U.S. Ponders Whether to Go to War with Russia to Salvage Al Qaeda in Syria

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Sources that will be provided here, document the historical narrative now occurring toward all-out war between the U.S. and Russia, up till the present, as that history will be introduced in the following two paragraphs (the first paragraph for background, and the second for a summary of the documentation that will then constitute the main body of the present report):

FOR BACKGROUND: The U.S. government (Barack Obama) was being led by the Saudi royal family, who own Saudi Arabia, in selecting members for the so-called ‘peace negotiations’ with Russia on the Syrian conflict, and those ‘negotiations’ broke up because the U.S. refused to stop backing Al Qaeda in Syria. As I reported and documented on 6 May 2016: “These talks broke down on April 18th because Al Nusra was facing imminent defeat in the key city of Aleppo, and because such a defeat was unacceptable to Mohammed Alloush, the Saudi agent, and head of the Saudi-Wahhabist group, the Army of Islam. He was selected by King Saud to lead the rebel side at Syria’s peace negotiations.”

FOR SUMMARY OF THE FOLLOWING REPORT: Al Qaeda in Syria (which used to call itself “Al Nusrah”) has been leading the U.S. proxy army of jihadists trying to replace Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, but now that Russia and the U.S. have broken off negotiations after the U.S. bombed the Syrian army in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor on September 18th, Russia and the United States are gearing up for war against each other in Syria. Both Russia and Syria have now quit trying to work any longer with the United States to defeat Al Qaeda in Syria — they’ve had enough of America’s protecting Al Qaeda in Syria; they are laying down the gauntlet to the U.S. regime, and are saying that the U.S. regime can henceforth choose either to leave Syria (which it has invaded by its illegal entry into Syria), or else to go to war against both Syria and Russia there, because Syria and Russia will no longer continue to be deterred by U.S. pretenses about its support of alleged ‘moderate rebels’, no longer deterred from Syria’s and Russia’s joint goal of destroying all jihadists in Syria, including Al Qaeda there — America’s actually key proxy-force on the ground trying to replace Assad.

Now will be presented the documented recent developments producing this historic break towards World War III. We start with America’s bombing of the Syrian Army, and continue up through to October 7th:

On 18 September 2016, Reuters headlined, “U.S.-led forces strike Syrian troops, prompting emergency U.N. meeting”, and reported that, “The United States military said the coalition stopped the attacks against what it had believed to be Islamic State positions in northeast Syria after Russia informed it that Syrian military personnel and vehicles may have been hit. The United States relayed its ‘regret’.”

Russia’s Sputnik News then bannered on the 18th, “Russian FM: Lethal US Strike on Syrian Army ‘Borders on Connivance With Daesh’,” and reported that, “The Russian Foreign Ministry released a sternly worded statement following a tense 24-hours of diplomacy after an allegedly ‘unintentional’ US airstrike killed 80 Syrian Army forces ‘paving the way’ for a Daesh offensive.” (“Daesh” is a synonym for ISIS.)

Russia’s RIA News agency headlined on the 18th, “Assad Advisor Explains How the USAF [U.S. Air Force] Might Coordinate with IG [another synonym for ISIS]”, and reported that, “As soon as Washington struck [Assad’s forces], terrorists launched a ground attack [on Assad’s forces]. [It] hit exactly on the territory that was occupied by the Syrian army.”

Later on the 18th, Russian Television headlined “‘Unbelievable’ that US strike on Syrian army was mistake – fmr MI5 agent”, and reported that a former intelligence officer for Britain’s MI5, Annie Machon, said: “I find it slightly unbelievable that the Americans could hit this target thinking this was ISIS. … So it seems just strange that the Americans are just saying it was a bit of a mistake.” She asserted that, in the unlikely event the U.S. really believed that it was supporting “so-called moderate groups” (as she put it) in Syria, “Americans are dealing with fire,” because the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ often defect to jihadist groups and bring along with them the weapons that the U.S. had provided. (This U.S. assistance to Al Qaeda in Syria — Al Nusrah — has been reported for years, by many independent sources, such as in Seymour Hersh’s two separate reports about Obama’s lies regarding Al Nusrah’s being the actual source of the 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack that Obama was blaming on Assad’s government. In fact, on 16 August 2016, the U.S. government even admitted that in Syria “We’re not focused on the former al-Nusra Front. We’re focused on Daesh [ISIS], and that’s what we’re fighting.” Even while the U.S. was working with Russia and Syria to kill ISIS in Syria, the U.S. refused to cooperate in attacking Al Qaeda there.)

Here was the report, also on September 18th, from Ziad Fadel, a Syrian-born U.S. lawyer (in Michigan) who has many sources in Syria, and who writes for his own popular news-site about this war, the “Syrian Perspective” site, based upon his constant contacts with those Syrians:

“DAYR EL-ZOR: To be specific, at the Al-Tharda Mountain which is still occupied by the Syrian Army – no thanks to the exceptional talent of the Americans for bungling or outright treachery, yesterday, the United States Air Force, flying out of Habbaaniyya AB in Iraq, with 2 F-16s and 2 A-10 Thunderbolts, crossed the Syrian border without permission and entered Syrian airspace without so much as a hint to the government in Damascus, which might have asked the Americans:  WHAT IS YOUR TARGET GOING TO BE?  And if the Americans responded with something like: ‘Those ISIS terrorists on Al-Tharda Mountain’, the Syrian government might have said: ‘Oh, no. Don’t do that. Our army is on that mountain.’  And the whole mess could have been averted.  62 Syrian soldiers would still be alive…….We will not forget.” He further reported that, “an enraged Syrian Army with the help of the PDC and Shu’aytaat Tribal militias, acting under the tenacious and ferocious aerial support of both the SAAF [Syrian Arab Air Force] and RuAf [Russian Air Force], quickly restored army control over all Al-Tharda Mountain inflicting at least 100 casualties on the terrorist filth, destroying 10 vehicles, 6 of which were pickups with 23mm cannons. The air forces are continuing assaults today all around the area of Al-Tharda, Panorama and Al-’urfi.

On September 20th, the Wall Street Journal headlined, “U.S. Believes Russia Bombed Syrian Aid Convoy”. But the next day, Britain’s Guardian reported that, “US is not revealing what evidence it has to support claim Moscow was responsible.” (Russia denied that it had anything to do with that bombing. Whether the U.S. did it is still not known.)

On September 26th, SANA, the Syrian government’s news agency, bannered, “Al-Moallem: The US wanted to lie and change facts regarding what the Syrian government is doing, but it failed”, and reported that: “Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem stressed that the United States, France, and Britain called for a UN Security Council session on Syria this Sunday [September 23rd] in an attempt to support terrorist organizations in Syria. … He stressed that the aggression of the US-led coalition on a Syrian Arab Army position in Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzor was deliberated and in coordination with ISIS, as ISIS rushed to take control of the area only one hour after the aggression.”

Also on the 26th, Reuters bannered “Gulf may arm rebels now Syria truce is dead: U.S. officials” and reported the likely sharp escalation of support by the oil kingdoms, for the anti-Assad forces, and asserted “the possibility that Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels with shoulder-fired missiles to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.S. officials said.” This report indicated that the U.S. and its allies were now planning to (either by their own forces or by their proxies who are actually led by Al Qaeda there) shoot down Russian and Syrian planes in Syrian air space. Reuters was reporting efforts by the Sauds and their friends, to pressure a reluctant Obama into joining with them in an all-out war against both Russia and Syria, in Syria.

On September 28th, The New York Times bannered, “Russia’s Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working” and reported that:

The effects of Russia’s bombing campaign in the Syrian city of Aleppo — destroying hospitals and schools, choking off basic supplies, and killing aid workers and hundreds of civilians over just days — raise a question: What could possibly motivate such brutality?

Observers attribute Russia’s bombing to recklessness, cruelty or Moscow’s desperate thrashing in what the White House has called a “quagmire.”

But many analysts take a different view: Russia and its Syrian government allies, they say, could be massacring Aleppo’s civilians as part of a calculated strategy, aimed beyond this one city.

The strategy, more about politics than advancing the battle lines, appears to be designed to pressure rebels to ally themselves with extremists, eroding the rebels’ legitimacy; give Russia veto power over any high-level diplomacy; and exhaust Syrian civilians who might otherwise support the opposition.

This report didn’t mention another possible explanation for what Russia was doing there: the goal might simply be to exterminate the jihadists who had been imported into Syria by the U.S. and its allied Arabic royal families, during five years of such ‘civil war’, in the few areas of Syria where even the vast majority of the local Syrian residents prefer Shariah law and thus favor the overthrow of the highly secular, ideologically non-religious, Assad government. (Those areas of Syria are identifiable by this Western-sponsored poll that had been taken of the Syrian population during July 2015, where, for example, on page 4, Assad’s support is the lowest in Raqua, Idlip, Daraa, Der’-Zor, Sewedaa, and Hasakeh; and, on page 7, Nusra’s support is by far the highest in Aleppo, but also relatively high in Rural Damascus, Hasakeh, Der’-Zor, Homs, and Daraa.) This technique of defeating jihadists — exterminating them and their supporters — was the way that Putin had solved the Saudi-led insurgency by jihadists in Russia’s own Chechnia region (who had been backed by both the CIA and the Sauds): exterminating everyone in the fanatical neighborhoods. It also served as a model in Tatarstan, preventing jihadism there. Just as the United States participated in the firebombing of Dresden, and carried out the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and slaughtered many non-combatants in the process, Russia destroys entire jihadist-supporting neighborhoods, not only the jihadist mercenaries who have taken over control there (and who have either killed or driven out any residents who oppose them). The reason that The New York Times doesn’t mention such an explanation is that it doesn’t fit what the White House is saying about the matter; it fits instead with what ‘the enemies’ (Assad and Putin) are saying they’re doing. In fact, the NYT report went so far as to actually sub-headline “Blurring Rebels and Jihadists” and assert that, “Aleppo is a metaphor for the larger war. The northern Syrian city is one of the few remaining strongholds for non-jihadist rebel groups.” Even the Western-sponsored poll in July 2015 showed that to be the exact opposite of the reality. Although the NYT said this, the United States government itself had already asserted the opposite: on 20 April 2016, the Pentagon’s official spokesperson on the Syrian war, Steve Warren, said “It’s primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo.” So, the regime sometimes has problems keeping its narrative together (sometimes its press-mouthpieces such as the NYT go even beyond the government’s own lies), but they needn’t really worry much when they slip up like that and state the truth, because, after all, The New York Times reaches far more Americans than does a flunky at an official press conference, and everybody who is involved in the cons knows what the intended story-line is supposed to be (i.e.: Russian government bad; U.S. government good), so such elementary slip-ups are rare, and inconsequential. (But the Pentagon spokesperson, Steven Warren, might miss his next promotion for that error, honesty.)

In other words: the U.S. is allied with Al Qaeda in Syria.

On September 28th, U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby was asked in a press conference, “What makes you think that the Secretary’s [John Kerry’s] threat to begin to take steps to suspend cooperation if the Russians don’t act to stop the violence immediately is likely to get the Russians to actually stop the violence?” Like any professional ‘news’ ‘reporter’ for the regime, this questioner posed his question with the underlying assumption “Russian government bad” “American government good.” Mr. Kirby, likewise very professional as a propagandist, replied, “you’d have to ask Foreign Minister Lavrov” (in the ‘enemy’ camp). Then, the ‘journalist’ prodded Kirby further, and Kirby said, “we thought that that could help us advance the fight against a group like al-Nusrah in particular.” He was presenting the U.S. as if it had been against, instead of for, Al Qaeda in Syria. (Actually, Obama is committed to, and highly dependent upon, Al Qaeda in Syria in order to overthrow Assad. There even exists video evidence, which thus far hasn’t been denied by the U.S. regime, showing a U.S. trainer teaching a ‘rebel’ leader how to present himself and his cause, to Western audiences.) A ‘journalist’ asked: “Can you foresee any options that the U.S. Government could take, short of full-scale warfare and invasion, that would actually stop the Russian/Syrian onslaught on Aleppo?” Then that was refined to “What are the consequences for Russia?” And, finally, after much to-and-fro, and with obvious great reluctance, Kirby handed to the assembled dogmeat-hungry ‘journalists’:

The consequences are that the civil war will continue in Syria, that extremists and extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which will include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities, and Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and they will continue to lose resources – even, perhaps, more aircraft.

The U.S. State Department is now officially threatening Russia with war — not only on the proxy-battlefields of Syria, but “perhaps even Russian cities.” Was that historic announcement headlined as such in the American ‘news’ media? In such a country, one can’t blame the public for sleepwalking into global annihilation, if that’s where we go.

On October 1st, German Economic News headlined “Großmächte treiben in Syrien auf einen globalen Krieg zu” or “Great Powers Driving in Syria on to a Global war,” and reported that:

The battle for Aleppo can evolve into a direct war between the US and Russia. The situation is extremely dangerous.

The international and Islamist mercenaries are, according to the Syrian army leadership, preparing a counteroffensive against the Syrian army in Aleppo. As al-Masdar news reports, thousands of mercenaries are assembling in the south and west of the city to expel from Aleppo the Syrian army.

On October 3rd, Zero Hedge headlined, “US Suspends Diplomatic Relations With Russia On Syria”, and quoted Kirby saying “This is not a decision that was taken lightly” but “Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments, including its obligations under international humanitarian law.”

On October 4th, the Voice of America bannered, “UN Official Calls for Security Council Veto Limit to Halt Syrian Bloodbath”, and reported that, “U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has called the situation nothing short of calamitous and likened the horrors being inflicted on the citizens of Aleppo to those that occurred in cities such as Warsaw, Stalingrad and Dresden in World War II. ‘We cannot afford to fail Aleppo,’ Zeid said. ‘We cannot afford to continue to fail the thousands of children trapped in this city awaiting their slaughter.’ … Commissioner Zeid has condemned the reported use of weapons such as high-explosive blast bombs and incendiary devices by government forces and Russia in heavily populated areas.” No mention was made that this person who was quoted happened to be the Prince of Jordan, who is basically an employee of the U.S. government (though temporarily and officially in the pay of the U.N.), nor that what he was urging, was more informatively headlined in Russia (at nalin.ru), as “The Call to Deprive Russia of the Right to Veto”, which explained, “That is translated as: ‘It is necessary to take away the right of veto from China and Russia and solve everything by a majority vote.’ For the Security Council permanent members include [besides Russia and China, also] the United States, Britain and France.” Prince Hussein was saying that the way the anti-fascist alliance (basically by U.S. President FDR and then carried out by the next U.S. President Harry Truman) had set up the U.N. to follow after the Allied victory in World War II, was wrong, and that today’s — the new — fascist alliance (specifically in this case today’s U.S. and its two vassal nations there, Britain and France), should be enabled to out-vote the anti-fascist governments at the U.N. This change in the U.N. Charter would mean that today’s U.S. aristocracy would become empowered to use the U.N. as yet another propaganda-arm, against any nation that would have the temerity to insist upon its independence from the U.S. empire. The U.N. would become just another (and the most effective) PR-arm of the American aristocracy. Jordan’s Prince had as much compassion for the millions of victims of U.S. and Saudi aggression as America’s aristocrats do, but the U.S.-and-allied aristocracies need to have ‘authorities’ such as a U.S.-controlled U.N. in order to be able to impose such ‘compassion’ upon the world without regard to any nation (such as Russia or China) that resists it. Furthermore, “Commissioner Zaid” never proposed changing the U.N. Charter to enable the U.N. to browbeat the U.S. for doing the sorts of things that it did to Iraq, to Libya, and (via proxies) to Syria (just to mention a few such cases). The international aristocracy cites such ‘war crimes’ only when a non-allied nation carries them out (as all nations that were involved in World War II did, and as the U.S. perpetrates the most). FDR’s U.N. Charter remains the bastion for preventing nuclear war, and today’s U.S. aristocracy (and its allies) want global conquest instead of peace and decency. So, they want to ‘revise’ FDR’s crown jewel.

Also on October 4th, the neoconservative Washington Post headlined “Obama Administration Considering Strikes on Assad, Again”, and their neoconservative journalist Josh Rogin’s news-report quoted “Former State Department Syria official Frederic Hof” as asserting that, “Whatever excuses the administration offers for leaving Syrians defenseless against mass murder” are inadequate to the demands of the situation. Rogin closed his ‘news’ report by asserting as its conclusion: “The argument against more U.S. military intervention in Syria, including strikes against the regime, is based on risks that should be taken seriously but that are ultimately hypothetical. The effects of continuing the current policy are not hypothetical. They include more of what we are seeing now: Russia and the Assad regime committing war crimes against civilians with impunity and destroying Syria’s largest city.” (That would be much like America’s ally Saudi Arabia was perpetrating upon Yemen with U.S. weaponry.) One of the reader-comments to that, from a “Count Iblis,” was a lengthy and extremely well-informed military analysis of the situation and, unlike Rogin, it concluded that “The only way to prevent such losses” by NATO (as Russia could inflict if the U.S. invaded Syria as Rogin hoped) “would be for NATO to start WWIII.” “Count Iblis” was saying that Obama needed now to decide whether to risk nuclear war, in order to stop “war crimes” (such as the U.S. itself routinely perpetrates by drones and otherwise). Rogin’s ‘news’ report omitted to mention any such concern. To Rogin, nuclear war might have been nothing more than “hypothetical”; and, like a true neocon, “hypothetical” responses by a nation that the U.S. attacks aren’t important in determining whether to attack it. Even if “Count Iblis” might have been psychopathic (as Rogin and the editors of the Washington Post, and any other neocons, are), he was enormously more in touch with reality, by his implicitly recognizing that “hypothetical” matters are the very essence of strategizing. Neocons are (besides being psychopaths) plain stupid, but they have the support of the U.S. aristocracy, such as own the Washington Post, who crave empire.

On October 5th, the “Moon of Alabama” blogger bannered, “Is Fighting Al-Qaeda In Aleppo Good Or Bad? — U.S. Unable To Decide”, and he expressed (and documented) the view that the only reason why Kerry and the rest of the Obama Administration had pretended to negotiate with Russia regarding Syria was in order to buy time to enable enough U.S. weapons to be delivered to Al Nusra and its allies in Syria so as to be able to conquer the nation.

Also on October 5th, Morning Consult headlined “Congress Must Vote on Bombing Assad Regime, Lee Tells Obama”, and reported that, “If the Obama administration wants to bomb the Assad regime, it must first get a declaration of war from Congress, Sen. Mike Lee said. … ‘Should President Obama move ahead without authorization, then Congress must be called back into session to fulfill its obligation to debate and determine whether our nation should once again go to war’.” Of course, if America does “once again go to war,” it will be war this time against Russia, and it will be unprecedented, in many ways, perhaps even final (which would be extremely “unprecedented”).

Also on October 5th, Britain’s Daily Mail bannered “Russia claims nuclear war could be imminent as it evacuates 40 MILLION people in drill and warns that ‘schizophrenics from America’ could attack”, and reported that:

Russia is evacuating more than 40 million people in drills to prepare for nuclear war after Putin’s Ministry of Defence warned of ‘schizophrenics from America sharpening atomic weapons for Moscow’.

Citizens have been told a war with the West could be imminent and Kremlin officials have said underground shelters have been built to house 12 million people.

The massive evacuation drill started yesterday and will last three days.

(The only thing that I’ve found from the Russian government, in English, regarding this, is headlined “All-Russian civil defense drill goes on in all Russian regions”, on October 4th. It confirms some but not all of the Daily Mail’s report, and it doesn’t disconfirm anything in the Daily Mail’s report. Perhaps that newspaper had additional sources.)

On October 6th, Russian Television bannered “‘S-300, S-400 air defenses in place’: Russian MoD warns US-led coalition not to strike Syrian army”, and reported that Russia’s Defense Ministry said that “any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen,” as a consequence of which the American invading forces would be shot down.

Also on October 6th, Al Masdar News headlined “Point of No Return as Islamist Rebels Lose More Ground in Aleppo City”, and reported that “Islamist rebels of the [Nusra-allied and trained] Fatah Halab coalition have little prospect of breaking the [Syrian Arab Army — Syrian government] SAA imposed siege of eastern Aleppo.”

Also on October 6th, Ireland’s RTE bannered “UN Security Council to Meet on Syria — Diplomats”, and reported:

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow on Syria after a UN envoy warned that eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed in the next few months by the Russian and Syrian air campaign.

Russia requested the meeting to hear from UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who will brief the council via video conference from Geneva at 1400 GMT, diplomats said.

Mr De Mistura earlier took aim at Russia, suggesting that Moscow was indiscriminately bombing a city with hundreds of thousands of civilians to flush out just a few hundred jihadists.

“We are talking about 900 people, basically, who are becoming the main reason for which there is 275,000 people actually being attacked,” he said.

Would this, he asked, be the excuse for “the destruction of the city?”

“In maximum two months, two-and-a-half months, the city of eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed,” he told reporters.

The envoy urged fighters from the former Al-Nusra Front — which renamed itself Fateh al-Sham Front after breaking with Al-Qaeda — to leave Aleppo under a deal to halt the regime’s attacks on the city.

“If you decide to leave with dignity … I am personally ready to physically accompany you,” Mr de Mistura said.

Security Council members were discussing a French-drafted UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Aleppo.

On Friday, October 7th, Reuters headlined “Assad offers rebels amnesty if they surrender Aleppo”, and reported that, “Rebels holed up in Aleppo can leave with their families if they lay down their arms, President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday, vowing to press on with the assault on Syria’s largest city and recapture full control of the country.” Assad was willing to allow the estimated 900 Nusra-allied fighters, “inside Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern sector” to escape, in order for Aleppo’s jihadist-controlled area to avoid being totally destroyed by bombing. “However, rebels said they had no plan to evacuate Aleppo, the last major urban area they control, and denounced the amnesty offer as a deception.”

Also on October 7th, Jane’s Defence Weekly bannered, “Russia Sends Cruise Missile Ships to Mediterranean” and reported that, “Three Russians warships, including two armed with long-range land-attack cruise missiles, have been sent to the Mediterranean.”

CLOSING NOTE: To understand how the U.S. public view these events, one might consider the way that the conservative U.S. news-site “Real Clear Politics” presented the matter in an article “Why America Gets Blamed in Syria”, which was written by (Josh Rogan’s cited authority) Frederic C. Hof, who was no merely “former” anything, but the current Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. The Atlantic Council was created in 1961 as a ‘think tank’, or propaganda agency, for NATO; i.e., to promote NATO’s viewpoint. (In other words: he’s a lobbyist for U.S. conquest of Russia.) Hof opened:

When things go badly for declared U.S. policy in Syria, locals in the region — regardless of which side they are on — often conclude that what is declared is really deception: that surely the world’s sole superpower cannot be as clueless as it sometimes seems. … Syrian rebels desperately resisting besiegement in the city of Aleppo no doubt see the collaboration of the American-supported Kurdish PYD militia with Russia and the Assad regime as ‘proof’ that Washington supports the government of Bashar Assad. Locals find it hard to believe that what happens in Syria does not reflect American intent.

Earlier, on 7 March 2016, Hof had headlined in Newsweek, “Now Is the Time for U.S. Boots on the Ground in Syria”; and, recently, on 4 September 2016, he headlined there, “The Slaughter of Syrians Is Obama’s Shame”. On 26 June 2016, he had headlined in Newsweek, “Must We Wait for Hillary to Stop Assad’s Slaughter?”

The same people who finance Obama’s career, finance PR like this, to pressure him to move further toward war against Russia. This way, no matter how close to (or even beyond) the brink he goes, Western publics will still have been viewing Obama as having been too much of a pacifist; and, of course, will view Hillary Clinton as being just right. This is, after all, political campaigning, by means of ‘the news’.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.