricks with her dirty husband, Bill, Dirty Bill, through the Clinton Foundation and operations with Haiti, Russia, and lord knows who. That’s the Clinton manner. That’s the Bush family manner. The Clintons are an asteroid or a satellite of the Bush machine. So, I think that it’s time that Americans made sure they had a real choice and searched inside themselves and made sure that there is some fundamental changes to bring back a vestige of democracy that was destroyed legally by a spineless congress after September 11, 2001.

JR: You’ve got some elections coming up over in Europe. And, here in the United States, we don’t tend to pay nearly as much attention to the rest of the world as we hope the world will pay attention to us. But, the elections that are coming up in Germany and France. Do you have any comments on those? They will obviously be impacting you and us. Any comment on what might be happening? Are you expecting a surge of nationalism there with all the migrants? Do you think that the Merkels of the world can hold on? What is your take?

FWE: The German regional elections, the state elections, are already underway, and Merkel’s party has had devastating losses. The anti-refugee new party called the Alliance for Germany has gotten double digit results in all the elections so far, and they had nothing a year age, they were zero. They weren’t on the map. Their main thing is that we have to take care of Germany and not open our arms like Angela Merkel has done to any and everyone who wants to, like the Statue of Liberty, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. It’s creating a huge unrest in the population here in Germany. It’s like mixing oil and water. The Muslim North African and Syrian culture is not the same as the German culture by any stretch of the imagination, and to bring a million people in with no controls. German intelligence has stated that there have been infiltrated Isis members in these so called refugees, fake passports that are given by ISIS and Syria, and all sorts of things. So, Germany is being destabilized dramatically in the most alarming way since the end of the Second World War. The similar thing in France, France already had millions of, not refugees, but they had the right to come to France as Algerians, and so forth in the France-African countries. They were mostly Muslim, and now the French are faced with the same kind of dilemma, but much less dramatic. Parties like that of Madame Lapin are considered potential presidential contenders, which they never were before. So, it’s not surprising that it’s causing this right wing backlash, if you want to call it that, because the one thing that all people want more than anything else in Europe or in the United States is stability and predictability in their lives. And, suddenly, you throw everything upside down with the seemingly endless flow of refugees, and it’s by no means over now. The European Union can’t agree on anything because Merkel refuses to make a fundamental admission that she was wrong in her carte blanche invitation to any and all refugees.

JR: Very interesting insights. My guest today, William Engdahl, “The Lost Hegemon: Whom The Gods Would Destroy” is the title of the book. I encourage you to go out and check it out. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in here, William, about the CIA, and their collusion, of course, with the Islamic world going back many decades. You documented it brilliantly here in this book. I encourage people to pick it up. Where can they go to pick up a copy of this, and how can they learn more about you, William?

FWE: The best is to go to my website,, and there on the top you will find a banner with all of my books, but a featured banner with “The Lost Hegemon”. That’s my most recent. You just click on that, and you’ll get the daughter company of Amazon called CreateSpace, and if you buy the book directly from my website, I get a little bit more support for my research, to put it bluntly. That’s the easiest way. Otherwise, you can get it through Amazon. All of my articles are there on my website, archived going back six or seven years at least.

JR: Thank you so much, William. We’ll put a link to your website on our website, and look forward to having you back soon.

FWE: OK, Jerry. Good talking with you. Thank you.

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