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Color revolutions -- Neoliberalism adaptation of Trotskyism idea of "permanent revolution" 

It is easy to mobilize large crowds with slogans which one cannot but characterize as crowd pleasers – for democracy, against corruption, etc.  Add to this money infusion from G7 embassies distributed as cash and the targeted government has real problems; when color revolution succeeds people soon realize that what really bothered them (lack of freedom, humiliation, poverty, social corruption, lack of prospects of a decent life) goes on with doubled intensity under a new neoliberal regime.

News Fifth column Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Venezuela: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Syria civil war Civil war in Ukraine Yemen war Looting pays dividends to empire War and Venture Capitalism
Methods used for destabilization of the society in color revolutions Bombing country with dollars Government snipers on rooftops false flag operation "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for color revolutions undermining government in developing and xUSSR countries Role of State Department and western embassies NGOs and think tanks as brain trust of color revolutions
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Delegitimization of Ruling Party Parasitism on Human rights: children of Lieutenant Schmidt Human right activists or globalism fifth column The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Compradors  
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 EuroMaidan Russian Color Revolution of 2012 Ukrainian orange revolution
Frustrated underachievers Russian neoliberal compradors Net Hamsters as a part of fifth column Exploiting Revolutionary Romantics as polit-technology IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligentsia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Gene Sharp Recipes and Russian Experience
Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as polyarchy Foreign Agents Registration Act Attack of Think Tanks Destruction by the USA of international law

Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few

Predator state The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
American Exceptionalism Non-Interventionism Hypocrisy of British ruling elite Politically Incorrect Humor Russian Fifth column Humor Etc
NOTE: Due to the size introduction was converted to a separate page. Introduction to color revolution strategy and tactic
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"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, as charity, as historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone raised on traditional ethical concepts. But for the Christian who builds his life on the word of God, it merely confirms the fundamental perversity of evil."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[Oct 23, 2019] Neoconservatism Is An Omnicidal Death Cult, And It Must Be Stopped by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Neocons are lobbyists for MIC, the it is MIC that is the center of this this cult. People like Kriston, Kagan and Max Boot are just well paid prostituttes on MIC, which includes intelligence agencies as a very important part -- the bridge to Wall Street so to speak.
Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Neoconservatism is a psychopathic death cult whose relentless hyper-hawkishness is a greater threat to the survival of our species than anything else in the world right now. These people are traitors to humanity, and their ideology needs to be purged from the face of the earth forever. I'm not advocating violence of any kind here, but let's stop pretending that this is okay. Let's start calling these people the murderous psychopaths that they are whenever they rear their evil heads and stop respecting and legitimizing them. There should be a massive, massive social stigma around what these people do, so we need to create one. They should be marginalized, not leading us. ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | medium.com

Glenn Greenwald has just published a very important article in The Intercept that I would have everyone in America read if I could. Titled "With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons", Greenwald's excellent piece details the frustratingly under-reported way that the leaders of the neoconservative death cult have been realigning with the Democratic party.

This pivot back to the party of neoconservatism's origin is one of the most significant political events of the new millennium, but aside from a handful of sharp political analysts like Greenwald it's been going largely undiscussed. This is weird, and we need to start talking about it. A lot. Their willful alignment with neoconservatism should be the very first thing anyone ever talks about when discussing the Democratic party.

When you hear someone complaining that the Democratic party has no platform besides being anti-Trump, your response should be, "Yeah it does. Their platform is the omnicidal death cult of neoconservatism."

It's absolutely insane that neoconservatism is still a thing, let alone still a thing that mainstream America tends to regard as a perfectly legitimate set of opinions for a human being to have. As what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts rightly calls "the most dangerous ideology that has ever existed," neoconservatism has used its nonpartisan bloodlust to work with the Democratic party for the purpose of escalating tensions with Russia on multiple fronts, bringing our species to the brink of what could very well end up being a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies.

This is not okay. Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives. Check out leading neoconservative Bill Kristol's response to the aforementioned Intercept article:

... ... ...

Okay, leaving aside the fact that this bloodthirsty psychopath is saying neocons "won" a Cold War that neocons have deliberately reignited by fanning the flames of the Russia hysteria and pushing for more escalations , how insane is it that we live in a society where a public figure can just be like, "Yeah, I'm a neocon, I advocate for using military aggression to maintain US hegemony and I think it's great," and have that be okay? These people kill children. Neoconservatism means piles upon piles of child corpses. It means devoting the resources of a nation that won't even provide its citizens with a real healthcare system to widespread warfare and all the death, destruction, chaos, terrorism, rape and suffering that necessarily comes with war. The only way that you can possibly regard neoconservatism as just one more set of political opinions is if you completely compartmentalize away from the reality of everything that it is.

This should not happen. The tensions with Russia that these monsters have worked so hard to escalate could blow up at any moment; there are too many moving parts, too many things that could go wrong. The last Cold War brought our species within a hair's breadth of total annihilation due to our inability to foresee all possible complications which can arise from such a contest, and these depraved death cultists are trying to drag us back into another one. Nothing is worth that. Nothing is worth risking the life of every organism on earth, but they're risking it all for geopolitical influence.

... ... ...

I've had a very interesting last 24 hours. My article about Senator John McCain (which I titled "Please Just Fucking Die Already" because the title I really wanted to use seemed a bit crass) has received an amount of attention that I'm not accustomed to, from CNN to USA Today to the Washington Post . I watched Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar talking about me on The View . They called me a "Bernie Sanders person." It was a trip. Apparently some very low-level Republican with a few hundred Twitter followers went and retweeted my article with an approving caption, and that sort of thing is worthy of coast-to-coast mainstream coverage in today's America.

This has of course brought in a deluge of angry comments, mostly from people whose social media pages are full of Russiagate nonsense , showing where McCain's current support base comes from. Some call him a war hero, some talk about him like he's a perfectly fine politician, some defend him as just a normal person whose politics I happen to disagree with.

This is insane. This man has actively and enthusiastically pushed for every single act of military aggression that America has engaged in, and some that it hasn't , throughout his entire career. He makes Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton look like a dove. When you look at John McCain, the very first thing you see should not be a former presidential candidate, a former POW or an Arizona Senator; the first thing you see should be the piles of human corpses that he has helped to create. This is not a normal kind of person, and I still do sincerely hope that he dies of natural causes before he can do any more harm.

Can we change this about ourselves, please? None of us should have to live in a world where pushing for more bombing campaigns at every opportunity is an acceptable agenda for a public figure to have. Neoconservatism is a psychopathic death cult whose relentless hyper-hawkishness is a greater threat to the survival of our species than anything else in the world right now. These people are traitors to humanity, and their ideology needs to be purged from the face of the earth forever. I'm not advocating violence of any kind here, but let's stop pretending that this is okay. Let's start calling these people the murderous psychopaths that they are whenever they rear their evil heads and stop respecting and legitimizing them. There should be a massive, massive social stigma around what these people do, so we need to create one. They should be marginalized, not leading us.

-- -- --

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[Oct 23, 2019] FBI-DOJ Likely to Throw the CIA and Clapper Under the Bus by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Oct 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

20 October 2019 FBI/DOJ Likely to Throw the CIA and Clapper Under the Bus by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

Law Enforcement versus the Intel Community. That's the battle we will likely see unleashed when the Horowitz report comes out next week. The New York Times came out Saturday with info clearly leaked from DOJ that can be summarized simply--the FBI was relying on the intel community (products from the CIA and NSA) under the leadership of Jim Clapper. If they relied on bad, unverified information it ain't their fault. They trusted the spies.

Let us start with a reminder of how damn corrupt the NY Times and its reporters are. Consider this paragraph penned by Adam Goldman and William Rashbaum:

Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.

"Unfounded conspiracy theories?" What a damn joke. The facts of a conspiracy to take out Donald Trump or cripple him are very clear. Robert Mueller and Jim Comey lied when they claimed that Joseph Mifsud, who tried to entrap George Papdopoulus in London, was a Russian agent. Nope. He worked for western intelligence. Unless Comey and DOJ have a document or documents from the CIA or NSA stating that Mifsud worked for the Russians, they have no where to hide. Plus, prosecutor John Durham now has Mifsud's blackberries. What do you think is the likelihood that Mifsud was in communication with FBI or CIA or MI6 personnel? Very likely. Then there is Stefan Halper, who played a key role in a sophisticated counterintelligence operation that involved the FBI, the CIA British Intelligence and the media. The ultimate target was Donald Trump. Halper's part of the operation focused on using an innocent woman who had the misfortune of being born in Russia, Svetlana Lokhova, to destroy General Michael Flynn. Halper and Mifsud both were involved in targeting General Michael Flynn. Not a conspiracy?

Halper's nefarious activities included manufacturing and publishing numerous false and defamatory statements. Halper, for example, falsely claimed that Svetlana Lokhova was a "Russian spy" and a traitor to her country. He also circulated the lie that Lokhova had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence. Not content to use the unwitting Svetlana as a weapon against General Flynn, Stefan Halper also acted with malice to destroy Svetlana Lokhova's professional career and business by asserting that she was not a real academic and that her research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin.

Thanks to Robert Mueller we have clear evidence of a conspiracy against Trump. Mueller's investigation of Trump "collusion" with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow --

George Papadopolous --

Carter Page --

Dimitri Simes --

Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)

Events at the Republican Convention

Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak

Paul Manafort

One simple fact emerges--six of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the pitch to "collude" with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

We do not need to say anything about Dmitri Simes, who was unfairly smeared by even being named as target in the investigation. And the "non" events at the Republican Convention, pure nonsense.

The other six cases "investigated" my Mueller and his team of clowns are damning.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller's report, originated with an FBI Informant--Felix Sater. Mueller was downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business .

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS. Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) , which has all the hallmarks of a British intelligence front. It is Joseph Mifsud, working for LCILP, who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch with George in London.

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary. During Papadopolous' next meeting with Mifsud, George writes that Mifsud:

leaned across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. "Emails of Clinton," he says. "They have thousands of emails."

More than three weeks before the alleged Russian hack of the DNC, Mifsud is peddling the story that the Russians have Clinton's emails. Conspiracy?

CARTER PAGE. The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page's status with the Trump campaign--he is described as "working" for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page's prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with US intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report. The Christopher Steele dossier was used as "corroborating" intel to justify what was an illegal FISA warrant. The FBI lied about the veracity of that dossier. Conspiracy?

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016). This is another glaring example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov.

The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. Even the corrupt NBC News got these damning facts about Veselnitskaya on the record:

The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower -- describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats -- from Glenn Simpson , the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.

Unfounded Conspiracy?

PAUL MANAFORT. If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump's offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ and intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC :

The boomerang from the Democratic Party's failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia's 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow's pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton .

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine's embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump's campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country's president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort 's dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration were colluding with Ukraine.

GENERAL MICHAEL FLYNN . This is the biggest travesty. Flynn was being targeted by the intel community with the full collaboration of the FBI. Thanks to his new attorney, the Honey Badger Sidney Powell, there is an avalanche of evidence showing prosecutorial misconduct and an unjustified, coordinated effort by the Obama team to frame Flynn as catering to the Russians. It is a lie and that will be fully exposed in the coming weeks.

Any fair reporter with half a brain would see these events as pointing to a conspiracy. But not the liars at the New York Times. But the Times does tip us off to the upcoming mad scramble for life boats. It will it the FBI and DOJ against the DNI, the CIA and NSA. According to the Times:

It is not clear how many people Mr. Durham's team has interviewed outside of the F.B.I. His investigators have questioned officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence but apparently have yet to interview C.I.A. personnel, people familiar with the review said. Mr. Durham would probably want to speak with Gina Haspel, the agency's director, who ran its London station when the Australians passed along the explosive information about Russia's offer of political dirt.

There is no abiding affection between the FBI and the CIA. They mix like oil and water. In theory the FBI only traffics in "evidence." The CIA deals primarily with well-sourced rumors. But the CIA will argue they were offering their best judgement, not a factual conclusion. Brennan and Clapper will insist they were not in a position to determine the "truth" of what they were reporting. It is "intel" not evidence.

The Horowitz report will not deal with the CIA and NSA directly. Horowitz can only point out that the FBI folks insisted that they were relying on the intel community and had no reason not to trust them. This is likely to get ugly and do not be surprised to see the intel folks try to throw the FBI under the bus and vice versa. Grab the popcorn.


turcopolier ,

LJ

They should squeeze Clapper. When he has been shown the instruments of torture he will squeal like the human piggy in "Deliverance."

jonst said in reply to turcopolier ... ,
I agree 100%, Clapper can be flipped.
jonst ,
You seem to have faith Larry, and I am not offering this sarcastically, that the Misfud Blackberries still have relevant data on them. I would be very surprised, (albeit pleasantly so) and disappointed, if MI6 was that sloopy.
Jack , 20 October 2019 at 12:43 PM
Larry

Thanks for keeping on this story.

While I don't have much confidence in Barr & Durham actually indicting Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al, nor do I believe that they'll lay out in clear terms the collusion between law enforcement, intelligence, corporate media, political operatives, foreign governments and intelligence agencies to frame a presidential candidate & campaign, I hope that some of these putschists will be made to pay at least a modest amount of their personal gains through their media and consulting gigs. As David Habakkuk has noted I hope the defamation lawsuit by Ed Butowsky is successful and that is then used as a template by others to go after all those complicit in this travesty.

What I find despicable is the hypocrisy and moralizing tone of all these smear merchants. These same characters now smearing Tulsi Gabbard using the same tropes. But even more, my utter disgust is with all the DC cocktail circuit propagandists in the media who are no longer even pretending.

I'm too old to see this happen, but my hope is that future generations will see the complete destruction of the political duopoly and the media-intelligence propaganda complex. They've been such a destructive force over the past five decades.

eakens , 20 October 2019 at 12:43 PM
It's going to be a full court press to get Trump out of office if we are expecting things to start shaking loose in weeks.
MP98 , 20 October 2019 at 12:43 PM
Anyone know who Durham is using as investigators?
Not the FBI,I hope.

[Oct 22, 2019] US foreign policy is now based on virtual facts

Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Notable quotes:
"... Some of the "virtual facts:" ..."
"... The Soviet Union never ended. Russia is still communist and an inevitable and indeed indispensable enemy of the US. Anyone who challenges that certitude is an obvious agent of the Russian government. ..."
"... Iran is the "greatest supporter of terrorism" in the world." ..."
"... The Syrian Arab Government is an abomination on the scale of Nazi Germany and must be destroyed and replaced by God knows what . ..."
"... Saudi Arabia is a deeply friendly state and ally of the US. ..."
"... It is beyond scary to see just how entrenched and powerful Deep State is and how it involves/controls both political parties ..."
"... I doubt there is any magic bullet website or other source of information that would turn people over night. A good start would be encouraging them to read transcripts of various Putin and Lavrov speeches and pressers, also Valdai Club, economic forum ect. ..."
"... The colonel's complaint implicitly assumes that things were not always thus. My adult experience since I saw a war up close has been that the "facts" of our public discourse are always simplified and usually grossly distorted. ..."
"... Not only are the MSM married to a narrative but they feel compelled to attack the few who ever challenge the orthodoxy. For example, 'Tulsi Gabbard met with the war criminal Assad'. ..."
"... It is certainly true that Russia is being demonized in all the MSM I have sampled. A frequent criticism is that Putin, like Assad, and earlier Saddam and Quadaffi, is essentially an illegitimate ruler of his country, ruling through brute force and without the consent of his countrymen. (Thus the WaPo editorials routinely call Putin a "thug", just as they call Assad a "butcher".) ..."
"... Not to defend Trump and his balance sheet mindset with respect to the Saudis, the reality is that both parties and presidents from George H.W to Bill Clinton to W and Obama have treated the Saudi monarchy as our "friend", even when they sponsored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. ..."
"... Tony Blair became a wealthy man after his prime ministership on the back of money thrown his way by the Arab sheikhs ..."
Oct 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mika B remarked a couple of years ago on the show that she and her sex slave stage in the early morning that the social media were out of control because it is the job of the MSM to tell people what to think. The Hillary stated recently that life was better when there were only three TeeVee news outlets because it was easier to keep things under control. Now? My God! Any damned fool can propagate unauthorized "facts." What? Who?

Well, pilgrims, the US government (along with our British and Israeli helpmates and masters) are the preeminent creators and purveyors of the manufactured virtual facts on which we base our policy. These "facts" are "ginned up" in the well moneyed hidden staff groups of "hidden" candidates that are devoted to the seizure of power made possible by a deluded electorate. These "facts" are then propagated and reinforced through relentless IO campaigns run by executive "bots" in the MSM and in such remarkable and imaginative efforts as the "White Helmets" film company manned by jihadis and managed by clubby Brits left over from the Days of The Raj (sob). These "facts" are now so entrenched in the general mind that they can be used to denounce people like Rep. (major ) Gabbard as traitors because they challenge them.

Some of the "virtual facts:"


Harper , 21 October 2019 at 07:50 PM

Yes I fully concur. We have gone from fact-based news to faith-based fake news led by the MSM. I recall at the start of the Iraq War in March 2003, the line was out that British PM Tony Blair was George W. Bush's "poodle," forgetting entirely that it was the first of the British "dodgy dossiers" that made the totally discredited claim that Saddam had gotten tons of yellow cake from Niger. So the British have no military resources but they continue to maintain the idea that they can manipulate the U.S. and make up for the demise of the old British empire.

The Steele dossier was the second British "dodgy dossier" that got the ball rolling on Trump the Russian mole and Putin's "poodle."

So much fraud. But now social media must be patrolled and anyone daring to challenge the voice of the MSM must be purged by Google, Facebook, Twitter et al.

My question is: When will the machinations of the Big Lie MSM Wurlitzer cross the line and trigger the backlash that they secretly fear so much? MSM has to destroy Trump by 2020 or else his "fake news" polemic will stick... because there is no much truth to it. The messenger may be crude, but he has the bully pulpit to have a real impact.

I await the release, as Larry Johnson pointed out, of the Horowitz IG report on the origins of the fake Trump-Russia collusion line. Also the pending Barr-Durham larger report which is zeroing in on John Brennan.

Fred -> Harper... , 22 October 2019 at 08:28 AM
Harper,

"MSM has to destroy Trump by 2020 or else..."
The MSM are joined by all those folks who were wined, dined, and degraded by Jeffrey Epstein and Hollywood hero Harvey Weinstein. Nobody seems to care about who Jeffrey abused, or who enjoyed his island paradise. Harvey, he's about to buy a free ride out of jail. Meanwhile we jail idiots who "bribe" there kids way into that "elite" institution - UCLA.

Vig said in reply to Harper... , 22 October 2019 at 11:31 AM
Great response Harper,

an ideal study would no doubt want to look into the Italy-GB-US angle already concerning the "first dossier", or whatevers. Didn*t that have mediawise an intermediate French angle?

But is that what is looked at? At present?

VietnamVet , 21 October 2019 at 08:03 PM
Colonel,

This is what happens when the deciders believe their own propaganda. The media now says that a residual force of American troops and contractors will stay behind at the Deir ez-Zor oil fields and Al-Tanf base near the Jordon border. The media moguls dare not mention that the real intention is to prevent the Syrian Arab Army from retaking its own territory or that Turkey is seizing thousands of square miles of Syria. Syrians with Russia, Chinese and Iranian aid won't quit until Syria is whole again and rebuilt. This means that America continues its uninvited unwinnable war in the middle of nowhere with no allies for no reason at all except to do Israel's bidding and to make money for military contractors. The swamp's regime change campaign failed. The Houthis' Aramco attack shows that the gulf oil supply is at risk and can be shut down at will. Continuing these endless wars that are clearly against the best interests of the American people is insane.

CK said in reply to VietnamVet... , 22 October 2019 at 10:05 AM
It strikes me, as a matter of observable fact, that the Houthi attack had almost no long run affect on oil production. Everything was back to normal within 10 days. I think that the attack was allowed to occur for exactly one reason and that was to start a shooting war between the USA as KSA's great defender and Iran as the horrible nation that has a mild dislike for Israel.
It failed. So far.
To believe that the 24/7/52 AWACS, Ground radar, Israeli radar, and the overlapping close in radar coverage of the Saudi oil fields all failed to detect the drones and cruise missiles is to believe in more miracles than I can handle on a good day. It also means that assets in other parts of this world covered by these same type of radars are just as vulnerable to local disaffected groups.
j , 21 October 2019 at 08:22 PM
The FUKUS thinks we are all a bunch of brainless sheep to be led by a ring in our noses. The 'Muktar' is clueless regarding our Saudi brethren, he's supposed to administer how the overlords say he's to administer, nothing more. The CIA administration still has a hard-on because they blew it regarding Iran and they're still embarrassed about it.

In two days, counting closer to a day and a half will be the sad anniversary (October 23) where the Israeli government willfully with forethought let our Marines and other service personnel bunked with them at the barracks in Beirut die needlessly, because Nahum Admoni wanted U.S. to get our noses bloodied.

Never mind that the Russians lost close to 30 million to the brotherhood of the Operation Paper Clip, and the Bormann Group that today controls from behind the scenes most of the World's money thanks to Martin creating over 750 corporations initially to start with, that has expanded like a Hydra. Any time that truth (Russia is no longer Communist) rears its ugly head, the Bormann group goes into overdrive to ensure that the big lie perpetuates.

The FUKUS think we're all a bunch of sheep to be led off a cliff, and the propaganda mills have created the trail right up to the edge of the precipice that the sheep are trotting.

Heaven help our children and grandchildren.

Larry Johnson , 21 October 2019 at 08:29 PM
Amen. The landslide of disinformation and bullshit disseminated on a daily basis by a pliant media is happily lapped up by ignorant, uninformed Americans. I've had quite an exchange with a liberal friend of mine who was shrieking MSNBC talking points on Syria and the Kurds. Mind you, this fellow never served a day in the military. Never held a clearance in his life. Didn't know a thing about JOPES and how Special Ops forces use a series of written orders signed off on by the CJCS. Yet, he was qualified to criticize Trump. At the same time not one of his kids or grandkids are signed up to fight on that frontline. I told him politely to STFU and get educated before trying to comment on something he knows nothing about.
Thanks Colonel.
JJackson said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 22 October 2019 at 06:41 AM
I am British and did consider the military in my youth but if I were that age now I would not. Having seen what my political master, and yours, have asked the military to do the danger of being sent on some counter product regime change mission or to prop-up someone I would rather fight is just too great. I would only end up refusing to follow orders which I understand the military takes a rather dim view of.
Vig said in reply to JJackson... , 22 October 2019 at 12:03 PM
... regime change mission or to prop-up someone I would rather fight is just too great.

once upon a time, and strictly I had opted not to believe either side before that, but yes, at one point I wondered fully aware they may be legitimate complaints, how would the UCK, or the Kosovo Liberation Army become the "Western" partner in war.

In hindsight I was made aware of this one grandiose British officer ... once upon a time.

Fred -> JJackson... , 22 October 2019 at 12:04 PM
JJackson,

"if I were that age now..." That is the same line used by the American left since the '60s.
"I would only end up refusing to follow orders..."
Samantha Power at the UN and James Comey at the FBI both had a "higher loyalty" than to the elected government or the Constitution on which it is based. That's why they are busy trying to subvert it.

The Twisted Genius , 21 October 2019 at 10:01 PM
There's a lot of truth there, Colonel. Life would be better with just three TV new outlets, huh. Which three? Can you imagine being limited to three cable new outlets? Actually most people probably limit themselves to three news outlets or less. They find an echo chamber and stick with it. I thank God I don't have cable or satellite TV and I have too many interests to engage with talk radio.

I couldn't agree more with your characterization of "virtual facts" about Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. I also agree that those who continue to view Russia as an implacable enemy bent on our destruction and world domination are liars and/or fools. The Soviet Union was just a phase, a phase now past. Russia never ended. Conversely, those who insist that Russia is a newly minted nation of glitter farting unicorns incapable of nefarious behavior are also fools and/or liars. Russia is a formidable competitor, fully capable and willing to take prudent actions in pursuit of her interests. We should respect her and seek cooperation where we can and tolerance where we must.

How the never-Trumpers treat Tulsi Gabbard is shameful. What Clinton recently said is mild compared to what others have been saying for quite some time. Calling Tulsi a Russian asset is foolishly wrong. That Russia may prefer Tulsi over other potential Presidential candidates should be seen as a positive thing. A policy of mutual respect, cooperation and tolerance between our two countries would benefit the entire world.

Sbin , 21 October 2019 at 10:21 PM
The nonsense is endless.

America needed to restore the Kuwait monarchy for freedom and democracy. Remember defense Secretary Dick Cheney sending captured Iraq arms to the Taliban.

Same play book was used to run Libyan arms through Bengazi to Wahhabism freedom fighter "ISIS" and the al Lindsey McCain head choppers.

Babak Makkinejad -> Sbin... , 21 October 2019 at 11:25 PM
The nonsense will end since not even the United States can endure these costs. Did you hear Trump? 8 trillion yankee dollars and nothing to show for it.
Fred -> Babak Makkinejad... , 22 October 2019 at 08:23 AM
Babak,

He left out thousands dead and injured and not a single one of them a politician, banker, professor or news anchor.

walrus , 21 October 2019 at 11:43 PM
What is highly alarming, almost terrifying, is that really well educated people who have achieved great things in their careers and are pillars of society believe this crap.

I had dinner guests last week; a former Chairman of a bank and his wife who is a highly acclaimed Professor of public Health and Epidemiology who told me how awful Trump and Putin are neither of these friends are what you could remotely classify as Social Justice leftists.

My problem is that I don't know where to start to try and put them right without them thinking I'm a tinfoil hatted conspiracy nut. I wish there was a website dedicated solely to purveying basic truthful information that is not perhaps as esoteric as SST. Should I try and start one or are there already good examples to point to?

Voatboy -> walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 05:10 AM
https://www.wanttoknow.info/ is a useful resource for educating citizens.
John B said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 09:21 AM
I'm thinking this is so far and so deep there is nothing that can or will be done. Trump's election and presidency has lifted the curtain on the puppet show. This recent Syria troop removal is Trump's second attempt at openly declaring troops will be pulled out of Syria only to have the military has said, "Um, no, we will stay and simply relocate."

Trump openly called for FISA warrants to be declassified only to have the DOJ and FBI either ignore and defy him. Groups like Judicial Watch and others go into court to get the requested information through FOIA and DOJ and FBI lawyers and the courts block them.

It is beyond scary to see just how entrenched and powerful Deep State is and how it involves/controls both political parties. Trump has faced hurricane winds of opposition from day one and has been constantly subverted by his own party and his own people. I don't know how he can get up every day and continue to fight the obvious and concerted Deep State coup against him. I pray for him. I pray the rosary for him.

There are members within Trump's own party who have agreed that there should be an investigation into the impeachment of Trump for running a yellow light (at most). Again, members of his own party. Renowned Constitutional lawyers John Yoo and Alan Dershowitz, from Cal-Berkeley and Harvard laws schools respectively, have said that not only has Trump done nothing, even remotely, which could trigger an impeachment inquiry but if Congress were to do so it would be unconstitutional and illegal. But alas, who would enforce this? Deep State snakes like John Roberts at the Supreme Court? Robert has already signed off on the coup ( https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/john-roberts-mitch-mcconnell-trump-impeachment-trial.amp).

The only thing that separates America from falling into the abyss is Trump, a handful of people in Washington, a few conservative talk show hosts, and about 40% of America. Many people have talked a good game at points but I think in the end are just double agents of the dark side/Deep State (Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, ... IG Horowitz, etc.). And some, such as Chris Wray, are unabashed dark side/Deep State agents in good standing.

As St. Thomas More said, "The times are never so bad that a good man cannot live in them." I have faith in Barr. I have faith in Durham. Two men whose Catholic faith is integral to every aspect of their lives and work. But with as pervasive, entrenched, and powerful as the Deep State is I'm skeptical they have the power to do anything. Btw, here's U.S. Attorney John Durham's lecture before the Thomistic Institute at Yale (hosted by the Dominican Order): https://soundcloud.com/thomisticinstitute/perspective-of-a-catholic-prosecutor-honorable-john-durham

One thing that really amuses me is that the marionettes of Deep State in the media and politics actually believe that once Trump is gone their puppet show theatre can resume like nothing happened. Sorry, but there is no coming back from this. They will be lucky if the worst thing that happens is a sizable part of of the American populace protests by throwing sand in the gears. I'm afraid it will end much worse.

Peter AU 1 said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 01:12 PM
I doubt there is any magic bullet website or other source of information that would turn people over night. A good start would be encouraging them to read transcripts of various Putin and Lavrov speeches and pressers, also Valdai Club, economic forum ect.

Most only get to see the odd sentence or paragragh in western MSM with an entirely fictional story built around it, so perhaps and MSM piece like that and the transcript of the relevant presser or speech alongside it.

I suspect the fine detail in Putin and Lavrov's replies to press questions rather than cliches would surprise many people.

Glorious Bach said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 02:29 PM
Walrus--100% my experience as well. Many dinners with "liberal" even "progressive" friends, mostly of the retired kind require great psychic energy. Their Overton Window is 1"-square, making exchanges very difficult to squeeze even minimal bits of political reality.

My daily blog tour, like MW's above, takes me through: Moon of Alabama, Naked Capitalism, SST, Caitlin Johnstone, Grayzone and a few others. I'm intel gathering -- but I need to figure out how to convey broader perspectives even to my 40-45 year-old children and their friends. Inside the Beltway assumptions are hard to de-program.

Vegetius , 22 October 2019 at 12:13 AM
The CIA is a clear and present danger.
b , 22 October 2019 at 01:31 AM
While I agree with the essence of the post I disagree with the characterization of SOHR. It tends to get its stuff right. I have listed several significant events where SOHR disagreed with the official narrative: On Sources And Information - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights . Those are exactly the moments where SOHR is disregarded by the pressitude.

It is the selective quoting of such sources that paint them as partisan even as they try to stay somewhat neutral.

---
@Pat - Any comment to the Gen. McRaven op-ed in the NYT?
Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
If President Trump doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.

Isn't it a call to mutiny? It seems to me to be far beyond the allowed political comment from a retired General.

Anonymous , 22 October 2019 at 01:34 AM
Those that look up the pole, all they see is assholes. Those that look down all they see is assholes, but those that look straight ahead, they see which path to take.
fredw , 22 October 2019 at 08:13 AM
The colonel's complaint implicitly assumes that things were not always thus. My adult experience since I saw a war up close has been that the "facts" of our public discourse are always simplified and usually grossly distorted.

Is the Iranian regime terrible? Well, yes, but it is also a regime that holds real elections and often loses them. Not in the same league of awful with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

Similarly with the other examples. The "facts" have in each case a basis in truth but do not by themselves give a true picture. Is our discourse more unfair to Russia than it was to Nasser's Egypt? Is our promotion of Saudi Arabia any worse than our adulation of Chiang Kai-shek?

Christian J Chuba , 22 October 2019 at 08:30 AM
Not only are the MSM married to a narrative but they feel compelled to attack the few who ever challenge the orthodoxy. For example, 'Tulsi Gabbard met with the war criminal Assad'.

It would do our vaunted free press wonders if they traveled to Damascus instead of repeating the same tired talking points about Syria. I'll never forget the look on Gabbard's face when she talked about the Syrians came up to her and said, 'why are you attacking us, what did we do to you'. Meeting real people can undo a lifetime of blather and must be stopped at all cost.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 08:56 AM
b Perhaps memory fails me but I think SOHR propagated the SAG gas attacks mythology. I have stated that McRaven should be recalled to active duty and court-martialed. I could find several punitice articles in UCMJ under which he could be charged.
CK said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 October 2019 at 10:21 AM
When McCain returned from the Hanoi Hilton he could have been prosecuted for treason he was not because "peace with honour" overrode UCMJ and honour. McRaven is being offered up as a distraction. Call him back to active duty yes, and assign him somewhere dreary, unimportant and far from CONUS. Ignore the stuff he is blathering while he is retired, if he repeats blather while on active duty then the navy might be able to recover some honour.
Elora Danan said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 October 2019 at 12:50 PM
No...your memory does not fail you, Colonel, the SOHR was the main source cited at MSM level on the alleged protests which gave place to the destruction of Syria and the legitimation and labelling of alleged "moderate rebels" which then resulted being but terrorist jihadi groups brought mainly from abroad under financing and mtrainning of non Syrian actors...

The source on the alleged atrocities commited by Assad was SOHR at the first years of the war on Syria, along with Doctors Without Borders and "special envoys" by British and French main papers reporting from the former, and first, "Baba Amr" caliphate in Homs....I am meaning the times of Sunday Times´ Marie Colvin and the other woman from Le Figaro , who then resulted or KIA or caught amongst the jihadists ranks along with other foreign "special envoys" who then were released in a truce with Assad through a safe corridor, especially made for that end, to Lebanon.

I fear SOHR was the source of the super-trolling consisting on inundating the MSM comments sections, like that of El País , with dozens of vertical doctored photographs every time any of us aware entered commenting to debunk their fake news.
I remember this since that was the starting point of Elora as net activist...( till then, just a baby, peacefully growing up...unaware....but had no election, felt it was a duty, since, as you comment here, so few people aware...Having known Syria few years before she could not believe what they were telling about Assad, who, eventhough not being perfect, as it has been long ago proved any other leader in the world is, had managed to show the visitant a flourishing Syria where misery present at other ME countries was almost absent...

It is only lately, when the Syrian war was obviously lost for the US coalition, that the SOHR started contradicting some fake claims by the White Helmets, especially last two alleged chemical attacks, if Elora´s not wrong.

Why this, why now, why in this form? Probably those powers behind SOHR trying to secure a part in the cake of reconstruction and future of Syria...since, it got obvious, love for Syria is not amongst one of their mottos...

Dave P. said in reply to Elora Danan... , 22 October 2019 at 04:04 PM
This news just broke:
Trump approves $4.5 million in aid for Syria's White Helmets

WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump has authorized $4.5 million in aid for Syria's White Helmets group, famed for rescuing wounded civilians from the frontlines in the civil war, the White House says today...

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/trump-approves-4-5-million-in-aid-for-syrias-white-helmets/

Steve , 22 October 2019 at 09:41 AM
Col Lang,
I'm an extremely grateful for you and your blog. We are all very fortunate to have you.
PeterVE , 22 October 2019 at 09:58 AM
Thank you for this refuge from the noise. How long before the strangling of information makes its way here, and to Craig Murray, Naked Capitalism, and others who look on with clear eyes?
Terry , 22 October 2019 at 10:13 AM
Humans are copy/paste artists and generally not very good at creative thinking. When shown a series of steps to achieve a reward people will repeat all the steps including clearly unnecessary ones. Monkeys will drop unnecessary steps and frequently show more creativity by using a different method to achieve the reward instead of copying.

The old story goes how a woman always cut the ends off a roast before putting it in a pan. When her daughter asks why she doesn't know, asks her mother who doesn't know and asks the great grandmother who laughs and says her pan was too small.

I suspect it is a functional tradeoff that lets us transfer great amounts of cultural information and maintain a civilization of sorts. It creates a tough environment for innovators and allows for easy manipulation of the majority.

Nature of course always has a sprinkling of minority traits in the gene pool to allow for sudden changes in the environment. Most likely those of us that are more critical thinkers and like in depth, multi-dimensional viewpoints and historical knowledge are always going to be standing by watching the crowd do their copy/paste thing.

The rise of the internet giving easy access to more "sources" means more fragmentation in worldviews than ever before depending on where people copy/paste from.

prawnik , 22 October 2019 at 10:56 AM
To be fair, Russia is portrayed as a sort of resurrected Soviet Union intent on world conquest when the audience are conservatives.

Russia portrayed as a fascist theocracy when the audience are liberals.

prawnik , 22 October 2019 at 11:05 AM
Re: only three TV channels and they all said the same thing!

Once Upon a Time, not so long ago, publishing news was hard. For one thing, you needed a printing press, which was big, expensive and required housing and specialized technicians to operate it. Not only that, but a printing press cost money for every sheet of paper printed, and you had to spend more money to distribute what he printed.

They say that "freedom of the press belongs to those who own one" but there's more! Unless you were already rich and planned to publish as an expensive and time-consuming hobby, you needed an income stream. You would get some money from subscriptions, but subscriptions are really a means to sell advertising. Dependence on advertising meant that there were some people the publisher had to keep happy, and others he could not afford to annoy.

Anyone who knows anything about local news knows this. At best, it's a tightrope walk between giving subscribers the news they want to know, and not infuriating your advertisers. The result was a sort of natural censorship. Publishers had to think long and hard before they published anything that would tork the bigwigs off. The fact that a publisher was tied to a physical location and physical assets also made libel suits much easier.

The same thing applied to broadcast TV, only more so. It took orders of magnitude more money, and you were restricted to a limited amount of bandwidth.

The internet changed all that. Now, any anonymous toolio with a laptop ($299 cheap at WallyWorld) and WiFi (free at many businesses) can go into the news publishing business by nightfall, and with worldwide distribution and an advertising revenue stream, to boot. Marginal cost of readership is zero.

Needless to say, this development has The People That Matter very concerned, and they are working hard to stuff that genie back into the bottle.

casey , 22 October 2019 at 11:32 AM
For what it's worth, I found the late Udo Ulfkotte's personal-experience book "Bought Jounalism" to be quite interesting on this topic, as it details the kind of nuts-and-bolts of print-media prostitution. But I would really like to see an org-chart sometime of the overlapping, possibly competing, mission control centers (if that's the right phrase) that control the various "Wurlitzer" messaging and who, ultimately, is on charge of these. It has been intriguing to watch, since Kerry uttered his "the Internet makes it very hard to govern" line years ago, the blurry outline of a vast operation to shut down any non-approved media messages, now including all social media. To give credit where credit is due, "they" sure have done a bang-up job in feeding bullshit across all platforms down the throats of a Western people, like a goose being fattened up for foie gras.
Jack , 22 October 2019 at 12:04 PM
"...the US government (along with our British and Israeli helpmates and masters) are the preeminent creators and purveyors of the manufactured virtual facts on which we base our policy."

Sir

I've been perplexed for some time what the objectives are of these virtual fact creators? When one digs into who the movers & shakers are in the virtual fact creation apparatus then it seems very much analogous to the Jeffrey Epstein orbit. Folks bound together through the carrot of extraordinary personal gain and the stick of personal destruction. Your Drinking the Koolaid, is a seminal work in exploring how these virtual facts are created and how those who challenge the creation are marginalized and even destroyed personally.

IMO, policy making on the basis of virtual facts extends beyond foreign policy to economic and financial policy as well as healthcare policy in the US. The symptoms are seen in growing wealth inequality and increased market concentration globally and financial policy completely unmoored from common sense and sophistry an important element in virtual fact creation.

We're seeing signs of the early breakdown in social cohesion with social unrest in France, Spain, Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon, Ecuador. Brexit and the election of Trump despite the intensity and vitriolic nature of how the media was used against them. The impeachment of Trump another tool in the desperate attempt to retain and consolidate power. Maybe we're in the Fourth Turning as Howe & Strauss label it.

Keith Harbaugh , 22 October 2019 at 12:43 PM
"The Soviet Union never ended. Russia is still communist ..."
In the interest of specificity and accountability, where/who in the MSM are asserting that?
You (PL) are making a serious charge.
Just who is guilty of perpetrating such a blatant falsehood?
Terry said in reply to Keith Harbaugh... , 22 October 2019 at 04:19 PM
Google "Russia like USSR". It has to be google tho, not Qwant or Duckduckgo. The bias is thick on google.

Back in the U.S.S.R.? How Today's Russia Is Like the Soviet Era
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/back-u-s-s-r-how-todays-russia-soviet-era-n453536

Russia vs. Ukraine: More Russians Want the Soviet Union and Communism Back Amid Continued Tensions

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-vs-ukraine-soviet-union-communism-1264875

Putin's Russia is becoming more Soviet by the day

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/02/26/putins-russia-is-becoming-more-soviet-by-the-day/

Joseph Stalin: Why so many Russians like the Soviet dictator

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47975704

Putin says he wishes the Soviet Union had not collapsed and many Russians agree.

www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/03/putin-says-he-wishes-he-could-change-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-many-russians-agree/&usg=AOvVaw22Q9M8lhhTo8IYh6rl-FCi

oldman22 , 22 October 2019 at 01:04 PM
John Helmer has today published a comprehensive piece on Syria.
The details of history and current affairs are comprehensive.
Highly recommended, a reference work.
His cartoon is good too!
http://johnhelmer.net/oil-and-water-dont-mix-the-solution-to-the-war-in-syria/print/
oldman22 , 22 October 2019 at 01:13 PM
pardon me, should have said the article that John Helmer published
was written by Gary Busch
divadab , 22 October 2019 at 01:15 PM
well it seems to me that the groundwork is being laid for an authoritarian state - and it already has sophisticated tools that are unprecedented in their scope and depth and ability to store data. And the whole enterprise is based on three rules:
1) secrecy - data is restricted to "insiders";
2) deception - the "outsiders" (you know, the citizens) are regarded as a herd of cattle to be managed - with lies and disinformation so we don't get any ideas;
3) ruthless enforcement to dehumanize and destroy dissent. Just consider the torture and destruction of Journalist Julian Assange: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Not sure what the appropriate response is but I spend a lot of time at my camp working in the woods. Thanks, Colonel Lang, for maintaining this site.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 01:24 PM
Elora Danan

You are more and more interesting.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 01:28 PM
Keith Harbaugh
This is my opinion. I am uninterested in proving anything to you. If you listen to what is said on the MSM (including Fox) it is evident that in the "minds" of the media squirrels Russia is just the USSR in disguise. Try listening to what they are saying as sub-text.
Jackrabbit , 22 October 2019 at 02:21 PM
Thank you pl!
Keith Harbaugh , 22 October 2019 at 02:25 PM
The request was not just for my benefit, but with the thought that it would be useful to document the occurrences of such clearly false statements in the media.

It is certainly true that Russia is being demonized in all the MSM I have sampled. A frequent criticism is that Putin, like Assad, and earlier Saddam and Quadaffi, is essentially an illegitimate ruler of his country, ruling through brute force and without the consent of his countrymen. (Thus the WaPo editorials routinely call Putin a "thug", just as they call Assad a "butcher".)

I am certainly not endorsing that view, just reporting what I hear and read. When I hear that, I harken back to my graduate school days, when the same sort of charges were leveled against America, which was usually spelled "Amerika", or sometimes "AmeriKKKa", and described as a racist, imperialist, fascist country whose establishment must be "Smashed". I believe the core group of people who so wanted a revolution in America in 1970 (which they essentially got, as we have seen over the last 50 years) are much the same as those now demonizing Russia.

Here is some specificity on their complaints against Russia back then: They were not opposed to the USSR, or communism. Many of them were in effect communists. The cry among many was : "Marx, Mao, and Marcuse" (Herbert Marcuse was a former Brandeis professor who extolled cultural Marxism). What they did have, in spades, was a feeling that their ancestors had been victimized by the Czarist regime in Russia, which, among other supposed sins, had not done enough to prevent pogroms against them. They seemed to have a deep fear of the Russian people, based on their long experience with them.

My suspicion (actually, belief) is that the opposition to Putin is based on the fact that he is sometimes viewed as a throwback to the the Czars, and that is definitely not something looked upon favorably by many Jews.

arze , 22 October 2019 at 02:33 PM
This is SOHR, Tweet, Dec. 6, 2014

"Regime forces use Chlorine gas to stop ISIS advances in Der-Ezzor military airport http://fb.me/4qb09QhnH
3:01 AM - 6 Dec 2014"

https://twitter.com/syriahr/status/541185710443995136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dw.com%2Fen%2Fsyrian-observatory-reports-assad-gas-attack-on-is%2Fa-18113807

blue peacock , 22 October 2019 at 03:33 PM
Col. Lang,

"Trump has a balance sheet where a soul should be and that is the basis for the belief that MBS and/or his "country" are our friends."

Not to defend Trump and his balance sheet mindset with respect to the Saudis, the reality is that both parties and presidents from George H.W to Bill Clinton to W and Obama have treated the Saudi monarchy as our "friend", even when they sponsored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.

Tony Blair became a wealthy man after his prime ministership on the back of money thrown his way by the Arab sheikhs.

[Oct 22, 2019] A Call For A Coup Clinton, McRaven, Pelosi, Gabbard

Oct 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Unz Review,

There was what might be described as an extraordinary amount of nonsense being promoted by last week's media. Unfortunately, some of it was quite dangerous.

Admiral William McRaven, who commanded the Navy Seals when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed and who has been riding that horse ever since, announced that if Donald Trump continues to fail to provide the type of leadership the country needs, he should be replaced by whatever means are necessary. The op-ed entitled "Our Republic is Under Attack by the President" with the subtitle "If President Trump doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office" was featured in the New York Times, suggesting that the Gray Lady was providing its newspaper of record seal of approval for what might well be regarded as a call for a military coup.

McRaven's exact words, after some ringing praise for the military and all its glorious deeds in past wars, were that the soldiers, sailors and marines now must respond because "The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within."

McRaven then elaborated that "These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, 'I don't like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!'"

It is a call to arms if there ever was one. Too bad Trump can't strip McRaven of his pension and generous health care benefits for starters and McRaven might also consider that he could be recalled to active duty by Trump and court martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And the good admiral, who up until 2018 headed the state university system in Texas, might also receive well merited pushback for his assessment of America's role in the world over the past two decades, in which he was a major player, at least in terms of dealing out punishment. He wrote ""We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate."

Utter bullshit, of course. The United States has been acting as the embodiment of a rogue nation, lashing out pointlessly and delivering death and destruction. If McRaven truly believes what he says he is not only violating his oath to defend the constitution while also toying with treason, he is an idiot and should never have been allowed to run anything more demanding than a hot dog stand. Washington has been systematically blowing people up worldwide for no good reasons, killing possibly as many as 4 million mostly Muslims, while systematically stripping Americans of their Bill of Rights at home. "Good guys" and "champions of justice" indeed!

And then there is the Great Hillary Clinton caper. In an interview last week Hillary claimed predictably that Donald Trump is "Vladimir Putin's dream," and then went on to assert that there would be other Russian assets emerging, including nestled in the bosom of her own beloved Democratic Party. She said, clearly suggesting that it would be Tulsi Gabbard, that "They're also going to do third-party again. I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on someone who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."

Clinton explained how the third-party designation would work, saying of Jill Stein, who ran for president in 2016 as a Green Party candidate, "And that's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she's also a Russian asset. Yeah, she's a Russian asset -- I mean, totally. They know they can't win without a third-party candidate. So I don't know who it's going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed."

Tulsi responded courageously and accurately "Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton . You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know -- it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly."

Tulsi has in fact been attacked relentless by the Establishment since she announced that she would be running for the Democratic nomination. Shortly before last Tuesday's Democratic candidate debate the New York Times ran an article suggesting that Gabbard was an isolationist, was being promoted by Russia and was an apologist for Syria's Bashar al-Assad. In reality, Gabbard is the only candidate willing to confront America's warfare-national security state.

The Hillary Clinton attack on Gabbard and on the completely respectable Jill Stein is to a certain extent incomprehensible unless one lives in the gutter that she and Bill have wallowed in ever since they rose to prominence in Arkansas. Hillary, the creator of the private home server for classified information as well as author of the catastrophic war against Libya and the Benghazi debacle has a lot to answer for but will never be held accountable, any more than her husband Bill for his rapes and molestations. And when it comes to foreign interference, Gabbard is being pilloried because the Russian media regards her favorably while the Clinton Foundation has taken tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments and billionaires seeking quid pro quos , much of which has gone to line the pockets of Hillary, Bill and Chelsea.

Finally, one comment about the Democratic Party obsession with the Russians. The media was enthusing last Friday over a photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing up across a table from President Trump and pointing at him before walking out of the room. The gushing regarding how a powerful, strong woman was defying the horrible chief executive was both predictable and ridiculous. By her own admission Pelosi's last words before departing were "All roads lead to Putin." I will leave it up to the reader to interpret what that was supposed to mean.


Push , 2 minutes ago link

McRaven didn't command anything that 'captured' British asset Osama bin Laden (living in London until 2 months before 9/11) because he was already dead. My sources from within special forces and intelligence verified that he was dead long before he was alleged to have been captured. McRaven is merely a shill who sold his soul to the highest bidder. Another globalist scumbag who is willing to tote the company line for a few crumbs. And now, once again, he's screaming from the rooftops what the company has told him to repeat.

All of the globalists are standing there, pumping lies. This is their endgame in the US. Total destruction of the institution of the presidency, the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution to leave the US in a state that resembles something like Nazi Germany; with the hope that the US will launch an assault on the arch enemy of those who wish to control Mackinder's Inner Crescent, Russia, just as they did with Hitler.

So let's try to put things into perspective. The United States broke free from the chains of imperialism. The imperial forces fought to take it back, first by a second invasion, then by staging a color revolution known as the Civil War, then politically with the assassination of McKinley and installation of their puppet - Teddy Roosevelt.

Afterwards, subsequent globalist shills begin to infiltrate our system of politics. Swallowing control of the banking system and creating Wall Street. Then further tightening the noose by controlling mass-media, de-industrializing our nation, creating a backwards "feel-good" counter culture, and making people fear technological progress. Along the way murdering any leader that posed a threat to their system.

Today, after creating the public perception that snow is actually black in a dumbed-down, ill-equipped populace, they're ready to tighten that noose. McRaven, Clinton, Pelosi and the rest of the globalist shills, who believe that you and I are animals, are attempting to bring about that end.

It's happening right here, right now. What are you gonna do about it?

Element , 2 minutes ago link

Too bad Trump can't strip McRaven of his pension and generous health care benefits for starters and McRaven might also consider that he could be recalled to active duty by Trump and court martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I suppose Mattis is too old for that though, he seems to think he can nominate and also define what a US 'ally' is (I thought that was a function of elected chambers and the Dept of State), and to concoct his own personal version of 'US foreign policy' in the ME! What a foolish thing to do at the end of his career, unfortunately he's stayed well beyond his shelf-life.

Arising , 2 minutes ago link

They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield...

All this was promised by Trump at the last elections and half of Americans still voted for him.

So what is this Admiral trying to say? That Trump is destroying the Republic ( as he claims) or he's not a warmongering POTUS and puts the Admiral's violence-based livelihood at risk?

_triplesix_ , 5 minutes ago link

McRaven is just playing his part as commanded by his deep state masters.

They know Trump has the goods on them and destroying him is the only way to preserve their corruption.

And let's make one thing clear--the vast majority of the military is behind Trump. If it gets bloody, good guys will be on Trump's side.

Clashfan , 8 minutes ago link

Very good piece, TY for sharing, Tylerz.

This admiral, wow. Like anyone believes the bogus OBL story anyway. Sounds like some kind of satanic flag-waver to me.

Oh and the *** York Times ran his coup piece? I'm no huge fan of Rump--very suspicious--but this stuff is simply overboard warmongering and sedition. One of the big reasons Rump won is his anti-war posturing. Calling that "Russian" is kind of like the Johnson and Nixon toadies calling the war protesters communists or traitors. Same stuff, different millennia.

WorldView , 15 minutes ago link

So, this General is stating that Trump is attacking the FBI, The DOJ, The State Department, and the Press.

Let's see, here.

And this, my friends, is NOT OBVIOUS to the General, who thinks these outfits were/are perfectly fine.

This is another reason why Democrats ( Socialists ) and Republicans ( Patriots ) cannot live side by side.

The Democrats ( I bet the General is one ) are completely goofy and dangerous.

[Oct 22, 2019] It's four more years of the Trumpian Reich folks, with Russian spetnaz patrolling the streets, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, babushkas, the whole nine yards by CJ Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review, ..."
Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review,

So, it looks like that's it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have "hacked," or "influenced," or "meddled in" our democracy.

Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup , it's four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death's heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

[Oct 22, 2019] Birds of the feather. In a sense William Taylor participation in Ukrainegate is just a top, the final accord of his long carrier as a color revolution specialist.

Michael McFaul was the key person in failed "white color revolution in Russia in 2011-2012 designed to prevent reelection of Putin. h was recalled soon after Putin elections. So his praise instantly suggests that the other person might be a color revolution specialist as well
In this sense his participation in Ukrainegate is just a top of his long carier as colore revolution specialist. Ukrainegate does looks like the second Maydan.
Oct 22, 2019 | www.buzzfeednews.com
Michael McFaul, who served as the US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, called Taylor, who he's known for three decades, "just a consummate public servant."

"I do remember when he was ambassador to Ukraine he saw the bigness of the moment -- this is well before Russia annexed Crimea and went into Donbass -- that fighting for sovereignty for Ukraine and democracy and anti-corruption, he was very committed to that," McFaul said.

[Oct 20, 2019] FBI-DOJ Likely to Throw the CIA and Clapper Under the Bus by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Oct 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

20 October 2019 FBI/DOJ Likely to Throw the CIA and Clapper Under the Bus by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

Law Enforcement versus the Intel Community. That's the battle we will likely see unleashed when the Horowitz report comes out next week. The New York Times came out Saturday with info clearly leaked from DOJ that can be summarized simply--the FBI was relying on the intel community (products from the CIA and NSA) under the leadership of Jim Clapper. If they relied on bad, unverified information it ain't their fault. They trusted the spies.

Let us start with a reminder of how damn corrupt the NY Times and its reporters are. Consider this paragraph penned by Adam Goldman and William Rashbaum:

Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.

"Unfounded conspiracy theories?" What a damn joke. The facts of a conspiracy to take out Donald Trump or cripple him are very clear. Robert Mueller and Jim Comey lied when they claimed that Joseph Mifsud, who tried to entrap George Papdopoulus in London, was a Russian agent. Nope. He worked for western intelligence. Unless Comey and DOJ have a document or documents from the CIA or NSA stating that Mifsud worked for the Russians, they have no where to hide. Plus, prosecutor John Durham now has Mifsud's blackberries. What do you think is the likelihood that Mifsud was in communication with FBI or CIA or MI6 personnel? Very likely. Then there is Stefan Halper, who played a key role in a sophisticated counterintelligence operation that involved the FBI, the CIA British Intelligence and the media. The ultimate target was Donald Trump. Halper's part of the operation focused on using an innocent woman who had the misfortune of being born in Russia, Svetlana Lokhova, to destroy General Michael Flynn. Halper and Mifsud both were involved in targeting General Michael Flynn. Not a conspiracy?

Halper's nefarious activities included manufacturing and publishing numerous false and defamatory statements. Halper, for example, falsely claimed that Svetlana Lokhova was a "Russian spy" and a traitor to her country. He also circulated the lie that Lokhova had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence. Not content to use the unwitting Svetlana as a weapon against General Flynn, Stefan Halper also acted with malice to destroy Svetlana Lokhova's professional career and business by asserting that she was not a real academic and that her research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin.

Thanks to Robert Mueller we have clear evidence of a conspiracy against Trump. Mueller's investigation of Trump "collusion" with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow --

George Papadopolous --

Carter Page --

Dimitri Simes --

Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)

Events at the Republican Convention

Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak

Paul Manafort

One simple fact emerges--six of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the pitch to "collude" with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

We do not need to say anything about Dmitri Simes, who was unfairly smeared by even being named as target in the investigation. And the "non" events at the Republican Convention, pure nonsense.

The other six cases "investigated" my Mueller and his team of clowns are damning.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller's report, originated with an FBI Informant--Felix Sater. Mueller was downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business .

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS. Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) , which has all the hallmarks of a British intelligence front. It is Joseph Mifsud, working for LCILP, who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch with George in London.

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary. During Papadopolous' next meeting with Mifsud, George writes that Mifsud:

leaned across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. "Emails of Clinton," he says. "They have thousands of emails."

More than three weeks before the alleged Russian hack of the DNC, Mifsud is peddling the story that the Russians have Clinton's emails. Conspiracy?

CARTER PAGE. The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page's status with the Trump campaign--he is described as "working" for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page's prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with US intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report. The Christopher Steele dossier was used as "corroborating" intel to justify what was an illegal FISA warrant. The FBI lied about the veracity of that dossier. Conspiracy?

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016). This is another glaring example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov.

The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. Even the corrupt NBC News got these damning facts about Veselnitskaya on the record:

The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower -- describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats -- from Glenn Simpson , the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.

Unfounded Conspiracy?

PAUL MANAFORT. If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump's offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ and intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC :

The boomerang from the Democratic Party's failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia's 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow's pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton .

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine's embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump's campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country's president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort 's dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration were colluding with Ukraine.

GENERAL MICHAEL FLYNN . This is the biggest travesty. Flynn was being targeted by the intel community with the full collaboration of the FBI. Thanks to his new attorney, the Honey Badger Sidney Powell, there is an avalanche of evidence showing prosecutorial misconduct and an unjustified, coordinated effort by the Obama team to frame Flynn as catering to the Russians. It is a lie and that will be fully exposed in the coming weeks.

Any fair reporter with half a brain would see these events as pointing to a conspiracy. But not the liars at the New York Times. But the Times does tip us off to the upcoming mad scramble for life boats. It will it the FBI and DOJ against the DNI, the CIA and NSA. According to the Times:

It is not clear how many people Mr. Durham's team has interviewed outside of the F.B.I. His investigators have questioned officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence but apparently have yet to interview C.I.A. personnel, people familiar with the review said. Mr. Durham would probably want to speak with Gina Haspel, the agency's director, who ran its London station when the Australians passed along the explosive information about Russia's offer of political dirt.

There is no abiding affection between the FBI and the CIA. They mix like oil and water. In theory the FBI only traffics in "evidence." The CIA deals primarily with well-sourced rumors. But the CIA will argue they were offering their best judgement, not a factual conclusion. Brennan and Clapper will insist they were not in a position to determine the "truth" of what they were reporting. It is "intel" not evidence.

The Horowitz report will not deal with the CIA and NSA directly. Horowitz can only point out that the FBI folks insisted that they were relying on the intel community and had no reason not to trust them. This is likely to get ugly and do not be surprised to see the intel folks try to throw the FBI under the bus and vice versa. Grab the popcorn.

[Oct 20, 2019] CIA Analysts Lawyer Up As Brennan, Clapper Ensnared In Expanding Russiagate Probe

Oct 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

CIA Analysts Lawyer Up As Brennan, Clapper Ensnared In Expanding Russiagate Probe by Tyler Durden Sat, 10/19/2019 - 14:30 0 SHARES

CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia's activities during the 2016 US election have begun to hire attorneys, as Attorney General William Barr expands his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, led by US Attorney John Durham.

US Attorney John Durham

The prosecutor conducting the review, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham , has expressed his intent to interview a number of current and former intelligence officials involved in examining Russia's effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper , Brennan told NBC News. - NBC

NBC learned of the 'lawyering up' from three former CIA officials "familiar with the matter," while two more anonymous leakers claim there's tension between the Justice Department and the CIA over what classified documents Durham has access to .

With Barr's approval, Durham has expanded his staff and the timeframe under scrutiny, according to a law enforcement official directly familiar with the matter. And he is now looking into conduct past Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017 , a Trump administration official said.

One Western intelligence official familiar with Durham's investigation leaked that Durham has been asking foreign officials questions related to former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos , who was fed the rumor that Russia had 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton by a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud. While US media has sought to portray Mifsud as a Russian asset, the self-described member of the Clinton foundation has far stronger ties to the West .

me title=

According to congressional testimony given by Papadopoulos last October as well as statements he's made over Twitter, the whole thing was an FBI setup - as a 'woman in London, who was the FBI's legal attache in the UK' and "had a personal relationship to Bob Mueller after 9/11" was the one who recommended that he meet with Mifsud in Rome.

me title=

As the theory goes ; Mifsud, a US intelligence asset, feeds Papadopoulos the rumor that Russia has Hillary Clinton's emails shortly after he announces he's going to join the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos repeats the email rumor to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, who alerts Australia's intelligence community, which notifies the FBI, which then launches operation "Crossfire Hurricane" during which the FBI sent multiple spies (including a 'honeypot') to infiltrate the Trump campaign . Notably, former FBI employee Peter Strzok flew to London to meet with Downer the day after Crossfire Hurricane was launched - while Strzok's boss, Bill Priestap was in London the day before the Downer-Papadopoulos encounter .

me title=

And if this is all true, Durham has a lot to untangle - including the Clinton / DNC-funded Steele Dossier.

[Oct 19, 2019] Kunstler One Big Reason Why America Is Driving Itself Bat$hit Crazy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field. ..."
"... The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications. ..."
"... Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Here's one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy : the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

Before all this, history was left largely to historians, who curated it from a range of views for carefully considered introduction to the stream of human culture, and managed this process at a pace that allowed a polity to get on with its business at hand in the here-and-now -- instead of incessantly and recursively reviewing events that have already happened 24/7. The more electronic media has evolved, the more it lends itself to manipulation, propaganda, and falsification of whatever happened five minutes, or five hours, or five weeks ago.

This is exactly why and how the losing team in the 2016 election has worked so hard to change that bit of history. The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications.

This dynamic has long been systematically studied and applied by institutions like the so-called "intelligence community," and has gotten so out-of-hand that its main mission these days appears to be the maximum gaslighting of the nation -- for the purpose of its own desperate self-defense. The "Whistleblower" episode is the latest turn in dishonestly manipulated records, but the most interesting feature of it is that the release of the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call did not affect the "narrative" precooked between the CIA and Adam Schiff's House Intel Committee. They just blundered on with the story and when major parts of the replay didn't add up, they retreated to secret sessions in the basement of the US capitol.

Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan.

The recently-spawned NSA has mainly added the capacity to turn everything that happens into replay material, since it is suspected of recording every phone call, every email, every financial transaction, every closed-circuit screen capture, and anything else its computers can snare for storage in its Utah Data Storage Center. Now you know why the actions of Edward Snowden were so significant. He did what he did because he was moral enough to know the face of malevolence when he saw it. That he survives in exile is a miracle.

As for the FBI, only an exceptional species of ineptitude explains the trouble they got themselves into with the RussiaGate fiasco. The unbelievable election loss of Mrs. Clinton screwed the pooch for them, and the desperate acts that followed only made things worse. The incompetence and mendacity on display was only matched by Mr. Mueller and his lawyers, who were supposed to be the FBI's cleanup crew and only left a bigger mess -- all of it cataloged in digital records.

Now, persons throughout all these agencies are waiting for the hammer to fall. If they are prosecuted, the process will entail yet another monumental excursion into the replaying of those digital records. It could go on for years. So, the final act in the collapse of the USA will be the government choking itself to death on replayed narratives from its own server farms.

In the meantime, events are actually tending in a direction that will eventually deprive the nation of the means to continue most of its accustomed activities including credible elections, food distribution, a reliable electric grid, and perhaps even self-defense.

[Oct 19, 2019] Trump's insight, and in no small part it explains his continued survival, is his refusal to accept the appearance of his fully possessing his Article II powers. Most especially in the context of the National Security State.

Oct 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

MLK , says: October 4, 2019 at 1:08 pm GMT

Leave aside that Trump should not have been compelled to make the transcript public . . . .

It's tempting to view Trump's presidency as sui generis. With norms and seemingly well-settled historical precedents broken, with the liability casually laid at his feet by most observers, even if not wholly out to destroy him.

Knowing its intent was remove him from office, Trump nevertheless ordered unprecedented cooperation with the Mueller investigation. A brilliant move in hindsight. I don't recall very much handwringing about the bad precedent this set for presidential power.

Trump's insight, and in no small part it explains his continued survival, is his refusal to accept the appearance of his fully possessing his Article II powers. Most especially in the context of the National Security State.

Utz has written how even Eisenhower was foiled from negotiating to reduce tensions with the Soviet Union/Krushchev. If they could derail the POTUS then doing so with those that followed him should have been easy by comparison and, I think, was. The trend since, as the USG's global power grew, was for president's to ever quickly give way upon after office to the role of what I call Figurehead/Pitchman. It's a Safe Space, as was palpably obvious through Obama's two terms.

While Figurehead/Pitchman versus Real POTUS is, of course, a spectrum not a dichotomy, Trump for reasons I don't need to belabor has effectively constituted a sharp break.

So, decisions of his like the following, facially a diminution of his authority, which passed without a great deal of notice, struck me as him protecting himself from his authorizing military actions designed to end his presidency:

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/trumps-total-authorization-military-gives-deep-concerns

The longer Trump survives the further these highest order threats of nuclear war and to our Constitutional Republic recede. Even if it doesn't seem that way at moments like this.

It's childish nonsense the idea that any foreign state, including Russia, thought Trump would win, much less wanted him to do so. It's equally juvenile, especially close to three years hence, to not understand that foreign adversaries and allies alike awaited a resolution of this factional war internally within the US, avoiding catastrophe in the meantime.

Thankfully, at least so far, since Trump took the oath, the foreign powers for which a Hillary presidency would have been a geopolitical gift of historic proportions (e.g. China; Iran), have largely made their peace with that lost opportunity.

[Oct 10, 2019] Why is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs US corporations face choice between virtue-signaling and business by Helen Buyniski

Notable quotes:
"... "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" the Chinese People's Daily newspaper wondered in an op-ed published on Wednesday. Beijing tore into the trillion-dollar company for offering HKmap.live, a map app that allows users to report and track police activity, warning the app "facilitates illegal behavior" and that Apple is hurting its reputation among Chinese consumers by "mixing business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities." " ..."
"... This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple ," the People's Daily declared, advising the tech firm to " think deeply ." ..."
"... Hong Kong's cheerleaders are rapidly finding out they may have bitten off more than they can chew. It's rarely a good idea, as a global business, to alienate 1.4 billion people living in the world's second-largest economy. ..."
"... More importantly, most Americans don't want a side of politics when they buy a smartphone or go to a basketball game. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | www.rt.com

Beijing is angry at Apple for allowing a police-tracking map used by Hong Kong protesters in its App Store. Pressure grows on US companies doing business in China to take a side, as virtue-signaling clashes with serving customers. "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" the Chinese People's Daily newspaper wondered in an op-ed published on Wednesday. Beijing tore into the trillion-dollar company for offering HKmap.live, a map app that allows users to report and track police activity, warning the app "facilitates illegal behavior" and that Apple is hurting its reputation among Chinese consumers by "mixing business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities." "

This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple ," the People's Daily declared, advising the tech firm to " think deeply ."

The majority of Apple's products are manufactured in China, and those that aren't are assembled in Texas from Chinese parts. China is the second-largest market for Apple products, and CEO Tim Cook expects it will soon overtake the US as number one.

According to HKmap.live's developers, Apple initially rejected the app during a reviewing process, but reconsidered following an appeal. It allows users to report not only the locations and movement of police, but also the use of tear gas and other protester-specific features. The protests, which began in May over a now-shelved extradition bill, have grown quite violent, with some rioters turning on ordinary citizens who merely express solidarity with the mainland.

It's not as if Apple has a track record of defying China's wishes – the company does not include the Taiwan flag emoji on its Chinese devices, and this week has gone further by hiding the flag from users in Hong Kong and Macau. China does not recognize Taiwan as a separate country.

In the latest version of iOS, users in Hong Kong no longer have access to the Taiwan flag () on the emoji keyboard https://t.co/EDnlSsFyYF pic.twitter.com/DbvFR0O8By

-- Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) October 7, 2019

Nor do people look to Apple as their moral guiding light. The Foxconn factories used by the company in China have become infamous after a wave of worker suicides, so much that Apple had "suicide nets" installed to stop the employees from jumping to their deaths.

So where did this sudden urge to stand up for rioters that have become the darlings of the West come from? Apple joins a lengthening list of American corporate entities – including the makers of adult cartoon 'South Park', the manager of NBA team the Houston Rockets, and Vans shoes – who've piled on China following the outbreak of the protests during the summer.

Virtue-signaling is almost expected of American companies in the Trump era. Celebrities who don't speak out against the president are assumed to be secretly harboring pro-Trump sympathies, for example. China probably seems like an easier target than the president – Beijing is halfway around the world and currently embroiled in a trade war with the US.

Hong Kong's cheerleaders are rapidly finding out they may have bitten off more than they can chew. It's rarely a good idea, as a global business, to alienate 1.4 billion people living in the world's second-largest economy. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who initially spoke up for Rockets manager Daryl Morey's "freedom of expression" after he tweeted in support of the protests, has modified his statement to include understanding that there are "consequences" to such freedoms and is scrambling to reach an understanding with China after the nation's largest state-run TV station dropped NBA games in retaliation.

Look for Apple to do something similar if the government controlling its manufacturing and its second-largest market decides to punish its insolence.

More importantly, most Americans don't want a side of politics when they buy a smartphone or go to a basketball game. The vast majority of consumers – those who aren't on Twitter shrieking over the latest revelation that a CEO attended a Trump fundraiser – are not interested in a company's ability to virtue signal. They want a product that works, not one that tells them what to think.

By Helen Buyniski , RT

[Oct 10, 2019] Glorifying rioters China blasts France and EU for hypocrisy after they call for restraint in Hong Kong

Any opposition to the government now quickly became a tool of geopolitical struggle
Oct 10, 2019 | www.rt.com

China’s embassy in France has slammed the country’s reaction to protests in Hong Kong, calling it hypocritical and arguing France should show empathy as China did when Paris was trying to cope with Yellow Vests.

The diplomatic mission was commenting on a statement issued by the European Union, and swiftly repeated by the French Foreign Ministry last week, after Hong Kong police used live ammunition against a protester in self-defense for the first time in four months of demonstrations.

[Oct 09, 2019] Instruments of democracy Hong Kong police raid protesters, seize body armor, petrol bomb materials (PHOTOS) -- RT World News

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Hong Kong police have seized weapons, armor and materials used to create Molotov cocktails, which they said belonged to radical groups among the protesters labeled 'pro-democracy' by western media. According to the police, on Monday and Tuesday they targeted 48 locations throughout the city that they suspected were connected with violent protesters, who have been waging street battles against the police force for several months.

The police arrested 51 people, including seven women, who were aged between 15 and 44, and charged them with various crimes related to the rioting.

... ... ...

The authorities published photos of the items they discovered during the raid, which include several suits of body armor, various melee weapons as well as chemicals and glass bottles used in the manufacturing of petrol bombs – a weapon routinely deployed by the protesters to cause chaos in Hong Kong.

... ... ...

Mass anti-government protests first gripped the Chinese city in March, when thousands took to the streets to protest an extradition bill that they deemed an attack on Hong Kong's autonomy under the so-called "one country, two systems" arrangement. The bill has since been revoked, but the protest movement's demands have continued to grow and it has become more violent in its approach.

... ... ...

Peaceful protest demonstrations in Hong Kong, which have been the prime focus for Western media coverage, take place against the backdrop of vandalism, harassment of businesses deemed loyal to the central government and outright rioting.

[Oct 08, 2019] To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Notable quotes:
"... "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ." ..."
"... I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war. ..."
"... Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy. ..."
"... They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor. ..."
Oct 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , October 03, 2019 at 01:54 PM

https://twitter.com/lilyslynch/status/1179714507406544896

Lily Lynch‏ @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

4:07 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 01:58 PM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1179715126724907010

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold & rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Lily Lynch @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

4:09 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:01 PM

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ."

-- F. Scott Fitzgerald

kurt -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:24 PM

Love this quote.

ilsm -> kurt... , October 03, 2019 at 02:40 PM

Yeah, it is how I view post modern liberals!

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:03 PM

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

[ Degeneracy. ]

ilsm -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:38 PM

"liberal internationalism in Obama's cabinet. That made her [Powers] a target for his critics. Her openness to military intervention – she was against [W Bush?] it in Iraq but for it in Libya – drew flak from the left."

How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?

Does it involve ignoring "state run industrial age mass murder"?

Does it see a rationalized outcome to justify state mass murder?

I think post modern morality goes more towards the means don't matter much less the end--- see Libya!

I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war.

Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy.

ilsm -> ilsm... , October 03, 2019 at 04:25 PM

I can answer this:

"How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?"

Democrats who "worry" about "national security" are Clinton/Kerry project for a new American century (PNAC) accolades!

They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor.

The cover for PNAC expanding spheres is "liberal internationalism"!

A great confidence game!

Why democrats call Trump a "traitor" he is not loyal to the neocon agenda.

im1dc -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 04:43 PM

Updating F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

"Life in the Fast Lane" Eagles

(2013 Remaster)

[Oct 07, 2019] When it comes to US foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives.

Oct 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Replying to @BrankoMilan

"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives.", Stephen Walt

Actually, many of them should have been considered candidates for war criminals. "Waging the war of agression" was part of the Nuremberg trials. This was the media called euphemistically "the war of choice"!

"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives. Beginning in the mid-1990s, this influential network of hard-line pundits, journalists, think tank analysts, and government officials developed, purveyed, and promoted an expansive vision of American power as a positive force in world affairs.

They conceived and sold the idea of invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein and insisted that this bold move would enable the United States to transform much of the Middle East into a sea of pro-American democracies.

What has become of the brilliant strategists who led the nation into such a disastrous debacle? None of their rosy visions have come to pass, and if holding people to account were a guiding principle inside the foreign policy community, these individuals would now be marginal figures commanding roughly the same influence that Charles Lindbergh enjoyed after making naive and somewhat sympathetic statements about Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.",

Walt, S. (2018). The Hell of good intentions: America's foreign policy elite and the decline of US primacy. Straus and Giroux, p. 190.

anne , October 06, 2019 at 07:20 PM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1180792968598474752

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

You would have thought that these cheerleaders of invasion of Iraq and violation of the UN charter would have run far, far away so that we never hear from them again--but no, they are back explaining the world for us and making money doing that.

[ Milanovic was referring to a new column in Project Syndicate that I was confused by before I noticed this reference to the column. Among the points of Milanovic, we find the same self-defeating foreign policy being pushed by the same elite opinion-makers who hurt us so much by taking us to war in Iraq and beyond.

I am thinking this through. ]

[Oct 05, 2019] The Department of Homeland Security extends the definition of terrorist to political opponents of neoliberalism (nationalists are often maligned as white supremasists)

Notable quotes:
"... The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, ..."
Oct 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 01, 2019 at 12:24 PM

"In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," said Kevin McAleenan, the acting director of homeland security.

Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat of White Supremacy
After Years of Prodding https://nyti.ms/2oTNJmQ
NYT - Zolan Kanno-Youngs - October 1

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months.

In a little-noticed strategy document (*) published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue.

"I would like to take this opportunity to be direct and unambiguous in addressing a major issue of our time. In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," Mr. McAleenan said during an address last month, describing white nationalism as one of the most dangerous threats to the United States.

The department's new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement. But beyond words and documents, many officials trying to combat the threat throughout the country remain skeptical that the full weight of federal law enforcement is finally being used to give bigoted domestic terrorism the attention it deserves. ...

* (Could be this.)

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
FOR COUNTERING TERRORISM AND TARGETED VIOLENCE

September 2019

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0920_plcy_strategic-framework-countering-terrorism-targeted-violence.pdf

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 01, 2019 at 01:42 PM
Pull out the racist cards!

[Oct 05, 2019] Trumpenstein Must Be Destroyed! by C.J. Hopkins

Oct 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

The [neo]liberal mob was standing around with their torches and pitchforks in a state of shock. Doctor Mueller, the "monster hunter," had let Trumpenstein slip through his fingers. The supposedly ironclad case against him had turned out to be a bunch of lies made up by the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media.

Russiagate was officially dead . The President of the United States was not a Russian secret agent. No one was blackmailing anyone with a videotape of Romanian prostitutes peeing on a bed where Obama once slept. All that had happened was, millions of liberals had been subjected to the most elaborate psyop in the history of elaborate deep state psyops which, ironically, had only further strengthened Trumpenstein, who was out there on the Portico balcony, shotgunning Diet Cokes with one hand and shaking his junk at the mob with the other.

It wasn't looking so good for "democracy."

[Oct 03, 2019] Beijing is convinced that Hong Kong's elites and a substantial part of the public do not support the demonstrators and that what truly ails the territory are economic problems rather than political ones -- in particular, a combination of stagnant incomes and rising rents.

Oct 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Joe , October 02, 2019 at 09:07 AM

'This time is different', says Xi.
This is a safe site.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2019-09-30/how-china-sees-hong-kong-crisis

..according to two Chinese scholars who have connections to regime insiders and who requested anonymity to discuss the thinking of policymakers in Beijing, China's response has been rooted not in anxiety but in confidence.

Beijing is convinced that Hong Kong's elites and a substantial part of the public do not support the demonstrators and that what truly ails the territory are economic problems rather than political ones -- in particular, a combination of stagnant incomes and rising rents. Beijing also believes that, despite the appearance of disorder, its grip on Hong Kong society remains firm. The Chinese Communist Party has long cultivated the territory's business elites (the so-called tycoons) by offering them favorable economic access to the mainland. The party also maintains a long-standing loyal cadre of underground members in the territory. And China has forged ties with the Hong Kong labor movement and some sections of its criminal underground. Finally, Beijing believes that many ordinary citizens are fearful of change and tired of the disruption caused by the demonstrations.

Beijing therefore thinks that its local allies will stand firm and that the demonstrations will gradually lose public support and eventually die out. As the demonstrations shrink, some frustrated activists will engage in further violence, and that in turn will accelerate the movement's decline. Meanwhile, Beijing is turning its attention to economic development projects that it believes will address some of the underlying grievances that led many people to take to the streets in the first place.

This view of the situation is held by those at the very top of the regime in Beijing, as evidenced by recent remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, some of which have not been previously reported. In a speech Xi delivered in early September to a new class of rising political stars at the Central Party School in Beijing, he rejected the suggestion of some officials that China should declare a state of emergency in Hong Kong and send in the People's Liberation Army. "That would be going down a political road of no return," Xi said. "The central government will exercise the most patience and restraint and allow the [regional government] and the local police force to resolve the crisis." In separate remarks that Xi made around the same time, he spelled out what he sees as the proper way to proceed: "Economic development is the only golden key to resolving all sorts of problems facing Hong Kong today."

ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS, MANY QUESTIONS
Chinese decision-makers are hardly surprised that Hong Kong is chafing under their rule. Beijing believes it has treated Hong Kong with a light hand and has supported the territory's economy in many ways, especially by granting it special access to the mainland's stocks and currency markets, exempting it from the taxes and fees that other Chinese provinces and municipalities pay the central government, and guaranteeing a reliable supply of water, electricity, gas, and food. Even so, Beijing considers disaffection among Hong Kong's residents a natural outgrowth of the territory's colonial British past and also a result of the continuing influence of Western values. Indeed, during the 1984 negotiations between China and the United Kingdom over Hong Kong's future, the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping suggested following the approach of "one country, two systems" for 50 years precisely to give people in Hong Kong plenty of time to get used to the Chinese political system.

But "one country, two systems" was never intended to result in Hong Kong spinning out of China's control. Under the Basic Law that China crafted as Hong Kong's "mini-constitution," Beijing retained the right to prevent any challenge to what it considered its core security interests. The law empowered Beijing to determine if and when Hong Kongers could directly elect the territory's leadership, allowed Beijing to veto laws passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council, and granted China the right to make final interpretations of the Basic Law. And there would be no question about who had a monopoly of force. During the negotiations with the United Kingdom, Deng publicly rebuked a top Chinese defense official -- General Geng Biao, who at the time was a patron of a rising young official named Xi Jinping -- for suggesting that there might not be any need to put troops in Hong Kong. Deng insisted that a Chinese garrison was necessary to symbolize Chinese sovereignty.

Statements made by U.S. politicians in support of the recent demonstrations only confirm Beijing's belief that Washington seeks to inflame radical sentiments in Hong Kong.
At first, Hong Kongers seemed to accept their new role as citizens of a rising China. In 1997, in a tracking poll of Hong Kong residents regularly conducted by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, 47 percent of respondents identified themselves as "proud" citizens of China. But things went downhill from there. In 2012, the Hong Kong government tried to introduce "patriotic education" in elementary and middle schools, but the proposed curriculum ran into a storm of local opposition and had to be withdrawn. In 2014, the 79-day Umbrella Movement brought hundreds of thousands of citizens into the streets to protest Beijing's refusal to allow direct elections for the chief executive. And as authoritarianism has intensified under Xi's rule, events such as the 2015 kidnapping of five Hong Kong–based publishers to stand trial in the mainland further soured Hong Kong opinion. By this past June, only 27 percent of respondents to the tracking poll described themselves as "proud" to be citizens of China. This year's demonstrations started as a protest against a proposed law that would have allowed Hong Kongers suspected of criminal wrongdoing to be extradited to the mainland but then developed into a broad-based expression of discontent over the lack of democratic accountability, police brutality, and, most fundamentally, what was perceived as a mainland assault on Hong Kong's unique identity.

Still, Chinese leaders do not blame themselves for these shifts in public opinion. Rather, they believe that Western powers, especially the United States, have sought to drive a wedge between Hong Kong and the mainland. Statements made by U.S. politicians in support of the recent demonstrations only confirm Beijing's belief that Washington seeks to inflame radical sentiments in Hong Kong. As Xi explained in his speech in September:
---

The Communist party conveniently discovered truth when Xi cam to power.

I doubt it, I think a thousand year history of this stuff is playing out and it has nothing to do with East vs West. I think Xi faces this stuff in many provinces, though not as bad. Xi is deliberately playing the 'This time is different', and old Commie trick.

anne -> Joe... , October 02, 2019 at 09:32 AM
'This time is different', says --.

-- is deliberately playing the 'This time is different', and old Commie trick.

[ The supposed quote is false, of course.

A thoroughly racist comment, but the sneering use of the term "Commie" is intended to mask the racism. ]

[Oct 01, 2019] Daniel McAdams: The US Has Ceased Being A Republic And Has Become A National Security State

Notable quotes:
"... After the Cold War and the defeat of Soviet Communism, where one would expect a reduction if not elimination of such a global secret warfare organization, the CIA only ramped up its operations overseas. Today the CIA is merely one arm in a multi-faceted US "regime change" apparatus that includes the US State Department, USAID, and, very importantly, US government-funded "non-governmental" organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and its sub-grantees. This "regime change apparatus" uses CIA methods developed during the Cold War (by "experts" like Gene Sharp and others) such as mobilization, training, subterfuge, agitation, and propaganda. We saw this apparatus at work in events like the "Arab Spring" and before it in the overthrow of the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia. We saw it in the Ukraine coup of 2014 and we see it in Venezuela and in Hong Kong today. ..."
"... There is plenty of evidence of US government involvement in the Hong Kong protests. That does not mean that every single body out in the street is in the pay of the CIA. That is the red herring argument of those who are determined that we never see the US government hand in unrest overseas. Or to ridicule as "conspiracy theorists" those who point out obvious US government involvement. ..."
"... It is undeniable that the US government has been involved in grooming, training, and funding the anti-Beijing movement in Hong Kong for years. ..."
"... Imagine a movement dedicated to overthrowing the US political order that was funded by the Chinese, whose activists regularly went to Beijing for training in organization and mobilization, and whose leaders met with leading members of the Chinese Communist Party. How would such a movement in the United States be viewed by the US government? How would it be portrayed by the US mainstream media? ..."
"... The US has ceased being a republic and has become a national security state. The US national security state enriches its elites – be they in the military-industrial complex, the think tanks, or the media – at the expense of middle class and working-class America. It does this by promoting an "enemy scenario" whereby the American people are made to believe that if they ever challenge the US military budget – larger than the next seven military budgets combined – they are not only putting themselves and their families at risk, but they are deeply unpatriotic and anti-American. The US national security state fought an 18-year "war on terror" which only seemed to generate more terrorists! Intervention in Iraq and Libya and Syria to "fight terrorism" resulted in more, not less, al-Qaeda and ISIS. It was not until Russia and Iran stood up in 2015 and began fighting these US-backed groups that there was a reduction in their power. ..."
"... The Trump Presidency thus far has been an enormous disappointment. The president had the opportunity to name a top-notch foreign policy and national security team that would reflect and carry out his stated policies as a candidate – getting along with Russia, NATO skepticism, opposition to endless war, etc – but once in power he has again and again drawn from that same neoconservative cesspool that no matter who is elected always find its way to positions of power and influence. ..."
Oct 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Daniel McAdams: "The US Has Ceased Being A Republic And Has Become A National Security State" by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/30/2019 - 23:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Mohsen Abdelmoumen via American Herald Tribune,

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your Twitter account has just been closed. Why?

Daniel McAdams: In August I was watching a segment of the Sean Hannity program while at a friend's house and noticed that despite an hour of Hannity ranting against the "deep state" in the US, he was wearing a lapel pin bearing the seal of the US Central Intelligence agency, which most would agree is either the center or at least an important hub of the US "deep state" itself. I tweeted about this strange anomaly and as a comment to my own Tweet on it I happened to say that Hannity is "retarded." Twitter informed me that I had committed "hateful conduct" for "promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease." It is clear on its face that I did none of these. I used a non-politically correct term to ridicule Hannity for attacking the "deep state" while wearing the symbols of the deep state on his very lapel.

It is clear that Twitter is deeply biased against any voices outside the mainstream, pro-empire perspective. As a leading Tweeter in opposition to interventionist US foreign policy, I had long been targeted by those who enable and enforce Twitter's political biases. Look at who Twitter partners with and you will understand why I was banned for a transparently false reason: the US government-funded Atlantic Council and other similar organizations are working with Twitter to eliminate any voices challenging US global military empire.

In your opinion, what exactly is the role of the CIA in the regime changes of some countries around the world?

From its creation by the National Security Act of 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency carried the dual role of analyzing intelligence for its customers in the Executive Branch of the US government and conducting covert actions and operations in pursuit of (claimed) US foreign policy goals. The history of CIA action in post-war Europe is extensive and includes founding front organizations to prop up socialist and far-left publications and institutions as a challenge to Soviet communism as well as backing far-right groups and political parties and even violent terror organizations to directly confront communism and overturn elections where communists made gains.

After the Cold War and the defeat of Soviet Communism, where one would expect a reduction if not elimination of such a global secret warfare organization, the CIA only ramped up its operations overseas. Today the CIA is merely one arm in a multi-faceted US "regime change" apparatus that includes the US State Department, USAID, and, very importantly, US government-funded "non-governmental" organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and its sub-grantees. This "regime change apparatus" uses CIA methods developed during the Cold War (by "experts" like Gene Sharp and others) such as mobilization, training, subterfuge, agitation, and propaganda. We saw this apparatus at work in events like the "Arab Spring" and before it in the overthrow of the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia. We saw it in the Ukraine coup of 2014 and we see it in Venezuela and in Hong Kong today.

The practical value to the United States of such operations is less than zero, the costs to the American taxpayer are enormous, and the immorality of manipulating the globe toward an outcome preferred by Washington's elites is self-evident.

When we see the generalized NSA surveillance, do you think we live in a democracy or a tenebrous fascist regime?

Americans have been manipulated by the elites in government and its allies in state propaganda (otherwise known as the "mainstream media") to accept, particularly post-9/11, the deeply anti-American proposition that we must yield our privacy and Constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties to a government that promises it will not abuse its increased power over us but will only use it to keep us safe. These promises have been over and over again proven to be lies. Government is not targeting terrorism or terrorists: they are targeting average American citizens.

Americans were told that only terrorists' phone calls would be intercepted, but then Edward Snowden revealed that all of our phone calls are intercepted. Americans were mad for a few weeks but then Washington promised "reform" of the PATRIOT Act in the form of the FREEDOM Act and everybody calmed down. Even though the FREEDOM Act is actually worse than the PATRIOT Act because it legalized all of the illegal activities that were taking place under the PATRIOT Act. "Reform" in Washington means obfuscation and perception manipulation.

Likewise, Americans seeking to travel within their own country have been forced to allow strangers to invade and touch the most private areas of their bodies – and their children's bodies! American sheep just bow to the authorities and keep watching their freedoms stolen from them, murmuring to themselves as they are raped by the authorities, "well I have nothing to hide "

You mentioned one time Operation Mockingbird, where the CIA manipulated journalists in the 1950s. In your opinion, does the CIA continue to use these same practices today?

I have no doubt that the CIA continues to maintain a close relationship with both mainstream and independent journalists. This is critical to establishing and controlling the narrative in each foreign "crisis." It is no accident that each mainstream media outlet – regardless whether left-wing or right-wing or any wing - has the exact same perspective on events like the Ukraine coup or the Venezuela attempted coup, or Hong Kong protests. Part of this is the US "deep state" or "national security state" and part of it is the increasing integration of US corporate entities into the US government. Major media outlets are owned by US corporations that also own weapons manufacturing companies and cannot be trusted to report on events objectively. Similarly, virtually every US mainstream media outlet employs "former" members of the US intelligence community to "explain" foreign events to their viewers.

When is the last time a credible non-interventionist or pro-peace analyst has been featured in any mainstream media outlet? As in Soviet times, any view at odds with Washington's "party line" is simply disappeared. When independent media outlets begin gaining traction and challenging the narrative, they are "de-platformed" on social media and even from their Internet service providers under the recommendations of US government-funded NGOs like the Atlantic Council or the German Marshal Fund.

Is not what is currently happening in Hong Kong a CIA manipulation targeting China in the context of the Trump administration's economic war?

There is plenty of evidence of US government involvement in the Hong Kong protests. That does not mean that every single body out in the street is in the pay of the CIA. That is the red herring argument of those who are determined that we never see the US government hand in unrest overseas. Or to ridicule as "conspiracy theorists" those who point out obvious US government involvement.

It is undeniable that the US government has been involved in grooming, training, and funding the anti-Beijing movement in Hong Kong for years. They don't even hide it: you can easily find on USAID and National Endowment for Democracy website the level of funding the US government provides these organizations and political parties. And when these party leaders come to Washington, they are received by the US Vice President, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, and other high-ranking US government officials. Which foreign opposition movements that Washington does not support are given such treatment?

Imagine a movement dedicated to overthrowing the US political order that was funded by the Chinese, whose activists regularly went to Beijing for training in organization and mobilization, and whose leaders met with leading members of the Chinese Communist Party. How would such a movement in the United States be viewed by the US government? How would it be portrayed by the US mainstream media?

You mentioned a US-supported coup when you talked about Venezuela. In your opinion, does the US administration continue the same interventionist policy to destabilize Latin American countries?

Any Latin American government not in Washington's constellation has been and is targeted for destabilization and overthrow. We saw this with the 2009 coup in Honduras, whose architect was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We see it in Cuba. We see it in Venezuela. We saw it with Ecuador, where a government wary of US persecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was "changed" in favor of a regime that handed Assange over to the authorities in exchange for a few billion dollars from the IMF. Do what Washington says and get paid; oppose Washington and get overthrown. That is the foreign policy of the US empire. And like the Soviet empire that preceded it, it is a policy doomed to failure.

Why in your opinion does the United States always need an enemy? Is not there a danger of world war when we see the multitude of US imperialist interventions around the world?
The US has ceased being a republic and has become a national security state. The US national security state enriches its elites – be they in the military-industrial complex, the think tanks, or the media – at the expense of middle class and working-class America. It does this by promoting an "enemy scenario" whereby the American people are made to believe that if they ever challenge the US military budget – larger than the next seven military budgets combined – they are not only putting themselves and their families at risk, but they are deeply unpatriotic and anti-American. The US national security state fought an 18-year "war on terror" which only seemed to generate more terrorists! Intervention in Iraq and Libya and Syria to "fight terrorism" resulted in more, not less, al-Qaeda and ISIS. It was not until Russia and Iran stood up in 2015 and began fighting these US-backed groups that there was a reduction in their power.

After the Russian and Iranian success in beating back the jihadist threat in Syria, the 2017 US national security strategy did an Orwellian about-face and abandoned the "war on terror" in favor of a declaration that our new enemies were again our old enemies: China and Russia. It is literally Orwell's 1984: "we are at war with Eastasia. We had always been at war with Eastasia."

What do you think about the North Korean and Iranian case, where the Trump administration lacks a clear vision and where some neoconservatives are pushing for a war?

There are few consistencies in President Trump's foreign policy. One emerging consistency, however, is that he seems genuinely reluctant to take the country into a bona fide war. He's happy with sending a few dozen Tomahawk missiles into the Syrian countryside, but when faced with an actual robust response to any US strike, he to this point has chosen de-escalation. This may be a function of his keen eye for politics rather than any philosophical or moral concerns, but it to this point seems thematic. The problem is that by surrounding himself with neoconservatives – and make no mistake his replacement for Bolton is at least as much a neocon as the Mustached One himself – the president is isolating himself from any inputs advising military constraint when facing crises overseas. That is why many of us were so much hoping that Bolton would be replaced with a Realist like Col. Douglas Macgregor. There is a big danger that the president will be cornered by a lack of non-war options to the next crisis simply because he gives no quarter to non-war voices in his administration.

When we consider the plight of activists and whistleblowers, such as Assange, Snowden, etc. can we still talk about freedom of speech and human rights? Shouldn't we mobilize more to support these activists and others around the world?

The plight of Snowden and Assange and all of the persecuted whistleblowers and truth-tellers is the plight of what is life of our liberty, freedom, and even Western civilization. When all dissent is quashed, imprisoned, tortured, we are left with only the Total State. The Total State, as we know from history, brooks no dissent because it can only maintain power by continuing the illusion that it alone is the source of truth. Thus any voice challenging the Total State, as the embodiment of truth, must on its face be a lie. Why would truth allow lies to undermine it? Why would any sane person oppose "the people" as represented in their Soviet government? Surely such a person would be insane and need of treatment rather than a citizen raising a legitimate question or differing opinion.

This is what we are facing in the US today. A Total State, where opposing views are de-platformed and disappeared. Where truth-tellers are jailed and tortured – pour servir d'avertissement aux autres (to serve as a warning to others).

What is your assessment of the Trump Presidency and what do you think of its foreign policy?

The Trump Presidency thus far has been an enormous disappointment. The president had the opportunity to name a top-notch foreign policy and national security team that would reflect and carry out his stated policies as a candidate – getting along with Russia, NATO skepticism, opposition to endless war, etc – but once in power he has again and again drawn from that same neoconservative cesspool that no matter who is elected always find its way to positions of power and influence. He did not chart a wise course in building a solid administration of professionals who agree with him – and there are plenty to choose from – and instead he actually hired an entire team of people who not only disagree with his stated positions, but they actually publicly ridicule them and work against them. It is unprecedented in my memory to see those who serve the president publicly undermining his stated positions, yet Bolton and Pompeo never hesitated or hesitate to do just that. This is an enormous missed opportunity for President Trump and for the United States.

You have been an advisor to Congressman Ron Paul and you are doing an excellent job as Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Can you explain to our readers what the missions of this institute are?

Our mission as a non-profit educational institution is to make the case for a non-interventionist foreign policy and the restoration of our civil liberties at home. We are the continuation of the Ron Paul liberty movement. To that end, we publish thousands of articles making the case for non-interventionism on our website, we broadcast a daily Ron Paul Liberty Report, and we hold conferences throughout the country bringing together a broad coalition of Americans – and non-Americans – to learn and promote peace and prosperity!

* * *

Daniel McAdams is executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-host of the "Ron Paul Liberty Report," a daily live broadcast. He served for 12 years on Capitol Hill as foreign affairs and national security advisor to former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

[Oct 01, 2019] Aussie PM Confirms No Coercion, Was Ready To Assist In Mueller Origins Probe

Sep 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Less than an hour after the New York Times dropped their 'bombshell' whistleblower claims that President Trump coerced the Australian PM into assisting his investigation into the origins of the Mueller probe, the Aussie PM's office has destroyed the narrative in two short sentences. An official statement confirmed:

"The Australian Government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation. The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the President"

So, the Aussies were always ready and willing to help (with no Trump coercion required) and the Aussies reiterated such facts (with no apparent prodding from Trump).

So another 'bombshell' embarrasses the media...

* * *

As we enter a new era of anonymous whistleblowers heading into the 2020 election (a new anti-Trump strategy telegraphed by former CIA Director, John Brennan ), the New York Times is out with a report that President Trump asked the Australian Prime Minister to help Attorney General William Barr uncover the origins of "Russiagate," according to yet another 'whistleblower.'

A transcript of the call has been restricted to a small group of the president's aides, according to the Times , which compared it to the "unusual decision" similar to how the Trump administration restricted access to the transcript of a July call with the President of Ukraine (which the last administration routinely did according to former national security adviser Susan Rice ).

According to the Times , Trump was "using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests," however "Justice Department officials have said that it would be neither illegal nor untoward for Mr. Trump to ask world leaders to cooperate with Mr. Barr. "

President Trump initiated the discussion in recent weeks with Mr. Morrison explicitly for the purpose of requesting Australia's help in the Justice Department review of the Russia investigation , according to the two people with knowledge of the discussion. Mr. Barr requested that Mr. Trump speak to Mr. Morrison , one of the people said. - NYT

Of note, Barr appointed career prosecutor John H. Durham to investigate the origins of "Russiagate," a move which Trump and his allies have suggested may be potentially helpful for the White House .

Trump's request effectively meant that Australia would be investigating itself over the participation of Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in an alleged spying - and potential setup - on the Trump campaign.

Shortly after Trump aide George Papadopoulos announced his intention to work for the 2016 campaign, he was lured to London in March of 2016, where Maltese professor and self-described Clinton foundation member Joseph Mifsud fed him the rumor that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos would later relay this information to Downer, who passed it to the FBI, which in turn launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane - the FBI's official investigation into the Trump campaign.

The F.B.I.'s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began after Australian officials told the bureau that the Russian government had made overtures to the Trump campaign about releasing political damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Australian officials shared that information after its top official in Britain met in London in May 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who told the Australian about the Russian dirt on Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Papadopoulos also said that he had heard that the Russians had "thousands" of Mrs. Clinton's emails from Joseph Mifsud , an academic. Mr. Mifsud, who was last seen working as a visiting professor in Rome, has disappeared. - NYT

Barr began a review of the Russia investigation earlier this year with the stated goal of determining whether the US intelligence community under Obama acted inappropriately - for example, when they sent Stefan Halper - a spy who had been paid over $1 million during Obama's presidency - to infiltrate Trump campaign aides Papadopoulos and Carter Page .

Last week the DOJ announced that it was exploring how other countries, including Ukraine, "played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign."

Whatever the findings, we're sure the new 'whistleblower strategy' is sure to deflect from any actual wrongdoing which may have been committed by government officials.

[Sep 29, 2019] This Man Stopped a Runaway Impeachment by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The myth that our present moment is somehow more scandalous than any other is easily dispelled by reading John F. Kennedy's book Profiles in Courage , which details the political bravery of eight largely unsung individuals from congressional history. ..."
"... While previous impeachment efforts had been defeated, on February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives adopted articles of impeachment by a tremendous margin -- every single Republican voted in the affirmative. With that hurdle cleared, the charges moved to the Senate, where they were presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Ross was a Republican, and was naturally expected to support Johnson's impeachment. ..."
"... Yet there were two elements missing: "the actual cause for which the President was being tried was not fundamental to the welfare of the nation; and the defendant himself was at all times absent." ..."
"... as the trial progressed, it became increasingly apparent that the impatient Republicans did not intend to give the President a fair trial on the formal issues upon which the impeachment was drawn, but intended instead to depose him from the White House on any grounds, real or imagined, for refusing to accept their policies. ..."
"... The mood and tenor in Washington, according to David Miller DeWitt's The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson , was that of a city under siege. "The dominant part of the nation seemed to occupy the position of public prosecutor, and it was scarcely in the mood to brook delay for trial or to hear the defense." ..."
"... Ross and other doubters were "daily pestered, spied upon, and subjected to every form of pressure. Their residences were carefully watched, their social circles suspiciously scrutinized, and their every move and companions secretly marked in special notebooks. They were warned in the party press, harangued by their constituents, and sent dire warnings threatening political ostracism and even assassination." ..."
"... The morning of the fateful vote, spies followed Ross to breakfast, and 10 minutes before the vote, a colleague from Kansas warned him that support for "acquittal would mean trumped up charges and his political death." ..."
"... "I almost literally looked down into my open grave," writes Ross. "Friendships, position, fortune, everything that makes life desirable to an ambitious man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever. It is not strange that my answer was carried waveringly over the air and failed to reach the limits of the audience, or or that repetition was called for ." ..."
"... Neither Ross nor any of the other six Republicans who voted for Johnson's acquittal were ever reelected to the Senate. When they returned to Kansas, Ross and his family were ostracized, attacked, and impoverished. ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When the GOP madly went after President Andrew Johnson, Senator Edward G. Ross ruined his own career to thwart them. • March 11, 2019

Senator Edmund G. Ross As Robert Mueller's pending report looms heavily over Washington, many are darkly speculating about a new era in our history. When have there been so many investigations, such rank partisanship, such indifference to justice and the rule of law?

Actually we have been here before.

The myth that our present moment is somehow more scandalous than any other is easily dispelled by reading John F. Kennedy's book Profiles in Courage , which details the political bravery of eight largely unsung individuals from congressional history.

One story in particular stands out as the perfect antidote for our time: that of Edmund G. Ross, senator from Kansas. In 1868, the United States came perilously close to impeaching its seventeenth president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, because the Republican majority in Congress was at odds with him over how to handle the defeated Southern states. Ross bucked his party, followed his conscience, and cast a vote against articles of impeachment. He was vilified at the time; decades later, he would be hailed as having saved the republic.

While previous impeachment efforts had been defeated, on February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives adopted articles of impeachment by a tremendous margin -- every single Republican voted in the affirmative. With that hurdle cleared, the charges moved to the Senate, where they were presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Ross was a Republican, and was naturally expected to support Johnson's impeachment.

"Public opinion in the nation ran heavily against the President; he had intentionally broken the law and dictatorially thwarted the will of Congress!" writes Kennedy.

After the president was effectively indicted by the House, the Senate trial proceeded and high drama riveted the nation. "It was a trial to rank with all the great trials in history -- Charles I before the High Court of Justice, Louis XVI before the French Convention, and Warren Hastings before the House of Lords," writes Kennedy. Yet there were two elements missing: "the actual cause for which the President was being tried was not fundamental to the welfare of the nation; and the defendant himself was at all times absent."

The actual causes for impeachment sound somewhat obscure to today's ears, although the tenth article, which alleged that Johnson had delivered "intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues against Congress [and] the laws of the United States," sounds positively Trumpian. The first eight articles concerned the removal of Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war in supposed violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The ninth article alleged that Johnson's conversation with a general had violated an Army appropriations act. The eleventh was something of a catch-all for the rest.

The counsel for the president argued convincingly that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional. And even if there had been a violation of the law, Stanton would have needed to submit to being dismissed and then sued for his rights in the courts -- something that had not happened.

From Profiles in Courage :

as the trial progressed, it became increasingly apparent that the impatient Republicans did not intend to give the President a fair trial on the formal issues upon which the impeachment was drawn, but intended instead to depose him from the White House on any grounds, real or imagined, for refusing to accept their policies.

Telling evidence in the President's favor was arbitrarily excluded. Prejudgment on the part of most Senators was brazenly announced. Attempted bribery and other forms of pressure were rampant. The chief interest was not in the trial or the evidence, but in the tallying of votes necessary for conviction.

At the time, there were 54 members of the Senate, which meant 36 votes were required to secure the two thirds necessary for Johnson's conviction. There were 12 Democratic senators, so the 42 Republicans could afford only six defections.

The mood and tenor in Washington, according to David Miller DeWitt's The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson , was that of a city under siege. "The dominant part of the nation seemed to occupy the position of public prosecutor, and it was scarcely in the mood to brook delay for trial or to hear the defense."

The city was thronged by the "politically dissatisfied and swarmed with representatives of every state of the Union, demanding in a practically united voice the deposition of the President," writes Kennedy. "The footsteps of anti-impeaching Republicans were dogged from the day's beginning to its end and far into the night, with entreaties, considerations, and threats."

Ross and other doubters were "daily pestered, spied upon, and subjected to every form of pressure. Their residences were carefully watched, their social circles suspiciously scrutinized, and their every move and companions secretly marked in special notebooks. They were warned in the party press, harangued by their constituents, and sent dire warnings threatening political ostracism and even assassination."

The New York Tribune reported that Ross in particular was "mercilessly dragged this way and that by both sides, hunted like a fox night and day and badgered by his own colleagues ."

While both sides publicly claimed Ross as their own, the senator himself kept a careful silence. His brother received a letter offering $20,000 if he would reveal Ross' mind. The morning of the fateful vote, spies followed Ross to breakfast, and 10 minutes before the vote, a colleague from Kansas warned him that support for "acquittal would mean trumped up charges and his political death."

That day in the Senate, as Ross would later write, "the galleries were packed. Tickets of admission were at an enormous premium. The House had adjourned and all of its members were in the Senate chamber. Every chair on the Senate floor was filled ."

The broad eleventh article of impeachment would command the first vote. By the time the call came to Ross, 24 "guilty" votes had already been pronounced. As Kennedy writes, "Ten more were certain and one other practically certain. Only Ross's vote was needed to obtain the thirty-six votes necessary to convict the President. But not a single person in the room knew how this young Kansan would vote."

"I almost literally looked down into my open grave," writes Ross. "Friendships, position, fortune, everything that makes life desirable to an ambitious man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever. It is not strange that my answer was carried waveringly over the air and failed to reach the limits of the audience, or or that repetition was called for ."

"Then came the answer again in a voice that could not be misunderstood -- full, final, definite, unhesitating and unmistakeable: 'Not guilty.' The deed was done, the President saved, the trial as good as over and the conviction lost. The remainder of the roll call was unimportant; conviction had failed by the margin of a single vote and a general rumbling filled the chamber ."

When the second and third articles of impeachment were read 10 days later, Ross also pronounced the president "not guilty."

Neither Ross nor any of the other six Republicans who voted for Johnson's acquittal were ever reelected to the Senate. When they returned to Kansas, Ross and his family were ostracized, attacked, and impoverished.

Kennedy writes:

Who was Edmund G. Ross? Practically nobody. Not a single public law bears his name, not a single history book includes his picture, not a single list of Senate "greats" mentions his service. His one heroic deed has been all but forgotten. Ross chose to throw [his future in politics] away for one act of conscience.

Yet even if he fell into obscurity, history would vindicate Ross. Twenty years after the fateful vote, Congress repealed the Tenure of Office Act, and the Supreme Court later held that "the extremes of that episode in our government" were unconstitutional.

Prior to Ross's death, the American public realized its errors too, and the same Kansas papers that had once denounced and defamed Ross declared that his "courage" had "saved" the country "from calamity greater than war, while it consigned him to a political martyrdom, the most cruel in our history ."

Kennedy does a wonderful job recounting this momentous episode, with the rich suspense and colorful imagery that it deserves. Ross's words jump from the page as if they were written for our own age, and his bravery in the face of partisan political pressure has withstood the test of time.

To end with Ross's own words:

In a large sense, the independence of the executive office as a coordinate branch of the government was on trial . If the President was to step down a disgraced man and a political outcast upon insufficient proofs and from partisan considerations, the office of President would be degraded, cease to be a coordinate branch of the government, and ever after be subordinated to the legislative will. If Andrew Johnson were acquitted by a nonpartisan vote America would pass the danger point of partisan rule and that intolerance which so often characterizes the sway of great majorities and makes them dangerous.

We should bear that in mind today.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

[Sep 28, 2019] Media biased Hong Kong reporting

Foreign new coverage in modern western societies is controlled by intelligence agencies. There are no exceptions.
Notable quotes:
"... At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure". ..."
"... For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark: ..."
"... All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

nsa , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:17 am GMT

@d dan " ..media biased Hong Kong reporting ."
How would American cops react to punks tossing Molotov Cocktails at them? Arson is a felony but there would be no need for a trial just a coroner.
d dan , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts "The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China "

At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".

For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-2Rr8hZK2aQ?feature=oembed

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Tusk "Radio Free Asia reports .". RFA is a US Government propaganda outlet. 100% WMD, 24×7.
Ber , says: September 28, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts Here is a good analysis of how the main stream media (MSM) gang up to give propaganda, and how I wish they have objective comments about China or any country they do not like.

All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed

[Sep 26, 2019] Israel Worship Is White Nationalism For Boomers Too Cowardly To Demand Their Own Ethnostate by Amalric de Droevig

Notable quotes:
"... The conservative movement's unwholesome obsession with Israel is not an entirely organic obsession to be sure. There is a whole lot of dark kosher oligarch money lurking behind the neoconservative cause, Christian Zionism, and the Reagan/Zioboomer battalion ..."
"... there is something awfully peculiar, almost disturbing about the old guard's infatuation with Israel. I mean, why are American boomers so concerned about the Jewish state and its survival? How exactly does a tiny apartheidesque ethnostate half-way around the world affect their everyday lives? Are they simply mind-slaves to a mainstream media dominated by powerful Jews and powerful Jewish interest groups? Is this all really about scripture as Christian radio likes to contend? Or is there something else afoot here? Well, in short, there is. ..."
"... White Westerners, white Americans in particular, are a thoroughly vassalized, deracinated people. We aren't allowed to celebrate our own race's host of historic accomplishments anymore. That would be racist. We aren't allowed to put our own people first either, as all other peoples do. That would likewise be racist. White Western peoples aren't even allowed to have nations of our own any longer, nations which exist to advance our interests, and which are populated by and overseen by people like us, who share our interests and our attitudes. That also would be, you guessed it, racist. Our very existence is increasingly little more than an unfortunate, racist obstacle to a brighter, more diverse future, in the eyes of the Cultural Marxist sociopaths who rule the Western World. Needless to say, most white Americans would rather be dead than racist, and so we are naturally, quite literally dying as a result. ..."
"... The white American psyche has been tamed, broken as it were. Ziocucking is a symptom of that psychic injury. ..."
"... White Americans can not, they must not, stake claim to an identity or a future of their own, so they have essentially committed themselves to another people's identity and future instead of their own. ..."
"... Actually, Donald Trump's electoral victory is at least partially attributable to a very similar psychological phenomenon. White Americans, who have largely lost the self-confidence to stand behind their traditions and convictions, still had the gumption to vote for a man who possesses in oodles and cringy oodles, the self-same self-confidence they lack. White Americans are thus engaged in an almost unstated, indirect, vicarious defiance of Cultural Marxism via Trump/Trumpism, a tangible, albeit somewhat incoherent, symbol of open revolt against Western elites. The repressed group will of whites is longing for an authentic medium of civilizational expression, but can only find two-bit demagoguery and Israel worship. The weather is not fair in the white, Western mind. ..."
"... After all, the birthrates of Jews in Israel are at well above replacement level . Israelis are optimistic about the future. As whites in the West fall on their proverbial sword to atone for their racist past, Jews in Israel are thriving. ..."
"... that unwholesome obsession will not dissipate until whites reclaim their own history, rediscover their roots, learn to take their own side, and demand a place in the planet's future (yes, I said demand , ..."
"... Until whites have a story and a spirit of their own, they will only, and can only, live through the identities and triumphs of other races. And perhaps most critically, they will continue to be a ghost people on the march to extinction. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

The conservative movement's unwholesome obsession with Israel is not an entirely organic obsession to be sure. There is a whole lot of dark kosher oligarch money lurking behind the neoconservative cause, Christian Zionism, and the Reagan/Zioboomer battalion. Nevertheless, whether organic or not, the boomer generation's excessive regard for Israel is today authentic and undeniable. A strong fealty to Israel is deeply entrenched amongst boomer-generation conservatives. Indeed, when it comes to defending Israel and its conduct, many of these types are like samurais on meth. They don't seem to care at all if their entire state or city should devolve into a semi-anarchic New Somalia, but god forbid some Somali congresswoman should lambaste the sacred Jewish state. That simply can't be countenanced here in the land of the free!

Mind you, this article is not meant to constitute a polemic against Israel, or Jewish ethnopolitics for that matter. The BDS movement is just as wrongheaded as Ziocuckoldry, in my humble opinion. Although there is much wrong with Israel, there is plenty right with it as well. Despite what the modern left may believe, there is nothing inherently illegitimate about a state like Israel, one rooted in history, in genes, in religion, and in race. States built around a shared ethnicity or a shared religion (or, as in Israel's case, an ample helping of both) are generally more stable and successful than diverse societies erected upon propositions most people and peoples don't really accept, or leftist values that have ideological quicksand for their foundations.

With that said, there is something awfully peculiar, almost disturbing about the old guard's infatuation with Israel. I mean, why are American boomers so concerned about the Jewish state and its survival? How exactly does a tiny apartheidesque ethnostate half-way around the world affect their everyday lives? Are they simply mind-slaves to a mainstream media dominated by powerful Jews and powerful Jewish interest groups? Is this all really about scripture as Christian radio likes to contend? Or is there something else afoot here? Well, in short, there is.

White Westerners, white Americans in particular, are a thoroughly vassalized, deracinated people. We aren't allowed to celebrate our own race's host of historic accomplishments anymore. That would be racist. We aren't allowed to put our own people first either, as all other peoples do. That would likewise be racist. White Western peoples aren't even allowed to have nations of our own any longer, nations which exist to advance our interests, and which are populated by and overseen by people like us, who share our interests and our attitudes. That also would be, you guessed it, racist. Our very existence is increasingly little more than an unfortunate, racist obstacle to a brighter, more diverse future, in the eyes of the Cultural Marxist sociopaths who rule the Western World. Needless to say, most white Americans would rather be dead than racist, and so we are naturally, quite literally dying as a result.

The white American psyche has been tamed, broken as it were. Ziocucking is a symptom of that psychic injury. Because white boomers possess no group/tribal identity any longer, or collective will, or sense of race pride, or civilizational prospects, because they have been enserfed by a viciously anti-white Cultural Marxist overclass, they have opted to live vicariously through another race. White Americans can not, they must not, stake claim to an identity or a future of their own, so they have essentially committed themselves to another people's identity and future instead of their own. Indeed, just as the cuckold doesn't merely permit another man to penetrate his wife, but actually takes a kind of perverse pleasure in the pleasure of that other man, in large measure by fetishizing his dominance and sexual prowess, the Ziocuck likewise doesn't merely allow his civilization to be debased, he takes an equally perverse pleasure in the triumphs of other peoples and nations, and by so doing imagines, mistakenly of course, that America itself is still as free and proud a nation as those foreign nations he fetishizes.

Actually, Donald Trump's electoral victory is at least partially attributable to a very similar psychological phenomenon. White Americans, who have largely lost the self-confidence to stand behind their traditions and convictions, still had the gumption to vote for a man who possesses in oodles and cringy oodles, the self-same self-confidence they lack. White Americans are thus engaged in an almost unstated, indirect, vicarious defiance of Cultural Marxism via Trump/Trumpism, a tangible, albeit somewhat incoherent, symbol of open revolt against Western elites. The repressed group will of whites is longing for an authentic medium of civilizational expression, but can only find two-bit demagoguery and Israel worship. The weather is not fair in the white, Western mind.

Through this sordid, vicarious identitarianism, threats to Jewish lives become threats to their own white lives. Jewish interests become tantamount to their own interests. It is a sad sight to behold anyhow, a people with no sense of dignity or shame, too cowed by political correctness to stand up for their own group interests, too brainwashed to love themselves, too reprogrammed to be themselves, idolizing alien peoples. Nevertheless, the need for belonging in place, time, and history, and for collective purpose, doesn't just go away because Western elites say being white signifies nothing but "hate". As white civilization aborts and hedonizes itself into extinction, as whites practice suicidal altruism and absolute racial denialism, atomized white individuals seek out other histories, other stories, other peoples to attach themselves to and project themselves onto.

White Americans have thus foolishly come to see their own destiny as inseparable from the destiny of a people whose destiny they don't really share. After all, the birthrates of Jews in Israel are at well above replacement level . Israelis are optimistic about the future. As whites in the West fall on their proverbial sword to atone for their racist past, Jews in Israel are thriving. As whites in America suffer from various epidemics of despair , their fellow white Americans seem more interested in the imaginary plight of Israelis who can't stop winning military skirmishes, embarrassing their Arab enemies, and unlawfully acquiring land and resources in the Levant. The actual, visceral plight of their own people seems almost an afterthought to most white Americans. The whole affair is frankly bizarre and shameful.

This peculiar psychological phenomenon of vicarious identitarianism is at least partially responsible for the Zioboomer's undying devotion to Israel. Furthermore, that unwholesome obsession will not dissipate until whites reclaim their own history, rediscover their roots, learn to take their own side, and demand a place in the planet's future (yes, I said demand , since the white race's many enemies have no intention of saving a place for them or willingly handing them a say in that future). Until whites have a story and a spirit of their own, they will only, and can only, live through the identities and triumphs of other races. And perhaps most critically, they will continue to be a ghost people on the march to extinction.

nymom , says: September 26, 2019 at 4:24 am GMT

Well you are almost right.

We can say Israel is the canary in the coal mine for the US. Might be closer to the truth

silviosilver , says: September 26, 2019 at 4:59 am GMT
A related phenomenon is Russia-cucking. White American conservatives who have seen through Jewish bullshit often seem to conclude that the racial predicament in America is hopeless, so they switch to Russia-cucking. Being pro-Russia is obviously more sensible than being pro-Israel, but it's nationalism by proxy all the same.

[Sep 26, 2019] Does Donald Trump Want to Be Impeached?

Notable quotes:
"... Third, an impeachment battle would give Trump a last chance to solidify his hold on the souls and reputations of his possible Republican successors. To understand what I mean, consider Jonathan V. Last's explanation of why so few Republican elected officials are likely to break with Trump, no matter how Nixonian his straits become: ..."
"... But my ultimate guess is that none of this matters quite as much as some impeachment arguers suppose. An impeachment effort could be both foredoomed and unlikely to influence the 2020 outcome all that much, so Nancy Pelosi might be wise to forestall one but also find herself with few regrets if one gets forced on her. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 25, 2019 at 05:39 PM

Does Donald Trump Want to Be Impeached?
https://nyti.ms/2mKgmBS
NYT - Ross Douthat - September 24

When it comes to determining when it makes sense to impeach a president, congressional Democrats are working with 200 words in the Constitution, three significant historical precedents, the fervor of impeachment advocates, the anxieties of swing-state members of Congress and all the polling data that a modern political party can buy.

None of this, unfortunately, tells them what to do when the president in question actually wants them to impeach him.

That Donald Trump actually wants to be impeached is an argument that Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, has been making for some time -- that the president isn't stumbling backward toward impeachment, but is actually eager for the fight.

In his email newsletter Monday morning, Domenech cited the last few days of Ukraine-related agitation as vindication, arguing that the circus atmosphere of congressional hearings, scenes of Joe Biden talking about corruption instead of health care or the economy, and wavering House Democrats getting forced into an impeachment vote by their angry colleagues and constituents are all exactly what Trump wants.

For my own part I think wants is probably an overstatement, since it implies a strategic purpose, a permanent intention and a stable mental state, none of which should be assumed when analyzing the president of the United States.

... ... ...

First, if the Democrats impeach him they will be doing something unpopular instead of something popular. Maybe the polls showing impeachment's unpopularity will alter as the Ukraine story develops. Maybe public hearings will deliver a series of blows that persuades the large anti-Trump, anti-impeachment constituency that his expedited removal from office is desirable or necessary. But the current shape of public opinion is the boring, basic reason that Trump seems to want to be impeached more than Nancy Pelosi wants to impeach him: The Democratic agenda is more popular than the Republican agenda (whatever that is), the likely Democratic nominees are all more popular than Trump, and so anything that puts the Democrats on the wrong side of public opinion may look better, through Trump's eyes, than the status quo.

Second, Trump is happy to pit his overt abuses of power against the soft corruption of his foes. This is an aspect of Trumpism that the president's critics find particularly infuriating -- the way he attacks his rivals for being corrupt swamp creatures while being so much more nakedly compromised himself. But whether the subject is the Clinton Foundation's influence-peddling or now the Biden family's variation on that theme, Trump has always sold himself as the candidate of a more honest form of graft -- presenting his open cynicism as preferable to carefully legal self-dealing, exquisitely laundered self-enrichment, the spirit of "hey, it's totally normal for the vice president's son to get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Ukrainians or the Chinese so long as every disclosure form gets filled out and his dad doesn't talk to him about the business."

In fact this sort of elite seaminess is bad, but what Trump offers isn't preferable: Hypocrisy is better than naked vice, soft corruption is better than the more open sort, and what the president appears to have done in leaning on the Ukrainian government is much worse than Hunter Biden's overseas arrangements. But no one should be surprised that some voters in our age of mistrust and fragmentation and despair prefer the honest graft -- some in Trump's base, and also some in the ranks of the alienated and aggrieved middle, the peculiar Obama-Trump constituency.

Indeed, history is replete with "boss"-style politicians who got away with corruption because they were seen as the rough, effective alternative to a smug, hypocritical elite. Trump's crucial political weakness is that unlike those bosses, he hasn't delivered that much to many of his voters. But that may make him all the more eager to return to the politics of comparative corruption, to have the argument again about whether he's more ethically challenged than the swamp. He may not win it, but at least he's playing a part that he knows well.

Third, an impeachment battle would give Trump a last chance to solidify his hold on the souls and reputations of his possible Republican successors. To understand what I mean, consider Jonathan V. Last's explanation of why so few Republican elected officials are likely to break with Trump, no matter how Nixonian his straits become:

... ... ...

This doesn't just explain why Trump thinks he can survive an impeachment fight; it also explains why he might relish it. He knows that he could well lose the next election, but there's no reason a mere general-election defeat will prevent him from wielding power over the Republican Party, via Twitter and other means, for many years to come. And what better way to consolidate that power (or at least the feeling of that power) in the last year of his administration than seeing all his would-be successors, all the bright younger men of the Senate especially, come down and kiss the ring one last time?

... ... ...

Which brings us to the last reason Trump might kind of like to be impeached: Because the circus is the part of politics that he fundamentally enjoys. Throughout the Mueller investigation my Twitter feed was alight with liberal and NeverTrump fantasies about how Trump must be bed-wetting, flop-sweat terrified by the tough G-man's investigation. And maybe at times he was. But I'm pretty sure that when he ranted on Twitter about the "Twelve Angry Democrats" and "WITCH HUNT" and "NO COLLUSION," he was more engaged, more alive, more fully his full self than at any point during the legislative battles over tax reform or Obamacare repeal.

And Robert Mueller's was a legal investigation, with the power to actually put people in Trump's inner circle in prison. A merely political trial, where the worst-case scenario is a political martyrdom that Sean Hannity will sing of ever after, seems to offer Trump a much lower-stress variation on that experience. Why, the nicknames for the impeachment managers alone will be a Trumpian banquet, a veritable feast!

None of this, I should stress, adds up to an airtight argument that the Democrats should not impeach. Nine months ago I made a case against impeachment, and many of the arguments in that essay might apply to this case -- depending on how far it turns out Trump went in pressuring Ukraine. But politics is a contact sport, a field for combat as well as for maneuver, and just because someone wants a fight doesn't mean that you should never, ever give him one. The dictum about wrestling a pig (you get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it) doesn't hold up if the pig keeps punching you; the dictum that it's better to beat Trump at the polls than lose a Senate vote probably doesn't hold up if you talk yourself into looking permanently supine in the face of indubitable corruption.

Much of the Trump era has consisted of politicians of both parties waiting for someone else to give Trump a knockout blow. So there's something to be said, at the level of spiritedness if not necessarily strategy, for House Democrats to take a swing themselves.

But my ultimate guess is that none of this matters quite as much as some impeachment arguers suppose. An impeachment effort could be both foredoomed and unlikely to influence the 2020 outcome all that much, so Nancy Pelosi might be wise to forestall one but also find herself with few regrets if one gets forced on her.

The nature of the Trump era is that yuge events recede far more rapidly than anyone expects. So it might be with impeachment: Have the vote or don't have it, we'll be arguing about something completely different by the time Americans are going to the polls.

[Sep 25, 2019] Trump should be impeached not for his Ukrainian call but for Venezuela regime change efforts

Notable quotes:
"... Citing a "political and humanitarian crisis" committed by Caracas, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a "suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who threaten Venezuela's democratic institutions." ..."
"... The move comes as the latest effort from the Trump administration to oust Venezuela's president. ' ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

brian , Sep 25 2019 22:01 utc | 70

He should be impeached. His latest outrage:

'US President Donald Trump has moved to suspend Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's senior officials, relatives, and others who receive financial benefits from entering into the US in Wednesday press release from the White House.

Citing a "political and humanitarian crisis" committed by Caracas, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a "suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who threaten Venezuela's democratic institutions."

The move comes as the latest effort from the Trump administration to oust Venezuela's president. '

Trumps Suspends US Entry for Iranian, Venezuelan Government Officials - Sputnik International

[Sep 25, 2019] Neolib/neocon in Democratic Party from now on will be viewed as The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt (a fictional society of swindlers from the 1931 classic The Little Golden Calf by Ilf and Petrov).

Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , September 25, 2019 at 05:23 PM

Interesting day in Presidential politics today. I assume most here are sick of hearing about it further today. I enjoy speculating on what Speaker Pelosi might do with the results of the Impeachment Inquiry by the House.

Assumption: The House finds grounds for Impeaching Trump and hands it to Pelosi. What will she do or rather what can she do? She can have the full House vote to Impeach and march the Articles over to the Senate. She can have the House Censure Trump, not vote to Impeach, and go no further at this time. That brings Trump's crimes to light, but saves the country from a Political Trial in the Senate, that won't convict Trump.

She can hold the Committee's report for review and not go forward until and unless she see's the POLITICAL need. She can, IMO, have the House vote Articles of Impeachment and then HOLD them in the House waiting to take them to the Senate at a much later date of her choice or never. The Senate cannot act until the Speaker delivers the Articles of Impeachment. No where does the Constitution declare WHEN those Articles, once voted, must be delivered, only that they are to be.

She can set a new precedent if she desires. Who can stop her?

This would allow the Articles to float over Trump's head - and the Re-Election campaign serving to restrain Trump, like a cudgel over his head - preventing or at least limiting more of Trump's outrageous unconstitutional and illegal acts in Office until Election 2020.

Simultaneously this would allow The House to continue its multiple investigations of Trump, including the IRS Whistle Blower complaint, further checking Trump, and even to open more investigations into Trump's abuse of Office, e.g., his use of AG Barr on Ukraine/Biden as well as investigations of AG Barr pursuing Ukraine/Biden.

Not to mention other investigations into Trump including NY's pursuit of Trump's Tax Returns, which could well be as revealing as the Ukraine phone call transcript.

So, while today was interesting in D.C., the future is far more so, imho.

likbez -> im1dc... , September 25, 2019 at 06:17 PM
Let's face it:
  1. Biden is now a zombie and has less then zero changes to beat Trump. Even if nothing explosive will be revealed by Ukraine-gate, this investigation hangs like albatross around his neck. Each shot at Trump will ricochet into Biden. Add to this China and the best he can do is to leave the race and claim unfair play.
  2. Trump now probably will be reelected on the wave of indignation toward Corporate Dems new witch hunt. People stopped believing neoliberal MSM around 2015, so now neolibs no longer have the leverage they get used to. And by launching Ukraine-gate after Russiagate they clearly overplayed their hand losing critical mass of independents (who previously were ready to abandon Trump.)
  3. If unpleasant facts about neolib/neocon machinations to launch Ukraine-gate leak via alternative press via disgruntled DNC operatives or some other insiders who are privy to the relevant discussions in the Inner Party, they will poison/destroy the chances of any Dem candidate be it Warren or anybody else. Joining this witch hunt greatly damages standing of Warren exposing her as a mediocre, malleable politician ( unlike Tulsi )
  4. Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats again tried to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake which exposes them as political swindlers.

Neolib/neocon in Democratic Party from now on will be viewed as "The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt" (a fictional society of swindlers from the 1931 classic "The Little Golden Calf" by Ilf and Petrov).

I would say that Pelosi might now be able to understand better the situation in which Wasserman-Shultz had found herself in 2016 and resign.

IMHO this is a kind of zugzwang for neoliberal Dems. There is no good exit from this situation: After two years of falsely accusing Trump to have colluded with Russia they now allege that he colluded with Ukraine.

In addition to overpaying their hand that makes it more difficult for the Democrats to hide their critical role in creating and promoting Russiagate.

Here is one post from MoA which tries to analyze this situation:

== quote ==
nil , Sep 25 2019 19:37 utc | 24
I think what's going in the brain trust of the DNC is something like this:

i. Biden is a non-starter with the public. He'll be devoured alive by the Republicans, who only need to bring up his career to expose his mendacity.

ii. Warren might be co-opted, having been a Republican and fiscal conservative up to the mid-90s, but what if she isn't?

iii. Sanders is a non-starter, but with the "people who matter". Rather than having to threaten him with the suspicions around his wife, or go for the JFK solution, they'd rather [make that] he didn't even get past the primaries, much less elected.

iv. As a CNN talking head said weeks ago, it's better for the wealthy people the DNC is beholden to that their own candidate loses to Trump if that candidate is Sanders.

So better to hedge their bets start impeachment hearings, give Trump ammunition to destroy Sanders or Warren. That way, the rich win in all scenarios:

a. If Biden wins the nomination, the campaign will be essentially mudslinging from both sides about who is more corrupt. The rich are fine with whoever wins.

b. If Warren gets the nomination and is co-opted, the media will let the impeachment hearings die out, or the House themselves will quickly bury it.

c. If Warren gets the nomination and is not co-opted, or if Sanders get it, the impeachment will suck up all the air of the room, Trump will play the witchhunt card and will be re-elected.

[Sep 25, 2019] Those who thought that timing of the attack on Saudi oil installations had not benefited Netanyahu might want to reconsider

Sep 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Sep 25 2019 21:52 utc | 64

Further to my comment @56

Those who thought that timing of the attack on Saudi oil installations had not benefited Netanyahu might want to reconsider.

Netanyahu Tapped By Israel's President To Form Government After Deadlocked Election .

Netanyahu's coalition was given the nod because they have 55 seats to the other side's 54.

There's still some question about whether Netanyahu can form a governing coalition.

But Netanyahu now has 42 days to convince his former Defense Minister(!) Lieberman (who heads the Yisrael Beiteinu Party) to join the coalition led by Likud.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

The Countdown to War with Iran has begun?

[Sep 25, 2019] After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop.

Notable quotes:
"... One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top. ..."
"... To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD? ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 25, 2019 at 03:45 PM

One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top.

To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD?

This brings us to Hunter Biden's appointment to Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. After the coup in 2014, why wouldn't Biden want a trusted asset on the board of the biggest natural gas producer in Ukraine? IOW it was unpublicized standard operating procedure.

[Sep 24, 2019] The Plan to Trip Up Trump Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself. ..."
"... Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review. ..."
"... With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community. ..."
"... As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh. ..."
"... Le Monde Diplomatique ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Before the Trump Tower visit, Comey sat down with top FBI brass – Chief of Staff James Rybicki, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, and others involved with the Russiagate investigation – to strategize about the upcoming meeting.

Page 17 of the OIG report tells of what they were up to:

"Baker and McCabe said that they agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one, so that Comey could present the 'salacious' information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way. At the same time, we were told, they did not want the President-elect to perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a 'Hoover-esque type of plot.' Witnesses interviewed by the OIG also said that they discussed Trump's potential responses to being told about the 'salacious' information, including that Trump might make statements about, or provide information of value to, the pending Russian interference investigation."

As the final sentence shows, Comey's job was to confront Trump about the alleged 2013 Moscow incident and see whether he would give the FBI reason to advance its Russiagate investigation to a whole new level, that of the presidency itself.

This was the same approach the FBI would employ a couple of weeks later after listening in on a telephone conversation between Mike Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and not liking what it heard about plans to bolster U.S.-Russian relations. The solution was to send a couple of agents to quiz the newly-appointed national security adviser and see how he would respond. After telling Flynn not to bother bringing along a lawyer because it was just a friendly chat and "they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport" – as a follow-up memo noted – the agents caught the ever-voluble Flynn fudging various details. Three weeks later, he found himself out of office and in disgrace. Ten months after that, he was in federal court pleading guilty to making false and misleading statements.

Another Set-Up

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general. (Wikimedia Commons)

Now we know from the OIG report that this was apparently the goal with regard to Trump.

Russiagate began nine months earlier with a smallarmy of intelligence agents buzzing around a naïve young Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos. [See " Spooks Spooking Themselves ," May 31, 2018.] An Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, an individual with strong Anglo-American intelligence connections, wined and dined him and told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

An Australian diplomat, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer , who was similarly connected, invited him out for drinks and then passed along the fruits of the conversation to Canberra, which related them to Washington. A Belorussian-American businessman who worked for Steele offered Papadopoulos $30,000 a month under the table. A U.S. intelligence asset named Charles Tawil presented him with $10,000 in cash. A long-time CIA informant named Stefan Halper flew Papadopoulos to London and barraged him with questions:

"It's great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself.

Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney.

Most of what we know about that meeting in the early days of the Trump administration comes from a memo that Comeydashed off minutes later and then lightly revised the next morning.

According to his memo, Comey met one-on-one with Trump to tell him about the Steele dossier because

"the content [was] known at IC [intelligence community] senior level and I didn't want him caught cold by some of the detail . I said I wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material and that we were keeping it very close-hold."

But Comey's memo was disingenuous, starting with his line about not wanting to give the media "the excuse to write that the FBI has the material." Leaks are an integral part of Washington, as an insider and a leaker like Comey knows.

As Comey must have also known, his very decision to brief Trump on the dossier wound up triggering press attention to it.

Four days later, Buzzfeed posted the dossier on its website. The source remains anonymous but it's easy to imagine that either Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or CIA Director John Brennan spilled the beans. They both accompanied Comey to the meeting and were appalled by Trump's call for a rapprochement with Russia.

Comey's memo also rings false where it says he "wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands."

Glenn Simpson, the ex- Wall Street Journal reporter whose private Washington intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned the dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told the House intelligence committee that Steele began sharing his findings with the FBI "in July or late June" of 2016. (See p. 60 of testimony transcript ).

That means that the bureau had the Moscow Ritz-Carlton report in hand six months prior to the Trump Tower meeting. Surely, this is enough time to reach some conclusion as to its veracity.

'Might Make Statements'

Had Trump fallen into Comey's trap, millions of Americans would no doubt have cheered – and given Trump's dismal record in office, who can blame them? But the implications are chilling, and not just for rightwing dissidents. Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review.

With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community.

As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .


Richard A. , September 24, 2019 at 15:13

I think Russiagate is more than just smearing Trump, it's also about smearing Russia. The war lobby here in the US and the UK are trying to manipulate public opinion in to hating Russia.

R Zarate , September 24, 2019 at 05:02

And now there are calls to impeach Trump for asking for an investigation into Biden! It speaks volumes about the MSM that there was no uproar when H.B. took the job at Bursima, I remember the White House putting out a release at the time saying they could see no conflict of interest, I guess the lack of conflict was it was par for the course to enrich family members.

By the bye. So Trump gets impeached, then what? Didn't do Clinton any harm.

CitizenOne , September 23, 2019 at 23:26

It is an interesting history filled with plots within plots to destroy Trump for the audacity to win the presidential election. True he won the election with a lot of help from Cambridge Analytica and his election team which included Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos (the nube) Paul Manafort (the former partner in the Black, Stone, Manafort and Kelly lobby firm) , Rick Gates and Michael Flynn.

All these people were indicted under the Mueller probe but yet Trump escaped without a scratch on his record. To pull this off Trump abandoned all of them in turn claiming he hardly knew them and had no involvement. How Trump escaped from the Mueller investigation has nothing to do with his innocence and everything to do with the lack of evidence tying him to the crimes his associates admitted to under intense scrutiny by the Mueller Special Council Investigation into the alleged Russian Hacks which supposedly threw the election toward Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's long time lawyer was also convicted of paying off two women that alleged Trump arranged for sex with the women and later paid them off handsomely allegedly by orders from Trump.

It is like Trump won his freedom because there was no evidence to convict him despite the many people who were closely associated with himwho fell as victims to the special prosecutors zeal for indictments of Trump's inner guard.

In the end the Mueller report all but exonerated Trump with Mueller claiming Trump had committed impeachable evidence but that Mueller could do nothing about that leaving his conclusions up to the court of popular appeal as to whether or not Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in the entire Russia Gate story.

Trump accurately called out the testimony of Comey before Congress into what he knew about the Russian attempt to hack the election as fake news. Trump banked on what the intelligence community would share about the election result and he won big time when the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the election produced no tangible connection between Trump and the alleged hackers. The Steel dossier was also l shown to be just more fake news paid for by the democrats.

The longer Trump remains in charge the less likely that he will be implicated in a scandal although the new allegations that he attempted to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden has the potential to raise a new round of fake news decrying that the president has engaged in yet more impeachable offenses.

robert e williamson jr , September 23, 2019 at 21:23

Beware of the Department of Justice, mad dogs and dogs of war.

Appears to be FBI disruption of the domestic governmental tranquility for the unique purpose of disrupting a duly elected president.

I mean the FBI bill themselves as the domestic counter intelligence apparatus and CIA apparently agrees. Maybe CIA is actually running another of their counter intelligence covert mission that involves the undoing of Ole Donny J. .

No I didn't say it, no mention of the dreaded "executive action" my me.

My assumption is that this may be simply collateral damage from the investigation into the Russia meddling in the 2016 elec . . . . .

. . . and the beat goes on, la da da dee . . . !

That far away look in the eyes of the old democratic leaders is the look of "the fear" (H.S.T.). They watch as the repugs, their partners in crime get skewered , by the same DOJ that will skewer them in a New York second given a chance.

DOJ and the USAG leading the shock troops of the National Socialists take over.

Sandra Thompson , September 23, 2019 at 20:58

One of your best lines: "Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review." Liked last couple of paragraphs too. Thank you

Abby , September 23, 2019 at 19:43

So Comey knowingly and blatantly lied to the incoming president and it was that incoming president that got investigated? How the hell does that make sense to the Russia Gaters? And then they elevated Comey after he got fired? This makes as much sense as people thinking that Robert Mueller was going to save the country.

After reading Parry's essay on Joe ByeDone from 2014 after the Obama coup in Ukraine that showed how corrupt the powerful people in our government are I don't even know why people bother to vote anymore. The country is run by people behind the scenes who use congress critters to do their dirty work and give them cover. And with our corrupt military industrial complex setting the world on fire I think it's time for the empire to burn.

Ray McGovern , September 23, 2019 at 18:46

VERY GOOD PIECE, DAN. THANKS. Ray McGovern

Martin , September 23, 2019 at 15:27

I read somewhere early on that someone was peddling the steele-dossier to many different outlets weeks or even months before trump's briefing, but they wouldn't bite (too fantastic) until the feds legitimized it. The people should be informed about these mechanics.

Dan Anderson , September 23, 2019 at 15:09

Here's the warning before being sworn in:
January 3, 2017 – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this."
Rachel Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?"
Schumer: "I don't know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them," -- The Rachel Maddow Show Jan 3, 2017

[Sep 24, 2019] Have some fun with this imperialist Raguram Rajan: "The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

Sep 24, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Paine , September 14, 2019 at 04:38 PM

Have some fun with raguram

"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

". Meanwhile, the system's multilateral institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, helped countries in dire need of funds, provided they followed the rules."

anne -> Paine ... , September 14, 2019 at 04:43 PM
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-trade-war-damage-by-raghuram-rajan-2019-09

September 5, 2019

The True Toll of the Trade War

Behind the escalating global conflict over trade and technology is a larger breakdown of the postwar rules-based order, which was based on a belief that any country's growth benefits all. Now that China is threatening to compete directly with the United States, support for the system that made that possible has disappeared.
By RAGHURAM G. RAJAN

CHICAGO – Another day, another attack on trade. Why is it that every dispute – whether over intellectual property (IP), immigration, environmental damage, or war reparations – now produces new threats to trade?

For much of the last century, the United States managed and protected the rules-based trading system it created at the end of World War II. That system required a fundamental break from the pre-war environment of mutual suspicion between competing powers. The US urged everyone to see that growth and development for one country could benefit all countries through increased trade and investment.

Under the new dispensation, rules were enacted to constrain selfish behavior and coercive threats by the economically powerful. The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith. Meanwhile, the system's multilateral institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, helped countries in dire need of funds, provided they followed the rules....

likbez -> anne... , September 14, 2019 at 08:30 PM
"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

USA foreign policy since 70th was controlled by neocons who as a typical Trotskyites (neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for the rich) were/are hell-bent of world domination and practice gangster capitalism in foreign policy. Bolton attitude to UN is very symptomatic for the neocons as a whole.

Madeline "not so bright" Allbright was the first swan. As well as Clinton attempts to bankrupt and subdue Russia and criminal (in a sense of no permission from the UN) attack on Yugoslavia. Both backfired: Russia became permanently hostile. The fact he and his coterie were not yet tried by something like Nuremberg tribunal is only due to the USA dominance at this stage of history.

The truth is that the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy became completely unhinged. And inside the country the elite became cannibalistic, as there was no external threat to its dominance in the form of the USSR.

The USA stated to behave like a typical Imperial state (New Rome, or, more correctly, London) accepting no rules/laws that are not written by themselves (and when it is convenient to obey them) with the only difference from the classic imperial states that the hegemony it not based on the military presence/occupation ( like was the case with British empire)

Although this is not completely true as there are 761 US Military Bases across the planet and only 46 Countries with no US military presence. Of them, seven countries with 13 New Military Bases were added since 09/11/2001. In 2001 the US had a quarter million troops posted abroad.

Still as an imperial state that is the center of neoliberal empire the USA relies more on financial instruments and neoliberal comprador elite inside the country.

I recently learned from https://akarlin.com/2010/04/on-liberasts-and-liberasty/ that the derogatory term for the neoliberal part of the Russian elite is "liberasts" and this term gradually slipping into English language ( http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/liberast ;-)

With the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 the USA centered neoliberal empire experiences first cracks. Brexit and election of Trump widened the cracks in a sense of further legitimizing the ruling neoliberal elite (big middle finger for Hillary was addressed to the elite as whole)

If oil price exceed $100 per barrel there will yet another crack or even repetition of the 2008 Great Recession on a new level (although we may argue that the Great Recession never ended and just entered in Summers terms "permanent stagnation" phase)

Although currently with unhinged Trump at the helm the USA empire still going strong in forcing vassals and competitors to reconsider their desire to challenge the USA. Trump currently is trying to neutralize the treat from China by rejecting classic neoliberal globalization mechanism as well as signed treaties like WTO. He might be successful in the short run.

In the long run the future does not look too bright as crimes committed by the USA during triumphal period of neoliberalism hangs like albatross around the USA neck.

EU now definitely wants to play its own game as Macron recently stated and which Merkel tacitly supports. If EU allies with Russia it will became No.1 force in the world with the USA No. 2. With severe consequences for the USA.

If Russia allied with China the USA No.1 position will hinge of keeping EU vassals in check and NATO in place. Without them it will became No.2 with fatal consequences for the dollar as world reserve currency and sudden change of the USA financial position due to the level of external debt and required devaluation of the dollar.

Looks like 75 year after WWII the world started to self-organize a countervailing force trying to tame the USA with some interest expressed by such players as EU, Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and even Saudi Arabia. As well as ( in the past; and possibly in the future as neoliberal counterrevolutions in both countries probably will end badly) by Brazil and Argentina.

Only Canada, Australia and probably UK can be counted as the reliable parts of the USA empire. That's not much.

ilsm -> likbez... , September 15, 2019 at 07:21 AM
"If Russia allied with China the USA No.1 position "........

Think Italy moving into the Axis in 1937? Or the Soviet German Non Aggression Pact. Nuclear weapons removes the incentive for large "rearmaments" or not?

Would the Britain to France 1938 relationship describe the US to EU? Thinking in 1939 (1914?) terms Europe is less stitched together than in 1936.

ilsm -> Paine ... , September 14, 2019 at 06:43 PM
"Beliefs" must be sustained by trust and justice... Which are clearly missing in the US' sacred cold war and post history "postwar rules-based order".

[Sep 24, 2019] Wong also urged Taiwan's government to let Hong Kong protesters seek political asylum

This is a standard play in any color revolution. Possibility of emigrate is hanging like a carrot to make protest more numerous and more violent. Kind of the reward for foot solves (who are often students and have illusions as for their ability to move up the food chain after the emigration) for their participation in the in color revolution.
The role of Taiwanese security agencies in riots still needs to be investigated... Hong Cong protest changes the result of presidential elections in Taiwan and that probably was their main role, as attempt to undermine sovereignty of China over Hong Cong in the long run are doomed to be a failure. Taiwan now has renewed geopolitical importance for the USA and efforts to distance it from China will multiply. So the main price might be the result of Taiwan presidential elections.
In this case protesters were just pawns in a larger game.
Notable quotes:
"... the United States is waging a campaign to force China into a corner and inflict major geopolitical defeats. ..."
"... The United States already is entangled in the dispute over Taiwan’s political status. Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, Washington made a commitment to provide Taipei with “defensive” weaponry and to regard any coercive moves by Beijing as a threat to the peace of East Asia. Under the Trump administration, U.S. policy has become even more supportive of Taiwan’s de facto independence. American officials complained about the decision of the Solomon Islands to recognize Beijing instead of Taipei and threatened to reconsider aid to that country. ..."
"... Even more significant, for the first time since Washington severed formal diplomatic ties with Taipei and switched them to Beijing in 1979, high-level U.S. security officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton, have met with their Taiwanese counterparts . The Trump administration has also approved an $8 billion arms sale that includes F-16 fighters . Beijing protests all U.S. weapons sales to Taipei, but the reaction this time seems especially angry. ..."
"... o doubt that swaying the upcoming Taiwan election was one of the goals of the "protest" apparatus and its backers. Tsai was looking weak until the "protests." ... ..."
"... sub-title: and especially avoid any manifestations of meddling. Not sure how that can be accomplished, my understanding is that NED et al are up to their eyeballs in meddling, taxpayer funded, and Chinese govt is well aware of that. ..."
"... "Chinese leaders also suspect that the United States is fomenting much of the trouble in Hong Kong. It is tempting to dismiss such accusations as nothing more than typical propaganda and scapegoating on the part of a beleaguered communist regime." ..."
"... Well, thank goodness one of the articles Mr. Carpenter linked to mentioned the U.S. government's National Endowment for Democracy, which distributed over $400,000 to three groups in Hong Kong last year. ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
“We hope that before Communist China’s National Day on Oct. 1, our friends in Taiwan can express their support for Hong Kong through street protests,” Wong said at a news conference on September 3. "A lot of people in the past have said 'today Hong Kong and tomorrow Taiwan.' But I think the most ideal thing we'd say is 'Taiwan today, tomorrow Hong Kong.' Hong Kong can be like Taiwan, a place for freedom and democracy." Advertisement

Such sentiments by themselves are enough to enrage Beijing. But Wong also urged Taiwan's government to let Hong Kong protesters seek political asylum. Worse from Beijing's standpoint, he made those statements not in Hong Kong or some neutral location, but in Taipei following meetings with Taiwan's governing, pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Communist Chinese leaders are likely to interpret such a venue as further evidence of a Hong Kong-Taiwanese political alliance against the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Beijing’s persistent attempts to undermine Hong Kong’s political autonomy under its “one county, two systems” arrangement has caused Taiwanese attitudes to turn emphatically against such a formula for their island. Most Taiwanese were never enthusiastic about that proposal, but the proposed Hong Kong extradition law (just now withdrawn) that would have enabled Chinese authorities to try Hong Kong-based political dissidents in mainland courts has soured Taiwanese public opinion even more. A poll that Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council published in late July found that 88.7 percent of respondents rejected one country, two systems, up from 75.4 per cent in a January survey.

The Hong Kong democracy campaign is strengthening hardline, anti-PRC factions in Taiwan. Incumbent President Tsai appeared to be in deep political trouble earlier this year. Taiwan’s continuing economic malaise had undermined her presidency, and the DPP suffered huge losses in November 2018 local elections. Indeed, the losses were so severe that Tsai had to quit her post as party chair. She also faced a strong primary challenge for the DPP’s presidential nomination from her onetime prime minister, James Lai.

But Tsai has shrewdly exploited public anger at Beijing’s crude attempts to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy to rebuild her domestic political support. “As long as I am here, I will stand firm to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty,” Tsai pledged in July. “As long as I am here, you would not have to fear, because we will not become another Hong Kong.” That message resonated with voters, and not only did she defeat Lai, but her fortunes against the opposition Kuomintang Party in the upcoming general election appear far more favorable than they did a few months ago.

Is America Prodding Taiwan Towards Conflict With China? How China Weaponizes Mass Migration Against Hong Kong

The Hong Kong developments have created a political nightmare for the Kuomintang. The party’s nominee, Han Kuo-yu, the maverick populist mayor of Kaohsiung, had long advocated closer relations with the mainland. To that end, he sought to resume the policy that the last Kuomintang president, Ma Jing-jeou, pursued from 2008 to 2016. Earlier this year, Han visited China and had cordial meetings with Communist Party officials. He has always seemed highly favorable to the PRC’s one country, two systems arrangement for Taiwan as well as Hong Kong. Both the Chinese government and pro-Beijing media outlets in Taiwan (the so-called red media) were decidedly enthusiastic about Han’s candidacy against more moderate opponents in the Kuomintang Party’s primary election this summer.

But the popularity of the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations among Taiwanese voters has thrown Han on the defensive, and he is beating a very fast retreat from his previous position. In a desperate attempt to rebut allegations that he would embrace an appeasement policy toward Beijing, Han even asserted that, if he is elected president, Taiwan would only accept China’s one country, two systems proposal “over my dead body.” It is not clear how credible his eleventh-hour political transformation is with Taiwanese voters.

Chinese leaders also suspect that the United States is fomenting much of the trouble in Hong Kong.

... ... ...

As much as Americans are understandably pleased with the democratic factions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Washington must temper its enthusiasm—and especially avoid any manifestations of meddling. We must not give PRC leaders reason to believe that the United States is waging a campaign to force China into a corner and inflict major geopolitical defeats. Caution in both capitals is imperative. The next few months, perhaps even the next few weeks, may determine whether East Asia remains at peace.

The United States already is entangled in the dispute over Taiwan’s political status. Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, Washington made a commitment to provide Taipei with “defensive” weaponry and to regard any coercive moves by Beijing as a threat to the peace of East Asia. Under the Trump administration, U.S. policy has become even more supportive of Taiwan’s de facto independence. American officials complained about the decision of the Solomon Islands to recognize Beijing instead of Taipei and threatened to reconsider aid to that country.

Even more significant, for the first time since Washington severed formal diplomatic ties with Taipei and switched them to Beijing in 1979, high-level U.S. security officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton, have met with their Taiwanese counterparts . The Trump administration has also approved an $8 billion arms sale that includes F-16 fighters . Beijing protests all U.S. weapons sales to Taipei, but the reaction this time seems especially angry.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at , is the author of 13 books, including his latest, Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements , and more than 800 articles on international affairs.


tweets21 9 hours ago

US foreign policy has never been our strong suit. We change government every 4 years or 8, meaning the State Department has a lot of turnover and is politically influenced to the political doctrine in vogue, for any elected party. My personal best current day example is North Korea. NK fears if they sign on with the US, their leaders fate will follow that of Saddam and Gaddafi. Friends one day , next we turn on them. Even invade.

Reality is we have zero influence with Beijing, or Moscow. China has their hands full for sure consuming Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Steve Smith 4 hours ago
Wow---so Ted Galen Carpenter is going full propagandist now. N o doubt that swaying the upcoming Taiwan election was one of the goals of the "protest" apparatus and its backers. Tsai was looking weak until the "protests." ...
Taras77 3 hours ago
sub-title: and especially avoid any manifestations of meddling. Not sure how that can be accomplished, my understanding is that NED et al are up to their eyeballs in meddling, taxpayer funded, and Chinese govt is well aware of that.
May Loo an hour ago
The mainland Chinese government expects acquiescence to its one China policy. Too bad Hong Kong's Chinese people and the Taiwanese already have their own identities. Not.
cka2nd an hour ago
"Chinese leaders also suspect that the United States is fomenting much of the trouble in Hong Kong. It is tempting to dismiss such accusations as nothing more than typical propaganda and scapegoating on the part of a beleaguered communist regime."

Well, thank goodness one of the articles Mr. Carpenter linked to mentioned the U.S. government's National Endowment for Democracy, which distributed over $400,000 to three groups in Hong Kong last year. Said agency was the subject of an article here at TAC only a year or so ago, which can be found at https://www.theamericancons... .

Readers of this report might find it of worth, and might consider the other countries in which the NED "promotes" "democracy."

[Sep 24, 2019] CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country

Notable quotes:
"... CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.) ..."
"... So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable. ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

SusanR , September 20, 2019 at 20:22

It has been my contention that Biden's powerful backers from the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex are fully aware of his mental state, and that is precisely why they want him to be president. Why? He would only be a figure-head president. He would be given a suggested running mate as well as a list of candidates for cabinet and other appointed positions (as Obama was given) and Biden would follow that in making appointments. Policies of his administration would be consistent with the interests of the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex.

robert e williamson jr , September 20, 2019 at 15:19

Kids this is exactly what the intelligence community wants, someone who they can claim needs to be told what to do or be kept discreetly out of the loop, so currently Joe maybe the chosen one just as Bill Barr is reported to have told Slick Willy.

We end up where we are at the moment because our security state apparatus is ran by the intelligence community who do not really want a strong intelligent, clear minded president who can actually think for himself. Ask Barrack Obama!

For years I've used this analogy, crude as it maybe, that when the newly elected president is called on for his national security briefing it is always a tense encounter because this "Newby" is about to have a come to Jesus meeting with this most abusive of all government entities. The intelligence community. He is "shown the way"he will act because if he doesn't this community who has relieved him of one his go -- -s will come and relieve him of the other.

This started as a joke on my part, I'm now convinced it reflects reality.

At some point many here will understand that since around the time of the murder of JFK , CIA has framed things in this manner.

CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.)

Doing so will help make your mind more flexible , jeesh what a slog to get through it.

So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable.

I figured if Caitlin could say "dog balls " which I think was a great analogy I could say gonads.

Time to sit down Joe.

Thanks again to Consortium News for their great efforts at informing the masses.

[Sep 23, 2019] Political Journalism is Dead The American Conservative

Sep 23, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post put into writing what we have all known for some time: real journalism, Jefferson's informed citizenry and all that, is dead. The job has shifted to aspirational writing, using manipulated droplets of facts and just plain made-up stuff to drive events.

Boot writes to drive Trump from office and overturn the 2016 election. Max : "Much of my journalism for the past four years has been devoted to critiquing President Trump and opposing the spread of Trumpism. But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office . I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference."

Boot has spent the last several years creating and circle-supporting others who create false narratives. They manufacture reasons for Trump to resign, press Democrats to impeach, and try to persuade voters they otherwise hold in contempt that they don't know what's good enough for them. We kind of figured this out after senior staff at the New York Times had to remind reporters that they were "not part of the f*cking resistance," but it is helpful to see it in daylight. After all, democracy dies in darkness.

The uber-false narrative Max and others Frankensteined into existence was Russiagate. Trump wasn't the Manchurian Candidate and there was no quid pro quo for Russian election help. Yet the media literally accused the president of treason by melding together otherwise unrelated truthlets -- Trump wanted a hotel in Moscow, some ads were run on Facebook -- that could be spun into a narrative to bring him down. Correlation was made into causation in a purposeful freshman Logic 101 fail. What was true was of little consequence; what mattered was whether the media could collectively create a story that the rubes would believe and then pile on.

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The critical flaw in Russiagate (other than that it didn't happen) was that the media created an end-point they could not control. Robert Mueller was magic-wanded into the Last Honest Man, the Savior of Democracy, as the narrative first unfolded and then fell apart like a cardboard box in the rain. After his dismal testimony, there was nowhere for the story to go.

Was it only a week ago Law and Order: Scotland SVU was the locus of the Next Big Thing following Greenland? Because even as we race to catch up (debunking takes longer than making up accusations,) a whole new Big Thing popped up over the Ukraine. Details are vague, based all on leaks and persons familiar with some of it, but are as dire as they are lacking.

But as with every other outrage, leaks in the new phone call-gate instantly became certainties, certainties became foreign influence in our elections, and demands to impeach were recycled until Twitter voted for the death penalty. And all before a single piece of hard data is public. See the pattern yet?

If the latest "gate" doesn't pan out, Democrats have already jumpstarted an old favorite, upgraded for the 2020 election: Trump is now manipulating domestic and foreign policy for personal gain via hotel fees.

5 Questions the Media Won't Ask Biden in the Debate With Mueller Time a Flop, Dems Run to Plans B and C

At first glance, it seems like a non-starter. Trump's hotels are as much a part of him as the extra pounds he carries. He campaigned as a CEO and announced early on that he was not going to divest . But with the first cold slap of his election victory, a narrative was being shaped: he could not become president because of his business conflicts of interest; it was danged unconstitutional .

Early proponents of this dreck dug around in the Constitution's closet and found the Emoluments Clause , a handful of lines intended to bar officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign sovereigns, kings, and princes to prevent influence buying. Pre-Trump, the last time the issue was in actual contention was with President Martin Van Buren (no relation) over gifts from the Imam of Muscat.

The media ran with it. They imagined out of whole cloth that any foreign government official getting a room at any Trump hotel had been given a "gift." Then they imagined that any tiny percentage of that room profit that actually went to Trump himself represented a bribe. Then they imagined that despite the vast complexity of U.S. relations, Trump would alter course because some guy rented a room. It was Joker -like in its diabolicalness, the presidency itself merely a prank to hide an international crime spree. Pow!

It was ridiculous on its face, but they made it happen. The now-defunct leftist site Think Progress ran what might be Story Zero before Trump even took office. An anonymous source claimed that, under pressure, the Kuwaiti ambassador had canceled a major event at one hotel to switch to Trump's own D.C. hotel. It turned out to be untrue. "Do you think a reception of two hours in the Trump hotel is going to curry favors with the administration when we host thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait? When we have in the past and still do support American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq?" the Kuwait ambassador asked when someone got around to his side of the story. But no matter: the narrative was set.

Then it grew. Though the Emoluments Clause is quite specific, the media decided that every time anyone stayed at a Trump property, it was corruption. Even when Trump visited one of his own homes, it was corruption, because the Secret Service paid Trump for the privilege. Of course, the Secret Service has always paid for the facilities used in their work because the government cannot commandeer private property or accept free rooms (which, ironically, could be seen as a bribe), not from Marriott and not from the Trump Organization. Even Joe Biden still has to charge the Secret Service rent on a cottage he owns so they can protect him when he's home in Delaware.

More? T-Mobile booked nine rooms at a Trump hotel, in media hive minds ostensibly to influence federal approval of a $26 billion merger. Those rooms were worth about $2,700. Of course, the president, who can influence the Dow with a tweet, prefers to make his illegal money off jacked up hotel bills. Think small has always been a Trump trademark.

Reuters headlined how foreigners were buying condos from third-party owners (i.e., not Trump or his company), but they were in a Trump-managed building and maybe the monthly maintenance fees would qualify as mini-emoluments? Trump was accused of " hiding " foreign government income at his hotels when servers at the bar failed to ask cash customers if they were potentates or princes (the headline : "Trump Organization Says It's 'Not Practical' to Comply With the Emoluments Clause").

And of course, there was the Air Force crew staying at a Trump place in Scotland. No matter that the hotel had forged its relationship with a nearby airport long before Trump became president, or that the Air Force had used the airport and hotel hundreds of times before Trump became president (going back to World War II), or that a decision by the Pentagon to have flights stop more frequently there was made under the Obama administration. None of that stopped the media from proclaiming corruption. One piece speculated that the $166 per night the Air Force pays for rooms was always part of Trump's cornerstone financial plan for the floundering multi-million golf course.

But to see how much the corruption narrative really is a media creation, you have only to compare it to how the mainstream media covered what might have been a similar question in the past. Imagine if journalists had treated every appearance by Obama as a book promotion. What if his every speech had been slandered across the channels as corruption, Obama just out there pimping his books? Should he have been impeached for commercializing the office of president?

Follow the money, as Rachel Maddow likes to say. The Trump Organization pays to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments. In 2018, that was $191,000 . The year before, the amount was $151,470. So Trump's in-pocket profit is zero.

Meanwhile, Obama's profit as an author during his time in office was $15.6 million (he's made multiples more since, including a $65 million book advance). In the two weeks before he was inaugurated, Obama reworked his book deals to take advantage of his new status. He agreed not to publish another non-fiction book during his time in office to keep anticipation high, while signing a $500,000 advance for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father .

Obama's books were huge sellers in China, where publishing is largely government controlled, meaning he likely received Chicom money in the Oval Office. His own State Department bought $79,000 worth of his books to distribute as gifts.

As with Trump, nothing Obama did was illegal. There are no laws per se against a president making money. Yet no one bothered to raise ethical questions. No one claimed he sought the presidency as a bully ATM machine. No one claimed his frequent messaging about his father was designed to move books. No one held TV hearings on his profits or how taxpayer funds were used to buy his books. It's not "everybody does it" or "whataboutism"; it's why does the media treat two very similar situations so very differently?

Max Boot confessed why. The media has created a pitch-and-toss game with Democrats, running false, exaggerated, and shallowly reported stories to generate calls for hearings , which in turn breathe life into the corruption stories they live off. We will soon see how far last week's breathless drama -- unnamed "whistleblower" leaks supposedly charging Trump with pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his rival Joe Biden -- will go.

Boot and his ilk are doing a new job. Journalism to them is for resistance, condemnation, arousal, and regime change. And that's one way democracy does die.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.

[Sep 23, 2019] So.... Trump tells Zelenskiy to curb corruption and the deep state jumps all over it!

Sep 23, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 21, 2019 at 08:24 AM

Is it detrimental to US national security to change the Clinton Obama empire paradigm to encourage honesty and end to corruption in its puppets+?

So.... Trump tells Zelenskiy to curb corruption and the deep state jumps all over it!

Ukraine is, just shaking off a US puppet who was more fascist than people in US should support, and suffers more corruption than a democratic city hall.

And some hold over from the flunked security clearance training and ignored federal record keeping Clinton regime blows the whistle suspecting Truman be building a dossier like the one Hillary built.

+ next US might look to ending bombing of poor neighborhoods

ironical!

[Sep 23, 2019] Birds of a feather flock together?

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Stooges

Any thoughts on this?

https://www.checkpointasia.net/canadian-ambassador-and-military-honour-nazi-collaborators-in-ukraine/

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Jen September 18, 2019 at 4:48 pm
Seeing that both the Canadian ambassador to Banderastan and his boss the Canadian Foreign Minister having family histories rooted in western Ukraine / Banderastan Ground Zero – Waschuk's father and Freeland's maternal grandmother both from Ivano-Frankivsk – what thoughts are we expected to have on Waschuk's participation and Freeland's approval for him to attend other than that cliche: "Birds of a feather flock together?"
Moscow Exile September 18, 2019 at 8:48 pm
Ivano-Frankivsk; formerly Stanyslaviv, Stanislau, or Stanisławów. Became part of the UkSSR within the USSR as per the shifting of the pre-WWII Eastern Polish frontier (set by the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, but ignored by Poland) westwards and the transference of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire's Kronland of Galitsia, capital Krakow and administrative language Polish and not German as in other Kronländer , with the exception of Hungarian in the Hungarian part of the dual Hapsburg Empire.

Religion: Roman Catholic or Greek Uniate, depending whether you are a Polish Pan or a Ruthenian peasant shitkicker.

Built in the mid-17th century as a fortress of the Polish Potocki family, Stanisławów was annexed to the Habsburg Empire during the First Partition of Poland in 1772, after which it became the property of the State within the Austrian Empire.

The fortress was slowly transformed into one of the most prominent cities at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. After World War I, for several months, it served as a temporary capital of the West Ukrainian People's Republic.

Galitsia, as Porky Poroshenko said, is the essence of Banderastan the Ukraine.

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Mark Chapman September 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm
What a disgrace.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 1:47 am
The descent into a regime of terror:

Ukrainian Nazis Celebrate the Murder of a DPR Militiaman, Western "Human Rights Defenders" Silent
September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

"Higher Justice is always done Once again, using humanistic principles, I address the enemies of the Ukraine: 'Surrender to Ukrainian law enforcement! Voluntarily go to Ukrainian prisons and don't leave them! Because God's punishment will inevitably come! Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!'" -- Dmitry Yarosh, commenting on his Facebook page on the murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol.

What can be said about this? A day has already passed since this extremist statement was made, but no human rights organisation or international observer has reacted. The murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol is obviously on the hands of nationalist battalions, but this case, like many others, will be registered as unsolved or fabricated. The fact of the exemplary punishment of people who supported the creation of the People's Republics testifies to the true attitude of Kiev towards the residents of Donbass. That is why Zelensky is against amnesty and wants elections after the People's Militia lays down their arms. As soon as the UAF come here, objectionable persons will be simply slashed and killed, and Yarosh only confirms this

The Mother of the DPR Militiaman Killed in Mariupol Named the Organiser of Her Son's Execution
September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

About the Exaltation of Banderist Murderers
September 18, 2019 Stalker Zone

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et Al September 19, 2019 at 8:56 am
I'll say it again, the world's great democracies don't have a problem with little nazis and extremists. After all, they can be put back in their boxes when time is due, just as they did with Adolf Hitler and just as they did with ISIS in Syria.

You wonder how many times these countries go around this bush of backing 'small groups' that they then 'lose control of' leading to a much larger conflagration.

Accidental? Unintended? Repetitive? You won't have the great and good democratic institutions or the representatives of the great free press publicizing cause and effect much at all. What a bunch of Britneys!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CduA0TULnow?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Well it seems to me that the solution to a particular individual problem rests upon removing the problem permanently.

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm
As I understand it if a scope equipped assault automatic weapon can be targeted at point A to point B, its versatility enables it to operate the other way 'round..from B to A.

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wMvTR012Dmg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 6:53 am

Typical Times twat!

Pay, if you wish, to gain access to the shite that he has written!

Funny, though, how a state that he and his ilk consider to be weak, failed and "isolated" from the "World Community" always seems to win.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 6:56 am
And as regards the "crimes" in the Ukraine that he mentions, I should not imagine that amongst those he includes the very recent and public murder of a Mariupol "Vatnik" and the praise for which crime the murderer/s has/have very publicly received in Banderastan.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 7:13 am
The clipped paragraph in Boyes' Times article above reads:

Now we're at it again. Thirty-five Ukrainians, including a film director and two dozen hapless sailors, were this month traded for some hardnut separatists including Vladimir Tsemakh, the commander of a Russian-backed unit in Donetsk which shot down the civilian MH17 airliner in 2014.

Plenty of Dutch and Australian relatives of the victims of that Malaysian Airlines flight are unhappy that Tsemakh is

WALL

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 7:39 am
If anyone should wish to do so, Boyes' article can be back translated from its Russian translation that is at, inosmi.ru

The Times (Великобритания): Путин нужен Трампу, чтобы побеждать за рубежом

which ends with:

Perhaps it seems to Trump that Putin is the lever that will raise his moral weight and authority. Perhaps he seems to him to be a useful partner in times of extreme global confusion and volatility. It is possible that, in the opinion of the American president, a rapprochement with Putin will strengthen his reputation in the world, and will by no means will look like a fatal retreat. However, the principle should be that relations with Russia cannot return to normal, as long as it keeps the Crimea, cynically taken away from the Ukraine five years ago.

The Kremlin will try to fool the new and inexperienced president of the Ukraine, hoping that Western leaders will put pressure on him and forget a lot. However, the country where Sergey Skripal and his daughter were poisoned right before everyone's eyes should not silently watch this rehabilitation.

[back translation from the Russian]

Hear him, hear him, I say!

Let's hear it again for Great Britain!!!!

Those British are no fools and know full well what those damned Russkies are up to!

Like Like

Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm
Or the ubiquitous "Agent 404" and his well-earned down-time for killing journalists in Ukraine.

https://www.rt.com/news/250529-ukraine-journalists-killed-database/

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Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Well, there must be some truth to what he says – western food actually does plump you up.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/552768/Britons-too-fat-to-work-are-costing-taxpayers-10m-a-year

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[Sep 23, 2019] It's Twenty-Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Fuck Impeachment. It's Twenty -Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Jo8QU2s_5I?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Sep 22, 2019] It's become standard procedure for the US and its MSM to consider that Iran is totally responsible for all anti-US events in the Middle East because of actions by Iran's proxy forces in other countries

Notable quotes:
"... Under international law, a state is accountable for the unlawful actions of a proxy only if an organ of the state ordered the proxy to commit the act. It is not sufficient simply to have provided material support or even encouraged the unlawful act. For example, in the 1980s, the International Court of Justice found the United States not liable for Contra violations of international humanitarian law, even after concluding that the United States had "financed, organized, trained, supplied, equipped and armed" the Contras, even to the point of providing training materials that discussed "shoot civilians attempting to leave a town, neutralize local judges and officials, hire professional criminals to carry out 'jobs,' and provoke violence at mass demonstrations to create 'martyrs'." ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Sep 17 2019 21:06 utc | 19

It's become standard procedure for the US and its MSM to consider that Iran is totally responsible for all anti-US events in the Middle East because of actions by Iran's "proxy forces" in other countries. While these events usually have more diverse objectives, it's often Iran did this and Iran did that. But there's no legal basis for that.

Here's some words on proxy relationships from DefenseOne: (excerpts)

Iran's proxy relationships have given it an extraordinary ability to impose costs on its adversaries while obscuring its role. Doing so allows it to manage its risks while politically constraining its adversaries' response. It might seem intuitive to simply declare Iran responsible, and satisfying to retaliate against it directly. But international law sets a high bar for holding a proxy's benefactor responsible for the actions of its proxy, making it difficult to build the kind of international consensus necessary to the legitimacy for any retaliation.

Under international law, a state is accountable for the unlawful actions of a proxy only if an organ of the state ordered the proxy to commit the act. It is not sufficient simply to have provided material support or even encouraged the unlawful act. For example, in the 1980s, the International Court of Justice found the United States not liable for Contra violations of international humanitarian law, even after concluding that the United States had "financed, organized, trained, supplied, equipped and armed" the Contras, even to the point of providing training materials that discussed "shoot civilians attempting to leave a town, neutralize local judges and officials, hire professional criminals to carry out 'jobs,' and provoke violence at mass demonstrations to create 'martyrs'."

Setting the bar so high establishes perverse incentives. A state that employs proxies is discouraged from moderating their behavior, since any attempt at moderation could imply effective control, and even from acknowledging the proxy relationships. So without proof that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which typically manages Iran's proxy relationships, ordered or participated in the attacks, there is little for which Saudi Arabia or the United States can hold Iran legally accountable.. . here

Jackrabbit , Sep 17 2019 21:07 utc | 20
Peter AU 1

Yeah. USA+allies still have a soft blockade via sanctions. And every attack that is attributed to Iran strengthens that.

It doesn't make sense that Iran participated in the attack.

And it doesn't make sense that Houthi did the damage we see by themselves.

Either they increased the damage to create a reason for war OR they increased the damage to help Netanyahu and increase oil prices.

vk , Sep 17 2019 21:10 utc | 23
@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2019 20:50 utc | 16

9/11 doesn't even compare to the Houthi attack.

In 2001, drones were just a distant dream. It also involves a chain of once in a lifetime of human errors by at least three governmental institutions (CIA, FBI and Pentagon).

What the Houthi did in 2019 is not that far fetched. Drones are a much more developed and cheap technology, and Saudi Arabia is a basket case of a country. Surprise is how much soft power they did enjoy in the West, since many commenters here still insist Saudi Arabia is some kind of fascist utopia that couldn't be tricked by a bunch of stone age cave dwellers (which the Houthi aren't any way). Looks like the USA's aura of invincibility is contagious.

uncle tungsten , Sep 17 2019 21:12 utc | 24
Jackrabbit #16. Perhaps increased tensions are enough to get Nuttyahoo elected (which I think fits with the supposition that this attack is false flag). However My guess is that the Houthis will prosecute this war to the very doorsteps of the holy mosques in KSA and exact immense retribution if they can. They are responding to 5 years of geocidal assault and cannot but fight to the death.

Trump and his immaculate surrounds of holy zionists and pentecostal towel boys are in thrall. Mesmerised by their inspired service to the holy writ. No doubt they consult daily with their personal rabbi who talks through his fedora as O would have it. But they are beholden to something evil and beneath the dignity of humankind.

Perhaps war will be avoided by dithering and too elaborate plotting but I still consider that justice might manifest in a meteor strike on their heads.

[Sep 19, 2019] Pelosi Unloads On Nadler; Tells Him To Drop 'Moby Dick' Like Impeachment Obsession

Notable quotes:
"... "Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," said Lewandowski. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda -- to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States," Lewandowski said in his opening statement - later adding "We, as a Nation, would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country, as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing." ..."
"... Nadler and Schiff and those in their camp have a single-minded purpose: Never, ever , again allow the unwashed to get away with a successful rebellion. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler last week over his 'Moby Dick'-like obsession with impeaching President Trump - days before Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski wiped the floor with Congressional Democrats during a contentious five-hour hearing on Tuesday in front of Nadler's panel.

Pelosi's comments came during a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting of Democrats last week, where she complained that Judiciary Committee aides have advanced the impeachment push "far beyond where the House Democratic Caucus stands," according to Politico .

" And you can feel free to leak this ," Pelosi added, according to several people who were there.

It was the latest sign of the widening schism between Pelosi and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, two longtime allies who are increasingly in conflict over where to guide the party at one of its most critical moments.

Both Pelosi and Nadler, who have served in the House together for more than 25 years, insist their relationship remains strong. But their rift over impeachment is getting harder and harder to paper over amid Democrats' flailing messaging on the topic and a growing divide in the caucus. - Politico

And while Pelosi aides told Politico that Nadler has coordinated with her office on investigations, legal strategy and messaging - and Pelosi has signed off on all the Judiciary Committee's court filings against Trump, the House Speaker has been expressing skepticism for months that a successful impeachment in the House would only lead to "exonerating" Trump on the campaign trail after the effort dies in the GOP-led Senate.

Pelosi has privately clashed with Nadler over his aggressive impeachment agenda, arguing the public does not support it and it does not have the 218 votes to pass on the House floor. So far, about 137 Democrats say they would vote to open an official impeachment inquiry.

...

The relationship between the two veteran lawmakers has become strained . While Pelosi has blocked the House from formally voting to open an impeachment inquiry, Nadler declared he is authorized to begin one even without a House vote. - Washington Examiner

"Am I concerned? The answer is yes!," Florida Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala told the Washington Examiner . "In my district, I'm not getting asked about impeachment. I'm being asked about healthcare, I'm being asked about the environment, and about infrastructure. It's not like around the country they are thinking about impeachment. It's a Washington phenomenon as far as I can tell."

... ... ...

During Tuesday's 'impeachment' hearing, Corey Lewandowski beat Congressional Democrats like a red-headed stepchild - starting with his opening statement:

"Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," said Lewandowski. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda -- to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States," Lewandowski said in his opening statement - later adding "We, as a Nation, would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country, as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing."

" As for actual 'collusion,' or 'conspiracy,' there was none. What there has been, however, is harassment of the president from the day he won the election ."

"Corey Lewandowski was very precise," Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of the House panel, told Fox News ' Sean Hannity. "And House Democrats looked like a dog that had chased a car and then caught it and then did not know what to do about it ."

Norm Corin , 8 minutes ago link

Nadler and Schiff and those in their camp have a single-minded purpose: Never, ever , again allow the unwashed to get away with a successful rebellion.

That's the reason a now 90% controlled Trump can't be allowed to escape unscathed, no matter how otherwise useless the exercise -- even by the standards of their own (apparent) issue agendas.

[Sep 18, 2019] The Obama Administration Destroyed Libya. Could Trump Make It Worse? by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can't even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington's official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country's legitimate government -- even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar's professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. Neither Libyan faction now seems certain about Washington's stance. ..."
"... One poster child for such continuing arrogance is Samantha Power, an influential national security council staffer in 2011 and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In her new book, The Education of an Idealist , Power takes no responsibility whatever for the Libya debacle. Indeed, flippant might be too generous a term for her treatment of the episode. "We could hardly expect to have a crystal ball when it came to accurately predicting outcomes in places where the culture was not our own," she contends. American Conservative analyst Daniel Larison correctly excoriates her argument as "a pathetic attempt by Power to deny responsibility for the effects of a war she backed by shrugging her shoulders and pleading ignorance. If Libyan culture was so opaque and hard for the Obama administration to understand, they should never have taken sides in an internal conflict there. If the 'culture was not our own' and they couldn't anticipate what was going to happen because of that, then how arrogant must the policymakers who argued in favor of intervention have been?" ..."
"... Obama and company not only destroyed Libya, they also helped to unleash a wave of jihadis who are terrorizing vast swaths of west Africa, especially Mali and Burkina Faso. Their stupidity and lack of foresight is mind-boggling! ..."
"... I understand the role which the Obama administration played in getting the Libyan intervention started. However the major destruction of Libya's fragile structure of governance under Qaddafi was done by the French, Brits, and Italians. ..."
Sep 16, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

The United States cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials can't seem to decide which faction they want to back.

The Western-created disaster in Libya continues to grow worse. Fighting between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and the even more misnamed Government of National Accord (GNA) has intensified in and around Tripoli. The LNA boasted on September 11 that its forces had routed troops of the Sarraj militia, a GNA ally, killing about two hundred of them. That total may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the situation has become increasingly violent and chaotic in Tripoli and other portions of Libya, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering.

An article in Bloomberg News provides a succinct account of the poisonous fruits of the U.S.-led "humanitarian" military intervention in 2011. "Libya is enduring its worst violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of Muammar el-Qaddafi, which ushered in years of instability that allowed Islamist radicals to thrive and turned the country into a hub for migrants destined to Europe. Haftar had launched the war as the United Nations was laying the ground for a political conference to unite the country. It is now more divided than ever." The country has become the plaything not only of rival domestic factions but major Middle East powers , including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Those regimes are waging a ruthless geopolitical competition, providing arms and in some cases even launching airstrikes on behalf of their preferred clients.

The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can't even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington's official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country's legitimate government -- even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar's professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. Neither Libyan faction now seems certain about Washington's stance.

Given the appalling aftermath of the original U.S.-led intervention, one might hope that advocates of an activist policy would be chastened and back away from further meddling in that unfortunate country. Yet, that is not the case. Neither the Trump administration nor the humanitarian crusaders in Barack Obama's administration who caused the calamity in the first place seem inclined to advocate a more cautious, restrained U.S. policy.

One poster child for such continuing arrogance is Samantha Power, an influential national security council staffer in 2011 and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In her new book, The Education of an Idealist , Power takes no responsibility whatever for the Libya debacle. Indeed, flippant might be too generous a term for her treatment of the episode. "We could hardly expect to have a crystal ball when it came to accurately predicting outcomes in places where the culture was not our own," she contends. American Conservative analyst Daniel Larison correctly excoriates her argument as "a pathetic attempt by Power to deny responsibility for the effects of a war she backed by shrugging her shoulders and pleading ignorance. If Libyan culture was so opaque and hard for the Obama administration to understand, they should never have taken sides in an internal conflict there. If the 'culture was not our own' and they couldn't anticipate what was going to happen because of that, then how arrogant must the policymakers who argued in favor of intervention have been?"

The answer to Larison's rhetorical question is "extraordinarily arrogant." It is not as though prudent foreign-policy experts didn't warn Power and her colleagues about the probable consequences of intervening in a volatile, fragile country like Libya. Indeed, as Robert Gates, Obama's secretary of defense, confirms in his memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War , the Obama administration itself was deeply divided about the advisability of intervention. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice President Joe Biden, and Gates were opposed. Among the most outspoken proponents of action were Power and her mentor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gates notes further that Obama was deeply torn, later telling his secretary of defense that the decision was a "51 to 49" call.

The existence of a sharp internal division is sufficient evidence by itself that Power's attempt to absolve herself and other humanitarian crusaders of responsibility for the subsequent tragedy is without merit. Indeed, it has even less credibility than Pontius Pilate's infamous effort to evade guilt. They were warned of the probable outcome, yet they chose to disregard those warnings.

Power, Clinton, Obama and other proponents of ousting Qaddafi turned Libya into a chaotic Somalia on the Mediterranean, and the blood of innocents shed since 2011 is on their hands. Given the stark split within the president's national security team, the Libya intervention was especially reckless and unjustified. The default option in such a case should have been against intervention, not plunging ahead.

The Trump administration should learn from the blunders of its predecessor and resist any temptation to meddle further. America does not have a dog in the ongoing fight between Haftar and the GNA, and we should simply accept whatever outcome emerges. Washington's arrogant interference has caused enough suffering in Libya already.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest , is the author of thirteen books and more than eight hundred articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur .


Druid 7 hours ago ,

The outcome in Libya is what the intent was - chaos, per the Yinon plan. The side effect of mass immigration to Europe was warned by Gaddafi! All was known, yet the destabilization war continued.

npbinni 8 hours ago ,

Obama and company not only destroyed Libya, they also helped to unleash a wave of jihadis who are terrorizing vast swaths of west Africa, especially Mali and Burkina Faso. Their stupidity and lack of foresight is mind-boggling!

dieter heymann 13 hours ago ,

Libya was and still is the case of a civil war into which foreign powers have intervened. The major parties of that war have always been the Tripolitanian West and the Cyrenaican East. Whoever is on top considers the others to be the rebels. That is how the demise of Qaddafi began. For him Benghazi was the rebel's nest which needed some cleaning. Nothing has changed. Haftar is the new Qaddafi.

I understand the role which the Obama administration played in getting the Libyan intervention started. However the major destruction of Libya's fragile structure of governance under Qaddafi was done by the French, Brits, and Italians.

Mark Thomason a day ago ,

You can always make things worse. It is one thing that Trump and friends are good at.

They don't consider that a criticism either, since they want what the rest of us consider worse -- more war, more enemies, more inequality in outcomes at home, more desperation at home giving more power to the haves over the have-nots.

redeemed626 2 days ago • edited ,

Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book" is a timeless classic that still applies to articles produced for electronic consumption. One of Adler's primary admonitions was to consider the author's expertise, credibility, and potential biases. With regard to this article, scrolling down to the end reveals the author's association with the Koch Brother financed Cato Institute. The Koch Brothers and their money have done more to destroy American democracy than any foreign tyrant or Presidential folly.

And oh, by the way, what did the Neocons and the Vulcans of the W Administration do to the entire Middle East other than create a contiguous geographic belt of Iranian Shiite influence from Tehran to Beirut?

[Sep 18, 2019] The systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington

Bacevich is wrong: it is all about the control of oil producing nations in the Middle East and the preservation "oil for dollars only" regime (with the help of Israel as the forward base of the US imperialism in the Middle East)
Notable quotes:
"... In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy. ..."
"... I assert that the US foreign policy establishment[i] has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today. ..."
"... Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted. ..."
"... Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia's folly need not be our problem." ..."
"... Iran has a much longer history of managing pawns and vassal states than the USA. So too has Russia. Now replace 'Iran' with 'Israel' and you can recognise the belligerent initiator/opponent of the conflict. Trouble is that Trump is captive of the Israelis (and his petty ego) while being tormented and impoverished by all those countries that the USA invaded at the Israeli's behest. ..."
"... The dumb oafish response of the USA giant with its five eyes as it stomps about the planet enthralled by prospect of egomaniacle rapture is what endagers humanity. Leave the middle east and everyone else to their own conflict resolution I say. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

t r u t h , Sep 17 2019 23:59 utc | 60

Negar Razavi:

In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy.

I assert that the US foreign policy establishment[i] has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today.

<...>

( The Systemic Problem Of "Iran Expertise" In Washington )


t r u t h , Sep 18 2019 0:18 utc | 64

Andrew J. Bacevich:

"I am not suggesting that Washington is supporting the wrong side in Yemen. I am suggesting, however, that neither side deserves support. Iran may well qualify as America's "enemy." But Saudi Arabia is not a "friend," regardless of how many billions Riyadh spends purchasing American-manufactured weaponry and how much effort Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invests in courting President Trump and members of his family.

The conviction, apparently widespread in American policy circles, that in the Persian Gulf (and elsewhere) the United States is compelled to take sides, has been a source of recurring mischief. No doubt the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran poses a danger of further destabilizing the gulf. But the United States is under no obligation to underwrite the folly of one side or the other.

Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted.

Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia's folly need not be our problem."

( Iran Might Be America's Enemy, but Saudi Arabia Is No Friend )

uncle tungsten , Sep 18 2019 0:22 utc | 65
Thanks Don Bacon #19, yep that is good material.

Iran has a much longer history of managing pawns and vassal states than the USA. So too has Russia. Now replace 'Iran' with 'Israel' and you can recognise the belligerent initiator/opponent of the conflict. Trouble is that Trump is captive of the Israelis (and his petty ego) while being tormented and impoverished by all those countries that the USA invaded at the Israeli's behest.

The dumb oafish response of the USA giant with its five eyes as it stomps about the planet enthralled by prospect of egomaniacle rapture is what endagers humanity. Leave the middle east and everyone else to their own conflict resolution I say.

karlof1 , Sep 18 2019 0:27 utc | 66
Don Bacon @58--

Yeah, I'm reminded--again--of Milo Mindbender's racket in Catch-22 , which was 100% greed driven. But we mustn't forget the vaunted Vietnam Syndrome assorted POTUS have set out to quell. Trump just played on that theme today in a portion of his speech I cited. As psychohistorian reported on the open thread, the next round of QE has commenced in an effort to bolster Trump's electability--lots of that money just went to shorting oil. Tomorrow will surely bring forth new revelations, accusations, and denials.

For any barflies in the vicinity, Iran opens "an exhibition of hunted/captured drones in #Tehran from September 22 to October 7" that will draw more than the curious. I'm sure pics will get tweeted.

Peter AU 1 , Sep 18 2019 13:12 utc | 129
Vk
Houthi news site. https://english.almasirah.net/catview.php?cid=1

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8810&cat_id=1
"Air Force of the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees, Saturday morning carried out a large-scale operation with 10 drones, targeting Abqaiq and Khurais refineries east of Saudi Arabia. The operation is called the 2nd Operation of Balanced Deterrence."

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8802&cat_id=1
"Ansarullah in Yemen claimed the attack, saying that 10 drones had targeted Abiqaiq, as well as the Khurais oilfield."

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8787&cat_id=1
"Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Yemeni forces said that the air force targeted 10 planes refinery Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia."

A number of other articles I have read at the houthi site also state 10 drones.

[Sep 18, 2019] Looks like Pompeo is busy sputtering platitudes and warmongering rhetorics to speed up the second coming of Christ

Notable quotes:
"... Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence. ..."
"... Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb? ..."
"... America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it. ..."
"... Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation. ..."
"... No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Heartfully , 1 minute ago link

Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence.

Thordoom , 3 minutes ago link

That conversation between Pompus and MBS must be hilarious.

Mah_Authoritah , 3 minutes ago link

Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb?

Deep Snorkeler , 8 minutes ago link

V I C T O R Y !

with Trump as our Commander-in-Chief victory is certain this won't be like those other wars:

  1. Korea
  2. Vietnam
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Iraq

America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it.

romanmoment , 1 minute ago link

Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation.

I am pro military and I have many friends who have served or currently serve. And I have kids. I'm not sending my kids to kill Iranians for the Saudi's, for Israel or for any other fucked-up nation in the Middle East. And I don't want 18-year-old American kids getting killed or wounded for those ungrateful ***** either.

No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores.

[Sep 18, 2019] >War With Iran Would Be a Catastrophic Miscalculation by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... some people did some things ..."
"... some people will do nothing ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Sep 16, 2019 Welcome to the world where things don't add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world's oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said "[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Exclamation mark his.

How many times the past few years has our government declared that "we have the finest intelligence services in the world." Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)

Let's face it: the USA has had a hard-on for Iran for forty years, ever since they overthrew their shah, invaded the US embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days. On the other hand, the Arabians and Iranians have had a mutual hard-on for centuries, long before the Saud family was in charge of things, and back when Iran was known as Persia, a land of genies, fragrant spices, and a glorious antiquity (while Arabia was a wasteland of sand populated by nomads and their camels). The beef was formerly just about which brand of Islam would prevail, Sunni or Shia. Lately (the past fifty years) it has been more about the politics of oil and hegemony over the Middle East. Since the US invaded Iraq and busted up the joint, the threat has existed that Iran would take over Iraq, with its majority Shia population, especially the oil-rich Basra region at the head of the Persian Gulf. The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as "wiping Israel off the map." No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.

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The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing . The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That's rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons.

President Trump is trumpeting America's "energy independence," meaning whatever happens over there won't affect us. Well, none of that is true. We still import millions of barrels of oil a day, though much less from Saudi Arabia than before 2008. The shale oil "miracle" is hitting the skids these days. Shale oil production has gone flat, the rig-count is down, companies are going bankrupt, and financing for the debt-dependent operations is dwindling since the producers have demonstrated that they can't make a profit at it. They're trapped in the quandary of diminishing returns, frontloading production, while failing to overcome steep decline curves in wells that only produce for a couple of years.

It's also the case that shale oil is ultra-light crude, containing little heavier distillates such as diesel and aviation fuel (basically kerosene). Alas, American refineries were all built before shale oil came along. They were designed to crack heavier oil and can't handle the lighter shale. The "majors" don't want to invest their remaining capital in new refineries, and the many smaller companies don't have the ability. So, this makes necessary a high volume of oil swapping around the world. Without diesel and aviation fuel, US trucking and commercial aviation has a big problem, meaning the US economy has a big problem.

With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That's a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other's assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let's hope some people don't do something.

[Sep 18, 2019] This B's posting is further proof that the US of A (and it's flunky allies) are indeed led by the stupid, corrupt, and ignorant

The dangerous disease that inflict the USA neoliberal elite can be called "supremacism delirium"
As for quality of arms produced, when profit is the main motivation, the quality of design suffer. Still despite recent setbacks the USA remain the leader in new arm technologies.
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
GeorgeV , Sep 17 2019 20:09 utc | 8
B's posting is further proof that the US of A (and it's flunky allies) are indeed led by the stupid, corrupt, and ignorant.

While Russia and Iran are taking rational routes to protect themselves, the US and it's allies are pouring billions, if not trillions, of dollars (and thousands of lives) into a foreign policy that can only be described as the foreign policy of God, for it passes all human understanding.


karlof1 , Sep 17 2019 20:12 utc | 9

Thanks b! One way looking radar is so Pre-Second World War! The Patriot's MPQ-53 radar has a search sector of 90° and track capability of 120°--an amazingly inferior capability I wasn't aware of, nor is the vast majority of the public, which is why that twitter gif I linked to on the previous thread is humorous. In that comment, it was said that the radar's were reoriented to aim at Houthiland which is the given excuse as to why the Iranian attack wasn't detected. I don't buy that for an instant.

Houthi media's gone silent for now as it awaits a response from Saudis before launching there next attack in under 48 hours--yes, they did place an actual time, but were very general about the types of targets, although the top threat remains hydrocarbon infrastructure. RT reports :

"Saudi Arabia's energy minister said that its oil supplies had resumed and that its oil market would be 'fully back online' by the end of September following attacks which Washington blames on Iran while Riyadh is still probing.

"Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the media that oil production in October would reach 9.89 million barrels per day and 12 million bpd by the end of November."

We shall see if the output equals the boast, particularly if Houthis continue their attacks. No questions about providing better defenses reminds me of the Death Star Commandeer's famous last words about his weapon's invincibility.

Meanwhile, Nuttyahoo's coalition's narrowly losing the election.

Christian J Chuba , Sep 17 2019 20:18 utc | 11
Fighting Dirty w/Aysymmetric Warfare

I love how the warmongers on FOX / CNN make Iran / Russia sound nefarious that they call their strategy A2D2 or asymmetric warfare (aka actual defense of their country instead of power projection). How is using short / medium range missiles or a green water navy 'asymmetric'?

If we do go to war w/Iran the only way we win is by committing war crimes by bombing population centers until they surrender, we can't beat them in a straight up fight. I'm not a military wonk but I can see the relative competence levels. We can't even get a decent photo of a boat with a bomb on it after it's been sitting in broad daylight for 10hrs.

[Sep 18, 2019] Unhinged Neocon Ogress Applebaum on Board of NGO Stoking Hong Kong Unrest by Tony Cartalucci

Sep 10, 2019 | russia-insider.com

( Tony Cartalucci - NEO ) - The US continues to deny any involvement in ongoing unrest in China's special administrative region of Hong Kong.

However, even a casual look at US headlines or comments made by US politicians makes it clear the unrest not only suits US interests, but is spurred on almost exclusively by them.

The paradoxical duality of nearly open support of the unrest and denial of that support has led to headlines like the South China Morning Post's, " Mike Pompeo rebukes China's 'ludicrous' claim US is behind Hong Kong protests ." The article claims:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said it is "ludicrous" for China to claim the United States is behind the escalating protests in Hong Kong.
Pompeo rebuked Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who had claimed violent clashes in the city prompted by opposition to the Hong Kong government's controversial extradition bill were "the work of the US".

However, even US policymakers have all but admitted that the US is funnelling millions of dollars into Hong Kong specifically to support "programs" there. The Hudson Institute in an article titled, " China Tries to Blame US for Hong Kong Protests ," would admit:

A Chinese state-run newspaper's claim that the United States is helping pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong is only partially inaccurate, a top foreign policy expert said Monday.

Michael Pillsbury, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland the U.S. holds some influence over political matters in the region.

The article would then quote Pillsbury as saying:

We have a large consulate there that's in charge of taking care of the Hong Kong Policy Act passed by Congress to insure democracy in Hong Kong, and we have also funded millions of dollars of programs through the National Endowment for Democracy [NED] so in that sense the Chinese accusation is not totally false.

A visit to the NED's website reveals an entire section of declared funding for Hong Kong specifically. The wording for program titles and their descriptions is intentionally ambiguous to give those like US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plausible deniability.

However, deeper research reveals NED recipients are literally leading the protests.

The South China Morning Post in its article, " Hong Kong protests: heavy jail sentences for rioting will not solve city's political crisis, former Civil Human Rights Front convenor says ," would report:

Johnson Yeung Ching-yin, from the Civil Human Rights Front, was among 49 people arrested during Sunday's protest – deemed illegal as it had not received police approval – in Central and Western district on Hong Kong Island.

The article would omit mention of Johnson Yeung Ching-yin's status as an NED fellow. His profile is - at the time of this writing - still accessible on the NED's official website , and the supposed NGO he works for in turn works hand-in-hand with US and UK-based fronts involved in supporting Hong Kong's current unrest and a much wider anti-Beijing political agenda.

Johnson Yeung Ching-yin also co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post with Joshua Wong titled, " As you read this, Hong Kong has locked one of us away ."

[Sep 18, 2019] Thanks to the USA track record, everything now is viewed from the prism of possible false flag attack

As S Brian Wilson put it: "There was a moment in Viet Nam when I questioned whether everything I had been taught about "America" was one big fabricated lie – a huge pretend. "
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Sep 17 2019 20:50 utc | 16
Well, I still think the failure to anticipate a Houthi attack is suspicious.

Another "failure of imagination" like 9-11 that conveniently allowed the attack to happen.

Even if the radar only points one way, they could've set up radars that pointed in other directions. After all, the Houthi had already demonstrated their ability to strike targets far from Yemen.

And the damage done is also suspicious. 17 targets hit by 10 long-range drones/cruise missiles? And the high precision? USA+Saudis are saying the ONLY explanation is that Iran participated in the attack. But there's another explanation: sabotage (or photoshop) that increased the damage so that oil prices would go higher and fears of war with Iran would distract everyone from the possibility that its really all about oil prices and Netanyahu's election.

Self-inflicted damage after a major attack? That too was something we saw in 9-11 when WTC7 was brought down.

PS Like many, my initial reaction was that this attack would be the justification for war with Iran. But increased TENSIONS are probably enough for TPTB to achieve some very desireable ojectives:

1. Election of Netanyahu
TINA!

2. Funding Trump's "Deal of the Century" for Palestinians
Saudis will pay them to leave with the increased revenue from higher oil prices

3. USA financial bailout
Financial firms have tens of billions invested in fracking which is not profitable at low oil prices

4. More pressure on Iran
But not war ... yet

[Sep 17, 2019] The Devolution of US-Russia Relations by Tony Kevin

Highly recommended!
Sep 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold War and its dire consequences.

I n 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February, after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement's sitdown strike in Kiev's Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police, sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by murder squads.

The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea's border with Ukraine was secured against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.

In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in July 2014.

Poroshenko: Ordered military attack.

By August 2015, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates, 13,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded. 1.4 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced, and 925,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Russia and to a lesser extent Poland.

There is now a military stalemate, under the stalled Minsk peace process. But random fatal clashes continue, with the Ukrainian Army mostly blamed by UN observers. The UN reported last month that the ongoing war has affected 5.2 million people, leaving 3.5 million of them in need of relief, including 500,000 children. Most Russians blame the West for fomenting Ukrainian enmity towards Russia. This war brings back for older Russians horrible memories of the Nazi invasion in 1941. The Russia-Ukraine border is only 550 kilometres from Moscow.

Flashpoint Syria

Russian forces joined the civil war in Syria in September 2015, at the request of the Syrian Government, faltering under the attacks of Islamist extremist rebel forces reinforced by foreign fighters and advanced weapons. With Russian air and ground support, the tide of war turned. Palmyra and Aleppo were recaptured in 2016. An alleged Syrian Government chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 resulted in a token U.S. missile attack on a Syrian Government airbase: an early decision by President Trump.

NATO, Strategic Balance, Sanctions

An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 6, 2014. The 48th Fighter Wing sent an additional six aircraft and more than 50 personnel to support NATO's air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in the Baltics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nunez/Released)

Tensions have risen in the Baltic as NATO moves ground forces and battlefield missiles up to the Baltic states' borders with Russia. Both sides' naval and air forces play dangerous brinksmanship games in the Baltic. U.S. short-range, non-nuclear-armed anti-ballistic missiles were stationed in Poland and Romania, allegedly against threat of Iranian attack. They are easily convertible to nuclear-armed missiles aimed at nearby Russia.

Nuclear arms control talks have stalled. The INF intermediate nuclear forces treaty expired in 2019, after both sides accused the other of cheating. In March 2018, Putin announced that Russia has developed new types of intercontinental nuclear missiles using technologies that render U.S. defence systems useless. The West has pretended to ignore this announcement, but we can be sure Western defence ministries have noted it. Nuclear second-strike deterrence has returned, though most people in the West have forgotten what this means. Russians know exactly what it means.

Western economic sanctions against Russia continue to tighten after the 2014 events in Ukraine. The U.S. is still trying to block the nearly completed Nordstream Baltic Sea underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Sanctions are accelerating the division of the world into two trade and payments systems: the old NATO-led world, and the rest of the world led by China, with full Russian support and increasing interest from India, Japan, ROK and ASEAN.

Return to Moscow

In 2013, my children gave me an Ipad. I began to spend several hours a day reading well beyond traditional mainstream Western sources: British and American dissident sites, writers like Craig Murray in UK and in the U.S. Stephen Cohen, and some Russian sites – rt.com, Sputnik, TASS, and the official Foreign Ministry site mid.ru. in English.

In late 2015 I decided to visit Russia independently to write Return to Moscow , a literary travel memoir. I planned to compare my impressions of the Soviet Union, where I had lived and worked as an Australian diplomat in 1969-71, with Russia today. I knew there had been huge changes. I wanted to experience 'Putin's Russia' for myself, to see how it felt to be there as an anonymous visitor in the quiet winter season. I wanted to break out of the familiar one-dimensional hostile political view of Russia that Western mainstream media offer: to take my readers with me on a cultural pilgrimage through the tragedy and grandeur and inspiration of Russian history. As with my earlier book on Spain 'Walking the Camino' , this was not intended to be a political book, and yet somehow it became one.

I was still uncommitted on contemporary Russian politics before going to Russia in January 2016. Using the metaphor of a seesaw, I was still sitting somewhere around the middle.

My book was written in late 2015 – early 2016, expertly edited by UWA Publishing. It was launched in March 2017. By this time my political opinions had moved decisively to the Russian end of the seesaw, on the basis of what I had seen in Russia, and what I had read and thought during the year.

I have been back again twice, in winter 2018 and 2019. My 2018 visit included Crimea, and I happened to see a Navalny-led Sunday demonstration in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed all three independent visits: in my opinion, they give my judgements on Russia some depth and authenticity.

Russophobia Becomes Entrenched

Russia was a big talking point in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the initially unlikely Republican candidate Donald Trump's chances improved, anti-Putin and anti-Russian positions hardened in the outgoing Obama administration and in the Democratic Party establishment which backed candidate Hillary Clinton.

Russia and Putin became caught up in the Democratic Party's increasingly obsessive rage and hatred against the victorious Trump. Russophobia became entrenched in Washington and London U.S. and UK political and strategic elites, especially in intelligence circles: think of Pompeo, Brennan, Comey and Clapper. All sense of international protocol and diplomatic propriety towards Russia and its President was abandoned, as this appalling Economist cover from October 2016 shows.

My experience of undeclared political censorship in Australia since four months after publication of 'Return to Moscow' supports the thesis that:

We are now in the thick of a ruthless but mostly covert Anglo-American alliance information war against Russia. In this war, individuals who speak up publicly in the cause of detente with Russia will be discouraged from public discourse.

In the Thick of Information War

When I spoke to you two years ago, I had no idea how far-reaching and ruthless this information war is becoming. I knew that a false negative image of Russia was taking hold in the West, even as Russia was becoming a more admirable and self-confident civil society, moving forward towards greater democracy and higher living standards, while maintaining essential national security. I did not then know why, or how.

I had just had time to add a few final paragraphs in my book about the possible consequences for Russia-West relations of Trump's surprise election victory in November 2016. I was right to be cautious, because since Trump's inauguration we have seen the step-by-step elimination of any serious pro-detente voices in Washington, and the reassertion of control over this haphazard president by the bipartisan imperial U.S. deep state, as personified from April 2018 by Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Bolton has now been thrown from the sleigh as decoy for the wolves: under the smooth-talking Pompeo, the imperial policies remain.

Truth, Trust and False Narratives

Let me now turn to some theory about political reality and perception, and how national communities are persuaded to accept false narratives. Let me acknowledge my debt to the fearless and brilliant Australian independent online journalist, Caitlin Johnstone.

Behavioural scientists have worked in the field of what used to be called propaganda since WW1. England has always excelled in this field. Modern wars are won or lost not just on the battlefield, but in people's minds. Propaganda, or as we now call it information warfare, is as much about influencing people's beliefs within your own national community as it is about trying to demoralise and subvert the enemy population.

The IT revolution of the past few years has exponentially magnified the effectiveness of information warfare. Already in the 1940s, George Orwell understood how easily governments are able to control and shape public perceptions of reality and to suppress dissent. His brilliant books 1984 and Animal Farm are still instruction manuals in principles of information warfare. Their plots tell of the creation by the state of false narratives, with which to control their gullible populations.

The disillusioned Orwell wrote from his experience of real politics. As a volunteer fighter in the Spanish Civil War, he saw how both Spanish sides used false news and propaganda narratives to demonise the enemy. He also saw how the Nazi and Stalinist systems in Germany and Russia used propaganda to support show trials and purges, the concentration camps and the Gulag, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, German master race and Stalinist class enemy ideologies; and hows dissident thought was suppressed in these controlled societies. Orwell tried to warn his readers: all this could happen here too, in our familiar old England. But because the good guys won the war against fascism, his warnings were ignored.

We are now in Britain, U.S. and Australia actually living in an information warfare world that has disturbing echoes of the world that Orwell wrote about. The essence of information control is the effective state management of two elements, trust and fear , to generate and uphold a particular view of truth. Truth, trust and fear : these are the three key elements, now as 100 years ago in WWI Britain.

People who work or have worked close to government – in departments, politics, the armed forces, or top universities – mostly accept whatever they understand at the time to be 'the government view' of truth. Whether for reasons of organisational loyalty, career prudence or intellectual inertia, it is usually this way around governments. It is why moral issues like the Vietnam War and the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were so distressing for people of conscience working in or close to government and military jobs in Canberra. They were expected to engage in 'doublethink' as Orwell had described it:

Even in Winston's nightmare world, there were still choices – to retreat into the non-political world of the proles, or to think forbidden thoughts and read forbidden books. These choices involved large risks and punishments. It was easier and safer for most people to acquiesce in the fake news they were fed by state-controlled media.

'Trust, Truth and False Narratives'

Fairfax journalist Andrew Clark, in the Australian Financial Review , in an essay optimistically titled "Not fake news: Why truth and trust are still in good shape in Australia", (AFR Dec. 22, 2018), cited Professor William Davies thus:

"Most of the time, the edifice that we refer to as "truth" is really an investment of trust in our structures of politics and public life' 'When trust sinks below a certain point, many people come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham."

Here is my main point: Effective information warfare requires the creation of enough public trust to make the public believe that state-supported lies are true.

The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining.

Caitlin Johnstone a few days ago put it this way:

" Power is being able to control what happens. Absolute power is being able to control what people think about what happens. If you can control what happens, you can have power until the public gets sick of your BS and tosses you out on your ass. If you can control what people think about what happens, you can have power forever. As long as you can control how people are interpreting circumstances and events, there's no limit to the evils you can get away with."

The Internet has made propaganda campaigns that used to take weeks or months a matter of hours or even minutes to accomplish. It is about getting in quickly, using large enough clusters of trusted and diverse sources, in order to cement lies in place, to make the lies seem true, to magnify them through social messaging: in other words, to create credible false narratives that will quickly get into the public's bloodstream.

Over the past two years, I have seen this work many times: on issues like framing Russia for the MH17 tragedy; with false allegations of Assad mounting poison gas attacks in Syria; with false allegations of Russian agents using lethal Novichok to try to kill the Skripals in Salisbury; and with the multiple lies of Russiagate.

It is the mind-numbing effect of constant repetition of disinformation by many eminent people and agencies, in hitherto trusted channels like the BBC or ABC or liberal Anglophone print media that gives the system its power to persuade the credulous. For if so many diverse and reputable people repeatedly report such negative news and express such negative judgements about Russia or China or Iran or Syria, surely they must be right?

We have become used to reading in our quality newspapers and hearing on the BBC and ABC and SBS gross assaults on truth, calmly presented as accepted facts. There is no real public debate on important facts in contention any more. There are no venues for dissent outside contrarian social media sites.

Sometimes, false narratives inter-connect. Often a disinformation narrative in one area is used to influence perceptions in other areas. For example, the false Skripals poisoning story was launched by British intelligence in March 2018, just in time to frame Syrian President Assad as the guilty party in a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma the following month.

The Skripals Gambit

The Skripals gambit was also a failed British attempt to blight the Russia –hosted Football World Cup in June 2018. In the event, hundreds of thousands of Western sports fans returned home with the warmest memories of Russian good sportsmanship and hospitality.

How do I know the British Skripals narrative is false? For a start, it is illogical, incoherent, and constantly changes. Allegedly, two visiting Russian FSB agents in March 2018 sprayed or smeared Novichok, a deadly toxin instantly lethal in the most microscopic quantities, on the Skripals' house front doorknob. There is no video footage of the Skripals at their front door on the day. We are told they were found slumped on a park bench, and that is maybe where they had been sprayed with nerve gas? Shortly afterwards, Britain's Head of Army Nursing who happened to be passing by found them, and supervised their hospitalisation and emergency treatment.

Allegedly, much of Salisbury was contaminated by Novichok, and one unfortunate woman mysteriously died weeks later, yet the Skripals somehow did not die, as we are told. But where are they now? We saw a healthy Yulia in a carefully scripted video interview released in May 2018, after an alleged 'one in a million' recovery. We were assured her father had recovered too, but nobody has seen him at all. The Skripals have simply disappeared from sight since 16 months ago. Are they now alive or dead? Are they in voluntary or involuntary British custody?

A month after the poisoning, the UK Government sent biological samples from the Skripals to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for testing. The OPCW sent the samples to a trusted OPCW laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland.

Lavrov Spiez BZ claims, April 2018

A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dramatically announced in Moscow that the Spiez lab had found in the samples a temporary-effect nerve agent BZ, used by U.S. and UK but not by Russia, that would have disabled the Skripals for a few days without killing them. He also revealed the Spiez lab had found that the Skripal samples had been twice tampered with while still in UK custody: first soon after the poisoning, and again shortly before passing them to the OPCW. He said the Spiez lab had found a high concentration of Novichok, which he called A- 234, in its original form. This was extremely suspicious as A-234 has high volatility and could not have retained its purity over a two weeks period. The dosage the Spiez lab found in the samples would have surely killed the Skripals. The OPCW under British pressure rejected Lavrov's claim, and suppressed the Spiez lab report.

Let's look finally at the alleged assassins.

'Boshirov and Petrov'

These two FSB operatives who visited Salisbury under the false identities of 'Boshirov' and 'Petrov' did not look or behave like credible assassins. It is more likely that they were sent to negotiate with Sergey Skripal about his rumoured interest in returning to Russia. They needed to apply for UK visas a month in advance of travel: ample time for the British agencies to identify them as FSB operatives, and to construct a false attempted assassination narrative around their visit. This false narrative repeatedly trips over its own lies and contradictions. British social media are full of alternative theories and rebuttals. Russians find the whole British Government Skripal narrative laughable. They have invented comedy skits and video games based on it. Yet it had major impact on Russia-West relations.

The Douma False Narrative

I turn now to the claimed Assad chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018.This falsely alleged attack triggered a major NATO air attack on Syrian targets, ordered by Trump. We came close to WWIII in these dangerous days. Thanks to the restraint of the then Secretary of Defence James Mattis and his Russian counterparts, the risk was contained.

The allegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used outlawed chemical weapons against his own people was based solely on the evidence of faked video images of child victims, made by the discredited White Helmets, a UK-sponsored rebel-linked 'humanitarian' propaganda organisation with much blood on its hands. Founded in 2013 by a British private security specialist of intelligence background, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets specialised in making fake videos of alleged Assad regime war crimes against Syrian civilians. It is by now a thoroughly discredited organisation that was prepared to kill its prisoners and then film their bodies as alleged victims of government chemical attacks.

White Helmets

As the town of Douma was about to fall to advancing Syrian Government forces, the White Helmets filled a room with stacked corpses of murdered prisoners, and photographed them as alleged victims of aerial gas attack. They also made a video alleging child victims of this attack being hosed down by White Helmets. A video of a child named Hassan Diab went viral all over the Western world.

Hassan Diab later testified publicly in The Hague that he had been dragged terrified from his family by force, smeared with some sort of grease, and hosed down with water as part of a fake video. He went from hero to zero overnight, as Western governments and media rejected his testimony as Russian and Syrian propaganda.

In a late development, there is proof that the OPCW suppressed its own engineers' report from Douma that the alleged poison gas cylinders could not have possibly been dropped from the air through the roof of the house where one was found, resting on a bed under a convenient hole in the roof.

I could go on discussing the detail of such false narratives all day. No matter how often they are exposed by critics, our politicians and mainstream media go on referencing them as if they are true. Once people have come to believe false narratives, it is hard to refute them.

So it is with the false narrative that Russian internet interference enabled Trump to win the 2016 U.S. presidential elections: a thesis for which no evidence was found by [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, yet continues to be cited by many U.S. liberal Democratic media as if it were true. So, even, with MH17.

Managing Mass Opinion

This mounting climate of Western Russophobia is not accidental: it is strategically directed, and it is nourished with regular maintenance doses of fresh lies. Each round of lies provides a credible platform for the next round somewhere else. The common thread is a claimed malign Russian origin for whatever goes wrong.

So where is all this disinformation originating? Information technology firms in Washington and London that are closely networked into government elites, often through attending the same establishment schools or colleges like Eton and Yale, have closely studied and tested the science of influencing crowd opinions through mainstream media and online. They know, in a way that Orwell or Goebbels could hardly have dreamt, how to put out and repeat desired media messages. They know what sizes of 'internet attraction nodes' need to be established online, in order to create diverse critical masses of credible Russophobic messaging, which then attracts enough credulous and loyal followers to become self-propagating.

Firms like the SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories) and the now defunct Cambridge Analytica pioneered such work in the UK. There are many similar firms in Washington, all in the business of monitoring, generating and managing mass opinion. It is big business, and it works closely with the national security state.

Starting in November 2018, an enterprising group of unknown hackers in the UK , who go by the name 'Anonymous', opened a remarkable window into this secret world. Over a few weeks, they hacked and dumped online a huge volume of original documents issued by and detailing the activities of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS) and the Integrity initiative (II). Here is the first page of one of their dumps, exposing propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn.

We know from this material that the IfS and II are two secret British disinformation networks operating at arms' length from but funded by the UK security services and broader UK government establishment. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel, often nominally retired, journalists and academics, to produce and disseminate propaganda that serves the agendas of the UK and its allies.

Stung by these massive leaks, Chris Donnelly, a key figure in IfS and II and a former British Army intelligence officer, made a now famous seven-minute YouTube video in December 2018, artfully filmed in a London kitchen, defending their work.

He argued – quite unconvincingly in my opinion – that IfS and II are simply defending Western societies against disinformation and malign influence, primarily from Russia. He boasted how they have set up in numerous targeted European countries, claimed to be under attack from Russian disinformation, what he called 'clusters of influence' , to 'educate' public opinion and decision-makers in pro-NATO and anti-Russian directions.

Donnelly spoke frankly on how the West is already at war with Russia, a 'new kind of warfare', in which he said 'everything becomes a weapon'. He said that 'disinformation is the issue which unites all the other weapons in this conflict and gives them a third dimension'.

He said the West has to fight back, if it is to defend itself and to prevail.

We can confirm from the Anonymous leaked files the names of many people in Europe being recruited into these clusters of influence. They tend to be significant people in journalism, publishing, universities and foreign policy think-tanks: opinion-shapers. The leaked documents suggest how ideologically suitable candidates are identified: approached for initial screening interviews; and, if invited to join a cluster of influence, sworn to secrecy.

Remarkably, neither the Anonymous disclosures nor the Donnelly response have ever been reported in Australian media. Even in Britain – where evidence that the Integrity Initiative was mounting a campaign against [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn provoked brief media interest. The story quickly disappeared from mainstream media and the BBC. A British under-foreign secretary admitted in Parliamentary Estimates that the UK Foreign Office subsidises the Institute of Statecraft to the tune of nearly 3 million pounds per year. It also gives various other kinds of non-monetary assistance, e.g. providing personnel and office support in Britain's overseas embassies.

This is not about traditional spying or seeking agents of influence close to governments. It is about generating mass disinformation, in order to create mass climates of belief.

In my opinion, such British and American disinformation efforts, using undeclared clusters of influence, through Five Eyes intelligence-sharing, and possibly with the help of British and American diplomatic missions, may have been in operation in Australia for many years.

Such networks may have been used against me since around mid-2017, to limit the commercial outreach of my book and the impact of its dangerous ideas on the need for East-West detente; and efficiently to suppress my voice in Australian public discourse about Russia and the West. Do I have evidence for this? Yes.

It is not coincidence that the Melbourne Writers Festival in August 2017 somehow lost all my sign-and-sell books from my sold-out scheduled speaking event; that a major debate with [Australian writer and foreign policy analyst] Bobo Lo at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne was cancelled by his Australian sponsor, the Lowy institute, two weeks before the advertised date; that my last invitation to any writers festival was 15 months ago, in May 2018; that Return to Moscow was not shortlisted for any Australian book prize, though I entered it in all of them ; that since my book's early promotion ended around August 2017, I have not been invited to join any ABC discussion panels, or to give any talks on Russia in any universities or institutes, apart from the admirable Australian Institute of International Affairs and the ISAA.

My articles and shorter opinion commentaries on Russia and the West have not been published in mainstream media or in reputable online journals like Eureka Street, The Conversation, Inside Story or Australian Book Review . Despite being an ANU Emeritus Fellow, I have not been invited to give a public talk or join any panel in ANU (Australian National University) or any Canberra think tank. In early 2018, I was invited to give a private briefing to a group of senior students travelling on an immersion course to Russia. I was not invited back in 2019, after high-level private advice within ANU that I was regarded as too pro-Putin.

In all these ways – none overt or acknowledged – my voice as an open-minded writer and speaker on Russia-West relations seems to have been quietly but effectively suppressed in Australia. I would like to be proved wrong on this, but the evidence is there.

This may be about "velvet-glove deterrence" of my Russia-sympathetic voice and pen, in order to discourage others, especially those working in or close to government. Nobody is going to put me in jail, unless I am stupid enough to violate Australia's now strict foreign influence laws. This deterrence is about generating fear of consequences for people still in their careers, paying their mortgages, putting kids through school. Nobody wants to miss their next promotion.

There are other indications that Australian national security elite opinion has been indoctrinated prudently to fear and avoid any kind of public discussion of positive engagement with Russia (or indeed, with China).

There are only two kinds of news about Russia now permitted in our mainstream media, including the ABC and SBS: negative news and comment, or silence. Unless a story can be given an anti-Russian sting, it will not be carried at all. Important stories are simply spiked, like last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok, chaired by President Putin and attended by Prime Ministers Abe, Mahathir and Modi, among 8500 participants from 65 countries.

The ABC idea of a balanced panel to discuss any Russian political topic was exemplified in an ABC Sunday Extra Roundtable panel chaired by Eleanor Hall on July, 22 2018, soon after the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki. The panel – a former ONA Russia analyst, a professor of Soviet and Russian History at Melbourne University, and a Russian émigré dissident journalist introduced as the 'Washington correspondent for Echo of Moscow radio' spent most of their time sneering at Putin and Trump. There were no other views.

A powerful anti-Russian news narrative is now firmly in place in Australia, on every topic in contention: Ukraine, MH17, Crimea, Syria, the Skripals, Navalny and public protest in Russia. There is ill-informed criticism of Russia, or silence, on the crucial issues of arms control and Russia-China strategic and economic relations as they affect Australia's national security or economy. There is no analysis of the negative impact on Australia of economic sanctions against Russia. There is almost no discussion of how improved relations with China and Russia might contribute to Australia's national security and economic welfare, as American influence in the world and our region declines, and as American reliability as an ally comes more into question. Silence on inconvenient truths is an important part of the disinformation tool kit.

I see two overall conflicting narratives – the prevailing Anglo-American false narrative; and valiant efforts by small groups of dissenters, drawing on sources outside the Anglo-American official narrative, to present another narrative much closer to truth. And this is how most Russians now see it too.

The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018 was damaged by the Skripal and Syria fabrications. Trump left that summit friendless, frightened and humiliated. He soon surrendered to the power of the U.S. imperial state as then represented by [Mike] Pompeo and [John] Bolton, who had both been appointed as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in April 2018 and who really got into their stride after the Helsinki Summit. Pompeo now smoothly dominates Trump's foreign policy.

Self-Inflicted Wounds

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore)

Finally, let me review the American political casualties over the past two years – self-inflicted wounds – arising from this secret information war against Russia. Let me list them without prejudging guilt or innocence. Slide 20 – Self-inflicted wounds: casualties of anti-Russian information warfare.

Trump's first National Security Adviser, the highly decorated Michael Flynn lost his job after only three weeks, and soon went to jail. His successor H R McMaster lasted 13 months until replaced by John Bolton. Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted just 14 months until his replacement by Trump's appointed CIA chief (in January 2017) Mike Pompeo. Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon lasted only seven months. Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now in jail.

Defence Secretary James Mattis lasted nearly two years as Secretary of Defence, and was an invaluable source of strategic stability. He resigned in December 2018. The highly capable Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman lasted just two years: he is resigning next month. John Kelly lasted 18 months as White House Chief of Staff. Less senior figures like George Papadopoulos and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen both served jail time. The pattern I see here is that people who may have been trying responsibly as senior U.S. officials to advance Trump's initial wish to explore possibilities for detente with Russia – policies that he had advocated as a candidate – were progressively purged, one after another . The anti-Russian U.S. bipartisan imperial state is now firmly back in control. Trump is safely contained as far as Russia is concerned .

Russians do not believe that any serious detente or arms control negotiations can get under way while cold warriors like Pompeo continue effectively to control Trump. There have been other casualties over the past two years of tightening American Russophobia. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come to mind. The naive Maria Butina is a pathetic victim of American judicial rigidity and deep state vindictiveness.

False anti-Russian Government narratives emanating from London and Washington may be laughed at in Moscow , but they are unquestioningly accepted in Canberra. We are the most gullible of audiences. There is no critical review. Important contrary factual information and analysis from and about Russia just does not reach Australian news reporting and commentary, nor – I fear – Australian intelligence assessment. We are prisoners of the false narratives fed to us by our senior Five Eyes partners U.S. and UK.

To conclude: Some people may find what I am saying today difficult to accept. I understand this. I now work off open-source information about Russia with which many people here are unfamiliar, because they prefer not to read the diverse online information sources that I choose to read. The seesaw has tilted for me: I have clearly moved a long way from mainstream Western perceptions on Russia-West relations.

Under Trump and Pompeo, as the Syria and Iran crises show, the present risk of global nuclear war by accident or incompetent Western decision-making is as high as it ever was in the Cold War. The West needs to learn again how to dialogue usefully and in mutually respectful ways with Russia and China. This expert knowledge is dying with our older and wiser former public servants and ex-military chiefs.

These remarks were delivered by Tony Kevin at the Independent Scholars Association of Australia in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday.

Watch Tony Kevin interviewed Friday night on CN Live!

Tony Kevin is a retired Australian diplomat who was posted to Moscow from 1969 to 1971, and was later Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. His latest book is Return to Moscow, published by UWA Publishing.


Bruce , September 17, 2019 at 08:58

Excellent article. It's very interesting to see how the state and its media lackey set the narrative.

Most of this comment relates to the Skripals but also applies to other matters (the Skripals writing was some of Craig Murray's finest work in my opinion). One of the hallmarks of a hoax is a constantly evolving storyline. I think governments have learned from past "mistakes" with their hoaxes/deception where they've given a description of events and then scientists/engineers/chemists etc have come in and criticised their version of events with details and scientific arguments. Nowadays, governments are very reluctant to commit to a version of events, and instead rely on the media (their propaganda assets) to provide a scattergun set of information to muddy the waters and thoroughly confuse the population. The government is then insulated from some of the more bizarre allegations (the headlines of which are absorbed nonetheless), and can blame it on the media (who would use an anonymous government source naturally). Together with classifying just about everything on national security grounds, they can stonewall for as long as they want.

The British are masters of propaganda. They maintained a global empire for a very long time, and the prevailing view (in the west at least) was probably one of tea-drinking cricket playing colonials/gentlemen. But you don't maintain an empire without being absolutely ruthless and brutal. They've been doing this for a very long time.

When we hear something from the BBC or ABC, we should think "State Media".
That's probably why its got a nice folksy nickname of "aunty" .build up the trust.

Leslie Louis , September 17, 2019 at 04:00

Society is suffering the extreme paradox; there is the potential for everyone to have a voice, but the last vestiges of free speech have been whittled away. Fake news is universal, assisted by the fake "left". It is impossible to get published any challenge to even the most outlandish versions of identity politics. As the experience of Tony Kevin exemplifies, all avenues for dissent against hegemonic orthodoxies are closed off.
Disinformation is now an essential weapon in waging hot and cold wars. Cold War historians are well informed on false flags, "black ops", and other organised dirty tactics. I do not know what happened to the Skripals, and while it is legitimate to bear in mind KGB assassinations, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, the English security state has been unable to construct a credible case. Surely scepticism is provoked by the leading role being played by the notorious Bellingcat outfit.

Zenobia van Dongen , September 17, 2019 at 00:29

Here is part of an eyewitness account:
"After the Orange Revolution which began in Kiev, the country was divided literally into two parts -- the supporters of integration with Russia and the supporters of an independent Ukraine. For almost 100 years belonging to the Soviet Union, the propaganda about the assistance and care from our "big brother" Russia, in Ukraine as a whole and the Donbass in particular has borne fruit. At the end of February 2014, some cities of the Southeast part were boiling with mass social and political protest against the new Ukrainian government in defense of the status of the Russian language, voicing separatist and pro-Russian slogans. The division took place in our city of Sloviansk too. Some people stood for separation from Ukraine, while Ukrainian patriots stood for the unity of our country.
On April 12, 2014 our city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region was seized by Russian mercenaries and local volunteers. From that moment onward, armed assaults on state institutions began. The city police department, the Sloviansk City Hall, the building of the Ukraine Security Service was occupied. Armed militants seized state institutions and confiscated private property. They threatened and beat people, and those who refused to obey were taken away to an unknown destination and people started disappearing. The persecution and abduction of patriotic citizens began."

Michael McNulty , September 16, 2019 at 11:36

Watching Vietnam news coverage as a kid in the '60s I noticed the planes carpet-bombing South East Asia were American, not Russian. And as I only watched the footage and never listened to the commentary (I was waiting for the kids programs that followed) the BS they came out with to explain it all never reached me. I saw with my own eyes what the US really was and is, and always believed growing up they were the belligerent side not Russia. Once the USSR fell it was clear there were no longer any constraints on US excesses.

dean 1000 , September 15, 2019 at 18:17

Doublethink, not to mention doublespeak, is so apt to describe what is happening. If Orwell was writing today it would have to be classified as non-fiction.

Free speech is impossible unless every election district has a radio/TV station where candidates, constituents, and others can debate, discuss and speak to the issues without bending a knee to large campaign contributors or the controllers of corporate or government media. It may start with low-power pirate radio/TV broadcasts. No, the pirate speakers will not have to climb a cell tower to broadcast an opinion to the neighborhood or precinct.
If genuine free speech is going to exist it will start as something unauthorized and unlawful. If it sticks to the facts it will quickly prove its value.

Download a free pdf copy of '1984.' https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf

Njegos , September 15, 2019 at 03:39

Excellent article. The only exhibit missing was reference to Bill Browder's lies. Browder's rubbish has been exposed by intrepid journalists and documentary makers such as Andrei Nekrasov, Sasha Krainer and Lucy Komisar but to read or listen to our media, you'd think BB was some sort of human rights hero. That's because BB's fairy tale fits nicely into the MSM's hatred of Putin and Russia. Debunk Browder and a major pillar of anti-Russia prejudice collapses. Therefore, Browder will never face any serious questions by the MSM.

John A , September 16, 2019 at 09:18

judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-magnitskiy-myth-exploded/

MSM propaganda by omission. Anything that doesn't fit the government narrative gets zero publicity.

Jim Ingram , September 14, 2019 at 21:12

Well said and needing to be said Tony.

Mr. Dan , September 14, 2019 at 19:41

I have stopped following australian mainstream media including the darlings of the 'left' ABC/SBS over a decade ago, completely. My disgust with their 'coverage' of the 2008 GFC was more than enough. Since 2008-9 things have deteriorated drastically into conspiracy theory propaganda by omission la-la land *it seems*, given I don't tune in at all.

The author has a well supported view. I find it a little naive in him thinking that the MSM has that much power over shaping public opinion in australia.

People who want to be informed do so. The half intelligent conformists on hamster wheel of lifetime mortgage debt have 'careers' to hold onto, so parroting the group think or living in ignorance is much easier. The massive portion of australian racists, inbred bogans and idiots that make up the large LNP, One Nation etc. voting block are completely beyond salvation or ability to process, and critically evaluate any information. The smarter ones drool on about the 'UN Agenda 21' conspiracy at best. Utterly hopeless.

I don't expect things to change as the australian economy is slowly hollowed out by the rich, and the education system (that has always been about conforming, wearing school uniform and regurgitating what the teacher/lecturer says at best) is gutted completely. Welcome to australistan.

Fran Macadam , September 14, 2019 at 19:21

Note that the prohibition against false propaganda to indoctrinate the domestic population by the American government was lifted by President Obama at the tail end of his administration. The Executive Order legalizes all the deceptive behavior Tony itemizes in his article.

Josep , September 17, 2019 at 04:10

I thought it was Reagan who did that by abolishing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. At least in terms of television and radio (?) broadcasts.

Stephen Morrell , September 14, 2019 at 19:02

Thank you Tony for your thoughtful talk (and interview on CN Live! too).

What's encouraging is this cohort of what might be called 'millennial journalists' coming through willing to do 'shoe-leather' journalism and stand up to smears and flack for revealing uncomfortable facts and truth. They're the online 5th estate holding the 4th to account (to steal Ray McGovern's apt view), and they're congealing against the onslaught.

Some include Max Blumenthal and Rania Kahlek (both now being pilloried by MSM and others for visiting Syrian government held areas and reporting that life isn't hellish as MSM would have everyone believe heaven forbid); Vanessa Bealey who's exposed a lot of White Helmet horrors and false-flag attacks in Syria (and being attacked by all and sundry for exposing the White Helmets in particular); Abby Martin whose Empire Files are excellent and always edifying; Dan Cohen who has written the best expose of the actors behind the Hong Kong rioting and co-authored the best expose of the background of Guaido et al.; Whitney Webb of Mint Press whose series on Epstein is overwhelming and likely a ticking timebomb; Caitlin Johnstone of course; and Aaron 'Buzzsaw' Mate who made his first mark with a wonderful takedown interview of Russiaphobe MI6 shill Luke Harding. Others too of course, with most appearing or having written pieces on CN. John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Greg Palast, et al. won't drop off their twigs disappointed.

This, along with the fact that MSM -- that cowed and compromised fourth estate -- increasingly is held in such laughable contempt by most people under about 50 yr, is highly encouraging indeed. Truth is the new black.

nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 11:49

The Blogmire is an excellent resource for detailed analysis of the Skripal hoax. The author happens to be a long-time resident of Salisbury, and is intimately familiar with the topography, public services, etc., and a very thorough investigator.

John Wright , September 14, 2019 at 18:35

I'm not surprised that Mr. Kevin is being isolated and shunned by the Australian establishment. Truth and truth tellers are always the first casualties of war. I do hope that his experience will encourage him to increase his resistance to the corrosiveness of mendacious propaganda and those who promulgate it.

Truth is the single best weapon when fighting for a peaceful future.

If Australia is to flourish in the 21st century, it really needs to understand Russia and China, how they relate to each other, and how this key alliance will interface with the rest of the world. Australia and Australians simply cannot afford to get sucked down further by facilitating the machinations of the collapsing Anglo-American Empire. They have served the empire ably and faithfully, but now need to take a cold hard look at reality and realign their long-term interests with the coming global power shift. If not, they could literally find themselves in the middle of an unwinnable and devastating war.

* * *

The first Anglo-American Russian cold war began with the Russian revolution and was only briefly suspended when the West needed the Soviet people to throw themselves in front of the Nazi blitzkrieg in order to save Western Europe. Following their catastrophically costly contribution to the victory on the Continent, the Russians were greeted with an American nuclear salute on their eastern periphery, signalling their return to the diplomatic and economic deep freeze.

While the Anglo-American Empire solidified and extended its hold on the globe, the enlarged but war-ravaged and isolated Soviet Union hunkered down and survived on scraps and sheer will until its collapse in 1989. Declaring the cold war over, and with promises to help their new Russian friends build a prosperous future, the duplicitous West then ransacked their neighbors resources and sold them into debt peonage. The Russians cried foul, the West shrugged and Putin pushed back. Unable to declaw the bear, the west closed the cage door again and the second cold war commenced.

* * *

The first cold war was essentially an offensive war disguised as a defensive war. It enabled the Anglo-American Empire to leverage its post-war advantage and establish near total dominance around the globe through naked violence and monetary hegemony.

Today, with its dominance rapidly slipping away, the Anglo-American Empire is waging a truly defensive cold war. On the home front, they fight to convince their subjects of their eternal exceptionalism with ever more absurd and vile propaganda denigrating their adversaries . Abroad, they disrupt and defraud in a desperate attempt to delay the demise of the PetroDollar ponzi.

The Russians and the Chinese, having both been brutally burned by the Western elites, will not be fooled into abandoning their natural geographic partnership. They are no longer content to sit quietly at the kids' table taking notes. While they may not demand to sit at the head of the table, it is clear that they will insist on a round table, and one that is large enough to include their growing list of friends.

If the Americans don't smash the table, it could be the first of many peaceful pot lucks.

John Read , September 15, 2019 at 02:11

Well said. Great comments. Thanks to Tony Kevin.

Mia , September 14, 2019 at 18:33

Thank you Tony for continuing to shine light on the pathetic propaganda information bubble Australians have been immersed in .. you demonstrate great courage and you are not alone ??

Peter Loeb , September 14, 2019 at 12:58

WITH THANKS TO TONY KEVIN

An excellent article.

There is a lack of comments from some of the common writers upon whose views I often rely.

Personally, I often avoid the very individual responses from websites as I have no way
of checking out previous ideas of theirs. Who funds them? With which organizations are they
affiliated? And so forth and so on.

Peter Loeb, Boston, Massachusetts

Peter Sapo , September 14, 2019 at 10:24

As a fellow Australian, everything Tony Kevin said makes perfect sense. Our mainstream media landscape is designed to distribute propaganda to folk accross the political spectrum. Have you noticed that the ABC regurgitates stories from the BBC? The BBC has a long history (at least since WW2) of supporting government propaganda initiatives. Based on this fact, it is hard to see how ABC and SBS don't do the same when called upon by their minders.

Francis Lee , September 14, 2019 at 09:48

I just wonder where the Anglo-Zionist empire thinks it is going. It should be obvious that any NATO war against Russia involving a nuclear exchange is unwinnable. It seems equally likely the even a conventional war will not necessarily bring the result expected by the assorted 'experts' – nincompoops living in their own fantasy world. The idea that the US can fight a war without the US homeland becoming very much involved basically ended when Putin announced the creation of Russia's set of advanced hypersonic missile system. But this was apparently ignored by the 'defence' establishment. It was not true, it could not possibly be true, or so we were told.

Moreover the cost of such wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and military hardware are massively expensive and would occasion a massive resistance from the populations affected. It was the wests wars in Korea, and Indo-China that bankrupted the US and led to the US$ being removed from the gold standard. The American military is rapidly consuming the American economy, or at least what is left of it. From a realist foreign policy perspective this is simply madness. Great powers end wars, they don't start them. Great powers are creditor nations, not debtor nations. Such is the realist foreign policy view. But foreign policy realists are few and far between in the Washington Beltway and MIC/NSA Pentagon and US/UK/AUSTRALIAN MSM.

Thus the neo-hubris of the English speaking world is such that if it is followed to its logical conclusion then total annihilation would be the logical outcome. A sad example of not very bright people who face no domestic opposition, believing in their own bullshit:

"American elites proved themselves to be master manipulators of propaganda constructs But the real danger from such manipulations arises not when those manipulations are done out of knowledge of reality, which is distorted for propaganda purposes, but when those who manipulation begin to sincerely believe in their own falsifications and when they buy into their own narrative. They stop being manipulators and they become believers in a narrative. They become manipulated themselves." (Losing Military Supremacy – Andrei, Martyanov)

Or maybe just the whole thing is a bluff. Those policy elites maybe just want to loot the US Treasury for more cash to be put their way.

John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 19:15

The self-serving Israeli Zionists know that the American cow is running dry and their days of freely milking it are coming to an end. They have an historic relationship with Russia and, leveraging their nuclear arsenal, know they can make a deal with the emerging China-Russia-centric global paradigm to extort enough protection to maintain their armed enclave for the foreseeable future. Their no so hidden alliance with the equally sociopathic Saudis will become even more obvious for all to see.

Israel, like China and Russia, knows how to play a long game. Thus, Israel will consolidate its land grab with the just announced expansion into the Jordan Valley and quietly continue as much ethnic cleansing as possible while the rest of the world is preoccupied with the incipient global power shift (True victims of history, the Palestinians have no real friends). While they will bemoan the loss of their muscular American stooge, Israel enjoyed a very lucrative 70 year run and will part with a pile of useful and deadly toys. They're also fully aware that no one else will ever let them take advantage to the degree they've been able to with the U.S.A. (Unlimited Stupidity of Arrogance?)

Eventually, the social schizophrenia that is the state of Israel will catch up with them and they will implode. Let's hope that breakdown doesn't involve the use of their nuclear arsenal.

Yes, the U.S. Treasury will continue to be looted until the last teller turns the lights out or the electricity is shut off, whichever comes first.

The Western transnational financial elites will accept their losses, regroup and make deals with the new bosses where they can; but their days of running the game unopposed are over.

Today is a good day to learn Mandarin (or Russian, if you prefer to live in Europe).

Bill , September 16, 2019 at 03:36

Very well said and I agree with a lot of what you say.

Tiu , September 14, 2019 at 06:01

Won't be too long before writing articles like this will get you busted for "hate-speech" (e.g. anything that is contrary to the official version prescribed by the "democratically elected" government)
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/uk-tony-blair-think-tank-proposes-end-free-speech
Personally I always encourage people to read George Orwell, especially 1984. We're there, and have been for a long time.

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 01:15

Tony Kevin – Nice rundown of what ails society. You have a fine writing style that gets the point across to the reader. Kudos and cheers.

Michael , September 13, 2019 at 22:34

The 'modernization' of the Smith Mundt Act in 2013 "to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material [PROPAGANDA] about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences" was a major nail in the Democracy coffin, consolidating the blatant ruling of the US Police State by our 17 Intelligence Agencies (our betters). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lead to ownership of (>80%) of our media (the MSM by a handful of owners, all disseminating the same narratives from above (CIA, State Department, FBI etc) and squelching any dissenting views, particularly related to foreign policies.
Tony's article sadly just confirms the depth and breadth of our Global Stasi, with improved, innovative and (mostly) subtle surveillance, and the controlling constant interference with alternate viewpoints and discussions, the real basis for free societies. It is bad enough to be ruled by neoliberal psychopathic hyenas and jackals, soon we won't be able to even bitch about what they are doing.

Tom Kath , September 13, 2019 at 21:42

The most impressive article I have read in a very long time. I congratulate and thank Tony.
I have myself recently addressed the issue of whether it is a virtue to have an "open mind". – The ability to be converted or have your mind changed, or is it the ability to change your own mind ?
Tony Kevin clearly illustrates the difference.

Litchfield , September 13, 2019 at 16:11

Great article.
Please keep writing.
Do start a website, a la Craig Murray.
There are people who are proactively looking for alternative viewpoints and informed analysis.
How about starting a website and publishing some excerpts of your book there?

Or, sell chapters separately by download from your website?
You could also have a discussion blog/forum there.

John Zimmermann , September 13, 2019 at 16:02

Excellent essay. Thanks Mr. Kevin.

rosemerry , September 13, 2019 at 15:37

At least Tony Kevin was an Australian ambassador, not like Mike Morrell and the chosen russop?obes the USA assumes are needed as diplomats!! Now he is treated as Stephen Cohen is- a true expert called "controversial" as he dares to go by real facts and evidence, not prejudice.

If instead of enemies, the West could consider getting to understand those they are wary of, and give them a chance to explain their point of view and actually listen and reflect on it.
(Dmitri Peskov valiantly explained the Russian official response as soon as the "Skripal poisoning" story broke, but it was fully ignored by UK/US media, while all of Theresa May's fanciful imaginings were respectfully relayed to the public).

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 23:26

As you usually are with your comments, you are spot on again, rosemerry.

Martin - Swedish citizen , September 13, 2019 at 14:46

Excellent article!
I find the mechanics of how the propaganda is spread and the illusion upheld the most important part of this article, since this knowledge is required to counter it.
When (not if) the fraud becomes more common knowledge, our societies are likely to tumble.

Pablo Diablo , September 13, 2019 at 14:45

Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.

peter mcloughlin , September 13, 2019 at 13:40

' The present risk of global nuclear war is as high as it ever was in the Cold War.' And possibly higher. The Cold War, though dangerous, was the peace. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war. The powers that are leading us towards conflagration see this as a re-run of the first Cold War. They are dangerously mistaken.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Guy , September 13, 2019 at 13:21

With so many believing the lies ,how will this mess ever come to light . I don't reside in Australia but anywhere in the Western world the shakedown is the same .In my own house ,the discussion on world politics descends into absolute stupidity . As one can't get past the constant programming that has settled in the minds of the comfortable with the status quo of lies by our media. There are intelligent sources of news sources but none get past the absolutely complete control of MSM.So the bottom line is ,for now ,the lies and liars are winning the propaganda war.

Anton Antonovich , September 13, 2019 at 13:16

He speaks the truth. Liars and dissemblers have won over the minds and hearts of so many lazy shameful citizens who will not accept the truth Tony Kevin wants to share with the world.

junaid , September 13, 2019 at 13:08

Washington resumes military assistance to Kyiv. According to American lawmakers, Ukraine is fighting one of the main enemies. "Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

"Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

Lily , September 13, 2019 at 23:42

The Pentagon is using the Ukrainian territory for experiments on chemical weapons.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3T9ktfz_FfA

John A , September 14, 2019 at 06:55

Anyone or article who spells Kiev as Kyiv can be safely ignored as western anti-Russia propaganda. It's a true tell.

Robert Edwards , September 13, 2019 at 12:53

The Cold war is totally manufacture to keep the dollars flowing into the MIC – what a sham . and a disgrace to humanity.

Cavaleiro Marginal , September 13, 2019 at 12:52

"The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining."

This had occurred in Brazil since the very first day of Lula's presidency. Eleven years late, 2013, a color revolution began. Nobody (and I mean REALLY nobody) could realize a color revolution was happening at that time. In 2016, Dilma Rousseff was kicked from power throughout a ridiculous and illegal coup perpetrated by the parliament. In 2018 Lula was imprisoned in an Orwellian process; illegal, unconstitutional, with nothing (REALLY nothing) proved against h