Softpanorama
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Elite [Dominance] Theory and the Revolt of the Elite
(Silent Coup or Revolt of the Rich)

News Principal-agent problem Recommended Books Recommended Links The Deep State Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura
The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite The Rise of the New Global Elite  Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Two Party System as polyarchy
Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Corporatism Neo-fascism National Security State New American Militarism Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections   Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Casino Capitalism Inverted Totalitarism Predator state Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few US and British media are servants of security apparatus Real war on reality Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative  New American Caste System Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction


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.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

In political science and sociology, elite [dominance] theory is a theory of the state which seeks to describe the power relationships in contemporary society. The theory posits that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite, policy-planning networks (which include not only think tanks, but also part of academia, see Econned) and selected members of "professional class", holds the most political power and that they acquire this power bypassing the democratic elections process and are able to hold into it for a long time (see Two Party System as polyarchy).

This, in a way, is close to position of "classic" or paleo conservatives (not to mix them with neocons). Their position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one; it always has been that an egalitarian, genuinely democratic  society is impossible. That every society includes rulers and ruled, and it is rulers(the elite) who make critical decisions, no matter under which sauce: democratic republic, communist dictatorship, authoritarism  or some other variant.  The central question of politics, therefore is how to select the rulers in an optimal way so that those at the bottom of food chain were not mercilessly wiped out. Extremes meet and in fact Bolsheviks were other early adopters of the same "elite dominance" vision. Lenin’s classic  question “who, whom?” is an essence of Bolshevism. While Bolsheviks promised that a classless society would one day emerge as a variant of Christ Second Coming, in the meantime, however, they were open and enthusiastic practitioners of brutal power politics which they shrewdly called "dictatorship of proletariat", while in reality it was a dictatorship of the Party elite and state bureaucrats (so called "nomenklatura")

Under neoliberalism any democracy even theoretically is impossible and to claim otherwise is to engage in open propaganda. Even revolt of people, which is the past was a powerful control mechanism of the elite,  now is very unlikely due to the power and sophistication of repressive apparatus, power at which functionless of Stasi could only dream.. Through positions in corporations and corporate boards, as well as the influence over the policy-planning networks through financial support of foundations`` or positions with think tanks or policy-discussion groups, members of the "elite" are able to exert dominant power over the policy decisions of the corporations in their own favor (outsized bonuses is just one example here) and subdue the national governments to the interests of those corporations due to financial levers that corporate wealth provides.

A recent example of this can be found in the Forbes Magazine article [1] (published in December 2009) entitled The World's Most Powerful People, in which Forbes lists the 67 people, which the editors consider to be the most powerful people in the world (assigning one "slot" for each hundred million of humans).

The initial variant of this theory was proposed In 1956, C Wright Mills. In his book The Power Elite he described how political, corporate and military leaders in the US made policy with minimal, if al all, control, or even just consideration of preferences or concerns of ordinary citizens.

The majority of Americans now feel they are ruled by a remote, detached from their needs elite class.  As Robert Johnson noted "Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. Their slogan is: "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."  That creates  as Christopher Hayes  noted "national mood of exhaustion, frustration and betrayal" at the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our society."

As soon as we understand the dominance of elite is inevitable several fundamental questions arise:

Elite dominance theory postulates that there are powerful barriers that exist for citizens  participation of the citizens in the control of government. In less "politically correct" terms "rank-and-file" citizens are politically powerless. Still the stability of the society depends on the ability of the most capable members of the society, no matter in what strata they were born, to rise to the top.  Equal opportunities in education in this sense are of paramount importance and represent a real "safety valve" in the society. 

As for the question whether the elite is interested in stability and well-being of the given society, the key problem is to determine about which society we are talking. Elite low operates in transnational categories and can value stability of "transnational world" higher then stability and well-being of a given society. The idea that the national elite acts in the interest of the nation is now under review. Dissolution of the USSR, when the elite (aka nomenklatura)  singlehandingly decimated and "privatized" the whole country to get their "fair share" of wealth is a telling example, a textbook example of self-centered and destructive behavior of  new "transnational" elites.

It has shown that modern elites are not anymore connected with their country of origin and social background and roots. Paradoxically, the KGB elite actively participated in dismantling of the USSR, and Gorbachov was put in power mostly by efforts of Andropov, the guy who was the head of KGB.  Here is one telling comment:

IHaveLittleToAdd, Aug 28, 2014 9:03:13 AM

Considering the non-elite citizens of the US have effectively no say in policy, what would happen if all of a sudden our government and media began shooting straight? Seems to me, pretty much nothing. It's not that most of the people I know don't realize we are being deceived to advance an altogether hidden agenda, it's that they simply don't care and are unaware of even the fabricated story.

In other words, the world's ruling elites are abandoning their host countries. They have a global vision and ambitions, their families often live in countries other are then their native country (and the country of main business), and they do not accept any constraints (such as level of taxation) and limits (such as local laws) in the pursuance of their egotistical interests, which are basically money oriented.

They move their money to offshore zones to avoid taxation. They break with impunity local laws to increase profits. It is now common for the leaders and members of the ruling elite to base self esteem upon material success, accumulation of raw wealth, emphasize Randian positivist philosophy and downplay humanistic ideals such as respect and tolerance. They no longer feel in the same boat as the rest of the society and openly worship on the altar of unlimited, pathological greed. This is especially noticeable among the US and GB financial elite.  In the USA they also morphed both Republican party and Democratic party into a single party of  rent-seekers on behalf of the wealthier members of society.

Marx would turn in his grave, if he saw how his idea of international unity of workers mutated into the actual international unity of elites. And how elites instead of workers implement a version of socialism, "socialism for rich", or "corporate welfare society". And they do it much more effectively then communists ever managed to implement "socialism for working class" (which actually was never a real goal, just a convenient slogan).  And like Bolsheviks they also practice redistribution of profits. In the same direction toward "nomenklatura", but much more effectively (also under Stalin regime position in nomenklatura was a precarious, as Stalin practiced "purges" as a method for rotation of the elite)

With NAFTA as a prominent example, Jeff Faux had shown how national elites are morphing into a global governing class ('The Party of Davos') and are shaping the new global economy alongside the lines of their neoliberal gospel. Their long arms are the IMF, the WTO, transnational corporations and transnational economic agreements. Being transnational the US elite does not care that the technological engine of the 20th century, the USA, is fatally wounded. That its high-tech industry, which was envy of the whole world is now outsourced, education way too expensive and outside several top universities is quite mediocre, and its scientific power is waning.

In other words they no longer believe in a Benjamin Franklin's dictum: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Classic Elite theory

  “Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”

-- George Gavlin

Classic Elite [Dominance] Theory is based on several ideas:

  1. Power lies in the positions of authority in key economic and political institutions.  
  2. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his book 1915 Political Parties. Michels was an anarcho-syndicalist at the time he formulated the Law. He later became an important ideologue of Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. The simplest formulation of the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy': "Who says organization, says oligarchy." In essence Iron law of oligarchy postulate that any complex organization self-generate its own elite, an oligarchy that has disproportional influence on the decisions made in the organization and is pretty autonomous from "rank-and-file" members and is little affected by elections. As such Iron law of oligarchy stands in stark opposition to pluralism and suggests that "participatory democracy" is a utopian ideal and that democracy is always limited to very narrow strata of existing oligarchy (top 0.01% in the USA). It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. 
  3. Pareto principle is related to the original observation was in connection concentration of the wealth in top 20% of the population. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied. Due to the scale-invariant nature of the power law relationship, the relationship applies also to subsets of the income range. Even if we take the ten wealthiest individuals in the world, we see that the top three (Carlos Slim Helú, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own as much as the next seven put together. A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called 'champagne glass' effect, was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed the distribution of global income to be very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world's population controlling 82.7% of the world's income.
    Distribution of world GDP, 1989[8]
    Quintile of population Income
    Richest 20% 82.70%
    Second 20% 11.75%
    Third 20% 2.30%
    Fourth 20% 1.85%
    Poorest 20% 1.40%

    The Pareto principle has also been used to attribute the widening economic inequality in the United States to 'skill-biased technical change'—i.e. income growth accrues to those with the education and skills required to take advantage of new technology and globalization. 

  4. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, money, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are relatively incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves and are deprived of money. That means that once in power the elite are resourceful and will strive to sustain its rule. 
  5. The elite have the most to lose if government or state failed as Russian elite discovered twice in the last century. So there are some natural limits of plundering of the state by the elite. 
  6. The simple plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system also called  winner-takes-all or  first-past-the-post. The latter term is an analogy to horse racing, where the winner of the race is the first to pass a particular point (the "post") on the track, after which all other runners automatically lose. Elections in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada belong to this category. In this voting there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes. Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that any plurality voting system elections naturally impose a two-party system  That means that single-winner voting system essentially hand all the power to the elite as it is elite that controls the electability of candidates from both parties. The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

The top twelve classical elite theorists include

  1. Karl Marx  is typically cited, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. Although the key postulate of Marxism about liberating role of proletariat proved wrong, Marxism made a tremendous contribution into understanding of power structure of the society, pointing that all power is concentrated directly or indirectly in owners of capital hands: a sociological theory of class domination. Marxism teaches that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labor for goods. He called the current socio-economic form of society (capitalism) "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" that is run by the wealthy elite purely for own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions within different faction of the elite. He first understood that political class represents a powerful force that is somewhat independent from economic foundations, especially if it is organized as a political party (and state can even be dominated by a fervent ideological network like USSR, China, Saudi Arabia,  Iran since 1979).  and that the current political elite is vary to redistribute this power with other factions of the elite even if relative balance of power within various factions changed.  What Marx give to the world is the understanding is that of Western history from the disintegration of Roman Empire was about the deadly conflict between rising factions of economic elite (industrial, landed, banking, etc) and existing political elite, with an occasional and temporary coalitions with peasants or artisans who tried to take advantage of the divisions in elite circles. So what Marx incorrectly called class struggle was actually a deadly struggle between economic and political elites within a society. In the 17th and 18th centuries it begins to make sense to describe the state -- paraphrasing Marx -- as an executive committee for managing the common affairs of the elite.  Generally speaking, Marx overstated the importance of industrial capitalists as compared to landed elites within the ruling circles of the 19th century, and of urban workers as compared to other urban dwellers and peasants (Hamilton, 1991). 
  2. Thorstein Veblen combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-à-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for elite that he called  a leisure class. The chief activity of the elite was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but, unlike many contemporaries, refused to connect change with progress. Although Veblen was sympathetic to state ownership of industry, he had a low opinion of workers and the labor movement. He pointed out that the new industrial processes created a conflict between businessmen and engineers, with businessmen representing the older order and engineers as the innovators of new ways of doing things. In combination with the tendencies described in The Theory of the Leisure Class, this conflict resulted in waste and “predation” that served to enhance the social status of those who could benefit from predatory claims to goods and services. 
  3. Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto emphasized the psychological and intellectual superiority that the Elites obtained, he believed that the elites were the highest accomplishers in any field and he discussed how there were two types of Elites
    1. governing elites
    2. non-governing elites

    He also extended on the idea that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and how one can circulate from being elite to non-elite. 

  4. Gaetano Mosca. Mosca emphasized the sociological and personal characteristics of elites. He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority. The ruling class is composed of the ruling elite and the sub-elites. He divides the world into two groups:
    1. ruling class
    2. class that is ruled

    Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority and/or other qualities that is highly esteemed and influential. 

  5. Robert Michels.  German sociologist Robert Michels developed The Iron Law of Oligarchy in his book  Political Parties published in 1915.  The Iron Law of Oligarchy  asserts that social and political organizations are run by few individuals, and social organization and labor division are the key. He believed that all organizations are elitist and that existence of elites is based on several factors that come into play in the bureaucratic structure of any large political organization:
    1. Need for leaders, as well as for specialized staff and facilities.
    2. The relative scarcity of the people with the psychological attributes of the leaders
    3. Natural monopolization of the their position by elected leaders within any sizable organization and related subversion of the democratic process even in organizations devoted to the promotion of democracy.

    Michels stressed several factors that underlie the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy'.

    In other words rule by an elite (aka "oligarchy") is inevitable within any large organization and society as a whole because both  "tactical and technical necessities".  As Michels stated:

    "It is organization which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy".

     He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy." That means that the official goal of democracy of eliminating elite rule is impossible, and any "democracy" is always just a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite. What is important is the level of mobility of "non-elite" to the elite and the rotation of the elite.  

  6. C. Wright Mills. Mills published his book The Power Elite in 1956, which provided a new sociological perspective on structure of power in the United States. He identified a triumvirate of power groups - political, economic and military - which form a distinguishable, although not unified, power-wielding body in the United States. This theory later was enhanced by Michael Mann who proposed that the power structures within Western civilization, and probably other civilizations, too, are best understood by determining the intertwining and relative importance at any given time of the organizations based in four "overlapping and intersecting sociospatial networks of power" (Mann, 1986, p. 1). These networks are ideological, economic, military, and political. This view is called "The IEMP model".  Simultaneous crisis in several of those networks, the phenomenon we observe now in the USA and previously in the USSR represent a social crisis.

    Mills proposed that those groups emerged through a process of rationalization at work that occurs in all advanced industrial societies. And in all of them power became concentrated at the very top (0.01%), funneling overall control into the hands of a very small, somewhat corrupt group.  This tendency is reflected in a decline of politics as an arena for debate about social change and relegation it to a merely formal level of discourse about non-essential issues, a smokescreen for backroom dealings of the oligarchy,

    This macro-scale analysis sought to point out that the degradation of democracy in "advanced" societies in not accidental. It reflects the fact that real power generally lies outside  of the elected representatives. A main influence on the emergence of this views on politics was Franz Leopold Neumann's book, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 , a study of how Nazism came to power in the German democratic state.

    It provided the tools to analyze the structure of a political system and served as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalistic democracy. 

  7. Floyd Hunter. The elite theory analysis of power was also applied on the micro scale in community power studies such as that by Floyd Hunter (1953). Hunter examined in detail the power relationships evident in his "Regional City" looking for the "real" holders of power rather than those in obvious official positions. He posited a structural-functional approach which mapped the hierarchies and webs of interconnection operating within the city – mapping relationships of power between businessmen, politicians, clergy etc.

    The study debunks current mythology about the level of ‘democracy’ is present within urban politics.

    This type of analysis was also used in later, larger scale, studies such as that carried out by M. Schwartz examining the power structures within the corporate elite in the USA. 

  8. G. William Domhoff. In his book Who Rules America?, G. William Domhoff researched local and national decision making process networks in order to illustrate the power structure in the United States. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties (like banks and corporations) dominate the American power structure politically and economically.  
  9. James Burnham. Burnham’s early work The Managerial Revolution sought to express the movement of all functional power into the hands of appointed managers rather than the owners – separating ownership and control. Many of these ideas were adapted by paleoconservatives Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried in their theories of the managerial state. Burnham's thoughts on Elite Theory were elucidated more specifically in his book The Machiavellians which discusses the thoughts of, among others, Pareto, Mosca, and Michels; in it he attempts to analyze of both elites and politics generally from his background as a former Trotskyite. 
  10. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) proposed the term technostructure in his book "The New Industrial State" (1967) to describe the group of managers within an enterprise (or an administrative body) with considerable political influence (especially true for financial brass) and the level of control on nation's economy. It usually refers to so called managerial capitalism where top managers, scientists, or lawyers acquire more power and influence than the shareholders in the corporation. They are the de-facto the owners of the corporation, while shareholders (outside a few large one) are generally powerless to influence the way the corporation develops and do business. 
  11. Robert D. Putnam

    Putnam saw the development of technical and exclusive knowledge among administrators and other specialist groups as a mechanism by which power is stripped from the democratic process and slipped sideways to the advisors and specialists influencing the decision making process.[7]

    "If the dominant figures of the past hundred years have been the entrepreneur, the businessman, and the industrial executive, the ‘new men’ are the scientists, the mathematicians, the economists, and the engineers of the new intellectual technology."

  12. Thomas R. Dye. Dye in his book Top Down Policymaking, argues that U.S. public policy does not result from the "demands of the people," but from quite opposite phenomenon -- the Elite consensus found in Washington. It is a consensus between key non-profit foundations, think tanks, special-interest groups, and prominent lobbyists and law firms. Dye's thesis is further expanded upon in his works: The Irony of Democracy, Politics in America, Understanding Public Policy, and Who's Running America?

The idea of "The Revolt of the Elites" and "The Quiet Coup" by Financial Oligarchy

Previous consensus was that elite generally shares the idea that the society in which they live works best when all members of society can engage in upward mobility and improve their status via education and entrepreneurship. If there is significant upward mobility channels then members of society perceive themselves as belonging to the same team and care about ensuring that that team succeeds.

But in new" internationalized" world dominated by transnational corporations, the notion that a company or corporate executive of transnational corporation or professional (for example, IT professional) working is such a corporation is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin and work for its benefit is passé. The elites  of today are bound to their corporations, one another, not to the countries. And their greed is just overwhelming and decimates all other considerations such as patriotism and moral obligations. Amorality became a norm. 

People outside the elite became just tools, not compatriots and their standard of living means nothing.  This new generation of transnational elite are running the country like a regular for profit corporation in which they are both the members of the board and the controlling shareholders.

Not all elites are created equal. In the last half-century we have witnessed a dramatic expansion of American corporate power into every corner of the world, accompanied by an equally awesome growth in U.S. military power. The means the US elite is higher on pecking order then elites of other countries. That does not make it less transnational.  And this new power of the USA as a sole superpower state  is not used in traditional way to conquer and plunder the countries (like the USA did in Philippines, Mexico and other countries in the past). Instead it is used to support subservient regimes that favor business interests of transnational companies, putting those interests above interest of the country and its people. And if necessity remove non-complaint regimes by force The USA foreign policy now is essentially based on the coercive use of economic, political, and military power to expropriate other nations land, labor, capital, natural resources, commerce, and markets in the interests of transnational corporation, not in the interest of the American people. Now the decisive factor in the selection of allies and foes is the respective actors' position on "free market policies" like trade liberalization, privatization and deregulation, that favor international corporations and related transnational part of elite. In fact, the USA recent "patterns of intervention" reveal no or little correlation between democratic ideals and the role the US plays in the affairs of other nations. Globalization that is very successfully enforced by the USA foreign policy establishment (which contrary to its critics proved to be very apt and competent in achieving its goals) amounts to a Quiet coup d'état by transnational capital over the peoples of the world, subverting democracy and national autonomy everywhere including the USA itself, while ushering in a new stage of international expropriation of resources in the interest of elite and sending the US citizens to die for the benefit of transnational corporations. the blowback for the US people includes a national security state, an inviolable Pentagon budget, and rampant PTSD among military personnel.  From this point of view the popular but simplistic notion that a neoconservative cabal headed by George W. Bush has somehow 'hijacked' the U.S. government looks extremely naive.

In effect the transnational elite behaves as an occupying  power, although less brutal, toward the US population as well.  In a way America  is just another casualty of the new transnational elite. Cutbacks in social programs, decaying infrastructure, declining wages, massive unemployment, and the rise of municipalities facing bankruptcy means not only that a republic in decline, but that unchecked appetites of transnational elite fit classic Marxist scenario -- to expropriate as much above minimum subsistence level as possible. 

An important additional factor is the a new elite despise commoners. As Christoper Lasch pointed out in his groundbreaking book: "The new elites, the professional classes in particular, regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension."

Playing with financial flows as if they are computer game lead to high levels of unemployment, which can no longer be regarded as aberrational, but due to labor arbitrage and dramatically improved communications became a necessary part of the working mechanisms of  modern capitalist mode of production.

Oligarchy became really audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." Crass materialism and accumulation of excessive wealth became the primary goal. Privatization and sell of public assets -- the mean to achieve those goals.

They have what Dr. John McMurtry has termed "The Ruling Group Mind"  when reality is warped to  conform to manufactured delusions submerging the group and its members within a set of  hysteria, denials and projections...

The USA still has a privileged position in this "new world order" but no my much. As Napoleon Bonaparte observed

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.

Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain." 

"The Revolt of the Elites" by Christoper Lasch

Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) was a historian and penetrating social critic. He was the first who promoted the idea  that the values and attitudes of elites and those of the working classes have dramatically diverged to the extent that elite became a natural "fifth column" within the state and generally hostile to the nation-state well-being and especially to the well-being of lower strata of the population. 

In 1994, Lasch had come to believe that the economic and cultural elite of the United States, who historically has insured the continuity of a culture had lost faith in the traditional values (which that organized the country culture since its inception), and replaced then with unrestrained greed . He saw a threat to the continuation of Western civilization was not a mass revolt as envisioned by the pro-communist New Left of the 1960's, but a rejection of its liberal and pluralistic values by the educated elite. (see Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult)

In the process of throwing off  elements of traditional morality, transnational elite adopted Nietzschean "Übermensch" mentality (typically in the form of Objectivism).  They also have mastered the art of the shameless transgression of authority for their own enrichment. This tendency became possible because of computer revolution. Computers dramatically increased the capability of transnational corporation making possible growth far beyond that was possible before them. They also enabled "hacking" on monetary system to the extent that was not possible in 1920, although financial elite were always capable to find a sure way to a huge crash to be bailed out by the state again and again. . 

Here is a couple of insightful reviews from Amazon:

According to Lasch, contrary to the thesis advanced by Ortega y Gasset in The Revolt of the Masses, the revolt of the masses is over ending in the defeat of communism and is to be followed by a revolt of the cultural elite. Lasch advances arguments showing how we have reached a new stage of political development in America where the elite have become increasingly detached from the concerns of the common man. Unlike the elite of past ages, the former aristocracy of wealth and status, the new elite constitutes an aristocracy of merit. However, unlike in past ages, the new elite have increasingly alienated themselves from the common man. Lasch demonstrates how an increasing division between rich and poor, in which the working class has become alienated from the intellectual class of "symbolic analysts", has led to an utter sense of apathy among the American people.

In addition, the values of the new intellectual class are utterly different from the values of the man in the street. While the working class is fundamentally culturally conservative (a fact which Lasch has certainly latched onto) demanding moral certainties on such issues as homosexual rights, abortion, feminism, patriotism, and religion, the intellectual class demands political correctness advocating affirmative action, feminism, homosexual liberation, and promoting a radical (or rather, pseudo-radical) agenda.

Lasch seems to sympathize with the populists of old, who sought a sort of third way between the horrors of monopoly capitalism and the welfare state. Populists promoted the values of the common man, thus maintaining a cultural conservativism, while at the same time demonstrating an innate fear of bigness and far off bureaucracy. In addition, Lasch sees in communitarianism which seeks to emphasize the role of community, neighborhoods, and organic connectedness (contrary to libertarianism which emphasizes the individual at the whim of market forces and cultural pluralism) a new hope for the working class and cultural conservativism. Those who are opposed to communitarianism argue that based on previous experiments with small close knit communities (particularly emphasizing cases such as Calvin's Geneva and the New England Puritans but also small towns and neighborhoods) that these are oppressive. Obviously a balance needs to be struck; nevertheless, a re-emphasis on community and traditional values is obviously an important way to achieve improvement in human conditions. Unlike many right wing libertarians who may give lip service to "family values" but who then place the family at the whim of unfettered markets and corporate interests, Lasch argues for a restraint in order to facilitate family and community growth. Lasch shows how class remains an important division with equality of opportunity being merely a further means to oppress the working class. In addition, Lasch shows how the left uses the issue of race (extended arbitrarily to include all minorities and underprivileged - as defined by them, particularly so as to include whites) to create further difficulties for the common man, who is utterly alienated by political correctness. Lasch also argues that feminism remains an important force for the new class, because by allowing more women to enter the workforce they have achieved a situation whereby they perpetuate themselves. Lasch also turns his attention to education, showing how the modern system of compulsory education has failed, emphasizing the failures of such individuals as Horace Mann, who sought to eliminate politics from education. In addition, Lasch turns his attention to the university system, a hotbed of political correctness, multiculturalism, and postmodernist philosophies. Lasch shows how these philosophies have totally alienated any contact that universities may have with ordinary citizens, becoming more and more jargon-laden and specialized while at the same time promoting values completely contrary to those of the common man. Lasch refers to this as "academic pseudo-radicalism" to show how it differs distinctly from true radicalism, how it is fundamentally elitist, and how it further denies opportunities to the very minorities that it claims to so valiantly protect. However, unlike many of the other right wing critics of the university system, Lasch argues that corporations have continued to play a large role in the development of departments leading to a weakening of humanities programs. I found Lasch's criticisms of political correctness in the university system to be particularly cogent. While economically Lasch is opposed to unfettered capitalism, nevertheless he finds room to criticize the welfare state and government bureaucracy which promotes dependency and a culture of victimization. Lasch also shows how respect and shame have been misunderstood by the modern age. In addition, Lasch shows how a culture of narcissism has developed in this country, in which individuals have become excessively self interested and rely heavily on psychotherapies which promote self esteem and "happiness" as the highest good. Lasch also argues for a return to traditional religious values as a means for achieving hope and providing an inoculation against otherwise difficult times.

As a cultural conservative, I found Lasch's brand of populism/communitarianism to be particularly interesting. Lasch's analysis of the elites seems to make sense in light of their lack of contact with everyday reality, their lack of respect for common sense and the average person, and their lack of ties to nation and place. Our country is increasingly controlled by political elites in both parties who serve merely as tourists with little interest in America beyond what makes them money. In this respect, I believe Lasch's arguments to be particularly well thought out.

caroline miranda "caroline miranda" (los angeles) -

The aristocratic elitism of modern society's version of royalty--well-educated liberals, university administrators, race and class baiters and political elites who fear accusations of being insufficiently sophisticated and sensitive--are tossed off their thrones by Christopher Lasch. Lasch gives a clear and comprehensive overview of the social and political upheaval of the last 40 years that occurred under the noses of a bland and uncaring populace.

He explains the changes in America that led to morality becoming a code word for judgmentalism, standards becoming a code word for racism, multiculturalism becoming a code word for denigrating an evil European culture, the loss of family and neighborhood hailed as necessary for individual freedom, and the death of social cohesiveness, which never was mourned. "Most of our spiritual energy is devoted precisely to a campaign against shame and guilt, the object of which is to make people 'feel good about themselves.' The churches themselves have enlisted in this therapeutic exercise...," he notes.

Lest one think this is a Bill Bennett-type bromide, Lasch's observations extend far beyond the ain't-divorce-and-latchkey-children-terrible speech and extends to the paradox of modern society in which people have never been better off materially because of capitalism but so in danger of losing the core of their souls and their society's democratic values.

Individuality without community connection and the disintegration of unstated but commonly understood traditional rules and obligations that neighbors and a community once believed they owed other threaten democracy, Lasch believes.

When multiculturalism is seen from a limited tourist-type approach of folk dances and exotic food, when crime and violence in ethnic neighborhoods replace social cohesiveness, when impersonal malls and fast food restaurants displace informal gathering spots where people once discussed ideas and experiences, and when intimidation and name-calling replace reasoned debate, the country is deeply troubled, he notes. Worse yet, no one seems to find these developments alarming, so enmeshed they are in their structured public work worlds and isolated private home worlds.

Lasch pessimistically regrets the faltering of the foundation of a culture lost the very core of its democratic ideals: reasoned governance by an informed populace with a sense of community and ethics. He decries the usurpation of cultural norms instigated by elites, who rarely venture outside their smug circle of we-know-best-for-you compatriots and who refuse to acknowledge a need for individual responsibility and rather see the average, ordinary working person as a spigot for unending social spending and an unsophisticated inferior.

"...Identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion--or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion," he says, while meanwhile decrying the modern tendency to use religion as a way to achieve personal happiness instead of as a guide to rightful living.

Lasch's clear and flowing writing style and his insights into the disorder and straying of modern society from its historical anchor make the book a timely and informative expose of many of the ills of modern society.

The Quiet Coup of Financial Oligarchy by Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He wrote an influential piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup.  While in reality translation elite is much broader, he concentrated on financial elite (or financial oligarchy) as the dominant player among them and provided an interesting perspective on how they got dominant power position and fully control government of a particular country (in this case the USA was an example):

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders.

When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

He lays out the threat that the American society faced now -- capture of the government by the finance industry:

"The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent."

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."

In his NPR interview with Terry Gross he demonstrated that he does not understand the fact that the mousetrap is closed and that financial oligarchy the ruling elite of the country without any significant countervailing forces. So he dispensed a pretty naive advice (Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy):

"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support."

Johnson insists the U.S. must temporarily nationalize banks so the government can "wipe out bank shareholders, replace failed management, clean up the balance sheets, and then sell the banks back to the private sector." But, Johnson adds, the U.S. government is unlikely to take these steps while the financial oligarchy is still in place.

Unless the U.S. breaks up its financial oligarchy, Johnson warns that America could face a crisis that "could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression — because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big."

A good discussion of his key ideas can be found at Jesse's Café Américain Sep 02, 2012 post  Reprise -- Simon Johnson On the Quiet Coup d'Etat in the Anglo-American Financial System

In an interview with MIT economist Simon Johnson which was posted here in February, 2009.

Have we heeded Simon Johnson's warning? Has he proven to be prescient? Is crony capitalism and the kleptocracy becoming bolder, more aggressive, ever more demanding?

"I think I'm signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually. Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we've seen many times in other places.

But they're places we don't like to think of ourselves as being similar to. They're emerging markets. It's Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea. That's not comfortable. America is different. America is special. America is rich. And, yet, we've somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs...

But, exactly what you said, it's a small group with a lot of power. A lot of wealth. They don't necessarily - they're not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context. But they are the people who could pull the strings. Who have the influence. Who call the shots...

...the signs that I see this week, the body language, the words, the op-eds, the testimony, the way they're treated by certain Congressional committees, it makes me feel very worried.

I have this feeling in my stomach that I felt in other countries, much poorer countries, countries that were headed into really difficult economic situation. When there's a small group of people who got you into a disaster, and who were still powerful. Disaster even made them more powerful. And you know you need to come in and break that power. And you can't. You're stuck....

The powerful people are the insiders. They're the CEOs of these banks. They're the people who run these banks. They're the people who pay themselves the massive bonuses at the end of the last year. Now, those bonuses are not the essence of the problem, but they are a symptom of an arrogance, and a feeling of invincibility, that tells you a lot about the culture of those organizations, and the attitudes of the people who lead them...

But it really shows you the arrogance, and I think these people think that they've won. They think it's over. They think it's won. They think that we're going to pay out ten or 20 percent of GDP to basically make them whole. It's astonishing....

...these people are throughout the system of government. They are very much at the forefront of the Treasury. The Treasury is apparently calling the shots on their economic policies.

This is a decisive moment. Either you break the power or we're stuck for a long time with this arrangement."

Bill Moyer's Journal - Interview with Simon Johnson, February, 2009.

Johnson also wrote a piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. It may be worth re-reading.
Here is the introduction to this in The Fall of the American Republic: The Quiet Coup d'Etat in August 2010.
"I am not so optimistic that this reform is possible, because there has in fact been a soft coup d'etat in the US, which now exists in a state of crony corporatism that wields enormous influence over the media and within the government.

Let's be clear about this, the oligarchs are flush with victory, and feel that they are firmly in control, able to subvert and direct any popular movement to the support of their own fascist ends and unshakable will to power.

This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price. And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill gotten gains.

But my model says that the oligarchs will continue to press their advantages, being flushed with victory, until they provoke a strong reaction that frightens everyone, like a wake up call, and the tide then turns to genuine reform."

As far as I can tell, we are right on track for a very bad time of it. And you might be surprised at how far a belief in exceptionalism and arrogant superiority can go before it finally ends, or more likely, falls.

Revolt of the Rich by Mike Lofgren

An interesting variation of the quiet coup theory was advanced by Mike Lofgren in his influence article Revolt of the Rich (TAC, August 27, 2012)

It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”

That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.

At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, the former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth Generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.

I do not mean secession by physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens from time to time—for example, Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved his company (renamed Xe) to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. I discussed this with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, former secretary of the Treasury as well as an executive at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup. Rubin was being chauffeured through Manhattan to reach some event whose attendees consisted of the Great and the Good such as himself. Along the way he encountered a traffic jam, and on arriving to his event—late—he complained to a city functionary with the power to look into it. “Where was the jam?” asked the functionary. Rubin, who had lived most of his life in Manhattan, a place of east-west numbered streets and north-south avenues, couldn’t tell him. The super-rich who determine our political arrangements apparently inhabit another, more refined dimension.

To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy’s palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education “reform” is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than $500 billion dollars in annual federal, state, and local education funding into private hands — meaning themselves and their friends. What Halliburton did for U.S. Army logistics, school privatizers will do for public education. A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie’s is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse.

Stephen Schwarzman, the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group who hired Rod Stewart for his $5-million birthday party, believes it is the rabble who are socially irresponsible. Speaking about low-income citizens who pay no income tax, he says: “You have to have skin in the game. I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

But millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes do pay federal payroll taxes. These taxes are regressive, and the dirty little secret is that over the last several decades they have made up a greater and greater share of federal revenues. In 1950, payroll and other federal retirement contributions constituted 10.9 percent of all federal revenues. By 2007, the last “normal” economic year before federal revenues began falling, they made up 33.9 percent. By contrast, corporate income taxes were 26.4 percent of federal revenues in 1950. By 2007 they had fallen to 14.4 percent. So who has skin in the game?

... ... ...

Since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole genre of political writings—some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary—has propounded this theme. The title of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about the mental atmosphere of this literature.

But in globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision about where order, stability, and a tolerable framework for governance come from, and who threatens those values, is inverted? What if Christopher Lasch came closer to the truth in The Revolt of the Elites, wherein he wrote, “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy, not the masses”? Lasch held that the elites—by which he meant not just the super-wealthy but also their managerial coat holders and professional apologists — were undermining the country’s promise as a constitutional republic with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility.

Lasch wrote that in 1995. Now, almost two decades later, the super-rich have achieved escape velocity from the gravitational pull of the very society they rule over. They have seceded from America.

Mike Lofgren also authored the book The Party Is Over How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. Here is quote from one of Amazon reviews:

Over time, that sense of entitlement insensibly changed Democrats into what we in the Pentagon would call ENABLERS of Republicans. The Democratic enablers unwittingly played a crucial role in the demolition of the American dream, not unlike that played by infiltration troops in blitzkrieg. Infiltration troops soften up the front by slipping through defenses to find or create holes and weak areas for the tanks to roar thru to reap chaos and destruction deep in the enemy's rear area. Only in this case, the rear area being ruined is the American middle class, and the flood of tanks is taken up by the flood money supplied by the oligarchs who feather their nests by buying Democrats as well as Republicans in one seamless auction.

Put bluntly, to protect a sense of hereditary entitlement to the power that accompanied the coattails of FDR and the New Deal, Democrats abandoned their heritage and moved to Wall Street, Big Pharma, Defense, etc., and in so doing, insensibly mutated into faux Republicans. If you doubt this, look at the enervating, quasi-neoliberal bloviating by the self-inflating Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) or the cynical triangulations and warmongerings of Messrs. Clinton and Obama. The abdication of traditional Democratic principles gave Republican crazies more room to get even crazier, and together the faux Republicans and the real crazy Republicans reinforced each other to create a rightward shift in the American political dynamic that unleashed the emergence of a new gilded age, together with the emergence of a legalized plutocracy that criminal Russian oligarchs would envy. And this mutation came about in a remarkably short time of 30 to 40 years.

In so doing, the Democrats sold out their most important constituency, i.e., John Q. Average American, and colluded in the historic swindle that brought the great American middle class to the brink of impoverishment and debt peonage, a condition some times referred to chillingly in the tone-deaf salons of Versailles on the Potomac as the "new normal."

If you think collusion is too strong a term, I would urge you to think about Bill Clinton's (the DLC's choice for president in the 1992 election) collusion with Republicans in 1999 to nullify of the Depression era Glass-Steagle Act -- one of monuments of reform in the New Deal. This nullification was one of the main deregulatory "initiatives" that unleashed the greedy excesses that led to the 2007-8 financial meltdown. When he left office, Bill Clinton, by the way, did not pick up his grips and retire to a modest house in Independence Missouri like Harry Truman; he chose instead to join the plutocratic elite, where he is now well on his way to becoming a card-carrying member of the one-tenth of one-percent club of the mega rich. The bottom line: the Democrats' sense of entitlement and the consequent corruption of their principles have been a necessary, if not sufficient, condition in the emergence of the current political-economy that is destroying what is left of the middle class in our good ole USA. The reader would make a great mistake if he or she allowed the hilariously disgusting Republican hijinks described by Lofgren to brand his book as an anti-Republican polemic written by a convert, and miss his main message.

Mike, of course, states clearly in his title that his subject is how the madness of the Republicans and the uselessness of the Democrats reinforced each other over the last 30 to 40 years to hose the American People. It is the degenerate nature of their symbiotic relationship that is his thesis and should be the Left's call to arms.

I do not count on this happening, however. The faux Republicans are far more likely to try to exploit the embarrassment of riches in Mike's book for their narrow short-term political advantage, in yet another demonstration of the hypocrisy and opportunism that are central pillars propping up their losing mentality.

Neo-classical economics smoke screen in Yves Smith’s Econned

Chicago neoclassical economics school is a well known pseudo-science school, one of the pillars of Economic Lysenkoism (along with  Supply Side Economics).  This is an economic cult, an ideology of financial oligarchy. So it is more proper to it not neoclassical, but as aptly suggested by Bill Black “theoclassical”   or  Chicago Ponzinomics.  It is a neoliberal phenomenon, not neoclassical. Like in Lysenkoism, and high demand sects anybody who strays from the cult is in danger of being ostracized. As Mark Thoma observed:

Some years ago, when I first presented an empirical paper questioning some of the conventional views on trade to a high profile economics conference, a member of the audience (a very prominent economist and a former co-author of mine) shocked me with the question "why are you doing this?

There is a useful part of neoclassical economy related to thinking about an aggregate social phenomena in terms of costs and benefits of individual participants, and that can be sometimes (but not always) as a useful supplementary approach. Bastartized version of this notion which tries to imply cost-benefit motives in all human interactions is called Freakonomics. Still you can view some choices people make as tradeoffs between desired goals and social constraints (which can interpreted as costs). 

Still neoclassical economics as practiced by Chicago school  is driven by ideology and financed by financial oligarchy.

And like Trofim Lysenko and his followers those people are as close to criminals as one can get.  Like Rabbies and Catolic Priests can be criminals, the same is true about people in academic mantles. Corruption of academics is nothing new, but corruption of economists is a very dangerous mass form of  white-collar crime as close to Madoff  and his associates as one can get. This is the way we should look at the Chicago schools: kind of incarnation of Lysenko henchmen or, if you wish, Chicago mafia in a university environment. Actually similar way of thinking can be applied to Harvard (see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia ).

Is neoclassical economics a mafia? Sort of, says Christopher Hayes in a very well-written and very interesting piece in The Nation. He says orthodox economists are a close-knit group and are quick to penalize those among them or from outside who overstep the boundaries. Here is an excerpt:

So extreme is the marginalization of heterodox economists, most people don't even know they exist. Despite the fact that as many as one in five professional economists belongs to a professional association that might be described as heterodox, the phrase "heterodox economics" has appeared exactly once in the New York Times since 1981. During that same period "intelligent design," a theory endorsed by not a single published, peer-reviewed piece of scholarship, has appeared 367 times.

It doesn't take much to call forth an impressive amount of bile from heterodox economists toward their mainstream brethren. John Tiemstra, president of the Association for Social Economics and a professor at Calvin College, summed up his feelings this way: "I go to the cocktail parties for my old schools, MIT and Oberlin, and people are all excited about Freakonomics. I kind of wince and go off to another corner or have another drink." After the EPI gathering, Peter Dorman, an economist at Evergreen State College with a gentle, bearded air, related an e-mail exchange he once had with Hal Varian, a well-respected Berkeley economist who's moderately liberal but firmly committed to the neoclassical approach. Varian wrote to Dorman that there was no point in presenting "both sides" of the debate about trade, because one side--the view that benefits from unfettered trade are absolute--was like astronomy, while any other view was like astrology. "So I told him I didn't buy the traditional trade theory," Dorman said. "'Was I an astrologer?' And he said yes!"

Please note that some of the most close to Lysenkoism figures at Chicago, such as Cochrane and Fama, are in the business school rather than the econ department.   And they were key enablers of  Goldman Sacks and Co. looters. Deregulation wave was promoted by right wing extremists who recruited corrupted academicians like Milton Friedman to perform specific role of Trojan horse to undermine New Deal.  He managed to made the "invisible hand" a prefect pocket picker!  And the method of spreading influence was essentially borrowed from the Lysenko book: control the economic department and those who went to college and studied those theories in the 70’s and 80’s would then go to Wall St and Government and enact them. Control the key academic magazines and conferences and any aspiring economists need either to conform or leave the field.

Here is one telling comment about corruption of those modern day Lysenkoists in the blog Crooked Timber

ogmb 09.18.09 at 12:01 pm

...Cochrane is the AQR Capital Management Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth [formerly Graduate] School of Business. Which incidentally also makes his whining that Krugman ‘accuses us literally of adopting ideas for pay, selling out for “sabbaticals at the Hoover institution” and fat “Wall street paychecks”’ a bit malnourished in the introspection department, coming from someone who holds a chair sponsored by a quantitative trading firm at a school sponsored by the founder of an EMH investment firm. (Nevermind that Krugman never, literally or otherwise, accused Cochrane and his peers of selling out to Wall Street…)

In this ideology Milton Friedman is playing the role of false prophet and lesser "giants" producing continued steam of detached from reality papers and speeches. It also includes several clown who as Krugman noted have some qualities of irritable adolescents, but actually are proper heirs of Academician Trofim Lysenko:

And that same adolescent quality was evident in the reactions to the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with the crisis — as Brad DeLong points out, people like Robert Lucas and John Cochrane (not to mention Richard Posner, who isn’t a macroeconomist but gets his take from his colleagues) didn’t say that when serious scholars like Christina Romer based policy recommendations on Keynesian economics, they were wrong; the freshwater crowd declared that anyone with Keynesian views was, by definition, either a fool or intellectually dishonest. So the freshwater outrage over finding their own point of view criticized is, you might think, a classic case of people who can dish it out but can’t take it.

But it’s actually even worse than that.

When freshwater macro came in, there was an active purge of competing views: students were not exposed, at all, to any alternatives. People like Prescott boasted that Keynes was never mentioned in their graduate programs. And what has become clear in the recent debate — for example, in the assertion that Ricardian equivalence rules out any effect from government spending changes, which is just wrong — is that the freshwater side not only turned Keynes into an unperson, but systematically ignored the work being done in the New Keynesian vein. Nobody who had read, say, Obstfeld and Rogoff would have been as clueless about the logic of temporary fiscal expansion as these guys have been. Freshwater macro became totally insular. And hence the most surprising thing in the debate over fiscal stimulus: the raw ignorance that has characterized so many of the freshwater comments. Above all, we’ve seen the phenomenon of well-known economists “rediscovering” Say’s Law and the Treasury view (the view that government cannot affect the overall level of demand), not because they’ve transcended the Keynesian refutation of these views, but because they were unaware that there had ever been such a debate. It's a sad story. And the even sadder thing is that it’s very unlikely that anything will change: freshwater macro will get even more insular, and its devotees will wonder why nobody in the real world of policy and action pays any attention to what they say.

The proper label for neo-classical economics might be "theological voluntarism", the term which has some academic aura... There are several issues here:

  1. Excessive dependence or even open prostitution to the financial oligarchy. It's deplorable but probably unavoidable as the grip of financial community of economic profession does not requires any additional commentary. Also there are always exceptions to the rule.
  2. Mathematical masturbation instead of science. When, for example, a paper that propose even a linear equation (or God forbid differential equation) does not provide any estimate of errors of input data such a paper in a narrow sense can be called mathematical masturbation. Classic example here would be any paper that has inflation as an input variable. In a more broad sense this occurs when research paper contains results or mathematical model which rely on idealized, with little connections to reality postulates about the structure of economic activities. Many supply/demand models belong to this category as they rely on existence of equilibrium between supply and demand and/or are ignoring Minsky instability hypothesis. Most neo-classical economics can be called a theory in a desperate search for suitable reality.
  3. Relying on discredited and openly anti-scientific assumptions or hypothesis. Examples include, but not limited to "supply side voodoo", "monetarism", "Taylor rule", "permanent equilibrium fallacy", "invisible hand" (both as a postulate about absence of manipulation of the markets and the idea that "free markets lead to efficient outcomes" disregarding the role of government and almost permanent government intervention as well as issues of economic rent and taxation of participants to support an aristocracy or oligarchy).

Chicago (or as some called it freshwater) school specializes in deification of the market (often in the form of "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com). 

Econned

Yves Smith’s in her book Econned, How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism discussed the role of corrupted economics professor in establishing and supporting the rule of financial oligarchy. Here is one Amazon review

kievite:

 Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy, September 25, 2010

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments ("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Sheller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolsheviks rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, albeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies

It might well be that for certain part of this new transnational elite with their "cult of greed" can be characterized by a callous disregard for other people feelings typical for psychopaths. Moreover for new, first generation members of this elite those psychopathic tendencies (which does not mean that the person is an outright psychopath, or sociopath)  might be a powerful engine in climb to the top and can play a important, if not decisive role in their success. They look more like "well compensated" sociopaths. See Authoritarians and Corporate Psychopaths as Toxic Managers for more information about typical traits that define this condition.

 There’s a section in the book The Psychopath Test, in which British journalist Jon Ronson  does the psychopath test on "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop, the former CEO of Sunbeam who was notorious for gleefully laying off thousands of workers to make more money.  And he redefines a great number of the items on the checklist as business positives. He turned the psychopath test into “Who Moved My Cheese?” The thing that’s so startling about his story is that the more ruthlessly and remorselessly psychopathically he behaved when he was heading up Sunbeam and the company before Sunbeam — Scott — the more he was rewarded. As Times reported on 2011/09/20:

One in 25 bosses may be psychopaths — a rate that’s four times greater than in the general population — according to research by psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak.

Babiak studied 203 American corporate professionals who had been chosen by their companies to participate in a management training program. He evaluated their psychopathic traits using a version of the standard psychopathy checklist developed by Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Psychopaths, who are characterized by being completely amoral and concerned only with their own power and selfish pleasures, may be overrepresented in the business environment because it plays to their strengths. Where greed is considered good and profitmaking is the most important value, psychopaths can thrive.

Just look at the at their grandiosity, their pathological lying, their lack of empathy, their lack of remorse of the financial elite demonstrated during the crisis of 2008.  I know there’s a danger in seeing psychopaths everywhere, but sometimes in this case it’s just impossible not to see some alarming correlations. Look at the apostils of deregulation in the USA such as:

Shaming the poor as a new sport for the transnational elites and subservient politicians

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies of new transnational elite and a special breed of corrupted politicians who serve them are perfectly demonstrated in the new sport for crooked politicians, especially from the part of the US Republican Party which can be called neo-confederates.

Barbara Ellen in her Guardian column (Guardian March 2, 2013) pointed out that the Methodists, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Union have joined forces to publish a study called The Lies We Tell Ourselves. It highlights myths surrounding people and poverty, including Iain Duncan Smith's much trumpeted "families out of work for three generations" line (which, it turns out, has never been backed up by data).

The report argues that the government is "deliberately misrepresenting" the poor, blaming them for their circumstances while ignoring more complex reasons, including policy deficiencies. Moreover, they feel that this scapegoating is the result of collusion between politicians, the media and the public.

Increasingly, the shame is being taken out of poor-shaming. It didn't seem so long ago that most people would think twice about denigrating fellow citizens who were having a hard time. These days, it appears to have been sanctioned as a new sport for the elites. A politician is one thing but these attitudes are spreading and hardening among ordinary people too. Indeed, poverty seems a trigger to inspire hate speech that would be quickly denounced if it related to race or gender.

Is this our new default setting – that the needy are greedy? This chimes with a slew of government policies that appear to be founded on notions of bulletproof self-reliance, making no allowances for circumstances or sheer bad luck, and which many would require huge amounts of help to put into practice, never mind sustain. Meanwhile, the more fortunate are invited to pour scorn upon anyone who fails.

While there are people whose problem are self-inflicted for many this is not true. In reality substantial number of poor are former people of modest means hit by a serious disease and who run out of options.

And shaming poor is a pretty safe sport. The poor are poor. They have no money, no voice, no representatives, and no means to defend their interests. Poverty is a like collapse of domino – once the first domino falls, all others follow the suit. In such circumstances, if a group of people are "deliberately misrepresents" the real situation with the poor, then there's precious little they can do about it. The churches got it right – if anything, the truth seems so much worse that it must surely be time to put the shame back into poor-shaming.

Poor-shamers are bullies, and right now they're getting away with it.

To what extent new transnational elite is monolithic ?

State interests and interest of large social groups are "projected" on the elite making is less monolithic then otherwise it might be. Here is come to a complex question of "national elite" vs. "transnational elite". This question is often discussed under the banner of  "Fifth column".  In this sense   Color revolutions  can be viewed as attempts to "harmonize" elite with the requirements of international corporations plus geostrategic interests of the counties which "home" those corporations.  See for example Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012

In this sense Civil war can be viewed as a condition in which two parts of the elite in the same country can't reconcile their differences with peaceful means. That's definitely true about the US Civil War. 

Existence of "ideologically charged" and openly nationalistic parties which periodically come to power in various countries somewhat undermines the thesis about international elite dominance, unless you assume that such parties represent "blowback" of internationalization of capital and come to power to protect the interest of some parts of the national elite threatened by "more international" (aka comprador) part of the elite. Which is historically  true for NDSP (with military-industrial complex as the main supported of them as a tool against communists as well as against Jewish financial oligarchy) as well as for Bolsheviks in Russia (if we assume the theory that the initial core of Bolsheviks movement before Stalin purges was Russian Jewish intelligencia supported by the USA (via Trotsky connections) and some other countries (paradoxically Germany during the period of WWI; it was Germany that "delivered" to Russia by via a special train  Bolshevik leaders caught at the beginning of WWI in various European countries including Germany, in violation of the their status as "interned" nationals for the duration of the First World War )).

"Resource nationalism" is another close, but more modern phenomenon

Nationalism is probably the most potent force for undermining the unity of international elite.

The problem of degeneration of elite

The elite in most European countries and the USA consists not of the "best of the breed". It became more like the result of adverse selection.  Conversion to neoliberalism just made this problems more acute. At this point the problem of degeneration of elite comes to the forefront. George Bush II was clear a warning in the respect. Obama might well be the second bell. In criticizing the degeneration of the current US or GB elite, we should not forget that such processes are not new and in the past were the cause of several revolutions. Financial oligarchy of the neoliberal society is only a new name for aristocrats. And in the past the self-serving, decadent and corrupted upper class was the important source of instability in the society.  level of degeneration  of European elite which clearly demonstrated the fact the Cameron managed to came to power in GB in many respects makes the situation even more fragile than in the USA. Here is one telling quote (The EU's ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns):

It is generally accepted that "politics is the art of the possible" and yet the EU leaders are clearly engaged in the art of the absolutely impossible. The fact that they are all pretending like this is going to have some useful impact is truly a sign of how much the EU leadership has degenerated over the years. Can you imagine Helmut Schmidt, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand or Francisco Franco engaging in that kind of infantile nonsense? All these leaders had their bad aspects, but at least none of them were clowns, whereas when I look at the current EU leadership, especially Van Rumpey, Adners Fogh Rasmussen or José Manuel Barroso I get the feeling that I am looking at some ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns and, frankly, I can understand Mrs Nuland's feelings.

Degeneration of elites lead the denunciation of the elites, when to a large body of civil population became clear that the upper class is no longer fulfill their function, do not care about the people, and, in case of neoliberal elite, is not even the part of the same society -- it acquired features of a foreign, parasitizing on the national body occupation force.

If the elite is not regenerates itself, catastrophic crisis in Society became more likely.  The state itself became a “quasi-state”: endowed with juridical statehood, yet lacking the political will, institutional capacity, and organized authority to protect human rights and provide socioeconomic welfare for the population. In this case a parallel political authority -- a shadow state replaces the "regular" stat – whose defining characteristic is the change of the role of security services in the governance of the state. See National Security State. Dissolution of the USSR was particularly connected with such a level of degeneration of the elite as well as betrayal of security services with KGB brass changing sides and adopting neoliberalism as a new ideology. 

At the same time while people like Obama and Cameron are merely instruments of  neoliberalism and financial capital.  So one explanation of the degradation of elite is the current crisis of neoliberalism. This is somewhat similar to the degradation of  Politburo in last years of the USSR.  They all however fit the definition of idiocy, repeating the same mistakes that prove so unfailingly disastrous, over and over, the inability to learn from their mistakes.

Here is one telling comment from Moon of Alabama discussion:

jayc | Aug 29, 2014 3:12:01 PM | 13

When Cameron started taking selfies at Mandela's funeral it undermined any remaining notion that he was some kind of leader, he was rather revealed as a mediocre middle-management suckup.

Western political leadership is chock full of these types. Policy is being developed at another level than elected representatives and middle-management is there to sell the policy.

I'm not sure NATO wants a full shooting proxy war - they don't care much about Ukraine or its people and would be content with new bases and new weapons programs.

The intent, it seems, is to isolate Russia from Europe and hope that the effects from sanctions could produce some sort of regime change or fracture the country into territories It seems that the Kiev regime has done just about everything possible to provoke a Russian invasion.

Western politicians and media, by their open hysteria and constant insistence that Russia has "invaded" and shot down a passenger plane, are invoking a sort of nostalgia for the Afghanistan invasion of 1978 or the KAL007 shoot down, when the evil empire stood revealed and the brave middle managers could rush to the barricades.

Unfortunately for them, Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next.

Crest | Aug 29, 2014 6:26:49 PM | 47 

@jayc 13
"Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next."

This is a great line. Western elites have no imagination, because of a generation of brutally purging all dissent from the neoliberalism/financialist imperalism paradigm.

If you don't believe in the Washington consensus, you don't exist.

They simply can't think of anything better, and they won't allow themselves to try.


Top updates

Softpanorama Switchboard
Softpanorama Search


NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jun 24, 2017] The Criminal Laws of Counterinsurgency by Todd E. Pierce

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA As Organized Crime ..."
"... The Phoenix Program ..."
"... Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. ..."
"... As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance." ..."
"... The Phoenix Program ..."
"... Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles. ..."
"... This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency ..."
"... But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong. ..."
"... Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences. ..."
"... Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely. ..."
Jun 24, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Douglas Valentine has once again added to the store of knowledge necessary for American citizens to understand how the U.S. government actually works today, in his most recent book entitled The CIA As Organized Crime . (Valentine previously wrote The Phoenix Program , which should be read with the current book.)

The US "deep state" – of which the CIA is an integral part – is an open secret now and the Phoenix Program (assassinations, death squads, torture, mass detentions, exploitation of information) has been its means of controlling populations. Consequently, knowing the deep state's methods is the only hope of building a democratic opposition to the deep state and to restore as much as possible the Constitutional system we had in previous centuries, as imperfect as it was.

Princeton University political theorist Sheldon Wolin described the US political system in place by 2003 as "inverted totalitarianism." He reaffirmed that in 2009 after seeing a year of the Obama administration. Correctly identifying the threat against constitutional governance is the first step to restore it, and as Wolin understood, substantive constitutional government ended long before Donald Trump campaigned. He's just taking unconstitutional governance to the next level in following the same path as his recent predecessors. However, even as some elements of the "deep state" seek to remove Trump, the President now has many "deep state" instruments in his own hands to be used at his unreviewable discretion.

Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. After all, the deep state's bureaucratic leadership has worked arduously for decades to subvert constitutional order.

As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance."

Glennon noted that the propensity of "security managers" to back policies which ratchet up levels of security "will play into Trump's hands, so that if and when he finally does declare victory, a revamped security directorate could emerge more menacing than ever, with him its devoted new ally." Before that happens, it is incumbent for Americans to understand what Valentine explains in his book of CIA methods of "population control" as first fully developed in the Vietnam War's Phoenix Program.

Hating the US

There also must be the realization that our "national security" apparatchiks - principally but not solely the CIA - have served to exponentially increase the numbers of those people who hate the US.

Some of these people turn to terrorism as an expression of that hostility. Anyone who is at all familiar with the CIA and Al Qaeda knows that the CIA has been Al Qaeda's most important "combat multiplier" since 9/11, and the CIA can be said to have birthed ISIS as well with the mistreatment of incarcerated Iraqi men in US prisons in Iraq.

Indeed, by following the model of the Phoenix Program, the CIA must be seen in the Twenty-first Century as a combination of the ultimate "Murder, Inc.," when judged by the CIA's methods such as drone warfare and its victims; and the Keystone Kops, when the multiple failures of CIA policies are considered. This is not to make light of what the CIA does, but the CIA's misguided policies and practices have served to generate wrath, hatred and violence against Americans, which we see manifested in cities such as San Bernardino, Orlando, New York and Boston.

Pointing out the harm to Americans is not to dismiss the havoc that Americans under the influence of the CIA have perpetrated on foreign populations. But "morality" seems a lost virtue today in the US, which is under the influence of so much militaristic war propaganda that morality no longer enters into the equation in determining foreign policy.

In addition to the harm the CIA has caused to people around the world, the CIA works tirelessly at subverting its own government at home, as was most visible in the spying on and subversion of the torture investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The subversion of democracy also includes the role the CIA plays in developing and disseminating war propaganda as "information warfare," upon the American people. This is what the Rand Corporation under the editorship of Zalmay Khalilzad has described as "conditioning the battlefield," which begins with the minds of the American population.

Douglas Valentine discusses and documents the role of the CIA in disseminating pro-war propaganda and disinformation as complementary to the violent tactics of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Valentine explains that "before Phoenix was adopted as the model for policing the American empire, many US military commanders in Vietnam resisted the Phoenix strategy of targeting civilians with Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police."

Military Commanders considered that type of program a flagrant violation of the Law of War. "Their main job is to zap the in-betweeners – you know, the people who aren't all the way with the government and aren't all the way with the Viet Cong either. They figure if you zap enough in-betweeners, people will begin to get the idea," according to one quote from The Phoenix Program referring to the unit tasked with much of the Phoenix operations.

Nazi Influences

Comparing the Phoenix Program and its operatives to "Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police" is not a distortion of the strategic understanding of each. Both programs were extreme forms of repression operating under martial law principles where the slightest form of dissent was deemed to represent the work of the "enemy." Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe by Philip W. Blood describes German "Security Warfare" as practiced in World War II, which can be seen as identical in form to the Phoenix Program as to how the enemy is defined as anyone who is "potentially" a threat, deemed either "partizans" or terrorists.

That the Germans included entire racial categories in that does not change the underlying logic, which was, anyone deemed an internal enemy in a territory in which their military operated had to be "neutralized" by any means necessary. The US military and the South Vietnamese military governments operated under the same principles but not based on race, rather the perception that certain areas and villages were loyal to the Viet Cong.

This repressive doctrine was also not unique to the Nazis in Europe and the US military in Vietnam. Similar though less sophisticated strategies were used against the American Indians and by the imperial powers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, including by the US in its newly acquired territories of the Philippines and in the Caribbean. This "imperial policing," i.e., counterinsurgency, simply moved to more manipulative and, in ways, more violent levels.

That the US drew upon German counterinsurgency doctrine, as brutal as it was, is well documented. This is shown explicitly in a 2011 article published in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies entitled German Counterinsurgency Revisited by Charles D. Melson. He wrote that in 1942, Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler named a deputy for "anti-bandit warfare," (Bevollmachtigter fur die Bandenkampfung im Osten), SS-General von dem Bach, whose responsibilities expanded in 1943 to head all SS and police anti-bandit units and operations. He was one of the architects of the Einsatzguppen "concept of anti-partisan warfare," a German predecessor to the "Phoenix Program."

'Anti-Partisan' Lessons

It wasn't a coincidence that this "anti-partisan" warfare concept should be adopted by US forces in Vietnam and retained to the present day. Melson pointed out that a "post-war German special forces officer described hunter or ranger units as 'men who knew every possible ruse and tactic of guerrilla warfare. They had gone through the hell of combat against the crafty partisans in the endless swamps and forests of Russia.'"

Consequently, "The German special forces and reconnaissance school was a sought after posting for North Atlantic Treaty Organization special operations personnel," who presumably included members of the newly created US Army Special Forces soldiers, which was in part headquartered at Bad Tolz in Germany, as well as CIA paramilitary officers.

Just as with the later Phoenix Program to the present-day US global counterinsurgency, Melson wrote that the "attitude of the [local] population and the amount of assistance it was willing to give guerilla units was of great concern to the Germans. Different treatment was supposed to be accorded to affected populations, bandit supporters, and bandits, while so-called population and resource control measures for each were noted (but were in practice, treated apparently one and the same). 'Action against enemy agitation' was the psychological or information operations of the Nazi period. The Nazis believed that, 'Because of the close relationship of guerilla warfare and politics, actions against enemy agitation are a task that is just as important as interdiction and combat actions. All means must be used to ward off enemy influence and waken and maintain a clear political will.'"

This is typical of any totalitarian system – a movement or a government – whether the process is characterized as counterinsurgency or internal security. The idea of any civilian collaboration with the "enemy" is the basis for what the US government charges as "conspiracy" in the Guantanamo Military Commissions.

Valentine explains the Phoenix program as having been developed by the CIA in 1967 to combine "existing counterinsurgency programs in a concerted effort to 'neutralize' the Vietcong infrastructure (VCI)." He explained further that "neutralize" meant "to kill, capture, or make to defect." "Infrastructure" meant civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. Central to the Phoenix program was that its targets were civilians, making the operation a violation of the Geneva Conventions which guaranteed protection to civilians in time of war.

"The Vietnam's War's Silver Lining: A Bureaucratic Model for Population Control Emerges" is the title of Chapter 3. Valentine writes that the "CIA's Phoenix program changed how America fights its wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective." The intent of the Phoenix program evolved from "neutralizing" enemy leaders into "a program of systematic repression for the political control of the South Vietnamese people. It sought to accomplish this through a highly bureaucratized system of disposing of people who could not be ideologically assimilated." The CIA claimed a legal basis for the program in "emergency decrees" and orders for "administrative detention."

Lauding Petraeus

Valentine refers to a paper by David Kilcullen entitled Countering Global Insurgency. Kilcullen is one of the so-called "counterinsurgency experts" whom General David Petraeus gathered together in a cell to promote and refine "counterinsurgency," or COIN, for the modern era. Fred Kaplan, who is considered a "liberal author and journalist" at Slate, wrote a panegyric to these cultists entitled, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. The purpose of this cell was to change the practices of the US military into that of "imperial policing," or COIN, as they preferred to call it.

But Kilcullen argued in his paper that "The 'War on Terrorism'" is actually a campaign to counter a global insurgency. Therefore, Kilcullen argued, "we need a new paradigm, capable of addressing globalised insurgency." His "disaggregation strategy" called for "actions to target the insurgent infrastructure that would resemble the unfairly maligned (but highly effective) Vietnam-era Phoenix program."

He went on, "Contrary to popular mythology, this was largely a civilian aid and development program, supported by targeted military pacification operations and intelligence activity to disrupt the Viet Cong Infrastructure. A global Phoenix program (including the other key elements that formed part of the successful Vietnam CORDS system) would provide a useful start point to consider how Disaggregation would develop in practice."

It is readily apparent that, in fact, a Phoenix-type program is now US global policy and - just like in Vietnam - it is applying "death squad" strategies that eliminate not only active combatants but also civilians who simply find themselves in the same vicinity, thus creating antagonisms that expand the number of fighters.

Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles.

The Bloody Reality

One "sanitized" article - approved for release in 2011 - is a partially redacted New Times article of Aug. 22, 1975, by Michael Drosnin. The article recounts a story of a US Army counterintelligence officer "who directed a small part of a secret war aimed not at the enemy's soldiers but at its civilian leaders." He describes how a CIA-directed Phoenix operative dumped a bag of "eleven bloody ears" as proof of six people killed.

The officer, who recalled this incident in 1971, said, "It made me sick. I couldn't go on with what I was doing in Vietnam. . . . It was an assassination campaign . . . my job was to identify and eliminate VCI, the Viet Cong 'infrastructure' – the communist's shadow government. I worked directly with two Vietnamese units, very tough guys who didn't wear uniforms . . . In the beginning they brought back about 10 percent alive. By the end they had stopped taking prisoners.

"How many VC they got I don't know. I saw a hell of a lot of dead bodies. We'd put a tag on saying VCI, but no one really knew – it was just some native in black pajamas with 16 bullet holes."

This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency, as Mr. Valentine writes.

A second article archived by the CIA was by the Christian Science Monitor, dated Jan. 5, 1971, describing how the Saigon government was "taking steps that could help eliminate one of the most glaring abuses of its controversial Phoenix program, which is aimed against the Viet Cong political and administrative apparatus." Note how the Monitor shifted blame away from the CIA and onto the South Vietnamese government.

But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong.

Yet "security committees" throughout South Vietnam, under the direction of the CIA, sentenced at least 10,000 "Class C civilians" to prison each year, far more than Class A and B combined. The article stated, "Thousands of these prisoners are never brought to court trial, and thousands of other have never been sentenced." The latter statement would mean they were just held in "indefinite detention," like the prisoners held at Guantanamo and other US detention centers with high levels of CIA involvement.

Not surprisingly to someone not affiliated with the CIA, the article found as well that "Individual case histories indicate that many who have gone to prison as active supporters of neither the government nor the Viet Cong come out as active backers of the Viet Cong and with an implacable hatred of the government." In other words, the CIA and the COIN enthusiasts are achieving the same results today with the prisons they set up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CIA Crimes

Valentine broadly covers the illegalities of the CIA over the years, including its well-documented role in facilitating the drug trade over the years. But, in this reviewer's opinion, his most valuable contribution is his description of the CIA's participation going back at least to the Vietnam War in the treatment of what the US government today calls "unlawful combatants."

"Unlawful combatants" is a descriptive term made up by the Bush administration to remove people whom US officials alleged were "terrorists" from the legal protections of the Geneva Conventions and Human Rights Law and thus to justify their capture or killing in the so-called "Global War on Terror." Since the US government deems them "unlawful" – because they do not belong to an organized military structure and do not wear insignia – they are denied the "privilege" of belligerency that applies to traditional soldiers. But – unless they take a "direct part in hostilities" – they would still maintain their civilian status under the law of war and thus not lose the legal protection due to civilians even if they exhibit sympathy or support to one side in a conflict.

Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences.

This is not to condemn all CIA officers, some of whom acted in good faith that they were actually defending the United States by acquiring information on a professed enemy in the tradition of Nathan Hale. But it is to harshly condemn those CIA officials and officers who betrayed the United States by subverting its Constitution, including waging secret wars against foreign countries without a declaration of war by Congress. And it decidedly condemns the CIA war criminals who acted as a law unto themselves in the torture and murder of foreign nationals, as Valentine's book describes.

Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely.

Douglas Valentine's book is a thorough documentation of that fact and it is essential reading for all Americans if we are to have any hope for salvaging a remnant of representative government.

Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. This originally appeared at ConsortiumNews.com .

Read more by Todd E. Pierce Inciting Wars the American Way – August 14th, 2016 Chicago Police Adopt Israeli Tactics – December 13th, 2015 US War Theories Target Dissenters – September 13th, 2015 Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War – September 1st, 2015 Has the US Constitution Been Lost to Military Rule?– January 4th, 2015

[Jun 24, 2017] Deceit and Self-Deception by Robert Trivers – review

Notable quotes:
"... What I Don't Know About Animals ..."
Jun 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Konrad Lorenz and Desmond Morris , or anthropologists such as Lionel Tiger . They linked studies of animal behaviour to the idea of Darwinian evolutionary principles to tell readers just how very like the beasts we were in our sex lives, our workplaces and our recreational behaviours. We were advised to look at chimps and other primates and derive understanding of ourselves from their apparently culture-free activities and traits. Underneath all our fancy culture and language, we were simply naked apes enacting primitive territorial imperatives.

The reading public lapped it up as both a neat, satisfying narrative, and as an excuse for all manner of not-so-civilised behaviours for which we no longer had to take personal and moral blame. We go to war – well, so do baboons; it's in our genes, we can try to overcome it, but in the end as in the beginning we're all just animals. By 1976 we didn't even have to blame the animal in ourselves: Richard Dawkins gave us the selfish gene, whose sole reason for existence was to reproduce itself. And we, that is the body and brain of you and me, were nothing but vehicles for these genes which compelled us to optimise their chances of replicating. Talk to the gene, the conscience isn't listening.

Much of this was based on algebraic theories of altruism developed by WD Hamilton , who shifted the mechanism of evolution from making groups fitter to survive to a new insistence on individual inclusive fitness. This was via kin selection, which drills down deeper than the inter-relatedness of individual organisms, to the separate alleles (of which genes are made) in every organism: these preferentially promote only those vehicles which contain alleles most closely related to themselves. Genes were responsible, somehow, for you fighting the whirlwind to save your sister, but probably not your less related cousin, and certainly not the stranger from down the road.

Some people were not crazy about this view of the human race. Genes doing algebra didn't suit a more macrocosmic idea of a fallible but responsible humanity.

Robert Trivers was the man who produced the unifying theory of kin selection and altruism. Now, decades on, he has arrived at a big, new universal theory, also essentially based on the arithmetic of gene selection. Deceit is useful where telling the (unpleasant) truth would hamper your progress. Progress towards what? Trivers would say your fitness, which is defined as raising the chances of replicating your genes into the next generation.

Your genes, apparently, would agree with him; but they would, wouldn't they? That is if they were capable of agreeing. I want to hang on to the fact that the building blocks of ourselves do not want or intend anything. Chemicals aren't conscious, although by amazing chance they can combine to make a conscious organism.

Once self-conscious humans begin to do science, and with the benefit of language, start to describe the nature of the chemicals that make them what they are, but having to use regular language if they want a large audience (maths is a much better language, but fewer people can read it), they cannot help but slide into the notion of intention. Dawkins's selfish gene gained an absurd life of its own because most people don't speak arithmetic.

The biological mechanism by which we conceal inconvenient truths from ourselves and others is shown, says Trivers, in functional MRI scans of blood flow associated with neural activity in the brain: "It is estimated that fully ten seconds before consciousness of intent, the neural signals begin that will later give rise to the consciousness and then the behaviour itself." Freud, who always believed that neurology would discover a physical basis for the unconscious, would be delighted, though according to Trivers, psychoanalysis is nothing more than a money-grabbing hoax. Yet there remains a void between brain chemicals doing what they do and the emergence of the sense we all have of possessing a mind.

Trivers's theories of deceit and self-deceit are based on multiple gleanings from experimental psychology. A trial with rats shows this, another with students suggests that. The actual experiments are referenced, rather minimally, in page-related endnotes, but Trivers's writing is full of halting phraseology as he slips from findings in the lab or questionnaire to the generality of human social behaviour.

He suggests from relatedness theory that fathers should show a "slight genetic bias towards their daughters", but "no one knows if this is true". General assertions about human behaviour are peppered with such phrases as "One is tempted to imagine ", "in mice at least ", "work still in its infancy ", "first speculations ", "Whether any of my speculations are true I have no idea ". And, really, if he doesn't, I certainly don't.

Once he has laid out his evidence, our biologically determined deceit behaviour is ready to account for just about everything Trivers doesn't like about the world, such as the false justifications for the invasion of Iraq, the self-deceiving use, by the US and UK, of 9/11 to declare war on oil-rich countries and on to torture, religion and stock-market trading. It so happens that Trivers and I dislike much the same things but, though I daresay knowledge is generally better than lack of it, I'm not convinced of the benefits of offering us the excuse of having been manipulated by our genes for our repeatedly scurrilous behaviour.

While the first part of the book explains the theory, and the second part discusses how deceit was responsible for all the political and social injustices both he and I perceive in the world, there is a third element woven through both. An actual individual life, that of Trivers himself, emerges, like a gene in the organism, offered perhaps as a consciously self-deprecating example of what evolutionary pressure to deceive can do to a person. Somehow, though, it comes across as back-handed boasting.

The man whom Trivers calls "I" is a compulsive thief who can't go into a room without coming away with a trophy. He talks of his "'inadvertent' touching of women", which occurs exclusively with his left (unconscious) hand. Apropos chimps turning their backs to hide an erection from a dominant male, he explains that he finds it very hard "in the presence of a woman with whom I am close, to receive a phone call from another woman with whom I may have, or only wish to have, a relationship, without turning my back to pursue the conversation".

He understands the male/female gender split by recollecting "trying to poison the minds of my three daughters against their mother". He nearly killed his girlfriend and nephew by driving the nephew's "cool car" too fast on a precipitous road, when he noticed her interest in the younger man. And after pages and pages on biological selection, evolutionary pressure and the dangerous deception that is religion, it not only turns out that he prays regularly, but he gives a short lecture on the proper way to say the "Lord's Prayer" (emphasise "thy"). I wasn't surprised to discover that he is on prescription antidepressants, as well as using ganja and cocaine.

There will be Iron Johns who read this book and cheer, and although he explains that each sex (abhorring the word "gender", which he calls a euphemism) contains both male and female genes, my male genes are just too wimpy to find any charm in Trivers's display of self-disclosure – machismo and pet peeves – dressed up as an important new evolutionary understanding of humanity.

Jenny Diski's What I Don't Know About Animals is published by Virago.

frustratedartist , 11 Oct 2011 03:20

@greaterzog

Oh dear- could you then...disentangle your own behaviour from your 'human nature".

In general- Yes. Human behaviour changes rapidly and depends on culture and individual choices. Human nature changes very very slowly, in 'evolutionary time'. Too slowly for it to be observed.

On the level of the individual -- No. I can't disentangle my personal choices from my inherited tendencies. To what extent does my behaviour (or my character)reflect my genes or upbringing, to what extent is it my own free will? Nature, Nurture, or Nietzsche?, as Stephen Fry would say. I can't say- except that I believe that we all have free will and are therefore in most cases responsible for our actions.

As for 'my' human nature, that is a meaningless phrase. Human nature I would define as the (evolved) psychological traits humans have in common .

greatherzog , 10 Oct 2011 15:57

In his article Pinker gives (I think) quite a convincing explanation of how human behaviour can be changing for the better, while human nature (perforce) remains the same.

Oh dear- could you then-with the help of Pinker's pseudo-scientific, deterministic, eurocentric tosh and/or Dawkins overly simplistic, to the point of idiocy take on genes and evolution- disentangle your own behaviour from your 'human nature.' I am really curious.

[Jun 22, 2017] Neocons influence on US foreign policy

Equating critique of Israel with anti-Semitism is like equating critique of Nazi Germany with with denigrating everything German.
Jun 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

lavoisier Website June 21, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

@Sam J. "...In the end, it is the American people who decide whether Israel is to be or not to be a vital American ally and friend..."

To make informed decisions you have to have information. The American people don't have that. So they really haven't made a decision at all. They've been tricked into doing things that are covered up in lies. The American people are responsible even if they are being manipulated by the MSM.

Too many Americans are woefully ignorant about the world, particularly about the extent that Jewish interests have manipulated so many aspects of our government and our culture. If you even bring this issue up you are immediately branded a hater and your arguments dismissed.

In short, many Americans are happy to drink the kool aid.

It is a much deeper problem than simply our American Pravda.

Many of us have chosen to be blind, refusing to even consider the possibility that we are being manipulated, and in the process fail as responsible citizens.

One can choose to be red pilled today. This is ultimately the choice to go through life with an open mind and to have a high regard for reality, however uncomfortable that reality may be.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@Sam J. "...The source of Jewish power in the US is their brokerage of voter bias and federal entitlements between the federal government and the public..."

There may be a little bit of that but it's not the main reason. The main reasons are:
1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way.

So if you run against them in the primary you will have extremely well funded opponents and the press will savage you. If that doesn't work they will try to redistrict you out of a job. If that doesn't work they will frame or kill you like they did to Ohio Congressman James Traficant. "1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way."

And this has been leading the States – and Israel along with the States – to the demise. The US governing institutions have lost their ability to respond to reality and instead they respond to personal desires only. Hence the approaching danger of a hot war.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television.
Is this the one?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/tRfgCC966_LEXj4URvqwisoUugDosea4/oliver-stone-spent-two-years-interviewing-vladimir-putin/

If so, you'll need to issue a retraction of your statement and all the other insinuations you derived from it. If it is not the video, I issue my apologies in advance.

......he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson.
With this slander which others commented on earlier, it does deserve repeating emphatically, you've submerged yourself in conspiracies for reasons which appear to be occult Jew hatred impossible to contain just under the surface. It beggars belief that statement was written tongue in cheek; excessive cheek, tongue impossible to pry unstuck. An attempt at humour? Poor taste, really.
The Israelis know what is going on all the time.
Pure nonsense at some level. At another level, it is well-known we know more about our allies than their respective governments do and vice versa.
......but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris,
So they are progressives, what of it? You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats. These congressmen are doing no more than what their constituents want.

The readership of UR, a collection of a few excellent thinkers, overwhelmed by a larger group of lunatics, do not reflect the sentiment of the vast majority. They could not care what you or I think of Iranians. They remember Nov 1979.

And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th.
Antisemitism is a serious matter and it is well for it to bear scrutiny in some cases where through their actions overzealous elements[some in the judiciary] trivialise its intent. But you seem to favour an environment where mere vigilance through a bill deserves defeat. Unanimously.
President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it
It's comical to behold the "select" group which voted for Trump now complain on these pages of the UR about what the man said he was going to do from the very beginning on the Israel-Palestine issue. It is not a sham. Trump never believed the "bullshit" coming from the U.N. [a body which has over 40 Muslim and Arab members] on the contrary, attacking the solitary Jewish nation state. He required no "taking aside" by Bibi. One needn't travel to the West Bank to find Jew hatred; a few months' worth of reading your columns being quite sufficient.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated"
Such a Senate resolution requires convincing senators of its necessity. No one is stopping anyone.

I understand you feel Jerusalem is better in the hands of Palestinians and Arabs. We disagree.

A gem of an article all things considered.

"You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats."

You feign ignorance of the USSLiberty. The American servicemen were not just hostages for Israel – American servicemen were murdered by Israelis: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
Most Americans are also aware that the US Congress has become Israel-occupied Congress, with the horrific consequences for the global insecurity.
"Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years:" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/israel-has-been-secretly-funding-syrian-rebels-years
"The Kagans Are Back; Wars to Follow:" https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/
There was an enormous sympathy for Jewish victims of the WWII; the sympathy and goodwill for Israel have been completed squandered by the bloody ziocons. Only opportunists stay loyal to Israeli agenda, whereas honest people look with horror on the transformation of a victim into an amoral villain.

[Jun 21, 2017] An Assault on Language Extremism by Gregory Barrett

Notable quotes:
"... The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo. ..."
"... As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome"). ..."
"... This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West. ..."
"... As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party. ..."
"... Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet. ..."
"... More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news. ..."
"... It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media. ..."
"... Social Democrats ..."
"... Christian Democrats ..."
"... The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth. ..."
"... I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity. ..."
Jun 19, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

We have had a certain amount of success in exposing the amorphous and mendacious term "Fake News" for what it is: a tool in a major campaign of propaganda against dissenting independent journalism and political writing, a campaign perpetrated by governments and corporate media. The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo.

As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome").

This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West.

As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party.

Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet.

More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news.

It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media.

Which brings us to one of the latest victims in the assault on language by the 1% and their pawns in the presstitute media: the word "extremism".

Here in the European Union where I live, this word is currently heard so often in the traditional media – along with another victimized word being brutalized almost non-stop, "populist" – that even poorly-educated persons who aren't sure exactly what is meant can understand that they must mean something very, very bad.

If any such confused persons should take the time to pay closer attention and attempt to ascertain what it is that makes these "extremists" and "populists" so deplorable and dangerous, they may soon notice that at least one of these words, "extremist", has a pretty nebulous field of application. According to major sources of conventional wisdom in the EU, terrorists are "extremists". But "extremism", more generally, is also applied casually to nearly any political parties and interest groups to the Left and the Right of the large (if shrinking in some countries like France) parties called "people's parties" (Volksparteien) here in Germany: the no-longer-socialist Social Democrats who are allegedly center-left, the pseudo-Christian Christian Democrats who portray themselves as center-right, and even the thoroughly compromised and faded-to-brown Green Party , which has gone to great lengths and engaged in stupendous contortions of deliberate conformism to achieve its modern status as a pillar of the established order, a long journey from its radical roots in the 1980s.

As you may have deduced from my snarky tone, I find myself firmly ensconced among the so-called "extremists" of the Left.

What, one may legitimately ask, are the views which have led to this branding as a dangerous individual? Do I advocate keeping a stock of Molotov Cocktails handy for quick use when the shit starts to fly? I do not.

Okay I guess I'll have to come clean. Here are the radical, dangerous, "extremist" positions I support when I advocate more influence for this political party:

In addition, there is my allegedly "extreme" position on the environment, which is not so much a priority for "Die Linke" but is the most important issue of all for me personally. I am convinced that only a radical transformation of the world economy can save this planet, including most life on Earth. I believe this can only come about through an end to industrial capitalism: a ban on most fossil fuels, an end to the production of most plastics, an end to most beef production and strict organic regulation of all meat production, and worldwide mandatory measures to clean up the poisonous residue of the current system which is killing the planet. This will necessarily involve huge cuts in most military structures and war-making as well. The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth.

For these views, and my concomitant rejection of the large political parties in the EU and the USA which have done almost nothing to save the planet that was not outweighed by massive destruction – parties which thus, in the name of "realism", have sold our future to the rich and may have doomed all life on this planet, as scientific opinion is near unanimous that time is short – for these views I am labeled an "extremist".

I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity.

[Jun 19, 2017] The Politics of Lying by Henry A. Giroux

The author mixed Trump with Clinton political machine and his characterization are applicable first of all to Clinton political machine, and only secondarily to Trump,
Notable quotes:
"... As important as the Trump-Comey affair is, it runs the risk of both exacerbating the transformation of politics into theater ..."
"... You belong by affirming. To win, you don't need reasons anymore, only power." ..."
"... This is especially important at a time when the United States is no longer a functioning democracy and is in the presence of what Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis refer to in their book Liquid Evil as "the emergence of modern barbarity." ..."
"... Note: This is an expanded version of a piece that originally appeared on Ragazine . ..."
Jun 15, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

...Trump cannot be trusted because he not only infects political discourse with a language of hate, bigotry and lies, but also because he has allowed an ideology built on the use of disinformation to take over the White House. Under the Trump administration, the truth is distorted for ideological, political and commercial reasons. Lying has become an industry and tool of power. All administrations and governments lie, but under Trump lying has become normalized. It is a calling card for corruption and lawlessness, one that provides the foundation for authoritarianism.

Trump is a salesman and a bully. He constantly assumes the macho swagger of a used car salesman from a TV commercial while at the same time, as Rebecca Solnit observes, he bullies facts and truths as well as friends and acquaintances. He is obsessed with power and prides himself on the language of command, loyalty and humiliation. He appears fixated on the fear that the United States could still act on the memory, if not the ghosts, of a real democracy.

... ... ...

A democracy cannot exist without informed citizens and public spheres and educational apparatuses that uphold standards of truth, honesty, evidence, facts and justice. Under Trump, disinformation masquerading as news -- often via his Twitter account -- has become a weapon for legitimating ignorance and civic illiteracy. Not only has Trump lied repeatedly, he has also attacked the critical media, claimed journalists are enemies of the American people and argued that the media is the opposition party. There is more at stake here than the threat of censorship or the normalization of lying; there is also an attack on long-valued sources of information and the public spheres that produce them. Trump's government has become a powerful disimagination machine in which the distinction between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy are erased.

... ... ...

Berkowitz's piece is worth citing at length. He writes :

The reason fact-checking is ineffective today -- at least in convincing those who are members of movements -- is that the mobilized members of a movement are confounded by a world resistant to their wishes and prefer the promise of a consistent alternate world to reality. When Donald Trump says he's going to build a wall to protect our borders, he is not making a factual statement that an actual wall will actually protect our borders; he is signaling a politically incorrect willingness to put America first. When he says that there was massive voter fraud or boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd, he is not speaking about actual facts, but is insisting that his election was legitimate. 'What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.' Leaders of these mass totalitarian movements do not need to believe in the truth of their lies and ideological clichés. The point of their fabrications is not to establish facts, but to create a coherent fictional reality. What a movement demands of its leaders is the articulation of a consistent narrative combined with the ability to abolish the capacity for distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between reality and fiction.

As important as the Trump-Comey affair is, it runs the risk of both exacerbating the transformation of politics into theater and reinforcing what Todd Gitlin refers to as Trump's support for an "apocalyptic nationalism, the point of which is to belong, not to believe. You belong by affirming. To win, you don't need reasons anymore, only power." Trump values loyalty over integrity. He lies, in part, to test the loyalty of those who both follow him and align themselves with his power. The Trump-Comey affair must be understood within a broader attack on the fundamentals of education, critical modes of agency and democracy itself.

This is especially important at a time when the United States is no longer a functioning democracy and is in the presence of what Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis refer to in their book Liquid Evil as "the emergence of modern barbarity." Trump's discourse of lies, misrepresentations and fakery makes it all the more urgent for us to acknowledge that education is at the center of politics because it is crucial in the struggle over consciousness, values, identity and agency. Ignorance in the service of education targets the darkness and reinforces and thrives on civic illiteracy. Trump's disinformation machine is about more than lying. It is about using all of the tools and resources for education to create a dystopia in which authoritarianism exercises the raw power of ignorance and control.

Artists, educators, young people, journalists and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are all going to fight for and with the most marginalized people, there must be a broader understanding of their needs. We need to create narratives and platforms in which those who have been deemed disposable can identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives.

This is not an easy task, but nothing less than justice, democracy and the planet itself are at risk.

Note: This is an expanded version of a piece that originally appeared on Ragazine . Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission of the author.

Henry A. Giroux Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books are America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016) and America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017). He is also a contributing editor to a number of journals, including Tikkun, the Journal of Wild Culture and Ragazine. Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His website is www.henryagiroux.com .

[Jun 17, 2017] The Collapsing Social Contract by Gaius Publius

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it. ..."
"... Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur. ..."
"... But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.) ..."
"... American Psycho ..."
"... The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America. ..."
"... unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do. ..."
"... our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture. ..."
"... That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us. ..."
"... Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal. ..."
"... "Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability. ..."
"... Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? ..."
"... JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed. ..."
"... Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets. ..."
"... Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away. ..."
"... My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. ..."
"... The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. ..."
"... There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation. ..."
"... The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. ..."
"... "Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." ..."
"... "Four Futures" ..."
"... Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good". ..."
"... Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I have been saying for some years that I did not think we would see a revolution, but more and more individuals acting out violently. That's partly the result of how community and social bonds have weakened as a result of neoliberalism but also because the officialdom has effective ways of blocking protests. With the overwhelming majority of people using smartphones, they are constantly surveilled. And the coordinated 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy Wall Street shows how the officialdom moved against non-violent protests. Police have gotten only more military surplus toys since then, and crowd-dispersion technology like sound cannons only continues to advance. The only way a rebellion could succeed would be for it to be truly mass scale (as in over a million people in a single city) or by targeting crucial infrastructure.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

"[T]he super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017 , the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people."
-Paul Buchheit, Alternet

"Congressman Steve Scalise, Three Others Shot at Alexandria, Virginia, Baseball Field"
-NBC News, June 14, 2017

"4 killed, including gunman, in shooting at UPS facility in San Francisco"
-ABC7News, June 14, 2017

"Seriously? Another multiple shooting? So many guns. So many nut-bars. So many angry nut-bars with guns."
-MarianneW via Twitter

"We live in a world where "multiple dead" in San Francisco shooting can't cut through the news of another shooting in the same day."
-SamT via Twitter

"If the rich are determined to extract the last drop of blood, expect the victims to put up a fuss. And don't expect that fuss to be pretty. I'm not arguing for social war; I'm arguing for justice and peace."
- Yours truly

When the social contract breaks from above, it breaks from below as well.

Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it.

As with the climate, I'm concerned about the short term for sure - the storm that kills this year, the hurricane that kills the next - but I'm also concerned about the longer term as well. If the beatings from "our betters" won't stop until our acceptance of their "serve the rich" policies improves, the beatings will never stop, and both sides will take up the cudgel.

Then where will we be?

America's Most Abundant Manufactured Product May Be Pain

I look out the window and see more and more homeless people, noticeably more than last year and the year before. And they're noticeably scruffier, less "kemp,"​ if that makes sense to you (it does if you live, as I do, in a community that includes a number of them as neighbors).

The squeeze hasn't let up, and those getting squeezed out of society have nowhere to drain to but down - physically, economically, emotionally. The Case-Deaton study speaks volumes to this point. The less fortunate economically are already dying of drugs and despair. If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?

The pot isn't boiling yet - these shootings are random, individualized - but they seem to be piling on top of each other. A hard-boiling, over-flowing pot may not be far behind. That's concerning as well, much moreso than even the random horrid events we recoil at today.

Many More Ways Than One to Be a Denier

My comparison above to the climate problem was deliberate. It's not just the occasional storms we see that matter. It's also that, seen over time, those storms are increasing, marking a trend that matters even more. As with climate, the whole can indeed be greater than its parts. There's more than one way in which to be a denier of change.

These are not just metaphors. The country is already in a pre-revolutionary state ; that's one huge reason people chose Trump over Clinton, and would have chosen Sanders over Trump. The Big Squeeze has to stop, or this will be just the beginning of a long and painful path. We're on a track that nations we have watched - tightly "ordered" states, highly chaotic ones - have trod already. While we look at them in pity, their example stares back at us.

Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur.

elstprof , June 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.)

"If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?"

Not necessarily. What Lacan called the "Big Other" is quite powerful. We internalize a lot of socio-economic junk from our cultural inheritance, especially as it's been configured over the last 40 years - our values, our body images, our criteria for judgment, our sense of what material well-being consists, etc. Ellis's American Psycho is the great satire of our time, and this time is not quite over yet. Dismemberment reigns.

The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America.

The idea that agency could be a collective action of a union for a strike isn't even on the horizon. And at the same time, these same students don't bat an eye at socialism. They're willing to listen.

But unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Most of the elite do not understand the money system. They do not understand how different sectors have benefitted from policies and/or subsidies that increased the money flows into these. So they think they deserve their money more than those who toiled in sectors with less support.

Furthermore, our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture.

jefemt , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

BAU, TINA, BAU!! BOHICA!!!

Dead Dog , June 16, 2017 at 3:09 am

Thank you Gaius, a thoughtful post. That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us.

Of tangential interest, Turnbull has just announced another gun amnesty targeting guns that people no longer need and a tightening of some of the ownership laws.

RWood , June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

So this inheritance matures: http://www.nature.com/news/fight-the-silencing-of-gun-research-1.22139

willem , June 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

One problem is the use of the term "social contract", implying that there is some kind of agreement ( = consensus) on what that is. I don't remember signing any "contract".

Fiery Hunt , June 16, 2017 at 3:17 am

I fear for my friends, I fear for my family. They do not know how ravenous the hounds behind nor ahead are. For myself? I imagine myself the same in a Mad Max world. It will be more clear, and perception shattering, to most whose lives allow the ignoring of gradual chokeholds, be them political or economic, but those of us who struggle daily, yearly, decadely with both, will only say Welcome to the party, pals.

Disturbed Voter , June 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal.

Each person does what is right in their own eyes, but the net effect is impoverishment and destruction. Life is unfair, indeed. A social contract is a mutual suicide pact, whether you renegotiate it or not. This is Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club, is we don't speak of Fight Club. Go to the gym, toughen up, while you still can.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

"Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability.

Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? Recalling that as my Contracts professor in law school emphasized over and over, in "contracts" there are no rights in the absence of effective remedies. It being a Boston law school, the notion was echoed in Torts, and in Commercial Paper and Sales and, tellingly, in Constitutional Law and Federal Jurisdiction, and even in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. No remedy, no right. What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?

When honest "remedies under law" become nugatory, there's always the recourse to direct action of course with zero guarantee of redress

sierra7 , June 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

"What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?" Ah yes the ultimate remedy is outright rebellion against the highest authorities .with as you say, " zero guarantee of redress."

But, history teaches us that that path will be taken ..the streets. It doesn't (didn't) take a genius to see what was coming back in the late 1960's on .regarding the beginnings of the revolt(s) by big money against organized labor. Having been very involved in observing, studying and actually active in certain groups back then, the US was acting out in other countries particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, against any social progression, repressing, arresting (thru its surrogates) torturing, killing any individuals or groups that opposed that infamous theory of "free market capitalism". It had a very definite "creep" effect, northwards to the mainstream US because so many of our major corporations were deeply involved with our covert intelligence operatives and objectives (along with USAID and NED). I used to tell my friends about what was happening and they would look at me as if I was a lunatic. The agency for change would be "organized labor", but now, today that agency has been trashed enough where so many of the young have no clue as to what it all means. The ultimate agenda along with "globalization" is the complete repression of any opposition to the " spread of money markets" around the world". The US intends to lead; whether the US citizenry does is another matter. Hence the streets.

Kuhio Kane , June 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed.

bdy , June 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

The Social Contract, ephemeral, reflects perfectly what contracts have become. Older rulings frequently labeled clauses unconscionable - a tacit recognition that so few of the darn things are actually agreed upon. Rather, a party with resources, options and security imposes the agreement on a party in some form of crisis (nowadays the ever present crisis of paycheck to paycheck living – or worse). Never mind informational asymmetries, necessity drives us into crappy rental agreements and debt promises with eyes wide open. And suddenly we're all agents of the state.

Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets.

Solidarity, of course. Hard when Identity politics lubricate a labor market that insists on specialization, and talented children of privilege somehow manage to navigate the new entrepreneurism while talented others look on in frustration. The resistance insists on being leaderless (fueled in part IMHO by the uncomfortable fact that effective leaders are regularly killed or co-opted). And the overriding message of resistance is negative: "Stop it!"

But that's where we are. Again, just my opinion: but the pivotal step away from the jackpot is to convince or coerce our wealthiest not to cash in. Stop making and saving so much stinking money, y'all.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

The pension system is based on profits. Nothing will change until the profits disappear and the top quintile starts falling off the treadmill.

Susan the other , June 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

and there's the Karma bec. even now we see a private banking system synthesizing an economy to maintain asset values and profits and they have the nerve to blame it on social spending. I think Giaus's term 'Denier' is perfect for all those vested practitioners of profit-capitalism at any cost. They've already failed miserably. For the most part they're just too proud to admit it and, naturally, they wanna hang on to "their" money. I don't think it will take a revolution – in fact it would be better if no chaos ensued – just let these arrogant goofballs stew in their own juice a while longer. They are killing themselves.

roadrider , June 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

There's a social contract? Who knew?

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

When I hear so much impatient and irritable complaint, so much readiness to replace what we have by guardians for us all, those supermen, evoked somewhere from the clouds, whom none have seen and none are ready to name, I lapse into a dream, as it were. I see children playing on the grass; their voices are shrill and discordant as children's are; they are restive and quarrelsome; they cannot agree to any common plan; their play annoys them; it goes poorly. And one says, let us make Jack the master; Jack knows all about it; Jack will tell us what each is to do and we shall all agree. But Jack is like all the rest; Helen is discontented with her part and Henry with his, and soon they fall again into their old state. No, the children must learn to play by themselves; there is no Jack the master. And in the end slowly and with infinite disappointment they do learn a little; they learn to forbear, to reckon with another, accept a little where they wanted much, to live and let live, to yield when they must yield; perhaps, we may hope, not to take all they can. But the condition is that they shall be willing at least to listen to one another, to get the habit of pooling their wishes. Somehow or other they must do this, if the play is to go on; maybe it will not, but there is no Jack, in or out of the box, who can come to straighten the game. -Learned Hand

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away.

My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Meanwhile, I just got a message from my car-share service: They are cutting back on the number of cars on offer. Too much vandalism.

Are these things caused by pressure from above? Yes, in part: The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

JEHR , June 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

DJG: My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Yes, the trash bit is hard to understand. What does it stand for? Does it mean, We can infinitely disregard our surroundings by throwing away plastic, cardboard, metal and paper and nothing will happen? Does it mean, There is more where that came from! Does it mean, I don't care a fig for the earth? Does it mean, Human beings are stupid and, unlike pigs, mess up their immediate environment and move on? Does it mean, Nothing–that we are just nihilists waiting to die? I am so fed up with the garbage strewn on the roads and in the woods where I live; I used to pick it up and could collect as much as 9 garbage bags of junk in 9 days during a 4 kilometer walk. I don't pick up any more because I am 77 and cannot keep doing it.

However, I am certain that strewn garbage will surely be the last national flag waving in the breeze as the anthem plays junk music and we all succumb to our terrible future.

jrs , June 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Related to this, I thought one day of who probably NEVER gets any appreciation but strives to make things nicer, anyone planning or planting the highway strips (government workers maybe although it could be convicts also unfortunately, I'm not sure). Yes highways are ugly, yes they will destroy the world, but some of the planting strips are sometimes genuinely nice. So they add some niceness to the ugly and people still litter of course.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean.

Basically, the world people care about stops outside their dwellings, because they do not feel it is "theirs" or that they participate in its possession in a genuine way. It belongs to the "town administration", or to a "private corporation", or to the "government" - and if they feel they have no say in the ownership, management, regulation and benefits thereof, why should they care? Let the town administration/government/corporation do the clean-up - we already pay enough taxes/fees/tolls, and "they" are always putting up more restrictions on how to use everything, so

In conclusion: the phenomenon of litter/trash is another manifestation of a fraying social contract.

Big River Bandido , June 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good.

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

I live in NYC, and just yesterday as I attempted to refill my MetroCard, the machine told me it was expired and I had to replace it. The replacement card doesn't look at all like a MetroCard with the familiar yellow and black graphic saying "MetroCard". Instead? It's an ad. For a fucking insurance company. And so now, every single time that I go somewhere on the subway, I have to see an ad from Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

And as a result, people no longer care about it - they do not feel it is their commonwealth any longer.

Did you notice whether the NYC subway got increasingly dirty/littered as the tentacles of privatization reached everywhere? Just curious.

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. From Yves's posting of Yanis Varoufakis's analysis of the newest terms of the continuing destruction of Greece:

With regard to labour market reforms, the Eurogroup welcomes the adopted legislation safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining and bringing collective dismissals in line with best EU practices.

I see! "Safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining" refers, of course, to the 2012 removal of the right to collective bargaining and the end to trades union representation for each and every Greek worker. Our government was elected in January 2015 with an express mandate to restore these workers' and trades unions' rights. Prime Minister Tsipras has repeatedly pledged to do so, even after our falling out and my resignation in July 2015. Now, yesterday, his government consented to this piece of Eurogroup triumphalism that celebrates the 'safeguarding' of the 2012 'reforms'. In short, the SYRIZA government has capitulated on this issue too: Workers' and trades' unions' rights will not be restored. And, as if that were not bad enough, "collective dismissals" will be brought "in line with best EU practices". What this means is that the last remaining constraints on corporations, i.e. a restriction on what percentage of workers can be fired each month, is relaxed. Make no mistake: The Eurogroup is telling us that, now that employers are guaranteed the absence of trades unions, and the right to fire more workers, growth enhancement will follow suit! Let's not hold our breath!

Daniel F. , June 16, 2017 at 10:44 am

The so-called "Elites"? Stand down? Right. Every year I look up the cardinal topics discussed at the larger economic forums and conferences (mainly Davos and G8), and some variation of "The consequences of rising inequality" is a recurring one. Despite this, nothing ever comes out if them. I imagine they go something like this:

A wet dream come true, both for an AnCap and a communist conspiracy theorist. I'm by no means either. However, I think capitalism has already failed and can't go on for much longer. Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief.

I'd very much like to be proven wrong.

Bobby Gladd , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

"Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." Frase's Quadrant Four. Hierarchy + Scarcity = Exterminism (From "Four Futures" )

Archangel , June 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good".

oh , June 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Our country is rife with rent seeking pigs who will stoop lower and lower to feed their greed.

Vatch , June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

In today's Links section there's this: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-super-rich-are-even-richer-than-we-thought which has relevance for the discussion of the collapsing social contract.

Chauncey Gardiner , June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster.

Here in the US the New Deal and other legislation helped preserve social order in the 1930s. Yves also raises an important point in her preface that can provide support for the center by those who are able to do so under the current economic framework. That glue is to participate in one's community; whether it is volunteering at a school, the local food bank, community-oriented social clubs, or in a multitude of other ways; regardless of whether your community is a small town or a large city.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

" Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks."

None of which applies to the Imperium, of course. There's glue, all right, but it's the kind that is used for flooring in Roach Motels (TM), and those horrific rat and mouse traps that stick the rodent to a large rectangle of plastic, where they die eventually of exhaustion and dehydration and starvation The rat can gnaw off a leg that's glued down, but then it tips over and gets glued down by the chest or face or butt

I have to note that several people I know are fastidious about picking up trash other people "throw away." I do it, when I'm up to bending over. I used to be rude about it - one young attractive woman dumped a McDonald's bag and her ashtray out the window of her car at one of our very long Florida traffic lights. I got out of my car, used the mouth of the McDonald's bag to scoop up most of the lipsticked butts, and threw them back into her car. Speaking of mouths, that woman with the artfully painted lips sure had one on her

[Jun 15, 2017] Liars Lying About Nearly Everything by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the U.S. picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington. ..."
"... More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium. ..."
"... So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington's admittedly low standards of rectitude. ..."
"... The Saudis also have considerable blood on their hands by way of their genocidal assault on neighboring Yemen. In addition, the Saudi Royal House has served as the principal propagator of Wahhabism, the virulently fundamentalist version of Islam that provides a form of religious legitimacy to terror while also motivating many young Muslims to join radical groups. ..."
"... The falling out of two Gulf Arab regimes might be a matter of relatively little importance but for the unnecessary intervention of President Donald Trump in the quarrel. ..."
"... Trump's tweets might well be regarded as simply maladroit, driven by ignorance, but they could also provide a glimpse of a broader agenda. While in the Middle East, Trump was bombarded with anti-Iranian propaganda coming from both Israel and the Saudis. An escalation of hostilities with the intention of starting an actual war involving the United States to take down Iran is not unimaginable, particularly as the Israelis, who have already endorsed the Saudi moves, have been arguing that option and lying about the threat posed by Tehran for a number of years. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com
Terrorism supporters in Washington and Riyadh close ranks against Qatar

The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the U.S. picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington.

More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium.

So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington's admittedly low standards of rectitude. On the 5th of June, Saudi Arabia led a gaggle of Arab and Muslim nations that included the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut off all diplomatic, commercial and transport links with Qatar, effectively blockading it. Qatar is currently isolated from its neighbors, subject to sanctions, and there have even been Saudi threats of going to war against its tiny neighbor. Salman al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, even tweeted: "To the emir of Qatar, regarding your alignment with the extremist government of Iran and your abuse of the Custodian of the two sacred mosques, I would like to remind you that Mohammed Morsi [of Egypt] did exactly the same and was then toppled and imprisoned."

It is the second time the Saudis have moved against Qatar. Two years ago, there was a break in diplomatic relations, but they were eventually restored. This time, the principal allegation being directed against Qatar by Riyadh is that it supports terrorism. The terrorist groups that it allegedly embraces are Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's affiliation. Hezbollah and Hamas are close to Iran which is perhaps the real reason for their being singled out as many would call them resistance movements or even legitimate political parties rather than terrorists. And the Iran connection is critical as Qatar has been under fire for allegedly saying nice things about trying to respect and get along with Tehran, undoubtedly somewhat motivated by its joint exploitation with Iran of a vast gas field in the Persian Gulf.

Qatar's ownership of al-Jazeera also has been a sore point with the Saudis and other Gulf states as its reporting has often been critical of developments in the region, criticisms that have often rankled the Saudi monarchy and the Egyptians. It has been accused of spreading propaganda for "militant groups." One of the Saudi demands to permit Qatar to again become a "normal" Arab Gulf state would be to close down the network.

The terrorism claims by the Saudis are, of course, hypocritical. Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are well known as sponsors of Salafist terrorism, including the funding and arming of groups like ISIS and the various al-Qaeda franchises, to include al-Nusra. Much of the money admittedly comes from private individuals and is often channeled through Islamic charities, but both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been extremely lax in their enforcement of anti-terror and money laundering regulations. In a 2009 State Department memo signed off on by Hillary Clinton it was stated that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." Qatar, meanwhile, has been described as a "permissive environment for terrorist financing."

The Saudis also have considerable blood on their hands by way of their genocidal assault on neighboring Yemen. In addition, the Saudi Royal House has served as the principal propagator of Wahhabism, the virulently fundamentalist version of Islam that provides a form of religious legitimacy to terror while also motivating many young Muslims to join radical groups.

The falling out of two Gulf Arab regimes might be a matter of relatively little importance but for the unnecessary intervention of President Donald Trump in the quarrel. He has taken credit for the burgeoning conflict, implying that his recent visit to the region set the stage for the ostracizing of Qatar. His twitter on the affair, posted on June 6 th , read ""So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" And he again came down on Qatar on June 9 th during a press conference.

Trump's tweets might well be regarded as simply maladroit, driven by ignorance, but they could also provide a glimpse of a broader agenda. While in the Middle East, Trump was bombarded with anti-Iranian propaganda coming from both Israel and the Saudis. An escalation of hostilities with the intention of starting an actual war involving the United States to take down Iran is not unimaginable, particularly as the Israelis, who have already endorsed the Saudi moves, have been arguing that option and lying about the threat posed by Tehran for a number of years.

[Jun 14, 2017] Secret societies, Emperor's New Clothes, obvious lies, crimes

Notable quotes:
"... The US is a literal rogue state empire led by neocolonial looting liars. ..."
"... Rogue state empire ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.washingtonsblog.com

The societies try to be "secret," but their lies and crimes are Emperor's New Clothes obvious for anyone caring to apply a high school level of education to look:

[Jun 14, 2017] In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Jun 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc, June 14, 2017 at 08:59 AM

Timely Thought of the Day:

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

George Orwell

anne , June 14, 2017 at 11:49 AM
"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

There is no reason to think that this passage, however interesting, was written or spoken by George Orwell.

Fred C. Dobbs - , June 14, 2017 at 12:21 PM
More on this:

In a Time of Universal Deceit - Telling
the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/02/24/truth-revolutionary/

im1dc - , June 14, 2017 at 02:27 PM
Hey, "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" remains a great thought for today, whoever said it.
ilsm - , June 14, 2017 at 02:59 PM
orwell also did not actually say 'we should love those rough men in the night who slaughter for us so we can sleep in 68 degree air conditioning bc the Saudi remain in power........'

And GC Scott's Patton's speech was a compilation.......

im1dc - , June 14, 2017 at 02:26 PM
My copy of Barlett's does not list this Orwell quote and Fred's link pretty well dispells it from being definitively an Orwell quote, although not absolutely.

It is possible that he did SAY IT to some group or other in England, rather than write it in one of his books, essays, or articles and that is how it survives today with his attribution.

Such attribution is not unheard of for older English authors. Apparently they drank a lot in pubs and clubs.

Keep in mind that even today the English don't 100% agree that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's plays or poems, at least not without help from another.

libezkova - , June 14, 2017 at 03:21 PM
A similar saying was used by Ron Paul in 2008-"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/in_a_time_of_universal_deceit_telling_the_truth_is_a_revolutionary_act/

== quote==
Entry from August 15, 2011

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"


"In a time/state of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" is a statement often attributed to author George Orwell (1903-1950). The saying doesn't appear in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), his essay "Politics and the English Language" (1946), or any other of Orwell's writings. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1984 (when it was attributed to George Orwell).

A similar saying was used by author and presidential candidate Ron Paul in 2008-"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

[Jun 13, 2017] Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump has been captured by the Deep State and the mainstream Zio-media. First, the implacable Left-Hollywood-Zionist axis unnerved, abused, and punked Trump out. Then they and their minions harassed and spooked him. Insurrection was in the air–ever as the President was being sworn into office! ..."
"... Has any newly-elected president has ever been treated so disdainfully and with such widespread contempt? It was very unsettling. Then Trump blinked. After that he caved. Now he is moving rapidly 'towards the center'. Unfortunately, this 'centrism' will require a Mideast war. The Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy. ..."
"... The hysteria over 'Russian interference' is a complete fabrication. This very accusation turns reality upside down. But it persists. What's going on? These illusions are pure Zionist subterfuge. Trump's now their boy. ..."
"... First up: Israel's foes. (Syria, Iran and Russia.) But who cares? Why should this matter? As Bibi Netanyahu observed: "America can be moved". And Bibi's quite right. Therefore, Trump's pro-Zionist militancy is being sold as something else ('war on terror') even though it is being championed by the usual Zionist cheerleaders in media and in government. Pro-Zionist alliances however radiate in odd directions. This explains Washington's (and our news media's) rising love affair with the House of Saud. Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel. ..."
"... For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.) ..."
"... In any case, US aid will flow immensely, unconditionally and without interruption to glorious 'democratic' Israel. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Mark Green, June 13, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT

Trump has been captured by the Deep State and the mainstream Zio-media. First, the implacable Left-Hollywood-Zionist axis unnerved, abused, and punked Trump out. Then they and their minions harassed and spooked him. Insurrection was in the air–ever as the President was being sworn into office!

Has any newly-elected president has ever been treated so disdainfully and with such widespread contempt? It was very unsettling. Then Trump blinked. After that he caved. Now he is moving rapidly 'towards the center'. Unfortunately, this 'centrism' will require a Mideast war. The Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy.

Trump–who campaigned on a populist, pro-American, non-interventionist platform–has his new, improved sights set on toppling/destabilizing Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Haven't we seen this song and dance before?

Yes we have, despite the fact that these distant, non-nuclear states do not threaten US interests and do not threaten US security in any way, shape, or form.

Huge lies have become 'facts'.

Russia's alleged influence in our presidential election, for instance, is not even a fraction of what Israel can impose almost effortlessly.

The hysteria over 'Russian interference' is a complete fabrication. This very accusation turns reality upside down. But it persists. What's going on? These illusions are pure Zionist subterfuge. Trump's now their boy.

The wall with Mexico will just have to wait; as will Trump's infrastructure build. Gotta take out Assad first! After all, Syria shares a disputed border with Israel. That's important!

First up: Israel's foes. (Syria, Iran and Russia.) But who cares? Why should this matter? As Bibi Netanyahu observed: "America can be moved". And Bibi's quite right. Therefore, Trump's pro-Zionist militancy is being sold as something else ('war on terror') even though it is being championed by the usual Zionist cheerleaders in media and in government. Pro-Zionist alliances however radiate in odd directions. This explains Washington's (and our news media's) rising love affair with the House of Saud. Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

But alliances can change rapidly, especially when anti-Zionist regimes rise and persist. Then they get targeted. (See: 'Saddam's Iraq'. See: 'Gadaffi's Libya'.) Up next: Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

In any case, US aid will flow immensely, unconditionally and without interruption to glorious 'democratic' Israel.

BTW- while it's widely known (and continuously recalled) that Hearst and his newspapers promoted the Spanish-American war (as Mr. Giraldi notes above) what's been mostly forgotten is that Hearst and his newspapers largely opposed Washington's entry into both WWI and WWII. 'Citizen Kane' and the endless array of Hearst-bashing references ignore this neglected yet significant fact. In fact, it was none other than Joseph Pulitzer (for whom the pretentious and politicized journalistic prizes are named) whose newspapers helped spearhead the international campaign for America's unnecessary and tragic entry into WWI.

Pulitzer was as influential as Hearst – and every bit as sensational. But Pulitzer was both anti-German and very pro-US-intervention in Europe. Unlike Hearst, Pulitzer demonized Imperial Germany long before the Great War began and it was Pulitzer – not Hearst–who helped sanitize America's pre-war efforts (before WWII) to aid the British and violate laws that sought to preserve US neutrality.

Like Hearst, Pulitzer was an artful media demagogue; but it was Pulitzer – not Hearst – who used his skills and power to steer America into the two greatest political conflicts ever seen. Joseph Pulitzer was also Jewish.

[Jun 13, 2017] June 13, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

Notable quotes:
"... So watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible. ..."
"... Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com
truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:07 am GMT

Hi PG, could our commander-in-chief have had ulterior reasons to cook up the ostracizing of Qatar?

https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_593d6691e4b0c5a35ca06118/amp

Mind you, we have these obese brainless stooges who would dance to any tune as long as they're assured they'll still be in power comes tomorrow. Now the assurance has also been approved by the masters, DJT is in deeply with the Ziocons . When our masters accomplish this mission, than we'll again be led to the next one. The Ayrabs don't seem to get it yet. They'll all end up in the Zionists slaughterhouse
It seems Gen. Clark was right, just a little diversion here.
What will become of the average Goy?

exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:08 am GMT

Let me commend Mr. Giraldi for another excellent contribution. The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization and those backing it are tarred with the same brush. It is disappointing to see Trump taken in by the deep state love of the Saudi barbarians.

Miro23 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT

So watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible.

A fine article, and the answer to all this surely lies with the US. If Trump had pulled out of Middle East conflicts (as he was elected to do), all this talk would be much less dangerous. Israel and Saudi Arabia aren't going to attack Iran on their own.

Fran Macadam Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

It's The Art of the War Deal.

LondonBob Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:44 am GMT

The Israeli and Saudi lobbies, and associated actors, seem to have had some success. I still don't see it going much further, Trump instinctively doesn't want another Iraq on his watch whatever the likes of Mattis etc. wish to engineer.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT

@Mark Green

what's been mostly forgotten is that Hearst and his newspapers largely opposed Washington's entry into both WWI and WWII. ' Citizen Kane' and the endless array of Hearst-bashing references ignore this neglected yet significant fact.

Very, very true, and funny how that works. In the same way Charles Lindbergh, because of his opposition to entering WW2, has been egregiously smeared as an "anti-Semite" and the charge still sticks to this day.

Thanks for pointing that out, and informing us about Poo-litzer.

RealAmerican Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT

@anon An anonymous dim-witted nincompoop attacking the honorable and brave Mr. Giraldi for speaking the truth. The definition of cowardice, I bet.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:11 am GMT

All in accord with the rest of the Israeli Likudnik Oded Yinon neocon plan vs Iran which Netanyahu's Israel AIPAC agent Kushner has duped the Saudis into supporting as well because of their Sunni vs Shia hatred of Iran:

http://america-hijacked.com/2014/07/13/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner has Trump pushing Israel Lobby agenda vs Syria as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

No surprise when pandering Hillary Clinton pushed Syrian regime change for Israel's sake as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2016/03/22/clinton-email-shows-us-sought-syria-regime-change-for-israels-sake/

So ISIS attacks Europe and US because of Israel:

So no surprise when Netanyahu said US is easily manipulated at following URL:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/07/18/netanyahu-us-easily-manipulated

George Washington must be rolling in his grave for pandering US politicians who ignore his Farewell Address warning at following URL:

http://astandforjustice.org/#washington

Anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

Let me commend Mr. Giraldi for another excellent contribution. The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization and those backing it are tarred with the same brush. It is disappointing to see Trump taken in by the deep state love of the Saudi barbarians. "The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization "

Looks like you have a problem with reading comprehension. Read the first two paragraphs again, and then review who is indeed the Chief enemy of civilisation.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

@AmericaFirstNow All in accord with the rest of the Israeli Likudnik Oded Yinon neocon plan vs Iran which Netanyahu's Israel AIPAC agent Kushner has duped the Saudis into supporting as well because of their Sunni vs Shia hatred of Iran:

http://america-hijacked.com/2014/07/13/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner has Trump pushing Israel Lobby agenda vs Syria as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

No surprise when pandering Hillary Clinton pushed Syrian regime change for Israel's sake as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2016/03/22/clinton-email-shows-us-sought-syria-regime-change-for-israels-sake/

So ISIS attacks Europe and US because of Israel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48_ZeiK5gqU

CIA's Mike Scheuer on ISIS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHwp7uwK6bc

CIA's Mike Scheuer on terrorism motivation ignored by US media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ncn5Q16N4&list=PL3C32560738EF3C30&feature=plpp

Petraeus & CENTCOM warned of Israel threat as well:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/07/general-petraeus-israel-emails


Israel as terrorism motivation for San Bernardino ignored by US media as well:

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reported-politely-ignores/

Paul Findley: The High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0064805.html

See Dutch AIPAC documentary via following Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N294FMDok98

So no surprise when Netanyahu said US is easily manipulated at following URL:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/07/18/netanyahu-us-easily-manipulated

George Washington must be rolling in his grave for pandering US politicians who ignore his Farewell Address warning at following URL:

http://astandforjustice.org/#washington

Just noticed that the youtube for Michael Scheuer's CNN interview with Smerconish about ISIS didn't go through in prior post! Following one should:
War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

@anon

Iran poses no threat to the Native Born White American Working Class.

Your allegiance is to Greater Israel

Phil and I have 0 allegiance to Israel Donald Trump's allegiance is to Greater Israel and this makes Donald Trump a GOD DAM TRAITOR!!! ...

dearieme Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

"The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846″: 1812.

ANON Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:30 am GMT

@Mark Green Well I have to thank you for prompting me to read up on Joseph Pulitzer"s remarkable career but I can't commend your attention to detail or recommend you as a source of accurate information to others.

There is a slight problem about your blaming him for being (before WW1) "pro US intervention in Europe" having "demonized Imperial Germany" and then that he "helped sanitize American efforts (pre WW2) to help the British". *He died in 1911* .

Interesting to compare Pulitzer's great career with that of another Central European Jew who immigrated with no English but built a popular newspaper empire. Both served in the armed forces of their adopted country. The other is that appalling rogue Robert Maxwell.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

See following article from Jewish Forward publication on how Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner (who arranged Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel) has brought other Jewish AIPAC Israel 1sters into the White House:

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/359120/jared-kushners-friend-picked-by-donald-trump-as-assistant/

NoseytheDuke Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:34 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz Idiot! The lie that OBL was involved in any way in 9/11 for just one. The lie that he was killed in the Delta 6 raid in Pakistan is another.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:38 am GMT

Speaking of lies, war and the media, let us not forget the blatant lying about Stalin's crimes by Walter Duranty published in the New York Times for which the scumbag was awarded a prize by Pulitzer, another Red Millionaire.

It took the Times around half a century to begin to publicly admit to its callous malfeasance, yet apparently..

The Pulitzer board has twice declined to withdraw the award, most recently in November 2003, finding "no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception" in the 1931 reporting that won the prize (see Pulitzer Board statement), and The Times does not have the award in its possession.

- New York Times Statement About 1932 Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Walter Duranty

http://www.nytco.com/new-york-times-statement-about-1932-pulitzer-prize-awarded-to-walter-duranty/

Also note that in the statement, they deceitfully attempt to shift the responsibility for dirtball reporting on the effects of Soviet censorship, which though real, is no excuse for their mendacity.

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard.

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm GMT

Phil

Seriously 1846 is not relevant .and anyone who thinks it is in the context of opposing the ongoing war against Christian Russia and Shia Muslim Iran is not really a serious anti-war critic ..You need to deal with the fact that many of us here on Unz Review do not suffer from even a speck of White Guilt .even Old Noam Chomsky likes his precious Israel Jew only .which is the reason why Noam and Norman Finklestien are opposed to the right of return for Palestinians

So be a good phenomenologist and remember that context is everything

Philip Giraldi Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

@MSB Done! Thanks for catching it!

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

Jun 6, 2017 America's Reign of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows

The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror. Just think about it for a minute: almost every tyranny being perpetrated against the citizenry-purportedly to keep us safe and the nation secure-has come about as a result of some threat manufactured in one way or another by the U.S. government.

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm GMT

Phil

I can tell you from first hand personal family reasons that the filthy cockroach Donald Trump has very big plans to slaughter the Working Class Native Born White Christian American Male Teenager Population by using them as canon fodder for Greater Israel in a war with Shia Muslim Iran. This is Donald Trump's MAGA JOBS PROGRAM .post-Gruman Corp MAGA rally a year ago

Trump is as much of a filthy repellent cockroach as Hillary and Bill Clinton.

It looks like Trump's red hat MAGA HAT WEARING CHICKENHAWK WARHAWK JOCKSNIFFING White Male Voting Bloc Cucks and they are most definitely CUCKS who deserve to have the shit beat out of them .have given Trump a blank check to 1)bomb Hezzbollah in Syria and 2)bomb Shia Muslim Iran for Greater Israel

Donald Trump+Hillary Clinton=a "cute" post-nuclear WW3 cockroach breeding pair .a 13 billion year COCKROACH RIECH!!!

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke I never doubted that you think that but PG is a comparatively serious person and I wondered what he would say, choosing his words as carefully as he quite often seems to. Come to think of it I think he's been caught out being a bit careless on some of his other details this time.

And what's your version of sbat happened at Abbotabad and why?

nsa Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT

The jooies and their kept eunuchs in wash dc are complaining their precious US (((holocaust))) museum is only being funded with 54 million in American taxpayer funds. This underfunding is very serious as they will have to close the lampshade wing and the soap bar exhibition. Contact your congressional whore immediately and complain ..

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Hey Happy Guy ,
Whats the problem. Giraldi is always whining about America and praising Iran. Why should he stay here . If he likes Iran so much he should move there . Do you think Giraldi should disclose if he has received money from any Iranian entity ??

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke Presumably you think ObL died much earlier than the Navy Seals raid. But why would Obama go along with the charade? No doubt you would say he was looking for political advantage domestically – to which of course I answer that he wouldn't be so dumb as to believe that no one would blow the whistle.

Let's move on to whete you say the extremely long and detailed account of ObL's death in Wikipedia is wrong and say why. In particular, how come Al Qaeda and other Muslim organisations announced his death and threatened revenge?

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT

@anon Well now first of all, .I want to greet you with a great big FUCK OFF!!! .Dearest Ivanka

The target of Phil's venom are the Jewish Neocons .and non-Jewish Neocons:The homo- cannibal General Mattis .Hannibal Lectre look-a-like General McMaster in-a-flava-bean-salad with the homo General Mattis .and the filthy cockroach breeding pair Donald Trump and his cockroach husband Hillary Clinton .and the SATANIST!!! that own and run the Military Industrial Complex ..the treasonous SATANIC NON-AMERICAN-ANTI-AMERICAN CABAL spawned in Satan's personal toilet bowl in rancid rotting corpse strewn HELL!!

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

@Mark Green True, thank you and depressing, but hope springs eternal and I'm hoping Trump still has some independent thought and some patriotism and patriots behind him!

Chris Mallory Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

Mexico had more right to Tejas than the Zionist gangsters have to Palestine.

Neither group has any claim to the land. Mexico invited the Americans into Texas, primarily because Mexico could not deal with the Comanche who lived in Texas and raided both Texas and Mexico. Mexico then lost the war against the Texans and lost all claim to Texas.

Much of the SW, though claimed by Mexico was controlled by either the Comanche or the Apache.

Those tribes might have a claim, but Mexico has none.

David Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@Lot You're displaying poor moral character to call the author America-hating.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@AmericaFirstNow Unfortunately Mr. Scheuer hasn't been on TV much lately.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

@AmericaFirstNow See following article from Jewish Forward publication on how Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner (who arranged Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel) has brought other Jewish AIPAC Israel 1sters into the White House:

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/359120/jared-kushners-friend-picked-by-donald-trump-as-assistant/ The infestations continue.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT

@anonymous

Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard.

Ah but there's the rub, and a good one, as the die hard Zionists in the US Congress, isn't that redundant, are already complaining about the deal. http://www.defensenews.com/articles/us-senate-democrats-rallying-votes-against-saudi-arms-sale
Hopefully the rats will kill themselves!

Theres also this from 'Up Chuck' Schumer;

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/schumer-to-oppose-smart-bomb-sale-to-saudi-arabia

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@ANON Joseph Pulitzer II ran the St. Louis Post Dispatch and NY World after his father's death. He was a staunch supporter of FDR.

MarkinLA Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Mexico lost Texas because Santa Anna made himself a dictator and caused revolts all around Mexico. The Texans just happened to win. Mexico was trying to raise an army to retake it when the US annexed Texas.

Mexico made the stupid mistakes. Mexico knew the US wanted Texas and California. Mexico had rejected offers to buy them. Mexico should have done everything it could to avoid giving the US a chance to grab them.

Dutch Boy Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Lot Quite correct. Polk wanted to buy the eventual Mexican Cession, not conquer it.

Santoculto Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@anon Jewnonymous

Realist Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

"In a 2009 State Department memo signed off on by Hillary Clinton it was stated that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.""

Why the hell would use anything Clinton said or did to advocate a position?

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm GMT

@Chris Mallory You are correct that the Mexicans invited Americans into Texas, (talk about the negative effects of encouraging immigration), and Mexico may never have had much claim to the land, but they still have a more legitimate claim than the Zionist gangsters have on Palestine.

In fact, if there were no oil in the region, I suspect the Zionists would all move to NYC!

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm GMT

@Mark Green

Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

to understand the Saudi leadership, you need only see how they got along with Iran during the reign of the Shah; a Zio/Anglo quisling installed after the CIA putsch that removed the legitimate, democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27état

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Time magazine described SAVAK as having "long been Iran's most hated and feared institution" which had "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents."[24] The Federation of American Scientists also found it guilty of "the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners" and symbolizing "the Shah's rule from 1963–79." The FAS list of SAVAK torture methods included "electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails."[25]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAVAK

it was during this reign of Zionist and Anglo terror that the corrupt House of Saud got along wonderfully with the Shah's Zio-Iran. Here you see the king of Saudi Arabia dancing for the amusement of the treacherous little Shah:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIft-_FcYQ

- who exhorted the rulers of Saudi Arabia to embrace the cultural and spiritual sewage of the Zio-West thus:

"Please, my brother, modernize. Open up your country. Make the schools mixed women and men. Let women wear miniskirts. Have discos. Be modern. Otherwise I cannot guarantee you will stay on your throne."[15]

as long as Iran was under the thrall of the Fiend, the Saudi were their bestest buddies ever. They were also bestest buddies with Israel and England and the ZUSA.

so much treachery and evil and oppression and murder and torture.. it makes the head spin.

anyways, what do you expect from a fiend, I guess

so today the Saudis are still under the thrall of the same Fiend, but Iran is not. Hence Saudi Arabia assassinates Shia clerics it doesn't like, and Iran gets blamed for human rights violations.

The lies and mendacity and treachery are nearly beyond comprehension. The Saudis toss their fellow Arabs in Palestine under the Zionist bus, and fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive. The stark divisions between good and evil (if there are such concepts) could hardly be more glaring.

and yet the Zio-fiend has Trump making nice with the murderous, terrorist-funding Saudis, while saber rattling at the peaceful and civilized Iran.

great article yet again Mr. Giraldi !

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

@MarkinLA Yeah, I know all about it. At one time I was a great admirer of the Texians, and the constitution of the Texas Republic, and used to love to visit the Alamo before it was done over. Anyway my main point was not about Mexico or Texas.

BTW, as you probably know, Davey Crockett was one of the original "Love it or Leave It" dudes and left the US in disgust (in 1836) with craven, dishonest, politicians after his stints in government including Congress and headed for Texas telling the story that if not re-elected, his constituents could go to Hell, and [he] would go to Texas.

Rotten politicians are an original and permanent feature of American political life, it seems.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain

The homo- cannibal General Mattis .

LOL!!!

Sam McGowan Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm GMT

I've been to Iran and anyone who thinks a war there would be easy has rocks in their head.

Jake Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm GMT

I believe Qatar has the highest per capita income (for its citizens) in the world. That can never sit well with the House of Saud.

The British Empire made the House of Saud what it is, and the American successors of the Brits intend to keep the con game going. Wise and decent US leadership would recognize the Saudis as the worst of the Middle East and act accordingly. But the English all but created them, and we follow the English lead. And ow that the Israelis dearly love the Saudis, we can expect to see US-Israeli-Saudi mischief all over the region.

iveritas Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT

PG is a true and a great patriot. those who have the chutzpa to tell PG, "move to Iran", my message to you is, move to Saudi Arabia or to Israel. But then again, most likely you're already there.

On the plus side, the personal attacks on PG are great. It means he must be doing something right.

Not to mention, when comments take the form of personal attacks instead of arguing the principle tenants of the article, it means the other side doesn't have a defensible point of view. Which only means PG's assertions are correct and indisputable.

I see some red-blooded Americans arguing about Texas, not being in Mexico. These people are forgetting the best form of patriotism is true understanding of our history as a nation. Ignorance and waiving a flag alone is not patriotism. Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution. Texas or the number of stars on our flag, etc. does not make America. America for me is the principles our founding father put forth. Which was formulated in a document far advanced for its time (even for today) in the form of our constitution.

Anything outside of the framework of our nation, I consider false or anger-patriotism. There is a reason why media has played a role in shaping the wars of choice mentioned in this article. Because faced with true facts against the framework of our constitution, those wars are not in the best interests of the public or the country.

Thank you, PG!

Moi Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT

It would be great to have Mr. Giraldi write an article about the Mother of all Terrorism.

edNels Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Now that's something. 13 billion years of COCKROACH REICK PESTILENCE!

Who or what is underlying the common denominator that makes it compelling to work so hard to bring about the ideal conditions for the Cockroach infestation that will grow after the Nuclear conflagration that is the fruit of Heimy science? (Poison/long half-lives.)

Or, what is the correlation in DNA of the Cockroach and some humanoids? Ever think of that?

God (as he may be understood,) or not, has infinity to work it out, and one lead that should be gone into could be where (from a concept called "Morphic Resonance" which posits that within DNA code there is much dormant potentiality, that also can be shown to tie together various diverse life forms.

INO's, some of the humans are in effect analogous to David Icke's ideas about lizards, or like the Bodysnatchers concept of long ago SF movies, (the one with Kevin McCarthy in BW was good).

The proclivities of, or the fruits of, the Drift The point aimed at by some people!

They seem to want to reset Earth to another beginning. A CockRoach Reich!

Thanks for the idea!

Quartermaster Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm GMT

The Orange Revolution was the work of Soros. Maidan, however, belongs to the Ukrainians themselves. They had no desire to be sold out to Putin by Yanukovich.

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm GMT

@iveritas Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Here is an outstanding essay that distinguishes between patriotism and nationalism. The author is none other than Joe Sobran.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/06/joseph-sobran/patriotism-or-nationalism/

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT

@Sam McGowan I don't think a shooting war on Iran is imminent; it's enough to yap about imagined threats to keep people glued to the media and thinking we need the protection of crazies. No threat, less "need" for politicians and the military.

The more threats, the more dollars for the nut jobs amongst us.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken, In Defense of Women (1918)

Scott Peterson at the Christian Science Monitor produced a timeline for dire Israeli and US predictions of an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon, beginning ~38 years ago.

A timeline of warnings since 1979. Breathless warnings that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability have been made for decades. Here is a chronicle of predictions.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1108/Imminent-Iran-nuclear-threat-A-timeline-of-warnings-since-1979/Israel-s-one-year-timeframe-disproved-2010-11

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT

@iveritas PG is a true and a great patriot. those who have the chutzpa to tell PG, "move to Iran", my message to you is, move to Saudi Arabia or to Israel. But then again, most likely you're already there.

On the plus side, the personal attacks on PG are great. It means he must be doing something right.

Not to mention, when comments take the form of personal attacks instead of arguing the principle tenants of the article, it means the other side doesn't have a defensible point of view. Which only means PG's assertions are correct and indisputable.

I see some red-blooded Americans arguing about Texas, not being in Mexico. These people are forgetting the best form of patriotism is true understanding of our history as a nation. Ignorance and waiving a flag alone is not patriotism. Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution. Texas or the number of stars on our flag, etc. does not make America. America for me is the principles our founding father put forth. Which was formulated in a document far advanced for its time (even for today) in the form of our constitution.

Anything outside of the framework of our nation, I consider false or anger-patriotism. There is a reason why media has played a role in shaping the wars of choice mentioned in this article. Because faced with true facts against the framework of our constitution, those wars are not in the best interests of the public or the country.

Thank you, PG!

Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution.

You sound like a highly respectable sort, and I agree with a lot of your comment, but you may want to reconsider your ideas about that document. I consider it a huge link in the chain around our necks. As for the "founding fathers," they were of opposing minds and the anti-federalists had good reasons for arguing against the imposition of the constitution. They were mostly correct.

In fact, Patrick Henry refused to attend the Constitutional Convention saying, "I smell a rat." He could have been totally anosmic and still would have been able to smell one, or more likely, quite a few.

The document stinks, and here's why*.:

The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production - Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
[Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]

https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle

*My apologies to those who've seen this numerous times before, but it's a critical message and obviously must be presented to each individual as (s)he steps forward. Thanks in advance for your patience as well as your indulgence!

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT

@anon Why doesn't Giraldi move to Iran ?
Thats where his concerns and allegiance are. And maybe the source of his finances also ?

I bet they would love a chubby bear like him. Why don't you crawl back to the ghetto that you belong?
Why, after over two millennia of living in peace and prosperity in the land of Iran, the loudest voices for going to destroy Iran is coming from Joooies Iranians who have left Iran after the revolution? If they can't pinch a penny from you, you become their enemy. Has their lived such a treacherous bunch?
It's greedy Zionists like you that end up putting the whole tribe in trouble

chris Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

@Lot

There is nothing "genocidal" about the Saudis supporting the elected government of Yemen against Iran-funded rebels

The "elected government of Yemen," of course, featured exactly ONE candidate who won with a 100% of the vote, supported by Hillary Clinton, in 2012!

And if the elected "leader" of Yemen fled to the KSA why is he any more legitimate than the president of Ukraine who was overthrown by a US-funded revolution and fled to Russia?

chris Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain

You can always pack up and go live in Mexico.

Why bother, if they're all coming here anyway?

JoaoAlfaiate Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT

@jacques sheete One of the few good reasons to support Israel.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/did-george-w-bush-do-all-he-could-to-prevent-911/411175/-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz obj ected that "I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden." Clarke responded that, "We are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al-Qaeda, that happens to be led by bin Laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States." To which Wolfowitz replied, "Well, there are others that do as well, at least as much. Iraqi terrorism for example."

and more "cording to Eichenwald's sources, "the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat."

--

That was the lie about Laden That was the lie

RobinG Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Question: How does Mr. Nock define production?

He wrote, "Not one of them represented the interest of production- " but he had just listed manufacturing as one of the represented interests. Also, in those days, did shipping include ship-building? If not, it was certainly a closely related enterprise. Anyway, you see my point. Nock made an absolute statement, but he himself contradicted it.

Certainly the scales were weighted, but so much of the argument here is just railing against human nature. Are some people more ambitious or enterprising than others? (Let alone those who are more evil and unscrupulous.)
Some people are very intelligently curious, but it seems rare that the scientist who makes [often labors over for years] a discovery is the one who profits from it. Not fair perhaps, but the way of business, the way of the world.

You don't like the Constitution or the Founders? They were the ones who stepped up to take responsibility (and to press their own interests, if you will). It's hard to please everybody. So much harder now that there are so many of us. Just look at how much disagreement there is here in these comments. Can you imagine if there were another revolution, and afterwards a new convention. Do you think they'd crowdsource the new Constitution on the web? Let the computer decide? Who would program the machines?

Terrorism Supporters in Washington and Riyadh Close Ranks Against Qatar-Times of News Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm GMT

[ ] Source: The Unz Review [ ]

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@Mark Green Hi Mark Green, well observed. The Arabs are so blinded by money, so lost in Zionist tricks, are tripping in their own stupidity. One of the largest ethnic-religious groups in the world, wealthy, but as dumb as a door nail, as Edward Said once said "they are a sorry lot ", haven't yet grasped how they're accommodating their own demise. Ironically, they're are paying for all expenses that will finish them, at least send them to dark ages.
They don't see how they're being played by their half-brothers . I guess treachery is in the blood ..

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT

Mar 25, 2016 WAR IS A LIE – David Swanson in Asheville March 25, 2016

https://youtu.be/5GVjKUXcHIc

Sam Shama Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:17 pm GMT

@RobinG Question: How does Mr. Nock define production?

He wrote, "Not one of them represented the interest of production- " but he had just listed manufacturing as one of the represented interests. Also, in those days, did shipping include ship-building? If not, it was certainly a closely related enterprise. Anyway, you see my point. Nock made an absolute statement, but he himself contradicted it.

Certainly the scales were weighted, but so much of the argument here is just railing against human nature. Are some people more ambitious or enterprising than others? (Let alone those who are more evil and unscrupulous.)
Some people are very intelligently curious, but it seems rare that the scientist who makes [often labors over for years] a discovery is the one who profits from it. Not fair perhaps, but the way of business, the way of the world.

You don't like the Constitution or the Founders? They were the ones who stepped up to take responsibility (and to press their own interests, if you will). It's hard to please everybody. So much harder now that there are so many of us. Just look at how much disagreement there is here in these comments. Can you imagine if there were another revolution, and afterwards a new convention. Do you think they'd crowdsource the new Constitution on the web? Let the computer decide? Who would program the machines? Very good comment, Robin.

Best,
- One of the Unscrupulous

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT

@Rurik


Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

to understand the Saudi leadership, you need only see how they got along with Iran during the reign of the Shah; a Zio/Anglo quisling installed after the CIA putsch that removed the legitimate, democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27état

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Time magazine described SAVAK as having "long been Iran's most hated and feared institution" which had "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents."[24] The Federation of American Scientists also found it guilty of "the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners" and symbolizing "the Shah's rule from 1963–79." The FAS list of SAVAK torture methods included "electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails."[25]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAVAK

it was during this reign of Zionist and Anglo terror that the corrupt House of Saud got along wonderfully with the Shah's Zio-Iran. Here you see the king of Saudi Arabia dancing for the amusement of the treacherous little Shah:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIft-_FcYQ

- who exhorted the rulers of Saudi Arabia to embrace the cultural and spiritual sewage of the Zio-West thus:

"Please, my brother, modernize. Open up your country. Make the schools mixed women and men. Let women wear miniskirts. Have discos. Be modern. Otherwise I cannot guarantee you will stay on your throne."[15]

as long as Iran was under the thrall of the Fiend, the Saudi were their bestest buddies ever. They were also bestest buddies with Israel and England and the ZUSA.

so much treachery and evil and oppression and murder and torture.. it makes the head spin.

anyways, what do you expect from a fiend, I guess

so today the Saudis are still under the thrall of the same Fiend, but Iran is not. Hence Saudi Arabia assassinates Shia clerics it doesn't like, and Iran gets blamed for human rights violations.

The lies and mendacity and treachery are nearly beyond comprehension. The Saudis toss their fellow Arabs in Palestine under the Zionist bus, and fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive. The stark divisions between good and evil (if there are such concepts) could hardly be more glaring.

and yet the Zio-fiend has Trump making nice with the murderous, terrorist-funding Saudis, while saber rattling at the peaceful and civilized Iran.


great article yet again Mr. Giraldi !

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Lets compare to the current regime that executes Bahai school teachers. Mona Mahmoudenezhad , Bahai school teacher aged 17 years was executed along with 9 other female Bahai school teachers by the Iranian regime you are so fond of . Execution method : Public hanging from crane .
Also denial of basic human rights : Homosexuality illegal and punishable by death penalty . 150 homosexuals executed each year in Iran .
Prosletizing Christianity is illegal and punishable by the death penalty .
Converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by the death penalty.
In court a mans testimony is given twice the weight of a womans.

fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive

Muslims funding Muslims to kill Christians ? Nothing new . Has been going on for 1400 years.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT

@truthtellerAryan They are selling their oil for the price of bottled water !!!!!!!!
And then using the money to buy gold toilets !!!!!!!!

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm GMT

@anon It is official that loving America more than Zionists and Israel is anti-America. How embarrassing, that you see some of our cuck politicians wear flag lapels on their suits with both the Zionist and American flags as one. Treason or patriotism? We've already seen symbolically, the swearing of allegiance to this treacherous "shitty" nation by these so called " patriots "

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:12 pm GMT

the only people I'm aware of that were hanged by a crane were some homosexual rapists that raped a young boy

something the rapists would probably get a medal for doing here in the Zio-West

so it sounds to me like you're lying or pathetically misinformed

"Today, there are at least 600 churches and 300,000–370,000 Christians in Iran.[1]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Iran

and I understand that there is also a thriving and ancient Jewish community in Iran.

OK, I checked and the women were hanged back in the early eighties, just following the revolution that freed Iran from decades of Zionist atrocities and rapine, and apparently they were suspected of collaborating with the Zionists somehow. But that was a long time ago, and I don't hold today's Iranian government guilty for what was done decades ago.

the fact is that Iran has been wronged, (savaged even) by the ZUSA and Israel for a long, long time. Following their revolution that freed them from the Zio-stooge Shah, the ZUSA used their good buddy Saddam to wage a catastrophic war on Iran, and even handed Saddam some nice chemical weapons and gas to use on Iranian troops. Charming huh?

They've been menaced by Israel for so long that it's part of the fabric of their national narrative, because it seems that the Jewish supremacists can not stand to see others thrive. It drives them whacky- it does. They must have their boot on all throats, Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian and everybody else. Iran tells them to fuck off, and the Jewish supremacists go bonkers.

If there's another world war, it will be forced upon the planet by Jewish, Zionist supremacists and their bought politician whores in London, Paris and DC.

I pray God speed to Trump in ferreting these Satanic scum out of the government and halls of power here in the former (and soon to be great again) good ol' US of A.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:18 pm GMT

@Rurik more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/liberate-idleb-after-east-aleppo-shifting-military-alliances-moscows-role/5565126

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT

@truthtellerAryan

this treacherous "shitty" nation

Must be strange to totallyl obsessed and consumed with something so trivial as " a shitty nation ".
But you being an Aryan I would think you would be more concerned with Germany and the fact that you will lose the Aryan homeland within a couple of generations due to almost zero native birth rate ,a soaring Muslim birhrate from your pet " refugees" and turkish laboreres, and millions more military age Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews. By the way who perpetrated the sexual assault festival at Germanys expense on New Years Eve , Jews or Muslims ,?? Who kidnapped/groomed and pimped out 1400 native British girls in Rotherham , Muslims or Jews ??

lavoisier Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

@anon The current Iranian regime is at least as ruthless and oppressive as was the regime led by the Shah. However, that regime poses no threat to the United States of America and should not be our problem. Trump is picking a fight with Iran because they threatened Israel. Again, Israel's fights should be their own fights. Leave us out.

That being said, it is naive to dismiss how much damage we have done to countries like Iran by meddling in their internal affairs and putting in power ruthless puppets like the shah. His cruelty to his own people is what eventually led to his regime being destroyed. If you cause enough harm to people, they will seek revenge.

If he had been more benevelont and avoided murder and mayhem, he may have been able to turn his country around. But he would also have had to work for the interests of his own people.

ANON Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm GMT

@Mark Green I would say "nice try" but that would be an exaggeration. The NY World closed in 1931 after being sold by the Pulitzers (plural). You would of course know that they were not Jewish but I suppose you could try making something of the fact that their mother was from a formerly slave owning Southern family..

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:49 pm GMT

@anon


this treacherous "shitty" nation
Must be strange to totallyl obsessed and consumed with something so trivial as " a shitty nation ".
But you being an Aryan I would think you would be more concerned with Germany and the fact that you will lose the Aryan homeland within a couple of generations due to almost zero native birth rate ,a soaring Muslim birhrate from your pet " refugees" and turkish laboreres, and millions more military age Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews. By the way who perpetrated the sexual assault festival at Germanys expense on New Years Eve , Jews or Muslims ,?? Who kidnapped/groomed and pimped out 1400 native British girls in Rotherham , Muslims or Jews ??

Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews.

your butt-boy George Soros just got his arse handed to him

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/soros-s-native-hungary-approves-crackdown-on-foreign-funded-ngos

no more kosher Muslims in Hungary

[Jun 12, 2017] He who says organization, says oligarchy. Organizations and oligarchies are self-reinforcing psychopath magnets

Notable quotes:
"... Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy ..."
Jun 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
PavewayIV | Jun 11, 2017 1:10:50 PM | 42

Robert Michels and the Iron Law of Oligarchy (1911)

"He who says organization, says oligarchy."

Paraphrasing Lobaczewski c. 1959:

"Organizations and oligarchies are self-reinforcing psychopath magnets."

PavewayIV's Magic Box of Death:

Put a few oligarchs in a box and set on floor. Soon, hundreds of 'little people' will be attracted inside. Close box and shake vigorously. Torrents of dead 'little people' will pour out, but never any oligarchs. Repeat as often as desired. It's magic!
jfl | Jun 11, 2017 4:58:36 PM | 50

thanks for the link. reading what amounts to a short introduction, i discovered that Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy itself is available, as so many good books are available, from our friends and benefactors at library genesis.

Archive.org has one: Political parties; a sociological study of the oligarchical tendencies of modern democracy Michels, Robert, 1876-1936 Free

[Jun 12, 2017] You can't fix the media because its very raison d'etre is to subvert, mislead and corrupt, to put the viewer and the nation inside a mental labyrinth.

Jun 12, 2017 | www.unz.com

LetItRest Show Comment Next New Comment June 12, 2017 at 5:07 am GMT

You can't fix the media because its very raison d'etre is to subvert, mislead and corrupt, to put the viewer and the nation inside a mental labyrinth.

You see, in the US and the Western World, the Media is owned by a cartel of Jewish people with a common agenda – they only talk about the same events, with the same perspective. They change gears and news cycles in unison, they command the discourse window.

Of course, Fox News is the opposite of CNN to the masses of disinformed, but this is just a cordial accord between Owners to not eat each other's audiences. Mainly a market strategy to not create cannibalization.

If the Media was supposed to be serious, "but currently is not and in need of saving", instead of the truth of it never being anything close to that, just a propaganda machine, then, in all those decades, and specially now in the age of the internet, they should have been speaking about the system of Debt Currency that ruins all nations, or how today in America we have the biggest monopolies in the history of mankind, or how Immigration from countries with non-European populations destroys social trust, neighborhoods, cities, lower wages, overbudens public services, reintroduces extinct diseases and many many more.

But they don't talk about any of that, and never will.

Forget about the media altogether, let it die and rot.

[Jun 12, 2017] In Praise of Hypocrisy by Masha Gessen

Empire of Lies is a 2008 thriller novel written by Andrew Klavan. The book takes its title from a quote by George Orwell often used by Ron Paul, "Truth is treason in an empire of lies." Masha Gessen is a part of US propaganda empire, and now trying to defend it by all means. Demonstrating the level of sophisticaion I never suspected of her. I like the term "aspirational hypocrisy", because now the USA neocon foreign policy and neocon's wars can be defined as the "Wars of aspirational hypocrisy". But this is all I like in the article. It is useful as as sample of sophisticated propaganda. That's it.
In any case this article is nice example of "deception as an art form" and this neoliberal Masha proved to be a real artist in this art.
Notable quotes:
"... Everybody lies. But American politics has long rested on a shared understanding of what it is acceptable to lie about, how and to whom. ..."
"... One of the many norms that Donald J. Trump has assaulted since taking office is this tradition of aspirational hypocrisy, of striving, at least rhetorically, to act in accordance with moral values - to be better. ..."
"... Fascists the world over have gained popularity by calling forth the idea that the world is rotten to the core. In "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt described how fascism invites people to "throw off the mask of hypocrisy" and adopt the worldview that there is no right and wrong, only winners and losers. ..."
"... Hypocrisy can be aspirational: Political actors claim that they are motivated by ideals perhaps to a greater extent than they really are; shedding the mask of hypocrisy asserts that greed, vengeance and gratuitous cruelty aren't wrong, but are legitimate motivations for political behavior. ..."
"... In the last decade and a half, post-Communist autocrats like Vladimir V. Putin and Viktor Orban have adopted this cynical posture. They seem convinced that the entire world is driven solely by greed and hunger for power, and only the Western democracies continue to insist, hypocritically, that their politics are based on values and principles. ..."
"... when he was asked about his admiration for Mr. Putin, whom the host Bill O'Reilly called "a killer." "You got a lot of killers," responded Mr. Trump. "What, you think our country's so innocent?" ..."
"... To an American ear, Mr. Trump's statement was jarring - not because Americans believe their country to be "innocent" but because they have always relied on a sort of aspirational hypocrisy ..."
"... No American politician in living memory has advanced the idea that the entire world, including the United States, was rotten to the core. ... ..."
"... How do you like the NKVD libruls afraid of Trump bringing fascism who were running a gestapo (the FBI wiring tapping other country's Ministers) on US citizens of the opposing party? ..."
Feb 18, 2017 | nyt.com

Everybody lies. But American politics has long rested on a shared understanding of what it is acceptable to lie about, how and to whom.

One of the many norms that Donald J. Trump has assaulted since taking office is this tradition of aspirational hypocrisy, of striving, at least rhetorically, to act in accordance with moral values - to be better. This tradition has set the standard of behavior for government officials and has shaped Americans' understanding of what their government and their country represent. Over the last four weeks, Mr. Trump has lashed out against any criticism of his behavior, because, as he never tires of pointing out, "We won."

In requesting the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, however, Mr. Trump made his first public concession to political expectations. Hypocrisy has scored a minor victory in America. This is a good thing.

The word "hypocrisy" was thrown around a lot during the 2016 presidential campaign. Both Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders accused their respective parties and the country's elites of hypocrisy. As the election neared, some journalists tried to turn the accusation around on Mr. Trump, taking him to task, for example, for his stand on immigration. If Mr. Trump favored such a hard line on immigration, the logic went, should he not then favor the deportation of his own wife, Melania, who was alleged to have worked while in the United States on a visitor's visa?

The charge of hypocrisy didn't stick, not so much because it placed its proponents, unwittingly, in the distasteful position of advocating the deportation of someone for a long-ago and common transgression, but because Mr. Trump wasn't just breaking the rules of political conduct: He was destroying them. He was openly claiming that he abused the system to benefit himself. If he didn't pay his taxes and got away with it, this made him a good businessman. If he could force himself on women, that made him more of a man. He acted as though this primitive logic were obvious and shared by all.

Fascists the world over have gained popularity by calling forth the idea that the world is rotten to the core. In "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt described how fascism invites people to "throw off the mask of hypocrisy" and adopt the worldview that there is no right and wrong, only winners and losers.

Hypocrisy can be aspirational: Political actors claim that they are motivated by ideals perhaps to a greater extent than they really are; shedding the mask of hypocrisy asserts that greed, vengeance and gratuitous cruelty aren't wrong, but are legitimate motivations for political behavior.

In the last decade and a half, post-Communist autocrats like Vladimir V. Putin and Viktor Orban have adopted this cynical posture. They seem convinced that the entire world is driven solely by greed and hunger for power, and only the Western democracies continue to insist, hypocritically, that their politics are based on values and principles.

This stance has breathed new life into the old Soviet propaganda tool of "whataboutism," the trick of turning any argument against the opponent. When accused of falsifying elections, Russians retort that American elections are not unproblematic; when faced with accusations of corruption, they claim that the entire world is corrupt.

This month, Mr. Trump employed the technique of whataboutism when he was asked about his admiration for Mr. Putin, whom the host Bill O'Reilly called "a killer." "You got a lot of killers," responded Mr. Trump. "What, you think our country's so innocent?"

To an American ear, Mr. Trump's statement was jarring - not because Americans believe their country to be "innocent" but because they have always relied on a sort of aspirational hypocrisy to understand the country. No American politician in living memory has advanced the idea that the entire world, including the United States, was rotten to the core. ...

Hungary's PM Viktor Orban praises Trump for saying countries should put their own interests first
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/donald-trump-nationalist-hungary-pm-viktor-orban-praise-america-first-a7542361.html

===

ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM

I am less worried now we got Trump and not apparatchik (experienced in deep state and catering to Jihadis) Clinton.
ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM
The faux librul side is all Joe McCarthy phony red scaring and surveillance of the opposition activists sort of like what Army Intell did to hippies protesting the liberals' debacle in Southeast Asia.

Deep state surveillance and trashing the Bill of Rights is a legacy of the past 8 years.

yuan, February 18, 2017 at 09:36 PM
it's telling that you believe genuine liberalism is positive...
ilsm , February 18, 2017 at 04:45 AM
Vox, what about reporting from a crystal ball requires truth?
Peter K. - , February 18, 2017 at 07:37 AM
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! Hide under your bed.
ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:42 PM
Flynn could have said something "inappropriate" by a Clintonista definition of "inappropriate", and he "could" be prosecuted under a law designed to muzzle US citizens, that has never been tried bc a Bill of rights argument would win!

How do you like the NKVD libruls afraid of Trump bringing fascism who were running a gestapo (the FBI wiring tapping other country's Ministers) on US citizens of the opposing party?

If the fascists are coming they would keep Obama's FBI!

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... February 18, 2017 at 05:35 PM

the dems' deep state have already trodden the Bill of Rights how worse can it get......

fascism is in the US for 8 years or so.

[Jun 11, 2017] Neo-Gramscianism - Wikipedia

Jun 11, 2017 | en.wikipedia.org
Neo-Gramscianism applies a critical theory approach to the study of International Relations (IR) and the Global Political Economy (GPE) that explores the interface of ideas, institutions and material capabilities as they shape the specific contours of the state formation. The theory is heavily influenced by the writings of Antonio Gramsci . [1]

Neo-Gramscianism analyzes how the particular constellation of social forces, the state and the dominant ideational configuration define and sustain world orders. In this sense, the Neo-Gramscian approach breaks the decades-old stalemate between the realist schools of thought, and the liberal theories by historicizing the very theoretical foundations of the two streams as part of a particular world order, and finding the interlocking relationship between agency and structure . Furthermore, Karl Polanyi , Karl Marx , Max Weber , Niccolò Machiavelli , Max Horkheimer , Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault are cited as major sources within the Critical theory of International Relations. [1] York University professor emeritus, Robert W. Cox 's article "Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory", in Millennium 10 (1981) 2, and "Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method", published in Millennium 12 (1983) 2. In his 1981 article, Cox demands a critical study of IR, as opposed to the usual "problem-solving" theories, which do not interrogate the origin, nature and development of historical structures, but accept for example that states and the (supposedly) "anarchic" relationships between them as Kantian Dinge an sich .

However, Cox disavows the label Neo-Gramscian despite the fact that in a follow-up article, he showed how Gramsci's thought can be used to analyze power structures within the GPE. Particularly Gramsci's concept of hegemony , vastly different from the realists' conception of hegemony, appears fruitful. Gramsci's state theory, his conception of " historic blocs " – dominant configurations of material capabilities, ideologies and institutions as determining frames for individual and collective action – and of élites acting as "organic intellectuals" forging historic blocs , is also deemed useful.

The Neo-Gramscian approach has also been developed along somewhat different lines by Cox's colleague, Stephen Gill , distinguished research professor of political science at York University in Toronto . Gill contributed to showing how the elite Trilateral Commission acted as an "organic intellectual", forging the (currently hegemonic) ideology of neoliberalism and the so-called " Washington Consensus " and later in relation to the globalization of power and resistance in his book "Power and Resistance in the New World Order" (Palgrave 2003). Gill also partnered with fellow Canadian academic A. Claire Cutler to release a Neo-Gramscian inspired volume entitled "New Constitutionalism and World Order" (Cambridge 2014). The book brings together a selection of critical theorists and Neo-Gramscians to analyze the disciplinary power of legal and constitutional innovations in the global political economy. Co-editor A. Claire Cutler has been a pioneer scholar detailing a Neo-Gramscian theory of international law . [2] Outside of North America, the so-called "Amsterdam School" around Kees Van Der Pijl and Henk Overbeek (at VU University Amsterdam ) and individual researchers in Germany , notably in Düsseldorf , Kassel and Marburg as well as at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex in the UK, and other parts of the world, have adopted the neo-Gramscian critical method.

Basics of the neo-Gramscian perspective [ edit ]

In the mainstream approaches to international or global political economy the ontological centrality of the state is not in question. In contrast, Neo-Gramscianism, using an approach which Henk Overbeek, Professor of International Relations at the VU University , calls transnational historical materialism , "identifies state formation and interstate politics as moments of the transnational dynamics of capital accumulation and class formation". [3]

Neo-Gramscianism perceives state sovereignty as subjugated to a global economic system marked by the emergence of a transnational financial system and a corresponding transnational system of production. The major players in these systems, multinational corporations and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF , have evolved into a "transnational historic bloc" that exercises global hegemony (in contrast to the realist view of hegemony as the "predominant power of a state or a group of states"). [4] The historic bloc acquires its authority through the tacit consent of the governed population gained through coercive techniques of intellectual and cultural persuasion, largely absent violence. It links itself to other social groups that have been involved in political struggles [5] to expand its influence and seeks to solidify its power through the standardization and liberalization of national economies, creating a single regulatory regime (e.g. World Trade Organization ).

There are powerful forces opposing the progress of this historic bloc who may form counterhegemonies to challenge it as part of an open-ended class struggle. These might include neo-mercantilists who depend on the protection of tariffs and state subsidies, or alliances of lesser developed countries , or feminist and environmentalist movements in the industrialized west. [6] If a counterhegemony grows large enough it is able to subsume and replace the historic bloc it was born in. Neo-Gramscians use the Machiavellian terms war of position and war of movement to explain how this is possible. In a war of position a counterhegemonic movement attempts, through persuasion or propaganda, to increase the number of people who share its view on the hegemonic order; in a war of movement the counterhegemonic tendencies which have grown large enough overthrow, violently or democratically, the current hegemony and establish themselves as a new historic bloc. [7] [8]

[Jun 08, 2017] Washington's Empire Is Not Unraveling - The Unz Review

Jun 08, 2017 | www.unz.com
Paul Craig Roberts June 5, 2017 700 Words RSS Jump To... Content Top Bottom Section Current Next Bookmark Toggle All ToC Remove from Library Add to Library Search Text Case Sensitive Exact Words Include Comments List of Bookmarks

The military/security complex spent seven decades building its empire. The complex assassinated one American president (JFK) who threatened the empire and drove another (Richard Nixon) out of office. The complex does not tolerate the election of politicians in Europe who might not follow Washington's line on foreign and economic policy.

Suddenly, according to the Western and even Russian media, the complex is going to let one man, Trump, who does not rule America, and one woman, Merkel, who does not rule Germany, destroy its empire.

According to the presstitutes, by pulling out of the Paris Accord (the global climate pact) and stating that NATO members should contribute more to the alliance's budget for which the US taxpayer has an overweighted share, Trump has caused Merkel to conclude that Europe can no longer rely on Washington. The discord between Trump and Merkel and Washington's resignation of its leadership position has destroyed the Western alliance and left the EU itself on the verge of being torn apart.

All of this is nonsensical sillyness. What has happened is this:

Just as men in dark suits and dark ties carrying briefcases explained to Trump that it was not Washington's policy to normalize relations with Russia, they explained to him that it was not Washington's policy to exit the Paris Accord. Trump said something like this: Look, you guys, you have already required me to abandon my peace initiative with Russia and my intent to pull out of Syria. Now you are forcing me off my "America First" pledge. If people realize that I am not really the president, who are you going to rule through? What about a compromise?

Here is the deal, as Trump made perfectly clear in his speech. He is temporarily pulling the US out of the Paris Accord while he immediately opens negotiations to rejoin the Paris Accord on terms less burdensome to Americans. In other words, the "pull out" is a face-saving gesture that will result in a small reduction in America's share of the cost. We will have a "Trump victory" and no damage to the Paris Accord.

Merkel facing reelection needs a boost that will refocus German attention from the one million Muslim refugees, bringing crime, rape, and terrorism in their train, that Merkel brought into Germany. Her dramatic statement that Europe can no longer rely on America was a perfect way to refocus attention. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump and Merkel got together and agreed on how they would play this.

Yet neither reporters nor commentators could report the obvious truth. Why? The Western media could not let pass the opportunity to denounce Trump for destroying American leadership and the climate, and environmental organizations seized the fundraising opportunity to oppose Trump's climate destruction. Russian commentators saw hope for Russia in NATO and the EU breaking up as consequences of America going its own way.

There are two serious implications of this media deception. One is that Americans and the world are blinded to the fact that there are power centers that constrain a president and are capable of substituting their agendas for the agendas on which the president campaigned. We saw this with Obama, but were given the explanation that Obama never meant it in the first place. Now we will get the same explanation of Trump. The fact that the president is constrained by the military/security complex and the financial sector will not come through. Thus, The Matrix's myth of democracy bringing change via elections will continue to blind people to reality.

A second consequence is that the Russians, ever hopeful to be part of the West while retaining national sovereignty, which no member of the EU or NATO is permitted to do, will see in the reported withdrawal of American leadership renewed hopes of joining Europe. If the Russians take seriously the New York Times anointment of Germany's Merkel as "the liberal West's last defender" ( https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/world/europe/germany-merkel-trump-election.html?mcubz=0&_r=1 ), Russia might leave herself militarily and economically exposed by slowing military preparations and the development of economic relations with Asia.

People can have little idea of actual events as long as news reporting and commentary reflect political agendas and hopeful aspirations.

[May 31, 2017] THE PRESIDENTS INFERIORITY COMPLEX , HIS ADVISORS RUSSIA-HATING OBSESSION, AND THE PUTSCH PLOTTER WITH THE ITCHY TRIGGER FING by John Helmer,

Notable quotes:
"... Brzezinski flattered and fawned over Carter; relentlessly conspired to undermine Vance and other rivals for Carter's attention; postured, manipulated, lied to the press, and faked to the president. ..."
"... "it is important to recognize that Jimmy Carter was ultimately responsible for the nature of his policymaking system and for the decisions made about who would frame and articulate U.S. foreign policies." ..."
"... "Sure, Brzezinski was a strategic thinker," one of Sexton's sources told her. "But he was frequently wrong! Vance's strategies have withstood the test of time." According to Sexton, her source was a "public official [with] in-depth familiarity with Vance's and Brzezinski's work. He agreed to be interviewed on the condition he would not be quoted on this subject." ..."
"... Paul Henze came to Brzezinski's staff after serving as the CIA's station chief in Ethiopia in 1969 to 1972, and then in Turkey between 1974 and 1977. Henze had been one of the plotters of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974, which continues to this day. ..."
"... The Somali invasion of Ethiopia which began in July 1977, and was known as the Ogaden war until the Somalis were defeated by the Russian and Cuban-backed Ethiopian military in March 1978, was one of the schemes Henze managed, and Brzezinski persuaded Carter to approve. By the time Henze's war was defeated, he rationalized the war-fighting strategy's continuing purpose in a memorandum since declassified and quoted by Sexton ..."
"... Another of the Henze plots – the military putsch in Turkey in September 1980 – was Carter's and Brzezinski's scheme too. ..."
"... Henze had started in the CIA as a specialist managing assassination gangs with pretensions to anti-communist ideology. He began with the Iron Guard of Romania, and was still running the Grey Wolves of Turkey when he moved on to the Brzezinski staff. ..."
"... The KGB assessment was that Henze, Brzezinski and Carter had all been in on the plot, just as they had been in on the scheme to elect Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Cracow, as the Pope in October 1978. ..."
"... Henze was joined by other CIA men on Brzezinski's staff including Donald Gregg, Fritz Ermarth, Robert Gates and Samuel Hoskinson. They were all plotters of the putsch which overthrew the President of Pakistan, Zulfiqar ali Bhutto, in July 1977. Bhutto was replaced by Army General Zia ul-Haq, and subsequently hanged. Zia was killed in August 1988, along with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, and General Herbert Wassom, the head of US military aid mission to Pakistan. ..."
"... How many of the putsches which CIA operation histories log in as successful, and how many of the unsuccessful attempts – Ghana and El Salvador (1979), Bolivia, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Suriname, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Iran (1980) – were engagements in acting tough and doing new big things which Brzezinski got the president to approve are questions Carter is shy to answer. ..."
May 31, 2017 | johnhelmer.net

The widow of Cyrus Vance, the only US Secretary of State to resign in protest against his president's actions in a hundred years, called Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor and Vance's rival, "that awful man". Not a single official of the State Department under Vance during the Carter Administration of 1977 to 1981, thought differently. Most of them had monosyllabic terms for Brzezinski. Since Brzezinski died last Friday, not a single member of his own White House staff has made a public statement in his honour, memory or defence. The mute ones include Madeleine Albright, who owed to Brzezinski her career promotion as an academic, then White House staffer, then Secretary of State herself.

Despite the disloyalty of those closest to him, and the detestation for Bzezinski of those further away, he was, and remained, Carter's favourite. Between 1977 and 1981, Brzezinski's time with Carter, according to the White House logs, amounted to more than 20% of the president's working time. That's 12 minutes of every hour - no other official came close. On Friday, shortly after Brzezinski's death was announced by his family, Carter issued a statement extolling him as "a superb public servant inquisitive, innovative, and a natural choice as my national security advisor brilliant, dedicated, and loyal. I will miss him."

What was this bond between them, and why does it matter now? One reason is that what they did together were the freshest American operations studied at KGB schools in Moscow by a recruit in training at the time named Vladimir Putin.

This was the National Security Advisor's staff during the four years of Carter's term, 1977-1981.

PRESIDENT CARTER'S RUSSIA-HATING TEAM

A 451-page doctoral dissertation by Mary Sexton examining the relationship between Carter and Brzezinski identifies the evidence, including documents, witnesses, and independent reports which should have driven them apart. She fails to answer why that didn't happen. She concludes Brzezinski flattered and fawned over Carter; relentlessly conspired to undermine Vance and other rivals for Carter's attention; postured, manipulated, lied to the press, and faked to the president. Sexton concluded in 2009: "it is important to recognize that Jimmy Carter was ultimately responsible for the nature of his policymaking system and for the decisions made about who would frame and articulate U.S. foreign policies."

She quoted Lloyd Butler, Carter's appointee as the White House lawyer so no Brzezinski underling, as saying he was baffled by Carter's refusal to address the troubles Brzezinski caused. "I will never understand it", Butler said in 2002. He died in 2005.

Neither Vance in his memoirs (he died in 2002), nor his wife Grace, nor any of Vance's deputies at State, nor Carter's staff at the White House, provide an answer. In research by Betty Glad, published in November 2009, she reported "a few close aides met the emotional needs of the president", but the aides didn't tell Glad what they thought Carter's emotional needs were. Glad acknowledged that in preparing her book she was "above all indebted to Zbigniew Brzezinski who expeditiously answered my emails and was very open about his interactions with Carter."

Glad concluded that Carter gave Brzezinski "his complete and absolute support Brzezinski was one of the few people Carter never reprimanded And Carter dismissed all criticisms of Brzezinski that might come his way." Why?

"Carter needed and admired the strategic skills and the toughness in dealing with others that Brzezinski offered," Glad summed up, with the latter's help. The need to be tough was a recurrent theme in Brzezinski's briefings and memoranda to Carter, she added. Brzezinski made Carter feel he was "doing big things." Fighting the Russians (Soviets then) was, in the advice Brzezinski presented to Carter and repeated to Glad, was the biggest of the big things. "Brzezinski", concluded Glad, "appealed to Carter's desire to do new big things and act quickly".

The bafflement reported by Carter subordinates and State Department officials under Vance is part truth; part cover-up by the officials; part deceit by Carter. For the answer of what bound Carter and Brzezinski together Glad doesn't uncover, nor even hint at. This is because it was a conspiracy of proxy wars, terrorism, assassinations, coups d'etat, and other black operations, still classified top secret, rationalized by Brzezinski to Carter and approved by the president, as part of a grand strategy to defeat the Kremlin. These were the acting-tough tactics which convinced Carter in secret, but which the president never admitted to in public. Not then, because the actions made Carter feel he was doing "new big things". Not since, because all of them have failed, with bloodshed and monumental losses for those whom the president and his strategist targeted, and collateral damage for the rest of the world, not least the US.

"Sure, Brzezinski was a strategic thinker," one of Sexton's sources told her. "But he was frequently wrong! Vance's strategies have withstood the test of time." According to Sexton, her source was a "public official [with] in-depth familiarity with Vance's and Brzezinski's work. He agreed to be interviewed on the condition he would not be quoted on this subject."

Paul Henze came to Brzezinski's staff after serving as the CIA's station chief in Ethiopia in 1969 to 1972, and then in Turkey between 1974 and 1977. Henze had been one of the plotters of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974, which continues to this day.

The Somali invasion of Ethiopia which began in July 1977, and was known as the Ogaden war until the Somalis were defeated by the Russian and Cuban-backed Ethiopian military in March 1978, was one of the schemes Henze managed, and Brzezinski persuaded Carter to approve. By the time Henze's war was defeated, he rationalized the war-fighting strategy's continuing purpose in a memorandum since declassified and quoted by Sexton. "Much as we want the Soviets out", Henze briefed Brzezinski and Carter, "we are not going to get them out soon We should make their stay as costly as possible and the source of fundamental strain for them. We can do this in many ways, both overtly [and] covertly The Soviets are the culprits in the Horn and we should never let them or the world forget it."

Another of the Henze plots – the military putsch in Turkey in September 1980 – was Carter's and Brzezinski's scheme too.

Henze had started in the CIA as a specialist managing assassination gangs with pretensions to anti-communist ideology. He began with the Iron Guard of Romania, and was still running the Grey Wolves of Turkey when he moved on to the Brzezinski staff. After Carter's downfall, Henze spent years trying to cover up the role the Grey Wolves had played in the attempted assassination of Pope John-Paul II in May 1981. Henze's version of the plot was that the Kremlin and KGB had masterminded the scheme through the Bulgarian secret service. The KGB assessment was that Henze, Brzezinski and Carter had all been in on the plot, just as they had been in on the scheme to elect Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Cracow, as the Pope in October 1978.

Brzezsinski's euology at Henze's funeral in Virginia in 2011 provided the cover story that he had engaged Henze in 1977 "to assume responsibility for oversight of the radios and to coordinate more generally our efforts to prevail in the Cold War without an actual war. Paul was in his element. He mobilized his enthusiasm, his commitment, and his boundless energy not only to protect RFE [Radio Free Europe], but to develop also a broader effort to nourish the hopes of those living in the Soviet bloc, including even the Soviet Union itself, that someday they, too, would be free."

For their combined record of violent failure, Brzezinski had this to say: "Paul proved himself to be a ferocious bureaucratic infighter and eventually the winner – though at times he was even impatient with my efforts to pursue – on the President's behalf - also some accommodation with the Soviet Union in the area of mutual arms control. But that was Paul, my fellow Cold warrior: enthusiastic, fearless, committed, principled, and relentless. A great American, an Eastern European by association, and one of the anonymous architects of the peaceful and victorious end to the Cold War."

Henze was joined by other CIA men on Brzezinski's staff including Donald Gregg, Fritz Ermarth, Robert Gates and Samuel Hoskinson. They were all plotters of the putsch which overthrew the President of Pakistan, Zulfiqar ali Bhutto, in July 1977. Bhutto was replaced by Army General Zia ul-Haq, and subsequently hanged. Zia was killed in August 1988, along with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, and General Herbert Wassom, the head of US military aid mission to Pakistan.

Gregg was one of the plotters of the December 12, 1979, military putsch in South Korea.

Hoskinson was engaged in Middle Eastern attack and overthrow plots, some he endorsed and assisted, and some he would have done if he judged they had a chance of success.

How many of the putsches which CIA operation histories log in as successful, and how many of the unsuccessful attempts – Ghana and El Salvador (1979), Bolivia, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Suriname, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Iran (1980) – were engagements in acting tough and doing new big things which Brzezinski got the president to approve are questions Carter is shy to answer.

For them, the war in Afghanistan, which they plotted with alacrity from the start of the Carter Administration, was the culminating case of what Brzezinski described in his address over Henze's corpse as the "peaceful and victorious end to the Cold War."

These games of liquidating others in the cause of defeating the Kremlin has invigorated Carter, even today when Carter himself is on his last legs. Drawing the Russians on to the field of battle was his and Brzezinski's aim; Afghanistan, after the Soviet military intervention began in December 1979, was their main chance. Their successors in the White House have the same chance against Russian forces on the battlefields of Syria and Ukraine. Though he has tried, Brzezinski is no longer in a position to advise them that if they don't dare, they can't win. Carter is still alive to demonstrate that if they dare, they are likely to lose.

It isn't sure that's what KGB trainee Putin scribbled down during his lectures at the Andropov Red Banner Institute in 1984. It's certain he has noted it down now.

[May 30, 2017] The Deep State is the State by Ron Jacobs

Notable quotes:
"... For those who don't know what the NSC-68 actually was, it is essentially a directive that militarized the conflict between US capitalism and Soviet communism. ..."
"... It was based on the correct understanding that US capitalism required open access to the resources and markets of the entire planet and that the Soviet Union represented the greatest threat to that access. ..."
"... When one recalls that this period in US history was also a period when the FBI and the US Congress were going after leftists and progressives in the name of a certain right-wing ideological purity, the power of the US secret police becomes quite apparent. ..."
"... At times, the seemingly absolute power of the CIA and FBI have caused the US Executive Branch to try and set up other means and methods in order to circumvent that power. Two examples of this that come quickly to mind are the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by the Kennedy administration in 1961-1962 and the failed attempt (known as the Huston plan after its creator Tom Huston) by the Nixon White House to centralize the direction of all US government intelligence operations in the White House. ..."
"... There is no soft coup taking place in DC. The entire government has been owned by big business and the banking industry for more than a century, if not since its inception. That ownership has been dominated by the military-industrial complex since about the same time as when the aforementioned agencies were created. That is no coincidence. However, their role in the current uproar over Russia and Michael Flynn is not because they are taking over the government. It is because their current leadership represents the factions of the US establishment that were removed from power in November 2016. ..."
"... Donald Trump is not against the so-called deep state. He is against it being used against himself and his cohorts. In the world of capitalist power, the factions Trump represents are not the same factions represented by the presidents former FBI director Comey served-the factions represented by Bush and Obama. He understands that if he can install individuals in key positions at the FBI, CIA, DHS and other security and military agencies, he and his allies will be more than happy to use the power of these agencies against their opponents. ..."
"... When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other. Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state. Instead, it is the Left's job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself. ..."
"... Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com . ..."
May 26, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government. It is the US state itself. Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism. It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies. The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions. Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance. Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the "deep state" as we understand it, a broader understanding of the "deep state" places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date. In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century. However, the centralization of that power began in earnest in the years following World War Two.

For those who don't know what the NSC-68 actually was, it is essentially a directive that militarized the conflict between US capitalism and Soviet communism.

It was based on the correct understanding that US capitalism required open access to the resources and markets of the entire planet and that the Soviet Union represented the greatest threat to that access. Not only did this mean the US military would grow in size, it also ensured that the power of the intelligence sector would expand both in terms of its reach and its budget. When one recalls that this period in US history was also a period when the FBI and the US Congress were going after leftists and progressives in the name of a certain right-wing ideological purity, the power of the US secret police becomes quite apparent.

As the 1950s turned into the 1960s, the so-called deep state's power continued to grow. Some of its better known manifestations include the failed attempt to invade revolutionary Cuba that became known as the Bay of Pigs, the use of psychoactive drugs on unsuspecting individuals as part of a mind control study, and numerous attempts to subvert governments considered anti-American. Among the latter actions one can include covert operations against the Vietnamese independence forces and the murder of the Congolese president Patrice Lumumba. In terms of the "deep state's" domestic operations, this period saw the intensification of spying on and disrupting various groups involved in the civil rights and antiwar organizing. Many elements of the domestic operation would become known as COINTELPRO and were directed by the FBI.

Although the agencies of the so-called deep state operate as part of the US state, this does not mean that those agencies are of one mind. Indeed, like any power structure, there are various factions represented. This means that there are disagreements over policies, priorities, direction, and personnel. The only certainty is that all of its members agree on the need to maintain the supremacy of US capital in the world. At times, the seemingly absolute power of the CIA and FBI have caused the US Executive Branch to try and set up other means and methods in order to circumvent that power. Two examples of this that come quickly to mind are the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by the Kennedy administration in 1961-1962 and the failed attempt (known as the Huston plan after its creator Tom Huston) by the Nixon White House to centralize the direction of all US government intelligence operations in the White House.

There is no soft coup taking place in DC. The entire government has been owned by big business and the banking industry for more than a century, if not since its inception. That ownership has been dominated by the military-industrial complex since about the same time as when the aforementioned agencies were created. That is no coincidence. However, their role in the current uproar over Russia and Michael Flynn is not because they are taking over the government. It is because their current leadership represents the factions of the US establishment that were removed from power in November 2016.

Donald Trump is not against the so-called deep state. He is against it being used against himself and his cohorts. In the world of capitalist power, the factions Trump represents are not the same factions represented by the presidents former FBI director Comey served-the factions represented by Bush and Obama. He understands that if he can install individuals in key positions at the FBI, CIA, DHS and other security and military agencies, he and his allies will be more than happy to use the power of these agencies against their opponents. Indeed, he would most likely greatly enhance those agencies' power, making a further mockery of the US Constitution. If Trump is able to get the agencies of the deep state to work for the factions he represents-either by replacing those loyal to others not named Trump or by cajoling and coercing them to change their loyalty-he will think the deep state is a great thing. In this way he is no different than every other US president. He understands that whoever controls the deep state controls the US. The struggle we are witnessing between the FBI and the Trump White House is part of a power struggle between US power elites.

When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other. Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state. Instead, it is the Left's job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself.

Join the debate on Facebook

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com .

[May 30, 2017] John Helmer Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Svengali of Jimmy Carters Presidency, Is Dead, But the Evil Lives On naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter's term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world. ..."
"... Carter and Brzezinski in Carter's study, six weeks into the presidential term - April 19, 1977. ..."
"... To Brzezinski also goes the credit for projecting Iran on to its nuclear-armed path against the Great Satan and US allies in the Middle East, making the sunni-shia sectarian division into a cause of international war which it was not, before Brzezinski began ..."
"... Left: Sadat standing up, with Begin and Carter at the signing of the Camp David accords, September 17, 1978. Right, Sadat's downfall in Cairo at the Egyptian Army's annual victory parade, October 6, 1981. ..."
"... Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, February 1979. ..."
"... If not for Carter, Brzezinski would have remained the marginal voice he was before and after the four-year Carter term. From the start of that term, in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House and working on his confidential instruction, not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based. ..."
"... When Vernamonti and I had written up our two reports, we concluded that Brzezinski had been deliberately and systematically misinforming and misleading Carter in his policy memoranda. He withheld evidence; mistook or misrepresented what other officials and their agencies were saying; and manipulated the decision and action tails of his memoranda, so that Carter would think he had little option but to do what Brzezinski told him to choose. Our job, Carter had told us when we commenced work, was to spot the fox in the hen house, and warn him before there were fatal consequences. ..."
"... But dedicated and loyal Brzezinski was solely to himself – not to Carter nor the presidency he had been elected to run. Brzezinski's choices were among the reasons Carter was defeated in the landslide election of November 1980. ..."
"... Brzezinski is not the only Russia-hater of extraction from the minor Polish nobility to make a career of his monomania. For more of what he and Carter failed to achieve in Syria, read this ; and in Ukraine, this . For the other Polish monomaniac of recent times, Radoslaw Sikorski, read more . ..."
"... Brzezinski is the only national security advisor in American history to succeed at mesmerizing his president into singing his songs, as the character of Svengali did to Trilby O'Ferrall, an Irish working girl, in the best-selling novel of 1894 by George du Maurier. ..."
"... Carter gave the power of the White House stage to Brzezinski's voice. The ruin which has followed is Brzezinski's evil, but the evil-doing, that's Carter's fault. ..."
"... Remember, please, the Blackstone Group was founded by Rockefeller protégé, Peter G. Peterson, with Rockefeller seed money. ..."
"... The Carlyle Group was started by David Rubenstein (nephew of a dude named Jacob Rubenstein, before he changed his name to Jack Ruby) and Frank Carlucci, former CIA dude, with seed money from the Mellon family. ..."
"... The Deep State is that part of the organized crime syndicate, that is not only beyond morality, but beyond its own faux law (that it enforces against the uppity ones). ..."
"... Nowhere does Kennan encourage serious consideration of the possibility that the Soviets might have reason to feel threatened, "existentially," when they looked to the west .. ..."
"... The blaming of colonial powers is true in Africa where ocean going vessels altered what the colonial powers could achieve versus local powers, ..."
"... Again, most of this is increasingly well-known, but conventional wisdom seems to think that Saudi extremism and terror ties are contradictory to the United States' interests in supporting the regime. But it's contradictory only if terrorism poses a strategic threat to the West-it does not. ..."
"... Quite simply, terrorism in Europe or the US simply doesn't bother the Blob – its not a strategic issue, and they love to think of themselves as big strategic thinkers, too important to worry about mundane issues like civilian deaths. Terrorism works well for them – its not a real threat and every bomb blowing up tweens going to a concert just results in more money going to the securicracy. ..."
"... "The Simpsons" famously called Carter "History's greatest monster. " The two guys who crafted that scene and joke knew what a crummy President he was. I doubt it's been lost on Carter. ..."
"... That's a tall order for Brzezinski which I'm sure he played a significant role. Stephen Gowans has an interesting new book out 'Washington's Long War on Syria' which is recommended by Eva Bartlett. ..."
"... ""The thesis of this book is that Wall Street's war on Syria was motivated by the same aim: the de-Ba'athification of Syria and the elimination of secular Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state, as a means of expunging the Arab nationalist threat to U.S. hegemony."" ..."
"... The blackest of humour contest to find Harvard's most evil. (Long intro about Hitler etc, skip to 18:30.) "Brzezinski is the Hydrox to Kissinger's Oreo" https://thetrap.fm/show/episode-100-chapo-goes-to-college-41717/ ..."
"... In Carter's defense, he has gone on the record and stated that the US today is now an oligarchy. Not exactly a "pass the buck" statement by a former president ..."
May 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil on his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski, (lead image, right) who died last week at a hospital near Washington.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who employed Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor between 1977 and 1981, the only high official post Brzezinski reached, said he "helped me set vital foreign policy goals, was a source of stimulation for the departments of defense and state, and everyone valued his opinion." Of Carter's three claims, only the first is true; the second is ironic hyperbole; the third is completely false. If Carter cannot tell the truth now about Brzezinski, after having 36 years to reflect on it, Carter reveals the principal source of Brzezisnki's power, when he exercised it. For Carter was no innocent ventriloquized by the evil Svengali (lead image, left), as in the original Svengali tale. Carter was simply more mendacious than Brzezinski, and is entirely to blame for doing what Brzezinski told him to do.

Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter's term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.

Carter and Brzezinski in Carter's study, six weeks into the presidential term - April 19, 1977.

To Brzezinski goes the credit for starting the organization, financing and armament of the mujahideen, the Islamic fundamentalists who have metastasized - with US money and arms still - into Islamic terrorist armies operating far from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Brzezinski started them off. Only today, Russia – the target of Brzezinski's scheming - is relatively better prepared and safer from the terrorists than the countries of western Europe and the US itself.

To Brzezinski also goes the credit for projecting Iran on to its nuclear-armed path against the Great Satan and US allies in the Middle East, making the sunni-shia sectarian division into a cause of international war which it was not, before Brzezinski began. That it was not is due to the power of the secular Arab leaders to sustain an alternative to religion for governance. Brzezinski's idea was to target them as Kremlin stooges and overthrow them. To Brzezinski also goes the credit for releasing Israeli ambition under Menachem Begin and his successors on the Israeli right; the promotion of Egyptian corruption and weakness under Anwar Sadat and his successors; and the destruction of the Palestinians.

Left: Sadat standing up, with Begin and Carter at the signing of the Camp David accords, September 17, 1978. Right, Sadat's downfall in Cairo at the Egyptian Army's annual victory parade, October 6, 1981.

In Carter's obituary, he also gives Brzezinski the credit for "an essential role" in two other achievements Carter still claims for himself: "normalization of relations with China [and the] signing of the SALT II treaty." Carter is exaggerating the little he did, after his predecessors Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had initiated and negotiated the terms for both. Carter says nothing about his failure to influence the course of US nuclear weapon designs that continue to evolve unhindered, and the schemes of first-strike war-fighting against both Russia and China which are virtual, if not quite stated US policy today.

Apart from the reference Carter makes first to his wife Rosalynn's views, there is no illumination. In 1977 Rosalynn Carter had different views from her husband's, but regarding Brzezinski and others in the Carter White House, she never dared to express them in public. On pain of instant dismissal nor did anyone else in the White House then. And there were no leaks.

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, February 1979.

If not for Carter, Brzezinski would have remained the marginal voice he was before and after the four-year Carter term. From the start of that term, in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House and working on his confidential instruction, not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based.

I know this because I was a member of the staff in those days. I know because I drafted the terms of a series of staff investigations which Carter requested and then authorized of how the advice he was receiving at his desk was influencing the choices and policy options he had to decide – memoranda from the cabinet departments, briefs from the intelligence agencies, and commentaries from different elements of the White House organization itself.

The investigation of two of Brzezinski's policy recommendations to Carter was assigned to a US Airforce officer on secondment to the White House staff at the time, Len Vernamonti ;and to me. We were part of a group of 25 titled the President's Reorganization Project (PRP). Our offices were in the New Executive Office Building, the red-brick structure across the street from the State, War and Navy Building, aka the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB); in Mark Twain's epithet, the ugliest building in America. Twain was referring to what the inhabitants of the building did, not to the exterior or interior decoration, which was grand. Brzezinski's staff operated in the OEOB. He himself, like his predecessors, kept his own office in the West Wing of the White House, diagonally across the lobby from the Oval Office and Carter's personal study.

The PRP, a Carter election campaign invention unprecedented in White House history, had the job of preparing a study for the president on how his White House operations might be organized to expand his policy choices, enlarge the evidence available for him to read – Carter was very keen on reading - anticipate consequences, and curb bureaucratic empire building outside the Oval Office. The staff had mostly come, as had I, from Carter's campaign advisors. Major Vernamonti, as he was then, had come to the PRP by secondment and by chance.

The idea of reorganization at the top of the US government bureaucracy wasn't novel; it most often accompanied incoming presidents whose party had been out of office for a long time and who wanted to purge non-loyalists and find jobs for their own people. But the idea of opening up the president's files and reassessing the decisions he had made in his first six months had never been attempted before.

Military, intelligence and foreign policy topics were off-limits because of the classification and security clearances required, so the PRP focused on domestic policymaking. In organizational management terms, they amounted to the same thing. We compiled a list of topics for investigation from among the public and private priorities of the new administration; Carter was asked to select which he wanted us to study. About 30 topics were selected; two were assigned to each of a dozen two-man teams. By Carter's order, we had authority to open all files, including those of the National Security Council (NSC). Bzezinski didn't like that; he resisted; he lost the first round

The subjects of the Brzezinski investigation remain classified. It's exactly 40 years since I last saw the papers. They were secret at the time, but there was a deeper, darker secret.

When Vernamonti and I had written up our two reports, we concluded that Brzezinski had been deliberately and systematically misinforming and misleading Carter in his policy memoranda. He withheld evidence; mistook or misrepresented what other officials and their agencies were saying; and manipulated the decision and action tails of his memoranda, so that Carter would think he had little option but to do what Brzezinski told him to choose. Our job, Carter had told us when we commenced work, was to spot the fox in the hen house, and warn him before there were fatal consequences. He had been a Navy officer and a submariner; also the Georgia State governor. So he knew about the pathologies of command and control; he also knew about fatal consequences. But neither he nor we anticipated that the fox would turn out to be Brzezinski, nor the chicken turn out to be Carter himself.

No president had ever been presented with such a stark analysis of his own reading of papers and his own decision-making. I knew that because I had consulted with senior White House staff directors going back to Franklin Roosevelt's time.

The recommendations Vernamonti and I drew from the decision-making research were revolutionary. We proposed that Carter retain a personal national security advisor with a staff restricted to sub-advisors amounting to less than a score. The large NSC bureaucracy, growing across the driveway in the OEOB, was to be broken up and returned to the mainline departments. Our idea was that the National Security Advisor would be restricted to being just that – an advisor in a staff function. Line command and control, which McGeorge Bundy started with President John Kennedy in 1961, and Henry Kissinger perfected under Richard Nixon between 1969 and 1975, was to be halted because it encouraged a government-wide war for the president's mind, which usually ended badly – not for the advisor but for the president.

There were more than 300 pages in the final PRP report, including the executive summary and the recommendations, plus the case studies. Brzezinski got early warning of the studies, and then received the drafts, plus a copy of the cover memorandum with recommendations. He saw at once the danger, and went to work on our superiors. The upshot was that on the weekend before our staff was due to present the report to Carter at a White House meeting, and answer his questions, Vernamonti and I were called in to an urgent meeting with the PRP leader, and his superior, Harrison Wellford.

Like several of us on the staff, Wellford was a Harvard graduate, with an equable, jocular Massachusetts manner of dealing in tight spots. He describes his background on the Carter campaign and then on the presidential transition team of 1976 here . But on the day Wellford called Vernamonti and me into his office, Wellford was not his usual self. He made clear that Brzezinski was furious, and would not allow our conclusions to go to Carter. Wellford himself didn't disagree with the evidence or the findings. He didn't disagree with the recommendations either, he said. But he lacked the power to fight Brzezinski with Carter, he conceded.

In his encomium on Brzezinski's death, Carter said last Friday: "Having studied Zbig's impressive background and his scholarly and political writings, I called on him to advise me on foreign policy issues during my first presidential campaign. I liked him immediately, and we developed an excellent personal relationship." That much is true. Carter also remembers: "He was brilliant, dedicated, and loyal." From the Harvard point of view, the first adjective was unexceptional – there are hundreds and thousands of "brilliant" Harvard graduates; about a dozen of them in the Carter White House. But dedicated and loyal Brzezinski was solely to himself – not to Carter nor the presidency he had been elected to run. Brzezinski's choices were among the reasons Carter was defeated in the landslide election of November 1980.

But that's getting ahead of our little tale. Wellford told Vernamonti and me he had no choice but to give us strict orders for the meeting scheduled the following week with Carter. Our case studies might, he said, be included in the tabs to the PRP briefing book we would present to the president. But the conclusions, and the recommendations for reform of the National Security Council, would be eliminated. Then Wellford added an ultimatum: Vernamonti and I would be allowed to sit at the meeting with Carter. But we were to say nothing unless Carter spoke to us. If that happened, we were not to mention our recommendations on Brzezinski. If we did that, we would both be fired instantly. That would have meant the end of Vernamonti's airforce career.

Wellford added this was a secret we were not to tell to anyone.

The upshot was this. Wellford, plus the PRP team leader (a Georgian like Carter whose name I've forgotten), the others on our staff; Vernamonti and I met with Carter to present our report. The meeting took place in the Cabinet Room. Vernamonti and I sat to the right of our superiors; Carter was across the table, his back to the windows. Brzezinski was present, along with other senior White House staff advisors of the day. The big briefing book lay in front of the president. He spoke of congratulations for the originality and painstaking work we had done, and promised to read every word. He asked questions, but not of Vernamonti or me. We stayed shtum. We walked out keeping our jobs, as did everyone else, especially Brzezinski.

Our defeat stayed secret for years. Ours was not the nail for want of which the shoe was lost, the horse, the knight, the battle, etc. There were many other nails, shoes, horses and knights lost, starting with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, but he died in 2002 without telling as much as he could and should have done. Carter, however, did lose his kingdom, ignominiously. That still stings with him. Vernamonti (pictured recently, below left) went on to a brilliant USAF career, managing the purse which paid for US ballistic missile programs. Wellford (right) has managed the legal side of some of the largest energy businesses in the US.

Many years later, after the New York Times reported how thorough and effective Carter's reorganization of the White House had been, I responded with a letter detailing part of the Brzezinski record of 1977. I omitted Vernamonti's name, in case he was still in the Air Force; I included Wellford's. The letter was cued to be published, according to a Times editor who telephoned to check a couple of name-spellings and dates. But the letter never appeared. I was told by the Times that in advance of publication, Brzezinski was shown the text, and he commanded that it not appear. The newspaper did what it was told.

Brzezinski is not the only Russia-hater of extraction from the minor Polish nobility to make a career of his monomania. For more of what he and Carter failed to achieve in Syria, read this ; and in Ukraine, this . For the other Polish monomaniac of recent times, Radoslaw Sikorski, read more .

Brzezinski is the only national security advisor in American history to succeed at mesmerizing his president into singing his songs, as the character of Svengali did to Trilby O'Ferrall, an Irish working girl, in the best-selling novel of 1894 by George du Maurier.

Carter is mesmerized still. Without Carter, Brzezinski would have remained an inconsequential academic among many contending to be heard. Carter gave the power of the White House stage to Brzezinski's voice. The ruin which has followed is Brzezinski's evil, but the evil-doing, that's Carter's fault.

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am

Mika, his daughter, continues the Deep State work, in the MSM. And advisor Brzezinski wasn't the only cold warrior around in those days. Senator McCain carries that torch still, from the Hanoi Hilton.

esb , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am

Right you are. This woman is truly dangerous, sporting her famous name and spewing her hateful, disruptive prattle, esp. due to her pairing with the faux-Republican Scarborough, who himself is a bizarre combination of neocon and progressive.

optimader , May 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

Who is the Deep State? Does it/they file Income tax?

sgt_doom , May 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Well, around 1963, the Deep State would be the super-rich families who called the shots, notably through such minions as Allen Dulles, (his cousin) Tracy Barnes, McGeorge Bundy, and a slew of others. Those richest families at that time were the Rockefeller, DuPont, Morgan, Harriman (Poindexter), Cabot (and Lodge), Forbes, Mellon and a few others.

Remember, please, the Blackstone Group was founded by Rockefeller protégé, Peter G. Peterson, with Rockefeller seed money.

The Carlyle Group was started by David Rubenstein (nephew of a dude named Jacob Rubenstein, before he changed his name to Jack Ruby) and Frank Carlucci, former CIA dude, with seed money from the Mellon family.

Presently, one of the largest or more powerful of the private intel contractors, Booz Allen Hamilton is owned by the Carlyle Group, last time I checked. Carlyle also owned ARINC for quite a few years, yielding incredible corporate intel from such as they!

So Robert Scheer, who wrote this book ("They Know Everything About You") where he remarked a bit on Palantir (started by Peter Thiel, primarily with CIA contracts, now a private intel company), and pondered in his book how Thiel came to know Richard Perle, who steered Thiel into Adm. Poindexter for those CIA (Total Infomration Awareness-like) CIA contracts?

Of course, Scheer is used to robotically repeating CIA disinformation stuff so is unable to pursue simple investigative reporting techniques which would have yielded that Peter Thiel sat on the board of "American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc." (according to their 990 tax forms) along with Richard Perle (from whence he knew him, 'natch!) and David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, etc.

I trust I have added to your worldly sophistication?

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 7:04 pm

You know you are in, when you are in the Carlyle Group. Not just the founders like the Bush family, but neo-libs like the Clintons. I am sure the Obama crime family will be invited into that exclusive private country club, if they continue to play ball the CIA way.

financial matters , May 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm

JFK and RFK took on US Steel as well as wanting to not escalate in Vietnam. This essentially probably got both of them killed.

Trump seems to be more circumspect in taking on the deep state.

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm

When you are the law, like the Nixon presidency, there is no need to file, your taxable income is whatever you say it is. The Deep State is that part of the organized crime syndicate, that is not only beyond morality, but beyond its own faux law (that it enforces against the uppity ones).

Ignacio , May 30, 2017 at 6:30 am

I woludn't blame Brzezinski for the sunni-shia divide in countries like Irak. For this I would blame the british.

PlutoniumKun , May 30, 2017 at 7:00 am

Yes, I think thats overstating it. But it was certainly during the Carter era that the notion of setting the secular (Iraq) and Sunni States against Iran became policy – albeit after the Iranian Revolution. And of course it was during this period that it became someones bright idea that providing arms to extreme islamacists was a good strategy. I doubt they consciously decided to set sunni against shia, but that was one result.

But ultimately of course much of the problems in the middle east can be traced to the failure of the West to support secular States for Cold War reasons. Brutal and all as Assad (Sr) and Hussein were, they kept the lid on religious tension and were a vital counterbalance to the Gulf theocracies. And of course the CIA removed a genuinely popular reformist President in Iran in favour of a dictator. Helmer is right that the monomaniacal obsession with blocking the USSR caused all sorts of unnecessary bloodshed and chaos in the Middle East and Asia, although its overstretching it I think to blame so much on Brzezinski.

And its not all hindsight. I keep going back to Graham Greene's novel 'The Quiet American' from 1955 as an explanation for why so many supposedly smart foreign policy wonks could cause such havoc. Read that one book and so much becomes clear.

Ignacio , May 30, 2017 at 7:28 am

Totally agreed

johnnygl , May 30, 2017 at 10:47 am

Yes, ideological hatred of the soviets was clearly present at least as far back as the truman admin when nsc-68 was published. That was a break from the original, limited idea of george kennan's' containment' policy.

hemeantwell , May 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Surprising stuff from Helmer .

A 1976 Slavic Review article by Wright, "Mr. X and containment" is useful for pointing out that Kennan's recommendations were contradictory. While he was nominally arguing for a less alarmed (aka victimized anticommunist) position, the strategy of containment was still pitched at confrontation, and was very cut off from the possibilities of cooperation that were in the Yalta air. Kennan's idea that Russia would, like a wind-up toy, pursue an expansionist policy based on "military industrialization" was, in my view, an ideological spew by someone already submerged in it. Nowhere does Kennan encourage serious consideration of the possibility that the Soviets might have reason to feel threatened, "existentially," when they looked to the west, and for reasons having nothing to do with their by then desiccated Bolshevism.

Mark P. , May 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Nowhere does Kennan encourage serious consideration of the possibility that the Soviets might have reason to feel threatened, "existentially," when they looked to the west ..

Everybody has reasons.

Given Allied intervention in Russia during and immediately after WWI against the Soviets, the Soviets absolutely had reason to feel threatened existentially.

But also given the many millions of deaths under Stalin's regime, the West had reason to feel threatened existentially after WWII.

And also given the centuries-long histories of Polish-Russian wars, with Poland once occupying Moscow and later Russia controlling much of Poland in the 19th as well as in the 20th century - and factoring in Lenin's plan to expand the Soviet regime westwards by occupying Poland which led to the Polish-Soviet War of 1918-19 and the agreement between Stalin and Hitler that let the USSR occupy Poland in 1939 (which included the Katyn massacre) - the Poles have reasons to feel threatened by the Russians.

Brzezinski's strange, maniacal hatred of Russians isn't strange and maniacal given that history. For that matter, given the Soviet occupation of Hungary, during the Cold War Hungarians like John von Neumann and Edward Teller had reason for their strange, maniacal hatred of the Russians.

So while it's tiresome for the rest of us to deal with the attitudes of the Poles - including Brzezinski - and the other peoples who live in the territories adjoining Russia, the historical truth is that Russia - whether as Muscovy, the Russian empire, or the Soviet Union - has a many centuries-long history of being heavy-handed with its neighbors.

The hideousness of U.S. behavior in Latin America - and we can all agree it is hideous - is comparable, but arguably not even in the same league as the way the Russians have historically - and in the memory of some still living - treated their neighbors.

So everybody has reasons. Everybody has reasons.

Plenue , May 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

But did Brzezinski hate Russia because of the history of what it's done to Poland, or because the Soviets deprived his family of their cushy aristocratic existence? At this point I'm not particularly inclined to think that toffs as a general rule view their lower-class countrymen as anything other than tools to serve and enrich themselves.

sgt_doom , May 30, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Excellent points, reminded me of a blog posting I'd read years ago at Economic Populist (not recommended, but occasionally one or two things would pop through):

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/exploitation-inc-david-rockefeller-and-adventures-global-finance

NotTimothyGeithner , May 30, 2017 at 9:16 am

Except for Israel (that area was always weird due to distance from major powers*), the maps of the modern Middle East are strangely reminiscent of the old Ottoman provinces. The blaming of colonial powers is true in Africa where ocean going vessels altered what the colonial powers could achieve versus local powers, but the problem in the Middle East is the ability of foreign powers to influence and prop up poor governments who wouldn't otherwise be able to survive and weaken more stable governments. The Saudis and Israelis act boorish because they can go hide behind the U.S. whenever things get too hot.

*Jerusalem is the last place a major player could fortify before being forced to invade another major player in pre-modern days due to water concerns. This is why Jews exist. Jerusalem is too important to not fortify but is too distant and rural to bother with too, giving the locals a culture that appropriated everything but could never truly be overwhelmed. A Jerusalem sized city closer to the Nile would become Egyptian, and a city closer to Persepolis would become Persian through natural trade and extension of power. If Jerusalem wasn't a dependable city, no one would care.

Mark P. , May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

The blaming of colonial powers is true in Africa where ocean going vessels altered what the colonial powers could achieve versus local powers,

Ocean-going vessels but also the machine gun. As Hilaire Belloc wrote: Whatever happens, we have got. The Maxim gun, and they have not

When the first machine guns appeared circa 1860 much of Africa's interior remained unmapped and terra incognito to the Europeans. By 1915, conversely, every territory in Africa - except for Ethiopia - was not only mapped but a colonial possession of one or another of the European powers.

olga , May 30, 2017 at 9:20 am

Yes, and if one thinks long enough – it seems that many problems we are dealing with today can be traced directly to the so called British empire (including the divide and conquer strategy the Brits so skillfully employed). The empire only lasted 200+ yrs, but we'll be cleaning up its messes for the next 500.
And a bit of mittel Europa humour on ZB's escapades: when you let a goat go free, she'll go ice skating

PlutoniumKun , May 30, 2017 at 10:15 am

Incidentally, this article by Andrew Hobbs in Warisboring gives on explanation for why the blob doesn't actually care if its cultivation of Sunni extremists causes terrorism blowback:

Again, most of this is increasingly well-known, but conventional wisdom seems to think that Saudi extremism and terror ties are contradictory to the United States' interests in supporting the regime. But it's contradictory only if terrorism poses a strategic threat to the West-it does not.

Quite simply, terrorism in Europe or the US simply doesn't bother the Blob – its not a strategic issue, and they love to think of themselves as big strategic thinkers, too important to worry about mundane issues like civilian deaths. Terrorism works well for them – its not a real threat and every bomb blowing up tweens going to a concert just results in more money going to the securicracy.

River , May 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Sunni-Shia divide happened when Mohammed died. As for countries like Iraq, that would be the Ottomans who exacerbated that particular rift, themselves being Sunni.

TheCatSaid , May 30, 2017 at 6:59 am

What an important piece of history this is. Thank you John Helmer and NC for the post. It's of critical importance for understanding why the geopolitical chessboard looks the way it does today, including US-created "Islamic extremism" tool that has since grown and morphed and escaped into the "wild".

I wonder if Carter will ever learn how the crucial report contents were hijacked by Zbig at the last moment.

Interesting to learn of Rosalyn Carter's concerns. Is more info available about this?

Colonel Smithers , May 30, 2017 at 6:59 am

Thank you to JH for this fascinating insight.

With regard to Radek Sikorski, there is some dispute as to whether he really is (minor) nobility. At Oxford, where he became friends with Alex (aka Boris) Johnson and David Cameron, including being initiated into the Bullingdon Club (or the Buller as members call it), one British journalist, author (of How To Lose Friends And Alienate People) and free / charter school "entrepreneur" said there was something improbable and even impostor-ish about Sikorski, including claims of nobility and being related to the Polish WW2 general of the same name. The hack said that Sikorski would probably be unmasked as an encyclopaedia salesman from a hick town in the US.

A few years ago, at a City reception, I met a UBS banker who is in the well known picture of the Bullingdon Club with Johnson and Cameron. Sikorski and his wife, the so-called journalist Anne Applebaum, were riding high in the UK media /establishment at the time, and still do to a lesser extent, and have made enough money bashing Russia to be able to send their two sons to Eton. The banker expressed unease then about Sikorski and his Russia bashing, as if Sikorski and Applebaum were not quite kosher and trying to ingratiate themselves with the rich and powerful.

Apparently, General Wojciech Jaruzelski was also minor nobility. There's a lot of this pretence about, including the pair in London and NYC who milk having the same surname as the Rothschilds. The UK's current Home Secretary (minister for law and order) once ran a firm that supplied upper class extras to film productions (e.g. Four Weddings And A Funeral) and anyone who wanted to pretend having upper class connections.

PlutoniumKun , May 30, 2017 at 10:17 am

Thanks for that insight, Col. You mention Anne Applebaum – I used to marvel a few years ago at her writings in Slate magazine and wonder how someone who knew so little about the topics she wrote about could get such good writing gigs.

Indrid Cold , May 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

Yeah. That's the Deep State in action there. The one that guy was asking snarkily if it paid taxes. Its members do. But not like me or you.

witters , May 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm

She singlehandedly turned me off the NYRB, which has since continued its slide, culminating in the hysterics of Snyder.

Roger Smith , May 30, 2017 at 7:43 am

I want Carter to read this and issue a response.

oho , May 30, 2017 at 8:09 am

Jimmy Carter's mainstream hagiography has been pretty much set in positive stone -- the 'aw shucks' president who meant well and did what he could, not the naive outsider who let other forces co-opt his foreign policy.

Indrid Cold , May 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

Carter is a personification of America. "He meant well but made some errors along the way and regrettably, civilians were injured."

sgt_doom , May 30, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Like that presidential directive utilizing Saudi "help" in shipping Wahabist Islamic extremists to the northern border of Afghanistan and the old Soviet Union to raise hell and incite rebellion? Eventual outcome: 9/11/01!

Or Carter's abolishing federal anti-usury regulations?

Or his deregulation of the natural gas industry (involving firing the head of the National Geological Survey, if I recall the proper career scientist he fired, because the fellow admitted to the press when asked that there wasn't any natural gas shortage), airlines industry and trucking?

Or . . .

(In all honesty, though, I did respect his daughter Amy Carter - I thought she was the Real Deal!)

ger , May 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Alas, we have seen other hen house foxes besides Bzig . Kissinger, Albright, even the adorable HRC, in administrations wherein the Rooster turned out to be the Hen.

Darn , May 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

+100

nycTerrierist , May 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

Ditto.

NotTimothyGeithner , May 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

I believe Carter knows. It's part of his post-Presidency motivation. "The Simpsons" famously called Carter "History's greatest monster. " The two guys who crafted that scene and joke knew what a crummy President he was. I doubt it's been lost on Carter.

financial matters , May 30, 2017 at 7:45 am

That's a tall order for Brzezinski which I'm sure he played a significant role. Stephen Gowans has an interesting new book out 'Washington's Long War on Syria' which is recommended by Eva Bartlett.

""If there were any references in Western media to the Assad government's commitment to the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party's values of freedom from foreign domination, state direction, planning and control of the economy, and working toward the unity of the Arab nation, I'm not aware of them.""

""The thesis of this book is that Wall Street's war on Syria was motivated by the same aim: the de-Ba'athification of Syria and the elimination of secular Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state, as a means of expunging the Arab nationalist threat to U.S. hegemony.""

---–

We support corrupt states like Saudi Arabia that buy our arms and let us exploit their natural resources and are favorable to our banks and oil companies but don't tolerate states that are more interested in being free of American imperialism such as Libya, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

This could be said to have been set in motion after World War I when the Arab nation was carved up into individual countries separated by borders drawn in imperial map rooms.

LT , May 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

Military strategy (no matter what country): divide and conquer. Intelligence agencies help to pave that way.

They Sykes-Picot Treaty was the source of the "creative" map drawing post-WWI. A couple of the highlights being the creation of "Syria" (resources for France) and "Iraq" (resources for Britain). After WWI, it's been written that the "Arabs" really felt the USA would help them get the fairest deal. They should have taken a real hard look at the Philipines and Cuba, countries the USA helped against Spain.

Colonel Smithers , May 30, 2017 at 10:03 am

Thank you, LT.

France's former president Valery Giscard d'Estaing is related to Picot. One of his grandmothers, Genevieve, was Picot's sister.

The Giscard family, who adopted the aristocratic d'Estaing name to the disgust of the descendants of the d'Estaing family, had business interests in Syria. The family had interests in former colonies by way of their (former) ownership of Club Med. Some of them came to Mauritius when Club Med opened in Albion, near where I spend the festive season.

Another family that had colonial business interests are the Levy, including Bernard-Henri and Justine. BHL cashed out to Vincent Bollore before he destroyed the company and used the EUR 200m pay off to fund his political playboy lifestyle that included, briefly, plans for a philosophy magazine in Afghanistan.

Chauncey Gardiner , May 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Re: "a philosophy magazine in Afghanistan"? Seriously? How quintessentially French, and absolutely the best idea evah. Thanks so much for making my day!

witters , May 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

What is perhaps even more French is the fact that BHL claims to BE a philosopher.

Darn , May 30, 2017 at 8:23 am

Posted this on another thread but I'll do it again.

The blackest of humour contest to find Harvard's most evil. (Long intro about Hitler etc, skip to 18:30.) "Brzezinski is the Hydrox to Kissinger's Oreo" https://thetrap.fm/show/episode-100-chapo-goes-to-college-41717/

Damson , May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

An excellent precis from Helmer as always.

He is one of the very few writing today that can be trusted to give a truthful and thorough analysis of geopolitical events, and to stick to the known facts.

TheCatSaid

For those not yet following George Webb's YouTube, he's unraveling and exposing a number of interwoven illegal enterprises ("rat lines"). He's today revealed he's had assistance from insiders in French, Dutch and Serbian intelligence among others, and insiders in US agencies as well. Names have been named, lots of specifics coming out each day. What's the connection to Helmer's post here? Webb today described the foulness of the intelligence agency activities in recent years as having originated with Brzezinsky, with things becoming steadily more foul since then, but in a direction, mindset and way of operating that Brzezinsky had created.

Webb also makes a side comment about Brzezinsky's cause of death not being disclosed. He mentions it was a murder, and wonders aloud if it was because he'd had a recent change of heart and was about to tell prior secrets.

wellstone's ghost , May 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

I've never read the book The Grand Chessboard by Brzezinski, but my understanding is that it outlines the policy of containment of the Eurasian landmass which seems to be the US position at this time. Quite foolhardy in my opinion.

In Carter's defense, he has gone on the record and stated that the US today is now an oligarchy. Not exactly a "pass the buck" statement by a former president. He knows he got played by the Iranian hostage crisis and the dirty tricks of the Reagan campaign/CIA head William Casey. I think he believes he took one for the team(America), hence his dedication to charitable causes all these years as atonement for his mistakes.

StephenVerchinski , May 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Political Ponerology by Lobachewski. Zbig did stymie its publication according to the author. Zbig, was like many of our powerful, also a war criminal.

footnote4 , May 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Great to have Helmer's insight into the history. Carter needs to address it, and Brzezinski's recent change of heart as well:

The main architect of Washington's plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski's article in The American Interest titled "Towards a Global Realignment" has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia.

footnote4 , May 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Link for the above Broken Chessboard article

footnote4 , May 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Ok, that wasn't right either.

Here's the Counterpunch Broken Chessboard article on Brzezinski's recent change of heart re the strategy he pushed in the 1970s.

ChrisAtRU , May 30, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for this. Love the personal anecdotes.

horostam , May 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

contrary to what is taught by the traditional left in America, Iranians widely believe that it was Carter's decision to get rid of the Shah and install the islamic regime which would fit with the general pattern in the middle east. they also believe that it was british agents who spurred the unrest. All this "backlash from Mossadeg in the 50's" narrative is not held by actual iranians at all

McWatt , May 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Not only should everyone read "The Quiet American" but the movie is also a must see.

This one book and movie show the world the evil of imperial desire.

robnume , May 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm

I agree, McWatt. I am a huge Graham Greene fan; I have almost all of his books.

  • "The Quiet American" is a real lesson in what would become our foreign policy in Southeast Asia.
  • Besides Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," it is one of five or six books which I re-read on a regular basis; every five to ten years or so.

I can only assume that you've seen both versions of the movie. Which do you prefer and why?

Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author , May 30, 2017 at 7:59 pm

I agree, the book's a must-read. And prescient, too– published in 1955.

[May 28, 2017] Al-Qaedas Godfather Is Dead - Good Riddance

Notable quotes:
"... Brzezinski was the godfather of al-Qaeda and similar groups. ..."
"... As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people. He sent Saudi financed Wahhabi nuts to fight the government of Afghanistan before the USSR intended to send its military in support that government. His policy of rallying Jihadis (vid) caused millions of death. ..."
"... I long recall the Soviet embassy sending an official letter across town - Washington - to point out that one day the U S would bitterly regret having instigated religious fundamentalism as a weapon against Soviet secularism in central asia . Reading of this all those years ago I had a feeling of great foreboding . ..."
"... He just expanded its use outside of the Middle East and made it far more visible and militant. It had already been used against the secular states in the Middle East such as Egypt under Nasser with the assistance of Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... As to Zbigboy, the chessboard was his manifesto on divide-and-conquer and playing groups of peoples against each other. It is also a mate of Kissinger (PNAC, etc) that no state or group should be allowed to rise to dominate or influence a region. ..."
"... The USG has been backing gibbering Wahabi lunatics, easily the source of 90% of "Muslim" terrorism, against secular Arab governments since the Eisenhower Administration. ..."
"... Burying Brzezinski and Kissinger does not end ANYTHING. They (and their ilk) leave behind a thoroughly and profoundly sick U.S. and western states loaded with new generations of psychopaths. In fact, getting rid of every last psychopath in ANY western government (parliament) fixes nothing because the organizations themselves ensure that new psychopaths will quickly bubble to the top. ..."
"... Indeed, beginning in the second half of America's 20th century up until now, one can see Nietzsche's maxim about fighting monsters being played out and revealing the greatness of his thought. This has culminated in such a way that Lavrov even said that America media has become remniscent of the Soviet Pravda. No argument here. ..."
"... He was definitely not an architect of American deep state. That was not his job. He was an architect of American Empire's foreign policy of global hegemony. Like Kissinger and Wolfowitz. ..."
"... Perhaps it worth noting that in Brzez's last year he basically retracted the thesis that he presented in The Great Chessboard . See this counterpunch article by Mike Whitney. Brzez was realistic enough to see that breaking up the China-Russia-Iran alliance was not going to work and maybe we should do deals with them ..."
"... Brzezinski was a diseased, psychopathic human being that - through the mechanisms of the state - caused unimaginable pain and suffering throughout the world (directly or indirectly) because of his psychopathy. Not by himself, of course. The guy should have been contained and treated like the diseased person he was, not elevated to positions as a diplomat or counselor to national leaders. A healthy society should shun psychopaths, not bumble along oblivious to the harm they cause. ..."
"... 'In fact, getting rid of every last psychopath in ANY western government (parliament) fixes nothing because the organizations themselves ensure that new psychopaths will quickly bubble to the top.' ..."
"... There's people with weird, dangerous or maybe 'psychopathic' leanings in every country and every society, they're part of humanity. But when they 'systematically' get to positions of influence and power, there's something wrong with said system: It seems to reward individual psychopathology, rather than humanism and cooperation. ..."
"... Zbig was an intelligent guy for sure, and it's not easy to replace someone like him. But his teachings will cause trouble for another while - afaik, there is no effective counter-strategy yet, or is there? Can a government win against fundamentalist militants with limited violence, e.g. by isolating them and exposing their inhumane regime? ..."
"... His worst crime, with Carter, IMO, was trying successfully to manipulate the U.S.S.R. to invade Afghanistan. All of Carter's outrage over the invasion was a lot of baloney. They were not exactly being the friends of Afghanistan they pretended to be. This was worse then later arming the jihadists. ..."
"... The funny/ interesting thing is how this US/ western control over the rest of the world is habitually described by code expressions such as 'maintaining the international order' or 'stabilize global order'. ..."
"... It's all about bullshit + bullying. Luxuriously-funded think/spin tanks make up the bullshit and feed it to people in the MSM capable of bullying (and diminishing the reputation of) persuasive critics of the bullshit. ..."
"... While I agree with you that he should "burn in hell" he hardly devised anything. With his background and cold war at the time, he was useful idiot for Americans and his masters. And there is plenty of them in each administration. Trump has one, some idiot from Hungary. Brzezinski's "strategy" was simply copied from the others mainly from Nazis, just as was pretty much everything else. If you read a book from Ian Johnson https://www.amazon.com/Mosque-Munich-Nazis-Muslim-Brotherhood/dp/0547423179 that should be clear. ..."
"... Ian Johnson mentioned in one of its clip a guy from Eisenhower's administration, "devoted catholics" (per IJ) who devised this strategy, and yet again that strategy simply was inherited from the Nazi who used it to fight Soviets. ..."
"... On deep state - it first manifested itself in the open when JFK was assassinated - preceding ZB. But he became a visible part of it, no question. There is something wrong with the way humans manage power. ..."
May 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
The ruthless U.S. imperialist Zbigniew Brzezinski died last night. Good riddance. Brzezinski was the godfather of al-Qaeda and similar groups.

As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people. He sent Saudi financed Wahhabi nuts to fight the government of Afghanistan before the USSR intended to send its military in support that government. His policy of rallying Jihadis (vid) caused millions of death. Brzezinski did not regret that:

What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Brzezinski hailed from a Polish nobility family in Galicia, now west Ukraine. (Galicia is, not by chance, also the place of origin of today's Ukrainian neo-nazis.) The family fled Poland after its German/Soviet partition and and the socialization of the vast nobility properties during and after the second world war. Zbigniew Brzezinski hate of anything socialist and Russian derived from that.

The 9/11 attacks, the war on Syria, the recent massacre in Manchester and the murder of 28 Copts yesterday in Egypt are direct consequences of Brzezinski's "some stirred-up Moslems" strategy of exporting revolutions . The growth of the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabi creed, a danger to all mankind , was prepared and propagated by him.

May he burn in hell - soon to be joined by the other "total whore" and fellow war criminal Henry Kissinger,

Lea | May 27, 2017 7:24:44 AM | 5
Trouble is, it's not about an individual, it's about a system that relies on weapon sales and fleecing the populations to survive, i.e, the global swamp. For instance, how on earth can anybody with half a brain not know that Saudi Arabia is the matrix of Wahhabi-Salafi terror? When you see Trump ignoring such common knowledge to push his weapons sales (and surrealistically faulting Iran), you know that Wahhabi cutthroats will carry on being used by the CIA, you know that money dictates how these swamp creatures see the world, and you know that one Brzezinski less will not do anything to solve the problem.

It is a sick, psychopathic system. It's full of loonies like Brzezinski and unfit for humans. BTW, that individual was a really nasty piece of work, but what about those who listened to him when obviously, he belonged in a straitjacket?

So, beyond complaining, what do we do?

ashley albanese | May 27, 2017 7:32:35 AM | 6
I long recall the Soviet embassy sending an official letter across town - Washington - to point out that one day the U S would bitterly regret having instigated religious fundamentalism as a weapon against Soviet secularism in central asia . Reading of this all those years ago I had a feeling of great foreboding .
Ghostship | May 27, 2017 7:44:03 AM | 7
As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people.
He just expanded its use outside of the Middle East and made it far more visible and militant. It had already been used against the secular states in the Middle East such as Egypt under Nasser with the assistance of Saudi Arabia.
JK | May 27, 2017 8:03:15 AM | 8
Well said , concise and to the point. I bought his book The Grand Chessboard just before the Ukraine coup and it as radical as his musings were, they did make much of the foreign policy of Clinton & Obama. A prime point in the book other than establishing control of Central Asia was to also prevent Russia, China and Iran from forming an anti American axis. Also mention of an EU without Germany or France being obsolete.

Piotr Berman | May 27, 2017 8:57:20 AM | 13
Just a bit of biographical correction. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did not have formally hereditary aristocracy, so while Brzezinskis are a "noble family" with a Horns , this coat of arms is shared by 332 families, some very powerful, and some, like Brzezinski's family, without any estates. Grandfather of Brzezinski was a judge in Austrian empire and lived pretty much in the center of Galicia, now in Poland very close to the boundary with Ukraine. Father of Brzezinski was an officer during the wars with Galician Ukrainians (Western Ukrainian Republic) and Soviet Union in 1918-1922, and later had a successful bureaucratic carrier, becoming Polish consul in Montreal in 1937. There Zbigniew finish high school and studied at McGill University.

The link with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists of western Ukraine is rather ambiguous. He surely knew about them, why, his father was an officer fighting with these guys, and later they formed a terrorist movement within Poland (that won the western Ukraine in 1918-22). Bandera made his name by organizing a slaying of a Polish interior minister. And later "all of them" were anti-Communist exiles in Canada.

One could credit Brzezinski in creating the policy of "humanitarian intervention". It de-emphasized and reduced the support for the retrograde dictators in Latin America and focused on the nipping of the "totalitarian menace" of the Soviet zone of influence. Supporting Islamic radicals in Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan etc. was the best tool at hand (South African regime slugging it out with Marxist movements in Portuguese Angola and Mozambique were not as good, plus, purely local in its capabilities). Back in 1970-ties it did not look bad, in the retrospect, it was the most successful lipstick brand launched in XX century (I live it as an open question who needs lipsticks in this context).

Curtis | May 27, 2017 9:34:13 AM | 15
Trond 11

That was funny. I would like to see Team Bush buried under shithouses in Iraq too. At least one Iraqi got to throw a shoe.

As to Zbigboy, the chessboard was his manifesto on divide-and-conquer and playing groups of peoples against each other. It is also a mate of Kissinger (PNAC, etc) that no state or group should be allowed to rise to dominate or influence a region.

rkka | May 27, 2017 10:01:36 AM | 16
@Ghostship 7

Correct. The USG has been backing gibbering Wahabi lunatics, easily the source of 90% of "Muslim" terrorism, against secular Arab governments since the Eisenhower Administration. This is a big reason those secular Arab governments became dictatorships, what with the local US Embassy constantly fomenting & instigating coups by GWL.

ZBiggy just turned it up to 11.

PavewayIV | May 27, 2017 11:47:37 AM | 20
I wonder if Brzezinski or Kissinger ever read Lobaczewski et. al regarding psychopathy.

One of Lobaczewski's long-gone collaborators postulated that any organization opposing a large, organizational pathocracy ('the west' vs. the Soviet state at the time) was itself subject to becoming a pathocracy.

The idea wasn't one of infection, but more of the almost automatic tendency of an organization to enable and empower its own psychopaths in an attempt to counter those of the other organization. Initially, it's fighting fire with fire. But when the 'enemy' ceases to exist or be a threat, you can't simply turn off your own state's psychopaths because they are most likely running the place.

Burying Brzezinski and Kissinger does not end ANYTHING. They (and their ilk) leave behind a thoroughly and profoundly sick U.S. and western states loaded with new generations of psychopaths. In fact, getting rid of every last psychopath in ANY western government (parliament) fixes nothing because the organizations themselves ensure that new psychopaths will quickly bubble to the top.

Lobaczewski's group was not JUST trying to explain why otherwise normal 'little people' turned into psychopaths so readily in the (then) Soviet East. They were trying to understand why otherwise good nations turned into something sick and evil themselves in the process of 'saving' another nation from evil. Their magic cure was nothing more than awareness of the risk and basic prevention - wash your damn hands after leaving the bathroom.

We have rid ourselves of Brzezinski but have done nothing to recognize the disease, much less attempt any sort of remedy. We go back to our food preparation jobs after leaving the bathroom hoping evil spirits will not randomly make our customers sick.

Brzezinski's passing has all the significance of driving by a random light post on a cross-country trip.

c1ue | May 27, 2017 12:18:41 PM | 22
I have no love for ZBig, but it is far from clear he is an "architect" of the American Deep State. ZBig is exactly like the Libyan, Syrian, Afghan expats sheltered and fed by the US; they are just the latest of a rogue's gallery of foreigners who are useful to American foreign policy.
  • Need a critical assessment of a government? Here's a "senior former official"
  • Need contacts into opposition parties? Here's an "oppressed minority".
  • Communists, Nazis, Jews, Muslims, Caucasian, Asian, African - all are available.

Not to say ZBig had no influence, but there's a big difference between running in front of the pack and leading it. Freeland and cohorts in Canada are clearly leading. ZBig? Much less clear.

NemesisCalling | May 27, 2017 12:28:32 PM | 24
@20 paveway

Indeed, beginning in the second half of America's 20th century up until now, one can see Nietzsche's maxim about fighting monsters being played out and revealing the greatness of his thought. This has culminated in such a way that Lavrov even said that America media has become remniscent of the Soviet Pravda. No argument here.

hopehely | May 27, 2017 12:37:18 PM | 27
Posted by: c1ue | May 27, 2017 12:18:41 PM | 22
I have no love for ZBig, but it is far from clear he is an "architect" of the American Deep State.
He was definitely not an architect of American deep state. That was not his job. He was an architect of American Empire's foreign policy of global hegemony. Like Kissinger and Wolfowitz.

ToivoS | May 27, 2017 1:54:35 PM | 33
Perhaps it worth noting that in Brzez's last year he basically retracted the thesis that he presented in The Great Chessboard . See this counterpunch article by Mike Whitney. Brzez was realistic enough to see that breaking up the China-Russia-Iran alliance was not going to work and maybe we should do deals with them.

He seemed to realize that US policy to capture the central Asian republics in order to drive a wedge between those those three civilizations was hopeless. This does not atone for his crimes but does indicate that he had some grasp of reality. This last article was barely noted our MSM which seems to be still clamoring for the Great Chessboard strategy.

PavewayIV | May 27, 2017 2:17:47 PM | 34
hopehely@28 - No. Read my post again. His passing is INSIGNIFICANT in the larger scheme of things. Nothing changes, nothing ends - the U.S. and the west haven't learned a thing. We remain in the diseased, psychopathic state that he (as well as many others) ushered in. Many more like him will follow. As always (at least in the U.S.) we will continue - with utter futility - to try to fix everything with our horribly debased voting process and the thoroughly-rigged, useless 'laws'. And we will continue to fail.

Brzezinski was a diseased, psychopathic human being that - through the mechanisms of the state - caused unimaginable pain and suffering throughout the world (directly or indirectly) because of his psychopathy. Not by himself, of course. The guy should have been contained and treated like the diseased person he was, not elevated to positions as a diplomat or counselor to national leaders. A healthy society should shun psychopaths, not bumble along oblivious to the harm they cause.

The organization of the state should be somewhat self-aware of the effects of diseased people like Brzezinski and protect and hopefully rid itself from that kind of influence. It can't (in the U.S., anyway) because 'the state' is diseased itself and that disease is perpetuated through psychopathic individuals inside that benefit from a diseased state. It's a self-reinforcing, symbiotic relationship. Brzezinski's disease was a part of that. Once again, his death changed nothing.

"...you are just trying to suppress your schadenfreude..."

As far as his death on a personal level - I simply didn't know the guy. I assume he had family and friends that will mourn his passing. Their pain makes me neither jolly nor happy. There is no schadenfreude - I feel sad for them regardless of my thoughts about Brzezinski.

"...because gosh it is so totally inappropriate for a sophisticated and rational intellectual to fell like that..."

Now you're accusing me of being 'a sophisticated and rational intellectual' ? Well... there's certainly no reason to get nasty about it and call me names like that, you bastard!

jfl | May 27, 2017 4:10:18 PM | 37
@pw. 'In fact, getting rid of every last psychopath in ANY western government (parliament) fixes nothing because the organizations themselves ensure that new psychopaths will quickly bubble to the top.'

now you're talking. my only real quarrel with your 'psychopathic' analysis was its seeming identification of a cabal of evil, demented individuals as the seat of the problem. i think this is too 'interior' an analysis. we all have the potential to see ourselves as the driven agents we are most of the time, but its a full-time job, and by definition 'success' is a statistical measurement.

there is such a thing as society, regardless maggie thatcher's dictum, and individual humans are suspended within it ... and often as oblivious to that fact as the proverbial fish are to the water they swim and breathe in.

to master our societies requires our collective effort. unless and until we organize to do so we'll continue spinning in our psychopathic gyre(s). what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one? but in union we might be strong.

i think it's the simple refusal to accept that our 'outside' contingencies are more than a match for our 'inside' ones that's holding us back. we're all stuck in an imaginary world that began with our individual births and will expire with our individual deaths. so the race is continually reborn in 'magnificent' isolation, now fractured into 7 and a half billion pieces.

something has to be done about this for us to continue and collectively, we're the only ones here to do it.

smuks | May 27, 2017 5:28:21 PM | 39
@Paveway

I think I agree with you, though I find the use of psychological & medicinal terminology in political contexts rather problematic - it usually doesn't enhance comprehension imo.

There's people with weird, dangerous or maybe 'psychopathic' leanings in every country and every society, they're part of humanity. But when they 'systematically' get to positions of influence and power, there's something wrong with said system: It seems to reward individual psychopathology, rather than humanism and cooperation.

Zbig was an intelligent guy for sure, and it's not easy to replace someone like him. But his teachings will cause trouble for another while - afaik, there is no effective counter-strategy yet, or is there? Can a government win against fundamentalist militants with limited violence, e.g. by isolating them and exposing their inhumane regime?

@jfl

I think you misunderstand something here. It's (afaics) absolutely not about a 'cabal of evil, demented individuals', almost on the contrary. But I like the picture of society as water surrounding a fish - or the air around us, which we don't see nor think about and take for granted.

kooshy | May 27, 2017 5:54:10 PM | 41
"He was definitely not an architect of American deep state. "
Posted by: hopehely | May 27, 2017 12:37:18 PM | 27

The SOB bastard was the co-founder of trilateral commission, with David Rockefeller.

Edward | May 27, 2017 5:55:01 PM | 42
His worst crime, with Carter, IMO, was trying successfully to manipulate the U.S.S.R. to invade Afghanistan. All of Carter's outrage over the invasion was a lot of baloney. They were not exactly being the friends of Afghanistan they pretended to be. This was worse then later arming the jihadists.

smuks | May 27, 2017 8:21:46 PM | 47
@Paveway

The funny/ interesting thing is how this US/ western control over the rest of the world is habitually described by code expressions such as 'maintaining the international order' or 'stabilize global order'.

The US has been an expansionist country long before Zbig, cf. the Monroe Doctrine. Just as Britain and other European colonial powers before...

But more specifically, I really found myself wondering if any effective strategy exists to counter the deployment of jihadist militias against 'uncooperative' states. Other than overwhelming military force. China has been fairly successful, but at the price of a very virulent anti-Uyghur racism.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 27, 2017 11:43:53 PM | 48
@Paveway
The funny/ interesting thing is how this US/ western control over the rest of the world is habitually described by code expressions such as 'maintaining the international order' or 'stabilize global order'.
...
Posted by: smuks | May 27, 2017 8:21:46 PM | 47

It's less complex/mysterious than it seems at first glance.

It's all about bullshit + bullying. Luxuriously-funded think/spin tanks make up the bullshit and feed it to people in the MSM capable of bullying (and diminishing the reputation of) persuasive critics of the bullshit.

My preferred classic example was the role of Thomas L Friedman in silencing critics of Bush II's Iraq War. TLF accused them of Moral Equivalence and the Jew-controlled media made sure that his bullying received superior publicity throughout the West.

It's easy to dismissively overlook the Jew-controlled media factor but the Jews, more than any other interest group, needed control over Western Media to suppress the criminality of the Israel Project and to whitewash it by flogging the Holocaust to death if anyone dared to mention Jews and Genocide in the same sentence. And the Media Acquisition program was well underway before WWII broke out.

psychohistorian | May 28, 2017 2:27:55 AM | 51
@ Bob in Portland who suggested Trump release the still classified JFK files to protect himself against the CIA. Have you been smoking some of that early Obama Hopium again?

Trump is a wannnabe to the upper crust of elite in the middle of a dust up between them and the newbies wanting to act like emperors.....and all is cover for more human suffering and repression except for the core acolytes of the God of Mammon

And the CIA is a tool of the God of Mammon religion that does what it is told.

Neretva_43 | May 28, 2017 6:43:22 AM | 54
"As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people."

While I agree with you that he should "burn in hell" he hardly devised anything. With his background and cold war at the time, he was useful idiot for Americans and his masters. And there is plenty of them in each administration. Trump has one, some idiot from Hungary. Brzezinski's "strategy" was simply copied from the others mainly from Nazis, just as was pretty much everything else. If you read a book from Ian Johnson https://www.amazon.com/Mosque-Munich-Nazis-Muslim-Brotherhood/dp/0547423179 that should be clear.

Ian Johnson mentioned in one of its clip a guy from Eisenhower's administration, "devoted catholics" (per IJ) who devised this strategy, and yet again that strategy simply was inherited from the Nazi who used it to fight Soviets.

By the way a society (if the US is such thing), or the US Gov. generate these murderers and apparently the new ones are in ample supply. That's the nature of system.

Casowary Gentry | May 28, 2017 10:38:09 AM | 58
The Poles are real soreheads about Russia and to let one of them be an architect of American foreign policy was a boneheaded move, the man operated according to a deeply held personal animus towards Russia and letting him serve in such a pivotal capacity was a big mistake. In general, letting foreigners fill important policy making roles should be prohibited; they carry too much baggage.

GoraDiva | May 28, 2017 5:04:11 PM | 60
For the record, good riddance to ZB, who was no more than a dark stain on most of the humanity. Maybe he'll come back as a poisonous snake...
@7
You're right in some ways. Zia-ul-Haq originated the idea of drawing Russians in. Also, the Brits used Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt's Nasser (except, they then killed the US-preferred Sadat). So much for blowback...
@12
I'd be curious about Carter, too. Never heard him address it. He signed the directive to entice Russians into Afg. in July '79 - and then feigned HUGE surprise on TV when they marched in (and BTW, they were invited by the then-Afg. govt.; it was not really an invasion). (It was stupid of them, of course.)

On deep state - it first manifested itself in the open when JFK was assassinated - preceding ZB. But he became a visible part of it, no question.
There is something wrong with the way humans manage power.

[May 28, 2017] Deep State could be narrowly defined as Israel itself, its fifth column, and those elements in gov and the media who succeeded in pulling off and covering up 911

May 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

DanCT , May 28, 2017 at 11:00 am GMT

Trump may be influenced by the MIC and major industry groups, but they are not the deep state, which should be narrowly defined as Israel itself, its fifth column, and those elements in gov and the media who succeeded in pulling off and covering up 911, without which we wouldn't be dealing with any of this.

What I find alarming is Conservativism Inc's willingness to accept the preposterous official narrative about 911 while "bravely" challenging gov data and narratives in all other respects. Conservatives such as Pat Buchanan on down are willing to throw out over one thousand years of Western development regarding the rational relationship between evidence and conclusion, and not least the scientific method, to support what amounts to fantastical storytelling.

I find it helpful to pull up Google images of these conservative opposition voices, almost invariably cowardly looking little nerds, to understand why we are being neutralized instead of organized to fight the deep state and in our efforts to restore order.

[May 23, 2017] CIA, the counerstone of the deep state, might have agenda that is readically differrent from the US national interest and reflect agenda of the special interest groups

CIA is actually a state within the state as Church commission revealed and it has an immanent tendency to seek control over "surface state" and media. In other words large intelligence apparatus might well be incompatible with the democratic governance.

"In the long run, the CIA can't deceive the Chinese government without also deceiving, in some way, the American public. This leaves us with an obvious problem: Should we believe anything the CIA says?" [RealClearWorld]. "It's a tough question for a democracy to answer. Trust is built on the tacit agreement that the "bad things" an agency does are good for the country. If the public believes that that is no longer the case – if it believes the agency is acting out of self-interest and not national interest – then the agreement is broken. The intelligence agency is seen as an impediment of the right to national self-determination, a means for the ends of the few."

  1. Huey Long

    RE: Hall of Mirrors/Believing the CIA

    The CIA has a track record of acting out of self interest since its inception and should not be believed.

    That being said, the public is almost completely unaware of the agency's misdeeds. I think the reason folks like Manning, Snowden and Assange are so reviled by the agency is because they are a threat to the CIA's reputation more than anything else.

[May 23, 2017] CIA, the counerstone of the deep state, might have agenda that is readically differrent from the US national interest and reflect agenda of the special interest groups

CIA is actually a state within the state as Church commission revealed and it has an immanent tendency to seek control over "surface state" and media. In other words large intelligence apparatus might well be incompatible with the democratic governance.
www.aim.org

"In the long run, the CIA can't deceive the Chinese government without also deceiving, in some way, the American public. This leaves us with an obvious problem: Should we believe anything the CIA says?" [RealClearWorld]. "It's a tough question for a democracy to answer. Trust is built on the tacit agreement that the "bad things" an agency does are good for the country. If the public believes that that is no longer the case – if it believes the agency is acting out of self-interest and not national interest – then the agreement is broken. The intelligence agency is seen as an impediment of the right to national self-determination, a means for the ends of the few."

[May 22, 2017] Key points of TIME magazine cover story on the Russian takeover of America

Notable quotes:
"... TIME magazine has just published a cover story on the Russian takeover of America: Inside Russia's Social Media War on America . The cover image shows the White House turned into the Kremlin. I will list some of the key points below with quotes from the article: ..."
May 22, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn | May 18, 2017 8:57:21 PM | 71

TIME magazine has just published a cover story on the Russian takeover of America: Inside Russia's Social Media War on America . The cover image shows the White House turned into the Kremlin. I will list some of the key points below with quotes from the article:

1) Social media has become a danger to democracy.

The vast openness and anonymity of social media has cleared a dangerous new route for antidemocratic forces. "Using these technologies, it is possible to undermine democratic government."

2) Democratic society must isolate itself from public opinion.

Russia may finally have gained the ability it long sought but never fully achieved in the Cold War: to alter the course of events in the U.S. by manipulating public opinion.

3) Russia spies on you.

The Russians "target you and see what you like, what you click on, and see if you're sympathetic or not sympathetic."

4) America is losing the cyberwar.

As Russia expands its cyberpropaganda efforts, the U.S. and its allies are only just beginning to figure out how to fight back.

5) Russia has clever algorithms that America lacks.

American researchers have found they can use mathematical formulas to segment huge populations into thousands of subgroups... Propagandists can then manually craft messages to influence them, deploying covert provocateurs, either humans or automated computer programs known as bots, in hopes of altering their behavior.

6) Russia has huge troll farms.

Putin dispatched his newly installed head of military intelligence, Igor Sergun, to begin repurposing cyberweapons previously used for psychological operations in war zones for use in electioneering. Russian intelligence agencies funded "troll farms," botnet spamming operations and fake news outlets as part of an expanding focus on psychological operations in cyberspace.

7) You must trust mainstream media.

Eager to appear more powerful than they are, the Russians would consider it a success if you questioned the truth of your news sources, knowing that Moscow might be lurking in your Facebook or Twitter feed.

8) Russia invaded Ukraine in April 2014 .

Putin was aiming his new weapons at the U.S. Following Moscow's April 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

9) Hillary Clinton did not murder Seth Rich.

That story went viral in late August, then took on a life of its own after Clinton fainted from pneumonia and dehydration at a Sept. 11 event in New York City. Elsewhere people invented stories saying Pope Francis had endorsed Trump and Clinton had murdered a DNC staffer.

10) The evidence:

Russia plays in every social media space. The intelligence officials have found that Moscow's agents bought ads on Facebook to target specific populations with propaganda. "They buy the ads, where it says sponsored by–they do that just as much as anybody else does," says the senior intelligence official. (A Facebook official says the company has no evidence of that occurring.) The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner of Virginia, has said he is looking into why, for example, four of the top five Google search results the day the U.S. released a report on the 2016 operation were links to Russia's TV propaganda arm, RT. (Google says it saw no meddling in this case.) Researchers at the University of Southern California, meanwhile, found that nearly 20% of political tweets in 2016 between Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 were generated by bots of unknown origin; investigators are trying to figure out how many were Russian.

[May 22, 2017] The current divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They dont align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, are calling the shots and operate outside election cycle.

Notable quotes:
"... The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. ..."
"... The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region. ..."
"... These are the functionaries and apparatchiks of a stagnating system, which is what's been going on in the U.S. for awhile now. Trump was just too much of an outsider to be accepted by the insiders, and his threats to change the status quo led to the current situation. ..."
"... This is exactly how leadership selection in the old Soviet Union went on, too. And Trump is no master of bureaucratic infighting, unlike say, Putin. He's just flailing at this point. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

nonsense factory | May 18, 2017 4:58:30 PM | 56

Anon

The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. This is how the system has operated - Cheney ran it under Bush, Clinton ran it under Obama, it's all bureaucractic infighting. If you read about Soviet history you see the same thing:

The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region.

These are the functionaries and apparatchiks of a stagnating system, which is what's been going on in the U.S. for awhile now. Trump was just too much of an outsider to be accepted by the insiders, and his threats to change the status quo led to the current situation. Pence, they figure, will be far more amenable to control. Even though Trump has been going along with the standard Republican domestic agenda, he's just viewed as too unpredictable for their tastes. This is exactly how leadership selection in the old Soviet Union went on, too. And Trump is no master of bureaucratic infighting, unlike say, Putin. He's just flailing at this point.

I'm not concerned about it though, if the grossly corrupt federal government is locked up with this nonsense for the next four years, that's fine. Perhaps state governments can step up and work together to solve problems while Washington gnaws its own belly, that's about the best we can hope for.

[May 20, 2017] Rosenstein Joins the Posse by Patrick J. Buchanan

After just 100 days in the office Trump already has a special prosecutor.
Notable quotes:
"... Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency. ..."
"... Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation. ..."
"... Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up. ..."
"... Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation. ..."
"... Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat. ..."
"... Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years. ..."
"... Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich. ..."
"... Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn. ..."
"... One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric. ..."
"... From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November. ..."
"... Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course. ..."
"... "The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions. ..."
"... If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here. Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags. This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. ..."
May 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"With the stroke of a pen, Rod Rosenstein redeemed his reputation," writes Dana Milbank of The Washington Post .

What had Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein done to be welcomed home by the Post like the prodigal son?

Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency.

Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation.

Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up.

Also to be investigated is whether the president tried to curtail the FBI investigation with his phone calls and Oval Office meetings with FBI Director James Comey, before abruptly firing Comey last week.

Regarded as able and honest, Mueller will be under media pressure to come up with charges. Great and famous prosecutors are measured by whom they convict and how many scalps they take. Moreover, a burgeoning special counsel's office dredging up dirt on Trump and associates will find itself the beneficiary of an indulgent press.

Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation.

After being approved 94-6 by a Senate that hailed him as a principled and independent U.S. attorney for both George Bush and Barack Obama, Rosenstein found himself being pilloried for preparing the document White House aides called crucial to Trump's decision to fire Comey.

Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat.

Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years.

... ... ...

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Wilfred , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:58 pm
Any way we can get a Special Counsel to investigate Hillary?
Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm
Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich.

Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn.

Cal , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm
Trump set up his own demise -- all the Jews like Rosenstein that he has appointed would really rather have the rabid evangelical Israel supporter Pence as president.
William Dalton , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:23 am
The appointment of former director Mueller to take charge of an investigation too hot for Rosenstein or anyone in his department to file a report on, particularly if no prosecution will be recommended, does not presage this affair will continue interminably. Months of work have already been put into the matter by the FBI. Mueller may arrive, ask those agents for a summary of what they have unearthed, say, "I don't see anything here. Do you think further work by you will uncover more?", and if they respond, "No", Mueller might very well take what he is given, file a report saying no prosecution is warranted, just as Jim Comey did in the Clinton matter, and go home.

The man is retired with honor. He doesn't need to make a name for himself with this or any other case. The last thing he wants to find out is that there is evidence that might result in the impeachment and criminal prosecution of the President of the United States.

StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 2:59 am
Wasnt pat a happy supporter of the special counsel investigating Clinton? Now suddenly he is against such counsels? How about some priciples Mr buchanan?
StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:13 am
And here is a hat tip for you aggrieved folks here. Trump brought this on himself. He could have avoided it all by simply letting Comey do his job. If there really is nothing in the Russia story, then Comey would have come up with nothing.

Trump has been used to running a family business all his life and a fake TV show as well where his and only his word runs. That is not how the government functions and nor should it be. What happened to the famous negotiator? The one who could make great deals? Who would learn quickly how to navigate the waters and make things happen. This person seems non existent. Lets see some of that please.

John Gruskos , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:57 am
Justin Raimondo correctly explains the significance of this development:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

Liam , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
Wall Street swooned *not* because Trump's "populist" agenda is endangered but rather because Alt-Trump's bait-and-switch pro-Wall Street agenda is endangered. That Pat Buchanan cannot distinguish these is stunning to behold.
elizabeth , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:22 am
And if Hillary Clinton had been inaugurated in January, there wouldn't be a dozen Congressional committees pursuing specious investigations, egged on by right wing media? (Even this comment thread carries one such demand, and she is not in office.)

This is one outcome of a poisoned body politic. Roger Ailes was there at the beginning, and we are all sickened by his legacy.

Jack , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:40 am
Unfortunately, Buchanan seems to have ignored the fact that Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special prosecutor was sparked by Trump's precipitous and unnecessary decision to dismiss Comey. It was a foolish decision and now he's paying a price for it.
Dan Green , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:53 am
One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric.
ukm1 , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:55 am
U.S. President D.J. Trump is himself 100% responsible for the political and legal debacles where he is in now and will be in for any foreseeable future!

From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November.

Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course.

Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:57 am
John Gruskos (8:57 a.m.) is right. Justin Raimondo's column today is a "must read":

"The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

Bob K. , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:05 am
You tell it like it is, Pat! Once someone has sold his soul to the "dark side" his own reputation with it comes before the welfare of the Nation!
David Smith , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:37 am
What goes around, comes around. The Republicans did the same thing to Bill Clinton. Remember, if you can do it to them, they can do it to you. Be careful about the precedents you set.
Adriana I Pena , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am
Has anyone considered that the opposition from career bureaucrats is due to their past experience as to what works and what doesn't? They can recognize a half-baked plan, concocted by someone who has only a hazy idea of what goes on (the guy who managed to admit that health care was "complicated" after touting on the campaign trail that it was easy). Add to it stubborness and unwillingness to learn, and those bureaucrats may think that they are staring at an accident waiting to happen.

What would you do in their place?

Mac61 , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm
If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here.

Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags.

This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. He will be held to a higher standard until such time as he realizes he cannot run this world's most powerful country like some sham casino operation he let fall into bankruptcy. And @Cal, this is not a Jewish conspiracy. If you can't see that Trump is an incompetent idiot narcissist, you can't see anything.

[May 16, 2017] Mark Ames: The FBI Has No Legal Charter But Lots of Kompromat

Notable quotes:
"... Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico). ..."
"... The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005. ..."
"... Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself. ..."
"... Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here . Originally published at The Exiled

I made the mistake of listening to NPR last week to find out what Conventional Wisdom had to say about Trump firing Comey, on the assumption that their standardized Mister-Rogers-on-Nyquil voice tones would rein in the hysteria pitch a little. And on the surface, it did-the NPR host and guests weren't directly shrieking "the world is ending! We're all gonna die SHEEPLE!" the way they were on CNN. But in a sense they were screaming "fire!", if you know how to distinguish the very minute pitch level differences in the standard NPR Nyquil voice.

The host of the daytime NPR program asked his guests how serious, and how "unprecedented" Trump's decision to fire his FBI chief was. The guests answers were strange: they spoke about "rule of law" and "violating the Constitution" but then switched to Trump "violating norms"-and back again, interchanging "norms" and "laws" as if they're synonyms. One of the guests admitted that Trump firing Comey was 100% legal, but that didn't seem to matter in this talk about Trump having abandoned rule-of-law for a Putinist dictatorship. These guys wouldn't pass a high school civics class, but there they were, garbling it all up. What mattered was the proper sense of panic and outrage-I'm not sure anyone really cared about the actual legality of the thing, or the legal, political or "normative" history of the FBI.

For starters, the FBI hardly belongs in the same set with concepts like "constitutional" or " rule of law." That's because the FBI was never established by a law. US Lawmakers refused to approve an FBI bureau over a century ago when it was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. So he ignored Congress, and went ahead and set it up by presidential fiat. That's one thing the civil liberties crowd hates discussing - how centralized US political power is in the executive branch, a feature in the constitutional system put there by the holy Founders.

In the late 1970s, at the tail end of our brief Glasnost, there was a lot of talk in Washington about finally creating a legal charter for the FBI -70 years after its founding. A lot of serious ink was spilled trying to transform the FBI from an extralegal secret police agency to something legal and defined. If you want to play archeologist to America's recent history, you can find this in the New York Times' archives, articles with headlines like "Draft of Charter for F.B.I. Limits Inquiry Methods" :

The Carter Administration will soon send to Congress the first governing charter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The proposed charter imposes extensive but not absolute restrictions on the bureau's employment of controversial investigative techniques, .including the use of informers, undercover agents and covert criminal activity.

The charter also specifies the duties and powers of the bureau, setting precise standards and procedures for the initiation ,and conduct of investigations. It specifically requires the F.B.I. to observe constitutional rights and establishes safeguards against unchecked harassment, break‐ins and other abuses.

followed by the inevitable lament, like this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor a year later, "Don't Forget the FBI Charter". Which of course we did forget-that was Reagan's purpose and value for the post-Glasnost reaction: forgetting. As historian Athan Theoharis wrote , "After 1981, Congress never seriously considered again any of the FBI charter proposals."

The origins of the FBI have been obscured both because of its dubious legality and because of its original political purpose-to help the president battle the all-powerful American capitalists. It wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt was a radical leftist-he was a Progressive Republican, which sounds like an oxymoron today but which was mainstream and ascendant politics in his time. Roosevelt was probably the first president since Andrew Jackson to try to smash concentrated wealth-power, or at least some of it. He could be brutally anti-labor, but so were the powerful capitalists he fought, and all the structures of government power. He met little opposition pursuing his imperial Social Darwinist ambitions outside America's borders-but he had a much harder time fighting the powerful capitalists at home against Roosevelt's most honorable political obsession: preserving forests, parks and public lands from greedy capitalists. An early FBI memo to Hoover about the FBI's origins explains,

"Roosevelt, in his characteristic dynamic fashion, asserted that the plunderers of the public domain would be prosecuted and brought to justice."

According to New York Times reporter Tim Wiener's Enemies: A History of the FBI , it was the Oregon land fraud scandal of 1905-6 that put the idea of an FBI in TR's hyperactive mind. The scandal involved leading Oregon politicians helping railroad tycoon Edward Harriman illegally sell off pristine Oregon forest lands to timber interests, and it ended with an Oregon senator and the state's only two House representatives criminally charged and put on trial-along with dozens of other Oregonians. Basically, they were raping the state's public lands and forests like colonists stripping a foreign country-and that stuck in TR's craw.

TR wanted his attorney general-Charles Bonaparte (yes, he really was a descendant of that Bonaparte)-to make a full report to on the rampant land fraud scams that the robber barons were running to despoil the American West, and which threatened TR's vision of land and forest conservation and parks. Bonaparte created an investigative team from the US Secret Service, but TR thought their report was a "whitewash" and proposed a new separate federal investigative service within Bonaparte's Department of Justice that would report only to the Attorney General.

Until then, the US government had to rely on private contractors like the notorious, dreaded Pinkerton Agency, who were great at strikebreaking, clubbing workers and shooting organizers, but not so good at taking down down robber barons, who happened to also be important clients for the private detective agencies.

In early 1908, Attorney General Bonaparte wrote to Congress asking for the legal authority (and budget funds) to create a "permanent detective force" under the DOJ. Congress rebelled, denouncing it as a plan to create an American okhrana . Democrat Joseph Sherley wrote that "spying on men and prying into what would ordinarily be considered their private affairs" went against "American ideas of government"; Rep. George Waldo, a New York Republican, said the proposed FBI was a "great blow to freedom and to free institutions if there should arise in this country any such great central secret-service bureau as there is in Russia."

So Congress's response was the opposite, banning Bonaparte's DOJ from spending any funds at all on a proposed FBI. Another Congressman wrote another provision into the budget bill banning the DOJ from hiring Secret Service employees for any sort of FBI type agency. So Bonaparte waited until Congress took its summer recess, set aside some DOJ funds, recruited some Secret Service agents, and created a new federal detective bureau with 34 agents. This was how the FBI was born. Congress wasn't notified until the end of 1908, in a few lines in a standard report - "oh yeah, forgot to tell you-the executive branch went ahead and created an American okhrana because, well, the ol' joke about dogs licking their balls. Happy New Year!"

The sordid history of America's extralegal secret police-initially named the Bureau of Investigation, changed to the FBI ("Federal") in the 30's, is mostly a history of xenophobic panic-mongering, illegal domestic spying, mass roundups and plans for mass-roundups, false entrapment schemes, and planting what Russians call "kompromat"- compromising information about a target's sex life-to blackmail or destroy American political figures that the FBI didn't like.

The first political victim of J Edgar Hoover's kompromat was Louis Post, the assistant secretary of labor under Woodrow Wilson. Post's crime was releasing over 1,000 alleged Reds from detention facilities near the end of the FBI's Red Scare crackdown, when they jailed and deported untold thousands on suspicion of being Communists. The FBI's mass purge began with popular media support in 1919, but by the middle of 1920, some (not the FBI) were starting to get a little queasy. A legal challenge to the FBI's mass purges and exiles in Boston ended with a federal judge denouncing the FBI. After that ruling, assistant secretary Louis Post, a 71-year-old well-meaning progressive, reviewed the cases against the last 1500 detainees that the FBI wanted to deport, and found that there was absolutely nothing on at least 75 percent of the cases. Post's review threatened to undo thousands more FBI persecutions of alleged Moscow-controlled radicals.

So one of the FBI's most ambitious young agents, J Edgar Hoover, collected kompromat on Post and his alleged associations with other alleged Moscow-controlled leftists, and gave the file to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives-which promptly announced it would hold hearings to investigate Post as a left subversive. The House tried to impeach Post, but ultimately he defended himself. Post's lawyer compared his political persecutors to the okhrana (Russia, again!): "We in America have sunk to the level of the government of Russia under the Czarist regime," describing the FBI's smear campaign as "even lower in some of their methods than the old Russian officials."

Under Harding, the FBI had a new chief, William Burns, who made headlines blaming the terror bombing attack on Wall Street of 1920 that killed 34 people on a Kremlin-run conspiracy. The FBI claimed it had a highly reliable inside source who told them that Lenin sent $30,000 to the Soviets' diplomatic mission in New York, which was distributed to four local Communist agents who arranged the Wall Street bombing. The source claimed to have personally spoken with Lenin, who boasted that the bombing was so successful he'd ordered up more.

The only problem was that the FBI's reliable source, a Jewish-Polish petty criminal named Wolf Lindenfeld, turned out to be a bullshitter-nicknamed "Windy Linde"-who thought his fake confession about Lenin funding the bombing campaign would get him out of Poland's jails and set up in a comfortable new life in New York.

By 1923, the FBI had thoroughly destroyed America's communist and radical labor movements-allowing it to focus on its other favorite pastime: spying on and destroying political opponents. The FBI spied on US Senators who supported opening diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union: Idaho's William Borah, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Thomas Walsh of the Judiciary Committee, and Burton K Wheeler, the prairie Populist senator from Montana, who visited the Soviet Union and pushed for diplomatic relations. Harding's corrupt Attorney General Dougherty denounced Sen. Wheeler as "the Communist leader in the Senate" and "no more a Democrat than Stalin, his comrade in Moscow." Dougherty accused Sen. Wheeler of being part of a conspiracy "to capture, by deceit and design, as many members of the Senate as possible and to spread through Washington and the cloakrooms of Congress a poison gas as deadly as that which sapped and destroyed brave soldiers in the last war."

Hoover, now a top FBI official, quietly fed kompromat to journalists he cultivated, particularly an AP reporter named Richard Whitney, who published a popular book in 1924, "Reds In America" alleging Kremlin agents "had an all-pervasive influence over American institutions; they had infiltrated every corner of American life." Whitney named Charlie Chaplin as a Kremlin agent, along with Felix Frankfurter and members of the Senate pushing for recognition of the Soviet Union. That killed any hope for diplomatic recognition for the next decade.

Then the first Harding scandals broke-Teapot Dome, Veterans Affairs, bribery at the highest rungs. When Senators Wheeler and Walsh opened bribery investigations, the FBI sent agents to the senators' home state to drum up false bribery charges against Sen. Wheeler. The charges were clearly fake, and a jury dismissed the charges. But Attorney General Dougherty was indicted for fraud and forced to resign, as was his FBI chief Burns-but not Burns' underling Hoover, who stayed in the shadows.

"We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail This must stop."

With the Cold War, the FBI became obsessed with homosexuals as America's Fifth Column under Moscow's control. Homosexuals, the FBI believed, were susceptible to Kremlin kompromat-so the FBI collected and disseminated its own kompromat on alleged American homosexuals, supposedly to protect America from the Kremlin. In the early 1950s, Hoover launched the Sex Deviates Program to spy on American homosexuals and purge them from public life. The FBI built up 300,000 pages of files on suspected homosexuals and contacted their employers, local law enforcement and universities to "to drive homosexuals from every institution of government, higher learning, and law enforcement in the nation," according to Tim Weiner's book Enemies. No one but the FBI knows exactly how many Americans' lives and careers were destroyed by the FBI's Sex Deviants Program but Hoover-who never married, lived with his mother until he was 40, and traveled everywhere with his "friend" Clyde Tolson .

In the 1952 election, Hoover was so committed to helping the Republicans and Eisenhower win that he compiled and disseminated a 19-page kompromat file alleging that his Democratic Party rival Adlai Stevenson was gay. The FBI's file on Stevenson was kept in the Sex Deviants Program section-it included libelous gossip, claiming that Stevenson was one of Illinois' "best known homosexuals" who went by the name "Adeline" in gay cruising circles.

In the 1960s, Hoover and his FBI chiefs collected kompromat on the sex lives of JFK and Martin Luther King. Hoover presented some of his kompromat on JFK to Bobby Kennedy, in a concern-trollish way claiming to "warn" him that the president was opening himself up to blackmail. It was really a way for Hoover to let the despised Kennedy brothers know he could destroy them, should they try to Comey him out of his FBI office. Hoover's kompromat on MLK's sex life was a particular obsession of his-he now believed that African-Americans, not homosexuals, posed the greatest threat to become a Kremlin Fifth Column. The FBI wiretapped MLK's private life, collecting tapes of his affairs with other women, which a top FBI official then mailed to Martin Luther King's wife, along with a note urging King to commit suicide.

FBI letter anonymously mailed to Martin Luther King Jr's wife, along with kompromat sex tapes

After JFK was murdered, when Bobby Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1964, he recounted another disturbing FBI/kompromat story that President Johnson shared with him on the campaign trail. LBJ told Bobby about a stack of kompromat files - FBI reports "detailing the sexual debauchery of members of the Senate and House who consorted with prostitutes." LBJ asked RFK if the kompromat should be leaked selectively to destroy Republicans before the 1964 elections. Kennedy recalled,

"He told me he had spent all night sitting up and reading the files of the FBI on all these people. And Lyndon talks about that information and material so freely. Lyndon talks about everybody, you see, with everybody. And of course that's dangerous."

Kennedy had seen some of the same FBI kompromat files as attorney general, but he was totally opposed to releasing such unsubstantiated kompromat-such as, say, the Trump piss files-because doing so would "destroy the confidence that people in the United States had in their government and really make us a laughingstock around the world."

Imagine that.

Which brings me to the big analogy every hack threw around last week, calling Trump firing Comey "Nixonian." Actually, what Trump did was more like the very opposite of Nixon, who badly wanted to fire Hoover in 1971-2, but was too afraid of the kompromat Hoover might've had on him to make the move. Nixon fell out with his old friend and onetime mentor J Edgar Hoover in 1971, when the ailing old FBI chief refused to get sucked in to the Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers investigation, especially after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times. Part of the reason Nixon created his Plumbers team of black bag burglars was because Hoover had become a bit skittish in his last year on this planet-and that drove Nixon crazy.

Nixon called his chief of staff Haldeman:

Nixon: I talked to Hoover last night and Hoover is not going after this case [Ellsberg] as strong as I would like. There's something dragging him.

Haldeman: You don't have the feeling the FBI is really pursuing this?

Nixon: Yeah, particularly the conspiracy side. I want to go after everyone. I'm not so interested in Ellsberg, but we have to go after everybody who's a member of this conspiracy.

Hoover's ambitious deputies in the FBI were smelling blood, angling to replace him. His number 3, Bill Sullivan (who sent MLK the sex tapes and suicide note) was especially keen to get rid of Hoover and take his place. So as J Edgar was stonewalling the Daniel Ellsberg investigation, Sullivan showed up in a Department of Justice office with two suitcases packed full of transcripts and summaries of illegal wiretaps that Kissinger and Nixon had ordered on their own staff and on American journalists. The taps were ordered in Nixon's first months in the White House in 1969, to plug up the barrage of leaks, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. Sullivan took the leaks from J Edgar's possession and told the DOJ official that they needed to be hidden from Hoover, who planned to use them as kompromat to blackmail Nixon.

Nixon decided he was going to fire J Edgar the next day. This was in September, 1971. But the next day came, and Nixon got scared. So he tried to convince his attorney general John Mitchell to fire Hoover for him, but Mitchell said only the President could fire J Edgar Hoover. So Nixon met him for breakfast, and, well, he just didn't have the guts. Over breakfast, Hoover flattered Nixon and told him there was nothing more in the world he wanted than to see Nixon re-elected. Nixon caved; the next day, J Edgar Hoover unceremoniously fired his number 3 Bill Sullivan, locking him out of the building and out of his office so that he couldn't take anything with him. Sullivan was done.

The lesson here, I suppose, is that if an FBI director doesn't want to be fired, it's best to keep your kompromat a little closer to your chest, as a gun to hold to your boss's head. Comey's crew already released the piss tapes kompromat on Trump-the damage was done. What was left to hold back Trump from firing Comey? "Laws"? The FBI isn't even legal. "Norms" would be the real reason. Which pretty much sums up everything Trump has been doing so far. We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"-and while those norms may mean everything to the ruling class, it's an open question how much these norms mean to a lot of Americans outside that club.

Huey Long , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Wow, and this whole time I thought the NSA had a kompromat monopoly as they have everybody's porn site search terms and viewing habits on file.

I had no idea the FBI practically invented it!

3.14e-9 , May 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

The Native tribes don't have a great history with the FBI, either.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/thing-about-skins/comey-fbi-destructive-history-native-people/

voteforno6 , May 16, 2017 at 6:06 am

Has anyone ever used the FBI's lack of a charter as a defense in court?

Disturbed Voter , May 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

The USA doesn't have a legal basis either, it is a revolting crown colony of the British Empire. Treason and heresy all the way down. Maybe the British need to burn Washington DC again?

Synoia , May 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Britain burning DC, and the so call ed "war" of 1812, got no mention in my History Books. Napoleon on the other hand, featured greatly

In 1812 Napoleon was busy going to Russia. That went well.

Ignim Brites , May 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

Wondered how Comey thought he could get away with his conviction and pardon of Sec Clinton. Seems like part of the culture of FBI is a "above and beyond" the law mentality.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

Back in the early 1970s a high school friend moved to Alabama because his father was transferred by his employer.

My friend sent a post card describing among other things the fact that Alabama had done away with the requirement of a math class to graduate high school, and substituted a required class called "The Evils of Communism" complete with a text-book written by J. Edgar Hoover; Masters of Deceit.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

In Dallas,Texas my 1959 Civics class had to read the same book. We all were given paperback copies of it to take home and read. It was required reading enacted by Texas legislature.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

So I'd guess you weren't fooled by any of those commie plots of the sixties, like the campaigns for civil rights or against the Vietnamese war.

I can't really brag, I didn't stop worrying about the Red Menace until 1970 or so, that's when I started running into returning vets who mostly had no patience for that stuff.

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"

Or as David Broder put it (re Bill Clinton): he came in and trashed the place and it wasn't his place.

It was David Broder's place. Of course the media play a key role with all that kompromat since they are the ones needed to convey it to the public. The tragedy is that even many of the sensible in their ranks such as Bill Moyers have been sucked into the kompromat due to their hysteria over Trump. Ames is surely on point in this great article. The mistake was allowing secret police agencies like the FBI and CIA to be created in the first place.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

Sorry, my initial reaction was that people who don't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" are not to be trusted to provide reliable information. Recognizing that as petty, I kept reading, and presently found the statement that Congress was not informed of the founding of the FBI until a century after the fact, which seems implausible. If in fact the author meant the end of 1908 it was quite an achievement to write 2008.

Interesting to the extent it may be true, but with few sources, no footnotes, and little evidence of critical editing who knows what that may be?

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Do you even know who Mark Ames is?

Petty .yes.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

Who he is is irrelevant. I don't take things on faith because "the Pope said" or because Mark Ames said. People who expect their information to be taken seriously should substantiate it.

Bill Smith , May 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, in the first sentence

Interesting article though.

Fiery Hunt , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Yeah, Kathatine, you're right .very petty.

And completely missed the point.

Or worse, you got the point and your best rejection of that point was pointing out a typo.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

I neither missed the point nor rejected it. I reserved judgment, as I thought was apparent from my comment.

sid_finster , May 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

But Trump is bad. Very Bad.

So anything the FBI does to get rid of him must by definition be ok! Besides, surely our civic-minded IC would never use their power on the Good Guys™!

Right?

JTMcPhee , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Ah yes, the voice of "caution." And such attention to the lack of footnotes, in this day when the curious can so easily cut and paste a bit of salient text into a search engine and pull up a feast of parse-able writings and video, from which they can "judiciously assess" claims and statements. If they care to spend the time, which is in such short supply among those who are struggling to keep up with the horrors and revelations people of good will confront every blinking day

Classic impeachment indeed. All from the height of "academic rigor" and "caution." Especially the "apologetic" bit about "reign" vs "rein." Typos destroy credibility, don't they? And the coup de grass (sic), the unrebuttable "plausibility" claim.

One wonders at the nature of the author's curriculum vitae. One also marvels at the yawning gulf between the Very Serious Stuff I was taught in grade and high school civics and history, back in the late '50s and the '60s, about the Fundamental Nature Of Our Great Nation and its founding fathers and the Beautiful Documents they wrote, on the one hand, and what we mopes learn, through a drip-drip-drip process punctuated occasionally by Major Revelations, about the real nature of the Empire and our fellow creatures

PS: My earliest memory of television viewing was a day at a friend's house - his middle-class parents had the first "set" in the neighborhood, I think an RCA, in a massive sideboard cabinet where the picture tube pointed up and you viewed the "content" in a mirror mounted to the underside of the lid. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5onSwx7_Cn0 The family was watching a hearing of Joe McCarthy's kangaroo court, complete with announcements of the latest number in the "list of known Communists in the State Department" and how Commyanism was spreading like an unstoppable epidemic mortal disease through the Great US Body Politic and its Heroic Institutions of Democracy. I was maybe 6 years old, but that grainy black and white "reality TV" content had me asking "WTF?" at a very early age. And I'd say it's on the commentor to show that the "2008" claim is wrong, by something other than "implausible" as drive-by impeachment. Given the content of the original post, and what people paying attention to all this stuff have a pretty good idea is the general contours of a vast corruption and manipulation.

"Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no."

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

It is the author's job to substantiate information, not the reader's. If he thinks his work is so important, why does he not make a better job of it?

Edward , May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I think the MLK blackmail scheme is well-established. Much of the article seems to be based on Tim Wiener's "Enemies: A History of the FBI".

nonsense factory , May 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

Interesting article on the history of the FBI, although the post-Hoover era doesn't get any treatment. The Church Committee hearings on the CIA and FBI, after the exposure of notably Operation CHAOS (early 60s to early 70s) by the CIA and COINTELPRO(late 1950s to early 1970s) by the FBI, didn't really get to the bottom of the issue although some reforms were initiated.

Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico).

The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005.

Maybe this is legitimate, but this only applies to their protection of the interests of large corporations – as the 2008 economic collapse and aftermath showed, they don't prosecute corporate executives who rip off poor people and middle-class homeowners. Banks who rob people, they aren't investigated or prosecuted; that's just for people who rob banks.

When it comes to political issues and national security, however, the FBI has such a terrible record on so many issues over the years that anything they claim has to be taken with a grain or two of salt. Consider domestic political activity: from the McCarthyite 'Red Scare' of the 1950s to COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 1970s to targeting of environmental groups in the 1980s and 1990s to targeting anti-war protesters under GW Bush to their obsession with domestic mass surveillance under Obama, it's not a record that should inspire any confidence.

Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself.

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences. The Saudi intelligence agency role in 9/11 was buried for over a decade, as well. Since 9/11, most of the FBI investigations seem to have involved recruiting mentally disabled young Islamic men in sting operations in which the FBI provides everything needed. You could probably get any number of mentally ill homeless people across the U.S., regardless of race or religion, to play this role.

Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either.

Ultimately, this is because FBI executives are paid off not to investigate Wall Street criminality, nor shady U.S. government activity, with lucrative positions as corporate board members and so on after their 'retirements'. I don't doubt that many of their junior members mean well and are dedicated to their jobs – but the fish rots from the head down.

Andrew Watts , May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences.

The Clinton Administration had other priorities. You know, I think I'll let ex-FBI Director Freeh explain what happened when the FBI tried to get the Saudis to cooperate with their investigation into the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

"That September, Crown Prince Abdullah and his entourage took over the entire 143-room Hay-Adams Hotel, just across from Lafayette Park from the White House, for six days. The visit, I figured, was pretty much our last chance. Again, we prepared talking points for the president. Again, I contacted Prince Bandar and asked him to soften up the crown prince for the moment when Clinton, -- or Al Gore I didn't care who -- would raise the matter and start to exert the necessary pressure."

"The story that came back to me, from "usually reliable sources," as they say in Washington, was that Bill Clinton briefly raised the subject only to tell the Crown Prince that he certainly understood the Saudis; reluctance to cooperate. Then, according to my sources, he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the still-to-be-built Clinton presidential library. Gore, who was supposed to press hardest of all in his meeting with the crown Prince, barely mentioned the matter, I was told." -Louis J. Freeh, My FBI (2005)

In my defense I picked the book up to see if there was any dirt on the DNC's electoral funding scandal in 1996. I'm actually glad I did. The best part of the book is when Freeh recounts running into a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade and listens to how Hoover's FBI ruined his life despite having broken no laws. As if a little thing like laws mattered to Hoover. The commies were after our precious bodily fluids!

verifyfirst , May 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I'm not sure there are many functioning norms left within the national political leadership. Seemed to me Gingrich started blowing those up and it just got worse from there. McConnell not allowing Garland to be considered comes to mind

lyman alpha blob , May 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Great article – thanks for this. I had no idea the FBI never had a legal charter – very enlightening.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Thanks to Mark Ames now we know what Pres. Trump meant when he tweeted about his tapes with AG Comey. Not some taped conversation between Pres. Trump & AG Comey but bunch of kompromat tapes that AG Comey has provided Pres. Trump that might not make departing AG Comey looked so clean.

[May 16, 2017] The Real Meaning of Sensitive Intelligence by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal. ..."
"... The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. ..."
"... McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations." ..."
"... The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode. ..."
"... In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting. ..."
"... The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel. ..."
"... And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council. ..."
"... You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk. ..."
"... I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others. ..."
"... Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks. ..."
"... And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start. ..."
"... In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC! ..."
"... I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Intelligence agencies and senior government officials tend to use a lot of jargon. Laced with acronyms, this language sometimes does not translate very well into journalese when it hits the media.

For example, I experienced a sense of disorientation two weeks ago over the word "sensitive" as used by several senators, Sally Yates, and James Clapper during committee testimony into Russiagate. "Sensitive" has, of course, a number of meanings. But what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal.

When Yates and Clapper were using "sensitive" thirteen times in the 86 page transcript of the Senate hearings, they were referring to the medium rather than the message. They were both acknowledging that the sources of the information were intelligence related, sometimes referred to as "sensitive" by intelligence professionals and government insiders as a shorthand way to describe that they are "need to know" material derived from either classified "methods" or foreign-liaison partners. That does not mean that the information contained is either good or bad or even true or false, but merely a way of expressing that the information must be protected because of where it came from or how it was developed, hence the "sensitivity."

The word also popped up this week in a Washington Post exclusive report alleging that the president had, in his recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, gone too far while also suggesting that the source of a highly classified government program might be inferred from the context of what was actually revealed. The Post describes how

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump's decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.

The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. Furthermore, it should be understood that the paper is extremely hostile to Trump, the story is as always based on anonymous sources, and the revelation comes on top of another unverifiable Post article claiming that the Russians might have sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during the visit.

No one is denying that the president discussed ISIS in some detail with Lavrov, but National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, both of whom were present at the meeting, have denied that any sources or methods were revealed while reviewing with the Russians available intelligence. McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations."

So the question becomes to what extent can an intelligence mechanism be identified from the information that it produces. That is, to a certain extent, a judgment call. The president is able on his own authority to declassify anything, so the legality of his sharing information with Russia cannot be challenged. What is at question is the decision-making by an inexperienced president who may have been showing off to an important foreign visitor by revealing details of intelligence that should have remained secret. The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode.

The media is claiming that the specific discussion with Lavrov that is causing particular concern is related to a so-called Special Access Program , or SAP, sometimes referred to as "code word information." An SAP is an operation that generates intelligence that requires special protection because of where or how it is produced. In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting.

There have also been reports that the White House followed up on its Lavrov meeting with a routine review of what had taken place. Several National Security Council members observed that some of the information shared with the Russians was far too sensitive to disseminate within the U.S. intelligence community. This led to the placing of urgent calls to NSA and CIA to brief them on what had been said.

Based on the recipients of the calls alone, one might surmise that the source of the information would appear to be either a foreign-intelligence service or a technical collection operation, or even both combined. The Post claims that the originator of the intelligence did not clear its sharing with the Russians and raises the possibility that no more information of that type will be provided at all in light of the White House's apparent carelessness in its use. The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel.

The Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov "granular" information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences. That projection may be overreach, but the fact is that the latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East while reinforcing the widely held impression that Washington does not know how to keep a secret. It will also create the impression that Donald Trump, out of ignorance or hubris, exhibits a certain recklessness in his dealing with classified information, a failing that he once attributed to his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

This article has been updated to reflect news developments.

Thymoleontas, says: May 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

" The latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East "

On the other hand, it also represents closer collaboration with Russia–even if unintended–which is an improvement on the status quo ante and, not to mention, key to ending the conflict in Syria.

Dies Irae , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm
You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk.
MM , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm
Out of my depth, but was Trump working within the framework, maybe a bit outside if the story is true, of the Joint Implementation Group the Obama administration created last year with Russia?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/07/13/Editorial-Opinion/Graphics/terms_of_reference_for_the_Joint_Implementation_Group.pdf?tid=a_inl

Also, I recall reading that the prior administration promised Russia ISIS intel. Not sure if that ever happened, but I doubt they'd have made it public or leak anything to the press.

Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Apr 21, 2017 Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy

Author David A. Nichols reveals how President Dwight D. Eisenhower masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy.

https://youtu.be/FAY_9aQMVbQ

EliteCommInc , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Avoiding the minutia.

I think it should go without saying that intelligence is a sensitive business and protecting those who operate in its murky waters is important to having an effective agency.

Of course the Pres of the US has a duty to do so.

I have not yet read the post article. But I am doubtful that the executive had any intention of putting anyone in harms way. I am equally doubtful that this incident will. If the executive made an error in judgement, I am sure it will be dealt wit in an appropriate manner.

I do wish he'd stop tweeting, though I get why its useful to him.

I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others.

Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks.

Just another brier brushfire of a single tumble weed to add to the others in the hope that setting fires in trashcans will make the current exec go away or at least engage in a mea culpa and sign more checks in the mess that is the middle east policy objective that remains a dead end.

__________

And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start.

Cachip , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm
How do you know it wasn't intended as pure misdirection?
Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm
January 10, 2014 *500* Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they're doing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/500-years-of-history-shows-that-mass-spying-is-always-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/5364462

Johann , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm
Politics is now directly endangering innocent civilians. Because of the leaks and its publication, ISIS for sure now knows that there is an information leak out of their organization. They will now re-compartmentalize and may be successful in breaking that information leak. Innocent airline passenger civilians, American, Russian, or whoever may die as a result. Russia and the US are both fighting ISIS. We are de facto allies in that fight whether some people like it or not. Time to get over it.
EliteCommInc. , says: May 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm
Having read the article, uhhh, excuse me, but unlike personal secrets. The purpose of intel is to use to or keep on hand for some-other date. But of that information is related to the security of our interests and certainly a cooperative relationship with Russia is in our interest. Because in the convoluted fight with ISIS/ISIL, Russia is an ally.

What this belies is the mess of the intelligence community. If in fact, the Russians intend to take a source who provided information that was helpful to them, it would be a peculiar twist of strategic action. The response does tell us that we are in some manner in league with ISIS/ISIL or their supporters so deep that there is a need to protect them, from what is anybody's guess. Because if the information is accurate, I doubt the Russians are going to about killing the source, but rather improving their airline security.

But if we are in fact attempting to remove Pres Assad, and are in league with ISIS/ISIL in doing so - I get why the advocates of such nonsense might be in a huff. So ISIS/ISISL our one time foe and now our sometimes friend . . .

Good greif . . .

Pres Trump is the least of muy concerns when it coes to security.

Some relevant material on intel:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/327413-how-the-intel-community-was-turned-into-a-political

http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/intelligence-failures-more-profound-than-president-admits/

But if I were Pres Trump, I might steer clear of Russia for a while to stop feeding the beast.

Kurt Gayle , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm
Philip, back on July 23, 2014, you explained in "How ISIS Evades the CIA" "the inability of the United States government to anticipate the ISIS offensive that has succeeded in taking control of a large part of Iraq." You explained why the CIA had to date had no success in infiltrating ISIS.

You continued: "Given U.S. intelligence's probable limited physical access to any actual terrorist groups operating in Syria or Iraq any direct attempt to penetrate the organization through placing a source inside would be difficult in the extreme. Such efforts would most likely be dependent on the assistance of friendly intelligence services in Turkey or Jordan. Both Turkey and Jordan have reported that terrorists have entered their countries by concealing themselves in the large numbers of refugees that the conflict in Syria has produced, and both are concerned as they understand full well that groups like ISIS will be targeting them next. Some of the infiltrating adherents to radical groups have certainly been identified and detained by the respective intelligence services of those two countries, and undoubtedly efforts have been made to 'turn' some of those in custody to send them back into Syria (and more recently Iraq) to report on what is taking place. Depending on what arrangements might have been made to coordinate the operations, the 'take' might well be shared with the United States and other friendly governments."

You then describe the difficulties faced by a Turkish or Jordanian agent trying to infiltrate ISIS: "But seeding is very much hit or miss, as someone who has been out of the loop of his organization might have difficulty working his way back in. He will almost certainly be regarded with some suspicion by his peers and would be searched and watched after his return, meaning that he could not take back with him any sophisticated communications devices no matter how cleverly they are concealed. This would make communicating any information obtained back to one's case officers in Jordan or Turkey difficult or even impossible."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-isis-evades-the-cia/

Notwithstanding how "difficult or even impossible" such an operation would be - and using the New York Times as your only source for a lot of otherwise completely unsubstantiated information – and admitting that "this is sheer speculation on my part" – you say that "it is logical to assume that the countries that have provided numerous recruits for ISIS [Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia] would have used that fact as cover to carry out a seeding operation to introduce some of their own agents into the ISIS organization."

Back to the New York Times as your only source, you say that "the Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov 'granular' information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences."

But having ventured into the far reaches of that line of speculation, you do admit that "that projection may be overreach." Indeed!

You go on to characterize the events of the White House meeting with the Russians as "the latest gaffe from the White House" – even though there is absolutely no evidence (outside of the unsubstantiated reports of the Washington Post and the New York Times) that anything to do with the meeting was a "gaffe" – and you further speculate that "it could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East."

That is, again, pure speculation on your part.

One valuable lesson that you've taught TAC readers over the years, Philip: That we need to carefully examine the sources of information – and the sources of dis-information.

KennethF , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Yet again from Giraldi: the problem isn't that the POTUS is ignorant and incompetent; we should all be more concerned that the Deep State is leaking the proof.
collin , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm
In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC!
charley , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm
I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything.
Brad Kain , says: May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Trump has now essentially confirmed the story from the Post and contradicted the denials from McMaster – he shared specific intelligence to demonstrate his willingness to work with the Russians. Moreover, it seems that Israel was the ally that provided this intelligence. The author and others will defend this, but I can only see this as a reckless and impulsive decision that only causes Russia and our allies to trust the US less.

[May 16, 2017] Trump facing shark tank feeding frenzy from military industrial media

Notable quotes:
"... What's your take on it? Is the media on to something big here? ..."
"... "sources and methods" ..."
"... 'Deep State' ..."
"... The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources.' Could it have a hidden agenda here? ..."
"... "drain the swamp." ..."
"... "I am moving forward with my program." ..."
"... Do you think mainstream media is a part of something big and controlled all over from the top? ..."
"... The media has run with this. Are they on to something big here? ..."
"... Trump attacked Hillary Clinton as being unreliable with state secrets. Can the same now be said of him? ..."
"... The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources'... could it have a hidden agenda here? ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.rt.com
There are elements of the 'Deep State' here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don't want to cooperate with Russia, Jim Jatras, former US diplomat, told RT. Political analyst John Bosnitch joins the discussion. US President Trump said his White House meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ranged from airline safety to terrorism. A Washington Post story, however, has accused the American leader of revealing classified information to Russian officials.

RT: What's your take on it? Is the media on to something big here?

Jim Jatras: To start with, again, this is from the Washington Post and an unnamed source. So you do have to doubt the accuracy of the information knowing the vendetta the Washington Post and other mainstream media have against the Trump administration and against President Trump personally and how much they want to disrupt any kind of cooperation with Russia against the terrorist threat. I would say that was the first thing.

'I was in the room. It didn't happen' - National Security Advisor H.R. #McMaster https://t.co/gVIHigqXaT

- RT America (@RT_America) 15 мая 2017 г.

Second, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Deputy of National Security Adviser Dina Powell, who were both in the meeting, have stated since the Washington Post article appeared – there was nothing discussed with Mr. [Sergey] Lavrov and Mr. [Sergey] Kislyak that compromised what they call "sources and methods" that would lead to any kind of intelligence vulnerability on the part of the US. But rather this was all part of a discussion of common action against ISIS. Those are the first things to be noted

Let's remember that there are elements of what we call the 'Deep State' here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don't want to cooperate with the Russians; they don't want improved relations with Moscow. And let's be honest, they have a very strong investment in the various jihadist groups that we have supported for the past six years trying to overthrow the legitimate government in Damascus. I am sure there are people – maybe in the National Security Council, maybe in the Staff, maybe in the State Department – who are finding some way to try and discredit the Trump administration. The question is where is the investigation into these leaks? Who is going to hold these people accountable?

RT: The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources.' Could it have a hidden agenda here?

JJ: Of course. In fact, I would even go further. I wouldn't be at all surprised if President Trump timed his firing with the FBI Director James Comey – what some people even pointed out – he himself in one of his tweets says "drain the swamp." One of the first elements was getting rid of the principals of the Deep State who have been trying to hijack his policy; that he did this precisely because he was meeting with Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kislyak the next day. He's shoving it in their face, saying: "I am moving forward with my program." And I think that's the reason we're getting this hysteria building around the Russians, the Russians, the Russians when what we need is to move forward on an America First national security policy.

'US policy today: Aircraft, where co-pilots try to override pilots' (Op-Edge) https://t.co/x153yPtqVS

- RT (@RT_com) 16 мая 2017 г.

RT: Do you think mainstream media is a part of something big and controlled all over from the top?

JJ: Absolutely. There is a whole structure of what people call the 'Deep State' establishment, the oligarchy – whatever you want to call it. Of course, the mainstream media is part of this. It includes all the Democrats, who were very easy on the Soviet Union when it was Communist. But now that it is not Communist under Russia, they have a deep, very deep hatred of Russia, and they don't want any kind of rapprochement with Russia. And unfortunately, there are Republicans who sympathize with this agenda, as well. I think we can say at this point that Mr. Trump is only partially in control of the apparatus of government. He does not yet have complete control and that there is a frantic effort by these elements to make sure he is not able to get control of the American government and carry out the policies he talked about.

#Trump says he had 'absolute right' to share data on flight safety & terrorism with Russia https://t.co/U6h9FW2ZKy pic.twitter.com/eFBIRhVaI3

- RT (@RT_com) 16 мая 2017 г.
The 'military industrial media'

The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the 'military media,' John Bosnitch , political analyst, told RT.

RT: The media has run with this. Are they on to something big here?

John Bosnitch: I wouldn't say so. I've worked in this field for three decades. I don't see a scrap of evidence here. But I do see like a shark tank of media feeding – no evidence.

RT: Trump attacked Hillary Clinton as being unreliable with state secrets. Can the same now be said of him?

JB: Trump is the chief executive officer of the United States of America. As the chief executive officer of the country, he has full legal and constitutional authority to use state secrets in the conduct of diplomacy. He's also the chief diplomat of the country. So there is a big difference between the chief executive officer deciding what information he can share in conducting of state policy, and Hillary Clinton deciding as a cabinet minister which laws she chooses to obey, and which ones she doesn't.

'You cannot reset:' No way for US & Russia to start over 'with clean slate' – #Tillerson https://t.co/vC71YbLpQL

- RT (@RT_com) 15 мая 2017 г.

RT: The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources'... could it have a hidden agenda here?

JB: I don't see any other possibility, whatsoever. Let's not play the game of dividing the so-called mainstream media from its owners. The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the 'military media.' The military makes money by making war; they buy the media to promote war. They use the media to promote propaganda in favor of war. And that is where we get into the mess we're in today. Because we have a president who is a businessman and would prefer to make money, and would prefer to put people to work in any industry other than war. The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak to a captive audience of uninformed viewers The military controls the media because they own them.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[May 15, 2017] The explosive mixture of middle-class shrinking and dual economy in the West

This idea of two segregated societies within one nation is pretty convincing.
Notable quotes:
"... A book released last March by MIT economist Peter Temin argues that the U.S. is increasingly becoming what economists call a dual economy; that is, where there are two economies in effect, and one of the populations lives in an economy that is prosperous and secure, and the other part of the population lives in an economy that resembles those of some third world countries. ..."
"... The middle class is shrinking in the United States and this is an effect of both the advance of technology and American policies ..."
"... In the United States, our policies have divided us into two groups. Above the median income - above the middle class - is what I call the FTE sector, Finance, Technology and Electronics sector - of people who are doing well, and whose incomes are rising as our national product is growing. The middle class and below are losing shares of income, and their incomes are shrinking as the Pew studies, both of them, show. ..."
"... The model shows that the FTE sector makes policy for itself, and really does not consider how well the low wage sector is doing. In fact, it wants to keep wages and earnings low in the low wage sector, to provide cheap labour for the industrial employment. ..."
"... As already described , the middle-class, which has not collapsed yet in France, still has the characteristics that fit to the neoliberal regime. However, it is obvious that this tank of voters has shrunk significantly, and the establishment is struggling to keep them inside the desirable 'status quo' with tricks like the supposedly 'fresh', apolitical image of Emmanuel Macron, the threat of Le Pen's 'evil' figure that comes from the Far-Right, or, the illusion that they have the right to participate equally to almost every economic activity. ..."
"... The media promotes examples of young businessmen who have succeed to survive economically through start-up companies, yet, they avoid to tell that it is totally unrealistic to expect from most of the Greek youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. So, this illusion is promoted by the media because technology is automating production and factories need less and less workers, even in the public sector, which, moreover, is violently forced towards privatization. ..."
"... In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automation of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs. ..."
May 14, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

The Pew Research Center, released a new study on the size of the middle class in the U.S. and in ten European countries. The study found that the middle class shrank significantly in the U.S. in the last two decades from 1991 to 2010. While it also shrank in several other Western European countries, it shrank far more in the U.S. than anywhere else. Meanwhile, another study also released last week, and published in the journal Science, shows that class mobility in the U.S. declined dramatically in the 1980s, relative to the generation before that.

A book released last March by MIT economist Peter Temin argues that the U.S. is increasingly becoming what economists call a dual economy; that is, where there are two economies in effect, and one of the populations lives in an economy that is prosperous and secure, and the other part of the population lives in an economy that resembles those of some third world countries.

globinfo freexchange

MIT Economist Peter Temin spoke to Gregory Wilpert and the The Real News network.

As Temin states, among other things:

The middle class is shrinking in the United States and this is an effect of both the advance of technology and American policies . That is shown dramatically in the new study, because the United States is compared with many European countries. In some of them, the middle class is expanding in the last two decades, and in others it's decreasing. And while technology crosses national borders, national policies affect things within the country.

In the United States, our policies have divided us into two groups. Above the median income - above the middle class - is what I call the FTE sector, Finance, Technology and Electronics sector - of people who are doing well, and whose incomes are rising as our national product is growing. The middle class and below are losing shares of income, and their incomes are shrinking as the Pew studies, both of them, show.

The model shows that the FTE sector makes policy for itself, and really does not consider how well the low wage sector is doing. In fact, it wants to keep wages and earnings low in the low wage sector, to provide cheap labour for the industrial employment.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BRs4VcHprqI" name="I1"

This model is similar to that pursued in eurozone through the Greek experiment. Yet, the establishment's decision centers still need the consent of the citizens to proceed. They got it in France with the election of their man to do the job, Emmanuel Macron.

As already described , the middle-class, which has not collapsed yet in France, still has the characteristics that fit to the neoliberal regime. However, it is obvious that this tank of voters has shrunk significantly, and the establishment is struggling to keep them inside the desirable 'status quo' with tricks like the supposedly 'fresh', apolitical image of Emmanuel Macron, the threat of Le Pen's 'evil' figure that comes from the Far-Right, or, the illusion that they have the right to participate equally to almost every economic activity.

For example, even in Greece, where the middle class suffered an unprecedented reduction because of Troika's (ECB, IMF, European Commission) policies, the last seven years, the propaganda of the establishment attempts to make young people believe that they can equally participate in innovative economic projects. The media promotes examples of young businessmen who have succeed to survive economically through start-up companies, yet, they avoid to tell that it is totally unrealistic to expect from most of the Greek youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. So, this illusion is promoted by the media because technology is automating production and factories need less and less workers, even in the public sector, which, moreover, is violently forced towards privatization.

As mentioned in previous article , the target of the middle class extinction in the West is to restrict the level of wages in developing economies and prevent current model to be expanded in those countries. The global economic elite is aiming now to create a more simple model which will be consisted basically of three main levels.

The 1% holding the biggest part of the global wealth, will lie, as always, at the top of the pyramid. In the current phase, frequent and successive economic crises, not only assist on the destruction of social state and uncontrolled massive privatizations, but also, on the elimination of the big competitors.

In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automation of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs.

The base of the pyramid will be consisted by the majority of workers in global level, with restricted wages, zero labor rights, and nearly zero opportunities for activities other than consumption.

This type of dual economy with the rapid extinction of middle class may bring dangerous instability because of the vast vacuum created between the elites and the masses. That's why the experiment is implemented in Greece, so that the new conditions to be tested. The last seven years, almost every practice was tested: psychological warfare, uninterrupted propaganda, financial coups, permanent threat for a sudden death of the economy, suppression measures, in order to keep the masses subservient, accepting the new conditions.

The establishment exploits the fact that the younger generations have no collective memories of big struggles. Their rights were taken for granted and now they accept that these must be taken away for the sake of the investors who will come to create jobs. These generations were built and raised according to the standards of the neoliberal regime 'Matrix'.

Yet, it is still not certain that people will accept this Dystopia so easily. The first signs can be seen already as recently, French workers seized factory and threatened to blow it up in protest over possible closure . Macron may discover soon that it will be very difficult to find the right balance in order to finish the job for the elites. And then, neither Brussels nor Berlin will be able to prevent the oncoming chaos in Europe and the West.

Read also:

[May 07, 2017] Book Review Game of Mates naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Australia's Real Lifters and Leaners ..."
May 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
... ... ...

By Phil Soos, originally published at LF Economics

This is LF Economics' first review of a book, entitled Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation by economists Cameron K. Murray and Paul Frijters. The name is a play upon the wonderful TV series Game of Thrones and rightfully so, given both are about how a small number of wealthy and highly-connected individuals, often operating within a cluster of powerful networks, rig rules, policy, laws and ideology for their personal and class benefit.

Game of Mates is a gold mine of information on the racket of rent extraction for a number of reasons. First, it provides background on how the game slowly evolves (Chapter 1) by contrasting the hard-working Aussie Bruce with the connected insider and rent extractor known as James. By using the power of networking and soft corruption, the wealthy James (the 1%) is able to rip-off Bruce (the public) legally without violating the rule of law.

Second, the book goes on to detail the largest state-backed legal thefts carried out by the corporate sector for the benefit of rentiers. This term means those who obtain rents (unearned wealth and income over and above what is justified by perfectly-competitive markets). Unfortunately, Australia is a haven for robber barons, siphoning massive and illegitimate mountains of rents from the property market (Chapter 2), transportation (Chapter 3), superannuation (Chapter 5), mining (Chapter 7) and banking (Chapter 9) for the benefit of owners and managers.

... ... ... Game of Mates helps to reveal the absurdity of what is falsely called free-market capitalism, as it is thoroughly infected by rent extractors. Recent research has demonstrated that Australia's private sector is dominated by cartels of monopolists, duopolists and oligopolists to an even greater extent than the US, the latter of which is often considered the home of crony capitalism. This is no mean feat.

Whoever said there is no such thing as a free lunch (perhaps it was Milton Friedman or someone he quoted) is speaking an utter absurdity. The term 'free lunch' doesn't do justice in describing the epic levels of legal grift in our economy. Indeed, it should be termed 'free banquets' as we argued in our article Australia's Real Lifters and Leaners .

The process of extracting free banquets has gained pace since the neo-liberal reformation of the economy by the Hawke-Keating government, lurching from the centre-left to the centre-right on economy policy during the 1980s. The Howard government continued and magnified these rackets when in power between 1996 and 2007. It should be important to note that these policies can hardly be termed 'neo-liberal' when they are not new and often have little to do with economic liberalisation. Perhaps neo-feudal capitalism is a better term.

...It should be important to note that these policies can hardly be termed 'neo-liberal' when they are not new and often have little to do with economic liberalisation. Perhaps neo-feudal capitalism is a better term.

....

The Game of Mates is about detailing the methods of redistribution from the poor, labour, productive competitive business and the environment into the pockets of those who benefit the most from non-work. There are some data on how much the wealthy steal from everyone else (Chapter 13). Hint: the redistributions are massive in scale and yet do not quantify the full extent of the rent extraction taking place.

In addition, apart from criticising the upwards redistribution of wealth, they advocate solutions to rectifying these problems (Chapter 14). This can be done by reclaiming the value of the free banquets for the public, disrupting the coordination and networks used by rentiers, and shattering the myths peddled to justify their wholesale theft.

This book is a very timely addition to the emerging research in Australia and elsewhere which explains the processes and estimates the amount of wealth and income siphoned off by these schemes of legal theft. At 204 pages, it is not overly long and is makes for an easy read. Fortunately, the authors avoid the often opaque writing style and jargon often found in the economics and financial academic literature.

If one wants to understand how the country is being looted by the minority of the opulent for their own benefit, look no further.

Read more at gameofmates.com

JimTan , May 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm

The interesting thing about exploiting personal connections to extract rents, build cartels, capture regulators, gain legal protections, or generally restrict competition is that all these activities are essentially risk free. Gaining a rent or legal protection from a friend or colleague has zero risk, and guarantees higher profits. This is in contrast to innovation or product improvement which requires high risk, time, effort, capital, and expertise, but can return much higher profits. When opportunities for rent collection become systemic, I think economic rents can crowd out risky innovation because returns for economic rents are guaranteed. In this case the probabilities for (short-term) economic success are higher with economic rents, and as the saying goes 'firms act to maximize profitability'. That is a bad outcome for all of society.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , May 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

In 2014 62 individuals owned one half of the world's wealth, now that's down to just 8 people (how they sleep at night is utterly beyond me). When it's down to one guy we can strangle him in the bathtub and redistribute, and usher in a new Golden Age of prosperity and peace.

[May 01, 2017] Here is Why We Should not Laugh at Donald Trumps 100-Day Faceplant by Jon Schwarz

Notable quotes:
"... incredibly wrong ..."
Apr 29, 2017 | theintercept.com

But their elections have one critical thing in common: They both came out of NOWHERE to become president, with characteristics that previously would have throttled their chances before they delivered their first speech in Iowa.

There's no need to recount everything from Trump's florid life and campaign that sensible people were sure disqualified him. But we've forgotten how the sensible people at first saw Obama in much the same way, and for reasons that went far beyond him being African American. He'd been a senator for just two years when he started running and would have to beat the entire party establishment. His father was Muslim. He wasn't just not named Henry Smith, his middle name was Hussein. He'd even used cocaine, and openly admitted it.

Yet both Obama and Trump vaulted over everyone and everything into the White House. Tens of millions of Americans were willing to place their lives in the hands of political anomalies whose central pitch was that they would deliver profound change. The rise of Bernie Sanders, who's proven that you can become the most popular politician in the country without owning a comb, demonstrates the same thing.

What does this mean?

I'd say it means that something has gone incredibly wrong with this country's political system, that large numbers of us are desperate, and are willing to hand over power to absolutely anyone. That's brings us to the peculiar reality that it's not just Obama and Trump's elections that had something significant in common, it's likely their presidencies.

Obama said American healthcare was in crisis and that "plans that tinker and halfway measures now belong to yesterday." Obama was also outraged by pharmaceutical companies gouging Medicare.

According to Trump , "People all across the country are devastated" by the healthcare system, but if we put him in charge , "Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now." Trump was also infuriated by Big Pharma and just like Obama vowed to crush them.

Yet Obama delivered a halfway measure that tinkered with the problem, and never went after drug manufacturers. Trump is now poised to give America literally the same thing.

Obama called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake" in 2008. In 2016 Trump said NAFTA had caused "devastation" and was "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed." But Obama didn't renegotiate NAFTA. Trump just announced he's not going to pull out of it, and it seems clear the odds of any real renegotiation are slim.

Obama attacked Wall Street, and so did Trump. Both then stocked their administrations with bankers.

And Obama and Trump both ran against the Iraq War, and both of their constituencies understood them to mean they would rethink our entire policy toward the Middle East. Both Obama and Trump then faithfully continued the Afghanistan War, bombed Syria, and helped Saudi Arabia starve Yemen.

... ... ...

"Now that we have vanquished the Dhimmicrats and cuckservatives," Steve Bannon proclaimed, "we shall -" and then tripped on his shoelaces and fell down 97 flights of stairs.

[Apr 28, 2017] The Final Stage of the Machiavellian Elites Takeover of America by Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould

Notable quotes:
"... The true irony of today's late-stage efforts by Washington to monopolize "truth" and attack alternate narratives isn't just in its blatant contempt for genuine free speech. ..."
"... the entire "Freedom Manifesto" employed by the United States and Britain since World War II was never free at all, but a concoction of the CIA's Psychological Strategy Board 's (PSB) comprehensive psychological warfare program waged on friend and foe alike. ..."
"... The CIA would come to view the entire program, beginning with the 1950 Berlin conference, to be a landmark in the Cold War, not just for solidifying the CIA's control over the non-Communist left and the West's "free" intellectuals, but for enabling the CIA to secretly disenfranchise Europeans and Americans from their own political culture in such a way they would never really know it. ..."
"... The modern state is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. ..."
"... PSB D-33/2 foretells of a "long-term intellectual movement, to: break down world-wide doctrinaire thought patterns" while "creating confusion, doubt and loss of confidence" in order to "weaken objectively the intellectual appeal of neutralism and to predispose its adherents towards the spirit of the West." The goal was to "predispose local elites to the philosophy held by the planners," while employing local elites "would help to disguise the American origin of the effort so that it appears to be a native development." ..."
"... Burnham's Machiavellian elitism lurks in every shadow of the document. As recounted in Frances Stoner Saunder's "The Cultural Cold War," "Marshall also took issue with the PSB's reliance on 'non-rational social theories' which emphasized the role of an elite 'in the manner reminiscent of Pareto, Sorel, Mussolini and so on.' ..."
"... With "The Machiavellians," Burnham had composed the manual that forged the old Trotskyist left together with a right-wing Anglo/American elite. ..."
"... The political offspring of that volatile union would be called neoconservatism, whose overt mission would be to roll back Russian/Soviet influence everywhere. Its covert mission would be to reassert a British cultural dominance over the emerging Anglo/American Empire and maintain it through propaganda. ..."
"... Rarely spoken of in the context of CIA-funded secret operations, the IRD served as a covert anti-Communist propaganda unit from 1946 until 1977. According to Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, authors of " Britain's Secret Propaganda War ," "the vast IRD enterprise had one sole aim: To spread its ceaseless propaganda output (i.e. a mixture of outright lies and distorted facts) among top-ranking journalists who worked for major agencies and magazines, including Reuters and the BBC, as well as every other available channel. It worked abroad to discredit communist parties in Western Europe which might gain a share of power by entirely democratic means, and at home to discredit the British Left." ..."
"... The mandate of his Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) set up in 1970 was to expose the supposed KGB campaign of worldwide subversion and put out stories smearing anyone who questioned it as a dupe, a traitor or Communist spy. Crozier regarded "The Machiavellians" as a major formative influence in his own intellectual development, and wrote in 1976 "indeed it was this book above all others that first taught me how [emphasis Crozier] to think about politics." ..."
"... Crozier was more than just a strategic thinker. Crozier was a high-level covert political agent who put Burnham's talent for obfuscation and his Fourth International experience to use to undermine détente and set the stage for rolling back the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Crozier's cooperation with numerous "able and diligent Congressional staffers" as well as "the remarkable General Vernon ('Dick') Walters, recently retired as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence," cemented the rise of the neoconservatives. When Carter caved in to the Team B and his neoconservative National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's plot to lure the Soviets into their own Vietnam in Afghanistan, it fulfilled Burnham's mission and delivered the world to the Machiavellians without anyone being the wiser. ..."
"... As George Orwell wrote in his "Second Thoughts on James Burnham": "What Burnham is mainly concerned to show [in The Machiavellians] is that a democratic society has never existed and, so far as we can see, never will exist. Society is of its nature oligarchical, and the power of the oligarchy always rests upon force and fraud. Power can sometimes be won and maintained without violence, but never without fraud." ..."
www.truthdig.com

Editor's note: This article is the last in a four-part series on Truthdig called "Universal Empire" -- an examination of the current stage of the neocon takeover of American policy that began after World War ll. Read Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 .

The recent assertion by the Trump White House that Damascus and Moscow released "false narratives" to mislead the world about the April 4 sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, is a dangerous next step in the "fake news" propaganda war launched in the final days of the Obama administration. It is a step whose deep roots in Communist Trotsky's Fourth International must be understood before deciding whether American democracy can be reclaimed.

Muddying the waters of accountability in a way not seen since Sen. Joe McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, the " Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act " signed into law without fanfare by Obama in December 2016 officially authorized a government censorship bureaucracy comparable only to George Orwell's fictional Ministry of Truth in his novel "1984." Referred to as " the Global Engagement Center ," the official purpose of this new bureaucracy is to "recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests." The real purpose of this Orwellian nightmare is to cook the books on anything that challenges Washington's neoconservative pro-war narrative and to intimidate, harass or jail anyone who tries. As has already been demonstrated by President Trump's firing of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airbase, it is a recipe for a world war, and like it or not, that war has already begun.

This latest attack on Russia's supposed false narrative takes us right back to 1953 and the beginnings of the cultural war between East and West. Its roots are tied to the Congress for Cultural Freedom, to James Burnham's pivot from Trotsky's Fourth International to right-wing conservatism and to the rise of the neoconservative Machiavellians as a political force. As Burnham's " The Struggle for the World " stressed, the Third World War had already begun with the 1944 Communist-led Greek sailors' revolt.

In Burnham's Manichean thinking, the West was under siege. George Kennan's Cold War policy of containment was no different than Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. Détente with the Soviet Union amounted to surrender. Peace was only a disguise for war, and that war would be fought with politics, subversion, terrorism and psychological warfare. Soviet influence had to be rolled back wherever possible. That meant subverting the Soviet Union and its proxies and, when necessary, subverting Western democracies as well.

The true irony of today's late-stage efforts by Washington to monopolize "truth" and attack alternate narratives isn't just in its blatant contempt for genuine free speech. The real irony is that the entire "Freedom Manifesto" employed by the United States and Britain since World War II was never free at all, but a concoction of the CIA's Psychological Strategy Board 's (PSB) comprehensive psychological warfare program waged on friend and foe alike.

The CIA would come to view the entire program, beginning with the 1950 Berlin conference, to be a landmark in the Cold War, not just for solidifying the CIA's control over the non-Communist left and the West's "free" intellectuals, but for enabling the CIA to secretly disenfranchise Europeans and Americans from their own political culture in such a way they would never really know it.

As historian Christopher Lasch wrote in 1969 of the CIA's cooptation of the American left,

"The modern state is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful, demands the cooperation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists or state-censored time-servers but as 'free' intellectuals capable of policing their own jurisdictions and of enforcing acceptable standards of responsibility within the various intellectual professions."

Key to turning these "free" intellectuals against their own interests was the CIA's doctrinal program for Western cultural transformation contained in the document PSB D-33/2 . PSB D-33/2 foretells of a "long-term intellectual movement, to: break down world-wide doctrinaire thought patterns" while "creating confusion, doubt and loss of confidence" in order to "weaken objectively the intellectual appeal of neutralism and to predispose its adherents towards the spirit of the West." The goal was to "predispose local elites to the philosophy held by the planners," while employing local elites "would help to disguise the American origin of the effort so that it appears to be a native development."

While declaring itself as an antidote to Communist totalitarianism, one internal critic of the program, PSB officer Charles Burton Marshall, viewed PSB D-33/2 itself as frighteningly totalitarian, interposing "a wide doctrinal system" that "accepts uniformity as a substitute for diversity," embracing "all fields of human thought -- all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology." He concluded: "That is just about as totalitarian as one can get."

Burnham's Machiavellian elitism lurks in every shadow of the document. As recounted in Frances Stoner Saunder's "The Cultural Cold War," "Marshall also took issue with the PSB's reliance on 'non-rational social theories' which emphasized the role of an elite 'in the manner reminiscent of Pareto, Sorel, Mussolini and so on.' Weren't these the models used by James Burnham in his book the Machiavellians? Perhaps there was a copy usefully to hand when PSB D-33/2 was being drafted. More likely, James Burnham himself was usefully to hand."

Burnham was more than just at hand when it came to secretly implanting a fascist philosophy of extreme elitism into America's Cold War orthodoxy. With "The Machiavellians," Burnham had composed the manual that forged the old Trotskyist left together with a right-wing Anglo/American elite.

The political offspring of that volatile union would be called neoconservatism, whose overt mission would be to roll back Russian/Soviet influence everywhere. Its covert mission would be to reassert a British cultural dominance over the emerging Anglo/American Empire and maintain it through propaganda.

Hard at work on that task since 1946 was the secret Information Research Department of the British and Commonwealth Foreign Office known as the IRD.

Rarely spoken of in the context of CIA-funded secret operations, the IRD served as a covert anti-Communist propaganda unit from 1946 until 1977. According to Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, authors of " Britain's Secret Propaganda War ," "the vast IRD enterprise had one sole aim: To spread its ceaseless propaganda output (i.e. a mixture of outright lies and distorted facts) among top-ranking journalists who worked for major agencies and magazines, including Reuters and the BBC, as well as every other available channel. It worked abroad to discredit communist parties in Western Europe which might gain a share of power by entirely democratic means, and at home to discredit the British Left."

IRD was to become a self-fulfilling disinformation machine for the far-right wing of the international intelligence elite, at once offering fabricated and distorted information to "independent" news outlets and then using the laundered story as "proof" of the false story's validity. One such front enterprise established with CIA money was Forum World Features, operated at one time by Burnham acolyte Brian Rossiter Crozier . Described by Burnham's biographer Daniel Kelly as a "British political analyst," in reality, the legendary Brian Crozier functioned for over 50 years as one of Britain's top propagandists and secret agents .

If anyone today is shocked by the biased, one-sided, xenophobic rush to judgment alleging Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election, they need look no further than to Brian Crozier's closet for the blueprints. As we were told outright by an American military officer during the first war in Afghanistan in 1982, the U.S. didn't need "proof the Soviets used poison gas" and they don't need proof against Russia now. Crozier might best be described as a daydream believer, a dangerous imperialist who acts out his dreams with open eyes. From the beginning of the Cold War until his death in 2012, Crozier and his protégé Robert Moss propagandized on behalf of military dictators Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet, organized private intelligence organizations to destabilize governments in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa and worked to delegitimize politicians in Europe and Britain viewed as insufficiently anti-Communist.

The mandate of his Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) set up in 1970 was to expose the supposed KGB campaign of worldwide subversion and put out stories smearing anyone who questioned it as a dupe, a traitor or Communist spy. Crozier regarded "The Machiavellians" as a major formative influence in his own intellectual development, and wrote in 1976 "indeed it was this book above all others that first taught me how [emphasis Crozier] to think about politics." The key to Crozier's thinking was Burnham's distinction between the "formal" meaning of political speech and the "real," a concept which was, of course, grasped only by elites. In a 1976 article, Crozier marveled at how Burnham's understanding of politics had spanned 600 years and how the use of "the formal" to conceal "the real" was no different today than when used by Dante Alighieri's "presumably enlightened Medieval mind." "The point is as valid now as it was in ancient times and in the Florentine Middle Ages, or in 1943. Overwhelmingly, political writers and speakers still use Dante's method. Depending on the degree of obfuscation required (either by circumstances or the person's character), the divorce between formal and real meaning is more of less absolute."

But Crozier was more than just a strategic thinker. Crozier was a high-level covert political agent who put Burnham's talent for obfuscation and his Fourth International experience to use to undermine détente and set the stage for rolling back the Soviet Union.

In a secret meeting at a City of London bank in February 1977, he even patented a private-sector operational intelligence organization known at the Sixth International (6I) to pick up where Burnham left off: politicizing and privatizing many of the dirty tricks the CIA and other intelligence services could no longer be caught doing. As he explained in his memoir "Free Agent," the name 6I was chosen "because the Fourth International split. The Fourth International was the Trotskyist one, and when it split, this meant that, on paper, there were five Internationals. In the numbers game, we would constitute the Sixth International, or '6I.' "

Crozier's cooperation with numerous "able and diligent Congressional staffers" as well as "the remarkable General Vernon ('Dick') Walters, recently retired as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence," cemented the rise of the neoconservatives. When Carter caved in to the Team B and his neoconservative National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's plot to lure the Soviets into their own Vietnam in Afghanistan, it fulfilled Burnham's mission and delivered the world to the Machiavellians without anyone being the wiser.

As George Orwell wrote in his "Second Thoughts on James Burnham": "What Burnham is mainly concerned to show [in The Machiavellians] is that a democratic society has never existed and, so far as we can see, never will exist. Society is of its nature oligarchical, and the power of the oligarchy always rests upon force and fraud. Power can sometimes be won and maintained without violence, but never without fraud."

Today, Burnham's use of Dante's political treatise "De Monarchia" to explain his medieval understanding of politics might best be swapped for Dante's "Divine Comedy," a paranoid comedy of errors in which the door to Hell swings open to one and all, including the elites regardless of their status. Or as they say in Hell, " Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate ." Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

This poart 4 of the series. For previous parts see

  1. Part 1: American Imperialism Leads the World Into Dante's Vision of Hell
  2. Part 3: How the CIA Created a Fake Western Reality for 'Unconventional Warfare'

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of " Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story ," " Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire " and " The Voice ." Visit their websites at invisiblehistory.com and grailwerk.com .

[Apr 28, 2017] Former President Obama Has a New Job Control the Official Narrative of American Exceptionalism - Truthdig

Apr 28, 2017 | www.truthdig.com
The ruling class is seriously rattled over its loss of control over the national political narrative-a consequence of capitalism's terminal decay and U.S. imperialism's slipping grip on global hegemony. When the Lords of Capital get rattled, their servants in the political class are tasked with rearranging the picture and reframing the national conversation. In other words, Papa Imperialism needs a new set of lies, or renewed respect for the old ones. Former president Barack Obama, the cool operator who put the U.S. back on the multiple wars track after a forced lull in the wake of George Bush's defeat in Iraq, has eagerly accepted his new assignment as Esteemed Guardian of Official Lies.

At this stage of his career, Obama must dedicate much of his time to the maintenance of Official Lies, since they are central to his own "legacy." With the frenzied assistance of his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, Obama launched a massive military offensive-a rush job to put the New American Century back on schedule. Pivoting to all corners of the planet, and with the general aim of isolating and intimidating Russia and China, the salient feature of Obama's offensive was the naked deployment of Islamic jihadists as foot soldiers of U.S. imperialism in Libya and Syria. It is a strategy that is morally and politically indefensible-unspeakable!-the truth of which would shatter the prevailing order in the imperial heartland, itself.

Thus, from 2011 to when he left the White House for a Tahiti yachting vacation with music mogul David Geffen and assorted movie and media celebrities, Obama orchestrated what the late Saddam Hussein would have called "The Mother of All Lies": that the U.S. was not locked in an alliance with al-Qaida and its terrorist offshoots in Syria, a relationship begun almost 40 years earlier in Afghanistan.

Advertisement Square, Site wide He had all the help he needed from a compliant corporate media, whose loyalty to U.S. foreign policy can always be counted on in times of war. Since the U.S. is constantly in a (self-proclaimed) state of war, corporate media collaboration is guaranteed. Outside the U.S. and European corporate media bubble, the whole world was aware that al-Qaida and the U.S. were comrades in arms. (According to a 2015 poll, 82 percent of Syrians and 85 percent of Iraqis believe the U.S. created ISIS .) When Vladimir Putin told a session of the United Nations General Assembly that satellites showed lines of ISIS tankers stretching from captured Syrian oil fields "to the horizon," bound for U.S.-allied Turkey, yet untouched by American bombers, the Obama administration had no retort. Russian jets destroyed 1,000 of the tankers , forcing the Americans to mount their own, smaller raids. But, the moment soon passed into the corporate media's amnesia hole-another fact that must be shed in order to avoid unspeakable conclusions.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's flirtation with the idea of ending U.S. "regime change" policy in Syria-and, thereby, scuttling the alliance with Islamic jihadists-struck panic in the ruling class and in the imperial political structures that are called the Deep State, which includes the corporate media. When Trump won the general election, the imperial political class went into meltdown, blaming "The Russians"-first, for warlord Hillary Clinton's loss, and soon later for everything under the sun. The latest lie is that Moscow is sending weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the country where the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan spent billions of dollars to create the international jihadist network. Which shows that imperialists have no sense of irony, or shame. (See BAR: " The U.S., Not Russia, Arms Jihadists Worldwide .")

After the election, lame duck President Obama was so consumed by the need to expunge all narratives that ran counter to "The Russians Did It," he twice yammered about " fake news " at a press conference in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama was upset, he said, "Because in an age where there's so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television. If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won't know what to protect."

Although now an ex-president, it is still Obama's job to protect the ruling class, and the Empire, and his role in maintaining the Empire: his legacy. To do that, one must control the narrative-the subject uppermost in his mind when he used Chicago area students as props, this week, for his first public speech since leaving the White House.

"It used to be that everybody kind of had the same information," said Obama, at the University of Chicago affair. "We had different opinions about it, but there was a common base line of facts. The internet has in some ways accelerated this sense of people having entirely separate conversations, and this generation is getting its information through its phones. That you really don't have to confront people who have different opinions or have a different experience or a different outlook."

Obama continued:

"If you're liberal, you're on MSNBC, or conservative, you're on Fox News. You're reading The Wall Street Journal or you're reading The New York Times, or whatever your choices are. Or, maybe you're just looking at cat videos [laughter].

"So, one question I have for all of you is, How do you guys get your information about the news and what's happening out there, and are there ways in which you think we could do a better job of creating a common conversation now that you've got 600 cable stations and you've got all these different news opinions-and, if there are two sets of opinions, then they're just yelling at each other, so you don't get a sense that there's an actual conversation going on. And the internet is worse. It's become more polarized."

Obama's core concern is that there should be a "common base line of facts," which he claims used to exist "20 or 30 years ago." The internet, unregulated and cheaply accessed, is the villain, and the main source of "fake news" (from publications like BAR and the 12 other leftwing sites smeared by the Washington Post, back in November, not long after Obama complained to Merkel about "fake news").

However, Obama tries to dress up his anti-internet "fake news" whine with a phony pitch for diversity of opinions. Is he suggesting that MSNBC viewers also watch Fox News, and that New York Times readers also peruse the Wall Street Journal? Is he saying that most people read a variety of daily newspapers "back in the day"? It is true that, generations ago, there were far more newspapers available to read, reflecting a somewhat wider ideological range of views. But most people read the ones that were closest to their own politics, just as now. Obama is playing his usual game of diversion. Non-corporate news is his target: "...the internet is worse. It's become more and more polarized."

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and Fox News all share the "common base line of facts" that Obama cherishes. By this, he means a common narrative, with American "exceptionalism" and intrinsic goodness at the center, capitalism and democracy as synonymous, and unity in opposition to the "common" enemy: Soviet Russians; then terrorists; now non-Soviet Russians, again.

Ayanna Watkins, a senior at Chicago's Kenwood Academy High School, clearly understood Obama's emphasis, and eagerly agreed with his thrust. "When it comes to getting information about what's going on in the world, it's way faster on social media than it is on newscasts," she said.

"But, on the other hand, it can be a downfall because, what if you're passing the wrong information, or the information isn't presented the way it should be? So, that causes a clash in our generation, and I think it should go back to the old school. I mean, phones, social media should be eliminated," Ms. Watkins blurted out, provoking laughter from the audience and causing the 18-year-old to "rephrase myself."

What she really meant, she said, was that politicians should "go out to the community" so that "the community will feel more welcome."

If she was trying to agree with Obama, Ms. Watkins had it right the first time: political counter-narratives on the internet have to go, so that Americans can share a "common base line" of information. All of it lies.

Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

[Apr 27, 2017] Yes, Minister was a neoliberal attack on government as such. It set the "entrepreneurial" political hero/leader against the corrupt "civil service"

Apr 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Chris , April 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Years ago, while working in an Australian state public service department, we considered 'Yes Minister' to be a documentary, and used it amongst ourselves as training material.

Lambert Strether Post author , April 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

My favorite episode is "Jobs for the Boys." My favorite line: "Great courage of course. But whatever possessed you?"

(Messing about with the VPN to get the full page )

RUKidding , April 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Indeed. I have used it as such, myself! Not snark.

A most excellent book and series. Should be required viewing.

witters , April 27, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Yes, Minister was a neoliberal attack on government as such. It set the "entrepreneurial" political hero/leader against the corrupt "civil service". It made the latter the "deep state", thereby tainting forever the welfare state as an evil hidden conspiracy that (mysteriously) pandered to the meritocratically worthless. If that is what you mean by "Deep State" then you can have it.

Huey Long , April 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

It is now known that a perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse . [P]erfection of planning is a symptom of decay. During a period of exciting discovery or progress there is no time to plan the perfect headquarters. The time for that comes later, when all the important work has been done. Perfection, we know, is finality; and finality is death.

Following this line of reasoning, it seems to me that the US military establishment has been in decline ever since the Pentagon was built and the temporary Navy Dept. buildings erected on the National Mall were razed. Being that the Pentagon opened in 1943 and the buildings on the Mall were razed in 1970, which roughly coincides with our costly imperial adventures in Korea and Vietnam, I think Parkinson's Law #6 is dead on here.

[Apr 27, 2017] what is a good defition fo deep state ?

Apr 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Chibboleth , April 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm

If you want a good definition / description of the Deep State you just have to watch the old Thatcher-era BBC comedy Yes, Minister – the whole show is more or less entirely about friction between elected representatives and the UK Deep State.

Short, short version: the Deep State is the set of people (government officials, mostly) who wield some amount of power but whose positions are not affected by election results. Nothing particularly secret about it.

justanotherprogressive , April 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

As a former government employee, I'm trying to figure out who "the set of people (government officials, mostly) who wield some amount of power but whose positions are not affected by election results" are. I hear about them all the time, particularly on right wing blogs, but I've never actually seen one

The power in a government agency is held by political appointees ("politicos" in guvspeak) and those political appointees are the only ones that speak for or direct the agency. And they change every time there is a change in the Presidency. Most agencies have more than one political appointee. My last job was with a small agency (less than two hundred employees) that had five. If a senior staff member is not immediately in line with the politicos' policies, that person is removed (demoted, sidelined, or transferred to another agency). Those governmental employees that stay year after year (the "weebees") just do the work, they have no power, and they definitely cannot make any decisions for the agency.

Vatch , April 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm

In some government agencies, the high ranking career employees seem to be rather good at manipulating the political appointees. This does not apply to all agencies; the primary examples are in the military, intelligence, financial, and justice realms. Unsurprisingly, these are the agencies that are the heaviest users of secrecy. There's also a lot of cross pollination between portions of the private sector (completely unelected, of course), and the murky deep state. Some of this involves the "revolving door", but some is just shadowy cooperation, such as we see among the NSA and various giants in telecommunications and Silicon Valley, or among Wall Street, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Reserve. The public does not elect those people.

justanotherprogressive , April 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

I don't think there is much "manipulation" needed. After all the politicos come from the lobby/contractor/donor class, whether they be Democrat or Republican and they are already unwilling to change anything that they perceive as giving them power and control ..

But I guess it is easier to believe in a "Deep State" than realize that those shiny new politicians we just elected really do not want to change anything

Vatch , April 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Some of us believe that there is both a deep state and that there are elected politicians who wish to preserve the status quo.

likbez , April 27, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

When weI say "deep state" we typically understand this term as "intelligence agencies"; we say "intelligence agencies" and mean "deep state".

From Wikispooks ( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Deep_state ):

"The phrase "deep state" derives from the Turkish "derin devlet", which emerged after the 1996 Susurluk incident so dramatically unmasked the Turkish deep state. It has experienced a surge of use in 2017, though often not in keeping with the meaning attributed by the diplomat who coined the phrase.

As powerful and self-interest groups ( probably even more dominated by psychopaths and sociopaths than other large hierarchies ), deep states seek to frustrate radical and progressive change, so as to preserve their own power, and that of the establishment in general. In contrast to overtly authoritarian rule, deep states must operate more or less secretly, like terrorist groups, so preserving secrecy is a high priority. Control of the commercially-controlled media is essential to the effective preservation of secrecy need for the deep state to work effectively. In the US this is effected through deep state control of the CIA. With the apparatus of nation states under their control, their subterfuges can be elaborate and complex. The deep states of the world have a natural common interest in hiding their existence, which predisposes them to mutual assistance. As a Turkish cartoon put it in 1997 "Deep state protects its own."[5] "

I think the term "deep state" is closely connected with the notion of "national security state" and by extension with the term "military industrial complex". And the core of deep state are always intelligence agencies which tend to escape the control of the governments and in turn attempt to control the government that should control them. There are certain requirement for such agencies that very few agencies outside intelligence agencies meet.

1. Institualized ability to collect dirt of politicians, or access to such information collected by other agencies.

2. The veil of secrecy over the actions and funding. Access to some "non-controlled" or "semi-controlled" funding for "special operations" and "actions"

3. Set of people trained for conducting covert operations, especially false flag operations.

4. Experience with covert operations abroad that can be transferred to the "home territory" in case of necessity. Peter Dale Scott refers in a recent essay to "A Supranational Deep State", noting how their international integration effectively allows intelligence agencies to evade even the limited control national governments had on them in the first half of the 20th century.

5. Infiltrated, or at lease "influencable" on the level of "useful contacts" with publishers and top journalists media. Deep state generally controls corporate media as Church commission established long ago.

Any agency that meets whose three criteria is "by definition" belongs to deep state. That means that outside Pentagon and three letter agencies only State Department (which now performs a part of functions of CIA as for color revolutions preparation) and Energy Department can qualify.

hunkerdown , April 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Try Charles Hugh Smith 's working definition:

The Deep State is fundamentally the public-private centralized nodes that collect, archive and curate dominant narratives and their supporting evidence, and disseminate these narratives (and their implicit teleologies) to the public via the media and to the state agencies via formal and informal inter-departmental communication channels.

In other words, the people who, in the public mind, define and legitimize (or delegitimize) the agenda and the members and objectives of the ideal power structure you describe, which, contrary to almost any anecdotal observation of office politics in general, seems to contain no dotted lines, no stovepipes, perfect subordination, no split allegiances or conflicting interests, and no other indirect pressures from within or without. Sounds more liberal than progressive, tbh.

eD , April 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

The bureaucrats that run America are employees of corporations and contractors.

Chris , April 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Years ago, while working in an Australian state public service department, we considered 'Yes Minister' to be a documentary, and used it amongst ourselves as training material.

Lambert Strether Post author , April 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

My favorite episode is "Jobs for the Boys." My favorite line: "Great courage of course. But whatever possessed you?"

[Mar 28, 2017] Foundation - Fall Of The American Galactic Empire Zero Hedge

Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Mar 27, 2017 10:40 PM Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity-a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

I read Isaac Asimov's renowned award winning science fiction trilogy four decades ago as a teenager. I read them because I liked science fiction novels, not because I was trying to understand the correlation to the fall of the Roman Empire. The books that came to be called the Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) were not written as novels; they're the collected Foundation stories Asimov wrote between 1941 and 1950. He wrote these stories during the final stages of our last Fourth Turning Crisis and the beginning stages of the next High. This was the same time frame in which Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Orwell wrote 1984 . This was not a coincidence.

The tone of foreboding, danger, dread, and impending doom, along with unending warfare, propels all of these novels because they were all written during the bloodiest and most perilous portion of the last Fourth Turning . As the linear thinking establishment continues to be blindsided by the continued deterioration of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions in the world, we have entered the most treacherous phase of our present Fourth Turning .

That ominous mood engulfing the world is not a new dynamic, but a cyclical event arriving every 80 or so years. Eight decades ago the world was on the verge of a world war which would kill 65 million people. Eight decades prior to 1937 the country was on the verge of a Civil War which would kill almost 5% of the male population. Eight decades prior to 1857 the American Revolution had just begun and would last six more bloody years. None of this is a coincidence. The generational configuration repeats itself every eighty years, driving the mood change which leads to revolutionary change and the destruction of the existing social order.

Isaac Asimov certainly didn't foresee his Foundation stories representing the decline of an American Empire that didn't yet exist. The work that inspired Asimov was Edward Gibbon's multi-volume series, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , published between 1776 and 1789. Gibbon saw Rome's fall not as a consequence of specific, dramatic events, but as the result of the gradual decline of civic virtue, monetary debasement and rise of Christianity, which made the Romans less vested in worldly affairs.

Gibbon's tome reflects the same generational theory espoused by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning . Gibbon's conclusion was human nature never changes, and mankind's penchant for division, amplified by environmental and cultural differences, is what governs the cyclical nature of history. Gibbon constructs a narrative spanning centuries as events unfold and emperors' successes and failures occur within the context of a relentless decline of empire. The specific events and behaviors of individual emperors were inconsequential within the larger framework and pattern of historical decline. History plods relentlessly onward, driven by the law of large numbers.

Asimov described his inspiration for the novels:

"I wanted to consider essentially the science of psychohistory, something I made up myself. It was, in a sense, the struggle between free will and determinism. On the other hand, I wanted to do a story on the analogy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but on the much larger scale of the galaxy. To do that, I took over the aura of the Roman Empire and wrote it very large. The social system, then, is very much like the Roman imperial system, but that was just my skeleton.

It seemed to me that if we did have a galactic empire, there would be so many human beings-quintillions of them-that perhaps you might be able to predict very accurately how societies would behave, even though you couldn't predict how individuals composing those societies would behave. So, against the background of the Roman Empire written large, I invented the science of psychohistory. Throughout the entire trilogy, then, there are the opposing forces of individual desire and that dead hand of social inevitability."

Is History Pre-Determined?

"Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration – a stagnation!" – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

The Foundation trilogy opens on Trantor, the capital of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire. Though the empire appears stable and powerful, it is slowly decaying in ways that parallel the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychologist, has developed psychohistory, a new field of science that equates all possibilities in large societies to mathematics, allowing for the prediction of future events.

Psychohistory is a blend of crowd psychology and high-level math. An able psychohistorian can predict the long-term aggregate behavior of billions of people many years in the future. However, it only works with large groups. Psychohistory is almost useless for predicting the behavior of an individual. Also, it's no good if the group being analyzed is aware it's being analyzed - because if it's aware, the group changes its behavior.

Using psychohistory, Seldon has discovered the declining nature of the Empire, angering the aristocratic rulers of the Empire. The rulers consider Seldon's views and statements treasonous, and he is arrested. Seldon is tried by the state and defends his beliefs, explaining his theory the Empire will collapse in 300 years and enter a 30,000-year dark age.

He informs the rulers an alternative to this future is attainable, and explains to them generating an anthology of all human knowledge, the Encyclopedia Galactica, would not avert the inevitable fall of the Empire but would reduce the Dark Age to "only" 1,000 years.

The fearful state apparatchiks offer him exile to a remote world, Terminus, with other academic intellectuals who could help him create the Encyclopedia. He accepts their offer, and sets in motion his plan to set up two Foundations, one at either end of the galaxy, to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humanity and thereby shorten the Dark Age, once the Empire collapses. Seldon created the Foundation, knowing it would eventually be seen as a threat to rulers of the Empire, provoking an eventual attack. That is why he created a Second Foundation, unknown to the ruling class.

Asimov's psychohistory concept, based on the predictability of human actions in large numbers, has similarities to Strauss & Howe's generational theory. His theory didn't pretend to predict the actions of individuals, but formulated definite laws developed by mathematical analysis to predict the mass action of human groups. His novel explores the centuries old debate of whether human history proceeds in a predictable fashion, with individuals incapable of changing its course, or whether individuals can alter its progression.

The cyclical nature of history, driven by generational cohorts numbering tens of millions, has been documented over centuries by Strauss & Howe in their 1997 opus The Fourth Turning . Human beings in large numbers react in a herd-like predictable manner. I know that is disappointing to all the linear thinking individualists who erroneously believe one person can change the world and course of history.

The cyclical crisis's that occur every eighty years matches up with how every Foundation story centers on what is called a Seldon crisis, the conjunction of seemingly insoluble external and internal difficulties. The crises were all predicted by Seldon, who appears near the end of each story as a hologram to confirm the Foundation has traversed the latest one correctly.

The "Seldon Crises" take on two forms. Either events unfold in such a way there is only one clear path to take, or the forces of history conspire to determine the outcome. But, the common feature is free will doesn't matter. The heroes and adversaries believe their choices will make a difference when, in fact, the future is already written. This is a controversial viewpoint which angers many people because they feel it robs them of their individuality.

Most people don't want to be lumped together in an amalgamation of other humans because they believe admitting so would strip them of their sense of free will. Their delicate sensibilities are bruised by the unequivocal fact their individual actions are virtually meaningless to the direction of history. But, the madness of crowds can dramatically impact antiquity.

"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Many people argue the dynamic advancements in technology and science have changed the world in such a way to alter human nature in a positive way, thereby resulting in humans acting in a more rational manner. This alteration would result in a level of human progress not experienced previously. The falsity of this technological theory is borne out by the continuation of war, government corruption, greed, belief in economic fallacies, civic decay, cultural degradation, and global disorder sweeping across the world. Humanity is incapable of change. The same weaknesses and self- destructive traits which have plagued them throughout history are as prevalent today as they ever were.

Asimov's solution to the failure of humanity to change was to create an academic oriented benevolent ruling class who could save the human race from destroying itself. He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

In Part Two of this article I will compare and contrast Donald Trump's rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov's masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order.

Beam Me Up Scotty -> BaBaBouy , Mar 27, 2017 10:56 PM

" He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions."

The masses aren't the ones begging to start all of these wars. They are the ones TRYING to make a few good decisions. The Shadow Government and Deep State however, are hell bent on getting us all killed. Who exactly is the problem here??

LetThemEatRand , Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM

Asimov was a good writer and created some great fiction. That's as far as it goes.

Huxle LetThemEatRand •Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM y is the one who predicted the current state of affairs. Orwell gets honorable mention. You could also throw in some biblical passages for the mark of the beast, though the best part was clearly written about Nero.

biker Mar 27, 2017 11:06 PM
Of course its better to watch them eat themselves
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/rewriting-the-rules...

[Mar 25, 2017] Theyre Like The Praetorian Guard - Whistleblower Confirms NSA Targeted Congress, The Supreme Court, Trump Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "They're taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind," Binney said. ..."
"... "That's the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens," he said. "Everything we're doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it." ..."
"... "I mean, that's just East German," Tucker responded. ..."
"... Rather than help prevent terrorist attacks, Binney said collecting so much information actually makes stopping attacks more difficult. ..."
"... "This bulk acquisition is inhibiting their ability to detect terrorist threats in advance so they can't stop them so people get killed as a result," he said. ..."
"... "Which means, you know, they pick up the pieces and blood after the attack. That's what's been going on. I mean they've consistently failed. When Alexander said they'd stop 54 attacks and he was challenged to produce the evidence to prove that he failed on every count." ..."
"... Binney concludes ominously indicating the origin of the deep state... "They are like the praetorian guard, they determine what the emperor does and who the emperor is..." ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Chris Menahan via InformationLiberation.com,

NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the NSA is spying on "all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House."

Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.

"They're taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind," Binney said.

"That's the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens," he said. "Everything we're doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lkChOSdOgcc

"Inside NSA there are a set of people who are -- and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this -- they're inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House," Binney said.

"And all this data is inside the NSA in a small group where they're looking at it. The idea is to see what people in power over you are going to -- what they think, what they think you should be doing or planning to do to you, your budget, or whatever so you can try to counteract before it actually happens," he said.

"I mean, that's just East German," Tucker responded.

Rather than help prevent terrorist attacks, Binney said collecting so much information actually makes stopping attacks more difficult.

"This bulk acquisition is inhibiting their ability to detect terrorist threats in advance so they can't stop them so people get killed as a result," he said.

"Which means, you know, they pick up the pieces and blood after the attack. That's what's been going on. I mean they've consistently failed. When Alexander said they'd stop 54 attacks and he was challenged to produce the evidence to prove that he