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Chickenhawk, rabid neocon Fiona Hill as Nuland 2.0

Neocons make their living off threat inflation and this isn't cheap cynicism. It is simply a fact. And Fiona Hill is a shining example here -- she is a member of Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council and other MIC lobbing organization that promote Cold War 2 and neoliberal globalization. Why we should believe any of these chickenhawks? They has been proven liars so many times  that they deserver the rotten tomatoes to be thrown at them on any of their public appearances.  But again money do not smell: unless neocon start facing very real and very personal (e.g. financial)  consequences, nothing will change.

News NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensure militarization of the USA foreign policy Recommended Links Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga
New American Militarism Blob attackes Trum: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) Civil war in Ukraine The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Nulandgate
Zelensky presidency as Saakashvilli 2.0 Poroshenko presidency Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Alexander Vindman Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Brennan elections machinations Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Strzokgate Steele dossier Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate FBI contractor Fusion GPS Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Color revolutions Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations
US and British media are servants of security apparatus MSM as fake news industry Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy
  What they're doing is, as Mr. Barr said, trying to tear down the institutions of this country. They're not the loyal opposition, they are an infestation of globalists who want to deny nationality  to the United States and blend us in with the rest of the world," he contends.

CBN.com

Former National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill was supposed to appear as a principled and dignified heroine. Instead, her virulent hate, ignorance and contempt for Russia were apparent to all. And she looked uncannily identical to the late Alan Rickman playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

Martin Sieff  (The Strategic Culture Foundation)

While despicable liars in most areas, neocons probably are sincere in some sense -- they were attracted to a career where they could make a decent living by hyping threats. Ukraine, or Syria...or...or... . Threat inflation is the motto of their miserable lives as despicable MIC lobbyists, "merchants of death".  After all money do not smell.

The list of threat from Russia is endless but, you understand of course that regular voters can't decide whether those threat are real or fake and just designed to increase the well-being of MIC and its lobbyists like Fiona Hill. Instead, we're told to buy into the whole "make the world safe for democracy" shtick promoted by those intellectual prostitutes (for a very good money).  The MIC needs a Big Enemy in order to justify its gargantuan budgets. The MIC needs a Big Enemy in order to justify its gargantuan budgets. Antagonizing Russia is a cynical ploy. It works but it entails tremendous risks:

kouroi 3 days ago The Russians, from Putin down have spelled it out. There will be no other war on Russian territory ever again. The moment Russia is attacked, nukes will be launched in retaliation to the source of original attack and to the places where decision to attack Russia were taken. Simple as that. Basically, you attack us, WWIII is here, and we go to heaven, we, Russians. You guys go to Hell! Putin's words. As Americans say: "Read my lips!"

At a recent Federalist Society dinner, William Barr pointed out that the "avalanche of subpoenas" and constant attempts to derail Trump administration appointments are parts of the efforts to paralyze Trump administration. While he avoided calling what is happening in Washington a political coup, that does not mean that the slow motion coup is not in process. And Fiona Hill is the part of the "resistance", the company of insurrection and sabotage by entrenched in various agencies (and first of all in CIA and the State Department) neoliberal deep staters  against Trump administration.  Referring to the the term "resistance", Barr said that now that term 'resistance' is redefined the synonym for the  insurgency against the legitimate government, instead of being insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously implies that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous and, indeed, is a new form of seduction (CBN.com):

Appearing on this week's episode of the Global Lane, former CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer says he believes an American insurrection is now underway.

"The federal government, at least the executive branch, is being denied the ability to execute its responsibilities, whether it's here in Washington, or in places like Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco where, under the supremacy clause, Washington is very clearly responsible for immigration. There's much more disruption and much more insurrection in this country than Lincoln faced until the Confederates fired at Ft. Sumter. It's staggering to be in this position 160 years later," Scheuer said.

Scheuer also says there's clear ignorance about the Constitution on behalf of Congress. "When the Constitution says 'bribery', the Founders were talking about the President accepting bribes," not the president making a quid pro quo in exchange for foreign aid, he argues.

Scheuer says the bottom line is there's a deeper agenda at work here.

Fiona Hill belong to the neocon forces which brought the USA into Iraq war. As such she a despicable human being, and should be ineligible for any government position. 

She is incompetent

Fiona Hill is really incompetent in the areas she supposedly should cover in NSC. It is clear from that fact that she can't write a decent book.  She just has nothing to say and is able only to repeat neocon  propaganda cliché. I wonder if her books were sponsored by MI6, which has a history of sponsoring literary activities. To allow such a rabid propagandist, essentially a ruthless female careerist without any principles or morale (she voluntarily became a part of the plot to depose the legitimately elected President),  to influence US foreign policy is like allowing children to play with matches.  Some people call such neocons "Vichy left".  Here is one comment  from a respected  economistsview blog (Oct 24, 2016):

likbez -> Sandwichman ...

"I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations."

Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned.

Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class".

Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch".

You can't take the writer who writes "“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions. It is beyond dispute. " It is clear that his is not a researcher but a cheap propagandist.  Or take this quote from the book

“being torn apart by Russia. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career Foreign Service is being undermined....Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2016 election. We are running out of time to stop them.”

This is another "give me your money poor Pinokio" dirty trick that neocon use to secure their own and their extended families wellbeing, while fleecing common  Americans. Rephrasing Samuel Johnson famous quote we can say MIC lobbyism is the last refuge of scoundrels.  they try to wrap themselves in the flag  put a smokescreen of their dirty and self-serving dealings. In other words they can be viewed as  enemies of the USA as a country and as a nation.  Or at least parasites.

Here are some Amazon reviews of his book (the book is much weaker that  even those negative reviews suggest; it is really junk and does not worth even one cent; they need to pay you to browse it):

karenann , August 8, 2015

A deeply biased book

Hill and Gaddy are pretty good scholars. They do a good job of providing a psychological profile of Vladimir Putin and the way he operates in the Kremlin. But they have their limitations. One of the more annoying aspects of the book is that the authors return again and again both to Putin's graduate thesis on an American management book and his 1999 manifesto on his millennial goals for Russia. A better set of writers would have covered both subjects in one section and then moved on. But Hill and Gaddy sprinkle references to these documents about five times each throughout the book, which leads me to suspect that they are padding what would otherwise be a much shorter book.

As I was reading, I felt that there was a strong bias against Putin and Russia by the authors, but I couldn't quite pinpoint their slant until the last sentence, which is a doozy:

"The onus will now be on the West to shore up its own home defenses, reduce the economic and political vulnerabilities, and create its own contingency plans if it wants to counter Vladimir Putin's new twenty-first century warfare."

For anyone who is a Russian scholar, this is proof that the authors get Russia very wrong. They reveal themselves to be in the neocon camp of hawks who want to reactivate a new Cold War very badly. And in their analysis, they ignore the fact that Russia as a country is in fact deeply defensive country far more concerned with its internal boundaries and control than some aggressive Soviet power after World War II.

To be sure, Mr. Putin is no choir boy. Interestingly enough, the authors do not fully investigate the potentially criminal behavior that Putin performed with Russia's war on Chechnya. Hill and Gaddy could have strengthened their case if they had included some deeper analysis of Putin's behavior on this troublesome part of the Russian Empire. But instead they were intent on plowing their own rut, which while somewhat interesting -- ultimately becomes a little bit too pedantic.

I am reminded of some books in the 1950s that were secretly backed by the CIA, and this book certainly feels like it has the same flavor. Hill and Gaddy totally ignore Russian scholars like Stephen Cohen in his analysis of the Russian situation, which is totally the opposite of mainstream thinking unfortunately these days.

But in ignoring what Cohen has to say, the predominant attitude of the American and European foreign policy establishment is in lock step with Hill and Gaddy, which is why the book has been so heavily publicized.

The neocon vision of what's wrong with Russia is so biased that it also ignores the writings of such foreign policy figures as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Briezinski, former US Secretarys of State, both of whom are much more closer in their visions of Russia to Cohen than they are to Hill and Gaddy.

Yes, this book is all about sticking to the Rooskies, unfortunately. And the hidden motivator are all of the defense contracts that NATO can suck up, as well as all the bankers' books in reaming the Ukrainian economy as badly as they've reamed Greece. But the authors never tell you that this is their motivation, until the last paragraph.

Ultimately, this is an unsatisfying work.

corkpuller , July 22, 2018
Unprofessional writing, a high school level polemic, sad to say

Unprofessional writing, a profound disappointment. Reads like a high school essay - one that repeats a single thought over and over, even re-using the same phrases - than a proper biography. The content feels like it has been skimmed only from public sources. There is no sign of insight among the authors, nor even a curiosity as to what makes this important figure unique. One wonders where the interests lie in those who wrote laudative reviews. I am sad to say that this book is nothing more than a polemic, and moreover one that is repetitive and boring.

R. L. Huff , April 23, 2015
OK but blinkered

- look at Vladimir Putin and Mr. Putin's Russia. The book is based on intensive research and interviews with Putin, but I find it skewed by the Western biases it brings to the table. Yet it's not a demonization, as is so much of the Western Putin literature. It gives him credit for standing by the multi-racial and cultural realities of post-Soviet Russia. Compared to the real hardcore nationalists, Putin in fact has come across as a domestic liberal. The rising tide of Russian arch-nationalism, however, has taken its toll. Authors Hill and Gaddy correctly assess Putin's playing the nationalist card as a political manouver to keep one step ahead of his opponents - most of whom are not pro-Western liberal dissidents by any means. Courting the Russian Orthodox Church in recent years was one such strategy.

Yet the authors see only politics in Mr. Putin's tactics, and play down the West's own role in making him an antagonist. They take him to task for painting the Ukrainian insurrection of 2014 as a "fascist coup," and for denouncing Ukrainian nationalist partisan Stepan Bandera as a Nazi collaborator. Bandera and Hitler may have never met, but this was not necessary for the arming and use of Bandera's OUN to commit atrocities and war crimes on then-Soviet territory. Contrary to the authors' whitewash, Bandera's later persecution by Nazis consisted of special treatment in German camps, held on ice for postwar use. Of relevance is that the "regime change" of 2014 was largely the work of west Ukrainians - the backbone of the OUN movement and the very folks who today make Bandera a national hero. When he paints west Ukraine as again collaborating with Russia's enemy, Putin stands on solid historical ground. The West continues destabilizing actions all the while it blames Putin for the same.

The authors also lecture us on Putin's inability to grasp "Western values" as the root of his refusal to take the West on its own terms; on "how little Putin understands about us - our motives, our mentality, and, also, our values" (p.385) I rather think Putin grasps these "motives, mentality, and values" very well, as they seem inseparable from European economic hegemony and NATO expansion. His managed democracy comes off looking rather clean cut compared to US politics following the Citizens United ruling, where American oligarch David Koch engineered a fundamental change for the worse via the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Putin has indeed been repeatedly "rebuffed" by the West for proposing anything that makes Russia a leading equal in its sphere. This shows not limited contacts with the West, but rather ongoing and painful ones.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking but tragically familiar. It's rather the West's (and the authors') failure to grasp regional history, and Putin's actions based on it, that fuel the "misunderstanding." Ukraine, for instance, had strong nationalist animosity toward the "Moskali" long before the 1930s holodomor/famine. Crimea was not transferred to Ukraine out of any degree of recognition of said suffering, as the authors allege on p. 367; but as part of a geo-political maneuver to Russify east Ukraine with more "loyal" ethnic Russians, exactly as in the Baltic states.

His aggressive handling of terrorists within Chechnya is "decried" by the West, the authors note. Yet within a decade the US and its NATO partners would be pursuing an aggressive course in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen that make Russia look the provincial amateur. Putin in fact is *not* trying to recreate the USSR, as so often charged by Western pundits with an axe to grind, nor even the old Russian empire. His strategic thinking is dominated by security rationales. A wider invasive course would only threaten Russian security. At all times he sees his actions as defensive responses. If this is self-serving, it only puts him in good company: recall the American angst over the "dissident" Dixie Chicks; the livid anger over Edward Snowden.

In truth, Vladimir Putin is the Russian Ronald Reagan, bidding his citizens to "stand tall" against enemies from without and within working against the homeland. His stance on Ukraine, arming its "contras" in a border war against an enemy "satellite regime", may make him look the intolerant war jingo; but thus did Ronald Reagan appear outside the US. Ironically it's Reagan partisans who don't grasp

WooDog , November 22, 2019
PROPOGANDA , CIA DRIVEL,

A poorly written smear that would make McCarthy blush. Recycled fear for the gullible citizens so desperately uneducated and unread. The Military Industrial Corporatists will pass it around as Bible

Kindle Customer , April 28, 2017
The motto of the respected authors is "Russia is devil, West are angels". Conclusions made in the book are easy to predict.

The book gives advices what the US officials should say about Russia to advocate their (US's) dishonest and aggressive policy. See examples of such policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lybia.

Alexey Tuzikov , July 16, 2017
poor

The book has absolutely no connection to reality. The authors use their sick propaganda fantasies to maintain oppression of Russia.

X. Z. , August 8, 2015
"Putin is a thug and we are great! "

More facts than your usual MSM, but along the same line: "Putin is a thug and we are great!"

Why a former ambassador to Ukraine can't be selected for this role and this  superficial warmonger, a run of mill Cold War propagandist was given this position is a puzzle to me. While I do not like Yovanovich, who is yet another neocon, she is preferable to Fiona Hill any time.  She really has a real exposure to the country which she need to cover, she worked with the political elite of the country, and speaks the language. The only valid argument again her is the she belongs to the emigrant community, which tried to inject their set of prejudges and ancient hatred into the USA foreign policy (but the same is true for Fiona Hill which brought with her typical Russophobia of the GB establishment). Add to her Russophobia her close connections to Soros (who by all measures is a financial criminal, who practice disaster capitalism in the countries on xUSSR) and that appointment was clearly a huge blunder by Trump (General Flynn blunder to be exact, which characterize him in a very bad fashion). 

Those sinister forces were well covered in the book The Transparent Cabal The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Inter

Paul Sheldon Foote , January 26, 2010
The Neoconservative Cult and the Fragility of American Democracy

On January 27, 2005, [...] posted the remarks of Seymour Hersh (The New Yorker contributor) at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York that a neoconservative cult had taken over the American government. Hersh hoped that future historians would document the fragility of American democracy by explaining how eight or nine neoconservatives were able to overcome easily the bureaucracy, the Congress, and the press. Stephen Sniegoski, in The Transparent Cabal, has provided a detailed history of how the neoconservative cult achieved the takeover.

Other books have stressed how the neoconservative ideology is contrary to traditional American values: Reclaiming the American Right (Justin Raimondo), America the Virtuous (Claes Ryn), Where the Right Went Wrong (Patrick Buchanan).

"Memoirs of a Trotskyist" in Neo-conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (Irving Kristol) provided a neoconservative account of the origins of neo-conservatism. Sniegoski noted correctly that the term neoconservative originated with leftists critical of their former comrades for attempting to infiltrate the Democratic and Republican parties. Thanks to leftists who call neoconservatives the ultra-right and to conservative dupes who think that anyone using a conservative label is a conservative, the neoconservative cancer has spread through the fragile American political body.

The neoconservatives do not represent the only case in American history of a small group attempting to take over America. The Plot to Seize the White House (Jules Archer) provided a detailed account of General Smedley Butler's testimony to Congress about a secret plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler, a Republican, authored War is a Racket.

Unlike earlier secret plots to take over the American government, Sniegoski explained how it was possible for the neoconservatives to operate as a relatively transparent cabal. However, he observed that the neoconservatives used a Trojan horse technique to take over the American conservative movement. The goal of the neoconservatives is to promote endless wars regardless of whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power.

The neoconservatives do not represent a popular mass movement in America. Instead, the neoconservatives rely upon the co-operation of other groups. Sniegoski provided extensive documentation of which groups enabled the neoconservatives. For example, the Christian Zionists duped their followers into sacrificing money and soldiers. Zionism originated with the writings of Moses Hess (who helped Karl Marx write The Communist Manifesto, was nicknamed the Communist Rabbi, and who is buried in Israel). In 1862, Moses Hess published Rome and Jerusalem. Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism (Shlomo Avineri) provided a detailed explanation of the relationship between Communism and Zionism.

The reason for the fragility of American democracy is the failure of many Americans to understand the most basic aspects of the American political system and of their religions.

The Transparent Cabal is an important starting point for understanding how a neoconservative cult opposed to traditional American political and religious values is able to destroy America with endless wars.

As strange as it sounds Fiona Hill was a Trump appointee to NSC, the person selected by General Flynn to conduct Trump policies. Which does not shed a favorable light on Flynn. And the person she replaced was nobody else then a potential whistleblower Eric Ciaramella (how he can be considered to be an expert in Ukraine is puzzle for me; he he a young talented linguist, but at the same time a typical clueless who, outside of his narrow specialty,  is adept mainly in ladder climbing; but he definitely fits well  into neocon groupthink mold ) . Here is what Scott Ritter reported about the history of Fiona Hill in Trump administration:

The NSC, while staffed with professionals who are supposed to be apolitical, was viewed by the White House as a partisan policy body whose work not only furthered the interests of the United States, but also the political interests of the president.

As a professional intelligence analyst detailed to the NSC, the whistleblower was committed to a two-year assignment, extendable to three years upon the agreement of all parties. President Obama's departure from the White House did not change this commitment. According to NSC staffers who served in the White House at the time, the whistleblower, like many of his fellow detailees, had grown attached to the policies of the Obama administration which they had fought hard to formulate, coordinate and implement. They viewed these policies to be sacrosanct, regardless of who followed in the White House.

In doing so, they had committed the greatest sin that an intelligence professional could commit short of espionage -- they had become political.

In December 2016, the whistleblower was, based upon his role as a leading Russian analysts advising Rice directly, more than likely helping unmask Flynn's communications with Russians; a month later, he was working for Flynn, someone he had likely actively helped conspire against, using the unfettered power of the intelligence community.

The Trump administration had inherited a national security decision-making apparatus that was bloated, and which fostered White House micromanagement via the NSC. While the Obama NSC had proven able to generate a prolificate amount of "policy", it did so by relying on a staff that had expanded to the largest in the history of the NSC, and at the expense of the various departments of government that were supposed to be the originators of policy.

As the new national security adviser, Flynn let it be known from day one that there would be changes. One of his first actions was to hire four new deputies who centralized much of the responsibilities normally tasked to regional directors such as the whistleblower. Flynn was putting in place a new level of bureaucracy that shielded professional detailees from top level decision makers.

Moreover, it recognized that the NSC, while staffed with professionals who are supposed to be apolitical, was viewed by the White House as a partisan policy body whose work not only furthered the interests of the United States, but also the political interests of the president. When Trump included his top political advisor, Bannon, on the list of people who would comprise the National Security Council (normally limited to cabinet-level officials), it sent shockwaves through the national security establishment, which accused Trump of politicizing what they claimed was an apolitical process.

But the reality was that the NSC had always functioned as a partisan decision-making body. Its previous occupants may have tried to temper the level to which domestic politics intruded on national security decision-making, but its presence was an unspoken reality. All Trump did by seeking to insert Bannon into the mix was to be open about it.

Like the other professional detailees who comprised 90 percent of the NSC staff and were expected to remain at their posts as part of a Trump administration, the whistleblower was dismayed by the changes. Some accounts of the early days of the Trump NSC indicate that the whistleblower was defensive of the Ukraine policies he had helped craft during his tenure at the NSC.

When his immediate superior, Kupchan (a political appointee) departed the NSC, the whistleblower was temporarily elevated to the position of senior director for Russia and Eurasia until a new replacement could be found. (Flynn had reached out to Fiona Hill , a former national intelligence officer for Russia under the administration of George W. Bush, to take this job; Hill had accepted, but would not be available until April.)

The whistleblower was a known quantity within the NSC, as were his decidedly pro-Obama political leanings. As such, he was not trusted by the incoming Trump officials, and his access to the decision-making process was limited .

According to persons familiar with his work at the NSC during the Trump administration, the whistleblower's frustration and anger soon led to acts of resistance designed to expose, and undermine public confidence in President Trump.

As Scott Ritter points out, careers have been made on the fuelling the New Cold War. And Fiona Hill is an example here.   I would suggest that she apparently understand very little about Russia particularly, no matter how well she speak, read and write the language (I think 10 month in Moscow is not enough for such a complex language, but this just me). Such people as Fiona Hill are driven by the insatiable desire for "Full Sectrum Dominance", the desire the US to remain the hegemon. As well as replicating the  political biases and the burning desire to continue the Cold War of their university professors (their leanings probably already in same direction anyway).

There is an uncontested, imperial mindset that seeps through the Washington swamp.  They approve any  war, coups, invasion, destruction, siege warfare (sanctions)  to achieve this geopolitical goal. Apparently the Anglo-American neoliberal elite and their stooges like Fiona Hill in all those agencies are utterly incapable of conceiving of, perceiving that other cultures exist and that those cultural perspectives are different form ours. That they  do not want to be exactly like us (rightly so) and will resist the USA attempts to establish world-wide hegemony, which became possible after the collapse of the USSR. All of USA meddling in Ukraine is for the sole purpose of solidifying US hegemony and undermining Russia. Unfortunately, there is no evidence whatsoever that this imperial mindset is likely to change.  This is a trap, as Germany and Japan learned as a result of WWII.

Her grim demeanor reminds me some BPD patients

While an appearance is deceiving and first impressions are superficial, her grim demeanor, open aggressiveness, self-righteousness, black and white thinking (the USA is good, Russia is bad) reminds me some BPD patients.  Splitting ("black-and-white" thinking) is one of the symptoms of BPD.  Intense reactions which often seem to others as disproportionate to the event or situation are also pretty typical. For exmple, Fiona Hill claimed that critique of  notorious financial speculator and globalist Soros is Anti-Semitic: 

Fiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House whoa has also worked for George Soros at his Open Society Foundation, told the House impeachment inquiry on Thursday that attacks on Lt. Col. Vindman, a Ukrainian of Jewish descent, had a "tinge of anti-Semitism... certainly when they involve George Soros."

The comments came after Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi asked about her being labeled a "mole for George Soros in the White House" by some of President Trump's more radical supporters, including Roger Stone

Here is an exact quote from Ms. Hill's response (Fiona Hill dumbs down the evil of anti-Semtism By Dennis Prager, Nov 25, 2019, WND):

"Well, certainly when they involve George Soros, they do. I'd just like to point out that in the early 1900s, the czarist secret police produced something called 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' which, actually, you can still obtain on the internet. And you can buy it, actually, sometimes, at bookshops in Russia and elsewhere. This is the longest-running anti-Semitic trope that we have in history. And the trope against Mr. Soros, George Soros, was also created for political purposes, and this is the new 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion.' I actually intended to write something about this before I was actually invited to come into the administration. Because it's an absolute outrage."

As Dennis Prager  aptly stated her trick with the out of context invocation of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," was to inoculate Soros from criticism:

 "What is really an "absolute outrage" is that anyone – especially someone testifying in Congress before a national audience – would compare criticism of George Soros with "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." ... Criticism of Soros is rarely a lie, and its intent is rarely to create anti-Semitism. George Soros is a billionaire whose Open Society Foundations, with offices in 70 countries, is the world's major funder of left-wing causes. If Soros were to come from a Lutheran or Catholic family, there would be no less criticism of him. While it is always possible that some people attack Soros solely because he was born into a Jewish family (he does not identify as a Jew), there are few such people. Much of Israel's Jewish population, for example, loathes Soros. Are they anti-Semites? Moreover, Soros loathes Israel. As Joshua Muravchik reported in the Wall Street Journal, "(I)n a speech ... to the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, Mr. Soros likened the behavior of Israel to that of the Nazis. ..."

Intense anger is another symptom. Some level of paranoia is also pretty common. Hill testified that she had received death threats at her home before testifying. In the official transcript of her testimony, she explained that others had expressed concern for her safety. But this might be simply a dirty trick to elicit sympathy.

Hill also testified that she had received death threats at her home before testifying. In the official transcript of her testimony, she explained that others had expressed concern for her safety. A name is blacked out, but it’s likely Hill was referencing husband Kenneth Keen. Hill had said, “My [blank] picked up a phone call to have someone call me obscenities to [blank]. [Blank] very nervous about me testifying as a result of that.”

Again, this is just superficial observations and it is impossible to diagnose BPD person without clinical examination,

 

The revolving door between academia and CIA/MI6,
 and no field is more contaminated than Russian and East European studies.

I lot of thinks are very suspicious in Fiona Hill biography. For example, there is a revolving door between academia and CIA/MI6, and no field is more contaminated than Russian and East European studies. And the CIA directly interferes in the US politics at least since JFK assassination.  As Chuck Schumer said ""Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you". This is essentially the rotten core of American government today. The intelligence community somehow has been empowered to run the country and its politics since 2016, which is much more dangerous than anything the Russians could ever do.

First of all this her 10 month "intensive Russian training" in Moscow may suggest that she already has contacts with MI6 at this very young age. Then this sudden "luck" of going to Harvard for a girl without any real credentials (and without any real knowledge of Russian -- you need at least three years for this). Then her connections to Soros and her role in Bush II administration as National Intelligence Officer for Russia & Eurasia––June 2006 to October 2009 (which should make her unemployable in any following administrations). So she somehow got a high level position, which probably requires many years of working for CIA.

Ambitious, but good for nothing graduate of some language studies often prostitute themselves becoming lobbyists of military industrial complex. Fiona Hill is not the first and not the last in this sad gallery of swamp creatures. The closest analogy to her is probably Luke Harding, a rabid Russophobe and a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier. She is a propagandist of militarism, despicable MIC lobbyist, not an academic by  any stretch of imagination.

He is author of some books but her junk books content can be summarized with one liner: "Putin is a thug and we are great!" (and that about one of the greatest diplomats in modern history). She lives in her own  bubble, in a completely made up propaganda-supported la-la land, and she gets angry when the rest of the world recognizes those lies.

corkpuller 1.0 out of 5 stars

Unprofessional writing, a high school level polemic, sad to say

Format: Kindle Edition

Unprofessional writing, a profound disappointment. Reads like a high school essay - one that repeats a single thought over and over, even re-using the same phrases - than a proper biography. The content feels like it has been skimmed only from public sources.

There is no sign of insight among the authors, nor even a curiosity as to what makes this important figure unique. One wonders where the interests lie in those who wrote laudative reviews.

 I am sad to say that this book is nothing more than a polemic, and moreover one that is repetitive and boring.

Roger Stone long ago warned that Soros has infiltrated the Trump administration

“This is very hard to believe, but I confirmed the facts again this morning. George Soros has penetrated the Trump White House,” said Stone during an appearance on The Alex Jones Show. “Soros has planted a mole infiltrating the National Security apparatus: a woman named Fiona Hill, who has a Harvard background, and has been on the Soros payroll and the payroll of the Open Society Institute.”

Fiona Hill served at the National Security Council as a deputy assistant to the president and the senior director for European and Russian Affairs.

Who recommend this pretty average neocon without any specific qualifications for such an important position is an interesting question.

And of course in addition to her work at the Brookings Institute, Hill serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Eurasia Foundation.

Call girl for Soros

During her time at the NSC, Hill engages in Soros NGO acitivites. For example she was visited by the president and rector of a Soros-funded school in Hungary under political pressure from Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who accused Soros of using the school and other non-governmental organizations to directly influence Hungarian politics and promote mass migration into Europe.

“We wanted to be sure that the U.S. State Department’s immediate, courageous, outstanding support for CEU spoke for the whole administration. Viktor Orban has made clear his contempt for statements from the State department alone,” said the rector of Central European University, Michael Ignatieff.

“We wanted to make clear that the Trump administration—to the degree it has a view—is speaking through the State Department.”

“We got unequivocal support [from Fiona Hill’s team at the National Security Council],” he added. “I went up on the Hill and spoke to Republican senators and staff. There is a tiny ledge of commonality between Republicans and Democrats, and academic freedom is one issue that unites them both.”

Orban savaged Soros in a speech on the floor of the European Parliament, suggested the globalist billionaire uses a network of lobbying organizations and non-profits to promote his agenda.

“I know that the power, size and weight of Hungary is much smaller than that of the financial speculator, George Soros, who is now attacking Hungary,” Orbán said. “Despite ruining the lives of millions of European with his financial speculations, being penalized in Hungary for speculations, and who is an openly admitted enemy of the euro, he is so highly praised that he is received by the EU’s top leaders.”

“To pursue his interests he pays a number of lobbying organisations operating in the guise of civil society. He maintains a regular network, with its own promoters, its own media, hundreds of people, and its own university.”

Is Fiona Hill the author of anonymous "resistance" oped in NYT ?

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times published an op-ed by a “senior official” in the White House, entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The anonymous author of the piece revealed that “many of the senior officials in [Trump’s] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” The “adults in the room,” he claimed, are leading a “two-track presidency.” In that op-ed, he revealed that “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president.”

One year later, probably the same unnamed official has published a book elaborating on themes elucidated in the editorial. The book author is suspect to be  Guy Snodgrass, the US Navy commander who served as the communications secretary for the Department of Defense under Gen. James Mattis. Posting a report of his alleged authorship on Twitter, Snodgrass cryptically mused, “the swirl continues.”

But some observers suggest that Fiona  Hill might also participated or even was the promary author of the NYT oped (Trump Official Fiona Hill Has Ties to George Soros - Is She the NYT Source - The Political Insider):

By Matt | |

I’ve always enjoyed the rare occasions in politics where people are willing to put their money where their mouths are. So I headed over to the political betting site PredictIt to see who people were willing to wager is the anonymous author behind the controversial New York Times op-ed “I Am Part of The Resistance Within the Trump Administration.” The Times claims the author is a “senior official,” but clues in the piece itself make that unlikely.

To my surprise, most gamblers are betting that the anonymous writer is Fiona Hill, a woman I’ve admittedly never heard of before. Gamblers were willing to bet that there was at least a 10% chance she’s the anonymous source (as of this writing). Hill serves on the National Security Council, and is Trump’s top adviser on Russia and Europe.

After the Times piece was published, speculation initially turned to Mike Pence, then Nikki Haley, and even Jon Huntsman, but all have denied the allegations.

But could it be Hill? She is, after all, the only person on the Trump team who simultaneously has a direct connection to George Soros. From 2000-2006, Hill served as an adviser to Soros’ Open Society Institute, which is responsible for many of the political donations Soros makes.

How do we know? Because she lists it on her own resume.

What is a former employee of George Soros doing within the Trump Administration? That’s a question that needs to be answered – and it’s hardly the only left-wing institution she’s been associated with during her campaign. Hill has worked with the left-wing Brookings Institution since 2009. Trump hiring Hill would be the equivalent of Obama having hired someone from the Heritage Foundation.

Furthermore, her views on Russia are in line with the new hysterical take most Democrats have. In 2013, she wrote a book along with a colleague at Brookings titled, “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.” According to one summary, “The book depicts Putin as a super-scheming former KGB operative and paints a picture of the Russian president as paranoid for believing that the U.S. was seeking to pull the Ukraine from Russia’s orbit and install an anti-Russian leader. It was later revealed the State Department under Hillary Clinton was indeed involved in doing just that, according to reporting from esteemed journalist Robert Parry. The authors contend the U.S. and Russia are in a virtual state of war and will remain so for the foreseeable future.”

Roger Stone has been sounding the alarm on Hill since she was hired.

Whose side is she on? Could she be a mole within the Trump Administration? Given that our own FBI planted a spy within the Trump campaign, it wouldn’t be conspiratorial to suspect as much.

Making things even more interesting, former Trump campaign manager Michael Caputo told CNN that he’s 100% sure he knows the identity of the anonymous writer. He also said, “I don’t believe this person is in the White House.” More so, Caputo indicated that he believes the writer is female. Hill meets both criteria.

CNN also named Hill as a potential author in its own speculative piece, “13 people who might be the author of The New York Times op-ed.” She was also named as a potential candidate in a New York magazine report.


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[Jul 26, 2020] Steele's -Primary Subsource- Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Steele's "Primary Subsource" Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings by Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 16:50 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com,

The mysterious "Primary Subsource" that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele , according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.

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Fiona Hill: She worked at the Brookings Institution with dossier "Primary Subsource" Igor "Iggy" Danchenko (top photo), and testified against President Trump last year during impeachment hearings. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

In an odd twist, a 2013 federal case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017.

Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings - the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington - where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year's impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a "creative" researcher.

Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she'd known since 2006 . She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.

It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The opposition research was farmed out by Steele, working for Clinton's campaign, to Danchenko, who was paid for the information he provided.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele's Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm the identity of the source as Danchenko.

In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources "drink heavily together." But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history.

The FBI declined comment. Attempts to reach Danchenko by both email and phone were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department's watchdog recently debunked the dossier's most outrageous accusations against Trump, and faulted the FBI for relying on it to obtain secret wiretaps. The bureau's actions, which originated under the Obama administration, are now the subject of a sprawling criminal investigation led by special prosecutor John Durham.

Rod Rosenstein: In an odd twist, a 2013 drunkenness case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

One of the wiretap warrants was signed in 2017 by Rosenstein, who also that year appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and signed a "scope" memo giving him wide latitude to investigate Trump and his surrogates. Mueller relied on the dossier too. As it happens, Rosenstein also signed motions filed in one of Danchenko's public intoxication cases, according to the documents obtained by RCI.

In March 2013 -- three years before Danchenko began working on the dossier -- federal authorities in Greenbelt, Md., arrested and charged him with several misdemeanors, including "drunk in public, disorderly conduct, and failure to have his [2-year-old] child in a safety seat," according to a court filing . The U.S. prosecutor for Maryland at the time was Rosenstein, whose name appears in the docket filings .

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and "participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling," as well as "mental health counseling," the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow "as a condition of his employment." The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin's doctoral dissertation -- something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

"Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher," Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011.

"He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research."

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with Hillary Clinton: He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary.

Talbott's brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, another old Clinton hand who disseminated his own dossier in 2016 that echoed many of the same lurid and unsubstantiated claims against Trump. Through a mutual friend at the State Department, Steele obtained a copy of Shearer's dossier and reportedly submitted it to the FBI to help corroborate his own.

In August 2016, Talbott personally called Steele, based in London, to offer his own input on the dossier he was compiling from Danchenko's feeds. Steele phoned Talbott just before the November election, during which Talbott asked for the latest dossier memos to distribute to top officials at the State Department. After Trump's surprise win, the mood at Brookings turned funereal and Talbott and Steele strategized about how they "should handle" the dossier going forward.

During the Trump transition, Talbott encouraged Hill to leave Brookings and take a job in the White House so she could be "one of the adults in the room" when Russia and Putin came up. She served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

She left the White House just before a National Security Council detailee who'd worked with her, Eric Ciaramella, secretly huddled with Democrats in Congress and alleged Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son in exchange for military aid. Democrats soon held hearings to impeach Trump, calling Hill as one of their star witnesses.

Congressional investigators are taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Gryffindor/Wikimedia

Under questioning by Republican staff, Hill disclosed that Steele reached out to her for information about a mysterious individual, but she claimed she could not recall his name. She also said she couldn't remember the month she and Steele met.

"He had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don't even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues," Hill told the House last year in an Oct. 14 deposition taken behind closed doors.

Congressional investigators are reviewing her testimony, while taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal.

Registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, investigators want to know if Brookings played any role in the development of the dossier.

"Their 501(c)(3) status should be audited, because they are a major player in the dossier deal," said a congressional staffer who has worked on the investigation into alleged Russian influence.

Hill, who returned to Brookings as a senior fellow in January, could not be reached for comment. Brookings did not respond to inquiries.

Ghost Employee

As a former member of Britain's secret intelligence service, Steele hadn't traveled to Russia in decades and apparently had no useful sources there . So he relied entirely on Danchenko and his supposed "network of subsources," which to its chagrin, the FBI discovered was nothing more than a "social circle."

It soon became clear over their three days of debriefing him at the FBI's Washington field office - held just days after Trump was sworn into office - that any Russian insights he may have had were strictly academic.

Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was "clueless" when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.

Christopher Steele, former British spy, leaving a London court this week in a libel case brought against him by a Russian businessman. Dossier source Danchenko's drinking pals fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" for pay -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence." (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies (including one who'd been arrested on pornography charges) and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster, according to the FBI's January 2017 interview memo, which runs 57 pages. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence."

Instead of closing its case against Trump, however, the FBI continued to rely on the information Danchenko dictated to Steele for the dossier, even swearing to a secret court that it was credible enough to renew wiretaps for another nine months.

One of Danchenko's sources was nothing more than an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.

Danchenko told the FBI he figured out later that the call-in tipster, who he said did not identify himself, was Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-born realtor in New York. In the dossier, Steele labeled this source "an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump," and attributed Trump-Russia conspiracy revelations to him that the FBI relied on to support probable cause in all four FISA applications for warrants to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page -- including the Mueller-debunked myth that he and the campaign were involved in "the DNC email hacking operation."

Danchenko explained to agents the call came after he solicited Millian by email in late July 2016 for information for his assignment from Steele. Millian told RCI that though he did receive an email from Danchenko on July 21, he ignored the message and never called him.

"There was not any verbal communications with him," he insisted. "I'm positive, 100%, nothing what is claimed in whatever call they invented I could have said."

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Millian provided RCI part of the email, which was written mostly in Russian. Contact information at the bottom of the email reads:

Igor Danchenko
Business Analyst
Target Labs Inc.
8320 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
+1-202-679-5323

At the time, Danchenko listed Target Labs, an IT recruiter run by ethnic-Russians, as an employer on his resumé. But technically, he was not a paid employee there. Thanks to a highly unusual deal Steele arranged with the company, Danchenko was able to use Target Labs as an employment front.

It turns out that in 2014, when Danchenko first started freelancing regularly for Steele after losing his job at a Washington strategic advisory firm, he set out to get a security clearance to start his own company. But drawing income from a foreign entity like Steele's London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, would hurt his chances.

So Steele agreed to help him broker a special "arrangement" with Target Labs, where a Russian friend of Danchenko's worked as an executive, in which the company would bring Danchenko on board as an employee but not put him officially on the payroll. Danchenko would continue working for Steele and getting paid by Orbis with payments funneled through Target Labs. In effect, Target Labs served as the "contract vehicle" through which Danchenko was paid a monthly salary for his work for Orbis, the FBI memo reveals.

Though Danchenko had a desk available to use at Target Labs, he did most of his work for Orbis from home and did not take direction from the firm. Steele continued to give him assignments and direct his travel. Danchenko essentially worked as a ghost employee at Target Labs.

Asked about it, a Target Labs spokesman would only say that Danchenko "does not work with us anymore."

Brian Auten: He wrote the memo on the FBI's interview with the Primary Subsource, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record. Patrick Henry College

Some veteran FBI officials worry Moscow's foreign intelligence service may have planted disinformation with Danchenko and his network of sources in Russia. At least one of them, identified only as "Source 5" in the FBI memo, was described as having a Russian "kurator," or handler.

"There are legions of 'connected' Russians purveying second- and third-hand -- and often made-up -- due diligence reports and private intelligence," said former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker. "Putin's intelligence minions use these people well to plant information."

Danchenko has scrubbed his social media account. He told the FBI he deleted all his dossier-related electronic communications, including texts and emails, and threw out his handwritten notes from conversations with his subsources.

In the end, Steele walked away from the dossier debacle with at least $168,000, and Danchenko earned a large undisclosed sum.

The FBI interview memo, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record, was written by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was called out in the Justice inspector general report for ignoring inconsistencies, contradictions, errors and outright falsehoods in the dossier he was supposed to verify.

It was also Auten's duty to vet Steele and his sources. Auten sat in on the meetings with Danchenko and also separate ones with Steele. He witnessed firsthand the countless red flags that popped up from their testimony. Yet Auten continued to tout their reliability as sources, and give his blessing to agents to use their dossier as probable cause to renew FISA surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

As RCI first reported, Auten teaches a national security course at a Washington-area college on the ethics of such spying .

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[Jul 01, 2020] Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

Highly recommended!
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

No Friend Of The Devil , says:

Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

...They suffer from god-complexes, since they do not believe in God, they feel an obligation to act as God, and decide the fates of over 7 billion people, who would obviously be better off if the PICs were sent to the Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants!

[Feb 08, 2020] Is Iraq About To Switch From US to Russia

Highly recommended!
Feb 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 8, 2020 8:56 pm

NSC Russia expert freshly appointed Andrew Peek, who was walked out like Vindman, with him only freshly appointed after Fiona Hill and the Tim Morrioson resigned.

There is a big problems with "experts" in NSC -- often they represent interests of the particular agency, or a think tank, not that of the country.

Look at former NSC staffer Fiona Hill. She can be called "threat inflation" specialist.

NSC tries to usurp the role of the State Department and overly militarize the USA foreign policy, while having much lower class specialists. It is a kind of CIA backdoor into defining the USA foreign policy.

I would advocate creating "shadow NSC" by the party who is in opposition, so that it can somehow provide countervailing opinions. But with both parties being now war parties, this is no that effective.

Cutting NSC staff to the bones, so that such second rate personalities like Fiona Hill and Vindman are automatically excluded might also help a little bit.

The size above a dozen or two is probably excessive, as like any bureaucracy, it will try to control the President, not so much help him/her.
( https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20160908/105276/HHRG-114-FA00-Transcript-20160908.pdf ):

One common explanation is that the NSC mission creep results from the NSC staff growing too large and the easy solution is to limit the size of the staff. I am sympathetic to that feeling because we don't want it to
be too large and we don't want it to be usurping things that the State Department or the Agency should do.

[Feb 03, 2020] White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War

Highly recommended!
This book sheds some light into the story of how Administrative assistants to Present became independent heavily influenced by CIA body controlling the USA foreign policy and to a large extent controlling the President. Recent revolt of NSC (Aka Ukrainegate) shows that the servant became the master
The books contains some interesting information about forming NSC by Truman --- the father of the US National Security State. And bureaucratic turf war the preceded it. It wwas actually Eisenhower who created forma position of a "special assistant to the president for national security affairs"
The author also cover a little bit disastrous decision to launch a "surge" (ironically by the female chickenhawk Meghan O'Sullivan), -- which attests neocon nature of current NSC and level of indoctrination of staffers in "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine quite clearly. That's why a faction of NSC launched a coup d'état against Trump in t he form of Ukrainegate and probably was instrumental in Russiagate as well.
Notable quotes:
"... Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington. ..."
"... Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars. ..."
"... Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course. ..."
"... The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military. ..."
"... ...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability. ..."
"... it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants. ..."
"... Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. ..."
"... ... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government. ..."
"... The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead. ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The men and women walking the hushed corridors of the Executive Office Building do not look like warriors. Most are middle-aged professionals with penchants for dark business suits and prestigious graduate degrees, who have spent their lives serving their country in windowless offices, on far-off battle-fields, or at embassies abroad. Before arriving at the NSC, many joined the military or the nation's diplomatic corps, some dedicated themselves to teaching and writing about national security, and others spent their days working for the types of politicians who become presidents. By the time they joined the staff, each had shown the pluck -- and the good fortune -- required to end up staffing a president.

When each NSC staffer first walks up the steps to the Executive Office Building, he or she joins an institution like no other in government. Compared to the Pentagon and other bureaucracies, the staff is small, hierarchically flat with only a few titles like directors and senior directors reporting to the national security advisor and his or her deputies. Compared to all those at the agencies, even most cabinet secretaries, the staff are also given unparalleled access to the president and the discussions about the biggest decisions in national security.

Yet despite their access, the NSC staff was created as a political, legal, and bureaucratic afterthought. The National Security Council was established both
to better coordinate foreign policy after World War II and as part of a deal to create what became known as the Defense Department. Since the army and navy only agreed to be unified under a single department and a civilian cabinet secretary if each still had a seat at the table where decisions about war were expected to be made, establishing the National Security Council was critical to ensuring passage of the National Security Act of 1947. The law, as well as its amendments two years later, unified the armed forces while also establishing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as the CIA.

... ... ...

Fans of television's the West Wing would be forgiven for expecting that once in the Oval Office, all a staffer needs to do to change policy is to deliver a well-timed whisper in the president's car or a rousing speech in his company. It is not that such dramatic moments never occur, but real change in government requires not just speaking up but the grinding policy work required to have something new to say.

A staffer, alone or with NSC and agency colleagues, must develop an idea until feasible and defend it from opposition driven by personal pique, bureaucratic jealousy, or substantive disagreement, and often all three.

Granted none of these fights are over particularly new ideas, as few proposals in war are truly novel. If anything, the staffs history is a reminder of how little new there is under the guise of national security. Alter all, escalations, ultimatums, and counterinsurgency are only innovative in the context of the latest conflicts. The NSC staff is usually proposing old ideas, some as old as war itself like a surge of troops, to new circumstances and a critical moment.

Yet even an old idea can have real power in the right hands at the right time, so it is worth considering how much more influence the NSC brings to its fights today.

... ... ...

A larger staff can do even more thanks to technology. With the establishment of the Situation Room in 1961 and its subsequent upgrades, as well as the widespread adoption of email in the 1980s, the classified email system during the 2000s, and desktop video teleconferencing systems in the 2010s, White House technology upgrades have been justified because the president deserves the latest and the fastest. These same advances give each member of the staff global reach, including to war zones half a world away, from the safety of the Executive Office Building.

The NSC has also grown more powerful along with the presidency it serves. The White House, even in the hands of an inexperienced and disorganized president like Trump, drives the government's agenda, the news media's coverage, and the American public's attention. The NSC staff can, if skilled enough, leverage the office's influence for their own ideas and purposes. Presidents have also explicitly empowered the staff in big ways -- like putting them in the middle of the policymaking process -- and small -- like granting them ranks that put them on the same level as other agency officials.

Recent staffers have also had the president's ear nearly every day, and sometimes more often, while secretaries of state and defense rarely have that much face time in the Oval Office. Each has a department with tens of thousands (and in the Pentagon's case millions) of employees to manage. Most significantly, both also answer not just to the president but to Congress, which has oversight authority for their departments and an expectation for regular updates. There are few more consequential power differences between the NSC and the departments than to whom each must answer.

Even more, the NSC staff get to work and fight in anonymity. Members of Congress, journalists, and historians are usually too busy keeping track of the National Security Council principals to focus on the guys and gals behind the national security advisors, who are themselves behind the president. Few in Washington, and fewer still across the country, know the names of the staff advising the president let alone what they arc saying in their memos and moments with him.

Today, there arc too many unnamed NSC staffers for anyone's good, including their own. Even with the recent congressional limit on policy staffers, the NSC is too big to be thoroughly managed or effective. National security advisors and their deputies are so busy during their days that it is hard to keep up with all their own emails, calls, and reading, let alone ensure each member of the staff is doing their own work or doing it well. The common law and a de tacto honor system has also struggled to keep staff in check as they try to handle every issue from war to women's rights and every to-do list item from drafting talking points to doing secret diplomacy.

Although many factors contribute to the NSC's success, history suggests they do best with the right-size job. The answer to better national security policy and process is not a bigger staff but smaller writs. The NSC should focus on fewer issues, and then only on the smaller stuff, like what the president needs for calls and meetings, and the big, what some call grand strategic, questions about the nation's interests, ambitions, and capacities that should be asked and answered before any major decision.

... ... ...

Along the way, the staff has taken on greater responsibilities from agencies like the departments of state and defense as each has grown more bureaucratic and sclerotic. Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington.

As a result, today the NSC has, regretfully, become the strategic engine of the government's national security policymaking. The staff, along with the national security advisor, determine which issues -- large and small -- require attention, develop the plans for most of them, and try to manage day-to-day the implementation of each strategy. That is too sweeping a remit for a couple hundred unaccountable staffers sitting at the Executive Office Building thousands of miles from war zones and foreign capitals. Such immense responsibility also docs not make the best use of talent in government, leaving the military and the nation's diplomats fighting with the White House over policies while trying to execute plans they have less and less ownership over.

... ... ...

Although protocol still requires members of the NSC to sit on the backbench in National Security Council meetings, the staff s voice and advice can carry as much weight as those of the principals sitting at the table, just as the staff has taken on more of each department's responsibilities, the NSC arc expected to be advisors to the president, even on military strategy. With that charge, the staff has taken to spending more time and effort developing their own policy ideas -- and fighting for them.

Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars.

The American way of war, developed over decades of thinking and fighting, informs how and why the nation goes to battle. Over the course of American history and, most relevantly, since the end of World War II, the US military and other national security professionals have developed, often through great turmoil, strategic preferences and habits, like deploying the latest technology possible instead of the largest number of troops. Despite the tremendous planning that goes into these most serious of undertakings, each new conflict tests the prevailing way of war and often finds it wanting.

Even knowing how dangerous it is to relight the last war, it is still not easy to find the right course for a new one. Government in general and national security specifically are risk-averse enterprises where it is often simpler to rely on standard operating procedures and stay on a chosen course, regardless of whether progress is slow and the sense of drift is severe. Even then, many in the military, who often react to even the mildest of suggestions and inquiries as unnecessary or even dangerous micromanagement, defend the prevailing approach with its defining doctrine and syndrome.

As Machiavelli recommended long ago, there is a need for hard questions in government and war in particular. He wrote that a leader "ought to be a great askcr, and a patient hearer of the truth." 7 From the Executive Office Building, the NSC staff, who are more distanced from the action as well as the fog of war, have tried to fill this role for a busy and often distracted president. They are, however, not nearly as patient as Machiavelli recommended: they have proven more willing, indeed too willing at times, to ask about what is working and what is not.

Warfighters are not alone in being frustrated by questions: everyone from architects to zookeepers believes they know how best to do their job and that with a bit more time, they will get it right. Without any of the responsibility for the doing, the NSC staff not only asks hard questions but, by avoiding implementation bias, is willing to admit, often long before those in the field, that the current plan is failing. A more technologically advanced NSC, with the ability to reach deep into the chain of command and war zones for updates, has also given the staff the intelligence to back up its impatience.

Most times in history, the NSC staff has correctly predicted that time is running against a chosen strategy. Halperin. and others on the Nixon NSC, were accurate in their assessments of Vietnam. Dur and his Reagan NSC colleagues were right to worry that diplomacy was moving too slowly in Lebanon. Haass and Vershbow were correct when they were concerned with how windows of opportunity for action were shrinking in the Gulf and Balkans respectively, just as O'Sullivan was right that things needed to change relatively soon in Iraq.

Yet an impatient NSC staff has a worse track record giving the president answers to what should come next. The NSC staff naturally have opinions and ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but the very distance and disengagement that allow' the NSC to be so effective at measuring progress make its ideas less grounded in operational realities and more clouded by the fog of Washington. The NSC, often stridently, wants to do something more, to "go big when wc can," as one recent staffer encouraged his president, to fix a failing policy or win a w r ar, but that is not a strategy, nor does that ambition make the staff the best equipped to figure out the next steps."

With their proposals for a new plan, deployment, or initiative, the staff has made more bad recommendations than good. The Diem coup and the Beirut mission are two examples, and particularly tragic ones at that, of NSC staff recommendations gone awry. The Iraq surge was certainly a courageous decision, but by committing so many troops to that country, the manpower w r as not available for a war in Afghanistan that was falling off track. Even the more successful NSC recommendations for changes in US strategy in the Gulf War and in Bosnia did not end up exactly as planned, in part because even good ideas in war rarely do.

Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course.

And it is characterized by more frequent and counterproductive friction between the civilian and military leaders.

... ... ...

Through it all, as the NSC's voice has grown louder in the nation's war rooms, the staff has transformed how Washington works, and more often does not work. The NSC's fights to change course have had another casualty: the ugly collapse of the common law' that has governed Washington policymaking for more than a generation. The result today is a government that trusts less, fights more, and decides much slower.

National security policy- and decision-making was never supposed to be a fair fight. Eliot Cohen, a civil-military scholar with high-level government experience, has called the give-and-take of the interagency process an "unequal" dialogue -- one in which presidents are entitled to not just make the ultimate decision but also to ask questions, often with the NSC's help, at any time and about any topic.* Everyone else, from the secretaries of state and defense in Washington dow r n to the commanders and ambassadors abroad, has to expect and tolerate such presidential interventions and then carry out his orders.

Even an unfair fight can have rules, however. The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military.

... ... ...

...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability.

In an era when Americans can see on reality television how their fish are caught, meals arc cooked, and businesses are financed, it is strange that few have ever heard the voice of an NSC staffer. The Executive Office Building is not the only building out of reach: most of the government taxpayers' fund is hard, and getting harder, to see. With bigger security blockades, longer waits on declassification, and more severe crackdowns on leaks, it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants.

The American people need to know the NSC's war stories if for no other reason than each makes clear that there is no organized deep state in Washington. If one existed, there would be little need for the NSC to fight so hard to coordinate the government's various players and parts. However, this history also makes plain that though the United States can overcome bad decisions and survive military disasters, a belief in a deep state is a threat to the NSC and so much more.

... ... ...

Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. Shortcuts and squabbles may make sense when every second feels like it counts, but the best public servants do what is necessary for the president even as they protect, for years to come, the health of the institutions and the very democracy in which they serve. As hard as that can be to remember when the clock in the Oval Office is ticking, doing things the right way is even more important than the latest crises, war, or meeting with the president.

... ... ...

... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government.

Centuries ago, Plato argued that civilians must hope for warriors who could be trusted to be both "gentle to their own and cruel to their enemies." At a time when many doubt government and those who serve in it, the NSC staff s history demonstrates just what White House warriors arc capable of. The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead.

... ... ...

The legendary British double agent Kim Philby wrote: "just because a document is a document it has a glamour which tempts the reader to give it more weight than it deserves An hour of a serious discussion with a trustworthy informant is often more valuable than any number of original documents. Of course, it is best to have both."

Alexandra Jones , September 15, 2019

The Untold History of the NSC

A must-read for anyone interested in history or foreign policy. Gans pulls back the curtain on arguably the most powerful yet opaque body in foreign policy decision-making, the National Security Council. Each chapter recounts a different administration -- as told through the work of an NSC staffer. Through these beautifully-written portraits of largely unknown staffers, Gans reveals the chilling, outsized influence of this small, unelected institution on American war and peace. From this perspective, even the policy success stories seem more luck than skill -- leaving readers concerned about the NSC's continued unchecked power.

[Dec 25, 2019] Escobar You Say You Want A (Russian) Revolution by Pepe Escobar

Dec 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Pepe Escobar via ConsortiumNews.com,

O nce in a blue moon an indispensable book comes out making a clear case for sanity in what is now a post-MAD world. That's the responsibility carried by " The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs ," by Andrei Martyanov (Clarity Press), arguably the most important book of 2019.

Martyanov is the total package -- and he comes with extra special attributes as a top-flight Russian military analyst, born in Baku in those Back in the U.S.S.R. days, living and working in the U.S., and writing and blogging in English.

Right from the start, Martyanov wastes no time destroying not only Fukuyama's and Huntington's ravings but especially Graham Allison's childish and meaningless Thucydides Trap argument -- as if the power equation between the U.S. and China in the 21stcentury could be easily interpreted in parallel to Athens and Sparta slouching towards the Peloponnesian War over 2,400 years ago. What next? Xi Jinping as the new Genghis Khan?

(By the way, the best current essay on Thucydides is in Italian, by Luciano Canfora (" Tucidide: La Menzogna, La Colpa, L'Esilio" ). No Trap. Martyanov visibly relishes defining the Trap as a "figment of the imagination" of people who "have a very vague understanding of real warfare in the 21st century." No wonder Xi explicitly said the Trap does not exist.)

Martyanov had already detailed in his splendid, previous book, "Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning," how "American lack of historic experience with continental warfare" ended up "planting the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the American military mythology of the 20thand 21stcenturies which is foundational to the American decline, due to hubris and detachment of reality." Throughout the book, he unceasingly provides solid evidence about the kind of lethality waiting for U.S. forces in a possible, future war against real armies (not the Taliban or Saddam Hussein's), air forces, air defenses and naval power.

Do the Math

One of the key takeaways is the failure of U.S. mathematical models: and readers of the book do need to digest quite a few mathematical equations. The key point is that this failure led the U.S. "on a continuous downward spiral of diminishing military capabilities against the nation [Russia] she thought she defeated in the Cold War."

In the U.S., Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was introduced by the late Andrew Marshall, a.k.a. Yoda, the former head of Net Assessment at the Pentagon and the de facto inventor of the "pivot to Asia" concept. Yet Martyanov tells us that RMA actually started as MTR (Military-Technological Revolution), introduced by Soviet military theoreticians back in the 1970s.

One of the staples of RMA concerns nations capable of producing land-attack cruise missiles, a.k.a. TLAMs. As it stands, only the U.S., Russia, China and France can do it. And there are only two global systems providing satellite guidance to cruise missiles: the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS. Neither China's BeiDou nor the European Galileo qualify – yet – as global GPS systems.

Then there's Net-Centric Warfare (NCW). The term itself was coined by the late Admiral Arthur Cebrowski in 1998 in an article he co-wrote with John Garstka's titled, "Network-Centric Warfare – Its Origin and Future."

Deploying his mathematical equations, Martyanov soon tells us that "the era of subsonic anti-shipping missiles is over." NATO, that brain-dead organism (copyright Emmanuel Macron) now has to face the supersonic Russian P-800 Onyx and the Kalibr-class M54 in a "highly hostile Electronic Warfare environment." Every developed modern military today applies Net-Centric Warfare (NCW), developed by the Pentagon in the 1990s.

Rendering of a future combat systems network. (soldiersmediacenter/Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov mentions in his new book something that I learned on my visit to Donbass in March 2015: how NCW principles, "based on Russia's C4ISR capabilities made available by the Russian military to numerically inferior armed forces of the Donbass Republics (LDNR), were used to devastating effect both at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo, when attacking the cumbersome Soviet-era Ukrainian Armed Forces military."

No Escape From the Kinzhal

Martyanov provides ample information on Russia's latest missile – the hypersonic Mach-10 aero-ballistic Kinzhal, recently tested in the Arctic.

Crucially, as he explains, "no existing anti-missile defense in the U.S. Navy is capable of shooting [it] down even in the case of the detection of this missile." Kinzhal has a range of 2,000 km, which leaves its carriers, MiG-31K and TU-22M3M, "invulnerable to the only defense a U.S. Carrier Battle Group, a main pillar of U.S. naval power, can mount – carrier fighter aircraft." These fighters simply don't have the range.

The Kinzhal was one of the weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin's game-changing March 1, 2018 speech at the Federal Assembly. That's the day, Martyanov stresses, when the real RMA arrived, and "changed completely the face of peer-peer warfare, competition and global power balance dramatically."

Top Pentagon officials such as General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have admitted on the record there are "no existing countermeasures" against, for instance, the hypersonic, Mach 27 glide vehicle Avangard (which renders anti-ballistic missile systems useless), telling the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee the only way out would be "a nuclear deterrent." There are also no existing counter-measures against anti-shipping missiles such as the Zircon and Kinzhal.

Any military analyst knows very well how the Kinzhal destroyed a land target the size of a Toyota Corolla in Syria after being launched 1,000 km away in adverse weather conditions. The corollary is the stuff of NATO nightmares: NATO's command and control installations in Europe are de facto indefensible.

Martyanov gets straight to the point: "The introduction of hypersonic weapons surely pours some serious cold water on the American obsession with securing the North American continent from retaliatory strikes."

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal; 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade. (Kremilin via Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov is thus unforgiving on U.S. policymakers who "lack the necessary tool-kit for grasping the unfolding geostrategic reality in which the real revolution in military affairs had dramatically downgraded the always inflated American military capabilities and continues to redefine U.S. geopolitical status away from its self-declared hegemony."

And it gets worse: "Such weapons ensure a guaranteed retaliation [Martyanov's italics] on the U.S. proper." Even the existing Russian nuclear deterrents – and to a lesser degree Chinese, as paraded recently -- "are capable of overcoming the existing U.S. anti-ballistic systems and destroying the United States," no matter what crude propaganda the Pentagon is peddling.

In February 2019, Moscow announced the completion of tests of a nuclear-powered engine for the Petrel cruise missile. This is a subsonic cruise missile with nuclear propulsion that can remain in air for quite a long time, covering intercontinental distances, and able to attack from the most unexpected directions. Martyanov mischievously characterizes the Petrel as "a vengeance weapon in case some among American decision-makers who may help precipitate a new world war might try to hide from the effects of what they have unleashed in the relative safety of the Southern Hemisphere."

Hybrid War Gone Berserk

A section of the book expands on China's military progress, and the fruits of the Russia-China strategic partnership, such as Beijing buying $3 billion-worth of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missiles -- "ideally suited to deal with the exact type of strike assets the United States would use in case of a conventional conflict with China."

Beijing parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic, October 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

Because of the timing, the analysis does not even take into consideration the arsenal presented in early October at the Beijing parade celebrating the 70thanniversary of the People's Republic.

That includes, among other things, the "carrier-killer" DF-21D, designed to hit warships at sea at a range of up to 1,500 km; the intermediate range "Guam Killer" DF-26; the DF-17 hypersonic missile; and the long-range submarine-launched and ship-launched YJ-18A anti-ship cruise missiles. Not to mention the DF-41 ICBM – the backbone of China's nuclear deterrent, capable of reaching the U.S. mainland carrying multiple warheads.

Martyanov could not escape addressing the RAND Corporation, whose reason to exist is to relentlessly push for more money for the Pentagon – blaming Russia for "hybrid war" (an American invention) even as it moans about the U.S.'s incapacity of defeating Russia in each and every war game. RAND's war games pitting the U.S. and allies against Russia and China invariably ended in a "catastrophe" for the "finest fighting force in the world."

Martyanov also addresses the S-500s, capable of reaching AWACS planes and possibly even capable of intercepting hypersonic non-ballistic targets. The S-500 and its latest middle-range state of the art air-defense system S-350 Vityaz will be operational in 2020.

His key takeway: "There is no parity between Russia and the United States in such fields as air-defense, hypersonic weapons and, in general, missile development, to name just a few fields – the United States lags behind in these fields, not just in years but in generations [italics mine]."

All across the Global South, scores of nations are very much aware that the U.S. economic "order" – rather disorder – is on the brink of collapse. In contrast, a cooperative, connected, rule-based, foreign relations between sovereign nations model is being advanced in Eurasia – symbolized by the merging of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the NDB (the BRICS bank).

The key guarantors of the new model are Russia and China. And Beijing and Moscow harbor no illusion whatsoever about the toxic dynamics in Washington. My recent conversations with top analysts in Kazakhstan last month and in Moscow last week once again stressed the futility of negotiating with people described – with overlapping shades of sarcasm – as exceptionalist fanatics. Russia, China and many corners of Eurasia have figured out there are no possible, meaningful deals with a nation bent on breaking every deal.

Indispensable? No: Vulnerable

Martyanov cannot but evoke Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly in February 2019, after the unilateral Washington abandonment of the INF treaty, clearing the way for U.S. deployment of intermediate and close range missiles stationed in Europe and pointed at Russia:

"Russia will be forced to create and deploy those types of weapons against those regions from where we will face a direct threat, but also against those regions hosting the centers where decisions are taken on using those missile systems threatening us."

Translation: American Invulnerability is over – for good.

In the short term, things can always get worse. At his traditional, year-end presser in Moscow, lasting almost four and a half hours, Putin stated that Russia is more than ready to "simply renew the existing New START agreement", which is bound to expire in early 2021: "They [the U.S.] can send us the agreement tomorrow, or we can sign and send it to Washington." And yet, "so far our proposals have been left unanswered. If the New START ceases to exist, nothing in the world will hold back an arms race. I believe this is bad."

"Bad" is quite the euphemism. Martyanov prefers to stress how "most of the American elites, at least for now, still reside in a state of Orwellian cognitive dissonance" even as the real RMA "blew the myth of American conventional invincibility out of the water."

Martyanov is one of the very few analysts – always from different parts of Eurasia -- who have warned about the danger of the U.S. "accidentally stumbling" into a war against Russia, China, or both which is impossible to be won conventionally, "let alone through the nightmare of a global nuclear catastrophe."

Is that enough to instill at least a modicum of sense into those who lord over that massive cash cow, the industrial-military-security complex? Don't count on it.

* * *

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times . His latest book is " 2030 ." Follow him on Facebook .

[Dec 23, 2019] Making the World Less Safe

Notable quotes:
"... Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. ..."
"... The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion. ..."
"... But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration. ..."
"... Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will " ..."
"... Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack. ..."
"... Asharq al-Awsat ..."
May 21, 2015 | The Unz Review
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of weeks ago. I tried to explain to them why many Americans are wary of helping them by providing lethal, potentially game changing military assistance in what Kiev sees as a struggle to regain control of Crimea and other parts of their country from militias that are clearly linked to Moscow. I argued that while Washington should be sympathetic to Ukraine's aspirations it has no actual horse in the race, that the imperative for bilateral relations with Russia, which is the only nation on earth that can attack and destroy the United States, is that they be stable and that all channels for communication remain open.

I also observed that the negative perception of Washington-driven democracy promotion around the world has been in part shaped by the actual record on interventions since 2001, which has not been positive. Each exercise of the military option has wound up creating new problems, like the mistaken policies in Libya, Iraq and Syria, all of which have produced instability and a surge in terrorism. I noted that the U.S. does not need to bring about a new Cold War by trying to impose democratic norms in Eastern Europe but should instead be doing all in its power to encourage a reasonable rapprochement between Moscow and Kiev. Providing weapons or other military support to Ukraine would only cause the situation to escalate, leading to a new war by proxies in Eastern Europe that could rapidly spread to other regions.

The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion.

I explained that Russia does not have the economic or military resources to dominate Eastern Europe and its ambitions appear to be limited to establishing a sphere of influence that includes "protection" for some adjacent areas that are traditionally Russian and inhabited by ethnic Russians. Crimea is, unfortunately, one such region that was actually directly governed by Moscow between 1783 and 1954 and it is also militarily vitally important to Moscow as it is the home of the Black Sea Fleet. I did not point that out to excuse Russian behavior but only to suggest that Moscow does have an argument to make, particularly as the United States has been meddling in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine where it has "invested" $5 billion, since the Clinton Administration.

I argued that if resurgent Russian nationalism actually endangered the United States there would be a case to be made for constricting Moscow by creating an alliance of neighbors that would be able to help contain any expansion, but even the hawks in the U.S. Congress are neither prepared nor able to demonstrate a genuine threat. Fear of the expansionistic Soviet Union after 1945 was indeed the original motivation for creating NATO. But the reality is that Russia is only dangerous if the U.S. succeeds in backing it into a corner where it will begin to consider the kind of disruption that was the norm during the Cold War or even some kind of nuclear response or demonstration. If one is focused on U.S. interests globally Russia has actually been a responsible player, helping in the Middle East and also against international terrorism.

So there was little to agree on apart from the fact that the Ukrainians have a right to have a government they choose for themselves and also to defend themselves. And we Americans have in the Ukrainians yet another potential client state that wants our help. In return we would have yet another dependency whose concerns have to be regarded when formulating our foreign policy. One can sympathize with the plight of the Ukrainians but it is not up to Washington to fix the world or to go around promoting democracy as a potential solution to pervasive regional political instability.

Obviously a discussion based on what are essentially conflicting interests will ultimately go nowhere and so it did in this case, but it did raise the issue of why Washington's relationship with Moscow is so troubled, particularly as it need not be so. Regarding Ukraine and associated issues, Washington's approach has been stick-and-carrot with the emphasis on the stick through the imposition of painful sanctions and meaningless though demeaning travel bans. I would think that reversing that formulation to emphasize rewards would actually work better as today's Russia is actually a relatively new nation in terms of its institutions and suffers from insecurity about its place in the world and the respect that it believes it is entitled to receive.

Russia recently celebrated the 70 th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. The celebration was boycotted by the United States and by many Western European nations in protest over Russian interference in Ukraine. I don't know to what extent Obama has any knowledge of recent history, but the Russians were the ones who were most instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany, losing 27 million citizens in the process. It would have been respectful for President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Moscow for the commemoration and it would likely have produced a positive result both for Ukraine and also to mitigate the concern that a new Cold War might be developing. But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration.

And I also would note a couple of other bad choices made during the past several weeks. The Trans-Pacific multilateral trade agreement that is currently working its way through Congress and is being aggressively promoted by the White House might be great for business though it may or may not be good for the American worker, which, based on previous agreements, is a reasonable concern. But what really disturbs me is the Obama explanation of why the pact is important. Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will "

Fear of the Yellow Peril might indeed be legitimate but it would be difficult to make the case that an internally troubled China is seeking to dominate the Pacific. If it attempts to do so, it would face strong resistance from the Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Koreans among others. But what is bothersome to me and probably also to many in the Asian audience is that Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack.

And finally there is Iran as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama claims that he is working hard to achieve a peaceful settlement of the alleged threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. But if that is so why does he throw obstacles irrelevant to an agreement out to make the Iranian government more uncomfortable and therefore unwilling or unable to compromise? In an interview with Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat Obama called Tehran a terrorism supporter, stating that "it [Iran] props up the Assad regime in Syria. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen so countries in the region are rights to be deeply concerned " I understand that the interview was designed to reassure America's friends in the Gulf that the United States shares their concerns and will continue to support them but the timing would appear to be particularly unfortunate.

The handling of Russia, China and Iran all exemplify the essential dysfunction in American foreign policy. The United States should have a mutually respectful relationship with Russia, ought to accept that China is an adversary but not necessarily an enemy unless we make it so and it should also finally realize that an agreement with Iran is within its grasp as long as Washington does not overreach. It is not clear that any of that is well understood and one has to wonder precisely what kind of advice Obama is receiving when fails to understand the importance of Russia, insists on "writing the rules" for Asia, and persists in throwing around the terrorist label. If the past fifteen years have taught us anything it is that the "Washington as the international arbiter model" is not working. Obama should wake up to that reality before Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush arrives on the scene to make everything worse.

Tom Welsh, May 19, 2015 at 7:02 am GMT • 100 Words

All of this misses the point, IMHO. There is really no need to explain that Russia has no plans to conquer Europe, China has no plans to take over the Pacific, etc. Anyone with a little historical knowledge and some common sense can see that plainly. What is happening is that the USA has overweening aspirations to control (and then suck dry) the entire world – and Europe, Russia and China are next on its hit list.

So it naturally accuses those nations of aspiring to what it plans to do. Standard operating procedure.

The Priss Factor, May 19, 2015 at 7:19 am GMT • 100 Words

"The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now."

I can understand Ukrainian animus against Russia due to history and ethnic tensions.

But that is ridiculous. They can't possibly believe it. I think they're repeating Neocon talking points to persuade American that the fate of the world is at stake.
It's really just a local affair.

And Crimea would still belong to Ukraine if the crazies in Ukraine hadn't conspired with Neocons like Nuland to subvert and overthrow the regime.

[Dec 23, 2019] The Afghanistan Papers - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The President of the USofA has no power to turn this ship around. The seat of power is no longer residing in the hands of civilian/political actors prime ministers or presidents though they may be.

Candidate Trump indicated very early on that he intended to withdraw from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he soon succumbed to his advisors and generals advice of increasing troop strength in 2017 as part of a surge strategy. This makes him no better or worse than his two predecessors who succumbed to the same kind of advice.

However Trump has recently restarted negotiations with the Taliban and has renewed his pledged to remove several thousand troops. "We're going down to 8,600 [from the 12,000 and 13,000 US troops now there] and then we make a determination from there as to what happens," Trump told Fox last August. "We're bringing it down." Of course the drawdown will be seen by the neocons as a unilateral concession to the Taliban. That shouldn't phase Trump. I think he plans to reannounce this withdrawal next month. DoD officials have said that the smaller US military presence will be largely focused on counterterrorism operations against groups like al Qaeda and IS, and that the military's ability to train and advise local Afghan forces will be reduced considerably. Sounds like they're still looking for a reason to stay.

Trump can break the cycle. He holds no ideological conviction for staying in Afghanistan. If he could get over his BDS (Bezos derangement syndrome), he could seize this Washington Post series, or at least the SIGAR lessons learned reports, and trumpet them through his twitter feed and helicopter talks. I believe he alone can generate a public cry for getting the hell out of Afghanistan and carry through with that action no matter how much his generals scream about it. But without a loud public outcry, especially from his base, Trump has no incentive to break the cycle. So all you deplorables better start hootin' and hollerin'. Hopefully enough SJWs will join you to pump up the volume.

TTG

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/


Mathias Alexander , 23 December 2019 at 04:37 AM

If someone wanted to destabilize China,Russia and Central Asia the parts of Afghanistan America controls might be usefull for that.
JMH , 23 December 2019 at 07:11 AM
Excellent, right up to the last sentence. SJWs are mere tools of people like George Soros and have zero anti-war agenda nor do they care about America's manufacturing base ect.. In fact, many are chomping at the bit to join, what was once termed in the SST comments, the LGBTQ-C4ISR sect. I refer you to mayor Pete's exchange with Tulsi on the matter; he even invoked our sacred honor as a reason to stay the course in Afghanistan.
Eric Newhill -> The Twisted Genius ... , 23 December 2019 at 03:38 PM
TTG,
It's a shrinking cohort. For some of these types, their TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is actually causing them to side with the CIA and military. Enemy of my enemy.....and since there's no draft, they have no skin in that game.
Serge , 23 December 2019 at 07:35 AM
For the past 2-3 years many generals and politicians have been using the threat of ISKP as the new bogeyman for staying in Afghanistan. This threat is not wholly unfounded, a disproportionately large number of US airstrikes since 2015-2016 have been against ISKP in Nangarhar(remember the MOAB?) rather than against the Taliban. If my memory serves me correctly ISKP was responsible for every single US casualty in 2016-2017. In the past two months however ISKP has been collapsing in its erstwhile stronghold of Nangarhar, surrendering to the ANA rather than fall into the hands of the Taliba,à la Jowzjan in summer 2018. I was very surprised by the number of foreign fighters and their families to come out of there. We have the Taliban to thank for these two collapses.
turcopolier , 23 December 2019 at 11:59 AM
TTG

IMO American "exceptionalism" doomed our effort in Afghanistan Very few of us are set up mentally to accept the notion that other peoples are legitimately different from us and that they don't want to be like us and do things our way. I attribute this deformation on our part to the puritan heritage that you much admire. In your case your recent immigrant past seems to have immunized you from this deformation. As SF men we rightly fear and dread the attitudes of The Big Army, but, truth be told, it is we who are the outlier freaks in the context of American culture with its steamroller approach to just about everything.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 23 December 2019 at 01:40 PM
Ah yes, all that shining city on the hill stuff biting us in the ass once again. Like the Puritans, we seem to believe we alone are His chosen people and are utterly shocked that all others don't see this. In truth, Jesus probably sees our self righteous selves and our pilgrim forefathers much as he saw the Pharisees... a bunch of douche nozzles.

[Dec 21, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

Notable quotes:
"... Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy. ..."
"... America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla. ..."
"... Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.

To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."

The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.

Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
  • Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.

America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.

Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.

Mike Gravel

[Dec 21, 2019] Time to Terminate Washington's Defense Welfare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation". ..."
"... Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ? ..."
"... Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place. ..."
Sep 01, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

opaw , August 30, 2017 8:29 PM

While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation".

I hate how America exploit the weak. president moon should offer an olive branch to fatty Kim by sending back the thaad to America and pulling out American base and troops. he should convince fatty Kim that should he really like to proliferate his nuclear missile development as deterrence, aim it only to America and America only. there is no need for Koreans to kill fellow Koreans.

Try Harder , August 31, 2017 2:45 AM

Very good idea, after having pushed Ukraine and Georgia to a war lost in advance, lets hope US will abandon South Korea and Japan because they were helpless in demilitarizing one of the poorest countries in the world....

Try Harder Guest , August 31, 2017 4:16 PM

Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ?

Zsari Maxim Guest , August 31, 2017 11:50 AM

Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place.

Thomas Fung , August 31, 2017 5:04 PM

In this person's opinion, the article raises a good point with regards to US defense subsidies. However, its examples are dissimilar. Japan spends approximately 1% of its GDP on defense; South Korea spends roughly 2.5% of its GDP defense.

In fact, it seems to this person that a better example of US Defense Welfare would be direct subsidies granted to the state of Israel.

[Dec 21, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.

'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine

The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.

The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.

Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.

The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.

Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.

The war will become wilder

The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.

Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.

We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.

[Dec 19, 2019] MIC lobbyism (which often is presented as patriotism) is the last refuge of scoundrels

Highly recommended!
Dec 19, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez, December 19, 2019 6:58 pm

Afghan war demonstrated that the USA got into the trap, the Catch 22 situation: it can't stop following an expensive and self-destructive positive feedback loop of threat inflation and larger and large expenditures on MIC, because there is no countervailing force for the MIC since WWII ended. Financial oligarchy is aligned with MIC.

This is the same suicidal grip of MIC on the country that was one of the key factors in the collapse of the USSR means that in this key area the USA does not have two party system, It is a Uniparty: a singe War party with two superficially different factions.

Feeding and care MIC is No.1 task for both. Ordinary Americans wellbeing does matter much for either party. New generation of Americans is punished with crushing debt and low paying jobs. They do not care that people over 50 who lost their jobs are essentially thrown out like a garbage.

"41 Million people in the US suffer from hunger and lack of food security"–US Dept. of Agriculture. FDR addressed the needs of this faction of the population when he delivered his One-Third of a Nation speech for his 2nd Inaugural. About four years later, FDR expanded on that issue in his Four Freedoms speech: 1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear.

Items 3 and 4 are probably unachievable under neoliberalism. And fear is artificially instilled to unite the nation against the external scapegoat much like in Orwell 1984. Currently this is Russia, later probably will be China. With regular minutes of hate replaced by Rachel Maddow show ;-)

Derailing Tulsi had shown that in the USA any politician, who try to challenge MIC, will be instantly attacked by MIC lapdogs in MSM and neutered in no time.

One interesting tidbit from Fiona Hill testimony is that neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment make their living off threat inflation. They literally are bought by MIC, which indirectly finance Brookings institution, Atlantic Council and similar think tanks. And this isn't cheap cynicism. It is simply a fact. Rephrasing Samuel Johnson's famous quote, we can say, "MIC lobbyism (which often is presented as patriotism) is the last refuge of scoundrels."

[Dec 17, 2019] Building trust between U.S. and Russia by Edward Lozansky

Notable quotes:
"... After a Western-backed coup overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian president in February 2014, it brought to power a government largely picked by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. People in the Donbass region did not accept the new government and made two conditions for remaining a part of Ukraine: special autonomy status and two state languages. This is exactly what Canada provides for its large French-speaking minority. ..."
"... Those with even rudimentary knowledge of Ukrainian history and its huge ethnic Russian population would agree that these demands are not unreasonable, but the post-coup government called the separatist forces terrorists, sent aviation and tanks, and started a civil war that has been raging for five years. Washington, which was in total control of the Ukrainian political class, could have resolved this crisis easily by telling the new government to accept these modest conditions. Instead, the U.S. supported Kyiv with money, weapons, military training and political support. ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

At a time of one of the greatest political upheavals in American history that could spill over into foreign affairs, especially U.S.-Russian relations with unpredictable and devastating results, I thought Christmas might offer a chance for all of us to take a pause and search for an exit from the megacrisis.

Many people believe miracles do happen at Christmastime. However, it looks like we need President Trump , Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to perform at least three of them.

Those who wonder why Mr. Zelensky is on this list should recall that the Trump impeachment process started because of his phone call with this guy whose country the Democrats and their pathetic witnesses deem no less than vital to America's national security.

Let us start with Mr. Putin because someone has to take the first difficult step and he is the only one in a clear position to do it.

Dear Mr. Putin, please make a public statement that Russia pledges not to interfere in the next and future American elections. It would be good if the two chambers of the Russian parliament, the Duma and Federation Council, ratify this pledge as well. Please do it unilaterally without asking Mr. Trump and the U.S. Congress to respond in kind.

Dear Mr. Trump , please return to your earlier thinking about NATO as an obsolete organization that lost its purpose in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw military bloc. Since then, it has been searching desperately for new missions and enemies to justify its existence.

Recall that NATO's continuous expansion drive is the major factor that squandered the exceptional opportunity for U.S.-Russian rapprochement that all Russian leaders, starting with Mikhail Gorbachev, kept proposing. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat, and 18 other senators voted against President Clinton's first round of NATO expansion. "We'll be back on a hair-trigger. We're talking about nuclear war," they said.

At the same time, NATO has failed to counter international terrorism -- the real threat to European and American security. It is NATO that boosted the jihadi peril by overthrowing Libya's government, allowing that prosperous country to morph into a terrorist playground and staging point for millions of unvetted migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

Is NATO making America and our allies more secure? During the Cold War, when NATO allowed the West to stand firm against Soviet communist designs on Europe, the answer was an easy yes, but today, with NATO's reckless poking of the Russian bear, the answer is a resounding no.

A rebuilt NATO or a new organization, IATO -- International Anti-Terrorist Organization -- specifically targeting global jihad, would have a future with new partners including Russia, for which terrorism represents a major security threat. Georgia and Ukraine could join IATO as well, thus taking the first step toward reconciliation with Russia that NATO's insatiable expansion drive helped destroy.
French President Emmanuel Macron is the first Western leader who agrees with this point of view and is not afraid to say that "NATO's brain is dead." However, the U.S. president must take the lead to move past legacy NATO.

Dear Mr. Zelensky , I believe that you sincerely want to end the war in your country. It is not an easy job since you face a strong and vocal radical nationalistic opposition with strong neo-Nazi overtones that declares that any compromise on your side will be met with the violent resistance and another "Maidan revolution" that may lead to your overthrow. The leader of this opposition is former President Petro Poroshenko, whom Washington supported all these years and who was given a rare privilege to speak at a joint session of Congress, where members greeted him with numerous standing ovations. At the same time, Ukrainian people hated him so much that they decided to replace him with a Jewish comic actor with no political experience.

Mr. Zelensky , I wonder if you have read the book "Shooting Stars" by Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, which describes some important episodes in which fate gave an individual a chance at a historical turning point. Zweig says fate usually chooses for this purpose a strong personality, but sometimes it falls to mediocrities who fail miserably.

You are in a position to decide which you will be, and the pass to historical Olympus is obvious.

After a Western-backed coup overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian president in February 2014, it brought to power a government largely picked by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. People in the Donbass region did not accept the new government and made two conditions for remaining a part of Ukraine: special autonomy status and two state languages. This is exactly what Canada provides for its large French-speaking minority.

Those with even rudimentary knowledge of Ukrainian history and its huge ethnic Russian population would agree that these demands are not unreasonable, but the post-coup government called the separatist forces terrorists, sent aviation and tanks, and started a civil war that has been raging for five years. Washington, which was in total control of the Ukrainian political class, could have resolved this crisis easily by telling the new government to accept these modest conditions. Instead, the U.S. supported Kyiv with money, weapons, military training and political support.

Mr. Zelensky , nowadays you and your country are used as pawns in the attempts to impeach Mr. Trump , but your prime responsibility is before Ukrainian people who dismissed the party of war and placed the fate of your country and its people in your hands. They expect you to make the right decision by choosing the road to peace.

While waiting for these miracles to materialize, I wish all a merry Christmas , happy Hanukkah and peace on earth in 2020.

Edward Lozansky is president of American University in Moscow.

[Dec 17, 2019] Neocons like car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility because ther profession is to lie in order to sell weapons to the publin, much like used car saleme lie to sell cars

Highly recommended!
Dec 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 16 2019 20:51 utc | 22

Neocons lie should properly be called "threat inflation"

The underlying critical point-at-issue is credibility as I noted in my comment on b's 2017 article. I've since linked to tweets and other items by that trio; the one major change seems to have been the epiphany by them that they needed to go to where the action is and report it from there to regain their credibility.

The fact remains that used car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility sans a confession as to why they feel the need to lie to sell cars.

Their actions belie the guilt they feel for their choices, but a confession works much better at assuaging the soul while helping convince the audience that the change in heart's genuine. And that's the point as b notes--genuineness, whose first predicate is credibility.

[Dec 17, 2019] Did The Supreme Court Just Pull The Rug Out From Under Article Of Impeachment by Alan Dershowitz

Notable quotes:
"... House Democrats should seriously consider dropping this second article in light of the recent Supreme Court action. In fairness, this development involving the high court occurred after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made up their minds to include obstruction of Congress as an impeachment article. Yet the new circumstances give some Democratic members of Congress, who may end up paying an electoral price if they support the House Judiciary Committee recommendation, meaningful reason for voting against at least one of the articles of impeachment. ..."
"... The first article goes too far in authorizing impeachment based on the vague criterion of abuse of power. But it is the second article that truly endangers our system of checks and balances and the important role of the courts as the umpires between the legislative and executive branches under the Constitution. It would serve the national interest for thoughtful and independent minded Democrats to join Republicans in voting against the second article of impeachment, even if they wrongly vote for the first. ..."
Dec 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alan Dershowitz, op-ed via The Hill,

The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week.

That second article of impeachment charges President Trump with obstruction of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas in the absence of a final court order. In so charging him, the House Judiciary Committee has arrogated to itself the power to decide the validity of its subpoenas, as well as the power to determine whether claims of executive privilege must be recognized, both powers that properly belong with the judicial branch of our government, not the legislative branch. The House of Representatives will do likewise, if it votes to approve the articles, as is expected to occur on Wednesday.

President Trump has asserted that the executive branch, of which he is the head, need not comply with congressional subpoenas requiring the production of privileged executive material, unless there is a final court order compelling such production. He has argued, appropriately, that the judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, the Supreme Court decision to review these three cases, in which lower courts ruled against President Trump, provides support for his constitutional arguments in the investigation.

The cases that are being reviewed are not identical to the challenged subpoenas that form the basis for the second article of impeachment. One involves authority of the New York district attorney to subpoena the financial records of a sitting president, as part of any potential criminal investigation. The others involve authority of legislative committees to subpoena records as part of any ongoing congressional investigations.

But they are close enough. Even if the high court were eventually to rule against the claims by President Trump, the fact that the justices decided to hear them, in effect, supports his constitutional contention that he had the right to challenge congressional subpoenas in court, or to demand that those issuing the subpoenas seek to enforce them through court.

It undercuts the contention by House Democrats that President Trump committed an impeachable offense by insisting on a court order before sending possibly privileged material to Congress. Even before the justices granted review of these cases, the two articles of impeachment had no basis in the Constitution. They were a reflection of the comparative voting power of the two parties, precisely what one of the founders, Alexander Hamilton, warned would be the "greatest danger" of an impeachment.

House Democrats should seriously consider dropping this second article in light of the recent Supreme Court action. In fairness, this development involving the high court occurred after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made up their minds to include obstruction of Congress as an impeachment article. Yet the new circumstances give some Democratic members of Congress, who may end up paying an electoral price if they support the House Judiciary Committee recommendation, meaningful reason for voting against at least one of the articles of impeachment.

It would be a smart way out for those Democrats. More important, it would be the right thing for them to do. It would be smart and right because, as matters now stand, the entire process smacks of partisanship, with little concern for the precedential impact which these articles could have on future impeachments. If a few more Democrats voted in a way that would demonstrate greater nuanced recognition that, at the least, the second article of impeachment represents an overreach based on current law, it would lend an aura of some nonpartisan legitimacy to the proceedings.

The first article goes too far in authorizing impeachment based on the vague criterion of abuse of power. But it is the second article that truly endangers our system of checks and balances and the important role of the courts as the umpires between the legislative and executive branches under the Constitution. It would serve the national interest for thoughtful and independent minded Democrats to join Republicans in voting against the second article of impeachment, even if they wrongly vote for the first.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 13, 2019] Women have proven over the centuries that they can be just as bloodthirsty when in power

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Marygoal , 10 Dec 2019 14:03

... Women have proven over the centuries that they can be just as bloodthirsty when in power. Indeed one of them is busy in The Hague as we speak.

[Dec 12, 2019] Threat Inflation Poisons Our Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
John Glaser and Christopher Preble have written a valuable study of the history and causes of threat inflation. Here is their conclusion:

If war is the health of the state, so is its close cousin, fear. America's foreign policy in the 21st century serves as compelling evidence of that. Arguably the most important task, for those who oppose America's apparently constant state of war, is to correct the threat inflation that pervades national security discourse. When Americans and their policymakers understand that the United States is fundamentally secure, U.S. military activism can be reined in, and U.S. foreign policy can be reset accordingly.

Threat inflation is how American politicians and policymakers manipulate public opinion and stifle foreign policy dissent. When hawks engage in threat inflation, they never pay a political price for sounding false alarms, no matter how ridiculous or over-the-top their warnings may be. They have created their own ecosystem of think tanks and magazines over the decades to ensure that there are ready-made platforms and audiences for promoting their fictions. This necessarily warps every policy debate as one side is permitted to indulge in the most baseless speculation and fear-mongering, and in order to be taken "seriously" the skeptics often feel compelled to pay lip service to the "threat" that has been wildly blown out of proportion. In many cases, the threat is not just inflated but invented out of nothing. For example, Iran does not pose a threat to the United States, but it is routinely cited as one of the most significant threats that the U.S. faces. That has nothing to do with an objective assessment of Iranian capabilities or intentions, and it is driven pretty much entirely by a propaganda script that most politicians and policymakers recite on a regular basis. Take Iran's missile program, for example. As John Allen Gay explains in a recent article , Iran's missile program is primarily defensive in nature:

The reality is they're not very useful for going on offense. Quite the opposite: they're a primarily defensive tool -- and an important one that Iran fears giving up. As the new Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report entitled "Iran Military Power" points out, "Iran's ballistic missiles constitute a primary component of its strategic deterrent. Lacking a modern air force, Iran has embraced ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region -- particularly the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia -- from attacking Iran."

Iran's missile force is in fact a product of Iranian weakness, not Iranian strength.

Iran hawks need to portray Iran's missile program inaccurately as part of their larger campaign to exaggerate Iranian power and justify their own aggressive policies. If Iran hawks acknowledged that Iran's missiles are their deterrent against attacks from other states, including our government, it would undercut the rest of their fear-mongering.

Glaser and Preble identify five main sources of threat inflation in the U.S.: 1) expansive overseas U.S. commitments require an exaggerated justification to make those commitments seem necessary for our security; 2) decades of pursuing expansive foreign policy goals have created a class dedicated to providing those justifications and creating the myths that sustain support for the current strategy; 3) there are vested interests that benefit from expansive foreign policy and seek to perpetuate it; 4) a bias in our political system in favor of hawks gives another advantage to fear-mongers; 5) media sensationalism exaggerates dangers from foreign threats and stokes public fear. To those I would add at least one more: threat inflation thrives on the public's ignorance of other countries. When Americans know little or nothing about another country beyond what they hear from the fear-mongers, it is much easier to convince them that a foreign government is irrational and undeterrable or that weak authoritarian regimes on the far side of the world are an intolerable danger.

Threat inflation advances with the inflation of U.S. interests. The two feed off of each other. When far-flung crises and conflicts are treated as if they are of vital importance to U.S. security, every minor threat to some other country is transformed into an intolerable menace to America. The U.S. is extremely secure from foreign threats, but we are told that the U.S. faces myriad threats because our leaders try to make other countries' internal problems seem essential to our national security. Ukraine is at most a peripheral interest of the U.S., but to justify the policy of arming Ukraine we are told by the more unhinged supporters that this is necessary to make sure that we don't have to fight Russia "over here." Because the U.S. has so few real interests in most of the world's conflicts, interventionists have to exaggerate what the U.S. has at stake in order to sell otherwise very questionable and reckless policies. That is usually when we get appeals to showing "leadership" and preserving "credibility," because even the interventionists struggle to identify why the U.S. needs to be involved in some of these conflicts. The continued pursuit of global "leadership" is itself an invitation to endless threat inflation, because almost anything anywhere in the world can be construed as a threat to that "leadership" if one is so inclined. To understand just how secure the U.S. really is, we need to give up on the costly ambition of "leading" the world.

Threat inflation is one of the biggest and most enduring threats to U.S. security, because it repeatedly drives the U.S. to take costly and dangerous actions and to spend exorbitant amounts on unnecessary wars and weapons. We imagine bogeymen that we need to fight, and we waste decades and trillions of dollars in futile and avoidable conflicts, and in the end we are left poorer, weaker, and less secure than we were before.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[Dec 10, 2019] It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here by saying:

Dec 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago

I agree with everything you say in the article, Mr. Larison. And yet, I have serious qualms about whether Congress should impeach and remove Trump.

From a purely legal perspective, they should. But impeachment is a blend of legalism and politics. And the politics here are murky at best. The problem is that Congress does not come to these issues with clean hands. It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here; who are they to judge the President? Neither the impeachment itself, nor the subsequent, apparently inevitable, acquittal by the Senate will be seen as legitimate, except by partisans of the respective acts. It is all the more problematic because an election is less than a year away.

Yes, I want Trump out of office, too. But unfortunately our Congress lacks the moral legitimacy to do this; the impeachment and trial will serve only to reinforce each party's views of the other as treasonous. The impeachment will be seen as an attempted coup, and the acquittal will be seen as a whitewash and cover-up. (If by some odd circumstance he is removed rather than acquitted, it will be seen as a successful coup, an undoing of the 2016 election.)

There are no really good outcomes from this scenario. It would, I think, be better for the the country were the Democrats to reverse course and leave the removal of Trump to the people next November. We have survived nearly three years of him, we can survive one more. I fear the fallout from impeachment and trial will create more problems than are solved.

likbez Clyde Schechter
I agree. I also respectfully disagree with Larrison's judgment and consider this development as very dangerous for the Republic. We need to weight our personal animosity toward Trump with the risks of his forceful removal on dubious charges.

Please remember that nobody was impeached for the Iraq war. That creates a really high plank for the impeachment. And makes any Dems arguments for Trump impeachment not only moot but a joke.

The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this entrapment impeachable?

The furor over Russian interference in the election, which was extremely minor, if existed at all, compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Clinton wing of Democratic Party leadership (Neoliberal Democrats.) Political "shelf life" for whom is over in any case as neoliberalism is dead as an ideology and entered zombie ( bloodthirsty ) stage. Hillary political fiasco taught them nothing. Russiagate was and still is a modern witch hunt, the attempt to patch with Russophobia the cracks in the neoliberal facade. Neo-McCarthyism, if you wish.

In view of the Iraq war, the impeachment of Trump means the absolute contempt for the plebs. Again, Trump's election happened because neoliberalism as ideology died in 2008, and plebs in 2016 refused to follow corrupt neoliberal democrats and decided to show them the middle finger. They will not follow the neoliberal elite in 2020, impeachment, or no impeachment. So the whole "Pelosi gambit" (and from the point of view of Nuremberg principles she is a war criminal like Bush II and Co ) will fail.

The House Democrats did not act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, and provide the equality of procecutor and the defense in the process which is the fundamental part of the Due Process prior to filing charges. A large part of their witnesses (Karlan, Hill, Vindman) were just "true believers" (Karlan) or corrupt Deep Staters (Hill, Vindman) taking a stand to defend their personal well-being, which is based on warmongering. And protect their illegal role in formulating the USA foreign policy (actually based on the quality of Fiona Hill book alone, she should be kept at mile length from this area; she is a propagandist not a researcher/analyst)

Among State Department witnesses there could well be those who were probably explicitly or implicitly involved in the money laundering of the US aid money via Ukraine (Biden-lights so to speak)

The article of impeachment saying:

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

opens a huge can of worms (this is essentially the Moscow show trials method of removing politicians.) This is equivalent to a change in the Constitution, introducing the vote of no confidence as the method removal of the top members of the executive branch.

Impeachment is always a political decision. And here I am not sure the "Pelosi gambit" will work. I think many independents, who would stay home or would vote for Dems in 2020 now will vote for Trump as a protest against the abuse of impeachment by the Neoliberal/Corporate Dems.

      • Sid Finster megs1120 6 hours ago

        That people are still dredging up the ludicrous Russiagate conspiracy theory is beyond pathetic. If that were not enough, there is no evidence that "Russian hackers" or anyone "screw[ed] with swing states' election databases".

          • Sid Finster megs1120 4 hours ago

            Full disclosure: were I allowed to decide Trump's fate, impeachment would be the least of his fears. I would subject him to the fate of the defendants at Nuremberg.

[Dec 10, 2019] The brats are spoilt beyond belief and 100% believe they're entitled to having Full Spectrum Dominance because of their exceptionalist ideology

Dec 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 8 2019 22:32 utc | 45

To the Bar--

What I see is copious amounts of wailing from the usual sources about the demise of what was supposed to be an era of Unipolar dominance by the Evil Outlaw US Empire and blame being thrown in all directions hoping some sticks instead of directing it at themselves for they are he true authors of the Empire's decline--they being the Current Oligarchy and their Congressional, Administrative, and BigLie Media accomplices. The Empire's current "defense" doctrine calls for war to be waged against the nation(s) impeding the Empire's unilateralism. The brats are spoilt beyond belief and 100% believe they're entitled to having Full Spectrum Dominance because of their exceptionalist ideology--they've destroyed their own basic law to attain that goal; the impeachment derangement is just the most overt symptom being shown at the moment. Just look at the unanimity on the two recent anti-China votes--Congress is in almost 100% lockstep with Marco Rubio's insanity.

IMO, there were saner heads in 1962 than now, particularly in Congress. What's worse than an Evil Outlaw US Empire is it's becoming deranged.

[Dec 08, 2019] WSJ Article Runs Through The Greatest Hits of a Dysfunctional Foreign Policy Debate

Notable quotes:
"... Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force. ..."
"... These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved. ..."
"... September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it. ..."
"... For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific." ..."
"... The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. ..."
"... This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.

Hyping the threat of withdrawal

The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."

Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.

These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.

Terrorism safe havens

And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."

The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.

Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.

Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .

Credibility doesn't work how you think it works

For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."

Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.

Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.

Not all interests are created equal

Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."

The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.

Consequences

Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.

This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .

[Dec 08, 2019] About making stratinc decition by chichenhawks like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT

From page 12 of Martyanov's RRMA, " people such as Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform "

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years and retired from the Navy Reserve as a full Captain.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@JoaoAlfaiate

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science. That sure qualifies him for making strategic decisions, right? Especially in the 21st century. Well, we all saw results, didn't we?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm GMT
@Jim Christian Jim, a lot of truth in what you say. But especially this:

As for the military? A reflection of our society. When I went into the Navy in 1975, it was Stars and Stripes and we served in large part for Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Here is a quote from one of Russian undercover intelligence assets which was outed when Anna Chapman was outed. Unlike her, however, this guy was a real deal. Here is what he had to say recently about US:

What is THEIR weakness? As enemies these guys are mediocrities, second rate. They overate. Their previous generation was stronger. They respected us, we respected them. We don't respect these ones,they didn't deserve it. They can bully, as for the real fight–we'll see about that They are enraged that soon they will have to live within their means.They forgot how to do so long time ago. That is why they want to solve a problem with us now, while others are still afraid of them.

here is an original in Russian, just in case.

https://vz.ru/opinions/2018/5/4/920955.html?utm_campaign=transit&utm_source=mirtesen&utm_medium=news&from=mirtesen

I remember 70s and 80s clearly, being myself a Cold Warrior, these were different times. many different people. Today, as you say, I see decay everywhere in everything, the country (the US) was literally robbed, people blinded and all for a reasons of bottom line in "business" and for Israel's, Saudi and corporate interests. The America I encountered in 1990s is gone.

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science.

Rummy flew a Stoof? Git the farg outta here? I thought he only had balls with OTHER people's lives..

[Dec 06, 2019] So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really?

Notable quotes:
"... Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024 … ..."
"... So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17? ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"'Our Democracy Is at Stake.' Pelosi Orders Democrats to Draft Articles of Impeachment Against Trump" [ Time ]. With autoplay video. ""The President abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival." • So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really? Yasha Levine quotes Democrat impeachment witness Karlan (see below) but the point is the same:

Yasha Levine ✔ @yashalevine

Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024

So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17?

"Read opening statements from witnesses at the House Judiciary hearing" [ Politico ]. "Democrats' impeachment witnesses at Wednesday's judiciary committee hearing plan to say in their prepared remarks that President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine were the worst examples of misconduct in presidential history." • So again, it's all about Ukraine. I feel like I've entered an alternate dimension. Aaron Maté comments:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GkQDrYr4EZs

My very subjective impression: I've skimmed three, and read Turley. Karlan, in particular, is simply not a serious effort. Turley may be wrong -- a ton of tribal dunking on Twitter -- but at least he's making a serious effort. I'm gonna have to wait to see if somebody, say at Lawfare, does a serious effort on Turley. Everything I've read hitherto is and posturing and preaching to the choir. (Sad that Larry Tribe has so completely discredited himself, but that's where we are.)

While on Turley, see this from his testimony:

Hat tip to alert reader David in Santa Cruz for his early call on "inchoate":

Lambert, while Trump was unable to complete his attempt to extort the President of Ukraine, as someone who practiced the criminal law for 34 years, let me be the first to clue you in to the concept in the criminal law of the inchoate offense . This is criminal law, not contract law.

An inchoate offense includes an attempt, a conspiracy, and the solicitation of a crime. All focus on the state of mind of the perpetrator, and none require that the offense be completed -- only that a person or persons having the required criminal intent took material steps toward completing the crime. Such a person becomes a principal in the contemplated crime, and in the eyes of the law is just as guilty as if he or she had completed the attempted offense.

(The details of Trump's offense differ from what David in Santa Cruz said they would be.) "Inchoate" appears only in Turley's piece, indicating, to me, that his was the only serious effort.

[Dec 04, 2019] Looks like Congressional Dems Democrats might paint themselves into a corner

One of the problems with show trials is that they usually backfire...
Notable quotes:
"... What will be the FBI investigation of Ciaramella - there are penalties for filing false complaints and it appears he was acting well out side the confines of the whistle-blower law. ..."
"... Ergo, the FBI is duty bound to hold Ciaramella accountable for filing a false complaint. Only if charges get filed can his action under this law be deemed irrelevant. ..."
"... The reliability of the Steele document seems to have been massively oversold to the FISA court. Had someone in the know acted as Whistle-blower and saved us all that has followed they should not get crucified for it, it is part of their job isn't it? ..."
"... turcopolier , 20 November 2019 at 09:46 PM ..."
"... I will try again. The law has nothing to do with non-intelligence matters and there were no intelligence matters in the phone call. ..."
"... The complaint was a vehicle to carry out the Democrats politics of personal destruction. While all on the DNC debate stage tonight, each candidate asked (without a hint of irony) to be the one candidate who can "bring the country together again" after Trump alone has torn it asunder. ..."
"... If I were Trump, I would have fired this guy for accepting a whistleblower complaint that was not allowed under the statute because it did not concern an intelligence activity or anything else supervised by the DNI as the statute requires. ..."
"... Conceptually, it is the same as the Intelligence IG accepting and investigating complaints about slow mail service, mine safety, or TSA agents stealing when they inspect luggage at the airport. His jurisdiction is limited and he grossly exceeded it. ..."
"... The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) is Michael K Atkinson. ICIG Atkinson is the official who accepted the ridiculous premise of a hearsay 'whistle-blower' complaint; an intelligence whistleblower who was "blowing-the-whistle" based on second hand information of a phone call without any direct personal knowledge, ie 'hearsay'. ..."
"... Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD) in 2016. That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were the former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway. ..."
"... Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting. ..."
"... Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Factotum , 20 November 2019 at 07:39 PM

Democrats painted themselves into a corner.

Only way out is to call for the impeachment, have a vote and either lick their wounds if they lose (mainly Schiff and Nadler get sacrificed - Fancy Nancy has been dancing on a tight rope so she gets a pass); or vote to pass articles of impeachment and finally send this turkey on to the senate.

Wild card, how many Democrats not engaged in this blatant publicity stunt also want no part in it. What will be the FBI investigation of Ciaramella - there are penalties for filing false complaints and it appears he was acting well out side the confines of the whistle-blower law.

turcopolier , 20 November 2019 at 09:36 PM
factotum
That is irrelevant. The complaint would have been invalid as outside the law even if it had been based on first hand knowledge.
Factotum said in reply to turcopolier ... , 21 November 2019 at 12:18 AM
Ergo, the FBI is duty bound to hold Ciaramella accountable for filing a false complaint. Only if charges get filed can his action under this law be deemed irrelevant.

Otherwise, all you have are the opening opinion statements in tonights DNC debate, sneered out by Rachael Maddow, picked up with even more sneers by Kamala Harris and echoed by every single DNC candidate as already a fait accompli.

The unocntested party line tonight is this "whistle blower" busted Trump wide open as a crook and a self-confessed crook at that.

That political message flowing from this "irrelevant complaint "is hard to overcome as the DNC debate crowd cheered, unless the perpetrator is brought to justice under the relevance of this law. We shall wait patiently for that moment. As the Democrats all stated tonight - 2020 election is all about JUSTICE AND NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

NOW can I be excused while I go throw up?

turcopolier , 20 November 2019 at 09:40 PM
JJackson

The complaint was without the law, do you understand that?

JJackson said in reply to turcopolier ... , 21 November 2019 at 03:33 AM
I do, which is what I meant by
"In this case his/her gripe does not fall within the scope of the act."

The point I was making is that, as drafted, there is in adequate redress/protection for those who witness acts which are clearly covered. This is not conducive to keeping government on the straight and narrow. The reliability of the Steele document seems to have been massively oversold to the FISA court. Had someone in the know acted as Whistle-blower and saved us all that has followed they should not get crucified for it, it is part of their job isn't it?

turcopolier , 20 November 2019 at 09:46 PM
LA Sox Fan

I will try again. The law has nothing to do with non-intelligence matters and there were no intelligence matters in the phone call.

Factotum said in reply to turcopolier ... , 21 November 2019 at 12:20 AM
The complaint was a vehicle to carry out the Democrats politics of personal destruction. While all on the DNC debate stage tonight, each candidate asked (without a hint of irony) to be the one candidate who can "bring the country together again" after Trump alone has torn it asunder.
Rick Merlotti said in reply to Factotum... , 21 November 2019 at 10:05 AM
Yeah, well fortunately nobody watches those debates.
LA Sox Fan -> turcopolier ... , 21 November 2019 at 10:37 AM
Exactly right. If I were Trump, I would have fired this guy for accepting a whistleblower complaint that was not allowed under the statute because it did not concern an intelligence activity or anything else supervised by the DNI as the statute requires.

Conceptually, it is the same as the Intelligence IG accepting and investigating complaints about slow mail service, mine safety, or TSA agents stealing when they inspect luggage at the airport. His jurisdiction is limited and he grossly exceeded it.

Will Smith , 21 November 2019 at 12:32 AM
The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) is Michael K Atkinson. ICIG Atkinson is the official who accepted the ridiculous premise of a hearsay 'whistle-blower' complaint; an intelligence whistleblower who was "blowing-the-whistle" based on second hand information of a phone call without any direct personal knowledge, ie 'hearsay'.

The center of the Lawfare Alliance influence was/is the Department of Justice National Security Division, DOJ-NSD. It was the DOJ-NSD running the Main Justice side of the 2016 operations to support Operation Crossfire Hurricane and FBI agent Peter Strzok. It was also the DOJ-NSD where the sketchy legal theories around FARA violations (Sec. 901) originated.

Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD) in 2016. That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were the former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.

Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.

Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/10/04/sketchy-inspector-general-michael-atkinson-admits-whistle-blower-never-informed-him-of-contact-with-schiff-committee/

[Dec 04, 2019] Responding to Lt. Col. Vindman about my Ukraine columns with the facts John Solomon Reports

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Fact 10 : Shokin stated in interviews with me and ABC News that he was told he was fired because Joe Biden was unhappy the Burisma investigation wasn't shut down. He made that claim anew in this sworn deposition prepared for a court in Europe. You can read that here . ..."
"... Fact 11 : The day Shokin's firing was announced in March 2016, Burisma's legal representatives sought an immediate meeting with his temporary replacement to address the ongoing investigation. You can read the text of their emails here . ..."
"... Fact 13 : Burisma officials eventually settled the Ukraine investigations in late 2016 and early 2017, paying a multimillion dollar fine for tax issues. You can read their lawyer's February 2017 announcement of the end of the investigations here . ..."
"... Fact 15 : The Ukraine embassy in Washington issued a statement in April 2019 admitting that a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa solicited Ukrainian officials in spring 2016 for dirt on Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in hopes of staging a congressional hearing close to the 2016 election that would damage Trump's election chances. You can read the embassy's statement here and here . Your colleague, Dr. Fiona Hill, confirmed this episode, testifying "Ukraine bet on the wrong horse. They bet on Hillary Clinton winning." You can read her testimony here . ..."
"... Fact 18 : A Ukrainian district court ruled in December 2018 that the summer 2016 release of information by Ukrainian Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko and NABU director Artem Sytnyk about an ongoing investigation of Manafort amounted to an improper interference by Ukraine's government in the 2016 U.S. election. You can read the court ruling here . Leschenko and Sytnyk deny the allegations, and have won an appeal to suspend that ruling on a jurisdictional technicality. ..."
"... Fact 21 : In April 2016, US embassy charge d'affaires George Kent sent a letter to the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office demanding that Ukrainian prosecutors stand down a series of investigations into how Ukrainian nonprofits spent U.S. aid dollars, including the Anti-Corruption Actions Centre. You can read that letter here . Kent testified he signed the letter here . ..."
"... Fact 22 : Then-Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said in a televised interview with me that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during a 2016 meeting provided the lists of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups she did want to see prosecuted. You can see I accurately quoted him by watching the video here . ..."
"... Fact 27 : In May 2016, one of George Soros' top aides secured a meeting with the top Eurasia policy official in the State Department to discuss Russian bond issues. You can read the State memos on that meeting here . ..."
"... Fact 28 : In June 2016, Soros himself secured a telephonic meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to discuss Ukraine policy. You can read the State memos on that meeting here . ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | johnsolomonreports.com

honor and applaud Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's service to his country. He's a hero. I also respect his decision to testify at the impeachment proceedings. I suspect neither his service nor his testimony was easy.

But I also know the liberties that Lt. Col. Vindman fought on the battlefield to preserve permit for a free and honest debate in America, one that can't be muted by the color of uniform or the crushing power of the state.

So I want to exercise my right to debate Lt. Col. Vindman about the testimony he gave about me. You see, under oath to Congress, he asserted all the factual elements in my columns at The Hill about Ukraine were false, except maybe my grammar

Here are his exact words:

"I think all the key elements were false," Vindman testified.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y, pressed him about what he meant. "Just so I understand what you mean when you say key elements, are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?"

"All the elements that I just laid out for you. The criticisms of corruption were false . Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don't recall. I haven't looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right."

Such testimony has been injurious to my reputation, one earned during 30 years of impactful reporting for news organizations that included The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Daily Beast/Newsweek.

And so Lt. Col. Vindman, here are the 28 primary factual elements in my Ukraine columns, complete with attribution and links to sourcing. Please tell me which, if any, was factually wrong.

  • Fact 1 : Hunter Biden was hired in May 2014 by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, at a time when his father Joe Biden was Vice President and overseeing US-Ukraine Policy. Here is the announcement. Hunter Biden's hiring came just a few short weeks after Joe Biden urged Ukraine to expand natural gas production and use Americans to help. You can read his comments to the Ukrainian prime minister here . Hunter Biden's firm then began receiving monthly payments totaling $166,666. You can see those payments here .
  • Fact 2 : Burisma was under investigation by British authorities for corruption and soon came under investigation by Ukrainian authorities led by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
  • Fact 3 : Vice President Joe Biden and his office were alerted by a December 2015 New York Times article that Shokin's office was investigating Burisma and that Hunter Biden's role at the company was undercutting his father's anticorruption efforts in Ukraine.
  • Fact 4 : The Biden-Burisma issue created the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially for State Department officials. I especially refer you to State official George Kent's testimony here . He testified he viewed Burisma as corrupt and the Bidens as creating the perception of a conflict of interest. His concerns both caused him to contact the vice president's office and to block a project that State's USAID agency was planning with Burisma in 2016. In addition, Ambassador Yovanovitch testified she, too, saw the Bidens-Burisma connection as creating the appearance of a conflict of interest. You can read her testimony here .
  • Fact 5 : The Obama White House invited Shokin's prosecutorial team to Washington for meetings in January 2016 to discuss their anticorruption investigations. You can read about that here . Also, here is the official agenda for that meeting in Ukraine and English . I call your attention to the NSC organizer of the meeting.
  • Fact 6 : The Ukraine investigation of Hunter Biden's employer, Burisma Holdings, escalated in February 2016 when Shokin's office raided the home of company owner Mykola Zlochevsky and seized his property. Here is the announcement of that court-approved raid.
  • Fact 7 : Shokin was making plans in February 2016 to interview Hunter Biden as part of his investigation. You can read his interview with me here, his sworn deposition to a court here and his interview with ABC News here .
  • Fact 8 : Burisma's American representatives lobbied the State Department in late February 2016 to help end the corruption allegations against the company, and specifically invoked Hunter Biden's name as a reason to intervene. You can read State officials' account of that effort here
  • Fact 9 : Joe Biden boasted in a 2018 videotape that he forced Ukraine's president to fire Shokin in March 2016 by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid. You can view his videotape here .
  • Fact 10 : Shokin stated in interviews with me and ABC News that he was told he was fired because Joe Biden was unhappy the Burisma investigation wasn't shut down. He made that claim anew in this sworn deposition prepared for a court in Europe. You can read that here .
  • Fact 11 : The day Shokin's firing was announced in March 2016, Burisma's legal representatives sought an immediate meeting with his temporary replacement to address the ongoing investigation. You can read the text of their emails here .
  • Fact 12 : Burisma's legal representatives secured that meeting April 6, 2016 and told Ukrainian prosecutors that "false information" had been spread to justify Shokin's firing, according to a Ukrainian government memo about the meeting. The representatives also offered to arrange for the remaining Ukrainian prosecutors to meet with U.S State and Justice officials. You can read the Ukrainian prosecutors' summary memo of the meeting here and here and the Burisma lawyers' invite to Washington here .
  • Fact 13 : Burisma officials eventually settled the Ukraine investigations in late 2016 and early 2017, paying a multimillion dollar fine for tax issues. You can read their lawyer's February 2017 announcement of the end of the investigations here .
  • Fact 14 : In March 2019, Ukraine authorities reopened an investigation against Burisma and Zlochevsky based on new evidence of money laundering. You can read NABU's February 2019 recommendation to re-open the case here , the March 2019 notice of suspicion by Ukraine prosecutors here and a May 2019 interview here with a Ukrainian senior law enforcement official stating the investigation was ongoing. And here is an announcement this week that the Zlochevsky/Burisma probe has been expanded to include allegations of theft of Ukrainian state funds.
  • Fact 15 : The Ukraine embassy in Washington issued a statement in April 2019 admitting that a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa solicited Ukrainian officials in spring 2016 for dirt on Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in hopes of staging a congressional hearing close to the 2016 election that would damage Trump's election chances. You can read the embassy's statement here and here . Your colleague, Dr. Fiona Hill, confirmed this episode, testifying "Ukraine bet on the wrong horse. They bet on Hillary Clinton winning." You can read her testimony here .
  • Fact 16 : Chalupa sent an email to top DNC officials in May 2016 acknowledging she was working on the Manafort issue. You can read the email here .
  • Fact 17 : Ukraine's ambassador to Washington, Valeriy Chaly, wrote an OpEd in The Hill in August 2016 slamming GOP nominee Donald Trump for his policies on Russia despite a Geneva Convention requirement that ambassadors not become embroiled in the internal affairs or elections of their host countries. You can read Ambassador Chaly's OpEd here and the Geneva Convention rules of conduct for foreign diplomats here . And your colleagues Ambassador Yovanovitch and Dr. Hill both confirmed this, with Dr. Hill testifying this week that Chaly's OpEd was "probably not the most advisable thing to do."
  • Fact 18 : A Ukrainian district court ruled in December 2018 that the summer 2016 release of information by Ukrainian Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko and NABU director Artem Sytnyk about an ongoing investigation of Manafort amounted to an improper interference by Ukraine's government in the 2016 U.S. election. You can read the court ruling here . Leschenko and Sytnyk deny the allegations, and have won an appeal to suspend that ruling on a jurisdictional technicality.
  • Fact 19 : George Soros' Open Society Foundation issued a memo in February 2016 on its strategy for Ukraine, identifying the nonprofit Anti-Corruption Action Centre as the lead for its efforts. You can read the memo here .
  • Fact 20 : The State Department and Soros' foundation jointly funded the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. You can read about that funding here from the Centre's own funding records and George Kent's testimony about it here .
  • Fact 21 : In April 2016, US embassy charge d'affaires George Kent sent a letter to the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office demanding that Ukrainian prosecutors stand down a series of investigations into how Ukrainian nonprofits spent U.S. aid dollars, including the Anti-Corruption Actions Centre. You can read that letter here . Kent testified he signed the letter here .
  • Fact 22 : Then-Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said in a televised interview with me that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during a 2016 meeting provided the lists of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups she did want to see prosecuted. You can see I accurately quoted him by watching the video here .
  • Fact 23 : Ambassador Yovanovitch and her embassy denied Lutsenko's claim, calling it a "fabrication." I reported their reaction here .
  • Fact 24 : Despite the differing accounts of what happened at the Lutsenko-Yovanovitch meeting, a senior U.S. official in an interview arranged by the State Department stated to me in spring 2019 that US officials did pressure Lutsenko's office on several occasions not to "prosecute, investigate or harass" certain Ukrainian activists, including Parliamentary member Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin, the Anti-Corruption Action Centre and NABU director Sytnyk. You can read that official's comments here . In addition, George Kent confirmed this same information in his deposition here .
  • Fact 25 : In May 2018, then-House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions sent an official congressional letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking that Yovanovitch be recalled as ambassador to Ukraine. Sessions and State confirmed the official letter, which you can read here .
  • Fact 26 : In fall 2018, Ukrainian prosecutors, using a third party, hired an American lawyer (a former U.S. attorney) to proffer information to the U.S. government about certain activities at the U.S. embassy, involving Burisma and involving the 2016 election, that they believed might have violated U.S. law. You can read their account here . You can also confirm it independently by talking to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan or the American lawyer representing the Ukrainian prosecutors' interests.
  • Fact 27 : In May 2016, one of George Soros' top aides secured a meeting with the top Eurasia policy official in the State Department to discuss Russian bond issues. You can read the State memos on that meeting here .
  • Fact 28 : In June 2016, Soros himself secured a telephonic meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to discuss Ukraine policy. You can read the State memos on that meeting here .

Lt. Col. Vindman, if you have information that contradicts any of these 28 factual elements in my columns I ask that you make it publicly available. Your testimony did not.

If you don't have evidence these 28 facts are wrong, I ask that you correct your testimony because any effort to call factually accurate reporting false only misleads America and chills the free debate our Constitutional framers so cherished to protect.

[Dec 02, 2019] A bunch of neocons in key positions in Trump administration really represents a huge threat to world peace

Notable quotes:
"... No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
Howard Frank in this blog provides a good example of Vichy left thinking...

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am 73

Stephen @58

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am ( )

Stephen @58

Yes, it was late and I was tired, or I wouldn't have said something so foolish. Still, the point is that after centuries of constant war, Europe went 70 years without territorial conquest. That strikes me as a significant achievement, and one whose breach should not be taken lightly.

phenomenal cat @64

So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them? I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections. Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great. Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do.

Russian leaders have always complained about "encirclement," but we don't have to believe them. Do you really believe Russia's afraid of an attack from Estonia? Clearly what Putin wants is to restore as much of the old Soviet empire as possible. Do you think the independence of the Baltic states would be more secure or less secure if they weren't members of NATO? (Hint: compare to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova.)

phenomenal cat 10.26.16 at 6:55 pm 84

"So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them?"

No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia.

"I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections."

Yeah, it'd be interesting to see what the U.S. looked like with those dynamics in place.

"Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great."

If you say so. For now I'll leave any decisions or actions taken on these outcomes to Russian citizens. I would, however, kindly tell Victoria Nuland and her ilk to fuck off with their senile Cold War fantasies, morally bankrupt, third-rate Great Game machinations, and total spectrum dominance sociopathy.

"Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do."

There's definitely some of 'em hanging about, but yeah it mostly seems to be a motley assortment of oligarchs, gangsters, and grifters tied into international neoliberal capital and money flows. No doubt Russian believe a lot things. I find Americans tend to believe a lot things as well.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Vichy left – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their own prosperity

Notable quotes:
"... Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned. ..."
"... Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class". ..."
"... Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch". ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Sanjait -> Sandwichman ... October 24, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Some paranoid claptrap to go along with your usual anti intellectualism.

Interestingly, with your completely unrelated non sequitur, you've actually illustrated something that does relate to Krugmans post. Namely that there are wingnuts among us. They've taken over the Republican Party, but the left has some too. Fortunately though the Democratic Party hasn't been taken over by them yet, and is still mostly run by grown ups.

Sandwichman -> Sanjait... , October 24, 2016 at 10:42 AM

I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations.
likbez -> Sandwichman ...
"I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations."

Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned.

Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class".

Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch".

[Nov 15, 2019] We need to get the globalist class under control: Sputnik is reporting that the US has spent $6.4 Trillion fighting wars that have killed 800,000 since Sept 11/01, that number is unbelievable, at least 1,500,000 dead in Iraq, 250,000 in Afghanistan, 750,000 in Syria.

Nov 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kadath , Nov 14 2019 21:09 utc | 136

Sputnik is reporting that the US has spent $6.4 Trillion fighting wars that have killed 800,000 since Sept 11/01, that number is unbelievable, at least 1,500,000 dead in Iraq, 250,000 in Afghanistan, 750,000 in Syria.

The US military budget alone has averaged about 650 billion since then, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were funded separately (around 200 million a year), plus CIA/ blackbook projects - 7 or 8 trillion is a more likely number.

When things get blown up, no one really knows what was actually bought and existed and what was just a phantom piece of equipment War has always been the ideal cover for corruption

[May 02, 2019] Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War. America s Hegemonic Project by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism is an integral part of this foreign policy agenda. It constitutes an all encompassing mechanism of economic destabilization. Since the 1997 Asian crisis, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program (SAP) has evolved towards a broader framework which consists in ultimately undermining national governments' ability to formulate and implement national economic and social policies. ..."
Jun 16, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

Originally appeared at Globalresearch

The world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

America's hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms on indebted countries as well the manipulation of financial markets, the engineered collapse of national currencies, the privatization of State property, the imposition of economic sanctions, the triggering of inflation and black markets.

The economic dimensions of this military agenda must be clearly understood. War and Globalization are intimately related. These military and intelligence operations are implemented alongside a process of economic and political destabilization targeting specific countries in all major regions of World.

Neoliberalism is an integral part of this foreign policy agenda. It constitutes an all encompassing mechanism of economic destabilization. Since the 1997 Asian crisis, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program (SAP) has evolved towards a broader framework which consists in ultimately undermining national governments' ability to formulate and implement national economic and social policies.

In turn, the demise of national sovereignty was also facilitated by the instatement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, evolving towards the global trading agreements (TTIP and TPP) which (if adopted) would essentially transfer state policy entirely into the hands of corporations. In recent years, neoliberalism has extend its grip from the so-called developing countries to the developed countries of both Eastern and Western Europe. Bankruptcy programs have been set in motion. Island, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, etc, have been the target of sweeping austerity measures coupled with the privatization of key sectors of the national economy.

The global economic crisis is intimately related to America's hegemonic agenda. In the US and the EU, a spiralling defense budget backlashes on the civilian sectors of economic activity. "War is Good for Business": the powerful financial groups which routinely manipulate stock markets, currency and commodity markets, are also promoting the continuation and escalation of the Middle East war. A worldwide process of impoverishment is an integral part of the New World Order agenda.

Beyond the Globalization of Poverty

Historically, impoverishment of large sectors of the World population has been engineered through the imposition of IMF-style macro-economic reforms. Yet, in the course of the last 15 years, a new destructive phase has been set in motion. The World has moved beyond the "globalization of poverty": countries are transformed in open territories,

State institutions collapse, schools and hospitals are closed down, the legal system disintegrates, borders are redefined, broad sectors of economic activity including agriculture and manufacturing are precipitated into bankruptcy, all of which ultimately leads to a process of social collapse, exclusion and destruction of human life including the outbreak of famines, the displacement of entire populations (refugee crisis).

This "second stage" goes beyond the process of impoverishment instigated in the early 1980s by creditors and international financial institutions. In this regard, mass poverty resulting from macro-economic reform sets the stage of a process of outright destruction of human life.

In turn, under conditions of widespread unemployment, the costs of labor in developing countries has plummeted. The driving force of the global economy is luxury consumption and the weapons industry.

The New World Order

Broadly speaking, the main corporate actors of the New World Order are

  • Wall Street and the Western banking conglomerates including its offshore money laundering facilities, tax havens, hedge funds and secret accounts,
  • the Military Industrial Complex regrouping major "defense contractors", security and mercenary companies, intelligence outfits, on contract to the Pentagon;
  • the Anglo-American Oil and Energy Giants,
  • The Biotech Conglomerates, which increasingly control agriculture and the food chain;
  • Big Pharma,
  • The Communication Giants and Media conglomerates, which constitute the propaganda arm of the New World Order.

There is of course overlap, between Big Pharma and the Weapons industry, the oil conglomerates and Wall Street, etc.

These various corporate entities interact with government bodies, international financial institutions, US intelligence. The state structure has evolved towards what Peter Dale Scott calls the "Deep State", integrated by covert intelligence bodies, think tanks, secret councils and consultative bodies, where important New World Order decisions are ultimately reached on behalf of powerful corporate interests.

In turn, intelligence operatives increasingly permeate the United Nations including its specialized agencies, nongovernmental organizations, trade unions, political parties.

What this means is that the executive and legislature constitute a smokescreen, a mechanism for providing political legitimacy to decisions taken by the corporate establishment behind closed doors.

Media Propaganda

The corporate media, which constitutes the propaganda arm of the New World Order, has a long history whereby intelligence ops oversee the news chain. In turn, the corporate media serves the useful purpose of obfuscating war crimes, of presenting a humanitarian narrative which upholds the legitimacy of politicians in high office.

Acts of war and economic destabilization are granted legitimacy. War is presented as a peace-keeping undertaking.

Both the global economy as well as the political fabric of Western capitalism have become criminalized. The judicial apparatus at a national level as well the various international human rights tribunals and criminal courts serve the useful function of upholding the legitimacy of US-NATO led wars and human rights violations.

Destabilizing Competing Poles of Capitalist Development

There are of course significant divisions and capitalist rivalry within the corporate establishment. In the post Cold War era, the US hegemonic project consists in destabilizing competing poles of capitalist development including China, Russia and Iran as well as countries such as India, Brazil and Argentina.

In recent developments, the US has also exerted pressure on the capitalist structures of the member states of the European Union. Washington exerts influence in the election of heads of State including Germany and France, which are increasingly aligned with Washington.

The monetary dimensions are crucial. The international financial system established under Bretton Woods prevails. The global financial apparatus is dollarized. The powers of money creation are used as a mechanism to appropriate real economy assets. Speculative financial trade has become an instrument of enrichment at the expense of the real economy. Excess corporate profits and multibillion dollar speculative earnings (deposited in tax free corporate charities) are also recycled towards the corporate control of politicians, civil society organizations, not to mention scientists and intellectuals. It's called corruption, co-optation, fraud.

Latin America: The Transition towards a "Democratic Dictatorship"

In Latin America, the military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s have in large part been replaced by US proxy regimes, i.e. a democratic dictatorship has been installed which ensures continuity. At the same time the ruling elites in Latin America have remoulded. They have become increasingly integrated into the logic of global capitalism, requiring an acceptance of the US hegemonic project.

Macro-economic reform has been conducive to the impoverishment of the entire Latin America region.

In the course of the last 40 years, impoverishment has been triggered by hyperinflation, starting with the 1973 military coup in Chile and the devastating reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The implementation of these deadly economic reforms including sweeping privatization, trade deregulation, etc. is coordinated in liaison with US intelligence ops, including the "Dirty war" and Operation Condor, the Contra insurrection in Nicaragua, etc.

The development of a new and privileged elite integrated into the structures of Western investment and consumerism has emerged. Regime change has been launched against a number of Latin American countries.

Any attempt to introduce reforms which departs from the neoliberal consensus is the object of "dirty tricks" including acts of infiltration, smear campaigns, political assassinations, interference in national elections and covert operations to foment social divisions. This process inevitably requires corruption and cooptation at the highest levels of government as well as within the corporate and financial establishment. In some countries of the region it hinges on the criminalization of the state, the legitimacy of money laundering and the protection of the drug trade.

The above text is an English summary of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky's Presentation, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, May 17, 2016. This presentation took place following the granting of a Doctor Honoris Causa in Humanities to Professor Chossudovsky by the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN)

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