|Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Recommended Books||Recommended Links||National Security State / Surveillance State||Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump||Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0|
|Resurgence of neofascism||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||Lords of Secrecy||Brennan elections machinations||FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump||Parteigenoose Mueller, 911 cover-up, and Trump witch hunt||US and British media are servants of security apparatus|
|Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||Anti Trump Hysteria||Anti-Russian hysteria||JFK assassination as Rubicon the Deep State crossed||Inverted Totalitarism||American Exceptionalism||Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite|
|Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||The Pareto Law||Amorality of neoliberal elite||Casino Capitalism||Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult||Pluralism as a myth||What's the Matter with Kansas|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||The importance of controlling the narrative||Patterns of Propaganda||Corruption of Regulators||Two Party System as polyarchy||Audacious Oligarchy and Loss of Trust|
|Nation under attack meme||New American Militarism||Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton||Obama: a yet another Neocon||Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Robert Kagan||Paul Wolfowitz|
|Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy||Big Uncle is Watching You||In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers||Groupthink||Skeptic Quotations||Humor||Etc|
|DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections
and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.
A Wordnado of Words in 2013 - NYTimes.com , Dec 21, 2013
"For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."
President Harry Truman
"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence - on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.
It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."
President John_F._Kennedy, speech on April 27, 1961
While the rank-and-file military are among the most patriotic of Americans and show unwavering support for the Constitution, there is a class of elite national security establishment who, whatever they may say on ceremonial occasions, believe they are above the Constitution. The "national security establishment" is colloquially known as the Deep State. In the past military leaders were part of the ruling class, intelligence agencies did not exist and there were no danger of a rogue national security establishment in 1789. That why for all their brilliance, the Framers of the Constitution did not foresee the emergence this treat. JFK assassination was the Rubicon, they crossed, and the tail started wagging the dog. Brennan 2016 elections machinations were yet another vivid demonstration that the national security establishment spinned out of control.
This threat emerged only after WWII and national security state when Truman established intelligence agencies which comprise the core of the Deep State ( CIA, NSA FBI and Pentagon. Add to this State Department and you get what is called "Trumanites". They brought with them the three cornerstone of the USA foreign policy
- Exceptionalism - our unique status should exempt us from the rules we expect others to follow.
- Militarism - favor the use of force to advance US security and priority matters of national interest.
- Hegemony - America ought to fight hard not to let any other power challenge our post WWII position.
Gradually the national security bureaucracy became so large and omnipotent that the Madisonian branches of government became mainly ceremonial institution providing legitimacy to the ruling elite via national election. Something like the British House of Lords, symbolically important but in reality without much power. Intelligence agencies Nomenklatura, not Trump, are moving the nation toward autocracy, operated at an increasing removed from constitutional limits and restraints manner (Welcome to the Potemkin Village of Washington Power The American Conservative)
Tufts law professor Michael Glennon points out in a recent essay in Humanitas that the Cold War brought something new and ominous in military-civilian relations. The national security bureaucracy became so large and omnipotent that the Madisonian branches of government became something like the British House of Lords, symbolically important but in reality without much power. The executive, legislature, and judiciary became a kind of Potemkin village, with real national security power lodged in, as Glennon describes it, “a largely concealed managerial directorate, consisting of the several hundred leaders of the military, law enforcement and intelligence departments.” As this bureaucracy grew, Glennon argues, “those managers…operated at an increasing remove from constitutional limits and restraints, moving the nation slowly toward autocracy.”
Glennon also points out that, prior to Trump, there was an unwritten pact between the bureaucracy and the Madisonian government: never publicly disagree. While national security policies have long been crafted and maintained by deep state bureaucracies, everyone played along and told the public these were the result of “intense deliberations.” Yet a few people noticed that, whether under Republican or Democrat administrations, national security policies never really changed, intelligence operations were never disrupted, and even peacenik-seeming presidential candidates became warlike presidents. For decades, neither elected officials nor bureaucratic leaders publicly acknowledged that American national security policy was being run by what Glennon describes as a “double government,” with elected officials largely impotent.
However, with the staggering intelligence failure that was 9/11 and two protracted and losing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some have begun to question whether the “grown-ups” in the national security bureaucracy are even competent. Trump gave voice to those concerns in the 2016 campaign, and the result has been a breakdown in the Cold War truce between the two components of the double government. Leaders of the national security establishment, who know they have real power, took precautions in the unlikely event of a Trump victory and then proceeded to try to overturn Trump’s election. When they failed, they partnered with Congress to have Trump removed through impeachment, taking full advantage of the fractured nature of civilian control of national security institutions. Impeachment witnesses, such as Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, have been unanimous in their implicit belief that the foreign policy of the United States should be managed by a professional class of bureaucrats, not by the elected president.
The American constitutional order is thus in great peril. Those obsessed with getting rid of the president should consider that, were Trump to be removed, it could be the constitutional equivalent of Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon.
In the mind of ordinary American the term "Deep State" and "democracy" happily coexist. Most do not even understand that they are infected with what in famous George Orwell novel 1984 is called "Doublethink." The existence of uncontrollable elite in the form of the "Deep State" that core of which constitute Wall Street bankers, MIC and the top brass of the intelligence agencies is incompatible with the existence of the democracy, unless we assume that democracy exists for the top 1% or even less of the population. It is something like modernized feudalism for all the rest. This strange, but stable combination is called neoliberalism. As neoliberalism came to power with coup d'état facilitated by thinks tanks specifically created for this purpose (the army of "professional revolutionaries" in Bolsheviks terms ;-) neoliberalism and Deep State are closely interrelated. This interrelation is reflected in the Sheldon Wolin term "Inverted totalitarianism" which is the actual name of the somewhat strange social order established in the USA since 70th which US propaganda calls democracy.
In a way, the concept of Corporatism and the concept of "deep state" are very close. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy, or via back door including the "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In both case corporations control the government, although in Mussolity case thier absolute power is moderated by the esitable of the fascist party with its program. In the latter case, the case of the USA inverted totalitarism regime a tiny part of power of the "surface state" is preserved. But enough to provid the legitimacy to the rule of the "Deep State" or "Inner Party in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.
Deep State just adds another component to pre-existing since the end of WWII concept of military industrial complex (see Eisenhower warning about MIC which is a warning about the victory of corporatism in the USA ) -- intelligence agencies. With this addition elections became simply device to legitimize the governance of the current elite, with undesirable for the elite candidates filtered before they can compete in election by various means, including radical as was the case with JFK assassination. Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite (the top 1% or 0.1% depending on how you count).
With the exception of deep social crisis like was the case with election of Trump, who definitely was less preferred by the deep state candidate then Hillary Clinton but manage to win )or more correctly the faction of the elite that tanded behind Trump managed to win) due to the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA due to which the current elite lost legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of population. And, especially, working people and lower middle class which constitute the majority of voters. As many observers pointed out, the election of Trump was essentially a middle finger shown to the current neoliberal elite in the USA, particularly the Clinton's wing of Democratic Party which betrayed working class as a part of "Clintonization" of the Party in early 90th duing which it became the party of Wall Street and later, under Obama, the second war party. The same happened with Labor Party in the UK under war criminal Blair.
Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite, an important part of which are now intelligence agencies, which acquired political role. The problem of control by the civil society of intelligence agencies so far is unresolved.
We can say that Deep State emerged simultaneously with powerful intelligence agencies after WWII. In case of the USA it was Truman who created added CIA to the roster of intelligence agencies and as such he can be called a godfather of the US deep state. This concept became more well known recently in view of color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton wing of Democratic party (so called "soft neoliberal" wing) in association the supporting them elements of intelligence agencies such as State Department, CIA and FBI.
The concept of the Deep State is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI (which plays the role of counterintelligence agency in the USA; look at Russiagate) and the State Department (which has functions, which duplicate those of CIA). Thus the concept of the "deep state" can be viewed as a reformulation of the iron law of oligarchy on a new level (state level), explaining the role of intelligence agencies as an immanent part of the ruling elite. For example, the neoliberals elite which rules the USA since late 70th (Carter not Reagan was the first neoliberal president of the USA).
|The concept of the Deep State is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI|
Intelligence agencies acquired a special status under corporatism. They became the backbone and the intellectual center of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) which also now includes major Wall Street banks (which historically have very close ties with CIA; CIA was formed by lawyers which served their interests such as Allen Dulles). Under neoliberalism the financial oligarchy became an important part of MIC (especially oligarchy of such banks as Goldman Sachs and Citibank)becaue the power of the US military secure their global expansion. Recently Silicon Valley mega corporations also joined it. And all of them are closely connected to NSA and CIA (especially Amazon, Google and Facebook). In a way, military-industrial complex mutated into Media-Military-Financial-Industrial-Silicon Valley complex.
|This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities. They now are a new incarnation of the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times, to depose a monarch (or Supreme Leader) or even kill him.|
This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities (on intelligence agencies level, J. Edgar Hoover who managed to die in his official position, much like the USSR members of Politburo, is an excellent example here). They now are a new incarnation of the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times, to depose a monarch (or Supreme leader) or even kill him.
So in a way the concept of "deep state" implies and emphasizes the hypertrophied role of three letter agencies among unelected government bureaucracy. They are joined at the heap with financial oligarchy, MIC and Silicon Valley in national politics. Especially in formulating foreign policy. Influence of MIC on the US foreign policy is nothing new and power of neocon, who are, in essence, lobbyists of MIC attests that. They dominate the USA foreign policy since then end of WWII. After all one of the most plausible hypotheses of why JFK was killed ( most probably via CIA plot ) because his policies limited the power of intelligences agencies (especially CIA which he hated) and international expansion which Wall Street and MIC depended upon to maintain the current rate of profits.
But devil is always in details and some features of the USA Deep State are unique and different the deep state in other neoliberal countries such as EU, GB, Turkey, or Russia. BTW the term "deep state" originated in Turkey.
The "deep state" victory over voters and political dominance is always "incomplete." The "surface state" is still keeping some positions and periodically even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas (Church Committee.) Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA/ FBI also has its own internal contradictions. For example NSA and CIA competes for funds. State Department, which is forth most important intelligence agency in the USA (and the oldest of all four) now lost its independence and can generally be viewed as a subsidiary of CIA, see Emailgate and Strzogate for details ). Alliance of CIA and Wall Street also can never be absolute. They have somewhat different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. Also there is a fierce competition between intelligence agencies for state resources, which pitch, for example, CIA against NSA and both of then against DIA (just look at Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons story). As we can see from Syria war such differences can lead to essentially supporting hostile to each other groups of insurgent while trying to achieve the same color revolution based "regime change" in the country.
The statement that relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious are supported by leaked story about how CIA ('humint") was very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint") and tried to duplicate its capabilities ( Vault 7 scandal) They lie to each other and try to poach funds from the other agencies. Vault 7 scandal is a strong confirmation that CIA brass is very concerted about increased role and influence of NSA in the era on Internet communications and is trying to counterattack and undermine it.
Add to this a special, more independent, status and role of military intelligence which also now is not in best relations with both CIA and NSA. Destiny of General Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in 2017 was entrapped by FBI with the help of NSA and CIA is a strong sign there not much love left between DIA and other agencies (with DIA probably being the most competent of them all three). So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and DIA and vise versa. That gives us some hope.
The rise of intelligence agenizes inevitably led to conversion of the state into national security state and we can talk about "election democracy" in such state only with great reservations. Yes some freedom to chose candidatures still exist (as Sanders and, possibly, Trump emergence in 2016 elections attests), but the final choice is more often then not is determined by intelligence agencies, not so much by voters (FBI derailing of Sanders in favor of establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- quite vividly attests this fact; not that Sanders fought a good fight in this respect serving more like a sheep dog in the elections).
Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism. But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county: this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.
All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.
They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama. And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks. Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".
The USA political system does not have a single government. It actually has two distinct governments. They are called "surface state" or Madisonians and "deep state" or Trumanites (national security establishment in alliance with selected members of financial oligarchy, media owners and technocrats). The latter term emerged because it was Harry Truman who signed National Security Act of 1947 which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA).
Simplifying the complex relation between those two US governments (sometimes Madisonians fight back and have Trumanites to make a temporary retreat) we can say that:
In other words, the "Deep state" represent the actual government of the society by unelected elite, which is composed of high-level officials within the intelligence services, military, law enforcement, judiciary and, often, organized crime. It should be viewed as an extended and more realistic variant of military industrial complex dominance (see Media-Military-Industrial Complex) as it includes selected members of financial oligarchy along with industrialists, Internet moguls, and media owners. In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as
“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”
Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made large part of federal elections including Presidential elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy of the government in an emasculated "two parties system" form. While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wags the dog. And JFK assassination (Nov 22, 1963) meant first of all the triumph of "deep state" over "surface state". In this sense 9/11 was just the last nail in the coffin of democracy.
The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey (and actually Wikipedia discusses only it) but it is widespread modern phenomenon which is a typical model of governance in all major neoliberal states, including the USA, GB and France. For example, it able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. That's why elected candidates swiftly perform "bat and switch" maneuver and conduct polices radically different from those for which they were elected. As any elite dominance project it is deeply anti-democratic although it uses fig leaf of democracy for foreign expansion via color revolutions and wars.
Like in Third Reich, this dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief
Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.
|“When I asked the military advisors if they could assure me that holding fast would not result in the death of five
hundred million human beings, they looked at me as though I was out of my mind, or what was worse, a traitor. The biggest
tragedy, as they saw it, was not that our country might be devastated and everything lost, but that the Chinese or the
Albanians might accuse us of appeasement or weakness. So I said to myself, “To hell with these maniacs. If I can get the
United States to assure me that it will not attempt to overthrow the Cuban government, I will remove the missiles.” That is
what happened, and now I am reviled by the Chinese and the Albanians.… They say I was afraid to stand up to a paper tiger.
“When I asked the military advisors if they could assure me that holding fast would not result in the death of five hundred million human beings, they looked at me as though I was out of my mind, or what was worse, a traitor. The biggest tragedy, as they saw it, was not that our country might be devastated and everything lost, but that the Chinese or the Albanians might accuse us of appeasement or weakness. So I said to myself, “To hell with these maniacs. If I can get the United States to assure me that it will not attempt to overthrow the Cuban government, I will remove the missiles.” That is what happened, and now I am reviled by the Chinese and the Albanians.… They say I was afraid to stand up to a paper tiger. It is all such nonsense. What good would it have done me in the last hour of my life to know that though our great nation and the United States were in complete ruins, the national honor of the Soviet Union was intact? “r>
It is all such nonsense. What good would it have done me in the last hour of my life to know that though our great nation and the United States were in complete ruins, the national honor of the Soviet Union was intact? “
Daniel Ellsberg The Doomsday Machine Talks at Google was very interesting talk in which he described why Washington establishment is pro-war as it is (full transcript is availbe from The Singju Post ). In it he addresses how the regime of secrecy allows to built multi-layer lies, which justify of even make noble any criminal action by the US government:
But what made that dangerous at any time, then or now? And the answer was that the government secrets that they were holding onto were secrets about criminal activity, actions that would be extremely embarrassing to a president, because they were illegal or unconstitutional or simply incredibly reckless, dangerous, horrible priorities, unlikely ever to succeed in any sense or to end. The public would not have applauded if they understood the actual strategy and the actual prospects.
... ... ...
Every member of Congress has taken that oath. Every member of the Executive Department has taken that same oath. The president’s wording is a little bit different, protect, preserve and defend or something. But support and defend, everybody else takes it.
And all of us violated it every day. we heard the president lying to Congress and lying to the public about what he intended, where the prospects were, what he was going to do in Vietnam, elsewhere. We all heard the president lying the public into a war, keeping the war going, letting him know the costs would be much less than internal estimates all indicated. And no one broke.
There were no leaks, including me. So was I observing that oath or violating it, when I knew that Congress, which has the exclusive authority to take us to war, at least that’s the best interpretation, I think, controverted by president’s men, was entirely delegating that secretly to a president who was determined to enlarge the war. That’s how you get wars that go on 10 years or 11 years, whatever.
The truth is the United States, as I learned from the Pentagon Papers, when I read all of them, had begun the war in 1945 and ’46, supporting a French effort to reconquer a colony which had declared its independence in August and September of 1945. And actually Ho Chi Minh had been recognized as a head of state, at least of the north, in Paris when they were negotiating in ’45, ’46.
... ... ...
But in terms of American traditions, we thought of ourselves as– we didn’t think– of having run the first war of national liberation. But it could have been called that, the first war of separation for an empire. And we thought of ourselves as anti-imperial. And we still think of ourselves that way, as not an empire like the others. That’s false.
That’s very clear from the Pentagon Papers where we’re deciding who should run Vietnam this year or next year or how they should stay in power, what criminal acts they’re entitled to take, how much we need to support them. And so it’s very obviously the documents of an empire. In fact, that’s what I said to my wife, when she said, at one point, before they came out, does it really matter to get this history out? And I said, well, among other things, it’s the first real history of imperial operations since the Nuremberg documents were discovered, covered after the Second World War. And before that, it probably goes back to Punic times, to the Syrian empire, to Sumerian empire, and so probably all the same, but we don’t have the documents for it.
And here they are. And yet, even so, I managed to think of it as an aberration. We had somehow gotten ourselves into acting like an empire. Let me say just very briefly now– I could spend the whole time on this. But I’ll just say, I’ve come recently to see what we are as a covert empire. And covert refers to plausibly denial covert operations.
Covert operations, I should say, are defined as operations that are not just secret, that you’re not just keeping it safe, but that you lie about plausibly. And to make it plausible, you provide in advance evidence, false evidence, misleading evidence as to what’s really going on and who’s running it and why it’s happening and who did it and so forth, a false flag in some cases, whatever.
But you provide several layers of cover for what’s being done to protect the president from the notion that he is murdering, overthrowing governments, installing coup governments in democracies and so forth, as so often in the third world then and now, up until now. Well, you don’t want the US to be associated with that. It’s happening over there.
And if somehow a US hand surfaces, he or she wasn’t working for any agency. And if you find the agency, it wasn’t the CIA. And if it was the CIA, it wasn’t the president. So you have layer after layer of cover stories with documents. I didn’t know this. It didn’t come to my attention. This so-and-so did it and so forth. The Vietnam War was run from beginning to end like that. That’s how we run our empire.
We deny that we are an empire. And what is an empire? A country that determines the regime of other countries, decides who the police chief was, who shall live and who shall die, what the basic foreign policies are. We do that throughout Central America and always have, often many other parts of the world as far apart as Indonesia, now the Middle East. In general, we decide: Who do we want? Is this guy OK? We don’t decide every detail but any more than you decide every detail of a military commander’s operations.
But generally, they work. If they don’t do what we want, we replace them with somebody else. We deny that we’re an empire. We’re against empire. When other people do the same sort of thing, they’re empires. They’re acting imperially. First level of denial on the American part. And then second, how do they get in power? Who has to be killed? What paramilitary forces have to be paid and go in, as into Nicaragua, for example, and other places? So the efforts are also plausibly denied OK, I could spend time. And I don’t know if people have it in mind.
... ... ...
And, by the way, “The Day After” is just a tiny, little sliver of what the actual consequences of a nuclear war would look like. Movies that have come closer to that, there’s one called “Threads” in England that they’ve never allowed to be on BBC, to be shown. And again, it really just focuses on the long-term degradation and disintegration of everything, like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” pretty much.
So no nuclear state has ever been willing to tell its own people or to hold others accountable to the risks we are posing over their head. And a movie like that today would be very worthwhile. But I don’t know what prospect there is of it.
Here is how The American Conservative covers this topic:
Steve Sailer links to this unsettling essay by former career Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, who says the “deep state” — the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment — is a far greater threat to liberty than you think. The partisan rancor and gridlock in Washington conceals a more fundamental and pervasive agreement.Excerpts:
These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.
Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. 
The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.
Lofgren goes on to say that Silicon Valley is a node of the Deep State too, and that despite the protestations of its chieftains against NSA spying, it’s a vital part of the Deep State’s apparatus. More:
The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.”
Read the whole thing. Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral,” defined thus:
The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.
You don’t have to agree with the Neoreactionaries on what they condemn — women’s suffrage? desegregation? labor laws? really?? — to acknowledge that they’re onto something about the sacred consensus that all Right-Thinking People share. I would love to see a study comparing the press coverage from 9/11 leading up to the Iraq War with press coverage of the gay marriage issue from about 2006 till today. Specifically, I’d be curious to know about how thoroughly the media covered the cases against the policies that the Deep State and the Shallow State decided should prevail. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here, not at all. I’m only thinking back to how it seemed so obvious to me in 2002 that we should go to war with Iraq, so perfectly clear that the only people who opposed it were fools or villains. The same consensus has emerged around same-sex marriage. I know how overwhelmingly the news media have believed this for some time, such that many American journalists simply cannot conceive that anyone against same-sex marriage is anything other than a fool or a villain. Again, this isn’t a conspiracy; it’s in the nature of the thing. Lofgren:
Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.
When all you know is the people who surround you in your professional class bubble and your social circles, you can think the whole world agrees with you, or should. It’s probably not a coincidence that the American media elite live, work, and socialize in New York and Washington, the two cities that were attacked on 9/11, and whose elites — political, military, financial — were so genuinely traumatized by the events.
Anyway, that’s just a small part of it, about how the elite media manufacture consent. Here’s a final quote, one from the Moyers interview with Lofgren:
BILL MOYERS: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or republican, not left or right, what is it?
MIKE LOFGREN: It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism. Now, the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state, giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization. And they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world. And the result of that is perpetual war.
This can’t last. We’d better hope it can’t last. And we’d better hope it unwinds peacefully.
I, for one, remain glad that so many of us Americans are armed. When the Deep State collapses — and it will one day — it’s not going to be a happy time.
Questions to the room: Is a Gorbachev for the Deep State conceivable? That is, could you foresee a political leader emerging who could unwind the ideology and apparatus of the Deep State, and not only survive, but succeed? Or is it impossible for the Deep State to allow such a figure to thrive? Or is the Deep State, like the Soviet system Gorbachev failed to reform, too entrenched and too far gone to reform itself? If so, what then?
The second important thinker in this area is Professor Michael J. Glennon who wrote the book “National Security and Double Government.”. The strong point of his views on the subject is that he assumes that there is an internal struggle between those two forms of government, not just passive submission one to another, but in most cases deep state prevails. This move led the USA "beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy."
The "deep state" (call by Professor Michael J. Glennon) The Trumanites, exercise their power due to alliance with Wall Street, almost unlimited funding (with many hidden sources belong US budget), higher efficiency, abuse of secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and corruption of the key decision-makers.
Here is how Amazon reviewer Mal Warwick summarized the book in his review written on December 22, 2014
Who makes national security decisions? Not who you think!
Why does Barack Obama's performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when he ran for the presidency, he has doubled down on government surveillance, drone strikes, and other critical programs.
Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.
The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the "Madisonian" institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called "Trumanites" in Glennon's parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) "The United States has, in short," Glennon writes, "moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America's double government." If Al Qaeda hadn't existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.
The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.
Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the "Trumanites" he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.
The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I've learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I've read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, "resistance is futile." That's a helluva takeaway, isn't it?
On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. "Move to Vancouver," he said.
Another good summary of the book can be found is review by Bruce Morgan (Shadow Government )
October 28, 2014 | Tufts Now
Elected officials are no longer in charge of our national security—and that is undermining our democracy, says the Fletcher School's Michael Glennon
"We are clearly on the path to autocracy," says Michael Glennon. "There's no question that if we continue on that path, [the] Congress, the courts and the presidency will ultimately end up . . . as institutional museum pieces." Photo: Kelvin Ma
Michael Glennon knew of the book, and had cited it in his classes many times, but he had never gotten around to reading the thing from cover to cover. Last year he did, jolted page after page with its illuminating message for our time.
The book was The English Constitution, an analysis by 19th-century journalist Walter Bagehot that laid bare the dual nature of British governance. It suggested that one part of government was for popular consumption, and another more hidden part was for real, consumed with getting things done in the world. As he read, Glennon, a professor of international law at the Fletcher School, where he also teaches constitutional law, saw distinct parallels with the current American political scene.
He decided to explore the similarities in a 30-page paper that he sent around to a number of his friends, asking them to validate or refute his argument. As it happens, Glennon's friends were an extraordinarily well-informed bunch, mostly seasoned operatives in the CIA, the U.S. State Department and the military. "Look," he told them. "I'm thinking of writing a book. Tell me if this is wrong." Every single one responded, "What you have here is exactly right."
Expanded from that original brief paper, Glennon's book National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press) takes our political system to task, arguing that the people running our government are not our visible elected officials but high-level—and unaccountable—bureaucrats nestled atop government agencies.
Glennon's informed critique of the American political system comes from a place of deep regard. Glennon says he can remember driving into Washington, D.C., in the late spring of 1973, at the time of the Senate Watergate hearings, straight from law school at the University of Minnesota, to take his first job as assistant legislative counsel to the U.S. Senate. Throughout his 20s, he worked in government, culminating in his position as legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Sen. Frank Church from 1977 to 1980. Since entering academic life in the early 1980s, Glennon has been a frequent consultant to government agencies of all stripes, as well as a regular commentator on media outlets such as NPR's All Things Considered, the Today show and Nightline.
In his new book, an inescapable sadness underlies the narrative. "I feel a great sense of loss," Glennon admits. "I devoted my life to these [democratic] institutions, and it's not easy to see how to throw the current trends into reverse." Tufts Now spoke with Glennon recently to learn more of his perspective.
Tufts Now: You've been both an insider and an outsider with regard to government affairs. What led you to write this book?
Michael Glennon: I was struck by the strange continuity in national security policy between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Obama, as a candidate, had been eloquent and forceful in criticizing many aspects of the Bush administration's national security policies, from drone strikes to Guantanamo to surveillance by the National Security Agency—the NSA—to covert operations. Yet as president, it turned out that he made very, very few changes in these policies. So I thought it was useful to explain the reason for that.
Were you surprised by the continuity?
I was surprised by the extent of it. I knew fundamentally from my own experience that changing national policies is like trying to change the course of an aircraft carrier. These policies in many ways were set long ago, and the national security bureaucracy tends to favor the status quo. Still, I thought that a president like Obama would, with the political wind in his sails and with so much public and congressional support for what he was criticizing, be more successful in fulfilling his promises.
You use the phrase "double government," coined by Walter Bagehot in the 1860s. What did he mean by that?
Walter Bagehot was one of the founders of the Economist magazine. He developed the theory of "double government," which in a nutshell is this. He said Britain had developed two sets of institutions. First came "dignified" institutions, the monarchy and the House of Lords, which were for show and which the public believed ran the government. But in fact, he suggested, this was an illusion.
These dignified institutions generate legitimacy, but it was a second set of institutions, which he called Britain's "efficient" institutions, that actually ran the government behind the scenes. These institutions were the House of Commons, the Cabinet and the prime minister. This split allowed Britain to move quietly from a monarchy to what Bagehot called a "concealed republic."
The thesis of my book is that the United States has also drifted into a form of double government, and that we have our own set of "dignified" institutions—Congress, the presidency and the courts. But when it comes to national security policy, these entities have become largely for show. National security policy is now formulated primarily by a second group of officials, namely the several hundred individuals who manage the agencies of the military, intelligence and law enforcement bureaucracy responsible for protecting the nation's security.
What are some components of this arrangement?
The NSA, the FBI, the Pentagon and elements of the State Department, certainly; generally speaking, law enforcement, intelligence and the military entities of the government. It's a diverse group, an amorphous group, with no leader and no formal structure, that has come to dominate the formation of American national security policy to the point that Congress, the presidency and the courts all defer to it.
You call this group the "Trumanite network" in your book. What's the link to Harry Truman?
It was in Truman's administration that the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted. This established the CIA and the National Security Council and centralized the command of the U.S. military. It was during the Truman administration as well that the National Security Agency [NSA] was set up, in 1952, although that was a secret and didn't come to light for many years thereafter.
In contrast to the Trumanites you set the "Madisonians." How would you describe them?
The Madisonian institutions are the three constitutionally established branches of the federal government: Congress, the judiciary and the president. They are perceived by the public as the entities responsible for the formulation of national security policy, but that belief is largely mistaken.
The idea is driven by regular exceptions. You can always point to specific instances in which, say, the president personally ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden or Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution. But these are exceptions. The norm is that as a general matter, these three branches defer to the Trumanite network, and that's truer all the time.
So the trend is toward increased power on the Trumanite side of the ledger.
If that's true, why has there not been a greater outcry from the public, the media—all the observers we have?
I think the principal reason is that even sophisticated students of government operate under a very serious misunderstanding. They believe that the political system is self-correcting. They believe the framers set up a system of government setting power against power, and ambition against ambition, and that an equilibrium would be reached, and that any abuse of power would be checked, and arbitrary power would be prevented.
That is correct as far as it goes, but the reality is that's only half the picture. The other half is that Madison and his colleagues believed that for equilibrium to occur, we would have an informed and engaged citizenry. Lacking that, the entire system corrupts, because individuals are elected to office who do not resist encroachments on the power of their branches of government, and the whole equilibrium breaks down.
What role, if any, have the media played?
The media have pretty much been enablers. Although there are a handful of investigative journalists who have done a heroic job of uncovering many of the abuses, they are the exception, for a number of reasons. Number one, the media are a business and have a bottom line. It takes a huge amount of money to fund an investigative journalist who goes about finding sources over a period of years. Very few newspapers or television concerns have those sorts of deep pockets.
Second, access for the press is everything. There is huge incentive to pull punches, and you don't get interviews with top-ranking officials at the NSA or CIA if you're going to offer hard-hitting questions. Look, for example, at the infamous 60 Minutes puff piece on the NSA, a really tragic example of how an otherwise respectable institution can sell its soul and act like an annex of the NSA in order to get some people it wants on the TV screen.
What is the role of terror in this environment?
The whole transfer of power from the Madisonian institutions to the Trumanite network has been fueled by a sense of emergency deriving from crisis, deriving from fear. It's fear of terrorism more than anything else that causes the American people to increasingly be willing to dispense with constitutional safeguards to ensure their safety.
Madison believed that government has two great objects. One object of a constitution is to enable the government to protect the people, specifically from external attacks. The other great object of a constitution is to protect the people from the government. The better able the government is to protect the people from external threats, the greater the threat posed by the government to the people.
You've been involved with the U.S. government for 40 years. How has your view of government changed?
Double government was certainly a factor in the 1970s, but it was challenged for the first time thanks to the activism stemming from the civil rights movement, Vietnam and Watergate. As a result, there were individuals in Congress—Democrats and Republicans like William Fulbright, Frank Church, Jacob Javits, Charles Mathias and many others—who were willing to stand up and insist upon adherence to constitutionally ordained principles. That led to a wave of activism and to the enactment of a number of pieces of reform legislation.
But there is no final victory in Washington. Those reforms have gradually been eaten away and turned aside. I think today we are in many ways right back where we were in the early 1970s. NSA surveillance is an example of that. The Church Committee uncovered something called Operation Shamrock, in which the NSA had assembled a watch list of antiwar and civil rights activists based upon domestic surveillance. Church warned at the time that NSA capabilities were so awesome that if they were ever turned inward on the American people, this nation would cross an abyss from which there is no return. The question is whether we have recently crossed that abyss.
To what degree are we still a functioning democracy? I'm sure you know that President Jimmy Carter told a German reporter last year that he thought we no longer qualified as a democracy because of our domestic surveillance.
We are clearly on the path to autocracy, and you can argue about how far we are down that path. But there's no question that if we continue on that path, America's constitutionally established institutions—Congress, the courts and the presidency—will ultimately end up like Britain's House of Lords and monarchy, namely as institutional museum pieces.
Bruce Morgan can be reached at email@example.com
Here is how Christopher Bellavita in Homeland Security Watch summarize an interesting discussion at Cato think tank which I highly recommend to watch:
Why has American national security policy changed so little from the Bush administration to the Obama
That’s the question Michael J. Glennon asks in his book “National Security and Double Government.”
His answer: national security policy is determined largely by “the several hundred managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies who are responsible for protecting the nation and who have come to operate largely immune from constitutional and electoral restraints.” The president, congress and the courts play largely a symbolic role in national security policy, Glennon claims.
You can read a Harvard National Security Journal article that outlines Glennon’s argument at this link: http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf. The paper is not an especially easy read, but I found it to be well researched and – for me – persuasive.
His book adds more analysis to the argument, using (from Graham Allison’s Essence of Decision) the rational actor model, the government politics model, and the organizational behavior model. Glennon extends that framework by discussing culture, networks, and the myth of alternative competing hypotheses. The book is richer, in my opinion. But the core of Glennon’s position is in the paper.
This link takes you to a video of Glennon talking about his book at the Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/events/national-security-double-government (the talk starts at the 5:20 mark).
From the Cato site:
In National Security and Double Government, Michael Glennon examines the continuity in U.S. national security policy from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Glennon explains the lack of change by pointing to the enervation of America’s “Madisonian institutions,” namely, the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. In Glennon’s view, these institutions have been supplanted by a “Trumanite network” of bureaucrats who make up the permanent national security state. National security policymaking has been removed from public view and largely insulated from law and politics. Glennon warns that leaving security policy in the hands of the Trumanite network threatens Americans’ liberties and the republican form of government.
Some blurb reviews:
- “If constitutional government is to endure in the United States, Americans must confront the fundamental challenges presented by this chilling analysis of the national security state.”
- “Glennon shows how the underlying national security bureaucracy in Washington – what might be called the deep state – ensures that presidents and their successors act on the world stage like Tweedledee and Tweedledum.” John J. Mearsheimer
- “National Security and Double Government is brilliant, deep, sad, and vastly learned across multiple fields–a work of Weberian power and stature. It deserves to be read and discussed. The book raises philosophical questions in the public sphere in a way not seen at least since Fukuyama’s end of history.” David A. Westbrook
- “In our faux democracy, those we elect to govern serve largely ornamental purposes, while those who actually wield power, especially in the realm of national security, do so chiefly with an eye toward preserving their status and prerogatives. Read this incisive and richly documented book, and you’ll understand why.” Andrew J. Bacevich
- “…Michael Glennon provides a compelling argument that America’s national security policy is growing outside the bounds of existing government institutions. This is at once a constitutional challenge, but is also a case study in how national security can change government institutions, create new ones, and, in effect, stand-up a parallel state….” Vali Nasr
- “Instead of being responsive to citizens or subject to effective checks and balances, U.S. national security policy is in fact conducted by a shadow government of bureaucrats and a supporting network of think tanks, media insiders, and ambitious policy wonks. Presidents may come and go, but the permanent national security establishment inevitably defeats their efforts to chart a new course….”Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer
I’ve spoken to three people I consider to be members of the “shadow national security state.” One person said Glennon’s argument is nothing new. The second told me he’s got it exactly right. The third said it’s even worse.
If Michael Glennon conceded defeat, but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Dante hell picture along the lines "Leave all hopes those who dare to enter"
Professor Peter Dale Scott book and article represent probably the most comprehensive coverage, especially his book. But the article in the Asia-Pacific journal represents fair summary of his views on the subject (The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld (Updated March 13, 2014):
In the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called
two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1
And in 2013, particularly after the military return to power in Egypt, more and more authors referred to this second level as America’s “deep state.”2 Here for example is the Republican analyst Mike Lofgren:
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.3
At the end of 2013 a New York Times Op-Ed noted this trend, and even offered a definition of the term that will work for the purposes of this essay:
DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.4
The political activities of the deep state are the chief source and milieu of what I have elsewhere called “deep politics:” “all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged.”5
Others, like Tom Hayden, call the deep state a “state within the state,” and suggest it may be responsible for the failure of the Obama administration to follow the policy guidelines of the president’s speeches:
We have seen evidence of a "state within the state" before, going back as far as the CIA's operations against Cuba. In Obama's time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a "coup", and then seemed powerless to prevent it.6
This development of a two-level or dual state has been paralleled by two other dualities: the increasing resolution of American society into two classes – the “one percent” and the “ninety-nine percent” – and the bifurcation of the U.S. economy into two aspects: the domestic, still subject to some governmental regulation and taxation, and the international, relatively free from governmental controls.7 All three developments have affected and intensified each other – particularly since the Reagan Revolution of 1980, which saw American inequality of wealth cease to diminish and begin to increase.8 Thus for example we shall see how Wall Street – the incarnation of the “one percent” – played a significant role in increasing the deep state after World War Two, and how three decades later the deep state played a significant role in realigning America for the Reagan Revolution.
In earlier books I have given versions of this America-centered account of America’s shift into empire and a deep state. But another factor to be mentioned is the shift of global history towards an increasingly global society dominated by a few emergent superpowers. This trend was accelerated after the Industrial Revolution by new technologies of transport, from the railroad in the 19th century to the jet plane and space travel in the 20th.9
In the fallout from this rearrangement we must include two world wars, as a result of which Britain ceased to act as the dominant superpower it had been since Napoleon. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Union and the United States subsequently competed in a Cold War to fill the gap. It was not however predetermined that the Cold War would be as thuggish and covertly violent as for decades it continued to be. For that we should look to more contingent causes on both sides of the Iron Curtain – starting with the character of Stalin and his party but also including the partly responsive development of the American deep state.
The Deep State, The Shadow Government and the Wall Street Overworld
The “deep state” was defined by the UK newsletter On Religion as “the embedded anti-democratic power structures within a government, something very few democracies can claim to be free from.”10 The term originated in Turkey in 1996, to refer to U.S.-backed elements, primarily in the intelligence services and military, who had repeatedly used violence to interfere with and realign Turkey’s democratic political process. Sometimes the definition is restricted to elements within the government (or “a state-within-the state”), but more often in Turkey the term is expanded, for historical reasons, to include “members of the Turkish underworld.”11 In this essay I shall use “deep state” in the larger sense, to include both the second level of secret government inside Washington and those outsiders powerful enough, in either the underworld or overworld, to give it direction. In short I shall equate the term “deep state” with what in 1993 I termed a “deep political system:” “ one which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society.”12
Like myself, Lofgren suggests an ambiguous symbiosis between two aspects of the American deep state:
1) the Beltway agencies of the shadow government, like the CIA and NSA, which have been instituted by the public state and now overshadow it, and
2) the much older power of Wall Street, referring to the powerful banks and law firms located there.
In his words,
It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice - certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.13
I shall argue that in the 1950s Wall Street was a dominating complex. It included not just banks and oil firms but also the oil majors whose cartel arrangements were successfully defended against the U.S. Government by the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, home to the Dulles brothers. This larger complex is what I mean by the Wall Street overworld.
The Long History of the Wall Street Overworld
Lofgren’s inclusion of Wall Street is in keeping with Franklin Roosevelt’s observation in 1933 to his friend Col. E.M. House that “The real truth … is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”14
FDR’s insight is well illustrated by the efficiency with which a group of Wall Street bankers (including Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich and Paul Warburg) were able in a highly secret meeting in 1910 to establish the Federal Reserve System – a system which in effect reserved oversight of the nation’s currency supply and of all America’s banks in the not impartial hands of its largest.15 The political clout of the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve Board (where the federal Treasury is represented but does not dominate) was clearly demonstrated in 2008, when Fed leadership secured instant support from the successive administrations of a Texan Republican president, followed by a Midwest Democratic one, for public money to rescue the reckless management of Wall Street banks: banks Too Big To Fail, and of course far Too Big To Jail, but not Too Big To Bail.16
Wall Street and the Launching of the CIA
Top-level Treasury officials, CIA officers, and Wall Street bankers and lawyers think alike because of the “revolving door” by which they pass easily from private to public service and back. In 1946 General Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, "to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947." Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one of whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers.17 Dulles and two of the six (William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) later joined the agency, where Dulles proceeded to orchestrate policies, such as the overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala, that he had previously discussed in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations.18
There seems to be little difference in Allen Dulles’s influence whether he was a Wall Street lawyer or a CIA director. Although he did not formally join the CIA until November 1950, he was in Berlin before the start of the 1948 Berlin Blockade, “supervising the unleashing of anti-Soviet propaganda across Europe.”19 In the early summer of 1948 he set up the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), support of what became by the early 1950s “the largest CIA operation in Western Europe.”20
The Deep State and Funds for CIA Covert Operations
Wall Street was also the inspiration for what eventually became the CIA’s first covert operation: the use of “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”21 (The fundraising had begun at the wealthy Brook Club in New York; but Allen Dulles, still a Wall Street lawyer, persuaded Washington, which at first had preferred a private funding campaign, to authorize the operation through the National Security Council and the CIA.)22
Dulles’s friend Frank Wisner then left Wall Street to oversee an enlarged covert operations program through the newly created Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC). Dulles, still a lawyer, campaigned successfully to reconstruct Western Europe through what became known as the Marshall Plan.23 Together with George Kennan and James Forrestal, Dulles also “helped devise a secret codicil [to the Marshall Plan] that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim millions of dollars from the plan.”24
This created one of the earlier occasions when the CIA, directly or indirectly, recruited local assets involved in drug trafficking. AFL member Irving Brown, the assistant of AFL official Jay Lovestone (a CIA asset), was implicated in drug smuggling activities in Europe, at the same time that he used funds diverted from the Marshall Plan to establish
a "compatible left" labor union in Marseilles with Pierre Ferri-Pisani. On behalf of Brown and the CIA, Ferri-Pisani (a drug smuggler connected with Marseilles crime lord Antoine Guerini), hired goons to shellack striking Communist dock workers.25
An analogous funding source for the CIA developed in the Far East: the so-called
"M-Fund," a secret fund of money of enormous size that has existed in Japan [in 1991] for more than forty years. The Fund was established by the United States in the immediate postwar era for essentially the same reasons that later gave rise to the Marshall Plan of assistance by the U.S. to Western Europe, including the Federal Republic of Germany….. The M-Fund was used not only for the building of a democratic political system in Japan but, in addition, for all of the purposes for which Marshall Plan funds were used in Europe.26
For at least two decades the CIA lavishly subsidized right-wing parties in countries including Japan and Indonesia, possibly still using captured Axis funds.27 (One frequently encounters the claim that the source of the M-fund was gold looted by Japan during World War Two (“Yamashita’s gold”).28
As a general rule the CIA, rather than assimilating these funds into its own budget, appears to have left them off the books in the hands of cooperative allied powers – ranging from other U.S. agencies like the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA. set up in 1948 to administer the Marshall Plan) to oil companies to powerful drug kingpins.29
The CIA never abandoned its dependency on funds from outside its official budget to conduct its clandestine operations. In Southeast Asia, in particular, its proprietary firm Sea Supply Inc., supplied an infrastructure for a drug traffic supporting a CIA-led paramilitary force, PARU.30 The CIA appears also to have acted in coordination with slush funds from various U.S. government contracts, ranging from the Howard Hughes organization to (as we shall see) the foreign arms sales of U.S. defense corporations like Lockheed and Northrop.31
... ... ....
|Bulletin||Latest||Past week||Past month||
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Oct 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
Tulsi Gabbard , who has at best minimal support by Democrats (around one percent), and zero from the corporate DNC, posted the following video earlier today.
There are so many of you who I've met in Iowa and New Hampshire who have expressed to me how frustrated you are that the DNC and corporate media are essentially trying to usurp your role as voters in choosing who our Democratic nominee will be.
This, of course, is nothing new, but thanks to Tulsi for reminding us of how "elections" are conducted. In fact, the state long ago corrupted the process and has selected candidates for long as anybody can remember.
How is it possible a cognitively challenged and corrupt hack like Joe Biden is number one in the running -- or was until Elizabeth Warren took that spot away from him? It's possible because Biden is a trusted asset eager to do whatever he is told, same as Obama, Bush the lesser, Clinton (a "brother by another mother"), Bush the elder, Reagan on and on, down the line. Like Hillary Clinton, the Democrat establishment believes it is Biden's "turn" to read the teleprompter. All the others, well, they're spoilers.
They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten.
That replacement happened decades ago. Trump won the election because our rulers left the election process intact, arrogantly confident their handpicked candidates will win because only those who have come up through the system are permitted to run. It's left intact as a public relations gimmick designed to fool the proles who are, regrettably, all too easy to control -- or were until Trump appeared on the scene.Just Rumors or Is Hillary Clinton Seriously Considering Another Run for U.S. President in 2020?
Tulsi is spot on about the "debates," which are nothing of the sort. Indeed, they are a form of televised bread and circuses -- bread because most Americans receive some kind of support from the government, and a circus because all circuses are comical, theatrical, and well-scripted.
As for being informed, that's the last thing the ruling elite want. They have us believe in fantasies so absurd they may as well be props in a Luis Buñuel film -- for instance, killing people in foreign lands is humanitarian and the economy is doing great (never mind the unemployed, the homeless, and record debt, both governmental and personal).
In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy, and ensure your voice is heard, I am giving serious consideration to boycotting the next debate on October 15th. I will announce my decision within the next few days. With my deepest aloha, thank you all again for your support.
This is commendable, although, sadly, an almost transparent blip on the political radar screen. Big corporate media will certainly not take notice, and if they perchance do it will be with snide commentary.
The soft totalitarian machine rejects the socialist palliatives of Elizabeth Warren. She appears to be anti-corporatist, and that is inexcusable. Many of our political and social problems are related to the domination of corporations, most of the crony variety.
Elizabeth Warren will be unable to break the corporate stranglehold on America. It is pure insanity to believe otherwise. The Democrat and Republican parties -- one party disguised as two -- will not savage corporations with taxation and redoubled punitive regulation, not if they wish to remain in Congress and receive money to run obscenely expensive campaigns.
Warren will be overshadowed by the Hildabeast, Hillary Clinton , who is determined to be president. She will enter the race sometime next year, overturning the apple cart of other hopefuls, all spouting the same wealth distribution nonsense because, after all, a well-trained and ceaselessly indoctrinated public, most on a modern version of the Roman Cura Annona grain dole, love free stuff (stolen from others).
No way will the DNC accept Elizabeth Warren as the nominee. She will be subverted, the same way Bernie Sanders was.
Most Americans don't trust or like Hillary, but that hardly matters.
The days of Trump may soon be over. If he's not impeached on spurious grounds, he will enter the race under a toxic cloud of accusation and unproven high crimes and misdemeanors greatly amplified by a propaganda media. Polls consistently show he is losing traction, and the MAGA crowd is increasingly disillusioned, unable to realize its populist agenda.
I'm sorry, Tulsi. Your effort to unmask the subversion of the election system will largely fall on deaf ears. As of this morning, the above video garnered a mere 800 views.
It will take more than a "debate" boycott to send the message. It will take a revolution to finally drain Trump's swamp, end the endless wars, and force transnational corporations and foreign governments (most egregiously Israel) out of the bed they have shared for so long with our "representatives," who are largely nothing more than self-seeking sociopaths on short leashes.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com
George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.
Whoever replaces outgoing BBC Director General Tony Hall, be sure that establishment interests will be in safe hands. But multiple scandals the broadcaster has been involved in damaged it quite possibly beyond repair.
... ... ...
Corbyn had to be destroyed at almost ANY cost. Their news and current affairs output (and appointments) over the Corbyn era of 2015-2019 was as crude, and crudely effective, as any screaming, screeching Rupert Murdoch tabloid. Perhaps they were worried the ghost of Sir Alasdair Milne would return to haunt them in the form of his son Seumas Milne, Corbyn's director of communications and strategy and right-hand man. The junior Milne – also Winchester and Oxford – is a considerably harder nut to crack than anyone the BBC had ever had to deal with before
Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com
If you were making a documentary on fake news and wanted to get journalists involved behind the scenes, there are a few people you may want to avoid. One of those is CNN host Brian Stelter. The HBO network is rightly being mocked for putting Stelter – the host of a CNN show ironically named 'Reliable Sources' – on the team for an upcoming documentary on fake news.
According to Stelter himself, the documentary will investigate "disinformation and the cost of fake news." The film, for which Stelter was executive producer, will dive into "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," according to WarnerMedia.
HBO just announced something I've been working on for a couple of years: A documentary titled "AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS." The film will premiere on TV and online this March. Directed by @a_rossi !-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 15, 2020
To say Stelter's involvement in the documentary attracted mockery online would be an understatement. "This is like Harvey Weinstein doing a documentary on sexual assault," lawyer and journalist Rogan O'Handley wrote.
"HBO has hired Brian Stelter to do a documentary on Fake News. That's like hiring Bernie Madoff to teach accounting. Like hiring Michael Moore to host a fashion show. Not to mention [Stelter] is the dullest human ever on television," radio host Mark Simone added.
Dec 23, 2019 | www.anti-empire.com
Putin “needs to keep his commie hands” off of the sovereign Independent Baptist church’s affairs
According to sources, local man Clarence Williams has urged his church’s lead pastor as well as local law enforcement to move forward with an investigation into Russian hacking, claiming that there was ample evidence to support the theory that malicious foreign agents infiltrated and influenced the outcome of a vote on the date for next month’s potluck at Second Baptist Church.
... ... ...
The Babylon Bee 23 Dec 19 Society 625 0
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
An app called Clearview allows the user to snap a photo of anyone. Once that's done, the person who took your picture will have access to all of your information. Privacy is now all but obsolete.
People will not, for much longer, be able to walk down the street minding their own business anonymously. According to a report by The New York Times, it won't be long before anyone at any time knows exactly who you are while you're in public.
What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk then use an app to quickly discover your name, address and other details? A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible. Perhaps the worst news is that the police state is already using this technology in some parts of the "land of the free." The app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the United States, including the deep state FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.
Our Orwellian future has arrived. We are to be tracked, monitored, spied on, and have no privacy whatsoever at any time. And now, other strangers will have access to your private information is you dare to show your face in public.
According to the Times, this human rights violating app works by comparing a photo snapped to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it's scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites. It then serves up matches, along with links to the sites where those database photos originally appeared. A name might easily be unearthed, and from there, other info could be dug up online.
The size of the Clearview database dwarfs others in use by law enforcement. The FBI's own database, which taps passport and driver's license photos, is one of the largest, with over 641 million images of US citizens.
The Clearview app isn't currently available to the public, but the Times says police officers and Clearview investors think it will be in the future. – CNET
Even though law enforcement says they've used the app's technology to solve horrible crimes, human rights advocates warn that the privacy violations are going to be immense. Privacy advocates are warning that the app could return false matches to police and that it could also be used by stalkers and other creeps. They've also warned that facial recognition technologies , in general, could be used to conduct mass surveillance.
Most facial recognition technology is already used for Orwellian and tyrannical purposes by the powers that shouldn't be. It should come as no surprise that this will also be used by the ruling class to eliminate basic human rights.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com
It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.
Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.
Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."
Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.
But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.
Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.
Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.
The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.
In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."
The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.
Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.
It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.
The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.
"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."
Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".
Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.
Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.
"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.
Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".
"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.
China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.
The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.
Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?
Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'
She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.
She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.
The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Geopolitics Of Epistemological Warfare: From Babylon To Neocon by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/21/2020 - 00:00 0 SHARES
Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
I think any sane human being can agree that while war was never a good idea, war in the 21st century is an absolutely intolerable one. The problem we currently face is that many of the forces driving world events towards an all-out war of "Mutually Assured Annihilation" are anything but sane.
While I'm obviously referring here to a certain category of people who fall under a particularly virulent strain of imperial thinking which can be labelled "neo-conservative" and while many of these disturbing figures honestly believe that a total war of annihilation is a risk worth taking in order to achieve their goals of total global hegemony, I would like to make one subtle yet very important distinction which is often overlooked.
What is this distinction?
Under the broad umbrella of "neo-conservative" one should properly differentiate those who really believe in their ideology and are trapped under the invisible cage of its unexamined assumptions vs. that smaller yet more important segment that created and manages the ideology from the top. I brushed on this grouping in a recent 3 part study called Origins of the Deep State and Myth of the Jewish Conspiracy .
To re-state my meaning: This group doesn't necessarily believe in the ideological group they manage any more than a parent believes in that tooth fairy which they promote in order to achieve certain behavioral patterns in their children.
While belief in the tooth fairy is slightly less destructive than belief in a misanthropic neocon worldview of a Bolton, Pompeo or Cheney, the analogy is useful to communicate the point.Cult Managers: Ancient Babylon and Now
Modern ideology-shapers serve the same role as those ancient high priests of Babylon, Persia and Rome who managed the many cults and countless pagan mystery religions recorded throughout the ages. It is well documented that any cult could comfortably exist under Rome's control, as long as said cult denied any claim to objective truthfulness- making the rise of Abrahamic monotheistic faiths more than a little antagonistic to empire.
Did the high priests necessarily BELIEVE in those dogmas which they created and managed?
Was it politically necessary to create them?
Because an Empire, like everything in the world, exist as a whole with parts but since they deny any principle of natural law (justice, love, goodness, etc) , empires are merely a sum of parts and their rules of organization can be nothing but zero sum. Each cultish group may coexist as an echo chamber alongside other groups sacrificing to whatever deity they wish without judgement of moral right or wrong bounded only by a common blind faith in their group's beliefs- but nothing universal about justice, creative reason, or human nature is otherwise permitted. Here the a-moral "peace" of "equilibrium" can be achieved by an oligarchy which wishes to lord over the slaves. Whether we are dealing with Caesar Augustus, Lord Metternich's Congress of Vienna, Aldous Huxley, Sir Henry Kissinger, or Leo Strauss (father of modern neo-conservativism), "Peace" can never be anything more than a mathematical "balancing of parts".
Now it is a good moment to ask: What does this phenomenon look like in our modern age?
To answer this, let us leap over a couple of millennia and take a look at something a bit more personal: Adam Smith and the doctrine of free trade.Smith at Her Majesty's Service
Do Smith's modern followers sincerely believe in the "self-regulating forces of the free market"?
Sure they do.
Did Adam Smith actually believe in his own system?
Whether he did or not, according to recent research conducted by historian Jeffrey Steinberg, Smith received his commission to compose his seminal book Wealth of Nations (published 1776) while riding with Lord Shelburne himself in a carriage ride from Edinburgh to London in 1763. The date 1776 is not a coincidence as this was the same Lord Shelburne who essentially managed the British Empire during the American Revolution and who always despised all colonial aspirations to use protective tariffs, emit productive credit or channel said credit towards internal improvements as Benjamin Franklin had championed in his 1729 Necessity of Paper Currency and Colonial Script.
Why develop Industry, asked Smith, when the new "Law" of "absolute advantage" demanded that everyone just do what they are good at for the best price possible? America has a lot of land, so they should stick with agriculture and slave-driven cotton. Britain had a lot of industry (don't ask how that happened because it wasn't through free trade), so they should stick with that! India had advanced textiles, but Britain had to destroy that so that India could then have a lot of opium fields so she could do that which China could then smoke to death under the watch of British Gunships. "Free Trade" demanded it so.
Let's look at another example: Charles Darwin's theory of natural selectionA Not-too-Natural Selection
Darwin's theory published in his Origins of Species (1859) was based on the assumption that all changes in the biosphere are driven by "laws" of "survival of the fittest" within an assumed closed ecosystem of diminishing returns. Just as Smith asserted that an "invisible hand" brought creative order to the chaos of unregulated vice and self-interest, Darwin asserted that creative order on the large scale evolution of species could be explained by chaotic mutations on the micro level beyond a wall that no power of reason, free will or God could pass.
Did Charles Darwin believe his system? Probably.
But how about Thomas Huxley (aka: "Darwin's Bulldog") whose efforts to destroy all competing theories which included "purpose", "meaning", or "design" were crushed and ridiculed into obscurity? Huxley himself was on record saying he did not believe in Darwin's system. So why was this theory promoted by forces (like Huxley's X Club ) who recognized its many flaws? Well, here again it helps to refer to Darwin's own account of his discovery from his autobiography where he wrote:Malthus's 'Dismal Science'
"In October 1838, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on, from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result would be the formation of a new species. Here then, I had at last got a theory by which to work".
And here we have it! Reverend Thomas Malthus (the cold hearted "Man of God" who taught economics at the British East India Company's Haileybury College) provided the very foundation upon which Darwin's system stood! Thomas Huxley and the other "high priests" of Huxley's X Club were always Malthusian (even before there was Malthus) since empires have always been more focused on monopolizing the finite resources of an age, rather than encouraging creative discoveries and new inventions which would bring new resources into being- overcoming nature's "limits to growth" (a dis-equilibrium not to be tolerated). Whether Malthus actually believed in the system which bears his name, as generations of his adherents sincerely do, remains to be seen. However his own awareness of the needed extermination of the "unfit" by the Ubermenschen of the British Aristocracy preceded Social Darwinism by a full century when he coldly called for the encouragement of the plague and other "natural forms of destruction" to cull the herd of the unfit in his Essay on the Principle of Population ( 1799):
"We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague."
A little later, Malthus even argued for the early extermination of poor babies who were of low value to society when he said:
"I should propose a regulation to be made, declaring that no child born from any marriage taking place after the expiration of a year from the date of the law, and no illegitimate child born two years from the same date, should ever be entitled to parish assistance The infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place."
The neo-Malthusian revivalists such as Princes Bernhardt, Philip Mountbatten and Huxley's own grandson Sir Julian who birthed the misanthropic deformity today called the Green New Deal were not ignorant to this tradition. The disastrous effect of this worldview upon races deemed "unfit" in the global south should also not be ignored. It is no coincidence that those three neo-Malthusian oligarchs founded the World Wildlife Fund, 1001 Nature Trust and Club of Rome which imposed a technological apartheid upon the third world over the bodies of countless statesmen during the Cold War.
The Danger of Creative Thought to an Empire
Encouraging creative thought and cooperation among diverse nations, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups tends to result in new uncontrolled systems of potential as humanity increases its capacity to sustain itself while imperial systems lose their ability to parasitically drain their host. In Lincoln's great 1859 speech , the martyred leader stood up against this Malthusian paradigm endemic of the British Empire when he said:
"All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinitely various "leads" from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions."
Lincoln's economic commitments to protective tariffs, state credit (greenbacks) and internal improvements are inextricably linked to this view of man also shared by the earlier Ben Franklin.
Today, the positive paradigm which Lincoln died to defend is most clearly represented by the leaders of such nations as Russia and China- both of whom have come out repeatedly attacking the post-truth neo-liberal order and also the win-lose philosophy of Hobbesian geopolitics. The folly of America's new dance with impeachment and the neocon hand shaping Trump's disastrous foreign policy agenda is tied to the oligarchy's absolute fear of losing America to a new Eurasian partnership which Trump has promoted repeatedly since entering office in 2017.
Xi Jinping and Putin have not only responded to this obsolete system by creating an alternative system of win-win cooperation driven by unbounded scientific and technological progress but they have also managed to expose the Achilles heal of the empire. These statesmen have demonstrated a clear recognition that those ideologies ranging from neo-liberalism to neo-conservativism are entirely unsustainable, and defeatable (but not militarily) . Xi expressed this insight most clearly during his recent trip to Greece.
Even though leaders like Putin and Xi understand this, citizens of the west will continue to be woefully unequipped to either make sense of these chaotic systems of belief, extract them from their own hearts if they are so contaminated or resist them effectively, without understanding that those who fabricated and manage these belief structures never truly believed in them.
Neoconservative founding fathers such as Leo Strauss, Sir Henry Kissinger and Sir Bernard Lewis absolutely never believed in the ideologies their cultish golems like Bolton, Cheney or Kristol have adhered to so religiously. Their belief was only that the sum-of-parts called humanity must ultimately be governed by a Hobbesian Leviathan (aka: a new globalized Roman Empire), and that Leviathan could only be created in response to an intolerably painful period of chaos which their twisted tooth fairies would usher into this world.
Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org
For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.
There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way.
Or, hell, maybe we'll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.
Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.
That's what Goldsteins are for.
harry law ,.... The US have used Islamic state against both Syria and Iraq, [the enemy of my enemy is my friend].
There can be no doubt that the US are going to use Islamic state to disrupt Iraq, just as they had no qualms about watching [from satellites and spotter aircraft] Islamic state travel 100's of kilometres from Syria to Northern Iraq [Mosul] across the desert, whipping up tons of dust in their Toyota jeeps to put pressure on the Iraqi government. Also as they watched on with equanimity when the Islamic state transported thousands of tanker loads of oil from Syria to Turkey, that is until the Russians bombed those convoys, the US must think everyone is as stupid as they are. If the Iraqis don't drive the US out using all means including violence, they deserve to be slaves.
"Sergey Lavrov earlier called the US-led coalition's refusal to combat al-Nusra "absolutely unacceptable."
"Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj said "US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq." https://stephenlendman.org/2020/01/trump-regime-shifting-isis-terrorists-from-syria-to-iraq/
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Ike Was Right!
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society."
General Dwight D Eisenhower
Farewell address 1961
Congress just passed a near trillion dollar military budget at a time when the United States faces no evident state threats at home or abroad. Ike was right.
Illustrating Ike's prescient warning, Brown University's respected Watson Institute just released a major study which found that the so-called 'wars on terror' in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan have cost US taxpayers $6.4 trillion since they began in 2001.
The extensive study found that over 800,000 people have died as a result of these military operations, a third of them civilians. An additional 21 million civilians have been displaced by US military operations. According to the Pentagon, these US wars have so far cost each American taxpayer $7,623 – and that's a very conservative estimate.
Most of this money has been quietly added to the US national debt of over $23 trillion. Wars on credit hide the true cost and pain from the public.
As General Eisenhower warned, military spending has engulfed the nation.
A trillion annual military budget represents just about half the world's military expenditures. The Pentagon, which I've visited numerous times, is bustling with activity as if the nation was on a permanent war footing.
The combined US intelligence budget of some $80 billion is larger than Russia's total military budget of $63 billion. US troops, warplanes and naval vessels are stationed around the globe, including, most lately, across Africa. And yet every day the media trumpets new 'threats' to the US. Trump is sending more troops to the Mideast while claiming he wants to reduce America's powerful military footprint there. Our military is always in search of new missions. These operations generate promotions and pay raises, new equipment and a reason for being.
Back in the day, the Republican Party of General Eisenhower was a centrist conservative's party with a broad world view, dedicated to lower taxes and somewhat smaller government. It was led by the Rockefellers and educated Easterners with a broad world view and respect for tradition.
Today's Republican Party is a collection of rural interests from flyover country, handmaidens of the military industrial complex and, most important, militant evangelical Christians who see the world through the spectrum of the Old Testament. Israel's far right has come to dominate American evangelists by selling them a bill of goods about the End of Days and the Messiah's return. Many of these rubes see Trump as a quasi-religious figure.
Mix the religious cultists – about 25% of the US population – with the farm and Israel lobbies and the mighty military industrial complex and no wonder the United States has veered off into the deep waters of irrationality and crusading ardor. The US can still afford such bizarre behavior thanks to its riches, magic green dollar, endless supply of credit and a poorly educated, apathetic public too besotted by sports and TV sitcoms to understand what's going on abroad.
All the war party needs is a steady supply of foreign villains (preferably Muslims) who can be occasionally bombed back to the early Islamic age. Americans have largely forgotten George W. Bush's lurid claims that Iraqi drones of death were poised to shower poisons on the sleeping nation. Even the Soviets never ventured so deep into the sea of absurdity.
The military industrial complex does not care to endanger its gold-plated F-35 stealth aircraft and $13 billion apiece aircraft carriers in a real war against real powers. Instead, the war party likes little wars against weak opponents who can barely shoot back. State-run TV networks thrill to such minor scraps with fancy headlines and martial music. Think of the glorious little wars against Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya. Iran looks next.
The more I listen to his words, the more I like Ike.
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:
In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.
Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:
One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
– Maya Angelou
"It's amazing," fellow CounterPuncher Eric Draitser recently wrote me, "that people ever thought a Trump administration would be something other than this."
"This" is the demented neofascistic Trump-Pence regime, which openly violates basic constitutional norms and rules while conducting itself in barefacedly racist, sexist, and eco-cidal ways.
The long record of this presidency's transgressions now includes the open dog-wagging assassination – on brazenly false pretexts – of a foreign military commander atop a state (Iran) with which the United States is not at war and without the permission of a government (Iraq) on whose soil the monumental war crime took place.
... ... ...Another person likely unsurprised by Trump's horrifying presidency is New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik. "Trump," Gopnik wrote in July of 2016, summarizing elementary facts of Trump' life: "is unstable, a liar, narcissistic, contemptuous of the basic norms of political life, and deeply embedded among the most paranoid and irrational of conspiracy theorists. There may indeed be a pathos to his followers' dreams of some populist rescue for their plights. But he did not come to political attention as a 'populist'; he came to politics as a racist, a proponent of birtherism." As Gopnik had explained two months before, the correct description of Trump needed to include the world "fascist" in one way or another:
"There is a simple formula for descriptions of Donald Trump: add together a qualification, a hyphen, and the word "fascist." The sum may be crypto-fascist, neo-fascist, latent fascist, proto-fascist, or American-variety fascist -- one of that kind, all the same. Future political scientists will analyze (let us hope in amused retrospect, rather than in exile in New Zealand or Alberta) the precise elements of Poujadisme, Peronism and Huck Finn's Pap that compound in Trump's 'ideology.' But his personality and his program belong exclusively to the same dark strain of modern politics: an incoherent program of national revenge led by a strongman; a contempt for parliamentary government and procedures; an insistence that the existing, democratically elected government, whether Léon Blum's or Barack Obama's, is in league with evil outsiders and has been secretly trying to undermine the nation; a hysterical militarism designed to no particular end than the sheer spectacle of strength; an equally hysterical sense of beleaguerment and victimization; and a supposed suspicion of big capitalism entirely reconciled to the worship of wealth and "success." It is always alike, and always leads inexorably to the same place: failure, met not by self-correction but by an inflation of the original program of grievances, and so then on to catastrophe. The idea that it can be bounded in by honest conservatives in a Cabinet or restrained by normal constitutional limits is, to put it mildly, unsupported by history (emphasis liberally added) ." [Adam Gopnik, "Going There With Donald Trump," The New Yorker , May 11, 2016].
Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)
Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.
But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?
Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.
The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."
So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.
But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.
"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."
If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.
"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."
If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:
"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."
And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.
Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.
All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.
It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.
After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
...in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.
Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.
That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.
...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.
DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago linkGriffin , 2 hours ago link
NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.Someone Else , 2 hours ago link
Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.
Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.
When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.
Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.
https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19TheManj , 3 hours ago link
The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.John Hansen , 3 hours ago link
NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.
Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.pitz , 4 hours ago link
Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?
Where is the investigation?spam filter , 4 hours ago link
I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".SheHunter , 5 hours ago link
Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.
Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,
Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.
Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
- The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.
For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.
- The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.
There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.
When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.
The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.
The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.
IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.
To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.
- The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.
Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .
Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.
The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.
We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.
insanelysane , 9 minutes ago linkDonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link
The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:
1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.
2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.East Indian , 23 minutes ago link
Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sighthardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link
A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':
"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."
- reader ricocat1hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link
his name was Seth Rich!buckboy , 57 minutes ago link
The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link
We, the People are free to bitch and moan.Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link
The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.
The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link
Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine
Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending
Trump Abuse of Power:
Trump...HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link
They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.monty42 , 1 hour ago link
I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link
Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.
True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...
Jan 20, 2020 | www.unz.com
Ko , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm GMTAmerican interests are to protect oil companies, and fight the inevtible douche (british definition) American's will feel once the dollar is deflated. In a lesser way, wars and interventions are indeed to protect americans – from a massive, sudden, econimic depression of the likes the world has never seen. China and the rest of the world no American empire is going to retract. I only hope we have a sensible leader who can parlay Ameria's role in the world to become a partner in the BRI – ion some way.
The Asia Pivot was never destined to be anything but bluster. Asia is lost, the Asian nations will satellite around China. Southeast Asia is even more lost, Cambodia mioght as well fly the Chinese flag, Thailand will pretend, as it always has, to never have been colonized. Well, Thailand was/is a dog of a nation that's laid down on its back for every nation advancing on it's border.
Myanmar just signed on to the BRI and has given China its derired dams. It's already full of Chinese. The only thing holding China back in Myanmar is the amount of money it has to give spoon to the military, generals, cronies,etc. China already owns almost all of Manadaly and thousands of square milies surrounding Mandalay. It has gas and oil fields in a warm water where those pesky Bengali Jihadis once tried to dominate.
Indial too has bought into Myanmar.
So, it's no wonder Iraq is the last stop of the retreat from the Middle East. The Chinese are moving forward with only the Saudis standing in the way. And who the hell really likes the House of Saud? They're doomed soon, and good riddence. The Iraqis want American out, and one day American will leave.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Jan 17 2020 19:26 utc | 7
That Power Elite theory which was written in the 50s by C.W. Mills is incomplete for today because in the 60s there was a split among the power elite between the new "movement conservatives" and the old eastern bank establishment. The conservatives were more focused on the pacific region and containing China, and the liberal establishment were more focused on Europe and containing Russia.
The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. In fact he is the 1st president from that faction of the elites to hold the oval office, many people thought Reagan was, but he was brought under the control of George Bush and the liberal elites after taking office after he was injured by a Bush related person. The different agendas of the the two factions are out in the open today with one being focused on anti-Russia and the other being focused on anti-China. It has been like that since the 1960s.
The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents (and which unleashed the VietNam War) is screwing up the "rules based order" aka "Liberal International Economic Order" aka Pax Americana which was set up after WWII at Bretton Woods and then altered in the 1970s with the creation of the petrodollar and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world
It needed the cooperation of the elites of Europe and elsewhere, which Trump and his faction doesn't care about -- they only care about short term profits on Wall St.
The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. China trade is important for them, Russia is their main enemy. ( War of the Worlds: The New Class ). Trump and his movement conservative faction is ruining their world order for their own short term gain on Wall St.
VietnamVet , Jan 17 2020 22:34 utc | 44The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician.fairleft , Jan 18 2020 1:21 utc | 81
The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won.
Donald Trump is way for over his head and getting old. His competent staff are in jail or fired. Apparently no one told him about the thousands of ballistic missiles that can destroy the Gulf States' oil facilities at will and make the buildup for the invasion of Iran impossible. He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone.
Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension.The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out.Passer by , Jan 17 2020 22:04 utc | 35
Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books, with an obvious sales strategy, as b said, of pleasuring both the pro/anti Trump sides of the book-buying bourgeoisie.
And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are.
Finally, whether Trump ridiculed the generals or not, that's a sideshow to entertain the rubes. Trump's always been on side with the big picture Neocon approach essential to the MIC. Their global dominance or chaos approach is essential to keeping military budgets gigantic until 'forever'. True that Trump whined about endless wars as a 2016 campaign strategy, but he was either b.s.-ing or at the time didn't get that they are part of the overall Neocon approach he backs.A P , Jan 17 2020 19:33 utc | 9
Not a very good analysis by b because this does not explain why 90 % of US corporate media is hostile to Trump. This does not happen without significant elite support.
That Trump is backed by the military faction is something i have been saying often. But there are forces within the government faction that dislike him, for example the CIA.
As for the corporate faction, it is not true that free money made them supportive of Trump. Rather the faction is divided - between the globalist corporate faction, relying on globalisation, including most tech companies, and US nationalist faction, such as local US businesses, big oil, shale gas, etc.
Another point - jews have large influence within the US, and 80 % voted against Trump regardless of his Israeli support. They again voted 80 % Dem in 2018. Having 80 % of US jews against you means encountering significant resistance.
Demographically speaking, most women, jews, muslims, latinos, asians, afroamericans, lgbt people, young people, etc. are strongly against him so i think that he will lose. Unless for some reason they do not vote.
Even if he somehow wins again, this will lead to civil war like situation and extreme polarisation in the US.Walter , Jan 17 2020 23:25 utc | 56
The US military, the various factions within the Deep State, political and corporate cabals has the attitude of a spoiled 3-year-old: If I can't have it, I'll break it so it is of little use to others.
Unfortunately, breaking other countries is just fine for the MIC... arms sales all around and chaos to impede non-military commerce with other major power centers like Russia or China.
Trump is the product of a dysfunctional family, a "greed is good" trust-fund social circle and a sociopathic US bully/gun culture.
The fact "bone spurs" Trump weaseled out of the draft will also not play well with the generals, let alone the grunts who suffer most from endless POTUS idiocy (not limited to Trump, see Prince Bush/Bandar the 2nd)
All the more proof that most Western "democracies" would be better served with a lottery to choose their Congressional and POTUS chair-warmers. Joe Sixpack could do a better job. A 200-lb sack of flour would do better than any POTUS since Kennedy.Likklemore , Jan 17 2020 21:50 utc | 29
@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc | 3
your: "Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it."
May be, I think is, true in one sense. But Trump is far from the sole agent capable of starting a war. War, as opposed to simple murder, involve 2 or more parties. Whatever the intentions, the recent murders by drone in Baghdad hav,e it seems, brought Iran to consider war exists now...and they have a nifty MAGA policy. On Press TV today they hosted an expert who called for the execution of several exceptional American leaders...sounds like war to me.
(Make America Go Away)
The system is so screwy and peopled by such uneducated and delusional people that it's quite simple that they would do some stupid that that caused a war. Looks like war to me. I await the horrors.
Decaying empires usually start wars that bring about their rapid ruin. Does it matter how they do this?
The thesis of the triangle of elite factions is fascinating.
Walter recalls that JFK got the reports from Vietnam that said we were winning, while at the same time Johnson got the true story. And also what happened then with the "correction" of 1963 (their words) and the immediate change of war policy. Can't help an old guy from remembering old folly. And noting that history repeats as farce.
The Iran affair is liable to coordinate with NATO. Lavrov spoke to the NATO preparations today @ TASS...
Some say Trumpie screwed up the schedule, which goes hot in April as a showdown with the Roooskies. I take that with a grain of salt. But I think the sources I've seen might be right. They say that if Barbarossa had not been delayed, the nazis woulda won in Russia. Screwups can be very important.
I can't see any way the US won't use atomic bangers. But maybe...psychohistorian , Jan 17 2020 19:52 utc | 11
@ wagelaborer 3
Good points. I endorse. However the USD have been weaponized, is being sidelined and will be shunned U.S. dollar: Russia, China, EU are motivated to shift from
@ juiliana 22
I posted an article by Shedlock essentially saying all it will take is 3 states to flip and Trump loses: Trump will be easily defeated in 2020 perhaps by a landslide.
Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents.
I agree with wagelaborer in comment #3 and worth a repeat of most of it
"Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it.
US foreign policy is not run by White House puppets.
The US trash-talked Saddam Hussein and starved Iraqis for 14 years, but didn't actually invade until he started trading oil in Euros.
The US trash-talked Ghaddafi for decades, and even launched missiles which killed his child in the 80s, but didn't destroy Libya until Ghaddafi decided to sell oil in dinars.
The US has trash-talked and sanctioned Iran for decades, but it was the threat of Iran and Saudi Arabia making peace that pushed them to assassinate General Soleimani, as he arrived at the airport on that diplomatic mission.
If Iran and Saudi Arabia make peace, and the Saudis drop the petro-dollar, the US Empire crumbles. It doesn't matter at all who is in the White House at the time, the Empire will never allow that."
Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism?
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jan 18 2020 2:37 utc | 90I think the "triangle of power" theory walks towards the truth, but is not the truth.
For starters, the USA is a very large and complex society. There are a lot of classes and a lot of groups which clash and prop up each other all the time. The only consensus is that it is and must remain a capitalist society, i.e. that capitalism must be preserved at any cost.
That said, I see many interests involved, but a hierarchy, in layered form. Here's my opinion on the state of the art of the USA right now:
1) at the highest level, there's the division between the most powerful members of the capitalist class between what should be the American foreign policy strategy for the rest of this century. It is divided between two different ideologies: russophobes (i.e. the "establishment") and the believers of the "clash of civilizations" (i.e. the far-right, sinophobes). The only thing that unites both groups is the conviction Eurasia should remain divided, i.e. that Russia and China should not consolidate their newborn alliance. If that alliance consolidates a century from now, then this contradiction will disappear, but America's new enemy will be stronger than ever - possibly more powerful than the USA.
2) at the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared. This division manifests itself in the battle between social-democracy and fascism. Neoliberalism is basically a rotten corpse after 2008, but it is important to state it is not an ideology per se, but a political doctrine, from which both American social-democracy and American fascism lend some aspects.
3) at the vestigial level, you have many micro battles which shock with each other. For example, the good part of the American middle class imploded Elizabeth Warren's support for universal healthcare because they wanted to keep their class distinction as the class which has access to healthcare through expensive health insurances (which are often directly linked to distinct jobs they probably have) - but they still will vote Democrat, and probably will support Warren as long as she's viable. In the far-right camp, there are those who want to emphasize the fight against China must happen because China represents modern socialism, while another part wants to fight China for the simple fact they want some jobs back. In the deep state, there's the usual Pentagon vs CIA clash of philosophies about how to better operate overseas. In the lobby industry, each one is fending for themselves.
In conclusion, my take is all of these conflicts have one ultimate cause: the exhaustion of the American imperial system installed in 1945 . Capitalism doesn't know national barriers; in 1945, the USA was both the industrial and financial superpower, but capital must spread and expand or it dies. The Marshall Plan soon begun and, in two decades, Germany and Japan - both spawns of the American post-war doctrine - directly threatened the USA as the industrial superpower. It still managed to fend off these two nations with the Plaza Accord (1985), but at a huge cost: outsourcing its own industrial capacity to China. In 2011, China definitely overcame the USA and now holds the belt of the industrial superpower. It is now trying to be also the financial superpower, with the "opening up" reforms.
This generated a structural contradiction: the loss of the industrial superpower title left the USA only with the financial superpower title. But the financial superpower title can only be maintained, in a nation-State architecture, with increased submission of the rest of the world - naturally, through violent means and financial sanctions.
However, that was not the way the USA was able to build its overwhelming post-war alliance: it did so with nation building , i.e. the proverbial "carrot", the massive investments in infrastructure and better living standards for Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers and Australia. But without the industrial superpower title, the USA cannot maintain its "alliance" (i.e. the empire), which reinforces its condition as the financial superpower - which, in turn, increases its necessity to maintain the alliance (empire) which, in turn, weakens more and more said alliance, which, in turn, increases even more its necessity to maintain said alliance, and so on, in a downward spiral movement.
The result of this dialectical contradiction is that the USA will, over time, resort to ever more violent methods to keep the corners of its empire whole, which will drive it ever closer to an epic war against its ultimate enemy: socialism (China/Eurasia).
Duncan Idaho , Jan 18 2020 2:41 utc | 91Well-----Patroklos , Jan 18 2020 4:52 utc | 100
"And many of them may actually be as mind-blowingly stupid as he is as well and they don't see what a problem it is to have such an arrogant moron running the world's only superpower. If there's one thing right-wingers take as an article of faith it's that expertise is nothing but a scam and the guy at the end of the bar can run the world better than the pointy-headed elites. They got what they wanted."
Trump might be appropriate. The survivors, if any, will have more resources, as the ditch he is heading into.
A slow death by Dims would be worse.@ vk 90
Your analysis nicely maps onto the Braudelian model of the phases of capitalism, especially as articulated in the chapter by Arrighi and Moore in Phases of Capitalist Development . They argue that the historical signal that the US had begun to lose its hegemony in commodity production (M-C-M') was the Nixon shock/Oil Shock (1970-73). They further argue that the inevitable shift to financial hegemony (M-M'), which has occurred in every other phase (Genovese, Dutch, British), has taken place more quickly than the one before it. As a result, they predicted (in 2001) very broadly that the terminal point of this financial (self-)vampirism -- when the system reaches a point of complete contradiction -- would take place around 2020. One key difference they note between the US global regime with all prior hegemonic orders is the reach and power of the military. The British Empire was able to deploy its navy to support its hegemony only up to a point -- and then became a paper tiger overnight. But the US military has not been deployed to any extent comparable to 1941-45. If it saw a real existential threat to dollar hegemony their military capacity would postpone any collapse indefinitely -- and throw the world into utter chaos.
My question to you and all is this: where are we in the timeline between their loss of industrial hegemony and the real crisis of their financial hegemony? Is this the decade of hegemonic challenge and change -- and therefore war? And to what extent will Iran be the trigger? Or will it be another GFC and de-dollarization?
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 5:20 utc | 83@ Peter AU1 78
Tom Luongo, who frequently cites b, has coined a new word for Trump's and his minions tactics. Tom asks:
Does Gangsternomics Meet its End in the Iraqi Desert?In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani a lot of questions hung in the air. The big one was, in my mind, "Why now?"
There are a lot of angles to answer that question. Many of them were supplied by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi who tried to let the world know through official (and unofficial) channels of the extent of the pressure he was under by the U.S.
In short, President Trump was engaged in months of what can best be described as gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development.[/]
Iraq's importance goes much farther than just protecting the petrodollar to the U.S. It is the fulcrum now on which the entire U.S. defense against Eurasian integration rests. The entire region is slipping out of the grasp of the U.S.
And this started with Russia moving into Syria in 2015 successfully. We are downstream of this as it has blown open the playbook and revealed it for how ugly it is.
Trump's crude gangster tactics in Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia and to a lesser extent in Syria cannot be hidden behind the false veil of moral preening and virtue signaling about bringing democracy to these benighted places.[/]
What began in Syria with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and China standing up together and saying, "No," continues today in Iraq. To this point Iran has been the major actor. Tomorrow it will be Russia, China and India.
And that is what is ultimately at stake here, the ability of the U.S. to employ gangsternomics in the Middle East and make it stick.[.]
By the time Trump is done threatening people over S-400's and pipelines the entire world will be happy to trade in yuan and/or rubles rather than dollars.[.]
full article here
Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28
You've been zucked.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
dltravers , Jan 18 2020 2:35 utc | 89A fairly good piece of understanding but you leave out a few elements in the equation. Trump was on the bench for the Mossad in the Epstein triangle. That is why 95% of the controlled media is against him; he is not in the CIA's pocket.
You also fail to mention the FED's very accommodating policies that have kept the economy and the stock market going. In other words, the Banksters also back Trump.
The DIA backed Trump, the CIA back Clinton. Go back to Trumps talking points when he announced his run for the presidency. They were carefully scripted hand grenades that no other politician would dare to throw. His campaign strategy was carefully polled and his backers knew those talking point bombshells would work.
The other side thought he would hang himself so he obtained a massive amount of free cable coverage. They had drunk their own Koolaid thinking that Trump's angle of attack would fail. The liberal Jews hate Trump. The conservative Jews love him. The conservative Jews fear the demographic changes in the US which could end their cash cow for Israel. Throw in the Evangelical Zionists and you have a receipt for victory then and in 2020.
People are so bent on their Trump hate they cannot see the genius of whomever organized this campaign.
Jan 19, 2020 | journal-neo.org
The United States has spent about $6 trillion on combat operations over the past 20 years, according to Brown University studies . If the warfare ends by 2023, researchers estimate the total cost will be $6.7 trillion at least, not counting the interest on debt.
In total, almost half a million people have died as a result of the wars.
The cost of 87 major programs for the purchase of weapons and military equipment conducted by the US Department of Defense exceeded $2 trillion in 2018, according to the Pentagon's Selected Acquisition Reports (SAR), which detail the implementation of major defense purchases. The combined cost of all procurement programs was determined by the Pentagon to be over $2 trillion. This is equivalent to almost 10% of the annual gross domestic product of the United States ($21.3 trillion).
Trying to justify such exorbitant spending on the army, the US military and political elites actively promote their interests, advertising the national armed forces as the main fighting force. Recently, Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that 'there are no forces today capable of resisting an attack by the US Army.' Unsurprisingly, the Department of Defense (DoD) desires even more money, although there is no logical explanation as to why the most powerful army on the planet is in need of improvement when everyone else is clearly lagging behind.
But what is the real face of the US Army today and how does the public feel about it?
Global Research correctly remarked that, despite the largest military budget in the world (five times greater than in six other countries), the highest number of military bases in the world (over 180) and the most expensive military-industrial complex, the United States has failed to win a single war in the 21 st century.
Every year, Pew Research Center publishes hundreds of studies on a wide range of topics. Concerning the current problems of the US military, Pew studies note that most American veterans and the majority of the general US public believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting. Over 60% of the American public is convinced that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not paid off, when the costs and benefits are weighed. Responding to questions about the US military campaign in Syria, 55% of veterans and 58% of the American public said that this campaign failed to pay off as well.
Frustration with the country's military policy has now become a big problem among active US servicemen, veterans, and even among young soldiers who haven't participated in real combat.
The incautious question 'How has serving impacted you?' posted by the Pentagon's official Twitter account, has revealed the deep chasm of the US military's problems. So deep, in fact, that the Pentagon had to urgently close and remove a huge number of subsequent replies, most of which turned out to be very depressing in nature. US Army soldiers and officers shared the shocking consequences of their service, including drug addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders and nightmares – some admitting they had repeatedly wanted to commit suicide.
Currently there are up to 19 million retired veterans 'in the most belligerent democratic country in the world.' Every day, about 20 of them commit suicide. The causes of suicide cited by experts are diverse, the main ones being depressions, nervous breakdowns, spiritual and psychological devastation coupled with guilt for killing innocent people, post-traumatic stress disorder, increased military operations, medical abuse, and personal financial problems. Social media are full of horrific stories about how injured soldiers weren't provided necessary medical attention during military operations, which drove them to shooting themselves in the head. Meanwhile junior army members state that they are basically expendable for their commanders, and all of them combined present an endless means of earning money for the highest elite.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
IronForge , Jan 18 2020 3:03 utc | 93The MIC were running about without leashes.
Once they delved into "Conquest and Exploitation", the Military were OverScoped and Few People thought of rebuilding/modernizing Civil Infrastructure and Economy of the Conquered.
Also, IMHO, every Govt-Job that affect the Military and Veterans' Lives should be held by Veterans. Need them to be where the Rubber Meets the Road before sending others into harm's way. I'd go as far to require WH, Congress, Supremes to be Previously Assigned to Combat Units/Hot Zones (FatBoy Pompeo Fails here) - and have Combat Eligible Family be in Active Duty or Drilling Reserves - ready to be sent to the Front Lines should they call for War while running the Republic-turned-Hegemon.
That would include BoneShards' Adult Children and Spouses.
WH have been on a PetroUSD/MIC/PNAC7/AIPAC Bandwagon - which drive down Non-Yielding Nation-States with Sanctions.
Now BoneShards Opened the Pandora's Box of Open State Level Assassinations using Diplomatic Peace Missions as Venues. Worse? Against a Nation-State which can Respond in Kind - AND Develop+Deploy Nuclear WMDs. Not Ethical - Inhumane and Imbecilic, really. That's why I am voting for Gabbard this Time. A 2nd Gen Navy Vet. Been to War Zones in the Gulf.
lysias , Jan 18 2020 3:24 utc | 97This retired Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy has also been donating to Gabbard.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgRobert Snefjella , Jan 17 2020 23:50 utc | 64Previously, most discussions of the Trump presidency reflexively proceeded to either visceral disgust etc or accolades of some species. Trumps words and manners dominated. As things developed, and actual results were recorded, a body of more sober second thought developed. And a variation on these more experience/reality based assessments is what b has delivered above.
Some of my points that follow are repeats, some are new. On the whole I see Trump as a helpful and positive-result really bad President.
I begin with the premise that the United States is a longstanding cultural catastrophe, and is far along the way in the process of destroying itself, after having destroyed or damaged the prospects of much of the planet.
As one aspect of this cultural catastrophe, let's refer back to the United States attack on Indochina, which accomplished millions of dead and millions of wounded people, and birth defects still in uncounted numbers as a legacy of dioxin etc laden chemical warfare. The millions of dead included some tens of thousands of American soldiers, and even more wounded physically, and even more wounded 'mentally'.
Within the context of the attack on Indochina, on the ground and taking place within the spaces left alive after the B52 bombers et al, there was the 'Phoenix Program'. euphemism for the CIA's ambitious program of technocratic torture, assassination, bribery, corruption, and so on, with tens of thousands of murdered victims. And the military destroyed uncounted villages, a la My Lai.
When asked what it was all about, Kissinger lied in an inadvertently illuminating way: "basically nothing" was how he put it, if memory serves.
During and after the attack on Indochina, the US trained, aided, financed, etc active death squads in Central and South America, demonstrating that the United States was an equal opportunity death dealer.
Now this was a bit of a meander away from the Trump topic, but note that Trump came to power within the above cultural context and much more pathology besides, talking about ending the warfare state. Again, this is not an attempt to portray Trump as either sincere or insincere in that policy. In terms of ideas, it was roughly speaking a good idea.
Another main part of the Trump message was 'let's rebuild America'. And along with the de-militarization and national program of rejuvenation there was the 'drain the swamp' meme, which again resonated. And once again, I am not arguing that Trump was sincere, or for that matter insincere. That's irrelevant to the point I'm trying to make: which could essentially by reduced to: what will be the actual meaning and potential impact of Trump?
Note then that Trump has almost patented the 'fake news' meme. The idea that the msm is lying about and hiding the truth, non-stop propaganda, is an idea that Trump has pushed repeatedly. Most people on the MofA etc are well aware of that. But for many 'normies', that's not quite as obvious.
And yes, he himself could be described as the liar in chief. But doesn't deflect from the great collapse in the status of the msm propaganda machine. And that propaganda machine has been very much associated with the CIA via operation Mockingbird and its generations long progeny.
So the attack on the media via fake news is a direct attack on the basic indispensable control mechanism of the deep state, and CIA.
Note too that after three Years of Trump, the long standing criminality and corruption of the FBI has never looked as obvious. Again, we don't have to give Trump credit. But it happened on his 'watch'.
Now the deep cultural, including political, pathology in the United States, in its many manifestations remain. We're not talking miracle cures here. But Trump has been a kind of part deranged, part clever political monkey wrench thrown into the works. As to whether his disruptive arrival has provided openings for more sensible political and cultural innovations remains to be seen.
The frantic attempt to deflect attention from and give mainly derisive media coverage to Tulsi Gabbard is a case in point. Is she the harbinger of a growing political movement aiming to dismantle the military empire project?
Many of the internal difficulties that the US faces are distinct from militarism, but related to militarism in the sense that a police state keeping control via surveillance and bs, etc, and spending its money on empire, is not going to prioritize clear honest discourse. In the end, one overarching question for the US like the rest of us is: can we achieve honesty and common sense?
Jan 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
Eric Zuesse July 27, 2018 © Photo: Public domain
Neoconservatism started in 1953 with Henry "Scoop" Jackson, the Democratic Party US Senator from the state of Washington (1953-1983), who became known as a 'defense' hawk, and as "the Senator from Boeing," because Boeing practically owned him. The UK's Henry Jackson Society was founded in 2005 in order to carry forward Senator Jackson's unwavering and passionate endorsement of growing the American empire so that the US-UK alliance will control the entire world (and US weapons-makers will dominate in every market).
Later, during the 1990s, neoconservatism became taken over by the Mossad and the lobbyists for Israel and came to be publicly identified as a 'Jewish' ideology, despite its having -- and having long had -- many champions who were 'anti-communist' or 'pro-democracy' or simply even anti-Russian, but who were neither Jewish nor even focused at all on the Middle East. Republicans Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and John McCain; and the Democrat, CIA Director James Woolsey -- the latter of whom was one of the patrons of Britain's Henry Jackson Society -- were especially prominent neoconservatives, who came to prominence even before neocons became called "neoconservatives." What all neocons have always shared in common has been a visceral hatred of Russians. That comes above anything else -- and even above NATO (the main neocon organization).
During recent decades, neocons have been hating Iranians and more generally Shiites -- such as in Syria and in Lebanon, and now also in Yemen -- and not only hating Russians.
When the Israel lobby during the 1990s and after, pumped massive resources into getting the US Government to invade first Iraq and then Iran, neoconservatism got its name, but the ideology itself did not change. However, there are a few neoconservatives today who are too ignorant to know, in any coherent way, what their own underlying beliefs are, or why, and so who are anti-Russians (that's basic for any neocon) who either don't know or else don't particularly care that Iran and Shia Muslims generally, are allied with Russia. Neoconservatives such as this, are simply confused neocons, people whose underlying ideology is self-contradictory, because they've not carefully thought things through.
An example is Vox's Alex Ward, who built his career as an anti-Russia propagandist , and whose recent ten-point tirade against Russia I then exposed as being false on each one of its ten points , each of those points having been based upon mere allegations by US neocons against Russia without any solid evidence whatsoever. Indictments, and other forms of accusations, are not evidence for anything. But a stupid 'journalist' accepts them as if they were evidence, if those accusations come from 'the right side' -- but not if they come from 'the wrong side'. They don't understand even such a simple distinction as that between an indictment, and a conviction. A conviction is at least a verdict (though maybe based on false 'evidence' and thus false itself), but all that an accusation is an accusation -- and all accusations (in the American legal system) are supposed to be disbelieved, unless and until there is at least a verdict that gives the accusation legal force. (This is called "innocent unless proven guilty.")
Earlier, Mr. Ward had headlined as if he were an anti -neocon, when he posted his "America is fueling the war in Yemen. Congress is finally pushing back." What can account for that seemingly incongruous article?
Mr. Ward is a Democrat -- an heir to Senator Jackson's allegedly anti-communist though actually anti-Russian ideology -- but, since Ward isn't as intelligent as the ideology's founder was, Ward becomes anti -neocon when a Republican-led Administration is doing things (such as Ward there criticizes) that are even more-neocon than today's Democratic Party itself is. In other words: 'journalists' (actually, propagandists) such as he, are more partisan in favor of support of Democratic Party billionaires against Republican Party billionaires, than in support of conquering Russia as opposed to cooperating with Russia (and with all other countries). They're unaware that all American billionaires support expansion of the US empire -- including over Yemen (to bring Yemen in, too -- which invasion Ward incongruously opposes). But politicians (unlike their financial backers) need to pretend not to be so bloodthirsty or so beholden to the military-industrial complex. Thus, an American doesn't need to be intelligent in order to build his or her career in 'journalism', on the basis of having previously served as a propagandist writing for non-profits that are mere fronts for NATO and for Israel, and which are fronts actually for America's weapons-manufacturing firms, who need those wars in order to grow their profits. Such PR for front-organizations for US firms such as Lockheed Martin, is excellent preparation for a successful career in American 'journalism'. If a person is stupid, then it's still necessary to be stupid in the right way, in order to succeed; and Ward is, and does.
This, for example, is how it makes sense that Ward had previously been employed at the War on the Rocks website that organized the Republican neoconservative campaign against Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries : the mega-donors to both US Parties are united in favor of America conquering Russia. And that's why War on the Rocks had organized Republican neocons to oppose Trump: it was done in order to increase the chances for Trump's rabidly anti-Russia and pro-Israel competitors such as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio to win that nomination instead, which would then have produced the billionaires' dream contest, between Hillary Clinton versus an equally neoconservative Republican nominee. A bipartisan neoconservatism controls both of the American political Parties. A 'journalist' who displays that sort of bipartisanship can't fail in America, no matter how incompetent at real journalism he or she might be. (However, they do have to be literate . Stupid, maybe; but literate, definitely.)
The core of America's form of capitalism has come to be the US aristocracy's bipartisan, liberal and conservative, Democratic and Republican, form of capitalism, which isn't merely fascist (which includes privatizing everything that can be privatized) but which is also imperialist (which means favoring the country's perpetration of invasions and coups in order to expand that nation's empire). The United States is now a globe-spanning empire, controlling not merely the aristocracies in a few banana republics such as Guatemala and Honduras, but also the aristocracies in richer countries such as France, Germany and UK, so as to extract from virtually the entire world -- by means mainly of deception but also sometimes public threats and clearly coercive -- unfair advantages for corporations that are within its borders, and against corporations that are headquartered in foreign countries. America's billionaires -- both the Democratic ones and the Republican ones -- are 100% in favor of America's conquering the world: this ideology is entirely bipartisan, in the United States. Though the billionaires succeeded, during the first Cold War -- the one that was nominally against communism -- at fooling the public to think they were aiming ultimately to conquer communism, George Herbert Walker Bush made clear, on the night of 24 February 1990, privately to the leaders of the US aristocracy's foreign allies, that the actual goal was world-conquest, and so the Cold War would now secretly continue on the US side , even after ending on the USS.R. side. When GHW Bush did that, the heritage of US Senator Jackson became no longer the formerly claimed one, of 'anti-communism', but was, clearly now and henceforth, anti-Russian. And that's what it is today -- not only in the Democratic Party, and not only in the Republican Party, and not only in the United States, but throughout the entire US alliance .
And this is what we are seeing today, in all of the US-and-allied propaganda-media. America is always 'the injured party' against 'the aggressors'; and, so, one after another, such as in Iraq, and in Libya, and in Syria, and in Iran, and in Yemen, and in China, all allies (or even merely friends) of Russia are 'the aggressors' and are 'dictatorships' and are 'threats to America', and only the US side represents 'democracy' . It's actually an aristocracy , which has deeply deceived its public, to think it's a democracy. Just as every aristocracy is based on lies and on coercion, this one is, too -- it is no exception; it's only that this particular empire is on a historically unprecedentedly large scale, dominating all continents. Support that, and you're welcomed into the major (i.e., billionaire-backed) 'news' media in America, and in its allied countries. This is America's 'democracy' . (Of course, an article such as this one is not 'journalism' in America and its allied countries; it's merely "blogging." So, it won't be found there though it's being submitted everywhere. It will be accepted and published at only the honest news-sites. A reader may Web-search the headline here in order to find out which ones those are. Not many 'news'media report the institutionalized corruptness of the 'news'media; they just criticize one-another, in the way that the politicians do, which is bipartisan -- the bipartisan dictatorship. But the rot that's actually throughout the 'news'media, is prohibited to be reported about and published, in and by any of them. It is totally suppressed reality. Only the few honest news-sites will publish this information and its documentation, the links here.)
However, actually, the first time that the term either "neoconservatism" or "neo-conservatism" is known to have been used, was in the British magazine, The Contemporary Review , January 1883, by Henry Dunkley, in his "The Conservative Dilemma" where "neo-conservative" appeared 8 times, and was contrasted to traditional "conservatism" because, whereas the traditional type "Toryism" was pro-aristocratic, anti-democratic, and overtly elitist; the new type was pro-democratic, anti-aristocratic, and overtly populist (which no form of conservatism honestly is -- they're all elitist): "What is this new creed of yours? That there must be no class influence in politics? That any half-dozen hinds on my estate are as good as so many dukes? That the will of the people is the supreme political tribunal? That if a majority at the polls bid us abolish the Church and toss the Crown into the gutter we are forthwith to be their most obedient servants?" "No: from whatever point of view we consider the question, it is plain that the attempt to reconstruct the Tory party on a Democratic basis cannot succeed." "The Tories have always been adepts at conservation, but the things they have been most willing to conserve were not our liberties but the restrictions put upon our liberties." "The practical policy of Conservatism would not alter, and could not be altered much, but its pretensions would have to be pitched in a lower key." "Here we seem to get within the smell of soup, the bustle of evening receptions, and the smiles of dowagers. The cares which weigh upon this couple of patriot souls cannot be described as august. It is hardly among such petty anxieties that the upholders of the Empire and the pilots of the State are bred." "The solemn abjuration which is now proposed in the name of Neo-conservatism resembles a charge of dynamite." He viewed neo-conservatives as being let's-pretend populists, whose pretense at being democrats will jeopardize the Empire, not strengthen it. Empire, and its rightness, were so deeply rooted in the rulers' psyche, it went unchallenged. In fact, at that very time, in the 1880s, Sir Cecil Rhodes was busy creating the foundation for the UK-US empire that now controls most of the world .
The modern pro-Israel neoconservatism arose in the 1960s when formerly Marxist Jewish intellectuals in New York City and Washington DC, who were even more anti-communist than anti-nazi, became impassioned with the US empire being extended to the entire world by spreading 'democracy' (and protection of Israel) as if this Israel-protecting empire were a holy crusade not only against the Soviet Union, which was demonized by them, but against Islam, which also was demonized by them (since they were ethnocentric Jews and the people whose land the 'Israelis' had stolen were overwhelmingly Muslims -- and now were very second-class citizens in their own long-ancestral and also birth-land). This was how they distinguished themselves from "paleoconservatism" which wasn't nearly so Messianic, but which was more overtly ethnocentric, though ethnic Christian, instead of ethnic Jewish. The "paleoconservatives" were isolationists, not imperialists. They originated from the opponents of America's entry into WW II against the imperialists of that time, who were the fascists. Those American "isolationists" would have given us a world controlled by Hitler and his Axis allies. All conservatism is absurd, but there are many forms of it, none of which makes intelligent sense.
The roots of neoconservatism are 100% imperialistic, colonialist, supremacist, and blatantly evil. They hate Russia because they still crave to conquer it , and don't know how, short of nuclear annihilation, which would be extremely dangerous, even for themselves. So, they endanger everyone.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The U.S. has occasionally exerted pressure on democratic allies, but never treated them like servile pawns. Until now. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) and his wife Susan (R) wait to board a helicopter to the US embassy at the terminal at Baghdad International Airport on January 9, 2019.(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
January 17, 2020|
12:01 amTed Galen Carpenter A policy statement that the State Department issued on January 10 asserts that "America is a force for good in the Middle East." It adds, "We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq." Yet the Trump administration's recent conduct toward Iraq indicates a very different (and much uglier) policy. Washington is behaving like an impatient, imperial power that has concluded that an obstreperous colony requires a dose of corrective discipline.
Washington's late December airstrikes on Iraqi militia targets, in retaliation for the killing of an American civilian contractor working at a base in northern Iraq, greatly provoked the Iraqi government and population. Massive anti-American demonstrations erupted in several cities, and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad forced diplomats to take refuge in a special " safe room ."
The drone strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad a few days later was an even more brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty. Carrying out the assassination on Iraqi territory when Soleimani was there at the invitation of Prime Minister Adel Abdull Mahdi to discuss a new peace feeler from Saudi Arabia was especially clumsy and arrogant. It created suspicions that the United States was deliberately seeking to maintain turmoil in the Middle East to justify its continued military presence there. The killing of Soleimani (as well as two influential Iraqi militia leaders) led Iraq's government to pass a resolution calling on Mahdi to expel U.S. forces stationed in the country, and he promptly began to prepare legislation to implement that goal.
Trump's initial reaction to the prospect that Baghdad might order U.S. troops to leave was akin to a foreign policy temper tantrum. He threatened America's democratic ally with harsh economic sanctions if it dared to take that step. As Trump put it, "we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before, ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."
Over the following days, it became apparent that the sanctions threat was not just a spontaneous, intemperate outburst on the part of President Trump. Compelling Iraq to continue hosting U.S. forces was official administration policy. Senior officials from the Treasury Department and other agencies began drafting specific sanctions that could be imposed. Washington explicitly warned the Iraqi government that it could lose access to its account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Such a freeze would amount to financial strangulation of the country's already fragile economy.
U.S. arrogance towards Baghdad seems almost boundless. When Mahdi asked the administration to " prepare a mechanism " for the exit of American forces and commence negotiations towards that transition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flatly refused . Indeed, the State Department's January 10 statement made it clear that there would be no such discussions: "At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East."
Throughout the Cold War, U.S. leaders proudly proclaimed that NATO and other American-led alliances were voluntary associations of free nations. Conversely, the Warsaw Pact alliance of Eastern European countries formed in response to NATO was a blatantly imperial enterprise of puppet regimes under the Kremlin's total domination. Moscow's brutal suppression of even modest political deviations within its satellite empire helped confirm the difference. Soviet tanks rolled into East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush reform factions and solidify a Soviet military occupation. Even when the USSR did not resort to such heavy-handed measures, it was clear that the "allies" were on a very short leash.
Although the United States has occasionally exerted pressure on its allies when they've opposed its objectives, it has not attempted to treat democratic partners as servile pawns. That is why the Trump administration's current behavior towards Iraq is so troubling and exhibits such unprecedented levels of crudeness. America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully.
If Washington refuses to withdraw its forces from Iraq, defying the Baghdad government's calls to leave, those troops will no longer be guests or allies. They would constitute a hostile army of occupation, however elaborate the rhetorical facade.
At that point, America would no longer be a moral "force for good" in the Middle East or anywhere else. The United States would be behaving as an amoral imperial power imposing its authority on weaker democratic countries that dare adopt measures contrary to Washington's policy preferences. America might not yet have replaced the Soviet Union as (in Ronald Reagan's words) the "evil empire," but it will be disturbingly far along the path to that status.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative , is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs.
me • 2 days ago"America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully"?Gary Sellars me • a day ago
Its not a mere prospect, its history. The US has been a bully for many years, at least for the last 20 years, if not more.
It is 100% irrelevant what American think of their "moral standing" in the world. In terms of foreign policy, it only matter what OTHER countries think, right or wrong. The rest of the world already think the US govt is a bully. The fact that Trump, became president is simply the icing on the big reveal cake. Yes, foreign powers helped Trump win the election, but that was simply an effect on the margin. The majority of Trump supporters do not need Russian interference to be swayed by him. Trump action embodies that which his supports wanted for many many years.
What Trump has done is give foreign allies something tangible, indisputable proof to point to, every time the US come knocking on their door ask for help on "this", "that" and the "other thing". From now on, they will make sure the get favorable terms in writing, rather than verbal agreements.Upvoted, even though you repeat the BS allegations of Russian "interference". Social media traffic mining by a privately-owned clickbait operation and an email leak to Wikileaks from the DNC by a disgruntled insider is not "Russian interference". A handful of FB ads taken out both before and after the elections, and slamming BOTH trump and Shrillary is likewise evidence of nothing.John Mann Gary Sellars • a day ago
"Russiagate" is a hoax, a monumental LIE foisted onto the US public by a vengeful Democrat party, their political-appointees within government agencies, the corporate media and the Deep State reptiles who need eternal hostility to Russia to justify the $1T per annum gravy train that so enriches them.Upvoted, even though your choice of description for the idiotic allegations of Russian interference is not appropriate for genteel society.Aker John Mann • 20 hours ago • editedRussiagate and other forms of Anti-Russian yapping are but an effort for a risingly dysfunctional society to blame outsiders for failure and dysfunction.
Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"The Marxist political parties, including the Social Democrats and their followers, had fourteen years to prove their abilities. The result is a heap of ruins. All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and uprooted nation.
In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron resolution and dogged perseverance. Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism. Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.
Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and sick. The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative."
Adolf Hitler, Radio Appeal to the German People, February 1, 1933
"Both religion and socialism thus glorify weakness and need. Both recoil from the world as it is: tough, unequal, harsh. Both flee to an imaginary future realm where they can feel safe. Both say to you. Be a nice boy. Be a good little girl. Share. Feel sorry for the little people. And both desperately seek someone to look after them -- whether it be God or the State.
A thriving upper class accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings, who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings,to slaves, to instruments... One cannot fail to see in all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blond beast, prowling about avidly in search of spoil and victory; this hidden core needs to erupt from time to time, the animal has to get out again and go back to the wilderness."
"At a certain point in their historical cycles, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties, in their particular organisational bias, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by their class as their own, and representing their interests. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous, because the field is open for violent solutions, for the activities of unknown forces, represented by charismatic 'men of destiny' [demagogues].
The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1930-35
"Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."
Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable
"The more power a government has the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects."
R. J. Rummel, Death by Government: A History of Mass Murder and Genocide Since 1900
"This is as old as Babylon, and evil as sin. It is the power of the darkness of the world, and of spiritual wickedness in high places. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past, or in a book, or in some vaguely frightening prophecy -- it is happening here and now."
"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Plunder, rape, and murder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.
And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."
Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.
American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."
Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check
"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."
"We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.
If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Wezz Gary Sellars • a day ago"Russiagate is a hoax" Where did I hear that before?Antiphon Wezz • a day ago
Oh yes, from Trump about 1000 times... strange that even though he said he was innocent he had to keep telling us every time he opened his mouth... it makes me suspicious for some reason. That and the fact that Trump has been caught lying a few times.I usually assess the validity of such claims on something more substantial than OrangeManBad.Aker Wezz • a day ago • editedYour hatred of Russia is hilarious. Doubly when Amerilards have a history of interference in other country's governments.Aker Aker • 20 hours ago • edited
America is objectively a more violent country than Russia. It isn't Russia that has ridicously high violent crime scores despite its wealth. Invaded Afghanistan, attacked Iraq, provided aid for Islamists who'd go on to build ISIS.
I don't recall Putin's regime achieving a higher bodycount than America under Bush with Obama. Keep pretending Putin's some villain from childish stories like Harry Potter or Black Panther.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...thelastindependentYankee Aker • 6 hours ago
America's homicide level is Notably higher than West Europe's and Far Eastern lands like Japan. Russia's is only somewhat higher, and is notably less wealthy.The Gulags were resorts I know.Aker thelastindependentYankee • 4 hours agoTell us when you plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay and end your dysfunctional prison system. Also, Murica supported enough regimes.EliteCommInc. Wezz • 21 hours agoIt would be interesting if had as much veracity as a hoax ---Aker Wezz • 20 hours ago
but it lacks even that.https://www.washingtontimes...John Mann Wezz • 12 hours ago
Apologize for American interference in other countries' governments.A stopped clock is right twice a day. Hey, Saddam Hussein turned out to be telling the truth about WMDs.Aker Gary Sellars • 20 hours agoIt's an attempt to assuage a failed presidential candidate and give a target to blame for how society is. If not Trump himself, then Russia.
Jan 15, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
January 17 marks the 59th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation. After eight years in the White House, just three days before John F. Kennedy would be sworn in as his successor, Ike went on national television and touched on many topics, from promoting the economy to working with Congress.
Yet the heart of his speech was a finely chiseled critique of what he dubbed the "military-industrial complex." This criticism was all the more remarkable, of course, because Eisenhower had been a career military man. Having graduated from West Point in 1915, he had served in the U.S. Army for more than three decades, through two world wars, ultimately rising to the rank of five-star general.
Yet on January 17, 1961, Ike said: "Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea." He continued: "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government."
By then 70 years old, Ike was no born-again pacifist. He quickly added of the military's enlarging, "We recognize the imperative need for this development." That imperative, of course, was the Cold War, the seemingly permanent eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation of two countries, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., each glaring at the other with ideological hostility tipped with nuclear technology.
In response to the Soviet threat, Ike had maintained the Cold War structures he had inherited from his predecessor in the Oval Office, Harry Truman. In fact, throughout the 1950s, defense spending hovered around 10 percent of GDP (by comparison, the current percentage is less than four).
In addition, Ike's America maintained substantial garrisons in Western Europe and Japan. At the same time, and more precariously, U.S. troops, advisers, and operatives fanned out across the globe, including to Lebanon, South Vietnam, and Iran.
In his speech, Eisenhower made no apology for his role in the further freezing of the Cold War. Yet he still urged caution as to the potential ill effects of cold warring on the home front: "We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society."
Then came the money sentences: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Those three key words, "military-industrial complex," rocketed through the national consciousness. Eisenhower had long been a popular figure on the center-right; in addition to his leadership role in World War II, he had written a best-selling memoir and had won two national landslides in the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections -- even as the left had dismissed him. Yet now, with those three words, Eisenhower gained the proverbial "strange new respect" among intellectuals, who mostly leaned left. Indeed, the phrase "military-industrial complex" has become a favored catchphrase for leftists, anti-militarists, and anyone else looking for evocative shorthand.
In fact, we all need a phrase that captures the immensity of the military establishment. The budget of the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal year 2020 will be about $718 billion ; DoD directly employs 1.3 million men and women in active duty, as well as more than 700,000 civilian employees. (Another 800,000 serve in the National Guard and reserves.)
In addition, millions more work for the DoD as private-sector vendors, from those who build ships and airplanes to the contractor who was killed near Kirkuk, Iraq, on December 27.
Indeed, the huge Pentagon budget doesn't fully capture the true scale of the military-industrial complex. To get a better measure, we should also include portions of other agencies harboring substantial military elements, including the CIA, NASA, and the departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Energy (the last of which manages the nuclear stockpile).
As Eisenhower cautioned in his speech, "We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." So yes, Eisenhower was a vigorous leader in the Cold War competition, yet at the same time he was a citizen before he was a soldier, rightfully concerned with protecting our small-r republican institutions from "unwarranted influence."
During his time in the White House, the 34th president demonstrated his prudence. As historian Walter M. Hudson recently noted in The American Interest , after the Russians launched their Sputnik satellite in 1957 -- thus opening up a newer and higher frontier to geopolitical competition -- Ike did not respond with a big defense buildup. He boosted NASA, of course, yet skipping past the Pentagon, he also pushed for a substantial increase in federal aid to education.
In other words, the old Army man was thinking about the future, when struggles, and perhaps wars, would be waged with spaceships and computers, as opposed to infantrymen and tanks. Hudson explains Ike's thoughtful budget priorities as follows: "Ike's decision was consistent with his 'Great Equation' strategy that long predated Sputnik's blips. Running for the presidency in 1952, he set forth the formula to his friend Lucius Clay: 'Spiritual force multiplied by economic force multiplied by military force is roughly equivalent to security. If any one of those factors fell to zero, or nearly so, the resulting product does likewise.'"
In Eisenhower's "Great Equation," we can see a strategic mind at work: American strength must rely on more than just weaponry; the nation needed to maintain as well its economic and spiritual health. Long before the term was coined, Ike was a believer in "soft power" -- as well as, of course, the "hard power" of firepower.
Six decades later, we must ask ourselves: is the Great Equation still in place? As a nation, are we maintaining all the components of power -- military, economic, and spiritual -- in proper balance? And as we search for the right answer, we might pause over one subtlety in the Eisenhower equation: per the rules of multiplication, if any one of the three components falls to zero, then the product is zero, regardless of the size of the other two components.
So today, as we think about the Greater Middle East, where the U.S. is involved in a half-dozen conflicts, are we satisfied that all of our equation components -- including the meta-component of wisdom -- are being properly understood and utilized?
Many argue that, in fact, U.S. policy has been reduced to just one component -- the military. That is, whom can we threaten, bomb, or occupy?
This over-militarization of policy was ably chronicled in Dana Priest's 2003 book , The Mission Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military . The author describes a Pentagon that had grown so powerful bureaucratically that it had overwhelmed the State Department -- and nowhere more so than in the Middle East.
This disparity starts with visuals: the generals arrive in style, swooping in on military aircraft, resplendent in their uniforms, greeted by the pomp and circumstance of salutes and reviews, bearing PowerPoints of cool new weapons systems to buy and perhaps use. By contrast, unadorned Foreign Service officers tend to plunk along on civilian flights, typically talking only of caution and mediation.
As a result, the center of policy gravity for the Middle East has shifted from Foggy Bottom to the five-sided building across the Potomac, and from there to Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and from there to myriad Centcom outposts 7,000 miles distant. As they say, if you're a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail -- and the Pentagon is one big hammer.
We can observe that this militarization had been building up long prior to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which began two presidencies ago. Indeed, the militarizing process has been both deep-rooted and bipartisan. And this, of course, is the sort of long-term transformation that Eisenhower warned against.
The argument here is not for a cut in the Pentagon's budget or for an increase in the State Department's budget. Instead, we need something more fundamental -- a national conversation about true national security. As Ike said in that fabled address, "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Assuring that security and liberty "may prosper together" -- Eisenhower's message is as important today as it was then. about the author
James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a regular panelist on the Fox "News Watch" show, the highest-rated media-critique show on television. He is a former columnist for Newsday, and is the editor of SeriousMedicineStrategy.org. He has written for publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The Huffington Post , and The Jerusalem Post . He is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead (Hyperion: 1995). He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns. In 2008 he served as a senior adviser to the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. Married to the former Elizabeth Dial, he is a graduate of Stanford University.
kouroi • 5 hours agoGosh, but we still have to privatize, several economies (China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc.) for the benefit of Wall Street et. comp. How can we do that without DoD...?
Chuckles John Achterhof • 3 days agoJust to be clear, it's documented that Ike's first draft had Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex; aides convinced him to cut that out, which is sad because it's key. Defense contractors always spread out their facilities to different states andDavid Naas • 3 days ago
Congressional districts. Jobs!I Like Ike.polistra24 • 3 days ago
Always did, even as I recall when he was in the White House. In his time, the Right gnashed their teeth at his "liberalism", and the Left gnashed their teeth art his "conservatism".
His equation anchored on "spiritual". In Ike's view, America was an agency for Good, or at least aspired to be. Today, all of our "leaders" echo the words of Templeton (the Rat) in Charlotte's Web -- "What's in it for me?" And goodness is not even given the homage of hypocrisy.Thanks for bringing out the equation. I'd never heard of it before! Putin understands it and uses it. We lost it a long time ago.Chuckles • 3 days agoIke was likely familiar with General Smedley D. Butler (USMC) seminal work War is a Racket , and bought into at least some it.
Jan 18, 2020 | www.amazon.com
Hugh Claffey , December 9, 2012Book published in 2003, still very relevantSir Charles Panther , February 27, 2006
I read David Halberstam's `War in a Time of Peace' and this seemed like a good continuation. Halbersam covers the Bush 1, Clinton period, in retrospect an idyllic period. This book transitions through 9/11, but really covers the development of the Combatant Commander for the US Military in the various areas of the world - Pacific Command, Central Command etc. It does cover the successful invasion of Afghanistan, it covers conflicts in Kosova, Columbia and relationships in the Middle East and Asia. It doesn't cover the Iraq invasion or subsequent failures.
I was particularly struck by the contrast between the resources available for the military commanders in various countries, and the US ambassadors to the same countries. The commanders can have transport and material resources which are an order of magnitude away from the civilians, and therefore the local politicians/dictators get the message that the US relationship is mainly a military one. Priest gives a good overview, especially in the Kosovo, of the power and limitations of the military-only relationship. She also concludes that even the military must take some part in peace-making and low level nation-building, but the bigger story in that the US, by virtue of its size and power, must take a nation-development role if it hopes to avoid having a low-level war with the developing world for generations to come. In fact the situation has probably got clearly since, and the current debate about leaving Afghanistan and non-intervention in Syria, makes this book appear prophetic.
Lastly there are remarkable portraits of Generals Zinni and Blair who were combatant commanders in the Central and Pacific commands during this time period. The contrast between their power and status when in the military and their post-military career is significant (though not mentioned in the book), Zinni was messed about when proposed but eventually not selected as ambassador to Saudia Arabia, Blair was later director of National Intelligence in the Obama White House, but was could not get along in that particular fishbowl and was fired in mid 2010.An Adequate Overview, yet Factually Incorrect, Fundamentally Flawed
Overall, this book is a basic overview of the structure and operation of the US armed forces theater commands in the final days of their power and prestige, before the Bush administration centralized control, power, prestige, decision- and policy-making to Washington, DC. It is a view of the last great days of the regional Commanders-in-Chief, the CINCs, and their geographically-oriented theater commands of immense space, scope, power and influence.
My criticism of this book is straightforward and simple, yet speaks directly to the overall character and accuracy of this work: Dana Priest is grossly incorrect in her statements, and therefore in the conclusions she makes, specifically in Chapter Ten, "The Indonesian Handshake." I was intimately and directly involved in the entire episode, and it did not unfold as she describes.
I quote from page 230: "Meanwhile, since January 1998, seven intelligence analysts at the 'Joint Intelligence Center Pacific' (JIC), the world largest military-intelligence center, in a windowless concrete building near (US Pacific Command CINC, Admiral Dennis) Blair's headquarters in Hawaii, had tracked the movements of Indonesian military and militia forces in East Timor and Indonesia. The Indonesia desk in the JIC had grown from one to nine persons and maintained a round-the-clock 'crisis action' mode. Over the preceding year, the analysts had received a tenfold increase in imagery and a fivefold increase in electronic collection. It was actually too much to process."
First of all, Priest blows the name of the institution she's describing. It's the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, or JICPAC (now Joint Intelligence Operations Center, Pacific, or JIOC-PAC). Second, the "Indonesia desk" implies a single person monitoring this country. That was never the case, as a team of at least five analysts had always been assigned to maritime Southeast Asia. Suharto's 1998 fall had ramped up both Pacific Command's and JICPAC's attention to Indonesia, and the scheduled elections of mid-1999 and following East Timor referendum were anticipated months in advance, with commensurate analytical adjustments and assignments. Newly assigned to the Pacific Command intelligence directorate, I was detailed to JICPAC personally by the Pacific Command Director for Intelligence, Rear Admiral Rick Porterfield to assist in this effort.
I was one of two US Army Foreign Area Officers (FAOs) assigned to this issue. I had just completed five years of training in Southeast Asia, with an International Studies masters degree, both Indonesian and Malaysian language training, and attendance at the 1998 class of the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College. My partner was an Indonesian staff college graduate. We two Southeast Asia FAOs, both senior US Army majors, were the officers in charge. I was the Chief of the East Timor Crisis Cell for the entire period of the East Timor crisis, and I take immense pride in the work that I and especially my analysts performed during this period. This was the best analytical team I've ever worked with, experienced, highly intellectual, eager, motivated, and thoroughly familiar with the issue at hand, as well as all of the related regional and functional issues. They performed brilliantly in an extended crisis mode.
At no time was the information we were requesting and receiving "too much to process." Early on, Admiral Blair and Rear Admiral Porterfield recognized the potential for unrest and crisis, and supported all command activities to prepare for all possible outcomes, which we explored and analyzed continuously. I and my people updated both leaders daily with briefings, papers, and direct consultation, which increased in frequency, intensity and scope as events unfolded. We aggressively worked with all relevant and engaged national-level agencies and elements for our intelligence collection requirements, and based upon national-level reconciliation we were given what was available and appropriate to the situation. Yes, we were receiving increased collection and reporting, through all intelligence disciplines and channels, not merely the ones Priest cites. At no time was anything we were doing or being asked to do too much for us to process. At no time was the information that we were requesting from national-level intelligence collection too much for us to process. The support we received from the commanding officer of JICPAC, now Marine Major General Mike Ennis, was outstanding in every possible way. He supported our needs and actions personally and fully, a consummate professional and directly engaged commanding officer. Whatever resources and assets we requested, he personally attended to those needs, immediately.
I challenge Ms. Priest to name the source(s) who provided such grossly incorrect information. I was present in Hawaii as she did her research there, and at no time were either my FAO partner or I contacted to discuss our roles in the crisis.
I offer a highly telling anecdote which illustrates Ms. Priest's qualifications to write on this specific issue: Upon entering JICPAC for the very first time, Ms. Priest asked informally and good-naturedly of her escorts, "Why is the Australian flag flying outside?" Well, yes, both Pacific Command and JICPAC work very closely with our Australian partners, always have, and enjoy doing so immensely. But JICPAC does not fly a foreign flag from its quarterdeck. Of course, Ms. Priest had mistaken the Hawaiian flag with its Union Jack in the upper left corner as the Australian flag, telling the JICPAC intelligence specialists, researchers, and analysts more than enough about her familiarity with Pacific Command, showing a small yet true measure of the depth of expertise and background knowledge she brought to her work in the US Pacific Command theater.
Bottom Line: Take this book as a historical account of the now-gone days of the power and prestige of the theater commands, a late 90s snapshot. That being said, the book is fundamentally flawed and factually incorrect, at least as far as Chapter Ten reads. I cannot speak for the remainder of the work, but my direct and intimate experience with the events she grossly incorrectly describes here is more than enough for me to dismiss this book in its entirety.
Eric Johnson December 12, 2003
Dana Priest is a well-respected journalist with the Washington Post and a frequent guest on NBC's "Meet the Press." She specializes on military and intelligence topics, so it was with great interest that I read her book "The Mission". Her thesis, that the US military is playing an ever increasing role in US foreign policy matters and that the nation is becoming dependent on the military's presence in foreign affairs, could not be more timely.
She presents her argument via a series of vignettes which cover senior military leaders as well as a broad spectrum of recent military operations. She primarily writes from the military's perspective and its impact on foreign policy. The profiles of the four, 4-star commanders provide the reader with a sense of the situation each commander faced in 1999 and how their ideals influenced not only their area of responsibility but also our foreign affairs. Priest chronicles our military activities with examples that range from major operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans, our covert drug war in South America, and the relatively unnoticed actions in Nigeria and Indonesia. Her stories capture the military's struggle to achieve success across the entire spectrum of operations.
She does a good job of stating her argument and offers varied examples of where the military is setting the foreign policy agenda. Unfortunately, the book does little more to move into an analysis of US foreign policy decision making beyond the military's impact nor does it make recommendations for changes to better the current situation. The book seemed to be more of a compilation of "reports from the field" than an analysis of foreign policy decision making and the military's role in it. I suppose the author's goals and my expectations were decidedly different but I expected more from this book.
I feel her point would have benefited from a comparison of the State Dept's and the DoD's role in US foreign policy making. She also needed to consider the contributions of non-governmental organizations to the foreign policy equation. Additionally, if the author thinks we are becoming reliant on the military to conduct foreign policy, she should include recommendations to counter that reliance. I enjoyed reading the well-written vignettes, thought this is a great introduction on the topic of political-military relations as it impacts foreign affairs, but would like to see more analysis and less story-telling.
A worthwhile read.
Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sasha , Jan 18 2020 18:41 utc | 158From those muds...these mires...
Reinhard Gehlen: the Nazi father of the CIA
Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com
Peripatetic Commenter , says: Show Comment January 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm GMTI don't think it will be long before we see Congress in the US calling for invasion of Russia on the grounds of a lack of diversity, lack of respect for LGBTP and so forth.
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm
Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.
A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.
The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.
drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm
Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.
Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.
If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.
Jan 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Northern StarJanuary 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm
Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Krollchem , Jan 15 2020 7:25 utc | 135Good (long) discussion with Tulsi who talks IRAN with Guests Stephen Kinzer & Dennis Kucinich - Intro by Kim Iversen - Concord, NH
Bernie , Jan 15 2020 8:04 utc | 137Gen Wesley Clark on US going to war in 7 countries in 5 yrs. This is an interesting YouTube video. It's not if we go to war with Iraq...but when. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc/div>
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:48 pm
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:55 pm
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:48 pm
- Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
... ... ...
Courtesy of Bloomberg :
"U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter
Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there."
So how exactly does Russia, in a scene straight out of A Clockwork Orange, tap into the frontal lobe section of the U.S. electorate and cause them to lose all confidence in their political favorites?
"A signature trait of Russian President Vladimir Putin 'is his ability to convince people of outright falsehoods,' William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said in a statement. 'In America, [the Russians are] using social media and many other tools to inflame social divisions, promote conspiracy theories and sow distrust in our democracy and elections.'"
Yes, somehow those dastardly Russians have outsmarted the brightest and best-paid political strategists in Washington, D.C. by brandishing what amounts to some really persuasive memes over social media, and for just rubles on the dollar. The techies at Wired went so far as to call this epic assault on the fragile American cranium, "meme warfare to divide America." By way of evidence, it cited a very creative meme that screamed, "F*CK THE ELECTIONS," which was intended, as the ironclad argument goes, to cause a number of impressionable Americans to throw up their hands in a fit of collective exasperation and say, 'Ok, that's it. I'm staying at home on Election Day.'
Yes, it's really that easy! Imagine all the money the Russians and their radical new political technologies could have saved guys like casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, who showered the Trump campaign with $100 million dollars.
Many of those divisive Russian messages wormed their way onto Facebook, purportedly, where God only knows how many voter brains' turned to maggots and mush just staring at them. Yet one individual who actually recalls seeing one or two of these dangerous memes was Rob Goldman, former Vice President for Advertising on Facebook, who revealed via Twitter, another infected social media platform, some interesting information:
"Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal ."
Clearly, Goldman seems to have been under the sway of some folk Russian brainwashing technique, probably passed down from the time of Rasputin. In any case, Donald Trump himself took great satisfaction from that particular revelation, retweeting it to his millions of minions.
Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.-- Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018
Incidentally, it may or may not be relevant, but Goldman retired from Facebook in October 2019 after seven years with the company.Russia, the gift that keeps on giving
Not only have the Democrats been able to use the Russia bogeyman as their excuse for losing the White House in 2016, they are able to summon this distant nuclear power whenever they wish to curb internet freedoms, which is pretty much every day now.
Now, fun-loving memes are under attack and may soon go the way of the DoDo bird ("A small office of Russian trolls could derail 241 years of U.S. political history with a handful of dank memes and an advertising budget that would barely buy you a billboard in Brooklyn," screamed insanely The Guardian ). At the same time, the freedom of speech is getting destroyed by vapid accusations of 'hate speech,' which, unless used to incite violence, is a totally meaningless term used to eliminate any conversation that is undesirable to the elite.
Meanwhile, only the mainstream media these days are permitted to dabble in 'conspiracy theories' even as their own false narratives have contributed to the pulverization of entire nations, as was the case in Iraq, for example, which sustained a full-blown U.S. military invasion in 2003 following debunked claims that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction. That was the mother of all conspiracy theories that was pushed unchallenged by the mainstream media.
So back to Joe Biden.
Do intelligent Americans really need help from Russia to prove that just maybe the former Vice President is mentally and physically unfit to stand for the White House? Probably not. From whispering sweet nothings into the ears of any female within groping distance, to sucking on his wife's fingertips at a political rally, something just doesn't seem altogether right upstairs with Joe Biden. So what is the real story for dragging Russia, once again, into the internal swamp pit known as Washington, D.C.?
The Bloomberg article provides a big hint: "This time around, the narrative about Biden and Ukraine is well-publicized and being advanced by Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the president's Republican allies in Congress."
And that "narrative" has everything to do with not only the Democrats' frozen impeachment proceedings against the U.S. leader, which promises to have major connections to Ukraine, Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and quite possibly dozens of other top Democrats. In other words, the Democrats understand that pushing ahead with impeachment could be their ultimate downfall.
Although few Americans seem to remember that back in May of 2019, Trump granted U.S. Attorney General William Barr "full and complete authority" to investigate exactly how claims that Trump was 'conspiring with the Kremlin' in the 2016 presidential election had originated, the Democrats certainly have not.
Their bogus 'Russian collusion' claim provided the rationale for a four-year-long 'witch hunt' that began when the Democrats, relying on the flimsy findings contained in the so-called 'Steele dossier, managed to get approval from the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign. Now, some top-ranking Democrats – never imagining Hillary Clinton would actually lose in 2016 – are understandably nervous as to what Barr and his assistant, federal attorney John Durham will divulge to the public in the coming months.
With so much riding on the line in 2020 , is anyone surprised that Bloomberg, the news affiliate owned and operated by Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg, is now reporting "U.S. officials are warning that Russia's election interference in 2020 could be more brazen than in the 2016 presidential race or the 2018 midterm election."
In other words, the racist ploy used by Democrats to explain their monumental defeat in 2016 did not end with the Mueller Report.
The conspiracy theory, promulgated by a media that is in effect just another branch of the Democratic National Committee, is being primed to explain not only possible criminal charges aimed at top Democrats in the coming months, but how Democrats, like Michael Bloomberg, failed once again to beat the seemingly unstoppable incumbent, Donald Trump. Tags Politics
https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4879&num_ads=18&cf=1258.5.zerohedge%20190919 Close Comments
Advertising: Click here
Abuse/Complaints: firstname.lastname@example.org Suggested Reading Make sure to read our "How To [Read/Tip Off] Zero Hedge Without Attracting The Interest Of [Human Resources/The Treasury/Black Helicopters]" Guide
How to report offensive comments
Notice on Racial Discrimination . Copyright ©2009-2020 ZeroHedge.com/ABC Media, LTD Want more of the news you won't get anywhere else? Thank you for subscribing! Something went wrong. Please refresh and try again. Sign up now and get a curated daily recap of the most popular and important stories delivered right to your inbox. Please enter a valid email
Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Jan 15 2020 8:54 utc | 139Posted by: V | Jan 15 2020 5:15 utc | 127
Oh, we'll spend the money alright;
$37 screws, a $7,622 coffee maker, $640 toilet seats; : suppliers to our military just won't be oversold
DOD and HUD $21 Trillion Missing Money: Report & Supporting Documentation
Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
b , Jan 15 2020 19:40 utc | 175woah
WaPo: Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn'tThe U.S. effort to coerce European foreign policy through tariffs, a move one European official equated to "extortion," represents a new level of hardball tactics with the United States' oldest allies, underscoring the extraordinary tumult in the transatlantic relationship.
U.S. officials conveyed the threat directly to officials in London, Berlin and Paris rather than through their embassies in Washington, said a senior European official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations.
Kadath , Jan 15 2020 20:05 utc | 179Yes the US extorted their own "allies" to get them to betray Iran and destroy their own reputations. I must say the one thing i begrudgingly like about Trump is his honest upfront thuggist actions. After the backroom betrayals of Obama bush clinton merkel and the rest its almost refreshingly honest. Also i can think of no quicker way of destroying the US empire than by threatening your own allies the MIC must be desperate to start a new never ending war, although perhaps they should be careful of what they wish for
Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 8 2020 16:32 utc | 105Trump is such a douchebag. He claims there were no lives lost due to their "early warning system" -- no mention that the "early warning system" was a phone call!
Now he's once again justifying assassination, etc.
pretzelattack , Jan 8 2020 16:39 utc | 110there was no "better choice" between trump and clinton. i still think clinton represented a greater danger than trump of getting into a war with russia, but they are both warmongers first class. for our next election, we may have a choice between ebola and flesh eating bacteria, or brain cancer and leprosy. if the game is rigged there's no winning it playing by the game's "rules".
Jan 12, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
likbez , January 12, 2020 5:30 pm
Everyone keeps dancing around it: Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. Who profits from Peace? Who does not?
The killing of Soleimani, while a tragic even with far reaching consequences, is just an illustration of the general rule: MIC does not profit from peace. And MIC dominates any national security state, into which the USA was transformed by the technological revolution on computers and communications, as well as the events of 9/11.
The USA government can be viewed as just a public relations center for MIC. That's why Trump/Pompeo/Esper/Pence gang position themselves as rabid neocons, which means MIC lobbyists in order to hold their respective positions. There is no way out of this situation. This is a classic Catch 22 trap.
The fact that a couple of them are also "Rapture" obsessed religious bigots means that the principle of separation of church and state does no matter when MIC interests are involved.
The health of MIC requires maintaining an inflated defense budget at all costs. Which, in turn, drives foreign wars and the drive to capture other nations' resources to compensate for MIC appetite. The drive which is of course closely allied with Wall Street interests (disaster capitalism.)
In such conditions fake "imminent threat" assassinations necessarily start happening. Although the personality of Pompeo and the fact that he is a big friend of the current head of Mossad probably played some role.
It's really funny that Trump (probably with the help of his "reference group," which includes Adelson and Kushner), managed to appoint as the top US diplomat a person who was trained as a mechanic engineer and specialized as a tank repair mechanic. And who was a long-time military contractor. So it is quite natural that he represents interests of MIC.
IMHO under Trump/Pompeo/Esper trio some kind of additional skirmishes with Iran are a real possibility: they are necessary to maintain the current inflated level of defense spending.
State of the US infrastructure, the actual level of unemployment (U6 is ~7% which some neolibs call full employment ;-), and the level of poverty of the bottom 33% of the USA population be damned. Essentially the bottom 33% is the third world country within the USA.
"If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans
The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year. "
( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/income-inequality-crisis_n_4221012 )
Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Jan 12 2020 8:46 utc | 389Tulsi Gabbard:
When the bullets start flying and the bombs start dropping, terrible things can happen that no one has planned for. This is one of the great tragedies of war. Unintended consequences and so-called "collateral damage."
Jan 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jen , Jan 10 2020 19:30 utc | 1The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. It's as if the entire capital city of the US has become a mental asylum / Hotel California , where one can enter but never leave spiritually and morally, though one can take many physical trips in and out of the madhouse.
Iraq definitely does need the S-300 missile defense systems. The most pressing issue though is whether the Iraqis will suffer the delays Syria suffered in acquiring those systems even after paying for them.
Time now is of the essence. Iraqi operators need to be trained in those systems. Syria may be able to supply some training but at the risk of letting down its guard in sending some of its operators to Baghdad and exposing them to US drone attacks.
Jan 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded
Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is following Iraq's Parliament decision to remove all foreign forces from Iraq. But his request for talks with the U.S. about the U.S. withdrawal process was answered with a big "F*** You":Iraq's caretaker prime minister asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department on Friday bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to "recommit" to their partnership.
Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the capital and southern Iraq, many calling on both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting anger and frustration over the two rivals -- both Baghdad's allies -- trading blows on Iraqi soil.
The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said.
He asked Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism" to carry out the Iraqi Parliament's resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.
"The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements," the statement added.
The Associated Press errs when it says that the move was "stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani". The move was stoked five days earlier when the U.S. killed 31 Iraqi security forces near the Syrian border despite the demands by the Iraqi prime minister and president not to do so. It was further stoked when the U.S. assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes , the deputy commander of the Popular Militia Forces and a national hero in Iraq.
The State Department issued a rather aggressive response to Abdul-Mahdi's request:
Cont. reading: In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded
Mar 25, 2013 | fpif.orgWhen the United States, the United Kingdom, and the "coalition of the willing" attacked Iraq in March 2003, millions protested around the world. But the war of "shock and awe" was just the beginning. The subsequent occupation of Iraq by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority bankrupted the country and left its infrastructure in shambles.
It's not just a question of security. Although the breathtaking violence that attended Iraq's descent into sectarian nightmare has been well documented in many retrospectives on the 10-year-old war, what's often overlooked is that by far more mundane standards, the United States did a spectacularly poor job of governing Iraq.
It's not that Iraq was flourishing before the occupation. From 1990 to 2003, the UN Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq that were the harshest in the history of global governance. But along with the sanctions, at least, came an elaborate system of oversight and accountability that drew in the Security Council, nine UN agencies, and General Secretary himself.
The system was certainly imperfect, and the effects of the sanctions on the Iraqi people were devastating. But when the United States arrived, all semblance of international oversight vanished.
Under enormous pressure from Washington, in May 2003 the Security Council formally recognized the occupation of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Resolution 1483. Among other things, this resolution gave the CPA complete control over all of Iraq's assets.
At the same time, the Council removed all the forms of monitoring and accountability that had been in place: there would be no reports on the humanitarian situation by UN agencies, and there would be no committee of the Security Council charged with monitoring the occupation. There would be a limited audit of funds, after they were spent, but no one from the UN would directly oversee oil sales. And no humanitarian agencies would ensure that Iraqi funds were being spent in ways that benefitted the country.
In January 2003, the UN prepared a working plan anticipating the impact of a possible war. Even with only "medium impact" from the invasion, the UN expected that humanitarian conditions would be severely compromised.
Because the Iraqi population was so heavily reliant on the government's food distribution system (a consequence of international sanctions), the UN anticipated that overthrowing the Iraqi regime would also undermine food security. And because the population already suffered from extensive malnutrition, this disruption would be quite lethal, putting 30 percent of Iraqi children under five at risk of death. The UN noted that if water and sewage treatment plants were damaged in the war, or if the electrical system could not operate, Iraqis would lose access to potable water, which would likely precipitate epidemics of water-borne diseases. And if electricity, transportation, and medical equipment were compromised, then the medical system would be unable to respond effectively to these epidemics.
During the occupation, much of this came to pass. A June 2003 UN report noted that the postwar water and sewage systems for Baghdad and other central and southern governorates were "in crisis." In Baghdad alone, the report estimated that 40 percent of the city's water distribution network was damaged, leading to a loss of up to half of the city's potable water through leaks and breaks in the system. And direr still, the UN reported that neither of Baghdad's two sewage treatment plants was functional, leading to a massive discharge of raw sewage into the Tigris River.
The food situation was similar. The UN found that farming had collapsed due to "widespread insecurity and looting, the complete collapse of ministries and state agencies -- the sole providers of essential farming inputs and services -- together with significant damages to power supplies."
Likewise, the health system deteriorated dramatically. Less than 50 percent of the Iraqi population had access to medical care, due in part to the dangers associated with travel. Additionally, the report estimated that 75 percent of all health-care institutions were affected by the looting and chaos that occurred in the aftermath of the war. As of June 2003, the health system as a whole was functioning at 30-50 percent of its pre-war capacity. The impact was immediate. By early summer, acute malnutrition rates had doubled, dysentery was widespread, and little medical care was available. In August, when a power outage blacked out New York, the joke going around Baghdad was "I hope they're not waiting for the Americans to fix it."
The CPA gave responsibility for humanitarian relief to the U.S. military -- not to agencies with experience in humanitarian crises -- and marginalized the UN's humanitarian relief agencies. Over the 14-month course of the CPA's administration, the humanitarian crisis worsened. Preventable diseases like dysentery and typhoid ran rampant. Malnutrition worsened, claiming the lives of ever more infants, mothers, and young children. All told, there was an estimated 100,000 "excess deaths" during the invasion and occupation -- well above and beyond the mortality rate under Saddam Hussein, even under international sanctions.
The CPA's priorities were clear. After the invasion, during the widespread looting and robbery, occupation authorities did little to protect water and sewage treatment plants, or even pediatric hospitals. By contrast, they provided immediate protection for the oil ministry offices, hired a U.S. company to put out oil field fires, and immediately provided protection for the oil fields as well.
In addition, the U.S.-led CPA was deeply corrupt. Much of Iraq's revenues, from oil sales or other sources, went to contracts with U.S. companies. Of contracts for more than $5 million, 74 percent went to U.S. companies, with most of the remainder going to U.S. allies. Only 2 percent went to Iraqi companies.
Over the course of the occupation, huge amounts of money simply disappeared. Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, received over 60 percent of all contracts paid for with Iraqi funds, although it was repeatedly criticized by auditors for issues of honesty and competence. In the last six weeks of the occupation, the United States shipped $5 billion of Iraqi funds, in cash, into the country, to be spent before the Iraqi-led government took over. Auditor reports indicated that Iraqi funds were systematically looted by the CPA officials: "One contractor received a $2 million payment in a duffel bag stuffed with shrink-wrapped bundles of currency," read one report . "One official was given $6.75 million in cash, and was ordered to spend it one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."
U.S. officials were apparently unconcerned about the gross abuses of the funds with which they were entrusted. In one instance, the CPA transferred some $8.8 billion of Iraqi money without any documentation as to how the funds were spent. When questioned about how the money was spent, Admiral David Oliver, the principal deputy for financial matters in the CPA, replied that he had "no idea" and didn't think it was particularly important. "Billions of dollars of their money?" he asked his interlocutor. "What difference does it make?"
In the end, none of this should be terribly surprising -- the corruption, the indifference to human needs, the singular concern with controlling Iraq's oil wealth. It was obvious from the moment that the Security Council, under enormous pressure from the United State, passed Resolution 1483.
By systematically removing nearly every form of oversight from their self-imposed administration of Iraq, the United States and its allies laid the foundation for the looting of an entire nation's wealth, abetted by their own wanton indifference to the needs and rights of Iraqis. Ten years after the start of the war, the CPA's disastrous governance of Iraq stands alongside the country's horrifying descent into violence as a dark legacy in its own right.
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgHarryOrd , Jan 9 2020 19:06 utc | 37Hi first time commenter on here.
With all that is happening in the U.S right now I can't help but think that it's past time for the people to reassert their power over the National security state, as unrealistic as that might sound.
The Anti war movement is ideologically divided between progressives and libertarian/paleoconservatives, so a political party would not likely be the answer.
Instead perhaps we should consider a grassroots movement to amend the constitution to guarantee U.S neutrality in world affairs (banning both the arming or financing of foreign belligerents) and to ban the Federal government from having a standing military force except in times of actual war. I don't know what chance either would have of actually being passed, but it might at least force a debate on these issues in a way that might resonate better with the average American. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Peace and Solidarity
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgRob , Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2There were also clear sightings of a missile to bring down TWA 800. Except it didn't. As an Navy Pilot , flight instructor and 737 captain this does not at 1st or 2nd glance appear to be a missile strike. Catastropic engine failure is my bet. They made most of the turn back to the airport before losing integrity or loss of thrust.
vk , Jan 10 2020 17:52 utc | 3US Claim of Ukrainian Boeing 737 Plane Being Hit by Missile Aims to Manipulate Stock Marketsninel , Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4On Wednesday, Boeing's shares plummeted by 2.3 percent ($3.4bn) after the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed in Tehran due to encountering a technical glitch.
On Thursday, the stock rose by 3 percent after unnamed Pentagon officials claimed that the Ukrainian passenger plane was most likely brought down by anti-aircraft missiles, and US President Donald Trump implicitly supported the claim. This has been read by analysists as an attempt to manipulate the stock market; a measure that would both overshadow Trump's failure in Iraq and save Boeing from bankruptcy.
Russia says no grounds to blame Iran for Ukrainian plane crash: TASS
I didn't find the article on TASS. Maybe it was in its Russian version, or in its TV/Radio/Podcast version.
I don't discard a terrorist attack from the inside, or sabotage of the plane by the Ukrainian government. What I think is missile attack can be pretty much discarded: the evidence the Iranians already have through their air control data discard any possibility, by sheer logic alone, that that was the case.
Unless, of course, the Iranians are lying. But then there isn't any cui bono for Iran to lie about it (if it was a mistake they wanted to cover, they could blame a random independent militia so as to give plausible deniability) with the technical malfunction argument, and now Russia's foreign minister Ryabkov is on the boat with it - so I don't see the cui bono for Russia either.A little guide to Iran's modern history.Per/Norway , Jan 10 2020 18:03 utc | 5
Perseus wore a magic cap so that the monsters he hunted down might not see him. Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran.Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 18:10 utc | 6
"Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran."
No, it is a lot easier than that.
Most of us dont get paid to post bs about the imperial enemies like you, and most off us still know how to use our brain.
That is it, nothing more nothing less.Rob@2 - What do you make of the loss of ADS-B? Could a catastrophic engine failure take out both power buses? The ADS-B transceiver? I know a the turbine blades turn into little missile blades when they decide to leave the engine, but I have no idea of the way power is transferred when either bus or the standby goes down. I assume automatic? Are the transfer switches anywhere near the engines? Does the APU automatically fire up? I assume the ADS-B box is in the electronics bay, but where is the antenna?karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 18:37 utc | 12
Thanks b! As I commented towards the end of the previous thread on this topic, the mundane evidence has already been shown. IMO, if a missile or bomb was employed, the Iranians would be yelling louder than anyone and the denials would be coming from BigLie Media instead of accusations. And as I answered psychohistorian, the massive coverage by BigLie media serves as narrative distraction from what's being obfuscated--casualties taken by Outlaw US Empire troops and the BDA presented by Iranian Military.
In that regard, The Saker's update sticks to the important facts of the now escalated ongoing war between Iran and the Evil Empire.Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 19:11 utc | 17
Sorry, but there's good reasons to suspect foul play - as I and others have explained on the last thread.pleasebeleafme , Jan 10 2020 19:12 utc | 18
1) Occurs as Iran is on brink of war with USA?; 2) Indications of USA using info war tactics; 3) airliner owner by Kolomoisky? 4) No communication with tower? 5) USA and Israel history of duplicity and narrative management (example: MH-17).
<> <> <> <>
Also: IMO it's dangerous for Iran to invite experts from a group of Western countries. What is likely to happen is that all the Western experts will be pressure to disagree with Iran's findings. CIA knows that people will believe the "group of experts!" over Iran.
!!I don't know how anal Iran is about keeping track of ordinance but they must be pretty certain as to whether they downed the plane or not! Looks like they are being transparent and open. If they come out of this proving engine failure or something else then this could be a great pr coup.Gary , Jan 10 2020 19:17 utc | 19
There would be a lot of egg on many faces trying to explain how the intelligence is wrong yet again. I look forward to watching trudeau walk that back. Hopefully!One explanation is the Boeing was used as a human shield, a military plane hides behind a slow moving plane when detected. The ukrainians did it with the MH17 and the israeli with the russian plane and tried it with the attack on damascus. In both cases there was a lot of dis-info and blaming right away. But the iranian would have known what the target was, and mentioned it, so very unlikely.Walter , Jan 10 2020 19:25 utc | 20
Another question is the possibility a smaller missile only damaged the plane, also very unlikely.
Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh exaggerates: "From a scientific viewpoint, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane."
"We can say that the airplane, considering the kind of the crash and the pilot's efforts to return it to Imam Khomeini airport, didn't explode in the air. So, the allegation that it was hit by missiles is totally ruled out," the official noted.Dude, when you're in Wyoming and see critter tracks down by the creek, you would assume it was Martians rather than antelope? Get real. The Ukie blew a crappy GE engine...they have this characteristic...TJ , Jan 10 2020 19:26 utc | 21
Stay real, use Occam's Razor + physical evidence. Otherwise it's distraction and TBS...@11 Ernesto Chekarlitozulu , Jan 10 2020 19:38 utc | 24
Craig Murray has been tracking a propagandist Wikipedia editor called "Philip Cross", here is the main article, but there are others on his site The Philip Cross Affairninel@ #4Piotr , Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 25
here is a little reminder of Murica's recent history:From 1945 until today - 20 to 30 million people killed by the USA
so, when you talk about monsters are you talking about yourself? ;)ICAO is in contact with the States involved and will assist them if called upon. Its leadership is stressing the importance of avoiding speculation into the cause of the tragedy pending the outcomes of the investigation ...journey80 , Jan 10 2020 19:50 utc | 26
ICAO may be a worthy organization (some staff changes seem to be warranted), but isn't it a bit too much?! If this is a sincere wish of democratically elected heads of democratic nations that they want to form a harmonious chorus and speculate, then no mundane power can stop them. BTW, what is wrong with Zelensky that he did not join? PTSD after the brutal telephonies calls? I would add it to the list of proven damages to the security of those several states that will be debated in the Senate. [end of snark, "several states" is the entity named in the so-called Constitution of The United States of America].The flight originated in Teheran, bound for Kiev, but where was it before it arrived in Iran? It could have been sabotaged anywhere; then easy, right, to set off an onboard bomb by remote control from the ground? I'm sure Iran is crawling with Mosssad/MI6/CIA spooks.ninel , Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 27@karlitozuluSymen Danziger , Jan 10 2020 19:53 utc | 28
So you turn a blind eye to atrocities committed by other countries or peoples because the US government is responsible for the most? Did you even complete your high school education with that sort of reasoning? I never absolved the US or any other country. Simpletons like you seem to live in a black and white world in which one side must be chosen over the other. I feel unfortunate for b or anyone else who frequents this blog who does not view the world in such a profoundly problematic way.
I am far more informed about Iranian politics, history, culture and religion than most people here. Please don't allow your hate for the USA, well justified, to cloud your judgment.NATO has weaponized aircraft accident investigations. Lawfare in combination with state terrorism.Willy2 , Jan 10 2020 20:01 utc | 33
It's time for new rules and regulations. ICAO Annex 13 was drafted in different times. A rule based order is ancient history.
People should be able to chose their destination, route and carrier based on personal preferences like price and comfort, not on factors like the latest or next conflict zone, corruption in the countries along the route, military and political adventurism, etc.
The world has gone crazy.- As said before: I didn't believe for one second that that ukrainian plane was shot down. It would have given the US simply another stick to beat up the iranian government. I assume the iranians are smart enough to know that. They simply don't want to escalate the situation more. Although Iran has now the "moral high ground" it is still (very) vulnerable in a number of ways.William Gruff , Jan 10 2020 20:05 utc | 35
- I think the ukrainian tourists were small traders. I.e. buy stuff e.g. clothing and other "merchandise" in Teheran, bring it into the Ukraine and then sell that "merchandise" in Ukraine with a (big) profit.We have a distinguished professor in our midst! Quite unlike the lowly regular professors or inconsequential adjunct instructors that normally grace these pages. Let me kick back and get a tan from the brilliance pouring out of this one! Us high latitude types have to get our Vitamin D wherever we can.Jen , Jan 10 2020 20:06 utc | 36
As for my lack of criticism of Iran's government, that's the business of the Iranian people and none of my own. The Evil Empire attacking Iran? That, unfortunately, is everyone's business whether they want it to be or not.
Why is it that these wise guys from the West (Americans mostly) feel it is their duty to criticize everyone else's governments and cultures when the examples they are setting themselves are so appallingly bad? Maybe these distinguished critics of other peoples' ways of life feel that it is easier to fix those other peoples' societies than it is to fix their own. After all, they apparently feel that fixing other countries just requires some number of bombs, while fixing their own country... where do they even start? How do you fix perfection?I'd be curious to know whether the flight crew on board Flight PS752 had had sufficient rest. Three hours of resting do not seem like sufficient time but that depends on the journey the plane made to Tehran, the duration of that journey and where it started. Was the plane also checked for signs of wear and tear during the three-hour-plus pause?Walter , Jan 10 2020 20:33 utc | 43
Are UIA's owners (among them Ihor Kolomoisky) working their employees and hardware assets too hard and too cheaply as well?@ Rob | Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2foolisholdman , Jan 10 2020 20:36 utc | 44
Yes. I think so too. Looks like the engine ran at reduced thrust as they turned, and then failed entirely at below minimum control speed, with the expected result, asymmetrical stall, yaw, roll, bang.
There are pictures of severe erosion of what looks like compressor wheel from, presumably, ingestion of foreign material. Crap on the runway probably, and pencil-whipped maintenance, I should imagine.bevin | Jan 10 2020 18:52 utc | 15PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 21:01 utc | 49
Reuters was bought by Rothschild some years ago.journey80@26 - Kiev is Ukrainian Airlines main hub. The 737 arrived from Kiev earlier that morning and was returning there.Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 56
Jen@36 - No reason to do anything but a cursory safety check at Tehran. The airline's mechanics are in Kiev - anything beyond a normal pre-flight check involving maintenance would be done there, not Tehran. I doubt the crew was rested. That's not how UAI rolls on it's hub round-trips.
UAI is also bleeding money like crazy. They're nearly bankrupt and stole the money they collect from passengers for the Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority fees. Tens of millions USD. The new CEO promises to fix everything somehow. I guess by overworking crews, skipping maintenance and crappy service. Those are always money-savers for cheap, poorly-run airlines (prior to bankruptcy). Too bad. Supposedly it wasn't that bad of an airline when they first added passenger service to their existing cargo ops a decade ago, but has been going downhill ever since.
"Some real gems you got following your blog b."
So why are you here?Ocams razor... bookies odds... planes fall out o the sky from time to time for all sorts of reasons not related to malicious activity. What are the odds of this occurring in Iran shortly after an Iran strike on a US base.Walter , Jan 10 2020 22:05 utc | 58
The US has and does use terrorist tactics such as shooting down passenger jets. Trump threatened Iran with retribution against cultural sites and so forth (terrorist actions). Fifty two targets of fifty two ways of getting back at Iran.
What are the odds US would down a passenger jet in Iran within hours of Iran's strike against their base.
I have to go with US terrorist actions for that one. Similar to the protests in Iraq. The people had genuine grievances as do all good color revolutions but the were just too advantageous for the US for it not to be a made in the US color revolution style protest. We now know from the Iraq PM that is exactly what it was.The odds are unrelated unless there's agency. No agency has been credibly proposed. You know this is so, as the probability maths in se have been discussed previously @ MoA.dave , Jan 10 2020 22:29 utc | 59
But of course, the US does murder all over the place, so if there is agency, then I tend to agree with the idea that "they" or their cohort in zionishland may be causative. What are the "odds" that the engine shown has severe blade erosion? Again 100% . Engine swallows scrap off the tarmac...a dependent relation, drop junk in engine, blades damaged, run at 100%, 100% "chance" of engine failure.
Repeating the essence of the matter of odds>
"Two events are independent, statistically independent, or stochastically independent if the occurrence of one does not affect the probability of occurrence of the other (equivalently, does not affect the odds). Similarly, two random variables are independent if the realization of one does not affect the probability distribution of the other."
ie without a dependent relationship the odds are whatever the odds are for engine failure and crash. And the other odds don't exist, because those events, the shooting, was not random or accidental. The odds of Iran firing rockets in reprisal was dependent on the US attacks, ie 100%
But if you're building engines at GE, or obsolete defective airplanes in Seattle, then of course the odds are that you devoutly wish it was a rocket up the tailpipe... Pay-day's come Friday, and all of that...@PavewayIVt , Jan 10 2020 22:38 utc | 62
The APU will auto-shutdown for the following reasons:
Low oil pressure
High oil temperature / Fault
http://www.b737.org.uk/apu.htmWould like to see debunk the NYT video: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/video/iran-plane-missile.htmlBigben , Jan 10 2020 22:51 utc | 66
Have checked it myself (google earth etc) after being skeptical and the landmarks and sounds do indeed seem to match.This link is worth reading. I can't play the video on my computer, but we will see if this theory gains traction during the next few days.t , Jan 10 2020 23:02 utc | 69
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/10/video-of-ukrainian-airliner-in-failed-landing-with-burning-engine-makes-trump-a-chump/@Poor,Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 23:39 utc | 74
I know NYT is a sham, and believe me I held my intellectual nose as I went into its site. It's not somewhere I frequent at all.
I did think about the point you made too, but there are 2 issues:
1) In the other 2 videos we see the plane as it's already burning, we don't see it in its "before" state. For me it's reasonable to imagine the hit on the impact caused some initial burning which was extinguished due to wind, and then started back up again a few moments after the NYT video ended and before the other 2 videos began.
2) If the NYT video is indeed doctored (and for me it would be a pretty convincing doctor), why wouldn't the creator simply keep the light going until the end of the vid?Iran to Announce Cause of Ukraine Jet Crash Tomorrow - ReportsA User , Jan 11 2020 1:27 utc | 78Iran will announce the cause of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 crash after the accident investigation commission meeting on Saturday, the Fars News agency reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.
"Tomorrow, after the meeting of the civil aviation accident investigation commission, the cause of the crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane will be announced", the source said.
Domestic and foreign parties, whose citizens died in the crash, will take part in the Saturday meeting, the outlet added. They will announce the reason for the accident after reviewing the preliminary report.
Ukraine says Iran cooperating with Boeing crash probe, calls to reduce media speculation[.]Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko asked that the media not spread "unconfirmed" information on Friday, pleading with reporters to "reduce the level of speculation" while the probe continues. The experts are still analyzing evidence, looking at the bodies of the victims and the wreckage in hope of gaining insight into what took down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, killing all 176 people on board.[,]If no one had engaged with nine-drongos the thread would not have been disrupted and perhaps a useful dialog about the plane crash could have ensued. Those who did swallow the hook are just as guilty the original whatabouter of making this thread useless - good job. I would say exercise some discipline but that would be a waste of breath given the insecurities about their beliefs too many here apparently have. Letting some arsehole spout uninterrupted is a better indication of your point of view than anger, hysteria or ad hominem. Your stupidity has caused a thread to fail.Red Ryder , Jan 11 2020 1:34 utc | 82The Ukies know how to obliterate a debris field. MH-17 -- They used artillery for months to keep OSCE and Dutch officials away, and despite the locals working to protect the deceased and the debris, body parts have been found years later.Tom , Jan 11 2020 2:03 utc | 83
Patience, folks. The truth will come out.#57 posted by Poor Ramin Mazaheri who works for Press TV and has had many articles published on The Saker. He would describe the Iranian economy as socialist with Iranian charters. The link to the article below is an excellent source for information on Iran's economy.
What comes as a surprise to me is ICAO seems to have some integrity. It seems the US and friends haven't completely taken it over.
You can judge someone by their friends. NATO and the terrorists in Idlib have backed the killing of Soleimani. Who seems to enjoy killing civilians? The US just droned killed 60 civilians in Afghanistan. Information provided by the Iraqi prime minister showed the US is willing to use snipers and paid protesters to tear Iraq apart. They utterly destroyed Mosul and Raqqa without regard for civilians. The Syrian government has tried to avoid civilian deaths, which is why those who want to cause chaos in the region always accuses them of targeting civilians. So the US would have no problem getting MEK to or some other group to shoot the plane down but I'm leaning against that scenario.
The US has been planning to control oil for a long time. In 1975 a feasibility study was prepared for the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on "Oil fields as military objectives", better described as bringing Democracy to the Middle East. Well, they did that sorta in Iraq, and now the Iraq government has politely asked the US to leave and the Iranians have demonstrated to them why they should leave. I'm not sure if the Ukrainian plane crashing is the next move the US has made in this great game, but I would put my money on shoddy management of the Ukrainian plane. Why not, the country is barely functioning. I doubt the plane was hit with a missle. More likely the US can't pass up an opportunity for stirring trouble and the MSM has no problem memory holing another lie.
Jan 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Critics of the Soleimani assassination point out that it was an action devoid of strategic purpose. They are correct to do so. Yet let's not blame Donald Trump and his ever-changing cast of senior advisers for having strayed off the path of good sense. The United States lost its way decades ago when members of the policy elite succumbed to an infatuation with military power and thereby lost their strategic bearings.
The current crisis with Iran brings into focus something that ought to have long ago attracted attention: t his country has a Samson problem. The United States has become a 21st-century equivalent of the tragic figure from the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible: strong, vain, and doomed (although we must hope our nation does not share Samson's ultimate fate).
Most people are familiar with at least the outlines of the biblical Samson story: a mighty warrior who slays the enemies of the Israelites in great numbers using the jawbone of an ass among other weapons. Sadly, after the captivating Delilah seduces Samson into revealing the secret of his extraordinary strength -- his unshorn hair -- he ends up blind, in chains, and held captive in the temple of the Philistines. Samson asks the Lord to restore his strength. The King James Bible explains what happens next: "And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life." It was a huge bloodletting, and among the victims was the hero himself.
It's a dramatic story, made for the movies. The 1949 Technicolor version, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr, remains a camp classic of the sandal-and-togas genre. But whether in the original text or on celluloid, the denouement does not qualify as a happy one. Samson was a fool and his own worst enemy. Something of the same can be said of the United States in recent decades.
As the recently concluded war scare with Iran was unfolding, for example, President Trump took it upon himself to assure his nervous fellow citizens as to the matchless strength of America's armed forces. "So far, so good!" he tweeted, more than slightly prematurely. "We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!"
I confess that it's those exclamation points that leave me most uneasy. They suggest a manic personality oblivious to the seriousness of the moment. Can you imagine Kennedy in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis releasing a comparable statement?
Although not without his faults, Kennedy understood how quickly a position of apparent strength can dissipate. Our current commander-in-chief possesses no such appreciation. Trump's confidence in the U.S. military, expressed with his trademark bluster and bravado, seemingly knows no bounds. And although on this occasion the president and his counterparts in Tehran found a way to avoid pulling down the temple on all of us, his performance did not inspire confidence. We must hope that in the future he's confronted with few comparable crises. There's no saying when his luck (and ours) might run out.
Yet we should not lose sight of the fact that the assassination of General Soleimani was only the most recent in a long series of actions in which confidence in America's military has underwritten rash decisions devoid of strategic common sense. Post-Cold War Washington specializes in rashness. Indeed, in comparison with George W. Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and Barack Obama, who greenlighted the overthrow of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi in 2011, Trump comes across as a small-stakes gambler.
The larger problem to which Trump calls our attention is the militarism that pervades the American political class -- the conviction that accumulating and putting to use military power expresses the essence of so-called American global leadership. That notion is dead wrong and has been the source of endless mischief.
Congress is considering measures that will constrain Trump from any further use of force targeting Iran, hoping thereby to avoid an all-out war. This is all to the good. But the larger requirement is for our political establishment generally to wean itself off of its infatuation with military power. Only then can we restore a measure of self-restraint to America's national security policy.
Andrew Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. His new book, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory , is just out.
JLF • 8 hours agoWe start in a considerable hole. Last year (September 12) Forbes reported a survey of 60,000 Europeans in 14 countries and found only 4% trust Trump. "Our polling confirms that Trump is toxic in Europe, and that this is feeding into distrust of the U.S. Security Guarantee," https://www.forbes.com/site...Palichamp • 8 hours ago
Apparently they aren't so impressed by our massive military might . . . or at least they are not impressed by those who wield our massive military might.The US military isn't solving world problems, it's CAUSING world problems, primarily for Israel's Balkanizing Oded Yinon Plan and for the neoconJew's PNAC global agenda.Fran Macadam • 7 hours agoThe Full Spectrum Dominance policy posits that America can never be secure until all potential rivals are made subservient. What is the character of a nation that demands submission from the entire world, that all are to be vassals and satrapies?MPC • 7 hours agoIf Trump really did think that there was some Art of the Deal logic in this, kill Soleimani, let Iran have a symbolic retaliation, then back down and deal, I can respect that, but I want to see a deal. Obama got a deal, not a perfect one, but respectable considering we don't have long term interests in the Middle East anyways. Without a deal he just furthered the risk of neocons getting to push the fire button and commit us unprofitably once more, and pushed Iran further into the arms of China.JohnnLisa Broom • 6 hours ago
On the other hand his threatening to attack Iranian cultural sites was inappropriate and unwise and creating long term problems with no short term gain. It rhymes with some of his domestic issues too - tribalizing people does not make for a deal-making environment.Shades of the 1993 Essay in Parameters "The Origins of the Military Coup of 2012. When the only tool in in your kitbag that works at all is a hammer, every problem is a nail. That might be okay if we had a small tack hammer, but for some reason all we have is a 700 Billion Dollar 20 lb sledge. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=586Frank Natoli • 4 hours agothe assassination of General Soleimani was only the most recent in a long series of actions in which confidence in America's military has underwritten rash decisions devoid of strategic common senseChristopher Rice Frank Natoli • 3 hours ago
Ah, strategic common sense.
So Bacevich doesn't need to bother with tactical common sense.
Got it.As a respected authority on both strategy and tactics once suggested: "strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." Strategy is fundamentally more important than tactics. Perhaps we could be a bit less dismissive?MPC Frank Natoli • 3 hours agoThe US has had a lot of tactical common sense in Afghanistan.Gutbomb • 3 hours ago"Congress is considering measures that will constrain Trump from any further use of force targeting Iran, hoping thereby to avoid an all-out war."Donna • 3 hours ago • edited
I'm always baffled when I hear about new attempts by Congress to limit the president's unilateral use of force, as if they have chosen to ignore that the Constitution itself already explicitly forbids it.Is "national security" really the goal of the US military, or is "multinational corporation security" the real reason the US has thousands of military bases around the world? The US taxpayer foots the security bill for the same corporations that buy all of our national elections. But you have to admit, it's a well-played scam: the CIA stirs up internal chaos in a country, and the US military then completes the destabilization program by bombing it into submission or terminal chaos.Donna • 2 hours agoWhich begs the question, "Why is it, that the Terrorists always live on the resources that the Corporations covet?"
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is following Iraq's Parliament decision to remove all foreign forces from Iraq. But his request for talks with the U.S. about the U.S. withdrawal process was answered with a big "F*** You":Iraq's caretaker prime minister asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department on Friday bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to "recommit" to their partnership.
Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the capital and southern Iraq, many calling on both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting anger and frustration over the two rivals -- both Baghdad's allies -- trading blows on Iraqi soil.
The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said.
He asked Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism" to carry out the Iraqi Parliament's resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.
"The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements," the statement added.
The Associated Press errs when it says that the move was "stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani". The move was stoked five days earlier when the U.S. killed 31 Iraqi security forces near the Syrian border despite the demands by the Iraqi prime minister and president not to do so. It was further stoked when the U.S. assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes , the deputy commander of the Popular Militia Forces and a national hero in Iraq.
The State Department issued a rather aggressive response to Abdul-Mahdi's request:America is a force for good in the Middle East. Our military presence in Iraq is to continue the fight against ISIS and as the Secretary has said, we are committed to protecting Americans, Iraqis, and our coalition partners. We have been unambiguous regarding how crucial our D-ISIS mission is in Iraq. At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East. Today, a NATO delegation is at the State Department to discuss increasing NATO's role in Iraq, in line with the President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts. There does, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership. We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq.
Shorter Pompeo: "Our troops will stay and you better do what we say." A foreign force that is asked to leave a country and does not do so is an occupation force. It must and will be opposed.
The murder of the 31 security forces and the assassination of al-Mahandes have still not been avenged. The PMU will do their moral duty and fight the foreign occupation forces until they leave.
The demonstrators in Baghdad will not be able to prevent that from happening. It is interesting, by the way, that the Washington Post bureau chief in Baghdad thought she knew what they would demand even before they came together:Louisa Loveluck @leloveluck - 9:48 UTC · Jan 10, 2020
Activists have called for fresh rallies in Baghdad's Tahrir Square today, and crowds expected to build after midday prayers. The demonstrators are rejecting parliament's decision to oppose a US troop presence, fearing repercussions that might follow.
A few hours later Loveluck had to admit that she was, as usual, wrong:Louisa Loveluck @leloveluck - 11:13 UTC · Jan 10, 2020
"No to Iran, no to America" say signs and chants in Baghdad's Tahrir Square as crowds start to swell. Protesters say they are fed up of their country being someone else's battlefield. "We deserve to live in peace," says 21 year old Zahraa.
Rejecting a narrow parliamentary vote backed by Shiite political elites is not the same as openly supporting the US. Chants in Tahrir today reject both the US and Iran.
The U.S. will need to pay better Iraqi 'activists' if it wants them to demand what Donald Trump wishes.
As the Iraqi Prime Minister explained (also here ):After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I still refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event I did not cooperate and do as he asked
Iraq is again negotiating with Russia to acquire S-300 air defense systems. It will need them as the U.S. will have to leave and leave it will. The only choice for its soldiers is between leaving horizontally or vertically, dead or alive.
As Elijah Magnier say in his summarization of the last week's events: A New Middle East "made in Iran" is about to be born
The US President – who promised to end the " endless wars " – killed the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and the Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani believing he could win control of Iraq and achieve regime change in Iran. On the brink of triggering a major war, Trump has spectacularly lost Iran and is about to lose Iraq.
" Beautiful military equipment doesn't rule the world, people rule the world, and the people want the US out of the region", said Iran Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif. President Trump doesn't have many people in the Middle East on his side, not even among his allies, whose leaders have been repeatedly insulted . Iran could not have dreamt of a better President to rejuvenate its position domestically and regionally. All Iran's allies are jubilant, standing behind the "Islamic Republic" that fulfilled its promise to bomb the US. A "New Middle East" is about to be born; it will not be "Made in the USA" but "Made in Iran". Let us hope warmongers' era is over. The time has come to recognise and rely on intelligent diplomacy in world affairs.
In 2006 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously celebrated Israel's assault on Lebanon as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East." The child she dreamed of was never born. Israel lost that war against Hizbullah and the Resistance Axis has been winning ever since while the U.S. has lost again and again. It is time for the U.S. to end that useless engagement and to withdraw from the Middle East.
Posted by b on January 10, 2020 at 19:09 UTC | Permalink
Jen , Jan 10 2020 19:30 utc | 1The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. It's as if the entire capital city of the US has become a mental asylum / Hotel California, where one can enter but never leave spiritually and morally, though one can take many physical trips in and out of the madhouse.Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 2
Iraq definitely does need the S-300 missile defence systems. The most pressing issue though is whether the Iraqis will suffer the delays Syria suffered in acquiring those systems even after paying for them. Time now is of the essence. Iraqi operators need to be trained in those systems. Syria may be able to supply some training but at the risk of letting down its guard in sending some of its operators to Baghdad and exposing them to US drone attacks.Thanks b, for your continuing coverage and insights.Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 19:43 utc | 3
the u.s'. leadership believes it can do the same thing over, and over, and over with different results. They will need a very long ladder with the upcoming repeat of Saigon 1975.
They have always underestimated the will and cultures of people they would make subservient.
How is this working for the Iran Puppet Master: Pompous one?
Here is the big mighty with world's powerful military; on their bended knees -
We want to discuss Return to Strategic Partnership With Iraq Instead of Troop Withdrawal[.]The press release further noted that Washington seeks to be "a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq", while stating that the US military presence in the country will persist in order to fight Daesh* and protect Americans, Iraqis, and US-led coalition partners.[.]
Yes, some friend and partner eh? Insults and thuggery. Exiting will be horizontal.
Go pound sand.
In other news, tomorrow Iran will announce cause of UAI plane crash.From the US State Dept's 'aggressive response' link,Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 19:50 utc | 4
"not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East. Today, a NATO delegation is at the State Department to discuss increasing NATO's role in Iraq, in line with the President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts. "
"BUT OUR RIGHT" ??
"President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts."
Seems like just yesterday that man trump was jabbering on about how the US should get out of NATO and leave those 'losers' to defend themselves.
Geopolitics in the Shining City of the Hill has come to this?
Grabs roll of tinfoil..are the Globalists using this buffoon to makes people yearn for some normalcy only they can provide?And with such liars who needs a stick. Narrative changes depending the hour.psychohistorian , Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 5
Last night: Pompeo told Foxnews-
Pompeo Says US Had No Information on Date, Place of Possible Attack Allegedly Planned by Soleimani
LINKUS President Donald Trump earlier claimed that Washington had eliminated the top Iranian military commander to halt Tehran's plans to blow up the US Embassy in Baghdad.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on a national broadcast that the United States possessed no information about the date and place of an alleged attack planned by assassinated General Qasem Soleimani.[.]
"We don't know precisely when - and we don't know precisely where. But it was real ...
Trump Claims Soleimani Was Planning Attacks on 4 US Embassies
US President Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News said that top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was plotting attacks on four American embassies in the Middle East region before being assassinated by US forces.
"I can reveal that I believe it probably would've been four embassies," Trump said when asked whether large-scale attacks were planned against other embassies.
The House of Fools. Something is out of focus if they have to keep making justifications for the killing.
Thanks for focus on the Iran front of the civilization war humanity is in. I find the Ukraine plane crash to be distracting from the bigger picture.Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 19:52 utc | 6
The piece from the US State Department is quite the lie. Bottom line is that Iran is currently sovereign but would cease to be so is they became the "normal" country that private finance empire wants. Iran would then live under the dictatorship of global private finance like the rest of us that mythically believe we are sovereign nations and individuals.
I am pleased to see that humanity is at this juncture in spite of the threat of extinction. Our species is crippled by the cult that owns global private finance in the West and even if this process seems quite indirect to me, at least the socialism/barbarism war is being fought.USA stays - as predicted by MoA commenters.dadoronron , Jan 10 2020 19:55 utc | 7
b foresees an eventual win by Iraq and Iran but that is uncertain and years away.
USA is not leaving. They believe UN 2249 gives them the right to stay in Syria and Iraq - despite USA claim that ISIS is defeated.
We will likely see a rebranding of USA troops to NATO, an " ISIS resergence", and a civil war in Iraq.
!!A few days ago I saw a tweet that Russia was going to sell S-400s to Iran. Has anyone seen confirmation?Abe , Jan 10 2020 20:00 utc | 8Good. Iran will star escalating (via proxy force, or maybe even directly if they are feeling bold and determined) and US will start to have casualties. Being nice to bully never works.nemo , Jan 10 2020 20:04 utc | 9"A force for good!!??" How Orwellian can you get? If you are truly a force for good, then get out as you have been asked to do!Sammy , Jan 10 2020 20:09 utc | 10The sooner Tehran is glass, the sooner the US can pull out of the ME.Zanon , Jan 10 2020 20:13 utc | 11Iraq, every parliament party, could start themselves showing they want the americans to leave. They have not done this,pretzelattack , Jan 10 2020 20:16 utc | 12
and this is the reason US give not to leave:
US is not willing to withdraw troops from Iraq, says PompeoThe US argues that the Iraqi parliamentary vote was non-binding, and that its legitimacy was undermined by neither Iraqi Kurds or Sunnis participating.
At the same time, that will never occur since kurds and sunnis support the americans.
Quid pro quo.why do sunnis support the americans? i can see it with kurds, who have been playing this game for a long time.pretzelattack , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 13lofl at "a force for good". same old shit, same old bottle.Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 14New Rome suffers the same maladies as the first. Uprisings in the Provinces.james , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 15
Lest we forget, Rome's demands;
" "First, Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity."
"Second, Iran must stop uranium enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing its heavy water reactor."
"Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country."
"Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems."
"Iran must release all U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges."
"Iran must end support to Middle East terrorist groups, including Lebanese Hizballah [Hezbollah], Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."
"Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi Government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias."
"Iran must also end its military support for the Houthi militia and work towards a peaceful political settlement in Yemen."
"Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria."
"Iran, too, must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior Al Qaida leaders."
"Iran, too, must end the IRG [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Qods Force's [Quds Force's] support for terrorists and militant partners around the world."
"And too, Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors – many of whom are U.S. allies. This certainly includes its threats to destroy Israel, and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also includes threats to international shipping and destructive – and destructive cyberattacks."
Saudi millions/ billions for spreading Wahhabi 7th Century violent ideology around the world is A OK though.
What? It's all about MAGA, right?thanks b... i share jens view on how outrageous usa official words on this are...Fernando Martinez , Jan 10 2020 20:19 utc | 16
"At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East." they just don't give a fuck... everyone here knew that already... as a few of us have been saying - there is no way the usa is going to leave.. they are intent up the same agenda they have been intent on for what seems like forever...
@ 4 Likklemore quote - "Something is out of focus if they have to keep making justifications for the killing." the liar in command saying he was going to cause trouble at 4 embassies.. jesus what a liar and retard trump is if he thinks anyone who has a brain would believe that b.s.
@ 10 sammy... the sooner washington d.c. is glass the sooner americans can wake the fuck up..The Iraquis voted on a non-binding resolution. So by being wishy washy, they won't force the USA to leave anywhere.Linda Jean Doucett , Jan 10 2020 20:25 utc | 17
Who dares to stop them?Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 20:29 utc | 18
Surely no sane country wants to stand against JUSA.
Israel is shaking in its boots so its American poodle must stay to protect them. The sooner the world gets rid of the Jewish infestation from their governments the safer the world will be.Fernando 16powerandpeople , Jan 10 2020 20:30 utc | 19
"The Iraquis voted on a non-binding resolution. So by being wishy washy, they won't force the USA to leave anywhere."
You should walk a mile in their shoes.
Then opine.As always with the USA President, this is about 2 aspects:Evelyn , Jan 10 2020 20:42 utc | 20
1. Cutting costs to USA
2. Making money for USA
This is the 'leverage' (blackmail, if you prefer)to obtain 'good deals' on the way out the door.
China (Russia to a limited extent) is providing up-front funding for repair to 'war' damaged infrastructure done by the USA.
In return, China gets hydrocarbons.
These are big, expensive projects that China excels at, cutting out the corruption to officials standing in the middle.
Revamping and extending rail infrastructure in Iraq connecting to Iran and also towards Central Asia and beyond.
Big oil pipeline projects taking Iraqi oil to Jordan. Later projects taking hydrocarbons through Syria to the Med, and into Turkey as well.
That's why Pres. Trump is jockeying for a small bite of the pie. He has a good chance of getting it. But small.#10Lurk , Jan 10 2020 20:43 utc | 21
Turning Tehran [ substitute : North Korea/Iraq/other designated U.S. enemy] "to glass" in some quarters seems popular.
Facile, reckless, terrorism run amok.
Probably the same gene pool spouting "They hate us for our freedoms."@ Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 19:52 utc | 6PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 20:45 utc | 22We will likely see a rebranding of USA troops to NATO
Some of their NATO vassals still care about the rule of law and international law. Mikey and Donny might discover that these backward states are "not very helpful" to their cause of rules based order.
USA runs a serious risk of overplaying its hand and alienating some of their european allies. Likely not all, but almost certainly some. That would create a rift in NATO and possibly the EU and compromise USA control over these organizations and their members.Fernando Martinez@16 - You're misunderstanding the situation. The Iraqi parliament did get the majority they needed to pass the resolution as specified in their constitution. They will turn it over to the existing or new PM for implementation. Nothing wishy-washy about it. It's a done deal despite the terrified Kurds and Sunnis not voting to save their own butts from reprisal - either by Iraqi Shia or by the US. I would have done the same thing.Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 20:45 utc | 23
It is the US that is claiming the resolution is nonbinding (in their 'legal' opinion) because the vote wasn't sufficiently representative (in the mind of the US dual-citizen chickenhawk neocons) - despite the fact that two-thirds of Iraqis are Shia and there was more than enough votes to pass the resolution despite the Sunni and Kurd representatives' absence. The US is pouting and will hold its breath until the Iraqis defy their constitution and obey the will of their American masters. In the meantime, the US has refused to recognize the vote and will oppose any efforts for implementation by the Iraqi PM. Trump or Pompeo or one of those idiots stated that clearly and unambiguously - the US has no plans to leave no matter what.
I guess we'll see. Plan B for the US is probably to agitate for the original plan of uprisings to partition Iraq into Kurd, Sunni and Shia statelets. The obedient Kurd and Shia leaders will allow eternal US presence and as many bases as the US wants. It will be enough territory to block the feared 'Shia Crescent' - the US will insist the Kurd and Sunni statelets extend from Turkey down the Syrian border to Jordan, blocking any attempts to connect the Shia statelet to Syria. That's the US plan B for this problem if they can't use 'other means' to stay in present-day Iraq for 'anti-ISIS' operations.US was hitting Iraqi militias even back when ISIS still held territory and the militias where driving ISIS back.karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 20:56 utc | 24
Then the recent strike on the militia's formally incorporated into Iraqi military and the strike that killed the Iraqi and Iranian.... but then the Iraqi's declare Iran's strike on the US base a breach of sovereignty. Iraqi's that should be allied with Iran for the purpose of driving the US out. US will be in Iraq and the Syrian oilfields for quite some time.
There was the same talk about militia's and whatever hitting US in Syria but that hasn't eventuated and I doubt any thing serious against US will happen in Iraq either. US will have proxies out and about - using its bases as fire support bases with air and artillery to back up its proxies.a narrow parliamentary vote...Kali , Jan 10 2020 20:58 utc | 25
The vote count I saw was unanimous. Clearly, the Evil Outlaw US Empire is throwing as much bullshit at everything in the hopes that some sticks and clogs peoples's minds. The 737 crash is similar in pointing over there instead of looking at what's just occurred at your feet. Now Trump says four embassies were going to be attacked as he further demonstrates he's losing his mind. Lies and Bluster are the hallmarks of a Paper Tiger.
Meanwhile, what stands for genuine Progressives and the Left are clearly gaining ground as numerous Anti-war rallies took place yesterday and an article appeared in my local rag saying the D-Party Establishment is afraid of a Sanders nomination--2016 in play all over again except no HRC and we know more about the DNC's evilness in not at all being responsive to the public or voting results. IMO, the Political Fight required for genuine change has finally begun and will escalate.
Globally, the current battles are a new phase of a 3 millennial-long war between the Current Oligarchy and the 99% as to who will be the Sovereign--the people collectively or those who've stolen their wealth. Class War--You Bet! We now have definitive proof of how it works and how long it's been ongoing. What we've yet to see is if the 99% have enough brains and solidarity to undo 3,000+ years of Tyranny.
Within this article is a photo of Iranian general Ali Amir Hajizadeh standing at a podium in front of a phalanx of 9 flags belonging to the Axis of Resistance. We need to add our own flags to that Alliance for the enemies of Iran are the enemies of all Earth's people and employ the likes of sammy and other Terrorists to do their bidding.The Iranians attacked by the US in this episode was always about Iraq being seen as moving out of the American-Euro orbit and into the China-Iran-Russia orbit. So of course they will not voluntarily leave, instead they will either be forced out by attacks or more likely they will force either a change in leadership of Iraq or threaten the leadership or bribe the leadership into accepting permanent occupation for "their safety" ala a Mob Protection Racket. This is exposed here Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Placeben , Jan 10 2020 21:04 utc | 26Well, I'm shocked, just shocked, that the U$A won't be leaving as per Iraq's request...NOT!Stonebird , Jan 10 2020 21:08 utc | 27
Did any serious person believe they would?
Empire uber alles...
And still, many will support this regime of cretinous grifters..Couple of small points;karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:09 utc | 28
1) 32-35 soldiers (4-5 commanders and their command posts - US dixit) were killed in the earlier US attacks, which were heavier in Syria and against the Herzbollah, than those against Iraqian forces on the Syria-Iraqi border. The command posts were eliminated very accurately. This is possibly because they had previously collectively stated that they wanted to eliminate the terrorists in the Anbar desert. (Thought; those "terrorists" may have included embedded "special forces" or mercenaries which the US wanted to protect.)
2) I believe that Iraq was trying to get the S400, (The one that can "see" F35's) rather than the S300.
3) OT? Just who gets the profits from the Oil stolen from Syria, and would have a kickback from the oil that was demanded from Iraq (Al-Mahdi statement)? Conventionally we attribute the money going to the "Pentagon" or "CIA". But I seem to remember that the complete Erdogan family was benefitting before they were kicked out. Is it possible that the Syrian oil is now going straight into a slush fund for some Generals or members of the administration? Is that really why the US doesn't want leave? Profits not geo-politics?PavewayIV @22 & Peter AU 1 @23--Das Kommentariat , Jan 10 2020 21:12 utc | 29
Well, we shall soon see what the Iraqis are made of and where their will lies. I expect we'll begin getting that answer this weekend. It does appear Iraqi Patriots will need to drag their fellows along with them, but IMO none will get a better future unless the Outlaw US Empire is driven from Southwest Asia.@Lurk | Jan 10 2020 20:43 utc | 21uncle tungsten , Jan 10 2020 21:14 utc | 30
I expect some spineless eastern European countries (Romania, Poland, etc.) will lend themselves for this. The other members will tacitly accept the NATO branding ...The last Make America Go Away event was in Ho Chi Minh city.Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 21:15 utc | 31
It was decisive, the only non binding aspect was the ability of the USA to win.
What is it about GO AWAY that the USA elite dont understand? I guess, like Joe Biden a fist full of oil makes it comprehensible. Neandertals.@10 sammyJB , Jan 10 2020 21:19 utc | 32
Very telling, but you will envy the dead.
IranNo. more likely
the sooner Israhell, stripped to its 1948 boundaries, is glass we will have peace on planet earth. Fighting Israhell's wars have daily cost in blood and treasure. In $ 7 trillions and counting.
Hmm. Why? running scared.
Reuters: but Russia denies.
Russian navy ship 'aggressively approached' U.S. destroyer in Arabian Sea: U.S. Navy
"DUBAI (Reuters) - A Russian navy ship "aggressively approached" a U.S. Navy destroyer in the North Arabian Sea on Thursday, the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said in a statement on Friday.
"The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another," the statement said."There will be blood.ben , Jan 10 2020 21:19 utc | 33
No one should cheer this. The people of the Middle East have been bleeding way too long.
The million dollar question is: how tostop a serial killer on the loose, operating in plain sight, when everyone else is either afraid, in a deal or trying to avoid blowing up the whole place (world).
It's tough because the serial killer, (together with his partners in crime EU/NATO), have dismantled the existing world order, however fragile it was. The law is no more.
You would expect that in a situation like this the nations of the world, through the UN, would say - now you must leave Iraq because the Iraqi parliament has spoken. That's the only way the weaker can enforce their decisions agains the stronger peacefully, with the support of the global community. But that doesn't happen because the worst offenders, the serial killers, are members of the UN Security Council. And, the UN General Assembly almost never meets to discuss events crucial for world peace, justice, fairness and equality, such as these.
When all hinges on force, chaos and blood are in store. It is absolutely immoral, unjust and heinous that the people of Iraq, Iran Syria, Lebanon and others should again fight to their death to set themselves free from the deadly claws of parasitic states that are veto-holding members of the UN body entrusted with maintaining world peace, law and order!!! This entire theatre of the absurd is unbearable and should be a call to action for every single decent human being on this beautiful planet.
Here's a rarely excellent, succinct piece:' Why the War never Ends" :
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52828.htmStonebird @ 27 asked; "Is that really why the US doesn't want leave? Profits not geo-politics?"Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 21:22 utc | 34
IMO, in this new age of corporate ascendancy, profits drive Geo-Politicskarlof1ben , Jan 10 2020 21:27 utc | 35
Magnier has a few comments on the Iraqi divides at his twitter thread and is exactly what I have thought for the last month or so. Those Iraqi groups that are solidly allied with Iran in the fight against ISIS and US are a small minority and US and Israel have been hitting them with impunity for several years now. Most Iraqi's including Shia seem tied up in small time domestic disputes. No Nasrallah's or Kharmenei's in Iraq. Only Muqtada al-Sadr types. Perhaps Sistani may do something but he also seems very much small time domestic - not interested or not capable in the big picture.JB @ 32; Kudos JB, an absolutely on target rant. Thanks for the link...karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:28 utc | 36JB @32--james , Jan 10 2020 21:29 utc | 37
Yes, you're quite correct, there will be blood, just as there's been blood flowing for the last 3,000 years. That's why I wrote our flags must join those of the Axis of Resistance--this War isn't theirs alone; it's every Earthling's War whether they realize it or not.@31 likklemore.. in the videos clearly the usa ship is in the wrong...Eudoxia , Jan 10 2020 21:30 utc | 38
https://www.rt.com/news/477976-us-russian-ships-aggressive-approach/What if the government of Iraq asks Russia to assist it in safeguarding its airspace from unauthorized entry? The Russians will bring the equipment and the operators & they are already just across in Syria.PJB , Jan 10 2020 21:31 utc | 39Totally Orwellian.karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:37 utc | 40
Empire of Chaos, Lies and Deceit.
"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." George Orwell in '1984'.
Could any statement better sum up the world we now live in?Peter AU 1 @34--William Gruff , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 41
Thanks for your reply! The rhetorical counter to the non-Patriot Iraqis will be that the Evil Outlaw US Empire intends to treat them just like the Zionists treat their Palestinian slaves and have demonstrated so already. There are essentially three choices: Fight, help others to fight, pack up and move to another nation as you're no longer an Iraqi.I have often stated that the United States is suffering from mass insanity and violent psychosis.Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 42
This is not hyperbole. This is a simple factual statement.
You cannot reason with a rabid dog, and that is what America is right now.27Joshua , Jan 10 2020 21:43 utc | 43
"Just who gets the profits from the Oil stolen from Syria, "
Best estimates I've seen say the oil fields trump is so bent on denying the Assad government from accessing are so damaged they produce 31,000 bpd at best. Whatever discount price comes from that after it's trucked to some market in Turkey or maybe Iraq, it would be less profitable than trump's Taj mahal casino venture.
But hey, he's the greatest business man ever. Just ask him?
It's not about profit, it's about making a dollar here and there to give to the Kurds and keep their America is our friend dreams alive and denying Assad that oil.
It would cost a great deal of money to return the fields east of the Euphrates to their previous production levels.
The Netanyahu plan is to deny the Syrian gov't and it's people the revenue from those wells they used to access to pay for their needs. Only the needs of trump and his people matter.The current regime in the United States seems to believe that people are only able to believe what the regime tells them to believe. This is not the case. Even the American people want the US military to withdraw from Iraq, from Syria, from the Middle East.Joshua , Jan 10 2020 21:46 utc | 44This has been illustrated repeatedly. But, after every 'election', and after every 'poll', the regime chews on the results and rolls it over until they come up with a 'storyline' that says they can do whatever the hell they feel like anyway. More and more people are catching on to this.Annie , Jan 10 2020 21:48 utc | 45Elijah Magnier in a Tweet today seemed to imply that Al Mahdi didn't stand up to the US forcefully enough and that there is a split between shia and Sunni as to US presence. Some want the US to stay. He also said Iraq needs a stronger PM that will implement US kicking out of Iraq. He also mentioned that Al Mahdi did not give the ok for PMU forces to go up against US in Iraq.Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 21:50 utc | 46
We will have to see. But if the Iraqi people are demanding US is kicked out then Al Mahdi may be forced to act.PavewayIV @22Cortes , Jan 10 2020 21:51 utc | 47
Yeah, that's right.
As in virtual every representative democracy, the Iraqi government carries out the will of the people as expressed through their representatives. So the vote by the Iraqi Parliament is binding on the Iraqi government, not a foreign government .. duh!
AFAIK USA is in Iraq at invitation of the Iraqi government but there's no formal agreement (aka SOFA). So the Iraqi government can ask USA to leave at any time.
Iraq was being nice and diplomatic to invite USA to provide input that helps the Iraqi government determine the timetable for USA to leave. Since USA has refused, we should expect the Iraqi government to demand that USA leave immediately.
Of course, USA has already stated their reasons for remaining despite any lawful demand that they do so.
!!ben @33Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 21:52 utc | 48
Corporate ascendancy's was accurately described in perhaps the greatest novel of the pomp of the USA:
Pohl's sequel takes it to a terrestrial conclusion.@ james 37Manny , Jan 10 2020 21:55 utc | 49
Thanks james. Give the u.s. uniformed boys and girls some slack. They are running scared, having to look over their shoulders knowing they are targets and that now things have changed - U.S. stands alone without friends. It's vassal states waiver. after Soleimani killing suddenly, except for IL, the U.S. is alone . article from earlier comment posting is a good read.This site is a mountain of bs.karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:56 utc | 50james @37--Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 21:58 utc | 51
Here's b's Tweet on the matter:
"'Power-driven vessel A approaches the port side of power-driven vessel B. Vessel A is considered the give-way vessel. As the give-way vessel, A must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear and avoid crossing the stand-on vessel B.'
Farragut (A) should have passed behind B."
As b notes, this is almost an exact repeat of what happened last year. The idiots commenting on the USN's twitter thread are pathetic and clearly don't know squat.
And speaking of the Russian Navy, Putin's business today began with "a meeting with the Defence Ministry leadership and the Russian Navy commanders to discuss the key areas of short- and long-term development of the Navy. The meeting was held while the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was visiting the Nakhimov Black Sea Naval Academy" after observing/participating in the previous day's naval exercises on the Black Sea. Currently, the USN is rated as "weak and marginal" by the Heritage Institute, a patriotic think tank, which is outwardly displayed by the lack of navigation skills.Annie !45: He also said Iraq needs a stronger PM ...Joshua , Jan 10 2020 22:02 utc | 52
I don't think Mahdi's being a caretaker' PM should matter.
Any democratic government is supposed to carry out the wishes of the people as express by Parliament.
USA is trying to muddy the waters and throw up BS because they fundamentally WILL NOT LEAVE.
!!And another thing...Ben Zanotto , Jan 10 2020 22:04 utc | 53
Did anybody notice how the 'goodguy badguy show' (impeachment dog & pony show) got shoved to the back burner all of a sudden? Now I guess they are going to wait and see how this 'breakout' aggression move is going to pan out for them."America is a force for good in the Middle East."jayc , Jan 10 2020 22:18 utc | 54
Recall that the phrase "for good" also has the second meaning of "permanently, forever, or perpetually."
Surely this was unintentional phrase selection on part of the Imperial spokesman.ISIS was the means - the Trojan horse - to justify the permanent garrisoning of NATO in Iraq and Syria. Before Russia's intervention, NATO and politicians from NATO countries were uniform in proclaiming the "fight" against ISIS would be a "generational struggle" which would take at least 20-30 years to achieve victory. Even after major fighting has reduced the organization to almost nothing, this rationale lives on in the guise of a "continuing threat" represented by ISIS' ideology or aspirations. Permanent NATO garrisons in Iraq and Syria remains the extant policy (ISIS always just the pretext). If the European NATO members balk at the Iraq civil war which the US will quietly propose in the interest of supporting this policy, then it is likely the Kurd regions will suffice as a breakaway NATO protectorate.ChasMark , Jan 10 2020 22:21 utc | 55This information was in a comment on Unz.comADKC , Jan 10 2020 22:25 utc | 56
Can anyone verify?
("Iris" = the prequel; the Erebus comment tells a story totally different from what Pompeo, congressmen, MSM etc. are reporting.)
Killing Inside Iraq to Punish Iran
Trump-Pompeo foreign policy is not only incoherent, it is insane
PHILIP GIRALDI • JANUARY 7, 2020 •
January 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm GMT •
Iris responded to:Now Trump will be able to deescalate and Iran will save its face by claiming 80 or so American soldiers dead
with:"It is good to gather facts, information and try to cross-check it before making educated assumptions on subjects ordinary citizens are not privy to.
Countless insightful American commenters propose very well-supported cases, but come to opposite conclusions with regard to President Trump's real intentions. How could we then know Iran's strategic roadmap?
The Iranian reaction was long coming. The writing was on the wall when Hassan Nasrallah, following one too many Israeli strike on Syria, detailed in his Sept 2019 address that the "Resistance Axis" had the capability to hit strategic Israeli targets that he named.
It is not normal that US sources have not communicated any detail of the consequences of the strikes, so many hours after they took place. The Danes have stated there were "no casualties amongst them", which hints there were casualties amongst other Western nationalities.
Your cynicism is justified by how real-politik is actually conducted. However, it is also very possible that we are living a cornerstone moment in ME's History, a reverse moment of the 2003 invasion of Iraq."
• Replies: @Erebus
January 9, 2020 at 10:20 am GMT •
@Iris"Some of what's come out suggests the US has gone full Mafia in response to the last few years' developments in the M.E. There's no geo-political strategy. There's only (bad) gangsterism.
Countless insightful American commenters propose very well-supported cases, but come to opposite conclusions with regard to President Trump's real intentions.
Russia's textbook demonstration of how to combine diplomatic acumen and military efficiency in sorting problems has given impetus to a Russian authored, Chinese backed regional security and development proposal that's been making the rounds through the region's capitals since late summer (at least). Promoted by Iran (mostly via Oman) as a new paradigm in M.E. affairs, it's been well received everywhere except Saudi Arabia who've apparently cited their inability to throw off the American yoke as the primary impediment to their overt support. Notwithstanding, the Saudis have been talking quietly with all parties and have reportedly even sent emissaries to Tehran for "informal" talks on the hush-hush. Soleimani was a significant player in these talks, which were being mediated by Iraq.
In his speech to the Iraqi parliament subsequent to Soleimani's murder, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi revealed an astonishing tale of the sort of strongarming tactics America has employed in response. His speech was to be carried live on Iraqi TV, but the feed was cut immediately after he started by the Speaker.
Nevertheless, his words have leaked to the public. In it he told that Trump had demanded 50% of Iraq's oil revenues, or the US wouldn't go ahead with promised infrastructure rebuilding of the country they destroyed. Mahdi refused that proposal and headed to China where he promptly made a deal to rebuild the country. When the US learned of it, Trump called him to demand that the deal be rescinded and when Mahdi refused Trump threatened to unleash violent protests against Mahdi's rule.
Sure enough, violent protests began shortly thereafter. Again Trump called and when Mahdi again refused to rescind the China deal, Trump threatened him with Maidan-style snipers. Again Mahdi refused, and Iraq's Minister of Defence spoke publicly of "third party" provocateurs killing both protestors and police, threatening to drive the country back into civil war.
Again Trump called, and Mahdi reports that this time he threatened Mahdi and the Defence Minister with assassination if they didn't shut up about "third party" provocateurs. Meanwhile, Mahdi continued to mediate Iranian-Saudi talks and Soleimani was carrying Iran's response to the latest Saudi message. He was to meet Mahdi later the morning of his assassination.
The upshot of all that is that the intent behind Soleimani's gangland slaying was to send the US' message to Mahdi specifically, but also to Iran, the Saudis, and anyone else contemplating M.E. rapprochement that murder awaited them if they continued to work towards peace in the region.
It is not normal that US sources have not communicated any detail of the consequences of the strikes, so many hours after they took place.
Details are emerging re the Al Assad Air Base attack, and if you're an American strategist they ain't pretty. The lack of casualties notwithstanding, satellite photos show that the Iranian salvo hit targets with a very high level of combat efficiency. Any damage assessment will reveal that technically, Iran can hit whatever it wants to hit.
Qiam missiles were used. They're a cheap 'n cheerful derivative of the Soviet SCUD, and Iran has 1,000s of them. Hezbollah likely has 1,000s as well, so the picture is even less pretty if you're an Israeli strategist. Furthermore
Iran informed the Swiss Embassy in Tehran (who represent American interests in Iran) an hour or more before the attack. More than enough time to get personnel out of harm's way. FARS' reports of 80 killed and ~200 injured, frankly look to be a narrative for domestic consumption. It's hard to believe that with the hour+ warning that that many people were hanging around in the line of fire.
My guess about the delay is that the US is simply stunned.
However, it is also very possible that we are living a cornerstone moment in ME's History, a reverse moment of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
I believe that's true regardless of what got hit and the number of casualties. This was a message sending exercise. As unimaginative as it may appear, the salvo sent an unmistakeable signal that went through the region's capitals and beyond. Here's why they're all paying attention
1. Iran struck American assets directly, in a brazenly overt manner. No plausible deniability, proxies or non-state actors involved. It was a State attack on another State's assets. If there is any doubt that the hit on Suleimani was an act of war, there can be no doubt about Iran's response. The bully got punched in the nose in front of his entourage and they're now waiting to see what he'll do. However
2. The IRGC's very high level of confidence in its missiles & missile corps is obviously warranted. If the US and its satraps expected amateur hour, they got the diametric opposite – the equivalent of getting your knife shot out of your hand – and that puts the US in a bad spot.
3. The Qiam salvo was no Kalibrs-from-the-Caspian demonstration of technical prowess, but so far as I can currently tell, more than half of the missiles targetting Al Assad hit bull's eyes and American AD failed to intercept any of them. This stands in stark contrast to Syria's success at knocking down Tomahawks. The Americans claim that the Al Assad airbase had no missile defence systems installed, which seems incredible, but with the silence of the Patriot batteries of Abqaiq looming in the background, all of the USM's regional assets have been exposed as ducks in a barrel. The US simply can't defend them.
It is clear that with its S300 systems and indigenous air defence in place, Iran can destroy American assets while minimizing its own losses. What's more, Iran's S300s have reportedly been networked into Russia's regional air defence systems, and that installing S400s is being actively considered. With either development, Iran's air space is effectively closed. Iran's status as the pre-eminent regional power has been cemented into place, and with the Kremlin's backing there is no way to dislodge it. Every capital must now run its calculus and begin re-thinking its role in the region, or its relationship with it.
Without high efficiency air defence, CENTCOM can't defend even itself, never mind the region's oil infrastructure and perverse allied monarchies. That is now plain as day. Remaining perceptions of its ability to provide security guarantees to its satraps are now gone, and so the US' options have been reduced to a choice between escalation, or going home. There's no there there, and everybody now knows it. The message couldn't be clearer.
Iran has opened the exit door and we're all waiting to see what heads prevail in Washington as the facts settle into them. To keep the Americans focussed, one can expect to see the Iraqi militias begin ratcheting up attacks on American assets in Iraq, and in collaboration with domestic militia's in Syria as well.
The question now revolves around whether the US needs a thousand cuts to absorb the message that its dominance of the M.E. is over.
If the US withdraws from the Middle East the Petrodollar will come to an end and the whole US and the Western financial system collapses. The US and West are trapped by their stupidity in abusing the financial system to fund their wars and build up a level of debt that can never and will never be paid. How can the US leave even if they wanted to?Pft , Jan 10 2020 22:25 utc | 57Well, the sun rose in the East again today, so why would anyone be surprised the US wont leave Iraq and all that black gold. Heck, we never left Germany, Japan and South Korea and they got nothing but location going for them (as does Iraq)winston2 , Jan 10 2020 22:34 utc | 58
As for losing. Wars are not fought with an ending as the principle goal, at least not since WWII. Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. Welcome to Orwells 1984, sans the boot in Oceania (thus far). Cold War followed by GWOT. When the GWOT began to fizzle a mini Cold War with Russia was started by Obama and AQ was replaced with ISIS. Those are fizzling so Trumps pulled Iran from Obamas dust bin.
Empires need enemies to hold them together so they can keep feed the MIC beast and keep it from devouring the hand that feeds them. If an enemy does not exist one is created.
It helps that the majority can be made to believe anything. Ignorance and effective propaganda, the elimination of a free press, and control of education and entertainment make that possible. Nothing can reverse this. Sure, a few might break out of the matrix but they are of no consequence unless they become too visible.27Really?? , Jan 10 2020 22:47 utc | 59
The S300 can see F35s just fine.Its not at a fixed model,the appellation is a generic, and denotes a class of missile with a range of 300km.Radars and c&c systems are updated constantly.
They are not your daddys S300s that Greece never updated, you're in for a rude surprise if you think so.Jen @ 1chet380 , Jan 10 2020 22:51 utc | 60
"The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. "
One is left gobsmacked and speechless.
An interloper is told to get the hell out of your house and he retorts: "No, we are here to stay and renew our marriage vows with you!"
This is insane.
Surely the world can see that Pompeo and others at State are deranged, out of touch with reality.
Honestly, one is at a loss for words.
As ever, more thanks to b for keeping up with all of this.@ Sammy 10Formerly T-Bear , Jan 10 2020 22:57 utc | 61
The sooner Tel Aviv is glass, the sooner the US WILL pull out of the ME.@ karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 20:56 utc | 24Really?? , Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 62
Referring your observations here concerning DNC may be problematic, instead it might have better standing to fact if DLC (Democratic Leadership Committee) is used as it is a construct of the Clintons in their takeover of the D-party for the 1992 election. It is highly unlikely Hillary replaced that organisation for her attempts at high office. It is also highly unlikely Obama had the interest or motive to replace the Clinton organisation in his Presidency, he hardly replaced Bush 43's administration at the end of eight years. All too much of this information has gone down memory holes and no longer carries sufficient significance to matter for the public but should definitely matter to those interested in modern historical developments. Verification may likely be found by analysing the membership of the D-party's financial committee (membership should be matter of public record) and determine their political allegiances
YMMV"Iraqi's declare Iran's strike on the US base a breach of sovereignty. Iraqi's that should be allied with Iran for the purpose of driving the US out."Abe , Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 63
One Iraqi. Two Iraqis .
No apostrophe for plural.
Just for possessive, e.g., "Iran's."
Is that so hard?
No, it is not hard.On completely unrelated note, b, you are aware that your website, as set as it is, gives us government technical ability to identify each and every one of posters here? Regardless where you host your website.bjd , Jan 10 2020 23:12 utc | 64
You website imports contents from ajax.googleapis.com. It is spyware used for tracking users across whole internet, every site that uses google api is voluntarily enabling google to track people so they can build surfing history/profile for everyone.
google shares that info with us government.
government compares timestamps of posts here, and can identify people.
HTTPS website doesn't protects anyone here in this regard.
Just for posters to know there is technical possibility.Subvert, Sabotage, Eliminate.bjd , Jan 10 2020 23:19 utc | 65Iraq has Trump by the short hairs.Really?? , Jan 10 2020 23:26 utc | 66
In a few months the election circus will really get underway. If they're smart and patriottic, the PMF will slowly start hitting US targets, forcing Trump's hand. An increased campaign of pressure.
Like Tet '68. The Bagdad Olympics.karlof1 @50J-Dogg , Jan 10 2020 23:32 utc | 67
""'Power-driven vessel A approaches the port side of power-driven vessel B. Vessel A is considered the give-way vessel. As the give-way vessel, A must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear and avoid crossing the stand-on vessel B.'
Farragut (A) should have passed behind B."
Video was taken on the US ship, right (voice? Looks to me like the Russian ship (top left) was crossing the US ship's bow from port to starboard of US (closer) ship. I.e., from the port side. Not "approaching the port side." So, as far as I can see, the US vessel had the right of way; the Russian ship should have given way/changed course.
Cf. "1. If another vessel is approaching you from the port -- or left -- side of your boat, you have the right of way and should maintain your speed and direction."I am going to go out on a limb and say the reason for all the western obfuscation is that Boeing is already in trouble due to the 737MAX issues. Boeing being a major component in USA economy needs to be protected from the fact they just lost another plane to mechanical/design error.karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 23:35 utc | 68
ChasMark @55--james , Jan 10 2020 23:40 utc | 69
There's lots of info to verify in those comments. For the most part, they're all correct. The exception comes to Iranian air defences, their indigenous designed S-400 equivalent, overall radar net, EW capabilities, and independent internet communications. The overall conclusion is Iran is far better prepared and equipped than Outlaw US Empire/NATO knew. It should also be reiterated that Iran's under Russia's nuclear aegis, which was publicly stated by Putin and an adjutant and clearly repeated to Pompeo and Trump by both Lavrov and Putin. Furthermore as publicly stated, China has Iran's back fiscally. In other words, Iran and its allies have more oomph collectively than the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals, many of the latter actually desire better relations with the CRI troika.
Perhaps the key point made is the supposed inability of Saudi to free itself from the Empire's shackles, which actually does make sense when one thinks long term. The logic of Iran's HOPE Proposal is impeccable and is the only genuine route out of the current dilemma. Clearly, it's been determined the Outlaw US Empire is the sole impediment to implementing HOPE and thus must be ousted from its ability to impede. I wrote back in September when HOPE was introduced at the UNGA that Trump would be a fool not to embrace it instead of oppose it as he could then call the Empire a partner in the project. Clearly, he was advised not to do so.@ likklemore and karlof1.. i liked the comment on moa twitter feed - "This was an american driving school marked with a very big "L" means "learner". Please drive carefully with max. consideration."Tony , Jan 10 2020 23:41 utc | 70
@ 66 really? the other video is better then the one shown in b's twitter feed clip.. check it out in the first video of 2 shown on the rt link.. cheers..The sooner that fat, lying, smirking terrorist thug Pompeo is sacked or killed, the better. He is a huge liability to our world.karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 23:48 utc | 71Really?? @66--Figleaf23 , Jan 10 2020 23:53 utc | 72
That's the impression you'd get when the USN is crossing the oncoming RuN path. I run into those sorts of helmsmen all the time on the ocean outside of Newport, Oregon. Additionally, with all the incidents of terrible navigation abilities seen over the past 3+ years and the lies made to cover them, the USN has zero credibility just like its parent organization the Outlaw US Empire.It occurs to me that a host country that is no in conflict with an over-staying force can make their life very challenging without having to actually fight them.William Gruff , Jan 11 2020 0:01 utc | 73
Outlaw any commerce between occupying forces and local businesses. Cut the roads to and from the bases. Fly unarmed drones in the path of their aircraft. Delay, deny, defy any requests for cooperation. Divert streams to flood their bases. Get really creative and make their life hell.The US Navy never backs down from any challenge! [ video ]karlof1 , Jan 11 2020 0:07 utc | 74Formerly T-Bear @61--ebolax , Jan 11 2020 0:13 utc | 75
Thanks for your reply! From what I observe, there's a lot of political angst within the Empire that Trump's actions and subsequent BigLies have enhanced and brought to the surface. The Act of War was the biggest domestic political error he could have committed, which shows he has zero sense. Sanders is now the #1 D-Party candidate, and he and Gabbard with a genuinely Progressive & Anti-war platform ought to win handily if allowed to.
You may have seen these one two links I've previously posted dealing with the beginnings of the 2020 election season. The first is the initial episode of a series in which I've seen the second, which is here . The second of the three is very entertaining, and all are just shy of 30 min.
Hope you're doing well in post-Brexit Ireland!Sadly and unfortunately, the US will only withdrawal after it has suffered another catastrophic loss, similar to what befell the soldiers in Lebanon. This is a criminal enterprise sitting atop the US Military. You would figure people putting their ass on the line would try and understand what they're really fighting for, but alas, most do not find out until after they come home.DFC , Jan 11 2020 0:18 utc | 76The US has started the chess game in a very poor position, with the pawns and horses deployed too forward in the chessboard (only 5.200 soldiers in Iraq and 10.000 in Kuwait), and the USA military leadership are in a very bad situation, if they try to send massive troops and equipment reinforcement Iran will not be iddle waiting how US is preparing to destroy them as the stupid Saddam did in 1991 and again in 2003, no, Iran will start the war with any pretext before new troops & equipment is deployed in significant amounts.div> Those oil deals Iraq made with China in exchange for Iraqi electrical infrastructure projects are something Trump will not allow and has threatened Iraq with the terrors of the earth. As Karloff1 suggests the Iraqis have few choices, Trumps State department have been blunt... you are vassals and you will do as you are told or you will be punished. That's plain and we can all be thankful for Trumps honesty. The ball is now in the Iraqi court, either refuse to be vassals and fight for your sovereignty or bow your heads and vacate the field.
On the other hand, if Iran escalate, the CENTCOM cannot support the "lost" garrison in Iraq and Kuwait, they do not have enough forces deployed in the theater, and an airlift operation of this magnitude under fire is very dangerous and a ride through hundreds of miles through hostile terrain under harassment from Iranians and PMU troops "Hezbollah style" (as IDF suffer in 2006), and without heavy armor scort and close air support will be almost suicidal.
Iranian have been preparing for a war with USA from 1979, but now the situation is better than ever, I do not give a cent on USA now if they do not retreat quickly from Syria and Iraq (if Trump is enough intelligent it will order soon, but I am afraid he wants to play poker once more), and stop to make threats and provocations.
But they "cannot" retreat, you know, is an electoral year and Trump want to be re-elected above all.
Posted by: Harry law , Jan 11 2020 0:30 utc | 77Those oil deals Iraq made with China in exchange for Iraqi electrical infrastructure projects are something Trump will not allow and has threatened Iraq with the terrors of the earth. As Karloff1 suggests the Iraqis have few choices, Trumps State department have been blunt... you are vassals and you will do as you are told or you will be punished. That's plain and we can all be thankful for Trumps honesty. The ball is now in the Iraqi court, either refuse to be vassals and fight for your sovereignty or bow your heads and vacate the field.juliania , Jan 11 2020 0:33 utc | 78
Posted by: Harry law | Jan 11 2020 0:30 utc | 77I am seeing the position of Iraq against Iran as being very similar to the position of Ukraine vis a vis Russia -- as 'younger' to 'elder brother'. Not as lesser to greater, but as family, the ones nearby. Crimea grabbed onto that lifeline - as well they might!Walter , Jan 11 2020 0:36 utc | 79
Now a new element of the multipolar world is at early stages of being born. And this was put in effect, if we go back and look, immediately up the invasion of Iraq by Bush Jr. But, clearly, Iraq went through more horror, more destabilization than did Ukraine. The latter had a governmental coup resulting in internal strife; Iraq had a military invasion. So, hopefully the Resistance will be patient with it - like Syria, it is in great need of aid, comfort, and reassurance that no further hegemony will be visited upon it. Sovereignty is the issue and rightfully so.
There are lessons to be learned, after we finish mourning the murders of men who were apparently engaged in the diplomatic efforts to establish this new multipolarity, or at least lay some groundwork for future talks along that line. You don't murder diplomats. Case closed; invaders out! And that is more difficult, more delicate, if up till now you have only yourself survived as a nation by clinging to the skirts of the American empire. Difficult but inevitable.
Iraq now can look toward Ukraine. Has that country done well taking the unipolar path? Hardly. Did South Vietnam? Hardly. But as spring approaches, how are each changing course? The dust is settling; you can see better. Travel with Pepe over the great mountains following real trading routes, of the centuries past. Bring your own unique assets to the fore and let friends visit and see what it is that makes you you. Another name for the Axis of Resistance is Peace and Prosperity. Mutual benefit. It's coming.
In this country, the US, long ago there was a mighty empire, the empire of the Anasazis, in the center of the Southwest. They caused to be built mighty edifices and they suborned the surrounding farming peoples because they had power to predict the seasonal changes and supposedly command rain to fall. Everyone believed it and everyone obeyed. For a time. There was no alternative. Until it didn't rain, and it didn't rain. So, the people left, they went where there were rivers, they abandoned the great Anasazi centre. It is in ruins today. But the people have survived.
We are suddenly in another pivotal moment. And it will be difficult for those of us who willingly or not have benefited from empire. But many of us say with you - invaders out! Peace and blessings to all!: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 21:15 utc | 31ben , Jan 11 2020 0:44 utc | 80
The COLREGS do not apply to the exceptionals...
US destroyer blatantly violated international rules for preventing collisions at sea by making a manoeuvre to cross the Russian ship's course in the North Arabian Sea - @MoD_Russia🇷🇺Cortes @ 47; Thanks for the link. Interesting Si-Fi. Maybe not that far fetched after all..Walter , Jan 11 2020 0:58 utc | 81
Manny @ 49; Welcome. Keep reading, and once you get through middle-school, maybe you'll change your mind.
Pft @ 57; Good read, thanks!Bearing in mind that Pravda ain't what it used to be this policy, described bluntly in article title : "If NATO strikes Kaliningrad, Russia will seize Baltic in 48 hours" if real, would probably extend to the prevention of similar build-up in the matter of the Iraqi and Iranian "MAGA" programs now developing.Paul Damascene , Jan 11 2020 1:01 utc | 82
Quote from Pravda> "As soon as we can see the concentration of American aircraft on airfields in Europe - they cannot reach us in any other way - we will simply destroy those airfields by launching our medium-range ballistic missiles at those targets. Afterwards, our troops will go on offensive in the Baltic direction and take control of the entire Baltic territory within 48 hours. NATO won't even have time to come to its senses - they will see a very powerful military buildup on the borders with Poland. Then they will have to think whether they should continue the war. As a result, all this will end with NATO losing the Baltic States," Mikhail Alexandrov told Pravda.Ru describing one of the scenarios for a possible development of events in case of Russia's response to NATO aggression.
Another variant for the breakthrough of the missile defense system in Kaliningrad provides for a massive cruise missile attack on the Russian territory. According to the expert, Russia has cruise and ballistic missiles that it can launch on the territory of the United States.
"If the Americans launch a missile attack on Kaliningrad, then we will strike, say, Seattle, where largest US aircraft factories are located. Having destroyed those factories we will deprive the Americans of the possibility to build their aircraft. They will no longer be able to build up their fleet of military aircraft," said Mikhail Alexandrov.
Russia has efficient air defense systems to intercept cruise missiles. If it goes about a ballistic missile strike, the expert reminded that Russia has a missile defense area in Moscow that can intercept at least 100 missiles and maybe even more, since there are no restrictions associated with the ABM Treaty.
One might assume the same policy would apply for all Ru, and Iran too, as Iran is critical to the survival of Ru.On the topic of Iran not waiting for a military build up as a precursor to a US assault on Iran...Medusa - Perseus , Jan 11 2020 1:14 utc | 83
I wonder if an intermediate step for Iran might be, in cooperation with the PMU, to threaten to attack any new forces coming into Iraq, taking this to be escalation prior to an invasion, and therefore a threat that must countered before it worsens.Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 10 2020 20:30 utc | 19Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 1:14 utc | 84
you might be interestted in Gordon Hahn's take:
January 7, 2020
Russia, the Eurasian Triangle, and the Soleiman Assassination
***********************@ Walter 79jiri , Jan 11 2020 1:18 utc | 85
but there is this query: what are the consequences of taunting? A review of the past year saw the u.s. losing stature and, since 2014, its dollar as world reserve currency being shunned.
Once that goes. Hmmm, and in the Gulf:
2015: Reuters Qatar launches first Chinese yuan clearing hub in Middle East
2017: China will 'compel' Saudi Arabia to trade oil in yuan and that will affect the dollar
2019: Abqaig - After the Houthis take down of KSA oil facilities, and failure of US defenses does KSA still feel secure?
Working closely with Russia, Soleimani was instrumental in the battles for Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Trump, the braggart, stunned the world. Even their special relationship Brits!
It is reported when Boris was told of Soleimani's murder he said, O, F**K.
January 3, 2020 everything changed and they know not what they have done on behalf of Israel.The attack on al Assad airbase was the US's Suez Moment.Harry law , Jan 11 2020 1:20 utc | 86
What remains now is to decide how to dismantle the Empire.An exit from Iraq would make the occupation and theft of oil from Syria untenable,and the land route from Iran to Syria and Lebanon less hazardous. This would be fatal for Israel and will insist the US stay in Iraq. Unfortunately for the US 5,000 will not cut the mustard, how many US troops could Trump put into Iraq to quell an uprising in election year? US bases in the Gulf are extremely vulnerable especially the largest base Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar who many regard as being located in enemy territory. Trump is gambling and many shrinks think he's nuts, I agree..... Psychiatrists: Urgent action must be taken against Trump for creating Iran crisisReally?? , Jan 11 2020 1:24 utc | 87
James @ 69diveshopingoa , Jan 11 2020 1:26 utc | 88
The two videos don't look like the same situation.
The first appears to have been shot from the Farragut's port side; the second, from her starboard side.
And in the first the Russian ship appears to be bearing down on the Farragut off the Farragut's port bow. In the second the Russian ship appears to be overtaking the Farragut, coming up from the starboard side. I don't see how the videos can have been taken at the same time. The rule that seems to apply to the situ in video 1 is:
When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel."
Since the Russian vessel appears to have the Farragut on her starboard side, the Russian vessel should change course and presumably deflect to starboard. (Once the two vessels were as close as they were, both should have deflected to starboard.) But instead it looks as though the Russian vessel at the last minute deflected to port.
However, video 2 looks like a totally different situ. So to me it remains unclear what the actual disposition of the vessels was. The videos must have been taken at two different points in the encounter.Thank you b for these great articles and allowing comments.Richard Steven Hackr , Jan 11 2020 1:27 utc | 89
I want to nod out to ChasMark | Jan 10 2020 22:21 utc | 55 for a great comment.
For decades the US has controlled the world through petro dollars and counterinsurgency warfare. They lost every time at this but its more about the money spent and keeping fluidity within economic circles.
With Iran's missile attack being an eye opener I hope the US is smart enough to know they have lost. MIC spokes person when asked why the base did not protect itself. He said they did not have the hardware to do it. No Patriots because they owned the sky up to that point. What is a Patriot to counterinsurgency. They had a M-901 (TEL) which they got rid of years ago supposedly. It is loaded with six TOW missiles and would generally be used to disable bomb laden vehicles approaching the gate. Counterinsurgency again.
Those days are over. It is the day of the missile and belt and road economic plans. No longer can air craft carriers hang off the coast to control the skies. How will the stunned US MIC bring in additional troops and equipment. Planes or ships are small targets but highly valuable ones. It is not always easy to know how things happen. Like the ships struck this past year in the gulf or KSA oil infrastructure hit, who did it and how is hard to determine.
I imagine the MIC is burning the mid-night oil with the realization that they are now in a war they are totally unprepared to fight. They have 15,000 soldiers strung out in Iraq unprotected from missile attack and no way to protect them. They will talk all BS but it is empty and they know it. They do have two things. One is fear and the other nukes.
There is much talk of weak knees among the Iraqi people and government. That is with good reason. The destruction of city after city. Some they find through the birth of deformed children that some of their cities are radioactive. Of course they are afraid the USA killed a million of them and turned 24 million into refugees. As time goes on they will realize that the bully is not what it was and every new strike by Iran will build the confidence to push the Americans out.
I wonder if the day of the nuke is coming to an end as well. Temper tantrum Trump decides to nuke either Iran or Iraq the world will speak up. Perhaps strike back as the Russians have said. If the point is the oil and gas in the area and the control of it then nukes will destroy that value.
If there was a time that America wet itself it is now. If the 9 flags stand together then move as one their cries will drive the heathen from their home. I also believe that if it happens then the USA is done. Played out."Iran could not have dreamt of a better President to rejuvenate its position domestically and regionally."Really?? , Jan 11 2020 1:31 utc | 90
The problem is that Israel could not have dreamt of a better President to get a war with Launched. In fact, Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli Minister of Justice (some irony there), once said as much explicitly, albeit over the issue of the West Bank, not Iran.
Ayelet Shaked urges Israel to take advantage of Trump and annex West Bank
In a tweet following a Jerusalem Post conference in New York on Sunday, Ayelet Shaked said it was time for Israel to "establish facts on the ground".
"There is no better time than now," Shaked, who earlier this month was sacked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as justice minister, wrote on Twitter.
"Do not miss Trump's reign - that's what I just said at the Jerusalem Post in New York."
This is because Trump is devoted to Israel and devoted to an antipathy to Iran. The more Iran gains ground in the Middle East, the more Israel will push Trump (and any successor to Trump) to attack Iran. And he will do it - either deliberately or out of incompetence - and the difference doesn't matter.It occurs to me that a host country that is no in conflict with an over-staying force can make their life very challenging without having to actually fight them.William H Warrick , Jan 11 2020 1:40 utc | 91
. . .
Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 10 2020 23:53 utc | 72
Change all the road and street signs! OK, there are fewer signs in Iraq than there were in Czechoslovakia, but it would still be worth a shot.Condo, Dubya's "House Negro", got a Stillborn baby instead.Really?? , Jan 11 2020 1:42 utc | 92That's the impression you'd get when the USN is crossing the oncoming RuN path. . . .Lurk , Jan 11 2020 1:45 utc | 93
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 23:48 utc | 71
Well, when two ships are approaching each other at an angle, they are both crossing each other's path. What counts is, who is going faster and thus will cross the other's bow sooner. It sure looks to me like when they got close the Ru vessel had the Farragut on her (Ru's) starboard side. If the two vessels were going opposite directions but on parallel tracks, they would pass same side to same side (i.e., port to port; starboard to starboard). If they are approaching at an angle, the relative relationship of the two sides will change with the speed of the vessels. You must visualize the situ from each vessel, not one, and gauge speed and relationship when the two courses cross. However, both vessels in proximity have the obligation to take action to avoid a collision. In that situ I believe the default is for both to deflect to starboard.
Wait to see who says uncle first at sea is a stupid game of chicken. Basically IMO both captains broke the rule of avoiding collisions and endangered their crews and their vessels.Abe | Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 63Jen , Jan 11 2020 1:51 utc | 94
The "decentraleyes" addon for firefox mitigates some of these data leaks. Apple IOS users are probably fucked any which way.Really @ 66, 87:Harry law , Jan 11 2020 1:53 utc | 95
In the video where the Russian ship is in the top left-hand corner, the USS Farragut is moving away from the Russian ship. In that video, the Russian ship is travelling behind the US ship and crosses from theHere is a wonderful and witty must read article by Gary Brecher [the War Nerd] which puts the US predicament in the Gulf into perspectiveJen , Jan 11 2020 1:55 utc | 96
"Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack."
That's right: no defense at all. The truth is that they have very feeble defenses against any attack with anything more modern than cannon. I've argued before no carrier group would survive a saturation attack by huge numbers of low-value attackers, whether they're Persians in Cessnas and cigar boats or mass-produced Chinese cruise missiles. But at least you could look at the missile tubes and Phalanx gatlings and pretend that you were safe. But there is no defense, none at all, against something as obvious as a ballistic missile.
Sorry, accidentally posted too early @ 94 after being interrupted. I meant to say that the Russian ship, travelling behind the Farragut, crossed from that ship's starboard side to its portside. This suggests that the Farragut did not give way in the first video when the Russian ship first approached but steamed on ahead and went in front of the Russian ship.ben , Jan 11 2020 1:56 utc | 97Medusa-Perseus @ 83: Thanks for the link. Despite the authors speaking, in the first paragraph, about Iran's "provocations", it's an informative and well written piece.imo , Jan 11 2020 2:14 utc | 98
"Again, it is high time that Washington get off its high horse and begin to negotiate a new world order with globe's major powers. The prospects for this, however, appear less likely than ever. Unfortunately, when there was still an opportunity to use American power to reshape rather than destabilize the world, the Obama administration chose the latter. With the opportunity to shift course in a mode more imposed by, rather than imposed on the U.S. virtually dissipated, the Trump administration is continuing in the Obama mode of destabilization while falling back on the one-sidedness of the military option–with all the predictable consequences."For what it is worth...Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 2:19 utc | 99
An American (a professor at that, but not of culture) once asked back around 2011 the following: "Why do people in the Middle East talk so frequently about humiliation and dignity? Other countries were colonized or lost wars, yet they do not speak about humiliation and dignity. I assume that an answer to this question will help me understand Middle Eastern culture."
The differences between shame and guilt based cultures are interesting.
The terminology was popularized by Ruth Benedict in The Chrysanthemum and the Sword , who described American culture as a "guilt culture" and Japanese culture as a "shame culture." The Islamic Middle East is generally a shame based culture.
In east-west interactions these two distinct worldviews and values systems operate -- i.e. guilt vs shame. For example:
"Loyalty: All Arabs belong to a group or tribe. Loyalty to the family tribe is considered paramount to maintaining honor. One does not question the correctness of the elders or tribes in front of outsiders. It is paramount that the tribe sticks together in order to survive. Once again, Arab history and folklore are full of stories of heroes who were loyal to the end."
In the Eastern view (well Islamic anyway), there is a stronger sense that one has 'it' (honor) by birth and then risks losing it through various shameful actions etc. As distinct from a work ethic stance where working towards something is the goal.
The main issue at play in the recent Iran-US-Iraqi dynamic from this point of view is not the surface level simpleton MSM narrative of who was the good & bad guys etc. Leave that for the childish unsophisticated 'super hero' mentalities raised on comics.
Rather, in this case, it is the fact/perception that the Arab Iraqi 'host' failed to uphold the accepted ancient honor codes of protecting an invited guest (well at least for three days). Only barbarians do not understand and play by this value system.
So, the USA, as the said culturally ignorant actors, is actually not really the core issue in this case. That is just an inconvenient fact of history.
What is more real and politically charged is the fact that the Iraqi Arab nation (leadership) invited an Iranian (Persian) guest -- allegedly to talk peace deals with the Wahhabi gang -- and failed to uphold/honor the ancient host-guest codes. Even if there was no duplicity involved, the fact remains scratched into the historical record that they failed -- ergo, shame must now be dealt with.
Therefore, the future events will more than likely unfold one way or another according to the honor-shame etiquette process.
Now, of course some in the US hierarchy may well know and understand this dynamic and apply it -- and Gregory Bateson used the term "Schismogenesis" in the 1930s and played his part in WW2 within the (then) Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an institutional precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), against Japanese held territories in the Pacific. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schismogenesis )They went for two:Parisian Guy , Jan 11 2020 2:20 utc | 100
AP reports: US tried to take out another Iranian leader, but failed
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military tried, but failed, to take out another senior Iranian commander on the same day that an American airstrike killed the Revolutionary Guard's top general, U.S. officials said Friday.
The officials said a military airstrike by special operations forces targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but the mission was not successful. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission.[.]
Officials said both Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Shahlai were on approved military targeting lists, which indicates a deliberate effort by the U.S. to cripple the leadership of Iran's Quds force, which has been designated a terror organization by the U.S. Officials would not say how the mission failed.[.]
Shocked I am. NOT.There has been a similar incident between US and Russian navies a few months ago., This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted. Your comment could not be posted. Error type: Your comment has been posted. Post another comment
Same claims from the USN against the Russians.
Guess what? The video clearly showed the Russians on the starboard side of the USN ship.
The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.
As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.
Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.
Post a comment Name:
Allowed HTML Tags:
< B>Text</B> → Text
<I>Text</I> → Text
< U>Text</U> → Text
< A HREF="http://www.aclu.org/">Headline (not the URL)</A> → Headline (not the URL)
" Update On The Ukrainian Plane Incident Near Tehran | Main
next page "Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment
Nov 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.comLikbez,
It looks like UK and USA are engaged in the contest to see who can come up with the most surreal anti-Russian propaganda psy-ops.
British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns
That shed some light on the common origin of MH17, Russiagate and Scripal propaganda campaigns connecting all three with British government's psy-op operation called The ' Integrity Initiative ' which builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.
And among others participants, William Browder is listed too:Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.Here is one interesting comment from MoA:
Anya, Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AMThe British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:
https://www.zerohedge.com/n..."The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soilA Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-d...
throughout 2016.""Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.
Jan 09, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
The 1933 Marx brothers film Duck Soup was meant to be a satirical look at Benito Mussolini, ruler of Italy. In the film the mythical country of Freedonia , ruled by the effervescent Rufus T. Firefly ( played by Groucho), due to an insult by the ambassador of rival nation Sylvania, declares war. Laughs abound. Well, in our own nation of ' Free markets', ' Free enterprise' and ' Free use of war' whenever it pleases us, we are led by another Firefly, who is as comedic as he is dangerous to peace.
Of course, the major difference with movie's Freedonia and our own is like night and day. In the film the leader, Firefly, had full control of every decision needed to be made. In our Freemerika , Mr. Trump, regardless of the image he portrays as an absolute ruler, has to dance to the tune of the Military Industrial Empire, just like ALL our previous presidents. Folks, sorry to say, but presidents are not so much harnessed by our Constitution or Congress ( or even the Supreme Court) but by the wizards who the empire picks to advise him. They decide the ' when and if' of such dramatic actions like the other day's drone missile murder in Iraq of the Iranian general. Unlike when Groucho decides he was insulted by Trentino, the Sylvanian ambassador, and declares ' This means war!', Mr. Trump gave the order for the assassination but ONLY after those behind the curtain advised him.Violence Is as Violence Does. All in the Name of "Restoring Democracy"
To believe that our presidents have carte blanche to do the heinous deeds is foolish at best . LBJ's use of the Gulf of Tonkin phony incident to gung ho in Vietnam was not just one man making that call.
Or Nixon's Christmas carpet bombing of Hanoi, Bush Sr.'s attack on Iraq in 1991 , his son's ditto against Iraq in 2003, Obama's use of NATO to destroy Libya in 2011, or this latest arrogance by Trump, were all machinations by this empire's wizards who advised them. When the late Senator Robert Byrd stood before a near empty Senate chamber in 2003 to warn of this craziness, that told it all! We are not led by Rufus T. Firefly, rather a Cabal that most in this government do not even realize who in the hell these people are!
Of course, the embedded mainstream media does the usual job of demonizing who the empire chooses to be our enemies. As with this recent illegal act by our government of crossing into another nation's sovereignty to do the deed, now they all tell us how deadly this Iranian general was. Yet, how many of the news outlets ever mentioned this guy for what they now tell us he was, for all these years? Well, here is the kicker. I do not know what this man was responsible for , regarding acts of insurgency against US forces in Iraq. Maybe he did aid in the attacks on US personnel. Maybe he also was there to neutralize the fanatical ISIS terrorists who were killing US and Iraqi personnel in Iraq and Syria. What I do know is that, in the first place, we had no business ever invading and occupying Iraq period! Thus, the rest of this Duck Soup becomes postscript.
Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ' It's the Empire Stupid ' radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at email@example.com
Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The USA Has Been Bombing Iraq For 29 Years by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/08/2020 - 21:05 0 SHARES
Over the past days while little real debate over the Iran crisis has happened in Washington or Congress (instead it's merely the default drones and "bombs away" as usual), the American public has been busy online and in living rooms debating the merits or lack thereof of escalation and potential war with Iran.
However, like with many other instances of US foreign policy adventurism, this is typically a "debate" lacking in necessary recent historical context or appreciation for how the domino effect of disasters now facing American security were often brought on by prior US action in the first place. As a case in point, it's not recognized often enough in public discourse that it was the United States under the neocon Bush administration which handed Iraq over to "Iranian influence" and the Shia clerics in the first place .
It must be remembered that Saddam Hussein was a secular Sunni dictator presiding over a Shia majority population, and he was enemy #1 of Iran. Team USA's short-sighted and criminal 2003 invasion and overthrow of Saddam based on WMD lies had the immediate benefit to Tehran of handing the Ayatollah the greatest gift that Iran waged a nearly decade-long war to accomplish, but couldn't (the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War).U.S. bombing of Baghdad in 2003.
And the neocons within the bowels of the national security state have ever since been attempting to salvage their failed legacy in Iraq by the futile effort of trying to contain Iran and roll back Shia dominance in Baghdad, as Seymour Hersh detailed in his famous 2006 New Yorker piece The Redirection , which accurately predicted the 'long war' against the Hezbollah-Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran axis which would unfold, and did indeed unfold, especially in Syria of the past eight years.
To "situate" the past week's dramatic events, it's also crucial to understand, as The Libertarian Institute's Scott Horton has pointed out , that "The U.S.A. has been bombing Iraq for 29 years. And it looks like it's not over yet."
Below is an essential timeline compiled by Horton of that nearly three decade long history where Iraq has been consistently subject to American bombs and intervention -- yet ironically (and some might say predictably) the situation is still getting worse, more unstable, and more dangerous.
* * *
The U.S.A. has been bombing Iraq for 29 years. And it looks like it's not over yet:
Iraq War I : January -- February 1991 (aka The Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, liberation of Kuwait)
Iraq War I 1/2 : February 1991 -- March 2003 (The rest of Bush I, Bill Clinton years, economic blockade and no-fly zone bombings)
Iraq War II : March 2003 -- December 2011 (aka Operation Iraqi Freedom, W. Bush's invasion and war for the Shi'ite side)
Iraq War III : August 2014 -- December 2017 (aka Operation Inherent Resolve, the war against the Islamic State, which America had helped to build up in Syria but then launched this war to destroy, on behalf of the Shi'ite government in Baghdad, after ISIS had seized the predominately Sunni west of the country in the early summer of 2014 and declared the Islamic State "Caliphate")
Iraq War III 1/2 : December 2017 -- January 2020 (The "mopping-up" war against the remnants of ISIS which has had the U.S. still allied with the very same Shi'ite militias they fought Iraq War II and III for, but are now attacking)
Iraq War IV : Now -- ?
NEW from me: We asked folks to identify Iran on an unlabeled map.
28% of them got it right. Here's where they guessed. https://t.co/XhP5OU9s2n pic.twitter.com/IQ8HYFDKxE-- Joanna Piacenza (@jpiacenza) January 8, 2020
As Scott Horton suggests, the roots of the current crisis lie all the way back in the mid-20th century :
In 1953, the American CIA overthrew the elected prime minister of Iran in favor of the Shah Reza Pahlavi who ruled a dictatorship there for 26 years until in 1979 a popular revolution overthrew his government and installed the Shi'ite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in power.
So in 1980, President Jimmy Carter's government gave Iraq's Saddam Hussein the green light to invade Iran, a war which the U.S. continued to support throughout the Ronald Reagan years, though they also sold weapons to the Iranian side at times.
But then in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait in a dispute over debts from the recent war with Iran, with some encouragement by the U.S. government, leading to America's Iraq War I, aka the first Gulf War or Operation Desert Storm at the beginning of 1991.
And that was merely the very beginning.
Read the rest of the story and the excellent brief history of how we got here over at The Libertarian Institute .
Wahooo , 1 minute ago linkWahooo , 1 minute ago link
I think by now that you understand the US exists to kill people overseas or you are simply mindless and stupid.J S Bach , 3 minutes ago link
I think by now that you understand the US exists to kill people overseas or you are simply mindless and stupid.
"The USA Has Been Bombing Iraq For 29 Years"
Yep. And the initial excuse (WMDs) was proven absolutely to have been a contrived hoax. Yet, all of the people of that decimated country and surrounding nations who have a vendetta against us are labeled "terrorists". I guess the English language has evolved beyond my comprehension since the usurpation by the tribe of our media and government.
By the definition of "terrorist" - terrorist | ˈterərəst | noun a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims: - I see only the United States of Israel as befitting this word.
Jan 09, 2020 | www.reddit.com
5 comments 100% Upvoted Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up Sort by View discussions in 6 other communities level 1
Tiny_Pay 2 points · 5 hours agoIAmTeaBag4 2 points ·
What a weird tweet. level 1